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Scoop Up Inexpensive & Neglected Traffic Streams In The Pay-Per-Click Search Engines With These Three Simple Bidding Strategies.
In the last issue of the "Marketing Tips" newsletter, I attempted to take some of the mystery out of making money and generating traffic with the pay-per-click (PPC) search engines.
I showed you how to calculate your "maximum bid" -- what you can afford to pay for a single visitor to your web site -- to GUARANTEE YOU ALWAYS PROFIT FROM YOUR ADVERTISING! (If you missed this article, you can read it now at the following URL: http://www.marketingtips.com/newsletter/issue54/page1.html)
In this issue, I'd like to take this topic a step further by explaining more in-depth how to use your "maximum bid" to funnel traffic to your web site from the PPC search engines by...
1) Bidding on INEXPENSIVE KEYWORDS THAT ARE FREQUENTLY SEARCHED by your target audience -- but virtually ignored by your competition!
2) SPENDING LESS MONEY TO GET THE SAME TRAFFIC by paying close attention to "bidding gaps."
Lately, PPC search engines have been gaining popularity with web site owners who are looking for paid advertising that guarantees traffic, sales, and profits. And this means that bids on popular and common keywords have been steadily increasing.
However, it's still possible to PAY LITERALLY PENNIES for keywords and phrases that are frequently searched by your best potential customers -- you just need to be educated in your approach and use the following three simple bidding strategies...
INCREASE YOUR TRAFFIC AND SALES WITH THESE THREE SIMPLE BIDDING STRATEGIES:
STRATEGY #1: Build A List Of Targeted Keywords And Phrases.
When brainstorming a list of keywords and phrases to bid on, your challenge is going to be thinking up terms that are commonly searched by your best potential customers, but that aren't overly expensive as a result of bidding wars between your competitors.
For example, if you sold cell phones you might consider bidding for the key phrase "cell phones" in Overture (http://www.overture.com).
However, a quick search of this phrase shows that to be ranked in the #1 spot right now, you'd need to bid $1 per visitor. On the other hand, you would only need to bid 26 cents per visitor to be ranked #1 under the similar phrase "cellular phone sale."
Now you could probably enlist the help of friends and colleagues to come up with unusual variations of your common keyword list; however, if you're a stickler for accurate statistics like I am, this guessing game probably isn't going to satisfy you.
That's why I recommend getting a little help from TWO POWERFUL TOOLS that will tell you exactly which keywords your target market is searching:
TOOL #1: WordTracker(http://www.marketingtips.com/wordtracker)
WordTracker is basically an online tool that collects the search results from 24 major search engines -- including Overture.com, FindWhat.com, and numerous other top PPC search engines -- and compiles them into a database that is constantly being updated.
Simply type in your keyword and WordTracker will return a list of related keywords and phrases. This is a really useful feature because it often produces KEYWORD COMBINATIONS THAT YOU MAY NOT HAVE THOUGHT OF!
Plus, WordTracker will also tell you:
a) How many times a particular keyword was searched during the past 24 hours based on their database of well over 30 million queries,
b) Exactly which misspellings are drawing traffic (so you can BID ON THIS TRAFFIC, TOO!),
c) And how many web sites are competing under a keyword in a particular search engine.
This is all the exact CRITICAL INFORMATION YOU NEED to make informed decisions about which keywords are worth bidding for -- and which are a waste of your money!
TOOL #2: Overture's Search Term Suggestion Tool(http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/)
The other tool worth checking out is Overture's free Search Term Suggestion Tool that takes the keywords and phrases you enter and gives you a list of related keywords along with the number of times each was searched in Overture during the past month.
It's obviously not as comprehensive as WordTracker, however, you could reasonably assume that popular search terms in Overture -- the giant of the PPC search engines -- will be relatively popular in the other PPC search engines as well.
Before moving on to the next strategy, I can't stress enough the importance of choosing targeted keywords -- words that aren't just frequently searched, but that are frequently searched by individuals who FIT THE PROFILE OF A BUYER ON YOUR SITE!
