As I discussed in an earlier post, not learning the art of buying traffic is a bit like not learning how to drive a car. Sure, the bus is OK (which I compared to SEO), but if you really want full control and freedom you must go through the often frustrating learning curve.
Unfortunately for many, it’s not a lack of willingness that is the problem. It’s a lack of funds.
I’ve heard this a lot over the years, but haven’t seen any decent (or at least free) guides for learning how to buy traffic on a budget. So today, I decided to put one together for you.
Start with PPC
I’ve used loads of different advertising platforms over the past decade. Google AdWords has outperformed everyone of them by multiples almost every time.
It’s not surprising really. Google has created a platform that meets people where they are actively searching for what you have to offer. Aside from other PPC platforms, most other forms of advertising focus on interrupting people.
There isn’t a more targeted, higher quality or better converting ad platform out there. Throw in the fact that it only costs $5 to get going and it’s a no-brainer.
Play with house money
Unfortunately I’ve seen so many people get sucked into “easy online riches through PPC” type courses driven by so-called gurus. The worst part about all this is that I’ve seen guys pay for these courses and their traffic with their credit card.
Aside from the financial foolishness of this approach, it’s also a bad idea because you’re emotionally tied to that money. In many ways it’s not yours to lose.
However, when you ensure that you are using profits from your business only when buying traffic, you’ll feel a different, more confident and more logical dynamic.
It’s a bit like when people are at a casino. They’re usually more comfortable gambling on their winnings, as opposed to their seed capital. In other words, playing with house money.
When you remove the emotion, you can be more analytical and make more objective decisions. These are important components for making paid traffic profitable.
Understand the PPC buying cycle
The PPC buying cycle basically looks like this:
- Awareness of needs
- Consideration of options
- Purchase decision
There are other variations to it, however, these are the core principles.
The fewest number of people are in the “purchase decision” part of the curve. To see success you need to target those people very specifically. This is where you should be beginning.
If you want volume (which is required in order to get rich in the process), you need to first find a way to tap into the other parts of the buying cycle. This is where the bulk of people and the bulk of traffic actually is.
When you’re starting out, however, don’t be greedy and go after the high volume terms. Focus on the longtail, low volume, high converting terms.
SpeedPPC does an excellent job in helping to achieve this.
Think of it like being a sniper shooting from a hidden location. Sure, you’re not going to take down the whole army, but you can have a high degree of success on a small number of hits without much risk.
Start small and focused
This is of critical importance. A common mistake most newbies make is that they dabble in a bit of keyword research and then bid on terms with high search volume. Forget about them. You need to think different if you want early success when competing without a big advertising budget.
Let's consider the buying cycle. What kinds of keywords are people using to indicate that they're actually ready to buy what you're offering right now? How do those who are about to make a purchase decision actually think?
– Buy [KEYWORD]– Purchase [KEYWORD]– [KEYWORD] Free Shipping
– [KEYWORD] Coupon Code
– Buy [KEYWORD] Online
– [KEYWORD] Discount
– Cheapest [KEYWORD]– [KEYWORD] Lowest Price
Think about your product or the products that you’re promoting and try to pinpoint the descriptive language that someone who is ready to buy would enter.
Let’s say you were promoting a dog training product.
Don’t go after “dog training”.
Go after “how to stop Labrador digging”.
Then send them to a page that matches that term exactly with a picture of a Labrador.
Relevancy wins. It’s more work (although SpeedPPC can automate this), but it’s worth it.
Even think about your competitors terms. Our highest conversion rates are on competitor keyword keywords.
When you start small with a tight focus you're targeting ‘just the cream’. Eventually you'll want to branch out into where the big volume is, but if you want the best shot at seeing fast profits first, this is the best approach.
When you’re on a small budget, you probably won’t have enough daily budget to run your ads all day and all night. So you should be focused on running your ads when people are most likely to buy.
Take a look back over all the sales or commissions you’ve made over the past year. Then figure out the times of day and the days of the week that those sales came in.
You can then adjust the times of the day that your ad is running to only run in those times.
We’ve found that weekends convert worse than weekdays and that early in the week converts better than later in the week. It might be different for your product, so investigate this if you have the data available.
Improve conversion rates
When talking profit, improving your conversion rate is the lowest hanging fruit. It’s of fundamental importance.
Let’s suppose that the best you could do was break even on sales and PPC expenditure (which is where many people give up). What would happen if your conversion rate rose from from 1% to 1.5%? Suddenly, the PPC campaign that was costing you money would have a 50% profit margin. Keywords that were losing you money would now be profitable.
Ad Rank #1 on AdWords has 8 times the traffic than position #5. By increasing your conversion rate you can then afford to pay a little more for a multiplication of traffic and profits.
The video over at PPCLoophole explains this principle well. Demonstrating how that in 4 pretty easy steps profits can rise from $30 a day site to $467,2000 a year just by tapping into this exponential power.
Give it enough time
Have you ever heard of people talking about “statistical significance”? I learned it a long time ago when studying Psychology at University. I didn’t think I’d be using it again when it came to online advertising.
Essentially, statistical significance just means that you have enough data to make a confident decision about the outcomes. In other words, the trend that seems to be showing is not just down to chance, but really means something.
So let’s say a website has a conversion rate of 1%. So 1 in 100 people buy. You would need at least 200 clicks to be able to accurately determine if it was just chance or not.
The same thing applies for testing the ads.
So you need to make sure that you let things run for long enough to make objective and statistically valid decisions. At the same time, it’s important to know how long is long enough so you don’t burn your cash unnecessarily.
Once you’ve identified a core set of profitable keywords, you can then start scaling up. So you can then branch out into keywords that are in earlier parts of the buying cycle. All while betting on the houses money.
Keep in mind that many times out of thousands of keywords we’ve run, only 4 or 5 are profitable. That’s OK.
I trust that this guide will help you discover these keywords more quickly and of course make you more money more quickly!