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What Benefits Lie In Pay Per Click Engines?

Pay per advertisements (or PPC ads) are Internet based, online advertising campaigns where the PPC ads with the highest bids are placed in a prominent location on a content related website or, more commonly with search engines, displayed at the top of the organic search results as “sponsored” or “paid” listings.

PPC advertising does not involve long design processes or waiting periods and can be implemented instantly.

These advertisements show up at the top of the page or next to the organic listing results, which are displayed for the searcher after a search query. These campaigns include monitoring programs that make post click tracking easy.

Value for the Money

Large and small companies can make use of PPC engines and it is often used to test the consumer’s reaction to a new product or service.

One of the great benefits of PPC is that it is so easily measurable, making an accurate return on investment calculation simple. The return on investment (ROI) of these campaigns is usually great as the targeted audience can easily convert to sales.

Because the cost of PPC advertising is not fixed it was traditionally considered risky and very expensive. Modern PPC engines bridged this problem by offering the option to set budget limits. You can easily and almost instantly change these limits should your budget change and thus have complete control of how much is spent.

Traditional forms of advertising have a fixed cost regardless of how many potential customers look at it.
With PPC advertising you only pay for the amount of people that actually click on the advertisement.
With many web-based companies their sales are directly related to the traffic they receive on the website. These types of companies benefit greatly from PPC engines and campaigns can dramatically increase profits.

How the Internet User Benefits

Internet users will only receive PPC advertisements that include the keywords that they searched for. The Internet users get an accurate search result as the ads are delivered immediately and show up either beside or above the organic search results.

Many of the PPC ads are from smaller companies as well since PPC advertising tends to put everyone on an equal footing. As long as the advertiser can sustain the PPC advertising budget, it really doesn’t matter how large or small the company is.

By clicking on a advertisement the user is directed to the website where they are most likely to find what they were searching for. PPC advertisements are subtler than flashy banner adverts that may annoy potential customers.

How Your Company Can Benefit

Making use of PPC search engines is considered to be much more effective than banner advertising as PPC search engines tend to deliver more traffic to your website and increase brand awareness.

Because the audience receiving these ads searched the very keywords your ads are built around, they are a more targeted audience and you are more likely to receive a better conversion rate.

Advertisements are easily modified and changes are instantly applied giving you the opportunity to immediately adapt and respond to a changing market.

PPC engines often have post click tracking programs with real-time data that can monitor and analyze the performance of your different campaigns by adding tracking codes to a website.

Post click tracking makes it easy to identify poor performing keywords and modify them to include more effective keywords, putting you in complete control of your PPC advertising campaign.

Two Types of Content

A major part of search engine optimization (SEO) is content development.

Since the search engine robots only read text, it’s crucial to have good relevant content that supports your website’s main keyword phrases.

The more relevant your content is to a search query, the better your chances that the search engines will rank your pages well within the search engine listing results.

But once you have the rankings and website visibility you need to attract a lot of visitor traffic, your web page content will also need to motivate the visitor to take action and buy your product or service. Therefore when developing your web page content keep in mind that there are two main types of content you will want to create; supportive copy and marketing copy.

Writing Supportive Copy

The main purpose of supportive copy is to provide information. The internet if filled with click happy visitors who want information first. Not unlike purchasing from a brick and mortar store, a person first gathers information about what they are interested in before they buy. On the Internet, it is very difficult to sell anything if you only provide a picture and a buy now button.

As a search engine marketer, I can’t begin to tell you the thousands of dollars I’ve spent on online marketing materials and SEO software all because of the good supportive copy (information) that some copy writer provided that made me feel good about making the purchase (and the fact that they didn’t provide a trial version….. you know who you are!).

The point is, I was willing to shell out $197 here, $99 there and $299 elsewhere because some copy writer did a great job in providing the information I was looking for in support of each product I eventually bought plus, they followed up with good marketing copy that convinced me to take action immediately.
I can tell you for sure however, that I would not have reached for my credit card if the web page only had a line that read, “this software is designed to help you build better websites.”  That is simply not enough to move me to make a purchase.

Writing Marketing Copy

As mentioned above, once I had all the information, the copy writer urged me to take some form of action with some good marketing copy, which is the second type of content you need to develop on your web pages.

