Beginning with $15,000 and a shack of an office, this week’s affiliate grew to be one of the biggest online media monitoring firms in the world. Sounds pretty awesome to me. Meltwater is a software as a service (SaaS) company that aids businesses in amping up their online presence. Being the experts they are, we invite them to share a few tips on online advertising:

5 Tips for AdWords Advertisers

Often times, running a competitive AdWords campaign as a small business with a limited budget may feel like playing against a stacked deck. It’s important to remember that one of the primary reasons the pay-per-click model has been so successful is that it rewards advertisers who run relevant ads, not just those who spend the most money. It is still possible to achieve a high ROI on your campaigns as a smaller advertiser. These 5 tips can help you get there:

1. Define Your Goals: You probably don’t have the budget to use paid search as a way to build product awareness, generate leads, and brand yourself. Try to focus on the most important element. This should inform what landing pages you take searchers to, what message you’re conveying in ad copy, and how much of your budget is dedicated to the display network. Clearly define what your company is trying to achieve from paid search.

2. Distinguish Your Target Audience: When thinking about keyword selection, consider what the people most likely to purchase your product would search for. Be as targeted and specific as possible. The people searching these specific terms are the people most likely to convert and eventually buy your product or services. You might provide online backup, but if you know that you do especially well for people looking for “online backup for linux files,” make sure you’re bidding on those keywords and exhausting those available impressions before spending money on more general and generic terms.

3. What Sets You Apart: Your ad copy needs to demonstrate your unique selling proposition. You have a 35 character elevator pitch in a line of ad copy, and you need to make the most of it. What makes you different from the other 10 ads on the page? Is it the quality of your product? Free shipping? Pricing? Your client base? The awards you’ve won? Make sure you’re emphasizing these specific selling points in your ads. If you’re just repeating what your company does and instructing someone to “Get a Free Trial,” you’re not cherishing those characters enough.

4. Where Do You Want to Spend Your Money: If you’re an advertiser with a limited budget, it’s not good enough to ask yourself if a given keyword is relevant or not, or whether a managed placement on the display network is targeted or not. You need to ask yourself if there’s a keyword that’s more targeted, if there’s a placement that’s more relevant. If you could control where every one of your daily clicks came from, what would that look like? Are you funneling traffic so that’s a possibility? Each dollar you spend is a dollar that might be more effectively spent with better targeting.

5. Test, Test, Test: This is an oft-repeated recommendation of paid search, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Make sure you’re acting on the data from your testing. It’s not enough to split test two pieces of ad copy. You need to take action and then turn off underperforming elements. That way you can maximize the impression share of better performing elements and get more bang for your buck. Continuous improvement through testing and refinement is the cornerstone of a well-managed PPC account.

Interested in becoming an affiliate with MyCorporation or finding out more about Meltwater? Contact Cindi Sokoloff, Affiliate Manager at MyCorporation at (818) 746-2264 ext 320.