Danny Sullivan & His Panel "Ads In A Qual...
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PPC – Pay Per Click – the advertising model where you get charged each time someone clicks on your ad, is one of the fastest ways to drive traffic, leads and potential business your way.  Google’s job is to make this happen efficiently for you….or, wait… do they really do a great job?

Which one of these are you:

  1. “Pay per click is easy, works great (and life is wonderful)”
  2. “Pay per click is a money-drain, losing money every day, too competitive now”
  3. “Pay per click is partially working for me, but quality leads of leads are not good”

I’m here to tell you that Google Adwords – while getting competition from places like Facebook Ads (great demographic targeting!) – is still a good place for you to not only build online traffic, but “buy” invaluable marketing data. It can be the best thing you do before starting any SEO project, for example. But, there again – you have to do it right. (Hint: here’s how…)

When building a house, you must provide it a solid foundation – or it will not be serving you well. Look at these new ways to optimize your PPC (Google Adwords) campaigns from the start.

Disclaimer: The below will work for beginners. I assume the pros already are doing this. And, for everything online – please test, don’t assume anything. (Don’t listen to even your boss, if you work for a company)

Avoid Broad Distribution Across the Internets

This is one of the biggest issues I see with 95% of all accounts I am asked to review. The display network essentially places your ads across multiple partner sites, not what you need or want. You want it to show up on Google Search first. So, check off everything – except “Google Search”. (Google is testing to see if you are awake, so everything is on by default)

You’ll loose (Google) quality, money and more with this option on.  Turn off the display/content network!

This screenshot shows all the options “on”. Don’t do this.

Google PPC Step 1 Optimization

Don’t Advertise to Everybody In The World

Sure, it might be fun to stand at the mountain top and yell: “here I am”! However, that’s all you’ll be doing if you don’t think about geographic targeting.  Even if your business is across the country (USA example), apply the correct approach here, and use geographical location options. And, if you truly are a local business, then target down to your area. You’ll save money and much headache. (Tip: even though you can, don’t start too small as you drill down).

Google PPC Step 2 Optimization

Connect with The Right Device

Do you really want to send your ads across iPhones and hand-held devices? No. Set up your campaigns to target the devices you need. For a first campaign, that should be be “Desktop and laptop computers”. Uncheck the iPhones option.

Google PPC Step 3 Optimization

Finally, make sure you target keywords with the correct match types – Broad, Phrase, Exact – and research & apply negative keywords, which can easily be done at the campaign level as well.

What is the Quality Score?

Quality score is an important part of the Google Adwords measurement, happens real-time, and affects your bid pricing too. Simply put, make sure to create the most relevant ads, keywords and pages, test bids and positions – so your click-through rate (CTR) sky-rockets. Make it a consistent experience and provide a “scent” for the user, and search engines will reward you too. Find out more on this here.

Success Awaits…

Keep testing ads, pages, keywords, more keywords, bid prices and targeting options – and don’t run anything without conversion tracking and web analytics (yeah, another troubling trend I see). Take a look at the competition via SpyFu, that’ll be an important exercise in your quest for Pay Per Click domination in your market.

P.S. This training overview of the Google Website Optimizer will be helpful for you if you get more advanced with this stuff (and you should).

Have you been successful with Adwords? How about Yahoo and Bing PPC? (and Facebook?)


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.