Monday, April 20, 2009

The M.O. of PPC

Let’s say you woke up this morning with a sure-fire idea for a new product or business.  How long do you think it will take to generate sales?

A year?  6 months?  1 month?

How about this morning?  Pay Per Click (PPC) advertisements are those links that appear along the top and right side of your Google results page, under a “Sponsored Links” heading.  PPC advertisers pay for the ads according to the number of times the ads are clicked.

In the time it takes to set up a Google Adwords account, PPC ads put your message in front of web surfers who are looking for products and services like yours.

(Actually, you’ll also need some kind of web presence, even a single page, for people to land on when they click your PPC ad, but, if you don’t sleep-in too long, you should still be able to have lunch while selling your new product online.)

Admittedly, this is not a typical scenario, but it is quite possible and anyone can do it from the comfort of his or her nearest computer.

Whether you take the quickie route, or execute a more planned PPC campaign, much of its success depends on one thing:


There is only one measure of success for a PPC campaign. (yes, it’s another acronym)  CTR, or Click Through Rate, is the number of times your ad is clicked versus the number of times it appears in search results.  The higher your CTR, the more successful your PPC campaign.

In the absence of graphics and any real design, the only way a surfer can judge a PPC ad is by its words – and how they are written.

As the PPC marketing world becomes more crowded, PPC ad writing becomes more important.  There is perhaps no other part of internet marketing where so much depends on so few words.  (For the record, the title, or first line of your PPC ad must be 25 characters or less and the subsequent two lines must each be 35 characters or less – and you thought Twitter was stingy! – try selling a car in that time!)

For a quick lesson in good and bad PPC ad writing, think of something you would like to buy, be as specific as possible, and search for it on Google.  You might have to try a couple times, but pay attention to those PPC ads you find most appealing – then pay attention to why.

By Stephen Da Cambra

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