Pay per click (PPC) advertising is the hottest and perhaps most effective way for many Internet advertisers to reach their intended audiences. It is a marketing device that should be included in the tool box of any company which has or plans to have a presence on the net. The keys to pay per click are deciding what type of clicks to use and how to make sure that each click targets the audience a company wants to reach.
PPC advertising falls into two categories: Pay per click search engines and ads that potential customers can click on (so called clickable ads). Search engines based on the PPC model charge an advertiser a fee for the ranking it receives when a particular term (keyword) is searched. The more popular a keyword is the higher the price for an advertiser’s website to appear on the returned search list. Advertisers who pay the most will have their products and services appear at the head of the list given back to the person who initiated the search. Clickable ads appear on websites which have content similar to that of the ads. A customer perusing the website will see advertisements of interest and perhaps click on them. The advertiser pays only when a potential client clicks on that advertiser’s ad. Some PPC advertising companies are also experimenting with clickable ads where the advertiser pays only if a customer clicks on the ad and makes a purchase as well. Both of these styles of PPC advertising have advantages. An astute Internet advertiser will examine each type to determine which is best for its business. It is often possible that a combination of the two models will give a company the most bang for its advertising buck.
How can a company go about comparing the many pay per click advertising platforms and deciding which one is best suited to its needs? A company must first research the PPC search engines and clickable ad programs available; then it is wise to make a small investment to test those programs which seem viable. When choosing a program, biggest may not always be best. Some companies will benefit from casting a wide net with a large company. Other businesses may be better served by working with smaller advertising entities that specialize in niche markets. Remember too that a company doesn’t have to pay the highest price to be placed on a PPC search engine return page. Companies are placed on the page in descending order from the highest to the lowest bidder. Holding a place on the first or second search page may produce significant return at a lower cost.
Once an advertiser has decided to use a pay per click search engine or to place a series of clickable ads, a test run is advisable. Like all advertising companies, PPC advertising is based on a set budget. A company establishes an account and each time a potential client clicks on the keyword or the ad, an amount is deducted from the advertiser’s account until it is depleted. A company should set up small accounts with several PPC companies which seem appropriate for its needs. After setting up the accounts the advertiser then needs to devise something on its website to track how many visitors it receives from each company. PPC companies themselves will offer the advertiser a list of visitors who clicked through on their advertising but these lists may not provide a company with sufficient information for making an informed decision about the success of its advertising. A company wants to know not just that it received visitors but that the visitors were actual potential customers, not just idle surfers.
All in all, PPC advertising represents a viable and cost effective form of advertising. Most businesses will discover that either PPC search engines or clickable ads or a savvy combination of the two will increase traffic to their sites. So resolve today to make a small investment of time and money to find the PPC solution that will enable your company to enhance its Internet presence.