Despite being online using email since 1995, at the start of the summer of 2004 I had no idea what pay per click was.
During that summer, I had taken some time off work and was researching online opportunities. This led me to Ebay, various get rich quick type scams, and then an email referral to marketing using pay per click.
What was pay per click, I remember asking.
Days of research later, I learned that pay per click (also called ppc) was a type of search marketing where advertisers pay a set amount every time their ad was clicked by a prospect. This is known as a click thru, click through rate or ctr.
The opportunity to place your ad directly in front of a prospect at the exact moment they are searching for your product or service is tremendous.
Performance based advertising is not only cost efficient and effective, but it is track-able and user-friendly. The advertiser, you, in this scenario has control over the keywords that best represent your product.
The PPC model allows you to decide how much you are willing to pay per customer. Unlike banner ads that demand payment on a cost per thousand basis, the only viewers you pay for are those that are actively seeking your product or service.
In a Google search, I learned the small sponsored ads on the right hand side of the page were a type of pay per click called Google Adwords.
I discovered that the pay per click world was huge, with millions of clicks delivered by hundreds of search engines such as Overture, Find What, ePilot, Enhance and GoClick.
The great benefit is the cost-effective, highly targeted website traffic that this type of search generates.
However, the massive popularity and growth of pay per click had also made it very expensive.
For example, Google Adwords allowed me to set up campaigns and see them live within 15 minutes. This was very, very exciting and very addicting.
Within days of learning about pay per click, I was generating 1,000 clicks per day to my various campaigns. I thought I was seeing success in pay per click.
In the early days of ppc, that may have been true because your bids on popular keywords were just pennies a click.
By the time I was hitting it, popular keywords were around $1 dollar per click and I was actually losing hundreds of dollars per day.
Worse yet, my keywords were being disabled and my ads were getting disapproved.
Then I started watching for sales. I kept watching, and watching, and watching and by the end of that first week, my 6,800 adwords clicks had produced only 3 SALES for $55.
I was crushed. My brand new online business had already lost $500. This is when I realized just how steep the learning curve was.
I signed up for free-5 part email courses on Adwords and pay per click. I learned about converting traffic into sales, avoiding the curse of disabled ads, return on investment, finding niche keywords and lowering my cost per click.
The bottom line is pay per click campaigns can bring large numbers of highly targeted visitors to your website. The industry is growing rapidly, it is hugely competitive and campaigns can become prohibitively expensive.
Success of any pay per click campaign comes down to paying pay a reasonable price for each visitor, that each visitor is highly targeted, and that you continuously monitor and track your positions.
Adwords-Hints.com/pay-per-click shows you how to maximize profits from pay per click advertising. This website portal features hundreds of pages of tips, resources and reviews.
Find tools for keyword analyzing, lowering costs and increasing click throughs. http://tinyurl.com/5nb46
Drew Harris is a West Coast Canadian journalist, broadcaster and newspaper publisher. After writing more than 500 articles on area businesses over the last 10 years, he has turned his full-time attention to Internet marketing.