Oh boy, how I have come to love and hate Google Analytics.  Love, because it offers me incredible amounts of information about my business.  Hate, because I can’t resist the urge to check it every five minutes during the business day (i.e. when I’m working the job that, oh, pays a salary).  But its given me some preliminary stats which I’ll share with you all.  Note that these are for approximately 48 hours during the weekend in summer, which is about as cruddy a time as you could possibly pick to meet my customers.

I’ve got two ad groups.  One is carefully targetted at people searching for something very much like my product — typing “make my own bingo cards” and the like.  I’m willing to pay a bit of money to reach them — we’ll have to wait to see conversion rates over the long run, but at the moment they’re costing me 20 cents per click and that sounds fair.  Over two days, I served these folks 115 ads and got a CTR (click-through rate) of 4.34% (5 clicks).  Thats a bit of a multiple of the industry average, probably because I’m giving them exactly what they want with my ad text, which is something like this:

Print Custom Bingo Cards
Your own text or use our lessons.
Download our free trial now!

Last night I added conversion checking — i.e. I hear when people go from the ad to download my demo or buy my software (hasn’t happened yet).  I expect these folks to eventually convert at some multiple of the folks brought in by ad #2.  However, the results aren’t even close to accurate yet.
Group #2 is focused on teachers/parents looking for sight word lists.  One of the features my software comes with out of the “box” is making sight word bingo cards.  So I pay for folks looking for words like “Dolch word lists” (n.b. Dolch is an education bigwig from the 50s who came up with the eponymous list of 220 most common English words, and if you’re not an elementary reading teacher you will NEVER hear his name in your life but if you are he has name recognition approaching that of Einstein).   I only pay $.04-10 a click for these customers because a) surprisingly, folks trying to sell to first grade reading teachers don’t speak First Grade Reading teacher (they bid up “sight words” but not “Dolch words” despite the fact that the two are synonymous to my customers) and b) there is money in gambling, which drives up the price of any string involving “bingo”, but there is a lot less money in teaching first graders to read.

Anyhow, my ad text.  I’m very happy with this one, since it works in my price advantage and my main selling point (save you time) while appealing to every teacher’s sense of Purpose:

Sight Word Class Games
If you prep more than you teach,
try out a better way for free.

And here we go with a variation:

Sight Word Class Games
Paying $10 a set for vocab cards?
Try out a better way for free.

That second variation is getting no hits whatsoever, but oh well.  Its not costing me money, and Google will automagically optimize in favor of the one getting the clicks.  I’m going to periodically try out lots of different ad phrases and landing pages to see which ones work best at getting clicks and, ultimately, conversions.

Cross your fingers for me: I live in Japan so the US work day for Monday starts right after I go to bed tonight.  When I wake up in the morning we’ll see if the mass of teachers returning to work late in the school year or early in the summer break (what, you thought teachers actually stayed home in the summer?  Ha, ha, ha, good one) are interested in buying.