The absolute fastest way to get traffic has to be pay per click. It’s also one of the financially riskiest. You can learn a lot about your website’s ability to convert customers from using pay per click.
At least, if you do it right.
Mistakes Are Easy to Make
Just going through Google’s pay per click ads you will often seen mistakes being made. Some people worry too little about relevance. Google’s Quality Score does help to limit that these days. Others don’t know how to use negative keywords to their advantage.
But one of the worst mistakes you can make is to have a product, bid on the relevant terms, with a well-written ad, and not send visitors straight to that page. Sure your home page may be relevant enough, but when someone is searching for a particular item on a search engine, they don’t want to have to search all over again on your site.
Google’s blog can be very helpful when it comes to determining why a page gets a low quality score. While some of what Google wants can make it harder to design your landing pages, doing your best to adhere to their guidelines helps you to pay less for the traffic they do send.
But the absolute worst mistake you can make is to fail to test.
You should be testing your landing page. Your ads. The keywords and phrases you’re bidding on. Everything.
Sometimes a very small change makes a big difference. Even singular vs. plural in your ad text can make a difference.
Once you get your ads optimized, you still can’t relax. You should still test things regularly. Ads can suffer from lower conversions completely out of the blue.
What About My Site?
Your site should be tested for ease of use and good copywriting. An easy to use shopping cart won’t get you much of anywhere if your copy doesn’t encourage people to buy. But a difficult shopping cart means people will abandon their carts out of sheer frustration, despite otherwise being sold on the product.
A lot of sites make the mistake of requiring visitors to make an account in order to place an order. This is a big mistake. You’ll annoy people who don’t want to make an account right away, especially if you require it to even put something in the cart. When an order is placed you”ll be getting enough information that an account can be set up just in the process of ordering, not as a separate step. That’s the right time for it.
Some sites even make it hard to figure out how to order. Add to carts or buy now links can be hard to see sometimes. This is really poor planning on the webmaster’s part.
If you want to read some great tips on testing your site for conversions, including things like the placement of the add to cart button, head over to Grokdotcom. Some of it will be very difficult for beginning webmasters, but it’s great food for thought.
Who to Use and What to Pay?
There are plenty of pay per click options out there. Google’s AdWords is of course the best known, and Yahoo! Sponsored Search is also well known, but there are less known companies too.
It’s best to start simple. You don’t want to be managing several different accounts until you know what you’re doing and have an idea as to what works. However, sometimes slightly different landing pages work better for different pay per click engines, and you may have to take that into consideration.
AdWords has the advantage of being well known, but that also means it can get more expensive more quickly. But the traffic is excellent. I would strongly recommend opting out of the content network at the start, however. Some people do very well with it, but until you know how well you’re converting, the content network is best left alone. It can get expensive fast.
There can be good and bad about the less known engines, such as Enhance Interactive or MIVA. The cost per click is generally lower, but some feel that the quality of traffic is much less. These are things you need to test carefully, no matter which pay per click engine you use.
How much to pay will depend on two factors: what it takes to get your ad seen, and what you can afford to pay.
Some areas are very competitive, and if you aren’t bidding on obscure keywords (a good practice in just about any case!), you may have to pay a lot for traffic. If you aren’t making enough money from the traffic you’re buying from pay per click, you need to cut your price or improve the sales you’re getting from the ad.
If you’re earning $10 per sale, for example, you need to do better than 1 sale per 100 clicks if you’re paying a mere $0.10 per click. That’s not a lot for many keywords.
The beauty of pay per click is that if you’re good at it you can get an exceptional return on your investment. Only trouble is that you can just as easily wipe out your budget.
Starting a Home Business Series:
Get Your Home Business Going in the New Year
Brainstorming Your Home Business Ideas
How I Research a Market for a Niche
How Do You Get a Website Going?
How Much Does an Online Business Really Cost?
How Complex Does a Website Need to Be?
How to Set Up a WordPress Blog
These Are a Few of My Favorite Themes
Can Article Marketing Work for You?
It Sounds Like a Lot of Work – Is It Really That Hard?
Building Your List
Getting Social with Your Blog
Is Your Site Ready for Pay Per Click? (current page)
Article Marketing Statistics
Putting the Pieces Together