Understanding pay per click

‘Pay per click’ (PPC) is a marketing strategy where advertisers pay every time someone clicks on their advertisement – if nobody sees your advertisement, you don’t pay for it.

Google is one of the search engines that utilises the ‘pay per click’ technology using ‘keywords’. Keywords are words which are used to identify relevancy to search phrases, and is one of the ways that Google ensures that when people search, they can produce well matched results. It coincides with the ‘pay per click’ system as often advertisers bid on or fix a price for keywords as a way to effectively focus on their target market. So, if a user types in a search phrase consisting of the defined keywords, the advertisement may be displayed in the form of ‘sponsored links’ or sponsored ads’.

Other popular pay per click search engines are Yahoo!, MSN Live and Ask.

The same principle is applied to product comparison websites, where instead of using keywords, products are defined. When the associated product is clicked on, the advertisement is displayed and if the user clicks on it, the advertiser pays for that click.

The way to implement the PPC marketing methodology is by joining a PPC program such as Google AdWords. Here a cost per click price is set based on your keywords whereby popular ones which feature highly in search phrases often cost more.

A good way to choose which search engine to use is to firstly determine your budget. Larger search engines are the most effective as they have a high success rate, but using them also comes at a price. The next step in constructing your pay per click campaign is to carefully select your keywords. This should take the relevancy of your website and your target market into account. Finally you should decide what title and description will appear when your advertisement is displayed.

‘Pay per click’ marketing is a good way of generating traffic on your website and is a fair system of paying for actual results rather than paying for your advertisement to simply be displayed. For this reason, it is especially effective for small business owners. A good tip is to ensure that your link takes the user directly to the page they are likely to be looking for, as people are more likely to buy, if they have to click less. For example, if someone searches “Godfather DVD”, they are likely to be looking to buy it. So rather than providing a link which takes them to the homepage of the website, it can be more effective linking them to the page where they can actually purchase that DVD. Although it is open to fraudulent activities by competitors through click fraud’, this is generally quite well monitored by larger PPC companies.


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