While providing information is important, you still want the visitor to make a purchase. Marketing copy ensures that there are specific “calls to action” that actually tell the visitor you want them to do something.
A call to action could be a “buy now” button, an email address, a phone number, a link to a purchase page, etc.

Did you know that you need to tell them to do something?  Its true! Stop! Buy Now! Click Here! Order Today! Call Now!

These are important elements that say, “I’m trying to sell you something” and now would be the opportune time to order. If it is not the opportune time for them to order, then you must make it possible for them to be able to continue reading supportive information that will further convince the visitor that this is the product or service for them.

Both supportive and marketing copy content are necessary to help you in your online marketing strategy.

Building quality keyword rich content that supports the products and services you provide will help you with your organic search engine optimization campaigns. Creating shorter landing pages with strong call to actions will help you with your pay per click (PPC) marketing campaigns.

Either way, both types of content, supportive copy and marketing copy, can work together to help increase your sales and your ROI.  Without one or the other, your website and sales may suffer.

Creating a Successful PPC Advertising Campaign

A pay per click (PPC) advertising campaign must have the following:

Budget, Keywords, Ads, Sales Copy and Products.

The most common misconception is that having all of these will create a successful PPC advertising campaign or that the work, money and time needed to have these things can be done by the site owner alone, without the need of a professional PPC Advertising Account Manager.

What Makes A PPC Advertising Campaign Successful

Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising SuccessOnce a pay per click marketing campaign is started, data is collected through analytic software and PPC reports provided by the PPC ad management agency. It is the analysis and executions made based on this information that can make a PPC advertising campaign successful.

Analyzing PPC Advertising Data & Executing Actions

A successfully managed pay per click advertising campaign uses report and analytic data to identify the following:

  1. Poorly performing keywords
  2. Keyword and industry related bidding wars
  3. Poor performance of ads
  4. Ad positioning and conversion or sales related to ad positioning
  5. Keywords that convert into sales and keywords that do not convert into sales (tracking ROI)
  6. Landing page performance, conversion and ROI
  7. Identify where in the sales process that sales and leads are being lost
  8. Site/server specific problems that are taking away from the site’s usability; costing the company sales
  9. Ad copy that converts into sales and poorly performing ads

It is this information that allows the PPC Advertising Account Manager to make informed decisions and execute educated actions that will effectively make the PPC campaign a success.

Changes That Make the Campaign a Success

Based on this information the PPC Advertising Account Manager can do the following:

a) Create and test new keyword phrases based on the high performing keywords and related phrases
b) Create, edit and adjust ad copy to increase click through rates
c) Edit and adjust landing pages to increase sales and conversions
d) Remove poorly performing keyword phrases, saving the client money and increasing their ROI
e) Make recommendations to site changes that will increase the users experience
f) Tap into new industry trends and make recommendations to the client allowing them to get ahead of their competitors
g) Modify ad positioning to get the best click through rate (CTR) that provides an increase of sales

These types of changes can reduce the cost of the PPC advertising campaign, increase PPC sales and leads; and create a valuable asset to the client’s overall online and offline marketing portfolio.

If you found this article useful and would like help creating a successful PPC advertising campaign please contact us or call Toll-Free at 1-888-262-6687.

Top Keyword Phrases – Will They Bring Traffic or Sales?

What most people consider to be the “top keyword phrases” (related to any given industry) are those phrases that make up over 80% of all the online searches related to that industry.

These “top keyword phrases” are generally the most sought after because they generate a lot of traffic, but does more traffic equate to more conversions or an increase in sales? Not necessarily.

The Value of a Top Keyword Phrase

These top keyword phrases that generate 80% of the traffic tend to be the generic forms of products such as gardening tools or car parts. Although they are topical and related to that particular industry, they are not specific; at least not specific enough to attract highly qualified, highly motivated visitors who will purchase your products or services.

The term “car parts” for instance, is an all-encompassing term (with over 38 million competing pages – as of this writing) and while it may attract much more traffic the likelihood of making a conversion or sale is a lot less than with a specific term like “Nissan sentra parts” (which only has 242 thousand competing pages as of this writing).

