A while ago, I posted a case study of my PPV campaign and got great feedback from you guys. So, as many of you requested, I re-published the case study. Hopefully it’ll help with your own campaigns.
This is something that I do pretty frequently since it’s so easy. I won’t bore you with the intro, what you do is write review pages for the newest products/services out there that affiliates are pushing. If you’re familiar with CPA, you know first hand how often products drop-off and new ones pop up. A high converter will last 6 months-ish and then change their name or die. Since affiliates are pushing these high converting offers via paid traffic, LOTS of people are seeing their landing pages daily and debating whether they should sign up. Like most people, they immediately search for reviews. There is zero SEO competition for these keywords due to the simple fact that when a product is NEW it doesn’t have SEO competition yet. These keywords won’t show up in a keyword tool until it’s too late. As soon as 1 product drops off, affiliates update their landing pages with the “new one”. If you can spot and write review pages quick enough, you can get some super easy money rolling in.
Back in the day there was an offer called Swipe Auctions. I noticed the exact day they changed their name to Swipe Bids. Immediately I knew every paid traffic affiliate out there was gonna update their landing pages with the new name. I made a review page, spammed some links at it and made like $15,000 in 2-3 months from it. Was literally less than a day of work!
Well, you’d be wrong!
It’s not a shit-ton of traffic, but keep in mind this is 1 exact match keyword in 1 country, and my daily budget is limiting the impressions quite a bit, probably 50% or more. Also, something you might want to know: Quality Score on Bing is almost completely worthless. Yes, you need to be relevant so their bot will accept the campaign, but the actual quality score is only an indicator of how well you are doing in comparison to your competitors CTR-wise. If you have a low QS, you simply need to work on your ad CTR. Pretty simple!
What about international traffic? I’ve noticed that Bing has traffic from the following countries:
I think keyword research is one of my strongest points as a PPC/SEO marketer, but at the end of the day everybody searches differently. It’s quite crazy how two different people will search for the same thing. Some people type full on sentences while others type just the most important keywords.
With that said, a solid way to get a feel for all the different styles that people search is to actually sit down and read peoples’ search histories. Whaaaat? You didn’t know that was possible? Well, it is.
People focus way too much on US traffic. Any country NOT listed here is to be considered blacklisted for Clickbank. If the country is on this list, you can run traffic to Clickbank offers without a problem. I also included a list of the top 20 economies just below according to GDP. Keep in mind the European Union itself is made up of 27 countries, which combined is bigger than the US economy. Bold blue = European Union
If you’re into display advertising, check out the SiteScout blog – there is some great stuff posted there! http://blog.sitescout.com
SiteScout is a real time, self-serve advertising platform for buying banner ads from all the major ad exchanges (now including Google Doubleclick!). Basically, it’s thuper awesome.
A few months ago I made myself 2 helper files which help me quickly locate the correct subcategories for both the Google Keyword Tool and the Google Insights for Search Tool … and I figured I’d let you guys use them.
In order to quickly grab a list of top keywords in any market/niche, you simply need to find the correct subcategory that represents the niche/market you wants keywords for, select it and search with a blank keyword. Doing this returns a nice list of top keywords without you having to do any mental thinking whatsoever.
The part that is an absolute bitch is finding the correct subcategory to begin with, without stumbling around within the tool itself, so I made 2 helper files to help you with this part…
Using these helper files, you can use CTRL+F to search the page for keywords and hop from section to section easily. Once you find subcategory you are interested in, take a mental note and then go to the keyword tool and waste no time navigating to that subcategory. As soon as you get the category selected, you got niche specific keywords!
The Google Keyword Tool does allow you to search by keywords in the interface, which is awesome, but I made a category map for it anyways. It’s nice to be able to casually scroll around and look at the entire category structure without clicking anything.
Here’s a list of keyword modifiers (ie trigger words) that I’ve been collecting for awhile that you can apply to your keyword-based campaigns (I’ve uploaded it in .txt format here). If you have any to add, please leave a comment!
___ vs ___ (product a vs product b)
You can’t go wrong if you decide to build sites/campaigns in any of those markets.
Then once you have a market in mind, the next step is to put together a strong keyword list. Awhile ago, I wrote a post called Highest Volume Keywords by Category, which is about using Google Insights for Search to locate popular keywords by niche. When I wrote that, the Google keyword tool was not returning results when you searched in the same fashion (using no keyword), but today it is.
Side note: On Thanksgiving, when asked was I was thankful for, I said the Google Keyword tool 😀
Check out Aaron’s list here to find markets, then use the category selection on the keyword tool to find the top keywords in that market. Simple.
Start off bidding high while you’re gathering data and just to get the ball rolling. Always pay closest attention to which adcopy converts best in your testing phase.
Then lower your CPC bid every other day or so until your position starts suffering. If you don’t lower your bids over time, which is most beginner PPC advertisers, then you’re overpaying for clicks plain and simple.
You start your campaign and you’re bidding $3/click, but your clicks are actually costing you $2.32. After a day or two, you lower your CPC bid to $2.30 (a couple ¢ under what you’re paying) and then wait for some more traffic to flow. Then check on it a day or two later. Now you may see that your clicks are actually costing you $1.83, so you then lower your CPC bid to $1.81.
When you keep repeating this process of lowering your bids over time, at some point you’ll reach the lower bid floor and your position will start suffering. Obviously you don’t want to trade cheap clicks for shitty position, so raise your bid a little bit until you find a happy balance between position and CPC price.
I decided to update this post real quick and try to explain the “reason why” a little bit more thoroughly. I always seem to hit the publish button a little too soon
CTR matters to Google because that is what makes them money. They want to put the ads that make the most money in the best positions, obviously. If your ad has the highest CTR, you’re able to pay a lower CPC than all your competitors if your CTR makes up for it. Consider this scenario…
You are paying $0.20/click and have a 8% CTR. With that math, we can deduce that Google will make $16 per 1,000 impressions of your ad (CPM).
1000 imp X 0.08 = 80 clicks
80 clicks X $0.20 = $16 CPM
Now let’s say your next best competitor is getting a 5% CTR and is paying $0.30/click
1000 imp X 0.05 = 50 clicks
50 clicks X $0.30 = $15 CPM
As you can see, Google would give your ad a better position even though competitor #2 is paying a higher CPC than you. Competitor #2 would have to raise their bid or increase their CTR to beat you.
The most IDEAL situation is when your best converting ad is also the one with the highest CTR, but that is usually not the case. Usually, your best performing ad is NOT the one with the highest CTR.