6 PPC Secrets from a $100k campaign

There was an excellent story in the San Francisco Gate in May about Lake Champlain Chocolates, and the lessons they’ve learned with Pay Per Click Advertising. The story title is “PAY-PER-CLICK PROBLEMS: Emeryville gourmet chocolate company has a rough go of it“, but the real value of the article is the PPC secrets it gives away. The article discusses two chocolate retailers: Lake Champlain Chocolates and Charles Chocolates. Lake Champlain Chocolates has experienced successful growth due to their PPC campaign, but Charles Chocolates did see any measurable growth from theirs.

1. Use negative keywords
In the article, words like “cheap” and “free” were used as negative keywords to avoid showing ads to less affluent searchers. Every time you show an ad it’s like holding out a dollar bill for your searcher to snatch away. Be sure to get a prospective customer in return!

2. Refrain from using the content network
Google AdWords users expect that the content network will show ads in all the right places. In a perfect world, new customers would see your ad and keep you in mind for their next purchase. But it isn’t a perfect world(Don’t even get me started!). Consider:

– Visitors probably will not click. Content ads are like billboard ads. How often do you see a billboard and pull off of the highway to make an immediate purchase? It’s highly unlikely. Like the company in the article learned, “The return was never there.”

– Visitors who click your ad won’t buy that day. They were reading, not shopping. At best, they will signup for your newsletter or bookmark your page. Is the landing page converting them into bookmarking or signing up? Probably not. Either fix that, or turn off the content network for now.

– Clickfraudsters will click your ad and keep half. Click fraud is a plague of the content network. Last June, Outsell estimated that click fraud could be as high as 14 percent. The real estimate is probably a little lower, but click fraud does exist.

3. Use large sets of focused keywords
The successful Lake Champlain Chocolate seller had a keyword set as high as 70k at one time, and now has it trimmed down to 30k. That’s  a big keyword set!

4. Use advanced keyword features
One of the issues Internet Marketing Consultant Lael Sturm found with the struggling Emerville Chocolate Retailer Charles Chocolates was that they “hadn’t modified the ad text to match each specific keyword.” Be sure to use the advanced keyword options that PPC engines like Google AdWords provide. In Google AdWords,
the code is {keyword: your keyword}. This option shows the keyphrase your user was searching for in the text of your ad.

5. Measure and adjust
Is money being wasted in your campaign? You won’t know unless you are measuring. Lake Champlain saw they spent money attracting a searcher for “Chocolate covered scorpions,” something they didn’t sell, and decided not to let that happen again. Along with measuring what ads are the most effective, be sure to measure what you are paying for and remove/adjust the ads lacking good ROI.

6. Outsource your campaign to professionals to dramatically increase your sales
Even with Lake Champlain Chocolate’s success inhouse, they were able to DOUBLE their sales by outsourcing their PPC management to professionals. You just can’t beat having the right help. Get to your friendly neighborhood search marketing agency today!

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