Thursday, August 09, 2007

How I Built a Landing Page to Maximize PPC

Talk about a paradigm shift…

Today I was reading some blogs, doing research, and I came across this article in the archives of Copyblogger that completely twisted my perceptions of PPC, and how to use it.

For those who might not understand just yet, PPC (Pay Per Click) is a form of advertising used mostly by the search engines like Google and Yahoo to pay their bills. What it means is that a site owner, such as myself, creates an account, creates a text ad, and then chooses a lot of relevant keywords. Then I would place bids on those keywords, like, say, 10c or 50c, or $1.50.

My ad then appears on the search engine (and other sites), and every time someone clicks on my ad, I pay the search engine that much money. The more I bid, the more money I pay. Of course, it’s also displayed more prominently, if I pay more.

But, my initial paradigm was to create a great ad, and to use it to draw traffic to my main page. After reading this article, I realized there’s a stronger, more focused way to spend this money.

Here’s the steps:

  1. Make a Freebie

Think about your site and your audience. Do you have something you can give them for free? It can be anything. It’s better if it’s downloadable information, rather than something tangible that you have to mail out, but even that can work.

  1. Create a “Landing Page”

This was the first part of the paradigm shift. I’m not going to point the ad to the home page of my site, but rather to this landing page. So, I made this page to be very clear, very simple, and very specific to my audience.

  1. The MWR Of That Page Is The Signup, Not The Sale

Remember a while back when we talked about the MWR (the Most Wanted Result)? This is the other paradigm shift. The whole point of this landing page is NOT to get people to buy from you. Instead it’s to entice them to sign up for your mailing list. That way, you can send them newsletters and other ads, and sell to them over and over again.

This means, first, that you’ll have to offer them something free to entice them to sign up. That’s what step one was all about. Second, you’ll have to make it clear in the text of this page that they’re going to be getting email from you. Do that by making it sound like something they’d be excited to get. More info? Sure! I’d love to get more from you!

  1. Make That Page Available, But Not Obvious On Your Site.

In other words, the page will be live as a part of your website, but you don’t have to link from your other pages to it. It will be exclusively for those that respond to your ad.

  1. Create Links From That Page To The Rest Of Your Site.

Once they arrive at your landing page, they might want to check out other parts of your site, other products. Don’t stop them! Make sure there are links into other parts of your site. Don’t make them so obtrusive that they obscure the free offer or the signup!

  1. Automate The Back End As Much As Possible

If you get a lot of signups, that will be great, right? Well, it can mean you could get snowed under sending off a bunch of free reports, or packaging up a free product sample. It also could mean that you’d have to extract the email addresses from each signup and add them to your list. The more you can automate that process, the less hassle you have.

  1. Set Up The PPC Account

Go to google.com or yahoo.com’s advertising pages, and set up your account. It’s simple to do. Keep in mind that this is a strategy that you’ll have to pay for, so make sure it’s in your budget. The nice thing about it is you can spend as little or as much as you want. Just decide, and put a cap on your ads. The more you can spend, though, the more traffic you’ll generate.

  1. Create The Ad To Be Specific For That Audience And That Freebie Offer

Don’t go on and on about other products. Just focus on your offer and who would be interested in it. Create the text to appeal to that audience. Choose to bid on keywords specific to that offer and that audience. Remember, part of targeted advertising is screening and qualifying your customers!

  1. Watch the Good Times Roll.

If you’ve set up a great landing page, and you’ve set up a killer ad, you should start seeing sign-ups almost immediately. Let it roll, and build up a mailing list. Then, you can start marketing to that list, and bringing in buyers!

As soon as I read this, I dove right into my Clicksitebuilder and set up the page, then jumped to google.com and set up the ad. Let’s watch what happens!

Mark is the co-director of http://seotrafficmagnet.com, the search marketing consulting arm of Clickincome (http://clickincome.com). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including MarkHansenMusic.com and his MoBoy blog.

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