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3 Key Questions About PPC Advertising
You've heard the term pay-per-click advertising but you aren't really sure what it means and how it applies to you?
In order to better understand PPC advertising there are three key questions that need to be answered:
~ What Is It?
Pay per click advertising, often known simply as PPC, is the fastest and easiest way to gain targeted traffic for your web site.
What exactly is PPC advertising?
It is very much as it sounds. You place a bid (sometimes mere pennies ranging up to many dollars) on a key word or key phrase. Your bid guarantees you a place in the search or ad listings for that particular key word or phrase.
Your anchor text and link (sometimes accompanied by descriptive ad copy) then appears in search engine results relative to the price of the bid. If you are the highest bidder, your webpage appears at the absolute top of many search engines.
Every click on your ad will cost you the agreed upon amount (or bid) and your ad will be displayed until you have generated that number of clicks.
Why would you use PPC advertising?
There are several advantages to PPC advertising.
Probably the single greatest advantage that PPC offers over other forms of advertising is that you only pay for performance. In other words, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
PPC advertising also offers a great deal of flexibility to you as an advertiser. You can continually change and tweak your campaign or even run different campaigns at the same time to test performance for different key words, descriptions, and sales pages.
PPC advertising also gives you a great deal of control over when your ad campaign will start and stop as well as the exact phrasing of your displayed ad text and the target sales page.
Timing is another key reason why many people seek out a PPC campaign. While it may take weeks or months to achieve a listing for a new site (or to change the listing status of an existing site). With PPC you can achieve top ranking literally overnight and see a dramatic jump in your traffic.
How do you get started with PPC advertising?
Your choices for arranging a PPC ad campaign are many. The top players are Google and Overture, recently purchased by Yahoo. Microsoft has added MSN Search and there are many smaller engines out there as well.
It is important that you have an idea how much your visitors are worth to you and that you watch your conversion rate (the percentage of visitors who become customers) closely. You need to do this so that the PPC rate you are paying is worthwhile for you.
PPC advertising requires planning and careful management. You should do a lot of homework and testing before embarking on a PPC campaign. Test out your sales copy and optimize your conversion ration before you put money into a PPC campaign.
You need to know your target audience and have a pretty good idea what search terms they are likely to use.
Most PPC engines, certainly the big ones, offer this calculation and tracking for you so it is fairly painless, but you should always double-check it before adding more funds to a campaign.
Most engines let you know what placement your bid will give you so you can jockey for the best position at the lowest price. They often will also often give you an idea of how many clicks to expect at various rankings.
The more specific your key phrase can be to your product then the higher your conversion rate is likely to be. Often the PPC rates for select key words is high but you can quickly find phrases that are actually more apt for your product and cost you a lot less.
PPC advertising can be tremendously powerful and profitable, but it can also be very costly and confusing. Start small, test all the angles, and then build on your success. Unless you are experienced and knowledgeable you can easily lose a lot of money with PPC advertising, but carefuly management and cautious planning can help you achieve the success you desire.
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