You have your business idea. Your website is up and running. You are sure that when people see your product they will want to buy it. So, what do you do now? How do you get potential customers to your website? This article will explain one quick and inexpensive way to get your first visitors.
Things you will need:
* Creative ad
* A little cash ($30 will get you started)
* An account with Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, or Microsoft adCenter
To get your first customers for your new online business you will first need to open an advertising account with Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, or Microsoft adCenter. All three of these advertising programs are very similar. Google receives the most visitors, but tends to have a higher cost per click rate. You will probably use all three programs at some point, choosing one to start with is a good idea. Yahoo! Search Marketing is a beginning point if you are going to just start with one program. It does not get as much traffic as Google, but will most likely end up costing less per click for your advertisement. Look for coupons when signing up for these programs. For example, Yahoo! was recently running a promotion that gives new accounts a $25 signup bonus when an initial deposit of $30 was made.
Once you have signed up for an account you will need to design an advertisement. Your ad will be a text advertisement and will be displayed next to the search engine results for any number of keywords you choose. Your ad will have a title, a description, a display URL, and a destination URL. A successful ad will be original. Try to stand out. If your ad is similar to the ones above and below it, you will not get noticed. One way to stand out is to emphasize a phrase that catches your viewer’s attention. Some examples would be: “free shipping”, “save 25%”, “web special only”, or “sale ending soon”. Try running several ads at the same time. You will be able to track which ones are the most successful and weed out the bad ones.
Next you will need to choose the keywords with which your advertisements will be shown. For example, if you own a book shop, you may choose keywords such as “buy books”, “cheap books”, or “online bookstore”. Be careful here. There is a temptation to choose keywords too broadly. It is tempting because there is usually a greater volume of search traffic with broader keywords. This means that more people will see your ad. However, in the long run this will end up hurting or even ruining your chances for a successful ad campaign. This is because your click through rate (the number of people who click on your ad out of every 100 times it is shown) will be a key factor in determining the price you are charged per click. If you have a high click through rate, your advertising program will be more likely to show your ad for a lower price. This is because ultimately you will make more money for them. Alternatively, if you have a low click through rate you will be charged a much higher price per click. It is much better to choose targeted keyword phrases that relate to your product or service than general search terms. Try and target only those people who are likely to be interested in what you are offering. In the book store example it would be a mistake to show your ad for the word “book”. This is because you would then be showing your ad to people who may have been searching for unrelated things such as “book airline flights”, “book bags”, or “antique book ends”. Ideally, you want to find targeted keywords that have high search volume and low competition. An excellent tool to help with this task is provided free of charge by Google. It is called the Google Keyword Tool and can be found at the following URL: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal. This tool is incredibly helpful regardless of which ad program you are using.
A few final decisions and your first ad campaign will be off to the races.
* You need to decide if you are going to show your ads exclusively on search engines or on search engines and websites (usually called a “content network”). Showing your ads on the content network can greatly increase the number of times your ads will be seen, but will reduce your click through rate. Content network click through rates are significantly lower than search engine click through rates. Initially, it may be a good idea to stick with search engines only. You can always add the content network later once you have fine-tuned your ads and are comfortable with running your campaign.
* It is a good idea to set a maximum bid for your campaign. This will limit the amount per click that your program can charge you. Set it low. You can raise it later if necessary. Failing to set a maximum bid will allow your advertising program to bid for you automatically. It will usually attempt to show your ad in the #1 position. This will undoubtedly lead to a very high cost per click rate. For many keywords this could mean you would pay $1 or more per click. Try starting your bids low (around $0.15). This will mean that your ads probably will not be showing in the first or second spot, but you will pay a lot less per click. If your ads are not being shown at $0.15, or if your click through rate for a particular keyword is low try increasing the max bid for those specific keywords.
* If you sell a product or service that is limited by geography (even if it is an entire country), it is a good idea to set a geographic restriction on your ad campaign. This restriction will allow you to limit your ad to only be shown to visitors from a certain region. If you fail to use this setting, you will be paying for clicks from visitors who may not be able to buy your product or service because of their location.
Things to keep in mind:
* Choose lots of keywords. All the keywords you choose need to be targeted and relevant, but this should not stop you from finding as many as you can. Do your research with Google’s keyword tool. The more keywords you have running for your ad, the more visitors you will potentially be able to draw to your site.
* The goal is to get clicks at a reasonable price, not simply to get clicks. Advertisers who forget this ultimately fail in their ad campaign because their cost per visitor becomes too high to continue making a profit.
What do you think about this advice? Your comments please!