Save Big On Your Next Pay Per Click Advertising Campaign
Pay Per Click advertising is often referred to as PPC which stands for a popular advertising technique on the Internet. You can find this form of advertising on websites, advertising networks, and especially on search engines.
If you've ever searched the internet for a product or service, then chances are you've come across some form of PPC advertising. The majority of Pay Per Click ads involves sponsored links that are typically in the form of text ads but there's also banner ads, popup ads, pop-under ads, and the newest thing to the internet world, video ads.
All of these forms of advertisements have one ultimate goal in mind… to call viewers to action. Whether it's to get them to buy something or to receive a free gift or to sign up for their newsletter. The ultimate goal of Pay Per Click advertisement is to encourage the viewer to respond.
To sum up PPC in one sentence - an advertiser pays a particular amount to a search engine for visitors who click on their links or banners and land on their 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 website (this is why some people call it "keyword auctioning"). Advertisers would then pay the bidding price every time a visitor clicks through to their website.
There are many variations to Pay Per Click advertising such as
- Pay per placement
- Pay per performance
- Pay per ranking
- Pay per position
- Cost per click (CPC)
The procedure for placing a Pay Per Click advertisement is pretty straightforward and simple. There are basic steps you will most likely have to take such as:
- Setting up an account and/or deposit funds.
- Creating a keyword list.
- Choosing (and setting up) an account with a PPC search engine.
- Bidding on the ad placement, including the search result words or phrases.
- Writing out an ad copy.
- Setting up the 'landing pages' for your ads.
- Placing the advertisement in the search engine.
Benefits to PPC Advertising:
- Get launched immediately. PPC advertisements are implemented very quickly - they can go 'online' within an hour after you winning the bid and paying for it.
- Obtain specific, pre-qualified, and quality traffic. PPC provides you with a quality or 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, in addition to the traffic you're already receiving from natural or "organic" search engines.
- Track your investment. PPC advertising makes use of a tracking system that will determine exactly who comes to your website and what they do once they arrive - the length of their stay on the site and the number of 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).
Drawbacks to PPC Advertising:
The biggest drawback to Pay Per Click advertising is money. Although you can usually establish a pre-determined budget for how much money you are willing to spend on your advertising campaign, you will sooner or latter (in most cases, sooner) deplete your initial budget and have to add more money to your account.
All search engines will ask you for your credit card information. This is so when your balance runs low, they can add more money to your account.
Although you may open your account with a specific amount of advertising dollars, as soon as your click through rate depletes your down payment, your credit card is charged again.
Some search engines, like Google and MSN, will continue to run your ads after your initial down payment is spent, but buyer beware, they will get their money (usually when you least expect it). They will allow you to accumulate advertising expenses before charging the credit card on file.
Needless to say, this is where Pay Per Click can break your business. If you have an advertising budget and this is the method you choose to spend your advertising dollars on, then you MUST keep a close eye on how much your pay per click advertising campaign is costing you.
Don't just check how much you've spent once or twice a day, CHECK IT OFTEN, otherwise you might find yourself over budget and struggling to keep your online business afloat.
If you find that you can't afford to continue your advertising campaign, you should immediately take your ads offline based on the individual search engines' method for doing so.
Important things to consider when planning on a pay per click campaign:
- Know your product. Take an inventory of the product and/or services that you have to offer (before anything else).
- 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.
- 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 your ads to receive poor placement (not appear on the top 3 pages).
- 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.
- 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.
- Write effective ads. A good PPC ad is that which can persuade and move a searcher.
- Try some of these approaches:
- Discount offers
- Celebrity/famous endorsers
- Money-back guarantees
- Free trials or sample offers
- Reverse psychology
- Major benefits ("Lose weight")
- Direct instructions ("Click here")
- 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.
Done properly, Pay Per Click advertising can be an effective marketing tool that will maximize your return on investment. Most likely you will have to play around with different variations of your advertisement to see which ad copy encourage viewers to click on your ad and enter your website. Keep in mind, it can be costly, but if done right, Pay Per Click advertising could very easily become the life-line of your business.
Don't give up! If at first you don't succeed, TRY, TRY, AGAIN! There is a lot to learn when starting a online business. Give yourself a break and don't set unrealistic goals. Contrary to popular beliefs, having a successful, profit making, online business doesn't happen overnight.