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New to Adwords PPC

few questions to experienced people

3:19 pm on Sep 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Hello folks,

I have been lurking around for a while on Webmasterworld forums so I thought I would chime in and ask few questions about Adwords. It seems like here is lot of experienced ppl.

I'm not new into IM, I have been doing SEO for the last couple of years and I have made/still making a lot of money from it. However, I feel like I'm skilled but jaded...

While I believe I can make some long-term $$$ through SEO and affiliate marketing, I feel like I need to chime into new methods in order to put my eggs in different baskets + get more familiar with Adwords and its opportunities.

I would like to start promoting one digital service that I'm currently getting approx 100 leads per month (through SEO obviously). I'm not going to reveal this niche/service, but all I want is to scale this up.

Right now I have approx. $3000 p/m to burn, if needed I can burn even more, but what I want is to fully master Adwords as well get a decent ROI at the end of 2-3rd month.

So far I have learned what is QS, adgroups, CTR and all this kind of stuff which is very basic I believe. However, I have still few things that I'm not so SURE about:

1) Does Adwords tolerate legitimate affiliate sites? What I mean by that is that my site (which I'm going to create) will provide value/knowledge/information that would most likely HELP my visitors. I'm not promoting some random CB product, I'm promoting a service which helps to get ppl going. For example: Aweber or SpyFu (something similar to that).

2) Does Adwords tolerate completely fresh/new sites that have no previous presence nor backlinks/social shares etc..? Obviously I'm going to make it look natural as possible by adding tel. number, skype contact, about me, privacy policy + helpful blog posts at the end of my tutorial.

3) I have absolutely no idea what is going to be my conversion rate, but the rough average CPC for the main keywords that I'm chasing for are $1-$3. The affiliate payout is $150. One of my sites gets approx 1000 hits from search (several different similar keywords) and is making 4-5 sales per day ($600 - $750). However, I have seen Ads from competitors for the very same keywords and they have been there for months if not years - so there is probably a positive ROI for some people at least.

4) As I mentioned earlier, I have approx $100 - $200 to burn per day. I'm not going to contextual/display network since I believe this is way too overkill for Adwords beginner. I'm strictly aiming search - am I doing right by choosing this path?

5) Broad, Phrase or Exact? I'm not sure which one should I pick. Right now I'm thinking about exact - just need to scrape 100-200 keywords that I believe are somewhat profitable... Any tips for that? Or maybe I should try phrase instead?

6) Any good software/tool for TRACKING and spying for competitors? I have heard good things about prosper202, but is there a better(easier) way to track your Adwords PPC campaign? About spying I have heard some good things about SpyFu & SEMrush.

7) Is it also wise to display your ads to other countries? Like google.pl, google.fi, google.se etc? I believe the conversion rate can be lower for such countries, but the CPC is lower as well. I saw one guy strictly promoting his similar offer for foreign countries not to the mainstream (com,ca,co.uk).

Any other things to keep my eyes on? I don't know what "negative keywords" are, but I believe if I'm going for exact match search then it's not necessarily needed, right? I'll just check my ROI and will weed out the ones that are not generating any sales.

11:38 pm on Sept 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I would start with one of the dummies books. I'm not being derogatory, I'm talking about the books with the signature yellow and black covers.
12:35 am on Sept 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

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don't know what "negative keywords" are

Negative keywords are words that you block because they are off target in some way.

A simple example:

If you were promoting designer widgets, searchers looking for used widgets might be unsuitable traffic for you. If you wanted to bid on more than just exact match searches, you could block the word "used" to prevent your ad from being shown on searches that mentioned used widgets.

Other words to block might be "vintage", "antique", "recall", "repairs", "lawsuit", "lyrics" and lots more. People who include such words in their searches are looking for something other than what you've got, so showing your ads to them would seldom lead to a sale.

You're right that you don't have to worry about negative keywords if you're only bidding on exact match, but on the other hand you might limit your exposure a lot if you only bid on exact match searches.

A well-developed set of negative keywords can let you bid on broad and phrase match to catch wider exposure yet still keep a lid on unsuitable impressions and clicks.

Re search versus display network: be sure to set up different campaigns to keep them separate.
9:52 pm on Oct 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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"A well-developed set of negative keywords can let you bid on broad and phrase match to catch wider exposure yet still keep a lid on unsuitable impressions and clicks" is VERY true. You don't want to limit yourself. Build a full negative keyword list and keep things on broad match/phrase match and run search query reports very often. Doing this will allow you to see what people are searching on and if they don't relate to you, add them to your negative keyword list. Lather, rinse, repeat :)

It is also key to have ads that relate to the terms in each ad group and a landing page with relevant terms as well. This will then lead to better quality scores and hopefully lower CPCs.

I've been in this industry for 8++ years, so feel free to ask more. :) Good luck.
7:36 pm on Oct 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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One big advantage of "broad match" keywords: It can serve as a research tool for good keywords as well as negative keywords.
See results in your account: Keywors > Details > Searchterms >Selected (once you have a reasonable number of clicks). Its not the cheapest way to learn, but it saves time.
In this way you will get faster into it, if your exact keyword does not give enough impressions or its ROI may not be attractive.
Switching off display network: Good for the beginning. Even later: Start a new campaign for trying it out separately: One for search only, one for display only.
5:04 am on Oct 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

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If you are serious about making money via Adwords, go through the materials in the Adwords certification course.
9:27 pm on Oct 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

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1) Yes, but inexperience often blinds affiliates into not recognizing low quality in their own baby. If you promote things like you mentioned, you'll likely run afoul of Google's policies.

2) Yes!

3a) Use outbound linking events in Analytics as a proxy for sales. And / or use dynamic afftrack / subID parameters to track sales manually. It's more work to marry the data when it's diverse systems, but flying blind is no way to fly.

3b) "I have absolutely no idea what is going to be my conversion rate"
Then running PPC is not a good move on your part. I don't mean to insult, but if you literally mean what you said, it would be a stupid move to run paid search.

4) Search is generally superior to Display, because of buying intent. But your costs will be higher there too, more competition. Spend is a poor competitive metric, ROAS is better - and on that front, there's no way to predict which will be better for you. It is true that Display is a steep learning hill to climb, but Search is too. Pick one, but don't imagine it's the easier one (they're both difficult), you're picking one to lessen the chances of failure - climb one learning hill, not two at the same time.

5) Start with exact only, then add some phrase if you're doing well, then add some Mod Broad. Skip Broad for the next few years, you can thank me later.

6) I almost always see people looking for shortcuts, fail. And not modest failures, but slaughterings. Give that some thought. Your site is different than others, there's little reason to believe that competitive intelligence, even if it were perfect (it's not, ha!), will help you compete. This game is more like golf - YOU are your own worst enemy.

7) The question you ask is way to broad for anyone to answer. Cautious testing is called for. I suggest you let your experience build up, before you try to conquer countries foreign to your own. There are simply too many things that can go wrong. Don't swim in the deep end, try out the ladder's first rung for a few months. Then, slowly reach for the second rung.

Good luck, you're going to need it! Your questions are so basic, you're walking into a vast shark tank wearing sardine cologne.