Some of the most successful affiliates rely on PPC because it’s the only kind of digital marketing that doesn’t leave you guessing with all the effort you put in.
When you do PPC right, it’s all about putting a dollar in with the intention of getting more than that invested dollar out. If you invest $1, your aim is to get at least $1+ back.
You won’t see that happening often, and it’s harder to do with some niches than others. Also, you’d have to consider the search volume, demographics, geographic targeting, and more.
If you aren’t careful enough and get a gazillion things working in order, you’d never be able to profit from your campaigns.
Most businesses advertising on Google don’t get it right. Even Google’s partner agencies don’t.
As an affiliate, every dollar you invest matters and we want you to not commit the same mistakes everyone else is.
Get your campaign settings right
Google’s default settings are setup the way they are to make Google Money (not you). If you were to just click and use Google’s Campaign set up Wizard, you are set up for failure.
These default settings might be alright for advertisers in certain, non-competitive geographic locales. For seasoned advertisers and affiliates, it’s not.
Aaron Slusky of Search Engine Land wrote about these default settings, and some of them are pretty obvious:
- To start with, use search network only
- Choose “all features” for your campaigns – this allows you to use location information, phone numbers, site extensions, callouts, and more.
- Make sure you schedule your ads (depending on which country you are targeting your campaign at).
- Use “Ad delivery” option and choose “Rotate Indefinitely” instead of the default “Optimize for clicks”.
Those are just the basics but following this single tip can save you thousands of dollars. Spend a few extra minutes (and take a few more steps) to run better campaigns than 90% of all advertisers in the world.
Choose Honest & Reputed companies (& affiliate programs)
“Lose 90 lbs in 28 Days: No Exercise, Diet, or Punishing Health Regimes”
“Make $16500 in 30 days With Zero Investments”
Are those claims credible? Do you really think it’s possible to make $16,500 in 30 days without investment?
Google is particularly leery about you making any offers that are not credible. Go over the top with your marketing and you’d soon be on Google’s radar.
That’s why choosing the right affiliate programs is a critical part of your affiliate marketing business.
It’s alright if you just have a couple of merchants and their affiliate programs to work with. That’s better than choosing every shady offer and risking Google’s wrath.
Pick the right programs backed by reputable merchants. Don’t go overboard with your copy on the ads and landing pages.
Always Use Landing Pages
“Should we use landing pages or do we try direct linking?”
“I am new to affiliate marketing. Are landing pages necessary?”
In our own Powerhouse Affiliate forum and elsewhere, we often see landing pages being discussed about as if it’s an option.
Landing pages are not an option. They exist for several reasons, they work, and they are the reason why digital marketing campaigns have a chance.
Landing pages provide for a focused, purposeful experience for both merchants (or affiliates) and customers.
If your ad says “Free eBook” and the landing page is designed to deliver that free eBook, it’s the landing page that helps get the job done.
Pointing ads to websites is the worst thing you’d ever do for your affiliate marketing campaigns.
Using PPC for affiliate marketing with landing pages in place gives you a lot of control over your campaigns. You are less likely to breach the often stringent PPC conditions of your affiliate program.
Affiliate marketers do spend a lot of money on Google, and that’s for sure. Google’s policies regarding affiliate marketing, however, are vague.
No one knows for sure whether or not Google really loves affiliates (or doesn’t).
If you can, start with a new Google Adwords account and a payment method that is related to you but is not attributed to a company you own, an agency you run, or the company you work for.
Plus, do your due diligence. To start with, make sure:
- Link to those pages on both your website and every other landing page you’d use for your marketing.
- Make sure you have a legitimate address and a phone number on your landing pages and websites. Google certainly doesn’t want its users to be misled.
Even before you start thinking of hacks for affiliate marketing with PPC and with Google Adwords, getting these right is mandatory.
How is your Google Adwords setup looking like?