If you are going to be reading this weekly blog about Pay Per Click, it is only fair that you get a sense that Brian Newmark knows something about PPC. So here is a bit about my background.

I first began developing Pay Per Click campaigns in 2003.  This was the very early days of Pay Per Click.  I ran large national and geo-target campaigns for the next 7 years on Yahoo and Google.  During that time I also focused on other areas of Search Engine Marketing and had numerous stints in Online Reputation Management.  For the past couple of years I have been focusing on Reputation Management and have recently again started to develop renewed expertise in PPC and Social Media Advertising.  I am loving the evolution and advancements in PPC.  Today quality of content both on the ad as well as the landing page is key.   This is an area I speak about all the time in the ORM space.  So I thought this was the perfect topic for Blog #1.

In the early days of Pay Per Click, you simply wrote: Great Prices on XYZ Click here: www.xyz.com
Put in a bid of twenty six cents when others had only bid twenty five, you showed up at the top of the page and people would click your add.  Today that is a formula for failure.  Quality Scores have come into play as Google has realized that they will get higher click volumes if the quality of the ad is high.  While SEO strategies have come a long way, so has Google’s ability to filter out many of them.  This is why even the most sophisticated SEO experts still advocate for the use of PPC as part of a complete online marketing strategy.

Let’s take a look at a couple of PPC ads and asses their merits and what is holding them back:

Image 1 - PPC I like this one; it will attract the shopper who doesn’t want to go through the dreaded haggling process.
 Image 2 ppc This one not so much, every dealer promises a great deal.  Where is the unique value proposition?
 image 3 ppc Nothing here will attract me to click on it.  I would expect more from a web only sales site.
 image 4 ppc This one gets some points for being a BMW dealer.  There is an automatic sense of credibility.
 image 5 ppc This is my favorite and most likely would attract my click, if I looked this far down the page. 25,000 cars caught my eye and Ultimate did as well.  
 image 6 ppc Funny the first thing I saw was 25k, it just doesn’t seem like as much as 25,000.  Also, I think since I am searching for BMW’s not cheap BMW’s the Under $10k would steer me away.

These comments and opinions were not based on deep insight and study, because ad have 1-2 seconds to attract your attention.  For each I tried to take one glance, look away and decide if I would click it or what I remembered.  This is a roll I often fulfill for my clients.  The problem is the client understand their business, so they assume everyone else does.  The reality is 99% of consumers’ process things on a 6th grade level.  I try to design most of my campaigns with this in mind.  Why did I choose 25,000 over 25k.  Simple, everyone knows 25,000 is twenty five thousand.  While most know that 25k is twenty five thousand, it does take an extra thought.  Why ask consumers to do any extra work.  People need something to catch their attention, then instructions as to what to do next.

Now, let’s further pick on CarGurus.  No offense intended to the site, but they are a web only company and my expectations for them is higher than a local car lot or dealership who does online advertising.  I checked the results on my laptop and on my desktop.  Here is what came up on my screen, click on the image to see a bigger picture:

 image 7 ppc image 8 ppc







The left hand image is from my laptop.                           The Right is from my desktop.

On my laptop all I saw was “Enter your zip code”  Websites are judged by Google based on their bounce rate, yet there is nothing above the screen line that says to me, great sight, I want to keep looking.  Instead, Cargurus just paid as much as $29.92 (yes, I’m not joking on that one) for me to bounce off the site in a few seconds.  How would my experience have been different?

At least on my desktop I was able to see some green and the words Great deal…  This might get me to keep looking.  Unfortunately many people today are searching on mobile devices, so they can’t count on the full screen showing up.

This might get me to keep looking.  Unfortunately many people today are searching on mobile devices, so the site can’t count on the full screen showing up. Websites are judged by Google based on their bounce rate, yet there is nothing above the screen line that says to me, “Great web page, keep looking!”  Instead, Cargurus just paid as much as $29.92 (yes, I’m not joking on that one) for me to bounce off the site in a few seconds.  How would my experience have been different?At least on my desktop I was able to see some green arrows indicating savings and the words Great deal…

I looked at the entire page, which I won’t bore you with, but it reflected 15 BMW’s each showing the savings below Market Value.  According to the data provided, with each car I would save an average of $6,806.  Why isn’t there a header on the top of the page saying “Save an average of $6,806 on BWM’s with CarGurus, scroll down to see for yourself”  At very least, I would scroll down to see what they are talking about.

