1) Should I focus on just Google or should I target both Google and Overture?
There's no reason not to do both, I've witnessed very good ROI's from
both of these services, in fact I know of several businesses who
literally control (regulate) their new incoming business by adjusting
the ads on Overture. So you are not wasting money or time learning to
use both of these services for your company's advertising campaigns.
2) How do I find the best key words for my new service? (I know I did
not describe the service here - so please answer this in general
The trick here is to find out how people find you without the ads, and
then apply ads to those areas. In my experience the "best" way to do
this is to setup an information based website with content surrounding
the topic of your new service. Let's say our new service is Raccoon
Repellent Robot Rentals, a service which rents robots specializing in
the repelling of raccoons from property and trash cans. This is a
fairly new service I believe. I didn't find anything on the web about
it, however I did find quite a bit on the web regarding raccoon
populations in urban areas.
Take this site for example :
Comes in at the top of the list on several search engines, for "
Raccoon Repellent". This is the type of page we need on our site. The
page listed there is very content heavy, and describes the
product/service in depth. It then links at the bottom to several other
pages describing situations, answers and events surrounding the idea
presented on the first page. I don't know if they knew what they were
doing, but what they have done is to create an information source area
on the web regarding the repelling of raccoons, and people will find
them. That's important for the website, certainly, but more important
for our ads.
Using a service such as Google Analytics or a monitoring program such as Awstats --
-- you can discover what keywords are being used to find your site and
through what search engines. Sometimes the answers found this way are
fairly obvious, but some profitable surprises can be discovered. For
example, I work with a client that sells a tridipanel building system
for hurricane proof homes. Before starting on an ad campaign to
increase some website traffic we started going through his server logs
using Awstats, and discovered a great deal of interest in his service
from those looking for outside barbeques and concrete counter-tops. He
had added a couple of pages of content on his website describing some
side jobs his company had done, just to show how versatile his product
was -- the search engines picked up on it, and brought traffic in to a
place he forgot was there.
So, what I would suggest is that you develop some content areas on
your website which have pages that 1) describe the service (obvious
areas), 2) describes the problems the service addresses, and 3)
describes lateral areas of interest to the service, and to the
problems... Much like the raccoon page I linked to above.
Setting up these information areas is very good for keeping in touch
with the traffic, interest and the focus of your possible customers.
Unfortunately it takes a while to get those numbers to a meaningful
level. So while we are doing that, we are going to also try to
discover some existing centers of information on the web.
The quick way to do this is to use the Google Directory or DMOZ --
-- Using the Google directory we can see the page rankings for the
sites listed in the directory listings and we can glean a good list of
possible keywords or popular interest by searching the directory. For
example, I search " Raccoon Control" and we get some really good ideas
of what keywords are popular, such as; Animal Control, Wildlife
Damage, Pest Control, Rabies, Live Animal Traps, Humane Traps...
Those seem fairly obvious, but a couple were not; such as Armadillos
and Deers. These are two areas that I didn't think about (because
where I live we don't have either of those), but where my Robot
Raccoon Repellent Rentals could also get in some business. So I'm
going to add those areas to my campaign list.
Now, we take our list over to Overture and have a look at what they
say about the traffic these key words generate.
It is important to understand what this is telling you... it is
telling you how many times the key words you are asking about, are
searched for ... it is not telling you why, or the intention of the
Here are some searches with the numbers from April 2006
103 wildlife damage control
247 deer control
254 armadillo control
381 raccoon control
933 how to get rid of raccoon
So what is this telling us about what ads we should run? ... not a
thing. I only did this because you were asking about it; it doesn't
tell us anything about how effective our ads are going to be, it just
tells us what traffic we can expect our budget to pay for, and how
much we are risking putting the ads out there. Example, if I put my
pay-per-click ad out there for the key word "raccoon"... that's it,
just Raccoon, I'm going to get a lot of page impressions fast...
... with hardly any sales, if I narrow my keyword searches to "raccoon
159 raccoon pest control
I don't have as many ads going out, or page impressions, but the ones
I do get are probably for people looking for ways of controlling the
local raccoon population. Narrow fields are good, because they save us
money and focus on possible clients. Which brings us back to why those
information center websites are so useful, because they allow us to
discover focused key word searches that we might be over looking, and
are bringing in traffic to our website (the only way they show up in
the logs is if they actually come to the website), and I will discover
the real key phrases like:
933 how to get rid of raccoon
Focused, and some good traffic ... there's gold there for my robots.
So tools like the Keyword Search are nice, but they are touted way too
much by the SEO's of this poor world. This is not to say you shouldn't
play with that tool and see if you can glean some gold from there (and
you probably will), just recognize it for what it really is.
Now, another thing we can do and should do is to take these keywords
phrases we have discovered, and search the web ourselves, looking for
popular community sites that get some decent traffic. We want
community sites; forums, blogs, etc. We don't want commercial,
product, corporate websites. We want to go to where the people are and
see what they have to say, and what they are interested in, and from
there we can build focused ads and campaign keywords for our
As I move into this area of our journey I discover just how good that
"how to get rid of raccoons" phrase is, because there is only one
Google Ad showing up on the page for that search. So I have good
traffic, focused interest and no competition on the sidebar... golden.
So, now I'm going to search for the communities:
how to get rid of raccoon +forum
And right off the top I get some good results:
3) How can I set up my website to test and track the effectiveness of
various search words?
Google Analytics will work directly with your Google Ad campaign, but
will also give you valuable information about everything else as well.
It is the best Analytics system I've used so far. I really like
Awstats, and used it for years, but Google Analytics is much more
useful in several areas. Unfortunately, the rest of the world
discovered how good it was as well and now there is a waiting list, so
you will probably be using Awstats for a while until your number is
4) What is all the noise I hear about click inflation etc and how do I avoid this?
Click fraud refers to the premeditated practice of clicking on
pay-per-click ads without the intent to buy the advertiser's products
or services or take other actions. Click fraud can be perpetrated by a
person or persons who systematically click on links, or use software
to do so, to either garner a profit through click commissions or to
purposefully deplete the PPC funds of a competitor.
Both the Google Ads and Overture have the best systems in place for
insuring that you are not going to be the victim of click inflation or
other click frauds.
If you need clarification on this, just let me know.
Web sites of interest:
MIVA Small Business: E-Commerce Best Practices - Pay-Per-Click
Find Powerful Keyword Phrases in Five Easy Steps
World Talk Radio: eMarketing Talk Show: Pay per Click