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Thursday, 25 September 2014

Advertising on Google with AdWords - results

Let me just start off by saying, I know very little about marketing, I'm still learning and finding out things, but I thought people might like to see what I've been up to.

You all know Soph and I run Wittegen Press, our indie publisher. The first thing we did when we set up the company was create a website for our brand. However, we never really expected to sell huge numbers of books through it because we sell most of our books through people finding them on the main books sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The website was to give our brand presence and hopefully encourage people to join the Newsletter. We're now hoping to change that with more content on the site to get visitors in and hopefully see our books at the same time.

Most of our advertising etc so far has been free social media stuff. Neither of us has had the budget for a big marketing campaign, but my darling husband had some shares as a bonus from work that he cached in this summer and suggested I used some of the money to get things moving a bit. See if we can't shift a few more books.

Then through the post comes this offer from Google AdWords, spend £25 and get £75 of advertising free so I thought why not start there.

The good things:

  • Very easy to set up
  • Phone service with personal advice for your campaign
  • Automated suggestions over the course of the campaign for additional keywords
  • Daily spend limit to spread out the campaign
  • Cost of click-throughs went down as campaign progressed
  • Only pay for clicks, not for showing the ad

The bad things:

  • Not overly intuitive how to do things properly by yourself - basics were easy enough, the details, not so much
  • Some of the messages over the campaign were confusing - had to Google other people's experiences to understand what was going on
So I set up my campaign and waited, running the campaign for 10 days.

AdWords Results

So I bet you're dying to know what happened.

Yes the campaign definitely sent more click throughs to WittegenPress.com, by a factor of 5 on some days. So, yay! However, it wasn't quite that simple. Here is my analysis of what I believe was going on.
  • Con - Books sales were mostly unaffected - it is possible the campaign was too general or not reaching quite the right audience or I just ran it with bad timing (or all of the above)
  • Pro - The profile of the site has gone up (Google search referrals are higher now - but we have just redone all our SEO, so that could be having an effect as well)
  • Pro - Now the campaign is over new visitors have dropped, but clicks around the site have gone up from the visitors we are getting (the right people appear to be finding the site)
  • Pro - the campaign made me rethink the front page and improve it a lot
So, the big question is, do I think the campaign was a waste of money?
No I don't. Let's face it, £25 was worth an experiment :).

It increased our Google presence, which can only help, but clearly any further campaigns need to be better thought out. I don't think general advertising is really useful to us because we don't have books from mainstream authors that are instantly recognisable, but targeted advertising might be.

What Wittegen Press is Going To Do Next

  • Give WittegenPress.com more content to bring visitors
    • Get the blog going more - blog hops, guest posts etc
    • Set up a gallery with free (Creative Commons Attribution License) photos for cover artists and bloggers to download (Soph and Rob are both photographers and we have loads of photos that might be useful to people).
    • Get the short stories finished as freebies for the Newsletter so lots of people with join up :)
  • Use more targeted campaigns, for example, specific book launches
  • Look at other forms of advertising (i.e. on Amazon, book bloggers, book sites, Twitter etc)


  1. Hi Tasha and Sophie .. good luck .. I know it's not as easy as it looks - but you'll learn as you go .. cheers Hilary

  2. Thanks for sharing! I've considered using AdWords, but haven't done it yet. I also know very little about marketing (that might be an overstatement), so it's great to read all I can on it. :)


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