Archive for March, 2008

March 13th, 2008

CPA Marketing Series – Introduction To Yahoo Search Marketing

Now that we have covered how to get some traffic from the Google Content Network for CPA offers let’s turn our focus on another great way to generate traffic (for the most part) without the headaches of the Quality Score from advertising on Google Search. Your probably wondering why I am shifting gears going from the Google Content Network into Yahoo Search? Let me give you a very informative response:

There is a code I try to live by using Pay Per Click. This code is simple. I try to do the LEAST amount of work possible in my testing. If I was testing an offer directly on Google Search I have a major pain in the ass I have to deal with in their Quality Score. Yes, I can absolutely beat it 95% of the time. However, when I do beat it I usually get slapped later in the months when they come around with one of their “updates”. Unfortunately for me I dont care to run my PPC businesses this way. There’s nothing wrong with that but following the steps in the PPC series is going to ultimately lead you into testing offers FAST and CHEAPER minus MOST of the headaches that Google will throw your way. By the end of the series your going to know EXACTLY why I went thru this in these steps. By the end of it, the quality score is not really going to mean that much to you.

THERE ARE TWO RULES I LIVE BY IN YAHOO

  1. Thou shall call and bitch to Yahoo Support until I am blue in the face  Yahoo Support: 1-866-924-6676
  2. Thou shall concentrate on getting a 5 with my Yahoo Quality Score

Seems pretty damn simple right?

Now I am not hear to train or help you setup a Yahoo Campaign. If you would like help then please feel free to access their Search Help Directory. You should probably read that anyway. Much like the Adwords Learning Center, Yahoo’s Search Help is only going to better prepare you for this venture I am about to throw you in.

Another thing you should specifically note: THIS IS IMPORTANT:

Revealing email and zip submits is almost a no-no on Yahoo. They hate it. Yes there are ways around this and yes Ruckles is going to tell you how he gets around it but you should know right now that anything and everything I show you is still no guarantee that you WONT trigger a retarded editor. Yahoo sends manual editors to your ads and keywords. It can be very frustrating. If this happens refer to Rule #1.

I can tell you right now that I am very strict with rules I set out when writing. I just deleted two threads in my forum yesterday from people asking for help. If this was you and your wondering why, now you know. If at any time you refer to needing help about Yahoo Search and I ask you what their support said and you cant tell me, I wont even waste my time. Furthermore, I wont allow anyone else to waste their time either. If picking up the phone EVERYTIME something happens to a Yahoo Campaign is too much for you, then please quit right now. It’s just that simple people. You want to make money online? Dont be a recluse. Talk to people. I have generally found that Yahoo’s Support is much more inclined to listen than Adwords. As well they damn well should be.

Dont know what to say to support? A little timid about calling them your first time? Use the following little story as an example I did one time when I was extremely frustrated for a mass keyword inactive campaign I woke up to:

I wake one morning to find an extremely large campaign has inactives thru it. At least 75%. I call up Yahoo and finely get a young man. He sounds younger than me. In terms of understanding paid search, he is light years younger than me. I could have ran circles around the kid. I chose to maintain my composure with this guy. After his introduction that he is from Yahoo he gives the very basic “How can I help you”

My response to a “T”

 Uhh yea, can I get a large pepperoni, handtossed, easy on the sauce with a 2 liter of mountain dew.

Silence…

 I apologize, I think you have the wrong number.

Really? Isn’t this Yahoo Search’s Support Number?

Yes it is. Were you trying to call Yahoo’s Search Support Team?

Trying? I have you guys on speed dial.

Oh really? That’s nice to hear!

Actually, that’s not such a good thing. This translates that I have to call you guys a lot. Do you understand what that means?

Umm, no but do you have a specific question related to Yahoo Search?

Yes, yes I do    silence……….

Ok, how can I help you?

Um yea, can I get a large pepperoni, handtossed, easy on the sauce, with a 2 liter of mountain dew?

Sir, is this a prank call?

No, I’m dead serious dude. How bout that pizza?

(Laughs). (Yes the dude actually laughed). Sir….

Stop…call me Ruck

Ok Rick…

NO!

Ruck… R U C K…Ruck

I apologize Ruck, is there something specifically I can help you with in relation to Yahoo Search Services?

How about making all my keywords active again bro?

