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June 29, 2010

One hour traffic system with Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising The Scientific Approach

What do an empty shopping mall and your brand new website have in common? If you guessed “zero traffic” then you are correct! Your website may have the most stunning design in the world, you may have the hottest product or service on the market, but without traffic you’re going to make just as much as that empty mall: NOTHING.  In order to jump start your marketing efforts without waiting for Google and the other search engines to rank your website, you need a secret weapon: pay per click marketing.  Pay per click marketing allows you to test your product, service or market conditions in real time.  This will save you from spending countless hours of work on campaigns that were never going to be profitable, quickly find ones that will be, and start profiting literally hours after launch.

The internet has many parallels to the offline world, especially when it comes to commerce.  Whether you are promoting a physical or digital product, a service or even a brand name, without traffic you simply cannot be successful.  If people don’t know you exist, they can’t give you their information and they can’t buy your product, it’s simple as that.  And while you wallow in obscurity, you can bet your competitor is getting their product, service or brand name in front of people and laughing all the way to the bank.

So, you make the decision to dive into PPC marketing, now what? The first step is deciding where you are going start your campaigns.  The obvious choice is Google since they currently dominate the search engine and PPC markets.  However, since it’s the obvious choice, that means you are going to have quite a few competitors, especially in the larger niches, which is something to consider.  Google isn’t the only gig in town though.  Microsoft Ad Central and Yahoo all have similar PPC platforms that you can profit from.  And while their reach pales when compared to Google, they still receive millions of visitors a day, which is more than enough to work with.  And since these are less popular advertising platforms for PPC marketers, you will face far less competition. In most my seminars and webinars, I do my best to get some free coupons from most these advertising service providers, so my clients and students can test all platforms and get a feel for what works and what does not. For example, a recent study by comScore Media Metrix (March 2010) showed: Bing advertisers are reaching a motivated audience; Bing searchers spend 42 percent more than the average search user in the U.S.—21 percent more than Google users and 25 percent more than Yahoo! users. So I suggest to give all advertising platforms, Google included, a chance to earn your business. Let me know if you wanted to access up to $400 in pay per click advertising credit from Google, Microsoft Ad central, Yahoo, Facebook, MySpace and many others.

The second step in starting your PPC marketing involves research, specifically keyword research.  Search keywords are how visitors are going to find your PPC ads.  Finding the right keywords is crucial to your success in PPC marketing.  If your keywords aren’t targeted, your campaign and your budget are going to be a bust, literally.  A proven strategy is to target “buying keywords.”  For example, if an internet user searches for the term “weight loss” that person is still in browsing mode.  They know they want information on weight loss, but they still aren’t sure exactly what they’re looking for.  These are the people you want to avoid.  You want buyers not browsers.  An example of a good buying keyword would be “buy slim fast snack bars” — this is a great buying keyword because you know exactly what the person is looking for; you don’t have to guess.  To get a feel for keywords, check out Google’s great keyword research tool. It would allow you to conduct research based on both keyword/phrase as well as the content of your target web site.

Targeting the right keywords is only part of the equation though.  Once you find your buyers, you still need to get them to approach your offer, and this is where great ad copy comes into play.  Without compelling ad copy, your buyer will simply choose a different vendor that captured their attention first.  So, how do you develop good ad copy? You test, test, test.  By split testing your ad copy (i.e. simultaneously targeting the same keyword with two different versions of your ad) you will be able to fine tune your ad copy until you’re left with only the most compelling version for your target audience.

Consistently attracting clicks on your ad is great, but now that you’ve got your buyers in your sights, you still need to convert their interest into something valuable.  In most cases this will involve capturing their information, such as their email via an opt-in form, or getting the sale. In order to achieve this though, it is absolutely crucial that you have a targeted landing page.  If a buyer clicks on your ad to “buy slim fast snack bars” and you give them a landing page, selling patio furniture, well, you can kiss your advertising dollars goodbye.

The key to a targeted landing page is to give the user only two choices: complete the action (i.e. opt-in to your newsletter, buy a product, watch your promo video, read your pre-sell, etc) or to leave the page.  That’s it.  Do not clutter your landing page with extraneous garbage.  The user should immediately know what action they are expected to take.  Do not overwhelm them with choices!  If you give them choices A, B, C and D, they are going to choose option E, as in Exit!  Split testing your landing page is also essential since subtle changes in ad copy, color and layout can have a dramatic impact on your conversion rates. Test multiple versions of your landing page to maximize your conversions.

If you’re tired of waiting for traffic, you’re not alone.  Why spend days, weeks, even months promoting your website or business only to see a trickle of traffic when you could open the flood gates from day one?  PPC is the fastest way to start generating traffic, leads and sales.  You could literally be in profit hours from starting your campaign if you do everything right.  You can learn much more about PPC through online certifications and tutorials from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Ad Central, Facebook, LinkedIn, and private programs such as ours. Why wait? Corporate America is using PPC every single day. So should you!

Koz Khosravani is an Internet expert, an Information Technology lecturer, and a national speaker who has shared the stage with The President of the United States, Donald Trump, Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield and many other top speakers. Koz is the president of the firm, Web 2.0 Marketing Systems LLC with offices in Los Angeles and New York. He is available to offer IT consulting and training.