Any honest ezine publisher will tell you that email is not as effective as it use to be. It can't be, just because of all of the spam filters, and deliverability issues. That makes other parts of your marketing mix more critical than they use to be. For many online marketers, pay-per-click
search engines have become THE most effective form of promotion.
There are actually people online, with no product of their own, who earn over $1000 per day just promoting affiliate products! They simple bid on targeted keywords at pay-per-click search engines. They constantly refine their listings until their click-thru rates are incredibly high. Many also constantly refine their websites to generate small, continuous improvements in their conversion rates.
There ARE key strategies to using the pay-per-clicks most effectively though. One is developing a list of as many highly-targeted keywords as practical. Another is not to get into bidding wars that dramatically reduce your return-on-investment.
Let's look at the second issue first... the one of bidding wars. When you come up with a few keywords that you feel are ideal for your products, and then you notice that the top bids are incredibly high, that suggests a number of things...
The people who consistently bid very high for given terms must be making a profit or they wouldn't be bidding so high on these terms for very long. So, if you're promoting similar products you need to figure out what they're doing that you aren't. There are a number of possibilities there...
1) They may be promoting a competing product from a website that has a higher conversion rate than you do. If that's the case, you may want to consider promoting the competing product instead of the one you currently promote. If the product you currently promote is your own, maybe you want to discover improvements you can make to your website by studying the competitor's website.
2) They may be promoting competing products that pay a higher per-sale or per-lead commission. If that's the case, they can afford to spend more than you can to make a sale. That's another reason you want to investigate exactly what your competitors are selling. Maybe you want to start promoting the competing product offering the higher commission.
3) They may be willing to settle for a lower front-end profit because they're building a list, or hoping to make most of their return on the back-end. Whether this is the case or not, you may want to look for ways to leverage the return you get from your promotional efforts. One way to do this is to represent affiliate programs that offer "lifetime commissions."
The approach I take to bidding wars, and that taken by many top marketers that I consult with, is simply not to get involved in them. With millions of potential words, or terms, to describe your product, you simply need to find other terms to bid on. If you want to bid on the very competitive terms, bid lower and accept a position lower in the rankings, realizing that some people do search through the lower-ranking listings too.
The secret there, is to develop a list of as many keywords and keyword phrases as possible. This is a never-ending job. You should always be looking for new expressions and queries that people, who are looking for your products, use at the search engines. What will allow you to win that battle is the fact that you are RELENTLESS. While your competitors stop developing their list after a little effort, you never stop!
Persistence and relentlessness allows you to find those obscure words that people ARE searching on. Then, you can can bid only the minimum, and still get a steady stream of highly targeted visitors
The whole key there is to "get inside your visitors' heads." Think like your potential visitors and ask yourself what they would actually be typing into a search engine while looking for your product.
When your potential customer is using a search engine, and he sees a listing that uses his exact words, that really jumps out at him! On a conscious and subconscious level, this really connects with the prospect. Echoing his words back to him, in your listings, is really something experts at Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and varying fields of psychology, have taught for years as an extremely powerful communication
There are countless tools for developing your list of keywords. Most of the top search engines have suggestion tools that show you terms their users have searched on recently. These suggestion tools are a good starting point, but they're only a beginning. Just because a term is not listed when you query one of these tools, does not mean that people aren't searching using that term. So you need to use these tools ONLY as a starting point.
Those who spend considerable time refining their pay-per-click process use numerous tools. Tools that I personally use include:
- The Overture Suggestion Tool
- The Google Suggestion Tool
- Good Keywords (desktop software)
- AdWord Analyzer
... and numerous sites devoted to developing keyword lists.
You also need to read the books published by experts in the field. Books I have read or re-read JUST in the past MONTH include:
- Google Cash
- The Definitive Guide to Google AdWords
- The Silent Sales Machine Hiding on Ebay
- Success Alert
- The Affiliate Marketers Handbook
... and several others.
I've also listened in on, or participated in, about 10 different tele-seminars on pay-per-clicks in the past month alone.
Some of the books mentioned above don't at first seem to be about developing keywords or using pay per clicks. All of these books DO teach you things about targeting niche markets in one way or another. They help you to discover and capitalize on hidden markets. I think of practically all of them as reference resources.
Winning the pay-per-click, keyword battle is about totally immersing yourself in the topic. It's about studying all of the available material on the topic. It about reading the reference materials mention above over and over again. Something new will resonate or "jump out at you" each time that you study these materials. At least that's been my experience. That's why I often listen to an MP3 recording of a tele-seminar while
out jogging or walking along the beach :-)
Winning the pay-per-clicks, keyword battle is all about:
- Constantly refining and adding to your keywords lists
- Constantly refining your pay-per-clicks listings
- Constantly testing and meticulously tracking
That's all there is to it... that and ONLY sticking with your winners.
Willie Crawford, often referred to as "The King Of Pay Per Clicks," has been teaching and studying online marketing since late 1996. Find more of his teachings on pay-per-click search engines at: http://MasterThePayPerClicks.com