I have a 2600 word article that I need proofread, edited and polished. I will send the full article to you once hired. Here is a small piece of it. Must have English degree.
Highest Converting Hosting Keywords End-up Converting Fraudulent Sign-ups
Last year I was stoked to find a keyword that converted between 3.45% and 20%. In hosting, keywords just don’t convert that high. As SEOmoz reported, Hosting is the 25th most competitive exact match keyword. Moreover, web hosting is the 9th most competitive industry for PPC and SEO behind: Real Estate, Law, Insurance, Mortgages, Travel Porn and a couple others (in no particular order). With this, you can see how excited I was to discover the holy grail of hosting paid search. With this one keyword, I could make a real impact. As you will see below, an impact is exactly what I made.
Conversion rates are not the be-all and end-all of internet marketing! I know this is bold, but stay with me for a second. I have been scammed, defrauded and taken for a ride and I am about to share it with the rest of the hosting industry to help others stay away from this keyword.
Have you ever found a keyword that makes your mouth water? Find a keyword so juicy that you tell your boss about it, hoping for a pat on the back? Well, I found this keyword, got my pat on the back, and drank the Kool-Aid just to find out that I am converting scammers, fraudsters and cheaters. What is this keyword that all hosting CEOs are going to ask their PPC Specialists to stay away from?
Ok, now that I made you wait, the keyword is Instant VPS and anything associated with instant VPS: Instant Windows VPS, Instant Virtual Private Hosting, VPS Hosting Fast Setup, and Instant VPS Hosting. I could go on and on. Moving to actual data, below you will see [VPS Instant Activation] converting at 50%, “Instant Windows VPS” converting at 33%, “VPS Instant Setup 16.67% and my favorite +VPS +Instant converted 14 times at 11.11%! Yes, I converted 14 times at a conversion rate of 11.11%! It’s all over! Give me a raise! Other Hosting companies start calling to hire me! I’m buying a boat! Wah wah wah wahhhhhhhh, is the sound that came next when I realized that this data was unrealistic. The eyeball test, a test that my third grade math teacher taught, was telling me that these conversion rates were not realistic for hosting. I should have known from day one that there was something wrong. Instead, I liked the idea of me converting at an average conversion rate of 13%. It felt good.
After a couple months converting between 4-50%, my billing department told me they were having an increasing fraudulent sign-up problem. Yes, we’ve always had this problem, but now it was escalating. At first I admit, I figured it was something they caused or it could have possibly been affiliate fraud. These were the first two logical places to look. After all, I run the marketing department. I studied Economics. I never do anything wrong. Not true at all, everyone makes mistakes. To say that I am mistake-free would be propaganda. We spent about $15,000+ on the keyword Instant VPS. The only reason I am sharing this with you is because there is a sweet ending. Luckily, Google isn’t the bad guy in this story. I wrote Google a nice email with my findings and they hooked me up with a nice refund. They of course said they would never do it again, but what I learned from this is that it does hurt to ask. The worse thing that can happen is they say no.
Let me get back on topic. So I have this keyword that is converting well, my billing department is getting calls from the bank about an abnormally high amount of chargebacks. We then have some meetings to find out what the problem is. I explain that the problem could be the use of this keyword. I suggest that the solution could be for me to use negative keywords for Instant setup. This is where this story gets a little funny. I was told that we were going to implement 3-D Secure. If anyone out there has used 3-d Secure, you know that it is a conversion rate killer. To sum everything up, we used both 3d-secure and negative keywords to address the problem. After a month of doing this, we saw a significant decline in fraud orders from VPS. What did I take from this? First, let me tell you that 3d-secure didn’t reduce our conversions as much as I thought it would. I was very surprised. This made me think even more about hosting. I had always thought that this was a market of perfect competition. This may be true with run of the mill shared web hosting; however, VPS hosting and dedicated server hosting was a little different. To get an explanation of the difference, read here. When you add hardware, bandwidth, redundancy, ports and uptime to the mix, this changes the market completely.
Skills: test, english