I think that online marketing is part art and part science.  Unfortunately, sometimes businesses focus too much on the science and forget about the art.  They hire a brilliant SEO guy, but forget to involve the marketing and sales guy.  I have made an amazing living for 20 years developing marketing strategies for companies.  I see things through different eyes than many.  Remember your audience and remember to keep it simple.

Until next week, this is Brian Newmark – online marketing guru and all around great guy.  To see more of my thoughts, visit two recent articles I was featured in:

Bloggingtips.com Brian Newmark’s Expert Tips for Brand Building

Examiner.com Brian Newmark Discusses Overseas Reputation Management

Brian Newmark is a content marketing expert with expertise in reputation and brand management. Newmark's has a tremendous portfolio of International Accounts, with a specific focus in the MENA region. Catering to high profile individuals, multi-national businesses, political figures and governments throughout the world Brian is able to both control what shows up on search results as well as public perception. To accomplish these challenging objective, Brian utilizes high profile media outlets, bloggers, third party sites, as well as cutting edge technology for sentiment and moderation. Brian has 20 years experience in the marketing field with more than 10 years in digital marketing. In that time he has run massive Pay Per Click campaigns, Social Media Campaigns, been a thought leader in Reputation Management, and led the way with thought provoking public perception campaigns. Recently, Brian Newmark has shifted his focus to monetization of high traffic websites. There are so many sites which receive high traffic, but the revenue generation is limited to the core business of the site, often overlooking cross marketing opportunities. Brian lives in Villanova, Pennsylvania with his wife of 17 years and his two children. In his free time, Brian enjoys travel, automobiles, jogging and time with his family.

Share your comment 8 responsesTO Brian Newmark shares his Weekly Pay Per Click Insights.
  • Reply
    on 27 Dec 13 at 9:31 am

    I have been watching Brian Newmark’s insight on various forums for the past year. He has provided great ideas and suggestions. Additionally, he has been very willing to dispense free advice via email – Thank you Brian. Keep the good advice coming!

    • Reply
      on 27 Dec 13 at 23:17 pm

      I remember emailing back and forth with you. Very happy to hear that my advice has been helpful. For those who care, Nick owns a small-mid size manufacturing company. A former employee had been harassing them online. I gave him some simple strategies to bolster the company’s own content, which I am guessing made it hard for the attacker’s content to rank.

  • Reply
    on 27 Dec 13 at 9:45 am

    Thank you for the good idea about the landing page. I need to work on some of mine to deal with the screen line issue.

  • Reply
    on 27 Dec 13 at 11:16 am

    Hi Brian,
    I find your post very exciting. Your expertise is apparent from your thought process. There is a lots of insights I am taking away from this post. Your examples, especially CarGurus are quite helpful. You look at Pay Per Click differently than most in the industry.

    This comment was left in kingged.com -the social bookmarking and content syndication website where this post was shared for Internet marketers.

    Sunday – kingged.com contributor


  • Reply
    on 28 Dec 13 at 15:18 pm

    As Brian points out, It is extremely important to realize the difference between what people are seeing on their mobile devices, laptops, tablets etc. vs what they are seeing on their desktops. The difference between what is being seen and what you want to convey is major. This gives some great insight into what companies are actually paying for and what they are really getting.

  • Reply
    on 28 Dec 13 at 16:27 pm

    Brian, can you share about your experience when getting into a competitive situation with pay per click ads. What is a race to the top, is really a race to the bottom for budget purposes.

  • Reply
    on 21 Mar 14 at 22:26 pm

    More great content from Brian Newmark about Pay Per Click Thank you so much for sharing your insight. I know you are an expert in world wide brand and reputation management, can you post some content about those topics.

  • Reply
    on 13 Jul 14 at 22:00 pm

    Great advice Brian Newmark, I am going to change up the PPC I am doing for my company.

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