Friday, March 7th, 2008

CPA Marketing Series – Keyword Research Questions Answered Rd 1

Yesterday we talked about intial keyword research using the Google Content network to promote an Email Submit offer. Now from the abundance of questions and comments, I thought I would answer them in one spot.

First off I am not teaching Adwords or HOW to do PPC here. If you want to learn Adwords then you really need to go to the Adwords Learning Center. There are just way too many variables in using PPC Advertising to go over and even then, they change almost daily. So if you dont know PPC I would probably suggest leaving this alone until you get some basic knowledge. Dont worry though, this will all be here when you get done and any question will not go unanswered. We are mainly focusing on CPA Marketing using PPC at this moment.

I can tell that the domain bidding was new to some people. I understand that so let me clear a few things up. Your BIDDING on domain variations in a KEYWORD targeted campaign. This means that www.whatever.comand every variation of it is a keyword that belongs in its own adgroup. Now every domain you do should go into its OWN adgroup for a tightly themed group.

 You said by targeting domain keywords like abc com, etc that you will get low cpc clicks. Why are we able to buy these clicks for so low?

Because there are just less advertisers USUALLY. It’s that simple.

To begin with, why are you using domain targeted keywords on the content network?

Read above. I know how people use search engines. I know that a good chunk of them dont type addresses into their address bar. They use the search engines. I also know their tends to be less competition which means I am most likely to pay less CPC.

So are people actually making websites that contain domain targeted words like “ww scholarships com”?

That’s simple. Why not copy and paste that into Google and see if 0 sites show up in the results? It’s not really about people making sites that are optimized for the domain keywords. It’s about your level of understanding on how Google scans pages and matches them to content sites.

I always thought you were bidding on placement, but then again I always specified the URL’s of the sites that I wanted to show my ads on.

This has nothing to do with placement targeting. That is an entire beast altogether. This is a keyword targeted campaign.

you mentioned that Geo-Targeting to a specific country on Google can’t be trusted but how come Geo-Targeting to specific states can?

Good point and I dont think ANY of it can be 100% trusted. Although selected states manually has cut my shitty clicks down by at least 80-90% each time. Sometimes I dont get any foreign clicks at all. But I have had campaigns where I swore I was advertising in more countries than just the selected US.

So, am I understanding correctly that all ‘domain variation keywords’ belong in their own AdGroup? And what about misspellings? Do you bother with those? Do they belong in their own AdGroup?

Each domain would have variations making an adgroup for each domain having about a dozen to two dozen keywords. No I dont bother with mispellings YET. This is just the testing phase. I am only looking at some clicks from keyword and url targets. Should I go further on then yes I will probably get deeper in the keywords.

You say it’s a good idea to check out Yahoo Groups or Answers. Can you explain what to look for and what to do with an example of the information that you find?

Any market research is better than none. An example of the information you would find would be what important questions are grant searchers look for? How much do college students typically want in a scholarship? Anything that you can learn about your target market is better than not knowing anything about them at all. Your going to know why by the end of the series.

Also if you make a title tag is that above the frame code you gave? Finally, for destination/display url do you have to put in the merchant url in distinction from your own domain?

Yep. Title and any meta and anything else you want can be above or below the frame. No, you just put destination and display url as your own. The iframe is basically you hosting/mirroring the merchant page on your own domain.

Are you choosing the offer first and then going to Yahoo Groups? Or are you going to groups first and check the volume of people in certain groups and then finding the ad to go with it?

If you are choosing an offer first, how do you know which offer will convert?

Honestly I dont even go check out a target market USUALLY. I usually launch 3-5 offers on a given day. The fact that a lot of people have no idea on how to properly evaluate whether there will be a market or not for the offer is why I advised finding out for yourself. I been doing CPA for two years now. It’s pretty much secondhand. You dont know which one will convert, that’s the point of launching it as cheap as you can on PPC.

Category: CPA Marketing
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35 Responses

March 7, 2008

Thanks for clearing some things up. It’s obvious I still have a lot to learn, but I’m anxious to get started testing.

Question, is there any good way to promote the generic offers that are like “ExclusiveGiftCards-$250 Gift Certificate at Marshalls”?

March 7, 2008

There’s always a way Erik :)

But for the sake of staying on track let’s finish this particular series on this offer for this month. If you want to brainstorm specifics on offers I am setting up a subforum in the PPC forum for PPC to CPA.

March 7, 2008

Fair enough, it just seems to me “new to all of this” too generic to keyword target.

