3 Lessons in Pay Per Click, From Microsoft
Ian Lurie Jun 11 2007
Sorry, Bill. Just a mild poking of fun here. I did a search for ‘pay per click advertising’ on Google just now, and saw the following:
Note that Microsoft is bidding for, and getting, the #1 position in Google’s sponsored ads. That means they’re outbidding everyone else. Including Google.
Seems like a good idea, right? Beat the 800-pound gorilla at its own game, snag a few more clicks, get more customers. But there are three problems, and each one’s a great lesson learned:
- Don’t Let Ego Drive Your Bids. If I sell oranges, and you sell oranges, that little reptile part of my brain is saying ‘Kick their butt’. But the truth is, you can’t assume the return on investment scales from #2 to #1. Maybe Microsoft did their homework, and they know this is paying off. If not, they should slack off: They’re likely paying at least $5.00/click for their ad.
- Include Your Brand. Microsoft doesn’t include their name in the ad title. They should. They have the only brand name that can compete with Google. Why not capitalize?
- Write a Good Offer. The landing page for this ad offers $50 in free clicks. That’s a darned good offer. Why not put that offer in the ad?
Just to put my money where my mouth is, I rewrote their ad:
MSN Pay Per Click Targeted ads w/ Microsoft adCenter.
$50 in free clicks. Sign up today!
CEO & Founder
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He’s recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch.
Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle.