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Ask HN: Adwords tips for a SaaS business
5 points by webbruce 1758 days ago | hide | past | web | 4 comments | favorite
I run a SaaS tool that helps screen printers manage their shops. I'm looking into Adwords and optimizing my campaigns. Does anyone have tips that worked for them?

Currently what I'm running with a .13% CTR is this: http://d.pr/n/byja (pasted so you can see the linebreaks).

My personal experience with AdWords is that it's worthless to try to figure out whether an ad is good/bad until you dial in your keywords first. People post on here all the time about their ads and their CTR but it's meaningless without a discussion/understanding of the keyword(s) that triggered the ads.

As such, it leads me to question your keyword selection. You need to know "What were the keywords that actually triggered my ad?" This is possibly VERY different from the keywords you entered (particularly if you are using broad match). My guess is you're wildly off the mark in terms of your keyword selection/filter. Adwords expands broad match keywords to the point of unprofitability IME. You have to find out what people are actually searching for that trigger your ad and "trim the fat" by modifying your keywords so that you don't pay for unrelated things.

For example, let's say you have "print shop" as a broad match keyword. That is so general that Google is going to auto-expand your keywords to synonyms and "things that Google thinks are like print, shop, and print shops". So if you used that as a broad match keyword, you might be surprised to find that your ads were served for the following keyword searches:

* Shopping for printer

* printer repair shop

* what store can I print my paper

etc, etc, etc - if your ad was triggered for any of these keywords, you can see why you'd get a 0.00% CTR over 30,000 impressions for all of those. Those sort of results would take a good ad and make it look like a crappy ad. Let's now add in this keyword that triggered your results:

* print shop

You look at the metrics and find that your ad has a 5.00% CTR over 10,000 impressions. But when you combine the results, your aggregate CTR would be a miserable 1.75%. Thus you'd be making decisions ("Scrap that ad, make a new one") based off of misinterpreting the data.

I'd suggest you review the actual keywords that are triggering your ads and look into more refinement on the keywords. Once you have the keywords dialed in, you can better work on the ads.

Great points.

You are probably getting such a low CTR because you are mixing Search and Display. First step is always to separate Search and Display. You can push description line 2 to the display url. ----- Do You Run a Print Shop? Try Our CRM for Print Shops. Over 300 Happy Clients. Start now. Printavo.com/Free-Trial ----- Print Shop Management Saves You Time & Money. Free 15-Day Trial. Start Today. Printavo.com/{KeyWord:Free-Trial} -----

Always A/B test, continuously. Never stop testing new ads until it is blatantly obvious that one ad-copy is superior. *Make sure that your keywords can be found in your ad-copy. If your keyword does not appear in the ad-copy, you WILL have lower CTR. I guarantee it!

Hard to say much without seeing the keywords you're running this ad against. I'd say the biggest problem is that the searcher has no idea what you do from your ad. For all they know you could be selling wholesale shirts. So #1 get your main benefit/feature up front and center.

Get Your Act Together Cut Waste. Streamline Your Shop from Your Browser. Start a Free Trial Today.

Obviously you have to play with it but that should send you in the right direction. It's all trial and error though. Good luck!

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