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Are you satisfied with your PPC Marketing?


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#1 Caissa

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Posted 15 December 2003 - 11:17 AM

Hi,

There is no question that being in the Top 10 for natural listings is the best.

I have been watching my PPC very carefullly this December to see if the cost justifies the sales. My findings are that if you take out the "branding" effect and just look at the bottom line, the end does not justify the means.

That said, I will continue to use PPC and continue to test. I feel that the long term benefits may out weigh the short term gain.

#2 Cindy

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Posted 15 December 2003 - 11:31 AM

Hi Caissa,

I think that your findings are right on. It does not pay for us either. The cost per click has gone way up since the early days fo "Go To." We now have to pay over $1.20/click for some of our major terms. We do it just for the branding effect and the residual sales are now the perk. However, I believe that the big boys will continue to use PPCs and bury us in the SERPs over the long run.

Right now, I think that the best bang for your buck is Inktomi. They do not charge a ppc fee, just a one time set up fee. You can also change the URLs if you find that you have a dud. The added plus for using Inktromi is that Yahoo recently bought them, so the Ink searches are now starting to show up there. I think that you will see even more Ink searches there after the first of the year.

#3 Billy Donovan

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 09:49 PM

Caissa have you thought about adding adsense to your site to help deferrer the cost?

Judging from Alexa it looks like you get a lot of traffic to your site if your conversion rate is low do think that a sight resign may help?

Also it seems that with your product it maybe a little difficult to get residual business, do you have a way to keep people as return customers?

#4 Caissa

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Posted 19 December 2003 - 12:10 PM

Hi Cindy and Billy,

Wow, I am glad my PPC are not in the $1.20 catagory! I be out of business. I am already included in all my keywords in Inktomi. So I am not sure how beneficial a paid for inclusion would be. It might be fun tweaking it and I could test landing pages that way. But would I lose all the pages that are in Ink now with good placement? I couldn't afford to have 100+ pages disappear and pay for inclusion.

My logs show I get very little traffic (even with high placement) at HotBot. Where else could traffic come from in Ink? You take out Google, Yahoo, and MSN from my logs and I thinhk I have 1% left for all other search engines.

Billy made some good points. I do have adsense on my site. I only have it on my "free" pages. I sure do not want to distract on product pages away from the sale.

I guess what I was asking was as sales go for a PPC, do you feel you get a bang for your buck? Or is it disappointing. To me it is disappointing. I am not sure how companies who do not have good natural placement can make a living off the sales from PPC. It must be almost impossible in many fields to start a business on the net and use PPC as their major marketing tool.

In my chess category, a whole bunch of new companies came in in November. No USP (except price). They only way they could get attention was with PPC (at what I call expensive). I bet most won't be here next November!

#5 Billy Donovan

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Posted 20 December 2003 - 01:30 PM

Caissa,

Well I have tried to market one site only. One that myself and a friend setup to get a proposed business off the ground. And our first attempt at it failed miserably, but we learned a lot. I feel that I am better prepared today to market a site than I was a year ago and maybe at some point this year we will have the online part turned around.

We will still employ a PPC model for marketing but our biggest mistake was only to have only a PPC marketing plan. I think you are correct in the assumption that most small companies that start out high with PPC will abandon their strategy or run out of funds within a year. We did just that. We looked at the competition and said we have better prices and a better site, many did not even offer the ability to purchase online, and that we would go in a kill the competition. Not so, to say the lest! We had no idea of ROI, we had no clue on how much we should budget for our campaign, so we paid a good price for the lessons. We had a PPC three times $1.20. We paid the price! And we stuck with it way to long.

As I have read a lot of your post I see you are faced with many of the same problems that I have. It all comes down to how to market a small business site and be profitable. I have not fully figured it out yet but hopefully it will not be to long. One of the main things I want to focus on this is year will be to buy products for less. My plan is to find other distributors of our product, try to do bulk purchase to get a better price, or drop the just in time distributor model all together.

Other things I am looking into are how to get the customer to return after they purchase. Have a better conversion rate for the site. Employ an Adsense program that offset the cost of running and managing the site.

#6 TaoOfSearch

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Posted 20 December 2003 - 07:08 PM

Caissa,

Your question should be expand a little to a more general issue every webmaster/website owner would like to ask for their marketing strategy: Are current search service providers' services satisfactory for my business? Is there a new way to do marketing through search service providers?

We are building a new Internet Search Service, TaoOfSearch.com, you may want to try. We believe that we can do following:
* Differentiate each web site’s uniqueness from the crowd,
* Match targeted users to search results and bring high quality traffic,
* Give the freedom in presenting themselves,
* Allow balancing the cost and market positioning.

Our beta version will be ready by the end of next month. You will see a whole new approch to online marketing.

