Buy your way to the top
Potential customers are actively searching for the products or services you sell. If they come through a search engine query, they have voluntarily clicked on your listing. In other words, they have come looking for you! If you’re not visible, you’re losing business.
Types of Search Engine Advertising
There are four main types of search engine advertising:
- Directory submissions (e.g. Yahoo Directory) - usually an annual payment to submit a website to an online directory.
- Product submissions for online stores (e.g. Yahoo! Shopping) - a cost per click payment model.
- Paid placement – paying for a fixed top position in the search engines for particular keyword searches.
- Pay-Per-Click auctions (e.g. Google Adwords) – bidding for a position in the ‘featured sites’ or ‘sponsored listings’.
Directory submissions are a paid directory listing, similar to listing to Yellow Pages (which is also an available online option these days).
Product submissions involve setting up a feed of the products from your website to the shopping search engine. You products will then appear in the shopping search results along with other merchants, and you will pay a fee if a shopper clicks on your link and goes to your online store.
Now to Paid Placement and Pay-Per-Click. While both programs provide you with an opportunity to get visibility in the search engines without much regard to the actual content of your website, they are very different in structure. Paid Placement involves negotiating a cost-per-click fee with the search engine and generally involves large per-month spends and/or long-term contracts. Paid Placement can involve either graphical banner ads or text ads, or both. Pay-per-click on the other hand involves no long term contracts, and you can set you own budgets to spend as little or as much is required to generate the return on investment you require.
Australia’s Pay-Per-Click Coverage
Yahoo and Google are the major players in the Pay-Per-Click auction market in Australia. If your internet marketing efforts are international, then there are a number of other players to consider.
Pay-Per-Click advertising through Google and Yahoo captures well over 90% of the general search market in Australia. Yahoo distributes not only to the Yahoo search results but also Bing. Google advertising can, of course, be seen in Google search results. With such good coverage, Pay-Per-Click is the fastest and easiest way to achieve top rankings for particular keywords.
How It Works
The mechanics are somewhat different for each search engine’s Pay-Per-Click program, but generally, you bid a maximum amount of money that you are prepared to pay for a visitor to your website. Bidding generally starts at 10c per click and, depending on the competitiveness of your industry, can go up to several dollars. To keep an eye on your budget, you can a set maximum spend per day for your campaigns. Once your campaign has used up its daily budget amount, your ads will not appear again until the following day.
Pay-Per-Click programs are easy enough to establish, however getting real value out of your campaign takes a good understanding of the basics. You’ll need to think about the following:
- What keywords will generate the right kind of traffic?
- How much am I willing to pay for that traffic?
- Where will I send those visitors? Do I need to specific landing pages?
- How does that traffic convert into customers?
- How will I manage the bidding process?
- Who will write my creative copy?
- How will I measure my return on investment?
- How will I spot click fraud?
Once established, the campaign requires monitoring of keywords, optimisation of ad copy, bidding management, and analysis of conversion rates. The question is, do you have the time and resources to set up and manage a Pay-Per-Click campaign? If not, invest in some help.
Pay-Per-Click advertising can provide tangible returns to some businesses. If it’s right for your type of business, get in there before your competitors do.
Call us for a chat on 1300 851 583