Increase Your Web Traffic With Pay Per Click Advertising

Whatever the nature of your work from home business, we all have one major task in common – advertising. In an ideal world, you customers and clients will find you with ease wherever they look, both online and offline. After exploring your website or getting in touch, they’ll place order and help to drive your revenue.But some of the best businesses in the world fail because they simply do not invest in quality advertising. What use is a product or service that nobody knows about?The Internet is a powerful marketing tool, and the Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising model makes global advertising accessible, understandable and affordable for all.Read on to get an overview of what PPC advertising involves, why it works so well, and how you can get started with a Pay Per Click campaign today.Pay For Relevant Business Leads, Not Random VisibilityThe most traditional form of advertising in the world is the newspaper campaign. When the Madison Avenue marketing experts placed adverts in national publications, they could be confident that they would be seen by hundreds of thousands of readers.In its earliest forms, online advertising adopted a similar approach. High traffic websites and search engines would charge businesses for exposure, for example showing a banner advert to 10,000 visitors.But are these visitors interested in your products and services? With a per-impression campaign, there is simply no way of knowing. As a result, advertisers are charged fees for campaigns that may not attract a single interested customer.Modern online advertising addresses this through the Pay Per Click model, or PPC. Instead of paying for exposure, advertisers are charged for each time an advert is clicked. Although there is no way to account for inquisitiveness and clicks from visitors who have no intention of making a purchase, this generally means that you will only pay for traffic from people who are genuinely interested in what you do.Once they’re on your website, these are the people that you can convert into customers.How Does PPC Advertising Work?The best way to understand how PPC advertising works is to follow an imaginary advert through the process. Let’s imagine that you run a website which sells products for babies and toddlers.First, you will create a campaign. This includes the adverts that you wish to display, as well as a range of settings including geographic locations or times of the day in which to show the advert. You can also configure a campaign to show adverts on specific devices – for example, an advert that is tailored for display on smartphones.In the case of search engine PPC advertising, the adverts in your campaign are then associated with keywords. When a web user types this phrase into the search engine, your advert will be shown – but only if you can afford it.Usually, advertisers bid for clicks. You could be willing to pay 50 pence, while a competitor has offered 75 pence. In this case, your competitor’s advert would be shown before yours. If you do not bid enough for your chosen keywords, your advert will not be displayed at all.Alternatively, most PPC systems allow you to simply define a daily budget for your campaign and have the service provider automatically bid on your behalf. This is the ideal solution for most advertisers.In either case, when an advert is clicked, you are charged. The process repeats until your pre-defined budget is depleted.Getting Started With PPC Using Google AdWordsWithout a doubt, Google AdWords is the single largest pay per click advertising platform on the web. If you only use PPC through one provider, it should be Google.Every day, millions of people search Google for different products and services. Customers are now more likely to turn to Google for advice and information about purchases than they are any other outlet.Make sure that your business is there!An important consideration for Google AdWords is the quality of your pages and the preciseness of your campaign. Remember that as well as offering PPC advertising, Google has access to an advanced algorithm that can determine the relevance and quality of your page. If you are to be successful with AdWords, you need to combine a high quality page with the right budget.For the best results, don’t use one overarching advert that applies to your entire website. Instead, spend a few hours creating individual ads that target very specific sections, or even specific products.Returning to our imaginary website that offers baby and toddler products, a great campaign would be organised hierarchically in-line with your product categories.An extract from the Ad Groups in your Campaign could be:Baby Products High Chairs
Potties
Teethers
Toys
Books Each of these sections would have its own adverts and link the customer to the correct page of your website, not just the homepage. You can then target just a few carefully selected keywords with an increased chance of getting a high position in the results page.For more advice on using Google AdWords, the official Google website is a fantastic source of information. They provide everything from getting started guides to advanced video tutorials, and can even offer hands-on advice over the phone to paying advertisers. For more information, visit support.google.com/adwords/.Search Engine Pay Per Click with BingMicrosoft’s Bing is a rapidly growing search engine with a PPC advertising service to match.For the most part, Bing Ads works in the same way as Google AdWords. You will create advertisements divided into groups, associate them with keywords, and use manual or automatic bidding to determine when your advert is shown.However, Bing uses a monthly billing process that can sometimes make it more difficult to keep track of your advertising spend in advance. Google, on the other hand, allows you to ‘top up’ your advertising account, restricting your spend to the funds that you have already deposited.That said, Bing represents an interesting opportunity for advertisers. Although the site can never rival the traffic of Google, the uptake on Bing advertising is still in its infancy. That means that, with less competition, the cost of clicks on even the most popular keywords is lower than at Google.Search Engine PPC Extends Far Beyond Search EnginesIt is surprising to find that most people who use pay per click advertising for their business on search engines do not realise that their adverts can be seen in a wide variety of places.While it is true that the bulk of your traffic will come from adverts displayed in search engine results, you can also configure Google AdWords or Bing Ads to display your adverts on external websites. Anybody can install an advert panel on their homepage as a source of extra income and, if you opt-in to the display network, your advert could be displayed just about anywhere.PPC Advertising In The World of Social MediaIf there is any website that is used more frequently than a search engine, it is Facebook. Facebook spearheaded the growth of social media and, with more than a billion users, represents a viable advertising opportunity for any businesses.Advertising on Facebook starts with your Page, which is free to create. This is where you post updates about your business and engage with your fans and customers.From this page, though, you can also engage Facebook’s new pay per click system. You can create adverts that lead to your Page or a particular post, and then select either an impressions-based payment scheme, or a PPC alternative (known on Facebook as CPC, or Cost Per Click).You can then decide who your advert will be shown to, based on anything from Interests listed in people’s Facebook pages to people who have just got engaged. In the case of our imaginary baby and toddler website, we could select the ‘Expecting Parents’ category to target with our ads.Facebook offers a highly targeted kind of pay per click advertising that could well represent the future of marketing. With such personal information on display throughout the Facebook system, it is easier than ever to connect with those people who genuinely want and need what you have to offer.

