Local Google Adwords/Adsense ads…

So about this whole recession: It sucks obviously,  but I think independent artists / web developers can thrive in times like this. Unfortunately a company might eliminate in-house staff artists from the payroll.  But the rest of the staff that got to keep their jobs aren’t going on weekend retreats to learn design theory to layout the company’s next ad, or take night classes on Flash development to edit all those .fla files that were left behind. Someone will be getting hired part-time to fill in the gaps. So selling a company on hiring an untested , but more affordable, designer will be easier than ever. The trouble is just getting connected with all those people responsible for finding someone to fill in for whoever got fired….

One solution, and hear me out before you imagine your credit card bill skyrocketting… Google Adwords. Yes, pricey if you advertise to the entire world,  but you can narrow down your ad’s placement to within a certain mileage of your location. So for example, I live about 60 miles from Atlanta, so this ad for IanGreatHead.com (an Atlanta company)  popped up for me today when I was on an art-related site. Here’s the standard Adwords 4 liner he placed  (btw: top line is limited to 25 characters, next two are usually 35 characters, final line is domain name) … 

I think its a smart idea Ian is advertising locally like that. He’s got some excellent pieces on his website, and a kinda niche thing going on too. You don’t see highly technical product illustrations/ animations that often. So if this ad gets seen by the right local person, Ian’s got a great shot of getting some work. I’d never suggest someone advertise bad work. But he doesn’t, so he SHOULD be advertising. 

One problemo, and a suggestion for anyone else doing this type of local advertising: Declare yourself a LOCAL in the ad. Thats WAY more important than the first line repeating back your company name. Your company name doesn’t matter much in ad (if at all). Especially when you only have 100 characters to make your pitch. But being local matters a ton. To discover Ian’s location I had to actually make the click* and then dive in one page to find out he was in Atlanta. And the point of advertising locally, is to catch the eye of someone local!!  Google is not the Yellow Pages, where its safe to assume everyone is nearby. Now I might be wrong about this, but I do think Google shows a local location if the person searches on Google.com, but on the Content Network (which gets way more random ad visibility / impressions ) that local location doesn’t show.  And if you’re doing local advertising definitely choose to use the Content Network too. Based on your ad’s keywords, Google will pick out sites on their AdSense network that would benefit from running your ad. Which is way more visibility than just counting on people searching those keywords in Google. Of course people searching for something are much more likely to be interested in your services than someone that just stumbles onto your ad via their favorite hobby/blog site, but Google knows that, and can you guess their solution… Content Network ads are dirt cheap!!

Anyway, here’s a more effective version of Ian’s ad…

  • Atlanta Web Design Studio
  • Product Illustration, Technical Art  
  • and Flash Animation
  • IanGreatHead.com

So the first line has “Atlanta” now, we already talked about that. I debated whether “Web Design Studio” was right for the rest of line 1, but since the next line included the word Illustration and Art, I figured it was redundant to say Art Studio or just Design Studio. Since his company does Flash animation, they probably do web development too. So why not widen the net a bit and say Web Design Studio. Won’t hurt… The next two lines are fine. Looks like his original ad could have used a few more characters, like an adjective, maybe “Specialized Flash Animation”, but thats debatable too. Adwords advices against over-doing it with adjectives, although Ian’s studio clearly does specialized work, so he could get away with it. 

Last up, that 4th line needed caps. Its more readable now, and it almost replaces his original first line ( btw, as long as you include your actual domain in the 4th line, you can have it read differently than where its actually going )

Okay, so reworded, some human resources person might be browsing around, and up pops an ad for an “Atanta Web Design Studio”.   He or she takes note for future recession hiring. 

*I didn’t actually click the ad when I saw it. I typed it in the browser bar to save you whatever cents it would have cost the advertiser. I picked on him enough today.

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