(Part 2 of Dog Training Project Study)

Creating A Landing Page

For this case study, I intend to use just 3 articles relevant to “biting puppy” keyword and its derivative. I will also search some cute puppy pictures to include in the website. I’m not very good in designing websites and not proficient in CSS, so my website will be a sucky one for testing purposes. It will also be created using tables.

The live site can be found by visiting http://www.bitingpuppy.net. Below is a checklist of all important things I consider are necessary before making the site live in a campaign:

1) All links are directed to a TRACKING LINK. This is one of the mistakes I did when I started PPC marketing – not tracking the clicks on my campaigns. I probably wasted a lot of money on my initial campaigns because I’ve been running them for months without any idea of how I can make my offers or keywords convert. I was too lazy to setup or learn an accurate tracking software that all I do is check my stats at Clickbank, CJ, eBay and other affiliate networks stats result. Little did I know that if I wanted to make the most of the money invested in affiliate marketing – tracking your conversion as accurately as you could will not only save you money but would also give you an idea which of your keywords are making the sales.

The best tracking software for this project is the one that is available at PPC Coach tool chest – a PPC training and coaching membership club. There’s quite a bit of learning curve in setting it up but once you get to setup 2 campaigns, the next ones are easier. I have written a review of this PPC coaching program here but I plan to write another review in the future.

Other than that tool, I probably have 3 other statistics tracking script in any website I deploy so I can compare my traffic and conversions. It’s a bit of work but at least I’m not running blind on any of my web properties.

2) The tracking link redirects to the right AFFILIATE OFFER (redirecting offer away from landing page). Now, this is an added advantage if you are using a tracking software with a redirection feature for some reasons:

There’s talk in affiliate marketing circles that some affiliate networks and merchants, are “stealing” an affiliate marketers converting keywords.

I think this happened to me, though I cannot prove it. Plenty of times in my past campaigns and promotions, I got lucky to find the keyword/s that convert. The first 3 days mostly, I was ecstatic to find that the keywords are sending in the sales and I get them cheap because my Quality Score is good.

Afterwards though, clicks and conversions start to decline until it totally disappear. Even the position of my ads went from number 3 position to number 8/9/10 and cost per click (CPC) which were initially low (sometimes I only start at $0.20 and at number 3 position) is priced more than 3 times the original!

I kept wondering why this is happening so I researched what other affiliates have to say about this in forums and blogs and found out that it happened not only to me but to others as well. Most of those affected by it says that some network affiliate managers they talk to admit that “stealing” keywords do happen. Specially if you are direct linking to an offer, where merchants can see in their stats what keywords sent the traffic to them – it’s so easy for them to beat an affiliates’ CPC cost.

After reading about it – I also found out what other affiliates are doing to counter it. Their solution – redirecting the clicks from the landing page to the offer. It’s not 100% foolproof but it’s better than not having safe provisions at all.

I also avoided direct linking to merchants after this incident not only because of suspected keyword theft but also because new Google adwords rules about one domain URL in Google ads per offer. But in all my campaigns thereon, redirecting is always a part of my setup.

3) The articles, meta tags and alt tags for images contain the keywords of my campaign. I maybe over doing this project for just a test setup but if you’ve been online for a while like me, on-page Search Engine Optimization will always be a part of setting up a new website. It’s taking me longer to setup my landing page but I don’t want to lose the habit of making sure that all my sites – test or not – are SEO’d properly. But, that’s just me.

After all three criterions are incorporated in my landing page, creating the campaign in Adwords or in any search marketing platform is the next step – which is what the next post will be…..

(Go to Part 4 of Dog Training Project Study)