Please tell me what's going on here...

31 replies
Okay, I tried playing with Adwords for the first time over a week ago. I read a lot about taking action here, so I took action.

I was completely clueless about how to properly and effectively implement an Adwords campaign, apart from the bits and pieces of information I got from reading about the program here and elsewhere on the internet.

But I had to try it, there's no other way to go. The ad carries an affiliate link behind a TLD and leads to a nice landing page.

One week after starting the Adword campaign, I have the following stats:
  • Clicks: 13
  • Impressions: 8,312
  • CTR: 0.16%
  • Avg. CPC: $0.61
  • Avg. CPM: $0.96
  • Total cost: $7.98

I have the Budget Optimizer enabled (I read it's recommended for new users), and have a total of 27 keywords (I have them in broad, phrase and exact matches) most of which I'm told by the system that they're OK (7/10).

And, after a week: not a single sale.

What am I possibly missing? How can I improve the ad's performance?

I could really use your advice on this. Thanks ahead for the generous tips!
  • Profile picture of the author Mary Green
    There could be a lot going on here, however your ctr is really low, especially for the search network. I could help you out. PM for some private ppc coaching (free) and I can help you fix up your campaign.

    Oh, and 13 clicks isnt enough to really go on. We need more info.

    Mary
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  • Profile picture of the author SpicyRobby
    Originally Posted by Razorblade View Post


    And, after a week: not a single sale.

    What am I possibly missing? How can I improve the ad's performance?

    I could really use your advice on this. Thanks ahead for the generous tips!
    Hi Razorblade,

    Without seeing your sales-pitch and the product it's hard to tell.

    It also depends on whether these clicks were generated by content sites or by search results - the conversion rates differ greatly between those two!

    Another thing - some products will not convert using simple forms of advertising.

    You just have to go out there on forums and make contact with people and convince them you're really an expert in that particular market.
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  • Profile picture of the author seregap
    just by looking at your stats.

    well, the quality score is quite good.
    the cpc...you can't tell, we don't know what your niche is.
    if you are 100% sure that your keywords are well targeted, i suggest you play around with the ad text, as your ctr is awful.
    make your ads more appealing. make people click on them.

    then we don't know what your product is. but you can't judge a product after only 13 hops.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Neale
    A sale after only 13 visits is pretty unlikely.

    Depends on what you're selling and what your LP is like but many would consider 1 sale for every 100 visitors pretty good. Some products/niches could require 300+ visitors.

    That's what this isn't a "drop dead" easy game.

    Originally Posted by Razorblade View Post

    Okay, I tried playing with Adwords for the first time over a week ago. I read a lot about taking action here, so I took action.

    I was completely clueless about how to properly and effectively implement an Adwords campaign, apart from the bits and pieces of information I got from reading about the program here and elsewhere on the internet.

    But I had to try it, there's no other way to go. The ad carries an affiliate link behind a TLD and leads to a nice landing page.

    One week after starting the Adword campaign, I have the following stats:
    • Clicks: 13
    • Impressions: 8,312
    • CTR: 0.16%
    • Avg. CPC: $0.61
    • Avg. CPM: $0.96
    • Total cost: $7.98

    I have the Budget Optimizer enabled (I read it's recommended for new users), and have a total of 27 keywords (I have them in broad, phrase and exact matches) most of which I'm told by the system that they're OK (7/10).

    And, after a week: not a single sale.

    What am I possibly missing? How can I improve the ad's performance?

    I could really use your advice on this. Thanks ahead for the generous tips!
    Signature

    David Neale

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    • Profile picture of the author SpicyRobby
      Originally Posted by David Neale View Post

      A sale after only 13 visits is pretty unlikely.

      .
      It's a freaky coincidence, but nearly all my AdWords campaigns have brought the first sale after the first 10 - 20 clicks. It's really weird, but a good friend of mine experiences the same stuff!

      However, of course, it doesn't necessarily mean it should have happened in this campaign!:-)
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      • Profile picture of the author Razorblade
        Thanks a lot, folks! I know I still have to eat a lot of burgers and spaghetti with what I've started with Adwords but I just want to share with you these data hoping you could throw in some really useful advice before I really get myself into a real mess.

