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  1. #1
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    I was wondering if anyone would share their experiences with adwords? Have you found it to be worth spending the money?

    We have never paid for advertising, yet, I'm wondering if we did, (just set a monthly budget), if it's worth it.

    Has anyone done it and gotten burned?

    Thanks,
    Robin

  2. #2
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    Hi Robin,

    I can't help you with Adwords yet. I just started with them 3 days ago.

    But if I may add a question to this thread that is very appropriate, if you don't mind. Maybe someone with Adwords experience can help both of us.

    Does using Adwords help in any way getting your site listed in Google? Or at least help with Google indexing your page?

    Thanks for your help.

    Ken

  3. #3
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    I have a good experience with Adwords. Just keep an eye on it so you're not spending more than you're getting back in return.

    Adwords has nothing to do with getting indexed or listed. Just getting links in does the trick.

  4. #4
    Newbie Affiliate Ian's Avatar
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    REM and Ken, if you can, remember to track Adwords all the way to the transaction. This is the only way to tell which keywords are producing and which ones to drop. Of course, this is also assuming that you are marketing for ROI. It will be much more difficult to track Brand marketing.

  5. #5
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Confirming that advertising with AdWords won;t help you get ranked or indexed. I spend over $10k in ads and my PR stinks!

    Google is a great place to start because they have a daily ad budget. Overture, the other main PPC ad vendor, has a monthly limit - much easier to control Google via daily budget. Set it up for $5 a day and if it happens to go over by 20% or more, Google doesn't charge you for those clicks.

    Suggest you turn off the "Content Match" at first - been my experience that the "Direct Match" (also called "Precison Match" at Overture) converts less.

    Just try a few really good keywords and set your daily budget low. Set up some coding (or a separate iteration of your page) to track what JUST the AdWords brings you.

    And set your cost per click low - like $0.10 (the minimum they allow) and then raise it - not the other way around. Save you from getting burned early.

    And know that Google will quickly disable your keywords and ad cmpaigns that aren't getting clicked on - so make sure your keywords are very, very relevant to your site AND to your ads text.

    Google lets you put in many ads for the same campaign (and therefore set of keywords) and then they automaticlly serve up the ads and, as stats reveal themselves, they serve up your ads with the highest click-through. As a rule, I always creat at least 6 ads and then let nature (people's choices) take it's course. This will help your click-thru rate and hopefully allow you prevent being disabled for low rates.

    What I do is get a few minds involved. Go down to the local starbucks - make some friends there - bring 2-3 iterations of your ads printed out. Ask for ideas and opinions of whether they'd click on it and what they'd want to see. You'd be amazed how much people like to help you out. Or heck, post 3 variations here, explian the ideal person your looking for (in terms of needs, demographics, etc) and ask your fellow ABW'ers...

    Have fun!

  6. #6
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    ooops...

    meant...

    been my experience that the "Direct Match" (also called "Precison Match" at Overture) converts MORE.

  7. #7
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> And set your cost per click low - like $0.10 (the minimum they allow) and then raise it - not the other way around. Save you from getting burned early.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Some would argue that it is a good idea to do just the opposite. Your position is based on CTR*CPC

    The thought process is that you bid high at first to gain a higher position, which increases the CTR. You then throttle back so that hopefully your CTR*CPC is higher than the competition yet your CPC is lower than the competition.

    One thing I can recommend is to play around with keywords that aren't too competitive in the $0.10 range. I like to test programs with 100 clicks or so.

  8. #8
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Your idea is standard practice for those who know what they're doing. And I do it all of the time as well.

    But for someone just learning about AdWords, the higher bid will mean fewer total clicks for their initial budget amount to learn. If they make decisions based on 30 clicks, or even 100 as you suggest, they may not be getting a good "temperature check" so to speak.

    I have coached a lot of starters and they tend to bid too high without doing some conversion rate calcs first. Often, they'll bid high enough that they'll lose money each day even with good ad click rates and good sles conversion rates... and then soon quit.

    If they have their ads get clicked on cuz they're high bids (and not necessarily enticing) and if they've chosen a market segment that's crowded (and expensive per click), your starting technique will let them keep going down the road. Mine will quickly tell them they need to work on their ad content for better clicks - and will also clue them in pretty quickly that the road to traffic will be expensive if $0.10 puts them in 28th place.

