Finding The Cheap Clicks
As anyone who uses Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising
in their marketing campaign knows, getting your
ad copy on the front page of a search results
listing is becoming more expensive by the day.
It’s a new phenomenon known as ‘keyword fatigue’,
and it's down to the overwhelming success of
programs like Google's AdWords. As more and more
advertisers realise the benefits of this form of
traffic generation, so the number of people
bidding for the same keywords increases, and
the bid prices climb accordingly. Great news if
you are a publisher taking a cut of the revenue,
but not so welcome for those doing the bidding.
So are the days of 5 cents a click now just a
distant memory? Not at all, there are hundreds of
thousands if not millions of keyword phrases out
there for minimum cost, all it takes is a little
more effort to use them. To understand how this
can be done, with Google AdWords in particular,
it is first necessary to understand how ad
positions are determined.
Google's PPC program, like their core search engine,
places a great deal of emphasis on advertisment
relevance. When a web surfer types keywords into
the search box, Google wants the ad that most closely
matches that phrase to be shown nearest the top of
the list - not just the ad bidding the highest amount
of money. It mutiplies bid price by keyword relevance,
and that means that by careful selection of your
keywords, it is possible to be placed above competitors
and pay only 1 cent more than they are (Google doesn't
necessarily charge the maxium amount you bid, only
enough to put you ahead).
There are three simple ways you can trump your
competitors with your keyword selection:
1. Longer phrases. There are huge numbers of people
bidding on a loose term like "mortgage broker", but
fewer people bidding on a tighter phrase like
"mortgage broker in texas". If a searcher types
"mortgage broker in texas" into Google, and you
have that phrase in your keyword list, your ad
will be deemed more relevant than anyone just
using "mortgage broker" in their own list - which
means a cheaper click for you! Of course, there
are fewer searches for mortgage brokers specifically
in Texas than for mortgage brokers in general, so
it's necessary to build a large list of similar
keyphrases targetting many locations.
2. Closer matching. Just because you might type "in
car satellite radio" into Google, doesn't mean every
surfer will do the same. Somebody else searching for
the same thing may well enter "satellite radio in
car", or "radio in car satellite", and so on. If your
ad contains every variation, it may trump a
competing ad which lists only the first example.
In other words, having just the keywords in your
list isn't necessarily enough - having them in the
same order a searcher enters them will give your
ad a better relevance score.
3. The final (Google specific) method is to ensure
that you wrap every keyword or keyphrase in both
quotes and brackets. Again, this means that if someone
enters an exact term you have listed, your ad will
beat a competing ad that has the same term but without
the brackets or quotes.
Clearly, building keyword lists in this way can be
more time consuming than simply selecting a few generic
words that describe your product or service, but
free tools such as those at http://www.keyword-toolkit.com
can make the process much quicker than doing it manually.
Cheap keyphrases are still there for the taking, the
winners in PPC now will be those who put in the effort
to catch them.
About the author:
Henry Eldridge-Doyle is an internet marketeer, and
site developer at http://www.keyword-toolkit.com
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