Paid Search Advertising (also Pay-Per-Click, PPC) has gained a significant influence in the search engine industry over past couple of years. Whilst a traditional search engine optimisation still remains the online marketing strategy number one, more and more e-marketers discovering the potential of online advertising campaigns. Properly designed and managed, PPC campaign can deliver highly qualified visitors to your online shop.
1. Quick Overview
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Search Engines are built on the similar principle as auctions. The difference is that you bid on keywords — terms people use when they search for stuff on the internet.
The concept of PPC bidding is rather simple: you buy (= bid on) keywords that relate to your product. The highest bidder gets placed at the top of the search results, the second highest bidder gets the next listing and so on. Every time someone clicks through to your website, you pay the amount you bid on that particular search term.
Advertising with PPC search engines basically gives you three key advantages:
• Cheap and Highly Targeted Traffic
With bidding on keywords that relates to your product or service, you actually pre-qualify the type of visitors you wish to attract. You determine how much you are willing to pay (bid) for the click and you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. This implies that PPC search engines can cheaply direct qualified visitors to your website.
• Fast Exposure, Immediate Profits
Traditional search engines usually take few weeks (sometimes even months) to list your website. If you are having problems to get your website indexed by search engines or if you would like to get a quick results from the search engines then PPC is the best alternative. Most of PPC search engines will set your website live within a couple of hours (maximum few days) and the impact on your site traffic and sales is practically immediate.
• Guaranteed Top Position
Search engine optimisation is the classic method of getting your website on the top of search results for free. Simply said, the process of optimisation involves choosing keywords that are directly related to your website and placing them meaningfully within your pages. However, as easy as this sounds, for an average webmaster this is usually a quite daunting task without any guarantee on the success. This again brings me to PPC as the best solution to gain high rankings on the search result list. Often, by spending just few cents per click, your website can get to the top three positions within 24 hours!
The best-known and most popular PPC Search Engines are Google AdWords (www.google.com/ads) and Overture (www.overture.com). Advertising with those two industry leaders will get your website lots of exposure and traffic. Furthermore, top 3 listings in Google AdWords and Overture appear on an extensive network of sites (including Yahoo!, MSN, AltaVista, Excite, and many others) so you can reach up to 80% of all active Internet users. However, at the same time be prepared that their top listings tend to be rather expensive and you need to pay quite a bit.
Generally, the more popular keyword you choose for bidding the higher is the price. You can start your bid from 1 cent per click and finish paying $5.00 (or more) for very competitive keywords.