According to Google Adwords, the definition of pay-per-click advertising is “the pricing structure used by some online channels to charge an advertiser each time a user clicks on the advertiser’s ad. The amount is usually set by the advertiser, not by the channel.” More specifically, pay-per-click (or PPC) advertising is the placement of an ad on a search engine based on specific keywords or phrases. The advertiser sets a maximum price they are willing to pay for each click onto their website. This has become a favored advertising method because the advertiser pays only when someone clicks on their ad, not each time the ad is shown.
There are many benefits to pay-per-click advertising. Listed below are some of the most favorable:
• Quick Results: In some cases, once you have devised your pay-per-click ad, decided on the amount you are willing to bid, and lodged your application with the pay-per-click search engine, your ad will appear within minutes. Other pay-per-click search engines may take a couple of days for your ad to appear. So unlike organic SEO, pay-per-click marketing can generally give you immediate results.
• Fit Your Budget: You set your own budget, and the budget options are flexible. With pay-per-click advertising, you can tailor your budget to your sales goals and how aggressive you would like to be. It is also easy to modify your budget through the year to adapt to seasonal highs and lows.
• Track Your Results: You are able to track and measure the success of your campaign. Solid Cactus and Google Adwords have many options for you to be able to see which keywords are performing, whether through newsletter sign-ups, an online purchase, a form submission or a phone call. These actions can all be directly tracked back to your specific pay-per-click campaigns.
• Get Noticed: Pay-per-click offers the ability to for national exposure. With Google and Yahoo reaching at least 80 percent of all Internet users, pay-per-click advertising ensures your company is reaching a desired audience.
The potential to receive great success using pay-per-click advertising is high but there are some things you should do to help make this happen. The main factor to consider in assessing how successful your campaigns are is your ROI (return on investment). This is calculated by taking how much you are making from clicks and conversions through your pay-per-click ads and subtracting that from what you are paying to run your campaigns. If your ROI is low or even negative, here are a few things you may want to consider to help increase your profit:
• If you are in a highly competitive industry, such as healthcare, law or real estate, make sure you are putting enough money into your campaign to cover the cost of your keywords. Keywords for these industries tend to be on the higher end of the spectrum.
• If the majority of keywords you are currently running on are expensive, consider adding in some less expensive keywords. Typically, the more general a keyword, the more expensive it is. Try to get some targeted, less expensive keywords as well.
• The positioning of your ads is based partially on the price you have set for your cost-per-click. If your ads are showing in the top positions the majority of the time, consider lowering your bids a bit to achieve a more cost-effective position.
Anyone can create pay-per-click campaigns; the trick is getting right and making it successful. It takes time and effort to get a pay-per-click campaign optimized with the best-performing keywords, ads and landing pages. You need to acquire enough data to make informed changes and improvements to your campaigns. So remember, while you can get your account up and running quickly, it may take some time to get the results you are seeking.
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