Happy New Year!  I hope the first few weeks of 2011 have been productive, and you are well on your way to reaching your online marketing goals for the year!  If implementing an effective paid search strategy is part of those marketing goals (if not, it should be!), then here are a few tips to getting your PPC campaign(s) rolling in 2011:

 

  • Take time to plan your account structure.  When developing paid search campaigns, organization is everything, so putting extra time into developing a logical account structure is key to your success.  If you have an existing campaign, be sure to review your structure and make adjustments where necessary (e.g. creating new ad groups for high traffic keywords, new 2011 product offerings, etc.)
     
  • Create a unique offering to differentiate yourself from competitors.  Start the year off by creating a promotion, offering a coupon, or giving something away for free.
     
  • Focus on coverage to gain more clicks.  This can be tough for most business owners to undertand.  Logic would tell you that the higher your ad is displayed, the more clicks (and conversions) you are likely to receive.  In some cases, this is true.  However, if you are a new marketer (particularly in a highly competitive online market), you may want to lower your keyword bids so that your ads display is less competive positions (say spots 4-7).  This allows your ad to show more often (which means more opportunities to drive clicks) for relevant keyword searches than it would if you were going head-to-head with the established advertisers in the top 3 ad positions.  Check out this article to learn more about improving your ad coverage.
     
  • Start small and grow slowly.  This is related to the previous tip.  The idea here it to go after long-tail, highly targeted keyword terms before bidding on general, high-competition keywords.  Again, focus on establishing your PPC campaign, then go after the more competitive keywords.
     
  • Stay on top of your campaign(s).  This one is huge.  Too often, marketers and business owners will put several hours into creating and setting up their PPC campaigns, only to completely neglect them a month or two down the road.  Monitor your paid search campaigns daily and make regular adjustments – don’t be another "set it and forget it" PPC marketer!

  • Subscribe to various PPC blogs, if you haven’t already done so.  There are tons of great blogs out there dedicated to helping paid search marketers learn and improve their campaigns.  Some of my favorites are PPC Hero, PPC Blog, Clix Marketing, BG Theory, and of course, Best Rank!

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