Their are many ways to optimize your results, but the most important (I manage 700+ PPC accounts) is to use the proper filters (like [US only] because a lot of click fraud comes from non-US traffic), and to run your logs through an analyzer to verify the country of origin. Once you have these IP's, contact your rep at the SE and get credit for them.
I consider this to be the most important element because even if you have a great campaign, but if 30% of your traffic is from click fraud IP addresses, your conversion rate is seriously affected, and your overall campign is skewed.
Here is my approach to starting new PPC campaign:
1. Contact the company by phone and get a personal rep.
2. Contact your site host and make sure your log settings are set to capture and store for at least 7 days.
3. Install a log analyzer [google.com]. Be sure it will seperate the clicks from different countries and their IP addresses. This will give you the proof you will need if you get non-requested and need to prove it.
4. Find out about their filters as it relates to your products country demographics.(many ppc's require you to ASK that it be turned on - i.e.Enhance, LookSmart, Kanoodle). This is important because I market just to US companies only. BrainFox has NO FILTERS, LookSmart has a US filter but it also includes Canada which equates to 16% of their traffic sent to me. Anotherword wasted clicks and money. Check each one out carefully while setting them up, and check out the fine print.
5. Use this a keyword tool to get your top 10 keywords
6. Start your campaign. (See step 10 for bonus deposit credits).
7. Use each search engines estimated cost tool if available. This way you can get an estimate on the overall cost of your campaign based on your bids, and if you can afford it or need to adjust the bids.
8. If you have a conversion rate from another marketing campaign for your specific product, get it to use in this task. (For instance, I have an email campaign that gets a 1 out of 250 conversion. Applying this to a PPC budget, I need to assume that 1000 clicks will get me 4 conversions (although this SHOULD be higher because of targeted demographics a ppc provides). So if those click are costing me 10 cents each, each lead will cost $25. Is this what your getting paid or are willing to pay for a lead?) Here is a CPM tool [searchmarketing.yahoo.com] to figure CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) and an ROI (return on investment) tool. [searchmarketing.yahoo.com] You'll want to get friendly with both of these tools. They are the bottom line on your campaigns.
9. On some of the PPC's you can get a 1 cent listing through them such as GoClick, ePilot, 7Search, or 5 cent minimum bids on FindWhat, EnHance, Kanoodle, and Search123. Assemble a list of keywords and keywords phrases that you can buy for a 1 - 5 cent minimum bid. (statistics show the more keywords in your keyword phrase, the more the term will get traffic - 4 word phrases are better than 3, 5 is better than 4, this starts to decreases at 6 total keywords in 1 phrase) This will also give you great information down the road on certain phrases that temporarily jump up in the serps and can generate a good amount of traffic.
10. Set your daily or weekly budget low. Some will call it a "cap"**. This is the stage at which the PPC system will remove your ad from circulation. This is important!
**LookSmart has what it calls a "daily target". Beware of this, it is not a cap. I had a $70 "daily target" and thanks to click fraud, 12 hrs. later it cost me almost $800...or basically until my account was depleted. I fought and got it back but it took quite some time to resolve with my personal rep.
11. Analyze your logs and get credit from your rep on a daily basis. There are many skills to master such as bid monitoring, bid gaps, strategic bidding and keyword cpm/cpc adjustments, but these steps will get you started.
12. Learn to use the monitoring tools the PPC offers up, and if you are doing multiple campaigns across many ppc engines, checkout different ppc management tools such as BidRank or SearchIgnite to help you keep up. Some of these types of companies are signed up for affiliate programs through the vendors and can get you a $5 to $100 deposit match when you open your accounts.
If I had to target 3 of the primary tasks you need to do daily they would be;
1. Analyze your logs
2. Use your PPC Manager
3. More keyword research, keyword research, keyword research!
[edited by: seth_wilde at 8:09 pm (utc) on Mar. 17, 2006]