Many people by now have heard of it, thought about it, maybe even tried it and still dont completely understand it. I have been doing it for over 5 years and still scratch my head sometimes. As an "expert" I probably should not admit to that, but its true. My goal in this post is to try to very simply expain how Pay-Per-Click works, what it does, how to make the most of it and hopefully a few tips to avoid frustration.
First, the concept of Pay-Per-Click is simple, search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN etc.. will allow you to place small ads (sponsored links) next to their "natural" or "organic" search results for search queries initiated by users. Your ad will be linked to your website, so if you happen to sell soap and someone goes to Google ( I will use Google as an example) and types in "soap"(keyword) in the search bar...presto! Your ad will appear on the page along with the websites that Google has determined are the most relevant for the search term. Your ad will appear on the top of the page or along the right hand side. You will pay Google for anyone who actaully "clicks" on your sponsored link and is sent to your website.So how does Google determine how much you will pay for each visitor?
Here`s where it gets tricky. You see, you are actually bidding against everyone else who wants to be on the page for people who are searching for the keyword "soap". The more people who want that specific keyword, the more you pay per click. The amount you bid for that keyword will determine where on the page your ad appears. Most people believe that the higher you bid the higher your position on the page. This is not always the case. Google has a quality score system they use to determine how relevant your website is to your ad. It also looks at how many people actually click on your ad compared to how many people saw it, this is referred to as the click-through rate (CTR). The more relevant your ad to your site and the better the CTR will help you achieve higher ranking even if you are bidding less than others. So how do you know how much to bid?
All the search engines will give you "data" that will help you to determine an appropriate bid. This "data" is very rarely accurate. It is meant as a guide, a starting point that will give you more of a ballpark than an actual bid strategy. Keep this in mind when thinking about the budget. The good news is that unlike traditional marketing like Yellow pages, magazines, newspapers..you are in complete control. What do I mean by that?
You set your monthly budget and you can cancel at anytime. There are no long term contracts, no automatic renewals and you can change most anything about your "campaign" in a second. So you can start with a small investment and increase as you see results. You can even target an area as small as a zip code. So if you only wanted to sell soap to your neighbors you can do that. And if you only wanted to sell soap to your neighbors between 8am and 10am you can do that too. You can literally have an ad up on major search engines in hours for the exact audience you are targeting. People can be visiting your site looking for exactly what you offer today! Now thats powerful!
Here are a few tips for a small Pay-Per-Click campaign.
1. Start small. Try a limited amounts of keywords to begin with and add as you understand how everything works.
2. Test...test....test. Try different keywords, different ad variations, different landing pages.
3. Check your results often. Look at the statisctics and reports that are provided to learn about how to optimize your campaign.
4. Look at your site.Traffic to your site is great but...IF THEY DONT BUY OR TURN INTO A LEAD YOU JUST WASTED YOUR $$$$$$$. Make sure your site is tuned and ready to make it easy for people to buy, sign up or opt-in. But thats a whole different post.................
5. Consider hiring a pro. There are many well qualified Pay-Per-Click experts who are in the Marketplace section of this site. If you don`t have the time or inclination to do-it-yourself, hire someone. Also, if you are considering a larger or more complex campaign it pays to hire a professional.
I believe that a well designed Pay-Per-Click campaign can really help jump start a business. At the very least it will serve as a test for your products, offers, price points and overall marketing strategy. What better way to learn if you are on the right track than from people who are in the market for what you offer and are looking at you from a consumers point of view. If you get people to your site and they don`t buy, look at your offer. Is the offer clear? Is the price point good? Does the product appeal to your market? Does your website send the right message?
I firmly believe that you can learn quite a bit from what isn`t working. It`s a good slap in the face to help you focus and think about what sells. Isn`t that what business is all about?
Hope you found this helpful and.......... Go Get It!!!!!!!!!