Strategies- Pay Per View advertising
By Michael Bloch
The introduction of
"pay per view" entries with major search engines and indices
has created yet another challenge for the web master with a tight
budget. It has been difficult enough to get our web pages a decent
ranking and now we are faced with the prospect of having to spend more
money in order to get noticed. The multinationals may have huge
reserves of funds for this type of marketing, but most of us tend to
rely on more manual means to promote our web sites. This is
extraordinarily time consuming. So, is the "pay per view"
method worth it for the little guy?
How does pay per view placement work?
First, let's understand
exactly how "pay per view" works.
Go to a search engine such as Google and type "web" into the
search box. It will list over 85 million entries. Pay per view would
allow a company to be at the top of the list. But notice that on the
results page there is little or no sponsored (pay per view)
advertisements based on this search term. The reason is simple. It
would cost an absolute fortune as this word is too generic and it
costs x number of cents every time the ad is displayed. The cost of
the ad needs to be offset by the number of click throughs resulting
from it. Each click through is a potential customer.
Now try typing in "web site design". On Google at present,
it will return around 1.8 million results. That's still a lot of
competition. A number of sponsors ads will appear at the beginning of
the results. They are targeting a specific group, so these ads will
prove more profitable. The ads entice consumers to visit the
advertisers site. But because this is still a relatively common search
phrase for this target market, the ads will be expensive when taking
into account the display/click through conversion percentages.
When using pay per view (ad impressions/displays) campaigns with
search engines and indices, it is important to "buy" very
well defined keywords or phrases. The term "buying" actually
means renting. For the period of your campaign, any time a customer
types in that particular word or phrase exactly, your advertisement
will show up in the results. You can also narrow your target market by
specifying the language and countries of your focus.
In the "web site design" example, there is competition
between the paying sponsors. Try to think of a term that people may
use in conjunction with your product. Then type that in to the search
engine and see what comes back. If there are no other sponsors for
that term, you have virgin territory! Even if the use of that keyword
or phrase is lower than a more generic one, the click-through rate
will probably be higher. Most of the major search engines can give you
statistics on particular keyword searches as you are running through
the "buying" process. Study those figures carefully and
experiment with different keywords and phrases.
Our trial pay per view advertising
Recently, I carried out
two mini campaigns.
The first campaign in
summary looks like this:
Keyword/Phrase: free web
tools, free web content
Countries: UK, USA, Canada, Australia
$ spent so far: US$20.00
Click throughs: 21
Click through Percentage:1.51%
Each potential customer sent to my site under this campaign cost me an
average of US$0.95
The second campaign (which
is still running - rarer keywords and phrases):
Keyword/Phrase: free site
tools, free site content
$ spent so far: US$1.40
Impressions so far: 91
Click throughs so far: 7
Click through Percentage :7.53%
Each potential customer
sent to my site under this campaign has cost me an average of US$.20
Both of these campaigns
were started on exactly the same day. While slower in gaining click
throughs, the second campaign is definitely the better deal as the
conversion rate is a great deal higher. This is something that is very
important to consider when choosing your keywords. Also remember that
not all of the potential customers that go to your site via the ad
will purchase your product. So the actual cost of advertisement
against sale is a great deal higher. Examine your profit margins
before spending the advertising money - it may not be worth it. For
the webmaster with a small, light traffic site, viral marketing
techniques are probably a better way to go. It is more effort, but
better results at a lower cost.
Michael Bloch is with
Taming the Beast.net (http://www.tamingthebeast.net)
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