I Just Reduced Head Term CPCs by 93%

I work in one of the most competitive PPC markets. (period) While Education paid search may get less attention than Insurance or Banking for cutthroat tactics and out of this world CPCs, it truly is one of the most expensive and competitive markets out there. Moving from B2B, then to Retail Electronics, and now to Education has truly been an eye opener in the world of cost per click.

CPCs range from the mid teens up into the $50 range on a normal day. Certain head terms can easily reach the $60 mark with bids to even get an impression at over $100.

So how did I reduce a HEAD TERM CPC by over 90%?! Easy. I found a corner of the Internet that no one was standing in; Google Image Search! That’s right, Image Search for head terms.

Google Image Search Ad

Google Image Search Ad

Until recently, your standard AdWords campaign would display within most properties in Google; Search, News, Images, etc. Google introduced a new Image Search layout a short time ago, and with that came a new image search ad format. This left and extreme amount of companies and agencies in the AdWords marketplace NOT bidding on terms in Image Search!

Thanks for the private auction, Google. In a space where very few people are playing, until this article is read, competition is almost nonexistent. I managed to create a few campaigns to cover brand and some very expensive head terms.

WAIT…now before you say, “C’mon man, image search ads were tested in 2008!”, realize that this rolled out somewhat recently. Tests are always happening, but this is now out there for everyone. And I do realize some retailers are already doing this, but No One in the edu space has touched it…until now. Have you checked the competition in your vertical?

WAIT AGAIN…what does this do for leads or conversions? Not a lot, but the incremental leads gained are just that. It’s a space where we were not present and now we are. It’s also very good visibility (think display) to our brand. For the price, you can’t beat it. (until it gets more competitive)

OK Proceed… The head terms in which I am getting traffic for from Image Search is extremely valuable from a branding and upper-funnel standpoint. After a few days of trafficking, I realized a 93% reduction in CPCs for head terms. It was truly an amazing outcome.

Google Guide: http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=184331

My Guide:

  1. Create a new campaign and target search and partners.
  2. Create head term keywords or copy over another campaign’s keywords.
  3. Click New Ad → Select “Search Specialized”
  4. Select “IMage Search Ad”
  5. Write your ad and then add your own image or choose from Google’s library
  6. Launch!

The news is out. Happy bidding!