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Bidding for Keywords

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The expense of a PPC ad campaign can vary from a small investment to thousands of dollars per month.

 

 

Part of the preparation of your ad is deciding how much money your company is willing to put aside for PPC ad campaigns.

 

 

If you arc using Google and Yahoo!, numerous user reports indicate that, at this point in time, Yahoo! Search Marketing is usually more productive in terms of getting your listings on partnered sites or into editorial-related listings.

 

 

If you have a fairly small budget, spend the extra time necessary to discover low-cost keywords.

 

 

You may also want to investigate some of the smaller search engines, whose prices may be more in line with your budget.

 

 

The smaller engines do not get the same amount or quality of traffic as the larger players, but they do attract niche searchers, so can be effective if your product is one that appeals to certain markets more than others.

 

 

Once you have come up with a list of keywords and decided which search engine(s) you are going to run your PPC ad campaign on, start bidding for keywords.

 

 

The concept of bidding is fairly simple. The more you pay, the higher in the paid advertising results section your ad will appear.

 

 

On occasion, search engines increase the minimum price of keyword bids. Bids in the 5 to 9 cent range were “grandfathered” in and allowed to continue at those levels as long as the advertiser wished.

 

 

However, it wasn’t long before bidding on a number of keywords went to 10 cents or over, because as soon as a new advertiser opened an account with your keyword(s), they immediately outbid keywords in the 5-9 cent range because they had to submit a 10-cent minimum bid.

 

Manual Bidding versus Auto-Bidding

With bidding, you can either handle the process manually or let the search engine auto bid for you, using settings you have chosen.

 

 

For example, on Yahoo! Search Marketing, the auto-bid feature allows you to do one of two things:

 

 

you can either “bid to position” where your maximum bid will automatically be changed to be set at 1 cent above any competing bids, in order to maintain your selected position, or you can set one maximum bid for all of the keywords you select from among your list.

 

 

The advantages of auto bidding are relatively self-explanatory. Auto bidding allows you to control your PPC campaign costs without having to be involved personally.

 

 

The search engine will automatically adjust your keyword bids according to the parameters you have set, thus controlling the amount of money you spend; this frees you from having to monitor and then change keyword bids.

 

 

The major disadvantage to automatic bidding is precisely that-it is “automatic.” Even though you may have set certain conditions on changing bids such as a maximum bid for a certain keyword to retain a rank of 2nd and some search engines and third-party tools have complex auto-bidding functions called rules-based bidding, automatic bidding techniques have still not been perfected.

 

 

An auto-bidding program may miss opportunities that manual observation by the advertiser may have noticed.

 

 

Relying totally on auto bidding can have another downside as well. A competitor may begin bidding against you in such a way as to discover your maximum bid by Instigating a “bidding war” until your search engine reaches your maximum bid.

 

 

Your competitor then can either set their bid to be just one cent above you, or, if they have a lot of money and really want to dominate that keyword, they can bid you to maximum and just wait until your budget runs out.

 

 

However, if you had been present when someone was trying to do such a thing, you would have noticed the pattern of a “bid war” and perhaps abandoned the “war” before your budget was completely gone, and instead switched to a lower page rank.

 

 

By watching the bidding yourself (even with the aid of tools), you can manipulate the bidding so as to get the highest page rank for specific keywords in a more fine-tuned manner.

Keywords: bid, bidding, keyword, ppc, seo.

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