Google PPC is awesome, something I've always wanted to get into. I know people pushing $5k a day PROFIT on PPC campaigns with ShareaSale and if they can do it, so can we.
That being said, many of you's know I've been concentrating quite heavily on it and over time have figured out how to get quite low CPC's. I will admit, I'm by far not at an expert of any kind with Google PPC BUT I like sharing what I've learned whether it's a little or a lot.
Anyone with more experience, please correct/add anything below if you see fit.
Getting Cheap Clicks Depends on many things,
The Google 'Quality Score' is a pretty big topic and enough to write a whole post specifically about so I won't get into it too much. Basically the higher your quality score, the cheaper your clicks. There are a few types of quality scores that contribute to the overall 'campaign quality score'. I've listed a few below to give you an idea.
Ad QS: This seems to be based on 'relevancy'. Google wants the website you're linking to, to reflect your Google ad text copy. For this reason you want to make sure you're linking to something as relevant/specific as possible. For example, if I were promoting RC Racing Cars then I'd deep link & set up ad groups for each individual type of Racing Car. If there's a racing car called 'whirlwind racer' then I'd link straight to it with a custom affiliate link AND make sure the ad copy says 'whirlwind racer' in both the header and text copy, (see the example ad below). When Google sees that the ad text copy & page your linking to have 'whirlwind racer' in it's text, it reads it as relevant. A good tip is to look through the page your linking to and spot out the keywords they've used to refer to their product in their text. Use the same in your ad copy.
My ads usually look something like,
Buy Whirlwind Racers
Whirlwind Racers Online Store
Buy Now And Save!
Your Ad CTR is also extremely important. Different keywords/ads will have different CTRs, (Click-Through Rates). The higher you can get this number, the more Google favors your ad as you make them more money. Over time, if you can show Google you can get good CTRs then they'll start ranking your ads higher and soon you'll be in first position and paying almost nothing for clicks! I've got a campaign that used to charge me 23 cents per click and put me somewhere between 2-3 ad position. Now I'm ranking 1st and being charged around 5 cents per click! Needless to say, it's a pretty good campaign lol.
The trick to getting a high CTR is to use the ad format I've given above. People like to scan ads and the more they see the keyword they've typed in Google Search appearing in an ad the more they are likely to click it. Don't worry if your ad doesn't sound perfect, the main thing is to get the keyword in their at least twice.
Campaign QS: Your Campaign Quality Score is dependent on how well your campaign is performing and complying with Googles Regulations. If you set up a Campaign and your CTR is really bad, (below 1%), You're getting ads disapproved, etc, then overtime, Google will read the campaign as a 'bad performer' and it'll be difficult to prove that it's a good campaign. You want to start off on the right foot so at the start of every campaign aim for high CTRs on your ads. Pause any keywords that are getting you real low CTRs. You can enable them later when you've been running the campaign for a good amount of time.
Account QS: This is your overall Accounts Quality Score. If your campaigns are doing well with their CTRs, linking to relevant web pages, etc, then overtime Google will read your account as being a 'good account' and will favor your campaigns more then other who have lower QSs.
Bids: Something that used to stop me from getting into Google PPC was that I thought it would be expensive to get clicks and hence hard to find profitable campaigns. For some reason, I think their bid estimates are wrong because my bids are usually in the ranges of 0.30 - $1.30, (which are well below their recommendations), and I still get relatively good first page impressions!
My strategy is to start bidding low, but not too low so that you get bad ad placements. I aim for a spot between 1-4, anything lower that that and I increase the bid. Remember you want to get high CTRs on your ads at the start of your campaigns!
Even if I'm bidding around $1.30, I still get charged relatively less most times so don't think you'll be charged as much as you bid.
At the end of the day, this will make more and more sense once you start cranking out campaigns and seeing what you get back. Just set up 3-5 campaigns and analyse what you get back. Re-read this post once you've done that and hopefully you'll understand a lot more about Google PPC. I'm happy to answer any questions below also so don't hesitate to comment!