Saturday, March 8th, 2008

CPA Marketing Series – Recap And Bidding Strategies

It seems things have slowed a bit since this afternoon and the discussions are moving more towards the forum. I tried to spend as much time as possible today to answer all questions to the best of my knowledge. I still encourage all questions to be asked though so that nothing gets left on the table and so that everyone gets the benefit of the discussion. With that said the question of “When we will talk about Google Search” is already being asked. I can tell you that we are actually quite a ways off from discussing that. Now your probably wondering why we are starting off on the Google Content network but not directly moving into Search. Let me make it very clear that yes, I do game Search Engines, I game Adwords and I game the Quality Score but my intention is to not lead you down that path. (Not yet anyway). As a matter of fact, I absolutely refuse to. I want you to be able to comfortably test offers with spending the least amount of money as possible, with the least amount of headache as possible. Google Search is a whole other ballgame people and I assure that if you think there were many questions and comments stated ( I count 137 total) so far just in the initial testing phases there are going to be many, many more than that when we talk about Google Search.

Besides Google is only one fish in a very big pond. There are many Search Engines and many other types of Pay Per Click services to discuss before we get there. Each step we go thru is going to arm you with enough information to be “golden” in Google’s eyes when it comes to Search. Even then shit can happen that is out of our control, but I promise you that you’re going to possess enough knowledge that these infamous Google slaps are going to seem like tiny setbacks should you ever face one. More on this later.

So let’s Recap Google Content so far

  • Currently we test drive Google Content as a cheap alternative to reach a massive audience. We are able to easily direct link in sense (with a cloak or an iframe). When I say cloak I dont mean hiding something from Google then showing humans something else. My cloak is actually an iframe and serves as a mirror just like an iframe so please be sure to understand that when you read me referring to “my cloak”.
  • Google serves “probationary periods” on new accounts. I recommend getting yourself a My Client Center Account which will allow you to open simultaneous “client” accounts for yourself. Instead of running 8 offers and getting slowed across 8 campaigns at once for payments you can run 1 campaign per account at different intervals allowing you to have a test going for each week. By the time you get thru this probationary period you will have 8 accounts (or however many you want) ready to rock without slowed restrictions. This is important and you will know why when you see me post about campaign blasting and what I call “Offer Warfare”.
  • There are 3 ways I use to drive campaigns on Google. Keyword Targeted Content, Keyword Targeted Search & Placement.
  • Keywords are the lifeblood of your PPC business. Without them your making nothing. With them your not making anything until you have tested an offer that at least converts. Testing keywords can be brutally expensive unless we can test them in areas where we can use our keyword research skills and ultimately try to pay as least as possible but still reach a very large audience for quick returns on data.
  • Even with keywords and domain url variations we still want to pack them into adgroups as tight as possible.
  • Just setting up a campaign is not enough to ensure that Google does not serve us clicks from other countries. I cant tell you how much you could potentially be losing. Do not take Google for granted. Yes they are a search and advertising giant but they are ran by people. The programs and bullshit they run were made by people. People who get paid BY Google are far less inclined to actually learn the ins and outs of their systems as opposed to people who RELY on Google to make money. Keep that in mind.  ( I was actually surprised to see readers step forward and back me on this. Kudos to you for tracking this and getting reimbursed).
  • There is an “impressions phantom” that runs around on the Content Network. This is why I say to set the budget high from the get-go. To many changes and your likely to trigger this phantom. I dont have specific answers to this problem but I’ve gotten my impressions back by calling Google and telling them that I have adjusted my budget and would love to get the traffic I had going two days ago back. Generally this works unless you get a retard and beware, they actually exist in large numbers throughout Adwords support. If it does not work then I simply copy the campaign and move it to another account while deleting the one that is screwed. ( See why I say multiple accounts?).

Now on to bidding strategies.

