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I thought I'd write about what I am doing with Adwords...would love to generate some discussion here.

 

About a year ago I bought Brad Geddes book, Advanced Adwords, and it really helped me understand how Adwords bidding works. But, I'm still super confused. I think they purposely keep the details vague so that fewer people really understand things and as a result people end up spending way more money than they have to.

 

Several times now I have started an Adwords campaign and then scrapped it after a few weeks of seeing no conversions and wasting money. But, I started something a couple of months ago and I am really encouraged.

 

What I did was set up a campaign with just one keyword. The keyword is my site's top keyword. My organic ranking currently fluctuates between #1 and #2. However, CTR has not been great. (I've experimented with different meta descriptions but I still have a hard time attracting clicks.) As this is by far my highest converting keyword I really wanted to draw in more traffic.

 

My audience is generally not computer savvy. I am quite certain that most of them don't know that the first 1-3 results they see on Google are paid. So, I set out to try to get one of those paid spots. My goal is to be #1 in both paid and organic. However, the #1 spot is held by someone who probably has one of the highest Adwords budgets in all of the web so this may not happen.

 

So, I set up a campaign and made it search only. I included search partners as well (which means that I'll appear on searches done via other websites as well as on google. ) I only have one keyword in this campaign.

 

My landing page is specific for this keyword (i.e. not my home page). It has the keyword in the title and also in the page content.

 

I wrote three different ads for the keyword. I was surprised by which ad was clicked on the most. This goes to show you that you may not always be the best judge of what users are looking for!

 

At first I was disappointed with my results. My quality score kept jumping from a 6 to 7. I was paying way more for each click than I wanted. For a long time I had no conversions.

 

I've been checking the campaign each week and I have noticed each week that my CPC has decreased and my CTR and number of clicks has greatly increased. My quality score has stayed at 7 for a while now. The most interesting thing is that in the last two weeks my CPC has been dramatically decreasing. It is almost half what it was in the first few weeks. My ad is rising up in position as well. It started off averaging around 4.5 and is now up to 2.6 for my best performing ad.

 

I have had a few conversions. However, as my budget is currently small, there haven't been many. At this point the campaign has not been profitable for me. In fact, each conversion is costing me more than 3x what I make from it. But, I can see that this is coming down. Once I get to the point where the campaign is close to being profitable then I plan to shovel a lot more money into it.

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Perhaps I have been too transparent and shared too much...but I'll take the risk.

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I doubt your transparency will hurt you. Adwords is such a difficult thing to master that by the time someone tries your suggestion, they'll have gotten bogged down in some other detail and will have forgotten what they started out trying to do in the first place. LOL!

 

It sounds like a great idea (says a woman who can't figure out Adwords, to save her life).

 

If it works really well, package it all up into a paid ebook! :D

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I have ready Brad's book and have attended his seminars. I learned a lot.

 

The key to success with adwords is mathematics and being smart about quality score.

 

To get a good quality score you want ads that match your landing pages perfectly and you also want a high clickthrough rate and a high conversion rate. Using exact match keywords or negative keywords can help you accomplish this. Are you using them?

 

Let's say you are selling something like greeting cards where there are free options out on the web. If your ad makes it obvious that you are a seller then the people looking for the free cards will not click on your ads. So, if you use words like "free" and "printable" as negatives then most of the people looking for free stuff will not be shown your ads. That should increase your CTR and thus increase your quality score.

 

Negative keywords are powerful and save you tons of money.

 

This goes to show you that you may not always be the best judge of what users are looking for!

This is so true. I am always wrong. But I am a sixty year old white guy who has lived rural all of his life so how should I be able to predict what a diverse group or worldwide people are going to do on my site? I should assume that I will be wrong!

 

At first I was disappointed with my results. My quality score kept jumping from a 6 to 7. I was paying way more for each click than I wanted. For a long time I had no conversions.
Yep!

 

I've been checking the campaign each week and I have noticed each week that my CPC has decreased and my CTR and number of clicks has greatly increased. My quality score has stayed at 7 for a while now. The most interesting thing is that in the last two weeks my CPC has been dramatically decreasing. It is almost half what it was in the first few weeks. My ad is rising up in position as well. It started off averaging around 4.5 and is now up to 2.6 for my best performing ad.
Yep! Yep! This is exactly what I see. Hang in there... but again... are you using exact match or negative keywords?

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Yep! Yep! This is exactly what I see. Hang in there... but again... are you using exact match or negative keywords?

 

The only keyword I have is an exact match. Now, if this is the case, do I need a negative keyword? Let's say my keyword was, "get a blue widget" and it was set as exact match, I'm guessing that if someone typed in "get a blue widget for free" my ad wouldn't come up, right?

 

If it works really well, package it all up into a paid ebook!

 

Well that's encouraging, especially considering some of the projects I have planned for the future! Let's hope my experiment works out!

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I'm guessing that if someone typed in "get a blue widget for free" my ad wouldn't come up, right?
Right.

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