        I'm talking about the third link on my signature.

        Mary, I'm shooting you a PM.
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  • Profile picture of the author polimedia
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    • Profile picture of the author Razorblade
      Originally Posted by polimedia View Post

      I think 13 clicks is entirely too low a sample to say anything whatsoever.

      The CTR however is low. Low ctr usually indicate poor connection, which may in turn indicate that people ended up on your page for various and improbable reasons other than the intended.

      In a sense, the lower the CTR, the more eccentric the behaviour of the users that did click through, and thus the higher the probability for standard deviation in their buying pattern.

      Thanks, polimedia! What do you suggest I do to improve the situation? :confused:
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      • Profile picture of the author kettlewell
        Originally Posted by Razorblade View Post

        Thanks, polimedia! What do you suggest I do to improve the situation? :confused:
        Your original total cost was only $7.98 - I usually let around $100 or so float through before I judge too much... then I figure out which part of the setup isn't working right - bad keywords, bad ad groups, message for the keyword, bad landing page, etc

        As a mathematician, I've learned to be patient and let the numbers flow in until I have enough data to analyze. Its really hard to get a good sample with less than 100 clicks, though you can make a pretty good guess with 50, but that's only 50 clicks to your LP - to get the sales conversions numbers right you need more.

        It's all about testing, tweaking, and willingness to blow some money on testing to get it right... it hurts like heck though the first time you do it, so I'll empathize with your pain before you even mention it

        Matt
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        • Profile picture of the author Razorblade
          Originally Posted by kettlewell View Post

          Your original total cost was only $7.98 - I usually let around $100 or so float through before I judge too much... then I figure out which part of the setup isn't working right - bad keywords, bad ad groups, message for the keyword, bad landing page, etc

          As a mathematician, I've learned to be patient and let the numbers flow in until I have enough data to analyze. Its really hard to get a good sample with less than 100 clicks, though you can make a pretty good guess with 50, but that's only 50 clicks to your LP - to get the sales conversions numbers right you need more.

          It's all about testing, tweaking, and willingness to blow some money on testing to get it right... it hurts like heck though the first time you do it, so I'll empathize with your pain before you even mention it

          Matt

          Hey, Matt, thanks a lot for sharing your valuable thoughts on this!

          Are you suggesting that I wait until I get over a hundred clicks and spent $100+ before I start analyzing data on my Adword campaign?

          Is there anything I can do now to positively influence performance of my campaign by the time I get to that point?

          I don't really mind spending $100+ or waiting for a hundred clicks to register before sitting down to study available data on the campaign, but while waiting for those to happen I sure want to have at least an idea where my efforts are leading me to.

          I like taking risks - but I want to take calculated risks. That is why I'm asking questions this early in my involvement with Adwords.
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          • Profile picture of the author kettlewell
            Everyone has there own method of doing things... mine is very mathematical in nature, and with statistics, it's easy to jump the gun without having enough data.... I'd say that after 100 clicks, you have enough data to start the process of analysis.... 13 clicks just isn't a large enough sample of the millions of searchers out there to know if the population as a whole will support the results (good or bad) so the bigger the test you can start with , the better your long term results - from a statistical perspective.

            If you aren't getting initial clicks to buy your product, are you at least getting their email to drip them with a reminder to buy? Many say that the 1st impression isn't enough, and 5-8 impressions is what it takes before they buy. Of course, some will drop immediately if they need to supply an email address So again we return to more testing...

            But to answer your question - I'd wait for 100 or so clicks before gauging too much, and then tweak wait another 100 clicks gauge, tweak.. until you think that it's going to sustain itself.

            Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author Addie
    Have you also tried "placements" My adwords campaigns went crazy after I heard how to do that. Also there are some tricks to adwords that I never knew about but it's like sneaking in the back door stuff. I can't tell you much because I am getting private coaching and this guy is really just straight forward if you want to check it out..see sig
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  • Profile picture of the author mudmat
    Hi razorblade,

    One of the simplest way to increase your CTR is to use the keyword that you are bidding on as the title of your ad. The reason your CTR will increase is because when someone search for your keyword and your keyword is used on the title of your ad, Google will bold your title so it will stand out and catch the visitor's attention.

    I hope you get what I am trying to say..
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    • Profile picture of the author Razorblade
      Hi, mudmat, thanks for the advice!

      I've already done exactly that from the start. I have three ad variations, all having different keywords on them. I want to test which keywords perform well.

      And the results are exactly those which I have posted in my OP. I've created the ads after reading Adwords guides and tips on their website.

      I must be missing out on something. That's why I'm looking for more advice and recommendations here.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stephen McPherson
    Keeping things simple. If you've received 13 clicks, then you would need to ask yourself two questions:-

    1. What are these 13 people seeing ? Is your ad providing the correct info for your product (sometimes people are clicking, but they are expecting to see something else entirely).
    2. Is the cost of the product or service too high ?

    Hope this helps.
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    • Profile picture of the author Razorblade
      Originally Posted by Stephen McPherson View Post

      Keeping things simple. If you've received 13 clicks, then you would need to ask yourself two questions:-

      1. What are these 13 people seeing ? Is your ad providing the correct info for your product (sometimes people are clicking, but they are expecting to see something else entirely).
      2. Is the cost of the product or service too high ?

      Hope this helps.

      Hi, Stephen, thanks for joining the discussion here!

      As for Question #1, I believe the ads tell exactly what's in the page/site it leads to. I'm quite confident about that, having some formal training in writing ads myself.

      Question #2 quite interests me. How do I get to know if the product's or service's cost is too high for a particular clicker? Any tips on that? :confused:
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Bogowski
    First up, good job! I love seeing people throwing themselves in willing to get their hands a little dirty

    It's true, 13 clicks isn't enough to tell but I don't feel that is your problem. Your problem is the low CTR. I would hope for nothing less than 2%

    The worse your CTR, the worse your quality score (of course its one of the many factors). You really need to work on getting that CTR up before you can start to analyze your campaign.

    Have you altered the add content? You need to play around with this and make it more enticing for the searcher. Think things like, what would you like to click on. As an example a friend and I were selling physical goods recently, the original ad wen something like this:

    'Check out our bargain <product> with free delivery'

    The CTR was horrible so we changed the ad to

    'Discount <Product>! Check out our exclusive hand made range'

    The CTR went through the roof... Play around with your ads and see what yields the best results.

    In short though, as I said above, you need to get that CTR up to 1 or 2 percent before you can make any accurate conclusions about the product itself.

    Good Luck
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    • Profile picture of the author Razorblade
      Thanks, Mike, for that very enlightening response!

      I'll be doing what you advise and see what happens. I'll post whatever update there will be on this particular matter.

      Thanks again!
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  • Profile picture of the author jazzyjeff
    Razorblade,

    Don't worry about not making any sales now. Worry about learning from your experience. Have you tried changing the different ads. How about title or the message? Also, try to make sure that the keyword is not general but super targeted. You may not get the massive traffic buy you get the hungry buyers. Remember, if you try to sell to everyone, you will not make a sale.

    Don't give up just because you've only got 13 clicks so far.

    Jeff
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    • Profile picture of the author Razorblade
      Hey, Jeff, thanks a lot for joining the thread!

      Honestly, I'm not really worried about not making any sale now. I'm anxious about how to improve my Adwords performance now so I may be able to make a sale in the coming days.

      Basically, it's wanting to know if I'm on the right track now so I'll feel comfortable about being in the right track in the coming days - and then make some sales to recoup my investments now.

      Matt, I'm taking note of your advice. I'll definitely be doing what you're telling me when I reach the markup.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewbiesDiary
    There are 2 issues here..

    1. Click Thru Rate - you can get a much better CTR than that and you can learn it really quickly & easily.

    2. Conversion - once you get people to click on your ads you need to be able to convert them to buyers.

    I tried PPC a couple of times - I did much the same thing - just gave it a go and got much the same results as you did - can I recommend you get a copy of Double Digit CTR by James Schramko.

