iMarket Solutions Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Pay-per-click’

Amazon Pay Per Click Ad Gone Wrong: 4 Year Old Boys for Sale (Free Shipping!)

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

As one of our employees was shopping online for Christmas presents, he ran across this pay per click ad from Amazon: a sale on four year old boys (Free 2-day shipping w/ Amazon Prime)!

Amazon Pay Per Click Ad: 4 Year Old Boy for Sale

Since he wasn’t interested in buying a child, this ad came as quite a surprise. But with free shipping…

Seriously though, how can this happen? Amazon must spend millions on its pay per click campaign, and you would think that their budget would be devoted to products they actually sell. This ad highlights why pay per click isn’t as easy as you’d think, and that careful management is needed to not only convert clicks into sales, but also prevent embarrassing ads like this one from appearing.

As a quick refresher, pay per click (PPC) ads are the results you get from a search in Google that are surrounded by a light yellow box above and/or to the right-hand side of organic search results. This is a very successful marketing tool for many companies because you only pay if a searcher actually clicks on the ad (hence the name). Advertisers essentially write an ad, include a link to their website and then bid on keywords they think prospective customers will search.

However, there is a lot more to it than that. You can tailor your ads to appear only to users in specific regions or at a specific time of day. For instance, a Florida plumber who works 8am to 8pm would not want to have his PPC ad appear at midnight to a searcher in Texas. If someone in Texas clicked on that ad, it would obviously not result in a call and that plumber will quickly waste his PPC budget. There is also dynamic keyword insertion (which is probably related to what is causing Amazon’s problem above), in which you are able to replace certain words in your ad to match the search used to trigger it. While this can tailor your ads to a searcher for a higher click through rate, it has to be carefully managed so you don’t, like Amazon, wind up advertising something that makes no sense.

This is only scraping the top of some of the elements of PPC management. There are things like quality scores, which affect where you ad is shown, and negative keyword lists to prevent your ad from displaying when people search for certain phrases. A good PPC manager will take all of these into account and be able to increase your conversion rate from PPC ads and lower your cost per click. Your PPC campaign also needs to be examined on a regular basis to ensure that the clicks you are getting are turning into sales and leads. Certain keywords work better for certain businesses and regions, and careful attention is needed to create ads that will get you as many customers as possible.

Since even retail giants like Amazon can make mistakes, it’s clear that PPC is not something you want to turn over to the amateurs. iMarket not only offers professional PPC management, but with our call tracking service, we are able to determine what PPC ads are leading to sales. We have the tools to make your campaign worth every penny you spend on it. And to ease your mind, Amazon is not selling 4 year old boys. When you click on the ad, it takes you to their Toys & Games page, filtered by items for “4 year old boys”.

Amazon PPC Result

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iMarket Experts Teach Intensive Web Design and Online Marketing Seminars at the 2010 Meeting of Quality Service Contractors (QSC)

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

iMarket was the lead presenter at the CONNECT 2010 meeting of QSC (Quality Service Contractors) in Las Vegas on October 27-30.

A self-supporting business unit of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association, QSC offers high-level training programs by expert consultants to help its members run their businesses more profitably and provide a superior level of service to their customers.

The meeting was attended by 87 plumbing companies from all over the US.

iMarket’s seminars for QSC members covered all the “Power Tools for Internet Marketing”, including:

  • Website design and programming
  • Online lead generation
  • Website and online advertising metrics
  • Search engine optimization
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Social media and content strategy

The goal of the seminar series was to enable contractors to understand how to create an effective online marketing strategy for their business, and hire the right people to develop and implement it.

The seminars were very well attended by CONNECT 2010 attendees. We received a lot of positive feedback, including this comment sent to iMarket President Nadia Romeo:

“Nadia, I wanted to let you know that you and your company did an outstanding job on the website presentation last week in Vegas.  I picked up several pieces of great information that will help separate my company website from many others in the industry.  The internet is constantly changing and very difficult to keep up with.  You guys are on top of your game. I felt the knowledge behind iMarket Solutions was amazing! Thanks, Rob Basnett, Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC”.

iMarket offered the following seminars over the course of the weekend:

  • Building a Web Site – Web Design and Programming Do’s and Don’ts. Business owners inevitably have many questions when they launch a website. This seminar answered many of them, including: What are the best practices for building a website? What tools do I need to have an effective web presence? How do I tell the good web designers from the bad?
  • Branding & Lead Generation – Integration of the Internet into Lead Generation and Tracking Using Google Analytics. In this seminar iMarket experts explained how best to track customer acquisition channels and the costs associated with those channels. We also showed how to evaluate “return on investment” to determine which channels are the most profitable. In particular, we explored the valuable online metrics offered by Google Analytics.
  • Search Engine Optimization – The Basics and Pay-Per-Click Marketing and Google Analytics. In order for a website to be an effective marketing tool, it has to “speak” to the search engines—the online tools that help customers find your company. This seminar showed how to make sure that Google and the other search engines see and understand the value of your website so that your website gets strong placement in online search results. We also explained how to use online paid advertising to supplement free search engine results.
  • Social Media and Content Strategy. This session explored social media and content strategies that service companies can put into practice easily without expert help, plus some advanced strategies that are worth hiring outside experts to implement.

Click on the links above to view each presentation, or go to the full list of iMarket presentations.

Contact us if you’re interested in having iMarket present similar seminars in your area!

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