How To Make Pay-Per-Click Payoff!
by Jeff Smith

Profitability with Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising comes down to 
how well you have chosen your keywords.   

Choose too generic a term and you will lose your shirt - and 
fast. Choose too specific a term and you'll miss out on traffic 
your competitors will get.

For example, let's say you offer a travel guide for sale online 
- here are some possible keywords with associated monthly traffic 
counts and top bid as of the time this article was written:

travel: #hits (1198817) top bid: $2.11/click

travel guide: #hits (30859) top bid: .75/click

Italy travel guide (516) top bid: .22/click

If you zip on over to the Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool,

you'll find well over 100 associated combinations of keyword 
phrases that incorporate travel - but may not even remotely be 
related to your product.

Similarly, a search under travel guide returns many search 
phrases including travel guide that may not properly target 
your customers.

It's advisable to go one step deeper and find keywords more 
specific to your market - and as you will notice, the cost per 
click becomes much more reasonable, which means your return on 
investment for PPC advertising becomes much greater.

So, that's all great information, but how do you find those 
"magic" keywords and phrases that will pull well for your 

This is where your detective skills will come in handy. A little 
work will pay off in spades.  

TIP 1.  Examine Your Web Logs

Access your web logs - either from your dedicated server or 
from your shared server with your virtual web host. Most web 
statistics packages allow you to examine search terms that 
brought customers to your site from large search engines.  

You want to look over a few months and find patterns of search 
terms that pop up again and again - those are the terms you'll 
want to start with.

TIP 2 Use Keyword Suggestion Tools 

There are various keyword suggestion tools that you can access
on the internet to assist you in finding commonly searched terms 
-- some even list combinations that you may not have even thought 
of. Here are a few of them to try out...

Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool:

Google Adwords Suggestion Tool:


ExactSeek/S.L.I. Systems

TIP 3. Scan the Message/Discussion Boards

Look for patterns of words, phrases or questions that people use 
on discussion forums related to your product or service. These 
boards are tremendously valuable sources of intelligence given 
that most posts start off with a question followed by several 

You want to make sure the discussion boards you choose are both 
relevant and moderated so to ensure high quality and high volume 
posting. On the topic of online marketing and advertising - my 
hands-down favorite is found within this master marketer's site...

Find questions your product deals with and you'll find clues to 
high-demand keywords.

TIP 4. Search Your Competitors Keywords

Spend some time searching down your competitors using Google, 
Yahoo or other search engines. You can use the toolbar extension 
at to help find sites attracting higher 

For Internet Explorer users, choose the "View" and then "Source" 
menu options to look at the code for a particular website.
Look for the Meta Tag Keywords section as well as keyword 
patterns in titles and sub-heads as well as through the text 
for clues on top performing keywords.

You can then go back to the Keyword Suggestion tools outlined 
in TIP#2 to test the keyword combinations you've come up with.

TIP 5.  

Look at leading Direct Mail, Magazine Articles and Books 
on your market to get hints on common "trigger" keywords that 
pop up again and again. Try mixing and matching some of these 
keywords, then throw them into the tools used in Tip#2. Before 
long, you will have found a few gems to try out.

TIP 6.  Test IT

Keyword targeting is not an exact science. As with every other 
marketing technique, you need to test it. Depending on your 
budget and how fast you want to get results, you'll need to 
decide on a PPC to go with.  Note: You will get far faster 
results with the big guys - Google Adwords and Overture, so 
my advice is to test using these PPC's.  

You should have narrowed your keywords down to a point where you 
are risking .05-.80 per click rather than $2.00/click, so your 
exposure should be minimal.

Finally, you need to watch both the short-term and longer term 
impact of PPC. Shorter term, you'll notice traffic coming from 
PPC right away in your web logs - so you'll get a sense of 
click-through rates, and eventually sales in 1-2 weeks.  

Longer term though, being listed in the top 3 spots on the PPC's 
often provides you additional exposure through special marketing 
arrangements each PPC has made with specific search engines. 

Weeks after your initial campaign you will often start to see a 
significant bump in search engine activity as the result of 
being in the top 3 of PPC's.

Be smart in your PPC marketing.  

If you don't have unlimited funds, don't follow the crowd. Focus 
on niche keywords. That's how you can make Pay-Per-Click pay You.

So You Want To Write Your Own Hot Selling eBook? Jeff Smith will 
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of eBooks fail to reach their goals - here's How To Make Sure You 
Are in the Top 5%. See: