Monday, November 30, 2009


Last week I talked a bit about what I learned from trying out Adsense. This time I experimented with Adsense's sister product, Adwords.  Adwords is Google's ad creation and management product.  When I created an Analytics account  I received a free offer of $100 worth of ads.  So I thought, why not?

First, let's get the big question out of the way.  Werit, why would you want to advertise I wouldn't as I don't sell anything.  The only reason for this is that I was curious how the system worked.  As usual, the free offer wasn't really free.  There was a small activation fee, but well worth the experience in my opinion.

You start out by creating a Campaign and then add Ad Groups to it.  Also at the campaign level you can set a budget per day, so you won't go through all your money at once.  Ad groups are where you assign keywords.  So for example, I used 'MMO news' as a keyword.  You can use quite a few keywords as I never reached the limit.

The main type of advertising I used was based on CPC (cost per click).  You can set your upper limits for CPC's on the entire ad group.  If the need arises you can also set it for each keyword.  Each keyword competes against itself (other advertisers) to get to the head of the line.  If my CPC is 25 cents and other advertisers are offering 50 cents per click, they will be shown before my ad.

Impressions, the amount of times an ad is shown, is also tracked per ad group and keyword.  One way to measure the success of an ad or keyword is the CTR (click through ratio).  If few people are actually clicking your ad, then your scope may be a bit too broad.

My CTR was pretty low, but that's what I expected.  There is really no good reason for me to have an ad, so why should anyone click on it?  Over the course of the week, I used up most of my free credits so I canceled the campaign.  It was interesting to see how advertisers go about using Adwords. 

For a blog, the best kind of advertising is the content itself.