Google Adwords paying off for anyone?

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Postby Guest » 10/11/07 09:19 PM

For fifteen years I worked with two or three agents who ran me mainly on the weekends, now with this "internet thing", I find myself trying to sell myself. I'm better at entertaining than marketeer..ing. Yesterday I started a Google Pay per click campaign. Any help?
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Postby Ian Kendall » 10/12/07 12:17 AM

I tried this a year to so ago, to very little success, but that's more because I didn't know what I was doing - I tried to target my ads to Edinburgh, but apparantly I was popping up on various Australian newspaper sites...in the end I got a bill and no leads.

However, Kevin McMahon uses it with much better results, but he pays a lot more each month. Also, he got a professional to set things up for him, which would appear to be essential.

There are various web based folk who will offer advice and help, usually at a fee.

Take care, Ian
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Postby Guest » 10/12/07 12:29 AM

This is right up my alley. I was the manager for the online marketing team at Network Solutions and they are partners with Google, so I used to talk to people everyday about this.

I can't give you specific advise because each campaign is different and I don't know your goals/budget for this, but I can give you some advice and steer you to a couple of resources.

As a campaign AdWords is only going to be as effective as the work you're willing to put into it. It's not as simple as it seems and is easy to dismiss as not effective after a short time.

The first thing you should do is look at your competition. Search for the keywords someone looking for your service would and see what sites pop under the sponsored listings. Look at their sites and compare them to yours. Your potential customers will be doing that.

I see that you're in New York and doing a search for a New York magician brought up quite a few AdWords' results. You probably want to do some geo-targeting and localize your campaign. Target specific cities.

Next is what you really need to do is run several campaigns. One for general show, one that is holiday specific, another if you're targeting kid shows or corporate shows. By running multiple campaigns, it's easier to measure the effectiveness of the ad and the campaign.

Do keyword research and see what people are really looking for. Google provides a tool for that.

Coming back to your website, it can have an impact on the campaign. Google wants relevancy - be it in the natural/organic listings or in the AdWords. Google has a separate bot that looks at your ad, follows it to the site and scores it based on keyword relevancy. This can impact your position on the page and the cost per click. It used to be that the more you were willing to pay per click, the better your position is. This is not the case any more.

AdWords has an official blog worth reading: http://adwords.blogspot.com/

I would also recommend Search Engine Optimization for Dummies - it's a great book with an excellent chapter on Pay Per Click advertising.

Search Google for "AdWord Basics" and "adwords keyword relevancy" and that too will bring up some resources. Stay away from the sales sites that promise you everything with their system for only $97 (including bonus ebooks) - you know the kind of sites I'm talking about.

You should also be using Google Analytics to help track your site's traffic. This ties in perfectly with AdWords.

Let me know if you have any questions.
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Postby Guest » 10/12/07 08:05 AM

Steve, Thanks...Most of the research has been done. The Search..For Dummies book was pretty helpful, as was all the Google self help videos.
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Postby Guest » 12/13/07 12:09 PM

Max,

This is one of those things that I wish worked as well as it should.

As an old published marketing professor, former booking and talent management agency owner, and professional entertainer with nearly fifty years in the industry, I'm unimpressed with the internet's success here for professional services marketing. (My PhD. dissertation was on Professional Services Marketing.)

The internet is likely a much better tool for the beginner than a pro. That is certainly true if agencies will handle your bookings. That is because the internet is much better at identifying suspects than prospects. I am usually booked out about a year in advance and just dont have time to deal with suspects. A beginner may need those leads. As the entertainer matures in the industry, references are more useful than leads and actually are the better source of leads. The emphasis in booking new prospects for an established professional entertainer is as filler between sold dates with repeat accounts. The new ones are not the bread and butter of the industry.

Booking agents (good ones) are many times more productive than the internet at keeping you employed with higher end bookings and the repeat accounts that write good checks. Unfortunately, poor credit and internet use are a too common combination for novice talent buyers. Agents will help you avoid these problems on page one. The talent buyers that are undependable or not creditworthy are typically identified very early in the game by good agents. Established professional talent buyers know that using agents doesnt cost them anything. Beginners and amateurs buying talent dont know that or any good agents either. They may go to the internet.

I wish you luck. You sound like a seasoned professional that may be better off with agents. However, you may also be changing target markets and starting over. The internet may help there to give you some new leads.

Since the middle 70s I have also been commercially involved with computer delivered products. Most of the people I encounter in the internet marketing business are into website building. That is an important step but a far cry from professional marketing. I think of it as the art department of an ad agency. By the time it gets there, the brainwork should have done by people qualified to do that strategic marketing long before the website is even considered.

Dont let the costs of dealing with lurkers put you out of the entertainment business. Most email is still some level of SPAM!

Keep us posted!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
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Postby NCMarsh » 12/13/07 01:38 PM

My first month using AdWords I had a very significant return on my investment...and since then it has more than paid for itself...so, yes, it can certainly be worthwhile...

