Advertising

5 Steps to PPC Ads That Work

Compared with the ineffective crapshoot that is traditional advertising, there’s no better way to get targeted traffic than through pay-for-performance keyword advertising in search engines. If you’re not clear on what pay per click ads are, those are the sponsored links that show up when you perform a web search in Google, Yahoo and other search engines.

While more targeted than offline advertising or banner ads, it’s certainly possible to throw away a lot of cash with pay per click. The way to do that is to fail to think strategically about where you send people who click on your ads.

The goal of pay per click advertising is to get in front of searchers who are looking specifically for what you have to offer. This takes careful keyword research, strategic bidding, and compelling ad copy just to get the click.

The problem is, that’s where most people stop.

They make the mistake of sending that targeted traffic to the home page of their website or blog. Even worse, they make no attempt to establish a relationship with those that don’t buy, so as to boost conversion rates for every dollar spent.

So, if you’re selling products or services, it makes sense to make sales and build your fan club at the same time. Here’s how to boost your conversion rates from any pay per click campaign while also boosting your subscriber numbers.

  1. The first thing to do is build a ultra-specific page to send the search traffic to, called a landing page. Depending on the variety of key words you are bidding on, you may even build several landing pages that each narrowly address the specific needs of that searcher.
  2. When I say “searchers,” I mean searchers. Do not participate in contextual advertising programs on publisher sites. I think we’ve all seen enough AdSense spam to understand part of the reasoning here. But even on reputable sites, contextual advertising brings too many “curiosity clicks” that kill your return on investment. You want people who are actively looking for what you are offering. You can choose to opt-out of non-search traffic with both Google and Yahoo.
  3. The landing page does not sell your product or service. This is key. You instead offer a quality free resource –- a mini-course, ebook, teleseminar, or other type of tutorial that is directly related to what you are ultimately selling. By teaching people about the subject matter of your product or service, you are actually engaging in a highly effective form of selling, all while establishing a relationship.
  4. Whatever your free offer, it must be delivered by an email or RSS autoresponder that allows you to stay in contact with the prospect.
  5. You should explicitly inform your prospects that in addition to the free resource you are offering, they will also be receiving your email newsletter / blog updates. Make sure you make this part of your offer as enticing as possible. You’re delivering valuable, relevant content on a regular basis, right?

And there you have it. You’ll likely make some sales right away, but your real profits will come from the people who warm up to your offer thanks to the ongoing value you provide with your blog content.

This technique is by no means new. But it’s shocking how many people still don’t use it, as they waste good money sending targeted traffic to a home page that is not laser-focused, and also fail to offer true value to the searcher that results in a relationship.

You don’t propose marriage before you get a first date. And you likewise shouldn’t expect people to just automatically jump at the chance to give you money upon arriving at your home page.

Of course, each of the five steps above could use some elaboration, and I’ll be offering tips in the future that can help boost landing page conversions even for those who have been using this method for years. Also, the key word research and bidding process in Google AdWords (the largest pay per click program) is a topic in itself that requires mastery to be effective.

Author: brianc

4 thoughts on “5 Steps to PPC Ads That Work

  1. And I guess there are some websites that want their ads out there, showing as many times as possible.

    I wouldn’t use that approach, I need conversions, not just “being seen”, but with site targeting and the content network is possible, and easier, for many Adwords clients to get much more impressions if needed. Although not great levels of conversions.

  2. If you’re simply not getting the volume of traffic that you need from searches alone, then you may have no choice but to move into contextual ads. The technique Chris mentions is the way to go if so.

    But for those just starting out and getting their feet wet with PPC, my advice stands. Stick with the searchers and learn how to convert them before going for incremental ROI with publisher ads.

  3. I am using content advertizing in my Adwords account and have been really impressed with the results. Even though I have assigned a much lower max cost per click value to the content network, I have been able to utilize significant profit from it. I agree with the post as well as Chris’s comment that it does not perform as well as the search advertizing but if you use it well, it can be a major contributer to your campaign.

    Ohad

  4. Your point about not participating in adsense for publishers is part of my reasoning for why I think adsense on blogs will ultimately need a major overhaul or will wither and die. Already many advertisers have come to the same conclusion as you, they can’t get ROI. While my last adwords campaign was a few months ago I still did manage to get ROI from adsense on publisher sites but the way I did it was to split my campaign, the high bids went on search, a completely separate low-ball campaign was performed on publishing partners. The people I know who use adwords are increasingly doing the same thing. Visitors coming from adsense ads on blogs just do not convert as well so you can not afford to pay as much for them making the cut the blogger gets lower than it could be. If you are wondering why your blog income from google goes down while your clicks are increasing, this will likely be it.

    If you think you are sending quality leads to an adsense advertiser get in touch with them and work out an affiliate deal instead.

    This also shows the importance in two ways to not rely on PPC advertising as your only source of income, if you have a product like an ebook or video course, etc, then you can use Brians technique to drive up your loyal subscribers and ultimately make far more income than hoping your audience will click.

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