All You Need to Know About Pay Per Click Search Engines - Part 1 of 3
by Merle
Pay Per Click Search Engines (aka PPC) are all the rage these
days and for very good reasons. They are an inexpensive way of 
achieving targeted traffic. If you're not familiar with them
let's go over the basics. 

With PPC search engines, you bid on keywords/phrases and when
someone searches for those keywords, your site will appear
on the search results page. If someone clicks on your site,
you're charged the amount you have bid. If they don't 
click, your account is not charged.

Overture was the very first PPC S.E. in existence and it's 
still the largest and most effective. Their success is mostly 
due to the extensive relationships they have in place with
many of the major search engines. When bidding with Overture,
the top three bid positions will also appear on some of the
majors like Altavista, Yahoo and others. These listings 
generally show up under the heading of "sponsored links."

Thanks to Overture's success, many other engines have appeared
on the Net, all vying for the PPC dollars. But you need to 
be careful here, as many of them are not worth your time
or advertising dollars. We'll discuss these in more depth
in Part 2 of this series.

Remember, visitors who come to your site via a search
engine are already targeted leads, and once they get there
it's up to you to convert them into buyers. No PPC S.E. 
will make the sale for you; that is always determined by
the strength of your ad copy. Your site must convert visitors
into buyers, and the only way to do that is with strong ad
copy that convinces them to take action.

The biggest task in signing up with PPC's is choosing the
keywords/phrases you wish to bid on. You don't want to be 
too broad and bid on one word; you'll do better by being more 
specific and coming up with or 2 or 3 word combinations to
bid on. You don't want to pay for untargeted traffic, and
if your keyphrases aren't relevant to your site, that's
exactly what you'll be doing. 

For example, let's say your site sells model trains. Don't
bid on the word "trains" alone but use "model trains." That
way you're targeting those who are specifically searching for
model trains and not those who may be looking to take a trip
on trains. Are you following me here? Again, you don't want
to pay for untargeted traffic. 

There are many tools you can use online that will help you in 
choosing just the right keywords. You'll have your best luck
bidding on as many keyword combinations as you can think of.
If you only choose a handful of keywords your results won't be
as good, so you'll need to come up with quite a few.

Some of the best are:

Overture's Keyword Generator

"Jim Tools" also has a nice selection

Keyword Miner- Free Software

Word Tracker

You'll be amazed at the number of keyword combinations you
can come up with by using one of the above tools. They
really make it easy to come up with the best phrases for
your PPC campaign. 

For more information on PPC search engines, you may want
to investigate these:

Adding pay per click search engines to your website
promotional strategy is a smart move. The trick is
to bid on enough keywords and keep your bids at the
bare minimum. The results will be highly targeted
traffic that won't cost you a fortune or break the

In Part 2 of this article (SiteProNews - July 15th issue)
series we'll examine some of PPC's major players more closely.

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