Getting the most bang for your adsense buck – tips for authors

Advertising is a difficult road to navigate for authors.  But one of the places you can really make a bit of inroads with is Adsense.  It might seem a bit daunting at first, but once you’ve got the basics of picking keywords and understanding how to use a budget, adsense is a very powerful tool, perhaps even more powerful than Facebook ads.

Picking your keywords

Keywords are often the most difficult thing for authors, because they’re not sure what keywords actually are.  It can be quite daunting, but it’s actually really easy.
Just think of a filing system.  If you could describe your book in key words or key phrases of two or three words, where would you file your book?  Once you’ve made a list, prioritise your keywords and brainstorm around them.   You should try to have between 20 and 40 keywords to work with – it doesn’t matter how closely related they are – in fact, you may find that there’s words that are closely related to the ones you’ve picked that actually cost less to bid on.

There are also keyword-checkers and search tools, both within and outside Google, so if you’re still stuck, including their recently launched Keyword Tool, which is now called a Keyword Planner.

Setting up your campaign

Once you’ve set up your keywords, and have opened an account with Adwords (you can do so with an existing Google account).  You might want to look at the tutorials around it, but one of the other considerations you have to look at is what your budget is.  And you should look at which keywords are cheapest to bid on, while giving you the most pull for your keywords.  For example, you might not be able to afford to bid on the Romance keyword, but if your book contains dating advice, you could bid on that.  Or other related keywords, that aren’t as expensive.

Looking into it

Keep an eye on your account and tweak everything as you go.  You may find some keywords outperform others, and you can invest in them over everything else.

Questions?  I’ll see what I can do to answer them!

Interested in other advice?  I blog weekly over at The Indie Author Group blog.