Hi Adriana, I was just reading your blog post about how to Make Money With Adwords, and have a few questions for you...
It's been years since I ran campaigns on Google Adwords (pay-per-click advertising) but I've taken a renewed interest in it. In your post, you talk about Quality Score. This is new since the last time I ran campaigns. Can you explain what it is, and how it's calculated?
For this one, I couldn't say it any better than Google itself, so here is their definition:
The AdWords system calculates a 'Quality Score' for each of your keywords. It looks at a variety of factors to measure how relevant your keyword is to your ad text and to a user's search query. A keyword's Quality Score updates frequently and is closely related to its performance.
In general, a high Quality Score means that your keyword will trigger ads in a higher position and at a lower cost-per-click (CPC).
In addition to the Quality Score of the merchant's landing page, if you're promoting a direct affiliate link, you need a good Quality Score on your own landing pages if you're sending traffic to your own domain first, right?
Any tips for creating a good affiliate landing page that will get a good Quality Score?
Absolutely. Creating a good affiliate landing page is all about quality, relevancy, value and user experience. As long as your pages provide good content, which will eventually impress your visitor to take action, you are on your way to a good Quality Score.
Most people want to write a couple short paragraphs and give an affiliate link: that that won't cut it most of the time. One of the best ways to create a great landing page is to involve your visitor with a well crafted "story" that uses your keywords and involves them emotionally.
The link(s) on your landing page need to take your visitor to a page that's closely related to the keyword/key phrase they entered through. And of course, an easy and explicit navigation that takes your visitor straight to the item they were searching for helps too.
I like that you discussed price points in your blog post. While higher price points bring larger affiliate commissions, I used to choose some of the "low hanging fruit" or lower priced products/offers - and some of those had great conversion rates.
I had one campaign years ago that offered an 80c payout but it converted at over 30% so it was a nice little profit-maker.
Is there a minimum that you work with, or do you analyze campaigns on a case-by-case basis?
That's right: some of the low hanging fruit will give you success much easier, since your key phrase is more targeted, the cost is lower, and not everyone bothers with them.
With that said, I usually try to look for products that will give me a commission of $10 or more. The work involved in starting a campaign is the same regardless of how much or how little you'll make, so I might as well shoot for larger commissions.
In the mean time, I don't shy away from promoting a lower priced offer, if I think it will convert well.
What are some of the first things you do when you notice a campaign tanking, or not turning a profit? Do you immediately give up on it, or are there other things you try or test before quitting?
It depends: if I had 300 clicks for that campaign and no conversion, I usually give it up. But, if I made a sale in the first 300 clicks, I'll try and see how I can improve it.
For example if I see a lot of clicks for a certain keyword, but no sales, I'll pause that keyword and let the campaign run.
If a campaign has been doing well, and all of a sudden tanks, I'll immediately look at the merchant's page where I am sending traffic. More than likely, the merchant removed the page, or made another change (like add AdSense or other advertising), and that's the reason for the "tank".
I used to track my campaigns VERY closely - even with a daily budget set up. Do you turn your new campaigns off if you're going to be away from the computer for the day, or even while you're sleeping?
I try to stay away from starting new campaigns at night, since for the first few hours I keep a close eye on all my campaigns.
But if the campaign has been online for a few days and it's somewhat predictable, I don't turn it off. If the campaign has been online for a while, and I know what to expect, I don't worry about it even when I go on vacation.
But, if you are worried, you can either stop it completely, or you can schedule when to turn it on and off. Google has an ad scheduling feature, where you can schedule when you want your ads to run.
Be sure to read Adriana's original blog post on how to make money with Adwords, and feel free to leave her questions about PPC below in the comment section.
p.s. Perry Marshall has a brand new 2010 Edition of the Definitive Guide to Google Adwords. He has long been THE authority on mastering Adwords with higher CTR and conversion rates. A wise investment if you're considering PPC advertising, and a guide I'll be studying again myself before I dive back in with my campaigns.