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Posts Tagged ‘marketing

Do you used Google Adwords? And does it bring you the traffic you want?

I think all ‘noobes’ to the internet struggle with Google keywords and experienced geeks around us don’t want to come clean and say simply how the system works.

Well there is a chicken-and-egg system here.  You don’t know which keywords to use until you know!  Maybe you may learn something from my this little experiment of mine.

My 24 hour Google Adword Experiment

On Monday afternoon, I found a Googles Voucher in my ‘maybe sometime’ box and it was about to expire on Tuesday.  So I decided to run a Googles Ad and see what 30 pounds could buy me in 24 hours.

Seven steps to running your first Google Adword

  • Log on to Google Adwords and set up your account
  • Write your ad and link it back to your website (they have a handy system on screen)
  • On the basis of your website, Google will suggest some key words
  • Edit your keywords
  • Put in your bank details & your promo code if you have one.  They will charge you 5 pounds for this entertainment.
  • Set your monthly budget at 30 pounds.
  • Sit back and watch comfortably knowing you can switch all this off at anytime at the cost of whatever bill you have run up – capped at 30 pounds.

My entertainment

  • What I am going to sell.  I wrote a special blog post for this game: I offered to set up interview questions to match a job description and let someone practice with me over Skype (with webcams).  The nature of my product didn’t really matter. What mattered was that it was offered on the landing page of my blog.  Google does limit the length of url that goes in the advert so I couldn’t direct to any post or page.
  • My ad.  I wrote a simple ad saying “Practice for your job interview over the internet with webcam with an experienced coach”.  (The word Skype was disallowed).
  • First impressions.  There was an immediate flurry of activity with impressions from Search (that is the keywords I had chosen) and 3 Click Throughs.  My CTR or CTR was well above 0.5% at that stage.  As we only pay for the Click Throughs and Google is setting the price on a rolling auction, the price varies.  I paid 133p for 3 clicks on my blog.  No one contacted me so I had 0 conversions but I had set my prices rather high.  I was interested in the Google-end of this experiment.
  • Frills. I had left the ‘Content Network’ on.  Google puts the ad on Content partners too.  It advises to leave that option on.  The impressions from Content Partners were slow at first but rose dramatically on the second day.  The CTR was rubbish though.  After 36 hours, my ad was delivered (impressions) to just under 1500 partners with 1 click through.
  • Results.
    • From search traffic, “interview questions” drew 350 or so impressions with 3 click throughs – just under 1% and above the 0.5% which makes Google frown and say you are wasting our time.
    • “Interview tips” drew around 100 impressions and 3 impressions – so 3% click through.
    • “practice your interview” drew no impressions and of course, no click throughs.
    • All my ads appeared on the first page of Google search, but rarely at No 1.  The exception was “behavioral interview”.  (Remember these are ads we are talking about not the list of websites on the left.)
  • Cost.
    • This all came to 313p for 7 click throughs and an average price of 21p per person who arrived at my blog.
    • That might be meangingful in an advertising world.  Can you imagine though attracting 50 000 people a month at that price?  That would be 10 000 pounds a month.  I would need to be selling an awful lot.
    • The real issue though is the conversion rate.  Obviously of the 7 people who arrived – I had made one sale with a profit exceeding 313p, I would be ahead.

What did I learn?

  • Advertise in 10 minutes. Now, at any time, I can log in, write an ad,d and spend down the 30 pounds in my Google Account.  I know I can do it in 10 minutes. I recommend giving it whirl just for the pleasure of being clearer about how Google works.
  • Writing Ads is hard.  Do you remember all those Marketing types at Uni who we wrote off for being flibbety-gidgets?  Start buying them a lot of drinks.  And get them to write a whole lot of boiler plate ads to keep in a notebook when you need them fast!
  • Start early. Google is a chicken-and-egg system but you can break that vicious cycle by beginning.  I learned two important things from this experiment which had no purpose but to spend a Googles Voucher.
    • People are out there looking for interview questons and tips.  The click through rate was better on tips.  There is a market there.
    • No one is looking to practice their interviews.  No market.  Or is it a market waiting to be made!
  • Marketing.  How many of us have an explicit marketing budget?  How many of us have costed how many people we have to wave our product at (impressisons).  How many of us know our CTR (how many people we meet and how that translates into meaningful contacts?).  How many of us know how much each CT has cost us?  How many of us check the check our conversion rate to sales?  Have we budgeted adequately the time we need to spend, the time we need to wait and the money we must spend to achieve the conversions we want and need?

Good luck with your experiment.  Buzz me if you need help.

