Check Out Our All New Podcast Resource Center!
June 19, 2020

Differences Between Using Google Ads For Ecommerce vs. Professional Services With Mark Kelly

Differences Between Using Google Ads For Ecommerce vs. Professional Services With Mark Kelly
Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
Spotify podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
Castro podcast player badge
RSS Feed podcast player badge

Andy discusses using Google Ads for Professional Services with the founder of Inbound Revenue, Mark Kelly.

There are subtle yet significant differences and within this episode two SEM agency owners discuss what those differences are as they relate to Google Paid Ads.


Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.

New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and


Andy Splichal  0:07  

Hello, this is Andy, thank you for joining today. And today we have a special treat, we have our first guest on the make each click count podcast. And we are welcoming today. Mark Kelly, from How are you doing, Mark?


Mark Kelly  1:06  

I'm fantastically and I'm honored. I didn't realize I was your first guest. That's fantastic. Thank you.


Andy Splichal  1:11  

You're welcome. We're excited to have you. So before we start, and what I wanted to discuss with you today was some of the differences between using Google ads for Ecommerce versus professional services. But before to start, I just wanted to give the listeners a little background about you and your experience, if you don't mind. Why don't you tell us a little bit about, and how you founded it. And that kind of story?


Mark Kelly  1:38  

Absolutely. Inbound is essentially a white label AdWords agency. So we do AdWords as a subcontractor, typically, for agencies who want to offer AdWords, but don't have the internal skill sets or just have a client or two. That doesn't make it makes sense for them to ramp up those skills. I started it in I started inbound revenue in 2014. But I've been doing AdWor ds since 2003. Myself, I started an Ecommerce business back in 2003. And AdWords seemed like a good way to land sales. And it was it was fantastic. It was a lot easier in 2003. Also, yes, it was, I started doing some consulting around 2008 for some local businesses helping them with AdWords. And interestingly enough, I have my first client ever still. And I thought this is great clients stay forever. But then, you know, later on, I realized that wasn't always true. So yeah, we do. Since 2014, we've been building up the team and services and just have a good old time doing AdWords.


Andy Splichal  2:53  

So tell me you had mentioned you do some white label services, how much of your stuff is done for the client and how much is done? In the disguise of somebody else doing it, I guess?


Mark Kelly  3:07  

Our ratio is probably 70%. White Label for agencies, we're working as contractor type arrangement, and then 30% direct clients that you either pick up because, you know, people know about you, and they don't really want to serve the client, you know, that sort of thing. Just, we don't actively, we do more of our marketing on the white label side. But you pick those things up, you know, just by just by existing.


Andy Splichal  3:37  

Sure. Okay. Now, I noticed one thing, and maybe the reason you do this is is because the white label, but I saw on your website, that very much like what I do a true online presence is you charge a flat fee. For the management instead of a percentage, like a lot of other sem agencies do is the reason you do that is because it is so much white label service that you offer?


Mark Kelly  4:00  

I do that for at least for probably three reasons. The first being it's much easier to sell a flat rate than it is, you know, we're gonna charge you X percent based on this and that and there are some variabilities in the flat rate, you know, based on if your ad spends over a certain amount, but it's much easier to say, you know, we're going to charge you this amount. I don't have to go back and write a proposal. I can offer a price on the phone. While I'm talking to someone I don't like the I was never a big fan of the charge by the ad spend model because I felt like it encouraged me to increase the ad spend which isn't shouldn't be my objective.


Andy Splichal  4:48  

Right. Yeah, no, I 100% agree. That's why I why I also do the flat rate.


Mark Kelly  4:54  

And it just it makes a lot of sense. We we offer a package so it It was so much easier to package everything together, say, this is what you're gonna get. And, you know, we tear it up a little bit based on ad spend and stuff like that. But it's pretty simple that way, and everyone understands exactly what they're getting for their money. 


Andy Splichal  5:17  

Oh, great. 


Mark Kelly  5:17  

Oh, the other thing is, I knew there's a third reason. If you do it based on adspend, you can't build to the end. You can't build to the end of the month, or you have to make an adjustment at the end of every month based on ad spend. That seemed like a pain in the ass to me.


