We offer planning, PPC management and implementation of PPC advertising campaigns to maximise ROI from Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing, Microsoft Ad Centre and other paid advertising networks.

What is Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising?

Pay Per Click Advertising basically means that you pay to advertise within the sponsored listings on the search engines. You choose a group of keywords that best describe your products and services and then bid on those keywords to get the best position for your advert. The person who places the highest bid (or highest maximum cost per click (CPC)) will have their adverts shown in the number one position in the sponsored listings.

You will then pay the price bid (Cost Per Click or CPC) each time someone clicks on your advert and goes through to your website, hence the name Pay Per Click advertising.

Not all online paid advertising uses this revenue model, there is also “Pay Per Call” on Miva where you have adverts with phone numbers and you pay when someone calls you, or CPM (cost per X impressions) that’s where you pay based on the number of times you advert is shown, for example every 1000 times.

Which Search Engines Offer PPC Advertising Campaigns?

Google Adwords is perhaps the most popular PPC advertising search engine as it has the largest audience and therefore reach. The downside of its popularity is that Adwords is also the most expensive PPC service.

  • Google is now responsible for four in every five (80%) search click-throughs in the UK.[Nielsen//NetRatings July 2007]

The two main alternatives are Microsoft Ad Centre and Yahoo Search Marketing. They are both useful in their own right; Yahoo for example is reportedly more popular in some countries (like Japan) than Google. Also, consider that since a lot people use PCs that mostly come installed with Windows, their home page will default to MSN. Some people may not want or know how to change this and so will use MSN as their search engine.

It is advisable to try using all three search engines for your PPC advertising campaign, but with a smaller budget allocated to Microsoft Ad Centre and Yahoo Search Marketing than to Google Adwords.

Should I Use PPC Advertising or Organic SEO?

Ideally, you should use both PPC advertising and organic Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in tandem. They will both complement each other and are two key elements of your online marketing strategy.

PPC is actually becoming more like SEO as Google now uses a Quality Score which factors landing page relevance and quality into the PPC equation. This means that if your pages are well optimised, you will perform better not just in the natural listings but in your PPC campaign too.

Depending on how competitive your keywords are and how old your website is, it can take a long time to gain good rankings in the natural search listings and bring those extra visitor’s into your site; so organic SEO is a long term initiative. Your search agency cannot control the search engines and so there are never any guarantees with SEO. Ultimately, however, SEO will prove more cost effective than PPC as once you are at the top – you will not have to pay for every visitor that clicks through to your website.

So how do you get traffic to your site while you’re waiting? Try using pay per click advertising!

Comparatively, pay per click marketing can guarantee a certain amount of traffic if you are willing to pay the price. It will work for any site, regardless of age and you have full control of your adverts and budget.

So, once you’ve achieved those top slots in the natural listings, should you cancel your PPC campaign? Statistics tend to argue that people are more likely to favour and therefore click on the organic listings as they understand that people have worked hard to gain those positions and have not just paid to get to number one! But then that also assumes that people know the difference between paid listings and organic or natural listings and this is certainly not the case for everyone.

Once you a have achieved the top spots for specific keywords and key phrases organically, you have a few choices as to how to continue. You could try diversifying your PPC campaign, targeting alternative keywords that your site is not naturally ranking for. The best option is to experiment by measuring the number of visitor’s and conversions on your website and how this differs as you change elements of your online marketing strategy. The results will vary greatly depending on your industry.

How Much Will A PPC Campaign Cost Me?

This will depend on the industry you are in. If it is very niche such as a manufacturer of rubber mats for stable floors then the keywords you choose are likely to be less competitive and therefore the cost per click (CPC) will be lower. If however, you sell insurance or houses or holidays be prepared for high prices! In this case, you will benefit from using more niche keywords and also from trying the cheaper CPC offerings of Yahoo and Microsoft.

How Do I Start A PPC Campaign?

We have created some more pages giving details about how to get started with your PPC advertising campaign and also how Commercetuned can set-up up and manage your PPC campaigns on an ongoing basis. Please refer to the links listed in the right-hand navigation for more information.