My Thoughts on Adwords

Adwords is not something I particulary like using.

I mean the price you have to pay per click for popular terms is just too high, so you end up looking for the more unusual, long tail terms, which is theory should enjoy a better success rate (you can tailor your landing page to the exact search term matched and so more easily convert the visitor).

But people I think have become used to the sites that appear in the natural searches (left hand side of Google page) are richer in content than those that only appear on the right hand side, or the top, where the sponsored links area is located. My friend Davina, who has just ventured out onto the web with a little brochure site (and has yet to realise she needs to spend more for the web to work for her) asked me a question about Adwords yesterday. She figured that maybe paying for people to come to her brochure site would be a good idea. 

This is what I said. Just my opinion of course.


 
Hi Dav

I (personally) don’t believe in using Adwords based on the way I advocate web site building. I’ll explain and you can then decide if Adwords suits you.

To get the best out of Adwords  you would need to spend a considerable amount of time learning the techniques to use with Adwords – probably 2 – 3 days of your time, or pay someone who really knows how to do it to set it up for you. I do it for one of my clients as he insists on using it.  It costs him £200 per month and even though I have proved to him that we are getting 95% of sales from the natural search engines and that only a few sales come from his £200 adwords spend per month, but he still keeps it.  I guess the £200 spend must make financial sense to him.  However the reason we have been able to get sales from natural search is because we have put so much effort into growing his site with quality content.

Adwords can be a solution for people who don’t see the value in working on their web sites to get their ranking up in the natural search results.  You pay every time someone clicks, but they may not buy. If the site owner does not want to improve his site significantly over time in order to get it into the rankings naturally, it means their site is going to be no more than a brochure site – fairly empty – i.e. not worth anyone coming to.

So you pay to get someone to click, then they get to the site, find it wanting – lean on information, hardly anything to see or read, so they leave. So my view, is unless you are selling something that only requires only or two pages to get people’s attention (some unbelievable offer), Adwords is a waste of money.

Adwords works well if you have a brilliant site (loads of information, features, articles etc) and you have massive competition from competitors where you  cannot rank well in the search engines because their web sites are even better than yours.  And if you have a product that makes you a lot of money. Then you can maybe afford to outbid your competitors on pay per click, but you’ll be paying in excess of £1 per click on popular phrases.

The only way to pay less is to bid on unpopular phrases. Which means you’ll catch the people who type in tangential search terms to your main search term. This is where the expertise in setting up adwords comes into it.

People searching online want information – they only ever visit a site to solve a problem and a site with only a few pages can’t in itself solve a problem so they go onto one that will give them the free info they need. This translates into you having to give away lots of free information all the time. When people see this and they find they have hundreds of pages to search for what they need to know, they start to trust you, Google starts to index you naturally and you end up being an authority on your niche. 

So yes – you can use adwords, but it would be a waste of money, in your case, at this point in time.  If however you have some sort of free voucher you can try it for yourself and see.

Use Twitter To Promote Your Blog

There are obvious ways to use Twitter to promote your blog. If you have written a particularly good post you can try tweeting it.

Twitter is a fantastic tool – and if you don’t get it, you probably will eventually if you ever take that first step and start using it. It helps when you start finding like minded people who you follow, or who follow you. And it can be fun and useful, when people start replying to you.

If you find something out that would be of interest to a large number of people around the world, and if you  are quick enough, tweet it. Or tweet each new blog posting you write automatically via a Twitter plugin.

I noticed on Twitter, that Aaron Wall’s Twitter page (he of SEOBook fame), had been set up to reflect the branding on his main web site.

So I did the same thing. Most people just use shiny wallpaper, so you’ll be one of very few doing this if you decide to brand your twitter page. I am promoting a new blog at dailywebtools.com, and so put the colour scheme and name Daily Web Tools blog up as the background to my twitter page.

Nice huh?

Now anyone that meets me via Twitter may decide to go along and check out the blog.

Visit My New Blog – Daily Web Tools

I started a new blog at the beginning of July – where I focus on a web site, tip or tool which I think would benefit the online web marketer, web designer or internet entrepreneur.

