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Exploiting Pay per Click Lessons Learned

Buying pay per click ads can be a useful part of your overall search engine optimization strategy. Pay per click ads are paid ads that appear in a Sponsored Links section on a search results page (the site owners have negotiated with the search engine to display the search results page when a user searches for certain keywords). Pay per click ads can complement the work you’re doing to move your listing up in the organic results (the normal search results). And because it’s relatively fast to set up pay per click ads, they can be an easy way to jump-start your website’s performance in search results.

Analyzing Your Pay per Click Campaigns for Clues about Your Site

What’s nice about using PPC ads for this kind of research is that you can test ads scientifically. With PPC ads, you can control which ads appear for which keywords, and you can set up comparison tests. For example, you could test.

Brand building

You want your company name to be seen and recognized in your industry without becoming generic — that’s branding. When you think Nike, you think of a lifestyle, not merely a pair of running shoes. When your company is branded, it becomes a search keyword all by itself. Successful branding associates you with your particular industry so tightly that you’re nearly synonymous. The keyword here is nearly, of course. You don’t want to have your brand name become so watered down that you lose control of how people use it. For instance, when you sneeze, do you reach for a tissue or a Kleenex? When you need a paper copied, do you photocopy it or Xerox it? A recent brand struggling with this problem is Google. It’s been fighting to remind people that you’re not “Goggling your blind date,” you’re “performing a search on your blind date by using Google.

Identifying keywords with low click‐through rates

Pay per click ads let you easily test different keywords. Write your ads by using good marketing copy that’s highly relevant to the keyword phrase you’re bidding on in a search engine’s paid search. After you’ve accomplished that, you can find out which keywords yield the most click‐throughs (when people click the link) and conversions (when people not only visit your site, but also buy what you offer). Conversely, you can weed out those keywords that have low click‐through and conversion rates.

After all, just being listed on a search results page is of little value if people don’t click through to your site. With pay per click ads, you can find out which search terms work best at generating the kind of traffic you need. Broad search terms such as [cars] are probably not a good place to put your ad money. First of all, these types of broad terms are heavily searched, which makes the bidding for them more competitive. The per‐click cost for a broad term would be very high and might not be worth it. Also, although [cars] is searched frequently, the click‐through rate is very low.

Reducing Costs by Overlapping Pay per Click with Natural Keyword Rankings

Research supports the use of PPC ads, in addition to organic search results, that rank for your targeted keywords. If your company name appears in two places on the results page, you get higher impact and brand awareness — and more clicks on both the ad and the listing — than you would if only one appeared in the results. Studies have shown that when your company listing appears in the organic results and in a paid ad on the first results page, people get the impression that your company is an expert. As a result, they click your organic listing far more often than they would if no pay per click ad appeared.

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