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#1
James Hines

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I have been advertising my business for the past couple of days & I have noticed after a few days that the minimum bids sky rocket in price. For example one keyword started at 15 cents, & now the minimum price is $6.00 per click. I'm trying to find a way to create keywords that are unique to my business, that will not sky rocket especially with a small budget of $150.00 per month to start, & yet have the ability to draw people to my site.

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#2
Hans van der Maarel

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If the keywords are unique, nobody else is using them for advertisement. That probabely also means nobody else is using them for searches... :lol:

I tried Adwords for about a year and I don't really think it made me even a single $ (or bring me that many recurring visitors)
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#3
GISRox

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The wonder of AdWords! I've experienced the same situation. The initial cost-per-click is really low, say .10 cents, and after a few weeks it bumps up to $5.00. Much of this is indeed due to the volume of searches on those words and more importantly the number of clicks generated from the terms. The whole logic seems a bit strange and ambiguous if you ask me. I had one adword go up to $20 yesterday for no apparent reason.

If you want to keep your costs down, you might try the Microsoft Live version of Adwords. While you may not get the same volume as Google, you also don't get the ramped up prices. Despite the low volume, I managed to get a potential customer from that search engine. https://adcenter.microsoft.com/

A couple other things I've learned if you are advertising a consulting business. Don't use the content search option. I think it is an utter waste of time and more importantly money. I was monitoring the clicks from the regular search vs. the content advertising and discovered those that were searching the right terms would visit at least 3 or 4 pages on my site, while the content searchers were only visiting one page. This led me to believe they were only clicking on links to generate the revenue.

The other important aspect is to keep changing your AdWord text until you start encountering better clicks per display. It takes a while to find the right wording to capture the attention, but it is well worth the effort to get the right target text.



#4
MapMedia

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Make sure your pages are full of your keywords, and that pages link to one another. And be patient - as google updates and your page rank increases, you will find that certain keywords and phrases on your
site can readily be googled, so choose wisely. My site is in the top 10 for "California precipitation map" - but am buried deep in the vaults for something useful like 'custom map service'.

Also, and I am sure you know this but want to state anyway, pay close attention to the subject wording from new clients and use these in your keyword metatag or adwords.

#5
ELeFevre

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IMO, even a small business of 1-2 employees has to dedicate at least 4-10 hours per week on google adwords to make it worth-while...especially in the map world. You can't just throw up a handful of generic map-related keywords and expect results. It's a part-time job that includes: constant search engine optimization, keyword research, competitive research, web design, learning google adwords, marketing knowledge, et cetera. If you don't have the time to develop and maintain a good adwords system, you would be better served to find a small company to manage it for you.

At minimum, you should design dedicated landing pages for your primary product keywords, i.e. if your marketing a new map of Lake Tahoe, send them to a page dedicated to the Lake Tahoe map and not a home-page listing all of your services. I really think this is where a lot of people go wrong with Google Adwords. You have to remember that you're advertising and advertisments function and serve a completely different role than a business home-page.

Focus on keywords that target your individual products. It's better to get one click a month from a customer who was looking for a "Lake Tahoe map" than 1,000 clicks from people looking for "maps". My 2 cents.



#6
MapMedia

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Right, I agree. If you are going to commit to Adwords, you should really facedown the fact that you will need to invest consistently, each month. When you start doing this, don't walk away
considering it a job-done, you need to allocate time every day to managing it. So the actual cost (time + money) should be considered.

I have seen some modest returns from adwords, but I have only been doing it for a few months, so am still getting fluent with all of the knobs and levers.

#7
James Hines

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I have taken the initive to advertise by location to help lower my cost. Part of the probelm when starting out is the fact that I only have enough to get 15-20 visitors per day to visit my site. On top of that everyday I find broken links, & the worst of all is a RFQ form that until a few hours ago refused to send any information over the the e-mail system. I have taken a look at web statisitcs & it appears the majority of visitors to my site since i started using placement advertising seem to looking at my profile. Perhaps this is due to the fact that no one has ever heard of me. And the only reason why I found the broken RFQ HTML form was because one or two of the visitors tried clicking on it. And still yet as I get ready for that other job I find more broken links.

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#8
frax

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Hasdrubal - you should try a link checker - I have used Xenu's Link Sleuth for a long time, if you are on windows - try it: http://home.snafu.de...n/xenulink.html
Hugo Ahlenius
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#9
James Hines

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Most interesting when using Internet Explorer if you request a quote a blank e-mail is returned, but when using Firefox everything is listed as it's supposed to be.

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#10
Derek Tonn

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IMO, even a small business of 1-2 employees has to dedicate at least 4-10 hours per week on google adwords to make it worth-while...especially in the map world. You can't just throw up a handful of generic map-related keywords and expect results. It's a part-time job that includes: constant search engine optimization, keyword research, competitive research, web design, learning google adwords, marketing knowledge, et cetera. If you don't have the time to develop and maintain a good adwords system, you would be better served to find a small company to manage it for you.


VERY good posting, Erin! My experience in map design, graphic design and web design tells me that all most people are taught in the classroom related to marketing, branding and/or positioning is "if you build it, they will come." The real, competitive world does NOT work that way, and it is a tremendous disservice to unintentionally mislead students in this fashion, IMHO. You can design some of the most beautiful, functional maps on the planet...but if nobody knows you exist, it won't matter.

