ACCM: Put The Squeeze On PPC

    May 19, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Pay per click advertising programs present work for the business professional, but there are ways to extract a little more value out of them.

(Coverage of the ACCM conference continues at WebProNews Videos.  Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.)

The contextual search advertising market levels the playing field to a point for online marketers. Bidding and budgets play a big role, but as Ryan Gibson noted, one may be able to derive some extra benefit from PPC programs.

First things first, though. Hammer out a list of specific keywords, ones that people use to find your site and pages. Gibson suggested only testing 3 to 10 keywords per SKU a site has, to take the pulse of search-driven traffic and gauge what works.

Negative keywords help control what search drives to your site, and against your PPC budget; use them wisely. Matching remains important to the effectiveness of keywords. Gibson said exact matches offer twice the value of broad-matched keywords.

When creating ad copy for the landing pages where your throngs of PPC visitors will hit, Gibson tipped people to echo the user’s search string. This makes the lead into the ad copy a more natural feel for the visitor.

Doing this properly motivates people to shop where they have arrived. Ad copy on the landing page should tell them why they should shop at the destination, while including offer details like promotions for shoppers.

Gibson said testing means more than evaluating a click-through rate. Look at overall conversions and efficiency too: are people moving in an orderly fashion through the checkout process, or are they wandering around to different places on the site to find what they want?

Keep in mind the habits of shoppers. Since it’s easy to do, they may make multiple visits before purchasing something. The higher the price for the item, the longer they will probably take to consummate the deal.

During the question and answer session, Gibson acknowledged the cost question within the context of budgeting for ad campaigns. As long as it is profitable, spend and keep spending, Gibson said.

Being aware of profitability requires time for managing the campaign. Being aware of daily, weekly, and monthly reports keeps one in touch with which campaigns are profitable.

Remember what we mentioned about people making multiple visits before converting on a buy? Trends may be having an impact, especially in the context of product reviews. In other words, you not only have to know your inventory (how else can you provide quality customer service?), but you have to know what people think of a particular product.

Knowing these things helps produce profitable campaigns along with prudent spending decisions. Even the richest businesses refuse to spend indiscriminately, and neither should smaller businesses either.