In PPC bidding there’s a phenomenon called a gap that appears
between bids. For example, the cost per click, according to ranking, might look like this:
$.56, $.53, $.49, $.28, $.27, $.26. The large drop from $.49 to $.28 is called a gap. These
gaps are caused when large companies bid the same amount for each of their keywords,
regardless of the average bid or the bid necessary to reach a specific rank.
When you’re looking at a gap in bidding, it’s often possible to “fill the gap” and still reach
a great ranking. Using the preceding example, if you were to bid $.30, you could jump to
the fourth position. But to make it to the third position you would need to increase your
cost-per-click a full 21 cents. For the difference between the number four and the num-
ber three spot, the additional expenditure doesn’t make sense.
Some bid management software offers gap management, and will alert you when there is
a gap of which you can take advantage. And taking advantage of these gaps can result in
lower PPC costs with the same or better results.
Keyword Suggestion Tools:
Keyword suggestion tools aren’t necessarily part of the bid-
ding process, but they can still be useful and should be considered when you’re consider-
ing bid management software. Keyword suggestion tools can provide additional resources
or options for your PPC keywords, which can result in finding lower-cost keywords that
perform as well as those that cost considerably more.
Bid management is a time-consuming process. But you can take advantage of bid management appli-
cations and software to help you reduce the time spent managing your PPC campaigns and to increase
the effectiveness of those campaigns.
Tracking Keywords and Conversions
One of the keys to a successful PPC campaign is tracking the performance of those campaigns — both
the performance of the keywords and the number of conversions that result from a campaign — and
adjusting your campaign according to those tracking results. This tracking helps you achieve the best
possible performance level for the least cost. In short, conversion tracking is the most important part
of any PPC campaign.
Conversion tracking can be accomplished in one of several ways:
Tracking tools integrated with your PPC program.
Some PPC providers (most notably
Yahoo! Search Marketing and Google AdWords) provide tracking tools built into their PPC
control panels. These tools should allow you to track traffic, conversions, and possibly even
value per visit.
Third-party tracking tools.
These tools tend to be more powerful than those offered
by PPC providers. The most important area of increased functionality is the capability to
track PPC campaigns across companies. Because most web-site owners have PPC cam-
paigns running from more than one PPC provider, the ability to manage and control all
those campaigns from a single location can be valuable.
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