Grossed $3300 from $1500 of google PPC ads last week. This week, spent $700 and grossed $0....

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I run an online graphic service and have been advertising SOLELY on Google Ads PPC.

My CPC is roughly $5 and each sale averages $150 in revenue.

Last month, I ran a total of $1500 of ads and I netted almost $3300 in revenue, but this month I did the same thing spent so far $700 in ads, (NOTHING CHANGED, not the words, not the landing page, NOTHING!) and I have made 0 sales.

Probability wise, this is supposedly very unlikely. I am extremely disheartened by this. Can someone tell me what could possibly be going wrong?
#$1500 #$3300 #$700 #ads #google #grossed #ppc #spent #week
  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    did a competitor show up?
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    • Profile picture of the author Alfred M
      I've always had lots of competitors in this field. It was always a very competitive field, but I still netted sales from the clicks that I got. Until recently.
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  • Profile picture of the author LB
    Are you advertising in search only, or also the content network?

    Has your position changed?
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  • Profile picture of the author Alfred M
    I advertise in search only, and nothing has really changed. Possibly my position a little, but I don't understand how that would have SUCH a big impact on my conversion rates.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    First off, what keywords are making you sales? Do you know? Are you purging the keywords that aren't making you sales in order to optimize your campaign?

    Secondly, is your payment processing working? Have you tested the payment processing with a test purchase? It's possible your shopping cart is busted.

    Thirdly, as already mentioned, are you sure you're still showing up in the same positions as before? There is a HUGE difference between position 2-3 and position 8-9.

    Last thing...have you checked your site for hacks? Sometimes your site can be hacked and you don't know it...but Google is showing a big red, "Warning" to visitors before they arrive at the site. Are clicks in Adwords and Analytics more or less the same? If not, this could be happening.
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  • Profile picture of the author LB
    Is your keyword/traffic distribution the same?

    In other words, are you still generating the same amount of traffic from the same keywords as the previous month?
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  • Profile picture of the author zbrshakeel
    HEY CHECK YOUR MESSAGES I HAVE GIVEN REPLY
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    Check your ad position and quality score.

    Google may start you out high to see how you ad does, then drop your position as CTR and other factors are evaluated.

    Could be your ad position is not attracting the same buyers.

    Or maybe you simply do not have enough statistical data to evaluate your ads, and the results last month were abnormal, or maybe the results this month are abnormal.

    .
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    • Profile picture of the author millionairemoney
      Do 2-3 run throughs as if you were a customer trying to order and make sure your entire checkout process works first and foremost.

      Assuming nothing else major has changed with your positioning and competition, you may just need a larger sample size to base your ROI on.
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  • Profile picture of the author imsas
    It seems you're paying a lot for keywords.. $5 a keyword seems pretty high for the graphic design vertical.. Remember, you don't always have to bid for 1st page placement.. Sometimes being on page 2 or 3 delivers that same results for a much lower cost..
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by imsas View Post

      you don't always have to bid for 1st page placement.. Sometimes being on page 2 or 3 delivers that same results for a much lower cost..
      From personal experience, and every study I have read about PPC placement and CTR, I have to strongly disagree with this.

      I'm not even sure how one bids for a 3rd page placement. You want to be in the 25th spot?

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author Alfred M
        Its not neccessarily even CTR, its the conversion rates that I need to worry about so I don't think placement ranking is that big of a factor. I am averaging roughly 4 or 5 in placement ranking.

        I have spoke to a few "statistics" buddies of mine and they all agree that the sample size was too small to make this SUPER abnormal. But to be honest, its still quite abnormal to me that 1500 could net me 3300 last month. And 700 couldnt even land me one sale this month.
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      • Profile picture of the author KirkMcD
        Originally Posted by kindsvater View Post

        From personal experience, and every study I have read about PPC placement and CTR, I have to strongly disagree with this.
        I'm going to have to disagree about your disagreement. I have one niche that does much better on the second page than the first.
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  • Profile picture of the author Terry Hatfield
    What I would recommend is that instead of spending your money on ppc and pulling your hair out trying to figure out why your cost per click is going up and down so much that you take another approach.

    Look for website designers that are running ppc ads looking to get work or are ranking in the search engines for words like "web design" and contact them and offer those people your service.

    I would look for local words like "orlando web design" or "dallas web design" and try and find some local web designers in different cities that you could offer your services to.

    The best part is after you get a few customers they will come back to you over and over without you having to put your energy or money into finding the customers.

