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Ppc Marketing....do Your Keywords Miss The Mark?
By William J Thomas
One of my first online business ventures was an Oldies Internet radio station I started with a longtime friend of mine. While he was the Oldies music expert, I was the person responsible for getting the word out about our new business. After doing a bit of research, I discovered that there were already numerous Oldies radio stations on the Internet, and it was necessary for us to take a multi faceted approach to advertising in order to be able to compete with the established businesses. One of the methods we decided to use in order to jump start our business was Pay Per Click advertising. This form of advertising has numerous benefits including instant results and being able to control the cost of your advertising budget. Knowing that the Pay Per Click(PPC) advertising system is based upon 'keywords', I sat down and came up with a list of words that were relevant to what our website was about.
Over the next several weeks, we were pleased to discover that were getting loads of traffic to our Oldies website. It was almost magical; one day a few visitors, the next day a virtual deluge of traffic. Unfortunately, we quickly realized that while our traffic statistics were looking great, we weren't converting
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much of the traffic to buyers. Since we were using several PPC search engines including Google and Yahoo and were getting lots of clicks, I figured that the ads we were running was not the issue, but the problem lay somewhere else. After doing a good bit of analysis, I came to realize that the real problem with our advertising was with many of the keywords that we were using. Instead of using keywords that accurately described our website, we were using generic terms that could mean a thousand different things. For instance, instead of using words such as 'Oldies Radio Station' or 'Oldies Music', I was using vague words such as 'music', 'radio', 'internet radio', etc. Once I realized the mistake I was making, I refined my list of keywords, and greatly improved our results.
With PPC advertising, you pay every time someone clicks on one of your keywords, and it's therefore imperative that you are using the proper keywords that accurately describes your business or product. A good way to develop a good list of keywords is to sit down and write everything that comes to mind about your website or business. After you have completed this, go back a few days later and take some time to analyze each word or phrase that you have written down to see if these words still accurately describe your business. If you are like most people, you'll find that many of the keywords you originally listed just don't hold up to scrutiny and you'll be able to discard many of them. When it comes to developing a list of keywords, you should strive to eliminate general terms, and hone in on keywords that truly reflect what your site is about.
In relation to this, some PPC advertisers take the 'more is better' approach with keywords. Part of the reasoning behind this strategy is that by having lots of keywords some will cost you much less than others, bringing down your average cost per click. A major problem with this approach is that many of the keywords are so general in nature that you wind up wasting lots of money on keywords that have no relation to your site. For instance, when I started advertising my Oldies site, I listed every word that I could think of that had any relation to the word 'music'. While this approach did get us lots of clicks and traffic, most of it was wasted because the word itself means so many different things as to be useless as a keyword. When generating your list of keywords, you need to keep in mind that more isn't necessarily better.
You should also be aware that some keywords are so popular as to be out of reach for most PPC advertisers. Keywords such as 'food', 'travel', 'music', etc., reside in the high rent district and can cost you several dollars per click for top listings with sites such as Google. Unless you have a limitless advertising budget, you will probably want to avoid bidding on the most popular keywords. On the flip side, a keyword is only expensive if it's costing you more than it's producing in profit. While a keyword costing $2 a click could bring you back $5 in profit, only time and testing will tell. You might be better served to start with less costly keywords and if these produce a profit, later expand to the more costly keywords.
Pay Per Click offers several advantages and can be a great way to expand your business. What could be simpler then to sit down, come up with a list of keywords that describe your business or product, list them with one of the PPC's and instantly start to receive an endless flow of prospects and business. While there are many factors that determines success, using the right keywords is one of the 'keys' that opens the door to success with Pay Per Click advertising.
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