So I just hit the $5,000 a month mark as an AdWords affiliate. Figured I'm come by and share some of what I learned =)
Tip #0 - Don't Be Afraid to Pay for Traffic
Most beginners are so focused on bum market, SEO and other free traffic sources that they put almost no attention on paid traffic.
Yet paid traffic is just so much easier to scale than free traffic. If you find an offer that converts at $0.40 a click, then as many clicks as you can get for $0.20 you're doubling your money. It's that simple.
Tip #1 - Know Your Earnings Per Click
The most important number is not conversion. It's not your payout either.
It's your earnings per click.
Let's say your product sells for $40 and your conversion rate is 1%. Then your EPC is $0.40.
You know that for every click under $0.40, you're making money.
This is crucially important for affiliates. You should not be looking at payouts or conversion rates like it's the golden egg. What really matters is your EPC.
Tip #2 - Quality Score
Quality Score is one of the most misunderstood aspects of AdWords marketing. There are two phases to quality score:
Phase One, the Pre-Run scan. Before you get any traffic, the AdWords bot scans your site and decides how relevant your landing page is. It gives you a score that is generally between 6 and 8.
Phase Two, this is your on the run score. Your QS is calculated in real time on a per click basis.
Phase One quality score is only important for getting your ad to run. Often times if your QS is too low, you ad won't even show. The key here is keyword relevance. Have your KW in your title tag, H1 tags and body text. It's all about your landing page.
Once you get a 7 or 8 in phase 1, then phase 2 is all about CTR. Your landing page becomes just 20%-30% of the equation. Most people put way too much emphasis on it at this point.
You now want to optimize for Google's eCPM. What Google effectively earns per 1000 impressions they give you. For example:
Advertiser 1: 1% CTR, 0.50 Per click. For every 1,000 impressions Google gives him Google makes $5.
Advertiser 2: 3% CTR, 0.25 Per Click. For every 1,000 impressions Google gives him, Google makes $7.5.
What's amazing is that Advertiser #2 will actually rank higher than advertiser #1, get more volume and pay half of what Advertiser #1 is paying. That's because Google's eCPM is higher for them and it's in their best interest to rank your ad higher. They make more money charging you less.
So the most important thing to optimize for in the later part of the game is your CTR. If you can write great ads and beat out your competition in CTR, then you're well ahead of the game.
Tip #3 - One Keyword Per AdGroup
Each Ad Group allows you to write a unique ad. Most people lump together somewhat related keywords and write one ad for all those keywords. For example:
How to Get a Girlfriend
Where to Meet a Nice Girl
Meet a Girlfriend
Tips for Getting a Girlfriend
(Plus 10 more)
They put them all in one Ad Group and write one ad for it.
This is a great way to both kill your quality score and your CTR. Instead, it's crucial to write just one ad per keyword so that your ads are laser targeted, your QS is high and your CTR is off the charts.
(By the way, I've gotten 25% CTRs before, which is insane.)
Here's how to do it.
Tip #4 Edit in Excel, Upload in AdWords Editor
Most people trying out AdWords try to do it in the web interface. This is an insanely slow way to do things. It'd be impossible to do most of the advanced techniques, and one keyword per adgroup would be suicide.
I often launch with as many as 5,000 keywords; doing that in the web interface would take months.
Instead, you can edit everything in excel and then just copy and past it into AdWords editor.
You can do all your keyword research, group them into Ad Groups and then just copy and paste. You can write all your ads in excel and just copy and paste it into AdWords editor.
Doing this, creating 1 keyword per adgroup takes about 10 minutes once I have my keyword list. I can write ads for 200 keywords in about an hour.
It's much faster, more streamlined and you'll make far more money.
I'll leave it at that for now =)