Welcome to Issue # 15. I’m a day late because of the Independence Day holiday and all. I hope yours was a great one. I didn’t take in any fireworks on the 4th but rather on the 3rd. That is when they do them in the small community I live in. There is a big all-day celebration in our community park with food, fun, live music, games and of course, fireworks. Hundreds and hundreds of people turned out for the celebration. We also entertained friends at our home enjoying good food and of course, the swimming pool, a cool retreat from our hot Arizona sun.
The main topic this month is Pay Per Click Advertising. I begin with a short piece on setting up and managing a pay per click campaign and then follow it with another great article by Jennifer Laycock entitled “The Simple Pay Per Click Change That Could Earn You More”. So with no further ado, lets get to it.
In this issue…
- DOES PAY PER CLICK ADVERTISING SCARE YOU?
- FEATURE ARTICLE – THE SIMPLE PAY PER CLICK CHANGE THAT COULD EARN YOU MORE
- SEARCH ENGINE HEADLINES
- CLOSING COMMENTS
DOES PAY PER CLICK ADVERTISING SCARE YOU?
I came across an interesting post yesterday regarding a person who had just signed up for a Google AdWords account. It went something like this:
“I have never done anything like this. I just bought some Google Ads for one of my products. Has anyone had any experiences with Google Ads? Good, bad or indifferent?”
The statement “I have never done anything like this…” almost reminds me of what people say when they do something wrong and then get caught, almost like they regret doing it. I can certainly understand the advertiser’s apprehension as PPC can be very intimidating not only in setting up a campaign but feeding its hungry mouth with your hard earned dollars.
However, one does not have to be afraid of pay per click. The key is to get the right person or company involved in setting up and managing your PPC campaign. While it is true that anyone can set up a PPC campaign at Google or Yahoo/Overture through their self-serve applications, many do not have the faintest idea of what they are really doing. They do not understand which are the best keywords to target. They do not understand how to create short but compelling ads that will generate a response. They do not understand how to track the effectiveness of the campaign through measuring conversion rates and ROI (return on investment).
This is where the scare factor comes into play causing many to simply give up. Rather than give up, why not get a professional involved? Hire somebody who is not only a marketing professional but understands pay per click. If you are a large company and have an enormous PPC budget, then it makes sense to bring someone on staff to solely manage your PPC campaign. However if you are a smaller company with a minimal budget, then it may make sense to hire a professional company to manage your campaign. Many companies either work off a percentage of your total monthly budget or set a nominal fee to manage your PPC campaign. Their goal should then be to target the most appropriate keywords, create compelling ads that generate good click thru ratios, all while keeping the cost you pay for each click-thru to a minimal and in the end allowing you to enjoy a great return on your investment.
PPC is here to stay. There is an audience to reach with it. Therefore it is definitely something that most companies can no longer ignore and with a professional helping them, they no longer have to be afraid.
Note: Shameless plug ahead – if you need help setting up and/or managing your PPC campaign, feel free to contact me or visit http://www.searchrank.com/paid.html to learn more.
FEATURE ARTICLE – THE SIMPLE PAY PER CLICK CHANGE THAT COULD EARN YOU MORE
I am honored once again to have Jennifer Laycock provide this month’s feature article. She previously contributed to our March 2005 Newsletter and I am honored to have her here again. I share moderating duties with Jennifer on Small Business Ideas Forum. She has been involved in Internet marketing since 1995 and with search engine optimization (SEO) since 2001. She is a requested speaker and has served as both a panelist and a moderator of several interactive site clinics at Jupiter Media’s popular Search Engine Strategies conferences.
The Simple Pay Per Click Change That Could Earn You More by Jennifer Laycock
Are you throwing away easy conversions because of the way you’ve set up your pay-per-click campaign? Chances are high that if you are a small business owner running the campaign yourself, you are. It’s not because you are missing some secret trick, or because you aren’t capable of running your own campaign, it’s likely because you’ve simply overlooked something obvious.
Delivering your visitors to the absolute most relevant content will dramatically increase your conversions.
Time and time again, I speak with small business owners that are running their pay-per-click campaigns in-house. Many of these companies are doing a fairly good job of tracking their conversion rates, selecting phrases to bid on and even writing compelling ad copy to help increase their click-thru rates. That said, over half of them would likely see a dramatic increase in their conversions rates if they would take the time to send visitors to something other than the front page of their web site.
For small business owners that have limited budgets for outsourcing organic search marketing, pay-per-click campaigns are an excellent way to target both broad phrases that would be difficult to rank organically for and niche phrases that you may not have the time to create content for. Sometimes however, a small business owner gets frustrated when they see excellent click-thru rates, but dismal conversion rates.
Let’s consider that a user has searched on Google for the phrase “Lord of the Rings on DVD.” Chances are high that this user is looking to purchase the movie. Now, when you decide what URL you send that visitor to, you could send them to the front page of your site (i.e. www.yourdomain.com) OR, you could send them to the actual page where you can buy The Lord of the Rings.
It’s such a simple change, but it could mean the difference between a 2% conversion rate and a 10% conversion rate. Study after study shows that the less clicks you place between your visitor and a purchase, the more likely they are to buy. So why would you make them dig through your site when you could deliver them right to what they are looking for?
I understand that many business owners want to force their users to look at all of their products in the hopes that they will be able to upsell or cross sell their buyers. This is why the milk and bread is in the very back of the grocery store. That makes sense for a retail chain, but remember this; on the web, your biggest competitor is a single click away. You simply cannot play the same games with your customers that you can in a retail outlet. If you force your customer to play hide and seek, they will most likely seek out someone that makes
it easier for them.
Don’t make your customers work to buy from you. Give them what they want from the moment they enter your site. If you’re not already targeting specific landing pages with your pay-per-click campaign, take the time to sit down and point those ads to someplace other than your front page. You might be surprised at the size of next month’s profits.
SEARCH ENGINE HEADLINES
Here are some of the latest headlines related to the search engine industry.
AOL.com Beta Site Unveiled
America Online’s future unofficially began today, with the beta launch of its new AOL.com portal marking the turning point between its subscription-based business model of the past and its ad-supported future.
MSN Shopping To Add PriceGrabber Listings
Comparison shopping site Pricegrabber.com and MSN formed a strategic partnership to add the shopping site’s listings and review database onto MSN’s shopping vertical site. The partnership, which hasn’t yet gone live, was signed earlier this month.
eBay to Buy Shopping.com for $620 Million
eBay plans to acquire Shopping.com in a $620 million cash transaction aimed at resuscitating the auction giant’s slowing growth rate.
Last month I informed you of my annual roller coaster trip. Well I am about one week back and what a fabulous trip it was. One of the highlights was meeting Larry Baker, owner of Clementon Amusement Park, and not only being able to listen to my friend interview him but being able to ride in the front of his new wooden roller coaster – J2. What a thrill that was! We ended up riding a total of 31 different roller coasters, some repeat rides, at five different parks in a total of five days. I’ve definitely got my fix for the summer now and am a happy man!
See you next month!