- Category: January - February 2009
One of the fastest ways to ensure your product or service gets noticed is the vastness of the Internet is by having a pay per click (PPC) advertising campaign. If done well, PPC can drive targeted, consistent traffic to your website.
PPC programs allow you to compete with the big boys in your niche. A targeted advertising campaign is a very quick way to get on top of the search engines without spending hours and hours optimizing your own website with the search engines.
Moreover, it is simple to start – just open an account and deposit some money as a starting balance with the search engine company you have chosen to advertise with; enter your EU:, title and description, then bid on relevant keywords.
So just how can you ensure you harness PPC and ensure it successfully drives your e-marketing endeavors? Here are some tips:
Which search engine should you use?
Start of by doing your research on which search engine suits your business the most. There are many PPC search engines out there, with some being better than others. The top two at the moment are still Google and Yahoo!. It is 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. An excellent source for information on pay per click advertising is payperclicksearchengines.com. You can find out everything from how to set up your own campaign to the top 10 pay per click search engines to advertise with. In addition, the site offers ideas on pay per click search engine advertising or pay per click internet advertising as it is also called. Check out: http://www.payperclicksearchengines.com
The importance of keywords
An essential component of PPC programs is the all-important keyword selection process. You’ll need to select keywords that are specific to your product or service offering. However, be careful not to select keywords that are extremely popular, as this may deplete your PPC funds sooner than expected. When in doubt, ask yourself the following question: ‘If I am searching for a product just like mine, which key words and/or phrases would I search for?’ Use your answers to this question as a base. You can also use a thesaurus to help build your keyword list with plurals, synonyms, etc.
In addition, it is also important to know which keywords your competitors are using – so do your research carefully. To 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.
Overture (Yahoo!) has a search suggestion tool which is great to check out before you embark on your keyword selection process: http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/
Simply, type in a set of keywords and it will list similar keywords including the number of times that keyword has been searched for on Overture in the last month.
Do remember that there is 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 CPC (Cost per click) funds.
How to get people to click your ads
Once you have selected your keywords, the next step is to get those who are searching for these to click on your ad, which in turn will result in them clicking through to your web site and potentially purchasing your product.
One of the most effective, yet simplest ways to get peoples’ attention is to use their search keywords in the title of your PPC ad. It grabs their attention and has been proven to increase click-thru rates on ads by over 50%. Create a description for our PPC ad that will attract the potential customer and let them know that your product is exactly what they are searching for.
Also bear in mind that you can sometimes create a more relevant title by combining your different keywords into one PPC advertisement. Another important technique to attract attention to your ad is to differentiate yourself from your competitors. It is also good practice to add a “Call to action” at the bottom of your advertisement. This is 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. Why it is so important to reduce click-throughs?
Sometimes it is 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 market.
The two quickest ways to reduce click-throughs are to make the description of your ad more targeted and to add the price of the product to the advertisement. This can reduce your overall click-through rate, but will most likely increase the likelihood of a click resulting in a purchase.
In addition, consider adding the price of the product you are selling at the end of the ad as this way you can instantly eliminate those looking for free products, and target those more willing to purchase your product or service.
Track your clicks and conversions
The fundamental core of any successful advertising campaign -- whether it is a PPC ad, banner ad or even newspaper ad -- is knowing whether or not your ads’ are actually converting into sales. In any form of Internet advertising, tracking your ad is a must if you want to succeed. Once you can track your ad conversions, you can make the call if you need to make any adjustments to them, or even decide if is better for you to save your marketing budget for something else.
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 ads are converting into sales and which aren’t. This is often referred to as knowing your ROI or Return on Investment.
Knowing exactly how much money you are making per dollar spent on every PPC ad is a must. If the ROI is positive and you are making more money than you are spending, then the ad is working and you can use this knowledge to further improve you other ads or increase ad spending for that particular ad/set of keywords.
If, however, your ad is costing you more than it is returning, then you can look at reducing your spend changing your approach, or removing the ad altogether. What’s important to bear in mind is that PPC like all other methods of advertising campaigns requires hard work, research, understanding – especially of your target market - and dedication. The rewards of mastering this advertising technique can be greater than expected.
By Shanti Anne Morais