Pay Per Click Training & Education
One of your first considerations when deciding to launch a PPC campaign is internet marketing training and education. Each search engine has their own pay per click advertising program and way of doing things. One of the advantages of web site promotion through PPC advertising is that it is generally easy to establish an account. Simply do your keyword research, outline the benefits of doing business with you, create some ads, have your credit card handy and follow the steps. The search engines have made setting up an account very simple, although some require that ads pass editorial review before going live. However, when compared to waiting for "organic" search engine optimization (SEO) to affect your site's rankings, waiting a few days for editorial review is not really a drawback, only mildly frustrating. There are some engines though, that will post ads immediately and satisfy your need for instant gratification.
Search Engine Advertising Program Changes
Keeping up-to-date on changes as they occur can also be challenging and another reason for logging into your PPC advertising campaigns daily. The search engines are continually improving their pay per click marketing programs, adding enhancements and making changes. Be sure you subscribe to some of the many newsletters made available by experts in the search engine marketing industry. For those using Google AdWords, they have an official blog that will give you tips and insight into tools available and changes that will help you advertise your site. Another great resource is Google Alerts. Google Alerts is a free service offered by Google that sends you email notifications for topics that you are interested in and is a great way to keep on top of industry changes.
Although some PPC campaigns require editorial review before they go live, others will review ads only when an issue is brought to their attention. Even with editorial review, a pay per click marketing campaign can be active within 3-5 business days or even sooner.
Google AdWords offers some automated bid structuring which helps initially, but soon you will want to manually manage your bids. Learning how to do this will take time --looking through the forums and asking the right questions of the right people will help. Conferences like Search Engine Strategies, AdTech, Webmaster World's PubCon and eComExpo offer sessions and seminars on best practices and how to manage search engine marketing campaigns.
PPC bid management can be "tricky" in programs such as Google AdWords. Although, setting up a campaign is fairly easy managing it can be frustrating if you don't know what you are doing. Figuring out where the "sweet spot" position is for your industry and what keywords to target can be difficult. In some engines, knowing what dollar amount to set as the maximum or minimum and how it will affect your position is not always straight forward. Some things are learned by trial and error and only over time will you become a pay per click expert.
Google AdWords is considered by many to be The King of all PPC search engines. It provides sponsored listings on the Web's top portals and search engines, including AOL, Netscape Netcenter, Earthlink, CompuServe, Shopping.com, AT&T, Ask.com and others. Perhaps its best feature is the Keyword Tool which allows subscribers to see exactly how often people search for a particular word or phrase and an estimated cost per click. There is also a tool called Content Match that allows subscribers to broaden their consumer reach within G-Mail and sites that signed with Google to share PPC advertising space on their sites. Geotargeting allows you to target customers searching for local services, which is especially beneficial for small businesses that lack a large web presence but want to establish branding. Google AdWords is best suited for those willing to pay top dollar for quick results.
Yahoo! Search Marketing still maintains a large portion of the search community and should not be ignored. Yahoo offers many tools to help you manage your site including a forecast tool that will estimate the number of clicks you receive based on your maximum cost per click.
Rounding out the big three is MSN adCenter. Where adCenter differs from the competition is they encourage users to select target audience demographics that they want to particularly seek out.
Also interested in search engine optimization? We offer SEO Training as well.