Copyright Athol M. Foden
your new sales and marketing people quickly. Join me for this
Fundamentals of Sales and Marketing course starts Oct 5th
Extension in Silicon Valley.
future issues we will talk about generating a content rich
site to score better with Google as well as how to chase the
"long tail" of searches.
Magic of Google Adwords
has been quite a while since this newsletter last came out, because
I have been busier than a one-handed wallpaper hanger. And all because
I got so involved with search engine optimization and redoing my
Brighter Naming website... and it still wasn't working well enough
to make a good living.
I did some more research, all the time wondering how those folks
down the street at Google were making so much money. Someone must
believe in them to keep sending them ever more dollars. So I too
signed up for Google Adwords, especially when I found out how low
the entry fee is, which was very important as I was definitely still
experimenting. And along the way I accidentally learned some very
interesting things, some of which I never would have known if I
had been blessed with a large budget.
years, advertising and marketing professionals have struggled to
know where and when they get the best return on their spend dollars.
And given all the other elements of a good marketing mix, it was
seldom possible to pinpoint exactly which part of the campaign was
providing which payoff. Now that is all different. You can put some
money on a keyword or phrase, with a matching small ad, and a few
days later exactly pinpoint who saw and responded to it. Then you
can also see what position your little bid put you in, and up the
bid or try a different keyword. And since this is pay-per-click
advertising, you don't pay a penny unless someone actually clicks
on the little Google Ad and visits your site.
still, I had our 800# in all the ads of course.. so I didn't even
have to monitor clicks and email. I just waited for the phone to
ring. And it did start to ring more often. Then I went back and
checked where all my money was going, and found out which words
worked and which ones didn't. Why some and not others? No idea,
but who cares as long as it works. But you are working with real
data, not warm guesses. And you can switch words or campaigns on
or off at will to try things out. And I pretty soon figured out
that it was better to spend more on a few words and get better positioning,
than it was to spread the same money over a broad swath of keywords.
two or three months later the same campaign did not work quite as
well. That is when you discover what a dynamic environment you are
working in, and some competitors have bigger budgets than you. Often
much bigger in fact! And they will bid any amount to get certain
keywords. After the panic recedes, you dust yourself off and go
find some other keywords and tricks. As a small business you always
need a unique niche or value proposition, so this isn't that hard.
doing some searches on various engines, I found that other search
engines were sometimes finding Yahoo pay-per-click ads themselves.
So I put some money into Yahoo keywords and discovered my Google
Ads work better if I also have a little money on Yahoo ads too.
This is not scientifically proven but it works for me. Plus I always
get 6% of my traffic from MSN, which I really love as I never pay
them a penny.
this was getting very interesting, so I took about 3 days off and
tweaked ads and keywords and watched results practically all day
every day. Then I discovered that sometimes my meager budget was
running out before I woke up in the morning. So many people were
clicking on my ads from Europe or the east coast, Google had spent
all my money for the day before I had my second cup of coffee! That
is when things got really interesting, as I would manually switch
my ads on and off each day. This cut out all the bad clicks from
Timbuktu and other places I didn't care about, but it meant I had
to get up early each a.m. to start the ads running before I missed
a large part of the day on the East Coast.
then, Google has added a feature so you can set the time of day
and week your ads run, so now I only have to worry about Yahoo.
Plus they have added Google Analytics, and I can see exactly where
my leads came from, what were the major referral sources, where
in the world they came from (plotted on a map), etc. Some days are
just slower than others, regardless of what I do, but overall there
is a very big audience out there. And as a major extra win, Google
Analytics shows you how people entered and navigated your site.
I was about to move some big buttons on my naming homepage, because
I was bored with them and not sure they were working, when I stopped
and looked at the actual usage. Suffice to say those buttons are
now here to stay!
of you might ask about click-fraud, especially when you get lots
of clicks but your phone doesn't ring proportionately. Be aware
that most of the major cases covered in the media have been to do
with advertising on content sites. I quickly learned not to allow
Google or Yahoo to put any of my ads on content sites, as they generated
millions of impressions with absolutely no productive results.
Yahoo and Google have tools to help you pick keywords. Neither of
them are perfect, but they do help. In particular, if you visit
it will give you the exact words and phrases, in rank order, that
people used last month to search on any specific topic on Yahoo.
Doesn't mean these words will work for you, but it is a start. Some
of their recommendations never worked for me, others were great
there is a great old tool to use in conjunction with all your search
engine optimization and marketing, and that is your website statistics.
My ISP makes it particularly easy to see all my site statistics,
but almost all offer this feature in some form or another. And when
I drill down I can see when and where all the hits came in, and
where they came from, and which page they exited from, and even
the search terms used to find our site.
after many years in marketing, I can actually say I often love to
spend my own money on advertising. Sometimes we have too much work,
then I switch it off, because somehow a strong short campaign works
better than the same budget applied to a longer, milder campaign.
I don't know why and I don't care!