July 9, 2007

Google AdWords Day 1

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:59 pm by mondhandy

Finally I signed up for Google AdWords. I have to admit that I don’t yet understand all the aspects of it. However, it immediately presents some interesting information and questions.

Within Google AdWords, you finally get that tool that shows you the frequency of searches by keywords (only relative, though, not in absolute numbers). I typed in “Mondkalender” and got about 200 related keywords. By far the most popular are the ones looking for haircuts, followed by operations. This alone tells me a bit on how to change the texts of my mooncalendar, to better match the haircutting terms (not only haircuts, also dyeing of hairs and perms). What is weird is that among the most popular searches is “Mondkalender 2007” – why are people typing the year into the search field? It’s not as if they would find many outdated calendars on the web? It’s also weird that “Mondkalender 2007” delivers completely different results than “Mondkalender” in Google. Oh dear…

Anyway – AdWords also tells you how active your competition is in bidding on the respective keywords. So I only selected keywords that have a relatively high frequency for searches, but low competition on AdWord bidding. Still, Google estimated that I needed to pay a minimum of 0,08€ per click for my ads to show up alongside searches for keywords I have chosen. That is quite a lot of money – I am not exactly sure how much I would earn for each mobile moon calendar I would sell, but so far I was calculating with 1€ for simplicities sake. It might be more, but for the time being I’ll stick to 1€ (I also should substract my other costs). That would mean my break even would be reached if every 12th visitor who came to my web page through AdWords would actually buy the mobile moon calendar. That is a pretty big assumption – and that would only be the point where I would stop losing money on AdWords, not yet earning much. It later turned out that for the hairdresser related keywords, the price is even more, 0,12€ per click.

It is also a bit unfortunate that I can’t monitor my conversion rates very precisely, because orders will be processed by the distributor, and have no connection to the web page. I might be able to make some educated guesses based on time of the order, but I don’t even think the reports I get actually contain the time.

I therefore think that I will probably not use AdWords in the long term. The question now is: should I just use it to advertise the mobile calendar (which I sell), or maybe I should focus on the Online-Calendar and try to push the calendar up in the search results positioning (by recruiting new visitors who might later on link to me). It seems to me the latter strategy is probably more viable: use AdWords for “seeding” the page, but eventually rely on other means to maintain the popularity of the page. Being in position 1 for the search results should be way more effective than an ad.

I have some ideas leftup my sleave for increasing the popularity. The only problem is: they all take time, and thus are also very expensive (and not quick fixes).

One thing I didn’t like about AdWords: if you sign up for the first time (they make you select keywords before you sign up, so you have a starting campaign), your initial campaign is set up for both the “search ads” and the “content network”. The catch is, that with search ads you pay only for clicks, but with the content network you also pay for page impressions. Luckily I had read in other people’s blogs about the problem, or it might have escaped me. People who fell into the trap where unhappy because their advertising money was often wasted by impressions on useless pages.

About useless impressions: it really is quite interesting. You don’t only have to tune your keywords to generate as many clicks as possible. You also have to tune them so that preferably those users click who are the most likely to actually buy something from you.

Another thing I learned from adwords: there are constantly searches for moon calendars going on. While my ads had not received any clicks the last time I looked, after an hour there were already 50 searches for my keywords (which don’t even include the standalone “Mondkalender” keyword).


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