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ION's Search Engine Optimization Training: Instructions for using PPC advertising

SECTION FIVE - Time to decide if Pay-Per-Click advertising is for you

         So, you've heard about PPC, or "Pay-per-click" advertising, have you? In case you haven't, it's a really exciting prospect to get lots of traffic to your site in a hurry. In most cases you can have hundreds or even thousands of visitors to your site within 24 hours, flat. Many people feel that this stands in stark contrast to Search Engine Optimization, but the truth is that it is just a tool, like many other steps of SEO, and if you step back to look at the big picture, this tool can actually compliment the SEO process, and take an important part. (Hence its' inclusion in our 100 step program.) Think of your Pay-Per-Click campaign as a tool that can bring you fast traffic, but at too high of a price to stay with forever. It is a temporary tool, and has less reach compared to a full SEO campaign. Also, it's not for everyone. Few even really need to use it, namely the ones who are losing money now because their site isn't drawing traffic at this moment. Still, the everyone can benefit from PPC, at least for a short while, specifically the few short months that you are completing the 100 steps & waiting for the Search Engines to rank your site where it should be on its own merits. In short, PPC is like a 'cheat' or 'bribe' to get you fast traffic quickly, but it costs too much to keep paying for in the long run. This page is designed to show you how to use it to compliment your other SEO efforts, all the while keeping the process as inexpensive as possible.

SEO terms you might want to review for this step:
              Advertising               Google AdWords

To pay, or not to pay, per the click? That is the question.

  1. Decide if you even need any starting traffic. If loss of profits are on the line, and you truly can't afford to be busy building up your marketing campaign, the perhaps you should go ahead and use Pay-Per-Click (PPC, not PPI) services such as Google Adwords or Overture's Precision Match services. This is NOT free by any means, and is probably the most expensive thing you will ever pay for over your entire website's existence. Naturally, if you don't need the immediate traffic "at all costs," then you are better off without. Actually, if it's not necessary to use them, you are left with exactly two options involving Pay-Per-Inclusion programs:

    • Use PPC to supplement the rest of a large keyword list.
      This option is for those who won't settle for anything less than the maximum possible traffic to their site. Did you use all of the high-demand keywords you found? Of course not, most of them weren't even profitable, right? The smart thing to do now would be to use an Overture or Google Adwords account to cover the rest of your High-demand keyword that you found, so no matter what well-demanded wording they chose, there's a link to you somewhere high in the results.

    • Don't use them at all.
      Most people opt for this choice, it's certainly cheaper and easier. Unfortunately, there is no other reliable way to guarantee traffic on your doorstep so soon, nor to make sure you've targeted every last relevant keyword to your site's topic. So if you need profits soon more than you need to save money, consider the other option. If you choose to skip PPC entirely, you can skip ahead to the next section now.

  2. Pull out your keyword database and look at all of your High-demand keywords. No matter if you're going to do a full or partial only campaign, you'll only want to target your high-demand keywords. The difference is that on a full campaign you should target them all, and on a partial (Recommended) campaign you'll be only targeting the ones your website isn't already optimized for. (Don't use the keywords for PPC that you've chosen to optimize your pages with.)

  3. Re-scan for relevancy. The second tab of your Keyword Database file, called "PPC database," is a great place to record a list of all the VERY MOST RELEVANT high-demand keywords that your site isn't optimized for. (Because they were unprofitable or impossible to use in verbiage.) Using this tactic of having your site naturally catch the easy ones and your PPC campaign to catch the rest of the high-demand keywords is the only way to even attempt to get your link in front of EVERYONE who is searching for your products or services. So to sum up:

    • Find all the keywords that your site isn't fully targeting from your Keyword database.
    • Export them to a separate worksheet, sorted by demand.
    • Remove all the low demand keywords (Which is of course relative to each website.)
    • Remove any keywords that aren't very relative to your site, product or service.

  4. With this list, which we'll call your PPC Database, you're ready to go open your account at Overture.com or Google AdWords. Choose one or the other, not both. Although there are many other PPI programs, these are obviously the two best and most powerful. Which to choose is a matter of personal preference, as the prices are basically the same and always fluctuating. It can be shown that Overture has the broader reach, and appears more flexible, while Google's AdWords have a more simple process. Sign up with an account in one or the other before continuing on to Section Six. (Just get the most basic account type for now.)

