Save Money on PPC Ad Campaigns
Five Ways To Save Money on Pay-Per-Click Advertising Campaigns at Google, Yahoo and Beyond in 2009
I am fortunate in that I get to speak to many Internet marketers of differing experience levels. From those that manage $20K daily ad spends and have done so for many years to those that just got started with daily limits of $20 and even those that have outsourced their PPC campaigns to agencies. What is unique about each type of PPC advertiser, however, is that each wants to save money wherever they can (especially in this economic climate) and for each doing so is a priority in 2009.
Rethink the Use of Broad Match
Several months ago, Website Magazine addressed the different types of Adwords Match Types, and the feedback I received personally was slightly disheartening. Most advertisers new to PPC simply had no idea that by default, their Adwords campaign was set as a “broad match” campaign. For example, if WebsiteMagazine.com were to bid on the on the keyword "Website Magazine" on a broad match level, we'd receive a lot of unrelated traffic from queries related to "magazines" - which is not what we want. So if you have done the required keyword research (check out these keyword research tools WM featured back in October) and are confident with the effectiveness of a few keywords, use the “Phrase” or [Exact Match] instead of Broad Match. While there is certainly a place for broad match, it's meant for those in pursuit of a lot of traffic, not neccessarily a lot of qualified traffic (yes, there are advertisers out there that just want a lot of traffic and don't care about the actual amount of spend).
Take Negative Keywords Seriously
Just like the unawareness associated with Broad Match, many advertisers are unfamiliar with negative keywords and as such don't use them. Negative keywords enable advertisers to ensure that they do not, under any circumstances, appear under certain keyword or key phrase combinations. The beauty of negative matching when used correctly is that advertisers can filter out keywords for which they do not want their ads shown. For example, if I sell a white paper on selecting domain names and want to attract aspiring domainers, I might bid on the term "domainer" with a broad match ad type. However, I know through my keyword research that I don't want to receive traffic for "lazy domainer" (a name of a popular blog on domaining. In that case, I would add "-lazy" to my keyword list. Over time, and through trial and error, I have learned that Its absolutely essential to have negative keywords if you have a lot of broad/phrase match keywords in your campaign. If you are confused about your negative keywords, go to Adwords Keyword Tool enter your keyword and choose the “Negative” in the drop-down under Match Type. This will show you a whole bunch of negative keywords that may suit your primary keyword.
Restructure Your Campaign:
If you have ever had the opportunity to look inside the PPC advertising account of another, you might be surprised at how that account is structured. The most efficient PPC campaigns that I have seen have a few things in common; they group similar keywords together in individual ad groups, develop sets of ads for those individual groups and point those keyword focused ad groups (and often times on a keyword level) to designated landing pages. In a world wherein every first tier PPC ad provider has some degree of quality score, restructuring your campaign along these lines does improve click-through rate but also, and more importantly, improves overall conversion. Structuring a campaign based on your objectives is imperative to your success, so once complete, focus on basic and advanced PPC budgeting and PPC bidding techniques.
Use Ad Scheduling:
Use Ad Scheduling to time your ads to match your requirements. Ad scheduling lets you control the days and times your AdWords campaigns appear. So if you are running “Special offers” for Fridays, you can use Ad Scheduling to only show ads (a specific one) on Fridays. Try to think of a time when your ad would actually matter to your customer. By default, your ads will run for 24 hours in a day by trial and error you might be able to find out that running ads on a specific time of the day gives you more conversion! (e.g. People would search for “morning headache” usually in the morning after getting up from bed..)
Consider Vertical and 2nd Tier PPC Providers:
Many advertisers are hesitant to start pay-per-click advertising campaigns with vertical (industry specific) PPC networks like Kayak.com or what are known as second-tier PPC providers. Many second-tier PPC providers (such as Miva, Marchex, ABCSearch, 7Search and the hundreds of others) do not receive the attention they deserve. The argument (from the first tier providers and unfortunately the second tier engines themselves when speaking of one another) is that traffic and quality is low, and that it's simply too time consuming to manage multiple sources of paid traffic. The counter-argument (and one that I hold to be true) is that these smaller ad networks and traffic providers have closer relationships with their publishing partners, are more nimble in response to advertiser questions and concerns and across the board offer a lower bid price and provide a higher return on investment (should quality traffic originate from there). There is without a shadow of a doubt, life beyond Google and other top tier providers and it's high time advertisers take these opportunities seriously.