What To Do First – Redesign Site or Start AdWords?
I turn down AdWords management prospects all the time because of subpar websites, and I take on clients with average websites often enough to realize the value of having an aesthetically pleasing and high-converting site.
The big question that business owners face is “What to tackle first?” – Do I redesign my site or start up AdWords? It’s not always a straight answer and depends on many factors. Answer these questions first…
How much is my unimpressive site costing me?
With most of my advertising clients, I track cost per conversion. A conversion is typically a phone call, form submission, or some other type of lead. Costs per lead typically range from $15 to $100 depending on many factors like quality of the website, cost of clicks, etc.
I have run experiments on different pages where the cost per conversion fluctuates as much as $20 just from small changes on the page. So it’s not crazy to say that a poor website could cost you $50 per conversion. If you’re aiming for 10 conversions per month, that’s $500/week extra it could be costing you just to get those leads! How many weeks would it take wasting $500 to convince you a website redesign is in order?
With inflated costs like this or if you’re spending thousands per month on PPC advertising, then a website redesign is probably in order.
My Complete Website Package, which many of my advertising clients have taken advantage of, starts at $490! Just thought I’d mention that :)…
How bad is your website?
You may need to get a second opinion on this if you’re not unbiased in the matter. Maybe you created the site yourself and think it’s awesome. But if you’ve ever watched American Idol and seen the not-so-gifted vocalists who think they are the next Kelly Clarkson, you should understand what I mean. Find your Simon Cowell and get some honest and critical feedback on your site before dropping hundreds or thousands into a monthly AdWords budget. Feel free to comment below and share your site. I’ll be happy to give feedback.
Here are some signs that your site is not AdWords ready:
- Links are broken
- Several pages are “under construction”
- The site is not mobile-friendly – test it here
- Many elements are overlapping and/or unreadable
- You don’t even like your site!
If at least 3-4 of these are true, it’s probably smart to redesign the website before spending another dime on AdWords.
Is your site easily fixable?
Maybe your site is average but not horrible. Maybe you can make a few quick fixes that are going to drastically improve your results in AdWords advertising. Again, you may need some expert advice to determine what these fixes are, but here are some ideas to point you in the right direction:
- Add clear calls-to-action (phone number, contact form, etc.) and make them stand out
- Revise the text content so it’s up-to-date and convincing
- Get a professional logo to improve your image – see my logo service here
- Add some update personal photos or professional stock photos
If there are some low-hanging fixes like the ones I mention above that you can knock out in a single session, it may be worth going for it and then restarting your AdWords campaigns.
Do unto others as you would have them do to you
If you’re having trouble finding things to fix on your site, here’s a quick exercise. Make a list of sites you like as you browse the web for the next week. These can be sites you absolutely love or sites that just provide a good overall experience. After you have a list of sites, take a closer look at them and analyze what it was that you liked. What was it that provided a good experience on the site. Make a list of these elements and then compare it to your site. Do you have these same elements on your site? Can you add them to improve your overall site experience?
“Caveman Conversions” and how your bad site displays your potential…
I had one advertising client start up with my PPC management a couple years ago. Their site was pretty awful in my opinion, and I told them that. They explained that they were already getting a good conversion rate but needed help managing their AdWords account.
Both were true – they were getting prospects to their legal practice for under $30 per lead. Not bad! And they definitely needed some help with the basic management principles of AdWords. After a few months, we were able to lower the cost per conversion.
I was surprised that this questionable website was getting such a good conversion rate, and I call these “caveman conversions” because they are so easy even a caveman could get them!
It’s a great sign of the potential in an industry. My thought process is – if visitors are converting on a bad site, how much better will they convert on an optimized site? This is why I agreed to take over this account and I’m glad I did. We eventually redesigned the site, gave them a much more professional image, and decreased the cost per conversion for their AdWords advertising by nearly 50%.