Tag Archives | book

The Great Google Book Ad Experiment (Part 2)

(aka Can a Google Ad Sell Books)
Week 3

Google Ads

I decided to wait three weeks until I had some useful (?) data. If you remember from my last post the intention was to target people searching for Alternate History (or similar) using the Google search engine. The seven findings so far:

7 findings

  1. Despite specifically excluding search terms including bookshop or books, and only placing the ads before people search for Alternate History (or similar), Google decided to ignore my instructions because it needs to generate clicks not sales (see point 2). Specifically the phrase ‘books’ triggered the ad in 11,938 cases (nearly 1/3 of all impressions), and generated 15 clicks (out of a total of 108).
  2. Google tunes its placement algorithms based on the number of clicks, not sales. I concede that Google can’t actually identify sales (that’s my job) but its hardly a fair trial of my proposed strategy if Google does its own thing.
  3. Most of the ads placements were actually on Google partnered sites (97%), rather than in direct response to a search, once again preventing me from properly testing the effectiveness of my proposed strategy (see point 7(a) below).
  4. Despite only 3% of ads appeared on Google Search 13% of clicks came from ad placement on Google Search, indicating that such placements were 430% more effective than appearances on partnered sites.
  5. In addition, despite only 3% of ads appearing on Google Search they made up 43% of the cost.
  6. Advertising on a Friday is twice as expensive as it is on a Saturday, and three times what it is on a Sunday. That is $1.20 per click on a Friday, compared to $0.61 on a Saturday, and $0.47 on Sundays. OK – this one was an easy fix, I stopped advertising on Fridays and shifted that budget to the weekend, which should increase the number of click throughs by 50%.
  7. The Google Ads App has way more information than what’s available on the desktop – which is very weird. Information available only via the App includes:
    1. Where the App was viewed:
      1. Google Search – 3%
      1. Google Partner Sites – 97%
    1. What the App was viewed on:
      1. Smartphones – 39%
      1. Tablets – 47%
      1. Computers – 14%
    1. The Ad was clicked on:
      1. Google search – 13%
      1. Google partner sites – 87%

Next steps

  1. I have cancelled Friday’s advertising and transferred its budget to the weekend
  2. I have a phone conference scheduled in a couple of days with my Google Ads Campaign Specialist to discuss
  3. I see what happens over the next three weeks
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Book reviews are important

Reviews - thumbs up

The following was extracted from Judith Briles' guest post entitled 'As the Author World Turns on Amazon Book Review Policies' on Joel Friedlander's The Book Designer. The Blog was posted 21 March 2019.

Authors need reviews on their books. Lots of them.

Once, there are 25, the [Amazon's] robots warm up. More than 50, expect to see cross promotion: book covers pop up on “like” books … “Customers who bought this item also bought …” meaning that your book cover gets displayed on other author pages.

As your reviews build up (think more than 75), Amazon does email blast, suggesting your book cover with the live link to viewers of the site that have shown an “interest” in your category with their searches. How cool is that?

So yes, reviews do count. Big time.

While Judith has anecdotal evidence supporting her claims about the effect of Amazon reviews the comments under the post make clear that this is a contentious area, and even if Judith is correct, as she wrote in response to one comment: "Guaranteed – Amazon always changes its system. What is good today, may not be next week."

Anecdotally, however, I just got an email blast from Amazon.com suggesting I might like Melissa F. Olson's new book Boundary Broken which had, when I checked 69 reviews. OK, OK, Amazon knows that I've bought the previous three books in the series, but still ....

Anyway, regardless of how important reviews are, I think any author would agree that any positive review is helpful, and the more the better.

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