Testing an idea using Google PPC


So you put a page with a description of the idea, put up some ads using AdWords and you had say 10 clicks with a CTR of 0.45%. Of the 10 clicks, 1 person signed up for a newsletter.

Is this a good result? Or is this bad?

The person signing up obviously is making the decision solely on 1 page. If I were signing up, I'd look at the website. How much activity is on it? Are there any blogs or videos? Should I even plug in my email even though I know I'm not paying anything?

Now let's ratchet up a little. What if I was charging $99 for something? What metrics (clicks, CTR, etc.) should I be focusing on?

Obviously, all this will depend on the type of product/service being marketed, the competition and a whole bunch of other factors.

How should I go about thinking about this lean startup methodology?


asked Sep 23 '10 at 23:32
48 points
  • How much did those 10 clicks cost? – Martin 13 years ago
  • I've actually had 105 clicks for a cost of $119. The overall CTR was 0.13%. The Search CTR was 0.29% and the Display CTR was 0.07%. I converted about 8% of the clicks to a free newsletter on my landing page. This was a period of 5 days. – User3272 13 years ago
  • $119 got you 8 newsletter sign-ups? That doesn't seem like a good ROI. – Martin 13 years ago
  • Sure, I definitely agree if this was a 4-year old site with 100,000 visitors / month. But what rates should new sites with absolutely no visitors see ? Can't compare new sites/ideas to existing sites. – User3272 13 years ago
  • 8% is not bad conversion rate for signup/click, although your sample size is too small (only 105 clicks). My company gets between 8-12% signup/click in a high volume on Google PPC. – Ekoostik Martin 10 years ago

1 Answer


I would caution that the conclusions you draw from this might not match actual performance when you start selling your product. It's been my experience that people will gladly sign up for "free stuff", including worthless news letters and such, and will investigate things they've never seen before out of simple curiosity, but when you put a price tag on it... well, people get weird when money's involved :^).

With that said, I think the plan has some merit IF it's a completely new product or if you utilized those click throughs to collect non-passive data. For instance, rather than just offering a free newsletter, put up a "help us make a great product" page and ask for information about what they are hoping to see. This would let you know that it wasn't just a passive "what's this" sort of click, AND it would get you useful, meaningful market data on your new product, or a marketing angle for that product to make a bigger splash when you do release.

Hope that's helpful.

answered Sep 24 '10 at 00:24
Don Greer
51 points
  • Thanks. Yes, I understand. I'm now doing the next round of testing where I'm split-testing 2 different prices and let the user select from a list of topics and write in their own topic. I'm sure its going to be harder to convert. Thanks for your feedback. So you're saying that a sub 1% CTR and a 10% conversion rate is good enough to go to the next level of testing. Am I reading this right? – User3272 13 years ago

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