Small businesses have small marketing budgets. In a previous post, I listed 5 low-cost ways to market your business. Two of the methods mentioned were advertising on Google Adwords and Dapei Zahav. Since bootstrapping businesses need to ensure that every advertising dollar is justified, I decided to conduct an unofficial study comparing Google Adwords and Dapei Zahav (the Israeli version of the Yellow Pages).
The winner with no holds-barred: Google Adwords.
Here is a comparison of the features of both advertisers:
- For a relatively low monthly fee, you can have your business appear on their site at the top of the classification of your choice. I put illuminea at the top of the copywriter classification, and wrote a blurb in Hebrew about what we do.
- The features of the package that I selected included the option to add an image, and provide a discount coupon for those who order via Dapei Zahav. The salesperson was very unclear about many things, such as selling me the option to add a button which links to my site. What I didn’t understand is that there is no need for such a button, since a link to the site appears under the blurb.
- They offer you other additions, like a map of where you are and a contact form. A map is mostly useless since if someone wants to come to your office, they can either look up your address or call and get directions, and if they want to contact you, they can send you an email to your listed email address or call you.
- Your listing can appear under other classifications too.
- I also was given a listing in the print edition of the Tel Aviv directory.
The Results: Not one phone call or email from my Dapei Zahav listing, even with all its prominence. No one even tried to use the coupon to get a discount. I got better results when I had a tiny free listing on Dapei Zahav.
- You can choose as many search words and phrases under which your ad will appear. You can also select the countries in which your ad will appear. This is a good way for Israeli advertisers to save on advertising costs.
- You only pay when someone clicks. If you are selective with your keywords, this means that only people who are interested in your type of services are clicking. Even if they don’t order, this increases exposure of your site and business to the right people.
- You can set the maximum you are willing to pay for clicks on different keywords. This is also a good way to manage your budget.
The Results: Many phone calls and emails from interested prospects, and quite a few orders that more than made up for my investment.
Apparently, when my clients in Israel are searching for service providers, they use Google. Maybe it’s because they are more web-savvy, while businesses in other sectors could benefit from a Yellow Pages ad. I don’t know.
Once I realized how innefective my Dapei Zahav ad was, I called to cancel my order and reduce my listing to a minimum. It turns out that they were also not clear at all when I ordered, and when they said I could reduce my listing after four months, they were only referring to certain parts of it. So now I’m stuck paying for it until the end of the year, and I can’t even find my own listing there anymore!
When I told the Dapei Zahav saleswoman that I was cancelling because I had recieved no orders from them, and many from Google Adwords, she said to me “But we’re working very hard on raising our rankings in Google!” I asked her why I would advertise with them if all they were trying to do is use Google to get better results – why not just pay Google directly?
So, if you are looking for a low-cost and effective way to advertise your business – Google Adwords is the way to go!