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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Does AdWords scale?

I just started using AdWords for my fairly low priced product ($25).  I get a decent click-through ratio (5%), and set a modest daily budget of $10.  So far this month I've sold two copies via AdWords, so $50 for $60 of AdWords or so.  Google tells me I am running through my budget early and should increase.  The question I have is, from your experience will my results scale?  So if I spend $20 a day, will I get twice as many sales, even more sales, or even less?  And if my budget is $5 a day, will I get half as many sales?
AdWords Noob
Sunday, January 06, 2008
I sell low priced software as well. Your daily budget is similar to my one.

Unfortunately Google Adwords does not scale.

You need to do the following:

1) Add your software to as many download sites as possible including download.com (use upload.com for adding software) and tucows.com. Tucows is old now, but I still get a few referrals from there.

2) Don't spam, but mention your software product on some newsgroups and blogs.

3) Start your own blog and forum.

4) Add human readable content to your website. Add your help file to your website.

5) Try to get clicks organically.

Don't be a sap. Of course Google will tell you to increase your daily budget. They want to make as much money from you as possible. Also from my experience Google's Adwords algorithmns are not the best in the world.

I sell business software, but Google Adwords internally thinks my website is to do with hotels and bed and breakfasts and Google Adwords recommends I add hotel type keywords!!!!!
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Most importantly of all, remove the Content Network from your campaign settings.


In my experience if you daily budget is being exhaused early on in the day, it is because the Content Network is using up all your budget, leaving none left for the search network.

It is up to you. You can spend all your time messing around with the Content Network or you can spend your time writing new software and being productive.

Play the Google game and mess around with marketing or write software. The choice is yours.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Such rotten advice is music to my ears.
your competitor
Sunday, January 06, 2008
If you just recently started doing adwords.. and ahvent really perfected the art then you can improve your stats very dramaticly.. 

Your stats sound like my stats back in the day :)  ehhe 6months or so ago.


90% of my traffic is from google paid clicks.

I pay about $100 per month on adwords.. at about 5c per click.

tightly choosen keywords.. 
my daily budget is set to $15.00 total from about 6 different compaigns i'm running.

I get about 20-22 sales per month from my $100.00 adwords budget...  Sadly  I cant never get it to hit my 15$ dialy budget otherwise i'd get a ton more sales..  it averages about 3$ per day in budget use.

my product sells for $35.00

looking at my stats..  i got 26 sales in the last 30days. of wich 22 are tracked back to google adwords cpc..

I'd say thats a very nicely performing comaping statistic..

pay 100$  get  $35.00 x 22 - processor fee. good return right?

well.. i think it still has room for improvement.

I just read patrics post about the usage of content networks..

i created a separate comapiang for content network.on its won. with a 1.00 daily budget..  and already got 1 sale from content network.  I think i need to learn more about tweaking the content network campaign.  overallclickthrough is something like 0.02% :( probably cus I put the $ amount of my app in the ad itself.. so clickers are willing to pay :)

anyways..  keep at it.. adwords it a great source of revenue.  its eight going to work for you.. or its not at all.. 

given that you already see results..  i'd say ur on the right track.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
oh.. and i'd say mess with marketing.. rather than writing a new software..
becase..  no matter how good your software is.. or how many different products you have up for sale its no good if no one sees it..

lear to market.. now that you have 1 porduct to work with.. then once thats up and running on its own..  build a 2nd prodcut.. that said.. i'm still on my first product..  no ideas yet for another product.. still thinking :)

"if you build it, they will come" does not apply to software sales ;).  I learned that the hard way.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Markito, are you Stucko?  You remind me a lot of him.
A fan
Sunday, January 06, 2008
AdWords certainly *can* scale, but there are many circumstances in which it won't scale up by a factor of X with a budget increase of a factor of X.  You might be saturating the keywords you have picked, or you could have a hole in the bucket.  (For example, if are running the Content Network without Conversion Optimizer, it is entirely possible to end up on a scam site and watch it siphon off huge portions of your daily budget.  Been there, done that, lost enough money to pay for several T-shirts.)

A +1 to Markito, by the way: you can generally improve your performance on AdWords quite a bit by optimizing.  It just takes a lot of testing and a lot of time to get right, and it is maddeningly non-transparent at times.  (Many of the defaults are set to values that help Google more than the typical advertiser, by the way.  Content Network defaulting to on in a new campaign is the best example, since blending Content and Search in a campaign has a high risk of disaster.)
Patrick McKenzie (Bingo Card Creator) Send private email
Sunday, January 06, 2008
No, it doesn't scale.  The price is exponential.  Think about it this way: Those first few hundred clicks cost $0.05 each.  But to get the next few hundred you've got to beat more and more competitors in the bids and ranking.  That means your costs might go up to $0.10 per click.  To get the next few hundred you've got to beat even more competition who are already spending more.  And so it continues as you try to get more and more of the remaining clicks.

Note: What I've said above is all for a given set of keywords.

Once you're paying as much as you feel comfortable on your primary keywords, it's time to start branching out and going for other keywords.  Andy Brice has a great blogpost about what he calls "snowflakes" -- those onsie/twosie keywords that aren't hit often, but are dirt cheap. 

Another good way to do this while staying focused is to use phrases instead of keywords.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Oh, shameless plug time, if you keep an eye out at adwords.blogspot.com this week Google will be featuring Bingo Card Creator as one of their examples of success for using the Conversion Optimizer, on the Content Network specifically.
Patrick McKenzie (Bingo Card Creator) Send private email
Sunday, January 06, 2008
I've only had limited success with AdWords to date. HOWEVER, I have been trawling through the stats it produces on click thru's and the like, as it's identified a lot of words and phrases where my site ranks poorly in the Google search results. I will be addressing this over the coming year!

I'd also point out that AdWords is great to build brand awareness. Certainly in my field of developer tools, I'm much more likely to buy a product I've previously seen in an adwords ad.
Dr GUID Send private email
Monday, January 07, 2008
BTW, I'll also add that cracking marketing is much much much more important than cranking out new products/tweaking existing ones. Getting your pricing right is also crucial, we uISV owners generally put way too low a price on our efforts.
Dr GUID Send private email
Monday, January 07, 2008
You won't know unless you try. Slowly scale it up and see where it goes. At this point we're now spending several hundred dollars per month on Google Adwords alone, and we plan to continue increasing it.

You basically won't know unless you try. And remember your conversion ratio is more important than your CTR!
Stephane Grenier Send private email
Wednesday, January 09, 2008

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