Pay per click drives me crazy. I love the concept and sales power
of it, but I am simply not wired to manage such campaigns.
On the surface, it seems an easy enough concept. Post a paid
advertisement alongside a search result (or some variation of that). A reader sees
the ad copy, likes the idea, clicks the ad and is delivered to your site. And then
they buy, right??
If only it were that easy…
There are many experts in the online community talking about
pay-per-click, search engine optimization, and other techniques to help you drive
new sales to your website and business. And you can even believe some of them. Some
say you can do it yourself and you likely can, but here’s what I think – let the
professionals do it.
I decided to tap one of those professionals, Shanee Kirk,
about pay-per-click and a bit about what she does in helping clients manage PPC
First, I asked her what she recommends for the do-it-yourself
person who just has to try running their own PPC campaign and she pointed to that
little known company, Google, and its Adwords Certification program, which I think
is open to just about everyone. Great resource.
Second, what’s the biggest thing to keep in mind when you get
into PPC? Shanee replied with, “You can’t
do ppc without being a statistics junkie… I’ve seen many clients disappointed because
they hire someone to ‘set up’ the campaign, but they forget the important piece
of the puzzle – campaign management.”
PPC campaign management involves scrutinizes the keywords, watching
the traffic and conversions, and testing, testing, and improving campaigns over
time. Shanee recommends the advanced reporting options within Google Analytics (which
comes with your PPC account) so that you can drill down and see what’s converting.
Conversion is often about finding the right keywords to buy,
but also to weave them into your content so that the ad copy drives someone to a
landing page on the same topic as the ad. Finding those keywords is an art in itself,
but over the last year or so of knowing Shanee she has counseled me to avoid going
only for the least expensive (read: cheap) keywords – the ones that sell for 5 pennies.
I saw these cheap keywords as evidence of the Long Tail concept
at work. I viewed it as I could buy lots and lots of underused, little known, keyword
phrases (again: cheap) and if only a few people ever click them, they are more likely
to purchase because I’ve hit the exact phrase (or problem) that they want an answer
If only it were that easy.
Shanee counseled me to do a combination (I think she was being
nice to me and not calling me a blockhead) of “cheap” keywords and more expensive,
competitive keywords. There are many reasons for this, but her point 12 months ago
was this, and I’m paraphrasing from memory, “you want to be where the action is,
TJ McCue. You don’t want to sit around waiting for a long tail keyword to get clicked
– you want lots of clicks, lots of traffic and you have to get used to paying for
I’ve heeded her counsel and found it accurate. Which is why,
when I have the money for more expensive keywords, I’ll call Shanee Kirk.