My First Plunge into PPC Marketing

Entrepreneur 24 Comments

Target Demographic CartoonAs you’ve seen over the past month or two, the eBay affiliate program has been my major money maker. However, in keeping with the general consensus of the make money online community, I’m trying to diversify my money making techniques and not put “all of my eggs in one basket”. So with that being said I recently made my first plunge into the world of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) affiliate marketing and I thought I would share the experience with you.

Affiliate Offers
Not wanting to dump a lot of money into my first attempt at PPC marketing I decided I would set a small daily budget of $25 per day. My first step was to find an offer to promote and for that I need to join a few affiliate networks. I applied to several of them, but found the signup process easiest at RocketProfit and was accepted within a day. After logging into my account I found that they had a number of different offers and decided to focus on offers that require the least input from the user, zip code and email submission offers. These offers just require the user to input either their zip code or email for me to get paid and seemed like they would be easy to promote.

So I found an offer that I liked that “awarded” the user a $250 gift card to a certain store if they provided their email. From here I went to a few of my favorite FREE keyword research tools including SEO Book’s Keyword Tool, Free Wordtracker and even Google’s Adword Keyword Tool. I used all of these services to create a keyword listing that I thought were highly targeted to the reward being given by my affiliate offer. The best part about the offer I was promoting was that there was one HIGHLY related keyword that had little to no competition and a good amount of searches per day and I focused my campaign around this.

Landing Pages
After deciding on some keywords I fired up Dreamweaver and coded myself a landing page and supporting pages. I made sure to code them in valid table-less XHTML transitional code, making sure to put my keywords in H1 and H2 tags. By doing this I trying to make my landing page and supporting pages as dense as possible for the keywords I was targeting which I later found out was very important.

Major things to incorporate into your landing page and supporting pages:

  • Put Keywords in H1 & H2 Tags
  • Provide unique content
  • Link to Outside Related Sources
  • Provide a Contact, Privacy Policy and Terms page
  • Make use of the Alt and Title tags

I think the one of the biggest things I learned from this first plunge into PPC marketing was that the creation of a solid landing page is important. If you plan to use Google Adwords for your PPC marketing you need to provide not only a simple landing page, but also a lot of related data and content to achieve a good Quality Score. I ended up re-working my landing page 5 to 6 times before I was able to have Google give me an “OK” quality score. It was hardly an easy task, but in the end it allowed me to get $0.10 to $0.15 cost per click prices.

After designing my landing pages and uploading them to my webhost I moved on to setting up my campaign in Adwords. I entered all of my keywords, my $25 daily budget and max Cost-Per-Click (CPC) of $0.15. I also setup 4 different versions of my advertisements. I wanted to test out which call to action and text in my ad would produce the best Click-Through-Rate (CTR). After that I let it start up and meticulously watched the numbers come in.

Adwords Screenshot

As you can see from my above screenshot, I ended up spending $24.36 on my campaign in 1 day with a CTR that is less than desirable. In my estimation those who were searching for my keyword weren’t necessarily interested in the offer I was promoting, but I also think the campaign need a lot more tweaking and the landing page needed to push them into the offer more.

As I said above I ended up spending a little over $24 on my PPC campaign in the first day and logging into my RocketProfit account I found that I earned almost $30.

Rocket Profit Earnings

So doing some quick math is would seem as though I earned just about $6.00. Now this is hardly worth all of the time I put in to pick keywords, create a landing page and do all of the testing, but it was a good learning experience. Looking at the data in RocketProfit would also suggest that those making it to my landing page only went all the way through to the actual offer 30% of the time while only 30% of those people actually completed the offer. To me it’s clear that my landing page needed to make them WANT to complete the offer more.

As I said above, this was a good learning experience, but the question is would I do it again or will I continue learning about the world of PPC marketing? I’m honestly not sure. I’m not sure I have what it takes to be an effective PPC marketer, but I do know that I will continue to read up on PPC marketing techniques and when I have the extra time I could see myself trying this all again. Until then I have several projects to focus on as well as my eBay affiliate stores.

Please consider sharing your PPC stories by leaving a comment and feel free to ask any questions you may have and I will do my best to answer them.

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    1. 1 Andrew February 12, 2008

      If you can successfully pull that off then theoretically at least, spending $250 should equate to $60 profit a day… $2500 should then equal $600 profit.

      At that stage it’s paying quite well ;-).

    2. 2 Erik Karey February 12, 2008

      That’s true Andrew and like I said I think that I need to put more effort into my landing page and ad copy in order to improve my CTR and conversion percentages. Thanks for commenting.

    3. 3 Chris Bloczynski February 12, 2008

      It sounds like you did everything right. You might have hoped for more profit out of your test, but hey, I didn’t hit the jackpot the first time I went to Vegas either.

      Keep it up, I’m sure if you continue to play with PPC you’ll find a formula that works.

    4. 4 Erik Karey February 13, 2008

      Yeah Chris, I hoped for a bigger profit for sure given how low I was able to bid on clicks, but I did learn quite a bit from it and know I could do even better if I spent the time tweaking my campaigns. Thanks for stopping by.

