Friday, March 9, 2012

Learning to Use Google Adwords

Most of us that work on the SEO for our shops are familiar with the free google adword keyword tool and we use it for analysis even if we never pay for an adword campaign. When you sign up for that account (which most people do to avoid that captcha stuff) unless you pay for ads within a few weeks they send you a coupon for $100 to try it out for free and they give you an adviser to help you set up the first one. I decided to take advantage of my free offer before it expired so that I could see how it all works without spending any money. I called their adviser and he more or less took over and walked me though the technical parts of how to set it up. It turns out that you do have to spend a minimum of $10 to use their coupon but it was still worth it to me. Then the guy took a look at my website, checked out some keywords and set up my first campaign. This is where you really need to be careful. These guys are experts at setting up adwords but not experts on what you sell or who you sell it to. He really pushed the keyword "trendy plus size clothing" because it's a popular one but the point isn't just to get views - it's to get the right views. Trendy is the last word that I would use to describe my stuff and people who are spending that kind of money don't want it to be out of style in a year. I decided to take his advice to see what would happen and sure enough - that very expensive keyword phrase was getting the most hits, eating up the most money and had close to a 90% bounce rate. (You find that out by linking your campaign to your analytics account and then you can track it like any other traffic source.) That's just what I expected - kids looking for low-end trendy clothing popping in, getting sticker shock, seeing no young trends and bouncing right back out again. Once I paused that one keyword phrase in the campaign and added a few that were much more targeted my hits dropped down but the bounce rate went way down with it. So, lesson one was to not let the ad guys convince me to use inaccurate but popular keywords and lesson 2 seems to be that Adwords are really, really expensive and I can do almost as well at getting near the front using normal SEO and that's free. I think that from what I've seen my money would be better off spent advertising on high end fashion blogs where my target demographic is than on random google searches.

Please come see my handmade designer plus size sweaters, sweater coats, capes and shrugs at

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