    Also, since newbies tend to make poor ads, by bidding higher (and getting lots of clicks up impressins up front), they may look at the campaign, at the end of the first day, and see their best words are all disabled due to low click-through rates... Once happened to me (at the beginning) in just ~12 minutes. Bid high - had 1,000 impressions in 12 minutes and 6 clicks on the ad - keyword disabled by Google due to low clicks... so I just want to buy them a little time to experiment before they get hacked....

    But, your advice is well heeded and shows your experience - and if they're experienced advertisers, they should give more thought to your way for sure. Especially at Google where click-rate can get your ad many positions above people that are actually out-bidding you by a fairly large margin. Google position, as you and I know, is determined by your bid and by your CTR - bet you and I can write ad copy to take advantage of this... but if they're new to it, maybe not...

    Either way, happy advertising!

    And me and MrSpeed have great news for you - you're going to learn a lot along the way!!!

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the advice. I should reiterate however, that we are not newbies in affiliate marketing. Just trying to consider whether or not we should lay some money out there for adwords.

    We were slow to add adsense to our sites, and that turned out to be worth it. I was just wondering if it's worth it to spend money for the possibility to make more money, or to just be happy with how well we are doing now.

    Thanks again..
    Robin

  10. #10
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    to "reiterate", you have to "iterate" first...

    have fun with AdWords - it makes me a ton and is the backbone for all my profits for all my best sites

  11. #11
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    "But, your advice is well heeded and shows your experience - and if they're experienced advertisers, they should give more thought to your way for sure. Especially at Google where click-rate can get your ad many positions above people that are actually out-bidding you by a fairly large margin."

    We have been doing am for years now, doing well without adwords. My only question, was what people's experiences were with it. A lot of people say to target specific items. In our case, we have the #1 listing with almost all of the specifics of the items we sell. For instance, if it's widget123, we're number 1 for that search term vs just promoting widgets. I suppose I should have clarified that better.

    In a case like that, is it something to bother with. What we promote is quite competitive.

    Additionally, we don't have time to go to starbucks and feel people out for ads, that's why I'm here. This is a lucrative side business only for us.

    Thanks,
    Robin

  12. #12
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    About the Starbucks thing - totally my fault - I am a one-man show working from my home all on my own. I have now managed to get three friends that I bounce ideas off of - but just once in a while and usually the ad content (which I think is most challenging and most important). Since I now see you said "we" and "us" (I'm a lil' slow) - you've already got intelligent life nearby that understands what you want to accomplish - sorry, bad frame I sit in - tend to thin we're all out there alone. So skip the starbucks and use the "hey joe" method... lean over and say "hey joe, what ya think of...."

    Understanding you better now - you've got the traffic you need from SEO smarts... and surely people click on those search results more than ads alongside (AdWords) those... makes me rethink my suggestion to skip content match... the content match may be the market segment you're missing out on.... and it's definitely cheaper per click than Google's direct search results... and if you've been successful without AdWords, guessing your content-centric or at least very good at writing content - so content match results, coming from richly related articles and what-not may be your path...

    Check out the content match at Google - might be lots more folks that are looking for content like yours elsewhere that you can "migrate" to your site.

    And for us PPC traffic guys - you might be using AdWords opposite from me - stressing content match... (and I gotta learn to think from other's shoes a little better...)

    Have fun!

    Content Match is way, way cheaper! Bodes very well for you!

  13. #13
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    WOW, that was a mouthful to take in. Sorry, I hadn't been more clear before. In our case, the we consists of my husband (who has a full-time non related to computers job) and 4 kids under the age of 7, so as you can imagine our free time isn't our own.

    Hubby was hesitant to start with google (he is extremely risk averse) and that has been a success. I just figured this might be a worth risk taking (as you can tell, I'm the risk taker), because we can't really grow much by just doing seo.

    I know we can write it off as a business expense if it's a bomb, but that's still less money in our pockets.

    What do you think is a realistic budget to start with? You said 10k is what you spend, I can't imagine that you started with that. I figured it's best to start with like $1000 pick what we want to focus on then go from there.

    Also, how do we track sales from those ads? That's the dumb side of me asking.

    Thanks,
    Robin

  14. #14
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    I love adwords! (OK google spider, find this!) Actually, this is a no-risk venture - run several hundred clicks thru at a price per click you can afford (as low as $0.05) and see if it pays. If you have a "sticky" site that is likely to get revisited or bookmarked, even a break-even situation or less will be worth it. You say you have #1 listings? Try related keywords where you are off the radar.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  15. #15
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    Thanks cheesehead. The Northwoods of Wisconsin? Wow, I went to camp up there in Eagle River..are you near there? (Off topics..lol)

    Yeah, if we can do clicks at $.05 it's basically negligible..now back to donuts comments..the ads have to be catchy I suppose...that'll be the interesting part..I was a math teacher for heaven's sake..I have no creative side.


