Saturday, December 22, 2012

Why Google ads do not work

Today there are nearly one million apps on Apple IOS App Store, and some ten thousand apps on Mac App Store.

I thought,

“OK. I have a decent app on both app stores. Users love it. How can I promote it outside App Store?”

Taking courage from new-age “lean start-up” mottos “fail early, fail fast and learn” I decided Google AdWords a go.

My Google AdWords campaign failed and failed fast indeed. I wasted $300 in a 10-day campaign. Not a single AdWords click turned into a sale.

AdWords Bullshit

On the bright side here are the things I learned:

  • It is expensive. With a budget of $30 a day, you can only get about ~20 clicks on your website in a day. The price of quality keywords such as “password manager best” have a high price tag, and their price can go up as much as $10.0 per click in bidding. 20 clicks per day will not give you enough momentum.
  • Even though Apple legal website allows Apple trademark keywords used in ads inline with their guidelines, and I followed those guidelines 100%, Google rejected my ad submission on the ground that it had the term “for Mac and iPhone”. Google insisted I should get permission from Apple. Alas I couldn’t get permission from Apple (I applied but haven’t heard from them to this date). As a result my ad turned up like this:
5-star rated Password Manager
super safe 512-bit encryption
Of course this attracted Windows customers whereas my intent was to attract Mac customers. As a result my clicks were wasted and I ended up in low conversion rate. I measured this from high bounce rate on my website.

"Right clicks" is the main thing. Apple trademark issue killed my ads instantly. If I knew I couldn't use the term "for Mac and iPhone" I would probably not try the venture. The problem is Google forces you to start the campaign, then they tell you if your Ad is approved. So you wouldn't know unless you spend money and start your campaign. Basically it is robbery.

There you go. I failed fast, and I learned something. I am glad you learned it too without spending a cent :)

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