A few years ago, a friend and I decided to start an Internet Oldies Radio Station. After doing all the things necessary to get our station up and running, we were ready to broadcast to the ‘world’. We quickly discovered however that there were already hundreds of Oldies stations online, and it was going to take some time to get our site established and recognized by the major search engines.
Wanting to get some momentum going, we decided to come up with some ways to get some instant traffic to our site. One of the ways in which we decided to accomplish this was by using PPC(Pay Per Click) advertising. It was my task to come up with the ‘keywords’ that would drive traffic to our site.
After spending some time compiling a list, I then proceeded to market our site through several PPC search engines.
Over the next couple of weeks, we were elated to find that we were suddenly getting lots of traffic to our Oldies site. It almost seemed like magic; one day no traffic, the next, a deluge. After a couple of months however we realized that while our traffic statistics were soaring, we weren’t making a lot of sales.
Since I was using several PPC search engines, I figured that the problem had to be with our ads, and not the search engines themselves.
After a good bit of analysis, I realized that the problem was with the keywords I was using. Instead of using keywords that accurately described our site such as ‘Oldies Internet Radio Station’, ‘Internet Oldies Music’ and things such as that, I was using general terms like ’50’s’, ‘Oldies’, ‘Music’, and lots of other keywords that meant a thousand different things to different people.
My keywords were too vague and general in nature.
After realizing the mistake I was making, I honed in on the right keywords, and saw a vast improvement in our results. The kicker is that although our traffic dropped significantly, our sales increased!
Using the right keywords can make all the difference in whether or not PPC advertising works for you. Once you understand what your business is about, you need to determine the ‘key’ words that accurately describe your business.
Take some time to brainstorm and list everything that comes to mind about your business. After you’ve done this, go back a day or two later and go through your list and really try to analyze if each word really reflects what your business is about. You’ll must likely find that you’ll be able to discard a majority of them as either not being descriptive enough or being too general a term. The reality is, when it comes to keywords, more is not necessarily better.
One approach that some advocate with PPC advertising is to generate as large a list of keywords as possible with the idea that like dollar cost advertising, some keywords will cost you much less, therefore bringing down your average cost of keywords. The problem with this approach is that many of the keywords that you use are so general in nature that you wind up wasting a good bit of money on words that have no relation to your site.
While using a word like ‘music’ will get you a lot of traffic, the word is so vague that it becomes practically worthless.
Using a term like ‘Oldies Music’ is much better but still somewhat vague. A term such as ’50’s Oldies Music’ is getting closer to what the site is about. The point is, you really need to use keywords that describe your business, not just some aspect of it.
It should also be mentioned that sometimes a website lends itself to many general terms such as ‘business’, ‘home business’, ‘work at home’, etc. Usually the cost of these types of keywords reside in the high rent district since there’s so many people bidding for these words.
Unless you have a large advertising budget you might find it more effective to search for words that aren’t quite as popular and cost less. Having said that, a keyword is only expensive if it’s costing you much more than you’re earning with it. A keyword that costs $2 each could possibly bring you back $5 in business, only time and analysis will tell. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the advertising budget to try and figure this out.
Pay Per Click advertising can be an excellent way to grow your business. What could be simpler then to sit down, come up with a list of keywords that describe your business or product, list them with one of the PPC’s and instantly start to receive an endless flow of prospects and business.
While there are many factors that determines success, using the right keywords is one of the ‘keys’ that opens the door to success with Pay Per Click advertising.