You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “pay per click” before. This refers to any type of advertising where you only pay per click-through. Traditional web ads, such as banner ads, charge advertisers based on how many people saw your ad. But with pay-per-click deals, you only pay for the number of people who actually click your ad (to visit your offers page or Web site).
This is great because essentially you only pay for the results.
Pay-Per-click search event
One of the most popular places pay-per-click has become a phenomenon is within search engines and web directories. For example, let’s use one of my own listings.
Now go to http://www.yahoo.com. On the search results page, you’ll see that at the top of the section called “Sponsor Lists.”
Guess who’s listed here? yours! In fact, at the time I wrote this article, my book site – is listed at number one.
Below the sponsor listings is a section called “Web Matches,” which shows regular search engine listings that are submitted and indexed in the traditional way.
If you search for “ezine publications” on Lycos, AltaVista, and CNET, you’ll see me in the top “sponsor list” as well.
How did I get it? Did I pay some search-engine-optimization guru thousands of dollars to change my web site in favor of all of these search engines’ algorithms?
off course not! I’m on a small business budget just like you. I got these listings myself and you can too. In fact, it’s ridiculously easy.
I just opened an account with Overture and bid on the phrase “ezine publishing”. Overture (www.overture.com) provides “sponsor” listings on all of these sites.
Now, don’t let the word “bid” scare you—it’s a really simple process. Once you have an Overture account, you can go inside to see who’s bidding on the keywords you want, how much they’re bidding, and how many clicks these keywords get each week. You can then choose an appropriate amount to bid and estimate your budget. Some popular keywords go for several dollars, while others go for only 5 cents.
Aim to land one of the top three spots
Your goal should be to get to one of the *top three* places for your keywords on Overture, as most affiliate sites (like Yahoo) only show Overture’s top three lists at the top of the page in that “sponsors” section, What people see first. If you’re number four or fifth on Overture, you may appear at the bottom of the search page, if at all.
Right now Overture has contracts with search sites like Yahoo, MSN, Netscape, Lycos, AltaVista, CNET, and more, and they claim their listings are available in all the U.S. Reaches more than *80 percent* of Internet users!
Easy to set up, quick results
I’m the first to admit that while I’m the “e-zine queen,” I’m not a technical person. I don’t do any of my own web design, programming, or computer maintenance, and I’m apt to throw money at anyone who helps me avoid technical tasks! But I found Overture easy to locate.
It only takes a few days for them to approve and post your listing. This means that if you sign up today, your site could be listed for the keywords you choose by next week. And that means more targeted traffic to your site by next week!
There are others
There are a few other popular pay-per-click services out there. Google Adwords Selection is one of them. Their service works in much the same way as Overture, though your listings appear a bit differently — in small boxes with regular search listings. And your position is determined not only by your bid, but also by the popularity (number of clicks) of your ad.
The only drawback I found with Google’s service is that they absolutely won’t accept any listings for a site with a pop-up window. Even if the pop-up may contain content that is entirely site related, such as for a newsletter. I shook hands with their editorial staff… and got nowhere.
Give them a try!
So be sure to try pay-per-click. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, so why not see what kind of results you get?
It’s important to remember that pay-per-click is just one tactic in your bag of online marketing tricks. Don’t rely on them for all your web site traffic. You should still strive to get regular search engine listings and get exposure online by other means.
As your mom probably told you, don’t put all your eggs in one basket!