From: Alex Tillman <>
Date: Fri 03 May 2002 09:58:51 -0600

David Moon wrote:
_I'm gingerly approaching an Overture buy. I'm not
if opening and maintaining a top position is my best
strategy. I have a very specific product that I want
sell using very specific phrases. Any general

I_ve been fairly successful with Overture, so far, and
here_s my two cents.

First and foremost, the single most important thing
you can do is to do your homework on search terms.
Check out the suggestion tool
It_s a truly valuable tool to show you how people
actually search for things (which is frequently much
different than you would think). Try and find a
_forgotten_ term that gets decent traffic, but has
been overlooked by much of the competition and can be
bought on the cheap. Two of our listings involve
misspellings of popular brand names, and we get a
bunch of traffic of them for about $.10 a click. How
clever you are in this area will go a long way to
determining how successful your Overture strategy is.

Then you need to do the math. Work out what conversion
rate you would need to break even at the bid price you
are looking at. Industry standard is between 1-2%, but
this can vary wildly based on the product category you
are selling in. If you don_t do this, you_ll have no
idea what a _reasonable_ bid is.

Next look for whatever realted top 3 positions that
you can afford. The majority of the purchasers on my
e-commerce site that find us from Overture listings
come from the partners (Yahoo and MSN are the
biggest). Yahoo is our biggest draw and it lists the
top three Overture terms at the top of the page and
then two more at the bottom. Our personal experience
has been that there is a large dropoff in traffic
between the top three, and positions four and five, so
if you can afford it, getting a #3 position is usually
the way to go. (we haven_t noticed a big drop between
1 and 3, so we will usually opt for 3 as number 1
often comes at a much higher price). Then look for
#4 and #5 that you can afford (less traffic but still
a ton more than a number 6) We have some other lower
ranked listings to round things out (never below 10)
but they don_t seem to pull as well as the premium

Then you need to concentrate on the listing text you
use. Overture has guidelines on verbiage, and you_ll
have to play by their rules if you want your listings
approved. But I can tell you that there are tons upon
tons of listings that are poorly written. We
experimented with changing our text and it had a
dramatic rise in our conversion rate (increased by 60%
in one month). Think about it from a shopper_s point
of view. What words do they need to see to click on
that link? Spending a little time here is an easy way
to pass by some of your competitors.

Lastly, experiment and monitor. Little changes in bids
or listings can have dramatic affects on your
profitability. Overture gives you tools to monitor
your traffic daily- take advantage of them. And watch
that conversion rate to see if you will make any money
with this strategy.

Good luck!

Received on Fri May 03 2002 - 10:58:51 CDT


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