A little more than a week ago, I created an AdWords campaign for my book on Google. Before this, I was a keyword virgin.
I’m happy to report that the four ads I created have generated 21 clicks at a cost-per-click of $1.24. Not bad, since I capped my budget at $100 per month. The AdWords software is very easy to use and Google’s reporting tools give you all sort of detailed information about your campaign. Here’s performance data for the last seven days from my “Account Snapshot.”
Last 7 days
Avg. CPM $0.42
Avg. CPC $1.34
Total Cost $22.70
For most part, I feel like I am getting a good value for $24 I spent so far. Beyond the clicks that directed users straight to my Amazon.com page, Google is also generating massive impressions for my book–and all of those eyeballs come for free. So far, my campaign has generated more than 71,701 impressions. Only 2,000+ of the impressions have come from Google’s search engine; the rest have come from Google’s content network of partner sites. The tools also let me know which ads are performing better than others. This one has the highest click-through rate of .03%:
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Here’s the one thing I don’t like about it: I HAVE NO IDEA IF THE CLICKS ARE GENERATING SALES OF MY BOOK. The reason? Google offers so-called conversion tracking that lets gauge this data, but in order for the feature to work you have to install some code on the landing page where your product is offered for sale. Problem is, Amazon.com does not, as far as I know, allow users to install code on their Web pages. I emailed Amazon about this over the weekend; maybe there is a fix. I hope so.
In any event, this points to the bigger problem facing Google. The clickthrough–Google’s nirvana that generates almost all of its revenue–is falling out of a favor a bit. What advertisers and marketers really want is conversion. And Google and other search/online marketers will probably have to adjust their business models to shift more towards getting paid for conversion, rather than mere clicks. Read this BusinessWeek story by Catherine Holahan and I to learn more about the trouble with clicks.