Can AdWords Be Good For Promoting Your eBook Site?
While self publishing lowers the barrier to publication for ebooks, authors and ebook site owners also have the responsibility of marketing titles on their own. Without the might of a large a publishing house in your favor, the task falls upon you. This brings us to our central question: Can Google AdWords be good for promoting your ebook site?
How AdWords Works
If this is your first look at Google’s flagship advertising scheme, it basically works like this. You’ll set a daily budget to spend for placements when users click your ad between the start and end dates you select. The AdWords site gives you an idea of how many impressions this will typically garner. Once you’ve established those parameters, you’ll specify a geographic area within which your ads will be presented. This can be particularly useful if your ebook deals with a specific region.
Your next step will be to define a set of keywords to which your ads will respond. Here, it is important to boil the essence of your book down to a few words. Google will make suggestions, based upon the copy in your ad, but since you have to bid for keywords, you might want to choose them a bit more carefully. As you might imagine, popular keywords generate more competition and command higher bids.
This comes into play when multiple advertisers want an ad served for the same keyword. The highest bidder wins. But before you set an astronomical number to try to win every placement, keep in mind you’ll pay this amount every time someone clicks on your ad—whether they buy from you or not. AdWords can be set to automatically determine your bid based upon a number of different parameters. Most experienced users recommend beginners go this route.
When you write your ad, you’ll include a headline, a URL and two lines of text. Those two lines are the heart and soul of the ad. Keep them short, directly to the point and include a call to action. Bear in mind, your ad is shown with search results, so you’re going to be on a page with a lot of text. You’ll need to capture a user’s attention and compel them to click through to your site. The performance of your ad is monitored using a dashboard setup similar to Google Analytics.
Does It Deliver?
The answer to that question really depends upon your definition of “deliver.”
If you’re thinking you’ll write a killer ad and your ebook sales will skyrocket—it doesn’t work that way. As you’re researching how to sell ebooks online with AdWords, keep in mind the process is like that of pushing a car. At first, it’s going to move very slowly, but the more you push, the faster it goes. To see a lot of success, you have to be willing (and able) to put in the investment required to overcome the inertia.
“Advertising your book will initially be a loss leader,” says AdWords management consultant John Grittin. “At first, you’ll have few sales and you’ll have to bear the cost of advertising. But this gets the ball rolling so in the future, if your book is good and popular, the income repays the original spend.”
Meanwhile, ebook author Katie French was less than impressed with her foray into AdWords. “My ad seemed to work and was clicked on,” she says. “However, you’ll never really know how much it sells because all you know is they clicked on the ad. There’s nothing to tell you if they bought your book.”
She goes on to say her sales saw no boost during the week her AdWords campaign was live. In fact, she actually sold about six books less that week than any other week that month.
It Takes Time
Ultimately, advertising is a cumulative process. The more you do it, the more successful it becomes. Of course, the more you advertise, the more you’ll spend and it’s very possible a strong social media campaign would show better results more quickly. So, if you’re wondering if AdWords can be good for promoting your ebook site, the answer is yes, in the long run. However, other tactics are capable of delivering faster results, for less money.