Affiliate Marketing Through Pay Per Click Search Engines
About a month ago, we decided to begin advertising Pay Per Click Universe on PPC search engines. Since our website is informational, most of our revenue comes from our sponsors and commissions that we receive from some PPC search engines and tools when we refer new clients to them.
Since we want to invest all of our profit back into promoting our website, I set up accounts on Google AdWords, Overture, SearchFeed, and 7Search, then spent a couple of days developing and tweaking titles, descriptions, and keywords; and let the campaigns loose. Sure enough, the traffic went up and so did commissions for increased referrals. Referrals increased from by 300% and the increased commissions allowed us to spend more money on promoting our site.
Later on, I started thinking about the enormous potential that lies in this. Affiliate marketing is a well-known, fast-growing industry that many entrepreneurs already use. The concept is simple - develop a resource site (for example, information on satellite dishes), sign up with major companies that offer affiliate programs (with satellite dishes, you can get about $100/sale), optimize the site for regular and other PPC search engines (ePilot, >GoClick, Enhance Interactive, FindWhat, Search123, etc.), promote it via other means, and collect the profit.
If you offer useful information and you are able to creatively promote your site, you should be able to attract the traffic and subsequently the sales.
What's interesting is that you are also likely to find these sites actively advertising on PPC search engines, precisely because this is the quickest and most effective way to attract quality traffic.
I decided to research this a little further and get more information on how to make affiliate marketing and PPC work together. Although I did discover that most affiliate programs offer banners and regular text links to their affiliates, they have few creatives for PPC advertising. In my opinion, they could improve the situation by:
1) Developing agreements with major PPC search engines to offer their own affiliates bonuses and credits. Search engines will be happy, since they'll be acquiring new (active) advertisers; affiliates will be satisfied, because they'll get a head start and a bonus; and affiliate managers will develop a stronger bond with their affiliates.
2) Providing affiliates with resources and assistance on creating effective titles and descriptions (for example, offer possible keywords to bid on, links to tools and services that could help them manage campaigns better, etc.).
3) Helping affiliates track their advertising efforts by installing tracking code for Google, Overture, and other major tracking services on their order confirmation pages. This way, the affiliates will know exactly what works and what doesn't.
Some companies may worry that their affiliates will abscond with the desired PPC traffic or raise the bids for keywords they are positioning for. In reality, by helping your affiliates use PPC for themselves, you'll be tapping into a huge group of motivated marketers who will seek out all available niches for sales of your products and will actually help you get the full potential out of PPC - much more than you would be able to do on your own.
From an affiliate's perspective, there is also a huge potential. If you have a niche site, affiliate programs can earn money to put into further PPC promotion of your site. In other words, you can grow your site by buying quality traffic and offset all of the costs through commissions. After all, visitors don't just buy the products - they quite likely will remember your site and return to it or refer it to others.
Another variation (if you're into this just for the money) could be to create an informational website on a popular product while promoting other products through it. If you want to simplify the process further, you can simply link your ads directly to the company selling the product.
In conclusion, I think that both affiliate managers and marketers should consider the power of PPC search engines a little more seriously. If you have any suggestions or comments, please feel free to eMail them to me.
I also want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season and a great and productive New Year!
About the Author:
Boris Mordkovich is the editor for a Pay Per Click advertising resource site, PayPerClickUniverse.com. PPCU offers articles, reviews, weekly blog, and more to help small businesses get the most out of Pay Per Click. Sign up for a free, monthly newsletter and get $300 worth of PPC credits.