PPC stands for Pay Per Click - a popular advertising technique on the Internet. Found on websites, advertising networks, and especially on search engines, PPC advertising involves sponsored links that are typically in the form of text ads. These are usually placed close to search results, where an advertiser pays a particular amount to visitors who click on these links or banners and land on the advertiser's web page.
In essence, PPC advertising is all about bidding for the top or leading position on search engine results and listings. Advertisers do this by buying or bidding on keyword phrases that are relevant to their products or services - the higher the bid, the higher the spot on the search results, the more the people will find the ad (and click on it) to go to their websites (this is why some people call it "keyword auctioning"). Advertisers would then pay the bidding price every time a visitor clicks through the website.
PPC advertising is also known under the following names/variations:
·Pay per placement
·Pay per performance
·Pay per ranking
·Pay per position
·Cost per click (CPC)
PPC advertising is usually done with the following standard procedures:
1. Setting up an account and/or deposit funds.
2. Creating a keyword list.
3. Choosing (and setting up) an account with a PPC search engine.
4. Bidding on the ad placement, including the search result words or phrases.
5. Writing out an ad copy.
6. Setting up the 'landing pages' for your ads.
7. Placing the advertisement in the search engine.
There are many benefits to Pay Per Click advertising, making it an effective way of promoting a business 'online'. Some of them are listed below:
·Get launched immediately. PPC advertisements are implemented very quickly - they can go 'online' within an hour after winning the bid and paying for it.
·Obtain specific, pre-qualified, and quality traffic. PPC provides you with a quality or a well-targeted traffic. Visitors are narrowed down into 'qualified' people who are actually looking for specific products and/or services that you offer - those who are more likely to become a 'lead' (a convert) and complete a transaction (either by buying your product or subscribing to the service that you are offering.
·Widen your reach. PPC advertising provides additional traffic to your site, aside from the natural or "organic" search engines.
·Track your investment. PPC advertising makes use of a tracking system that will determine exactly who comes to the website and what they do once they arrive - the length of their stay on the site and the number of pages (including the actual pages) that they view. These are valuable tools in determining statistics such as return on investment (ROI), acquisition cost-per-visitor, and conversion rates (the percentage of visitors who are converted into customers or leads).
Below are some important things to consider when planning on a pay per click campaign:
1. Know your product. Take an inventory of the product and/or services that you have to offer (before anything else).
2. Stay within the budget. Determine your daily or monthly budget; and stay with it. This means keeping your budget in mind, avoiding bidding wars if possible.
3. Bid just right. Know how to bid right - a bid that is too high can exhaust all of your money, while a bid that is too low can make you lose that spot.
4. Watch the bottom line. Measure your profit margin against your spending or expenses. Know when to stop and terminate your PPC program - if you spend more on advertising but have little or no sales at all.
5. Find the right keywords. Decide which keyword phrases to opt and bid for. Do some keyword research, either by actually looking at existing search terms or with the use of online keyword suggestion tools, to know which terms are mostly used when searching for items that are related to your business. Focus on specific keywords, not on general ones.
6. Write effective ads. A good PPC ad is that which can persuade and move a searcher. There are several approaches to this:
·Free trials or sample offers
·Major benefits ("Lose weight")
·Direct instructions ("Click here")
7. Maintain a professional-looking site. Your web content should be regularly updated and checked for spelling and grammatical errors. There should be no broken links or images. The website should be simple - designed in such a way that it will be easy for visitors to navigate and load. Include contact details to create a good impression among potential customers.
The Internet has now become an important medium for product and service advertisements. Almost every company that can afford print, radio and TV advertisements have also ventured into placing ads on the Internet.
But with millions of websites out there being visited by millions of computer users, how can you make sure that your ad can be seen by your target customers and that your leads will be followed by these users? Here are a few tips.
1. Place an ad on the websites frequented by your target customers. Before doing this, you need to define who will be your target customers. Placing an ad on sites that they usually visit will increase the possibility that your ad will gain the attention and will be followed your target customers.
Also, consider the website's search engine placement, traffic, external linking and the other ads placed on it. External linking will determine if there are other sites that link to this site. This will mean that people can get to the site where your ad is placed, even if they are browsing a different site. Check if many of your competitors have ads on this site.
2. Placing ads on some sites cost some money. However, there are also sites that can place a link to your site, product or service in exchange of having their link being displayed on your site. This is also true about the newsletters sent by site owners to its mailing list members regularly.
Also, having helpful links placed on your site and having sites link to your pages help in boosting search engine ranking. This is similar to making a statement that your site's content is important that other sites have links to your web pages.
3. Pay-per-click (PPC) is also a good method in Internet marketing. You will only need to pay for the ad if the link is clicked. If you prefer this method of advertisement, make sure that you are using services that set limits on daily expenses. There are also services that help you determine effective keywords and monitor the PPC results.
4. Choose your domain name wisely. It is still being debated if domain names matter when it comes to search engine placement. Whether it does or not, having product related domain names help consumers remember your domain, that they can go back to your site even without the links.
5. Make sure you have useful content on your sites. While keyword density is important in search engine placement, having useless information or annoying repetition of keywords will not increase your customer's confidence in your site. It may even affect your sites traffic and can get your site removed from search engines. So make sure that keywords are used strategically.
6. When thinking of keywords, think like your target customers. What do you think are they going to search so they can get to your site? Also, use specific keywords or key phrases. Submitting a single word or a very general phrase to a search engine will not get you to the top of the search results compared to submitting specific keywords that describe your product and services perfectly.
7. Track your ads. Always check how much you have spent on placing links on frequently visited sites and on PPC. There are services that allow you to monitor PPC transactions and how many of these end in sales. You always need to consider if the ads that you have placed on these websites are getting you to your target consumers and if these ads can lead to revenue.
One final tip on marketing products and services, sell the benefits. It will help your marketing strategies a lot if you highlight the benefits of choosing your products and services instead of merely discussing the product specifications. Product specifications may not mean much to customers, unless they know what these stand for (how these specifications affect the quality of the product or service).
Many people say getting to the top of search engine results is difficult since millions of websites exist, which can be using the same keywords. While this is true, this doesn't mean that your website has to be stacked under your competitors' websites when presenting search engine results. Strategic advertising and linking, together with useful content, can also get you to the top of the search results.