Yesterday my business partners and I met with one of our Real Estate clients about PPC Campaigns. It’s coming up on his busy season and he is considering a PPC campaign this year to increase his website’s visibility in the search engines for a couple of key terms. We first looked at his natural or organic search position and got a good idea of where he is at now with his website and focused on some keywords that he’s not pulling up as well as he would like. We helped him to identify some good keywords for PPC and gave him a brief overview of our PPC management services. While we offer our clients total PPC Management for a small monthly fee we have some that prefer to manage it themselves.
While discussing PPC Campaigns I was looking around the web for some good information for him to look at on the topic and ran across a couple of good posts on my good friend Mike Muise’s Blog that I forwarded to him to take a look at. I admittedly haven’t spent a lot of time as of late researching PPC campaigns on my own since my business partner Stephen usually manages this side of our business.
In one of his posts, Basics of a PPC Campaign, Mike has posted some good information:
For some the thought of spending a little money to get quality, targeted traffic is a scary proposition. For many Pay-Per-Click is still something of an unknown. How do I get started, how much do I have to spend, can I manage it myself, what if I can’t do it, and on and on.
The truth of the matter is you can get started without breaking the bank. Even if you are an everyday individual without a huge budget. In a previous post I shared a promotion Yahoo! is running where you can setup a new account with them, deposit only $30 and they will add another $100. So right off, you have $130 to play with.
Obviously your first step is setting up an account with them. So what else should you know about using Yahoo! PPC?
1. You will be bidding on keywords that people search for on Yahoo!. Obviously you want to choose keywords that are both relevant to your site and that people actually search. To choose your keywords, try using a tool like the free keyword tracker. The popularity of a keyword will determine the amount you are likely to spend per click if you choose to bid on it. So I recommend you avoid the really generic, one word keywords.
2. The keywords you choose are not set in stone for any length of time, you can change them at anytime. If your site content changes focus, or if keywords just aren’t bringing you results, swap them for new ones.
3. You won’t spend more than you want to. You can set your max daily budgets, you can set an end date to your campaign. This allows you to make sure you don’t spend outside of your means. I am currently running a campaign using the $130 promo with a daily spend limit of $4. My estimated costs for the month will be right around $130.
4. Within your control panel you will have access to a number of reports that are easy to read and understand. The key things you may want to look at are the stats for your keywords. You can choose to display what your keywords currently are, your average positioning within the ad space, how many impressions your ad has received for each one (how many times your ad was displayed to a user), and how many clicks you had for each keyword. Using this information you can determine what keywords can and should be removed and replaced and you can determine if maybe your ad needs to be made more attractive. You may find that you are getting lots of impressions, but no clicks.
5. In building your ad you should look to make you ad short but to the point. It is also recommended that both the title and the description contain all or a portion of your core keyword. My website which is found at both Dropthemike.com and Helpwithtraffic.com is bidding on numerous “traffic” related keywords and my ad looks like this:
Also, in his blog Mike posted an entry titled Online Marketing Budgeting – What Next? and he takes a look at how to decide how much money to devote to online marketing, it’s a great post, here’s an excerpt:
Previously I wrote that as a guide you should look to re-allocate at least 20-25% of your existing marketing budget towards online marketing. Specifically I mention PPC advertising, also known as Search Engine Marketing. It is a good first step. But there are more options for you that you can spend your marketing dollars on as well and see a measurable return.
The 3 main components of a good online campaign (all compliment each other) are:
1. Search (paid listings, organic listings)
2. Email (mailing lists, newsletters, etc.)
3. Social (blogs, forums, community driven sites)
With search, you want to make sure to invest money, time, and resources into making sure your organic search ranking is high. This means that for the keywords that apply to your site, when a user searches for them on say Google or Yahoo that you are within the first few results returned (preferably the first 3 results). In addition you want to be bidding on those same keywords via PPC advertising through both Yahoo and Google. Users are more likely to click on either your organic search result or your paid search result if they have seen your brand/listing/url more than once. Hitting them twice on a single page dramatically increases your chances of attracting the customer to your site. Of your online marketing budget I would look to allocate as much as 60% of your budget towards search strategies.
With email you want to start devising a plan for acquiring and building a list of your clients/site visitors in which they have opted in to being contacted by you. Ideas for building a list include starting a newsletter, providing items for download such as a whitepaper or ebook, or even providing discount or coupon notifications. And there are likely many other ways of doing it depending on your industry. Once you have a list, keep it up to date and make sure to keep it clean. This is an invaluable sales tool for you to promote your services and to talk to your customers. On email, I would allocate no less than 25% of your budget. Again this is you communicating directly with the clients who endorse you and want to hear from you!
The last piece of your strategy is Social marketing. The internet world has gone “social” crazy. We have Facebook, My Space, YouTube, just to name a few of the big social site names. You can choose to advertise with such services. For instance using Facebook’s newly launched targeted ad service which works much like Google Adwords or Yahoo SEM. But that is not the most important piece of investing in the Social arena. Instead you want to be a part of it. Create a blog for instance. Or add a user review section to your ecommerce site where users can review products. Create and participate in forums based on your service. DO whatever it takes to further open up the lines of communications with your users. That is what the Social Scene is all about. User interaction. I would look to allocate 15% of your budget here now, but expect this to grow over time. The reason I would only invest 15% now is that, while booming, the social scene is still developing. Once the dust settles a little more and knowing where exactly to focus the majority of your funds becomes clearer and more defined, then you can look to increase the budget.