Andy Splichal  5:31  

Yeah. Yeah, I can see where that would be. Um, before we start kind of getting into a little bit more of the nitty gritty. Can you tell the listeners maybe an interesting fact about you that most people might not know?


Mark Kelly  5:43  

Well, I would imagine that most people don't know, but could have the opportunity to know that I am. I make a fantastic Margarita. And I'm willing to do that for anyone, anytime. As long as the ingredients are available. We have good to kill it. And I'm a semi professional doodler. If you get me in a boring meeting long enough. I'm gonna start doodling. That's how I made my way through school. So I survived school. Was there a time I got boring. I just started doodling.


Andy Splichal  6:15  

Well, it sounds like both those skills might have come in handy in our recent stay at home orders.


Mark Kelly  6:21  

Yeah, the more the more margaritas I've made, the more I do.


Andy Splichal  6:25  

So why I really wanted to have you on as a guest today is I specialize in exclusively ecommerce clients. So I don't work with professional services at all. And I know that you do. And I wanted to discuss some of the key metrics based on ecommerce versus professional services. So can you can you let us know what what are some of the professional services that you work with?


Mark Kelly  6:50  

The types of businesses that we that we do AdWords for? 


Andy Splichal  6:53  



Mark Kelly  6:55  

Our ideal and client is local service business of some sort. Be a roofer, a plumber, custom pool installer, the primary things that we're looking for in those types of clients are that they have a reasonably high transaction value. So they can justify their advertising cost.


Andy Splichal  7:16  



Mark Kelly  7:17  

And order that they have a good recurring model, an example of that would be a commercial cleaner, they may not charge much every time they clean your facility, but typically, they have a contract to clean your facility, you know, week after week, month after month, so it's got a high lifetime value shows your ideal. Y


Andy Splichal  7:37  

Yeah, that makes sense. Now, do you have a favorite type of business that you work with?


Mark Kelly  7:44  

Our favorite business to work with is a niche agency and agency that specializes in something. Some particular you know, whether it's dental, or paws, or lawn care, and they need you to deliver the AdWords for that niche. You know, they may offer their clients website, Facebook ads, SEO and AdWords, we just delivered the AdWords part. And the reason I like working for them, first of all, is because it's repetitive and you get to know exactly what keywords and services and landing pages and everything else to build. The other thing is, if someone's in a niche agency, they usually have a sales process, they're usually a growth oriented agency, as opposed to one that takes a little bit of website work a little bit of social work a little, you know, that sort of thing. They're usually keen on growth.


Andy Splichal  8:35  

Okay, great. Now, with Ecommerce companies, the only metric that really matters is the  return on ad spend. You know, how profitable are you? With professional services I imagine there's, there's a number of key metrics.


Mark Kelly  8:54  

Some of the metrics are very difficult to ascertain. It's interesting that you asked that because we had had a conversation with one of my team members about one of our clients, who measures things very, very well on the back end, their lead conversion rate, you know, the revenues and things like that. Well, we have to focus on on the front end is are we spending their ad spend, you know, make sure that we've got we're meeting that very basic metric that we're generating leads and we're generating leads into cost per lead that we agreed up front made sense. The challenge with the professional service business and to a degree with Ecommerce businesses, people have to know their numbers. The other challenges that we lose track the lead once we've generated it, and unless they have good internal tracking methods, all you can say is we we generated you know, X number of quality leads for you at so much cost per lead.


Andy Splichal  9:51  

Now, what are you considering a lead?


Mark Kelly  9:56  

For every client there's, for almost every client there's three types There's always qualifiers there until you can't make blanket statements about anything. But for most of our clients, we're tracking either a form completion on landing page a call to attract number on the landing page or a call from the call extension on an AdWords.


Andy Splichal  10:21  

Okay, and who are you using to track phone calls?


Mark Kelly  10:25  

We use 



Andy Splichal  10:27  


 PhoneWagon. Okay. 


Mark Kelly  10:29  


 PhoneWagon highly recommend them.


