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Generating a positive ROI from PPC

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Generating a positive ROI from PPC

By: Karl Norris
Appearing on the first page of the major search engines for your key search terms is no doubt the best and cheapest way to drive relevant traffic to your site. However, if you’ve got a new site or are operating in a highly competitive sector where achieving decent rankings, pay per click advertising can also prove to be a cost effective way to generate visitors and customers.

So how do you go about generating a positive return from pay per click?

Keyword list – the bigger the better
Target specific keywords that relate to your products rather than bidding on very general terms. These are unlikely to prove cost effective, as you’ll be up against players with very deep pockets. Large keyword lists can be built by using two, three or four word search term phrases. Use the search term suggestion tools below to generate a comprehensive list.

Use search term suggestion tools
Not surprisingly, the best search term suggestion tools are provided by the companies that offer pay per click advertising. I use the suggestion tools offered by Google, Overture and Espotting. Merging these lists before submitting will ensure all keywords are submitted to the providers you choose.

Listings for company name
Don’t forget to bid on terms that include your company name and variations thereof. This is worthwhile for several reasons. It will ensure your site is in top position if someone does a search on your site name, the keyword is likely to be available for the minimum bid, thus generating a good return on investment, and it prevents competitors from achieving listings above or next to your listing.

Bid on lower value search terms
The search term suggestion tools rank the keywords on the number of searches they have received for them in the previous month. Always bid on those keywords that generate low levels of traffic, as they will often require a very low bid to ensure top position. Whilst the volume of traffic might be low, conversion is likely to be much higher than for the most popular phrases.

Get listings with the major pay per click providers
Use the pay per click providers mentioned above, as they will ensure the greatest coverage on the larger search engines. In the UK there is also Mirago and Webfinder that generate lower levels of traffic but a higher conversion rate.

List on industry specific providers
You are also likely to find sites that are relevant to your sector that now offer pay per click rather than a paid listing advertisement. For my keyword ‘travel insurance’ www.find.co.uk and www.uknetguide.co.uk have insurance specific sections where you can receive targeted visitors.

Deep Linking
Make sure the link goes to the most relevant page on your site rather than just the homepage. Conversion is likely to increase as a result.

Effective Titles and Descriptions
Write titles and descriptions specific to the product you are selling rather than just general, high-level terms. Also include a reason to buy e.g. any discount that you offer. Many of the ppc sites offer suggestions on how to do this so read these before submitting your adverts.

Update your account
There will always be new search terms appearing relevant to your keywords. Review and update your account at least on a monthly basis to ensure your adverts appear for all keywords.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karl Norris is the E-Commerce Manager for Primary Insurance, www.primaryinsurance.co.uk. As a finance professional he focuses on generating and increasing profitability from online business activities.

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