Pay-per-click programs allow you to acquire a position in search engines by choosing the price you want to pay for each visitor you receive. So far, pay-per-click marketing is the most direct marketing strategy ever invented. Through pay-per-click, this will place you in the list where you want to be.
It's a phrase thrown at us constantly, but what does "pay-per-click" (PPC) really mean? Essentially, it's a method used by many search engine marketers to drive traffic to a site. They use PPC to either get more exposure to a top-ranking site or to get that all important exposure for sites that aren't yet ranking at the top for the key word phrases.
Pay-per-click advertising seems straightforward. You "buy" search engine keywords designed to attract visitors—for every click on your ad, you pay a prearranged fee.
But there's a lot of competition out there: D. Steven White, professor of Marketing & Business at the University of Massachusetts notes that PPC advertising spend grew nearly 28% from 2004-2010, from $3.34 to $14.67 billion, which means that you need to be able to leverage PPC to its fullest advantage to stand out.
The following five strategies can help ensure that every click you pay for is worth the price:
1. Be ready
Don't just grab a few keywords that seem promising and set up a pay per click hoping for the best. Think carefully about which keywords not only capture your business but are popular with web searchers. You can work with a consultant on this; alternately, sites such as Google Trends and Yahoo Buzz Index let you see what keywords are creating a buzz.
2. Target, then target some more
Popular keywords are one thing. Now's the time to make certain that your keywords are not only widely used but sufficiently focused to attract the sort of traffic you want.
Case in point: WalkerTek, an interactive marketing firm in Fairfield, New Jersey, worked with a local home improvement company to refine its keywords to focus on a specific geographic audience. Traffic to the company website jumped 63 percent.
"By researching search terms and being more specific, you can increase the overall effectiveness of your campaign," says company spokesman Mike Walker. "Using general terms will give you more expensive and less targeted traffic."
3. Make your landing page just as specific
Someone searching for a specific feature or value proposition wants to hit a landing page that addresses that particular topic. If the relevant keyword is "guarantee," don't have visitors hit a generic home page or some other spot that's irrelevant to their interest.
"Tightly edited copy for each of your value propositions is key, and it must be directly echoed on a landing page," says Andrew Fingerman of PhotoShelter, a New York City company that builds websites for photographers. "Different pages address a specific value proposition that is mentioned in each ad."
4. Offer something of value
Like any other Internet-based advertising or marketing effort, visitors don't decide to buy your product or service based on your site's flashy technology or catchy sales copy. Instead, they respond to something of value.
Make sure they get it on all of your landing pages, be it in the form of relevant advice or information, a free coupon, or some other element that begins to establish a relationship.
5. Track and be ready to make adjustments as necessary
Even the most thoughtful pay-per-click program is bound to struggle if it's put into place and left to languish. Using tools such as Google Analytics, you can see what keywords are drawing leads and, in turn, what landing pages are producing actual conversions. If things aren't pulling the results you expected, revisit various elements of your overall program—keywords, landing page copy, among others—to determine if a fresh approach might not be in order.
"Plenty of small businesses will jump in and expect to see results without the proper analytics set up," says Fingerman. "A week later, the budget will be gone, with no indication of how well the campaign did, which keywords performed well, or where to optimize."
Perhaps PPC's most attractive feature—and its biggest potential landmine—is the simplicity and ease with which you can implement a program. Give yours a good deal of proactive thought, stay on top of things as visitors start to appear, and that simplicity will begin to translate into promising leads and, from there, tangible results.
Ready To Take Your Business To The Top Of Google?
Running a pay per click campaign can be a valuable, fast source of online sales – but it can also cost you a lot of money if you don't know what you’re doing. Contact Austin today and put your business in a postion to be succesful with Pay-Per-Click!
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