Monday, April 25, 2005

Thoughts on Pay Per Click Advertising

If you are considering doing Pay Per Click advertising (Google Adwords, Overture, etc.), there are two contrasting opinions expressed in two recently published articles.

In the first one, published by Lawrence Deon ("Surviving Google's Aging Delay") and referenced at e_Marketing, Lawrence suggests that search engine marketing practices that worked in the past (most notably, aggressive link trading and link buying) are no longer working quite as they were. Google seems to be delaying the results of aggressive linking, and therefore, you cannot count on SEO to get you short term traffic. The only way is with PPC. He says, "If you purchase non-directory links, reallocate that budget to Adwords advertising."

I am interpreting this as a general comment on SE marketing, not just link buying/trading. The very clear suggestion is that you will not get the same short term traffic from SEO and linking strategies, and therefore you should resort to PPC.

Contrast this with this article written by Cari Haus who points out that PPC is very hard to monitor and can very quickly drain away your promotion budget if you are not careful.

My own experience is that PPC is very powerful if you meet these conditions:

1. You must very clearly define your product in terms of the most critical key words, and target your ads to these keywords.
2. Your landing page must be geared to generating responses and sales.
3. You must have a very simple method of generating responses on your landing page.
4. Your product must be very competitive - the kind of thing potential buyers will buy NOW.

If you are trying to generate long term exposure, or build a web presence, PPC can be a very expensive way to do it.

My most successful PPC campaigns have been for:

Vinyl Banners, PopUp Trade Show Displays, and 25 Free Links. Notice how all three of these products and their corresponding landing pages meet the above criteria.

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