Category Archives: PPC

Traffic Diversification: Don’t Put All Your Chickens in One Basket

3 May 2010 | written by Clint Eagar for the Other, PPC, SEO, Small Business Tips section(s)

For some time now I’ve been mulling over a marketing/analytics idea I call traffic diversification. Simply put, traffic diversification is a methodology whereby a website diversifies the sources of traffic it receives.

In my time as an internet marketer, I’ve audited and optimized 100′s of websites. One underlying challenge I see for most sites is that they receive 70-80% of their traffic from a very few sources.
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Traditional and Online Marketing Synergy

23 Apr 2010 | written by James Hurst for the PPC, SEO, web site marketing strategies section(s)

Traditional and Online Marketing Synergy

We always love to get feedback from our readers. Here is a thoughtful response to “Traditional Marketing: An Investment or a Waste?” By James Hurst, a guest blogger.

While I do agree with much of what AJ wrote, allow me to expand upon his original post with some alternate viewpoints. Read On


PPC vs. SEO: Apply the mantra!

11 Mar 2010 | written by Josh Summerhays for the PPC, SEO, Small Business Tips section(s)

PPC vs. SEO: Apply the mantra!
Who knew cannibals could be so cute? Photo by deanj

Short post from me today, and many of you will be very tired of reading about this subject. If that’s you, feel free to move on to other posts. You won’t hurt my feelings.

However, there is still a large number of small business owners and marketing folks who persist in the notion that if you rank top-10 organically for a keyword (sometimes even top-20 or 30), that you shouldn’t bid for it with your PPC campaign. The reason is that you don’t want to cannibalize sales from SEO, which makes complete sense.

Except when that doesn’t happen.

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Get a little more out of your PPC: 4 Simple Tests

2 Mar 2010 | written by Josh Summerhays for the PPC section(s)

Get a little more out of your PPC: 4 Simple Tests
Photo by blondyimp

Are you new to PPC? Stuck in a rut with some very mature campaigns?

If you’ve recently set up PPC campaigns, or even if you’ve been managing some campaigns for a while, here are some quick and easy tests you can run to try and squeeze some extra goodness out of your paid search campaigns Read On


Negative Keywords Bring Positive Results

17 Feb 2010 | written by Gabe Thayn for the PPC section(s)

Negative Keywords Bring Positive Results

Negative Keywords will increase your CTR, avoid irrelevant traffic, and give the slip to non-converting, trigger happy searchers!

A note before you get Negative KeyWord Happy:

If your campaigns are not getting enough data to warrant a change, you don’t want to inundate them with Negative Keywords and lose out on some traffic that you may desperately need. This doesn’t mean you should let shoe shoppers click on your leather purse ads, it just means you should hold off on cutting the amount of impressions you have until you are familiar with the campaign’s performance and are able to get enough data. Negative Keywords are just like everything else in pay-per-click: they require research and, most importantly, knowing your industry and its searchers. There are 4 main tools that will help identify the perfect Negative Keywords. Read On


Handling Less Than Ideal PPC Realities

3 Feb 2010 | written by Josh Summerhays for the PPC, Small Business Tips section(s)

Handling Less Than Ideal PPC Realities

If you’ve been reading PPC blogs for any amount of time, you’ll notice that much of what you read seems to be tailored for businesses with big budgets and slick websites. Mind you, there’s tons of great advice and food for thought out there–it just may not help the SMB owner with limited development resources and budget.

Working at OrangeSoda has equipped me with a wealth of experience in dealing with the challenges of using PPC effectively with a less-than-perfect website. Here are a few of the most common problems I’ve come across, along with ideas for how to work around the problem without making wholesale changes to your website:

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Branding through PPC – Setting the record straight

4 Jan 2010 | written by Josh Summerhays for the PPC section(s)

Branding through PPC - Setting the record straight

I’ve heard some silly things over the past year about pay per click advertising’s ability to boost a brand and it’s time to clarify some of this nonsense whilst propping up the truth about how to use PPC to build your brand.

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The 3 Pillars of PPC Text Ads

28 Dec 2009 | written by Josh Summerhays for the PPC section(s)

The 3 Pillars of PPC Text Ads
Photo by Yersinia

A pay per click text ad may look unimpressive, but as a seasoned PPC professional, I can tell you that no other group of 140 characters can be so confounding to perfect, nor have as much of an impact on your online marketing efforts as your pay per click text ad.

