Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Top PPC Tips for Effective Marketing - Top 3 PPC Search Engines

Google AdWords

Topping market share and one of the pioneers of the PPC process, Google AdWords offers a quick and supportive environment in which to launch a PPC campaign. While initial costs of $5 and bids starting at $0.01 make it sound very inexpensive, an effective PPC campaign can be costly.

This site offers tutorials, FAQ and technical support and is a great place to start the process. The Keyword Tool on the AdWords site is a strong analytic tool for the PPC campaign designer.

Yahoo! Search Marketing

Coming in behind Google, Yahoo offers a professional and well-maintained site. It is credited with the first pay-per-click search engine (Goto.com) which was rebranded as Overture and then in 2005 as Yahoo! Search Marketing.

Yahoo's main product, Sponsored Search, reaches over 80 percent of active Internet users by providing sponsored listings in search results on the Web's top portals and search engines.

MIVA

MIVA is a network of partner sites which power over two billion queries per month. MIVA's proprietary bid-for-position technology allows the client to select the amount they are willing to spend per keyword.

A full set of management tools and designer support articles makes MIVA a strong PPC resource. MIVA's network includes CNet.com, InfoSpace and WorldNews.

Conclusion

A combination of article marketing and PPC campaigns can turn any web site's sales visions into reality. Always remember, the ad needs to be supported by the content in the blogs or articles. If the ad is to appear at the top or bottom of a web page, support it with some text, at the very least an ALT tag.

Before starting an AdWords campaign, please consult the information provided on Google, and ask an SEO expert for advice. People lose lots of money on these campaigns by not choosing their strategies carefully.

This should not put the fear of God into you. Be methodical; write the list of needed keywords to support the ad. Ensure that tools like Wordtracker and WebCEO are used in any PPC marketing plan.

If you build the PPC campaign effectively, it can simply be a case of earning while you sleep.

Keyword Strategies for Hybrid SEO/PPC Search Campaigns - Forecasting Search Volumes and Assigning Your Terms

There are two main tools available to help you forecast the search volume for your keywords. They are Overture's Keyword Selector Tool, which is free ( http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/), and WordTracker.com, which uses its own proprietary database and Overture's database to forecast keyword volume.

Once you have your preliminary keyword list ready to go, you'll want to know how popular the terms are. Very popular terms are desirable, but often very competitive. Terms that get little or no traffic may not be worthwhile for SEO, but are great to include in your PPC campaign. Middle of the road terms that generate a moderate volume (say, 2000 searches per month) can be targeted in both PPC and SEO campaigns, then moved to either SEO or PPC based on whether they actually bring in qualified traffic.

At this stage of your research, your main criteria for assigning terms to SEO or PPC are search volume and appropriateness of the term. Terms that are critical to your business and come up over and over again on your website should be targeted for both SEO and PPC. Cost is another factor to consider when including a term in the PPC component of your strategy. If the term is highly competitive and its per-click cost high then it may be prohibitive to include it in the PPC campaign. If you do include it, then you'll need to figure out where you want it to appear in the sponsored listings (the #1 listing may be too much money, but #5 may be just fine) and how much money to devote to this term compared with your overall PPC budget.

SEO can be expensive in terms of both time and money. If you are doing it yourself, then expect it to eat up a good portion of your work week as you get it implemented. If you are hiring an agency or consultant to do the work for you, it can be as expensive on a per-term basis as a sponsored listing on Overture or Google. Consider your terms carefully for SEO. Don't optimize pages for terms that get a very low volume and are not absolutely appropriate for your business and your audience. Secondary and low-volume terms should be relegated to the PPC campaign and evaluated closely for relevancy and conversion.

How To Increase Google Trust

If you are a webmaster looking to increase rankings and organic traffic from Google, then this tutorial will definitely prove helpful. You may have heard of Google's Panda / Farmer update affecting low quality websites - this tutorial will answer the questions of what does Google view as low quality - and more importantly - how do I make my website a high quality site?

Tip #1: Add Original, Useful and Substantial Content on a Frequent Basis

In this page: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/finding-more-high-quality-sites-in.html , Google stresses the importance of having original content on your website. Below are some good content guidelines you can implement:

a.) At least 500 words. Most readers need details - especially if your content is a tutorial or how-to guide. If your content does not explain the details, then your content is not good enough, which also reflects the overall quality of your website.

