Affiliate Classroom Pay-Per-Click Success
Affiliate Classroom Pay-Per-Click Success – As affiliate marketers know, an ongoing aspect of the business is getting your website to the first page of the search engine rankings and keeping it there.
Many affiliate marketers rely on pay-per-click advertising (PPC) for this purpose. And at various times, and in various conditions of your business, you may have considered it yourself.
PPC, as a tool in your marketing toolbox, can help you obtain what you need – whether it’s revenue, or information about your target audience – that can serve you well over the long term.
This is true if you are just starting out in your business and want to get your website noticed as soon as it goes live. This is true if your business has already reached a decent success level, you have a few extra dollars to spend, and you’re seeking ways to increase your marketing reach and expand the revenue even further. And this is true if you are merely treading water and need a kick-start to your marketing efforts.
Whatever your situation, it is worth your time to consider PPC. The strategy does carry risks, and it will cost you some money. But PPC, as a tool in your marketing toolbox, can help you obtain what you need – whether it’s revenue, or information about your target audience – that can serve you well in the long term. So, let’s dig into the essentials of PPC.
PPC, the Concept
I’m certain that when you’ve performed Google searches, you’ve seen what Google calls “sponsored links” along a right-and column to go along with the organic search results on the main body of the webpage. Those links were paid for by the advertisers associated with the links. They constitute the end result of PPC advertising.
Pay per click has been around since 1998, when a small start-up that became known as Overture (now part of Yahoo! Search Marketing) began selling advertisers on the concept of bidding for space on its search engine based on keywords. Pay-per-click arrangements exist on other websites and advertising networks, and a few merchants will even pay affiliates a small amount for simply getting visitors to click on the merchant’s link. However, the concept is best known, specifically geared, and perhaps perfectly suited for search engines.
PPC is rather simple – an advertiser pays for a search engine every time a user clicks on the advertiser’s link. An advertiser sets up an account with a search engine and makes a monetary deposit from which to pay for the clicks. (The minimum deposit for Google AdWords is $5.00.)
The advertiser then bids a certain amount of money per click on a particular keyword or set of keywords; amounts usually range in the 1-to-25-cent range, but some can run a few dollars or more.
The advertiser who submits the highest bid for a keyword will have his/her ad appear at the top of the first page of search results for that keyword. Whenever a user clicks on the advertiser’s link, the advertiser pays what he/she bids on the keyword. If no one clicks on the link, the advertiser pays nothing (although he/she has to address why no one clicked on the ad).
For example, say your website is devoted to video games. You place a bid of 10 cents per click on the keywords “video games.” If that bid is the highest bid received for that keyword string, your ad goes to the top of the first page of search results.
And if users click on the advertiser’s link 100 times, the advertiser will pay $10.00 to the search engine. Regardless of the ad’s placement, any clicks on the advertiser’s link would result in the advertiser owing money to the search engine.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
PPC can generate traffic almost immediately. Once you set up an account with AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, or other search engine and submit bids, you can get almost immediate results in terms of ad placement and clicks.
At this point, you may be thinking, “No problem; I’ll just set up an account with Google AdWords, bid on my keywords, and my site will be on the first page of the search engine rankings.” It’s not quite that simple.
♦ First, bear in mind that you are not bidding on the very first listing in the main search results; those results are still reserved for organic search. Instead, your link will be found in a side column nearby.
♦ Second, you could easily find yourself in a bidding battle over a single keyword. If you win such a battle, you could lose the war in that your advertising budget could wither away fast.
♦ Third, it’s not enough to get to the top of the PPC rankings. If PPC is truly going to work for you, you need search engine users to click on your link, and you want at least some of those clicks to become conversions. Even an amazingly high 30% conversion rate via PPC means that 70% of the clicks you pay for go nowhere.
♦ Fourth, click fraud remains an issue with PPC. A competitor or other person who wants to cause trouble can do numerous clicks on your ad link with the sole intent of increasing your bill to the search engine. Last year, a click fraud scam was uncovered in which spyware “faked” ad clicks and led Yahoo! to charge advertisers for clicks that never occurred.
That being said, the advantages to PPC are worth considering:
♦ First, PPC can generate traffic almost immediately. Once you set up an account with AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, or other search engine and submit bids, you can get almost immediate results in terms of ad placement and clicks.
♦ Second, PPC can actually be a bargain if you find the right niche within your keyword combinations that will drive traffic to your site. A top bid of 10 cents or less per click could provide you with more PPC bang for your buck.
♦ Third, PPC is an easy, cost-effective means to gauge your target audience in real time. It can allow you to check response levels to a particular subject or offer, and if response levels are too low, you can rework or scale back your effort before investing a great deal of time and money in it.
PPC campaigns that focus on specific, targeted objectives usually generate more success than an all-in-one, break-the-bank effort to draw general attention to your website.
Perhaps most important, PPC can work for you if you use it in a targeted manner as a part of your SEO efforts – not as the entirety of your SEO efforts. But here’s the “ugly” part I promised earlier: PPC is not simply a case of getting the clicks, paying the money, and watching the sales come in. Just as with organic search, PPC takes a good deal of time and effort in order to make it work for you.
PPC campaigns that focus on specific, targeted objectives usually generate more success than an all-in-one, break-the-bank effort to draw general attention to your website. Here are some necessary steps to take in developing and running a PPC campaign.
Do your keyword research.
Just as with developing organic SEO for your website, keywords serve as the “key” to your success with PPC. Broad-based keywords such as “golf clubs,” “dresses,” or “cars” will be used much more often in searches. However, the bid rate for such terms will be through the roof.
Focus your research instead on more specific, niche-oriented keywords that are lesser used (though no less popular) and perhaps in two- and three-word combinations. These keyword combinations will likely take less money to obtain the top bid, and you are less likely to get into a bidding battle with a competitor for those keywords. Plus, such keywords will likely tie in better with the more specific needs of your target audience.
Write your content.
Yes, once again, content is king – you need to give search engine users a reason to click on your ad link. Therefore, the copy appearing alongside the link needs to be compelling. Because you are given only a couple of short lines of space, writing compelling copy is not easy; yet it’s the first thing the search engine user will see from you.
Make certain that your copy adheres to the standards imposed by the search engine (Google will not post your ad if you pepper it with too many superlatives), and focus your copy on how the user can benefit from what you have to offer.
Follow this same process with regard to a landing page to which the link takes the user. Unless it focuses solely on your offer, do not use the home page of your website for this purpose; you don’t want visitors to become distracted from your offer and leave.
And, of course, if what you have to offer is a white paper or other viral content, make certain the content fits with the keywords on which you base your PPC campaign.
Read Much More Inside…
Set your bid.
Monitor your ad’s standing.
Track the conversions more than the clicks.
Maintain Your Focus
Using PPC to Build an Opt-In List
Using PPC as a Lead Generator
Using PPC as a Viral Generator
Using PPC with Landing Pages
How to Write Winning PPC Ads
And Much More!
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