Saturday, May 16, 2009

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Don't be a Pay-Per-Click Tease

If you really want to waste your advertising dollars, write enticing Pay-Per-Click ad copy that incites your viewer's curiosity and compels them to click through, whether they want to buy your product or not.

In most forms of advertising, the highly successful ads first grab the viewer's or reader's attention, however they can. Consider the old auto parts ads with the pin-up models. They worked. The advertising funnel begins with general readership, is selected by gaining the attention of some, and then further refined to those interested in the product being offered. This strategy also works on the internet, but only so long as the advertising is paid for on a CPM - cost-per-thousand-impressions - basis. If you pay for impressions, you want to grab attention first, and then sell your product.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is a game-changer. If you use the old strategy of attracting attention first, and then selling your product, you end up paying for the clicks of the voyeurs, those viewers who are curious about your ad, but either don't understand your product yet, or perhaps already know that they don't want to buy it.

In the PPC world, you want to qualify your viewers as having a very high probability of being buyers BEFORE they click through - before you pay for their click. If you run an ad campaign that results in a low Click-Through-Rate (CTR), you have lost nothing. You got no results, but you paid nothing either. However, if you run a campaign with a high CTR but few conversions, you just incurred a big bill from your vendor such as Google AdWords, but achieved no sales.

When you are paying for your advertising on a PPC basis, provide as much detail about your product and your offer in your ad as you possibly can. If you can't fully describe your product and your offer in 95 characters, consider running an image ad, but one that is rich in text. Another game-changing aspect of PPC advertising is that you don't pay much more for big ads than for tiny ones. An ad as large as 336x280 pixels costs somewhere between the same and three times as much as a 95 character text ad on a PPC basis. If you need more space to describe your product in enough detail to avoid curiosity click-throughs, go for an image ad.

If someone isn't going to buy your product, you want to discourage them from clicking. Don't worry that having a low CTR will hugely inflate the price you are charged for your ads. Within limits, this is a vastly overhyped fear. With PPC, low-key highly descriptive ads are the real winners.