I saw quite a number of blogs post their observations of the PPC campaigns for all the major 2008 political campaigns. The posts usually go like this: democrats are pretty much ignoring search advertising while republicans are very aggressive, but still not a lot of activity on issues words. I guess this is where I'm going to jump in with a quick lesson on PPC advertising because these experts seems to be missing a few of them and don't grasp how it even works. So, get your paper and pencil out, because here's how you get placed in the sponsored listings...
- Maximum bid amount - besides working into your listing, this is a main driver of whether you can EVEN afford to buy the word given your objectives. In my own personal account, the KW online marketing costs me $3 per click and on a $7 daily budget, that doesn't leave much room....
- Relevancy - sure I can buy the KW french, but if I don't have content to back it up, my listing will suffer and it may increase my minimum bid amount
- Creative click rate - 'Nuff said
- Competitiveness of keywords - obviously the more competition, the more likely the cost will rise; especially if everyone wants to be #1 and has unlimited budgets (try buying the KW online stock trading)
- Search engine secret sauce
- Daily budget cap - the closer you get to your daily budget, the less likely you are of being shown.
All of these factors go into how much an advertiser has to pay for an individual keyword and whether their ad shows up for a particular keyword. So, if you look for a specific word or two or three and wonder, gee why don't they buy this word, maybe it has to do with the sophisticated pay per click bidding strategy or just a simple budget cap. Perhaps they are, gosh is this possible, being bought somewhere else other than Google.
Plus, if you track post-click activity, then you can really prove out whether high cost per click words actually translate into back-end sales. The better search campaigns out there know this and that's why they do more than buy the branded names of their products or clients. However, if you must look, try typing in at least 100 different words in all three majors at different times of the day to see if the words are being bought before posting your myopic view of the PPC search world.