What You Don't Know About Pay-Per Click Advertising: Q&A With Kevin Lee Of Didit - InformationWeek

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What You Don't Know About Pay-Per Click Advertising: Q&A With Kevin Lee Of Didit

Buy a few keywords and watch the customers flock to your site -- if only it were that easy. Search marketing expert Kevin Lee shares his insights about what it takes to carry out a successful search campaign and the most common mistakes.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee is co-founder and CEO of Didit, sits on the board of directors of the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, and writes the weekly Search Engine Secrets column for ClickZ. Most recently, Lee wrote "The Truth About Pay-Per-Click Advertising." Lee spoke with bMighty about the most common search marketing mistakes that businesses make and the value of looking at markets beyond Google.

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bMighty: Why did you write "The Truth About Pay-Per-Click Advertising?"

Kevin Lee: Each of the "truths" is self contained so they really stand alone. Speaking for myself, half the books I buy I don't even crack the spine. But this book is organized so it can be a primer and an ongoing reference guide. Even if a person didn't sit down and read it cover to cover, it's going to have value as you meet different challenges in search marketing. Most of the "truths" have a blend of strategic and tactical information, it's not 100% one or the other, so it can speak to the big picture aspects and provide practical implementation guidelines. I write a weekly Click Z column and I live and breathe pay-per-click search marketing. That's what my company [Didit] does and I hear firsthand the complaints from clients, prospects, and our team so I understand the reality on the ground.

bMighty: Who is the audience?

Lee: For this book, the target audience is right in the bMighty target audience: companies with 50-500 employees with a marketing director or marketing manager who handles paid search; that person could potentially be business owner, but, regardless, companies that are handling paid search themselves because they're not big enough to outsource their pay-per-click marketing.

bMighty: What's the most common complaint about search marketing?

Lee: The biggest complaint is that it's a ton work to run a campaign. In fact, a Microsoft survey last year said that most business owners would rather do their own taxes than manage their own search marketing campaign and that's because doing it well involves many different complicated elements.

bMighty: So what are the elements that you see as persistent tripping points?

Lee: Even though the industry has migrated to a de facto standard, a 25-character title with a 75-word description, there's not perfect interoperability between Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft. Given that incompatibility, many businesses don't bother to go beyond Google because it creates extra friction to manage multiple campaigns.

bMighty: Given the challenges of managing multiple campaigns, why not just focus on one?

Lee: Google is the largest market of the three, but the argument for also using Yahoo and Microsoft is that if you're already spending $1,000 a month on Google, it's worth spending a couple $100 more for Yahoo and Microsoft to get good incremental traffic.

bMighty: It's not much more of an investment to hit all three, but is it worth the time required to use Yahoo much less Microsoft?

Lee: Consumers use Microsoft. It may only be a 7 or 8% share, but if 7 or 8% of your customers are searching MSN and you're not there, they're finding your competition. So if you want to give away 7 to 8% of your potential customer base, skip it. Plus, the quality of Microsoft is good because they don't have a syndication network, like Google and Yahoo do, which muddies the waters in terms of the quality of the click. The Microsoft click stream is much more pristine.

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