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The Downside to Pay Per Click Advertising

May 4, 2008
In the time after Google Adword first opened up shop and people started flocking to the pay per click advertising has developed into the most popular way to advertise on the internet. An advertiser can create an advertisement and the search engine will take over and do the remainder of the work. That is a deal that a great many advertisers have been unable to turn down.

In concept the relationship is one of symbiosis. Ads are written by the advertiser and used by the search engine to help find potential buyers. The advertiser gives a fee to the search engine when the potential buyer chooses to visit the advertisers site.

When web surfers put a search term into the browsers search box the search engine displays the advertisers ads at the same time as the search results are displayed.

The truth is that it isn't quite that simple.

The practice of choosing a keyword can be complicated. It often is not enough to simply access the tracking tools available through the search engine. Each of the keywords listed there are used frequently and therefore are going to turn up pages upon pages of results.

Because the basic web searcher's interest isn't going to be sustained past the 5 or 10 pages, the advertiser wants his ad to be shown on the first 5 or so pages to stand a better chance of seeing a profit.

The difficulty in this is that the right to be among these top search results is determined by the amount of money the advertiser is willing to pay "per click" for their ad.

Traditional means of advertising would allow an advertiser to post an ad for an established period of time for a set fee, regardless of the number of viewers it generated. They then realized that this practice was costing them money.

This brought about pay-per-click advertising. In this form of advertising an advertiser only paid a fee when his ad was chosen. That way they could make a better profit if their ad was chosen on a regular basis.

Of course, from there the next logical step was to ensure the ads that would bring in the greatest amount of money every time they were chosen were among the top search results; therefore, in order for an ad to be among these top results the advertiser must be willing to "out bid" their competition.

Pay-per-click advertising costs have the potential to grow exponentially without a marketer even being aware of it because top spot advertisements can engender quite a bit of casual interest but few sales. This is not money well spent.

Pay per click advertising can be a dangerous minefield for the uneducated marketer to maneuver; it is not the simple endeavor advertisers would have consumers believe. Fortunately, there are a number of resources for assistance (as well as alternative methods of advertising) available on the web for anyone savvy enough to look.
About the Author
Need to optimize or "fix" your Adwords & PPC campaigns? Kirt Christensen manages over $600k in PPC spending & knows what it takes to make your account hum! When you need an adwords consultant, he's the man!
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