Ok, let me get your information and see what I can do… Wait a second… You just tried ordering a pizza and now your wanting help with a Yahoo Search Campaign? Sir…

RUCK…

Ok Ruck are you being honest here?

Yes, I either want to get my keywords active again, or I want Yahoo Search to send me a pizza. Yahoo Search is a method of promotion I use to make my living online and I have to call you at least once a week to fix something. You just completely decimated my best campaign and I want it back or I want Yahoo to send me some food so I can live to go look for a job.

Sir…

RUCK! RUCK! RUCK! R U C K

Ok Ruck, I apologize. This is one of the weirdest calls I have ever received…

I have kids man…

Ruck I apologize.

Their hungry and would like pizza.

(Laughs)

You got kids man?

No.

If you had some and relied on Yahoo Search to help make your living, would you laugh in this situation?

Ruck I apologize, no I would not. This phone call is just really odd.

I know it is bro, I am completely off my top and felt like screwing with someone today.

Ohh? haha…

Now I am being truthful. I usually call up and make someone feel bad about themselves. I tried to put a little spin on it today and see where it took me.

I am still confused Ruck?

Yea man, no worries. You can keep the pizza, but how about those keywords?

I will refer this to one of my partners to review what you have told me.

I dont want you to REFER it. I want you to fix it?

Ruck, I see that you have a lot of keywords for this one landing page.

Yea, thousands bro.

Well it is really not relevant to have that many keywords and expect for all your keywords to pass thru as “relevant” and be displayed on Yahoo.

So, what are you saying? Should I make more landing pages and break these keywords into groups?

Yes, that would be the most efficient way.

Thanks bro, sorry if I startled you. I hope you have a super day.

Ruck, we appreciate your business with Yahoo and feel free to call us again should you need anything else.

Thanks dude, have a good one.

Now you can obviously tell at the time I was using Yahoo Search that I was still relatively new to them. As a matter of fact they had just upgraded their interface back then and honestly, I was completely lost. However, I didnt feel like being an ahole that day. I bet I made that dude’s day. I acted like a clown because I bet they get hundreds of advertisers daily calling them and chewing their ass. Even though I confused the guy, I still got what I wanted.

I gathered that breaking these keywords up into adgroups and designing landing pages to match the themes of the adgroups would help me in getting my keywords more relevancy which then would help get more approved.

Now your probably wondering why the hell I posted this conversation in the introduction. I cannot stress the IMPORTANCE of calling Yahoo and talking with them peeps. This is going to be VITAL to your success on Yahoo. In case your wondering, I have not pulled any shit with Adwords Support yet, but I probably will. If you want another conversation I had with MSN’s Support awhile back then read this.

Otherwise…We are going into the do’s and donts this afternoon. You should know that I will be putting up 3 posts today about Yahoo. I have some offline things to take care of and stitches to get removed tomorrow so I will be cramming Yahoo tips and tricks into one day. We can carry all conversations and questions into the weekend until they are answered.

March 12th, 2008

Another Tooth Extraction

Late last night I got scheduled in for another tooth extraction. If you remember I had one of my far back teeth extracted somewhere in the middle of January. Fortunately this time it was a tooth that was not causing problems (unlike the last one) but my Dentist was going on vacation next week and with the baby being really close I had (L) schedule the appointment late yesterday evening.

The last one was hell. Being the last tooth in top back and never had a dentist pull a tooth before I had no experience with that sort of thing. Got thru it fine (thanks to some drugs). This front tooth was a beast though. I should have kept it but didnt. This thing (I kid you not) was about 2 1/2 inches long. I never even had an idea how long this thing was. I bet a dollar to a doughnut this thing went clear up to the base of my nose. Which is crazy because I’ve had my nose broke 4 times now and it’s caused some cartilage problems and irregularities which means that my nose is bigger than it should be.

Anyway I popped a Vicodin at about 10 am this past morning and crashed until like 3:30 pm. Which was also crazy because I actually went to bed before midnight the night before. I think it’s safe to say that I got some much needed rest and it came from the expense of an emergency tooth extraction. I think (L) thinks I am a little nuts with everything I got going on but I was never the type to half ass it.

So anyway back to the tooth.

