Cash Drain..becoming worried CPC

  • frank_tudor
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Post 3+ Months Ago

We offer an online defensive driving course for the state of Texas.

Our first months cost per click was a few thousand dollars.

Our second month looks even worse!!! 12 to 15 thousand dollars.

We are handling our SES in house and there are 2 guys in house that do manage it: me and the boss...and we are both at the edge of our seats!

Besides going to the Jupiter Media Boston Search Engine Strategy Conference 2003 (antiquated)....My background is more natural listing stuff.

We need the return we get from the pay per click from both overture and adwords but the cost is killing us.

I am in a position where I need to set a budget...I need to analyze our natural listings and make necessary enhancements, and I need to gather more information to make intelligent decisions.

Can someone look at the site and see if there is anything they would do differently?

Can someone recommend some good sites for SEO and SEM?

Any feedback would be helpful...

Thanks,
  • frank_tudor
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I wanted to add a few pieces of information to elaborate...

We are trying to communicate to consumers that need to dismiss their tickets.

The market in our area is narrowly focused : So keywords would be like Defensive Driving Texas

We are starting an affiliate program and have only 4 sites linking to us.

We have paid inclusion in yahoo directory.

We have submitted our site to DMOZ.org, but have not seen it come through yet.

We are competing against companies that market in other states and so can distribute there click costs across these other markets and, in fact, can use key words that we cannot like:

defensive driving

We have moderately optimized our site but there is always room for improvement.

We are competing against companies that have linked heavily from other sites and have had the time to saturate themselves in the search engines.
  • Shawn
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey Frank,

My first piece of advice is to bid on less broad keywords. Trust me when I say, there are goldmine keywords out there that no one else is bidding on.

Also, I don't know what spot you're bidding, but the #1 spot is not needed, sometimes it's stupid to be #1. Just try to be in the top three if it's feasible.

And start using conversion data and check which keywords result in sales/orders/leads. And look at Adword's Keyword Insertion Tool...it's amazing and it helps your CTR amazingly.

And lastly, some industries are just not meant for PPC advertising...

But, I don't think you have enough evidence to be at that step yet.

As for natural listings, my best piece of advice is forget about dmoz now that you have submitted it and start submitting to directories. Even if they charge $50 for inclusion, in most cases it's worth it.

Aaron Wall has a list of em @ http://www.directoryarchives.com and you can try mine too :o http://www.uncoverthenet.com

Then make sure that you target each page with a targeted keyword or keyphrase.

Anyway, hope that helps :)

Shawn
  • TheArchitect
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This is rather valuable info to me cause I'm looking into buying Google AdWords, getting hesitant now though. :?
  • frank_tudor
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for the excellent advice....

I can tell you it is very aggressive in the PPC realm!

I babysit my damn keywords 3-4 times a day.

We have been shut off in google this weekend and we are really feeling the burn.

We had 6 people register today and pay when we normally have 20 to 30 on the weekend days.

It sucks that we pay so much for PPC. I have never been so stressed in my life.

But until we get the natural listings up, PPC is our lifeline.

40% of our gross revenue heads out the door to adwords and overture.

:(

The affiliate program is our only hope at this point.

I will take your advice and hit some of the free directory placements. I will also pay $40 here and there to get into directories.

I had no idea there were so many out there.

Frank
  • TheArchitect
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah that's really bad. I'm 16 and on a low budget. Do you guys think I'll be able to get adwords for 2 community sites RateUK.com and RateUSA.us for like $2 a day? :oops:
  • frank_tudor
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I usually bid last place or down bid to at least resolve as the last top sponsor.

I am sure others have noticed that it is not 4 placements at the top (equivocally) with overture....

SOmetimes its 4 sometimes 3 and sometimes 2 sponsored links resolve at the top.

I have to check each outbid key phrase against the search engine to see the results before i bid, whist before it was straight forward (4) placements

Frank
  • frank_tudor
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I am not sure about your market or what you offer service/product?

But I will tell you it can be as low as .10 per click and as high as $15 dollars a click.

There is a guy who bids $8.00 on the key phrase:

Defensive Driving Dallas

$8.00!!!

It's completely insane! I can't even imagine how stressed this guy is.

One thing is for sure....I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Frank
  • TheArchitect
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Do you get to set a limit to which you want to pay per day no matter what? What about your ads being displayed? Do they get displayed no matter what your limit but only less frequently? Or how does it work? :oops:
  • discountdomains
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Your welcome to submit to my free directories.

If you can't find a category close to what you need suggest one, I will get it added.

http://www.allthebizz.com
http://www.smallerbizz.com
http://www.findhound.com

Clare
  • TheArchitect
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hey, thanks for the offer! I've added them to my list of directories to submit to. Gonna hit them all up one weekend doing some full scale promotion. :wink:
  • top5hosting.com
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I wouldn`t go the PPC route unless your ROI completely justifies it. You have to sit down and decide which % of your gross income you are prepared to spend on advertising. You can obvously not spend $40 to get a sale of $37.95. I don`t know how high your other overheads are, but if you can`t get a signup for less than $10, I would say either drop the PPC route, or bid on cheaper keywords.

An approach that will help you a lot in the long run is to get links from sites in the same industry as you but who are not direct competition. Hang out in a few forums where industry-related issues are discussed and establish yourself as someone who knows the industry. Ask for reciprocal links.

If you have the funds it might help to get an outside SEO expert. I have never done that myself. Maybe one of the other members can give us some first hand experience about that?
John.
  • frank_tudor
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks good information...

I am crunching the numbers this weekend..

I will employ your advise on the cheaper keywords...

We are also planning on linking to other sites as well....(not in Texas)

Thanks for all the wonderful bits of information.

I'm going to hang out on this site for a while and get schooled :)

Thanks,
  • frank_tudor
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yes in google you can set a daily budget so you don't get clicked to death!


You go offline when you hit your budget set for the day.

:)
  • Shawn
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Post 3+ Months Ago

frank_tudor wrote:

There is a guy who bids $8.00 on the key phrase:

Defensive Driving Dallas

$8.00!!!

It's completely insane! I can't even imagine how stressed this guy is.


Lol @ $8.00

Do a search on Yahoo for Mesothelioma and the top 4 guys are paying $100 per click....that's insane..but then again one win off of one client might land them 5 million dollars,soI guess it's all relative to the industry. :)
  • Martin
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Shawn,

is there a way to find out the top bids for a specific keyword in Adwords as well??

Martin

http://ipinfo.info/

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