As you build your PPC campaign, you could easily fall into some pitfalls along the way. Some may be complicated even for the seasoned advertiser, while others are as simple as spell checking your ad copy. Here are some basic tents to keep in mind as you go about creating your business.
Pick the right horse. If you choose to promote a product, you should consider if it is a need, who is your audience, and what make it unique. It's important to consider if this is a product that is suited to selling well on the internet. The adage of "If you build it, they will come" when creating your website may not hold true. You shouldn't expect that just because you have a URL that you can sit back and watch the money roll in. If your product is so commonplace that someone can go down the street and buy it at a store, it may not perform well.
Consider promoting products that are suited to the internet marketplace. Advertising often works best when placed in the area that potential shoppers are already congregating, thus the power of social media. If you think in terms of what surfers would shop for on the internet, you may find a particular niche that can perform well for you. The internet is about quick comparison shopping, and finding the best deal. What are some things that surfers would turn to the web to find quickly? Also, if you do have a popular product, why should someone choose to get yours? Oftentimes you have to work hard to make your product stand out from the rest. This is affected by your ad copy, the quality of your site, and your pricing. If you know your product very well, you should be able to generate excitement through your ad copy.
Check your spelling and grammar. This is often overlooked, but it is an important factor to consider. I have advertisers who contact me, wondering why they are receiving clicks and no conversions. I look at their ad copy, and there are glaring punctuation and spelling errors on their page. I believe in the power of first impressions, and my impression is that the surfers see this, assume that the website is illegitimate in some way, and click away. This is what is referred to as having a high bounce rate on your site. Be sure that the message you are sending is professional. For example, if you were to click onto Amazon, or look for an entry on Wikipedia, and you saw an article with spelling errors, how seriously would you take the information? Think how a large company thinks in terms of accountability and communication. When you hold yourself to a higher standard, you will be taken more seriously by your audience.
Be specific. When choosing your keywords, it is best to pick keywords that are the most relevant to your content. This is a fine line, as well. Are you so specific that you run your whole campaign on the product name by itself? Or do you choose keywords that are related to your keywords but are more general in nature? I often find it is best to combine several types of keywords to cast the widest net, produce the most amounts of clicks, and increase the quality of said clicks. Let's say you had a website that sold a specific diet plan, like Missy Elliot's Diet Secret. You could add this product as a keyword, but what if no one has heard of this plan? It may be a good idea to add keywords like "new diet," "diet idea," or "best diet plan." Some advertisers would also say, add Missy Elliot as a keyword. You could do that, and then you would receive searches for "Missy Elliot lyrics," "Missy Elliot video," and "Missy Elliot dance." You might also think it's a good idea to add the other types of diet plans out there, but do you really want clicks for Weight Watchers, South Beach, the juice diet, etc.?
The point is that what keywords you choose will have repercussions if not chosen wisely. It is best to strike a balance between specific and broad keywords in order to get the most traffic to your site, while still getting quality from your clicks. You could choose Missy Elliot as a keyword, but you might consider setting this to exact match to limit the amount of clicks you would receive. Keywords are central to your campaign, but they can be maneuvered to perform to your needs.
Be vigilant. You can fund your account, add keywords, and then walk away for 3 weeks. You could do that, and then check into your results, and then be completely surprised by what you find. Why did I get results like these? You got those results because you made your choices and didn't check your work. As your campaign progresses, you should regularly monitor your reports to determine if the choices you've made are in line with your goals. You may find reporting capabilities within your particular pay per click account, or you could run an outside system of analytics, designed to measure your traffic in several ways. These help you to make better campaign decisions.
This is a task that allows you to maintain the lifespan of your campaign. You can better control your costs, interpret your clicks, make any necessary adjustments, and have greater control over your business when you are armed with hard data. As you progress, you can continually navigate the ebbs and flows of internet traffic, be able to anticipate change more accurately, and know how to better handle specific issues that may arise.
Continue to learn. I have found that this business continues to improve upon itself, as well as spark innovation that helps the market grow. If I continue to stay informed on the latest industry news, I can use that information in some valuable way in the future. I can find what the next most profitable venture is on the way. I can incorporate new ideas into my business. There are sources for advice and information all over the web. You can sign up to receive notifications for industry discussions and message boards. You can receive tweets from industry news sources via your Twitter account. If you put yourself out there, you can find a variety of opinions.
As an online advertiser, be prepared to be fluid. It is an evolving business that exists at the whim of the market. New ways to deliver your message are being introduced all the time, and the field of advertisers continues to grow. The items discussed, however, are constants. These can help you to become more of a professional. You can differentiate yourself from the rest by avoiding the mistakes most will make, and sustain your place in the market.
Digital marketing executive with proven experience in all aspects of search engine optimization (SEO), performance-based advertising, consumer-generated/social media, email marketing, lead generation, Web design, usability, and analytics. - 20-year Internet marketing veteran, currently serving as the Digital Marketing Campaign Manager at Antenna Group (formerly Chicago Digital). - Former Editor-In-Chief of Website Magazine, and a regular speaker on Web technology digital marketing strategy - Author of several books on digital marketing Including Web 360: The Fundamentals of Web Success; Affiliate 360: The Fundamentals of Performance Marketing; Domains 360: The Fundamentals of Buying & Selling Domain Names, and SEO 360: The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization.