Paid Search – The “Secret” On-line Marketing Tool
Copyright © 2004, Patrick Wagner
There are two basic ways to get to the top of the search engine
1. You can climb up step-by-step slowly and methodically getting
your website into the top rankings or;
2. You can hire a helicopter and fly up - pay for a well-placed
advertisement directly with the search engines.
Now with $2.07 billion spent in 2003 on paid search advertising
on such pay-per-click search engines like Google and Overture
and with this figure representing 30% of all online advertising,
how can I possible call it a "secret?"
Easy. Since most marketers, whether working from the kitchen
table or from the 20th floor of a corporate office tower, aren't
doing it. And if they are using paid search engine advertising,
chances are they are not using it effectively or are paying too
When we say, "paid search," we mean that you bid on particular
keywords and keyword phrases that are relevant to your offer.
Prospects enter those keywords in a search and if you have bid
highly enough and if your site content matches the keywords,
then voila, the prospects clicks the link in the online
advertisement and arrives at your site. You now have a
prospect that has cost you an average of somewhere between
29 and 35 cents compared to a Yellow Pages lead that costs $1.
Better yet, your online ad can be changed instantly, testing
numerous keywords, headlines, phrasing whereas your Yellow
Pages ad is "locked in" until the new book is printed. You
can't change your placement in the Yellow Pages either unless
you pay a lot more money. With paid search, your placement
changes the moment you bid higher.
Some search engines allow you to have a very broad search
throughout every country that has Internet access and Google
allows you to specify a specific language, such as English,
specific countries, such as Canada, USA, Australia, and the
UK and a specific daily budget limit.
Where people overspend is that they don't bother limiting the
countries the advertisement will appear in and thus promote to
the world instead of their target market. Another way to flush
your advertising dollars down the drain is to go with their
"suggested" pay-per-click rate instead of offering say 5¢ a
click and then adjusting your bid upwards to get a better
placement if necessary.
Use the free tools provided by the pay-per-click search engines
to find at least 50 keywords and keyword phrases that your
potential buyers use to search for your product or service.
You only need to write two or three basic ads but change the
headline for each one to match the keyword phrase. Don't think
of this as work but instead as a fascinating exercise in human
psychology. Get to understand your customer's needs, wants,
fears, hopes, dreams, and feelings. You are testing keywords
to find the emotional trigger to motivating them to take the
When you get the right combination of headline and advertising
text, then build your website around a tightly woven theme of
what your best customers want and need.
Here's an example of one of the best-producing ads I ever wrote:
"Are you embarrassed by fever blisters?"
I was marketing a tonic at the time and that ad consistently
had a 30% click-through rate or more, day in and day out. It
absolutely nailed the problem and the text offered an immediate
Try testing keywords for your offer. You just might be
surprised at what your customers are really looking for and the
magical phrases that get them to whip out their credit cards to
send you their money.
Patrick Wagner is an Internet Strategy, Email and Search Engine
Marketing expert, with over 11 years experience online. Patrick
Wagner is the founder of LinkAdAuction.com and DeployEmail.com
both sites are dedicated to helping the new and advanced user
market their brand or web site online including Search Engine
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