Pay Per Click in 2006 :: The Latest News and Tactics Discussed at SES New York
Posted on April 11, 2006
By Rob SullivanThere are some really great sources of information on planning and executing a successful paid marketing campaign, from researching your audience and the keywords they use to managing your bid portfolio. Using the sessions from SES NY as a guideline, I'm going to introduce you to what the "experts" are doing in PPC.
There is probably no one who doubts that PPC is here for the long term. And while many dismissed PPC in the early days, it is clear, based on earnings reported by the search engines, that PPC is here to stay. Therefore, online marketers need to understand what it is, how to use it and what your competitors are doing. It is also important to know what some of the most effective tactics are out there. The first thing to know is that PPC marketing is evolving just like organic placement. There are new players entering the market with unique ways to help you improve your PPC results. Take MSN, for example. Because of its huge user base it can offer demographic placement of ads. In other words, if you want your ad to appear only for Women in the 20-35 age group then MSN offers that ability. Google and Yahoo! are also offering some form of demographic placement, but not to the extent of MSN. With these two you can also opt to place ads in geographic areas, for example, or limit your contextual advertising to appear only on selected sites if you chose to do contextual matching. Further, as a PPC advertiser you need to be aware of the types of ads and delivery platforms being developed right now. For example, we already know that Google is moving into Click to Call ads. They are offering AdWords advertisers the ability to advertise in magazines, and likely they'll soon be able to advertise on the radio as well. But, there are also other formats in the works such as rich media ads and video ads. In reality, the paid advertising market on the Internet is still in its infancy. As the Internet becomes more ingrained into our lifestyles the advertising opportunities grow.
In the future we'll see more ads embedded into all our online content including videos we download or watch and even web media we receive via our portable devices. There are some pitfalls to paid advertising, however. At a recent Search Engine Strategies session covered by SEO Roundtable, attendees learned just how competitive the paid landscape is. They introduced a variety of bidding tactics which have been designed to help the bidder own the market space. Through such things as "bid shadowing" and "bid surfing" one can effectively force a competitor out of the marketspace for chosen keywords. Or, bidders can work co-operatively to lower the bid prices while still maintaining their presence online. These are tactics which go beyond proper landing page creation, dayparting and other bid managmenet tactics. But, they do illustrate how competitive and advanced some firms have become. Overall, I think the best bid strategy must start with an acknowledgment of your bottom line - what can you afford to bid and still make money doing it? This is where some firms fail while the most successful go on to bigger and better things. This ROI based bidding can help ensure that you don't "break the bank" while trying to maintain your competitiveness. This type of bidding can also help you find those markets which are untapped by forcing you to constantly analyze and re-analyze the market looking for those opportunities. Remember, an effective paid campaign is just like an effective organic campaign. You don't always have to be number one. In fact, in some cases a number 2 or 3 position can be much more effective at a much lower cost.
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