Your going to think I may be full of shit when I tell you this next part. I am happy to take a picture of this fugly mess just to prove this (if anyone wants to puke, let me know, I’ll snap a pic). The dentist had the pick that pokes at the base of the bone right to *elevate* it away from the skin. Guess what? The pressure he was putting on it was immense. Literally I wanted to headbutt the guy. Anyway the pick slips and goes out from inside my gum thru the outside of my gum into my upper lip and cuts across about 3 inches. Read that next part very carefully and imagine that for a moment without any novacaine numbing that part of your mouth. I now have 37 stitches in my gum. Yes, you heard that right. I have 37 stitches in my top gums because of a simple error. If that’s not enough to piss all over your week, I dont know what is.

So anyway, who’s up for some more of the CPA Series tomorrow? I got some web placement and some nice Yahoo and MSN tricks to talk about to get some offers going for cheap and easy. We will glide into landing pages and tracking a little bit as well but for the most part, I would like to cover the easy stuff (gaming the engines easy) so that you can at least absorb that thru the week/weekend before we talk about centering around offers and building sites.

Really pissed and wont sleep for a week now. Peace.

March 10th, 2008

CPA Marketing Series – Spammola

I apologize right now folks. It seems that my newborn baby girl may be coming sooner than expected. Because of this I dont want to start the next part of series until I know that I can at least sit here for a day committed to answering questions and participating in the conversation. With that said, I also did not want to leave you hanging with nothing to read so I thought I would show a couple of things. I’m trying to split this as evenly as possible among PPC, Web Placement and Email CPA Marketing so since we’ve talked about testing out small offers on the Google Content Network, I will be going into general web placement. For the most part, web placement for CPA Offers costs you very little. A lot of the times it can even be free.

However, I am going to warn you right now. Some of the tactics are downright aggressive and may be frowned upon. I’ve done my best to move away from spam but in the end doing my best to keep from it, there will always be people that look at it as just that. Hopefully I can show you how to aggressively promote web placement cpa offers and not piss of the networks or the sites your using.

Without further ado, look at this. Just plain ownage. Almost every major artist I search too. There are TONS of hacks, exploits, SEO tricks and just plain free methods of generating leads. Now for the more slow moving whitehat it would take months probably a year to get any type of decent volume going just with a site. For the overly aggressive SEO geeks like myself, it happens almost monthly to find a new, fast loophole we can exploit. Nothing bad going on here except the fact that we know the Yahoo and MSN Search Engines are completely pathetic in respects to their Search Engine Ranking Algorithms and we know how to exploit it. On the other hand, thanks you dweebs. You too make my life so much easier by being so transparent. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother paying for traffic from The Googles in the first place?

I’m not into spamming anymore but learning from spam is VERY valuable. Use what you see in the next two images and try coming up with your own competitive edge.

And no this is not me :)

Britney

And of course another:

Eminem

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.

March 7th, 2008

CPA Marketing Series – Domain Variation Examples

I plan on making some videos but for the time being here are just a couple of images from a test campaign. I am showing the urls and variations from this test. Typically on a successful campaign I would be an idiot for revealing it and my partner would probably cut me in half. So here’s just an example for the people wondering what sort of impressions domain targeted keywords can yield on the content network. This is a test campaign over a couple of celebrities on Google.

Test1

Then Domain Variation By Breakdown

test2

It’s pretty easy to figure out what I am doing here but I am not going to explain. Just note the impressions, clicks and cost per click in the first picture and then 1 of the domain adgroups breakdown by variation in the second. Yes, this tactic works and it works damn good on the Content Network alone.

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. This works for almost any niche. Yes we didnt get many clicks but we’ve made twice what we spent just in the testing phase. Some you will get more clicks on than others, hence why we test.

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 http://www.abc.comww 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.

March 6th, 2008

CPA Marketing Series – Keyword Research

When you start out in researching keywords you should have taken some time to get in a mindset of a college or future college student. Did you go to some Yahoo Groups or Yahoo Answers and check out anything people were asking about college scholarships? If so then your on the right track, if you skipped that step because you think your a badass then more power to you. You will soon realize why I think it’s important to take a little time and look at the landing page and see what others are saying about the topic.

First off you dont go firing up your keyword tool. This is a mistake. It’s been said over and over and you’ve probably seen me say it more times than you care to see that roughly 40% of the online searches are unique. If your using a keyword tool starting out then chances are your going to skip what I am going to talk about next. It’s imperative to develop a process so you dont miss out on keywords and ultimately traffic. Is this the right way to do it? Who knows but I can tell you personally after two years of testing, losing money, tweaking, profiting, scaling, test more that this system works pretty damn well for me. Granted you look at keywords and research the way I do we can all communicate effectively a lot better when things dont go our way.

