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Sunday, September 27, 2009

It Pays to Advertise

I made reference to Google Adwords and Google Analytics when I announced the launch of my new web site a few weeks ago. As luck would have it, I received a promotional offer in the mail last week and took advantage of it to create a new Adwords account with the $75 credit it provided.

During the weeks following its launch, my web site had typically been receiving a meagre 3 or 4 visits per day, largely by way of the link displayed at the top of this blog. With my advertisement running over the past few days, however, Google Analytics shows that this figure has risen to almost 200. While this exceeds my expectations by a huge margin and is undeniable proof that it pays to advertise, it's a useful reality check to delve into the information made available by Google Analytics. My ad is not specifically targeted at a particular geographic region and not all the keywords I originally nominated are strictly art-related - for instance, keywords such as "wildlife" and "animals" were in my list. While it's true that clicking on my ad is a conscious action, it can't be assumed that the same people whose primary aim it is to find web sites dealing with animals and wildlife are also potential art collectors. With that in mind, I've reviewed my keyword list and have removed any I feel are too general. I expect visitor numbers to drop accordingly, but as compensation I know my advertising budget will stretch further and my money will be more effectively spent.

I don't quite know what to make of the fact that a large majority of visitors are from India. My initial reaction was to consider removing that country from the list of targeted locations, but doing so might just highlight my ignorance of the vast changes occurring in that country. I know there's an exploding population within India which can best be described as the new middle class. I have little idea what their spending inclinations are and I'm the first to acknowledge that I'm as much in the dark where that's concerned as I am on many other topics! Given that I'm experimenting at this stage, I'm happy to sit tight for a while longer and observe what happens where sales are concerned.

And yes, of course, I'm acutely aware that converting web site visitors into customers is another "art" entirely!

Cheers
Pete

12 comments:

DennyHollandStudio said...

Peter, this is very interesting to me , your experience with Adwords. I use Analytics (it's fun to see I get a lot of visits from Perth!) but have yet to jump over to the next level. Will you please keep us posted on your progress with this?
Thanks!

Peter Brown said...

Thanks Denny, I'll keep you posted - hopefully with good news!

Erik said...

Interesting stuff Peter. I never looked at analytics before you mentioned it.

Peter Brown said...

Erik, as you've probably found out now, Analytics provides a wealth of information about your web site visitors. I look forward to seeing your own web site appear soon!

Colette Theriault said...

Humm, I'd be curious to know how many sales people actually get from google adds. I received a similar offer (100$) but decided to pass when the cost per click for my keywords "pet portraits" was a whopping 1.47$usd/click!!! I still think that having a link exchange for websites is the way to go.

Peter Brown said...

Colette, I too wonder how visits will translate into sales, but if you received a free offer, I'm not sure why you would pass it up - it's not often you get something for nothing!

Colette Theriault said...

Oh, Peter, in reading the fine print, the add stipulated that the advertising was "ongoing" and that it was my responsibility to cancel the adwords once I used up my free google add bucks (which would have translated to only 68 visitors for my keywords) OTHERWISE, the extra visitors would translate to me paying 1.47$ each. So if I forget to cancel and I get 200 extra visitors beyond the used up free ads, that would equal $294usd! Plus, I also would have had to set up a paying account with google which I really didn't want to do for something that was free... so call me a bit lazy!!
Just curious Peter, and I don't mean to be sarcastic, but how long was your google ad up for once you used up your free bucks?

Peter Brown said...

Colette, I can see now why you're wary! I'm averaging 6 cents per click and still working my way through the free credit. Although the offer I received advises that charges will be ongoing, when I log in to my account I'm told that the ad will simply be suspended when the money runs out. Needless to say, I'll be keeping a close eye on it as I approach my credit limit, although at my current cost-per-click, I'm not too concerned.

Sally McLean said...

That is an amazing result Peter. I used adwords for a short time last year and found it made a negligable difference to my number of site visitors. but at the time my site was fairly new and I was just feeling my way. Still am as far as SEO goes! I get alot of viisits from china usually just wanting to link exchande through link farms!!!

Peter Brown said...

Sally, it's certainly encouraging to receive so many visits, but as Colette has pointed out to me privately, the vast majority of visitors are probably other artists - I know how much time I spend visiting other artists' web sites!

A ratio of visits to sales would be useful information for everyone and I wish I could provide one, but I haven't sold anything from my web site yet! Like you, I'm very much feeling my way.

On another subject, I've attempted to leave glowing comments on your own blog several times, but Blogger has timed out each time I've tried to do so.

Sally McLean said...

I am flattered that you have tried to leave glowing reports on my blog but puzzled as to why it would time out. I may be able to query Blogger but their help system is not too good!

Peter Brown said...

Sally, there are several other blogs I have the same problem with. I think it's just in Blogger's nature to misbehave and, as you say, their help system is dismal. I'd seriously consider moving to WordPress if I had a hosting package that could support it.