eTail Optimisation Specialist at Click Funnel Ltd
14 January 2009 13:12pm
Given the turbulent financial climate at present, I thought I'd share a few tips for reducing pay per click spend that have worked well for our clients.
The general feeling amongst many of our clients that the competitive nature of PPC is making it too expensive but I feel there are still many ways, like those above that can deliver a positive ROI.
Andrew Allfreye-tail Optimisation Specialist
15 January 2009 13:58pm
I find these top tips to be blindingly obvious.
If you look at the Market then Paid for search covers three types of searches:
Brand e.g. "Nationwide"Brand + Product e.g. "Nationwide Loans"Product only e.g "Personal Loans".
I would suggest now that whilst all three types were profitable in 2005 that now only the Brand terms provide a strong margin in competitive sectors e.g. adult, travel and finance.
However these are not incremental new sales; so it only really to the benefit of third party media agencies / internal information massagers to include these terms in a report, to create a low Cost Per Acquisition illusion!
Product-only terms are therefore a necessary evil in the marketing mix and a very expensive acquisition way of bringing "generic visitors" to your site.
What is as important as manufacturing little adverts which benefit Google who are paid as much as £8 to £12 for a click on terms like 'home insurance' and 'car insurance' whilst you take the risk is really to look for alternatives e.g building content findable by search engines, web visibility tactics.
If you must do PPC, be holistic. Make sure that your adverts join back to a targeted landing page matching what the customer has typed in. Ensure that the conversion processes are maximized. Also don't drown in data. Analytics does not substitute for thinking.
People who visit a site intend to buy, research, compare or don't understand but have a basic need. Do you cater for all?
Get the experiential asset right, it will pull in its own traffic. If you don't then go for short-term high risk generic bidding, but get it right... copy optimization, site optimization etc.
15 January 2009 14:57pm
Thanks for your feedback Mark. However, these tips were written for the benefit of people relatively new to PPC who may be finding things difficult at this particular time.
Blindingly obvious they may be to you, but perhaps not to everyone out there.
15 January 2009 16:36pm
Hi Andrew,Many apologies... I thought that this group was not for Beginners but Internet Marketing Professionals and PPC Practioners.Thus all readers would have a base knowledge and literacy of search..I'd be interested in your thoughts at a more intermediate level and I'm sure the audience would.Thanks AndrewCheersMark
Director at Browser Media
19 January 2009 13:09pm
Just a quick comment in relation to the 'auto optmisation' feature as per:
Optimise your ads - If you're using Google Adwords
there's an option to show your best performing ads more often so you
can get the most from your campaign and cut the costs associated with
those that have the poorest conversion rates.
Google does do this, but it is based on CTR alone so does not pull in conversion data.
More importantly, to effectively split test different ad copy, you have to turn that feature OFF, as you may find Google 'optimising' too quickly. You are better to have 3 different ads and force them to show on an equal basis - that way, you will have real data to base your decisions on.
Relevance should always be the ultimate goal - keep a narrow selection of keywords in each ad group, with a specific ad (or three!) and think carefully about the landing page.
Relevance = positive user journey = happy Google = keep costs down...
We have found PPC to have become more effective in recent months with falling costs, due no doubt to many pulling out.
CEO at SciVisum.co.uk
23 January 2009 15:08pm
All the above hinges on the assumption that the metrics gained from the usual 'tweak, measure, analyse and repeat' optimisation work are consistent.
But in reality, you can't decide that a new campaign was less/more effective, without first answering: did the quality of delivery on the site impact users (slower / faster, sporadic errors... issues with 'tech' roots but that impact users).
After all, with traffic levels varying on your site day to week to month - and subtle technology changes by the tech team: means that it's inevitable that the ability of your site to be fast and error free is not a constant.
I'm thinking of a client wondering why a new email shot to customers had lower ROI than last time... root cause was that the email list had grown enough that the site could barely cope with the traffic peak: nothing crashed, but an unlucky 20% had a really slow experience during key evening hours...
It was only spotted because seperate 24/7 measuring of the key checkOut and add-to-basket journeys was in place and provided evidence.
Lesson learnt: eitherscale down the campaign, or talk to the tech team about making a business case to invest handle more capacity / do load testing to find the actual Checkouts/minute limits, and improve them.
CEO at Search Laboratory
26 January 2009 09:00am
My number 1 tip for saving money is: Clean the keywords. That is, remove the bad traffic that Google deems relevant on a broad or phrase match. You will never guess all of these so make sure you have your analytics set to expose them to you. Selling mobile phones for international use, we bid on the phrases "international phone" and "international phones". On the singular, people type such as "international phone call to india". You won't notice this unless you trawl your typed keywords. It's painstaking but it has 2 big benefits:
If you are not sure how to see these, see this article by Paul Shearing on cleaning broad matches.
Online Selling Manager at John Lewis
02 February 2009 23:19pm
In addition to Ian's note regarding cutting out the 'bad traffic', I would suggest strongly that where you are bidding on terms on a broad match, that you run regular search query reports in AdWords in order to establish which keyphrases are actually trigerring that ad.
This can be useful to add irrelevant terms as negative matches, but to also bring out high volume searches and set them as exact match keywords in order to try and reduce CPCs.
Perhaps another basic tip but very useful.
Usability Specialist at Freelance
10 February 2009 21:08pm
A good way to bring down your PPC costs would be to try to patch the holes in your website that are causing people to leave without getting to what they want. If you have a 10,000 PPC visits a month and a conversion rate of 2%. Raising that rate to 2.2% through usability improvments is the same as reducing your PPC visits by 2,000.
The maths is all just an example, but I hope you get the point. Consider plugging the holes in the pipe rather than pushing more water through it.
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