One of the great things about PPC advertising is its immediacy.  You can start running ads right now and see almost instantaneous results; whether good, bad or just ok.  But, the trap that we don't want to fall into when running our accounts is limiting our thinking just to what can be gained right now.  The fact is, PPC is a great way to help build all areas of your online business long-term.  And with the continuous expansion of features and avenues being offered in this channel today, the possibilities continue to grow.

But for this series of posts, I want to focus on keyword advertising.  I want to take you through a theoretical progression of how solid PPC search campaigns are started, developed and used to build a foundation for the long-term growth of your brand and website.

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Build Your Net

When first starting your keyword advertising, you probably have some sort of idea about what your main keyword themes will be.  For our fishing metaphor, these themes are like the areas that you choose to go fishing.  They are what you believe to be the hot spots.  Once you identify them, you then choose the type of tool that you will use to fish.  Nowadays of course, this would typically be a pole, line, hook and bait.  But, because it fits the metaphor better and we want to catch lots of fish at once, we're going to use a net :).

The keywords you choose during your keyword research act as little nets that are thrown out into the Search Engine Sea to catch all of the billions of fish (search queries) swimming around out there.  You rake all of the fish in and then sort them out to decide which ones are keepers and exactly where you want or don't want to toss your nets into Search Engine Sea in the future.

Time To Go Fishing

You put some gas in your boat (your monthly budget), you fire it up and go out to cast into Search Engine Sea.  You've scoped out your location (keyword themes) and loaded your boat (campaign) with your nets (keywords).  You arrive at your location and cast your nets into the sea.  The problem with many fishermen (advertisers) is that they are not using all of the "tricks of the trade" (AdWords features) that are available to them these days (bait, gps, etc.) in the correct ways to make them as good at fishing as they could be.

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This is exactly why I can't stand fishing.  I simply don't know how to do it or how to use all of the right tools available to get better at it.  If I entered a fishing competition right now, I wouldn't know what to do and would be wasting my time, enery and money.  Yeah, I know how to bait a hook, cast and reel.  But, I really don't KNOW how to fish.  I don't do it enough and don't care enough to make it work for me.  The last 3 times I've gone, I haven't caught anything.  Guess what?  Not wanting to fish anymore.  Good thing for me, Chipotle is right around the corner :).

And therein lies the rub.  Advertisers go out on the "Search Engine Sea" alone to catch their "fish", but they don't know what they're doing or how to compete.  Yeah, they know how to "bait, hook and reel," but they really don't KNOW how to "fish." Then, when things aren't going the way they want, they quit, aren't motivated, decide its overrated or that not worth their time, money and energy.  So, they go to Chipotle.

The problem is that they heard some talk about people catching fish or someone even gave them a fish, or they caught a TV show that made it look easy and enjoyable; and they got excited.  But, since they really don't know what they're doing, they "eat for a day" (if even that) and fail to lay a stronger foundation to "eat for a lifetime."

Good PPC involves becoming an expert. It's about knowing how to use it to find out what works and what doesn't online so that you can keep getting bigger and better.

In my next post, we'll start looking at some tricks of the trade that you may not have known about for long-term growth so that you can become a better fisherman.

January 27, 2011

Mike Fleming specializes in Analytics and Paid Search for Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @SEMFlem. Mike enjoys playing, writing and recording music along with playing basketball to get his workout in. He resides in Canton, Ohio with a girl who threw a snowball at him one day…then married him.

Mike and the team at Pole Position are available to help clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Contact them via their site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

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Search Engine Guide > Mike Fleming > PPC for a Day or For a Lifetime?