Why is it so tough? Read On


The Siren Song of “Gift” Keywords

18 Dec 2009 | written by Josh Summerhays for the PPC section(s)

The Siren Song of “Gift” Keywords
Photo by mrskyce

Every holiday season, unsuspecting small business owners using pay per click advertising are wooed by a tempting but villainous influence. Her tempting song is difficult to resist: “Your product would make a great gift! You should bid on ‘gift idea’ keywords! Surely sales will come to you in droves and make you rich beyond your wildest dreams!”

The siren song of “gift” keywords has lured thousands of businesses large and small to their PPC demise as each realizes, too late, that their precious marketing budget has been squandered.

To combat the Gift Idea Siren, you must understand a few fundamental factors found in successful pay per click campaigns:

  1. A high degree of relevance between the keywords and products offered
  2. Avoiding unnecessary competition

As we’ll see, bidding on the general “gift ideas for ________” or “unique Christmas gift ideas” doesn’t satisfy either of those criteria:

High relevance between the keywords and products offered

In any PPC campaign, the most profitable keywords are the ones that relate directly to your product or service. There exists a hierarchy of keyword relevance, indicating the likelihood of someone to buy from you. There are lots of ways to categorize keywords in this way. Here’s a basic breakdown:

  1. Brand keywords – variations of your brand name and the name of your products. These searches are the most likely to lead to a sale.
  2. Product Category keywords – used in comparison shopping or bargain hunting. The customer knows most of the alternatives and has a pretty good idea of what features they want, they just need to find a product that meets the criteria. These searches often lead to sales, but generally at a higher cost than brand terms. Customers aren’t as ready to pull the trigger on a purchase and competition is usually higher for these keywords.
  3. Informational keywords – lots of “problem” and “solution” keywords (“broken xbox 360”, for example). The customer knows what she needs to get solved, but is looking for options and needs to get educated. Purchases can come from these keywords, but considerable testing of bids, ad copy and landing pages is required to target these keywords profitably.

So where does “Christmas gift ideas” fall in these three categories? Firmly in #3. In fact, so many advertisers are desperate to capture the seasonal holiday traffic from these keywords that competition can be much higher than normal informational keywords. That ties directly into the next factor…

Avoid unnecessary competition

Reaping sales from your brand keywords is easy because your competition has all but lost the battle by the time a customer searches for your name specifically. Clicks on your trademarked terms should be very inexpensive for you, but more expensive for your competitors, further increasing your advantage in this group.

It is important that you have a strong presence for product type/category keywords, as these often lead to follow-up searches on your brand name in addition to the sales that can come directly from these searches. You will generally be competing only with your direct industry competitors, so you have a fair chance to win sales here.

Informational keywords are open to competition from a much wider pool of advertisers and can often be too expensive to be a profitable component of a pay per click campaign. In the case of “broken xbox 360”, consider all of the potential motives for that search:

  • Find free instructions on how to fix a broken Xbox 360
  • Buy a guide on how to fix an Xbox 360
  • Find a place to repair the Xbox
  • Find warranty information
  • Buy a new Xbox 360
  • Buy a broken Xbox 360 to fix up

Even with a fairly specific search like “broken xbox 360” we managed to find ads for six different potential motives.

I’m not saying that you should never include information-centered keywords of any kind in your campaign, but you have to at least do your homework on them. Find out what other companies are bidding on these terms and check the Google Keyword Tool to get a rough idea of how much you should expect to bid before committing your precious marketing dollars to them.

Opting to bid on a keyword like “Christmas gift ideas” is tantamount to flying straight into a maelstrom of reckless competition. A search of that keyword displays ads for jewelery, pajamas, gift guides from various distributors, gift baskets, credit card offers, steaks, computers, and department stores.

A quick check of the Google Keyword Tool reveals that you should expect to pay between $1-3 for each click on that and other similar keywords. For most small businesses that’s a hefty click price for someone in the early stages of choosing a gift. Do yourself a favor and steer clear!


Make Your Pay-Per-Click Festive For The Holidays

17 Dec 2009 | written by Gabe Thayn for the PPC section(s)

Make Your Pay-Per-Click Festive For The Holidays
image via

The Holidays are upon us and the opportunity to inundate our Pay-Per-Click campaigns with cheer has arrived with them. Adjusting AdCopy should be on your list of to-dos, right next to hang the lights & shovel the walk.

While almost any industry can benefit from changing their Pay-Per-Click tone to one a tad more chipper during the holidays, there are a few industries that will miss out on a lot of holiday-hungry shoppers if they don’t make the change.

Some of these industries include:

  • Toys (of course)
  • Games
  • Sporting goods
  • Electronics
  • Clothing
  • Perfumes & Colognes
  • Jewelry (Don’t forget the man jewelry, like watches, money clips, etc.)
  • Food

Curious as to whether or not your industry is ripe for the picking during the holidays? Read On