I turn 26 this Friday. That is young, but I have roughly the maximum worthwhile experience with the graphical web. The stories I will tell my children involve dialup, abhorrent browser incompatibilities, and, yes, how Google changed the web.
Yet, up until recently, I had never ran a Google Ad campaign. I don’t have anything to sell yet, so I figured it was fruitless to pay for traffic. Then I decided I could learn a lot about how people behave online by sending them to Amazon, where I can essentially sell them anything and collect a small percentage through Amazon Associates.
This all came to me the Thursday before Mothers Day, so I decided to focus my mini campaign ($5 of clicks per day) around a couple items someone might purchase for Mom: chocolates and Oprah’s O Magazine. It turns out the first of these is much, much more popular.
The first day started off well, with commissions barely covering my costs, which I expected. I figured on a ten percent conversion rate and I was on target. The second day I kept the same conversion rate, but lost money. And the final two days were the nail in the coffin, as the graph and table below show.
|Days in May||6||7||8||9|
- The choice of popular keywords like chocolate, godiva, etc. meant I needed to choose something a bit more gourmet than the $10 box of candies. I never did sell the $70 spectacle to which I linked, but folks did settle on ~$30 items.
- I wasn’t too far off with my conversions the first half of the campaign, but the lower commisions were the culprit. I would have been better off figuring 5% conversion or expecting half the price.
- Also, I suspect that my 0% conversion on Sunday was due to shoppers being optimistic enough to click, but then realizing that they were really too late with their gift for mom.
- I might have been better off going for a small-but-sustainable long tail campaign than clamoring about with everyone else trying to capture those last minute shoppers.