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Is Pay-Per-Click Worth It?

Aug 26, 2007
If you've just launched your first website, you'll soon realize that there aren't many realistic ways to drive traffic to your site other than through pay-per-click advertising. It's nearly impossible for a new website to just climb to the top of the rankings on the search engines or to use cheap email marketing to drive tons of traffic to the site at little or no cost.

So, you're probably going to resort to the dreaded, mostly costly form of advertising on the internet: Pay-Per-Click (also referred to as PPC). If you've never used it before or don't know what it is, perform a search on any search engine and you'll notice that at the top or to the side of the search results you'll see a section called "sponsored links." These are websites that are paying a certain amount per click to be listed there.

PPC can be very expensive depending upon what keyword you want to receive clicks for, but there are ways to budget your money wisely so you can maximize the effectiveness of your PPC marketing campaign without having a ton of money to spend. Some of the companies at the top of the sponsored links section might be bidding up to $20 per click for certain keywords. Insurance companies such as Geico and Progressive often bid up to $25 per click for the keyword "auto insurance."

However, for most keywords, you can bid relatively low and still get a lot of clicks. Each PPC service has a traffic calculator that tells you how many clicks you will receive given a certain bid price and daily budget. So, if you want to spend $0.50 per click, you can put that bid into their traffic calculator and it will tell you how many clicks you can expect to receive at $0.50 per click and how much that will cost per day. The traffic calculator will also tell you what your position will be (the higher your bid price, the higher your position will be within the sponsored links section for that keyword).

There are several PPC programs that you can use to receive traffic. There's Google Adwords (spans several engines, including Jeeves, AOL, and Google), Overture (Yahoo and other engines), Miva, and many others. They're all reliable, and they'll all deliver traffic to your website.

The most important part of PPC advertising is knowing what keywords or phrases to bid on. You have to remember that most people using a search engine are only looking for information, and are not seeking to buy a product or service. So, if you're using PPC to get traffic to your website in order to sell something, make sure you bid on a keyword that will bring you customers who are looking to make a purchase and are not there just to glean information. For example, if you're selling Vitamin A on your website, and you bid on the keyword "Vitamin A," you're going to receive a lot of traffic from people who visit your website merely to read what's there, because they're probably just looking for information about Vitamin A and don't want to buy it. Instead, you should bid on the phrase "Buy Vitamin A." In this manner, you will only receive qualified traffic from people that are looking to buy vitamin A, which will increase your sales and allow you to get more bang for your marketing buck.

PPC advertising is the most effective form of advertising on the internet, so you should use it when launching your new internet business. Just make sure that you bid within your budget and use specific keywords or phrases so that you'll receive qualified traffic, and you'll be fine.
About the Author
Jim Pretin is the owner of http://www.forms4free.com, a service that helps programmers make email forms.
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