Nothing is set in stone here. Each person my have to bid more just to get impressions going. Normally I set a test content campaign at either $500 or $1000. I also normally start my bids at $0.08. If I dont get impressions within 4 hours I always go higher in $0.04 increments until I get impressions. Even then I look at my placements on where I stand. Also with such a low margin on this offer ($1.75) payout I really cannot afford to go high with initial CPC’s. If I go to high then I could lose money quick. Content network campaigns have to be manually reviewed before going live which could take an hour to a few days depending on your account and history. When you pause or delete them though it generally takes 2-4 hours for mine to completely stop. Keep this in mind if you have one that is tanking. If you started out with a budget and are watching your campaigns then you should not have any problems.

Also you can see the type of keywords I was bidding on as well. There is nothing saying that you cannot bid on the short-tail keywords. Generally my longtail keywords convert better on Search and the short-tails usually cost more on Search. I keep this in mind so that when I start on the content network I can just copy and start scaling as I move into other PPC Search Advertising. However if you were to go with more short-tails you may want to up your bids to the $0.20 range just to get impressions going. Working on this margin of a payout for this particular offer, I dont advise it but I wont say to not do it. I’m just an Advertiser. I’m not the guy that says it wont work. If your promoting a higher ticket offer then starting your CPC’s a little higher is also a generally good idea.

That’s it for tonight. Where do we go from here? Not Google Search I can tell you that much :)

Stay tuned and tomorrow you will find out.

Category: CPA Marketing
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

21 Responses

March 8, 2008

This is definitely an intensive start. As you go along I am more able to understand better what you are doing. Thanks for taking your time and going through this so thoroughly.

Unfortunately I don’t have a budget for Adwords but following along with what you are doing sure clarifies what I am reading in the forum. I feel more involved with the process with you allowing us to walk through this with you.

March 8, 2008

OK, my pen is ready. Let’s rock.

March 8, 2008

I see now why an MCC account is handy. Great recap.

March 8, 2008

Ruck speaking of MCC after spending 5 hrs and getting mader then hell I was able to do it tonight in under 5min HAHA got ya beat LMAO .I didn’t do anything different tonight then the other night.OH well guess it was just meant to be tonight.
Dude Hit me up when your free for a sec one night.

March 8, 2008

Ruck it’s great that you are starting out this series with what you consider the first steps. It allows us to see just how your mind works when you are starting a campaign. I’m pleased that you are taking the time so everyone is clear on how to correctly start a campaign.

Back in the day when I used to do ppc I always started out with search and this is probably why I went through my budget so quick, along with the fact that I was targeting the wrong keywords looking at your examples.

Thanks to this fantastic ppc tutorial that your sharing I can now see a lot clearer the way to go about ppc and you’re going to save me and everyone else a whole lot of money in the long run.

***** One thing I don’t really understand is if your ads are getting so many impressions and not so many clicks won’t google disable your keywords or does this work differently for the content network.

Thanks bud

March 8, 2008

NAh they wont disable your keywords. I could get the impressions phantom swooping in but that pretty much works like getting keywords disabled. The campaign is usually dead when that happens.

March 8, 2008

Ruck, you rock!

I LOVE this series…..

At the end of the series (may be many weeks from now), would you be so kind to compile everything and put them in a PDF?

Can I give feedbacks and suggestions later on? Or do you already have fixed plans about what you’re going to write?

Take care!

March 8, 2008

Ahh well I probably could put it in a PDF. Probably be a good idea. But yes, Always give your feedback and/or suggestions. You can use the contact me page, forum or just put it in a comment.

March 8, 2008

Thanks for the feedback Ruck!

In an earlier post you said “Typically I set my content budget at $500/day. Now you may not want to do this but as I have stated that their is something unspoken on the content network.”

I agree with you….$500/day is something that definitely most newbies are not willing to go for. After 3 days, that translates to $1500 which is quite a big chunk of money. Plus, it’s a proven fact that out of 10 test campaigns, probably only 1 or 2 will come out as winners, so after many trial and errors, that $1500 could turn to tens of thousands of dollars, and I don’t think any newbies can afford that…
But on the other hand, if we set the budget too low, then we can’t really make educated decisions, just as you mentioned that if we budget below $100/day, the content network won’t yield in many clicks. Yet $100/day still sounds quite a lot? Or?
What do we do then? Test in cheaper engines such as Yahoo perhaps?

