Friday, February 9, 2007

How To Use Google to Sell Downloadable Goods, Part 5: Google AdWords

This is the 5th and final installment in our series on How To Use Google to Sell Downloadable Goods. In the previous post, we discussed using Google Base to publish your items in Google's shopping catalog. This installment will cover the basics of using Google AdWords to sell your downloadable products. At PayLoadz, we use Google AdWords to drive new user signup for our services, sellers on our service use AdWords to increase sales of their goods.

Google AdWords is possibly the most technically simplistic of all Google tools to use, but the most complex when it comes to mastery in relation to achieving an effective campaign. Because there is so much involved with managing an AdWords account, I will make the goal of this post to convince you to simply get started using Google AdWords. The only way any of these tools are going to help you, is if you just get started and see what happens. It doesn't have to be perfect, so do just sit there, go and sign up for a Google AdWords account now!

For those of you that do not know, Google AdWords are those text areas to the top and to the right of your Google search results. They are paid placements that can cost mere pennies to have displayed. That is key. You set the amount you want to spend to have your ad displayed. It actually doesn't cost you a thing to have your ad displayed, they only charge you when your ad is clicked- as little as 10 cents I believe. Even if you ad is not clicked, it is still shown and that alone is pretty good exposure.

The true power of AdWords is that you have motivated buyers actively looking for a specific result in terms of a product to purchase. It is not the organic search traffic or link traffic that you have to convince they want to buy your item. In most cases, they already do want to purchase your item, they just need to be taken to your purchase page. AdWords does this. There is not a single successful publisher of digital goods that I am aware of that does not utilize AdWords to some degree.

As mentioned previously, I'm not going to go into extensive detail on managing individual campaigns. If you are completely lost, I will just give you some tips for keywords. Open a text file and enter one keyword or phrase per line, like the following:

eastern religion

Do that until you have 10 or so keywords, be specific as possible. Once that is done, create every combination you can think of from your keywords above. One combination example for ebook, will be as follows:

ebook philosophy
ebook eastern religion
ebook zen
ebook zen philosophy

Duplicate that process for each keyword. You should be able to come up with 100 or so keywords and phrases when all is done. Btw, there are programs (even free ones) out there that can help you with this process. Don't worry about those to start just yet, focus on creating your first ad and then revisit later.

After you have created your ad(s) and Google AdWords, set it and walk away for a week. Be sure to set a daily budget you can live with, else you may come back to a big $ surprise. After the week, you will be able to see the keyword performance in your AdWords account. That will allow you to see the effectiveness of each phrase. During this process, focus on creating additional keywords and phrases closely related to the best performing keywords in your account. Rinse and repeat. Eventually over time, you will have hundreds of effective keywords for your products. Creating additional ads with variations on text is also important as well during this process.

The point is, you need to be using AdWords. The risk is low since you can set your own budgets and the reward is high through driving motivated traffic to your site. Give it a try!