August 12, 2019

Take control of your website

I’ve managed Google Ads accounts in just about every industry you can imagine. Some have been successful, some have not.

One of my earliest clients provided marquee hire for weddings and parties. When we first spoke he had attempted to set up his own ads, and had phoned Google for help. Unsurprisingly Google had added a bunch of broad match keywords to his account. He was getting clicks, but not much business as a result.

In fact, he didn’t know exactly what business his ad spend was generating, because conversion tracking had never been set up. But as far as he could tell, his ads were a black hole for time and money.

I got access to his website and setup the necessary conversion tracking. As part of the project I created a new set of landing pages for my ads. These pages had clear headlines, testimonials and a risk-free call to action. If the content of my pages was similar to an established page, I added the ‘no index’ and ‘no follow’ meta tags to prevent Google indexing my new landing pages in the organic listings.

(For organic Google-ranking purposes you don’t ever want two pages with very similar content. These meta tags tell Google to ignore one of them.)

Which is where all the trouble began…

See, I wasn’t the only person working on the website. The web design firm who had designed the site were still employed for ‘site maintenance and SEO’. According to the client, they submitted a highly detailed invoice each month. But he wasn’t sure exactly what work they did for that.

I knew exactly how much work they were doing: nothing. It seemed to me they were mostly engaged to make my life more difficult. Plus they weren’t exactly ecstatic about having me involved, snooping around their cushy retainer arrangement.

To begin with, they told me they couldn’t provide me with FTP access to the website. (Outright lies.)

Shortly after that, we exchanged angry emails after I had updated one of the WordPress plugins I had installed. Apparently ‘testing’ plugin updates was one of the extraordinarily expensive services they provided each month. Even though all they did was click the ‘update’ button, and check the site still worked. (Absolute pirates.)

Later on, they claimed I was damaging their precious SEO efforts with my new pages (even though I had added noindex and nofollow meta tags).

Eventually I said to the client, “look, you need to choose between me and them. I’ll manage your website and SEO if you like.”

For reasons that are utterly beyond me, the client chose them.

Too bad – their loss!

To run a successful paid search campaign, or build any kind of remarketing maze, you must have control of your website. There are simple too many pages to create. You can’t be held to ransom by an old-school web designer desperate to protect their diminishing turf.


Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.