Another question: do you manually group keywords, or do you use a certain software to automate it?

March 9, 2008

I have a questions. Franklin’s comment sparked this question in my head. When you do $500 a day starting out. On average… how much of that $500 is actually used up?

March 9, 2008

@Collin: I’ve never set a bid that high (I just finished school; can’t afford that yet, lol), but my take is that it would depend on the niche and surely the keywords that you pick. The more competitive they are, the more likely AND quickly the $500 daily budget to be exhausted. In industries such as games, insurance, ringtones and other competitive ones, the $500 probably gets exhausted within a matter of hours! =(

March 9, 2008

@ Franklin I believe Ruck uses a tool call speedppc , now I’m not sure but I do believe it does group the KeyWords. Also I believe you want to set you daily higher to get a more true feel of how that KW will perform,also keep the” impression phantom” out

@Collin all depends how popular the KW you are going after and how many impressions you get on it. So ya possibly you could go threw you daily budget .Keep you eyes on it ,Even if ya pause it it can take a few hours to get it turned off. So if ya have it at 500 and you watching it and it’s near what you really want for your limit then pause it.But then again you might not get a good feel for the KW if it not a keeper or not.

March 9, 2008

Thanks Gokarter! I actually have SpeedPPC and it doesn’t actually group the keywords for us. We can choose to let it group 1 keyword per ad group, or to group keywords that we already previously grouped.

What I want is for a tool to accept, say, a list of 100 keywords, and then it automatically returns similar terms in logical groups. So far the only tools that I know can do this are the Google Adwords Editor, and also Rapid Keyword, but they’re not always 100% accurate, so if anyone knows other solution(s), they’re more than welcome to share =).

March 9, 2008

@ Franklin and Collin – It would really depend on the keywords and the amount of volume you would bring. Do not fear a $500/day budget because you think you will spend that much. Watch your campaign closely. I’ve made decisions on offers within a half a day.

As far as Yahoo is concerned, I will be saying my peace very soon. But when you setup tests this way like I have shown on the content network, typically it would be irrational to think you would burn thru even a quarter of that by stopping the campaign if your monitoring it. If you lose money like that there is no to blame but ourselves. And having a budget a in the first place is important because honestly, there will be mishaps most likely.

My biggest two mishaps cost me $2100+ and $1400+. The first occured in a 3 day span and the second in a one day span. But Franklin your right about those niches, that can surely happen.

As for SpeedPPC I’ll cover how I use it later. I see what your saying about the keyword groups Franklin. Generally for CPA Offers I dont group this way but I do for retail. I’ll go deeper into my discussion and also reveal a lot more tools as I am sure they will answer a lot of the technical searching and grouping aspects for us.

But for the sake of this series I am only focusing on a small margin payout and am very methodical in longtail keyword groups and domain variations.

March 9, 2008

I think this is great. I appreciate it immensely.

March 10, 2008

Can you please suggest a good PPC tracking software….other than the G/Y/msn default trackings! I don’t know if there is any software which would track conversions without putting a code on the merchants page.

March 10, 2008

@suzie: try Xtreme Conversions.
You can try conversions using subIDs…….

March 10, 2008


Where I am going next relies on tracking but I use PHP. I’ll list what I know is out there but for the most part my tracking is in-house. And actually I like pixels being placed on merchant pages but if you got a dirty merchant then it’s best to be extremely careful on your end.

September 30, 2008

Thanks for the detail info. Looking forward to your discussion/review on tools your tried and the ones you feel work best.

“As for SpeedPPC I’ll cover how I use it later. I see what your saying about the keyword groups Franklin. Generally for CPA Offers I dont group this way but I do for retail. I’ll go deeper into my discussion and also reveal a lot more tools as I am sure they will answer a lot of the technical searching and grouping aspects for us.”

November 30, 2008

Did i say you Rock? If not then “YOU ROCK”! I like the “CPA Marketing Series”. I learn a lot from it.