Are You Testing or Just Hoping Your Online Book Advertising Campaign Works?

One of the biggest problems I see when I take over an online book advertising campaign is that the author has no clue as to what keywords and ads or genre(s) are converting into book sales!

When I talk to authors that have done or are doing online book advertising, I typically learn that they put up a campaign using a whole lot of keywords and a couple ads and hope for the best. A number of authors have told me they tried it for a few days and quit since they didn’t see any results. A few days!?

Ad campaigns take time and patience . . . you have to find out what works and what doesn’t work in order to be successful with online book advertising.

Test, Test, Test!

When running an online book advertising campaign, it is important to always be testing keywords and ads for performance in order to ensure you have the best converting keywords and ads for your campaign. This will give your book the best chance of selling when doing online advertising.

The three main tests* I do are:

  • Keyword testing
  • Ad testing
  • Genre testing

*There are other tests, but these are a good place to start.

And yes, I said genre testing. I have found that the genre you think your book will sell in, and what it actually sells in, can be quite different. I had an author insist their book was not a “mystery.” After testing, it turned out to be the best converting genre, and their book went to #3 on the Amazon mystery book keyword search results list . . . that’s 11,000 readers seeing their book every single day on Amazon!

You Need a Landing Page

In order to do effective testing, you will need to drive your advertising traffic to a landing page for a short time. I know, I hear it all the time: “the more times a person has to click to get to the actual buy page (Amazon), the less likely they are to click again. So, why not drive traffic directly to Amazon?” Again, how would you know your best ads or keywords? The click-through-rate, the number of clicks, how would you know?

That is why you need a landing page, to test and find out what works. I typically start out with a modest budget, and look for about 100 clicks on the ads before making any decisions.

Here is a test I did recently with three ads:

 Online Book Advertising

In this example, “Test Ad 2” had the lowest click-through-rate by 42%, compared to the “Test Ad,” which had the highest click-through-rate, and 30% lower than the “Control Ad.”  The clear Ad winner is Test 2, with the lowest click-through-rate and clicks, and the one I want to use in the campaign.

As you can see, just because an ad looks like it is performing well from a primary AdWords metric of performance, the click-through-rate and/or volume of clicks, it doesn’t mean it is converting!

Here are two ads that have similar click-through-rates:

Online Book Advertising

The “Control Ad” is the clear winner.  Again, if we just looked at our AdWords campaign metrics, they would appear to be performing about the same. Although according to the landing page data, there is a dramatic difference in the conversion rates between the two ads.

As you can see it is very important to test, test, and test to ensure that you are using ads, keywords, and genres that convert to sales.

There are numerous landing page services you can use. For example: Unbounce and Instapage. Whichever landing page service you use, just be sure they have easy to use conversion tracking.

When doing online book advertising, ensure your success by testing first before spending a lot of money on an advertising campaign.