First off Google Content Network

I like to strategize for the Google Content Network FIRST. Before we get into that let me tell you why. I’ve been asked many times why and how I am able to test offers by direct linking and now you know. While I do start off on the content network, I am only starting there as a RESEARCH point. I realize even with targeted adgroups and ads I can still get some shitty traffic. That’s ok though because Ruckles has a few filtering methods he likes to use to weed a bunch of that junk out from the start.

Now it’s come to the world’s attention over the last week that Yahoo allows direct linking. And cool, I was going to search my archives to link to it but I simply thru that into Google and whadda ya know, CT is #9. Anyway that should be a cool point of interest to many and I think after this series when I start direct linking on Yahoo, I will give some case studies.

For now I will stick to Google Content because this is what I have been doing and I hate to break a good routine. Now if it goes downhill on me this does not mean necessarily that the offer is a dud. However my personal preference is that if I cannot get conversions using the following tactics on the Content Network then I usually do not even work any harder on the offer. I’m using the content network as a general guide for profitability. I am also direct linking so I realize that I am not pre-selling the offer at all. These things have to be taken under consideration because each offer is different as are the demographics your promoting it to.

Keywords 

Now that you took some time to look at the offer you should have come up with some general words in your head about the offer. You can always view the source code for each offer and you might come away with some ideas but generally these offers are not optimized that well and generally are hardly any help. You have to rely on your own research ability which I’ve stated is vital. So let’s look at the offer I chose at $1.75 payout and see what comes to my mind:

Free College Scholarship

Right off the bat I think of:

  • college scholarship
  • free college scholarship
  • pay for college  ( with how to pay for college) (help pay for college) (grants to pay for college)
  • college scholarship money
  • college financial aid

These are just terms that I come up with by looking at the offer. Now I have some initial keywords to throw into the Google Adwords Keyword External Tool. As an example I threw in pay for college and Google returned me 81 results which they thought relevant to the query. I dont necessarily want to add all them. I want to weed out potential words that I “think” wont help me. So here are a few I came up with:

best way to pay for college
cant pay for college
grants to pay for college
help me pay for college
help pay for college
help to pay for college
how to pay for college
loans to pay for college
money to pay for college
pay for college
pay for college books
pay for college now
way to pay for college
ways to pay for college

Now I want to diversify and split these into relevant adgroups. I dont just throw them into the content network (unless I want to burn money). Typically I look at the first words of the longtails:

way/ways, help, money, pay, how

These little words tell me a lot. These words are going to help me construct adgroups and write kickass ads to the demographics. Longtails work just as the short words do. Each one is different and you should research, test and build around so. So now that I have 5 words that I can build adgroups around I want to generate a keyword list to test with. I plug in ‘ways to pay for college’ into the Adwords External Tool again.

Now I come with this:

alternative ways to pay for college
best way to pay for college
best ways to pay for college
creative ways to pay for college
different ways to pay for college
the best way to pay for college
unique ways to pay for college
way to pay for college
ways to pay for college
what is the best way to pay for college

This gives me a very targeted adgroup and also gives me an idea of how to write my ads. Now as I said there are ways to weed junk out of the Content network so I am going to tell you how to do that. After you build your first adgroup you need to go back to your general targeting in Adwords. We are obviously only after US traffic but you cannot just pick US as your general targeting. God this is a HUGE MISTAKE! Adwords is not perfect people and more so on a Content Network campaign. I cant begin to express how many disqualified clicks I have seen in my logs because Adwords does there damn GEO Targeting. You have to take it upon yourself to go back and choose Region/Cities and select each state individually. I’m not telling you this to bullshit you, test both ways for yourself and tell me I am wrong. Another thing you must do is tell the qualifying prospects EXACTLY what you want them to do. Generally I make an ad that tells them this, but I make a second that will get the clicks and I watch them both. Example for this offer and adgroup would be like this:

Ads

See in the first ad I have told them and they expect to fill in their email. This will help disqualify a lot of crappy clicks. Most likely this is where your best offer conversions come from but not always. The second ad is a bit more generic because I dont have the word “scholarship” in there. Some people will think its just basically to win money but hopefully by adding the word “college” twice in there it would perform well also. Just try two different ads and watch them like hawks.

