Pay Per Click Campaign Strategy
Clicks used to be free. In case you haven't noticed, ever since
the dotcom implosion, the net has rapidly been converting from a
free-for-all to a pay per click (PPC) model. In short, if you
want to be ranked first for a keyword look-up; you pay the most
per click. In order to be ranked second, you pay the second
most. Virtually every search engine lists the highest bidders
for a keyword at the top of the returned results.
The only partial exception currently is Google, which is about
50% PPC. Google lists algorithm-generated results when a search
is performed, but it lists PPC results in the right hand column,
adjacent to the algorithm. With their pending IPO, we anticipate
a major shift to more PPC results.
Frequently we have consulted for various clients with existing
PPC campaigns and we have found most were paying too much for
their PPC programs. What is most interesting is that the clients
found many different ways to overpay; here are just a few
"overpaying techniques" we have found:
Save Time For Yourself. Many PPC advertisers save themselves a
heap of time by making all the titles and descriptions the same.
This saves you time, but costs you money, as this does not
adequately convey the uniqueness of each PPC keyword.
Crummy Title: The first thing your potential visitor reads is
the description. Just like the cover of a book, people will
judge you by your title. In example, we found some PPC ads that
had just, "Online Mortgage Application" when I searched for home
loan and various state names. Be more exact: if you are buying
the keyword "California Home Loan" make sure your title includes
the phrase "California Home Loan".
Crummy Description: If your potential visitor likes your title,
they may read further; be sure to give them something worthwhile
to read. Here is one we found, "We are in the money saving
business." Another description read, even though it was found
under "California Home Loan," which was, "We compare and review
credit card products and find the one that's right for you." A
weak description results in lost revenue.
Landing Page Destination: Another shortcut PPC advertisers use
is to send all visitors to the main page of the site, and then
expect the visitor to navigate to another page that really has
what they want (i.e., Utah home loan, VA home loan). Each click
you require your visitor to perform gives them a reason to
Landing Page Content: Quite often we see various keywords
purchased, like "Chicago Home Loans," yet when we click on the PPC link, we arrive at a page that talks about Missouri home
loans (where the advertiser was based), and about how they serve
the "entire" Midwest. This is not very comforting to a visitor
when they arrive and the very thing they are seeking is not
overtly discussed on your web page.
Assumptive Close: Some PPC advertisers skip all the courtship
and dating by getting right down to business via serving up the
online application form. There are no rate quotes, no
information, just the form. Customers like to be courted before
Bidding Too Much: Some mortgage companies that serve only 15-25
states bid the term "Home Loan" even though there are a lot of
visitors they will attract that they can't service. As of this
writing, the top bid was $7.99 for the keyword "Home Loan."
Not Bidding Enough: Some frugal advertisers feel by bidding the
minimum bid (currently 10 cents at Overture, that they are
saving money. A "Home Loan" search shows that a ten cent bid
would place you at #157. The probability that you will get a
customer at #157 is about the same probability that this
strategy is working.