Having 11 or More of These 46 Symptoms Could Mean You're a Basic Adwords Bitch or Bro.
No one in real life wants to be a basic bitch or bro, so don't be a basic when it comes to online advertising because all that does is make Google richer while driving up costs for advertisers. This post also points out the mindset that wet behind the ear types have and how it can lead them to making costly mistakes on Adwords.
Before I get into what these symptoms are let's discuss basic bitches and bros because the "basic" bitch or bro label is widely used among generation X and Y.
Here's Wikipedia's definition of a basic bitch. Basic bitch (or simply basic) is a slang term in American popular culture used to pejoratively describe people who like popular, mainstream products or music. Drinking Starbucks by day, Cosmos or some "fruit-tini" at night, yoga pants wearing, "cluelessly lusting after the wrong brands, the ones that announce themselves loudly and have shareholders they need to satisfy. (The right brands are much more expensive and subtle and, usually, privately owned.)"
Basic bro's are the basic bitches male counterpart. Like guys who obsess over fantasy football, just recently jumped on the beard bandwagon, love the movies Gladiator, 300, and Boondock Saints, wear Aqua Di Gio cologne, listened to rap in middle and high school, switched to alternative in college and now just listens to 90s hits, EDM, or whatever is on the radio. Dodgeball playing, tail gating, Entourage watching, mustache sprouting, Mumford and Suns listening, IPA drinking..."If it's popular it must be good" you get the idea.
Having some basic tendencies is totally OK, the problem lies in having too many basic characteristics. And there's just as much of an issue with people who try to be too edgy or cool all the time - they are called pretentious douche-bag hipsters. People who can't even enjoy a song cuz they are worried about how "underground" or "authentic" it is.
Big companies and celebrities monetize the public's basic tendencies. Kim Kardashian is the queen of basic bitch-dom - she monetizes basic bitches in a number of ways from television, to apps, to clothes. When she needs a PR boost, she has her team "leak" some nudes (The Link is prob NSFW) and the media eats it up, cuz they know their sites will get mad page views (from basics that is). Same for Kanye West, they really are perfect for each other. In my mind he's like THE Wrapper for suburban white college kids.
So back to advertising - what I'm saying is that no one on in real life want's to be a basic because in real life basics are fodder for mass brands and bunk celebrities. Don't be a basic online because basics suck at advertising and are easy prey for those hawking SEO rankings, "traffic," fans, followers, views, and so forth.
Confession: I too was a basic. I did basic dumb shit and paid for it.
Here are the symptoms of being a basic Adwords Bitch or Bro - Much of this is applicable to online marketing or even marketing in general.
1. Your ad copy is frighteningly similar to the competition. See the lawyer examples, many talk about years experience, and how many millions won. The florists are so similar they have nothing better to offer than bigger coupons or discounts.
2. Your websites were picked right out of an industry template, and you merely changed your business information.
3. You worry or obsess about your ad's position on the search engine results page and think higher is better.
4. You only monitor clicks and dollars spent and if it were up to you, you wish you could get more clicks for less.
5. You've never heard of classic (direct response) advertising books by the old greats such as Claude Hopkins.
6. You heard of or like the show Mad Men, but never ever looked at the campaigns of the real life advertising legend's that the Draper and Stirling's were modeled after.
7. You jumped on the social media band wagon hoping more fans would equal more customers.
8. You follow whatever the marketing gurus in your industry are doing or talking about.
9. You secretly wish that you could somehow afford a Superbowl ad because IF you could get that much exposure would solve your sales problems.
10. You set up your Adwords campaign and stuck with the "default" settings.
11. You outsource Adwords and don't own your own account- meaning there's no transparency into how much actual Google Clicks Cost versus what the agency charges.
12. You've hired Yodle or some "big company" to do your marketing. These companies are what I would call the "Olive Garden's" of Internet Marketing. You don't go to Olive Garden for fresh authentic Italian food. OG is for the ignorant masses that don't know what good food is. Good food is not always the most expensive - same for good marketing.
13. You're in a contract with some kind of Internet Marketing company. (The whole point of online advertising is to run, measure the result quickly and be able to tweak it or stop it. HOW CAN YOU DO THAT IF YOU'RE LOCKED INTO A CONTRACT)
14. You're advertisements proclaim that you are best, number one, or some other adjective, yet when someone clicks there is NOTHING that demonstrates the claim on the landing page.
15. You've got the home page "Itis." You love your user friendly website and think customers will search, browse around, and buy. So you send your paid clicks to your home page.
16. You've got one campaign, with one ad group that contains all of your keywords, and one lonely ad. THIS>SCREAMS>BASIC.
17. You think more is better, so you're bidding on too many keywords that don't truly make sense and you're running traffic 24 hours a day, on all devices, on all networks.
