Along with the regular search engines and directories, pay per click (PPC) advertising is the big marketing opportunity on the Net.
The advantage of PPC advertising is that you achieve a top ranking the very same day versus waiting for weeks or months with the free major search engines and you receive a guaranteed placement on every keyword you choose without needing to tweak the content of your pages.
Technically, the listing is free. You pay only for each click (i.e., visitor) that you receive from that listing. If you place the highest bid per click price for a keyword, you'll achieve the highest ranking and keep it until someone outbids you. When this happens, your listing will be pushed down a notch.
You open an account with the pay per click search engine and deposit some money into your account which you'll use to bid on keywords. The amount you bid on a given keyword is subtracted from your balance every time someone clicks on your listing in the results.
The advantage of PPC advertising over paying for banner ads is that you don't pay for impressions, but instead for actual click-throughs. It's also commonly known that visitors from search engines are much more likely to make a purchase than visitors derived from traditional ads, because each click comes from someone who was actively looking for your products or services.
Tips on using pay per click advertising
1) With PPCs you basically want as few off-target visitors as possible. In other words, make it as clear as possible what your page is about. For example, if you're selling something, then it's better to prepare your visitors to buy it rather than have them think that they might get it for free.
2) Carefully choose your keywords.
The best way to achieve success at the pay per click search engines is to bid on hundreds
of on-target keywords, especially the less-obvious variations which will be quite cheap to buy.
Obvious, popular keywords have become too expensive.
Use WordTracker to help you determine a comprehensive list of appropriate search terms. See Building: Site Content: Choosing Keywords for more details on how to use this service.
3) Write your title and description so that only your prospective customers click. The title will be linked when your listing shows up in the search results, so make it enticing, but keep it accurate. Create persuasive and compelling descriptions. Avoid descriptions that are so broad that they can bring in too many unqualified prospects. Always repeat the keyword in both the title and description.
4) Balance the per-click cost against the financial benefit of the extra clicks. For example, with a conversion rate (the percentage of people who visit your site and buy your product or whatever it is you want them to do) of 1%, it takes 100 visitors before you make a sale. At 1 cent per click those visitors will cost you a total of $1. After that you can decide how much you're willing to pay per click to stay profitable.
Ken Evoy's free Affiliate Masters course covers PPC advertising in great detail, as well as other ways of building income through content. There's no charge - you're not even asked for your email address.
Top pay per click search engines
- Google AdWords
The most popular PPC. Your ads will be displayed on Google.com and the Google content network, which includes Google AdSense publisher sites. You can choose your target audience, set your budget, and see the ad almost instantly (minimum bid: 1 cent).
- Yahoo! Search Marketing (formerly Overture)
One of the most popular PPC on the Web. Of course, due to its great popularity, each click from Yahoo! Search Marketing will cost you more than from the other PPCs (minimum bid: 10 cents).
"Free" pay per click search engines
Below is a list of some young PPCs which offer from $10 to $25 free to new clients. In other words, you can receive thousands of targeted visitors, try out PPC advertising and test your relevant keywords - all without spending a dime!
Unfortunately, these engines receive relatively little traffic. Therefore, you need to manage more bids to generate the decent amount of free traffic. However, you'll get better value for money on these second-tier PPCs.
Here's a simple method of uploading large amounts of keywords to these free pay per click search engines...
Open any spreadsheet program and enter five columns...
- Keywords or search phrases.
- Bid amounts (for example, 0.01).
- Titles. They will be linked in the search results.
- Links (URLs). Don't forget to include http://
Opening accounts and uploading keywords
Repeat this process for each of the pay per click search engines...
- Click something like 'Add your site', 'Submit your site' or 'Add a URL' link on the home page of the PPC. You'll see a form. Some PPCs previously ask you to enter your e-mail address and then send you a message with the link to the form page.
- Fill in the form. The required fields are username, password and e-mail address. You can fill in other fields later if you decide to deposit the real money into your account.
- After submitting the form, click on 'Click here to log in...', then click on 'Manage Listings', then click on 'Add Listings', and then 'Click here if you need to add multiple keyword listings at once'.
- Open the spreadsheet file with your keywords, select all, copy and then paste everything into the large box, then press the submit button. In case of time-out or error, try adding about 100 rows at a time.
- After successful submission, wait for an e-mail that verifies that your keywords have been added. Now you can search and see how you rank for your keywords.
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