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Search Advertising

You have probably heard about the great ROI that can be had with pay per click advertising.  A return of 300% or even higher is not all that unusual with this form of advertising.  Still these are hard times and cash is not as plentiful has it used to be, so here are some tips for trimming the fat from your search advertising campaigns.

Pay per click is not perfect for every business. When it works, it works well.  But what we don’t usually hear about are the stories of businesses that lost their entire ad spend.  As with anything in business, it is best to be realistic form the onset about your chances of success.  Some companies have a hard time making search advertising work.  If you sell AC adapters in bundles of 50 or more you may want to consider other channels.  People are not searching for that.  The best way to save money in pay per click is to not spend any on it.  At the lest do your research before diving in, and start small.

Install website analytics.  Pretend that instead of promoting your business over the web you were to take a traditional approach such as television advertising.  You may be prepared to spend over a quarter million dollars just on production, and follow that with potentially millions of dollars of national media buys.  When so much is at stake it’s pretty unlikely that you would write a check and forget about it.  You would probably have your eye on the sales figures to see if your campaign was bringing customers in.  If it did not perform  you would cut your losses.  But for some reason, many business owners jump into search advertising without the same attitude.  They seem to blindly set their bids and hope for the best.  These campaigns usually perform poorly. It is necessary to know how effective each of your keywords and ads are at driving traffic to your site.  You need to be prepared to cut costs aggressively for keywords that aren’t performing, and pay more for the best placements.  For this purpose you need an analytics package that will give you feedback about the effectiveness of your campaigns.  GoogleAnalytics is good free product that can do this for you.

Optimize your website. If you have tracking installed on your site but have not optimized your site’s ability to convert visitors to buyers then you probably will not be able to compete for the best possible placement for your ads.  As a result your ads will appear rather infrequently, and buried deep within the search result pages. More importantly you will only be capturing a small percentage of the sales you would have gotten had you identified and eliminated sales bottlenecks.  If you can manage to improve your sales by 50% through the practice of conversion optimization you can easily double the return on your ad spend.  This gives you the option of either cutting your spending while maintaining the same revenue or increasing your spending and drive more traffic, the choice is yours to make.