NEW: Chris Thomas

How good is this? One hour’s work sets up a Google Ad that could haul in $27,000 a year! Here’s how it’s done.

Money for (almost) nothing

Well, what a week it’s been around our office. There have been quite a few ‘Ooooo’s and ‘Oh-My-Gods’ floating about. It’s because we’ve been taking a regular sneak peak at our Googlecash results to see how the experiment has been fairing.

Remember, last week we decided to put a “get-rich-quick” e-book to the test. It’s been quite a fun distraction from the more serious, regular work at hand!

Last week I was totally convinced it would flop, and I’d be eating a large dose of humble pie in front of you this week. This week I have to report that the results have been astonishing.

In five days we’ve delivered 49 visitors to our merchant and 11 have converted (that’s a 22% conversion rate). In money terms, we’ve spent $18.63 through Google AdWords and we’ve earned $385 in commissions. That’s a profit of $372.50 in five days.

Not a bad effort for about an hour’s work setting it up. It also puts this single effort on track to earn about $27,000 per year after costs.

As much as I’d love to keep this wonderful cash generating secret to myself, I’d better come clean! So here’s the deal; this is how I set it all up… (and how you could too).

First off, I signed up as an affiliate to Avon cosmetics through the Clixgalore network. Avon pays affiliates $35 per lead. So all “my” visitor has to do is fill out this form and I’ll get paid.

The next step was to sign into my Google AdWords account and create a new campaign which I simply called “Avon Calling”. Under the “Avon Calling” campaign I created three AdGroups, each one with its own “theme”:

  • Join Avon
  • Party Plans
  • Competitors

Of course each AdGroup above has its own Google Ad – (with key-words tailored to each ‘theme’). Behind the scenes, the “Party Plans” GoogleAd looks like this:

{KeyWord: Avon Cosmetics Party Plan}
With Avon, earn up to 50% of sales.
In your own time. In your own way.

Then there’s the key phrase list for which the ad above will appear:

Australian party plan
avon party plan
cosmetic party plan
party plan job
make up party plan
party plan australia
party plan business
party plan company
party plan consultant
etc. etc.

By now, you’re probably wondering why the title reads – {KeyWord: Avon Cosmetics Party Plan}.

This is the little secret I mentioned last week that I wanted to share with you. It’s a ‘command’ that Google doesn’t publicise but many search engine marketing agencies (like ourselves) use quite often.

Basically what it’s saying is “insert the key phrase from the list into the title”. So if someone types into Google “Australian party plan”, (which is in the list above) then the Google Ad will look like this:

Australian Party Plan
With Avon, earn up to 50% of sales.
In your own time. In your own way.

From experience Google knows that a user is more likely to click on a Google Ad when there is an exact match between what they’ve typed in and the content in the ad. The “Avon Cosmetics Party Plan” section of the command is called the “default title”.

Remember, Google limits the title to 25 characters. If the user types in a key phrase longer than 25 characters then Google inserts “Avon Cosmetics Party Plan” instead.

Next up, you’re also probably wondering, “Hey! Where is the affiliate code?”

When you set up a Google Ad, Google gives you two fields to place URLs. The first is a “display URL” (which, in our case is the other is the “Destination URL”. The “destination URL” is where your visitor is actually sent.

I also created three ads per AdGroup, which Google displayed randomly for a while until it began displaying the Google Ad that received more clicks. This is really handy, because now I can delete the non-performing ads and create variations around the one that’s performing the best.

Initially, I started quite low with the keyword bidding – about 10¢ per click, (just to test the water), but as profits improved, I’ve upped the bids to around 50¢ each. We can certainly afford it at the moment.

You can see some screen shots of the campaign here.

A word of caution, while some smaller companies don’t care, some larger organisations will no longer let you use their brand name in an online marketing/advertising campaign. So indeed, this campaign may only enjoy a short life span. I guess we’ll see…

I expect our costs will go up a little as some of you visit Google and click on the ad – that’s understandable. We’ve also decided to donate half our earnings to our Friday night beer fund, and the other half to an organisation that does much more important work than we do: Doctor’s Without Borders.


To read more Chris Thomas blogs, click here.


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