I had an email from a client this week. He was concerned that his Google advertising spend for the first quarter this year had almost halved compared to 2009. Was everything OK?
Yes, everything was OK . . . and still is. The number of clicks from the adverts was about the same as 2009, the Click Through Rate was better and the average Cost Per Click had dropped significantly.
The difference was all to do with 'honing the keywords'. Making sure that every keyword was working in broad, phrase and exact terms, that negative keywords were kept up to date and bounce rates monitored.
He was no longer paying for irrellevent clicks, overpriced search terms or keywords with high bounce rates.
It's the sort of work that requires marrying the PPC performance to the Analytics stats and making value judgements. It's not rocket science but it does take some organisation, wading through hundreds (and hundreds) of keywords and checking performance levels against costs.
If there is an exciting side to Search Engine Marketing this isn't it.
But get it right and you can cut Cost Per Click by up to 50%. In this case the Google spend for the quater was £1459 against £2684 the previous year. My client saved £1225 in one quarter on one AdWords Campaign, which is good for his business . . . and also good for mine.