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Download PPC: Know These Tips Before You Start

March 20th, 2011

download ppcIf you are perusing SEO-software reviews to look for PPC software, it is important to keep a few things in mind — especially if you are new to pay-per-click advertising.

First, the overall approach to keyword research is (usually) the same whether one is looking for organic or PPC traffic: the so-called “long-tail” is better. For example, if your website sells music downloads, it is better to target “[band name] mp3 downloads” rather than merely “music.” In terms of organic traffic, people searching for “music” may be looking for websites ranging from “music sheets” to “music equipment” to “music theory.”

Very few of these individuals will be interested specifically in “music downloads,” so it is typically a waste of time and money to optimize a website for a general keyword like “music” — the click-through rate in Google’s search-results will be extremely low. Moreover, it will take forever to rank on the first page of Google for such a generic term since too many SEO and SEM marketers target so-called short-tail terms — in order to attract the high level of traffic for the general term — because they do not know what they are doing.

The same problems exist when targeting generic keywords in PPC campaigns. Take the prior example. The per-click price for a PPC strategy that focuses on “music” will likely be extremely high since, again, most online-marketers do not know what they are doing. The high demand for the keyword — though a poor target in itself — drives the bidding-prices skyward. Fewer people target “[band name] mp3 downloads,” so the price will be lower. (Disclosure: I have not pulled the exact data for these terms since the principle generally holds true. Of course, exceptions will exist — but they prove the rule.)

Advice Before You Download PPC Software

Here is the takeaway: It is better (and cheaper!) to have ten people click on a PPC advertisement when eight will likely make a purchase rather than have 100 people click on the ad when only five will generate revenue. It is all about the likely conversion-rate. The more narrow and “niche” the focus — the cheaper the keyword, the greater the sales, and the higher the ROI of the PPC campaign.

Second, ignore the Google Adwords option to have your PPC advertisements appear first — for a higher price — within horizontal or vertical blocks of PPC ads. All online-marketers understand that the tops of websites, pages, and blog posts are pieces of “real estate” that have higher values than items further down as far as clicks, conversions, and ad placements. But the issue is a little more-complicated than it first appears.

The nature of this observation — which is indeed accurate — stems the fact that fewer people scroll down towards the bottoms of websites or blog. As a result, the items appearing at the top will be viewed by all visitors — even if they leave a site quickly (“exit,” in SEO terms) — but those at the bottom will not.

Still, take a moment to remember how PPC ads appear in Google search-results:

download ppc

These are the Google search-results that appeared when I searched for “seo” (from my home in Israel, hence the targeted PPC results). The Wikipedia entry appears first in the organic results, but the PPC advertisements are above that entry. In addition, paid results are listed at the top of the right-hand sidebar.

PPC ads appear without the user needing to scroll to the bottom of the page to see them (since Google’s primary function, just like any company, is to earn revenue). If a native English-speaker scans the page, he will see all of the paid advertisements within a fraction of a second — regardless of the order in which they appear. (If you are reading this from another country, insert your language of choice.)

The take-away: The PPC-cost for advertising-placements is higher for a top ranking within these two blocks since many SEO marketers, again, believe that “first” is always better. But this is a case when the exception is more important than the rule. Do not waste money to gain a higher placement within the blocks when it is not necessary.

When looking for download PPC-software reviews, be sure to analyze how the platforms function. If they do not generate the best, niche keywords at the lowest prices, look elsewhere.

Samuel J. Scott, a former journalist in Boston turned Internet marketer in Israel, is the founder and publisher of My SEO Software and Director of Digital Marketing and Communications and SEO Team Leader at The Cline Group. You can follow him at Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. His views here and elsewhere do not necessarily reflect those of his company and clients.