The Cost of Clicks in Printing

by admin on January 6, 2009

So I spent most of yesterday working on an Adwords campaign in a micro-niche that has gotten rusty. To explain in clear English, I had been paying Google to bring customer to a small web site where I could sell them stuff.
This campaign had been running for months and had always been profitable, month after month. Not a whole lot of bucks, but nice money to have for no work.
Then over the last two months, Google started slamming the keywords for quality score penalties. Again, to explain in clear English for non-marketing types, instead of me paying Google 8 cents or 11 cents for each customer they bring to my site, they wanted 23 cents or even 30 cents a click. Now, if you factor in a 300 or 400 percent rise in the cost of sales, that pretty killed my profit margin.
Now, Google does this a lot, especially to little guys, which is why there are lot of people out in the internet who are getting pretty upset with Google but anyways, there is a bunch of work that can be done to reduce the penalty, really tedious work that is not a lot of fun. Translation: If you find your Adwords campaign to be too pricey, don't ask me to take a look at it for free and optimize it. It really is a lot of work.
Now, speaking of the cost of clicks, would you guys like to know how much it costs to advertise in a printing niche? Well, I have a new advertiser, UPrinting, and I'm advertising their poster printing services. Free shipping, next day service, yadda, yadda, yadda. If you are offset and need to ship out some wide-format work, I suggest you check them out if only because of their next day turnaround.
So I ran a sample Adwords campaign using keywords like poster printing services, online poster printing, printing posters, buy poster printing, and to get your ad on the first page of Google, it was going to cost more than $3 a click.
So, with numbers like that, you really have to watch what you are doing. The standard rule of thumb (well if there is any standard rules in interneting marketing whatsoever) is that you should give each keywords about 50 clicks before determining if it "converts" (ie leads to a sale). A small adwords campaign is about 50 to 100 keywords (emphasis on "small" the big boys run campaigns in the tens of thousands of keywords). So, just to run a tiny campaign in the poster niche, you are looking at shelling out $3 x 50 x (50-100) or $7500-$15000.
And let me tell you, running PPC in a competitive niche makes sys admin in a prepress department look like fun and games.

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