Pay per click is a form of advertising found on search engines, advertising networks, websites and blogs. The advertiser pays when a visitor actually clicks on an “ad” to visit the advertiser’s website. Advertisers bid on keywords or terms that they believe that their target customers use to find information on products or services.
When a searcher enters a keyword or term in a Google or other search engine that matches the advertiser’s keywords, the advertiser’s ad is displayed. These ads are called “Sponsored links” or “sponsored ads” and appear next to or above the “natural” or organic results on the search engine text listings or results. You will typically see these ads displayed to the right of the text search results.
Pay per click ads may also appear on websites. In this case, Google AdSense and Yahoo! provide ads that are relevant to the content of the page where they appear, and no search function is involved.
The major players in the pay per click industry include Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft; there also are many small players. Prices for per click can be as low at $0.01 per click. Popular search terms can cost as much as $10.00 per click.
Sophisticated buyers of pay per click advertising learn to pick multiple key words that better target their customer, but cost less. For example, “car dealers” is a common but expensive term that frequently gets bid high and may not be affordable. Yet, “Orange County California Car Dealers”, which is a much more specific term, is much more affordable. The prices for keywords are determined by an auction process and thus can change.
Pay per click is proving to be a viable and cost effective way to advertise on the web. Choose your keywords carefully.
John Bradley Jackson
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