Buying Your Way to the Top with Pay Per Click Advertising

Imagine if you could advertise ONLY to people who have actually expressed an interest in doing business with you? That's basically what happens whenever a prospective customer or client types a phrase into a search engine that's relevant to your business. But how do search engines decide which sites are worthy of top placement in their search results? It turns out that some of the results are ranked by the search engine's computers while others are simply paid advertisements from companies willing to buy their way to the top using Pay Per Click Advertising.

Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC for short) is an online advertising format that allows you to buy your way to the top of search results pages for search phrases relevant to your business. Businesses buy advertising on specific search phrases, and are then charged each time a person clicks through to their web site.

How does this work?

Try running a search on a major search engine like Yahoo or Google for a common consumer product like "DVD players." When reviewing the results, you'll likely see a set of results labeled as "Sponsor Results" or "Sponsored Link". Some results may appear in the same format as the main search results on the page, while others are listed within colored text boxes along the site of the page. All of those results are paid advertisements from the sites listed within the ads.

The ads are ranked based on how much a business is willing to pay to advertise on each search phrase. In the example search for "DVD players" the current top advertiser is currently paying $0.81 per click ? one penny more than the #2 advertiser.

The ads are purchased through pay per click advertising suppliers, and the two largest happen to be owned by Google and Yahoo. Google's program is called Adwords and displays results on Google.com, AOL, Ask Jeeves, many smaller search engines. Yahoo's program is run by an acquired company called Overture, and the results appear on Yahoo, MSN, AltaVista, and many other syndication partners.

Why should I pay for traffic?

For businesses that have had success with search engine optimization, the idea of paying for visitors is not particularly enticing. However, if you can make more money off a visitor to your web site than it costs to get them there, why wouldn't you pay for those visitors? Keep in mind that you can choose exactly what search terms you want to advertise on, and you only pay when a searcher actually clicks on your ad, so it generally comes down to deciding how much you can afford to spend for those visitors rather than whether it's worth doing at all.

How much should I spend?

The main factors influencing how much money can be spent on a PPC campaign are:

1. How many searches are conducted per month using phrases relevant to your business?

2. How much are you, along with your competitors, willing to pay for those terms?

The average monthly ad spend on PPC advertising is a couple thousand dollars, but this varies immensely from less than $50/month for regionally targeted and niche businesses to millions a month by large national retailers.

The goal of any advertising campaign should be to bring in more money from the campaign than it costs to run it. Pay Per Click is no different, but the level of detail you can measure in PPC is significantly higher than most types of advertising. For example, with relatively inexpensive (some are even free) tools, you can determine which ads are generating sales or leads for your business. Beyond that, you can determine how much money you spent on a specific ad to generate a sale or a lead. By measuring what's working, you can aggressively advertise on terms that prove to be winners for your business while shutting down ads that don't deliver.

Tips for Success

1. Advertise on a large number of relevant search phrases. Brainstorm beyond the first dozen terms that come to mind to describe your business. Advertise on the terms used to describe your products, the product names, product codes, and the questions a prospect might type into a search engine that your services answer, and more.

2. Build unique ads for each search phrase. It takes a lot more time to write a unique ad for each search phrase relevant to your business rather than creating one ad for all of your search phrases, but the extra work will definitely be rewarded. Ads that are aligned with the corresponding search term receive more clicks, which will mean more targeted traffic, and in some cases paying less per click (on Google Adwords) due to the intricacies of how the advertising is priced.

3. Send visitors to the most appropriate page of your web site. If you place an ad for a specific product within your online store, don't send visitors to your homepage and force them to dig for what they just searched. This will frustrate your visitors and increase the chance that they'll hit the dreaded Back button.

4. Track your results. Spending money without measuring the return on your investment is not a good business practice. At the very least, consider installing the free tracking tools available through Google Adwords and Overture to measure which terms are delivering results for your business. Beyond that, consider using a 3rd party statistics tool with conversion analysis to compile the results of your various pay per click programs into one easy to manage interface.

Go for it

People are searching for what you sell at this very moment! If your site is not showing up near the top of the results, your competition thanks you.

About The Author

Ed Kohler is the President of Haystack In A Needle, Inc., a web marketing firm in Minneapolis, MN, offering search engine optimization and pay per click advertising consulting services.

HaystackInANeedle.com

kohler@HaystackInANeedle.com

In The News:


WordStream (blog)

PPC #Mobilegeddon Is Coming
WordStream (blog)
Will it result in a bigger potential share of the rapidly growing mobile advertising market for Google? Absolutely, unequivocally yes. The question isn't why would Google apply the same philosophy to ads, but why wouldn't it? Testing an algorithmic ...

and more »

topseos.com Unveils Disruptive Advertising as the Best Enterprise PPC Firm for ...
Digital Journal
NAPLES, FL--(Marketwired - April 23, 2015) - topseos.com, the independent authority on internet marketing solutions, has named Disruptive Advertising the best enterprise PPC management agency for April 2015. Each month the independent research team ...

and more »

Business 2 Community

Top 8 PPC Marketing Mistakes to Avoid (Infographic)
Business 2 Community
Too Broad Keyword Targeting – If done correctly, PPC marketing can generate immediate, highly-targeted results the moment you roll your ads. PPC ads are known to get as much as 64% of the share of clicks on high commercial intent keywords so it is ...

