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I've been spending money on Overture for about two years now. I spent around $1600 in June and let my account run out in July. I wound up spending around $600 (first week or more still advertising) and had a record month. Still offline from Overture now a month later, my sales are at least even to slightly up. So it appears that Overture wasn't making much of a difference to my sales. I know it was helping in some areas because of tracking yet my bottom line is better not advertising with them at the moment.
Overall gross is down but PROFIT is up....so I guess that's what counts in the end. Anyone else ever see this?
Yes, of course. People should look at Overture as advertising to reach new clients. Generally breaking even or losing some $$ on acquiring new customers is quite acceptable and very, very common.
The goal is to be able to have increased your customer base and profit after your ad campaign is done in relation to where you stood before your campaign started. Sounds like it all worked out for you!
When sales and profit start to dip a bit, crank up overture for some new customer acquisition and repeat the whole process!
As an seo MOST of the sites I see in PPC are poor and wont rank well, thus, they pay for position.
It seems the spirit behind the Wall Street tech bubble lives on in the form of PPC bidders paying ridiculous prices per click...in the name of "acquisition" and "branding". Personally I like numbers to the left of the decimal in the checking account much better and acquiring those means keeping costs under control [webmasterworld.com].
The bottom line is the bottom line. I've seen some effective uses of PPC...but very few. By and large it is used as a wreckless "scattergun" approach to web marketing in the abscence of true skill and know how in ecom.
Another advantage is that it lets you design a landing page for marketing your wares with no concern for SEO to limit the headlines, copy, or use of media. Most of my PPC campaigns include pages that are dedicated specifically to that campaign, not just sending traffic to the regular production site.
But just because lots of people don't know how to calculate ROI doesn't mean PPC can't be a useful tool.
Any advertising - whether PPC, newspaper, or broadcast - conducted without thought for return on investment, is bad business. That's not the fault of PPC!
They bring in a fair percentage of my overall traffic. I wouldn't be dead in the water without them, but they sure do help me.
"One place I love PPC is in a campaign that is time sensitive. You can get in and get out on a dime."
I would like to pop in and out, but is there a way to turn your listings on and off on a dime in Overture? If there is I miss it. I have to deposit money and wait for it to run out. And with there minimum click dollar amounts, you have to do three days at a time, which for me is like $150 or more. I'd like to run it for a day here and there, $20 or $30 here and there, like the weekends when my other traffic drops.
Nobody understands this more than large companies like cable companies, long distance companies (ya, not the best time to mention LD), local phone, etc. Think of all the free stuff and money they spend to acquire a customer! SO, people bidding based on customer acquisition and long term client retention can bid extravagant amounts and still win. It also helps to have a big wallet to keep cash flow going....
You can always drop all your bids to a nickel when you don't want to spend much. THats very easy and quick.. Sticky mail me and I'll help you with a function we use where you can set times of day where you want to lower your bids to the minimum and then raise them back up at other times of day..Works great for biz's that need to talk to prospective clients..
You can get in and get out on a dime.
PPCBT_guy: I could see your point for long-term, monthly subscription customers. However, I sell a product, not a service. I see people come in, buy that one item they looked for, and leave. Some of them buy other things, or come back later to buy more things, but most buy that one item.
Don't get me wrong. I like PPCSEs. They have their place. They are an easy way to get to the top of many search engines. However, the problem I have with them is that anybody with a little money to spend can easily come along and do the same. Good SEO is better in the long run, but there is no reason why you can't do both PPC and SEO.
We have several ecommerce stores and in some markets the competition is bidding just rediculiously high.
I think everyone has that problem on some terms. I know some of my competitors cannot be making money. My question is, when will it stop? How long can they go on losing money? Maybe this would be a good topic for a new thread [webmasterworld.com]...
One example is a static site for a high dollar software product. The client gets as many leads from $50/month on Overture as they do from spending about $1000 on their typical trade show.
