- you have more sites come out of the sandbox than go in.
- you see the fruit of your labor from 2005
- you enter the black before Black Friday
- your ROI increases
The ideal client offers well-branded, discount product or service, in a wide selection, with a unique benefit… that comes with something free. For example: Nike, promoting their latest shoes with a new patented suspension system, in more colors than are available in stores, on sale – with free shipping.
No, not many of those come through the door – but each of those elements are what is needed to set a campaign apart.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve heard of it, only if the target client has heard of it. If you don’t buy widgets, you have no reason to have heard of Acme Widgets… try doing a little research. Use the internet, and ask your uncle who buys widgets for his watchamacallits. They don’t have to be the biggest name out there, but if they are a name people know – that gives you the strongest possible advantage over other advertisers.
In a PPC campaign, unless the brand name is not known, or is similar to a common non-branded search term (for example: if the company’s name was “red tomatoes” and they sold make up,) then we can expect to see click-through rates of over 10% and conversions of over 5% consistently on branded search terms. One of our clients saw click through on their brand name averaging 40%, and conversions averaging 15% on that term. This is a simple matter of making sure that the client is there, at the top of the page, when people look for them.
Comparison shopping is easy online. If you offer the same or similar product as anyone else, you better be sure you are selling it cheaper – or at least for the same price. This is especially important when the competitor mentions price in the ad. This is more important in women-oriented verticals, and verticals where the product is widely available. The client doesn’t have to offer the lowest price on everything, especially if some of the other factors mentioned here are going in their favor (especially brand and uniqueness,) but they should at least appear to be competitive.
3) Wide selection:
Again, comparison shopping is easy. So is finding exactly the color/style/size or the precise service someone is looking for. If your client doesn’t carry it, chances are, someone else does. A wide selection, or variety of services, allow you to not only advertise that selection in the copy – but to use more tail terms, and get broader coverage.
4) Unique benefit:
Are your client’s widgets the shiniest? Do they come in more colors? Do they widge more effectively than any other widget on the market? Are they highly rated by critics? Bestsellers?
In short, as an advertiser, you should always be looking for what it is about this product that sets it apart. Exclusivity is almost as much of a sales driver as brand or selection – so if your client carries something that can’t be gotten from anyone else, you can capitalize on that.
People love free. Whether it’s a free pair of sunglasses when you order tanning lotion, or a free night’s stay when you book at least 2 months in advance… but the best offer of all is free shipping. Free shipping is the single biggest reason why a user will click on one listing rather than another. So if it’s at all feasible, try to talk your client into having a free shipping offer of some kind, and be sure to mention it in the copy.
It shouldn't matter what Google does with their ads, he argues, so long as the received value, which advertisers can measure, is higher than the price they pay.
Not everyone is a good candidate for PPC. It can be hard to learn when to turn a potential client away.
Reasons to tell a potential client not to do PPC:
1. They don’t have a completed website.
You can’t develop a decent PPC campaign without a website. If you are building the website internally, then you may be able to work with the developers on it and actually tailor the site to make a smoother PPC campaign. However, if all you have to go on are the client’s descriptions of products, it’s difficult to assess the feasibility of PPC. The client’s descriptions may be overly optimistic. They may describe something as a “gourmet gift basket” when it’s just sausage and cheese.
2. The product is a commodity, or otherwise not well differentiated or branded.
If there’s nothing outstanding about the product – whether it’s better or cheaper – it’s damn hard to sell it through any advertising medium. But if you have Acme Little Guy selling Acme way-cool widgets – and they are up against Big Guy Widgets, who is one of the names everyone thinks of for widgets, and up against Discount Widgets who are cheaper, and Universe of Widgets that has more kinds of widgets than have any sense existing - well, the chances of diverting some of that traffic to Acme are slim. You have to have something unique. This is a problem many internet retailers have. They see that there are many companies doing well in a vertical and think that they can jump in the market, without finding their own niche.
3. The site has no focus.
Any business needs to have a clear focus. People want to know that they are at a hardware site, or a gourmet food site. They don’t like to go to a site looking for widgets and also see caviar. The widgets and the caviar might both be quite good, but it throws people off. They don’t have confidence in the product. Yes, some big names out there have a broad focus, but they almost all started small, with a narrow product line in a brick and mortar store and built a name for themselves.
4. It’s a poorly branded product where the competitors are well branded, or in a vertical where people are looking for a brand-name.
This is partly the issue of commodification – as in the case with Big Guy Widgets in #2, but also a case of brand loyalty. Women, especially, are brand-loyal, and will rarely jump to an unknown brand. Things that are tied to traditions, as well, such as holiday or religious items can also face this issue. You are unlikely to get people to try a new brand of summer sausage for Christmas, when most of them buy one from Hickory Farms for their dad every year. To change people’s buying habits requires a strong branding campaign. PPC can have a role in this, but it’s not going to be a big money-maker at the outset.
5. There are no good, specific keywords which designate the product.
That is, the product is hard to describe, or not quite what people usually mean when typing in the relevant keywords. A good example of this kind of thing is gift baskets. A gift basket contains so many different items, that to get specific with search terms can be quite difficult. People who are looking for “smoked
What is a good candidate for PPC? A well-branded, discount product with a unique benefit… that comes with something free. People love free.
OK, so not many of those come through the door. I’ll go into more detail about good candidates next week.
While there is no magic at play, what is being used is tried and true methods for eliminating technical barriers that prevent a site from being indexed properly, arranging, clarifying and specifying what a page's content is about and gathering supportive links that support the purposes of the web site.