and more »

Huffington Post

The Essentials of PPC for Small Business
Huffington Post
PPC is a form of online advertising that allows you to quickly get visitors to your website by placing ads on search engines and paying only when those ads are clicked on. Pay per click ads are the advertisements that appear at the very top of a search ...

and more »

topseos.com Announces Disruptive Advertising as the Best Enterprise PPC ...
Marketwired (press release)
NAPLES, FL--(Marketwired - April 21, 2015) - topseos.com, the independent authority on search marketing vendors, has named Disruptive Advertising the best enterprise PPC company for April 2015. Each month the independent research team at ...

and more »

Search Engine Land

How To Drive Phone Conversions With PPC
Search Engine Land
Online advertising not only encourages online sales but also leads to phone calls and offline store visits that lead to sales. In other words, digital ads often contribute to phone calls in ways that aren't easily measured, and thus not properly ...


JumpFly PPC Advertising News (blog)

Protect Your Brand Name with PPC Advertising
JumpFly PPC Advertising News (blog)
A popular discussion usually arises when discussing PPC advertising strategies for brand names. Should companies bid on their own brand name? Some critics believe focusing on the brand name for PPC advertisement is a waste of advertising budget.


Disruptive Advertising Named Top Enterprise PPC Company by topseos.com for ...
Marketwired (press release)
NAPLES, FL--(Marketwired - April 10, 2015) - The independent authority on internet marketing solutions, topseos.com, has named Disruptive Advertising the best enterprise PPC service for the month of April 2015. Disruptive Advertising was chosen based ...

and more »

topppcs.com Selects Disruptive Advertising as the Best Enterprise PPC ...
Marketwired (press release)
NAPLES, FL--(Marketwired - April 13, 2015) - topppcs.com has named Disruptive Advertising the best enterprise PPC agency for April 2015. Disruptive Advertising was selected due to their effective performance in the proprietary evaluation process.

and more »

JumpFly PPC Advertising News (blog)

Doing Your Own PPC Management Will Lose You Money in the Long Run
JumpFly PPC Advertising News (blog)
7-Reasons-For-PPC-Management Research shows that 93% of online experiences start with a search engine query. With a figure like that, it should be no surprise that 85% of retailers in one survey said that search marketing (pay-per-click advertising and ...

and more »
Google News

5 Critical Pay-Per-Click Tips

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is a good supplement to natural search... Read More

Posturing Yourself As The Expert By Utilizing Google Search

First, go to google and type "dan kennedy" into the... Read More

Creating Revenue Without Much Effort, Set It And Forget It Online

Earning more revenue from your website is the goal of... Read More

Click Fraud ? Threatening the Internet Economy

One of the most popular forms of Internet advertising is... Read More

Sell Multiple Products Through a Single ClickBank Account

A ClickBank merchant account allows you to define and sell... Read More

How to Quickly Create an Adsense Site That Brings In the Bucks

One of the hottest crazes for online marketers is Adsense... Read More

ClickBank Link Theft: Is It Really That Bad?

If you have visited any of the affiliate-related websites or... Read More

Google Adsense, The Smart Way To Earn

Do you want to get paid for posting ads on... Read More

5 Tips to Pay-Per-Clicking

Hi, my name is Darryl Power and I have been... Read More

How To Write Little Tiny AdWords Ads That Bring Giant-Sized Profits

It seems to be a phenomenon. You try Google AdWords... Read More

How To Screen Your Visitors When Using Pay Per Click Advertising

If you are using pay per click advertising, I don't... Read More

Adsense-ble, Or The Art Of Promoting, Without Promoting

Hey, wait a minute. You can't have popups on the... Read More

Pay-Per-Click Search Engines: A Really Bad Investment

What was once such a good thing is now a... Read More

Preliminary Survival Steps for Adwords Success

What I find is a lot of marketers do have... Read More

The Truth About Why People Search!

Why do people search on search engines? Let's confess this... Read More

PPC Search Engines Revealed - 5 Things You Need to Know

The pay per click (PPC) search engines have created a... Read More

How to Make More Money from the Google Adsense Ads on Your Blog

Numerous bloggers these days are looking to earn extra cash... Read More

Affiliate Strategies Of Pay Per Click Search Engines

Where are your ads being displayed?The Untold Secret Of Pay... Read More

The Long Term Benefits From Pay Per Click Advertising

Businesses are starting to look closely at the long-term benefits... Read More

Advertising Using PPC Search Engines

Internet technology offers vast opportunities to promote your business with... Read More

Under The Covers: ClickBanks Affiliate Tracking System

The core principle of affiliate marketing is that the referring... Read More

Secret Reasons Why Some Businesses Can Afford to Bid Ridiculous, Amounts On Pay-Per-Click Keywords

The other day I was talking to one of my... Read More

Pay-Per-Click Search Advertising Comes First

There are a variety of advertising options available to online... Read More

Improved PPC Marketing Performance from Time-Tested 80/20 Principle

As marketers and business owners, we're always looking for "the... Read More

5 Ways To Make Your Adwords Ads Outshine Your Competitors

Google Adwords is a very good place to promote your... Read More