The term “Nissan sentra parts” falls into that other category of terms; “specific” keyword phrases that tend to generate only about 20% of online traffic but (and this is a big “BUT”) that traffic is usually a lot more targeted, qualified and motivated, which means a higher likelihood of a conversion or sale..

The Quest for More Traffic

With Google Adwords Click-thru information, WordTracker’s search estimations and Yahoo! Search’s Monthly Search data readily available, it’s easy to see the more generic types of top keyword phrases can and do drive massive amounts of traffic to a website; especially if that website is on the first page of the search engine listings for these more generic top keyword phrases.

Equipped with this information, each year hundreds of millions of dollars are poured into targeting the top 10 to 30 highly competitive, industry related (but not specific) keyword phrases through:

Pay Per Click Top Keywords

The quickest way to be found for these more generic top keyword terms is by setting up a pay per click campaign or another form of online ad purchase, but it can be pricey.

With PPC advertising, it doesn’t take very long for a new/inexperienced PPC advertiser to realize that a pay per click account targeting these generic top keyword phrases can quickly burn a hole in your advertising budget, sometimes within just a few hours and still not generate many sales.

If this has ever happened to you, you knew that you had to do something, and quick!

Some PPC advertisers will put a limit on their daily budget. Some will simply exhaust their budgets on 20 keyword phrases until they realize their sales are not showing a profit. Others will find alternative ways to control their budget by using brackets, quotes and related phrases. Then there are those who insist that they simply must have these “top keyword phrases” but realize that PPC may not be the best method to achieve this.

With PPC advertising, targeting specific keyword phrases may produce more sales but these “specific” keyword phrases can be quite competitive and quite costly and exhaust your budget that much faster.

Many PPC advertisers eventually turn to an SEO consultant or an organic search engine optimization company in order to pursue their goal of attaining page one listings for these genric top keyword phrases.

Top Keyword Phrases & Search Engine Optimization

While pay per click advertising may be a quicker way of attaining first page listings, a more economical way to get to these top generic keyword phrases would be through search engine optimization.

In fact, it’s possible to accomplish top listings on the major search engines within 15 minutes with an Adwords PPC account, whereas an organic search engine optimization approach may take months (or a year or more) requiring the creation of dozens (if not hundreds) of content rich pages that must meet a baseline set by your top competitors.

So What’s the Difference Between PPC and SEO?

PPC can add up quickly and be quite costly, and once you stop paying the bid amount, your top listings disappear instantly.

With organic search engine optimization, the process may take a lot longer and achieving the top listing results for those top phrases may require a lot of work, however, the cost can be a lot less and the effects can be quite long lasting, especially if your SEO strategies adhere to search engine guidelines and are more relevant to a searchers request.

Additionally, good quality inbound links will be necessary to improve your link popularity and page rank. They take time and would need to be obtained in comparison to what your competitors have achieved; the only issue is that your competitors may have built up these quality links over an extended period of time (sometimes years) so your effort may have to be great in order to match or better your competitors link popularity.

While this may seem discouraging, don’t let it be. In the end, with good professional search engine optimization and quality inbound links in place, your web pages will be improved and will be far more user friendly and search engine friendly and as mentioned, the benefits can be quite long lasting.

Use a Balance of
Generic and Long Tailed Keyword Phrases

Targeting only generic top keyword phrases may not be the best strategy however.

As mentioned, they can bring in a lot of traffic but may not necessarily convert well or increase your sales.

We recommend targeting a mix of keyword phrases, since specific keyword terms tend to have higher conversions even if they don’t attract as much traffic as a generic keyword term.

Eventually, if done properly, your optimized website can be an industry leader but it doesn’t happen overnight. Depending on how well your pages are currently, and the amount of effort it will take to make them more search engine friendly (and more user friendly), it may take years to accomplish.

In the end, the path you take with your website all boils down to the same thing.

Do you want traffic or sales?

Targeting Web Pages for What the Searcher Needs

There are two things that people use the major search engines for;

  1. Research (finding information)
  2. And making purchases (finding products or services)

These two concepts are driven by two distinctively different types of search phrases and mindsets.