March 7, 2008

Detailed Answer in the forum thread Bud :)

March 7, 2008

I wonder if it would be worth it to test out conversion rates in different states….say, east vs west and see who converts better.

Actually, I just thought of some even better tests you could run. I bet you could test for months just on the states themselves.

I’m bidding on variations of a popular domain name right now on a Content Network campaign. Getting tons of clicks. They don’t convert all that well but, hell, they’re only like $0.03 a click. I’d love to know what website those ads are showing up on!

Nice post!

March 7, 2008

Nice post. I’m bidding on variations of a domain name right now on a Content Network campaign. I’m getting tons of clicks. They’re not super-converters but, heck, they’re cheap at $0.03 a click.

I’d love to know what site those ads are showing up on!

While we’re breaking things down by state, couldn’t you also test to see which states were better converters? East vs West, say? Actually, I just thought of an even better one.

I bet you could test for months just on the 50 states!

Great one!

March 7, 2008

This is getting pretty interesting. I’m doing a Content Network campaign right now where I’m bidding on variations of a domain name.

I’m getting tons of clicks. They don’t convert so well but they’re only $0.03 a pop. I’d love to know what website those ads are showing up on!

So while we’re targeting by state and all, why couldn’t you test to see what states convert the best, say, East vs. West? I bet you could test states for months and see which convert better.

Nice post!

March 7, 2008

OK, my comments are not showing up. Hope it works this time.

This is getting pretty interesting. I’m doing a Content Network campaign right now where I’m bidding on variations of a domain name.

I’m getting tons of clicks. They don’t convert so well but they’re only $0.03 a pop. I’d love to know what website those ads are showing up on!

So while we’re targeting by state and all, why couldn’t you test to see what states convert the best, say, East vs. West? I bet you could test states for months and see which convert better.

Nice post!

March 7, 2008

Damn, Ruck…why couldn’t you have a ‘state targeted’ campaign? Isn’t there some kind of script you could use?

“Here are the Top Ten Ringtones for Virginia”

Oh, there has GOT to be a way to monetize this!

March 7, 2008

@ chris – Every now and then you get caught up in my Askimet filter. I dont know why but I always approve your comments when I see them bud.

As far as state targeting your spot on man. For the sake of this series I’m not going outside of what I plan on discussing but I will bring a post to you that make you think “WTF”

You can target state and city IP and by using a phone number with a voicemail attatched to it, I dont think I will give the offer I am running but I will help people see the light in this tactic :)

March 7, 2008

I’m getting it!

March 7, 2008

@ Chris – I’m not breaking things down state by state though. I think you misunderstood me. I choose each state manually to ensure I dont get clicks from the UK, Canada, Australia. This shit really happens even with the mighty Google.

“I’d love to know what website those ads are showing up on!”

Are you direct linking or using a landing page? If it’s a landing page you should check your referral logs bro.

March 7, 2008

@ D- I know you will! I’m not going any further until we have it down!

March 7, 2008

Holy month-old mac & cheese, Batman! I like where this is going. I see a trip to “Toll Free Forwarding” in our future.

“Bring a post to you”…how so?

I keep having these ‘light bulb’ moments but then I get hung up on the implementation and turning it into $$$. Hopefully, we can change that soon.

March 7, 2008

I figured as much. You mean we should just go in and select all 50 states at the same time instead of just choosing “U.S.” I get that. It makes sense. I had no idea that I might still get clicks from the UK or Canada.

Still, that gave me the idea about state-targeting a campaign (or city-targeting). I bet conversions are higher in the south (where people take their good old time with things) than they are in the north (where everyone is in a hurry).

Or I bet an ad that says “Single in Texas?” gets more clicks that “Are You Single?”

My brain is going nuts right now.

I will check those logs. I’m using StatCounter on my landing page (before the offer page) so I should be able to see where my ads are showing up. Good idea.

March 7, 2008

Ruck I have a campaign live started from our discussion yesterday. I have only had 1 conversion out of 60 clicks. Can you discuss how many clicks I should allow and the starting bid price. I have the budget set at $500 a day, but wasn’t sure about the click price. I set it initally high at .83. Obviously I need to back this down. Could you elaborate what I should do and be looking for at this point.



March 7, 2008

Thanks for the response.
I use a tracking script (similar to the free one at that shows me stats on each visit to my landing page and shows a flag representing the country for each click. I was a bit pissed when I saw some Australia flags for my US campaigns. They refunded me though but it is still annoying. Somehow the tracking script I have seems to get it right every time, wish Google could.