Andy Splichal  10:31  

Now have you tried some of the other ones I mean, I I personally for a lot of my clients use CallRail I haven't tried PhoneWagon and I don't know if you have experience with CallRail.


Mark Kelly  10:41  

I switched from this gonna sound like I own stock, I don't. But I switched from CallRail to PhoneWagon, we saved a lot of money. In frankly, the support from my perspective was a lot better. And so it's worked out very, very well. For us Colorado is a fine piece of software is, you know, there's nothing wrong with Colorado and does everything you need. And I know that they've added some capabilities, but PhoneWagon is our solution of choice.


Andy Splichal  11:14  

Now another question I had is, given that it is kind of difficult if somebody calls a professional service, you know, they ask, Where did you hear us? And I'll say the computer thing? How do you go about optimizing? I mean, are you looking at CTR, you're looking at click through rates. Are you looking at it? I guess


Mark Kelly  11:36  

Yes. What we do look at those things. But we key in on those three metrics that I've talked about. And that is the conversions cost per conversion. And did we meet the ad spend. And we make sure on every account that we set up, that we have set up conversion tracking. So that's why we typically build the landing page, we put the correct code on the landing page to track the form completions, that sort of thing. And then we use PhoneWagon to track all the calls. And all of these register back as a conversion inside of AdWords. So that's what we're keying on. Of course, some of the metrics you talked about can be important, but they're secondary. Okay, you know, you go to a client and say, We got you a great click through rate, they generally aren't excited. But you know, we say we got your 10 calls, and they're a little bit more interesting.


Andy Splichal  12:29  

Okay. Okay. You know, you're you're really led into the next question I had was, do you have to make the landing page for most customers? Or it sounds like for all the customers?


Mark Kelly  12:43  

It's our preference to make them for all the customers. And yes, I tried to, I tried to lead you right into that and trying to make this easy for both of us. You know, we may, I found out early on, like when when I first launched inbound revenue, and said, We're gonna do white label AdWords for agencies. My theory was, if I do for agencies, I'm going to get clients faster, you know, and I'm going to talk to people who know what they're doing. That was true. But it wasn't really until we put together packages, and that flat rate pricing we talked about, when I realized, you know, we need to just saying we do AdWords management wasn't enough, because that means so many different things. And I ran into a lot of trouble trying to integrate with people's websites or websites were not particularly well done. So eventually, we just basically moved it over to we're going to build you a landing page or pages. We're gonna set up the call, we're gonna do everything. It's it's a turnkey solution. And that way, you know, we're accountable for the performance, if we're sending them to a, let's say, a potentially crappy website, or website did we don't control is harder to be accountable. So when I say we don't control, it's not to work control freak, even though we are kind of, but if someone else is working on the WordPress site, and they break something, or add something, or say, Oh, why do I have this? You know, plug in here? Or why am I tracking this? You know, take that off of there, then all of a sudden, you know, there's breakage and stuff. It's easier for both of us this way.


Andy Splichal  14:18  

Sure. That makes sense. Now, are you using like Unbounce? Or who use them to build the pages?


Mark Kelly  14:23  

Yeah, we use Unbounce exclusively. I know, there are other good solid landing page tools out there. But Unbounce is pretty much you know, best of class. And I don't want my folks to have to learn, you know, a different landing page tools.


Andy Splichal  14:38  

Sure. You know, that makes sense. Now, with Google ads, and when I'm running Google Shopping campaigns, I would say the most important thing that you could do is really concentrate on your negative keywords. How do negative keywords, how would you rate the importance of those with with professional service ads you're running?


Mark Kelly  14:58  

I think that's that's a very key optimization tool. Getting your keywords, getting the correct intent based keywords in the beginning is crucial. So if you're, you know, you want to make sure that there's some buyer intent in the keywords or they're looking at cost, or they're looking at, you know, a local contract or something like that. But beyond that, we have a set of keywords that we pretty much negative out of every campaign, those are ones related, you know, around jobs, and, you know, that sort of thing. 


Andy Splichal  15:30  

Pitures, paids and free.


