Generating Traffic By Covering All Your PPC Bases

When you think of search engines, chances are you think of Google first. And when you think about launching a PPC campaign, you probably start with Google.

Even though Google has by far the largest market share in the search world, you’re missing 20%-30% of searchers by putting all your eggs in that basket. To take your PPC campaigns to the next level, it’s imperative to expand to Yahoo and MSN/Bing. In addition to generating additional traffic to your website, you may find that you get more leads per visit from these two engines than you do from Google.

So how do you get started? Yahoo and MSN/Bing each have their own interface, and each interface has its own quirks.

Don’t despair – it’s not necessary to manually enter your PPC campaigns 3 times.

First of all, if you’re not using Adwords Editor to manage your Google campaigns, stop reading right now and go download it. Adwords Editor is the most time-saving tool for PPC management known to man, making campaign creation and editing a snap.

Once you’ve downloaded Adwords Editor and downloaded your Adwords campaigns into Editor, the next step is to export your campaign to a CSV file. You’ll use this file to create campaigns in Yahoo and MSN.

But how? While Yahoo doesn’t have a desktop editor, they make a decent effort to make up for this shortcoming with their “Convert Third Party Campaigns” function. You’ll find this in the “Import” menu of the YSM interface. Here’s how to use it:
1. Export your Adwords campaign from Adwords Editor using the Export function. Save the file as is.
2. If your Adwords campaign has any negative keywords, open the CSV file and delete those rows – you’ll need to manually add those negatives to Yahoo later.
3. If your campaign status is anything other than Active, Paused, or Deleted (such as Pending), change it to either Active or Paused. Yahoo doesn’t understand Pending and your conversion will fail.
4. Go to the “Convert Third Party Campaigns” page in YSM and follow the steps to convert your file.
5. Once the file is converted, download the conversion file, make any edits (such as updating tracking URLs) and save the file as a Unicode Text with a .csv extension.
6. Then go to the Import Campaigns tab and follow the steps.
7. Pray you didn’t get any errors.

If you do get errors, it’s not easy to figure out what to do. If the only error is “this keyword was not added because it is a duplicate of another keyword,” you’re fine – Yahoo’s match driver means fewer keyword variations are allowed in Yahoo than in Google. If you got other errors, you can either try to fix your upload file and re-upload, or just go into the interface and fix them manually.

It’s even easier to bulk upload to MSN. You can do it via the online interface fairly easily. The best way I’ve found to do it is this:
1. Create a new campaign and ad group in the UI.
2. When you get to the Add Keywords page, download the Import Template from the link on the page.
3. Copy and paste columns from your Adwords Editor export into the MSN template.
4. Upload the file per the instructions in the adCenter UI.

Uploading to MSN via adCenter Desktop is even easier. You can import your file from Adwords without even converting it. One caveat: if you use keyword-level destination URLs, you’ll need to change the column header in your CSV file from “Destination URL” to “{param1}.”

By utilizing all 3 major search engines for your lead generation efforts, you can maximize leads to your website.