Day 199: When it’s a good idea to change direction

“Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.” – Anon

Sometimes in life, it pays to be receptive to feedback and be willing to change direction, even if it means swallowing your pride. That’s exactly what I decided to do with Tinkerdash.

It all started about a month ago…

Upon receiving a free copy of Simon Coulson’s “Interpreneur” book (get a free copy here) at the London business show, my eyes were opened up to the world of internet marketing. This kicked-off a mammoth session of research about inbound and outbound marketing, from search engine optimisation (SEO) to Facebook ads and sales funnels.

Firstly, I unwittingly focussed on “inbound” digital marketing, an approach largely centred around creating helpful content and search engine optimisation. This led me to Moz’s Beginner Guide to SEO and SECockpit’s keyword planning webinar. Both useful, culminating in me signing up for a 30-day trial of Moz Pro, predominantly for their keyword research tool.

Within days of using the tool, it was obvious why previous Google Adwords campaigns I had run flopped. The keywords I had previously tried to target were highly competitive, meaning lots of other people with a lot more money were also bidding to have their advert shown. I didn’t stand a chance.

Using the keyword explorer tool plus the techniques I’d learnt, however, I was now able to build a list of 30-40 keywords that were relatively uncompetitive AND had a reasonable number of people searching for them (1-2k+ each month). The keywords in that list ranged from more general terms to very specific niches, such as gluten-free meal planning. And I got to work testing them out via Google Adwords immediately.

The results were rather surprising…

From the nine Google ads that I ran, across the 30-40 search terms, it was the highly-specific terms proved to be the most fruitful. No surprise there. What was surprising was that “meal plan bodybuilding” had at least four times more impressions (how many times it was shown to people) than any other keyword, as well as an above-average click-through rate of nearly four percent. This suggested that the combination of competition and popularity was potentially four times more favourable than the other keywords.

That was something that I couldn’t ignore.

Diary of a wantrepreneur - Google adwords extract
An extract from the Google Adwords campaign manager tool

Furthermore, despite having virtually no content on the Tinkerdash landing page and using ads that were cobbled together in a few minutes, around one in ten people signed up. That’s an above-average conversion rate of nearly ten percent!

Here was proof that getting your advert in front of the right people is way more important than the content of the advert or landing page itself.

Diary of a wantrepreneur - Tinkerdash home page
The Tinkerdash home page, as it was during the Adwords campaign.

So, with the seed planted in my mind that bodybuilding may be a niche that I should focus on, I continued my mammoth research session.

In my next post, I’ll explain what I learnt about online sales funnels and how it made me realise that I might have been focussing on the wrong stuff all this time. Stay tuned…

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