January 10, 2002
Table of Contents
Quote of the Week
Staff Article - Saving
Money Using Pay-Per-Click Search Engines
Tax Tip of the Week
Guest Article - Ad
Copy . . . You Forgot Step 1!
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Quote of the Week
Whatever you do or dream you can do— begin it. Boldness has genius and power
and magic in it.
Saving Money Using Pay-Per-Click
by: SBC Staff
You may already be familiar with using
pay-per-click (ppc) search engines. If you are not, you should seriously
consider making them a part of your marketing strategies.
I WANT THE NUMBER 1 POSITION!
Many people believe that the whole idea of using ppc engines is to get the
number one ranking for their relevant search terms. While a number one
ranking is great to have, the real goal of bidding on search terms is to get
targeted, qualified traffic to your site at a cost that makes it a
profitable endeavor. It is possible to drive quality traffic to your site
even if your budget demands you stick with minimum bids.
Start off by carefully evaluating the search terms that are relative to your
site. As you'll see shortly, you don't have to develop an exhaustive list at
this time. Just come up with the broad keywords that describe your products
As you might imagine, the broad keywords you come up with will probably cost
you a very high bid to get the top position. In fact, a bid that far exceeds
the minimum might not even get you in the top 40 with some search terms.
Let's assume you sell ecommerce systems that include a storefront, merchant
account and free hosting. Your target market is businesses that are seeking
low cost ecommerce solutions. If you wanted to bid on the keyword
"ecommerce" it would cost you $3.02 to get the top position on Overture. If
you find there are 5,000 hits to this search term during the month, it would
cost you $15,100 for the hits you would receive. It might be worth it, but
that is more than many small businesses could afford or would be willing to
spend. So what do you do?
EVALUATE ALTERNATIVE SEARCH PHRASES
Whether or not you ultimately want to place bids at Overture, they have two
terrific tools that will make your life much easier. First, use their Search
Suggestion Tool to evaluate alternative search phrases. For example, enter
"ecommerce" in the tool as the search term and it will return a variety of
similar search terms along with the number of searches performed for those
terms during the last month. You will find this tool at:
Next, go to the advertiser login page on Overture and open their bid tool.
This tool will show you the current bids for search terms you enter. So if
you enter "ecommerce" you'll see the $3.02 bid for the number 1 position we
mentioned earlier and the bid at each position thereafter. Try the
alternative search phrases and you'll find that "ecommerce solutions" will
cost you $.52 just to get into the top 40. Keep going and you'll find that
you can get the number one position for "ecommerce system" for only $.10,
the number one position for "cheap ecommerce" for the minimum bid of $.05,
and top ten listings for "small business ecommerce," "ecommerce host," and
"ecommerce provider" with the minimum bid.
Look at the visitors using these search terms during the prior month and
you'll see that these terms generated 900 to 1,000 clicks. You can continue
to evaluate alternative terms until you have top or high positions in dozens
of categories that, together, will provide you with the hits you believe you
need. If you want the 5,000 hits you would get using "ecommerce", you can
get them at $.05 instead of $3.02 per click by using this methodology.
WHICH PPC ENGINES SHOULD I USE?
To this point we have talked about using tools provided by Overture. What if
you don't want to bid on Overture? After all, the minimum bid has been
raised to $.05 as opposed to $.01 on the others.
Overture is currently the largest PPC engine, and as such, should provide a
good sampling of results that should apply on the other engines as well. But
once you have determined which search phrases you want to bid on, there is
one more tool that you can use.
CompareYourClicks allows you to enter a search term and see the bids for
the top six positions on nine different PPC engines.
For example, if you enter "ecommerce system" at
CompareYourClicks at the time this article is being written, you will
find that the top position can be had for a bid of $.10 on Overture, $.02 on
FindWhat, and $.01 on Sprinks, Ah-Ha and GoClick. You've found yourself a
OTHER TIPS FOR SAVING MONEY
* Draft your listing for use in the search results very carefully. Let's say
you sell your low cost ecommerce solution for $75.00 per month. If you were
creating an ad for use on a classified site, your goal would be to get the
reader to visit your site and then convince them that $75.00 is an excellent
price for your service. On the PPC engines, you want to include the fact
that your service costs $75.00 per month to prequalify the visitor before
they click. Since you're paying for every click you want to make sure your
visitors are interested at $75.00 before they click to your site.
* Don't ignore misspellings of popular search terms. Most people will
carefully craft the search phrases they are bidding for. Most searchers will
not. Misspellings occur and can usually be bought for a very low bid.