    I used his methods & they are really simple to implement - I ended up with between 10% - 25% CTR. It made a HUGE difference.

    I can't recommend his product enough - it's just brilliant.
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  • Profile picture of the author Debbie Songster
    Originally Posted by Razorblade View Post

    Okay, I tried playing with Adwords for the first time over a week ago. I read a lot about taking action here, so I took action.

    I was completely clueless about how to properly and effectively implement an Adwords campaign, apart from the bits and pieces of information I got from reading about the program here and elsewhere on the internet.

    But I had to try it, there's no other way to go. The ad carries an affiliate link behind a TLD and leads to a nice landing page.

    One week after starting the Adword campaign, I have the following stats:
    • Clicks: 13
    • Impressions: 8,312
    • CTR: 0.16%
    • Avg. CPC: $0.61
    • Avg. CPM: $0.96
    • Total cost: $7.98

    I have the Budget Optimizer enabled (I read it's recommended for new users), and have a total of 27 keywords (I have them in broad, phrase and exact matches) most of which I'm told by the system that they're OK (7/10).

    And, after a week: not a single sale.

    What am I possibly missing? How can I improve the ad's performance?

    I could really use your advice on this. Thanks ahead for the generous tips!
    If you only have a CTR of 0.16% then you need to re-evaluate your ads.
    Reasons for a poor CTR include
    • Placement of your ad too low on the page or not on page one
    • Poor ad copy
    Personally I don't have very many keywords in each of my Ad groups.
    Use only phrase match and exact match while experimenting with your words. Broad match could bring in too many wasted clicks. If you have several different keyword words then you will end up with several ad groups

    Make sure you have Google Analytics installed on your pages (if you can - or some similar tracking)
    I see you are sending direct to the landing page via an affiliate link so you can't put analytics on their page but there is software out there that can get.
    You need to know which keywords convert for you when they do start converting.

    My ad groups get a minimum of 3% and an average of 9% CTR. Some of them get 25% and 33% CTR - so strive to get as high as you can.
    Lower than 2% and its a waste of time and money as Google will charge you more per click if you have a poor CTR

    As for your keywords:
    Make sure they are appropriate for the product and the ad contains a relevant feature and benefit. Don't be afraid to go after long tail keywords. There will be fewer impressions but the CTR should be better.

    13 clicks isn't enough. You really need to get your CTR higher so you can at least feel confident that the clicks you are getting are from interested people. 13 clicks off a CTR of 0.16% is not a true indicator.

    Here's what you need to do:
    • Organize your keywords into small tight groups - you might only have 2 or 4 words in the group (plural and singular forms & exact & Phrase match)
    • get rid of the broad match (for now)
    • fine tune your ads to match the product and the keyword for that ad group
    • work on getting your CTR higher
    • strive for position 3-5. Higher positions just attract click happy searchers
    When you work on your ads, don't change existing ones, make new ones so you keep your stats.
    Run only 2 ads at the same time. Run it for a day or two and then pause the poor converting ad and write a new ad to run against the better performing ad. Always try to beat the better performing ad by creating a new one to challenge it.
    Remember you are trying to get your CTR up. Keep those old ads around so you can see what you used before and what the stats were.

    Hope this helps
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    • Profile picture of the author Razorblade
      Stef, Debbie - thank you very much for pitching in with your valuable thoughts on this!

      I'm at this very moment learning new things from this thread alone.

      Stef, thanks for the link. You bet I'm going to get hold of that information package. I have a feeling it's going to be worth the investment.