And sorry about the ad yesterday.  I wasn’t trying to sell you anything.  If you are a friend of mine, I helped you practice your interview for free!

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Do you use Moo cards?

I have some typical corporate cards, but in truth, I am not sure what I am trying to convey.  That I am a relic of the Emily Bronte era?  But are Moo cards, half the size of a business card, with pictures on one side and minimal contact info on the reverse, too frivolous?

Whatever’s the right choice, Moo cards require quite a lot of conscious decision making.  Which pictures should I use?  What do they say about our products and services?  And what should I say about myself in exactly 6 lines?

Moo cards also require a modicum of administrative efficiency.  I need to load up photos, or find some on Flickr, edit them using an online service like Picnik, and then place them on the Moo interface, pay Moo online and wait – for about 10 days for them to arrive through my letterbox.

Starting from scratch, it took me about 3 days (!) to make a set of 10 cards which will be printed 10 times each.  The magic of Moo is that the customization is done at no extra cost.   I could do 100 unique cards, if I wished, or 100 of a single card.  Anyway, three days is way too much time, so I paid attention to what I was doing and this is the routine that I will use in future.

Routine for designing Moo cards

  1. I’ve set up a directory called Business Cards, and a subdirectory for each month: November, December, etc.  In free moments while I am hanging on to a call centre, for example, I will search Flickr for pictures and download them into the upcoming month’s directory.  I also did one more thing: I went into the Tools of my browser and set it to ask me where to download (or it dumps everything on me desktop/screen).
  2. I explore rather than search Flickr.  Under explore I go to Creative Commons and search pictures that are listed as “By and Share-alike”.  This means the owner is happy for me both to use them and to change them, provided I indicate who took them and provided I allow anyone else the same right to use the picture I come up with.
  3. I am continuously thinking of tags that might represent my business.  Being a psychologist, so far I have searched for words like “horizon”, “dream”, “steps”.   When I find a promising picture, I download it carefully saving it with filename like “Name of the Picture by Photographer via Flickr”.  Normally the picture will save as a .jpg file.
  4. In the future, when I have some free time, I will go into the online editor, Piknic. It’s free and there is nothing to download.  Here is where I hope to save a lot of time that I spent last time around.
    • Use Edit to resize the picture so the width is 330.  The length doesn’t matter so long as it is 900 or so or less.  An alternative is to resize the picture to something bigger and crop to the right width.
    • Go to Create and add frames.  I’ve found the trick is to set the inner and outer frames to full and change the colour to suit the picture.  I’ve also found it simplest to make both frames the same colour.  At a picture width of 330 and both frames on full, the final picture printed by Moo will have no frame along the long sides and a thick frame at both top and bottom where I can add text.
    • Use Text to add a heading at one end or the other. So far I’ve mostly used a variation of the picture’s name, such as “horizons”.  Then I vary the font and colour to suit the picture.  I also found, after much trial and error that the title must fit within the picture width. As a guide, the circle placeholders must be within the picuture, not overlapping its ends.
    • Use Text to add the copyright information “Picture name By author via Flickr” and use Shapes to find the BY and Share-a-like pictures.  These shapes look like a man and a broken c (not full c) respectively.  Occasionally, I put the copyright information on the picture itself.  Whatever looks good.
    • Save the picture with a new file name.  I extend the original filename with the word “pikniked”.
  5. When I need to order some more cards, I will go go to Moo and select mini-cards.  Using upload, I can pick out the images I have already edited and saved onto my harddrive, position them, and preview them.  In the past,  I have done this even if I am not going to proceed with an order, just to make sure I have edited the picture correctly.  As in this run,  if I want say 20 of one card and 10 for 8 others,  then I just upload the first image twice!  Lastly, I whip out my credit card and pay online.   The going price as of the end of November 2008 is 9.99 pounds and 3.68 postage.  Print out the confirmation and wait 10 days!

I am looking forward to the cards I have made especially for Christmas.  Two geese, looking quite fat and prosperous are waddling through the snow.  That’s my metaphor for the recession!  A fun, happy and prosperous 2009!

Via Twitter, thanks to Daryl Tay in Singapore, a simple account of social media suitable for novitiates.  Pull advertising is shown at the end.

All that is missing is an aggregation site to save us the search – run by the vanilla factory of course!

 

UPDATE: We expect the push methods of the 20th century by replaced by pull methods of Toyota.  We only send work when someone signals they want it!

Daryl linked to a good little video the illustrates how much business has changed.

THE RECOVERY:  If you are planning ahead to the recovery, this video is a good place to start.


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