We made our first attempt at PPC advertising a few days ago. While working on Niche Site 1, we got an idea for selling a type of product for the affiliate program we joined. Some of the related keywords showed decent demand without much competition. The commission rate was not very high but we thought it would make money. Our web hosting company has a $50 credit offer for Yahoo Search Marketing (YSM) and an almost free (it required a $5 deposit) ad budget looked like the perfect way to test our hypothesis.
My impression of YSM is very positive now but started off rough. The initial sign up required a $30 deposit instead of $5 and did not show the $50 credit. That could partially be my fault because I started, stopped, and restarted the sign up process. Support replied to my problem ticket very quickly (only a few hours later), credited my account, and reviewed my ad campaign giving me a few suggestions and links to tutorials and documentation. Fabulous!
The night before I purchased a domain name (it took a while but I eventually found the plural of a good keyword) and set up the add on domain with our host. So now it was time to create our first real landing page. All we needed was the page itself. Like I said, my graphic design skills stink but I wanted to get something up quickly. We took a single, large banner that our affiliate offered and used that as the only thing on the page (except for the analytics code). I will be perfectly honest. It might win an award for the lamest landing page ever. But it was up in all its glory so we were ready to experiment.
Creating our ad campaign was an adventure. I selected several keywords during marketing research but writing ads is completely new to us. The affiliate product page for the category had three main selling points. So we incorporated those in the ad and added a sense of urgency. Yeah, we are totally winging it at this point 🙂
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