I'm about to open up my webstore and am wondering if anyone has used google adwords before? If so, how effective has it been for you?
Our entire business (lead generation) is basically alive because of Adwords. It can get expensive quickly if you are not careful about how you set up the campaigns. Read as much as you can from all the SEM experts and take baby steps if it's your first foray into the area.
If you want I can suggest some SEM experts who will build the campaigns and give good advice.
A big part of my previous job was setting up landing page sites for these campaigns. The theory was to not take them to a full website about your business, but rather to a simple one-page sales pitch usually centered around filling in a contact form, or doing some sort of click-to-call thing, so it was all about getting in contact with someone. Usually there would be an offer on the page and they would have to put in their name and either email or phone to 'get' something. The whole design of the page was based on the fact that you want to make it as easy and attractive as possible to click that button.
I also came up with a script that would change the content / headings based on the google keywords in the referer url, in order to convince them, and whatever google used to score the pages for pricing, that they had found exactly what they were looking for. This would usually involve making decisions about what to show as the content based on the presence/absense of keywords, as well as changing the headings so they would contain more of the user's keywords.
I wasn't really involved in the setting up of the campaign itself, but I often got the impression that people were paying way too much for clicks based on the sort of business they would potentially get as a result.
I have been playing with it a little bit for some AusGamers stuff of late and some other stuff Mammoth is looking at.
My short summary is that it is the sort of thing you could spend countless hours on (and countless dollars) trial and erroring to get the best results.
I have been tempted to try an SEM company to see what their approach is but I get the feeling that each requirement is going to be different from company to company - I've seen a lot of what I assume are big campaigns from large companies that I'm guessing came from SEM companies, and I find their ads really bad, because they're tied to search terms that are not really relevant to what you end up clicking on.
I have a friend in Melbourne who runs a health spa though; I advised him to use Google ads when he was just starting his business and he reckons it was the difference between them making it and not making it - he spent a LOT of time messing around with it though and invested a lot of personal effort to work on the results.
So I think definitely worth doing if you're prepared to spend the time on managing them yourself and learning the ins and outs.
I wasn't really involved in the setting up of the campaign itself, but I often got the impression that people were paying way too much for clicks based on the sort of business they would potentially get as a result.Defo agree with this. I have been researching some generic search terms recently (like "web hosting") - the average CPC for these is something like $15 PER CLICK. Unbelievable.
what is wrong with people
i want to click their adwords so they go out of busnez
$15 is pretty high for a CPC but some terms are even more, you won't even get on the first page of sponsored results for "car insurance" if you're not paying around $50 a click.
what?! So, companies are paying sometimes $50 every time someone clicks one of the sponsored links and goes through to their site?
Yes but if you consider they might get $300-400 in commission if somebody signs up to car insurance by using their site, then $50 or $200 is just the cost of doing business.
Disgruntled ex-salesmen were always suspected to sit there clicking on the company ad wasting their money.
I've heard that some of the highest quality campaigns only pay about 10 cents a click. Probably because they're business is more unique, at least in terms of the sorts of business that would use AdWords, and there isn't much competition.
The best campaigns use hundreds or thousands of keywords and phrases with lots of negative keywords. The way to win at Adwords is to make your ads highly targeted so that you're attracting people who have the mindset of buying what you want rather than people just clicking to have a look.
Because they are more targeted you end up paying a lower CPC and CPL with a high CTR.
Edit: Google take click fraud very seriously and have automated systems to detect it. If it's not detected but you can prove it's still fraud they will reimburse the money. Unlike Yahoo which are a steaming pile of s*** bags who basically say "Oh that's how the internet works, thanks for your money"
last edited by TicMan at 12:09:25 11/Feb/10