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Get Busy: Basic PPC Strategies For Every Advertiser

Posted on 6.30.2008
Pay-Per-Click advertising changed the Web. The perfect fit for the new point and click, immediate gratification Internet world - and advertisers flocked (and still do) to providers both large and small. What was missing however was strategy - many advertisers got burned and that alone was enough to dissuade the majority from using the advertising method.

PPC Strategy: Budgeting
Applying strict budgeting rules to your PPC campaign is a exceptional way to derive more value from your advertising spend. One of the simplst strategies is to set a monthly budget and divide it amongst your advertising channels, but daily budgets can also help as they enable advertisers to throttle the traffic and distribute it throughout the month - something which as a monthly budget alone can not accomplish.

In line with budgeting, sophisticated advertisers are increasingly testing the waters with day parting whrein bid strategies are changed throughout the day and possibly turning off bids at different times of the day - ideal for companies that only want calls during normal business hours or those that want to avoid foreign traffic. The most savvy advertisers (those that understand the buying cycles of advertisers even engage in day excluding. Ecommerce websites are some of the most frequent users of day exclusion as they can minimize costs if regular shipping options become too extreme.

PPC Strategy: Bidding
The essence of PPC is bidding, but there are many advanced PPC bidding strategies that are not used by the vast majority of advertisers. It is a basic principle of Web marketing that higher on the SERPs is better, so the first position must be the best.

Bidding to position is common, but depending on the keyword can quickly become cost prohibitive as bidding wars and bid inflation result. As such, requiring that your campaign be in the first position on each keyword is not recommended. Instead, bidding to just the second and third positions, while driving less traffic overall, lowers the cost of traffic considerable. Focus outside of the top three positions will be less competitive for bids, but count on much less traffic than positions 1-3 can provide. There are much better bidding strategies to employ however than bidding to position.

Bidding to your enterprises specific ROI goals is the best PPC bidding strategy. While it is important to pre-define performance metrics for each and every keyword, understanding the maximum amount you are able to spend on the whole while still turning a profit is the choice of many professional PPC advertisers and marketers. The most successful PPC management agencies take great care in understanding your business model, product pricing and sales funnel to understand the bid threshold.

PPC Strategies: Keywords
Website Magazine has discussed keywords and match types specifically at great length. Since both Yahoo and Google have some form of keyword matching deployed on their platforms, it's essential to understand these features and leverage them for the betterment of our PPC campaign initiatives. Read more on understanding AdWords Match Types.

PPC Strategies: Ad Copy
Much like price is the easiest factor to modify to test conversion, Ad copy is an important part of PPC strategy and one that can make all the difference in the success of a keyword and an entire campaign. Once you become familiar with the more basic PPC stragies, engaging in inserting keywords dynamically into listings can be quite beneficial. Each PPC platform, both on the first and second tier have specific keyword insertion rules, so make sure that you are setting up campaigns correctly before going live (more on that in a later post). Other tips for stellar ad copy include developing variants, utilizing capitalization, modifying based on seasonablity and including geo-centric references to search queries.
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