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tired of throwing your money away on paid search?

Mar 1, 2008
Is your paid search making a profit or is a loss. There is great profit in paid search. The question is, are we the ones profiting or the search engines? Their goal is more clicks. The more people click on our ads the more money they make. The real goal should be "fewer clicks, lower cost with more conversions". Let's look at some strategies that should make a improve our campaigns.

1. Turn off "Content Network" when you first set up a your campaign. The default setting "on". The "Content Network" represents most of the loss in paid search. Content Network presents your ads on websites that are using AdSense. If you go to a website and see "Ads by Google", those ads are coming from Google paid search accounts. The content of the website determine the ads that show up on these sites. Consider the following before turning on the content match. One, the website that is hosting our ad gets paid every time someone clicks on the ad. Secondly, most people who click on these ads are doing research. The great thing about search engine marketing is that you come in contact with individuals who are actively searching for what you have to offer, pay for clicks that come from people in that category.

2. Search Terms. The more general the term, less qualified the lead (generally speaking) and the more the cost. What I try to figure out is what terms would work in order to get my ideal customer to my site.

3. Keyword "types" There are three types of keywords "Broad", "Phrase" and "Exact". The rule of thumb that I use is: for single word phrases, use exact match and for search phrases that are two to three words, used "phrase matching". I am also experimenting with using "exact" matching for these terms as well. The more specific the search term is to what you are offering and who your ideal client is, the more qualified to lead will be. Better a small number of qualified leads than a large number of leads that waste your time and ultimately cost a lot more money.

4. Ad Copy can will determine who clicks on your ad. Your ad should be specific enough to attract only your ideal client (someone who is looking for exactly what you have to offer). Your ad should have at least one of your "unique selling propositions". This can be very challenging because of the space limitations. Rule of thumb, find out what your competitors are doing and do something different. For example, if everyone is offering free shipping, use one of your other unique selling propositions. Also, use the following in your "headline" box: {keyword: "your main keyword}. This will help improve your quality score.

5. Landing Pages. You need to put a lot of thought to your landing pages. Your landing page has to do one thing, that is, answer the questions are up that the searcher had in mind when he typed in his key words. The searcher type in his search terms because he has a problem, needs a solution and is in some kind of "pain". You have about two seconds to convince him that you understand what he is going through and what he needs. The last thing a searcher wants to see see how great you are. They just don't care. You must show them that you possess the answers to their needs. Don't just send them to your home page unless your home page can accomplish the above. Once you connect with your searcher you must have a call to action. It can be a "buy now", "for more information contact us", "contact us for a free evaluation" or "free consultation". You must be very specific and clear about the next steps. Have your "phone number" or "contact us button" on every page.

6. The most important thing to remember are three words: tracking, tracking and tracking. Track everything. Paid search is not an exact science. It takes time to set up and optimized your campaigns to get the results that you are looking for. You must monitor your campaigns at least weekly in order to catch market changes. Google, Yahoo and MSN have free tracking tools that work great.

Paid search is a great marketing tool, if used correctly. It can also, as stated earlier; dry up your budget in a heartbeat. It is a lot cheaper to find someone who knows what they are doing and does this day in and day out to help you than it is to lose thousands of dollars trying to figure it out yourself.
About the Author
For more information or help with your paid search go to Terry Stanfield's site on PPC Management. Also read his free article on developing customer focused landing pages that keep visitors on your site.
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