Now you got some tips to make the content network work in your favor. Choose the US States individually is a huge tip. Telling the prospects exactly what you want will lower your clicks but they will be more targeted. I cant tell you how many people make the mistake of going for unqualified clicks just to get them. With Adwords charging as much as they are, this is ridiculous if your on a budget. Yes you want clicks, but you want clicks on ads that CONVERT.

That was just an example of one adgroup. This will be repeated over every keyword adgroup you have. Even on the content network this is what you should be striving for. Now on the content network we do have some lee-way because of the mythical “no QS’. I still dont believe that all the way but for such an offer we will glide by typically just to test it.

Now I do need a domain and hosting to actually “direct link” to my offer. However I am not actually direct linking (unless you can get away with it on Content). I actually use an iframe and it’s very simple:

<frameset rows=”100%,*” border=”0″>
  <frame src=”AFFILIATE LINK GOES HERE” frameborder=”0″ />
  <frame frameborder=”0″ noresize />
</frameset>

Basically it’s just a frameset to display the actual offer on my own webhost. Some offers dont allow this but a lot do. You will have to make sure and test that it does not break out of the frame. You will know it if it does. It will be jarbled or it will go directly to the offer page. You may want to make a Title tag along with a meta description and keywords. Generally for the content network we can get away with that. I have been for quite awhile now.

You can typically load this onto your domain in a index.html file. So then your domain would just be this iframed offer. Normally I buy a domain for the INDUSTRY the offer is related to and load an index.html file with my iframe in it, then I throw this index.html into a folder and load it up as a directory on my domain. This helps to let me know what offers I am running simultaneously. My output would be something like www.whatever.com/College

Make sure to get short domains so that with the / and folder name it will fit into the Adwords Display Url limit.

Domains

The unsung hero’s of converting keywords. This method is widely under used although a big name Marketer (Gauher Chaudhry) of PayPerClickFormula has coined it “The Alexa Method”. Basically just go to Google and type in a keyword. For this offer I type in “college scholarship”.  I see that www.college-scholarships.com is #2. The idea here is to first go to Google, Yahoo and MSN and gather all the domains on the first page (or second for competitive niches) and take EVERY variation of that domain you can think of. So here’s what comes to me:

www.college-scholarships.com 
www college scholarships com 
http://www.college-scholarships.com 
college-scholarships.com 
college scholarships com 
http://college-scholarships.com
ww.college-scholarships.com 
ww college-scholarships.com
http www college-scholarships com

That is really generic to me, if I wanted to get really technical then I could probably come up with 2 dozen domain variations. Since I doubt this site is that popular I wont. Yes, people actually type the address into the search engines and not the address bars. When they do this, what pops up into the search results? Yep, lots of sites with Adsense probably. You need to realize this and take in it’s effectiveness. I’ve spent hours researching browsing habits online and domain targeting for keyword campaigns can bring you some of the best low cost profits. Another thing is that targeting these in the Content Network may not bring you a ton of impressions. However the clicks will be cheap. I still use domains in my Content Network campaigns and you should too. When we get to search I will go into more detail.

You should know that if you target EVERY keyword in your adgroup, your going to have TONS of domains. Like I said we are just testing right now so I try to take the most popular keyword from each adgroup and gobble the domains up from the first page of the big 3 search engines.

There’s more though:

Your targeting search query urls so you should also target high volume RELATED sites as well. For this I go to Alexa. Now here’s where we can “do some damage”.  I type in “college scholarships” and it returns me some results for sites with considerable traffic levels. Even if they dont have high volume you still want to target them. I got a site with an Alexa of almost 200K and yet it yielded over $180,000 in pure profit from last year. Alexa is a great tool but it can also deceive you. If you dont already have those domains from Alexa then gobble them up and make variations as well.

Now in Alexa I see that Scholarships.com has a traffic rank of 66,751. This is not bad. It tells us that it’s getting about half as much traffic as Cashtactics is so it’s definitely something we should target. So we click on it to view more details about the site. On the top left hand corner you will see “Explore this site” and right under that you see “Related Links”.

You definitely want to click and check those out. I did so and seen 4-5 more sites I could potentially make domain and variation keywords for. You want those to test as well.

