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Adwords for niche site with low competition - should work, but doesn't

Can't get Adwords to bring traffic

     
7:57 pm on Apr 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hey yall, I have a site that sells replacement DVD's for box sets; basically, if you lose a DVD from your favorite expensive DVD box set, you can buy just that DVD for cheap rather than springing for a whole new box set.

I've had an Adwords campaign running for a few weeks now with literally hundreds of thousands of impressions and about 120 clicks. Dismal. Here's my problems:

- There are no results for "replace missing DVd" or similar. I know the audience is there, but I can't find them and they can't find me.
- The only keywords I'm coming up with are extremely competitive, and I don't have the $$ to compete against a $@.00 CPC.

The idea is sound, the audience is DEFINITELY there, but I just can't get the two to meet. Any ideas? I'm not sure if Adwords is going to work for me, but I wanted to ask people who knew better than I did. :>) Thanks in advance!
10:48 pm on Apr 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hmm, well, you're advertising a product that people don't necessarily know is available, so they aren't necessarily searching for it.

Now, if it were I, I think I would not worry about specific search terms - in fact, I don't think I'd advertise in the search network at all to begin with.

I'd focus on just the Content Network (where you advertise by theme, rather than specific keyword matches) and I'd target entertainment sites (movie and TV)

You probably have to do some other types of marketing as well, just to get your name out there. Like I said, if someone doesn't know you or what you do even exists, they're not necessarily going to be searching specifically for it.
11:24 pm on Apr 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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That is a FANTASTIC idea.

DVDs, movies, TV, etc. are very competitive, so long tail key phrases - and I'm talking reallly loonnng tailll - still are at a high CPC. Do you have any ideas as to how to deal with that?
1:08 am on Apr 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

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still are at a high CPC


Content Network - where you advertise by theme, rather than specific keyword matches)


Content network is CPM.

Head on over the the Adwords external tool, plug in some of your single word targets, get the results, use the Adwords Preview tool to target your geo, plug in the Adwords results, record the sites in the SERPs, visit the sites in the SERPS, look for Adsense, see if you can target the sites from Adwords Web UI.

Keep your content and search campaigns in different Adgroups.

Cheers
3:54 am on Apr 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Content Network is also CPC.

There's a ton of information on how to advertise in the Content Network in this forum, and other PPC forums out there - I would search for that (and make sure you look at posts that are fairly recent - there have been a lot of changes over the years) You want to read up on it, because I think it's really your best bet in this niche.

You also want to take a look at the Google Ad Planner. It's a great place for doing research on the types of sites you might want to target.
4:03 am on Apr 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Content Network is also CPC


right. my mistake.
5:10 am on Apr 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks guys - I'll let you know how it turns out. Appreciate the help!
5:27 am on Apr 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

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That is a FANTASTIC idea.


That's what get most of us glued here. Anyone can learn a lot of every single thread. There's a lot of people like netmeg to deliver a marketing lesson in two sentences.
10:48 am on Apr 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Identify some of your main titles. Look for forum posts about those titles. If those forums are Adsense publishers see if you can target ads there. While you are there see if there are posts about missing discs and post responses but be good and don't spam.

In your discovery process send a few press releases to sites that you have identified (individually, not in bulk) explaining what you do and pointing out that it may be of interest to their readers. Hit some hardcopy mags with press releases too. Editors are often on the lookout for fillers that they don't have to pay for.
3:04 pm on Apr 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Though not related to AdWords, this is a niche I'd probably test using social media too. Search through twitter for "box set" or "box dvd" (don't forget plurals, etc) and looking for people who are complaining about a missing or broken disc. That will give you some ideas for searching, and also maybe an opportunity to jump into the conversation.

If you're up for it, take out a twitter account, that you'll be willing to monitor, and put it up on your site that someone can tweet you for instant info on whether or not you have a particular disc in stock. That's the stuff that makes people send their friends to you as well.

When it comes to keywords and themes, don't forget to use Google Suggest. That (in case you didn't know) is where when you type something in the Google search box, before you hit the button, ten or so suggestions show up in the drop down. That tells you what people are actually searching on. Not all will be relevant, but it might give you some ideas. And you want to try different combinations, too. 'replace dvd' gives me mostly computer or xbox hardware suggestions, but 'dvd replace' gives a few suggestions that would work.
3:24 pm on Apr 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thank you very much! So many ideas to implement, I'm excited to get started. Yall are awesome!
3:57 am on Apr 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Using Suggest is a great idea. It has gotten better in recent months - at least over here on the other, other side of the pond.

Used to be that you'd have to manually change word order to get suggestions. Inputting "widget cleaner" would result in "widget cleaner for hire" and "widget cleaner tales of woe III"

Nowadays you can input "widget cleaner" and you'll see "cleaning of widgets" and "how to hire a cleaner of widgets"

And another thing you can try is the Wrdtrckr Question tool - gives very nice results.
4:43 am on Apr 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

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To clarify something PavlovaPete said:

Keep your Search Network and Content Network in different campaigns, not just different ad groups.
6:18 am on Apr 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Acrill,

but I'm only repeating what netmeg and ewhisper have been saying for years :)

Cheers
11:46 am on Apr 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You also want to take a look at the Google Ad Planner. It's a great place for doing research on the types of sites you might want to target.


Can't stress netmeg's comment enough.

If the audience isn't there yet, you could use the Ad Planner for research and only do placement targeting. Then, test out to see what ads (especially rich media) are going to work best for you. Once you have those basics down, then expand to the general content network.
10:02 pm on Apr 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

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then expand to the general content network


this is a real gem of an idea - thanks ewhisper
8:54 pm on Apr 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You might want to target people who are searching for various means of DVD cleaning, scratch repair, etc.

You might also want to check the affordability of keywords for people searching for particular box sets (e.g., various versions of LOTR box sets). They probably don't need your product now, but the point of purchase of a box set may be a good time to mention your product. Maybe a landing page that offers a "bookmark me for later" button would be useful in such situations.

If you have the ability to offer/sell coupons, you could also try selling those near the holidays -- then you are targeting all the people who just know someone with a big DVD library, potentially a bigger market than those who just have a big DVD library. I never want to buy a DVD for someone who has a large library, 'cause who knows if they already have a copy? A coupon for a DVD replacement sounds like more of a sure thing. This also sounds like a good candidate to get on people's annual lists of "presents for the person who has everything", though you have to start working those channels well in advance of Christmas.

You might also (going non-AdWords here) think of contacting people who sell significant volumes of used DVDs. Perhaps you could cut some deals where they include a coupon for a free DVD replacement to help boost confidence in their quality, but they only have to pay you if the customer actually redeems it.
 

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