By John Eberhard
Pay per click advertising is an umbrella term that applies to any advertising where you pay money every time someone clicks on one of your ads. Some of the programs where you can run pay per click advertising are:
- Google AdWords
- Bing Ad Center
- Facebook advertising
- Yelp paid ad program
I will give some tips and data on each one.
- Google AdWords is probably the oldest of the current programs, and came into prominence around 2005. You pick keywords that you want to advertise on, select what geographical area you want your ads to run, write ads, and create pages on your site for people to land on. And you have to decide on a bid, i.e. what you’re willing to pay every time someone clicks on your ad.
- Since click prices are determined by bids, the click prices are largely determined by the number of advertisers bidding on any given keyword. Because of the number of advertisers running ads on AdWords is pretty high, the bid prices for various keywords can run pretty high. For this reason, I recommend AdWords only for fairly high ticket items, such as home improvement and healthcare companies. I do not recommend it for low ticket items like books or CDs.
- Remarketing is a way to place ads in front of people who have visited your web site. AdWords has a remarketing program and a number of other companies do as well. Basically, special code is placed on your site, so that every time a visitor comes, a cookie gets placed on his computer. Then you can create a bunch of banner ads, different sizes, and those banner ads will appear to that visitor to your site, on various other sites that he visits. It’s a great way to put your message in front of people again who have visited your site, and get them to come back. And the cost of the clicks is generally lower than regular AdWords clicks.
- For the last year or so AdWords has run video ads. You can set up one of your videos to appear before the video someone goes to on YouTube. You have probably seen these, where you can click to skip the ad after a certain number of seconds. If someone watches the whole thing you get charged. Your video can appear in a number of other places, including when people search on YouTube. The cost for this is very small, between 12 and 18 cents per view. But you have to have a video that is appropriate and has a call to action at the end.
- Google AdWords is sufficiently complicated and expensive at this point that I do not advise people to try it on their own. I think it is well worth the money to get a consultant to work with you on it, set it up and manage it.
- Bing Ad Center was formed several years ago combining Bing’s and Yahoo’s PPC programs. It is a valid advertising platform. Unfortunately, it seemed like when the two programs merged, the response level fell down to just what Bing’s program had been before. Yahoo’s traffic just seemed to disappear. I have not had good response from it for my clients’ campaigns and am not running ads there for any of my clients currently.
- Facebook’s pay per click program has changed a lot in the last 1-2 years. They used to just give you these tiny little ads over in the right column. Now you can run ads that appear right in the main news feed, with a large picture, headline and some text. Facebook also has an impressive array of targeting methods, where you can target people by geographical area, age, gender, by professions, by interests, etc. You can even upload an email list that you have and they will find a good number of those people on Facebook and you can target your ads to them.
- There are many “desired actions” that you can have people do in Facebook advertising, such as get people to like your Facebook fan page, download an app, etc., but I think the most valuable thing is to send them to a landing page on your website which will have your offer and a response form.
- Pay per click advertising expert Perry Marshall (who has written several excellent books on AdWords and Facebook) stresses in his book that Facebook advertising is NOT for everyone. He has put up a site where you do a brief survey that will tell you whether Facebook is a good fit for your business. http://isfbforme.com/ Unfortunately this site is often down these days.
- This article on Entrepreneur.com states: “Is yours a local business with a physical location where consumers regularly come to purchase your goods and services? If so, then Facebook is for you. Dentists, doctors, lawyers, veterinarians, physical trainers, gyms, specialty shops, cupcake stores, specialty groceries, beer and wine shops, restaurants, mechanics, theaters and music venues are highly likely to benefit from locally targeted Facebook campaigns.” https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237959
- Yelp has a paid advertising program. The way it works is, on Yelp you search for a type of business in a specific city. Then you’ll see all these listings come up. If you do one of their paid ads programs, your ad will be one of the ones that appears at the top, a certain number of times per month. Paid programs start at $300 per month. This is most workable for local types of businesses, like restaurants, contractors, health care practices, etc. I have a number of clients who do extremely well with Yelp’s paid programs.
- The goal of any pay per click campaign should be to develop a steady stream of leads coming into the business.
- It is also vital, when doing a pay per click campaign, to have your act together in terms of sales, handling the leads, and converting them to closed sales. If you don’t have this part of the operation nailed, you will waste a lot of money and eventually give up on your pay per click campaign.
Good luck with your pay per click advertising.