Blog Email Sign Up

Why Users Are Feed-Up With Digital Ads - Part One

Posted by: Jeff Davis - 11/27/2018

Today I am sharing a link to a great article from 

Read More »

Does Anyone Watch TV Any More?

Posted by: Jeff Davis - 01/30/2017

As we continue to try and get our marketing messages in front of the right consumer, it is important to match the consumer with their actual viewing habits. Too often we make decisions based on overall trends without looking into the actual behavior of the consumer we are trying to reach. How many times have you heard that TV advertising is dead? "It doesn't reach today's millennials." 

Read More »

Selling the Invisible

Posted by: Jeff Davis - 12/5/2016

Selling the Invisible is a brilliant book by Harry Beckwith.

Read More »

Now You Know Your Client's Lifetime Value, What's Next?

Posted by: Jeff Davis - 03/29/2016


Read More »

Marketing Myopia

Posted by: Jeff Davis - 03/15/2016

Marketing Myopia by Theodore Levitt, first published in 1960 is still a great read. I found it (again) in an addition of the Harvard Business Review's 10 Must Reads over lunch today.

Read More »

Who is Your Competition at The Y? Part Three

Posted by: Jeff Davis - 03/8/2016

In previous posts we looked at how to identify your competition and how basic SEO works. Now let's review how SEM works. As discussed, your best path to market is to utilize both SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) in your marketing strategy because there are two ways consumers use Google Search.

Some always click on the 'Free" "Organic" listings and some only click on the top listings which are paid ads.

Let's see how the term "swimming lessons" can be used to drive more traffic to your YMCA website and help fast track new members.


If you review the above results, you will see a three different types of listings for businesses offering swim lessons.

Advertisements across the top and down the right side. Pay to play!

Local Listings. If you are not currently showing up in the local listings for keywords that are central to your business, visit and make sure Google has your current business information. Note that simply filling out this information will not automatically get your business listed, but it is a good start. In a future posting we will talk about how to leverage your business account to improve your SEO rankings.

Free / Organic. The listings below the Ads and Local Listings that are determined by the Google algorithm.

If you are the YMCA and rely on the Local Listing "Fort Meigs YMCA Center For Health Promotion", you are going to loose site traffic to the paid ads. The first ad is the one on the top of the results page from (US Masters Swimming). Down the right rail of the results page you also see a number of ads from companies like, ABC Aquatics Center and Swim Outlet.

Why are these companies paying to appear in the search results? Because they know the value of getting a sales prospect to their web page and the revenue associated with that sales prospect. We have already shown the lifetime value of a YMCA member is approximately $4,700. Each of these businesses has determined the value of a new member to their business and believe the cost of acquiring a prospect is worth cost of running the ad on Google search.

What does it cost to buy an ad on Google?

If no one clicks on your ad, it costs you nothing. Try that approach with your newspaper, TV, radio station or the direct mail vendor.

With Google Search (Pay Per Click, SEM) you are bidding on specific keywords and phrases against other businesses that are bidding on the same keywords and phrases. You are submitting a bid amount based on what you feel a customer is worth and based on what you feel other companies are bidding on the same keyword or phrase - in this case "swimming lessons". 


In a traditonal auction, the highest bid wins. But with Google, very little is traditional. While the highest bid may win the top placement, this is not always the case. Since Google only gets paid if a visitor clicks on an advertisement and they process billions of searches per day, Google understands that the bid price is not as important as getting someone to click on as ad. 

Let's say I bid $5 on "Swimming Lessons" and you bid $4. I win! Not so fast...

My ad says "Swim Lessons!". Your ad says "Learn how to get free swim lessons". More than likely, your ad is going to get more clicks than mine. So I get 3 clicks out of 10 (3 x $5= $15) and your ad gets 7 clicks out of 10 (7 x $4 = $28), Google will move your ad to the top because it sees that they get more revenue over time from your lower bid price than my higher bid price.

So now you see the importance of writing great ads. But Google also factors in whether or not it beleives that your landing page linked to the ad is going to answer the searcher's questions and solve their problem. So Google also scores your landing page for relevance. Why? 

I see the loop hole... I only get charged if my ad is clicked on... So I have the ability to rack up millions of branding impressions at no cost if only I....  "I bid $50 on Nike Shoes!" becasue I know this term has 1.3 million searches per month.


Look at all the free branding I will receive! No one will click on my ad linking to a page about swimming lessons. You are correct. Google will look at your landing page (swimming lessons) and determine that "swimming lessons" will not solve the searchers problem of needing new Nike Shoes. So they will reject your ad. Sorry. 

So SEM (Search, Pay Per Click) is a great way to build quick traffic to your website, while all your SEO strategy slowly improves your SERP results. Or, as we beleive, there is room in your marketing strategy to leverage both of these programs, allowing you to reach two different audiences for your products and services.

Are you still confused? Want to know more about these programs and how they can help your business? Give us a call, 419-776-7000, or shoot me an email Thrive loves Digital Marketing.

Contact Thrive 

Read More »

Who Is Your Competition At the Y? Part One

Posted by: Jeff Davis - 02/23/2016

"The giant sucking sound you hear is competitors siphoning off your YMCA members."

Read More »

The Law of Familiarity Part Three

Posted by: Jeff Davis - 02/2/2016

Earlier we learned that The Law of Familiarity means that people have to be familiar with your business (brand) before they are inclined to do business with you.

We also learned that the Law of Familiarity works best when your business (brand) is seen as the safe choice. "McDonalds versus Bar 145". And it works best when given time to work. Remember the CD you bought for a single song.

The last lesson teaches us that the Law of Familiarity leads to action

Read More »

The Law of Familiarity - Part Two

Posted by: Jeff Davis - 01/26/2016

In the previous post, we reviewed how The Law of Familiarity means you want to be positioned as the safe choice.

Read More »

The Law of Familiarity - Part One

Posted by: Jeff Davis - 01/19/2016

The Law of Familiarity teaches us that the first step in securing a new customer is that your brand must be familiar to them. The  more familiar you are, the more likely they will give you a chance to do business with them.

Read More »

Follow Thrive

Posts by Topic

See All