Several years ago a dime would give you a top position for a PPC keyword, but those good old days are gone. You shouldn't really be surprised that you cannot afford even the 10th ranking on some words or phrases. After all, price have gone up everywhere and PPC Search Engines (SEs) are catching on. The question is, how do you get better results with a limited budget?
Find Affordable Words
If you cannot afford a high placement for some words or phrases, look for words or phrases you can afford. Most of the PPC SEs give you a list of words and phrases and how many times those words and phrases were searched. You will find that the less-searched words are cheaper. For example, at the time of this writing the top ranker in Overture (one of the PPC SEs) bids $3.30 on the phrase, "auto insurance." But the highest bids on the phrase, "auto insurance brokers" and "auto insurance agents" are both $0.51. Paying $3.30 for a visitor is quite astonishing, but $0.51 is obviously more affordable. Of course, if you can afford it, you will get more visitors from the top ranking on the most-searched word than if you are the top on less-searched words. But, this is also true: you will get more traffic from even the 3rd placement on less-searched words than 100th on the most-searched words.
On PPC SEs, you have to pay every visitor from them. Make sure you bid on very specified phrases to get right visitors. Using the above exsample, let's say you are an auto insurance broker. Bidding on the word, "insurance" isn't a good idea. You don't want to pay for a visitor who comes to your site looking for a dental plan, do you? This can be avoided by bidding on a phrase like "auto insurance."
Need More Money to Bid?
Now that you know how much money you can spend, you go to one of the PPC search engines. Then, you find out that even the entire 37 cents won't give you good placement. That's entirely possible.
Also, if you sell insurance only in a particular province or state, localize your phrase to include that information; for instance, "auto insurance in New York." Again, you don't want to pay for a visitor who lives in Florida.
Just a Penny but a Penny
The minimum bid is still just 1 cent on most PPC SEs, so don't over-look the difference that a penny can make. For instance, if you`ve determined that your conversion rate is 1%, that means you need 100 visitors to make a sale. A slight difference in bid price will make a big difference in your profit. If you bid one cent less, you will pocket an extra $1.00 per sale. When you sell 100 products, you will make $100 more. (Think what kind of hosting service you can get with $100.) Conversely, if you bid 1 cent more than you can afford, you will lose $100. And remember, these figures add up faster as you sell more.
Also, you need to remember that the more selective your keyword or phrases is, the fewer visitors it will take to make those sales. That will rase your conversion rate and increase your profit per click so that, if bidding become intense for your keywords/phrases, you can afford to rise your bid a little to keep your position.
You still need to do some homework like finding good phrases for your business, but you now have all the information you need to bid on PPC keywords for profit. Keep calm, and don't bid more than you can afford. Happy bidding.
© March, 2002