There are a variety of advertising options available to online business owners small and large. There's traditional banner advertising, text ads of both static and contextual varieties, popups and popunders, layer ads and pay-per- click search engine advertising.
For just about any business looking to advertise online, pay-per-click search listings should come first and be used to their maximum potential before investing elsewhere. They are the foundation of most online advertising plans, delivering the most precise targeting and the furthest reach for the lowest cost.
The concept of pay-per-click, or PPC search advertising is simple -- you have your listing placed within or alongside search results in exchange for paying some fee each time a someone clicks on your listing in those search results. Most search engines set advertisers against eachother in auction-style bidding for the highest positions on search result pages.
There are several benefits to this advertising method that make it useful to just about any web business, and make it so important that it should be exploited to its fullest before advertising in any other medium.
BENEFIT #1: TARGETING
Targeting is essential to any marketing, online or off. In order to be effective, ads have to reach the right people. If that's not happening, you're just wasting your money.
More than anything else, people turn to search engines to find things they need on the Web. Pay-per-click search engine advertising lets you capture these people while they are actively seeking out your product or service. By listing your site under specific search results, you capture your target audience and pre-qualify them with your ad at the same time. By the time the visitor is on your site, you already know they are looking for your product or service and have an interest in your particular offer.
BENEFIT #2: REACH
No matter how large the website, magazine or newspaper you advertise on, it will never reach as many individuals as the top search engines. Google and Yahoo! each reach 80% of the Internet using population and display pay-per-click ads above and alongside search results. Billions of searches are made every month which you can easily be listed within at no cost until an individual decides to click through to your website.
BENEFIT #3: COST
Banner advertising can cost $25 for 1,000 impressions of an advertisement regardless of the number of real website visits those impressions deliver. Top news portals can charge even twice that. PPC search ads cost nothing until an interested individual actually clicks through to your website. Even with the competitive bidding process that pits you against other advertisers for top spots at most PPC search engines, costs per click can still be just pennies. If you work out the average cost to acquire a new visitor from other mediums, it'll likely end up higher than the search engine ad without the benefits of precise targeting and pre-qualifying the visit with the ad text.
It becomes clear why pay-per-click advertising should be the foundation of an online advertising plan when you consider the combined benefits of the targeting, costs and reach of the medium:There's no guessing how many visitors will result from an advertising spend. Since you set your own click price, you know how many visitors each dollar buys in advance.Conversion rates and ROI are easy to calculate.Visitors are pre-qualified before arriving at your website by your ad text.Ads are placed without long-term commitments or high up-front fees.PPC search advertising reaches so many internet users that almost any niche audience can be targeted.Ad text can be changed at any time.
PPC search advertising is targeted, affordable and abundantly available. It should be exploited in full, at the many available companies, before spending money elsewhere as almost any other medium will be less targeted, less controllable and more expensive.
About The Author
Dan Grossman of Awio Web Services LLC (http://www.awio.com) reviews pay-per-click search engine services at http://www.searchenginereviews.info