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The TAG process is a simple three-step formula, developed over an eight-year period. It will increase your conversion by at least 25%.

This formula is specifically designed to maximize the profit from day one and to minimize the money draining “testing phase,” usually encountered by new Pay Per Click accounts.

TAG consists of 3 main components; Target, Advertise and Gather.

Target the Interested, Motivated and Excited customers actively seeking Your Services. We make sure they find you before the competition.

Advertise to the right customer right now with

Pay Per Click Advertising.

Gather revenue, information and track your results to improve your Return on Investment. We find what makes you money!


What exactly is the TAG process?

The TAG process is a three-step process. The process is broken into different phases, as found in any type of advertising and specifically in Pay Per Click advertising. The three phases of the TAG process are:

  • T – Targeting, which involves in-depth planning and research (before any advertising dollars are spent).
  • A – Advertising based on the results of the planning and research phase.
  • G – Gathering the results from the advertising and identifying the reasons why the different aspects of the advertising did or did not work.

Once a conclusion is reached on the reasons why advertising elements yield or fail to yield desired returns, then the process begins anew.

What is the purpose of the TAG process?

The purpose of the TAG process is to provide a symmetric method of improving results and maximizing profit for our clients. We have over eight years of advertising and Pay Per Click experience. This experience has uncovered noticeable patterns in the causes of both good and bad results.

A proven step-by-step symmetric process utilized from day one, even before any money is spent, gives AdFicient an advantage over competitors that do not use a proven process. It allows for continued refinement and improvement of the client’s advertising account, which maximizes return on investment (ROI).

How was the TAG process created?

The founder of AdFicient, Chris Hickman, first began learning about Internet advertising almost nine years ago and he has been working with Pay Per Click accounts for the past eight years. He watches every Pay Per Click seminar, reads every Pay Per Click book out there and basically eats, sleeps and breathes Pay Per Click. Having managed and worked with many clients and millions of dollars, Mr. Hickman has developed a proven method to create, advertise and track Pay Per Click accounts. He is a featured article writer on Pay Per Click Universe and is featured in two books by top selling author, Bruce C. Brown.

How do I know “for sure” the TAG process will help me?

There are two straightforward methods to confirm that the TAG process will benefit the needs of your business. First, read our Client Testimonials to see how this process has made a positive impact on their success. Second, we encourage you to explore the process and see for yourself.

The most important phase of the TAG process is the “T – Target” phase. During this phase, research on the competition is compiled and analyzed. Then and only then is it possible to define one’s competitive edge. Many business owners rush into advertising, believing that “throwing money at it” will turn a profit. As a result, easy to spot and avoidable factors are overlooked, causing a negative impact to the bottom line. In addition, many questions necessary for successful advertising go unanswered:

  • Who are my competitors?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • What are their offers?
  • How does my offer compare?
  • What reason am I giving people to buy from me and not the competitors?
  • These are just some of the many questions that are addressed in the “T – Target” phase. The in-depth explanation of the “T – Target” phase provides additional information on what you’ll need to know in order to avoid costly advertising mistakes.
  • To those clients whose time is better spent managing their business and not the details of their advertising, AdFicient offers an array of services tailored to meet any advertising needs. Indeed, the TAG process should be an industry standard. If so, millions of wasted advertising dollars would be saved. There is no step-by-step industry standard for Internet advertising. In that regard, Internet advertising is very much like the Wild West. Millions of people are advertising and millions of different strategies are employed. Only a very small percentage of these strategies are successful and an even smaller percentage of them are consistently successful. What is needed is a method to deliver consistent results over time, which is precisely what the TAG process does.

What does the TAG process not do?

Despite its many advantages, there are a few things the TAG process will not do. The TAG process will not do the work or selling for you, rather it is a step-by-step guide proven and refined over time, designed to increase your ROI. If your business requires more comprehensive advertising services, then hiring AdFicient to deliver these services is a better option. The TAG process will not automatically make everything it’s applied to an instant success. Nothing will. It takes hard work and persistence to be successful at anything. The TAG process will not turn coal into diamonds, but it will give you a systematic way to competitively sell coal or diamonds. In order to benefit from the TAG process, you must have a product or service for which there is a demand and it must be a product or service that people are willing to pay for.

