Pay per click advertising (PPC) is an Internet Marketing avenue that is used to direct visitors to your website. The advertiser pays fees to the search engines based on bids placed on keywords which are specific to your business and target market. A website that uses PPC will have a list of keywords and when a keyword search query is done on one of your targeted keywords a relevant advertisement will appear. These ads are called sponsored ads or sponsored links and they appear adjacent to or above organic listings The idea is to appear as high as you can within these listings, while staying within your allocated budget which will help achieve the maximum return on investment (ROI).
The two major players for the search engines are Google Adwords and MSN Adcenter. They both work under a bid based plan. A bid is basically a competition between advertisers in a private auction. This means that an advertiser will place a maximum value on the amount they are willing to pay when an advertisement is displayed and a searcher clicks through to their website. This value is called a cost per click (CPC). This CPC will vary depending on several factors within each search engine. A couple of these factors are the competition bidding on those keywords along with where the ad is display within the search engine networks. However, the advertiser will never pay more than the maximum CPC they have set for each keyword.
Pay per click advertising can drive traffic almost immediately to your website. Once an account is set up within the specific search engines it can be a matter of only hours before your ads begin to display on the search engine networks. This is also helpful when market conditions change and adjustments need to be made to your PPC campaigns. Changes made take effect almost immediately. With other types of online marketing there can be a lag time of days even weeks to see the results of your changes.
The key to pay per click advertising is to have your ad show up when a potential customer searches for products, services, or information. You get more targeted traffic which tends to be more effective and have a higher conversion rate This is true because the searcher has a genuine interest in the search query they perform and with correctly targeted keywords and ads you can increase your chances of a conversion.
PPC driven traffic can also be tracked and often times conversions can be easily identified. This form of marketing makes calculating your ROI an easy endeavor. You can quickly tell what is working and what is not and make the necessary changes. What you don’t want to have happen with your PPC campaigns is to spend more than your potential earnings This can happen quickly if you are not watching and managing this marketing effort on a daily basis.
Being knowledgeable about the PPC market is important to the success of your PPC marketing strategies as well as, being aware of your limitations in managing your own pay per click marketing plan. This is why hiring a PPC consultant can often save you time and money.
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