The Adwords Experiment

Google was nice enough to send me a free $100 gift card for Adwords.  For anyone unfamiliar Adwords is the tool that lets you place ads in Googles search results.  You create an ad, and then bid on keywords.  The amount of competition, and your bid, determines if Google users see your ad or not.  For some keywords the competition can be fierce.  They keywords for most game related projects, however, remain very low in competition.

This ‘windfall’ represents the total marketing budget of The ZoRTS Project.  Instead of advertising a game which doesn’t exist yet it seemed like a better idea to get the word out about this blog.  The real goal is building a community of folks who can tell me when I’m saying something stupid (always appreciated) about game design.  This way the project benefits from more knowledge then I currently posses.  Also learning how Adwords works should be a marketable skill in this day and age, right?

Upon getting the gift card my first step was to contact thetrafficblogger and asked his advice.  He is my go to guy for all things blogging and social media related.  His suggestion was to start a campaign with as many keywords as possible, that have low competition, and start by bidding $.01 on clicks.  Thus began ‘The Adwords Experiment’.

The Goal: Get 10,000 hits using $100
Whoa!?!  That is a lot of hits, where did that number come from?  That goal came from TheTrafficBlogger himself.  Maybe he tossed it out randomly.  Or maybe from the point of view of a professional blogger that should be a reasonable number, he must get 10,000 hits a post…  But for a newbie like me?  It is quite the challenge.  But why not a randomly chosen big goal?  Right.  Jump in feet first!

The Method:
Week 1: One cent per click. Started July 14th to July 21st
Week 2: Two cents per click. July 22nd to July 28th
Week 3: Three center per click. July 29th to Aug 4th
Week 4: Four cents per click.  Aug 5th to Aug 11th

Now I will also be spreading the word about in other ways at the same time.  This behavior would loose points in the scientific world.  But as this is a completely new blog, its fair to allow for other traffic sources.  At the moment Reddit is my biggest source of traffic.  There could be some expansion from Empire Avenue readers.  It will also be very easy to figure out which hits came from where. So the analysis can include both with Reddit, and without.

First Hypothisis:
There is some cheap ‘magic number’ that will get me enough hits to break even between Adwords and Adsense.

Second Hypothisis:
There is some even more magic number which will net me a little profit for my trouble.

The Conclusion:
10,000 hits using only $100?  That is definitely a challenge.  We shall see if the final tally comes anywhere close.  Before collecting the data, I have no idea what to expect.  But imagine if that could be done!  Regardless of how the experiment goes over all, I’m sure this is a valuable learning experience.

There is a post qued up for tommorrow with some general thoughts and a couple things noticed about Adwords.  Expect additional posts as more is learned about Adwords.  Keep checking back for updates on the experiments progress.  Each week will get recapped on a Tuesday as an additional blog post!  As always ask questions if there is something that hasn’t been explained well.  Those kinds of questions really help me curate the blog, and help make sure the blog posts make sense as well as provide valuable information.  If you can think of anything that should be added to the experiment, comment below.

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