Like I have said that this is just the testing phase. This is a really quick way to get a direct link (iframe or cloak) up on the content network to see if this offer will make any money.

Things to remember

You are in the testing phase for the offer. Your primary goal is to get some cheaper clicks on the Google Content Network and use a few ideas to make your offer get some better targeted traffic by manually adding all 50 US states and telling people what to expect in your ad. We have not even begun pure keyword domination yet. Keywords are going to take a few things to get thru and there will be some vids coming of watching me actually perform what I am saying. Some people like text and others prefer video so we will do both.

Just know that you dont need a bazillion keywords to test out with. Your looking at the offer specifically just to see if it will make you any money while spending as little as possible. If you have a huge budget then you will probably skip some of this but we want to start at the beginning to look for areas of profitability with the least cost as possible.

Typically you want to test the network for 3 days. I like 3 days because it gives me enough data to decide where to go. 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 have found that the higher my budget is along with my CTR then the longer my ad runs without suffering one of those famous “impression breaks”. If you set your budget below $100 a day then your not going to get numbers that you can make important decisions on unless the offer just completely converts like crazy. You should know that this is likely not to happen.

That is basic setup and testing. Your only watching impressions/clicks/conversions at this point in regards to spend. You are making tight adgroups with keywords and domain variations and your setting up all 50 states manually to ensure that Google will give you less unqualified clicks. This can and does happen people. If you watch your logs then you already know this.

In the next part we are going to assume that our offer converted enough to move forward.

March 6th, 2008

CPA Marketing Series – Choosing The Offer

It’s been said that “he who has the most keywords, wins”. That is only partly true. What should have been said is “he who has the most CONVERTING keywords wins”. Keywords are the lifeblood of a lot of Affiliate Marketing. Whether your capitalizing on SEO or PPC, keywords are vital to your success. Often times as a Pay Per Click Marketer we have to weed out hundreds, thousands maybe hundreds of thousands of keywords to determine that only a handful will bring us profits. This takes time, money, TRACKING and patience. However when it’s all said and done, you can establish campaigns that literally run on their own with very little work.

Surfers use search engines everyday but their methods of searching are not always the same. For keywords that are profitable in Google may not be profitable in Yahoo or MSN. That’s the way of the land. So when you first put together your keyword list you will want to OPTIMIZE for Google (because they are such a pain in the ass) but you will also be refining separately for other methods of search traffic.

There is something VERY important you MUST learn if you want to succeed with PPC to CPA. You MUST develop good research skills and keyword strategies. Without them, your just going to hobble along and probably lose a lot of money in the process. I’ve done everything in my power to list tools and resources to help you accomplish this but it will ultimately come down on how you adapt and react and can think for yourself.

Role Playing and Choosing an Offer

This might seem stupid but it’s vital. You need to develop the role of a qualified lead or prospect. I’ve chosen the Final Payoff offer in NeverBlue. This is a $1.75 email submit offer that allows users to participate in a change to win $50,000 in scholarships or college funding. {Note, I am not running this offer currently, but I will show you how I would do it}. Now the margin of $1.75 is low however it’s better than most of the $1.25 email submits out there. You should take note of this because the more volume you can push the more likely you could get this bumped up to $2.00 or even go to the Advertiser direct for an exclusive. Should you go to an advertiser direct they will often times make you a page/subsite specifically for you. Now as a network owner or even a CPA Manager you would probably never hear this from them. So owning my own network why would I tell you this? Simply because the goal is for you to make the most money possible and I will 99.9999% guarantee that you will accomplish this easier by working with an advertiser exclusively. Yes, promoting thru a network is the best route to go starting out, but working with advertisers directly is much more profitable unless you just get a network that breaks its back for you. (Not unlikely, but will be soon:) ).

Now that you have your offer I dont want you to rush into it. For this purpose and exercise it is 10:04 am Central Standard time. In less than 2 hours I will come back and begin our initial keyword research. For now you should take a couple of hours and put yourself into the mindset of a college student or future college student. Will this offer appeal to them? I can tell you right now that the demographics of college students and future college students on an email submit gives a lot of opportunities to grab LOTS of traffic. Here in two hours we are going to start our keyword lists with every possible form and variation on the planet and I will walk thru step by step on how to grab tons of keywords and LOTS of them for dirt cheap…..even on Google.