My time interning at WXPN has been a mix. I’ve been learning lots on web design and web advertising, all the while swamped in new music discovery. As a big music fan, that’s fine with me, so I’ve determined XPN is an awesome place to work. Its a pretty social office, and there’s great new music I discover everyday just by being around music people and working on the site, seeing new musical content going through the station.

It’s not all chats and listening to music, though. I came on as a web team intern with the intent of assisting on the station’s first ventures into pay per click advertising, using Google Adwords. So far, it’s been a really good learning experience.

Luckily, I came in with a little experience in PPC already, so I had a feel for how to navigate and use Adwords. Still, just using Adwords and seeing results shows me just how massive of a machine Google really is. I find it kind of incredible how much information is in Google, and how much it’s growing daily. There are millions of searches every minute of the day, just begging to be capitalized by advertisers.

Paying for clicks is a fascinating concept to me. The fact that you can increase a bid on a selected keyword that random people will punch into their computer to make your site appear more often is amazing. People don’t really think a lot about what they type into Google, and its in a way becoming this sort of brain from just collecting internet users’ searches and questions. That is what’s really interesting to me, the growth of Google’s intelligence (coming from questions asked by the internet users of the world).

The first thing I’ll do when planning a campaign and keywords will be just going to Google. Then I’ll start searching as if I were trying to find the page we are advertising, and record what I’ll punch into Google. I’ll type words in a different order, leave certain words out just to search faster out of laziness, and care less about capitalization and spelling. These are all characteristics of people’s searches.

For example, the first campaign we ran was to draw clicks to the membership signup page on the wxpn site. We set up varying keywords to attempt to bring in clicks, ranging from things like “support local radio,” to “xpn concert calendar,” to “live music in philly.” But also important was to include “live music philly,” “philly live music,” “music in philly support,” etc. And Google does have a helpful keyword generator tool that will generate a bunch of suggested keywords to go from, but I also have really enjoyed the aspect of crafting search terms to target the random people could later punch into their computer.

Google Adwords has a great insights tool that gives you info on click through rate, average placement on a search page of your ad, and number of clicks and  impressions among other statistics. Going from here it will be pretty interesting to see what kind of results we get from the campaigns and which keywords exactly are being searched and leading to clicks. Sure, all these strategies and details may seem a little tedious or minimal, but while in the middle of a campaign, it becomes very interesting what changes even the littlest adjustments will bring.

I guess a lesson I’ve learned so far is that while working in media, is that it’s very important to actually have an interest in the content your media covers. I get excited to work on projects assigned to me while at work, not just to gain further personal experience, but because I also actually want to help this station in the ways that I can. XPN is a great source for music discovery and local music support, which is something I care about. When I’m not working on any campaigns, I’ll be uploading old archives of artist profiles and interviews. That may sound menial, but when the content is interesting, the job isn’t bad. It’s a way for me to get to know the website and the station better.I love advertising, but it’s hard to believe in your advertising when you can’t get behind the product. Luckily for me, a radio station like XPN is something I don’t have trouble finding motivation to do the best advertising job I can.