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February 2012
Think Pay-per-click is dead? Think again.
By Diona Kidd

Think Pay-per-click is dead? Think again.

 

“It’s too expensive.”

 

“It doesn’t work.”

 

Most of us have heard from a friend, who heard from a friend, a horror story about pay-per-click advertising. “Sally sunk $30,000 into Google AdWords and it didn’t work.” I’m sure your friend was right. I’ve heard these stories too, and I can understand why some people think pay-per-click is dead.

 

Pay-per-click (PPC) requires constant attention and, when managed poorly or forgotten, it is very costly. If you don’t have the time or expertise to manage it, don’t do it!

 

Or, educate yourself to learn more about your options and their pay-offs.

 

Budget Management

Setting a budget, instead of letting the software manage your budget, ensures that only a set amount of money is spent.

 

Relevancy is Rewarded

Ads closely aligned with page titles and content keywords are considered more relevant, which reduces the cost-per-click. Quality and relevance are rewarded in pay-per-click.

 

Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are two- to five-word phrases that are less popular and less competitive than shorter, more commonly used phrases. Targeting long tail keywords is far more cost-effective and results in higher quality traffic because they target more informed searchers who are further along in the buying process.

 

Geographic Targeting

Geographic targeting (geo-targeting) is useful when a business is targeting a specific market for sales. This option prevents the ad from receiving unwanted click-throughs from searchers outside of the target market area.

 

Content Networks

Content networks allow ad placement on other websites based on keywords. This is useful if your target buyers are reading these other websites and you can create an offer compelling enough for them to engage the advertisement.

 

 

Inexpensive Real-time Market Research

 

Advertising on search engines has always been a great way to jumpstart online visibility and generate leads. Busy business buyers are using the Internet as their primary research tool to solve business problems. Pay-per-click (PPC) is a quick way to get in front of potential buyers by targeting the searcher’s real-time interest.

 

Did you know PPC is also a great tool to do quick and inexpensive market research, refine a keyword strategy, and get new content ideas?

 

Market Research

Test out product names, benefits, market appeal and marketing offers quickly by running ad campaigns tied to landing pages with a clear call-to-action for visitors. Measure how many times the ads are clicked and the action is taken to see which products, benefits and offers are most compelling.

 

Keyword Strategy

PPC can be used to discover new keyword combinations, long tail keyword opportunities and test keywords for conversions. New keywords and long tail opportunities can be discovered by using different keyword matching options and reviewing the results. The fastest way to test keyword performance is to use them in search engine ads and create a landing page with an attractive call-to-action offer.

 

Content Ideas

Because pay-per-click is actual search data related to your target keywords, it contains valuable insight into the needs of your target audience. Keywords and phrases from the PPC campaign can be used for blog titles and content planning.

Diona Kidd is a Managing Partner at Knowmad, a Web strategy, design and Internet marketing company located in Charlotte.
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