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Am I stuck in an Adwords sandbox?
Haven't got ANY click throughs yet

 11:41 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have just set up an account for a local Realtor and so far (4 days later) I haven't managed to get a SINGLE CLICKTHROUGH to her site! She has a low daily budget but I am bidding up to $3 on some keywords (which I believe is comparable to what other Maui Realtors are bidding).

I'm getting ads onto page 1 (some quite high) for keywords that are receiving impressions but still no CTs.

Created multiple ad groups and optimized ad copy but I am concluding that you have to be at the very top of the page for relatively few popular keyword phrases to get any CTs at all so I need to figure out how to increase the QS.

I tried bidding REALLY high as an experiment but it didn't seem to make any difference. I wonder if this account is caught in a sandbox because of no CTs yet.

I noticed that a lot of competing ads stop showing in the afternoon so I thought if I only let the ads get shown when there aren't many others then I'll have more chance of getting CTs and won't rack up lots of impressions with no CTs.

Also, I figured the CTR will go down if the ads only show when they are ranked say 1-6.

Any advice for a newbie?




 1:06 am on Jul 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Take with a grain of salt as I am brand new to AdWords myself, but it appears impressions are updated every few hours, but CTs maybe not as often, so it can happen that you see CTs in your site access logs that aren't yet showing in the AW reports.

Besides any technical issues that more experienced members can comment on, the real estate business has its own problems right now. Maybe few people are shopping.

I could be wrong, but I'm not aware of any "sandbox" effect being attributed to AdWords. There are a few metrics that they can't calculate until you have some history with them, but I'm not aware of them knocking your sites or ads down just because they're new.

[edited by: SteveWh at 1:12 am (utc) on July 29, 2008]


 3:08 am on Jul 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

You're probably going to have to initially jack her daily budget up.


 3:46 am on Jul 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

While I'm certainly no AdWords expert, I will second netmeg's advice on boosting the daily budget.

You might also want to revisit your ad timing. Potential mainland clients will be running somewhere between 3 and 6 hours ahead of Maui, your ad might not be showing while many people are using the internet. You could try setting the start time earlier by an hour each day until you get the clicks you are after.


 4:08 am on Jul 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the responses.

Yes, I think I will have to jack the budget up.

I'm aware of the time differences. Apparently a large percentage of mainland buyers are from the West Coast so during the week they will be home from work.

But my reason for doing this at this point is solely to improve my CTR as this is when there is less competition from other Realtors.

Does that make sense or is there something I'm missing?



 5:42 am on Jul 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Couple of things:

1. Ads have to be approved in order to get into their full power (premium area). Approval process can be automated or manual which depends on multiple things (account age, words that trigger flags, etc.)

2. I had a case of an account that would go dormant after hitting $50 of spend, no matter about how high I would set my daily budget. I ended up calling support and they’ve described it as something they had to fix (later they’ve said it was under review). Anyhow, since their action, account is doing fine.

I have one more account that behaves in the same manner, I haven’t called them yet, and the account is just going up to $50 a day for long time now. This means that review excuse has no place here, as review process usually take few days only, not weeks or even months.


 5:43 am on Jul 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

IMO, competition isn't something to avoid, it's something to out-do.

If you ran distinct campaigns, one based on AK users, one based on WA and OR users, one for CA users, and one for HI users, your ad copy could be based on what the individual user might be seeking for. HI users might be more reactive to a price based ad, AK users might respond to cold/light issues where WA/OR users would want to know it mostly rains at night and the days are sunny.

Campaigns can be geo-targeted, HI shoppers might be more price reactive, while other regions need a different ad presentation to fit their requirements.

I find it endlessly fascinating how different geographical areas respond to similar ads.


 9:08 am on Jul 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is a disaster. Every day the minimum bids jump up and half my keywords become inactive.

'wailea homes for sale' was showing my ad at position #1 for $1 and now the minimum CPC has gone up to $5. How can that be?

Feels like Catch 22: I have low QS so I can't get to the top and because I can't get to the top I get no CTs.

Oh dear


 2:25 pm on Jul 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

You need to work on your ads.


 6:33 pm on Jul 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just woke up this morning with the same realisation. Got to make them stand out from the rest (I was working on keyword relevancy mostly before).

I've really got to find a way of attracting attention.

Thanks for confirming this Netmeg.


 6:59 pm on Jul 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

They need to be extremely tightly focused to both the keywords in the ad group, and the landing page. Generalities are no good, specifics are great. I don't think there's a spot in the QS for attracting attention.

If you find you can't create an ad that is very specific to every keyword in your ad group, then move those keywords out to a separate ad group, and write an ad to them there.


 7:17 pm on Jul 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi Netmeg,

I have been dividing the keywords into ad groups more and more (and am continuing to refine that) but I think my problem has been more that the ads aren't attracting attention as they aren't getting clicked on even when high on the page.


 3:39 am on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yay! It's starting to work! I worked on ad copy, CTR is going up and I'm able to lower bids.

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