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  • The PPC Diary Part 3:Hard Learned Lessons from Work and My Hiatus

    Hey all. Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately. Had to work through some personal issues before I could concentrate on work fully. During that time though, I had time to reflect a lot on my campaigns and to figure out some overall lessons I’ve learned for marketing in general. Many of these are PPC lessons, but can still be applied to anyone who’s selling anything. Regardless of the mediums through which the clicks were recieved. I may have stated these before, but I’ll make sure I don’t repeat anything unless it’s actually important ;)

    1. The Ad Copy with the Highest CTR May Not Be Best
      I previously didn’t track things down to the level of adcopy(at least not for all my campaigns). I began doing that and discovered that out of my 2 active ads on one campaign, one had a CTR that was about 0.2% lower than the best one, but had nearly double the conversions on many less clicks.
    2. Know What Motivates Your Audience
      People have said before to not get into niches that don’t at least somewhat interest you. While I don’t take that 100%, I will say this. You have to understand what motivates your audience. As a group first of all, then as an individual. Obviously as an individual it’s harder. But if you’re running on search, you’ll be amazed how much keywords can tell you.
      Let’s say you’re running an online dating campaign. “Date a real single man” is the search you get in. What can you assume from this? The person has either been ripped off before(presumably by fake profiles set up by a company) or “real” could imply that they’ve had issues with dating married men by accident before. So if you see a lot of these searches coming in, it may be time to send that keyword to a different page. Maybe promote a site that audits it’s new members for criminal record/marriages before letting them live on the site. Maybe pick one with a lot more branding trust to alleviate fears of getting ripped off.
    3. Things Dry Up
      One of my most profitable campaigns completely bit the shit lately. Still profitable, but not near it’s original capacity. Initially, I was somewhat panic stricken by this. Then I took a look at it, figured out why it succeeded, and tried to apply the same concepts elsewhere. The result wasn’t quite the same volume, but enough to be well worth the effort.
    4. Watch the Ads Around You
      The internet is chocked full of advertising. Pay attention. If you see an ad appearing everywhere, examine it. Pick it apart. Pick apart the motivations the banner, the offer, and where it’s showing. Think “Why is it showing so much here”. Is it showing in one place more than others?
    5. Find People You Trust, and Work With Them
      It’s nearly impossible to get me to switch my traffic from one network to another. Why? Because I trust the companies and trust my managers there. There’s a lot to be said for being able to ask your manager what’s converting and have a truthful response. You have to give something back though. I’ve been known to chop ROI for volume for example if an offer recommended by an AM happens to work out great for me. As a result, you’re more valuable to the company, and will find they’re even more helpful. It’s a good circle to be stuck in.
    6. Differentiate Traffic Sources
      If a campaign works great initially, congratultions. By all means, scale the crap out of it and make your profit. But don’t put that in front of tracking. Nearly all campaigns tank at some point. Knowing WHICH traffic sources aren’t backing out for you is absolutely invaluable when this time comes. It gives you a warning the campaign is in Jeopardy, and tells you it may be time to create something new or that you should start tweaking the campaign.
    7. The Content Network is Powerful
      If you’re an ace at search traffic(organic or PPC) it probably won’t translate into the content network. It’s a whole different beast. Getting people to buy something they searched for is one thing. But getting them to buy something they think looks kinda sorta interesting? Much different strategies are needed. But the content network can deliver an absolutely insane amount of traffic. Experiment and play around. I’ll have a post on it soon.

    What I Learned from My Brief Hiatus (And couldn’tve learned without it)
    Know What Really Motivates You.
    I always thought I knew what motivated me to succeed. Turns out it was just a fraction of the overall picture. Really examine it guys. Remind yourself of it. Is your motivation your family? Put them on your desktop. Is your motivation money?(nothing wrong with that) …Keep a visible earnings chart. The minute you lose ahold of what motivates you, you’re done. It’s really hard to come back. The worst is if you didn’t know what motivated you in the first place. I’ve managed to rediscover it in a way, and it feels more powerful than ever. Which was nice. But I’m not going to lie, my week off hurt some campaigns. Time to hit em hard and come back in a big way.

    I’ll try and pump out some tricks once I have time to examine my data. Until then, adios.

    -XMCP

      18 Responses to “The PPC Diary Part 3:Hard Learned Lessons from Work and My Hiatus”

      1. wigger mcgavin says:

        Good post man. I’d been checking this site all weekend long looking for the next post. Keep it up.

      2. kjb1891 says:

        Good to see you back X

      3. underworld says:

        good post dude – its important to remember your selling to a person and to put yourself objectively in other peoples shoes is a great skill.

      4. geoff says:

        what do you use to track your campaigns?

      5. Blackhat Boot Camp says:

        It’s about time, whew! Finally bumped that Funniest Footprint Ever post down LOL.

        Anyways, you make some very good points, especially “know your audience”, we need to get into their heads and know what makes them tick.

        And also, know your own motivation. A picture of wife and kids represents every wish, dream, and goal a man can have.

        Bompa

      6. chatmasta says:

        #4. Watch the Ads Around You

        that applies to blackhat too. WATCH THE FUCKING SERPs. you will learn more there in ten minutes than you will in ten days on a forum or blog. best place to see whats working is to look directly where it is.

      7. itchy says:

        totally agree with chatmasta and if you can’t watch all that action yourself get some little php staff members to do it for you ;)

      8. ChrisS says:

        Sweet post. It’s great to have you back.

        I can’t wait for that content network post.

      9. Gab Goldenberg says:

        I was training someone on writing meta descriptions, and told him to look at the ad copy. Funny how many different hooks we came up with to get that click!

        And I totally sympathize about knowing the motivation.

        This viagra ad’s been getting top position for a bit, n their copy offers rock hard erections. How much better can you understand your customer than that?!!

        BTW, welcome back n get your ass on mSN :D .

      10. SEOShadow says:

        Good to see you back posting again. It definitely helps to take a step back and re-evaluate!

      11. Delicate Bones says:

        There’s always a bit of time for self-introspection, the greeks did it all the time.

      12. Simply Perfect Gifts says:

        Thanks for some PPC advice. It’s easy to understand and much appreciated. Starting a new campaign can be daunting and anything that improves success is helpful.

      13. phuck-it says:

        We should pay more attention to the qaulity of our landing page or content.

        Better Qaulity = Better Conversion Rate.

        This is what I’ve learned from this post.

      14. MASON says:

        I’ve been waiting for the followup and boy has it been worth the wait!

        Good sh8t yo!

      15. Kurt Henninger says:

        I completely agree on the “what motivates you” comment. SOMETHING has to motivate you, and you need to keep your eye on that and do what it takes to achieve your goal or motivation.

      16. Kevin says:

        Great motivational post. I’ve been getting so wrapped up into managing design, SEO and copy that I’ve sort of neglected the customer. Search engines don’t buy, people do.

      17. Rajendra Dhakal says:

        really it work? i will try

      18. ClarkeW says:

        I just came across your blog today and you’ve got a ton of great information.

        It’s amazing what you can find out when tracking your PPC campaigns especially the content network.

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