Here is an up to date feed from the site which you can find at dailywebtools.com

Current RSS Feed From DailyWebTools

Earn Your First $10 Online – Start Now – It’s Free

You Can Start Now And It Costs You Nothing Other Than Your Time

You really have nothing to lose.  You could spend months wondering if, or you could keep telling yourself that one day you’ll give it a go. At earning an income online.

If you have absolutely no clue how to do this, now is your opportunity to start something. It’s free to do, it started only on 1st August 2008 – so you are really not too late, it’ll take you until the end of August and you will emerge a different person from the one that started the course.

It’s called the Thirty Day Challenge and is orchestrated by Ed Dale – an Australian online marketer who, once per year gives anyone who wants it the chance to learn about, and start to, make a living online.

But Why Would Ed Do That?

Well, for the sceptics amongst you – Ed will make money in the end – he already does using his expertise online. This exercise markets Ed the person but he is doing this because being a wealthy smart guy doesn’t mean you have to be a mean git.

I know there are some people who think that last statement is untrue. I’ve got a friend who never does anything because he thinks everything is a con.

I guess a lot of people are like that.

Well, Ed Dale isn’t out to con anyone. He actually enjoys the process of teaching others and of course the online fame that brings him. Stop asking yourself why he would do it and take advantage of the opportunity.

What To Do When You Start a New WordPress Blog

Daily Web ToolsI started a new blog on 1st July. It’s called Daily Web Tools and I will be adding a new post at least every weekday.

Daily Web Tools is a blog that will be of interest to webmasters, especially those who are new to the game of running, writing and maintaining their own web sites.

Please subscribe to it now as via it, I’ll deliver a useful website or software tool every day to your feed reader.

At the moment it contains precisely 10 posts. But I want to set it up so that it will become more popular as I add more posts.

This is what I am doing to achieve that in the first few days. If you have any other suggestions, please add them here.

Beginners Steps To Blog Promotion

Set The Blog Up As A WordPress Blog

WordPress is a fabulous tool, it’s free to install, and is infinitely customizable using plugins, widgets and good old code edits (if you are able). And even if you are not. It is still worth using.

Set The Blog Up On WordPress.org

In other words self-host the blog. Forget about wordpress.com because it is too limiting. Your choice of theme is limited, and you can’t add plugins at will, and you are unable to apply any SEO techniques to improve the site’s search engine visibility. Further, at the time of writing you are not able by any normal means, to monetize your hosted blog.

Pick a Nice Theme

I always start a blog off with Neil Merton’s Web2.0 Theme. It’s clean, clever, and customizable. And did I mention, it has no images. But very soon after launch . . . . . . get an appropriate theme written for you by someone on eLance (or some other outsourcing website). Better to do this a few weeks in, when you have decided how you want your new, constantly expanding, blog to look.

Write Posts As Frequently As Possible

On Daily Web Tools I am deliberately aiming to write every day. This helps your blog get noticed, especially if what you write is of real use to your target audience. Do this for a few days, then start the publicising task.

First Steps – Blog To Do List

  1. Set up a gravatar and add a gravatar plugin
  2. Add a Google Analytics plugin so that you can monitor your traffic, starting with no traffic
  3. Add a plugin to help with SEO – like All in One SEO
  4. Add the Askimet plugin to handle spam or you’ll drown in it
  5. Add the Sociable plugin to promote within the social media sites
  6. Add the What Would Seth Godin Do Plugin
  7. Add a Google Sitemaps plugin for both XML and HTML, then sign up to Google’s Webmaster Tools to associate it with the sitemap. Proceed to monitor the report you get there.
  8. Add a Related Posts plugin
  9. Go Settings/Writing and add a number of update services. A great list can be found here.
  10. Set Up FeedBurner and burn your feeds, including the comments
  11. In the settings/writing admin panel on WordPress, add a number of ping services that are relevant to your blog in the ping services box.
  12. Go to Technorati and claim your blog
  13. Add your blog to MyBlogLog, and then try to visit other blogs within MyBlogLog and get your gravatar noticed.
  14. Sign up to Google Alerts for your keywords and use this to give yourself ideas about what to blog about.
  15. Set an hour per day aside to read other people’s blogs within your market sector and comment where you can add value
  16. Make a commitment to write regularly – either every week day, or once per week, depending on the type of blog you have started. The more often you post, the more chance your blog has of being noticed.
  17. Once you have a decent number of posts, start to submit your blog to blog directories.