* Sign up for weekly email tips from
CompareYourClicks to get
their latest secrets and tricks for using PPC engines.
If you're not using PPC engines, get in the game today. You'll like the
results you get.
Copyright © 2001, all rights reserved
Tax Tip of the
If you plan on applying for a bank loan in the
coming months or years, you probably understand that the bank will want to
see two or three years of tax returns. The problem you might run into is
that it is very difficult to find a loan officer who understands tax
returns. They don't seem to be able to grasp the fact that a profitable
business may show losses for tax purposes due to perfectly legal tax breaks
Congress has seen fit to allow. If you are a tax-savvy business person, this
inability on their part might make it more difficult for your business to
acquire a loan. Shop around before you apply. Actually quiz a few loan
officers on how they evaluate and use tax return information in qualifying
your business, and you, for the loan. If all else fails, you might find
yourself having to consider foregoing tax benefits to make your tax returns
look more profitable. If you can help it, don't let banks penalize you for
being on the ball tax wise.
Copy...You Forgot Step One!
By Terry Dean
Writing winning sales letters for the web really isn't as hard as it is made
out to be. The reason most people have so much trouble writing web pages
which sell to their customers is they have forgotten rule number one of
Research is at least 75% of the process.
Most of the rules you have been taught about copywriting apply to the
refinement of it or the "finishing" of it.
Yes, you must show the benefits the customers receive, not just the features
of the product.
Yes, you need to read winning headlines from the past and model them for
Yes, you should always offer a risk free guarantee to your customers.
BUT...step one is to research your product, your competitors, and your
customers. Then, you can apply all of the winning copywriting formulas for
Good copywriters (on the web or off it) are not usually the most imaginative
people you can find. They don't just instantly dream up winning headlines
out of thin air.
They research their product, market, and competition until the majority of
what needs to be written becomes obvious!
Most of the things we come to think of as great inspired talents or skills
are really the result of hard work.
Thomas Edison said, "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent
Good copywriting is no exception.
Research is the key to copywriting success...and the success of your web
What are you going to be researching?
* Research Your Customers *
What do they want out of life? What are their hot buttons? What motivates
them to buy?
Here are three ways to research your future customers:
1. Ask For Feedback
Visit discussion groups. Watch the posts taking place and study them. What
kinds of concerns keep coming up about products? Ask them what needs or
wants they would have in the perfect product.
http://www.forumone.com to find discussions in your market.
2. Take a Survey
If you already have a web site, then take a survey of your visitors about
their needs and wants.
Zoomerang allows you to do it for free:
3. Contact Customers
If you already sell products to the same group of customers, then simply ask
your current customers. Email them or give them a call.
Ask them why they bought from you in the first place and how you could offer
even more value to their purchase.
* Research Your Product *
Some of the best copywriters are the owners of their own businesses. They
know their product like the back of their hand.
When hiring a good outside copywriter, they will need to know everything
there is to know about your product or service to write effective copy.
In other words, you need to be an expert on the subject to write really
effective copy about it.
Read about the product. Study it. Take notes on it.
When writing ads for a book, for example, you will often write a full
bulleted list of benefits readers will get out of the book straight from the
book pages themselves.
You will often say, "Learn how to lower your golf score by 10 strokes
through five easy steps...page 27" Then, on and on with other benefits taken
right of the pages of the book.
No matter what you are selling, you will build the list of benefits for the
product out of the features already in the product.
* Research Your Competitors *
The Internet is the most competitive marketplace ever. Not only can you sell
to a world marketplace, but you also have a world of competitors competing
You have to study your competitors and see where their strong and weak
points are. What is unique about your product from all of your competitors?
You will especially need to do this if you have large well funded
competitors. Find out which areas of the market they may be ignoring or
desires they're not fulfilling.
As a small business, you may find the best way to present your product will
be to tighten your customer focus to a smaller niche. You don't need a
million customers to earn a profit. You may only need a thousand.
How can you best fulfill the needs of those thousand people?
* Take A Break *
Doing the research was a lot of hard work.
The next step is almost as important. Take a break. That's right. Put down
your laptop. Go for a walk. See a movie. Work on your hobby.
Your mind needs a break and it needs to "think" about the project in the
background. You will be surprised at just how intelligent you appear to be
when you fill your head with all of the research...and then forgot about it
Inspiration just seems to come to you...
Terry Dean, a 5 year veteran of Internet marketing, will Take You By
The Hand and Show You Exact Results of All the Internet Marketing Techniques
he tests and Uses Every Single Month" Click here to Find Out More:
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