Pay-Per-Click Marketing is a Quality Battle, Not a Bidding War

Here’s a quick recap of a recent conversation I had with the owner of a successful small service business here in Southern California:

Mark: Wow. That’s such a unique service. I bet the competition on Adwords (Google’s pay-per-click advertising platform) for your keywords is fairly low.

Biz Owner: Oh, I don’t spend the money on online advertising. I hear Google is too expensive.

Mark: What makes you think it’s too expensive?

Biz Owner: Well, all I know about it is that it’s a bidding war and that competition drives up the click costs too high. I can’t afford to waste the money.

Read morePay-Per-Click Marketing is a Quality Battle, Not a Bidding War

Monitor Ad Competiton in Other Cities with SearchMuffin

Business owners: if you geo-target your search ads, or if you’ve ever wondered about your paid search competition in a particular city, then you need to check out SearchMuffin.

SearchMuffin is a very cool and simple-to-use search engine that I’m betting you’ve never used before. To use it, all you need to do is enter a keyword and select a city in the US from a dropdown (there are more than 250 cities to choose from). In return you get a view of Google’s search results for the city you selected. In other words, you can see the ads exactly as they appear as if you were a user in that city.

This is extremely valuable for a couple of reasons. First, you can find out who your competition is in any city. It’s very possible you’ll find competitors you never knew existed. To me, that’s always a positive thing because, good or bad, we can always learn something from our competitors.

Second, you can piece together your competition’s strategy. Are their ads the same in every city, or do they change? Do they bid more aggressively in one city over another? Do they even bid in the same cities as you do?

One more tip: compare what you see in SearchMuffin with the stats in your analytics. Now that you know who is bidding against you in a city, keep an eye on how your conversion rate in that city compares to other cities in your campaign.

So, go try SearchMuffin and let me know what you think.

Free SEO and Web Development Resources

We just added a new section to our website that we hope you will find helpful. It has some free SEO, SEM, and website development articles that are designed to help business owners make informed decisions about managing their websites.

For now, the plan is to update this section 2-3 times per month.

We hope you enjoy our new content. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know if there’s any specific issues related to your website that you want us to write about in the future.