    You could also try and bid on local terms like "orlando graphic design" and similar terms yourself. If you find those too expensive look for smaller cities to bid on where the bid cost may be much less than the higher populated cities.
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  • Profile picture of the author LB
    How many sales did it take to make that 3300?

    If it was 30 sales, then that makes it stranger. If it was 2 sales...not so much.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alfred M
      Originally Posted by LB View Post

      How many sales did it take to make that 3300?

      If it was 30 sales, then that makes it stranger. If it was 2 sales...not so much.
      It was 19 sales that generated me that much.

      I mean, i guess statistically its not extremely abnormal.

      But this is still an anomaly, I hope things turn for the better...
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      • Profile picture of the author Studio13
        Originally Posted by Alfred M View Post

        It was 19 sales that generated me that much.

        I mean, i guess statistically its not extremely abnormal.

        But this is still an anomaly, I hope things turn for the better...
        Paying $5 CPC seems a exaggerated for your ROI. I'd immediately move your ad campaign budget to a less competitive contextual ad providing search engines like Yahoo, Bing, Miva, Search123 etc., and stretch those dollars out. Consider Facebook ads as well if you haven't already. Also think about other advertising opportunities such as banners and blog posts within you niche. For $700 I hope you captured some emails for a follow up campaign at least.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alfred M
          Originally Posted by Studio13 View Post

          Paying $5 CPC seems a exaggerated for your ROI. I'd immediately move your ad campaign budget to a less competitive contextual ad providing search engines like Yahoo, Bing, Miva, Search123 etc., and stretch those dollars out. Consider Facebook ads as well if you haven't already. Also think about other advertising opportunities such as banners and blog posts within you niche. For $700 I hope you captured some emails for a follow up campaign at least.
          I'm not sure but I heard from multiple people that Bing and Yahoo are not as quality leads as Google in terms of conversion rates for graphic design services.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    if you are averaging $5 per click then $700 would only be 140 ish clicks. thats hardly enough visitors to determine much statistical data from.

    1500/5= 300 visitors last week from ppc. to generate $3300 in sales, you either have one hell of a conversion rate or your selling higher ticket items.

    if you are selling higher ticket items, it seems very likely you just dont have enough statistical data to say which week was the anomaly. you have had less than 500 visitors to you site via ppc. thats just not enough data to see statistically viable information.

    but the other advice given in the above posts is spot on, my point is that you just dont have enough data to draw any conclusions that would be based on fact rather than guesses.
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  • Profile picture of the author stevenjacobs
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  • Not only is your sample size too small but you're using an entirely arbitrary time period.

    What's magical about a calendar month? Nothing at all. It's approximately 30 days in a row. You could be tracking from the 15th to tbe following 14th. That's about 30 days in a row, but in your case your ROI would differ dramatically from your calendar month reckoning.

    I'd say you need six months minimum to make any sense of this. A year would be far better. This is where people typically getin trouble with AdWords and give up. They lack the patience or capital to give it a real trial.

    fLufF
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    • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
      Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post


      I'd say you need six months minimum to make any sense of this. A year would be far better. This is where people typically getin trouble with AdWords and give up. They lack the patience or capital to give it a real trial.

      fLufF
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    • Profile picture of the author blueorca17
      Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

      Not only is your sample size too small but you're using an entirely arbitrary time period.

      What's magical about a calendar month? Nothing at all. It's approximately 30 days in a row. You could be tracking from the 15th to tbe following 14th. That's about 30 days in a row, but in your case your ROI would differ dramatically from your calendar month reckoning.

      I'd say you need six months minimum to make any sense of this. A year would be far better. This is where people typically getin trouble with AdWords and give up. They lack the patience or capital to give it a real trial.

      fLufF
      --
      It's really interesting that you say this....but I'd have to disagree 100%. I read a lot of people on here that say that you have to run a campaign for a really long time in order to know what's going on and who is clicking what and why. Some say that you have to get 500 clicks or something before you really can tell if it's going to turn a profit. Truth be told though...if you really KNOW what you're doing, and KNOW the target audience for the product that you're promoting- you should be able to make a campaign profitable in about a week. 24-48 hours if you REALLY know what the buyer is looking for. Sometimes you need to take the weekends to review ads as well because some niches are more profitable during the weekends than they are during the week. Don't run a campaign for six months. That's WAY too long. A calendar month is not arbitrary either. Sales much of the time are seasonal, and certain people, although they use the same keyword through out the year, will only buy during certain months.Take weight loss for example. Although people search all year for how to lose weight, many don't actually BUY the weight loss product until the spring or early summer. There are examples like this type of buying in EVERY niche, not just weightloss.

      My suggestion is that if you don't know the target market for the product that you're promoting, do some RESEARCH FIRST, before starting the campaign. Work smart, and you'll save a LOT of money this way. Really hone in on the demographics for that product by checking the DoubleClick AdPlanner or Quantcast.

      As far as competition and ad position in adwords.... ONE spot or a crappy ad copy can make ALL the difference. If you've moved AT ALL in the rank for your ad, then your sales will be adversely affected. Here are things that I'd check into if I were you and running this campaign:

      Check to make sure that your keywords are EXACTLY the same as when you ran it the first time.
      Make sure that you haven't changed ad positions.
      Make sure that your hosting is not down.
      Make sure that you're running it on the SAME DAY at the SAME TIME as you did for the original. Different times of the day DO matter when you're selling stuff on adwords.
      Make sure that you're still targeting the same geo-location and type of device (mobile, laptop, desktop)
      If you've set any AGE perimeters, make sure that the age is the same as the original ad
      Make sure that your keywords are exactly the same as they were originally. If you had them set to exact match, make sure they're exact this time. If they were broad, make sure they're broad this time


      Last.... certain keywords, although keyword tools may tell you that they are searched all month, are not. Someone may have searched for one of your buying keywords one day, but that doesn't mean that it's going to be searched again on the day that you run the $700 campaign and don't get a sale.

      Just my two cents.
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  • Honestly the biggest issue is you are not tracking your sales and ad spend properly. You got **lucky** your first month, had a profitable campaign out of the gate and just assumed that the next month would follow.

    You said nothing about your conversion rate- which leads me to believe you are not tracking it. You probably are as other people mentioned bidding on the wrong keywords, because simply you don't have the data not to mention **enough** data to be even statistically relevant.
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  • Profile picture of the author sasai
    Check staying time of those visitors, and make sure hosting is stable
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  • Profile picture of the author outwest
    Well I am sure google is happy, you just stuffed a lot of money in their pocket
    they win either way
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  • Profile picture of the author jason409
    I guess that this is part of the learning curve for you. At least you are still ahead of the game though. I would pause all campaigns and do some research / change your approach so that you can fine tune your strategy.

    I would keep reading, researching, and seek more advice before I spent too much more money on Pay Per Click.
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  • Profile picture of the author theomegaformula
    Originally Posted by Alfred M View Post

    I run an online graphic service and have been advertising SOLELY on Google Ads PPC.

    My CPC is roughly $5 and each sale averages $150 in revenue.

    Last month, I ran a total of $1500 of ads and I netted almost $3300 in revenue, but this month I did the same thing spent so far $700 in ads, (NOTHING CHANGED, not the words, not the landing page, NOTHING!) and I have made 0 sales.

    Probability wise, this is supposedly very unlikely. I am extremely disheartened by this. Can someone tell me what could possibly be going wrong?
    I hate to say it but you're getting raped. $5/click?! Are you serious? If you do have competition then you can expect that they are clicking on your ad.. just like always with Google AdSense.

    There are much better ways to get traffic than spending that kind of money. Don't be lazy with your marketing.. be creative (you're a designer, it shouldn't be hard). Your profit margins will be a lot better if you drop Google AdWords.
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh MacDonald
    Welcome to the risk of Internet Marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lucid
    To echo what others have said, the sample size is too small.

    Also, there's no reason to expect the conversion rate to remain steady, especially when you're talking a sample size of about 300 and 140 clicks and 22 sales vs 0. There can be many things affecting the conversion rate although your sales message is the driving force, not your ad. The ad is there as the carrot to get people on your site so you can sell to them. As Fluffy said, there's nothing magical or special about the last 30 days compared to the current period for that sample size.

    Things to consider are competitors, your ranking (higher is usually better), time of year. On a $150 product, people probably wait and think about it longer than a run-of-the-mill kind of product or one selling for $20. You may find that some clicking your ads last week come back and buy today. That's why tracking is important. Long term with hundreds if not thousands of clicks. The length in time is not important. If it takes 2 years to get a thousand clicks, that's what it takes. If it takes just a couple of days however, you're probably doing something wrong. You have to analyze to the smallest data points you have as well and on every angle. A click on the search network doesn't have the same value as one on the content.

    Don't worry about those saying that $5 CPC is too high. They don't know your niche. It may be the going rate for it. In insurance, salesmen pay $30 and more for a lead so when they pay $10 on PPC, it's a bargain. You want however to increase your quality score and reduce your costs.

    Keep on learning. Keep on testing. Keep on improving. With proper tools and statistically significant amount of data. This is advertising and it is a long term activity. Above all, don't panic.
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