Your site needs to be designed to generate leads...that doesn't mean that you have to have the hokey red headlines and exclamation marks of infomercial copy-writing...but you need it to grab attention and make people want to take action now, and make it as easy as possible for them to take action...

If you are just starting to self-book, it is important to realize that there is no one magic approach that is going to build a business...you need multiple levers that are all working at the same time: referrals and repeat work, ad words, cold-calling, networking, mailing, etc...

No single tool is going to build a business
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Postby 000 » 08/22/08 04:59 AM

What about Google Adsense................any money to be made from these? Thanks so long.
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Postby MaxNY » 08/22/08 12:17 PM

Hi, yes, I started this thread about a year ago. As a quick update, last week Google raised my cost-per-click from $1 a click to $10 a click. When I got a rep on the line, they said it was because my "landing site" didn't score well. I in fact have a crappy website. There are no bells or whistles, no bling blings or flip witches, no labyrinth, no smack the monkey...just simple info.... Google expected me to grow my company about 1000% in a year. I wanted to warn everyone that if you are thinking about paying Google adwords a dime, think twice. I should have spent the $1000 on a guru who could have helped me develope Organic (left sided) Google...for free.
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Postby 000 » 08/22/08 01:32 PM

Thanks............I was referring to Adsense, where youre the one getting paid per click.
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Postby MagicWhiz » 08/22/08 03:35 PM

MaxNY

Google adwords gets you exposure on the correct keywords as soon as possible...vs. working on SEO to get your site in the the ranks of google. This process takes a lot more time and patience. But the outcome of being first on google (left side) with the keywords that youre aiming for is a great return.
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Postby SteveP » 08/26/08 01:03 PM

MaxNY wrote:Hi, yes, I started this thread about a year ago. As a quick update, last week Google raised my cost-per-click from $1 a click to $10 a click. When I got a rep on the line, they said it was because my "landing site" didn't score well. I in fact have a crappy website. There are no bells or whistles, no bling blings or flip witches, no labyrinth, no smack the monkey...just simple info.... Google expected me to grow my company about 1000% in a year. I wanted to warn everyone that if you are thinking about paying Google adwords a dime, think twice. I should have spent the $1000 on a guru who could have helped me develope Organic (left sided) Google...for free.


Max,

Bottom line, what's going on is this - Google wants to return relevant results to searchers, whether that is on an organic listing or a paid listing. They have a separate Adwords bot that crawls your page to see how relevant it is compared to the ad and the keywords you're bidding on.

It used to be that as long as you paid more than your competition, you could outrank them on the sponsored listings. That is no longer the case. The person on top can be paying a lot less than you are simply because the content on their page is more relevant than what's on your page.

While SEO takes time, the "best practices" procedures you would use for SEO, will also benefit you in sponsored listings.

I worked in this industry for several years and managed a team of online marketing strategists. Because we did millions of dollars of business with Google, we were trained by Google, not only at our location in St. Louis, but also at Google's headquarters.

Online marketing will continue to evolve and continue to be frustrating for those who don't keep up with the latest changes in the industry.
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Postby MaxNY » 08/27/08 10:17 PM

Thanks go to all the guys for their input. This week Google lowered me back down to $1 a click. I guess, after I really questioned them hard. They have been getting bad press today from the local NEWS radio station here in NY WCBS88. They seemed to have upped many small buisness owners in the past weeks, and have been hurt by blogs like this rant, and others. I told them I will take that $1000 and pass it onto to someone else, and so I am trying Yahoo Local for a month. Today I recieved a call from www.selllocal.com, claiming to guarantee me first page Google (left side) within 70 miles, for a dollar a day...I might take them up on that.
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Postby Jack Turk » 09/12/08 12:58 PM

I really think how well Adwords works depends on the
market you're targetting. I run a very effective campaign
for Birthday Party shows using Adwords, which definitely
pays for itself several times over month after month.

Birthday Parties are great for this technology as the
target audience -- women in their late 20s and early 30s --
are very much web-savvy and prone to use the net to search
for solutions for little Johnny's party.

I've heard other friends say they're getting good results
from using Adwords in other markets... e.g., corporate...
however, I'm not as convinced there. I have gotten some
gigs (e.g., a Tommy Hilfiger grand opening) from my
Adwords campaign, I'm still not 100% persuaded that
traditional methods (as mentioned earlier) wouldn't work
just as well.

You need to write good ads that consider what the person
searching has in mind (i.e., the keyword(s)), and you
also need to have a great landing page connected to that
ad that carries forward the conversation you just began.

If you don't adequately do either of these, your campaign
will fall flat.

You also need to continually monitor your results and
adjust your ads (and methinks...) your landing page(s)
accordingly.

To the question about Adsense -- in my opinion, Do NOT
use Adsense on any website that you're using to market
your services. It makes you look desperate for revenue.
That is NOT the positioning you want to be taking when
selling your services.

