Well, so far the traffic from Google’s AdWords has been minimal, at best. Looking at their statistics shows two sets of numbers. The first is for the impressions that I’ve had via any number of syndicated sites. Those are the Google Ads that you see when you visit a website that generally isn’t making a lot of money, so they throw in Google Ads, hoping to make a few extra bucks. The numbers say I’ve had more than 100,000 impressions, which I think is probably higher than it actually is. And the clickthrough on those has been abysmally low. Roughly 15 or so.
By any stretch of the imagination, that’s pretty bad. (How bad is it?) It’s so bad, that Google doesn’t even calculate the click through ratio on it. As in 0.0%
The second set of numbers show that my targeted ads via keywords are actually picking up a little traffic. Not a lot mind you, but certainly better ratios than the syndication ads have been doing. I’ve been trying to spend as little as possible while I test the waters. It would be easy to burn through $500 worth of a budget in under a month. I just don’t know as it would do a whole lot of good.
I spoke with someone else who has been using Google AdWords pretty effectively, and he puts his limit around $5 per click. That’s really high. But he also uses highly targeted material in the text of his advertisement. For example, if I bid $10 per click for “FTP Software”, and in my text, I stated “Low prices, great deals”, I’d get a wildly different set of people clicking on it than if I entered “RFC959 Protocol .NET component”.
Your average user searching for an FTP client would click on the first, but not the second. If you’re selling a .NET component that does FTP and adheres to RFC959, the people clicking on the second link are by far more interested in your product. This means that even though you’ve got a very high bid per click for a pretty common term, the people who actually click on your links are probably well qualified users and know that you have what they want. Meanwhile, Bugs McKenzie who has no idea what .NET components are, let alone RFC959, won’t click on your link.
The high bid per click will get your advertisement to show up a lot, and the specific nature of the text will turn away people who aren’t technical. You get the best of both worlds. High exposure, and low click through. The click throughs that you do get, are very interested in your product and will probably give it an honest shot. So far, I’ve been loathe to boost my bid per click into the stratosphere. I’ve read rumors that seem to indicate that once you raise your bids, Google’s system reacts in a way that discourages you from spending less money. If I find the article where I read that, I’ll post a link to it.
Back to tweaking my advertisements.