7 Reasons Why Newbies Fail to Make Money from AdWords
Posted on 14th November, 2007
Those who have been using AdWords for sometime know that it takes some trial and error to achieve some level of success. Newbies may find their AdWords experience frustrating when they continue to get low CTRs, losing money.
Then, having their campaign slapped which results in a low quality score increases their minimum CPC bid to $5 or more. Often this could mark the end of their plan to make money with AdWords.
So they wonder if there’s a well guarded secret used by all the other affiliates who have been making tidy profit from AdWords. What did I do that was not right?
The good news is, (or bad news depending on how you see this), there’s no secret to crack. Everything comes down to trial and error and doing enough testing to find out what works and what doesn’t.
So if you are not making money promoting products or services, here are 7 things you need consider:
1. Are You Promoting the Right Products and Services?
Often, successful affiliates suggest that you should start with a product or service that you are passionate about. Your interest will keep you going when things don’t go exactly as planned. However, you also need to be realistic in that you have to make sure the products and services are in high demand.
For example, there’s no point selling refrigerators to the Eskimos no matter how passionate you are about the new line of refrigerators coming out from South Korea.
Try to find top selling products or services to promote instead of trying to educate the market that they need a new product. Focusing your effort to promote popular products and services will make your job easier. You don’t have to invent the wheel, just identify the market leaders and focus on promoting them.
Sure, the competition can be tougher in some niches but the demand is already guaranteed. You just need to be a little more creative and offer something that differentiates you from your competitors. Keep in mind that the number of competitors is not as important as the quality of their sites.
2. Are You Creating the Right Landing Page?
In certain niches you may be able to do direct linking to the vendor’s landing page. However in most cases when you are promoting a popular product or service, you’ll need to create your own landing page.
Creating an effective landing page is a big topic in itself. This is something that I’d like to write more about in my future posts. Suffice to say that you will need to create a landing page that offers exactly what your AdWords ad says.
If your ad says you’re offering a Free MP3 Download, your landing page must offer exactly that, and not free MP3 player, or cheap MP3 songs. Your landing page must focus on a SINGLE call to action. A call to action is an activity requested of the visitor, it could be buying a product, download a trial software or subscribing to a newsletter.
Remove all unnecessary choices such as AdSense ads, unwanted banners and excessive content. Remember your goal is to convert the user and depending on the price of the products and services, having more content may hurt the conversion rates especially if you are selling low price items.
Once you have identified what your visitor wants to do, you need to lead them down the right conversion path. If you give too many choices, they will end up choosing none.
3. Optimize Your AdWords Campaign
This is one of the thing newbies often neglect to do. It’s better to have many keywords in many ad groups than having many keywords in fewer ad groups.
For example if you are promoting handphones (a.k.a. cellphones or mobile phones), you may come up with the following keywords:
Samsung Mobile Phones
In order to improve your keywords and ad text relevancy, you should create two separate campaigns; each contains individual ad groups for each handphone model so that you have the following:
Campaign 1 – Nokia
Ad Group 1: Nokia Nseries
Ad Group 2: Nokia N90
Ad Group 3: Nokia N-Gage
Campaign 2- Samsung
Ad Group 1: Samsung E700
Ad Group 2: Samsung SGH-X820
Ad Group 3: Samsung Mobile Phones
So the keywords for the Ad Group 1 (Campaign 1) could be “buy nokia nseries”, “nokia nseries website”, “where can I buy nokia nseries”.
Similarly, the keywords for Ad Group 2 (Campaign 1) could be “buy nokia n90”, “nokia n90 website”, “where can I buy nokia n90”. I know I could have targeted better keywords but you get what I mean.
Once that’s done, remember to link the ad to a landing page that offers exactly what the ad says; Nokia NSeries and Nokia N90.
4. Improve Your Landing Page Quality Score
Instead of repeating what I’ve written about this in my earlier posts, check out my earlier post here: 10 Tips to Improve Your Google AdWords Quality Score
5. Identify the Best Keywords to Use
The keywords you use can make or break your PPC campaign and thus finding the right ones is crucial. You can start with the low hanging fruits, i.e. keywords that include the exact product names, brand names, model number and so on.
Depending on the merchant’s policy, you may or may not be able to bid on brand names. Start small and when you know what keywords convert well, start branching out to find more related keywords.
Depending or how much you get paid for each conversion and your conversion rates, you many be able to expand your keywords list by including more general terms that relate closely with the products and services.
In addition, you can start adding long tail keywords, which are multi-word keyword phrases, typically four or more words and very specific. When a searcher uses long tail keywords, they are actually looking for something very specific and often can be converted easily if they find EXACTLY what they are looking for. Thus, long tail keywords can be the best ones to target.
As an example a searcher using “free dating site new york” is more likely to become of a member of a dating site targeted towards New Yorkers than someone who may search using “free dating site”.
Check out a related post here: 5 Tips and Tools To Help You Create A Killer Keyword List For Your AdWords/PPC Campaigns
6. Use Negative Keywords Effectively
Negative keywords are those keywords that prevent your ads from showing up when used as part of the search queries. For example if you use -serial code as the negative keyword, someone whose search query containing the terms serial and code won’t see your ads.
In many of my campaigns where I promote Windows software products, I usually add the following as negative keywords
Adding negative keywords into your campaigns can reduce click cost and improve your CTRs.
Like normal keywords, negative keywords can also use different keyword match types (broad, phrase and exact). If you are using broad match for your negative keywords, you may accidently filter out too many potential queries including the ones that you would have wanted your ad to show on. You can learn more about AdWords keyword matching options here.
The following table better illustrates my point:
You can find the full explanation about this here.
7. Split Testing To Identify the Best Performing Keywords, Ads and Landing Page
The most important elements you could test are your ads, landing pages and keywords. Ok, you don’t split test your keywords but through split testing of your ads and landing pages, you’ll know which keywords convert the best in a particular situation.
Split testing, sometimes called A/B testing helps to determine which elements are helping in improving your conversion rates and which aren’t.
Creating multiple landing pages, each with a different layout, colour, headline and so on will help you further improve your conversion rates. Begin by testing the obvious such as using a variation of headlines, copies, images and so on.
Check out the related post about split-testing here:
You may want to learn more about Google own landing page testing tool here
The checklist is by no means definitive and I can’t guarantee that you will become successful overnight by following them. However, I’m sure that you’ll have a better chance of becoming profitable over some of your competitors who probably have no idea what they are doing 🙂