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Pay Per Click Advertisment

All your need to know to get started.

All over the internet there are pay per click programs and for the new web promoter these can be very confusing and also lead to wasted money, time and a failed business.  However, with the competitive nature of search engines, it is very difficult to get a top rating without using pay per click.  Here are the basics of what you need to know:

  1. Who are the pay per click players.

    Very simply,  for the majority of business it is our opinion that Google ( ), Yahoo ( ) , and Verizon Super Pages ) are the only pay per click programs that are worth the time and money.  The new web master should be very skeptical of some programs.  Keep in mind that click fraud is a real problem in the major PPC engines and the smaller ones may simply not be able to combat this at all.  Google has a tremendous reach with over 55% of the internet traffic, Yahoo holds about 25% and Verizon is simply the larges on-line yellow page directory in the US.  Here is a run down of each of the players.

    Google - Google is affordable and offers a huge range of options.  All of three of the PPC engines mentioned have the ability to limit clicks and therefore cost to a geographic range.  Google is the best at this for normal search engine results.  Google will allow you to pick a range of miles from a central address as a starting point.  Then set the distance up to 300 miles or a much smaller area if you chose.  You can also use multiple adds, both text and image ads such as banners.  They have a great budget feature which allows you to limit your spending to avoid any nasty surprises.  This geographic range limit is a tremendous tool for plumbing companies, waste companies, fuel oil and propane companies, and any company that needs to serve a particular area.

    Yahoo - Yahoo has  a tremendous reach across the internet and anyone wanting to promote a web site must consider Yahoo's PPC program.  However, it differs substantially from Google.  Yahoo's local PPC program is geared toward setting up your business as particular location. You can only have one ad text per location and this does not rotate like a Google ad that can change with multiple adds coming from the same location.  You are limited to one ad per location.  While this can be manually changed from time to time it is a much slower process.  However, the competition here seems to less fierce and so good key words are still available for reasonable rates.  By all means use Yahoo and Google when planning your PPC strategy.

    Verizon - Verizon has there own program which differs substantially from the two search engine PPC programs above.  First of all you should ALWAYS set up a free business profile which is rich in content for you business.  Then you can set up as many different adds as you like and tailor you geographic area by zip code, city, metro area, state, or national coverage.  The range of geographic options are the best anywhere for PPC.  The keyword's work differently in Verizon.  You bid on an ad display in a CATEGORY such as "website design" or "waste equipment" instead of individual words.  You can bid on as many categories or as few as you like.  Among yellow page search engines, Verizon powers more search engine results than any other company.

    Who else should you use for PPC?  Perhaps Citysearch which powers AOL (approx. 10% of the internet traffic) or a few regional companies but in my experience you must use the "Big Three" to get real results in PPC.


  1. Who should use PPC in a geographic area?

What companies do the best with pay per click in a local area?  The exact same companies that do well with the traditional yellow pages.  If you company is typically taking most of it's orders from the yellow pages, you will most likely do great with a local PPC program.  For instance, lawyers all have HUGE adds in the yellow pages.  Why?  Most people who need a lawyer still go to the yellow pages and they need one FAST!  Think towing, plumbers, roofers, etc.  All these companies MUST spend big bucks on the yellow pages to stay in business.  When you drain won't flush you look in the yellow pages to find help.  Otherwise you spend almost no time all all looking at ads for plumbers.  So you see the connection.  Use the PPC engine to get attention to people who are looking for you NOW just as you would use the traditional yellow pages.


  1. How much should I spend?

The rule here is to start slow, set up a strict but reasonable budget, and then build up slowly.   Check your clicks and cost daily and use the reporting tools to study the results.  Don't try to get the top position if you have fierce competition in your field.  Instead depend on a lower position that fits your budget to spread the cost over several days.  In general for some companies as little as $30 per month may bring good results with local PPC advertisement.  Again start slow and experiment until you have found the ads and words that work the best for you.

As an alternative you can hire an internet promotion firm to manage this for you.  A good, ethical SEO firm will find out what you desire to spend and then work hard to get the most for you money.  The money you spend hiring them for the knowledge they have in writing effective ads, choosing the right key words, and setting up your accounts can be the best investment you will make in advertisement.  However, make sure you know who you are dealing with and ask for references!

Bob Williams - Internet Consultant - Woodstock Web Design