Friday, March 28th, 2008

CPA Marketing Series – Adcenter Keywords, Targeting And Tips

There really is nothing special or different about Adcenter in terms of using keywords to drive traffic via pay per click. However one of the toughest things I have found is that while I like to soak up some misspelling and typo traffic, aside from using domain variations, it’s quite a ride trying to keep misspelled words and typos active with MSN. The MSN bot is generally sent out to crawl your pages after you get your campaign up and I can tell you from previous experience that this is not always a pleasant experience. I really dont know what the hell is going on over there in terms of bots, indexing and rankings. Generally back in the splogging days all I had to do was put up a blogger blog with a few trackbacks or blog comments and VOILA! The rankings fell from the heaven. Also I had always found that if I actually made more than one post on these blogs I would rank well in MSN for related keywords. Today however, I dont think that it could be any further from that and I actually HARDLY pay attention to the SEO side of things with MSN.

With that said it gives you a little idea of how erratic their crawling bot can be. Seriously, I’ve seen campaigns generated with SpeedPPC targeting one keyword per landing page. I’ve generated hundreds of keywords/landing pages centered around certain industries with offers only to have them ALL go down before. This situation has happened more than once to me and while it was a hassle to call them up, a campaign built with landing pages centered around 1 keyword is the easiest thing to get reinstated. While it’s a bit more work than the norm, this is generally how I like to do things granted I have the times and tools to do it.

Now that’s not to say you can target a landing page with multiple keywords/phrases. I’ve done this too and the only remedy I know of is basically stuffing your pages with keywords. There’s no secret that this probably seems spammy to a lot of people but it’s the plain truth. Just by stuffing your meta keywords you can trick this bot. You have an even better shot to have your keywords in your meta as well as invisibly keywords (same color as your background) or in a hidden div.

When dealing with inactive keywords (and you will) ALWAYS contact their support off the bat. Do not email or any bullshit like that. Get on the phone right then and there. I cannot stress this enough. If you want contact details then here you go:

Telephone: (800) 518-5689  Easy Assist; please do the following:

  1. Phone (866) 783-1045 to receive a Session ID from a Microsoft Support Professional.

Seven days a week, from 6:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. Pacific Time

MSN Targeting Made Easier

The targeting features of MSN have been made easier because MSN allows people to create profiles. The cool thing about this is that during the profile creation process, people are asked about their age and gender. People can sign up for the profiles thru all kinds of things such as MSN Messenger, Hotmail and a ton of other MSN related things. This gives us a huge advantage because we can target genders and age! When you go to set your pricing up on a campaign there is a separate section called SET INCREMENTAL PRICING FOR TARGETING. This is a great way to display your offers to ONLY certain types of demographics such as women or men only. This is also helpful because it allows you to set an age range to further narrow down your targets. This is extremely important if you were in the gaming or college niches (examples).

Tips And Tricks 

So now the $64,000 question. What has worked for me? I cannot express how well 3 Review Styled landing pages have worked for Cost Per Sale products from CPA Networks. Often times a lot of the Cost Per Sale items you find in CPA Networks have very little competition in MSN. On top of that, when your using 3 products on a review page, this is a lot easier for you to target multiple keywords for adgroups.

Another thing is that Entertainment type offers have always done well for me. Just like Yahoo, the MSN homepage is much more sophisticated (news and entertainment wise) than Google’s homepage. I dont know what it is specifically that makes it like this. MSN’s users are typically not as web-savvy as Google either. This probably has a lot to do with the better return on investments with email and zip campaigns. Which brings me to another point.

Iframing, Cloaking Or Landing Page Redirect?

Quite Simply I iFrame. The tool I use is an in-house tool that is not available for sale. However it’s overall purpose is to serve as a link cloaker EXCEPT when I use it in search advertising. It’s damn near the same thing as an iFrame. The only thing you have to worry about framing zip and email submit offers is generally you cannot get a lot of keywords to be relevant. The best way around this is basically to add your keywords again in the meta and then maybe have an article or some text below the frame centered around your keywords. Now you see why I typically generate a landing page per keyword/phrase.

MSN is an incredible source of PPC advertising and it’s generally cheaper than Google. The traffic volume is almost always going to be lower but the quality is almost always better in my experience. There are many other avenues I encourage you to check with MSN as well. I have not used anything personally other than Paid Search with them but I encourage you to check out their overall Advertising Solutions, Content Advertising ( Can someone tell me if this is live?), Ad Programs and Ad Opportunities. One thing I did notice this morning as I was scanning for more related information to shove your way is that MSN has a specific Advertising Category for Xbox. This alone makes me want to check it out even more this afternoon as this could be a potential gem. An an Xbox player and frequent forum member of Halo 3 forums and MLG Pro I know that a ton of gamers are always interested in new games (ding submits!) and webhosting.

I encourage you to engage in your progress with Adcenter over at the forum where there are ongoing discussions about Pay Per Click Marketing and Engines.

Category: CPA Marketing
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7 Responses

March 28, 2008

Good stuff about MSN, I too find MSN one of the best search engines in terms of ROI.

Recently though I’ve been noticing something weird though. While most of my keywords will still be ‘Active’ (yeah I keyword stuff quite abit over there), it generates no impressions/clicks whatsoever.

I called MSN up to talk about this, but they told me it was because of my adgroup/campaign (not sure which one) overall CTR% falling below a certain % (I think it was 0.5%), and therefore it was not showing.

Weird enough, that campaign has had an overall CTR of >2%. They then said they will check it out and get back to me. Been pretty long so far…

Anyone noticing this anomaly as well? Or maybe I should get a new account and start over?


March 29, 2008

For the Canadians out here, the number I use is 1-800-985-4671. The 5 people there don’t have their own extension so you have to ask for your rep by name or ask to be assigned one. Mine’s a French woman named Lysanne. She’s nice but I tend to get technical and she gets confused….and I get frustrated, and get nothing accomplished lol

March 29, 2008

This post got me thinking about these different engines (google, yahoo, and msn). When we promoting a specific offer should we start with a specific engine or should we just use the engine that we think would be best for the offer. (i.e. start game and college with either yahoo or msn not google).

March 30, 2008

This is a really good post on Adcenter. I’ve seen a lot of great returns with Adcenter as well and you’re definitely right about products performing differently across different engines.

It’s amazing some of the stuff you find out when testing things out.

March 30, 2008

Hey Ruck, I have a noobz0r question. When you talk about creating a ton of landing pages, are you doing something like this:


Thanks =]

March 30, 2008

Hey DJ,

It’s really anything you want. Most of the time I use Folders with index.php because I am framing. Sometimes with cost per sale items though or free trial offers, I like a subdomain if I have a domain relevant.

I like using folders as well, i feel like it “looks” better.

I said this in the forum once, but i’ll say it again. There are versions of I.E.7 that BLOCK any iframes by default. Because of this, I would highly suggest using regular HTML frames.