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Adwords for Artists - my journey. Part 3

Note: If you haven't read part 1 and part 2 of my series on Google's Adwords program then you should read those before continuing.

So many options - techno-fear!

My ad finally went live on Tuesday night (that's my ad on the right) and not only did I not have to take out a second mortgage (I don't even have a first mortgage... actually) but all my keyword choices were either lousy or pointless, or so I thought.

I'm going to admit I was completely overwhelmed by the Adwords Campaign Management pages. It all literally made my head spin (and I'm used to all this technical stuff). It didn't help that I was trying to make sense of it all at the end of the day either. In the end I decided to just leave everything as it was for a day.

If you decide to use Adwords I'd recommend you leave everything too for 24 hours after your first campaign goes live. The reason being, when I came back today my ad had been clicked seven times. Not earth shattering but better than Dan's (from Empty Easel) two clicks in two weeks. Apparently my keywords weren't all pointless after all.

The lesson here is to give your ad some time after it goes live because all that information you're confronted with is confusing and you may be tempted to fix things that aren't actually broken.

I won't go into detail about my keywords because these will be different for everyone. However closer inspection revealed that all seven clicks came from the same keyword phrase (or set), 'pictures of cats'. To get those seven clicks my ad was served more than 1100 times. Obviously a common search phrase as evidenced by the fact that, unless I significantly increase my five cent bid, my ad will no longer be served in search results (but it will still appear in the *content network, i.e. on web sites with related content).

In fact, by day two, all eighteen of my keyword phrases are inactive for search unless I raise my bid on each one to varying amounts. As well, eleven of my keyword phrases aren't even triggering my ad to be displayed. Could be because there are no sites with similar words, or my bid really is too low, or that no one is searching on these terms. It's hard to tell with everything inactive for search.

From here on I'll have to spend some time trialling different keywords, evaluating whether raising my bid is really cost effective and even trying differently worded ads (which doesn't cost any extra - so worth trying).

I'm not going to bore you with all the details of me trying to fine tune my ads. If you want an explanation of the Adwords interface then read Dan's series on Adwords. For now this is my final article about my initial experience.

Hopefully you've seen that, whilst there is a lot to learn, budget wise it is very manageable. You can learn the system for just AU$20.00 then once you feel a little more confident you can start fine tuning your ads (for which Google provides several optimization tools to help you).

Perhaps, some time in the future, maybe about a month from now, I'll write an update to let you know how things are going and whether Adwords has been a benefit to this site.

* Note that a day later, despite my ad not being active for search it had been displayed another 1000 or so times on the content network and netted another click.

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