18. You don't have a mobile friendly website, which is fine, but you also have not lowered your mobile bids.
19. You're call to action is the same as your competitors. If they offer a free consultation, then you do too. If they offer free information, they you do too. If they zig you zig, if they zag you zag.
20. You don't know what the word copywriting means.
21. You don't know what an auto responder is.
22. You don't know what a landing page is.
23. Phone calls are important to your business but you don't track calls from Adwords.
24. You don't bid on your own brand or business name cuz you think "Why bother I already rank for it?"
25. "The 1oo Greatest Headlines of all time" You have NEVER searched for this on Google.
26. You Don't Have a...UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION
27. You optimize for the "one big conversion" such as a sale or appointment request but neglect the small things potential customers do that are also valuable such as downloading a report, signing up for a newsletter, or watching a "demo" video.
28. You think everyone could be a perfect client.
29. You don't know what your conversion rate is.
30. You re-market to every single web visitor.
31. You don't monitor impression share.
32. You don't split test ad copy.
33. You split test ad copy too much because you think that's what you're always supposed to be doing. It is, but you could lower overall conversion volume if too many ads are being tested and they fail to improve conversion rates. Be especially careful split testing in verticals with lower search volume but higher CPCs.
34. You measure the effectiveness of Adwords by what customers tell you. (Oh God no)
35. You measure Adwords by some other 3rd party analytics tool but also don't use Adwords conversion tracking. (Cuz you're so advanced and need so many systems...sure)
36. You don't understand that the law of diminishing returns does in-fact apply to your Google Adwords budget.
37. You're adamant about a blanket budget being spent. (You can always spend more but spending more doesn't always bring about proportionate new results. Spend as much as you can ONLY on keywords YOU KNOW get a good result)
37. You don't apply the 80/20 rule to your Google Adwords Account.
38. You obsess over the wrong or trivial things. For example don't worry about quality score improvements IF you are not even tracking conversions.
39. You've never truly thought about how much a customer is worth and how much it makes sense to spend to acquire one.
40. You only think about what YOU want your ad to say, but failed to consider copy that would truly be meaningful to the potential customer or client.
41. You NEVER once gave the Display Network a good College try and turned it off cuz that's what some expert blogged about.
42. You assume that EVERY location within your geography performs the same, as in all 50 states are equal IF you advertise in the United States. Many geographies perform differently - to get an idea run a report in Adwords from the "dimensions" tab. Adjust bids accordingly.
43. You quit or are thinking about quitting Adwords and in favor of "SEO." -- This is what basics do. They try something, it doesn't work as planned so they run to the "next" thing. What non-basics do is get PPC right and then use what works in PPC to inform other digital ad channels such as Display, SEO, Facebook PPC, PPV etc.
44. You confuse features and benefits.
45. You confuse advertising and marketing. Marketing in its essence is the who, what, where, when, why people should buy, and how much would they really pay for something ---The Unique Selling Proposition. Many people think having website or logo designed is marketing and in a sense it is, but that's something you do AFTER you've addressed the fundamental aspects of the marketing plan. Who's really a potential customer, who is not, what are reasonable price points etc.
Advertising is merely getting the word out to the right people with the right message at the right time. Google Search, Facebook Ads.
46. You don't look at data to shape your marketing and advertising plans, instead you rely on outside advice, the opinions of others be it bloggers, "industry experts" the media and so forth. You rush to make a mobile website cuz everyone else is doing it, BUT in YOUR little corner of the world, not that many people frequent your website on a mobile device. Meanwhile you're conversion rates are poor so the money would have been better spent focusing on conversion improvements NOT on a mobile website that won't make much of an impact for your business.
That's all I have and if you've made these basic errors it's by and large not your fault. It is your fault IF you know you could do better but have neglected doing so.
The basics are just fodder to be manipulated by politicians, sales man, media, publicity, and so forth. Don't be basic. Dig in and learn how to advertise or more importantly know what good marketing is and how to properly evaluate the results.
Not doing so makes you a chump and a target who could easily be duped into over spending on Adwords, or buying some "advertising package" by some fast talking sales man. See reviews of Yext or Yodle.
Again, I'm very much FOR Google Adwords but the ignorance among their own customers has made them oodles of money so much so that they can and do outright ban advertisers who spend millions with them and don't offer any explanation beyond a canned response. I highly doubt this would happen if they didn't make such boatloads of money.
If you read this post and realize that you have too many basic tendencies the good news is that it can be fixed!
I too was once a basic Adwords bro. I rid myself of basic tendencies by learning from the right people, implementing and doing. One gets a bigger back squat by squatting not reading about it or watching bros exercise on YouTube.
For business owners and busy professionals - you don't need to be an Adwords Ninja and be able to blog about the top features new Adwords features but you do have to understand exactly what Adwords is and what makes campaigns succeed or flop.
For a number of businesses I see they could be doing so much better IF they didn't make the obvious basic beginner mistakes.
To continue I have my new book available for a free for a limited time. Grab a copy today.
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