bear in mind that some ads don't convert straight away. especially if they're advertising expensive products. people like to do some research, do some window shopping at other sites etc, compare prices, and then maybe come back later and buy it.
so your ads might still be bringing in the sales -- it just takes a while for people to convert in a way that doesn't get logged.
think about the last time you saw an ad and brought something straight away from it. you might see it a few times before you actually do something about it.
I'd give it another year then decide what to do...
Pause the crap and move onto something else.
I belive that conversion in tracked with a cookie during 30 days. If people is "buying" after that it might not be counted as a conversion.
However are there other serious alternatives to Adwords actually?
Yahoo sales department said their costumers says paid ads converts ok, but they make the campaign suggesting their own words, the system is not as flexible as Adwords. And in my experience those they suggested me wasn't very productive.
Have you tried sending you products to price comparison websites? Price Runner, Kellkoo, Deal something all the big boys?
Have you tried making the check out easier?
Have you tried adding in other ways for payment ie. Google Checkout / Paypal as well as cards etc?
See if you can bring up your conversion rate a little if theres no improvement I would just move on and figure out what keywords are working and create campaigns that will convert.
Tried using neg keywords against things like "free" etc?
Have you tracked exactly what people are typing in to trigger your ads? Perhaps you need a boat load of negative keywords.
I found that the negative keywords helped the performance of my campaigns a lot - along with site blocking.
We are wondering just how useful most of our ads are also. With a very few exceptions, the conversion rate is pretty poor. The theory has been that often people don't buy right away, so it does not show up in conversion tracking.
But I am thinking more and more that a huge percentage of the clicks we get are just info-seekers. We place pretty high in nearly all organic searches on all major search engines so not sure that any of the ads are really adding anything compared to the cost.
It is really hard to track actual results by just pausing campaigns because we have some pretty high seasonal variations. But I might try it anyway, just shut off all ads for a month and see what happens.
|It is really hard to track actual results by just pausing campaigns because we have some pretty high seasonal variations. But I might try it anyway, just shut off all ads for a month and see what happens. |
That is the ultimate test for AdWords and something that many site owners are reluctant to do, as they fear losing sales to competitors.
Some reasons for low conversions rates that I have seen include:
- Poor shopping cart navigation.
- Less choice of products than the competition.
- Higher prices than the competition.
- Buying decisions reached after cookies for tracking expire.
- Many people calling up or emailing about products, which can't be tracked as easily as people submitting web forms and/or buying online.
- People browsing from work and buying at home or vice versa. Tracking cookies may be dropped at work and items bought at home by typing the URL into a browser.
|- Many people calling up or emailing about products, which can't be tracked as easily as people submitting web forms and/or buying online. |
I think this is the main avenue of our sales. Even though about 80% of our total sales (we have a B&M store) are from our website, we have a lot of pretty expensive and/or "need tech help" type products. We also get some walkins from the site - in fact for a large system in the $15,000+ range people may drive from California to pick it up to save on shipping.
So we may actually be getting the leads from the ads, but there is almost no way to really check.
Which kind of leaves us at the stop/start ads method, which is not the most scientific way considering all other possible variations, such as holidday traffic, but it might be the only way for us to really get an indication.
[edited by: Wlauzon at 8:18 pm (utc) on June 26, 2007]
if you stop running the ads then you would expect their sales to stop dead after the last cookie expires. but if you are still getting an 'afterglow' after that (if your sales are still somewhat higher than when you started running the ads in the first place) then you might be able to attribute it to long-term leads from the ads.
i would expect that to slowly tail off as the months go by. might be something to look out for.
 also - i've just thought, there might be a way to track them after all. instead of pointing the ad to your product page, or whatever it's pointing at now, point it to another page first, which delivers your own cookie. you can redirect that page straight to the product page if you want. as long as they get your own cookie.
then check to see how many of your buyers have that cookie. if that figure is higher than google's then you will know you are getting long-term sales.
In my case 100% of people buy by email / phone so my impression is that ads might be helping a little but organic traffic helping more. And seems like I'm paying those ads just'n case. or at least to support some effect I can't really measure exactly. Adding my own cookie in same page where google conversion tracking code is an option? I have no experience in cookies, might someone pointme in the right direction?
|if you stop running the ads then you would expect their sales to stop dead after the last cookie expires.. |
I forgot to mention that for well over half of the 300 or so pertinent keywords/phrases for searching, that we come up usually in the top 5 on organics from both Google and MSN search.
Which makes it hard to see how much difference the ads actually make.
But over the past few days I have been disabling words that we come up in the top 3 on searches for, and so far I see no difference at all.
So what I may end up doing is start hitting harder on the terms where we do NOT come up in the first page of SE's.
[edited by: Wlauzon at 3:28 pm (utc) on June 29, 2007]