Do GoogleAds work?
I spent $2400 on Google Ads for my June release - and you won't believe the results.....
Each release is a guessing game of ad spend. How much should I invest? WHERE should I invest it? With EVEN MONEY, I decided to be smart. Being 'smart' involved:
- Using redirect links so that every social media click would send visitors through my website BEFORE sending them to the retailers. This would boost my website stats, increase my Google Ranking and (most importantly) allow me to remarket those visitors with Facebook and Google Ads.
- Setting up Google Ads for the first time in a LONG TIME. Back in 2012, I tried Google Ads. At that time, all you could do was search engine result ads. So I was throwing pennies into the well and hoping that someone who googled 'what to read after fifty shades' might find my book. It was a bust. But... six years later, Google Ads is a completely different game, with ridiculously specific targeting abilities.
So, release week came and I pulled out my credit card, running an ad budget on Google ads that varied between $50 a day and $250 a day. Then I sat back, opened a box of Sour Patch Kids and waited for sales to explode. 'Ha!' I crowed to myself. 'All those authors, battling over Facebook ads, and no one is doing Google Ads! I can own the market!'
Okay, maybe I wasn't THAT obnoxious. But I thought I had a clear winner. I had two different pots of ads going. The first was hitting any reader who had visited Even Money's page on my website. The second pot hit visitors of popular blog sites like Natasha is a Book Junkie or Aestas Book Blog. Both pots were treated with gorgeous display ads on any website they visited. Ads like this:
I watched the ads closely. CPC (Cost-Per-Click) looked great, at around 12 cents. At the time, I was paying 20-30 cents per click on Facebook, so I was pleased as punch to see a 12 cent click. 'Huh..' I thought. Maybe I should pull more money off Facebook and apply it to Google.
Days passed. The book was doing well, and earning about $1200 a day, which was more than covering its ad costs. I focused on other promotions and let the Google Ads do their thing.
$2400 zipped off my credit card and into Google's pocket. Sales started to decline. I finally picked my head up from emails and social media and had the sense of mind to pull up my Amazon affiliate. You see, when I set up my Google ads, I used an affiliate link. This link would allow me to see exactly what happened once a Google user clicked on my ad. Would they...
go on to purchase my ebook, or possibly a paperback of Even Money? I hoped so.
move off of Amazon and on with their daily life? I hoped not.
continue on the Amazon site and purchase something else? I hoped not.
The results were impressive. My google ads had generated over 21,000 clicks! 21,000 readers had gone to my Amazon page. Wahoo!
Then I scrolled down, to the purchase details. And there, in my unicorn pajamas and with a half-eaten carrot stick in hand, I saw the horrific results of my hard-earned money.
NINE SALES. 21,547 clicks and NINE SALES.
Don't reach for your calculator. I'll do the math for you. Nine sales, at $3.99 per ebook, minus Amazon's royalty cut... $24. $2400 of investment for $24 of income. I spent $266 for each sale. And, even worse, it took 2,394 people looking at my Amazon listing - 2,394 qualified readers - in order for ONE person to think it was worth buying.
Here's the other side of the coin, though.
First, it's entirely possible that the majority of these 21k clicks were click bots and not real people and in that case WHY AM I PAYING FOR THEM and I will never do Google Ads again.
Second, it's possible that my Amazon affiliate data is wrong and I DID have more purchases than they are stating, but on days when I bumped my Google Ads spending up to $250 a day (from $50 or $100) my sales didn't jump, so while that IS a possibility, it's not a gigantic one.
Either way, I'm pretty much swearing off Google Ads for now. Potentially, forever. I'll let you look at the data for yourself and decide whether you want to give it a go.
Have you had a different experience with Google Ads? Love them to death? Please shout out in the comments section. I'd love to hear a different perspective!
Oh! And if you'd like more information on marketing your novel, I've got a step-by-step course that will turn you into an ebook marketing whiz in a weekend! Click here to check it out.