It’s the New Guy again, back with some insight from the PPC front. Obviously, we are in the middle of the peak shopping season most advertisers efforts are concentrated on grabbing customer’s attention with bargains, free shipping, and all the bells and whistles. The day that gets the most attention is Cyber Monday. Think Black Friday but on every laptop and PC in half the nation.

This year’s sales were over a billion dollars in 24 hours. Many of our advertisers did very well. But how can you get those results on a weekly basis? How can you improve your pay-per-click campaign so that your investment of time and money will pay off all year long?

Lately, I have spoken with several advertisers who have inquired about improving the return on their marketing investment. They want to know how to make their campaign a success. I, unfortunately, can not offer a guaranteed formula for instant pay-per-click success. I can only reinforce the basics of what’s necessary to build a profitable search engine marketing strategy over time. There are certain principles that remain constant no matter the product or service being promoted.

These are some of the fundamentals that I have found to be useful across all categories and verticals:

  1. Bid Competitively: Take a look at where you are placed amongst your competitor’s bids. Are you ranked in the top 3, or the top 5? 7Search.com advertisers will see red flags displayed next to keywords that are receiving poor visibility. In order to be effective, your ad should be visible to as many web surfers as possible. Being displayed amongst other top ranking ads helps immensely. Bidding at least $0.05 will ensure that your ad receives traffic from our affiliate network. 7search constitutes about 20% of our traffic, whereas the remaining 80% comes from our affiliates. Competitive bidding offers you visibility, but you still want to examine your keywords and the results they bring.
  2. Keyword Reports: Under the “Reports” tab, 7Search members will find several great data reporting tools available to them. Running one of the available reports gives you a breakdown of the amount of clicks, impressions, conversions, and overall costs associated with your ad campaigns. The keyword report tells you exactly which keywords are receiving clicks, and shows you the searched phrase that was connected to your keyword. You can use this information to discover what searchers are looking for. You can then cater your site to what is being searched, or find irrelevant keywords to be used in our next area of discussion.
  3. Negative Keywords: These are invaluable because they can save you money! The purpose of adding words to this list is to make sure your ad only receives clicks from relevant searches. For example, if you have a site that sells baby blankets, and you choose “baby” as a keyword, you will receive searches for “Justin Bieber ‘Baby’ lyrics,” to “adult baby costumes.” Adding terms to your NK list will help keep irrelevant searches such as these searches from reaching your site.
  4. Conversion Tracking Code: Adding the code to your website makes it so much easier for you and 7search to examine your results. We can see which keywords are converting, how often, as well as a detailed look into the quality of traffic your ad is receiving. This is also useful in isolating any sources of low-quality traffic.
  5. Using our MakeTop: Bidding competitively, perhaps over several campaigns, can be daunting. We have advertisers with HUNDREDS of campaigns. Instead of monitoring each campaign, and adjusting each keyword bid individually, use our automatic MakeTop. MakeTop is a bid adjustment tool that will set your bids at EITHER first position or a maximum bid amount selected. This allows you to move all your keywords to top position quickly, to increase your click through rate. You don’t have to worry about a bid going past your budget; pick a maximum bid you are comfortable with, and feel free to adjust as you go.

There are some other factors to consider about 7search, as well. We offer custom descriptions and URLs that can be attached to your keywords. These add an extra sales pitch, and an instant link to distinct landing pages, for your audience.

What is the quality of your site? Does it look like a professional, clearly laid out and interesting website? Is it easily navigated? Do you have a secure checkout page, keeping your customer’s personal information safe and secure? Think about what your average surfer will see and feel when they visit your site. Will they be impressed, and hopefully inspired to explore it further?

Taking time to evaluate your progress and activity through out the year will help during the slower periods, and keep you prepared during the busier seasons. Always consider your audience. What products are people talking about? What part of the year are you in? Evaluation and re-evaluating should be a part of your routine, so that every Monday can be a Cyber Monday.

Start a 7Search Campaign here.

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