When you hear the term Pay Per Click, what generally comes to mind? It might be the word “scam”, or “ineffective”, or perhaps “confusing”. What should come to mind, is “opportunity”. With a proper understanding of how Pay Per Click works it can be a powerful tool to generate targeted web traffic for your site and/or business. So what is Pay Per Click, and how can you take advantage of what it has to offer, without wasting your money and squandering your resources?
The simplest explanation for what Pay Per Click does, is it is an internet advertising model, whereby a website (including search engines) display your content, be it a text advertisement, or a banner ad, and when that advertisement is clicked, it directs the user to your website, you pay a small fee to the website owner. This model creates a potent incentive to your affiliate, or partner sites, to help promote your website. With search engines such as Google or Yahoo, when a specific keyword is searched which you’ve paid for, it will appear at the top of the search engine results. These are called sponsored links, and often appear next to the organic search engine results.
There are several Pay Per Click providers that you can research, and take advantage of their services. Google Adwords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adCenter are by far the largest providers. One of the reasons this can be such an attractive model to you and your website, is because if your partner site does not generate any clicks, since the system is a pay for performance model, it costs you nothing.
Generally, there are two different models to determine the cost per click to you, the advertiser. When considering which Pay Per Click provider to use, it’s important to understand the difference between these two methods, to best understand how to use pay per click to your advantage. They are Flat-rate PPC and Bid-based PPC.
With the flat-rate PPC model, the advertiser and the publisher negotiate a fixed cost for each click. Often times when this model is used, the publisher will have a map of their website, with the cost for each space varying depending on its prominence on the page. This style is particularly common amongst comparison shopping engines, such as bizrate, nexttag, or slickdeals.
With the bid-based PPC model, the advertiser is allowed to bid, to compete against similar advertisers in a private auction. Each of the bidding advertisers let’s the publisher know the maximum amount they are willing to pay for a given ad spot or keyword. The winning advertisers then pay for each click on their advertisement, based on the amount they bid. The common practice amongst bid-based PPC websites such as Google AdWords, is to charge a small amount (usually one penny) more than the next highest bidder.
As you can see, Pay Per Click can be a massively effective means of directing targeted traffic to your website, and is relatively inexpensive. While there is the risk of click fraud, most of the major Pay Per Click providers such as Google or Yahoo, have employed several automated systems to prevent abusive clicks by corrupt web developers or competitors out to cost you additional money. If used properly, you can find new customers with ease using Pay Per Click. It might also be beneficial to find a reputable pay per click company to assist you with your campaigns.