7 Secrets for Pay-Per-Click Success

"Pay-for-Performance" or "Pay-per-Click" Internet advertising is making big waves lately, and the two biggest players are Google and Overture, which was recently purchased by Yahoo. Microsoft has since joined the fray with MSN Search and there are numerous other fish (albeit tadpoles) in the pond.

When it comes to promotion, the advantages of internet advertising over traditional print advertising can be summed up with the following acronym-rich equation: CPC - CPM = PPC. That's CMO-speak for expressing how much more cost effective cost-per-conversion analysis is to cost-per-thousand analysis.

With Pay Per Click advertising via Google and Overture, the cost of the ad is based upon the performance of the ad; however, the effectiveness of the ad is gauged by its conversion ratio. Thanks to tools provided by both Google and Overture, these conversion ratios can be calculated automatically.

Traditional print media, on the other hand, provides a CPM (cost per thousand) to demonstrate cost (value) of an ad. A certain number of people will see the ad (and believe me, this number is pie-in-the-sky, based upon circulation times "readership"). Therefore, the cost is X.

It's easy to recognize the advantages of pay per click advertising, but before jumping head first into the PPC arena, review the following tips:

1) Be aware of the differences between Google and Overture

Google is the leading search engine at the moment, but their reach never exceeds their grasp. Overture technology, on the other hand, currently extends to Yahoo, AltaVista, CNN, Infospace, and others. Overture requires you to deposit money into an account in advance. Said account is then depleted based upon your campaign selection. Meanwhile, Google simply bills your credit card based upon your expenditures. Overture provides more intuitive and complete reporting functionality that enables you to analyze the effectiveness of keywords, but Google allows you to enter a maximum expenditure-per-day. This daily cap provides more control over your monthly spending while Overture's system simply draws money from the online account until depleted. This daily draw can vary substantially from one day to the next. Also, Overture requires you to keep 3 days of "extra cash" on hand. Do you earn interest on the money you're loaning to Overture? Forget about it.

2) Be aware of the similarities

Both Google and Overture differentiate their paid clicks from their free, contextual algorithms, usually by featuring the "sponsored" searches on a different part of the page and by highlighting them in a color box. Recently, Overture launched a new product, or search mechanism, whereby an advertiser can choose to be listed among the contextual content, also. That's kind of like paying for a meal after you've already eaten it.

Both services also experience infrequent, yet unexplained, "spikes" that decimate your daily or monthly budget in a matter of minutes or hours. It's a little unnerving knowing that you could blow through $500 or $1000 in a matter of minutes with absolutely no recourse. Staffed to handle these anomalies, both services feature barely adequate customer service with representatives who often reply to such technical idiosyncrasies with hostile ambivalence. Sounds like an oxymoron, but it's not.

3) Start conservatively

That said, realize that pay-per-click campaigns are not an exact science and contain the potential to be ridiculously expensive if you're not careful. Start a campaign on either Google or Overture, but not both. Become familiar with the mechanics before launching full scale advertising campaigns on the other service.

4) Understand the mechanics

The way pay-for-performance works is simple. You bid on search terms, either words or phrases or a combination of both. Your webpage link then appears in search engine results relative to the price of the bid. If you're the highest bidder, your webpage appears at the absolute top of many search engines. Remember the frustration of typing in a search for your webpage and never finding your link? No longer!

5) Understand the advantages

Perhaps the best part of pay-for-performance advertising is the "pay for performance" part. Unlike traditional advertising where you pay based upon the number of impressions, here, you only pay if people click on your link. In essence, they are pre-sold.

6) Select the appropriate keywords

Let's look at an example. Say you have published a mystery novel about the death of a land baron in Louisiana. Not exactly a new plot and yet millions of "whodunit" readers may be interested in reading it. Your solution? Open a pay-for-performance account and bid on search terms like "Louisiana Mystery Novel" and "Mystery Book Plantation" and other similar search terms. Counter-intuitively, the more specific the term, the better your campaign will perform, since very specific searches deliver very motivated buyers to your page. Since you're paying for each click, you want those browsers to buy! That's where "conversion" comes in to play.

7) Understand the disadvantages

You have to be very careful managing your bids and selecting your keywords, or pay-for-performance advertising can become ineffective. Do not bid on ridiculously vague and popular words like "book" or "fiction" because you will never recoup your money. Instead, focus your search terms as specifically as possible.

It's only a matter of time before traditional print media finds some way to adopt this new method of cost-per-conversion and pay-for-performance advertising. Those who don't will die trying. Viva la digital revolution!

Brent Sampson is the President & CEO of Outskirts Press Publishing at OutskirtsPress.com and author of Publishing Gems: Insider Information for the Self-Publishing Writer. Information at http://outskirtspress.com/publishinggems

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Search Engine Journal

Targeted Automobile Advertising: The Next PPC Frontier
Search Engine Journal
Another untapped opportunity for targeted automobile advertising is that it can work hand in hand with your PPC strategy. In general, radio ads are designed to target a large and diverse audience, while SEM is aimed at connecting advertisers with ...