The internet is a tool that can be used to learn. In this same concept, in your search engine optimization efforts, you need to understand that there is a learning process visitors go through before making purchases for your products or services.

Pleasing Searchers Will Make Your Pages More Relevant

Let’s say you own a mechanics shop and you sell car parts. You open an online shop and have uploaded all of your parts, pricing and information into a shopping cart and you’re ready to start selling online.
If making money on the internet through search engine optimization is your goal, you need to “target what the searcher wants”.

Pleasing Searchers – Targeting what the searcher actually needs is paramount to online success and can significantly increase your profits (more so than targeting what you think is important).

Pleasing the Search Engines – The search engines will find your web pages more relevant and rank them higher if your web page content targets what the searcher is looking for.

Stages of Internet Searching

There are two separate stages of the Internet search cycle.

  1. Information and research gathering
  2. Comparison shopping and buying

Stage 1 – Information & Research Gathering Using Topical Keyword Phrases

This searcher is quite simply trying to gather information on a topic. This could be a college student writing a term paper or someone who has a thought about buying something and just needs to understand the options available to him or her.

The keyword phrases used by searchers in the information and research gathering stage are usually generic in nature and specific to a topic. Some examples are:

  • Car parts
  • Real Estate Investment
  • Online Shoe Store

As you can see, though the terms are related to a topic and you can understand what type of information the searcher is looking for, you can’t really narrow it down to anything specific.

This is the beginning of the search cycle; and not a place to target organically if you want to get the most out of your search engine optimization campaign.

If these types of searchers are actually interested in making a purchase, they will generally move into stage two of their Internet search efforts…the comparison and buying stage.

Stage 2 – Comparison & Buying Using More Specific Keyword Phrases

Searchers who enter stage two of their Internet search efforts often visit a few other related sites and narrow down some additional, more specific phrases that will provide them with more relevant results.

It may take 3 or 4 search efforts and comparing the information on various sites before making a keyword specific search that would actually produce a sale. The comparison shopper has educated themselves through previous research and is actually prepared to make searches that may result in a purchase.

The keyword phrases used by searchers in the comparison and buying stage are usually more specific in nature. Some examples are:

  • 2007 Nissan Murano brake pads
  • Book on flipping houses as an investment
  • Women’s Red snake skin high heels

The key here is that if you are going to target keyword phrases where someone is looking for information, you have to provide the information.

If you try to target phrases that are not sales related and send them to a sales related page, your web pages simply will not rank.

Google’s algorithm looks at the search queries intent. Google can tell if the searcher is looking for information or a product (or service).

If the search is for information, Google removes the sales related sites to ensure they deliver information related web pages to the searcher.

With this algorithm it doesn’t matter what type of search engine optimization campaign you may have in place, you simply cannot reach these visitors without providing the information they are looking for.

The bottom line is that targeting these phrases within your campaign will be in vain; resulting in missed opportunities.

Driving Traffic to Your Website

A lot of search engine traffic can be driven to your website by broad phrases and topic phrases.

If you sell car parts and you simply want a lot of traffic, set up a PPC account and buy the words like; car parts, auto parts, new car parts, Nissan car parts, ford car parts, etc.

PPC advertising can be quite expensive but you can attract more traffic than you may have thought possible.
If you want traffic from these broad phrases, you will need to ensure that your site is seen as a topical, industry related authority site. This is not accomplished overnight. It may take some time, planning, content creation, site restructuring, inbound link campaigns, etc.

Attracting Traffic to Drive Your Sales

If making sales in the most cost effective way is your goal then you must think about your visitor and what it is that they want.

Again, if you sell car parts and you want to attract natural, organic search engine traffic, then your search engine optimization efforts must target specific phrases such as makes, models, part numbers and part names.

These keyword phrases would be more specific such as:

  • 2007 Nissan Murano break pads
  • 2007 Ford Mustang ball joints
  • 2007 Chrysler Pacifica white touch-up paint

In the end it all boils down to knowing the type of searcher your want to attract;

do you want more traffic or more sales?

Is your site more suited to the information and research gatherer or for someone who wants to compare products or services and make a purchase?

You can then target your search engine optimization efforts to target what the searcher is looking for in order to give the searcher exactly what he wants, thus improving how relevant your pages are to a searcher’s request.