In-Depth Explanation of the TAG Process

Please bear in mind that every step and every technique has been developed for the sole purpose of increasing profitability for our clients.

T – Target (The Most Important) 

This is the research and planning phase. It is the single most important of all the phases. When you advertise, you may think of selling your product as a way to make money for your business. When you spend X amount of dollars, how much do you get back and is there a profit? These are good questions to ask, but not at the beginning of the “Target” phase. At this point, you should not think about how much money you will make. Instead, think about how many people you will help, how you will help them and how much you will help them. This is the real reason people pay for products or services, to get something they want or need. They don’t care about the person selling to them, nor do they care how their purchase might impact your profitability. Customers, all customers, are tuned to the same radio station, WIIFM (“What’s in it for Me?”).

In the “Target” phase, identify the strategies you will use and determine if you can make them profitable. As many of us know, or will find out (hopefully not the hard way), advertising alone does not guarantee a profit or even a break-even scenario. It only guarantees that money will be spent.
These are the key elements you should analyze before you begin to advertise. They form the core of the “Target” phase:

  • Demand
    • How great is the demand for your products or services?
    • Can prospective customers get your products or services somewhere else for free or at a lesser cost?
    • Are people willing to pay for your products or services?
    • Are other people selling your products or services?
    • How many other people are selling your products or services?
    • How long has there been a demand for your products or services?
    • Is the demand for your products or services increasing or decreasing over time?
  • Your competitive edge or USP (unique selling point)
    • What distinguishes you from everyone else?
    • How difficult is it for someone else to do what you do for your USP?
  • Objections
    • Why would someone not buy from you?
    • List at least one reason to overcome each and every objection.
  • The competition
    • What is your competition’s competitive edge?
    • How long have they been in business?
    • Why have your competitors been able to stay profitable?
    • How many competitors have failed?
      • Why did they fail?
      • How can you use their failures to your advantage?
    • Why would customers not buy from your competitors?
    • What is your competition doing that you could also implement in order to better service your customers?

This is what we look at during the “Target” phase, while setting up a Pay Per Click account. The best part about this phase is it doesn’t cost any money, just time. And, if properly executed, you will be positioned for success before spending a penny.

A – Advertise 

The research is complete and now it’s time to bring in the targeted traffic. This is the phase that many people begin, only to realize too late that they should have utilized better planning. Improper planning can result in wasted time and wasted money.

The “Advertise” phase of the TAG process is considered by many to be the most glorious phase of of the three. In reality, it plays only a small role in the creation of an effective and profitable campaign. The greatest contributors to the process are the “Target” and “Gather” phases.

When you are advertising, you are taking the data acquired from the “Target” phase and turning it into an actionable plan. The actionable plan includes setting up:

  • Precise and targeted keywords.
  • Clearly defined ads to go along with the keywords.
  • A customized landing page, specifically designed for the keywords and ads.
  • Higher bidding on keywords that have worked for your competitors in previous months; this guarantees your competitive advantage.
  • Specific ads for the content network, which are sometimes different than ads for the search network.
  • The proper use of broad match, phrase match and exact match criteria in Google.

Using the information acquired in the “Target” phase, you now have the tools and ability to target the best potential customers with stealth accuracy. Don’t lose sight of your main objective. It’s not about how much money you can make, at first. It’s about how many people you can help, how you will help them and how much you will help them. 

G – Gather 

The last phase, “Gather,” is the most time-consuming, tedious and boring of the phases. Don’t underestimate its importance, though. This is when the real profits are made. When you gather the results of your campaign’s effectiveness, you are discovering what works, what makes a profit and what doesn’t. This information can then be applied to the targeting phase and the advertising phase in the next cycle. In essence, your results have the potential to make money while simultaneously saving money. One of the greatest rewards of the gathering phase is that you get the best of both worlds — saving money and making more money.

