I am going to start an advertising campaign in Google Adwords for my hosting business. This is the first time I will be using Adwords and just wondered if anyone had any experience and could offer me suggestions/ reccomendations on how to go about it.
Is it better to go with Text or Image ads?
What is fair when setting a cpc price cap?
Adwords = waste of money in the web hosting industry.
Sure it will get you a client or two, but it will cost you. Last time I was advertising on Adwords I would blow through hundreds of dollars a day just to get an extra client or two. Not worth it considering the other alternatives.
I am not saying it is not profitable, just unlikely to happen for you, especially since you just started out.
The hosts that are profitable with it, test their ads and websites out daily and usually have a person or team dedicated to adwords.
Well I am trying out adwords since I got a $50 credit from another host. So really it is only costing me the $5 activation fee so far.
My site is completely SEO'd, and by that I mean I have title and meta tags on all pages, as well as SEO friendly pages and I have also submitted it to directories. I also waited till my site was on Google to start the ad campaign. It only took Google about 4 days to list it.
Web hosting is one of the most competitive keywords, so it is extremely difficult to make it work profitably. I highly recommend doing some serious research into this before starting, because there are lots of things to know in order to make the most use of your money. For example, it's a big mistake to buy clicks and send the traffic to your homepage. You need landing pages and preferrably ones that allow the visitor to buy without going anywhere else on your site. If you are paying $1+ per click, it's extremely important that your site is setup to convert the leads to sales as good as possible, since that is the only way it will be worthwhile.
And yes, targeting a niche is going to be much easier to profit from than just web hosting in general.
Google AdWords is competitive for web hosting to a point where each party is greedy enough to take a loss just for the sale. You can expect to pay between $2 and $35+ per click on the text ads that run solely on the Google Search engine results.
An affiliate program such as CJ will cost about $6000 to signup and then they'll take about 30% of the payout on top of what the affiliate gets. That means to be competitive in the web hosting arena, you would have to pay affiliates $100 per sale (and CJ $30 on top of that) just to get a customer on a $5 per month hosting plan.
A good angle to work however is to do what Rackspace is doing on WHT and host a popular forum or website that has a user base similar to your target audience.
This is true with any campaign, be it google adwards or any other cpc, set a budget and stick to it, plan on losing money to gain clients, like others say adward works but prices tends to get higher and higher.
Here is how I did it, I setup specific key phrases, country as well as time and daily budget.