The following is a guest post by Evan Saks, founder and president of Lungfish Communications.PPC advertisers looking for the best value in search would be well-advised to follow these three steps: search, serch, and seacrh again! One of the wonders of Google is its automatic spelling correction. Search for the term “Ipod” and Google will return results including text ads from Target, Bose, MacMall, Amazon, AOL, Overstock, and others. Apple gets top position, but it’s a crowded field with plenty of others clamoring for attention. Now search for “ipdo” and Apple’s sponsored link will appear in the first position. And also in the last position. Because it’s all alone, with no other competitive ads. Apple is presumably paying a miniscule bid price, since there are no other bidders. And users aren’t distracted by competitive ads, so they’re more likely to notice Apple’s ad from a field of one. This scenario is a PPC fantasy, the pinnacle of high CTR and low CPC. Of course, Google suggests the correct spelling—but many searchers can find what they’re looking for without having to resubmit the correct spelling. So think about your keywords, and think about common typing mistakes. I organize them into the following categories:
- Tricky Spellings — For example, Keurig coffee brewers are very popular, and a great gift idea. But good luck remembering their unusual brand spelling. Most people are likely guessing, which means several permutations from “Kurag” to “Curigg.”
- Phonetics — The service GoToMeeting.com provides Web-based video conferencing. Or is it Go2Meeting? Or GoTwoMeeting? They each return very different results.
- “Fat Finger” Typing — Look at the QWERTY keyboard layout. Selling sporting goods? Think about bidding on “sproting goofs.”
Now look at your search query reports; users are sloppy. They’re typing longer queries, as quickly as they can, and they’ve learned not to worry about spelling since Google is so good at returning the right results from misspelled queries.One of the wonders of a keyword management tool like WordStream is that it captures every term in a query string that generated a visit to the website, warts and all (or is it “worts”?). Many misspellings can even be recognized and grouped with its correctly spelled comrades. Domain squatters have figured this out; just surf over to www.stalpes.com or www.wamlart.com and you’ll find enterprising scavengers feasting like pigeons at the ballpark. Think about common keywords in your campaign and how they’re commonly misspelled. Think of them as gold dust. Find enough, and you’ve got a gold bar, with a carat weight measured in CTR and CPC.