From a rather slim Adwords bill,
Leonardo Saraceni, Outer Banks, NC
Worried PPC advertisers,
You don't have to retire your Adwords account or pawn another gold tooth to pay Google.
In times when marketing is crucial, PPC is a major tool in eliminating excess costs, because you can get rid of all the unecessary, non-converting advertisement and focus solely on the stuff that brings you money.
Of course, if you've been running your PPC on "auto-pilot", and pays little attention to it, it might be time to hire an expert to run it; you're not going to get any better results without some dedication.
Good news is that I've outlined some of the best strategies to reduce your costs, find dirt-cheap keywords, and even increase your content network ads.
Explore these tips slowly, and always keep track of your moves. Remember to run search campaigns SEPARATE from content network ones and always test your results.
1) LongER Tail Keywords
You know you're not supposed to be bidding on "fitness" or "get fit", because they are too generic to bring any results, but are you really expanding your keywords to form realistic search queries?
For example: instead of "get hard abs", why not "get hard abs quick" or even "how to get hard abs quick"
2) Author/Books names
Go to amazon.com and find books related to whatever it is that you're promoting. Bid on the author names, book names, and go through the related books. If there are famous experts within the industry, bid on their names too.
3) Website Urls and Names
Is there a well-known resource site in your industry? Bid on their name, and on their domain name too. With the new browsers' built-in search engine, people tend to search for their favorite domains and click on the search results to actually go to the url, instead of just typing it on the address bar.
For example: bid on "www techcrunch com" (the dots are not recognized) and "techcrunch"
Also, bid on well-known blog authors and blog names with your industry. For example, if you're selling anything related to social media: "mashable" and "guy kawasaki". Also, try bidding on social networks related to the industry and large forum communities.
4) Target unusual countries, specifically in Asia
Google prices keyword costs according to the market, and because the US has the highest volume of searches, keywords here are more expensive than in India or Cingapure. Places like the United Arab Emirates have a thriving industry, a growing English-speaking population and very little competition.
Your conversion rates might not be as high as in the US, depending on what you're selling, but it more than makes up for the savings in click cost.
When you're only advertising within the US, create campaigns specifically for major cities like:
New York, LA, Seattle, Chigago, Boston. Google tends to favor local adwords ads within that specific market, and you might see a big difference in keyword costs from one city to another.
Watch the video I posted on the topic clicking on the link above.
The content network is where the real cheap traffic is when using PPC. It's also where advertisers lose their pants if they dont pay attention, so be very careful. Google will literally pick your ad apart and place it in millions of websites in their network, and it's up to you to control it.
1) RESEARCH your placements
Research the market related to your product for small blogs, niche websites, forums, and news sites that might be a good fit for your ads. Use Google Trends or Google Insights For Search to help you out.
Include those in the managed placements area and bid a bit higher for those. Watch their results and act accordingly.
2) Create Specific Campaigns For Gmail.com & Myspace.com
Gmail and Myspace are arguably the largest adsense networks, and tailoring a content campagn for each of those will increase your chances of getting better results.
Remember that on the content network, you're targetting somebody that has not searched for what you're offering, but read something related to it. Content ads need to be a continuation of the message on the page, which is VERY HARD. But when you're focusing on Gmail ads, imagine why somebody reading their emails click on your ad?
3) Target Unusual Countries
Again, if expanding your ads globally is a possibility, focus on unusual countries. Start your bidding at $.05 for anywhere outside US/CA/AUS/UK.
Use Google Insights to determine which countries are actively searching for what you're looking for, and create a campaign just for that country. I've been getting $0.04 clicks out of Cingapure and India for a while now.
For content, keywords are less important, but they still go into consideration when Google is selecting your placements. Instead of using the same keywords you use on your search campaigns, come up with keywords that could very well form a sentence; or that seem more like reading material than a search query.
Make sure they are ALL PHRASE OR EXACT match. Never leave broad match keywords on content campaigns unless you've got extra money to burn. Google will submit your ad to the weirdest websites if you allow it.
Dont ever stop your content campaigns. If you want to pause them, put a cap on the impressions at 50 or reduce your daily budget to $1. The more you let Google run your campaigns non-stop, the more placements they'll find for you, and the better your results will be.
You can do that by going to "Campaign" and then clicking on "settings".
To better PPC results,
P.S - If you really want to jump miles ahead of the competition, and increase your results beyond PPC, you should get the full training:
How to Reduce Your PPC Costs with local adwords campaigns
Perform keyword research using Google insight
Undertand Google Adwords and pick winning keywords