How does Google AdWords work? Part 2

A week ago I started my AdWords campaign to promote the Flat Out Press website. Here's what I've learned about AdWords one week later.

AdWords is a way to place a small text-based ad next to the search results whenever someone uses your keywords in a google search. Google suggests a number of keywords based on the content of your ad. My product was "The Age of Hot Rods," with essays on Rods, Customs and Racing from the 1950s to today. You can see the ad in the left hand corner of the first picture, along with the keywords listed below.

The status screen here shows that my ad has appeared in google searches 16,784 times since last week. In addition to the google keyword searches, my ad showed up 15,339 times in google's "content network." I'm not 100% sure what that means, except the help says:
[Content network] shows how your ad performed on Google Network content sites relevant to your ad text and keywords.
Clicks, impressions, and costs from the content network are not attributed to individual keywords. Instead, this data is compiled into the 'Content network' row you see here.
I chose to show my ad only within Oregon. Google bases your location on your ISP's address (physical, or by mapping the IP address, I don't know). AdWords suggested a variety of keyword categories, and I chose about 20 words each from two of the categories.

Here's the nut of AdWords: your ad can show up thousands of times, but you only get charged by the number of clicks. In the past week only 15 people have clicked through to my web site. When they do, I get charged based on (a) how popular my ad words are, and (b) how many people have viewed the ads. If I chose some really popular ad words, it would cost more to get my ad higher in the search window.

From my data, it seems like "street rod" might be a more popular search than "1950s". The 1950s key word yielded 729 impressions, and 7 clicks to flatoutpress.com. Google has charged me $5.17, which is $.74 per click or $.008 per impression. Meanwhile "street rod" has showm my ad 238 time, and received 3 clicks. This cost me $2.65, or $.83 per click and .011 per impression. Seems to me like I should focus my keywords more on 1950s, and less on "street rod."

I'm still not sure why I have keywords where my ad has never showed up. Maybe I have to allocate a larger ad budget to get a wider spread. But, I don't see how to prioritize certain keywords over others. I guess you do that by reducing the number of keywords.

Speaking of budget, google has done a good job of keeping my ad in play. They have an heuristic that shows your ad paired to keyword searches until you reach the limit of your budget per day. So, if I have a budget of $50 per month, that means I can ring up about $1.67 in charges per day. If I get more clicks than that, then the ad stops running for the day.

There are also a couple nice graphs to track advertising results:

You get "Clicks per day", "Impressions per day", and "Cost per day" as well as the option to download your data into a spreadsheet. I'm not sure what the graphs really represent to me. I mean, when the "Cost Per Day" goes down, that's because I'm not getting any clicks.

Anyway, I got one sale from the web site, so that covered most of the $50 expense. Maybe next month I'll try another ad next month.

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