Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is an important way to be seen and to generate business. There are many opportunities to get involved in PPC advertising from Google AdWords to Facebook. Each PPC site has its own rules and bidding structures but essentially the strategies you use to be seen are the same no matter where you decide to purchase advertising. One can get into PPC advertising for as little as $5.00 to establish a Google AdWords account. Many hosting providers provide a start-up bonus with Google or Microsoft or both and some are even including Facebook as a bonus now. It is easy to get involved but then what do you do? In this article I discuss four strategies for PPC advertising. Try them all and see which one works best for your business.
Bid Only the Minimum Required per Keyword Approach
If you want to contain your costs then this is a strategy to consider. There are two basic assumptions that attach to this strategy. The first is that some, though not all, visitors will read through the entire list of PPC offerings and some may even click on those lower down the list hoping for a bargain. The second is that within a wide variety of keyword search choices a few minimum bid keywords will actually find their way to the top of the list. Choosing this strategy is beneficial especially when introducing a new website or a new product to the market and your funds are tight. The minimum bid approach will not necessarily produce a huge amount of traffic to your site but, if you use a large number of keywords or phrases, you will be able to measure those with the greatest exposure and click through ratio.
The Maximum Daily Budget Approach
Similar to the minimum bid approach, the maximum daily budget approach limits the amount you are willing to spend per day and then decide what the maximum you are willing to pay for a qualified lead to bring traffic to your website. You can safely bid that amount and know that the ad will be paused for the day when you reach your maximum budget. Say you are willing to spend $1.50 per lead and you wish to spend no more that $15.00 per day. You set your bid at $1.50 and the maximum budget at $15.00 and sit back. You are now on autopilot. The best part is that most of the time your maximum bid will be far more than the bidding warrants for any given keyword or phrase and, because the bidding never requires more than the going rate at the moment, you are far more likely to pay less than the maximum bid and generate more traffic than if each bid were at the maximum.
Positioning for Strength (or Weakness) Approach
This approach requires some work. The idea is to position your self as high as possible on the PPC offering list while looking carefully at your competition looking for offers that are not competitive with your own. Say you are offering a special deal on Widgets at 5 for $100. You see competitors offering similar Widgits packaged the same way for $139.99. Your competition appears to be overpriced and it is wise to attempt to position your ad directly above or behind that competitor to make your price offer seem far more attractive. On the other hand, if your price is higher then it makes sense to emphasize quality and performance and position your ad directly above or behind that competitor in order to make the other look cheap and unreliable. Either way, positioning takes a lot of time and effort and may not pay off in the end.
We’re Number One Approach
The assumption here is that being number one is everything to the exclusion of all other factors. While it is true that the top listing gets the most traffic and often generates twice as much as even the second listing, it is also true that the top listing is the most expensive for any keyword or phrase. There are some important drawbacks to this approach that one must consider before engaging in it. To always be number one requires that your bid be higher than any other PPC advertiser for each and every keyword or phrase you use. Google, for example, has a max bid limit of $50.00 and if you get into a bidding war with a competitor you are likely to get to that number faster than you might like. Remember, you pay for each click on your site whether the visitor buys from you or not. If it takes 10 clicks to make a sale then you have spent $50 times 10 or $500 to make one sale. If you are selling a $100 widget then you will lose $400 on each sale just due to advertising. When adopting the we’re number one approach it is wise to ask yourself if you are prepared to spend this kind of money to make each sale. I rarely recommend this approach to my marketing clients.
So there you have it. Four approaches to PPC advertising that work in slightly different ways. See how they work for you.