    Robin

  16. #16
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    You can't do $0.05 - that was the good ol days.
    Google minimum bid is now $0.05.

    WhenI first started, I did $1 / day at .30 bid and 0.22 cost - yep, like 5 visitors / day. Did that for a week. Raised the daily limit to $2. Then $4, then $10. I now spend $15-17k per month at Google and Overture combined.

    Another story about why to start with Google... think "Daily Limit" and guaranteed protection on overages (your risk-averse other half will like it)...
    Last month I had a keyword on the content match at Overture - that keyword got attached to a lead news story on MSN as "THE" keyword related to the article about technology. My ads, for that keyword alone, had 1.3 million impressions in one day - actually a couple of hours. Luckily, I only got a 1% CTR and my cost was only about ).15 per click. Anyhow, since Overture has no dailt limit (only a monthly limit which this "one-word-whack" was within), I got zapped for roughly $1,300 for traffic not tightly related to my core product lineup - one of those "side words" that's close - but not right on the mark. Got no spike in sales an basically thru $1,300 down the toilet. Begged Overture for a refund, but it was real traffic keyed to my real keyword and I really had bid that amount. Anyhow, I've disabled my Overture content match - too risky when they can tie one keyword like that without me realistically being able to limit it (traffic happened in 2-3 hours - lead news article). And I hate to think if they split the money with MSN for getting them all that ad revenue - evil plot - conspiracy theory... hey, when it's your money, it makes you nuts.

    Stick with Google for now...


    And, for creativity for your ads - just go look at what others are doing for your keywords - let it soak in for 30 minutes - then think about what would make you click on it...

    Post one idea here - we'll all toss variations at ya - slam them all into Google and let their algorithm sort out the cream for you.

  17. #17
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> and surely people click on those search results more than ads alongside (AdWords) those... <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Not necessarily, with Adwords you write your own text and it may be more persuasive than the search engine spidered listings.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  18. #18
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    As the webmaster of your site - and as the writer of your ads in AdWords, you have control over both items that get displated - so for just your own site, the two should be close in persuasion (but the AdWords text is much shorter)... but, anyhow...


    What I meant is that a typical user of Google has things on the search results page to click on - search results and ads - I think that the search results should get clicked on more often than the ads.

    Since REM's got the SEO down good - I meant specifically, if her site showed up in the results list AND she ran an AdWords ad right there too - that I would guess the SE result would get much more traffic than the ad... but hey, I'm just guessing... likely from my own behavior (and I know the stuff off to the right on Google are ads)...

    I suppose people could be clicking on ads more than SE results... but I'd guess the opposite...

  19. #19
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    REM - sorry to leave you hanging on this part of your question:
    "Also, how do we track sales from those ads?"

    There's lots of ways to do this and which is best depends on:

    whether you conduct the transaction (or your merchants do that)

    what your site is set up to handle / serve (asp, html, php, ...)

    what kind of stats & tracking capabilities your merchants have for you to pass along "SID" (or SubIDs, etc) and other such identifying metadata


    All so you can tie the ad back to a sale, or click-thru, or lead or blah, blah, blah...


    Have fun!

    Really hope you toss out an Ad for us to help - we could all use the practice (I do it all day, every day) - you'll come to see there's lots of restrictions on what text you can use and the number of characters... very constrained.

    Also understand you may not want to toss ad out to us - as some of us may compete with you... you might have to go to starbucks after all...


    Have fun!

  20. #20
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    Well, it seems I convinced him to try it. There was a choice to have google make the ads for you, but you had to be willing to spend a certain amount of money (299) and he didn't want to risk that much if it turns out to be a bomb for us.

    He set $1/day as a budget with only $.05 ads. Turns out, he found a product that he sells, that many people don't promote. It'll be interesting to see if anything happens.

    Of course, once he looked at some forums over what people said re: adwords, was he willing to do it. Same thing with adsense.

    Thanks for the advice, I'll let you know how it goes. There's another program where we convert really well for, but he's worried about which key words he can target, so he emailed them to find out. If we can do anything with that site, then we're talking about the possibility of some good dough.

    I hope this works out for us, because I would love to be right on this one.

    Robin

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