Back in January of 2005 I decided to start using Google AdWords to promote dream.in.code (this site). For those that don't know, Google AdWords are the advertisements you see when you search google, or when you visit other websites and see "Ads by Gooooooooogle". Companies pay per click, or per thousand impressions to run ads based on keywords they choose.
I started out small with $50 and each month I've added another $50-$100 to my budget. Of course you have to make sure you're getting a good ROI (return on investment). Using their free conversion tracking tool, I'm able to monitor how many people that click my ads actually convert to new members. When I first started, I was spending around $1.50 per new member. Today, I spend around $0.65 per new member. Since I'm making money from programs like AdSense and TribalFusion, I'm able to continually reinvest the ad revenue from the site back in to AdWords each month.
Every week I look at which keywords have performed the worst (lowest conversion rate, highest cost) and I get rid of them. I then add a few new keywords from the AdWords Keyword tool and let them run for a week or 2, if they aren't performing well, I delete them. Constantly monitoring the performance of keywords and getting rid of low performing keywords will let you reduce your cost per member and increase your ROI. I now have over 30,000 keywords and spend more than $1000/mo.
Why spend all that money you ask? Well like I said earlier, I'm making money from programs like AdSense and TribalFusion. My #1 priority is getting new members and having them become active in my community, but if they decide not to register, the likelyhood of them clicking an advertisement to leave the site is much higher because they arrived at the site via an advertisement (once an ad clicker, always an ad clicker). It follows that adage "You have to spend money to make money".
So even if you're not selling a product or service, you can still use AdWords to promote your site. Just be sure you can generate enough money from other revenue streams (like advertising) to reinvest in your site.
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1 Replies - 3510 Views - Last Post: 05 April 2006 - 11:11 PM
Replies To: Promote Your Forum or Website: With AdWords
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