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PPC OR SEO –Which is right for your business?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is coming of age… in a big way. From Fortune 500 corporations to sole proprietorship’s, more and more companies are starting to realize the power of the Internet for brand awareness, client retention, lead prospecting, and revenue generation.

This has lead to huge interest in, and demand for, the two most-effective SEM strategies: Pay Per Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

PPC is the process of bringing visitors to a website by paying a ‘click-through’ fee for each click. This is accomplished by ‘bidding’ on keywords that are relevant to the business. Results are usually displayed in the ‘sponsored’ or ‘featured’ areas with the highest bidder getting the number one ranking.

SEO is the process of making a website more search engine ‘friendly’ to help it rank higher. Improvements are made to the site content, internal and external linking structure, server configuration, and Meta Tags. Search engine ‘spiders’ visit the site and attempt to classify what it is about. When a search is conducted, the website is compared to other websites for relevancy to the topic being searched for. Results are displayed in the ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ areas in order of most-to-least relevant.

Which one is best? That depends entirely on your business requirements and budget constraints. Don’t let anyone tell you that one is better than the other… they both have their advantages and disadvantages and each is geared towards meeting certain needs and wants.

PAY PER CLICK PROS & CONS

PPC Pros:

  • Fast… top rankings can be achieved in a matter of hours or days –not months.
  • Very little website changes required.
  • You can target as many keywords as you want.
  • Control… you can control/ change almost all aspects of the campaign.
  • Costs are only incurred when someone clicks on your ad.
  • Results can be tracked and measured precisely… improving ROI.
  • Permits geographic targeting… pick your country, region, state, city, or town.
  • Permits running of ads at different times… 24×7, morning, afternoon, evening, night.
  • Will direct users to the exact page on your site you want them to visit.
  • Allows for testing of landing pages and conversion rates.
  • Immediacy… get instantaneous, real-time feedback on changes/ adjustments.
  • Ideal way to ‘test’ whether online marketing is right for your business.
  • Must rank for a particular keyword? If you have the budget, you can rank for it.

PPC Cons:

  • Rankings disappear as soon as you stop paying.
  • Can be expensive in the long term.
  • Be wary of ‘bidding wars’… costs can quickly spiral out of control.
  • Susceptible to ‘click fraud’… people/ competitors clicking on your ads to drive up costs.
  • Keywords are initially reviewed and approved/ disapproved by the search engines.
  • The cost for keywords is going up.
  • Search engines don’t care how much you value a keyword… if it doesn’t generate enough traffic, they will disable it.
  • Your rankings can be affected by the number of ‘click-throughs’ your ad generates… so even though you ‘bid’ for the number two position, someone else may get that spot.
  • Rankings are viewed by people as being a form of ‘advertising’… some users consider this a plus, others a negative.
  • Most people prefer to click on ‘natural/ organic’ (i.e. SEO) results rather than PPC ads.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION PROS & CONS

SEO Pros:

  • Rankings can remain for a long time after the optimization process is done.
    You don’t have to pay every time someone clicks on your listing.
  • Long-term costs can be lower than PPC.
  • Good ROI and is relatively inexpensive when compared to other forms of advertising… both online and offline.
  • People trust SEO rankings more than PPC rankings… more than twice as many people will click on an organic listing than a PPC listing.

SEO Cons:

  • Results are not guaranteed… be very wary of any company that guarantees top rankings.
  • Higher start-up costs and longer timeframe… approx. 2-6 months to start seeing results.
  • Rankings are unpredictable… top rankings can come and go based on any number of factors that are beyond your control.
  • Requires on-going maintenance to ensure website remains relevant to search engine algorithm changes.
  • Many changes may have to be made to the site itself to make it search engine friendly.
  • Changes may have to be made to the Web Host server(s).
  • Good SEO costs money… you get what you pay for.
  • Geographic targeting is more difficult than with PPC.
  • To the search engines, ‘content is king’… websites need to have good, unique content.
  • Content written to target keywords isn’t usually the most compelling or the easiest to read from a human perspective.
  • You may not know whether your SEO company is using ethical or unethical techniques… unless they are certified.
  • Competition is fierce and some companies use unethical practices to attain top rankings.
  • Un-doing what is already done can be difficult… especially if your site has already been penalized in the past.
  • Some keywords are just too competitive to be even worth going after… unless you have a large budget.