If you're bidding on keywords that don't really relate to your product or web site, you'll be wasting money on traffic that isn't interested in what you're offering. Your money will be more profitably spent on targeted keywords.
STRATEGY #2: Calculate Your Maximum Bid.
In the last issue of the "Marketing Tips" newsletter, I showed you step-by-step how to calculate the value of a single visitor to your web site. This figure is very important because THE VALUE OF YOUR VISITORS IS ALSO YOUR MAXIMUM BID.
For example, if a single visitor to your web site is worth 75 cents profit, then your maximum bid should never exceed 75 cents per visitor if you want to guarantee that your advertising always remains profitable.
WARNING: Should you be tempted to enter a bidding war for a popular keyword that exceeds your maximum bid, stop for a moment and think about all of those dot-bombs who threw millions and millions of dollars into unprofitable advertising, with vague notions about turning profitable 5 years down the road.
Then give your head a shake and FOCUS ON ADVERTISING THAT'S REALLY GOING TO MAKE YOU MONEY!
If you don't know the value of a visitor to your web site, then it's critical you review the simple formula I laid out for you in the last issue at: http://www.marketingtips.com/newsletter/issue54/page1.html
If you don't know the value of a visitor to your web site, then you won't be able to ACCURATELY SET YOUR MAXIMUM BID AND GUARANTEE YOUR SUCCESS.
STRATEGY #3: Place Strategic Bids For Cheap But Popular Keywords.
Once you've done the preliminary footwork, you're ready to start combing through your list of keywords one by one, looking for those that are frequently searched by your target market, but that aren't highly competitive (i.e. expensive!).
A really useful tool at this stage in your research is http://www.CompareYourClicks.com, a free site that will take any keyword or phrase you type in and produce a comparison chart of the top bids in 9 of the PPC search engines including Overture, FindWhat, Sprinks, Bay9, and more.
Overture offers a similar Get Current Bid Tool (http://www.overture.com/d/search/tools/bidtool/), though it obviously doesn't offer bidding comparisons for the other PPC search engines. (I guess we can forgive them... it's their competition after all.)
Simply type your keyword into either of these tools, and you'll be presented with a list of the top bids for that particular search term.
For example, when I typed "gift ideas" into the Overture Bid Tool, here's the list I was presented with:
1) Lenox Has Something for Every Collector
s0b.bluestreak.com (Cost to advertiser: $1.78)
2) Give the Gift of an Online Business!
cihost.com (Cost to advertiser: $1.77)
3) Great Gifts at GiftWild
giftwild.com (Cost to advertiser: $1.76)
4) T.J. Maxx - You Should Go!
tjmaxx.com (Cost to advertiser: $1.73)
5) Send Champagne or Wine Anywhere in Hours
1-800-4champagne.com (Cost to advertiser: $1.19)
The gift industry is very competitive, so it shouldn't be too surprising that bids for visitors are heading up towards $2 per click. However, let me draw your attention to a couple of missed bidding opportunities that exist here.
OPPORTUNITY #1: Save Money By Closing The Gaps!
First of all, remember that we're looking at bids in Overture, the giant of the PPC search engines, where ranking among the top three bids means that you also get exposure under your particular keyword or phrase in Yahoo!, AOL, Lycos, AltaVista, Netscape, Hotbot, and Cnet.
So it obviously makes sense to try and rank among the top three listings in Overture whenever you can afford it because you...
DRAMATICALLY INCREASE YOUR EXPOSURE IN MULTIPLE SEARCH ENGINES THROUGH THIS SINGLE LISTING!
However, do you notice a problem with #3 -- Great Gifts at GiftWild? They're bidding 3 cents more than necessary to keep their ranking in the top three! They could easily save themselves money by dropping their bid to $1.74!
