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April 29, 2008

Become a Pay Per Click Expert in 5 Quick and Easy Steps!

Ever heard of the 90/10 pay per click rule? Basically it says that 90% of PPC success is enjoyed by only the top 10% of advertisers who know the inside methods to getting the most from their PPC campaign. And oddly enough, it’s basically true. Especially when it comes to Google’s AdWords, which offers the most advanced methods to help advertisers get their money’s worth (and then some!)

Some people use pay per click (PPC) as their primary source of search engine marketing while others use it as a way to get steady supplemental targeted traffic. As an SEO professional I’ve developed PPC campaigns for my clients so they get targeted traffic while the organic optimization is ramping up, which often takes weeks or months. Whatever the reason, PPC is a good way for any online business owner to get targeted traffic and a great way for those who know how to use the system to their advantage. And that’s exactly what this article will do for you.

But before we dive in, just why is AdWords so valuable? There are plenty of reasons but for starters…

1.) AdWords listings are seen by more than 80% of all Internet users on millions of sites ranging from Google and AOL to very specific niche locations it would otherwise take forever to research and manage independent advertising accounts with.

2.) Your ads can be targeted specifically by region or language.

3. ) Ads that you can constantly update and test are a great way to test what keywords are really best for targeting in your organic SEO efforts, which can be very time consuming and expensive.

Step 1: Get an AdWords Account

If you don’t already have an AdWords account, it’s easy enough to sign up for at Once you have your account you can begin creating ads and finding the best keywords. Actually, you can use Google’s free AdWords keyword research tool even without an account by visiting

Step 2: Develop a Killer Ad

Here are the things to know about ad development broken out by Title and Body…

Ad Title:

1.) Use targeted keywords NOT your company name

2.) Mention a benefit, rather than a feature.

3.) Take advantage of the “Dynamic Titles” feature by entering the following code in your title “{KeyWord: Your Keyword}” (without quotes.) This allows you to use the same ad body text with a dynamically generated title that matches exactly what the searcher is looking for and makes your and the most relevant it can be. By the way, this is case sensitive; “{KeyWord: Your Keyword}” will make the first letter of each word capitalized while “{keykord: your keyword}” will make it all lower case.

Ad Body:

The body or text of your ad need only do two things; hook ’em and then reel ’em in. The hook is something that peaks their interest such as “Increase your Profits with XYZ software.” While reeling them in involves what traditional marketers refer to as a “call to action.” This might be “Download your Free 30 day Trial now.”

Note: Do not over capitalize your ad. At best just capitalize the words you feel are most important to the viewer. It’s OK to capitalize the first letter of each word in the title but not the body.

Step 3: Maximize URL Usage

While we’re on the subject of what the searcher sees in your ad, we need to consider the URL. Google will let you make the visible URL different than the actual URL leading to the landing page where the visitor will end up after clicking your ad. This is huge! Take advantage of it.

This feature will let you test multiple landing pages in your ads to see what pages are converting sales best while showing the visitor the “display” URL for your product. Let’s say the landing page being tested in this particular ad is “…com/XYZ/purchase3.htm.” When that ad gets clicked you will soon see if “/purchase3.htm” is converting better than “/purchase1.htm.” But here’s the magic… By using a display URL of “…com/XYZ/” , and actually having the product there as well, you are building your brand and providing a visual queue for users to manually type in the URL if for some reason your landing page is unavailable.

Step 4: Use Special Keyword Advantages

Obviously keywords are a very big factor in the success of your campaign. Choosing the best keywords is extremely important and using Google’s “Keyword Matching Options” can help take your great keywords one step further. Just click the “Advanced option: match types” link when setting up your ads and choose from the following…

1.) Broad Match: Is the default and will show your ad each time all of the keywords in your keyword phrase are entered.

2.) Phrase Match: Looks for the order of words in your keyword phrase and only shows your ad if the order matches. Your ad will still show if your phrase is any part of the search query, but only if the word order is the same.

3.) Exact Match: This is the most stringent and will only present your ad if your exact keyword phrase, and ONLY your exact keyword phrase, is used.

4.) Negative Match: This is a nice feature that will stop your ad from showing if a word appears in the search query that you don’t want to get clicks for. The most common example is “free” which would eliminate you paying for clicks from people who just want a free version of what you offer.

Step 5: Find and Use the Best Keywords

Now for the most important aspect of your pay per click campaign; keyword selection. The more targeted keywords you can find, the better. Google offers a great free keyword tool as we discussed early on. Here are the qualities to look for in your keywords:

1.) A good “Average Search Volume” rating (check out the blue bars)

2.) A high search volume for the previous month (especially true for seasonal topics)

3.) The lowest possible “Advertiser Competition” rating

4.) Look for common misspellings and use the “exact match” feature to get plenty of low cost targeted traffic.

5.) Scroll down the page and find hidden gems that others miss. There are a lot for those who look carefully enough.

Insider Tip: You can also collect hundreds of low volume keywords, put them in a spreadsheet for easy upload and use the “Dynamic Title” feature we discussed earlier to generate hundreds of low cost highly targeted leads.

Professional Tip: SEO professionals typically use specialized keyword selection and spy software because it does weeks worth of work in a matter of hours. Keyword Elite ( for example, can generate thousands of valuable keywords in minutes and does “ethical spying” that exposes the competition and makes placement takeover easy.

That’s all you need to know to join the top 10% of PPC advertisers getting the most out of their campaigns with minimal effort. Best of luck!

Scott Jason has been an SEO professional since 1999 and is the founder of . He has developed and managed PPC campaigns for both small companies and corporate giants alike.