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Saving Money Using Pay-Per-Click Search Engines

by: SBC Staff

 

You may already be familiar with using pay-per-click (ppc) search engines. If you are not, you should seriously consider making them a part of your marketing strategies.

I WANT THE NUMBER 1 POSITION!

Many people believe that the whole idea of using ppc engines is to get the number one ranking for their relevant search terms. While a number one ranking is great to have, the real goal of bidding on search terms is to get targeted, qualified traffic to your site at a cost that makes it a profitable endeavor. It is possible to drive quality traffic to your site even if your budget demands you stick with minimum bids.

Start off by carefully evaluating the search terms that are relative to your site. As you'll see shortly, you don't have to develop an exhaustive list at this time. Just come up with the broad keywords that describe your products or services.

As you might imagine, the broad keywords you come up with will probably cost you a very high bid to get the top position. In fact, a bid that far exceeds the minimum might not even get you in the top 40 with some search terms.

Let's assume you sell ecommerce systems that include a storefront, merchant account and free hosting. Your target market is businesses that are seeking low cost ecommerce solutions. If you wanted to bid on the keyword "ecommerce" it would cost you $3.02 to get the top position on Overture. If you find there are 5,000 hits to this search term during the month, it would cost you $15,100 for the hits you would receive. It might be worth it, but that is more than many small businesses could afford or would be willing to spend. So what do you do?

EVALUATE ALTERNATIVE SEARCH PHRASES

Whether or not you ultimately want to place bids at Overture, they have two terrific tools that will make your life much easier. First, use their Search Suggestion Tool to evaluate alternative search phrases. For example, enter "ecommerce" in the tool as the search term and it will return a variety of similar search terms along with the number of searches performed for those terms during the last month. You will find this tool at:

http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/

Next, go to the advertiser login page on Overture and open their bid tool. This tool will show you the current bids for search terms you enter. So if you enter "ecommerce" you'll see the $3.02 bid for the number 1 position we mentioned earlier and the bid at each position thereafter. Try the alternative search phrases and you'll find that "ecommerce solutions" will cost you $.52 just to get into the top 40. Keep going and you'll find that you can get the number one position for "ecommerce system" for only $.10, the number one position for "cheap ecommerce" for the minimum bid of $.05, and top ten listings for "small business ecommerce," "ecommerce host," and "ecommerce provider" with the minimum bid.

Look at the visitors using these search terms during the prior month and you'll see that these terms generated 900 to 1,000 clicks. You can continue to evaluate alternative terms until you have top or high positions in dozens of categories that, together, will provide you with the hits you believe you need. If you want the 5,000 hits you would get using "ecommerce", you can get them at $.05 instead of $3.02 per click by using this methodology.

WHICH PPC ENGINES SHOULD I USE?

To this point we have talked about using tools provided by Overture. What if you don't want to bid on Overture? After all, the minimum bid has been raised to $.05 as opposed to $.01 on the others.

Overture is currently the largest PPC engine, and as such, should provide a good sampling of results that should apply on the other engines as well. But once you have determined which search phrases you want to bid on, there is one more tool that you can use. CompareYourClicks allows you to enter a search term and see the bids for the top six positions on nine different PPC engines.

For example, if you enter "ecommerce system" at CompareYourClicks at the time this article is being written, you will find that the top position can be had for a bid of $.10 on Overture, $.02 on FindWhat, and $.01 on Sprinks, Ah-Ha and GoClick. You've found yourself a bargain!

OTHER TIPS FOR SAVING MONEY

* Draft your listing for use in the search results very carefully. Let's say you sell your low cost ecommerce solution for $75.00 per month. If you were creating an ad for use on a classified site, your goal would be to get the reader to visit your site and then convince them that $75.00 is an excellent price for your service. On the PPC engines, you want to include the fact that your service costs $75.00 per month to prequalify the visitor before they click. Since you're paying for every click you want to make sure your visitors are interested at $75.00 before they click to your site.

* Don't ignore misspellings of popular search terms. Most people will carefully craft the search phrases they are bidding for. Most searchers will not. Misspellings occur and can usually be bought for a very low bid.

* Sign up for weekly email tips from CompareYourClicks to get their latest secrets and tricks for using PPC engines.

If you're not using PPC engines, get in the game today. You'll like the results you get.


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