Pay-Per-Click Advertising

What is pay-per-click advertising?

Pay-per-click ads have traditionally been small text links displayed when users search on Google or one of the other major search engines using keywords that match those the advertiser has specified for their advertising campaign.

Text ads are displayed beside, and sometimes above, the natural organic results . . . and only incur a cost when someone clicks on the ad.

A second form of PPC advertising appears on what is known as the Display Network. This is a vast network of sites that partner with the search engines to display ads that match the context of the content displayed on their website.

The new frontier for PPC is mobile. Many people expect this sector to provide enormous opportunities for smart local advertisers as the number of cell phones equipped with internet browsers (such as the iPhone and Android) grows rapidly. Certainly, the major players in the mobile space have made it clear that this will be the fastest growing market for their advertising products by far for some time to come.

Google AdWords mobile advertising

Not surprisingly, Google operates the most popular PPC program (called Google AdWords). However the joint venture platform run by Microsoft and Yahoo! is also highly effective in some markets, offering cheaper clicks for lower volume but higher conversion rates.

Pay-per-click advertising is not a cure-all for companies having trouble achieving good search engine rankings. Indeed, any marketing consultant worth his salt will tell you that paid search marketing should be carried out in conjunction with optimisation of your website for the natural search results . . . NOT as a substitute.

But because organic search engine optimization can often take 3-6 months to yield sustainable results, it’s hardly surprising that advertisers are willing to pay for the instant traffic that PPC often produces.

Here’s why . . .

  • Performance Based Control
    With pay-per-click, you can drive targeted traffic to your web site with performance based control. You choose your own keywords that tell Google when and where to show your ads, and you only pay when users click those ads. Set a daily budget with a maximum cost-per-click and you’ll never spend more than you want to.
  • Cost Effective
    In many markets, PPC marketing is cost effective. While click costs vary by industry, leading researcher Piper Jaffray has estimated the cost of search marketing generated sales leads to be the cheapest of all the major marketing methods commonly in use today . . . cheaper than the Yellow Pages and a lot cheaper than direct mail.
  • Self-Service Model
    Adwords is ‘do-it-yourself’ advertising in minutes with just a credit card. Simple text based ads mean there’s no need for graphic artists or agencies to create ads for you. You can change your ad copy as often as you like, and the changes show up immediately.
  • Reach
    Adwords ads show up on thousands of Google network partner sites across the internet . . . including many of the web’s biggest names.
  • Local Targeting
    Adwords’ geographical targeting options allows advertisers to target customers in specific cities or regions . . . right down to a radius around an individual business address if required.
  • Accountable
    And unlike other forms of advertising, tracking your return on investment is fast and easy with AdWords. You can spend $500 on an Adwords campaign and know your return on that spend in a matter of days.

So . . . can all businesses benefit from advertising with Adwords?

The short answer is no, some industries are just not well suited to it. Businesses that trade in wholesale commodities would be one example. However, AdWords HAS proven effective across a remarkably wide range of industries . . . including the service sector.

The bottom line is, if people are searching online for your product or service . . . then there’s an opportunity to reach them via pay-per-click advertising.

If you would like to learn about how to run your own ppc advertising campaign, read our blog series about advertising with Google AdWords.

If you’d prefer to have us manage your campaign, check out our ppc campaign management service.


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