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What are Pay Per Click Search Engines?

What are Pay Per Click Search Engines?

While true search engines rank results based on relevancy determined by their search engine programs, Pay Per Click results go to highest bidder.

For example, here are the results of a search for the term, "DVD players" on Overture.com.

Next to each result is a price (eg. $0.40) which represents the amount of money that website will be charged for every click through to their site. The results are ranked by bid price.

To use a PPC service, you first determine what are the keywords a potential visitor may type into a search engine when looking for your site. This usually includes your company name and any variations of that, along with likely industry terms in all possible variations.

While it's easy to sit down and brainstorm 50-100 possible search terms for your website, a professional web marketer can usually deliver over 1000 relevant terms based on keyword combination formulas.

You may have noticed that there are gaps in the bid prices in the results posted. (eg. $0.40 to $0.36 or $0.33 to $0.25). This means that website owners are overpaying for their search positioning. Professional PPC management can save a website owner a lot of money by closely managing their PPC campaigns.

Who should use Pay Per Click advertising?

Anyone who has taken the time to build a website should consider using pay per click advertising. At the very minimum, it is a great way to make sure your site appears at the top of almost every major search engine for searches on your company name and any common variations, misspellings, etc.

I've tried Pay Per Click advertising before and it didn't work. Any Ideas?

Top ten reasons for a poor return on your PPC dollar:

1. Your site has poor usability causing your customers get frustrated and leave.
2. Your site's copy is out of date or poorly written causing potential customers to not take your business seriously.
3. You don't have a system to allow site visitors to subscribe which could lead to a sale down the road.
4. You're selling a product or service that nobody is interested in.
5. You're prices are too high or hard to understand.
6. Your site takes forever to load.
7. Your site doesn't work on AOL.
8. Your site doesn't work with Netscape.
9. You're overbidding for terms on Pay Per Click sites.
10. You're bidding on terms that are too general to create qualified leads.

Can I run my own Pay Per Click web marketing campaigns?

Pay Per Click search engine management firms like Haystack In A Needle offer some value added services that will greatly improve the return on investment for almost every business and website owner.

1. As expert keyword and search term researchers, we will uncover many search terms your potential customers and clients may be searching for.

2. By discovering targeted search terms, we can lower your cost per click and improve the quality of your PPC search traffic.

3. With professional PPC account management, you will have better control over your monthly PPC ad spend by preventing overbids and bid gaps.

If you are an entrepreneurial do it yourself type, Haystack In A Needle offers a tool to help you cost effectively manage your Google Adwords Select account. Click here for more information.

To set up your own campaigns, follow the following links:

Are LookSmart's Small Business Listings Worth It?

Looksmart changed in early April 2002 from a Paid Inclusion Directory to a Pay Per Click website.

After paying a $49 listing fee, you will be charged $0.15 cents per click for traffic generated through the Looksmart network.

You can edit your listing's title, description, and assign up to 10 keywords to your site to improve relevancy in searches. Unfortunately, you can also end up paying for non-targeted traffic, driving down your ROI.

As of January 2004, MSN will stop using LookSmart's search results which severly cuts into the reach of LookSmart's results.

At this time, Haystack In A Needle is not recommending Looksmart to clients as part of an online marketing strategy for consumers.

What can you tell me about Google Adwords Select?

Google Adwords Select is a Pay Per click program that displays ads based on search phrases on Google.com, AOL.com, Ask Jeeves, groups.google.com, Earthlink.com, and Compuserve.com.

Adwords Select offers some advanced features beyond more traditional Pay Per Click programs such as the option to filter by country or language and bidding in a Wildcard fashion.

With Wildcard bidding you can bid to have your ad display every time someone's search includes a keyword or phrase you want to target. This is a powerful tool but is best used in conjunction with a solid list of negative keywords to prevent your ad from displaying for low-quality/relevancy searches.

The pricing on Adwords is much more complex than a traditional Pay Per Click program. Google uses the relevancy of your ad based on click through percentage to determining your cost per click. So, one person could pay 19 cents per click with a 1% click through rate for the #2 position while the #1 position is held by someone else is paying 10 cents per click with a 2% click through rate.

Haystack In A Needle can help you design and run an effective Adwords Select campaign. Contact Us today for more information. OR, if you'd like to tackle this yourself, we recommend dropping $19.74 on our negative keyword list to help get you started. And, pick up a copy of Page Zero's Adwords Select special report. This will save you a ton of cash and frustration through trial and error.

Here's a Google Adwords case study from a recent client you may find interesting.

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