That's the dichotomy of what we all are doing as small, independent design shops. We are "taught" or believe that if we spend thousands of hours honing our craft, the pot of gold will be waiting at the end of the rainbow. However, how we PROMOTE ourselves (our web sites, where we get/pay for visibility, printed materials, shelf-space, etc.) has at least as much to do with determining our success or failure as does the quality of our design work, yet most of us don't spend 1/20th as much time to improve our skills/knowledge in this area.

How can people, as small independent shops, expect success unless they invest a HEAVY amount of time on the marketing/operations side of running a business? I never understood that...and always laughed-off the "sell-out" comments I would get from other people in my graphic design coursework who couldn't believe I would take 4+ years of business classes with "the suits." Having a tremendous amount of talent at ________ makes you a good employee. Having a strong understanding of marketing, operations and economics makes you a good owner/entrepreneur. SO many people think that being talented means that they will be successful as an entrepreneur, but that's a mirage....a myth. One MIGHT be both! However, talent <> "management" or "ownership" material.

FWIW (back on topic), I use Google AdWords, AdSense and Analytics in my day-to-day operations...and I don't know if I let more than 36 hours pass without monitoring all three resources. Analytics for the marketing research data, AdSense to see how we're doing in our supplemental revenue generation, and AdWords to see how we are doing on a few campaigns. It takes time and effort to get the most out of those three resources though...and if somebody isn't willing to put in the time it takes, then they probably should either find someone to do that part of their operations for them or find other methods for promoting their services.
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com

#11
James Hines

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I just checked Analytics & it appears that my top pages are:

/BusinessForms/RFQ.html
48 14.46%
/index.htm
41 12.35%
/Content/products.htm
29 8.73%
/BusinessForms/RFQForm.html
25 7.53%

I have to wonder if the format of my forms are hurting my business, as we can see 25 views has been made of the RFQ Form.

My current adverstisement is:

Annexmaps.com
Bad maps get you down? Nothing is
accurate? Or Pleasing? Try Annex
www.annexmaps.com

It's quite interesting when learning to market a business. Never been done on my part before, but it does seem that the custom map specialist add is doing quite well on YouTube considering my small budget attracting prospective clients. However I'm wondering if the content of my site is hurting me. So on another thread I will be putting my website up for critique.

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#12
gbmaps

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Hi,

We were spending around $4,000 per month on google adwords and have recently made an effort to reduce this because of the soaring prices that google seem to be charging. The keywords in your google campaign need to be displayed on the landing page the advert points to. Your adverts text needs to also contain some or all of those keywords. This is obviously not that easy to do for a large list of keyphrases, so, in this case you need to create a different advert, key phrase list & landing page for each set of related keywords. Once this is done, unpause your campaigns and watch your cost per click come plumiting down for the same amount of exposure and position you are getting now.

Alternatively you could try and raise your position in the normal (organic) search results side of google. We decided to try and see how far up the results page we could get around6 weeks ago. We did a check and our website was listed at position 468 on google's organic listings for the phrase "location maps". Today we are on the second page of google's search results for the same key phrase. Actually very impressed now with the quality of traffic we are getting from both adwords and normal google searching. I could drone on about adwords for hours but will leave it at that for now.

If you have any specific questions relating to adwords feel free to ask - been doing it for years:-).

Cheers,
Craig S.
www.gbmaps.com

#13
rudy

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I haven't read it completely but it might be worthwhile to check out Juice Analytic's recent post on Google Adwords. His/her other posts and worth checking out as well.

#14
ProMapper

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That's the dichotomy of what we all are doing as small, independent design shops. We are "taught" or believe that if we spend thousands of hours honing our craft, the pot of gold will be waiting at the end of the rainbow. However, how we PROMOTE ourselves (our web sites, where we get/pay for visibility, printed materials, shelf-space, etc.) has at least as much to do with determining our success or failure as does the quality of our design work, yet most of us don't spend 1/20th as much time to improve our skills/knowledge in this area.


Succinct and true, but if one needs to earn especially in the third world then we have to lower our rates. And lowering our rates would require more number of hours to make a living, then how do you manage time for all such activities.

Also the costs of a website and maintaining it runs into hundreds of dollars a month. Now if someone does not make hundreds first, how can he spend that much on website and its promotion. I sure would love to have a website and also planning to make if not hundreds, fifty odd maps with different layouts for display but do not get time to do the maps, so been postponing my decision to launch my website for a long time now. Anyone to guide me, how to go about doing all this. I sure am a good employee, had been a one all my life, but not an enterpreneur. May be a few more years.

Anu
http://www.mapsandlocations.com

#15
James Hines

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That's the dichotomy of what we all are doing as small, independent design shops. We are "taught" or believe that if we spend thousands of hours honing our craft, the pot of gold will be waiting at the end of the rainbow. However, how we PROMOTE ourselves (our web sites, where we get/pay for visibility, printed materials, shelf-space, etc.) has at least as much to do with determining our success or failure as does the quality of our design work, yet most of us don't spend 1/20th as much time to improve our skills/knowledge in this area.



Also the costs of a website and maintaining it runs into hundreds of dollars a month.


Check out service providers such as bluehost.com, it only costs $200 for every two years.

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."





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