A Startup’s Google AdWords and Marketing experience

November 29, 2006

So I am new to marketing for self started Web 2.0 companies and am just testing the waters.

I can tell you what I have done so far and my experiences with them.

First I created a splash page. I initially got a Dreamhost account and stuck it up there. Dreamhost is official and offers a great service very inexpensively. There are coupons out there now to get it for around $50 a year for 200 GB of storage and 2 TB of bandwidth a month, crazy! However this is in a shared hosting environment and in my case, they do not allow background processes running. I ended up starting the launch with a VPS and am glad now.

A splash page helps aggregating your site in the search engines and allows interest to start to build. After only showing a splash page for one month I gathered over 50 emails of interested creators and had over 500 page views. This is small, but trust me, it is a start and the key is to deliver the goods. You deliver the goods and people talk. People talk and more people come. You know how it goes.

I then sent emails to a bunch of bloggers. No response. It appears they want something tangible and not a splash page. Splash pages and the 37Signals Hollywood launch is for those with the connects. All good, lesson is to wait until the site is launched and is solid before marketing to the bloggers.

So start small and get some people using your app to flush out the bugs and get feedback.

I tried a marketing campaign with Squidoo, Digg, and Reddit. They all suck! Reddit especially. Digg is good if you get a ton of diggs and squidoo is cool but has no community.

It is beneficial to go to as many of those sites and register something pointing to your site. It helps with aggregating in the search engines and you can get the random person, but don’t expect much.

The biggest return I got was starting a Google AdWords account. In just 19 days I got 135 visitors thru Google AdWords for a total cost of $19.81. Take a look:

Adwords first month

As you can see I currently only have one Keyword. I had 20 other keywords, which brought me 24 visitors. The 20 deleted keyowrds cost me close to the same as the ONE keyword I have left. To make things sweater I got twice the amount of visitors from the single keyword left. You can also see that I get as many impressions with the single keyword as I did with the 20 keywords TOTAL. This is the trick with Google adWords. Find a phrase, which gives you high impressions, yet is a low cost for a click. Toss out 20 and keep narrowing it down.

So the conclusion is to get your ass out there!


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