When gathering data on the success of an ad campaign, the quantity of information collected can be overwhelming. Conceivably, it would take days or even weeks to analyze this amount of data. Google Analytics has over 200 different reports available to run. This isn’t necessary. In reality, there are only a few basic reports which need to be reviewed on a daily basis. To facilitate the learning process, we’ve created a list of the most important elements to be reviewed daily. These elements are listed in order of importance:

  • Cost
    • The 80/20 rule dictates that 80% of your spending will come from 20% of your account. If you don’t recognize this, you will not be in business very long.
    • Follow where your money is being spent and focus your time on the most expensive campaigns first.
  • Cost per conversion
    • Find out if you are over or under the amount you can reasonably pay per conversion.
    • This number is the one that ultimately determines your profit or loss. It probably won’t be the same for everything in the account.
    • How much are you profiting or losing?
    • Sometimes you can save a keyword or an ad by making changes. Other times you need to cut it loose because it’s losing too much money. If this is the case, know when to move on.
  • What is the absolute most you can pay per conversion?
    • Dan Kennedy, marketing expert and strategist, advises us to pay as much as possible for each conversion. If you know how much you can pay and your competition does not, then you can withstand the good and the bad trends of the account to get to the profits.
  • Conversion Rate
    • Conversion rate should be measured by the individual traffic sources. When all the traffic and costs are combined, the target conversion rate may be skewed due to extremes in performance, either items performing very well or items performing very poorly.
    • This number is not as important as one might think. When the cost and the cost per conversion are dramatically different, profitable items may appear to be unprofitable and vice versa. Consider the following two scenarios:
      • Scenario 1: You spend $100, receive 10 customers, have a 1% conversion rate and make $2,000.
      • Scenario 2: You spend $50, receive 500 customers, have a 10% conversion rate and make $25.
    • Most e-commerce sites have different products selling at different prices, with varying profit margins and traffic coming in at varying costs. There are too many variables to determine a specific conversion rate. It’s better to set a cost per conversion.

In the “Gather” phase, it is necessary to utilize a reverse approach. Start at the end result and work your way to the beginning (the original search). These are the stats you should look at every day, in order of importance:

  • Totals
    • Money in
    • Money out
    • Profit or loss
  • Total number of sales
  • Cost per sale from each traffic source and its profitability
  • Conversion rate for sales from each traffic source. As stated above, conversion rate is not as important as one might think, because the number may be skewed.
  • Conversion rate for the percentage of people who almost complete a sale (Ex: the customer who adds an item to the shopping cart without buying or the customer who looks at the page to give their name and email, but does not actually give it).
  • Bounce rate
    • Bounce rate is when someone comes to your website and leaves without looking at any other pages. The same page they enter is the same page they leave. This is bad; it means the person did not see what they wanted to and left.
    • The rule of thumb is that you want your bounce rate to be 30% or less, though this can vary from industry to industry. Do what makes you money.
  • Correlation between time of day and sales.
  • Geographical distribution of sales, where the sales are coming from.

To have an accurate picture of what is going on with your website traffic and the reasons why you are making or losing money, you don’t have to look at hundreds of reports. There are other reports you can look at that will help. However, the ones above are the most important. Think of a straight line, at one end is the person searching and the other end is a product purchase. As the website owner, your job is to find the biggest gap and fix it. There is no point in fixing the smallest gap when there is a larger one that needs to be fixed. If your pool is leaking and has holes of varying sizes, which one will you try to plug up first? The same is true with your website. Start where you will see the biggest positive impact on your bank account.

Now you have a good understanding of the TAG process and what we at AdFicient do to make sure your account is profitable. As you can tell, we like to go the extra mile with everything we do because we are committed to excellence. If you are interested in obtaining additional information or would like to speak with someone who can explain this process to you, then give us a call.