Tom Kwei is back with another weekly roundup of paid search news and views. He’s featured some of the best PPC advice from across the web, but first he asks: “Is this the most costly keyword in the world?”

The World’s Most Expensive PPC Keyword?

If you ever find yourself grumbling about the high costs per click of some of your keywords, just be thankful you’re not a law firm dealing with mesothelioma claims.

According to a LinkedIn post by Bob West, ‘lawyer for mesothelioma’ might just be the world’s most expensive PPC keyword. It’s the most expensive keyword he found, anyway.

Advertisers who bid on this keyword can expect to pay an astonishing $849.71 (£542.68) per click!

Source: The CE Shop

Source: The CE Shop.

What’s even more mind-boggling is that it may well be worth bidding on this keyword. West calculated that the keyword would likely deliver around five clicks per month (with an average of 20 monthly searches). This would cost $4,248.55 (£2713.40).

However, the average mesothelioma trial award is about $2.4 million. And the average settlement is between $1 million and $1.4 million. With a contigency fee of 25% to 40%, the huge monthly investment on clicks seems to be worth making.

Here are West’s top-five most expensive PPC keywords, along with their associated industries:

  1. Lawyer – $849.71 ‘lawyer for mesothelioma’
  2. Conferencing – $183.18 ‘web conferencing companies’
  3. Rehabilitation – $165.18 ‘inpatient drug rehab centers’
  4. Auto Insurance – $159.79 ‘auto insurance chicago il’
  5. Cloud – $148.27 ‘cloud services broker’

8 Tips to Help You Write Better Ad Copy

If your conversion and click-through rates are failing to deliver the results you want, your ad copy probably needs some TLC, says Jonathan Long.

Writing for the Huffington Post, Long has put together eight handy tips to help advertisers put more ‘awesome’ into their 95 characters.

Speech bubble reading 'awesome'.

Source: Sam Howzit at Flickr.

Much of Long’s advice will already be familiar to seasoned PPC professionals, but his article is a real gem for paid search beginners.

Here’s a summary:

  1. Highlight product benefits, and split-test variations to determine which benefits drive the best results.
  2. Address pain points using terms like ‘Guaranteed’ and ‘Accredited’ to improve conversion rates.
  3. Make your title demand attention – poor titles are inevitably overlooked.
  4. Use trademark/copyright characters – ads with these characters (©, ™)tend to have higher click-through rates than those without. However, make sure you are legally entitled to include them.
  5. Think twice before including prices. Including prices is risky, because if a competitor undercuts your price, you can expect them to get the majority of clicks.
  6. Split testing is your friend – test multiple variations of each component of your ad. Find what works, and stick with it.
  7. Think of the customer. Don’t just write a technical description of your product or service, use language that your customers will respond to.
  8. Improve your offer. If you’ve tried the tips above, and nothing is working, then it’s probably your offer – not your copy – that’s the problem.

Revenue and ROI: How to Get the Balance Right

Improving paid search performance while keeping ROI at or above target can be tough. It’s a constant balancing act, and it requires careful on-going optimisation to get right.

A dog balancing a large paper cup on its head.

A particularly impressive balancing act. Source: SuperFantastic at Flickr.

Not sure where to start? Turn to Amanda West-Bookwalter ‘s Search Engine Land article, in which she lays out three great strategies for account optimisation to help improve revenue without killing your ROI.

The article goes into quite a lot of detail, and we thoroughly recommend you make time to absorb it all. Nonetheless, here’s a basic summary:

  • Strategic position targeting: Shooting for the top-ranking ad position isn’t always the best strategy. Many users who click the top ad won’t even read the ad text, so you can expect to pay through the nose for clicks without getting a decent conversion rate. West-Bookwalter provides a method to analyse results and decide which position your bids should be targeting.
  • Strategic Keyword Length Targeting: As a general rule, writes West-Bookwalter, keyword phrases with one or two words can be considered generalised ‘top of the funnel’ keywords. The longer the keyword phrase, the more specific it is, and the more likely it will be that the customer searching that phrase knows what they want to buy. As with ad position targeting, West-Bookwalter provides a strategy to check which keyword lengths are providing the best revenue for your account, so you can optimise accordingly.
  • Optimise Mobile Ads: West-Bookwalter’s third strategy focusses on mobile ads, an area of PPC that is often talked about but rarely acted upon. She recommends creating mobile-specific ads, and provides a number of resources to help you create winning ads that target the growing smartphone user base.

More PPC News and advice

Read last week’s PPC roundup.

Try this post from the archives: Google Product Listing Ads and the New Local Shopping

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About the author:

Tom Kwei is a Graduate PPC Trainee at Clickthrough Marketing. He is currently learning the ropes of pay-per-click marketing and the coffee machine. He’s also a spoken word poet who performs regularly around the country, much of his work can be found on YouTube by searching the first two words of this paragraph.