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Entireweb Newsletter   *   December 21, 2006   *   ISSUE #294
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Does Pay-Per-Click Work?

Promoting your internet business can be a tough task. The costs of traditional advertising are prohibitive. It can cost as much as $50,000 to run a print advertisement in a prominent publication. It can cost much more than that to produce and run a TV commercial, especially if the commercial airs during peak viewing hours. Online marketing is a problem too, because it is extremely difficult and takes a long time to climb to the top of the search engine rankings.

So, what should you do? Well, you will need to do rely on the same thing all internet businesses do when they first start out. Of course, we are talking about pay-per-click (PPC). By advertising with pay-per-click, you pay a certain price per click to be listed near the top of the first page of the search engines for your chosen keyword or phrase. Every time someone clicks on your PPC ad, you pay for that click.

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If you have never used PPC before or do not know what it is, perform a search on any search engine and you will notice that at the top or to the side of the search results you will see a section called "sponsored links." These are websites that are paying a certain amount per click to be listed there.

PPC can be very expensive depending upon what keyword you want to receive clicks for, but there are ways to budget your money wisely so you can maximize the effectiveness of your PPC marketing campaign without having a ton of money to spend. Some of the companies at the top of the sponsored links section might be bidding up to $20 per click for certain keywords. Insurance companies such as Geico and Progressive often bid up to $25 per click for the keyword "auto insurance."

However, for most keywords, you can bid relatively low and still get a lot of clicks. Each PPC service has a traffic calculator that tells you how many clicks you will receive given a certain bid price and daily budget. So, if you want to spend $0.50 per click, you can put that bid into their traffic calculator and it will tell you how many clicks you can expect to receive at $0.50 per click and how much that will cost per day. The traffic calculator will also tell you what your position will be (the higher your bid price, the higher your position will be within the sponsored links section for that keyword).

There are several PPC programs that you can use to receive traffic. There is Google Adwords (spans several engines, including Jeeves, AOL, and Google), Overture (Yahoo and other engines), Miva, and many others. They are all reliable, and they will all deliver traffic to your website.

The most important part of PPC advertising is knowing what keywords or phrases to bid on. You have to remember that most people using a search engine are only looking for information, and are not seeking to buy a product or service. So, if you are using PPC to get traffic to your website in order to sell something, make sure you bid on a keyword that will bring you customers who are looking to make a purchase and are not there just to glean information.

For example, if you are selling Vitamin A on your website, and you bid on the keyword "Vitamin A," you are going to receive a lot of traffic from people who visit your website merely to read what is there, because they are probably just looking for information about Vitamin A and do not want to buy it. Instead, you should bid on the phrase "Buy Vitamin A." In this manner, you will only receive qualified traffic from people that are looking to buy vitamin A, which will increase your sales and allow you to get more bang for your marketing buck.

PPC advertising is the most effective form of advertising on the internet, so you should use it when launching your new internet business. Just make sure that you bid within your budget and use specific keywords or phrases so that you will receive qualified traffic, and you will do fine.

About the Author: Jim Pretin is the owner of http://www.forms4free.com, a service that helps programmers make free HTML forms.

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