STARKVILLE -- May 14, 2003

Copy of an email I sent to Andrew Goodman of Page-Zero fame. Met him in Dallas at the 2002 Search Engine Strategies meeting. Listen to what he says.

So after figuring I've tightened up my stores conversion rate as much as possible, I start looking for which keyword phrases convert better.

Yahoo! Store will let me see REFERENCES for sales and traffic by search engine for the past 6 months, and I've gotten as many as 25,000 or so unique words and phrases from exporting them, but I can export SALES from the dawn of time (Viaweb ~1997 B.C.) and the ORDERS.CSV has a field that stores the CONVERTING KEYWORD.

Some 40% of my orders have a keyword phrase that matches up. This is G-O-L-D!

I export 6 years of orders. This is painfully S-L-O-W. Yahoo Store allows exporting 3000 orders at a time. Then I merge all the CSVs. Then I consolidate them into a list of unique words with sneaky Excel tricks.

Two hours later I pull a report on CONVERTING KEYWORDS which gives me a list of 3500 unique phrases *AND* how many orders / how many dollars they've generated. The best prize is the #1 top phrase has generated $50,000.00 in sales since we launched this particular site.

WARNING: There's some chaff in there. I have to delete some 500+/- junk phrases. I see about 5-10% of the referrer info just being plain wrong. I think it has to do with folks having multiple windows open.

How I make money with this info?

That's when I started buying Google Adwords and started looking for my copy of your Google Adwords book.

By the way, GAW! (Google Adwords) converts well on the WEIRDEST of phrases. I have this one phrase that has NO traffic (almost), but when they type it in, they buy something. It's a butchered version of a [confidential] phrase.

It's converted mostly on AOL and some on DEALTIME (which my software tells me!) but I would NEVER have these sales without your methodology.

Google Adwords is easier when I make 5 or 6 KEYWORD BUCKETS.

Then I break out the expensive words like you say so I can REALLY tweak those ads. Got a 10% conversion rate on my $50K BUCKET. My MAX bid is $1.00, but I'm getting a hell of a discount. 71-cents is my average bid.

BTW - I've tested a similar ad in the #3 position with another GAW account. I was averaging 2.1% clickthrough on the same bucket with almost the identical set of keywords. (Wonder how much fraud I'm suffering in the #1 position?)

I log into yet ANOTHER GAW! account and see that ~$2.23 is the recommended MAX on the same keyword for the #1. I'm getting it for 71-cents thanks to Andrew Goodman. Hee hee!

How's zem apples? I'll run some more numbers to get a better ROI figure. My tracking software is still confusing to me!

Rob Snell