How hard could it be? Someone searches for Herbalife Formula 1 shake, you show them an ad for it. They click and land up in your online shop. You take the money and the supplier delivers it. Ka Ching!
A client asked me if I could help her advertise her brand new online Herbalife shoppe on Google. She wanted a share of the 8 000 people in her area who search for Herbalife every month.
Making money advertising identical branded goods on Google is really hard.
One tub of vanilla Formula 1 shake is exactly the same as every other tub of vanilla Formula 1 shake. So, who do you buy from? Either the cheapest, or from Amazon because they've already got your address and card on file.
The new entrant draws all the short straws.
So you drop your price.
And they drop their price.
And you drop your price again.
And pretty soon it's a race to the bottom.
Then, to rub salt into the scratches, Google AdWords is an auction. If someone with similar adverts offers Google more they'll end up closer to that coveted top spot.
So you raise your bid.
And they raise their bid.
And you raise your bid again.
And pretty soon it's a race to the top, to see who can pay Google the most.