Maximizing PPC Campaigns

David Bell
Do you have any idea how much money you are throwing away on your ay-er-lick advertising? Do you know which keywords are converting into orders? Do you know your advertising (conversion) cost per order?

If your answer to any of the above questions is no, then you're probably throwing away from 20 percent to 80 percent of your budget every month. This is money that you can save by tracking the conversions and associated costs of each keyword. The good news is that there are several tools available that can help you track your costs, right down to the keyword. Most PPC advertisers can now significantly reduce their cost per acquisition. In some cases, you could reinvest some of that money and increase the number of closes as well. The key is refining your campaign by focusing only on the words that convert into orders.

Tracking Conversions
Several companies have now developed the technology to track the conversions and associated costs of each keyword. Some of these companies include:, and (for their own PPC advertising). By knowing which words convert into orders, you can eliminate the rest and save those wasted dollars. In addition, there are other words that cost too much for their conversions, again wasting money. Take the money you are saving and direct it only to the words that deliver; or, if you prefer, send half to me.

This methodology yields a refined campaign where each word is justified by resulting in orders. It typically takes a few months to gather enough data to analyze. However, during that time, it will become very evident which words are delivering the best results. After a few months, you can analyze the entire campaign and make major changes. These changes will yield a significant improvement in your cost and quantity of acquisitions.

Get Rid of It
We are inundated with statistics: There is the click-through rate, clicks per day, conversion ratios and cost per click, just to name a few. Forget them – don't ever look at them again – as they're all (almost) worthless. If you're like most of us, we spend several hours a month analyzing the statistics and trying to come to reasonable conclusions, only to be more confused.

There's only one statistic that has any real meaning: What is your cost per order? That's it! Do you really care how many clicks you got for a specific keyword? Who cares? If that keyword doesn't deliver an order, get rid of it! Don't get enamored with how cool it is to be in the number one position if that word doesn't deliver orders – get rid of it!

Keywords Are King
I typically launch campaigns with hundreds of keywords. Since your orders are directly related to people clicking on certain keywords, it's essential to have many relevant keywords. It's amazing how many "order-producing words" I have found using keyword mining tools. You cannot imagine all of the combinations that people use – many of which become your best words. Consequently, the more relevant keywords you have, the more orders. There are several tools available to help you mine for keywords, including Google, Overture, and Wordtracker.

Many of you will be surprised to find the old 20/80 rule also holds true here, with 20 percent of your keywords delivering 80 percent or more of your orders. I've seen campaigns where five percent deliver 100 percent of the orders. Can you imagine how much money is being thrown away? By the time you're finished eliminating the words that don't deliver, you will be down to just a handful. Finding new productive words is the key to scaling your campaign.

Start Saving Now
By using the above methodology, you can now create new campaigns or refine existing ones and find out within 30 days if the campaign is delivering. The process includes: finding hundreds of keywords, placing the words on Google and/or Overture and tracking each click. Within 30 days you'll be able to:

(1) analyze the words that convert;

(2) know the conversion cost of each word; and

(3) begin to save thousands of dollars.

I hope this helps in your future marketing decisions.

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