At the end of the day, the success of your search engine positioning strategy boils down to one thing—results! Over the past several years, many search engines have adopted various PPC advertising models that enable advertisers to pay for exposure on their search results pages, based on targeted keyword sponsorship. Advertisers pay for click-throughs to their Web site. Ads (or sponsored listings, as they are commonly called) appear on the results page of a search based on keywords.
The concept is very straightforward—advertisers bid on specific keywords or keyword phrases to impact the position of their text ads on search results pages, their ad appears when someone does a search on the chosen keywords or keyword phrases, and if (but only if) someone actually clicks on their ad and is delivered to their site, the advertiser pays. Using PPC, advertisers receive targeted leads delivered to their site, for a fee.
The key is that the lead is “targeted.” Using traditional organic search engine optimization techniques can cause your site to appear at the top of search results, generating targeted traffic to your Web site, but even the leading search engines often return results that are not exactly what the searcher desires. What if your Web site always appeared when a searcher conducted a query using a targeted keyword relating to the products or services being promoted on your site? What if you could ensure that everyone interested in your packages, products, or services had the opportunity to click on your search engine listing to learn more about what you have to offer? These are the true benefits of developing your
PPC, or pay-to-play, online promotional strategy. By participating in PPC, you generate targeted traffic to your site and you increase brand awareness for your organization, which ultimately results in increased sales for your business. Over
the years, some programs have proven successful while others have failed, but at the end of the day, a handful of PPC programs have proven to be extremely successful. These programs include:
- Google AdWords (http://adwords.google.com)
- Yahoo! Advertising (http://advertising.yahoo.com)
- Bing (http://advertising.microsoft.com).
Ads on Facebook and other social media are covered in depth in the social media chapters.
All of the major PPC programs have in-depth tutorials, case studies, white papers, and tools to help you learn more about their programs and make them easy for you to use. Things are changing rapidly in this area, as the competition for your advertising dollar is fierce. Changes to these programs, whether we’re talking about program updates, program features, new pricing, new tools, new offerings, or program enhancements, are being made on a regular basis.
I provide a very basic overview of Google AdWords and the Yahoo! Advertising programs. Other programs you will want to check out include Bing, Ask, 7Search, and Kanoodle. For information on setting up and managing Facebook ads. The information included in this chapter is current as of the date of publication. For the absolute latest information on these programs, I strongly suggest you visit the advertising sections of all the major search engine Web sites.