PPC & SEO SIMILARITIES:

Both…

  • Provide highly targeted, motivated customers… people who are actively searching for your products/ services.
  • Enhance corporate sales and marketing efforts… leading to improved profits.
    Help to maximize a website’s exposure on the Internet.
  • Are great for brand awareness, lead prospecting, and revenue generation.
  • Can turn a website from being a business expense to a business asset.

The Internet is vast, immensely vast… people turn to the search engines for help in finding what they are looking for… PPC and SEO make it possible for people to find your site. Ultimately, an online marketing strategy that combines both PPC and SEO strategy is the best strategy to pursue but there a very few companies that can afford the luxury of investing in both.

Making the right decision is not easy and this is where considerable research should be done on selecting the right company to work with. They should be willing to openly discuss both PPC and SEO with you, and provide solid input as to which of these two Search Engine Marketing strategies would be best suited for your business. They should be active participants in helping you to develop and implement an SEM strategy that successfully meets your online business goals and requirements… so choose carefully.

In their simplest and purest forms; SEO is about optimizing and lucking into rankings… PPC is about controlling and paying for rankings.
About the author:
Chris Genge is the President of 1st on the List Promotion Inc, a website promotion firm that specializes in search engine optimization and pay per click management. Chris writes on current and emerging search engine marketing theories and has been involved in the SEO industry since 1997. He and his team focus on researching and implementing the most effective and ethical search engine optimization techniques. To learn more visit /

Search Engine Optimization Landing Pages

For the last 5 years, search engine marketers have been concentrating their efforts on developing search engine optimized landing pages. The trend was focused mainly on PayPerClick and keyword searches that lead to relevant landing pages. When compared to sending all the visitors to a home page, testing of this optimization method showed a significant increase in conversion rates. The same is true with organic landing pages, another growing area of interest.

Back in 2003, we talked about the need for a similar process in organic search engine optimization. (You can read that article here.) We found that when we developed specific landing pages that were relevant to a user search terms, the user seemed satisfied with the results. Consumers were more inclined to browse through and stay on a website longer. As a result, websites saw an increase in conversion rates.

Many people still think that sending people to their home page will give them a better understanding of their business and because of that, people will somehow value their website. The problem is that visitors don’t always have the time to spend searching a website, or it isn’t clear by the website’s home page if it actually has what they’re looking for. Home pages normally have an 85 to 99% bounce rate. A bounce rate is when a visitor clicks on a link and then returns to the previous page because they didn’t feel the site had what they were looking for. This doesn’t necessarily mean the site failed to give them the exact make, model or price, but that, generally the website wasn’t relevant to their search. Often, when a user doesn’t see what they want or what they searched for immediately, they assume the site they landed on is unrelated. When it comes to letting people know that they’ve come to the right place, most site owners or designers miss the mark. ‘A picture is worth a thousand words”, just doesn’t apply to websites. A website without any words is a waste and a surefire way of getting people to leave your site before finding out that you have exactly what they were looking for.

*PayPerClick search engines like landing pages that offer users exactly what they’re looking for.* Why? *Because it makes a HUGE difference in conversion rates. *Most home pages are too generic and hard to navigate – proven by the extremely high bounce rates. Unlike a portal where all activity begins, with a website most activity begins and ends on your home page, which can make it a potential waste.

In contrast, SEO landing pages are designed to show exactly what the site offers and answer the visitor directly, based on what they searched for. When developing content it’s important that the content relates directly to what the website offers. That way, when the visitor lands on the page they get appropriate information about the product or service.

With SEO landing pages you have the ability to provide detailed information about a specific product, including the make and model or you can provide more generic product information. Either way, searchers are more likely to get the information they want without having to navigate through pages and pages of unrelated products or information. The search engines are interested in zooming in on what the searcher is looking for. Product landing pages answer that need directly, while improving the overall search experience.

Why not show your site visitors that you value their time and that you have the product or service they are looking for? Optimizing your website’s landing pages really is an all around win-win situation.