Please help, I lost 350$ in a week!

12 replies
  • PPC/SEM
  • |
I started using Bing Ads a week ago. The website is good IMO. Revenue is coming from Amazon affiliate program. I made a good IMO landing page.

I have 10 Ad groups and about 10 keywords in each. I also have 1 Ad per Ad Group. Quality score is generally 7-8. The average CTR is 1.2%, and average position 3.5. I have spend 350$ and got 600 clicks. Average CPC is about 0.60$.

As a developer I know how to code and I made my own tracking system. It shows that 8.5% of all visitors click an affiliate link. This means, to get 1 visitor click an affiliate link I spend 7.00$. From those visitors who clicked affiliate links (50 in total) I made ONLY 1 sale and got 2.5$ (this was 5 days ago).

My tracking system also provides statistics on how many pages each visitor visits. 28% visit 3 or more pages. 36% visits only 2 and 36% visits only the landing page. All in all, average page views is 2.4.

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As more experienced than I am in internet marketing, any idea how to actually make money instead of losing using Bing Ads?
#350$ #lost #week
  • Profile picture of the author ilee
    You just need to go through the numbers...

    $350/600 means you're paying roughly $0.6 for every visitor you get on your site.
    Your affiliate pays you $2.5 for a sale, which means that you need to get about 1 in every 4 visitors to click on your affiliate link AND buy something just to break even.

    With a 2% conversion rate when the visitors have clicked on your affiliate link, you must not be pre selling them well enough. How are you getting them to click on the affiliate link? Is it a banner? A pop up (God forbid)? Or in your content?

    Your numbers simply don't add up, you need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to either reduce the cost per visitor or increase the value of each visitor (by increasing conversion rate, or affiliate you're promoting). Preferably both.

    EDIT: Does your tracking system help you track which ppc keywords are getting you the conversions, the click throughs. Maybe you're getting the wrong type of traffic.
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    • Profile picture of the author SilverWind
      Thank you very much for your reply, ilee & solarwarrior!

      Originally Posted by solarwarrior View Post

      Maybe I am missing something here. But why are you driving sales to amazon affiliate program that pay only up to 8.50% when you can easily get up to 75% for clickbank?
      I may be wrong though.
      No, you are right. But the thing is, my site is made with Amazon in mind and it's not easy for me to add another affiliate program like clickbank.

      Originally Posted by ilee View Post

      How are you getting them to click on the affiliate link? Is it a banner? A pop up (God forbid)? Or in your content?
      It's a good looking 'Buy Now' button that doesn't seem out off place.

      Originally Posted by ilee View Post

      EDIT: Does your tracking system help you track which ppc keywords are getting you the conversions, the click throughs. Maybe you're getting the wrong type of traffic.
      Yes, I can see those statistics too. For example here are the top 18 keywords by visits no:

      [keyword #1] 23 visitors, 2 clicks, 8.7% click rate
      [keyword #2] 23 visitors, 1 click, 4.3% click rate
      [keyword #3] 18 visitors, 2 clicks, 11.1% click rate
      [keyword #4] 17 visitors, 1 click, 5.9% click rate
      [keyword #5] 12 visitors, 2 clicks, 16.7% click rate
      [keyword #6] 12 visitors, 1 click, 8.3% click rate
      [keyword #7] 9 visitors, 2 clicks, 22.2% click rate
      [keyword #8] 9 visitors, 1 click, 11.1% click rate
      [keyword #9] 9 visitors, 0 clicks, 0% click rate
      [keyword #10] 9 visitors, 0 clicks, 0% click rate
      [keyword #11] 8 visitors, 3 clicks, 37.5% click rate
      [keyword #12] 8 visitors, 0 clicks, 0% click rate
      [keyword #13] 7 visitors, 0 clicks, 0% click rate
      [keyword #14] 7 visitors, 0 clicks, 0% click rate
      [keyword #15] 6 visitors, 0 clicks, 0% click rate
      [keyword #16] 4 visitors, 2 clicks, 50.0% click rate
      [keyword #17] 4 visitors, 1 click, 25.0% click rate
      [keyword #18] 4 visitors, 0 clicks, 0% click rate

      Should I trust those statistics or the number of visits is too low and it can be random?

      In order to generate profit when 8.5% clicks the links and 2% buys products worth 2.5$, I need to spend less than 1 cent per click in order to turn profit.

      As you said there are 2 questions:

      1) How to reduce the PPC cost as close to 1 cent as possible? First of all, is it technically possible to get clicks close to 1 cent?

      2) How to make more from each visitor by improving the Ads and the website.
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  • Profile picture of the author solarwarrior
    Maybe I am missing something here. But why are you driving sales to amazon affiliate program that pay only up to 8.50% when you can easily get up to 75% for clickbank?


    When you are dicing with profit margin that low, you can't possibly compete with normal affiliates with a much larger profit margin.

    However, I guess there is exception to this rule though.

    That happens if you are promoting a product that is only exclusive to Amazon.

    But that won't stop me from contacting with the supplier and try to negotiate for a much larger commission than what Amazon is offering.

    I may be wrong though.
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  • Profile picture of the author cooler1
    What type of keywords are you bidding on? If you only made one sale from 600 clicks, it sounds like you aren't bidding on buying keywords.

    What is the avg price of the products which you are promoting? To have a realistic chance of making an ROI, I think you need to promote products which pay at least $10 commission, ideally more like $20 though.
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    • Profile picture of the author SilverWind
      I am promoting electronics products. Whether this is bad due to low commissions is open to debate.

      Let's say for example I want to promote the Apple iPhone 6.

