Tuesday, March 03, 2009

PPC - Keyword Strategy for High Organic Results

In managing PPC programs over the years we have always been careful not to include words or phrases where the product or company already ranks high. I have to say I really don’t understand this strategy at all.

If you are ranked on the first page on “widgets” for example, why would you include the word “widgets” in your PPC? Especially considering research and testing clearly shows that organic search results are clicked first and have a higher ROI. Why would you reduce your budget by including keywords that your site already ranks high?

I keep seeing this over and over again and we refuse to have our clients budgets reduced in this manner. Unless someone can explain their strategy I’m going to continue thinking it’s a waste of money.

Along the same line, why do companies purchase their name in a PPC campaign? Unless their site isn’t ranked well with their company name I see this as a waste as well. Just recently I searched in Google for Salesforce. We use Salesforce for our company and many of our clients, but I wanted to see what competitors are purchasing the name “Salesforce” in their PPC campaign.

The first link was a from a PPC campaign – from Salesforce. Guess what the first organic result is when you search for Salesforce. Yep, it’s Salesforce. And Salesforce had the second organic listing as well. I don’t get it. They must have money to burn. It looks like Oracle and other CRM companies are also purchasing “Salesforce” so I guess I get their logic. But when your company has the first two organic results I guess you want to really make sure that your site is found.

I did click on the PPC result for Salesforce because I figured it had to be that they purchased their own name in a PPC campaign because they have a killer landing page. They do have a landing page but it’s my favorite – one option only landing page. (See post for 2/28) They did have their logo hot linked in to their home page which is nicer than most “one option” landing page, but still only one option – complete the form to view a demo or try Salesforce for free for 30 days. What if I didn’t know anything about Salesforce? Why would I want to waste my time watching a demo or trying it for free until I know that the program is a good solution for my situation? It may not be what I want.

I suspect that Salesforce is testing their landing pages and PPC campaigns but I am extremely curious to find out the ROI on just purchasing their name. I would love to see the comparison between conversion rates on the PPC listing compared to the organic listing. It would be interesting.

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