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    Web Site Marketing: Pay Per Click?
    Hi, I've just got my online software and eBook store off the ground recently and was wondering how best I should go about getting my site a higher online profile.

    I have listed on all the major search engines but visitors do seem to be limited at this time. I was wondering if anyone had tried pay-per-click advertising and how succesfull this medium is, as this method has been suggested as a viable form of web marketing.

    Many thanks.


    BarmyArmy


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    There is no yes/no answer to this. The answer is "It depends"... which is not what you want to hear I guess.

    The variables in play depend on your own market: who are the competitors; what are they bidding; what are their strategies and what other PPC strategies can you explore; what conversion rate can you achieve on your bids (related to search term(s) you bid on); etc.

    This is a highly complex area, and like any other marketing channel, there are winners and losers.

    One route though might be to set aside a small pot and dable: but be prepared to lose it without much to show for it.


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    Re: Web Site Marketing: Pay Per Click?
    Pay per click is viable when you do it right.
    You choose a search term or terms, and then bid a certain amount of money, which you pay each time a net-surfer clicks on your url. When a search term is entered, all of the sites registered with that term are displayed in order of bid, highest to lowest. The bid list is available to all who register, so you can decide where you will be ranked, based on how much you're willing to spend. Really common terms are more heavily used, and therefore more expensive. I've seen some business search term bids go over a dollar per click, so this may price you out, but you should try to list with at least one of the more common terms, even if you don't rank in the top ten or even 20.

    It definitely pays to be creative here, too. If you can think of a new, fresh term that hasn't been used much or at all, you can end up at the top of a list. You don't want to get too obscure, though, or your site may never be seen. Try just tweaking the more common phrases associated with your business, and always make sure you have a succinct, descriptive title which is related to your search terms.


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    Re: Web Site Marketing: Pay Per Click?
    Couple things to think about - note every industry is different.

    1) Few industries hit a conversion rate higher than 10%. That means all the traffic you drive in will likely only result in 2-10% of them *actually* buying.

    2) You're going to spend 12-30% of your revenue on advertising.

    So, plug that into a quick equation. Ask yourself how much of a margin you make on your products, and are they high-ticket items?

    Example, if you sell widgets for $30, and have to advertise at a CPC (cost per/click) of $0.50 you can expect that it will take at the very least 10 visitors to equal a sale. That's $5 in advertising. Now, suppose you earn a 30% margin (common markup point for those who dropship) -- that means you earn a $9 for each widget you sell. Minus the $5 in advertising, you'll only make an average of $4 per widget. Is that acceptable? Will it make enough to sustain your operating expenses? If so, Cost Per Click is for you.

    Now think of the bad side. What if your widgets hit an average of only 1% conversion rate? You won't make money -- you'll lose it.

    Increase conversion rates by providing the customer a better site, more *quality* information on the products, make them feel more safe with well laid out privacy and return policies, etc.

    Of course, always the possibility there isn't a sustainable market for your product. But of course, we all do market research before starting our business right?


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    Re: Web Site Marketing: Pay Per Click?
    You didn't say if you had a blog, but you said online software. Write a really good online article that would be popular and go post it on digg.com. (Tech oriented articles) If it is a good article you might get some great traffic.

    I know some entities have driven burst of traffic of over 20K per day using Digg for exposure.

    My only comment on pay-per-click is you really need to have an optimized visitor conversion process for your site so you optimize your pay-per-click investment. Not to mention the challenge of doing a good PPC campaign.

    Best of luck.


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    Re: Web Site Marketing: Pay Per Click?
    you might want to review your strategy on what kind of products/services you have vis-a-vis target audience. Internet is a big pond and if you're new, you might want to consider what's your key advantages and market your products using strategic initiatives. There is already a lot of software selling in the internet and without solid marketing and reputation, its gonna be hard to sell software (unless you are exclusive distributor of a hot item). I suggest you go through companies/prospects through business commerce institutions/fairs in your area or other channeled/focus markets (partnership with other businesses that might need your products/services or joint teaming). Eitherway, it may prove cost-effective rather using a shootgun method. I'd rather have one shot three kills specially when you have limited budget.

    Hope this helps.


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    Re: Web Site Marketing: Pay Per Click?
    If you're selling an ebook, have you tried promoting on clickbank?

    Yes, you'll have to pay your affiliates but this can still equate to turning a nice profit.


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    Re: Web Site Marketing: Pay Per Click?
    As well as paid-for marketing, remember to ensure that the site and it's content is as good as possible to increase conversion rate and organic listings.

    Remember to have fresh, unique and interesting content on the pages, with relevant meta descriptions, use of your h1 and title tags too.

    With regard conversion rates, make sure it's obvious how to go about purchasing an ebook, in other words having a clear call to action on each page.

    Good luck!

    Dan
    --
    Clarity Media


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    Re: Web Site Marketing: Pay Per Click?
    Hello, BarmyArmy!

    There have been some good responses to your question, so I'm not going to add too much.
    First off, I wanted to clarify what you meant by "I have listed on all the major search engines"? If you mean that you have submitted your web pages to the major search engines, then you should know that this does not mean that they will actually index your pages. The major search engines don't use submissions anymore, they leave their searchbots to find your pages via links. What does this mean? Don't waste any more time submitting web pages to search engines and go out there and get yourself as many high-quality, high-PR, topic-relevant links!

    I also wanted to reiterate what HostedConcepts mentioned--make sure that you're going to have a positive ROI with the products you are advertising. Low-ticket items are generally not a good fit for PPC. Law services are a good fit, t-shirts probably aren't.
    The main thing is to make sure you understand how the process works (Google AdWords, in particular, provides a remarkable amount of information and tutorials) and then do a test to see whether or not PPC is a viable method of advertising.
    BTW, the truth is that conversion rates are for PPC campaigns are generally very low. 1%-2% is about the average.


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    We've been doing PPC on and off since 2007. Currently, we're doing Adwords, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Of the six, Adwords and LinkedIn have been the most productive. The other four need improvements in both data provided and speed of response.


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