Affiliates have a hard time earning respect. Why? Because we don't know WHO to respect. Yep, we tend to hide from other Affiliates so that we can keep the competition at bay.
We try our best to hide behind our campaigns, yet we keep a close eye on our competition... if we could just know WHO those people were - we could actually SPY on that competition! That would be great.
But why focus on spying on competition? There's a ton of ways we can beat our competition. One of those ways is to simply out perform these other Affiliates by spending less and making more.
So how can this be accomplished?
In many ways...
First is by working on our PPC Campaigns. Most Affiliates go for broke using PPC platforms such as Google AdWords. They take the gamble approach as if the odds are high and, "if they win," they win big. This is plain foolish, to say the least.
There's a great book by a guy by the name of Howie Jacobson that's available on Amazon - do a search for the author and you'll figure it out from there. This book is, by far, the best AdWords book on the market. I know what you're thinking... "for dummie's?". Yes, that's the brand it's printed under. But don't take offense! This book is for newbies and advanced PPC Marketers alike. I highly recommend this book to anyone spending money on PPC. But I digress...
Most Affiliates using PPC do not understand that Ad Groups can be your best friend. Actually, in the PPC world - they ARE your best friend. If you're not using Ad Groups for your keywords, you're killing your bank account - inside and out!
Using ad groups allows you to create better tracked campaigns and gives you the option of becoming more organized to see the statistics of your campaigns on a much easier level.
Is your competition doing this? Probably not. Take advantage of it!
Next is using long tail keywords. Most Affiliate Marketers who use PPC Campaigns tend to shoot for higher level keywords such as "las vegas". Why would you do this to yourself? As an Affiliate looking to take out the competition - you need to focus on this keyword: DIG.
Dig deeper and look into long tail keywords... rather than "las vegas" you should focus on terms more along the lines of "best hotels in las vegas". But why stop there? There's still a ton of competition. How about "best rates for Bellagio in las vegas". We can do a lot better than this, I'm sure, but this is simply a quick example off of the top of my head.
Always dig deeper for the best long tail keywords. You can use tools such as Keyword Spy, Keyword Discovery, Wordtracker or even the Google Keyword tool. I would suggest sticking with the above mentioned. You can see a better list on my blog.
Once you continue digging deeper - you can now begin creating Themes for your ad groups. Themes for ad groups look like the following:
best rates for bellagio in las vegas
best rates for the venetian in las vegas
best rates for 4 star hotels in las vegas
Notice the theme? 'best rates'.
Of course this is aimed at the imaginary Las Vegas Hotel campaign we're running for this article. It's not real.
Top 3 for Sponsored Results is NOT the best position. Stick with the top 5-8 and you'll be just fine. This allows you to bid for a lower price and still get great results while spending less money.
This is where your competition will spend their money, even if it's a lousy campaign they're running.
Use Google Analytics! If you're trying for opt-ins while running your campaign - you can create goals inside of Google Analytics and track your Funnels. Google Analytics can teach you a lot about your campaigns but there's not enough space to teach you the fundamentals in this article.
Split Testing is another thing you should work on. How well is your landing page performing? Then again...
Are you using a landing page? A lot of Affiliates tend to go with Direct Linking. Ouch. If you're not using a Landing Page - you're not pre-selling, which means you're losing out on a ton of sales!
Develop a solid landing page... create 2 or more versions and split test against them. Whether your landing page is a Review style page, Comparison page, a squeeze page or simply a pre-selling Sales page, you need to make sure it's working for you. Track it and use Google tools to do the testing for you.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Obviously there's a lot more information to each subject but I figure that's a good start, right? I hope so. If you have anything to add, please do so below!
If you need help with your PPC campaigns, check out LeadLocals.com today.