HARTENSTINE Search Engine First Marketing How would you like to cut your PPC ad spend by perhaps 90% and get the same net revenue?

This is not a cheap come-on. This tsunami is ripping through the digital marketing space as we speak. In case you have missed it, there have been three significant stories recently; Proctor & Gamble, then Restoration Hardware, now today Uber has filed a law suit against its advertising agency – all concerning waste and fraud in the Pay-Per-Click ad market.

The Restoration Hardware story summarizes the situation best; Restoration Hardware generates almost all of its Pay Per Click traffic from only 22 keywords.

“We’ve found out that 98% of our business was coming from 22 words. So, wait, we’re buying 3,200 words and 98% of the business is coming from 22 words. What are the 22 words? And they said, well, it’s the word Restoration Hardware and the 21 ways to spell it wrong, okay?”

I’ve been going up against agencies for years as they boast of their superior ability to manage 10,000 keywords (no kidding, 10,000). Well these revelations kind of put that selling point to rest once and for all. RIP!

You may not hear one peep about this from the usual Internet Marketing cheerleaders. Those “Internet Marketing Cheerleaders” include every agency and eZine that blogs about Search Engine Marketing daily. Not only do they seldom write anything worth reading, they never write a negative word that might impact their standing with Google. Obviously Google does not want this kind of news circulating, so 1) don’t expect the cheerleaders to blog about these high-profile corporations and their experiments cutting ad spend by 90% and 2) expect these headlines to be scrubbed from search results (or found on page 7).

The large advertising agencies are wishing these things were never published. They make too much money on the status quo (meaning the same fraudulent practices) because fees are based on a percentage of spend, and most clients are ignorant of the workings of the digital ad marketplace. Ignorant clients are good clients!

I want to plug HARTENSTINE right here because we have always charged a flat fee for our PPC services. That is so we have no incentive to spend client money recklessly.

So what may be a pivotal nail in this coffin, today Uber announced that they are the victim of not only wasted ad spend, but click fraud as well. The entire law suit filing is at that link detailing just how it is perpetrated. Its a worthy read.

Don’t be an ignorant-good client!

Obviously these are large corporations utilizing equally large ad agencies, but the percentage of waste is probably proportionate across the board. So even if you are a small business, you could be wasting 80% or more of your money on pay-per-click ads that do not impact your bottom line.

What are your 22 keywords? Lets find out and save some $