An Intro to Pay-per-Click (PPC) and How It Works

Simply put, your website is your greatest asset. It allows you to have complete control, and gives you one moment where your audience is completely entrenched in your work. However, it can be a battle getting people to come to your site. After all, you may have the most beautiful and informative website on the Internet, but unless people are coming to it, it’s useless.

There are a variety of ways for people to advertise their site and increase traffic. One successful method is the Pay-per-click (PPC) option, in which companies get preferential placement on search engines, and only have to pay when people actually click on their link.

For example, if you have a car parts company, and someone Googles “exhaust,” your site will show up in the “Sponsored Links” section of the results page. You will not have to pay anything unless someone actually clicks on it and visits your site.

Before signing up for your own Pay-per-click account, consider some pros and cons:

Pros

  • Immediate returns. Directly after you set up your account with a Pay-per-Click advertising program such as Google Adwords, you will start to see an improvement in your web traffic. You will not need to do any kind of marketing or SEO research to get your site placed higher – the results will come immediately.
  • Targeting your audience. Since the people who see your link will only be people who searched specifically for what you have to offer, the people visiting your site will be people who are interested. Again, you bypass the process of seeking out an audience because the search engine will do that for you.
  • Cost control. With Pay-per-Click, you can choose specific key words that you want your ad to appear for, and you can set a price limit that once hit will trigger your ad to stop appearing. This makes it incredibly easy to control the amount of money you are spending while also guaranteeing smart-spent money.

Cons

  • Inflated keyword costs. Unfortunately, the price for each keyword is determined by how popular it is. That means that they words you might most want to target may also be the most expensive, making it more costly for your ad to be more effective.
  • Short-lived results. Just as results will come quickly with Pay-per-click, the same is true for when you terminate the service. Because you did not have a serious marketing campaign, the results will exist but will not be long-lasting. Moreover, the “Sponsored Links” section gets a very small portion of clicks, which often go to the main organic search results.
  • Click fraud. While unlikely and certainly unethical, it’s possible that Pay-per-click services will fraudulently click on your link, driving up the price. It’s also possible that your competitors will do the same to drive you out of the search results.
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Courtney Gordner

Courtney Gordner is a blogger/journalist with a passion for writing and the latest trends online. You can read more from her on her own blog or connect with her on Google+.
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