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Thread: A Practical Example - Setting Up An Adwords PPC Campaign To Advertise These Forums

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    Administrator Clinton is a Premium Member
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    A Practical Example - Setting Up An Adwords PPC Campaign To Advertise These Forums

    [[This thread split from JJMcClure's thread here on 19th May 2010 - Clinton]]

    He, he, couldn't be better timed because I have a ton of questions.

    I've done a bit of Adwords but, frankly, I don't understand even half of it.

    Thanks for the offer and you're going to be helping the forum more than you think because the first questions I'm going to ask are about advertising this forum via PPC!

    Right from the start of the forum I've been saying that I had $10K - $20K I was going to spend on advertising. Well, I've never quite gotten that off the ground. Now would be a good time.

    Where do I start?

    This is what I'm hoping to achieve
    1. Getting people not just to come and browse but to register and ask questions/answer questions/take part in discussions
    2. I'd like to attract B&M business people. My research has shown that there are so, so many of them who don't realise there's a huge market in profitable websites
    3. I'd like to attract sellers/buyers looking for information on how to sell / buy
    4. I'd like to attract people outside of the industry to sign up and post e.g. we've recently had a journalist who's working on an article about site buying, a lawyer specialised in IP work etc.

    Would it be okay to discuss the stats of our campaigns publicly in this thread so others can benefit?
    Find the right business brokers to maximise the value you extract from your business and improve the chances of selling your business.

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    I haven't a clue about PPC so any info you give on this would be good.

    We see auctions in Flippa for sites that are basically Adwords campaigns with a site attached. How easy would it be to replicate a successful campaign yourself, given the details available in the auction? There are tools like SEMRush that report Adwords keywords being used on a particular site, so presumably it would be easy to replicate their success?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hooperman View Post
    We see auctions in Flippa for sites that are basically Adwords campaigns with a site attached. How easy would it be to replicate a successful campaign yourself, given the details available in the auction? There are tools like SEMRush that report Adwords keywords being used on a particular site, so presumably it would be easy to replicate their success?
    I haven't used those kind of tools really, got a little experience with KeywordSpy but my feeling is that whatever they say about how successful a campaign is for someone it's speculation based on dodgy signals since neither Adwords nor the campaign owner are releasing that information so I'm not sure where they're getting it from. It's more useful to me as a keyword research tool and there are plenty of those anyway, free ones too. If you specifically want to target a competitor and want to know what keywords they're using then they're much more useful. I figure that what they do is just run searches using various combinations off keyword phrases and check destination URLs to see which Ads have your competitors URL. I don't see how they can pick them all up though unless they have a superb 'related keyword' tool themselves.

    My approach is generally to try and find keywords that no one else is using or have low compeititon, I rarely choose to go head to head with people or try to beat specific competitors with their own keywords otherwise I'm sure I'd use those tools more. Maybe I'm missing the point of those tools, I wouldn't rule that out!
    Last edited by JJMcClure; 7 May 2010 at 9:04 am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    1. Getting people not just to come and browse but to register and ask questions/answer questions/take part in discussions
    2. I'd like to attract B&M business people. My research has shown that there are so, so many of them who don't realise there's a huge market in profitable websites
    3. I'd like to attract sellers/buyers looking for information on how to sell / buy
    4. I'd like to attract people outside of the industry to sign up and post e.g. we've recently had a journalist who's working on an article about site buying, a lawyer specialised in IP work etc.

    Would it be okay to discuss the stats of our campaigns publicly in this thread so others can benefit?
    Your budget is well out of the range I usually work in but since PPC is all about ROI it shouldn't affect the strategy I'd recommend. You should start by doing the keyword research, identifying every single phrase you can that's related to your product/service and putting them on a spreadsheet. A good understanding of what kind of traffic is likely to convert is vital at this point otherwise the list is likely to include keyword phrases (KPs) that are used by people who don't actually want what you're selling. PPC is about targeted traffic, as any traffic generator should be.

    Next you should seperate the list into groups of KPS that are related to each other as closely as possible. The point of that is to be able to write Ads that include a specific KP, it will then be bolded by Google in the search return and is more likely to generate a click through because it's relevant to the search. The more targeted you can get the better, even down to having only one KP in an Ad group.

    I usually work with between 10-20 Ad groups but there's no reason you can't have hundreds as along as you can administor them, most serious affiliate campaigns will have more than 20 Ad groups (Adwords editor is good for editing large campaigns).

    For the bid price strategy, I tend to start a low as possible and work up towards what it will cost to show on page one. This has two main advantages, it's cheap and it gives me the chance to weed out high CTR poorly converting KPs as we go along. The disadvantage of this technique is that it's not as quick as going in at top bid price and working down and the lack of clicks compared to the expensive way of doing it will give you a slightly lower quality score which can negatively affect your CTR. Bit of a catch 22 but since my goal is minimum client initial expenditure I have to go with the slower method (We can always bump the budget up once they've seen some results and are happier about spending more on it).

    So tactic 1, create X number of Ad groups, each named after the KP that they're focussed on and containing all the actual KPs,set the bid price at 5p across the board and then monitor. Increase bid prices as the average positions start to show to bump the Ads onto page one. Weed out poorly performing KPs before they become too expensive.

    Tactic 2, throw caution to the wind, set all your bid prices to whatever Google recommends they should be for page one (always inflated in my experience), set a budget that will cope with the cost and then monitor it closely, knocking bid prices down to get them into positions 3 - 7 (less clicks, more conversions as people who work down the list are more serious about spending).

    Split test Ad copy, split test your landing page. Test test test and make sure you install the conversion tracking code somewhere on your site and link your PPC campaign to Googel analytics so you can see what PPC traffic specifically is doing on your site.

