Contents:
1. THE PPC IDEA Why advertising in the PPC is a must?
2. PREPARING A POWERFUL KEYWORDS TEMPLATE LIST
3. FIGURING OUT THE TITLE AND DESCRIPTION
4. SUBMITTING YOUR KEYWORDS
5. BIDDING STRATEGIES (AUTOBIDDING, BID GAPS)
6. TRACKING YOUR ADVERTISING EFFECTIVENESS

1. THE PPC IDEA Why advertising in the PPC search engines is a mustYou are probably familiar with the term ?search engine?. You type in a phrase which describes what you are looking for on the Internet and after a couple of seconds you get a list of short advertising texts. But what is a PPC?The PPC prefix stands for ?pay-per-click?.The idea of a PPC is that - it is a paid service (you pay for your ad exposure)- you determine whether your site is listed or not - you don?t have to bother to edit your website ?in a way that search engine spiders like it?- you decide on whether you want your ad be placed on #1, #2 or a mere #45 in the search engine position - the amount of traffic you get is directly tied to popularity of the keyword you bid onTo put it simply: your account is charged every time someone clicks on your ad. The ?someone? who finds you through the PPC is usually not a random net surfer, but a highly targeted prospective customer. How is it possible? Simple. If you are promoting cherry wood furniture online, you will probably be pleased to have someone who typed in ?cherry wood furniture? in their browser visit your site.If you still resist in believing me on the importance of bidding in PPCs, let me try to convince you the other way.Now, close your eyes and imagine something... Forget for a moment that you are an online advertiser. Suppose you wanted to fly to NY. You usually don't want to spend the whole money before you even get there, so you decide to find an online bargain price flight ticket. Take a minute now to revise on your actions...--> DO you search random pages hectically looking for banners of the company selling discount plane tickets? Probably no.--> DO you type in your browser www.discount-filghts-to-NY.com Well, if you are lucky enough to find out that such domain exists, you can't be sure if they are offering the best deal you could get, can you?--> or maybe you are not sure what to do?If you are like the 99,999% of the people using the Internet, your answer will probably be:==NONE OF THE ABOVE== Great tool as the net is, if you don't know how to look for the information you need, you could spend a lifetime trying to figure out which of 100000000+ websites to browse. What's your natural choice in such situation? The search engine of course!Easy as that, all you need to do is to type in "discounted+flight+NY" and you are immediately presented with a 100+ companies who could offer you the flight to the desired destination at a reasonable price. What a happy end!OK, back to the reality now. Your choice is everything but *unique* in this situation. Simple truth:EVERYBODY USES SEARCH ENGINES. Being an advertiser, can you afford missing such an opportunity? Unless your name is Bill Gates, you probably can?t?Ok, I have probably convinced you about the importance of search engines, but you may think that IF YOU have never used the PPC kind why your customers would care? STOP here and think for moment? Do the following names sound familiar?
http://www.yahoo.com
http://www.msn.com
http://www.lycos.com
http://www.infoseek.com
All of the above are tied by a contract with Overture - web?s most popular PPC search engine, and actually display its listings. It means that if your want your ad in these search engines, you have to bid on Overture. Other popular PPC search engines are:
>http://www.google.com<
>http://www.findwhat.com<
>http://www.goclick.com<
>http://www.sprinks.com<
>http://www.epilot.com<
>http://www.bay9.com<
>http://www.kanoodle.com<
>http://www.7search.com<
Now that you are convinced of the vital importance for improving your online income, let?s go into the details:

2. PREPARING A POWERFUL KEYWORDS TEMPLATE LIST
Advertising on PPCs comes down to bidding on keywords that are relevant to your site. Bidding on specific keywords lets you filter the crowd of those searching and extract only your potential clients. By choosing your keywords smartly YOU determine:- Amount of TARGETED traffic directed to your site - Place where your ad is listed- Cost of your campaign - Number of visitors to your siteExperience tells that it is better to prepare the list of keywords you are going to bid on in advance, so that you can use the mass submit feature available in most search engines. It is wise to keep your template of your keywords in a separate excel file, so that you can use it for submitting to different search engines.Use the online tools to figure out the best keywords1. Use Overture's search term suggestion tool2. Use GoodKeywords . It'sa great software program that lets you brainstorm for newkeywords and manage existing ones.Note that both Overture and GoodKeywords will also provide you with another useful information ? the number of monthly searches. This can help you estimate the cost of your campaign.If you choose to use Kanoodle.com, I recommend using the Keyword Metrics Feature which gives you even more data on every term you wish to bid on: - Number of Monthly Searches- Number of Daily Searches- Current Top Bid- Clicks- Clicks on 1st Result- Estimated Monthly Cost3. Check competitors' websites (especially the META tags in the HTML source of their main page) to learn what keywords they are emphasizing.Focus on two-word keywords. The reason is simple - the more descriptive the keyword, the more targeted traffic you get for your siteExample:If I were selling amber jewelry on the Net, I would*not* bid on search term 'amber' in Overture. This wayI would avoid the higher cost per click and thousands ofunwanted visitors who are looking for some porn-flick babe, notamber jewelry).Instead I would compile a list of more relevant keywords.I would most likely come up with search terms such as:amber giftsamber jewelryamber necklacebaltic amberbaltic amber jewelrygift jewelryjewelry gifts... and dozens of others Remember: THINK BROAD, NOT DEEP

3. FIGURING OUT THE TITLE AND DESCRIPTION
If your title is not relevant to your site expect visitors who were looking for something else, and that means lost $$ . You don't need just "any" traffic, you need to attract people who may be willing to pay you for your product. Attract attention In order to increase the targeted clickthrough try to include the searched phrase in the title, so that your potential customer may be able to spot your ad immediately. The reasoning is simple: if you have the searched phrase in the title that means you offer exactly what they were looking for. Make sure that your title specifies the type of the product you offer.Avoid empty phrases "It is a great site and I recommend it" or ?Have a look at my site? are not really the best way to attract targeted visitors?Don?t let your ad SHOUT!!!!!!! too muchUse exclamation marks or capital letters in your title and description wisely. Provide your prospects with a sensible info rather than shout at them.Make your description descriptiveMost PPC search engines limit the number of characters you can type in the "title" and "description" spaces. This makes sense, as Search engines should provide you with links, not the content of the sites. Check for typosIt is useful to copy and paste your ad to MS Word before you submit it to the search engine. Not only will it check for the typos, but also you can use the character counting feature and see if you didn?t exceed the max.

