Unless you’ve only just started your Internet Marketing career you’re probably already familiar with the Google Adwords program. The paid advertising option for the world’s largest search engine, Adwords can be a powerful ally for your online business. However, over the last few years, due to an ever-increasing number of advertisers across most markets, the bid prices for many strong keywords have risen substantially. This means it’s harder than ever to realize a profit from your paid traffic, especially if you rely on affiliate commissions.
Longtime Adwords users often long for the keyword prices from 2001, when competition was light; using the secret below you’ll be able to turn back the calendar and enjoy a traffic budget from the turn of this century!
The “Seven Times” Secret
For this strategy to really pay off you’ll need to understand the basics of converting your visitors to paying customers. This is a separate discussion so, for now, let’s assume you know what to do with your traffic and jump right into the specifics of how to generate it. You can always refine your conversion techniques later.
Before I share my secret, allow me to take just a moment to be sure all readers understand the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising model – specifically the Google Adwords system. When using a PPC program you create small text ads for your product and then select as many keywords as you like. You place a specific bid for each chosen keyword, and this bid reflects the amount you’re willing to pay each time someone does a search and clicks your ad from the list of sponsored results. Your ad can be displayed an unlimited number of times for free; you only pay the bid amount when a searcher actually clicks your link and views your Web page. PPC is guaranteed traffic that allows you to control how much you spend each day.
When using the Google Adwords system your PPC ads can be displayed via two distinct avenues:
1 – Search Network
The first option is advertising right in the Google search results. When a user queries keywords on which you’ve placed a bid, your ad will be shown along the right-hand side of the results page. Inside your advertiser admin area this type of promotion is referred to as Search Network Adwords.
2 – Content Network
The second alternative for Google PPC is to display your ad on targeted Web pages that use the Adsense publishing program. In this manner your ads can be shown on sites with related content. The site owner gets paid for each ad that’s clicked from their pages, so quite a few Webmasters participate in this innovative system. Within your advertiser admin center this type of promotion is labeled Content Network Campaign.
Most PPC marketers immediately think about the Search Network when Adwords is mentioned, but the majority of traffic is actually delivered from the Content Network.
The real secret to massive, low-cost, Adwords traffic and a tremendous return on your advertising budget is mastering Google’s Content Network. This is the primary focus of the strategy I’m about to show you. To make this methodology work for you, it’s important to focus on the best practices I’ll be sharing so remember the following formula:
Targeted Keyword Research +
Lots of Keyword Targeted Ads +
Keyword Targeted Banner Ads =
MASSIVE CHEAP TRAFFIC
Simple right? Let’s have a closer look at the individual elements.
Since you’ll be using the Google advertising program I strongly recommend also using the Google Keyword Tool for your preliminary research. Initially just enter the broadest term relevant to what you’re promoting and Google will return up to 200 additional keywords that are also related to the term you entered. Your job is be to take all of these 200 new keywords and feed them back into the Keyword Tool one at a time; in other words you’ll create a totally new session for every single recommended search term.
This way you’ll get 200 new suggestions for every one of the initial 200 keywords!
Naturally you’ll want to filter out recommended terms and phrases that aren’t relevant to your product or service but your goal here is to generate a list of 1,000 to 5,000 highly relevant keywords to use in your next step. I can’t deny that this stage takes some time, but it’s totally worth it. I won’t even bother trying to sugarcoat this fact – if you’re not willing to spend a few hours researching an advertising campaign, you shouldn’t expect any measurable results. By targeting your keyword choices like this you’ll be able to find some nice search terms that other advertisers are ignoring. Overall you’ll pay less for your traffic since you won’t have to compete with dozens of other marketers for every single keyword.
Use the list of keywords you just generated to build your Content Network campaign. The best way to do this is to create a new Adgroup for every keyword in your list. This is probably different from what you’ve heard other people teaching. You may have been told in the past to enter multiple keywords into your Adgroups so Google can determine a theme for displaying your ads on the Content Network. Trust me; you’ll see more dramatic results when you use just one keyword per Adgroup.
