Selling Successfully Online

Target Your Position.

In general, the higher position that your ad appears on the search results page, the more clicks you will get. The biggest determiner of the position you appear is the amount you bid. The less important factor is the quality score and other tips explain how to improve this. There is an optimum amount to bid which will balance the cost you pay per click with the amount of traffic you receive. One twist is that not all lower positions are equal. If there are three ‘sponsored results‘ above the organic listings, then the fourth position will be at the top right, which is likely to be advantageous. You can set a position preference in Google – this may well be worth doing, particularly to get position four in the situation described above. Specifying position can sharply reduce how often your ad is shown, as bids will be lowered but not raised to achieve the target. Having said that you could bid very high along with setting the position. Remember that conversion rates can be higher for lower positions if you have a more relevant ad than the higher ranked competition. Traffic drops by around 10% for each lower position and by more at the top – typically 30% from first to second and 20% from second to third.

83 Set Your Budget And Bidding Rules.

Once everything above has been understood, you are able to produce a plan which should consist of your budget, how you will bid, and maximum amounts for the day and week or month. Look at what competitors are doing; you may be able to run your PPC campaign at the end of the day, week or month when competitor’s budgets have expired and you can bid much lower for a good position.

84 Regularly Assess Profitability.

Work out the profitability of PPC advertising as it’s equally easy to spend too much, too little or suffer from competitors who are behaving very smartly or very stupidly.

85 Understand How Ads Are Rotated.

You can have more than one ad linked together and they will be rotated evenly at first but slowly the one with higher CTR will be displayed more frequently. Look at the percentage served in the ’Ad variations’ table to see which is best. This is a simple form of testing ads against each other and it suggests that new adverts should be continuously tried and less successful ones dropped. Remember that if you change an ad you will lose your quality score so adding new ones is probably a better way of testing. Bidding on your own brand will improve CTR performance.

86 Understand The Numbers.

Hitwise provides ’Share of search‘, ’Gap analysis’ etc. Instructions on using the Report Centre to show Impression Share are here: https://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer. py?answer=52760. Where possible, measure results dividing the cost of a click by the average sales achieved providing a cost per pound or dollar of sales. Google Analytics, integrated with your ecommerce package, should be able to help here. If this isn’t possible, then cost per acquisition (CPA) i. e. Cost to make each sale, or at worst cost per click (CPC) can be used. Try to get the best figures by including an estimate of telephone sales influenced by the website and if possible also take into account lifetime customer value and customer returns. All of this helps you to understand which of your activities are profitable.

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