Hey all First let me say, wow! this is the most informative forum ive found in a quite a while. I havent set up my campaign yet (just days away) and I'd like to hear how tough it is to make a buck with adwords. I think my products are good, my website (I hope) is good, and my keywords are good. How tough is it these days for a good guy to make a few dollars with adwords? Thanks in advance!
We aren't a small B2C but we are a B2C that sells lower end items. We have great success with adwords and other PPC (Check out Overture too. You need both to have a good PPC program). Just make sure you read all of the adwords guidlines and advice on the adwords site and read a large bit here as well. That way, you can start out of the gate avoiding many mistakes people make when they first start.
I sell b2b via 2 web sites, and use Google Adwords, and Overture. My cost for these amount to 4-5% of sales, which I think is good. Most of the traffic comes from Google Adwords. For me, Google Adwords is a good value. My click thru rate is 6.5-15% depending on keyword.
Without knowing anything about your product or website, it is very hard to give an answer. As consultants, we are currently seeing some fantastic results - from companies in retail businesses (eg. furniture, higher-end electronics, medical supply) that just happen to be very targeted and in the midst of heavy demand. (With Google's targeting we are seeing that some sites can do well if they are in the right industry and targeting well even if their websites leave a fair bit to be desired from a design standpoint...when people need something right away, they may be willing to overlook major flaws in the sales process... if your business doesn't target anyone like that, you'll have a harder time of it...)
I'll tell you this much - it is harder to make a buck with low priced products. Much harder. Our most successful folks might get a few big orders over a weekend and it pays for their advertising for the next three months.
As things currently stand, this is not as difficult as you might think. But, as I always say, unless you know what you're doing with PPC... "you'll fail at first."