We’ve been selling discount caskets and headstones online. What’s interesting is that we do the PPC for a wrestling company, for which we bid on the term “undertaker”. Now which undertaker is the one that you’re searching for– the one that will bury your loved one or the one that will give you a body slam? At a buck a click, if we attract the wrong searcher for the wrong client, we can bleed money very quickly. And having highly relevant ad copy only partially helps. If you’re above position 3– or especially first position– people will just click on your ads without reading them. This is the “I’m feeling lucky” problem with Google and bidding to a high position. Even with negative keywords– using “WWE” for the funerals and “funerals” for the wrestling, we have only modest protection, since searchers are more likely to type in “undertaker” by itself than with a modifier.
It costs us a buck a click and 1 in 25 clicks will result in a call. Thus, the cost per call is $25. To reduce the cost per call we can get clicks for less or increase our conversion rates. Your best bet– increase conversion rates with better landing pages. Let those other idiots play the bid optimization game. When you increase your conversion rates, you can then afford to bid more and shut out the other guys on traffic. When you try to reduce your bids to reduce your CPC, you end up going down a spiral of worse position, lower Quality Score, and less traffic. So unless you are looking for funeral planning services, you should focus on conversion rates.