BBN Times

How does Pay Per Click Work?
BBN Times
PPC (pay-per-click) is a marketing strategy carried out on the Internet through SEO (Search engine Optimization) with a budget that is set for advertisement campaigns. There are millions of businesses that indulge in pay per click advertising on search ...
5 Reasons Your Facebook Ads Aren't Converting & How to Improve ThemSearch Engine Journal
New to Advertising? Ultimate Guide for You!ADOTAS

all 4 news articles »

Marketing Land

Product listing ads, digital co-op and the $13 billion opportunity
Marketing Land
Amazon's sponsored products are keyword-driven, PPC ads that push traffic to a particular product page within Amazon's own ecosystem. Crucially, these ads never link out. Brands that use them can boost their rankings…and drive additional sales.

and more »

Forbes

Not Surprisingly, Amazon's Toy Catalog Is All About Data
Forbes
Digital companies are looking to catalog and direct mail to supplement their existing Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising campaigns. Instead of inviting customers to call an 800 number, send in an order form or visit a brick and mortar store to make a ...


Search Engine Journal

How to Combine SEO & PPC for More Powerful Results
Search Engine Journal
Some websites do not use ads initially, choosing to concentrate all efforts on SEO strategies instead. When they finally decide to begin a PPC campaign, a list of organically converting keywords will already be at hand. It is never too late to combine ...


BBN Times

Pros and Cons of PPC
BBN Times
Unlike SEO, PPC gives instant results. All you have to do is create an account, create ads, bid on relevant keywords and direct them to a relevant landing page. Then you have to wait for a visitor to click on your ad. However, there is no certainty ...


Arutz Sheva

Starting a new business the right way
Arutz Sheva
Marketing your website comes in a variety of forms, likely to include the very website and its performance, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising (via search engines) and search engine optimization (SEO). Your website should be fit for purpose to start with.


SMM or PPC Marketing – Which One Should You Use?
Business 2 Community
PPC (Pay-per-click) advertising involves placing adverts across the internet that people click on and arrive at your website. The most common PPC campaigns are through Google Adwords where you pay the search engine to show your ad when a user enters ...


PPC Land

Webinar: Artificial intelligence and the future of data-driven advertising
PPC Land
On November 21, at 15:00 CET, 14:00 GMT, 09:00 ET, Adform is hosting a webinar about artificial intelligence and the future of data-driven advertising. The webinar is presented by Jochen Schlosser, Chief Strategy Officer at Adform. Jochen Schlosser ...


PPC Land

Adjust launches 2nd version of Global Benchmarks for app advertising
PPC Land
Adjust yesterday launched the second version of Adjust's Global Benchmarks, a tool where advertisers can see Adjust aggregated data of over 7,000 apps. Adjust's Global Benchmarks 2.0 new metrics included on the new version are Click Through Rate ...

Google News

The New Google Ad Links

You know about Google Adsense, now it's Google Ad Links... Read More

The Future of PPC Advertising

For those of you who haven't used a Pay Per... Read More

AdWords Work: They Really Do!

In 2003 I was accepted by Google into their AdSense... Read More

So You Want Big Profits From Your AdWords PPC Advertising Campaigns?

So You Want Big Profits From Your AdWords PPC Advertising?... Read More

AdWords Campaign Set Up AdvancedTips

Make Your Ads DifferentYour completed AdWords ads are going to... Read More

Success with Adwords

Google's Adwords service has brought success to many businesses by... Read More

Team Up With Your Competitors

Pay per click search engines are a great way to... Read More

Picking The Right Keywords For A PPC Campaign

Running a pay-per-click advertising campaign can be very expensive if... Read More

The Evolution of Google AdSense

The web has evolved into a complex "organism" which, to... Read More

Pay-Per-Click Marketing & Natural Search Engine Traffic

PPC advertising has many great benefits. First of all, you... Read More

Get Real-time Adsense Channel Stats And Find Out Which Ads Are Being Clicked

If you have multiple sites or multiple directories in your... Read More

Articles and Adsense

Google Adsense is a hot topic in the Internet Marketing... Read More

Expand Your Horizons - Sell Your Professional Services Through ClickBank

ClickBank allows its merchants to sell many different types of... Read More

7 Great Ways to Lose Your Shirt Using Google Adwords!

Google Adwords is a great tool! Careful use can lead... Read More

The Sensible Way To Earn Money With Google AdSense!

Dear friends,Google AdSense has rapidly gained a status of an... Read More

The Perils and Pitfalls of Pay-per-click Advertising

In this age of speed dialing, T1 lines and other... Read More

How to Boost Your Adsense Revenue?

By using this tutorial you will learn how to increase... Read More

Seven Strategies to Bolster Your AdWords Campaign

So, you've tried all the marketing techniques you have read... Read More

Pay Per Click Advertising Can Be Very Risky Business

Click fraud is an unfortunate byproduct of the pay per... Read More

Wheres the Best Place to Put Google Adsense Ads?

Why, on your web pages of course. Ok, just kidding.... Read More

How Does Pay Per Click Marketing Work?

So how do people find my website? This is by... Read More

10 Great Things NOT to Do with Google AdSense

There is no question that you can make some good... Read More

How to Use Pay Per Click Advertising to Increase Web Site Traffic

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to... Read More

Internet Advertising Options

Your online business will likely require more advertising than a... Read More

Pay Per Click 2005: Very Expensive Without Expert Help

Despite being online using email since 1995, at the start... Read More