--Jack
"59 Ways to Recession Proof Your Entertainment Business -- FREE!"
http://GetLeadsLikeCrazy.com
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Postby 000 » 09/13/08 10:29 AM

Question for you web savvies?

Lets say your website is called (eg) www.birthdaymagician.com
If someone does a search and enters 'birthday' + 'magician' ( ie your keywords are an exact match as the name of your website, will that search AUTOMATICALLY lead to your site?

Thanks
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Postby mrgoat » 09/13/08 11:12 AM

000 wrote:Question for you web savvies?

Lets say your website is called (eg) www.birthdaymagician.com
If someone does a search and enters 'birthday' + 'magician' ( ie your keywords are an exact match as the name of your website, will that search AUTOMATICALLY lead to your site?

Thanks


No.

But it will help massively.

Basically, you need a good keyword domain, good title and H1 tags, good quality inbound links, and have relevant content that is updated regularly. And even then if it is a competitive market you are in, you still may not even hit the first 10 pages of google on certain terms.

There is no way to automatically lead someone to your site.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 09/13/08 11:22 AM

I think the way Google ranks web sites, you also have to have a lot of other sites linking to your website.
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Postby 000 » 09/13/08 12:10 PM

Thank you both.
So then if the site was hypothetically called www.mybirthdaymagician.com and the person typed 'birthday' and 'magician' then depending on your keywords/links etc you may outrank www.birthdaymagician.com ?
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Postby NCMarsh » 09/13/08 03:04 PM

SEO seems much more intimidating than it really is. A local chamber here, as part of small business week, did a workshop on SEO led by a guy from the small business development council about a year and a half ago. I applied what he taught, and -- after time elapsed -- I am now #2 in google organic search for the keyword I targeted. It is learnable, and I'd look for similar opportunities in your community to learn it without hiring an SEO guru. (and, honestly, the impact on my business of having the high organic rank with this keyword hasn't been significant)

BTW, if you're going to hire an SEO person, "search engine optimization" is one of the most competitive keywords -- one of the most difficult to get strong SEO on. So, if you want to find an SEO person who really knows what they're doing...

I think as magicians, and as small business people in general, we have a tendency to look for the one marketing technique to grow our business (and usually, we're looking for the one technique that's going to grow our business without us having to face being rejected by a prospect).

I have a lot yet to learn about this business...but I think that one big truth is that you want to have as many levers going as possible...staying in front of current and past clients (your best prospects), networking, direct mail, SEO, online advertising, and cold calling...so that you keep a steady pipeline of new prospects and you never put yourself -- or the prospect -- in a high pressure situation where you have to close on this show in order to get your nut for the month...

So, I guess what I'm trying to say: if you are working a market (and, from what Jack writes, it sounds like birthdays may be this kind of market) where clients are primarily starting from a web search...then, by all means, invest the time and money in search-based lead generation...but, if you're in a different market and you don't yet have strong, on-going efforts in cold-calling, networking, and mailing; it will be a waste of time and money to throw your emphasis into SEO before you've built the fundamentals...

I've also noticed that prospects who come to me from a web search are frequently commodity buyers -- i.e. they see "a magician" as a generic commodity and are looking for the lowest price on one...so that's something to be aware of too when deciding how much focus you want to put on SEO...

Good luck,

N.
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Postby 000 » 09/13/08 04:01 PM

thank you,

Lets say I was a birthday magician,( hypothetically) and www.birthdaymagician.com is registered, and for sale.( it's not, its available)
If I want to be high on the list, would I be as good of with a site say wwww.mybirthdaymagician.com ( available and for free) OR would I be much better of with firstmentioned site?

Thanks again
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Postby mrgoat » 09/13/08 09:55 PM

that alone would not be a massive factor I would think
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Postby 000 » 09/15/08 08:41 AM

Thank you Mr Goat. How come sometimes when i do a google word search i get taken straight to a site?
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Postby mrgoat » 09/15/08 09:58 AM

000 wrote:Thank you Mr Goat. How come sometimes when i do a google word search i get taken straight to a site?


Sorry, I have no idea what you mean.

You go to google, you search, you get the google search results. You don't 'get taken straight to a site'...

?
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Postby Joe Pecore » 09/15/08 10:05 AM

You do if you click on the "I'm feeling luck" button. http://www.google.com

Some browsers like firefox remove that button
http://www.google.com/firefox?client=fi ... S:official
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Reason: typo
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Postby 000 » 09/16/08 08:49 AM

Thanks, last question

Does anyone know how much bandwidth (MB per hour)one goes through when listening to audio streaming on internet radio?
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Postby mrgoat » 09/16/08 09:04 AM

Joe Pecore wrote:You do if you click on the "I'm feeling luck" button. http://www.google.com

Some browsers like firefox remove that button
http://www.google.com/firefox?client=fi ... S:official





Oh, well yes. If you do that it takes you to the top link.
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