    5. 5 Will February 13, 2008

      I just spent the last 30 minutes or so reading some of your posts. I’m kinda new at this whole internet marketing thing myself and share your same goal, to quit my “job” and earn my living from the internet, but to bring my wife home from work first of course. I really like your blog and your viewpoints on internet marketing. Thanks for having a good blog.

    6. 6 Timmy February 13, 2008

      Well, let me see if I get this straight…
      You did receive 6$ profit on a day, right?
      So that would be 180$ a month?
      That’s not such a low sum. Besides, you can invest those money back into PPC and this way earn more. But it’s up to you anyway!
      I think I might try that too!

    7. 7 Erik Karey February 13, 2008

      Right Timmy, I did make $6 in one day with it, but I’m not sure how long that profit would continue to show it seemed as though the longer my ad was running the less effective it was getting. I didn’t want to keep it running and blow what little profit I did make. Like I said before, I KNOW that my landing page and ad copy needs work to make people more apt to fully complete the offer, but this was a great learning experience.

    8. 8 Michael February 15, 2008

      seriously, i think this is very risky though as you can’t really measure the money you put in against the money that you are going to make

    9. 9 Erik Karey February 15, 2008

      PPC can be risky, but you have to try things out and find what works. Once you see what works you can scale it out to make the big money.

    10. 10 John Guanzon February 15, 2008

      Hey Erik, I recently jumped into PPC a few months back. Actually Simon Leung insisted on it, lol after I helped him launch one of his reports… but that’s another story.

      Actually I have been testing out and trying the banner network and have been getting some great rates on views to clicks to conversions. Sometimes spending only .50 cents yet making $8.

    11. 11 Ellen February 18, 2008

      PPC is a fast path to traffic but a good approach is to get traffic initially via search engine optimization. Then, you can optimize your landing pages for free traffic, and not for traffic you paid for. Once you’ve got the conversion rates high enough, then you can start paying for traffic via PPC. Of course, this does require some very strong organic SEO skills to pull off.

    12. 12 Handyblogger February 22, 2008

      It sounds like you did everything right.

    13. 13 Sarah February 22, 2008

      I have always steered clear of ppc. It just doesn’t offer the same long terms benefits of article marleting. When I write an article it takes some time but it gets a link out there that may last several years. If I run ppc then my marketing efforts are gone as soon as I take own the campaign. I guess part of it is also that I create my products as opposed to running an affiliate program. Either way it was interesting to see your results!

    14. 14 Bloggeries Blog Reviews » Blog Archive » Erik Karey: Internet Entrepreneur - Blog Review February 24, 2008

      […] See for yourself if Eriks information is just that by checking out his latest Bloggeries: My First Plung Into PPC Marketing, January in Review and February Goals, SEO is Important, Damn it Feels Good to be an eBay […]

    15. 15 Bobby February 26, 2008

      I tried this on a stock website I owned about a year ago and it didn’t work out for me either. PPC seems like it can be a little tricky at times.

    16. 16 $1000 Affiliate Experiment February 26, 2008

      Hey Erik,

      Ill try and share my latest PPC adventures in as few words as possible.

      I looks like we are almost in the exact same boat when it comes to PPC. I had been struggling, even with landing pages, to get a decent quality score, but I couln’t get past four.

      Until one day, when I decided to start from scratch. I wrote down all the things I could remember reading about PPC on REAL PAPER and started to cross them off the list. Im talking about all the cliche stuff like “tight adgroups”, “keywords in H1 tags”, “keywords in the doman”, etc etc.

      What I found was that using LESS keywords was helping me dramatically. I had been trying to do the 2000 keywords/campaign previously, but this time I decided to start the other way around and use ONE keyword per adgroup, which I could add to later on.

      I cannot tell you how much this has helped QS. Give me any keyword, and I can get at least an OK quality score on it, without even thinking about the landing page. The real secret is to simple make your keyword apear in the ad-title, ad-text, and display URL. From what I have learned so far, the “OK” score is all about the ad copy, and the “Great” score comes through landing page optimization, and more importantly CTR.

      What is funny is that my first successful PPC campaign was also a zip/email submit that I am making around $5.00/day from, it was even through rocket profit.

    17. 17 Erik Karey February 26, 2008

      Hey Eric, Thanks for sharing your story! I’ve been reading your blog as well and it seems we’re in similar boats with the things we’re trying. For now I’m mainly sticking to eBay affiliate sites as I can make $500 or more a month so far that way versus PPC were I seem to get a 1:1 ROI. I do plan to try some PPC later on when I have more free time. Good luck with your projects as well!

    18. 18 elliot February 27, 2008

      man – $150 per site is not bad at all! How much time did you put into this? How can i go about doing this?

    19. 19 oyun indir April 13, 2009

      nice ? am deniz

    20. 20 jaluzi August 7, 2009

      great article, thanks…

    21. 21 EV SSL Certificate October 29, 2010

      PPC can be risky, but you have to try things out and find what works. Once you see what works you can scale it out to make the big money.

    22. 22 Cyril Cravens May 12, 2011


      it is exactly what I had been believing also

      its certainly rather evident when you do think about it

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