You may have already experimented with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, where you buy ads that show up on Google search results and hope that searchers click them, visit your site, and buy your product or service. There is another facet to PPC which involves affiliate marketing, but it can be a little difficult to explain to a friend or family member what you do for a living.
“Well, I buy ads on the side of Google and if someone clicks on my ad and fills out a form, I get $15.00, and if it costs me $1.00 a click, and it takes twelve clicks before someone fills out a form, then I make $3.00.”
Hmmm…Perfectly clear, right?
Welcome to the world of PPC arbitrage. What does this even mean? Most likely, the only place you’ve ever heard the word “arbitrage” before is in the movie “Wall Street” or an IRS tax video on stock options. Basically, arbitrage allows you to take advantage of a price difference between two markets. You buy an item at a low price and sell at a second (higher) price, with your profit being the difference between the two prices. The word “arbitrage” originates in the French language and literally means a decision by an arbitrator or referee.
It can be tough to make money in PPC these days, and the arbitrage market is no different. You need every tool at your disposal to beat out the competition and remain a profitable arbitrageur. The first step to being among the best is to automate as much as possible. This begins with finding keywords that are going to convert for you. Some of the top keywords research tools currently available include SpyFu, Ispionage, and Wordstream. These tools aggregate data from Google and can tell you exactly what keywords your competitors are bidding on. Google will tell you what terms are searched for, but won’t tell you how much your competitors are paying for these keywords. However, since the Internet is open, these companies collect all this data and allow you to see your competitors’ exact ads, when the ads are running or have been changed, and all the keywords and landing pages associated with the ads. Imagine that, being able to see only your competitors successful campaigns. If you are not using a tool like these, your chance at profit in this market is greatly diminished.
The next step is to build your campaigns once you know what keywords are working for your competition. For this, there are a number of new and lesser-known tools that can build your PPC campaigns in minutes. Among these are Wordstream, Speed PPC, and LP Gen. The services will take the keyword lists you have gotten from the services above and craft them quickly into expertly made AdWords campaigns.
Finally, the last step is to manage all of this data. Yes, you can do it on your own, working with Excel spreadsheets like people did five years ago, but you may end up spending so much time managing and trying to stay on top of all the data that your profits will suffer. Instead, investigate something like Clickable, which offers a fully automated bid management system that interfaces directly with Google, Yahoo, and MSN and allows you to change bids and ads across all three search engines with one click. It also tells you whether you should change your bids to exact match or broad match based on its large database of successful campaigns. Other companies that offer bid management are Acquisio and Click Sweeper, however these products are for very large accounts.
PPC arbitrage, like all Internet marketing, is not a one, two, or three-step process. But if you do your research and stay on top of the latest and most powerful tools out there, then you will find the success you desire.