I was extremely pleased to find that Google had been kind enough to send me a Google AdWords promotional code this week. If I added £25 in to my AdWords account, they would credit me with £75. Not being one to pass on such an opportunity, I thought why not; this after all The SEO Experiment and this would provide a nice little insight to the success of Google AdWords within Affiliate websites.
I have used AdWords campaigns before, I used to use them quite regularly when I was advertising web design services. In the 3 months I was running my Ads, I spent £30, along with a promotional £50 voucher from Google (Thanks Again!) and was able to generate over £300 worth of Web Design business. I have only good things to say about AdWords campaigns as I was able to convert them successfully. The only thing I would say about them though is that you need to make sure your landing page is well optimised for successful conversion. I spent at least 3 months getting my site ready before opting in to the campaign and although the revenue from web design services was the primary goal, the fact that I received any enquiries at all went a long way towards proving that the site and landing page was relatively appealing. I must admit, it was my first real attempt at advertising my web design business and was a nice pat on the back moment.
You may or may not get many of these moments when you feel like you have done well, although it important to #keepmovingforward, make sure you acknowledge your own success, even if it is just a quick smile to your self. Just make sure it is quick, and get back to work!
So the Ad campaign I have recently set up is for my UKMA Shop, which specialises in Martial Arts Equipment. I am going to create another campaign for my Naturally Grown website but for the purpose of this post, I will only be displaying the information relating to the Martial Arts site.
Below is a screen shot of my current AdWords campaign:
The Keywords I will be aiming to compete for are:
- Martial Arts Equipment
- Karate Equipment
- Judo Equipment
- MMA Equipment
There are other keywords which are relevant to my site but I like to test the water before diving in with my AdWords campaign. The first day I will be checking the stats of the campaign every hour or two just to see if there are any initial trends; I try not to make any knee jerk reactions unless I feel it is absolutely necessary.
Although It is my intention to maximise sales with this AdWords campaign, I will also be using it to see how effective my landing pages are. I feel that this is a good way to trial your landing pages and monitor successful conversions on a traffic source which is different to your usual target audience.
The down side to AdWords is the cost involved, there is an old saying in business “you have to speculate to accumulate”, this is exectly the case with AdWords; now do not do what I have seen and heard about many people doing and that is to assume that AdWords gives you an almost divine right to make money because it doesn’t, all of the same rules apply as it does with organic SEO and the main one being, if you do not have an efficient method to converting your traffic in to the desired sale, it will fail. AdWords campaigns simply direct more traffic to your site, the remainder of the work to generate a sale is still down to you.
My site is still pretty young when it comes to SEO and rankings therefore I am not yet convinced that my landing pages are perfectly optimised, I have generated sales from them but I have not had a real influx of traffic over a short period of time; this is the reason why I have not sort after PPC traffic thus far, only when I am sure that my expenditure can be surpassed by sales would I look at investing in to this but when a free voucher appears in my inbox I will cease the opportunity with both hands.
For me the important thing to take not of throughout this short experiment is how affective the landing pages are. I am not too bothered about how much money I make from it as it is all about maximising landing page efficiency. IT may prove to be a flop but at least then I will know that there is work to be done; on the other hand, it could be a complete success and might be worthwhile looking into PPC traffic more often. Either way, it is going to provide an invaluable piece of market research for my site.
If you receive an AdWords voucher then I would seriously advise you to put i to good use. My top tips for putting this in to action are as follows:
- Do not rush in to creating the campaign. You need to ensure that you landing page has a clear call to action and is monetised accordingly
- Think long term. Yes you might make some quick money through the campaign but what else does the statistics tell you. An unsuccessful campaign often provides more information than a profitable one
- Only spend your own money when you know there is a probability of success, use your vouchers and promo codes as trials.
- Play around with the cost per click figures, the most expensive are not always the most profitable.
- Keep a close eye on the statistics throughout the campaign. Change your keywords, change your ads. Be dynamic and get the most out of your investment.
AdWords is great way to drive traffic to your site but it is not for everyone. I have had several request to create PPC campaigns for companies who are convinced that it is the only way to get traffic. I am of the firm belief that PPC should only be used once you have implemented organic or on-page SEO within your site and optimised your landing pages to the best of your ability.
I will be providing updates to this campaign over the upcoming weeks so watch this space…