    Note: Many host servers are currently offering a free $50 towards an Overture account right now, as long as it's your first account at Overture. I highly recommend taking advantage of this offer. The time I used it, before I even knew what I was doing with PPC yet, I received almost 300 unique visitors to my website within only 48 hours. It's a great, no-risk free offer, but you have to be a first-time customer.

  5. Go ahead and add all of the keywords you've chosen to your Overture/Google listing, but don't turn them on yet. In your members area it should let you bid on them and add them to your profile before you actually turn them on, so go do that first and take note of the prices you'll have to bid for each. (Might as well wrote those down in the keyword PPC database, you can type over them later if you need to.)

  6. Time to find the proper bid amounts. Most people just bid what they feel they can afford for each keyword, and since so many people are doing so, that's just too high to keep your Return-On-Investment (ROI) cost down to a profitable overall level. To find out the right bid price for your keywords, Download and install this free software before continuing. The basic premise for figuring out what's worth paying though is a formula where your conversion rate (traffic divided by sales) is high enough for your profits to support this advertising budget. If it is not, then you have either got to discontinue your PPI campaign, or find a way to increase your website's conversion rate.

  7. You should also use Overture's handy ROI calculator to further figure out your spending needs.

  8. Now that you know which keywords to bid on, and how much to pay, go ahead and bid these amounts for your keywords in your Overture or Google profile, and turn them on. Within 24 hours, as long as there's no editorial reason for them to reject your keywords, (see site policies) your website will receive a steady stream of traffic! The more keywords you add, the more hits you'll get. Let's just hope you paid attention to the Overture results or you'll spend a huge wad of money really fast!

  9. Now that your hits are flowing, look at the other services that your PPI provider is offering, and decide if they are right for you. Both Google and Overture have additional services that can send your link to partner sites, as well as a filter for Geo-targeting. Again, it all depends on what is best for your business, so I can't tell you which service add-on is right for you. Read the online FAQs or even contact customer support if you have further questions about which to enroll in. I can also highly recommend the Overture "Advertiser Workbook" which you can download for free from their site. Or if you are a customer of theirs, they'll be happy to ship a nicely printed copy to you at no cost. It has great PPC usage strategies and tips all throughout.

Keyword Selection criteria for a successful PPC campaign:
LOW profitability. (Not used in your site SEO!)
High Demand. (Of course higher demand costs more...)
Very high Relevancy. Don't pay for extra visitors that don't want to be there!!!
Low keyword bid cost. Use our tools above to make sure you don't pay too much.

Why this process is not included in the definition of SEO

        Although Pay-Per-Click advertising is obviously a form of traffic marketing, it really has nothing to do with Search Engine Optimization. Even though it primarily shows up on search engine result pages, you aren't optimizing your site for these keywords at all. You're instead basically bribing the 'authorities' to place your ad near such results. Ah, the new world of commerce. Ain't it grand?

The scary side of PPC; the risk of 'Click Fraud.'

        Some people won't consider using PPC advertising simply because they are concerned that their competitors, or even just someone annoying in general, will click on their listing over and over just to run up their bill with Overture or AdWords. This is called "Click Fraud," and it is really a horrible, unscrupulous thing to do. Thankfully, both Google & Overture are fully aware of click fraud and take every precaution to head it off. They even track the IP addresses of the clicking party to make sure that one person doesn't abuse this over and over. Still, some get through on occasion, especially those logged on through an anonymous location. (Like inside a LAN with a proxy server.) So is it still a risk? You betcha. Should it stop you from using PPC altogether?
Only if you or your business has made some web-savvy enemies. Even then though, you're only liable for a small amount of the charge even if you can't prove that it was fraud.

Now that you've found a great use for your 'second string' keywords, it is time to go back and put the first string words to some in-depth use. The best starting place? In your META Tags. We've made Section Six all about your META Tags and how to generate the most effective set for each of your landing pages.

Click here to continue on to Section Six

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