Saving Money Using Pay-Per-Click
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
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:
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
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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