"Get In, Hold On, Shut Up"
Internet Marketing Techniques:
The Highway to Disaster
There is a bumper sticker that goes something like, "Get in,
hold on, shut up." We frequently see mortgage sites try and
apply this "Click In, Fill The Form & Shut Up" strategy to their
valuable visitors. Visitors don't like it.
One of the most frequently asked question by our clients is
quite simply, "How do I make my pay per click (PPC) program more
effective?" Everyone is fighting to attract qualified visitors
via the internet; but it is what you do with the visitor when
they arrive that separates successful PPC efforts from those
campaigns that merely cost money.
Keywords Are Not Magical. Content Is.
Internet users are becoming more sophisticated. You can no
longer expect someone to show up to your site, blindly do
whatever you want, then close a loan. Pay per click marketing is
not some wu-wu magic that somehow takes a lost soul and converts
them into a $400,000 mortgage loan customer. Undeniably, or is
it unbelievably, PPC advertisers think that once you have paid
for keywords, people will flow to your site and close loans. I
have some very bad news for you... that is not going to happen
if you have bad content.
Pay to Play
The fastest way to attract traffic to your site is quite simply
to pay for it. By using both Google
https://adwords.google.com/ and Yahoo! (formerly Overture)
http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/ you can reach approximately
90% of the domestic US search market. Remember this is pay per
click (PPC), so each time someone visits your site, it will cost
you, whether they use your mortgage services or not.
Aren't All PPC Words Alike?
Let's assume you are based in Dallas and offer home loans and
refinancing to Dallas area customers. If a potential customer
searches for "Dallas home loan" at Yahoo
you get two columns of results. A wide column of search
results on your left, and a narrow column of results on your
right. The results on the left and displayed according to what
the Yahoo algorithm has perceived to be the most relevant
findings. The results on your right are determined by what the
advertiser will spend. Google is set up the same way with paid
results on the right hand side of the screen.
How Much Are Your Competitors Spending For Your Keywords?
Yahoo has a feature where you can see all the bids for any
keyword. Here are some comparative top three bids for the Yahoo!
Keyword Searched Bid #1 \ Bid #2 \ Bid #3
Dallas home loan $14.50 \ $6.50 \ $4.02
Dallas home mortgage $2.79 \ $2.78 \ $2.77
Dallas refi $0.63 \ $0.62 \ $0.35
Dallas refinance $14.50 \ $5.28 \ $5.27
Dallas home refinance $3.21 \ $3.21\ $2.10
AS you can see from these results taken in May 2005, that the
top bidder for the term "Dallas home loan" is willing pay up
$14.50 per click for visitors to their site. The second bidder
pays up to $6.50 and the third will pay $4.02. That is quite a
spread, with the top bidder willing to pay three times what the
third bidder pays.
Mortgage company owners will bid to land in the top three
rankings because these are the most likely links to be clicked.
Don't Waste Your Clicks!
At these prices, you must make sure your site is perfect and
delivers exactly what the visitor is expecting (ie Dallas home
loan information) because if your visitor clicks on your PPC
keyword and you deliver information on anything else (i.e.
history of your company, picture of your office, a page listing
all the mortgage programs you provided), that visitor will
leave. You will lose the money you spent to attract that visitor
because you failed to precisely provide information on the
keyword they selected, "Dallas home loans".
If you look at the second term "Dallas home mortgage" you see
the top three bids are separated by pennies, and the bidders are
paying about $2.75 per click. If you get 1000 visitors it will
cost $2,750 to attract these highly targeted, potential
You can also research how many monthly searches occur at Yahoo!
for any search term. Looking at the keywords we searched for
above, we find two words have about 1,000 searches a month;
Dallas refinance and Dallas home loan.
Keyword Searched Bid #1 \ Bid #2 \ Bid #3 Monthly Searches at
Dallas home loan
$14.50 \ $6.50 \ $4.02 1122
Dallas home mortgage $2.79 \ $2.78 \ $2.77 32
Dallas refi $0.63 \ $0.62 \ $0.35 0
Dallas refinance $14.50 \ $5.28 \ $5.27 1141
Dallas home refinance $3.21 \ $3.21\ $2.10 25
Some may wonder why a term like "Dallas refi," devoid of
searches, has bids associated with it. The reason is because if
anyone ever does type "Dallas refi" your click will cost just
$0.63 which is a substantial savings over the similar keyword
"Dallas refinance" with a $14.50 top click value.
Great PPC Keywords + Poor Content = No Sales
When creating a PPC campaign, most mortgage site owners focus
upon keywords: keyword creation, keyword selection, keyword
bidding, etc. There are many components to the PPC game,
including: title creation, description content, keyword
creation, keyword selection and keyword bidding.
The single most overlooked aspect of a PPC program is also the
damaging and expensive aspect of the PPC process... your
content. Very simple things like: having a copyright at the
bottom of your page which shows last year, making the visitor
scroll down a page to find what they are searching for, making
the visitor click on a link to find what they are seeking to not
showing the current loan rats you offer on your site all can
lead to a lost visitor.
You Had Me at Hello
It is not like where Rene Zellwegger says to Tom Cruise (in the
movie Jerry Maquire), "You had me at hello." Your visitors need
to be wooed, courted, pampered, spoiled, cared for, and treated
with respect in order to become a customer. There is a huge
(financial) difference between getting customers to your site
and keeping them there.
You must realize that your PPC campaign is just a tool as the
marketing aspect of your business. When the visitor arrives at
your site, you must have the complementary sales wording in
place to convert a marketing lead into a sales customer.
Driving Miss Daisy
If you want your PPC program to be successful, you must do
more than pick a few words and bid. You must step back and look
at the entire process from key word formulation, to bidding
strategies, to the customer expectation and experience once they
arrive at your site. Make the visitors unknowingly enjoy the
perfection that your content can deliver by providing exactly
what they want, when they want it, and where they want it.
You must cater to your visitors; so you efficiently and nicely
chauffeur them around your site.