      Debbie, I've been thinking about where to get an analytics system that I can use without necessarily getting into the page I'm sending traffic to. Any idea where I can get that and for how much?
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  • Profile picture of the author polimedia
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    • Profile picture of the author Razorblade
      Originally Posted by polimedia View Post

      Once you get your CTR above 1-2%, you will be in a position to see more about what the problem might be.
      How does direct linking affect CTR? If a TLD carries my affiliate link, is it still technically considered direct linking?
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  • Profile picture of the author ste25
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    • Profile picture of the author ninja newbie
      First off I want to thank you Razorblade for starting this thread, because I too have learned quite a bit from the replies. It prompted me to go back and look at my first and only attempt at ppc. I know now that I did almost everything wrong. Here are my stats:

      Imp: 36,478
      Clicks: 57
      Ctr:0.16%
      Avg. Cpc:.30

      Niche: people search (I was told that this was a hot niche)

      Terry
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      • Profile picture of the author Debbie Songster
        Originally Posted by ninja newbie View Post

        First off I want to thank you Razorblade for starting this thread, because I too have learned quite a bit from the replies. It prompted me to go back and look at my first and only attempt at ppc. I know now that I did almost everything wrong. Here are my stats:

        Imp: 36,478
        Clicks: 57
        Ctr:0.16%
        Avg. Cpc:.30

        Niche: people search (I was told that this was a hot niche)

        Terry
        It might be a good niche but your keywords might be wrong
        Your ad is certainly not effective as evidenced by your 0.16% CTR (or they aren't showing on page one)

        Its really easy to donate all your money to Google when you do PPC. It takes a lot of experimenting with your keywords to find ones that perform. Thats another reason why putting them in their own ad groups works so well. Also you don't want poor performing keywords affecting your overall CTR and therefore your cost per click.
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        • Profile picture of the author Razorblade
          Okay, about ad groups. What's the ideal - or should I say, correct - number of keywords an ad group should contain?
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          • Profile picture of the author Debbie Songster
            Originally Posted by Razorblade View Post

            Okay, about ad groups. What's the ideal - or should I say, correct - number of keywords an ad group should contain?
            Your ad group will look like this

            "keyword"
            [keyword]
            "keywords"
            [keywords]

            Sometimes I put misspellings in the same group - especially if its only one character out.
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      • Profile picture of the author NewbiesDiary
        Originally Posted by ninja newbie View Post

        First off I want to thank you Razorblade for starting this thread, because I too have learned quite a bit from the replies. It prompted me to go back and look at my first and only attempt at ppc. I know now that I did almost everything wrong. Here are my stats:

        Imp: 36,478
        Clicks: 57
        Ctr:0.16%
        Avg. Cpc:.30

        Niche: people search (I was told that this was a hot niche)

        Terry
        KEYWORDS - KEYWORDS - KEYWORDS

        The secret to PPC is choosing your KEYWORDS

        Okay, about ad groups. What's the ideal - or should I say, correct - number of keywords an ad group should contain?
        PLEASE - get Double Digit CTR - it answers ALL your questions & shows you EXACTLY how to do this!

        Pay-Per-Click Get Double Digit Click Thru Rates with PPC Campaigns - this isn't an affiliate link - I'm not making any money of this referal - I just KNOW it will help you & you wont look back!!!!
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        • Profile picture of the author Razorblade
          Originally Posted by NewbiesDiary View Post

          PLEASE - get Double Digit CTR - it answers ALL your questions & shows you EXACTLY how to do this!

          Pay-Per-Click Get Double Digit Click Thru Rates with PPC Campaigns - this isn't an affiliate link - I'm not making any money of this referal - I just KNOW it will help you & you wont look back!!!!

          Got it, Stef! I've just downloaded it!
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  • Profile picture of the author warrior2008
    Not sure you will want to play the Myspace PPC deal with their MyAds then if you have not solved this yet. Thye start at .25 a click and I lost loads of money while beta testing them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Razorblade
      Originally Posted by warrior2008 View Post

      Not sure you will want to play the Myspace PPC deal with their MyAds then if you have not solved this yet. Thye start at .25 a click and I lost loads of money while beta testing them.
      Lol, if you lost loads of money in it I wouldn't touch it yet. I have enough to deal with in Adwords and I think I need to focus on these for now. Maybe after knowing my way around with Adwords I'll try it.

      Anyways, appreciate your joining the thread.
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