Good thing you don’t have to be rich to make it work for you. Pay-per-click search engines are one of the best ways to get targeted traffic to your site – and for just a few pennies, too. I’m usually pretty cheap when it comes to paying for advertising … but this is one place where I’m happy to make the investment.
PPC SEs such as GoTo.com, the largest and best-known of them, allow you to ‘bid’ on certain search terms. Listings for each search term are displayed in order of highest bid first. You literally ‘pay’ for your search rank!
Some advantages of PPC SEs include:
No fiddling with META tags, keyword density, and all that other stuff that goes with search engine optimization. If you’ve ever played with this stuff, you’ll know how frustrating it can be to get a good listing – and then KEEP it! With PPC SEs, you simply buy your way to a better position.
It’s fast! Most PPC SEs will review your listings and make them available within just a few days. Compare this to the regular search engines, where it can take MONTHS to get listed – if you get listed at all!
It’s ‘pay for performance’. You only pay the amount you bid when someone clicks on your link. And because your visitor comes to your site after finding it from a relevant list of search results, he or she is a *targeted* visitor – exactly what you want! Compare this to regular search engines, which give you the option to pay a fee for an ‘express review’ … a review that most often *doesn’t* guarantee a listing.
PPC SEs are a great way to get targeted traffic, quickly. Here are a few pointers on how to work effectively with them:
Don’t obsess about being #1. If you can afford to be on the first page, that’s great … but remember that you only pay for clicks – even if you’re on page 10 and you only get a few clicks each month.
Track everything. Different PPC SEs will give you different ‘quality’ clicks. Use a commercial ad tracking program so that you know exactly what works.
Choose multi-word search terms. For example, instead of ‘jewelry’, choose ‘handcrafted jewelry’. Single word search terms are hyper-competitive. Translation: they cost too much.
Send visitors directly to a sales page. Instead of listing your home page, where you may offer dozens of choices, list a specific page on your site that is designed to get the visitor to do one thing – whether that’s buy something, download a free trial, or subscribe to your newsletter. You’re paying for clicks, after all, and you don’t want to ‘waste’ them on a page that doesn’t convert visitors into customers.
Bid only on relevant search terms. This almost goes without saying … you’re paying for clicks, so make sure you’re paying for QUALITY clicks.
There are also loads of tools freely available online to help you maximize the effectiveness of your PPC SE campaign. One good place to start for more information is http://www.payperclicksearchengines.com/ .
Yes, PPC SEs cost money. But if you could consistently make a profit on your investment, wouldn’t you use them? Remember that it’s not how much it COSTS that matters … it’s how much PROFIT you earn in return. Happy bidding!
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Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical, down-to-earth guide to building an Internet business on a beginner’s budget. If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love the book! Visit http://www.onlinebusinessbasics.com or request a series of 10 free reports to get you started.