for Successful Pay-Per-Click
Machaalani © 2005
Pay per click (PPC) is
by far one of the easiest and quickest methods of driving targeted, consistent
traffic to your website. While this may seem like a daunting method of
advertising for some, it's actually quite easy and can end up becoming that one
marketing method that you can't live without.
What I'd like to do today
is provide some tips and techniques that I personally use when creating and
monitoring PPC ad's. Hopefully these tips will help you in your future marketing
Experimenting With Different Search
There are many PPC search engines, with some being better
than others. The top two are Google and Yahoo, which was previously known as
Overture. It's a good idea to start your PPC campaigns with a small budget,
spreading it out over a few different search engines to experiment and see where
your target market may be lurking.
Generally speaking, I've found Google
Adwords is better for more technically orientated products or services,
including software, hardware, web design etc. Yahoo, on the other hand, is
better for general consumer products, including insurance, toys, music
What I wrote in the previous paragraph is very general, and you
should analyze your campaigns carefully to see where they are performing their
best. We'll discuss this in detail a little later in the
Selecting the Right Keywords
The keyword selection
process is probably the most important of all when it comes to creating your PPC
ad's. You'll need to select keywords that are specific to your product or
service offering, but you need to be careful not to select keywords that are
extremely popular, as this may deplete your PPC funds sooner than
The keyword selection process begins by asking yourself just
"If I was searching for a product just like mine, which
words or phrases would I search for?"
Using your answer(s) to this
question as your base, you can then use a thesaurus and common sense to start
building your keyword list with plurals, synonyms, similar words, etc.
see which keywords your competitors are using, simply try searching for them. If
you see a PPC ad along the side for your competitor, then note that keyword down
and add it to your list.
Another way of coming up with great keywords is
to use the overture search suggestion tool: http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/
in a set of keywords and it will list similar keywords, including the number of
times that keyword has been searched for on Overture (Yahoo) in the last
There's often a fine line between selecting keywords that are
either too specific or keywords that are too general. Try to keep away from
these, as they can often result in wasted PCP funds.
A typical example of
this would be an ad that I created recently for our latest product, TrackPoint,
which -- not coincidently -- is an internet marketing return on investment (ROI)
tracking tool. Although the product is heavily geared towards internet
marketing, using such a broad term would have made it virtually impossible to
compete with the other advertisers.
The term "internet marketing" is
searched for 825,674 times per month on Overture alone. Combined with the huge
number of different advertisers that target this keyword, the top bid for
"internet marketing" on Google AdWords is $13.84 per click! With an average of
240 clicks per day, a single day of advertising alone would cost
Now, unless you have an extremely high conversion rate of visitors
to sales, or you're selling a high priced item that usually has a high customer
acquisition cost, I suggest targeting more specific keywords. Not only will this
decrease your overall competition with other advertisers, but it will also
increase the chances of turning your newly found web site visitors into
Back to my earlier example, I chose to be specific with my
keywords. One keyword was "ROI tracking", which is searched for 1,828 times per
month on Overture and has a much cheaper top bid. This keyword is also more
targeted to the product I was marketing, meaning that a large percentage of
people clicking on my ad should turn into customers.
It's also helpful to
note that taking the top bid is not always necessary, and anywhere in the top
5-10 can generate great leads. This really does come down to budget and
to Your Ad
Now that we've selected our keywords, we need to get those
searching to click on our ad, which in turn will result in them clicking through
to our web site and potentially purchasing our product.
One of the
simplest ways to get peoples attention is to use their search keywords in the
title of your PPC ad. This has been proven to increase click-thru rates on ad's
by over 50%.
Why? Simple. If the potential customer is searching for "ROI
Tracking" and the title of a PCP ad begins with "ROI Tracking", then their
attention will be grabbed instantly. He or she doesn't need to know much else,
other than that the PPC ad is catered specifically for him or her.
thing to keep in mind is that you can sometimes create a more relevant title by
combining your different keywords into one PPC ad. For example, I could have
easily used something like "ROI Tracking PHP Script" as the title of my ad,
which effectively would have decreased my click-thru rate, but definitely caters
my ad more to a specific audience. Once again, this comes down to analysis and
Another important technique to attract attention to your ad
is to differentiate yourself from your competitors. In our particular case, the
majority of our competition offer hosted solutions, whereby they manage the
software on their servers in return for monthly or per traffic fees.
product caters to a different audience, those that want more control over their
software, as well as those not wanting to pay monthly fees. So, in this example,
I would make the title of my ad "Pay no monthly or per traffic
Next -- and this is where experimentation is extremely important
-- we need to create a description for our PPC ad that will attract the
potential customer and let them know that our product is exactly what they are
searching for. To do this, I start my ad's description with "Track PPC,
campaigns & search".
Finally, it's good practice to add a "Call to
action" at the bottom of your ad. If you're not familiar with this term, its
usually an instruction to tell the person to do something, such as "Click here
to view a demo", "Download Now", etc.
Marketing experts seem to agree
that the average human needs to be prompted to click on an ad or take action, so
we'll add this line to the end of our PPC ad's description:
campaigns & search. Try demo!"
Sometimes it's important to reduce the number of clicks
your PPC ad is receiving. This could be because you are attracting people who
are only after free products/services, or even the wrong target
The two quickest ways to reduce click-thru's are to make the
description of your ad more targeted and to add the price of the product to the
Making the description more targeted (as I've discussed above) can
reduce your overall click-thru rate, but potentially increase the likelihood of
a click resulting in a purchase.
In my earlier example, by adding the
words "PHP script" to the description, we are effectively filtering out those
looking for a hosted solution, downloadable software or even those with a server
that isn't capable of running PHP scripts.
We also increase the targeting
of our ad because we now know that the majority of those clicking on the ad are
looking for a PHP script, which is exactly what our product is.
by adding the price of the product you are selling to the end of the ad, you
instantly eliminate those looking for free products, and target those willing to
purchase your product or service.
Tracking Your Clicks and
The fundamental core of a successful advertising campaign
-- whether it be a PPC ad, banner ad or even newspaper ad -- is knowing whether
or not your ad's are actually converting into sales or not.
If your ads
aren't making you m-o-n-e-y then you're more than likely better off saving your
advertising dollars and adjusting your ad's or using your marketing budget
elsewhere in your company.
Both Google and Overture have built in
tracking and conversion tools that you can use to get a holistic view of your
current PPC ad campaigns. You can even use external tools which let you add
conversion code to your website to tell you exactly which of your ad's are
converting into sales and which aren't. This is often referred to as knowing
your ROI or Return on Investment.
We need to know exactly how much
m-o-n-e-y we are making per dollar spent on every PPC ad. If the ROI is positive
and we are making more m-o-n-e-y than we are spending, then the ad is working
and we can use this knowledge to further improve our other ad's or increase ad
spending for that particular ad/set of keywords.
If, however, our ad's
are costing us more than they are returning, then we can reduce our spend,
change our approach, or remove these ad's altogether. It's a rather simple
formula, but frustratingly ignored by many advertisers.
You must track
your ads if you want to succeed with any form of Internet advertising. You
should also constantly monitor and adjust your ads according to how they are
performing, your return on investment,
Hopefully I've provided you with a clear
insight into PPC advertising and techniques that you can use to improve your
advertising campaigns. It pays -- pun intended -- to do your research and
understand your target market, because the rewards can sometimes be much more
than you expected.
Copyright © 2005, Interspire, Eddie
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