What's more, if #4 -- T.J. Maxx can't afford to compete with the top 3 bidders, then they should drop their bid by a whopping 53 cents to $1.20. They'd keep their #4 ranking, but avoid wasting an unnecessary 53 cents per visitor!
When you're looking to place your bids, watch for gaps like these and take advantage of them! Never bid more than necessary... and monitor your bids once you've placed them to remove any gaps like these that may appear.
You'll save yourself a lot of money in the long run -- money that you can use to bid on more keywords to drive even more traffic to your site!
OPPORTUNITY #2: Go For The Traffic Your Competitors Are Neglecting!
Grab the low-hanging fruit first. Why get sucked into an expensive bidding war for one common search term when you can bid pennies for multiple keywords and phrases to generate similar volumes of traffic for a lot less cost!
Just to give you a simple example, I searched the keyword "gift" in Overture's Search Term Suggestion Tool and was provided with a list of approximately 50 related keywords that included "unique gift idea," "the gift," and "gift for a birthday."
Then I did a traffic and bid comparison on the keywords I randomly selected from this list using information from both Overture's Search Term Suggestion Tool and Current Bid Tool, and here's what I discovered...
KEYWORD: TRAFFIC #1 SPOT #2 SPOT #3 SPOT #4 SPOT gift idea 45,613 $1.78 $1.77 $1.76 $1.73 unique gift idea 3,774 $0.97 $0.96 $0.69 $0.68 the gift 3,132 $0.40 $0.37 $0.36 $0.30 gift for a birthday 2,192 $0.06 $0.06 $0.06 $0.05
Obviously, "gift idea" is the phrase more frequently searched -- that's why it's sooooo competitive at $1.78 per visitor for the #1 spot.
However, who says you have to bid on the most frequently searched term when you can go after smaller traffic streams... like the bargain find "gift for a birthday" at just 7 cents per visitor for the #1 spot!
Even 41 cents per visitor for the #1 spot for "the gift"... or 70 cents per visitor for the #3 spot for "unique gift idea"... is a far cry from the $1.78 these sites have been battling one another to pay.
Do you think we should tell them? ;-)
On that note, did you know that there are OVER 200 PPC SEARCH ENGINES? Sure, Overture is where you'll get the majority of your traffic from; however, its popularity means you pay more for each visitor you get.
With the smaller PPC search engines like FindWhat, Kanoodle, Sprinks, Bay9, etc... you can still place bids of 1 and 2 cents on popular keywords!
Maybe you won't get the same traffic that you will from Overture... but you're paying pennies per visitor! So does it really matter?
Even if a keyword in a smaller search engine only generates a handful of extra visitors each month, it's still traffic you wouldn't have without the bid!
To get a complete list of the PPC search engines, visit http://www.PayPerClickSearchEngines.com
I know paid advertising like the PPC search engines might seem a bit risky to those of you with tight budgets. If you're looking for new sources of traffic for your site, though, I'd advise you to consider the strategies that I've discussed in this article (as well as those in the last issue of the "Marketing Tips" newsletter) very carefully.
The PPC search engines are one of the few low-risk paid advertising opportunities that allow you a LOT of control over your success.
If you follow these few simple strategies that I've laid out for you here, keep your bids lower than your maximum bid at all times, and choose keywords targeted to your market, it's actually quite easy to funnel targeted traffic into your web site.
Plus, you can really GIVE YOURSELF AN EXTRA EDGE by looking for keywords that your competitors are neglecting and scooping up these untouched traffic streams while taking advantage of bidding gaps that make sliding your site into a top 3 listing extremely easy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Corey Rudl is the owner of four highly successful online businesses that attract more than 6,000,000 visitors and generate over $5.2 million each year. He is also the author of the #1 best-selling Internet Marketing course online.
To check out his site that's JAM-PACKED WITH THE EXACT INFORMATION YOU NEED to start, build, and grow your very own profitable Internet business, I highly recommend visiting http://www.marketingtips.com/tipsltr.html
This guy really knows what he's talking about!
Reproduced by permission.
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