1. Accurate keyword research. There are numerous keyword research tools that help you identify keywords that people are searching for, their volume of searches, level of competition, etc… Unfortunately, every single tool has a critical problem: the source of the information.
Wordtracker relies on information from meta search engine Dogpile, and similar sources. Yahoo mixes plurals, singulars, and phrases typed in different order; the information reported is from the previous month. Google tries to estimate traffic and fails to provide good predictions most of the time. There are other popular tools that have similar problems.
Running a test PPC campaign for a week or two will provide actual and dependable statistics about the amount and quality of the traffic to be expected for each keyword.
2. High click-through titles and descriptions. Page titles and meta descriptions are what people will normally see in the search results. We need to provide an incentive for the searcher to click-through.
Unfortunately it is very tricky to test changing titles and meta descriptions for SEO. We need to be able to rank first!
PPC management tools are designed so that we can easily split test multiple ads and the system will tell us which ads perform better. When we find the winning PPC ads we can use them to create our titles and meta descriptions.
3. High converting landing pages. Having a high conversion rate and high converting landing pages is not only important for our bottom line, it’s very important to retain top affiliates as well.
Another advantage of running test PPC campaigns is that we can tweak our landing pages until they give us the desired results.
Top affiliates measure the merchants effectiveness by their earn per click (EPC) — how much they make from every click they send. You can offer large commissions, incentives, etc… What really matters is how well their traffic will convert.
Even if you don’t plan to run a PPC campaign, it makes perfect sense to run at least one as a test to help you improve the results you will get with other channels.