Pay Per Click (PPC) is a way to get instant traffic to your site. The biggest providers are Google and Microsoft. Google’s program is called AdWords and Microsoft’s AdCenter also advertises through Yahoo!
Basically, the way it works is that you set up an account, bid on a keyword and when visitors to Google, Microsoft or Yahoo type in the keyword that you’ve bid on, a link to your site will appear on their screen. If they click through to your site, you pay for that “click”. Search results are usually divided into “organic” results and “sponsored” results. The organic ones are the ones that (supposedly) are the most relevant, while sponsored ones have been paid for.
Although Pay-Per-Click can generate instant traffic, it can also be a waste of money if you don’t generate a result when someone visits your website. Most people don’t know the difference between an organic search result or a sponsored link and don’t realize that when they click a sponsored link, that someone is being charged (since I learned this, I’ve stopped clicking on sponsored links unless I’m genuinely interested in buying something).
Reasons to try Pay-Per-Click
Perhaps you’re trying to build your e-mail list quickly and are willing to pay for the clicks – or maybe you’ve got products for sale on your site and you’re hoping to convert visitors to buyers. Obviously, not everyone that clicks through is going to buy something or do what you want, but if you have what people are looking for, and have a compelling offer, a certain percentage will probably buy. It’s a matter of “running the numbers” to see if it works for you. For example, let’s say you’re selling a product that costs $20, and clicks for a certain keyword cost 25 cents each. If 20 people visit your site and one buys, you’ve spent $5 in pay-per-click fees, but sold a $20 product, leaving $15. If your production costs are covered within the remaining $15, then you’ve made a profit.
It is imperative that you set a limit on your spending and pay close attention to the results you’re getting. Obviously, an ideal situation is when clicks are cheap, your product is expensive and you’re getting a high conversion rate. The opposite will just burn through money without a satisfactory result.
How to get started
1. Choose a service, create an account and deposit funds.
2. Choose your keywords and design an advertisement.
3. Notice the results you are getting.
4. Adjust your ad, bids and budget accordingly.
Besides the major players mentioned above, there are plenty of other companies that sell traffic, including Facebook, which has a very easy to use advertising interface. If you do decide to go with Facebook, I recommend that you pay per click and not per impression.