More annoying is when I run campaigns at Yahoo and turn off the content network and still see Yahoo clicks from non-Yahoo web sites!

Great series Ruck!

March 7, 2008

@ Keith – Thank you for adding that you have caught this man. Some people emailed me and thought it was blasphemy or me just talking out my ass.

It’s little things like this that add up and potentially cost a lot of money over time man. And your right about the Yahoo Content man, as I will also be talking about them later on.

I think a lot of people just take this stuff for granted. Hence why we have 99% of PPC marketers looking for answers. I’m not perfect either, I have problems or questions all the time, but I have them written or saved everytime as general reference and guides to rely on.

March 7, 2008

Hey, Ruck. I’m getting 0 impressions today after switching to ‘state targeting’ last night.

Does it take them a while to re-adjust? I’m on CN only.

March 7, 2008


Your campaign goes thru review again. Also it’s a damn good idea to take all these little tips and start out on content to test right off the bat. Small changes can bring in the impressions phantom and that’s a super pain in the ass.

March 7, 2008

Hi Ruck–

I see you covered my question above in the forum. Sorry about that..

FYI: I agree totally with the tracking. I can’t believe how many people would call me from Nigeria when I had just US and Canada selected. I bitched to google and they credited me $75.00.

I implemented your strategy last night.


March 7, 2008

Yea, I’m only running this offer on Content anyway…but I’ve come to a screeching halt.

Hopefully, they will pick up again soon.

March 7, 2008

@ ChillyD – Nice to know you got some dough back man. I cant really believe that this has not been talked about more. I’ve seen a few talk of it, Uberaffiliate has, but from using 2nd Tier Search Engines I’ve learned that no engine is perfect. As a matter of fact as we go deeper into the series you might read some distrubing things about the worlds so called best search engine.

@ Chris – Cool man. One or another I beleive you will be in better condition. It looks like some people are coming out of the woodworks and explaining their experiences on the foreign traffic going on in the engines man. But think if you had been advertising on Google for 2 years and then just realized this?

Lots of money gone and they dont have the decency to at least come and point this little tip out themselves. Wonder if Cashtactics goes from a pathetic PGR 3 to a 0 this week?

March 7, 2008

Holy crap man! I just found your site through 5staraffiliate and I think this is the best blog series on making money I’ve ever read!

I’m trying this stuff out tonight!

~ J ~

March 8, 2008

This has been an incredibly educative experience… please go on. :)

March 8, 2008

Ruck, you said to use domain targeted keywords on the content network, as well as the general search network.

I understand perfectly how domain targeted keywords work with search, but what doesn’t make sense is why you are using them with the content network.

Maybe you misspoke? Or does Google AdSense track what keywords were used to arrive at a content site from the search engine, and adjust its ads accordingly on the content site?

March 8, 2008

@ Rip – I didnt mispeak. Pure example from a test campaign over nothing but url variations:

I also stated an opinion: “Do people optimize their sites for this stuff? I highly doubt it. A lot of it has to do with Google scanning your page and finding relevant placements. Most likely you will find your ads on celebrity sites (in this example) that are linking out to the sites I have adgroups for.”

In this celebrity example these celebrity sites generally have blogrolls and link out to other celebrity sites. I believe this is where my Content ads are showing. I dont have all the answers but this is where I would like to think the ads are showing up at.

Also when people type that domain variation into google I believe the sites listed in the SE results that are carrying Adsense are carrying these ads.

These are just opinions. Had I read this a year ago I would probably have said BLAH. I invite you to test this out :)

March 8, 2008

Ok cool! Thanks for clearing things up, that helps a bit. Now, back to reading!

March 8, 2008

I agree….Google is quite good but definitely not perfect.

Paul Bourque a.k.a UberAffiliate also had an issue with 800 international redirects on his US-only campaign, and he also decided to manually choose 50 states. Here’s his post:

Just like anything else, technology isn’t perfect I guess……

March 13, 2008

Assumption: You are running these campaigns on both the content and search networks and using an iframe landing page

Question: Will using an iframe landing page affect your quality score and the cost of your bids for the search campaign?

March 13, 2008

@ Darren – No I am not running these on Search. This entire first part of the series is entirely dedicated to testing on the content network without dealing with the QS.

As for your question – there are so many things to cover about that, I could not possible attempt it in a comment. I will however cover Google Search and more specifically how to game and legitly beat the QS later in the series.

March 16, 2008

It sounds like it’s sleeting, but every time I turn on the outside light & look, nothings happening.