Pay Per Click Search Engine Marketing
PPC, or “pay per click” is a widely used and accepted way for businesses and organizations of all sizes to gain visibility on search engines like Google or Bing. Essentially, you choose keywords and/or phrases that are likely to be used by people when they search for things related to your business. When the search engine returns results, they will include small ads along with the organic (selected by the search engine algorithms) results. If the viewer sees something of interest in an ad, and then clicks through to the website, a fee is charged to the advertiser.
Three Things You Didn’t Know
- When you use a pay per click program like Google Adwords you gain tremendous free exposure for your business, organization, or professional service. That’s because you don’t pay anything for your ad to be shown to people. You only pay for clicks. While “gaming” the system to maximize exposure and minimize click-throughs will soon get your ad banned, the free exposure remains a valuable hidden benefit of PPC.
- You can spend as much or as little as you want. It is easy to control your advertising budget with PPC advertising. Simply choose a daily or monthly budget and the built-in budget automation tools make sure that you never overspend. In the event that your budget is not being spent, it is also easy to tweak your ad by increasing the number of keywords, or adjusting the content of your ad to make it more attractive.
- You can target your ad very precisely so that only people likely to be interested in your offerings will see your ad. This is one of those good news – bad news things. The bad news is that Google knows more about us than we might care for. The good news is that because search engines like Google and Microsoft Bing know so much about everyone, it becomes possible to target an ad to very precise demographic groups. Combing geographic and demographic parameters, with careful keyword selection, pretty much guarantees that the people clicking on your ads, really are interested in your offerings.
Free Bonus Advice
Remember that ads like the ones you place are where Google makes its money. Google makes a lot of money. That tells us two things. One, search engine marketing works very well for advertisers or they wouldn’t keep doing it. Two, Google does not have much incentive to follow through on potential malfeasance. It is important to monitor your ads, and make sure that the clicks that you are paying for are actually worth paying for. The best way to know if they’re working is by the increase in business as a result of using them. But you also want to know if people clicking through to your website, stay on the website long enough to conduct business or read an article. Too many clicks with quickly abandoned visits could be a sign that either bots or humans are clicking through simply to drain your ad budget.
The potential for budget draining fraudulent clicks is why I strongly urge anyone getting started with PPC to stick with Google or Bing, and to steer clear of platforms that offer lower priced advertising options. You are infinitely better off paying Google 50 cents for each high quality click than you are paying a penny per click for low-quality or no-quality clicks from sketchy websites.