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Did You Just Say “Bidding Wars”?
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m pretty much done paying for cable television. I stream almost all the shows and movies I’m interested in, and as a convenient side effect, I’ve drastically cut down on the garbage reality show television time suck.
One of those shows is A&E’s Storage Wars, where auctioneers can bid on unclaimed storage lockers in cash-only auctions. I’ve watched enough of the show to know what to look for in a good storage locker—boxes or other containers that might contain valuable collectable to pawn later (you’re only allowed a five-minute inspection of what you can see when the door is open, so you can’t actually search the contents before you bid).
Of course, sometimes you could bid thousands of dollars for the unit only to wind up with a bunch of feather boas and granny’s old costume jewelry.
Naturally, some rivalries broke out on the show, and people would get into bidding wars simply to raise the cost of the unit for someone who had beaten you at auction before.
This is what I immediately thought of when I stumbled upon an SEO solicitation in my inbox this morning.
Yes—that’s right—an SEO company gets SEO solicitations, too.
The email said:
Your Message: Dear Sir/Madam,
I’m Sushanta, from Sahoowebsolutions, an India based SEO Company.
I found your website listed under the Google sponsored listing for which you pay a significant amount. But sometimes this sponsored listing or PPC creates bidding wars. You pay every time somebody clicks on it. It certainly hurts! Why not try organic SEO for your website and boost its growth?
Did you just say “bidding wars” in relation to PPC?
What Are Pay Per Click Bidding Wars?
A PPC bidding war isn’t much different than a Storage War bidding war. Two advertisers want to out bid each other for a certain keyword, either to secure the top position in the paid search results or to jack up the cost per click for a competitor.
PPC biddings wars are something that pretty much nobody talks about anymore; the most recent articles on the topic were published back in the early 2000s. But since Sushanta from Sahoowebsolutions is emailing who knows how many companies about PPC bidding wars, I figured I’d set the record straight.
Why Aren’t PPC Bidding Wars a Thing Anymore?
1. AdWords Introduces Quality Score.
PPC bidding wars USED to be a thing, but Google AdWords quickly realized that quality was becoming an issue when paid search result position was based on bid value alone.
To improve the quality of its paid search listings, AdWords introduced a new evaluation factor called Quality Score in July 2005.
This is where Storage Wars and pay per click differ—after the introduction of Quality Score, the highest bid was no longer guaranteed the top ad position!
2. Bidding Wars Are Expensive & Time Consuming.
PPC is by no means a “set it and forget it” advertising method, but you shouldn’t have to monitor it constantly either. There’s no way to tell exactly what your competitor is paying for a click, and having to repeatedly up your cost per click in a bidding war is just plain annoying. And when you’re paying so much for a single click, you’re bound to exhaust your daily budget extremely quickly.
Plus, it’s easy to see who the real winner is in a bidding war—Google’s bank account.
3. There’s a Better Way to Position Yourself.
Most of the companies that we work for at Blue Corona are small-to-medium-sized small business who can’t afford to get into bidding wars with big brands. But that doesn’t mean we never get them in those top coveted spots.
Instead, we focus on improving their Quality Score (mentioned above) so they can afford to pay less and still get the top positions. We do this by:
- Improving ad relevancy
- Improving landing page relevancy
- Improving click-thru-rate
- Adding ad extensions
- Improving conversion rate
Read more about how to get more leads at a lower cost in this blog post.
I Think We Can All Agree on the Lesson Here…
Legitimate advertising strategies like pay per click get a bad reputation largely because of misinformation out there that people like Sushanta are sending out.
Do your research. Find a company you can trust. And as always,
Track > test > tweak > repeat.
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