Four Tips to Starting a PPC Campaign (Homepreneur Website Makeover: Part 2)

clickmarketing So, what is Pay Per Click? In a nutshell, Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing is a type of advertising that only costs you money when someone clicks on your ad. The most popular example is Google AdWords – you’ll see these ads on the side of search results on Google. As someone who handles multiple PPC accounts for our website builder, one of the most exciting things I get to do is introduce it to people building a new ecommerce website. Why?  It’s like a fresh canvas: a clean start to build something great.

One of the biggest problems I often see is new PPC users jumping right in with no plan, no goals, and no real strategy for what they want to achieve, and it’s pretty easy to waste a lot of money on it. That’s why I was thrilled to learn that I’d be talking PPC with Marco and Heather Barberini from, our winner of the 2009 Homepreneur of the Year competition.

Every successful PPC campaign begins with planning offline.  So before we even turned on the computer, I asked Marco exactly what his vision and goals were for his Google Adwords account. Google currently holds a 64% market share of all searches in the U.S.

Here’s what I asked Marco, and here’s what you should ask yourself before you take the plunge into Pay Per Click marketing.

1. What is the main reason to start a PPC account?

Obviously, to get more sales and make more money.  But how are you going to do that?  Are you going to be acquiring leads then calling them?  Do you want to drive traffic directly to a specific product?  Or do you want to to drive traffic to a catalog of products?  Maybe you offer a service and want people to phone you right away after finding your business website.  Even if you have an entire list of possibilities, write them all down.

2. What are you selling?

Of course you know what you’re selling, but can you organize it effectively?  Create a tree of your website and all of your products.  Make yourself a map and organize your products or services into different categories.  In Marco’s case, he sells pet ID tags.  So he would start by categorizing his website into two main top level categories: Dog ID Tags & Cat ID Tags.  These new main categories would be his “Campaigns”.

3.  How would you break down each individual product or service in each campaign?

Once you have broken your site down into its main categories or “campaigns”, you have created a backbone to structure the rest of your account.  You can then break things down further into Ad groups which fall under campaigns. For example, the Ad group “Sports Dog ID Tags” would go under the Campaign “Dog ID Tags”  mentioned above.

4. Who are you selling to?

You might know who you are selling to offline, but online is different.  When you’re advertising online, anyone can search and possibly click one of your ads costing you wasted money if they aren’t “qualified” (a good fit for your products).  So, make a plan offline for who you want to target.  Age, gender, what they might be searching for and why?  Try to create a customer persona and paint of picture of who you’re selling to.

Again, planning is the key to a great start with any new PPC account.  There are many other factors to consider, such as budgets – what are you willing to pay to get a new customer or sell a product?  These four tips above are just the basics to get your head wrapped around how to start.

Here is a list of key questions to ask yourself as your draw up your plan:

  • What search engines do you want to target?
  • What is your monthly budget?
  • How many products are you selling? (this should help you break down your categories)
  • What are your goals for PPC? (i.e. traffic, conversions)
  • What will you use for track? (Our recommendation is Google Analytics but you may prefer Hitslink or StatCounter)
  • How much are you willing to spend if it converts well?

In my next post, we’ll break it down further and discuss Ad groups, Keywords and Ads.  In the meantime, grab a pen and paper and start planning!

3 Surefire Ways to Convert More Website Visitors into Paying Customers

2010-04-26-writing “I’m getting traffic, but why aren’t more of my website visitors buying?”

If you’re asking yourself this question, you may want to consider revamping the sales copy on your website.

Well-written sales copy captures your visitor’s attention, communicates the uniqueness of your product or service, and convinces them why they should buy from YOU instead of your competitors.

Think of your sales copy like your best sales person, working for you around the clock 24/7 to promote and sell your products.

(And keep in mind that “sales copy” doesn’t necessarily mean hyped-up car salesman-type lingo. If you sell a product or service on your website, the content on your website IS your sales copy.)

Here are three quick fixes you can make to your sales copy today that will help you convert more website visitors into paying customers:

Tip #1: Write a compelling headline

The most important copy on your website without a doubt is your headline. It’s the first thing that visitors see on your site – and it needs to grab them by the eyeballs, convince them they’ve arrived at the right place and persuade them to stay on your site and read further.

Don’t waste your valuable home page real estate with a headline like:

“Welcome to my website!”

This tells your visitor absolutely nothing about you or what you have to offer.

Instead, use your headline to communicate the BENEFITS of your product or service – in other words, how what you’re selling will solve their problems and make their lives easier.

Check out this great example from one of our customer’s websites,

Say Goodbye to Harmful Cleaning Chemicals, Fumes and Vabors that
Leave an Invisible Toxic Residue on Your Countertops & Surfaces…

Clean Green & Clean Naturally with Blue Wonder
Microfiber Cleaning Cloths, Towels & Mops that
Magnetically Attract Dust & Dirt

As you can see, this headline is packed full of irresistible benefits that customers can expect to receive if they buy these products.

Tip #2: Add 3-5 powerful testimonials

If you want to establish credibility with your customers and close the sale, it’s important to offer proof that your product or service will do what you say it will.
The best way to offer this proof is to feature testimonials from happy customers on your home page or another prominent spot on your website.

Try to avoid adding general testimonials line such as: “I liked your widget, thanks!”

The most effective testimonials will describe the exact results your customer experienced by using your product or service – in other words, how did it make their lives easier?

Here’s another example from

“The Blue Wonder cloth is amazing! What a great time saver and chemical reducer. I save money by not having to buy chemical cleaning products each month, plus they are better environmentally and for health reasons too. No more breathing smelling chemical fumes. I’ve been using them for 3 years and I just love these cloths.”

It’s always best practice to confirm with your customers that it’s ok to use their testimonial on your website. Also, see if you can get permission to add their name (even if it’s a first name and last initial) and their city and state to the testimonial for added credibility.

Tip #3: Offer a strong guarantee

Do you stand behind your product 100%? Prove it to your website visitors with a strong guarantee and watch your website sales soar.

Examples of effective guarantees are:

  • “Try it completely at our risk…”
  • “Take a free, risk-free 14 day trial…”
  • “Simply return it within 30 days for a full refund, no questions asked.”

Some entrepreneurs are afraid to offer money-back guarantees, fearing they’ll see a flood of refunds in their email inbox. But considering that you’ll most likely get more sales than you would have without the guarantee, the reward far outweighs the risk.

Good copywriting that converts browsers into buyers is vital to any successful business.

When writing sales copy for your website, try to keep it simple and to the point. Add a headline that highlights the benefits of your product or service, include results-packed testimonials and offer a risk-free guarantee to your visitors, and you’ll already be ahead of 90% of your competitors!

Written by Elizabeth Southall, Conversion Specialist at and chili connoisseur.