Making your advertising complement what you’re already doing.
So you’ve made your ad. You’ve made sure it’s showing only to the right people in the right countries. You’ve already played with the Keyword Tool on AdWords once to see variations on the keywords you started out with and get rid of some you clearly don’t want. But you’re still not getting as much traffic as you want. You may need some new, more imaginative Keywords. What YOU think is a logical search string may not actually be what people are using to find you.
First off, see how people are actually finding you right now. You want your advertising to complement what you’re already doing. Many website hosting services have some sort of analytics service. You want to check out two main things here: search terms and inbound links.
If you don’t have such a service already, I suggest StatCounter which can show you the keywords people are using to find you. It is free to use. You want to see how people are finding you now and enhance what’s already working. Usually these will be fairly normal words that make perfect sense to you. The most common strings will probably be stuff that you would use yourself like “used books in X” or “buy X books.”
What you want to look at is stuff that’s further down the list. The stuff you’d never guess people would use. Looking at my current Keywords, I see a bunch of specific titles and one odd item that jumps out at me: “ways to relax”. Yes, reading a book IS a good way to relax. Perhaps an ad aimed specifically at that might do well.
Remember, most of the trackers show you a limited snapshot of time! Check back and see if things change! Depending on the service, you may also be able to increase the period of time you can look at. Generally pay services will offer more detailed information, but a free service is great if you’re just starting out.
The other thing you want look at is inbound links. Your statistics program will show you how often people enter through a specific link. This will often be dominated by a recent blog or forum post, a MySpace or Facebook link, a news story, etc. I can see, for example, that the top referrer to my website is BookShopBlog. This generates temporary traffic and gives you an idea who your site appeals to.
If it’s NOT a post you yourself made, it’s an even better indication of who’s interested in your site. Be sure to go see who linked to you and if possible, figure out why. Sometimes its obvious since its directly related to your business. Sometimes its an utter mystery…especially if the link is to a post in a language you don’t read. I still can’t figure out why a Mexican wrestling forum linked to my store at one point. I could figure out it was a site about luchadores… but other than that, I have no idea why they found my site interesting.
An easy way to find who links to you is to go to Google and type in “links to: Your Website Address Here”. This will show you the major sites that link to you. However, this won’t show you ALL the sites.
To find those, go though a link popularity checker. This will show you more long term links. The one through MarketLeap works very well and will let you compare the number of links to your site to other websites in the same industry. They also have some other fun free tools to play with. Get a cup of coffee or tea and spend an hour or so playing with them all.
Having looked at those, you’ve probably got some ideas for new keywords to try. Now, to the
Batcave AdWords to try them out!
A post from Nora O’Neill from Rainy Day Paperback Exchange
This post is a companion piece to her series on Using Adwords