Pay Per Click, also known as PPC, is one of the fastest ways to generate traffic to your website. The downside, of course, is that it will cost you money so you’ll need to be sure you either have some money to invest up front, or a way to make money from those visitors to cover the cost of your ads. Let’s look at how you can use pay per click marketing most effectively.
There are quite a few PPC sites, but the most widely used are Google Adwords and Yahoo/Bing adCenter. Facebook advertising is also growing quite fast so it’s another option to consider.
As a general rule, Adwords will be the most expensive place to run your ads, because they are the largest. That means there are more people competing for the ad space, driving up the costs. Yahoo/Bing is less expensive in most cases, but it will depend on the market you’re in to some degree.
Adwords also has some fairly strict policies, so you’ll need to be sure that you’re offering some real value to the people who click on your ads, and that your website meets all of Google terms of service.
One of the most important things about pay per click marketing is to be sure you’re targeting effective keywords in your ads. Generally, the more specific your keywords are, the better. And ultimately you want to find “buying” keywords – the ones that are used by people who are actively looking to buy something.
If you target your ads at general keywords for your market, it can generate a lot more traffic, but a lot of those people are just looking for information – they’re not necessarily going to convert into paying customers. While getting a lot of traffic sounds good in theory, it isn’t good if it just costs you a lot of money with no significant returns.
Another important factor for success with PPC marketing is good tracking. If you’re getting visitors from several sources, say articles that you’ve submitted, the search engines and Adwords, you need to know which of those visitors are generating revenue for you.
If the paid ads don’t generate enough to cover the cost, you’re losing money on them – even if the site is profitable overall. By tracking the different traffic sources through to the final conversions, you’ll know exactly where the money is being made.
There are a lot of horror stories about people losing a lot of money on PPC advertising. It doesn’t have to be that way, but you definitely need to make sure you understand how it works, what your risks are, and how to target the right people before you start spending any money.