There have been several evolutions in the cost and function of pay-per-click marketing, but now pay-per-click is in its 17th year of existence.
Effectively, though, Google Adwords was the first mass rollout of pay-per-click marketing, so it’s been mainstream tool for only 13 years total: Adwords debuted in 2000. And in the beginning, it was straightforward, simple, and cheap.
But now it’s complex, competitive, and expensive. So you’d probably like to find some hidden and underutilized ways to get more bang for your buck, when it comes to pay-per-click campaigns.
Below are four hidden ways to get the most out of your PPC campaigns.
1. Research substitutes
What do we mean by substitutes? We mean anything that a customer would utilize as an alternative to your product or service. If you think of all the things a customer might type as a substitute during search, you’ll probably find many.
If you’re in the auto industry, for instance, and you sell Ford trucks, you might find these types of substitute search engine queries:
— “truck vs. SUV”
— “cost of truck vs. cost of SUV”
— “trading motorcycle for truck”
— “Chevy trucks”
— “Custom trucks”
With those queries, you can look up whether they’re searched often, and at what cost. If the cost is lower than yours (or off the charts, because there aren’t a lot of queries), then that’s an opportunity to create some content and buy some PPC ads to direct traffic there.
Brands that are less popular should have fewer queries, and possibly cheaper advertising, which offers the potential for a great “our product vs. theirs” article and ad.
2. Social on Google+
Google+ is the least popular social network, compared to Facebook and Twitter, but it’s affecting search engine results in a big way. If you build a substantial presence on Google+, you’ll get cheaper advertising and higher social marks from the Google algorithm, we believe.
Obviously, higher social marks and cheaper costs per click are connected, but we think there’s got to be even better reason, given Google’s struggle to enter the social game a bit late. They might have a good chance of taking Facebook down in the end, because Google controls search market share (or at least 67% of it, anyway).
3. Localize it
Local searches drive a ton of traffic on Google. Maybe you don’t have a local product, but you could still frame it that way online. Make a local ad, some local content, and reap the benefits of a more relevant search!
4. Think wrong
And by wrong, we mean spelled wrong. If your business or service is commonly spelled a different way by users who are looking for it the wrong way in the search engines, take advantage of that by advertising with the terms that are typed wrong.
There are lots of situations where this happens, and it might not even show up in keyword research (in part because people type it confidently into the URL of their browsers).
Any business with the letters “ie” together, for instance, seems highly likely to be spelled “ei”, as it’s a combination of letters that seems to confuse a lot of people. Another example would be titles that use acronyms, such as windows vps hosting among high-tech customers.
For , it could be strategic to bid on “windows vsp hosting” as well as “windows vps hosting.” Both keywords will gain traffic, but the misspelled keywords will be both qualified and inexpensive.
PPC doesn’t have to be an effort of sky-high bids and wasted marketing expenditures. With these four tips, you’ve got the secret sauce that will help your campaigns become way more effective.