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Google bucks (Read 2424 times)

    Last year, I received enough donations from you, my loyal users to cover all expenses associated with operating the website.  Thank you everyone that helped sustain RunningAHEAD.com.  I was happy to donate my time because it beats running (just kidding!)  I enjoyed the challenge and was thrilled that so many of you find it useful.

     

    RunningAHEAD.com relies completely on its users to promote it.  I cannot justify buying advertisements or hiring a marketing team to tell the world about how great its running log is.  Sometimes I wondered what would happen if I ran ads…

     

    A while ago, Uncle Google gave me some Google bucks to spend on AdWords, the ubiquitous Google ads that you’re so familiar with.  Since there is always a spike in people looking for a training log around the New Year, I took up Google’s offer and ran some ads.  Some of you may have seen it and rest assured that it was Google’s dime.

     

    As a quick background, the advertiser is charged for the ad only when someone clicks on it.  The viewing of the ads is free.  The placement of the ad depends on how much the advertiser is willing to pay.  More money equates to higher in the display order.

     

    As I was setting up the ads, there was an option to specify the amount of money I want to spend on each ad click.  There is also an option to let Google decide the best amount.  Since Google knows best, I turned control completely over to it.  I also set a cap on the maximum spending each day to $10, which Google concluded as a fair amount.

     

    When I checked the progress of my ad campaign on the first day at around noon, Google said that it stopped serving ads because it has reached its daily spending limit of $10.  On the summary panel, there were a total of 5 clicks.  One of the clicks cost $3.82!  I immediately concluded that Google knows best how to take my money.  I changed the maximum cost per click to $0.10 for the rest of the campaign.

     

    The obvious goal of this ad campaign was to have more users, which can be tracked by the number of new user accounts.  About two weeks into the campaign, Google offered a way to maximize the number of new account sign ups.  I agreed to it and sure enough, the number of new accounts increased shortly after I enabled the service without costing more money.  How does Google do that?  It’s all black magic to me.

     

    At the end of the campaign, 3,044 people clicked on the ads, resulting in 282 new accounts.   This number is very misleading because it does not equate to actual users.  In my experience, only a small fraction of these accounts will be active a month, or even a week after their creation.

     

    I learned that advertisement is not an effective method of gaining more users.  Maybe creating a social network would provide a bigger draw but it seems to go against the solitude of our sport.

     

    I will continue to rely on you to spread the word.  Having someone vouch for a product is more effective than any ad.  If you have a website or a blog, please give RunningAHEAD a plug.  Place a link or two, or 10 with the text “running log” or “training log” so others looking for a better training log can end their search here.  Thank you!


    Beware, batbear...

      Eric, I tend to share RA with only my running friends - which are few and far between.  The successes I've had (I deem them successes in that the friends use the site, at least the running log portion of it) have been with friends who were at the point of starting a running program.  My friends who have been running a while all seem to have their own ways of logging their runs that they are used to.  

      2012 Goals:

      7.  Have fun! 


      Beware, batbear...

        Sorry - got sidetracked.  My point in saying this, is that if there were a way to concentrate efforts on runners who were just getting started - either through google or some other means, just making members aware might be enough, it might help in having RA "stick" with new users.

        2012 Goals:

        7.  Have fun! 

          ive had several people ask me about my log after i post workouts on facebook, actually, it helped inspire a friend of mine to start running. one thing i noticed about the facebook app is that you dont have things posting in the news feed like many other apps tend to.

           

          when i first found the site, what really drew me in was the forums and all the things i could learn. RA is a database for running knowledge. i had an idea that you could post the most recent topics from the forums in the facebook app news feed. i think if people saw these feeds, they could relate to it the same way they see magazine articles in the grocery line. right away you have a common interest with that person. thats pretty much it, ill leave you to do whatever you like with it!

            You could always issue shirts to all of us that say, "Ask me about my log"...

            "Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn.  Climb that goddamn mountain."

            Jack Kerouac

            xor


              Let me show you my log!

               

              Let's compare logs!

               

                Sorry, I keep my log private.  Joking

                "During a marathon, I run about two-thirds of the time. That's plenty." - Margaret Davis, 85 Ed Whitlock regarding his 2:54:48 marathon at age 73, "That was a good day. It was never a struggle."


                Cool Jump Suit

                  I know at least 3 Facebook friends of mine have started using RA due to seeing runs posting my wall.    Cool

                  So bittersweet
                  This tragedy
                  Won't ask for absolution;
                  This melody
                  Inside of me
                  Still searches for solution;
                  A twist of faith
                  A change of heart 
                  Cures my infatuation;
                  A broken heart 
                  Provides the spark 
                  For my determination.


                  day after day sameness

                    To my opinion, RA is pretty amazing experience in this day and age. 

                     

                    1. A great running log;
                    2. A completely ad-free site; 
                    3. Access to advice, support and information from runners who have experiences ranging from joggers to world champions;
                    4. An hour or two (or more...more than I'd admit) of entertainment each day;
                    5. An engaged, responsive site developer.

                     

                    I can't think of any other web site that I use (and I touch a lot of sites between my professional and personal time) which has a value proposition anything close to RunningAHEAD.

                    I've done my best to live the right way; I get up every morning and go to work each day...

                    HoosierDaddy


                      Do you have a little script we can use to place a logo/link on our personal pages?

                        To my opinion, RA is pretty amazing experience in this day and age. 

                         

                        1. A great running log;
                        2. A completely ad-free site; 
                        3. Access to advice, support and information from runners who have experiences ranging from joggers to world champions;
                        4. An hour or two (or more...more than I'd admit) of entertainment each day;
                        5. An engaged, responsive site developer.

                         

                        I can't think of any other web site that I use (and I touch a lot of sites between my professional and personal time) which has a value proposition anything close to RunningAHEAD.

                        +1.  

                        'No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch'

                         

                        "Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"  - Peter Maher

                         

                        "Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it's hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run."  -Monte Davis

                          I know at least 3 Facebook friends of mine have started using RA due to seeing runs posting my wall.    Cool

                           

                          I just started posting mine on my wall yesterday.  We'll see if any of my friends come to check out this site.

                            Everytime I run with people I inform them about runningahead.com.  However, maybe it would be worth the time to send out invitations to local running groups/stores/schools about using your site.   The great thing about your site is that you can create a forum that only certain users can see your log or the forum.  It really is awesome and you should branch it out more.  You just need to get your product in front of the serious runner a little more.  One of our local running groups "Bob Ronckers" has over 1200 people in it for the spring. 

                            2014 Goals: (Yeah I suck)

                            • Sub 22  5K
                            • Sub 1:35 1/2 marathon 
                            • Sub 3:25:00 Marathon

                              Let me show you my log!

                               

                              Let's compare logs!

                               Big grin

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