Welcome back! As you may remember from the last post I promised to teach you the basics of marketing and monetizing your site. For this post I will deal with PPC. I must of course remind you this is not a comprehensive guide.
Enough said, let’s get our hands dirty!
What is PPC
PPC is an acronym for pay per click.
They are the listings that appear when you Google (or Bing) something of interest and on the side you see an area commonly titled “Sponsored ads” or something of the sort. Below is a screenshot of what I am talking about.
Now the main area contains the individuals who won the SEO game (more on that later) and the right has guys who paid to be on the first page when a user googles “Website designer”. Now to get here you don’t have to go through the long process of gaining popularity in the industry or niche you play in, to get to the top. You just buy your way there!
How does it work
You basically buy some keywords that are relevant to your business and every time a user queries Google for those keywords your company website shows up in the sponsored section. It is that easy!!! Well maybe not….
Google is the biggest search engine around, as such I am going to assume this is the default choice and will stick with it for the rest of the article. With Google, openness is really not one of their strongest suites; basically you have to bid for keywords, blindly! That is the search engine giant does not divulge information concerning bid prices or click through rates. All you get is Google’s bill and then you figure out the rest yourself.
Other companies are far more open and actually publish their bid rates. See overture.
Average cost per day per 1000 visitors
Due to the bidding we have already talked about, an average figure would mean nothing really even if it was available (remember Google’s policy). This value depends entirely on the keywords you wish to buy. For example cost has been reported to go as high as $100 per click for “hot words” and as low as $0.01 per click for niche words. These values are arrived at by working backwards from the cost.
Read on to see if this method is for you or not.
Is it best for you
PPC just like all the others has some advantages as well as disadvantages.
- Fast Results: Google serves billions of searches a day. With this kind of traffic your website will get noticed fairly fast if it happens to feature somewhere on up there. From the moment you finalize the transaction, your traffic may literally jump up by factors of hundreds in a matter of days or even hours.
- Fast Response: While building up organic traffic takes time, this method is instant. This means if a new product is suddenly in season you may be able to start selling and promoting it immediately.
- PPC is in a lot of cases cheaper than SEO
- This marketing method carries very little risk, only the money invested in can get lost. This means that you do not need to worry about your site getting banned from a search engine for PPC services.
- You can lose a lot of money fast! Probably the key words you find to be of interest are also of interest to your competitors. You can then get locked in an expensive bid war which is at best a Pyrrhic victory. Even if you’re not locked in such a bid war Google does impose some restrictions on certain keywords pushing up costs even more
- No economies of scale. While economics stipulates clearly that the more you produce (or buy) the cheaper it becomes, this rule simply does not apply to PPC. Here costs escalate in proportion to the clicks regardless of the volume.
In conclusion, PPC is a really great tool and can do a world of good for your website. You should use it only for targeted campaigns and always keep an eye on the costs.
Feel free to drop me a comment, tell me what you think.