Second is a service related client. Their main keywords are dominated by some well established sites on Google, so it's somewhat slow moving up the free SERP's. But the keywords are underpriced on PPC.
It's just another tool in my bag.
No offense intended, but for me personally and in my case only, I'd sooner wear a sandwich board in Times Square than do ppc.
I will allow that perhaps for some businesses, ppc makes sense as far as get in and get out.
Depends totally on the product (or service). I use targeted magazine ads for my clients also...it's great reinforcement among other things. But any advertising professional who rules out PPC across the board is doing his client a disservice.
I have one client with a new company selling health care products online, who was well represented (in the top 10) with the major search engines, but not as well with two specific keywords and several minor ones. Although I've since optimized with emphasis on those keywords and resubmitted, in the meantime I opened an Ov account for him, bidding those keywords into premium position. In two months (and directly from Ov clickthrus) his online sales went from an average of $100 a day to just under $2,000. a day, the same total cost for a month on Ov,...and since, with dramatic improvement with non-paid SE rankings, he's gone up only an additional $700. a month in sales. So tell him PPCs don't work.
Now that I'm managing a few different ones, it's interesting to see the number of clicks to sales (though I don't track as closely as I could).
And then I pulled the plug on a few of the more expensive campaigns, and found out that none of the sales I was getting was from all those clicks I got.
Honestly, it does depend on the industy, etc. For a few things, it's worth it, but I think a lot of the people that click know it's an ad any more, so are only 'window shopping' and the sales pitch might have less impact.
The keys are:
1) Targeting your potential market precisely
2) Effectively converting clicks to sales
3) Understanding -and tracking - ROI and revenue per click
4) Not spending $1.00 to make $.50. That last one seems to stump a lot of people.
I heard a lot when I first started using PPC about the beneifts of getting the second or third position. In my industries, second and third are usually only a penny cheaper each and seem to deliver volumes less traffic. I guess that is not the case for everyone.
With OV's autobid system, however, I find I can often get 2nd or 3d position for considerably less, with my max bid the same or a penny less than the next position, to take advantage of the gap. And I'm still surprised that so few bidders on my better keywords are using autobid or a 3d party script.
Whatever industry you operate in, the lifetime value of an unpaid visitor, regardless of whether you pay an SEO or do it yourself, will be far higher than a paid for one on a like for like comparison. The difficulty with that is that there is no like for like comparison.
Comparing the two is a bit like comparing red and white wine, sure the end result may be the same (you get drunk you fall over), but I know people who get nausea from red wine but love white. Similarly there are those that will get great results from PPC and those that won't. All I will say is if you don't get good results from PPC then there was something wrong with the way you implemented the campaign, no question.
Some of the likely reasons :
1. Wrong landing page
2. Bid too high
3. Bid too low
4. Title sucks
5. Description sucks
6. Too competitive a keyword
7. Not enough searches (collectively)
8. Too generic a phrase
9. Too specific a phrase
10. Trying to go toe to toe with the big guns
11. Don't track every click through to a conclusion
12. Massive bid gaps
13. Lose position by not reacting proactively
14. Continue to run campaigns long after the usefulness is gone
15. Not being ready to capitalise on the seasonal aspect of PPC
16. Lousy hosting make for waste of money
17. Not scrutinising the traffic for click spamming (although most PPC providers are pretty good you still need to undertake some due diligence of your own)
Just on point 10. I see a lot of huge blue chip companies on PPC and whether they run the ads in-house or use a media house to run the campaigns, you guys need shooting. If I was a shareholder in these companies I'd be attending the AGM asking why they were throwing the marketing budget away. They are consistently the biggest offenders in all of the categories above, which does mean that often a #2 or #3 bid will deliver far better traffic than trying to compete with the monoliths. Small scale bidders should not fear these companies, tactically they are clueless. There is still a massive amount of virgin inventory with high search volume, in every industry, most of which can be picked up sub 20 cents (20p), so dig deep, do your research and if you can't find it, hire an expert.