Posted Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Following a mention in my free newsletter 'Success Lines' that I was having some success generating traffic from the pay-per-click search engine Goto.com, I received an email from a subscriber asking for a blow by blow account of how I did it. So, for the benefit of a wider audience here's my response.
I should first point out that I like to keep things as simple as possible, so I'll limit this to three straightforward steps.
Step 1 - Find your keywords
Goto provide a useful tool for identifying the most commonly searched keywords for the previous month. There's no guess work here. If a search term has received hundreds of hits in a month, it's safe to assume that it'll continue to do so in the future.
First you need to visit the page where Goto provides its advertising tools. This is:
Then click on "Search Term Suggestion Tool". This will bring up a search box in which you type your main keyword. In this example I'll use the keyword "ebook". The result is a list of search terms from "free ebook" at 13944 hits to "ebook publish" at 49 hits.
Step 2 - Find the cost to bid
Having selected your search terms from the list, you need to determine whether you can afford to bid for them. You're aiming to get in the top 3 slots, as this means you will be featured on many other search engines rather than just Goto.
Using the same URL as above click on "Get Current Bid Tool". This will open a search box in which you type your selected search term. I'm going to use "free ebook downloads" which appeared towards the middle of the previous list with around 900 hits.
The results tell me there are only 3 competitors bidding on this term at $0.06, $0.05, $0.05. So, to get a top 3 place as cheap as possible I need to bid $0.06 to get 2nd place, as a $0.05 bid would place me 4th.
Do this for all your search times, listing the ones you can get cheaply. You'll find some will be very expensive. The price you bid is what you pay for every click through, so don't get carried away. The minimum bid is $0.05.
Step 3 - Make your bids
First visit the account set-up page at:
Complete a separate section of the form for every search term you're bidding for. You'll need to list search term, title of entry, description of entry, page URL, and bid.
Try to include the search term in both the title and description and you'll get a much better response. There are full instructions on the page.
You pay a minimum monthly fee of $20, whether you receive $20 of clickthroughs or not. So make sure you bid on enough terms. You'll hear back from Goto.com in about 5 days whether or not each bid has been accepted.
You need to check back from time to time to make sure no one has outbid you, in which case you need to decide whether to up the bid. You also receive a monthly traffic report by email listing the hits on each keyword.
That's basically all there is to it. Remember to be creative with your search terms. For example, a term containing "online" may be out of your price bracket, but one containing "on line" may not.
About the Author
Jeff McCall is the librarian at The Success Library, a vast collection of ebooks, articles and resources to help you achieve online success. Get your library card at: (http://www.thesuccesslibrary.co.uk) Subscribe to the library's free newsletter Success Lines. Free course for subscribing & free ebook with every issue: mailto:email@example.com