      The keywords will be:

      buy iphone
      iphone sale
      iphone deal
      iphone gift
      iphone 6 deal

      Is it a good idea to promote something like the iPhone or due to the huge competition I am wasting my money?
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      • Profile picture of the author cooler1
        Originally Posted by SilverWind View Post

        I am promoting electronics products. Whether this is bad due to low commissions is open to debate.

        Let's say for example I want to promote the Apple iPhone 6.

        The keywords will be:

        buy iphone
        iphone sale
        iphone deal
        iphone gift
        iphone 6 deal

        Is it a good idea to promote something like the iPhone or due to the huge competition I am wasting my money?
        The lack of sales could be because you include keywords containing "sale" and "deal", so these people are looking for the best deal, so they continue to shop around elsewhere after landing on your website.

        Do you have any other call to action on your site other than a buy now button? As some visitors might want more information on the product, but aren't ready to buy so they aren't inclined to click buy now.

        I think you can successfully promote competitive electronics products, but it's better not to promote products of the popularity level of the iPhone because there are so many other advertisers competing for 1st page, the CPC will be expensive.

        To get as close to 1 cent clicks as possible, your ads need to have a high CTR and your landing page needs to have a good quality score. So you should split test with different ads to see which gets the best CTR, then pause ads which have a low CTR.
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  • Profile picture of the author SilverWind
    Thanks a lot for your reply, cooler1!

    I will target less popular products and see the results.

    1) In my site I don't offer as much information as Amazon offers (e.g. no reviews) Maybe I should replace the 'Buy Now', with something less aggressive, like 'View on Amazon', 'Check on Amazon' or something else?

    2) Also, do you have any suggestion on what keywords I should use instead of 'deal' and 'sale'? Most of my keywords are either 'deal' or 'sale'. In fact, I noticed 'sale' has a click rate of 3% while 'deal' of 8%.

    3) As a side note, do people really go and buy ultra expensive stuff costing 5.000$?
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    • Profile picture of the author cooler1
      Originally Posted by SilverWind View Post

      1) In my site I don't offer as much information as Amazon offers (e.g. no reviews) Maybe I should replace the 'Buy Now', with something less aggressive, like 'View on Amazon', 'Check on Amazon' or something else?

      2) Also, do you have any suggestion on what keywords I should use instead of 'deal' and 'sale'? Most of my keywords are either 'deal' or 'sale'. In fact, I noticed 'sale' has a click rate of 3% while 'deal' of 8%.

      3) As a side note, do people really go and buy ultra expensive stuff costing 5.000$?
      1. It would be a good idea to split test different buttons to see which gets the best CTR and conversion rate. Although, you will probably have a better CTR if you also included an inline text link on your landing page, as these are known to get the best CTR and also convert the best.

      2. You could use variations of the product keyword, so if you were promoting the Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor, the keywords would be;

      Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite Juice Extractor
      Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite
      Breville Juice Fountain Elite
      Breville 800JEXL
      Breville 800JEXL Juice Extractor

      There's a good list of buying keyword examples here- Increase Profits With Buying Keywords

      3. Yes they do, but not often.
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      • Profile picture of the author SilverWind
        Originally Posted by cooler1 View Post

        2. You could use variations of the product keyword, so if you were promoting the Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor, the keywords would be;

        Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite Juice Extractor
        Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite
        Breville Juice Fountain Elite
        Breville 800JEXL
        Breville 800JEXL Juice Extractor

        There's a good list of buying keyword examples here- Increase Profits With Buying Keywords
        I see... I understand that my keywords need improvement but to be honest, I have a long way to go. If I was promoting pills, now I know what kind of keywords to use.

        Originally Posted by cooler1 View Post

        3. Yes they do, but not often.
        If I start promoting very expensive stuff, do you have any idea how much lower the conversion percentage will end up be? For example, one way to make profit is to promote expensive things. If the conversion stays at 0.2% and the CPC stays at 0.60$, I can make profit easily (but I guess it's not easy).

        Do you know any good books explaining how to make profit from PPC?
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  • Profile picture of the author SEMResource
    You're only making $2.5 on the iphone? I'd look around for an affiliate program that gives you a monthly income from selling the iPhone and a phone plan package if anything like that exists. If you're able to sell the plan and package to customers, that would be more worth the money you spend on ads because then you have a lifetime value of the customer from the ongoing phone package.

    I'd also look at higher priced items that are in high demand like mattresses. Maybe even that Kitchen Aid blender that would give you a better affiliate commission.

    Your system for tracking is good though.

    If you're not getting back what you spend on ads with the competition, from what it sounds like, I'd look at trying other items.
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  • Profile picture of the author ddev
    Some things to think of:

    You're spending money on PPC and the money from Amazon won't return instantly (+ as another member said, there are other programs that pay more).

    If you have a low budget, it's better to begin advertising your own products (squeeze ---> Upsell --> Downsell or your own product page directly) or affiliate products with instant commissions (W+ / JVZoo / ProductPay etc).

    Just my 2 cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author AK86
    Well, as far as I know, the Amazon affiliate program runs with a 15 or 30 day cookie, so that if someone clicks through your link and makes a purchase within that time-frame, then you get credit. With that being said, you aren't 100% on your earnings yet.

    Other than that, I would say focus on making changes to the landing pages to improve the click-through rate. You mention that you track the # of pages your visitors view before leaving, with average of 2.4, and seems like you want to increase this?

    From my experience, using paid traffic, you want to limit the number of options, links a user can click, when landing on your page, as possible. You want to direct them down a funnel where they only have 1 of 2 options: Either more forward in the funnel, completing actions as you deserve, or leave the page. NOT get distracted by some header/navigation/footer/sidebar link and go wandering off then losing interest.
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