A blog on using the power of Disruptive Business Models to build successful businesses...and other stuff. by Joe Agliozzo

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Small Etailers can make it on their own!

Great article by David Kesmodel in the WSJ (subscription).

For those of you without subscription access, the article talks about the increasing number of online retailers who are looking for alternatives to eBay. Many are going out and building (or having others build) their own website. As we all know, websites and shopping carts have dropped dramatically in price and complexity over the last few years and are now accessible to virtually anyone who wants to open an online storefront.

The big problem with severing ties to eBay is getting traffic. One customer mentioned in the article, OldDogNoNewTrick.com (love the name), puts business cards in with every product sold through eBay referring the customer to the stand-alone site! Great idea.

You can probably make more money outside eBay IF you get your visitors cheaply enough (it is all about customer acquistion cost, after all!).

Search engines are probably the most cost effective way to get new customers, and that's where BetterPPC comes in.

In addition to making sure your site is easy for the search engines to "crawl" - meaning use a lot of plain text, not images, and always have a "site map" - meaning a directory of your site on one page where each section is noted by a hyperlink that the spider can crawl, you also want to take advantage of pay per click advertising on the search engine (and partners') pages as well.

You need to do three things to get up and running after you setup an account:

1. Choose keywords that relate to your products.
2. Decide how much you want to pay per click.
3. Write your ad copy

After a week or so, you should have a good idea of whether your advertising is profitable. The easiest way is to just compare ad costs to profits and make sure it is a positive number! Another easy way to track profitability is to use either Google or Yahoo!'s built in free tracking.

The next step is to start to refine your ad copy by creating and testing more ads, and the results will be amazing. Use BetterPPC to test a variety of different ideas in your copy, and our patent pending process will have you on your way to higher profits in one week. You can start here - www.betterppc.com

So if you are trying to "break away" from eBay (or at least open a new sales channel), read David's article, get your own website, start advertising, and use BetterPPC!

Joe Agliozzo

Sunday, July 17, 2005

New Google AdWords Policy Emphasizes Creative

Like most of you, we received the Google email on Friday that discussed the changes in the Keyword Evaluation policy. In addition to going back to the simple, active/disabled nomenclature (rather than in trial, etc.), the email discusses Google's continuing policy of really stressing the relevance (and quality) of the AD COPY. That's right, the same problem/issue that we created BetterPPC to solve!

The importance of testing to find the most relevant copy:

1. You have a new chance to show ads on previously disabled keywords. In the past, we've found that if a customer account contained keywords that had previously been disabled, often Google would not permit ANY new ads to run on these keywords. In conversations with customer service at Google, we would often complain about this and ask how customers could ever find relevant ads if Google would not even allow any new ads to run! Apparently Google heard our complaints (and similar compaints from many others) and now they are allowing customers "another chance". Of course, we urge you to make the most of this chance by using BetterPPC, which will give you the BEST chance of finding that relevant "magic" ad that will keep your campaign alive and profitable.

2. NO MINIMUM BID. This is huge. It has always been an advantage to find the most relevant ad (the one with the highest CTR) because Google will show a more relevant ad with a lower Max CPC over a less relevant ad with a higher Max CPC. The reason is the famous G profit= CTR x CPC. If you remember basic algebra, a higher CTR or CPC means a higher "G profit". Now Google has taken this one step further and ELIMINATED the minimum bid. Now if your ad is high performing on CTR (meaning relevant) you can avoid even a $.1o minimum bid. Talk about crushing your competition! If you test for the most relevant ad copy (with BetterPPC hopefully), and find an optimal ad, you can lower your max CPC even more!

We will also be discussing this change at Search Engine Strategies, San Jose, on our panel "Creating Compelling Ads". See us at the panel or at our Booth in the exhibit hall. We will be doing live optimizations on site at no charge, so come by our booth and bring your Google AdWords username and password!

Obviously we are excited about these developments, because they highlight the importance of testing and finding the best ad creatives - so get cracking and give BetterPPC a try today.

Joe Agliozzo

Here's a link to another great article discussing the change - Search Engine Watch