Posted by: montegroup | July 29, 2007

Search Marking (PPC) – 1

This is a subject that has been beaten to death over and over again at many conferences and over a sandwich during lunch. So I want to take a different approach, rather than talking about why you should be doing PPC, I want to focus on best practice tips; I think this is the piece that is missing at many conferences. Most of us already know that we should be doing PPC but never get the “how to do’s” of search.

Check List:

1. Determine your goal – what is it that you are trying to? One thing that has to be clear is that a conversion is not necessarily a sale. A conversion is when user does the “THING” that you want them to do, this could be a signup to a newsletter, sale, entry to a contest, reaching xyz number of page views and so on.So, you need to determine you goal to see is Search makes sense for your objective; this is a step that many people miss. 

2. Budget – after you have your goal identified, it comes time to determine your budget; in some cases you may already know this but now that your goal is clear you can validate if your budget makes sense.

3. Broad or Niche? – With your goal and budget identified you can now move to the keyword research step. But before you start you need to determine how far your budget will take you and what your acceptable CPA is (Cost per Acquisition). I think this is where the fishing lodge, discussed in an earlier post, was too broad.

Many make the mistake of going after quantity rather than quality. Say you are a hotel in Vancouver near Stanley Park…you may bid on the following, all good terms by the way.

– vancouver hotels
– vancouver downtown hotels
– vancouver stanley park hotels

All the above keywords are good, but if your budget is limited you’d be better off bidding only ‘vancouver stanley park hotels’; it may not give you as much traffic as ‘vancouver hotels’ but it will drive better quality traffic that will yield a higher conversion.I would still test ‘vancouver hotels’ and ‘vancouver downtown hotels’ but ensure that your copy is strong and monitor closely.

4. Keyword Research – this was partly covered above, but the one thing I want to emphasize is that you need strong and thorough keyword research that will include head tail and long tail keywords; these may only get 5 clicks a month but they are extremely qualified. 

5. Ad Groups – don’t get lazy when you get to this point. I run into many cases with clients and with our agency where they’ll group a lot of keywords into one massive ad group.

Take the extra effort to creative as many ad groups as you need; think of all the hard work you did during your keyword research. 

The next step will be your Ad Copy, which I’ll cover in a future post dedicated solely to this subject.

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