Mark Kelly  15:33  

Yeah, exactly, exactly. All this stuff that you never, almost never want to have an ad show up for. So we have a standard set. And then, as part of our optimizations, I would say that's one of the pausing underperforming keywords or underperforming keywords match types is huge. And then adding negatives is huge, because every time you can drive that cost, yeah, hopefully you're driving the cost into a converting, you know, it can the conversion.


Andy Splichal  16:05  

Now, you had mentioned that you do the localized retailers, or I'm sorry, localized professional services. Are you taking them from all over the country, though? You're not just doing your local area, right?


Mark Kelly  16:21  

No, no, we take clients, wherever, wherever they are. We're primarily us, but we've got some UK and Australian clients as well. And, yeah, so we target based on what their market is.


Andy Splichal  16:33  

Okay. All right. Just wanted to make sure on that. Now, what advice could you give real quickly to a company trying to manage their own paid per click in house? 


Mark Kelly  16:45  

Well, my obvious advice would be, don't do it, call me. But the helpful advice would be, really to make sure that you've got someone that really understands pay per click, and if they don't, there's courses out there, things like that, I would say one of the mistakes that we see often in times is an agency gets a handful, or one or two pay per click clients, and they just say to the SEO guy, or to someone else, hey, now you're the Pay Per Click guy. And that's not a great solution. First of all, because they don't have the full stack of skills that you need. Not only do you have, you know, to be able to set up an AdWords account to perform well know the settings and things like that, you should also have a landing page, you should have your conversion tracking, you should have your call tracking. So I think the most important thing is you having someone really skilled in house, and that doesn't happen very often. Because you don't usually unless they have a substantial number of clients. You simply can't you know, spend the resources on having an in house SCM guy or gal.


Andy Splichal  18:05  

Okay, that makes sense. Now, I think that covers everything I had, was there anything that is glaringly obvious that I overlooked that you might want to add about running professional service campaigns?


Mark Kelly  18:20  

Now I'm really curious about why you focus in on Ecommerce we do a tiny little bit of Ecommerce and I grew you know, but that was my first experience with AdWords but it's a much doing type of it's a much more challenging it's very different type of campaign it's almost like two different sets of tools for lead gen and for Ecommerce. So I'm curious about what led you to focus in on that?


Andy Splichal  18:48  

Right well, ecommerce I decided to go into Ecommerce for one that's that's what interests me. And you know, I get excited about in not only working with Google ads, but helping companies and pointing out stuff that improves their conversion rates and obviously is going to make the Google ads more profitable by improving conversion rates. But trying to ecommerce is all really fundamentally the same whether you're selling a fountain or a t shirt instead of trying to learn you know, the the dentist industry and keywords there or or try this I can I can really focus and, and be laser focused on on a specialty that interests me. And that's that's ecommerce. And with Google Shopping, there's so many moving parts and so many accounts are done poorly, that there's really the opportunity and businesses really need somebody who knows what they're doing in order to be to be successful running Google Shopping.


Mark Kelly  19:55  

You're Yeah, you're absolutely 100% right when I get my podcast up and running, I'm gonna get you went there and talk about ecommerce for half an hour. Because it's a fascinating, fascinating subject. Didn't want to derail your didn't want to derail your podcast here though.


Andy Splichal  20:11  

No, no worries, no worries about that. So tell me though, if if somebody is interested in what you're doing agency or a professional service would like to work with you, how would they? How would they go about contacting you?


Mark Kelly  20:24  

Probably the easiest thing to do would be just to go to the website Or to contact me by email. M, as in Mark. Kelly, K E L L Y, at And of course, I'm on Facebook and LinkedIn as well.


Andy Splichal  20:41  

Okay, great. Well, this has been really informative. And I hope whoever is listening out there that this might have given them some stuff that they can take away and make some good decisions with their Google Marketing.


Mark Kelly  20:55  

Well, I appreciate the opportunity. It was a blast and look forward to talking to you again, Andy.


Andy Splichal  21:01  

All right. Sounds good. Thanks, Mark. 


Mark Kelly  21:03  

Take care. 


Andy Splichal  21:04  

All right, bye.