May 31, 2006Volume 5 Number 20 Issue 107     
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Pay Per Click and Your Business

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There was no newsletter last week. I was plagued by server troubles! I thought that I would split the load and use one server for outgoing mail and another for incoming. Instead of being twice as reliable, it just created twice as many chances for problems! By the time the glitches were ironed out, it was too late to make a mail out, so, without further ado, here is the newsletter I planned to send last week -

Pay Per Click and Your Business

Pay Per Click is usually abbreviated as PPC. The theory of PPC is simple. You pay for each user that clicks through to your web site from text ads on search engines or other popular sites. These ads are usually placed close to search results, where the advertiser (you) pays a particular amount (anything from one-cent to many dollars) for each visitor who clicks on your link or banner and lands on your web page. You make a profit if enough of these visitors can be enticed to become buyers, or at least leave their name and email address and agree to receive future mailings from you.

Basically, you purchase PPC advertising by bidding for the top or leading position on search engine results and listings. You do this by bidding on keyword phrases that are relevant to your 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 your web sites (this is why some people call it "keyword auctioning"). You pay the price you bid every time a visitor clicks through to your web site.

PPC advertising is also known under several different names, including : Pay per placement, Pay per performance, Pay per ranking, Pay per position, Cost per click (CPC)

The following are the standard procedures for buying PPC advertising:

  1. You must create a list of keywords that relate exactly to your site..
  2. Choose and set up an account with a PPC search engine.
  3. Bid on the ad placement, using the keywords you created earlier
  4. Write out ad copy. Be sure to tailor it to the keyword you are bidding on.
  5. Set up the 'landing pages' tailored for each of your ads.
  6. Place the advertisement in the search engine.

Although Pay Per Click advertising can be expensive, there are many benefits to be obtained from PPC advertising, making it an effective way to promote your business 'on-line'. Some of them are listed below:

  • Get launched immediately. PPC advertisements are implemented very quickly - they can go 'on-line' within an hour after you win the bid and pay for it.
  • Obtain specific, pre-qualified, and quality traffic. PPC provides you with quality, well-targeted traffic. If you pick and purchase the correct keywords, visitors will be 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 web site 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 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). Make sure that you can describe it accurately in one or two sentences. You don't want to entice people to click on your ad if they have no interest whatsoever in buying your product or signing up for your list.
  2. Stay within the budget. Determine your daily or monthly budget; and stay with it. This means keeping your budget in mind and 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 cause you to 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 than you generate in leads or sales.
  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 on-line 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. Again, the trick is not to generate huge amounts of traffic, but rather targeted traffic that is interested in your product.
  6. Write effective ads. A good PPC ad is one which can persuade and move a visitor searching for what you have to offer. There are several approaches to this:
    • Discount offers
    • Testimonials
    • Celebrity/famous endorsers
    • Money-back guarantees
    • Free trials or sample offers
    • Freebies
    • Reverse psychology
    • 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 web site should be simple and 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.

Done properly, PPC advertising can be an effective marketing tool that will maximize the return on your investment. Done poorly, it can be a large drain on your resources with little or no return on your investment.

Until next time…


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