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12 Tips To Get The Most ROI From Your PPC

May 21, 2008
Pay Per Click campaigns are not set it and forget projects. Without advanced planning and continued monitoring, they can become extremely unprofitable. Use these proven techniques to squeeze the most ROI out of your PPC:

1. Organize your campaign on paper before you set it up. Once the structure of a campaign gets out of hand, it's really hard to fix it. One day, you log into your PPC dashboard, and you're totally overwhelmed. (If you already have a large PPC campaign, I'm sure you know exactly what I mean! If you haven't started your campaign yet, take my word for it.) Start with a good outline before you even begin the setup phase. You'll thank yourself a few months from now.

2. Do your keyword research. Your prospects do not use the same words you do! If you're targeting end users, avoid industry jargon and insider phrases. Use the words your customers use.

3. Go fat instead of tall. Forget those New Year's resolutions. When it comes to PPC, fat is a good thing. Don't worry about getting the #1 spot for a very popular (and expensive) keyword. Instead, focus on getting the #2 or #3 spot for lots of inexpensive, but still relevant, keywords. It's true that this technique requires a bit more work, but it's much more economical. And it often results in more conversions.

4. Use longtail keywords. I recently came across a study showing that the largest demographic of web users (16 - 30 year olds) favor longtail keywords over category specific searches. If you want to grab these important users, use longtail words and phrases. Optimizing for longtail is quickly becoming the norm.

5. Take advantage of negative keywords, but be careful. Many webmasters automatically enter the word "free" as a negative keyword believing that visitors specifically looking for freebies never become buyers. You might want to do some testing and tracking on this philosophy before creating a blanket policy. Especially if you're able to find some really inexpensive keywords, and you're using a two-part conversion process, it might be worth the few pennies to add those freebie-seeking names to your mailing list.

6. Set your campaign for phrase matches and exact matches. This is usually much more economical and results in higher quality traffic.

7. Test your ad copy. There are different rules for different engines, but one thing remains constant: it's hard to write compelling text with such a small number of words! It takes practice and it takes a good understanding of your target market. Pay attention to the rules for the particular engine - for instance, are you allowed to use a dollar sign? How about an exclamation point? Don't forget to use your keyword in your ad's headline and in the text, and use the slang your customers would use. (Yes, I know, that's a lot to squeeze into only 95 characters!)

8. Use a customized landing page. This mistake is extremely common - even the big companies do it... Do not use your home page as your landing page. Sending visitors to your home page is expensive (due to the weak quality score) and results in poor conversions. Create individual pages for each keyword.

9. Use an exit pop to grab newsletter subscribers. If your PPC visitors don't convert on your landing page, try to grab them as they navigate away from your site. Encourage them to sign up for your newsletter with an enticing offer.

10. Start small and test all along the way. Just because your PPC budget will eventually be $500 a month, that doesn't mean you need to start there. Start small, get some practice and experience under your belt and increase your monthly spend accordingly.

11. Don't be afraid to delete an unproductive campaign. Generally, bad campaigns don't get better over time, they only get worse. As your CTR decreases, your quality score decrease and your PPC increases. It becomes a vicious cycle. If a campaign looks like it hasn't gotten off to a good start, pull the plug.

12. Test, track, monitor. Test, track, monitor. Test, track, monitor. Wash, rinse, repeat.
About the Author
Karen Scharf is an Indianapolis marketing consultant who works with small business owners and entrepreneurs. She offers several whitepapers, free reports and checklists, including her FREE Can-Spam checklist and FREE email pre-flight checklist to ensure your emails get delivered, get opened and get read. Download your copies at http://www.ModernImage.com.
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