Having a thin amount of content, your site can be labeled as a “content farm” by Google. Make a habit of writing content with details instead of generalizing everything in one or two paragraphs.

b.) Content should be original and not copied. As suggested by Google here: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/finding-more-high-quality-sites-in.html , some great ideas about writing original content are based on research, in-depth reports, and thoughtful analysis.

c.) Articles should be well written, clear, concise, and direct to the point. The readability of your content is also important.

d.) Content should contain images or videos. Content with images or videos reinforces learning and helps the reading process. Make sure you have rights to these images and videos. Make sure to ask permission first if you do not own them.

e.) If absolutely necessary, cites references to external sources as proof. Sometimes when you are writing something in your blog or website, you need evidence that can substantiate your point. In this case, you need to link to a quality external resource. This linking process should be given with editorial merit.

f.) Link to other content within your website. For example if your content is talking about “building widgets” then in some of your paragraphs you start talking about “configuring widgets”. If you already wrote a separate and detailed tutorial about “configuring widgets”, then have your “building widgets” page link to the “configuring widgets” content. This method is really helpful for visitors who are in need of detailed resources about a certain topic (example “widgets”). You might notice that if you are reading a Wikipedia article, it links to a lot of related pages within Wikipedia, and of course helps improve the user experience and increases the retention time of your visitors.

g.) Allow user-generated comments. When you publish content make sure you allow comments to it. User comments are helpful to validate the accuracy and trust of the content. If certain content receives a lot of interaction and approval, then any future readers do not need to spend more time searching for quality content on the Internet because they already found one. They will stick to your website longer.

h.) Allow users to share your content on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking websites. One aspect of a quality website is that its content is highly shared, liked and added to a users list of favorite websites. You should take this opportunity, as search engines like Google are definitely using this data (source: http://searchengineland.com/what-social-signals-do-google-bing-really-count-55389 ).

i.) Write as often as possible- this makes your website grow bigger with quality content. The end results are higher organic traffic due to long tail effect and higher link baiting opportunity because of your content. Google also loves to rank big websites

SEO Tools - AdSense Preview

Google AdSense™ automatically delivers ads targeted to your website content. The more targeted your pages are for one or two topics, the better the ads are likely to be. This free preview utility will give you a sense of which ads would be placed on a given page.

The ads shown on your pages will change over time as your content changes or the inventory of Google ads changes. You should check back here often to review which ads will be shown when you're working on updating your pages.

Choosing Keywords with Google

Google has so many great tools you can use for choosing keywords that it seems almost impossible to know about all of them. Recently, I learned about one called Wonder Wheel. It's intended to give a searcher more options to consider, but it can be used for other purposes as well.

To use Google Wonder Wheel, start by putting a fairly general search term into the Google search engine, and hit “search.” In addition to the search results, you'll see a column on the left hand side. Click on “Search Tools” or “More search tools,” depending on how often you use search tools. You'll see one that says “Wonder wheel.” That's the one we want. Click on that, and watch a bit of magic.

For purposes of example, we'll start with a search on “square foot gardening.” Clicking on Wonder Wheel after doing that search divides the main search result area in half. On the right side, you'll see a column of search results not too dissimilar to the list that took up most of the screen before. But you'll notice a big change on the left.

What happened? Wonder Wheel took “square foot gardening” and put it in the middle of a shaded circle. Spokes radiate out from this circle like rays out from a sun. Each spoke leads to a related key phrase. This particular search yields eight spokes:

Container gardening
Lasagna gardening
Square foot gardening forum
Square foot gardening spacing
Intensive gardening
Square foot gardening vermiculite
Square foot gardening tomatoes
Square foot gardening layout

Each of these terms is related to the search phrase “square foot gardening.” I've just gotten interested in square foot gardening myself, so I recognize some of these terms. But if I were starting a blog on my square foot gardening adventures (or misadventures, depending on how next season turns out), I might not have thought to describe it as “container gardening” or “intensive gardening.” And I know I never would have thought of “lasagna gardening”!

In fact, the term “lasagna gardening” is a little too interesting to leave alone, so let's investigate it a little further. Every term on the Wonder Wheel can be clicked. Clicking “lasagna gardening” creates another wheel. The original wheel with “square foot gardening” at the center glides below it, while remaining connected to the new wheel. The old wheel takes on a lighter color, but you can still click on every keyword in it.

And what do we have in the new keyword wheel – excuse me, Wonder wheel? Well, “lasagna gardening” sits at the center, and eight new keywords encircle it in the same way eight key phrases encircled “square foot gardening” earlier. I can click on every single one of them. There are only two major differences (aside from the new keywords) from when the original wheel dominated the left hand side of screen. First, there's a line connecting the new wheel to the old wheel. And second, as you would expect, the right hand column, which lists the search results, has changed to list results for “lasagna gardening.”

And here's a nice touch to satisfy my curiosity: the very first result includes a one-sentence definition for the phrase “lasagna gardening,” so I'm no longer in the dark about what it is. Now I know how it relates to “square foot gardening,” and can fit that bit of knowledge into the larger picture of what I know about the more general subject.

I can go even deeper if I want. Clicking on “lasagna gardening plants” gives me a third Wonder wheel. The first one, with “square foot gardening” in the center, remains visible only as a circle – though interestingly, it shows up as part of a keyword in the new circle: “square foot gardening plants.” And once again, the search results on the right hand side change. If I want to go back to my original Wonder wheel, I need only click that circle on the bottom, and I'm right back where I started.

For just a few minutes of effort, I discovered about two dozen key phrases that are related to “square foot gardening.” A number of these are terms I might not have come up with on my own. Many of them don't even contain the phrase “square foot gardening,” but clearly deal with related, relevant topics. I'm sure you can see how this tool can help you come up with new keywords to aim for on your own or your clients' websites. Good luck!