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Frequently Asked Questions

What Your Local Business Needs To Know About
Pay Per Click Advertising

Driving traffic to your website is a crucial part of increasing brand awareness and maximizing your business's sales. Unfortunately, attracting a large volume of visitors to your local business’s site quickly and on a limited budget can be difficult. There are a wide range of methods you can use to increase your site's traffic, and one of the fastest and most cost-effective is pay per click (PPC) advertising.

What Is Pay Per Click Advertising?

Pay per click (PPC) advertising allows you to place a link to your website on a search engine results page in order to direct traffic to your website. The PPC system works in a similar way to an auction. You bid on a specific keyword that you think is relevant to your business, and the more you have bid compared to other bidders, the higher up your site's link will be listed within the sponsored links. Every time a person clicks on the link to your site, the PPC provider will charge you the amount that you have bid.

PPC Providers

Most major search engines offer a PPC service. The three leading PPC providers are Google AdWords, Microsoft adCenter, and Yahoo! Search Marketing. You can also place PPC ads on content sites, though these are usually charged at a flat-rate per click rather than operating a bid system.

An estimated 59% of users use search engines everyday which amounts to 20 billion searches a month in America alone. By advertising to such a large audience, it is easy why PPC is so successful.

Choosing The Right PPC Provider.

There are many PPC providers on the market, and choosing the right one is crucial for success. You will need to consider a range of factors when making your decision including audience size, the tools offered, the level of customization available, and the payment system.

Here are a few of the most popular PPC provider options:

Google AdWords - Google AdWords advertises across the Google search engine which is used by a huge 66% of the search market. It also promotes advertisements across its partners which include YouTube. The provider is a great choice for area-specific local businesses, as it enables you to target specific locations, either by country or even zip code.

Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter - These two significant providers have recently joined together to form a single service that spans across a range of platforms. Through them your ad will get coverage on Bing, Yahoo! and other Yahoo! products, but this still only accounts for 30% of the search market.

Content Sites - Advertising on individual content sites tends to be charged at flat-rate per click rather than a bid-based amount. Though your ad will not be seen by such a large volume of people, it can be placed on sites which are directly related to your industry or business.


How To Implement A PPC Advertising Strategy

To make the most of PPC advertising's massive potential, it is wise to develop a clear strategy before you begin. Here are just a few key steps to bear in mind:

- Selecting The Best Keywords

For businesses with little experience, picking the right keyword phrase from the thousands of choices can seem overwhelming. It is important to pick a phrase related to your site that people are likely to enter into a search engine. Broad search terms like 'car' tend to be expensive per click, whereas using a phrase more precisely matched to your business, such as 'used car parts', will cost less and bring you traffic more genuinely interested in your service.

- Optimizing Your Listing

When sites like Google AdWords calculate the order in which they place sponsored links, their main focus is on bid amount. However, the quality of your ad and its relevance to the search term is also taken into account. Consequently, it is best to include your keyword phrase in your ad description, and follow the provider's guidelines carefully so that you are not penalized.

- Bidding The Right Amount

The price that you bid needs to be carefully considered in order for a PPC strategy to be profitable. Searching out what your competitors are bidding is a good place to start. Also think about how much profit you expect to make from each visit. Fortunately, most PPC providers use a bid discount system to ensure that no one over-bids for an individual keyword. The system automatically reduces the amount you have bid to just above your nearest competitor even if you have offered a much higher maximum.

The Benefits Of A PPC Advertising Campaign

A well-conducted PPC strategy can bring about results almost immediately. Here are a few of the main advantages of using the advertising technique:

- Cost-Effective Advertising

PPC means that you only pay when a person visits your site. If your ad is unsuccessful and gets little attention, the cost you pay will be minimal. This is a significant advantage when compared to print and television advertising which offer no such safeguards.

- More Noticeable Listing Placement

Search engines usually distinguish sponsored links from their 'organic' links by using a separate display format and listing them under the title 'sponsored links'. They do this to make users aware of what they are clicking on, but this also helps your ad to stand out against the rest of the page.

- High Conversion Rate

By placing links that are highly targeted to specific keyword phrases or locations, you can ensure that the visitors you get have a genuine interest in your product or service. You can customize your ad to appear at a certain time of day, to searchers in a particular zip code or with a set variation from the original keyword phrase. This helps to maximize the chances that you get high-quality clicks.

How To Get Started

PPC advertising enables you to increase your business's profitability by artificially boosting your website's rank in search engine results. With PPC advertising, experimenting with various keyword strategies is a vital part of maximizing returns. However, the process of continually adapting and optimizing can be very time consuming, and for small companies with limited resources, time is money. In addition, a poorly managed strategy can leave you with lots of traffic, but little to show for it.

For business owners who are new to pay per click advertising, one of the best solutions is to hire an online marketing specialist. With years of experience in the process of PPC marketing, they can take care of keyword research, strategy development, and bid management. Entrusting your advertising to an expert can not only significantly reduce the time it takes to implement the strategy but also ensure its on-going success.

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