Constructing a Pay-Per-Click Campaign

This post outlines some of the basic steps in setting up a PPC campaign.

  • The first step in putting together a PPC campaign is to decide your budget and what level of risk you are willing to take, for both will affect which PPC search engine you ultimately choose.
  • Choose a Search Engine – As one would expect, the larger search engines such as Google and Yahoo may be less risky, since they already have excellent market coverage and tend to offer a lot of assistance to their users, but they also are often the most expensive in terms of the cost to acquire a top ranking based on a specific keyword or group of keywords.

    There are plenty of free, independent tools available to help you in your research of keywords which will tell you the current bid price for certain words or phrases on the different PPC search engines.

  • Once you have decided upon which PPC search engine you are going to use, have put together you ad, and decided the keywords you wish to have your ad appear under, register with the search engine, fill out the necessary information to open an account, and then begin the bidding process for the keywords you have decided upon.
  • When you first register your keywords with the search engine you have chosen (and some large businesses may use thousands of keywords), you will also specify the maximum amount you are willing to bid for those keywords. The price of a keyword can range anywhere from 1 cent to $10 or more, depending upon its popularity as a search term and the search engine itself.

So Whats Pay-per-Click Anyway?

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a type of marketing service offered by a variety of search engines. PPC typically involves the placement of an “ad” on the search results page for a specific keyword or keywords in return for a payment when a visitor clicks on that ad. The advertiser pays nothing to appear on the results page; they only pay the amount they have agreed to (or bid for) when someone actually clicks on their ad and is taken to their landing page; therefore, the term “pay per click”.

A PPC listing on a search engine results page typically consists of a title (around 50 characters maximum) and also a short (usually no more than 200 characters long) description of your service or some promotional wording. Some PPC search engines strictly control the text that can appear in the listing, while others are more open to using the advertiser’s own text.

Google to Test PPC-based Site Targeting

Google announced plans to begin a test of PPC-based ads using the site targeting feature.

Site targeting allows advertisers to choose individual sites in the content network where they want their ads to appear. Since it launched nearly two years ago, the program has used bids placed on a cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) basis. That will begin to change in March, when a limited set of U.S. advertisers will have the option of paying on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis.

Google expects the CPC pricing to appeal to conversion-oriented, direct response advertisers who are focused on clicks, and track metrics such as sales, leads or sign-ups. That may get more advertisers interested in the tool, since many have tried site targeting on a CPM basis and found it lacking in ROI. Site targeting is popular with advertisers as a branding buy, when they want to get in front of the readers of a given site.