Wednesday, March 4, 2009

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Making Money With Adwords - Why Conversions are Much More Important Than Click-Through Rate and a 10-step Program to Maximize Adwords Conversions

Read almost any article on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and you will be told about click through rate (CTR). Click-throughs are what you pay for. Click-throughs are great for the search engine provider, but for you, the business owner trying to make a buck, click-throughs are only a source of expense, not revenue.

Conversions, are where you make your money. Suppose your click-throughs cost you 20 cents. If only one in a hundred of the visitors driven to your site buys something or signs up for your mailing list, that sale or sign-up costs you twenty bucks. Unless that sale was a car or a boat, you can't afford that. Now suppose one in two site visitors buys or signs-up. Your cost, 40 cents to get each customer - huge difference.

Now that you believe in the power of conversions, here are 10 steps to really drive conversions:

1. Start by making a list of all the words that might describe your product or service.

2. Enter that list into the Adwords keyword tool. The tool will tell you keyword rankings and suggest additional keywords and phrases.

3. Remove all generalized words from your list. They are usually the words with the very highest keyword ranking, but they won't get you conversions. Let's say you sell car stereos. The keyword "stereos" will get you a lot of clicks, but you don't want to pay for the privilege of having people who are looking for home stereos visit your site.

4. Create a negative keyword list. This is a list of words and phrases to exclude from your search. The car stereo store would want to add words like "home" and "theater" to the negative keyword list. Negative keywords hold great power. The most effective Adwords campaigns have usually specified hundreds of negative keywords.

5. Look carefully at your landing page. Make sure your landing page delivers what your keywords promise.

6. Install Google Analytics, and learn to use it. Otherwise, you are flying blind.

7. Go for a test drive. Invest a few bucks and start running your ads, but keep your cost low, as you won't be getting a great conversion rate yet.

8. Use Analytics to study your results. Remove those keywords that have great click-through rate but few conversions. Also remove keywords with few click-throughs.

9. Experiment with alternative ads and landing pages. Track the analytical results of your experiments.

10. Keep adding to your list of negative keywords. You are likely to be surprised at the phrases that trigger click-throughs to your site. Tune your negative keywords to exclude those you don't want.

Optimizing your conversion rate requires some effort, but the payback can be amazing.

1 comment:

  1. Really nice post. I think this post will help newbies out with adwords and not getting burned by high click prices