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    I don't have to spend the whole lot on day one We could start with a $5 limit per day per group or something like that.

    A good understanding of what kind of traffic is likely to convert is vital at this point otherwise the list is likely to include keyword phrases (KPs) that are used by people who don't actually want what you're selling.
    I know you mean "selling" in the broader sense i.e. we're selling the idea of joining our forums, but these will be campaigns not designed to sell any product or service. The goal is to get the right people in to register, make posts and fit into the community. Or is that incompatible with what PPC is best for?

    Your tactic 1 sounds good. Shall we do this publicly for others to see? I could create the landing pages if you work on creating the groups, keywords, ads etc for me to post in my Adwords account. I'll make the stats from the campaign available publicly as well.

    Or it that a bit beyond what you volunteered for?
    Find the right business brokers to maximise the value you extract from your business and improve the chances of selling your business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    I don't have to spend the whole lot on day one We could start with a $5 limit per day per group or something like that.

    I know you mean "selling" in the broader sense i.e. we're selling the idea of joining our forums, but these will be campaigns not designed to sell any product or service. The goal is to get the right people in to register, make posts and fit into the community. Or is that incompatible with what PPC is best for?

    Your tactic 1 sounds good. Shall we do this publicly for others to see? I could create the landing pages if you work on creating the groups, keywords, ads etc for me to post in my Adwords account. I'll make the stats from the campaign available publicly as well.

    Or it that a bit beyond what you volunteered for?
    I for one would be happy to run a PPC campaign for you and for you to track the results. My experience with PPC is that, when done properly, it can be a great method of promotion. I would also like to see the landing pages and work together on those as well since those are an important part of the formula.

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    I'm happy to make it a three way effort and let you run the campaign in your account which I pay for via Paypal on a weekly/monthly ... subject to JJMcClure's reply.
    Find the right business brokers to maximise the value you extract from your business and improve the chances of selling your business.

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    If these are in my own account I would rather pass. But, in Adwords, you can add account managers to your account in the "My Account" tab -> "Account access". There you can add a login for someone to manage you account and supply them with the correct access.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    I know you mean "selling" in the broader sense i.e. we're selling the idea of joining our forums, but these will be campaigns not designed to sell any product or service. The goal is to get the right people in to register, make posts and fit into the community. Or is that incompatible with what PPC is best for?
    If you can write an Ad that will attract the kind of people you're looking for then yes PPC is suitable. Interestingly, if you google 'marketing forum' there are no PPC ads at all. Phrases based around buying and selling websites also have very low PPC competition so it's going to be 'make money online' type phrases (major competition) and the odd specific area like 'due dillegence' that will get the laser targeted traffic. Picking up people who weren't event thinking of joining a forum will be trickier, maybe using phrases based around buying or selling businesses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clinton View Post
    Your tactic 1 sounds good. Shall we do this publicly for others to see? I could create the landing pages if you work on creating the groups, keywords, ads etc for me to post in my Adwords account. I'll make the stats from the campaign available publicly as well.

    Or it that a bit beyond what you volunteered for?
    Dunno yet, I'll get back to you on that one I want to do it but I don't want to commit to something that's going to take lots of unpaid time but neither do I want to get into a financial arrangement with you. If I gain anything financially from being a member of this forum I'm looking at it as I would a networking meeting where I'm getting to know people so that they can recommend me to others, rather than them hiring me directly.

    Maybe we could come up with some kind of barter, you help me with something, I'll set up a basic campaign for you.

    Another option is to let Christopher set up a campaign that he would be responsible for as if you were his client (can't have two people in charge of the same campaign, don't think that would work out well) and I could have a look and make suggestions for improvements if I see anything. Worst case scenario for me is that I can't find any way to improve it and learn a better way to do it, best case is that Christopher and I engage in a healthy debate about PPC tactics from which develops a better campaign and everyone who's interested can watch the process as it evolves. Or vice versa, could be useful, I'd quite like to do that.

    Same for testing the landing page etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJMcClure View Post
    If you can write an Ad that will attract the kind of people you're looking for then yes PPC is suitable. Interestingly, if you google 'marketing forum' there are no PPC ads at all. Phrases based around buying and selling websites also have very low PPC competition so it's going to be 'make money online' type phrases (major competition) and the odd specific area like 'due dillegence' that will get the laser targeted traffic. Picking up people who weren't event thinking of joining a forum will be trickier, maybe using phrases based around buying or selling businesses?



    Dunno yet, I'll get back to you on that one I want to do it but I don't want to commit to something that's going to take lots of unpaid time but neither do I want to get into a financial arrangement with you. If I gain anything financially from being a member of this forum I'm looking at it as I would a networking meeting where I'm getting to know people so that they can recommend me to others, rather than them hiring me directly.

    Maybe we could come up with some kind of barter, you help me with something, I'll set up a basic campaign for you.

    Another option is to let Christopher set up a campaign that he would be responsible for as if you were his client (can't have two people in charge of the same campaign, don't think that would work out well) and I could have a look and make suggestions for improvements if I see anything. Worst case scenario for me is that I can't find any way to improve it and learn a better way to do it, best case is that Christopher and I engage in a healthy debate about PPC tactics from which develops a better campaign and everyone who's interested can watch the process as it evolves. Or vice versa, could be useful, I'd quite like to do that.

    Same for testing the landing page etc.
    As I mentioned I would be willing to setup a campaign and manage it without a charge, but I will not do it under my account. It is just not good practice. And really, JJ and I both running ones with different accounts would most likely cause a problem with Google's "Double Serving" policy and end up with trouble.

    Also, I think some of the terms like "marketing forum" do have some bidders, perhaps not in the locale JJ is searching though.

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