Create one or two ads for each Adgroup (it’s better to use two ads so you can split test and refine). In this manner you’ll be able to steadily increase your Click-Through-Rate (CTR). Be sure each ad contains the appropriate keyword from one to three times, but make certain the ad still makes good sense when you read it. Ads with strong keyword usage are clicked far more than other ads on the page.
Newsflash: Banner Ads Work!
Once your text ads are prepared, you’re ready for the real secret to getting massive amounts of cheaply-priced traffic. This single addition to the process can increase the amount of traffic you receive 10-15 times! I’m talking about Banner Ads placed through the Google Content Network.
You may have read in the past that banner ads don’t work. Allow me to inform you that such talk is sheer nonsense. The fact is that banner ads placed within the Internet Marketer to Internet Marketer sector may be less effective now than they were ten years ago but, for the thousands of other markets, online banner ads are just as powerful as they’ve always been. In particular, within the Google advertising system, banner ads are under-utilized by most users.
I’ve done a tremendous amount of testing with Google banner ads. Not only do I get more traffic this way, I pay less per click with image ads than with text ads. How? Well, Google offers the Adwords program to create profits, obviously. Their system rewards ads that generate more clicks by showing them more frequently and by charging them a reduced fee per click. Paying less for traffic means greater profits for the advertiser, encouraging them to stay on board long-term, resulting in greater revenue for Google over time. Because banners are more likely to be clicked on the Content Network than plain old text ads, this is an easy way to benefit from Google’s policy of more displays and lower rates.
More For Less
It’s not hard to figure out how using banner ads allows you to get greater CTR and thus reap the rewards of Google’s system. First of all your colorful, animated image ads will attract much more attention on the Web page than the text ad blocks readers are used to ignoring. Second, there is currently only a small amount of banner competition within the Adwords database; in fact some markets will have no banners at all! For whatever reason, marketers just aren’t taking advantage of this awesome opportunity, which means you can exploit it like crazy and profit big time in the process. Also be aware that when you use banner ads you’ll get the entire display block all to yourself! When using text ads you have to compete with 2-5 other text ads for the attention of the reader, but your banner ad will fill up the entire Adsense block on the publisher’s page! Without a doubt, simple image ads are the best kept secret for profiting from Adwords.
Let me give you an example of just how effective image ads can be. I once created two smaller campaigns using the methodology provided in this article. One campaign leveraged image ads, and the other used only text ads. I listed only 100 keywords for each promotion. The text-only promo generated just under 15,000 clicks over the course of a week. Not too shabby. The banner ad resulted in over 109,000 clicks during the same one week period! The image ads brought me over seven times more traffic!
Because you’ve taken the time to find plenty of low-bid keywords in the first place you’ll start out paying less. Once your banner ads begin to generate more clicks than the competition, you’ll benefit from Google’s reduced click pricing. It’s super easy and, like I’ve said, relatively few advertisers are following this approach right now. I hope this demonstrates the true power of this strategy. If you’ll take the time to implement my in-depth keyword research and then reinforce this with the power of image ads, you’ll see massive traffic at great pricing.
Curing Banner Blindness
Here’s a somewhat humorous tip to help you get more from your banners. Consider using a couple of ugly banner ads for your Adwords campaigns. Seasoned surfers are so used to attractive banners they tend to suffer from what advertisers call “banner blindness”. These savvy users have subconsciously trained themselves to instantly ignore banner ads on the page. When you hit them with a really ugly banner, however, they can’t help themselves from looking at it because it interrupts the normal patterns they are used to seeing.
By Jon Shugart
This article was originally featured in Mike Filsaime’s print newsletter, “MDC Monthly.” You can get a free trial copy shipped to your door by clicking here.
Jon Shugart is a Software Engineer and Internet Marketing Professional who focuses on driving
large amounts of traffic utilizing PPC. His powerful software application, Keyword Rockstar
(www.keywordrockstar.com), is unmatched in the industry for both driving traffic and rapidly creating, winning PPC campaigns.