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October 7, 2008

4 crucial building blocks to stop Google Adwords destroying your wallet

For many affiliates, pay per click advertising is the seemingly untamed beast for making a killing or losing your entire month’s profits. We’ve all read the horror stories of people losing thousands overnight and if that didn’t put us off, trying to dabble ourselves and getting burned certainly did.

But did you know that there are millions of successful affiliates using PPC advertising as their license to print money. But how can so many people be killing it as an affiliate using PPC to get traffic where so many other mere mortals are getting stung left, right and center with huge ad costs and low sales ratio conversions?

Well, luckily it’s not as complicated as you might think and some fundamental yet simple changes can be applied to join the wealthy affiliates using PPC advertising. So let’s look at 4 crucial building blocks that you need to get right straight out of the gate…

1. Stop bidding on untargeted, broad keywords

It’s tempting to bid on keywords such as “home insurance” if you’re a home insurance affiliate in order to get some heavy traffic, but what will happen is you’ll crush your server, empty your wallet and get very poor conversion rates as a result. PPC advertising is all about tightly targeting your traffic. So, bidding on “home insurance company in the town of X” is far better and will get higher conversions providing your offer relates to the town being searched on.

2. Stop paying the same price for all match types

Match types are broad, exact and phrase. An exact match type means that the exact phrase you’re bidding on was typed into Google. Phrase means that the same words were used, but not necessarily in the same order of your keywords, and broad means that your keywords were used amongst other unknown keywords.

If you pay .15 per click on a broad keyword and .15 on an exact keyword, you’re wasting money. You should pay higher prices for exact keywords because they are more relevant to your ad and offer. Subsequently, you should pay far less for broad match type keywords because they could be totally off base and irrelevant for your offer, despite containing the keywords you’re bidding on.

3. Use the negative keywords list

There’s a feature in your campaigns to use a list of negative keywords. This is used to stop your ads being triggered for search terms that include particular keywords. An example would be the word “free”. By adding the negative keyword “free” to your ad group, you will stop freebie seekers from seeing your ads.

4. Hold in there, then test, track and monitor

When you first start out, you’ll be fumbling somewhat to see how things pan out. The big mistake is that people drop a campaign after getting a couple of hundred clicks and no sales. But the truth is, in many cases your sales might come in random batches. So, you might not make money for a few hundred clicks then the very next day you could get 4-5 sales at once. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

The next thing is to test your ad copy by using Google Adwords’ built in split testing service for each ad group you have running. This will help you to improve your click through ratio for each group of keywords and therefore prompting Google to increase your Quality Score. The higher your Quality Score, the less you pay for clicks and the higher you are placed in the ad listings at the same time!

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