Thanks for giving me some feedback yesterday about where you all first heard about CartoonSmart. Here’s why I was wondering, and yeah obviously it has to do with $$$…
I pay Google A LOT of money for advertising. I’ve written a couple times before about my love / hate relationship with PPC ads. I love traffic. I hate paying for it. But I also don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it either. Its like a tattoo, its there if I want to look at it, but what’s the point now. I can’t exist without my tattoos and I can’t really pick up new customers without Google. But I can scale back what I pay them, and I’ve been trying to figure out if its worth dropping some of my Content Network ads. If you don’t know….
Paying for Search ads on Google means someone has to search for specific terms I place ads on. Like “Flash tutorials”. Paying for ads on the Content Network is a bit more vague. In Glengarry-Glen Ross terms, the leads are weak. Ideally, the ad should appear on a site that has content related to what I’m advertising about. So someone might write “I need Flash tutorials” on a forum and my ad could show there. They might also write “anyone got a tutorial on installing a new flash for my camera” and its possible my ad would run for that. Which is okay, because I don’t actually pay for impressions (the ad being seen), I pay for the ad being clicked on.
So here’s the question… Why not just buy as many ads as possible? Since I’m only paying for clicks, and I’m assume they are somewhat qualified leads, like the person actually reads the ad and decides “I want to know more!” . Well Google answered this question for me pretty well the other day. My assumptions were probably a bit optimistic.
I started looking in the Network tab ( which I’m pretty sure is a new feature to Adwords ) and I could see some of the sites that were running my Content ads. A lot of non-English sites, a lot of Flash gaming sites geared toward 13 year olds, and some shareware/torrent type sites (great, right). So I was not happy. It was like finding out what was in Google’s secret sauce was poison. I excluded probably 100 sites from running our ads. Basically carpet-bombed a lot of advertising. But on the flip side, some of my campaigns did have a lot of domains listed in the Network tab that I could tell just from name alone, was fine. These were sites I’m familiar with that are definitely Flash or Adobe-heavy community sites.
Anyway, I was afraid I might have bombed some of the ads that brought in YOU. And I guess its possible, because I think I did wipe out about $30 worth of daily traffic, but I’m hoping its just click-crazy kids that were looking for Flash games.
And good news for anyone considering using Adwords, there is a lot more transparency in where your money goes. Its still not perfect, but a lot has been improved since… (runs to check) ….Feb 19, 2002 when I signed up. I bought 2 clicks that day (yesterday was 2,218).