:)

#7 Black_Phoenix

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Posted 20 December 2003 - 07:51 PM

We are building a new Internet Search Service, TaoOfSearch.com, you may want to try


is the new site u guys are building going to be free like Dmoz or will it cost to get a placing on it ?

bp

#8 TaoOfSearch

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Posted 20 December 2003 - 10:17 PM

bp,

There will be a reasonable charge on posting to cover operation cost. We have other revenue channels to make money. However, we will offer specials to early adoptors and contributors.

#9 projectphp

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Posted 21 December 2003 - 09:43 PM

I have been watching my PPC very carefullly this December to see if the cost justifies the sales. My findings are that if you take out the "branding" effect and just look at the bottom line, the end does not justify the means.

I know this was posted a while back, but it bears adressing. Too many times, people assume they:
1) Do PPC well
2) There site is fantastic, and converts really well
3) The results are instant.

To have a successful PPC campaign, or any campaign, each point needs to be addressed.

Do you do PPC well? This is the first kicker. IF you do not have experience with PPC, the risks are huge. Many people undertake PPC without putting much thought into it. What words do you bid for? What is the cost of each word, and it expected ROI and conversion rate? Before you start any PPC campaign, the maximum acceptable Cost Per Acquisition needs to be understood.

Next point, is your site usable, and good at converting visitors into customers? Many times, a site is confusing, poorly laid out without clear calls to action. Sometimes, it isn't the PPC campaign that fails, abut the site that traffic ends up on.

Lastly, how long is the buying cycle? A $20 purchase is often made on teh spot. A $5000 decision often takes many weeks to come to fruition. Understanding that in the context of your industry and site is vital.

If PPC isn't working for you, what you need to do is break it down. What part isn't working, and which is. What words work, what don't. Does the site need to be improved, what is the buying cycle etc etc. Without a solid focus on ROI, and constantly trying to improve your site, you are never likely to be successful.

#10 Cindy

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Posted 08 January 2004 - 09:27 AM

My logs show I get very little traffic (even with high placement) at HotBot. Where else could traffic come from in Ink? You take out Google, Yahoo, and MSN from my logs and I thinhk I have 1% left for all other search engines. 


There has been so many changes recently in the SEs. Google has lost much of its following, MSN is going through some big changes and Yahoo keep gobbling up its competitors. A lot of people are now looking at Inktomi as a beacon for optimizing their web pages. Here are some reasons why:

First of all, Inktomi services MSN searches. The Inktomi listings were coming in just below the Looksmart listings. However, MSN recently dropped Looksmart, so their listings will be disappearing soon, if they haven't already. This means that the Inktomi listings should rank fairly high on MSN, maybe even in the number one spot on the more complicated keywords.

Secondly, Yahoo recently purchased Intomi, which means that Inktomi searches will now be appearing in Yahoo. They have already started showing up and we have recently seen a big increase in traffic from Yahoo.

Those are two, excellent reasons to optimize and possibly pay for inclusion in Inktomi. Who knows what's next?

#11 sem4u

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 08:13 AM

ROI is the key here. If you are not making a positive ROI (and this includes purchases and repeat purchases over the longer term) you seriously need to look at your campaign again.

Maybe you need to lower your bids and take a lower position?
Maybe you need to re-write your descriptions?
Maybe you should have more specific 'landing pages' for your keywords?

There are many things that can be done to improve your ROI.

#12 TaoOfSearch

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 01:04 PM

Does anyone here notice this article:
"A perfect storm for pay-per-click?"(http://news.com.com/...=feed&subj=news)?

Someone is taking advantage of imperfect PPC system.

#13 Caissa

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 02:32 PM

Great article Tao TY! Here is a quote from it:

It seems that ad click traffic is continuing to grow, but fewer visitors are clicking through to either take some kind of meaningful action or actually transact business. In other words, clicks are increasing, but conversion percentages are declining.


This is what I found. I used the Overtire tracking all through the holiday season to see if I was converting. I got the clicks but not the sales. Since the cookie remains in the customer's PC I would understand if I saw few sales at the beginning and much more later, but that was just not the case.

So 2 weeks ago, I let my money run out of my account. No overture ads whatsoever. I am having a great January! So I have to believe my web site does convert, just not from Overture.

#14 UB40

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Posted 30 January 2004 - 03:55 PM

Indeed,PPC is becoming a necessary evil. It is becoming more and more important to closely monitor and update bids to avoid a loss in traffic due to a fall in position as well as to avoid overspending for a keyword.

Service providers like my own BidOptima service provide complete third party bid management services that take the load off the marketers.Bid management tools like GT also reduce the deviations.

To sum up, in my opinion third party bid management has become a necessity for campaign optimization(or shall we call it, thriving on chaos :wink: )

#15 cre8pc

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Posted 30 January 2004 - 04:10 PM

thriving on chaos


So! You've been to my house, eh :shock:

:P

Kim



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