4. SUBMITTING YOUR KEYWORDS
When your keyword list and ad with a suitable title and description is finally ready, it?s time to submit.If your keyword list is longer than 10 (and it definitely SHOULD), submitting every keyword with the same or similar listing may be a daunting task, as you?ll be required to type in the same info for every keyword. Well, PPC marketing is no bed of roses. It is hard work. Check the search engine if it has a mass submission feature and if it is available, use it to save time.Be aware of the fact that in most PPCs your listings will have to be approved by the editorial staff before they go online. Your campaign will start within 3-5 business days from submission.Don?t bother to set up your bids before your listings go online. As they are subject to constant change, you will have to change them anyway after they go online in order to maintain the required position. No need to do the same work twice. Just set up all bids to the minimum (which is usually 0.01 or 0.05) and wait till they are approved.

5. BIDDING STRATEGIES (AUTOBIDDING, BID GAPS)
When you already have an active list of keywords you want to bid on, it?s time to decide on a strategy. Here are a few proven PPC strategies:Monitor your adsPPC is an auction like eBay. If you want to maintain your position, you have to bid often and monitor your bids even more often.As Overture.com distributes its top 3 results on 5 major engines (Altavista, MSN, Yahoo, Lycos, Hotbot). If you're in one of the top 3 positions in Overture, watch your campaign carefully. The traffic amount on different keywords is constantly subject to change. Because of so much exposure, your listings can get more clickthroughs than you expected, so the cost may be higher than the originally planned. It is easy to lose your position especially if you aim at #3 and therefore lose the precious traffic. The rule of the thumb is: think broad, not deep. Try to have as many keywords as you can possibly think of, instead of focusing on most popular ones and playing the 'king of the hill'.Bid higher or evenAd with the highest bid comes on top, then a lower one and so on. To jump to the top spot, you have to bid $0.01 higher than it's current occupant.(useful tip: if you are using Kanoodle, it is enough to bid the same amount as the previous #1 in order to become the new #1)Avoid bid gapsThere are many reasons why you should aim at #1 position, but never forget your common sense! In the following situation:#1) $0.25#2) $0.02#3) $0.01you should rather bid $0.03, than aggressively come up with $0.26, as your competitor is likely to make it $0.27 tomorrow, and in a month, one of you will be paying well over $0.50 which is rarely cost effective?On being #1?The winner takes it all? is the rule in the PPCs. In almost every business it is clear that being #1 is a much better than being #4 or number #11. But in the PPCs this is especially true. While #1 acquires % of the traffic, #2 gets and #3 only. It is clear now why you should want to be #1.Another reason is that the top three results from Overture.com appear on major search engines, so you are more likely to get MASSES of traffic from them. Actually, being #2 is not that bad ? you get less traffic (and therefore pay less), but the results in sales are similar. Some say that people click on #1 but are not ready to close the sale until they click on #2? You will just have to see what?s working for you. Be careful with auto bidding and bid optimizers?Both tools: Auto Bidding (from Overture.com) and Bid Optimizer (available at Findwhat.com) sound as a great advantage to busy advertisers who don?t have much time for managing the bids. The idea is to set the so called max bid which is the maximum amount of money you wish to pay for particular keyword. The system changes your bids within the limit you set. But don?t make the mistake which made some keywords worth $8.00 from a mere $1.01? The thinking was probably like this: if I set $6.00 barrier as the max bid, there would be no one willing to pay so much so I will have #1 all the time, for the cost of just one cent higher than the #2 bid ($1.01 in this case)#1 $6.00
(Max Bid in Auto Bidding, so advertiser pays just $1.01) #2 $1.00#3 $0.99
But what if #2 bidder starts to use the Auto Bidding feature and sets his Max Bid to $5.99? Sad for the #1 bidder, because now he is paying $6.00 while #2 bidder is still paying $1.00. I?ve seen this happen?If you decide to use this tool, don?t overvalue the amount you want to pay for your advertising hoping that nobody is ?stupid? enough to bid higher. The world is full of freaks

6. TRACKING YOUR ADVERTISING EFFECTIVENESS
Keep track of all your PPC ads. And trust me what you need here is a professional ROI tool, not a simple counter. Even if you think that PPC is too expensive for you, check it thoroughly. It may occur that an Overture keyword for which you are paying $1 per click (that?s expensive!) is generating a $35 sale once in ten clicks, and your net profit on each sale is still $25. Worth considering if you are selling a virtual product! I strongly suggest that you try http://www.hypertracker.com the best tracking solution on the market for tracking your PPCs. It let?s you track the effectiveness of single keywords and whole PPC accounts, counting not only clicks actions and sales, but also revenues, costs, profits, CPA, CPS and CPCs! It also has great reporting features.

Ibe Joseph C
A Nigerian entrepreneur who loves publishing and specializes in adsense, article writing and website designing.
www.josephmich.blogspot.com
http://www.weightlossin21days.blogspot.com/

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