An Advertiser’s Guide to Placing Ads in Traditional and Online Media

If you’ve never advertised your product, service or business before, you might find the world of advertising to be daunting. You have a variety of media to choose from, each with their own advertising products, prices and lingo that aren’t necessarily intuitive.You’ll find some basic information here that will help you wade through these waters.Television and RadioBroadcast media have a finite space (i.e. just 24 hours a day). That space is divvied up among programming content, public service announcements and ads. The ads you’d be buying are called “spots” and you pay for a fixed amount of time (e.g. 30 seconds). Although you could buy a single spot, it is much cheaper for you (on a per-spot basis) to buy a bulk of spots. Especially with TV, where the cost of producing an ad is so expensive, it wouldn’t make sense for you to run the commercial just once.The cost of a 30-second spot will vary greatly among stations (based on the number of listeners), and among the time of day. Drive time for radio and prime time for TV will cost you a premium over ads in the middle of the night, for instance. So when you buy a package of spots, you’ll probably get your ads spread out over the course of a day, with a spot or two during more desirable times (or programs), with the majority of your spots being at less-desirable times. Be aware that even though you think you’ve purchased spots for a specific time, if another advertiser comes in and is willing to pay more for those spots, they can bump your ad out of that time slot. Because of the finite space for ads in broadcast media, the law of supply and demand are in full swing.Outdoor AdvertisingLike broadcast media, outdoor advertising has limited real estate. They can’t easily add a new billboard if they are running at 100-percent capacity. However, with billboards you can lock in the duration of your ad, so you don’t have to worry about another advertiser with deeper pockets bumping you off halfway through the month.Billboard rates are determined by the number of eyeballs they deliver. So a billboard on a busy freeway will cost a premium over a billboard on a less-busy street. You usually buy billboard space a month at a time, and you can also get discounts for committing to run longer.Print AdvertisingMagazine ads are pretty straight-forward. They typically have just a handful of sizes that you can choose from. So a full-page ad might cost $X, a half-page ad would cost a little more than half of $X, and a quarter-page ad would cost a little more than a quarter of $X. Magazine ads usually include color in their prices because color ads visually enhance the overall look of their magazine.Newspaper advertising is probably the trickiest to understand because there are so many options. The ads you typically see scattered throughout news pages are called display ads, also known as run-of-press (ROP) ads. Newspapers typically charge per column inch for those ads. A column inch is one column wide by one inch tall. So an ad that spans six columns and is ten inches tall is called a 60-inch ad. If the newspaper charges $X per column inch, you’d be looking at paying $60X for that ad to run once. If you want the ad to be in color, you will probably have to pay extra, either as a flat color cost, or an extra color cost per column inch. You can get discounts if you agree to run a certain number of inches over a specific period, or if you agree to run an ad a certain number of times.In addition to running display ads in newspapers, you can run classified line ads (paying per word, per line, etc.) or classified display ads, which price more like display ads but run in the classified section. You can also pay for advertorials that are written to look like news content (the front page of a real estate insert, for example) but are written by advertising people, not the editorial folks.You can also put pre-printed inserts into the paper. Newspapers will charge you a fee per thousand inserts. So if you decide to have the newspaper put in 10,000 of your inserts, and the cost is $X per thousand, you will pay $10X. You will also have to pay to have the inserts created and delivered to the newspaper.Online Ads in Traditional MediaAs you know, newspapers and broadcast stations also have websites. They run the same types of ads as other online publishers (e.g. banner ads and text ads), but they don’t always price the ads the same. Since traditional media companies are used to telling their advertisers what to pay for ads, they’ve adopted the same approach for ads on their websites. They usually charge one of two ways: per a fixed period of time (e.g. a month) or per impressions served.The nice thing about these pricing structures is you’ll know about how long your ad will be online. If you pay for a month, you’ll be up for a month. If you pay per impression, the media company should be able to tell you what their average impressions per day are. Chances are you’ll also be able to deal with the same sales person for online ads as for the other ads you purchase with them.The downside to this is you aren’t paying based on the effectiveness of the ad. Like running a radio spot or a print ad, you expect the ad to ultimately generate sales for you, and with online ads you have a better ability to track that your website visitors clicked through a particular ad, but if your ad doesn’t get enough people to your site to buy your product, you may pay for a lot of eyeballs that don’t do anything for you.Online Ads in the Performance Marketing SpaceBefore traditional media companies even had their own websites, Internet publishers were hosting advertising banners placed through affiliate networks. The publishers (anyone with a website that wants to advertise someone’s product on their site would be considered a publisher), to a certain extent, were happy to take whatever money the advertisers were willing to push their way. And the advertisers, thanks to the electronic nature of the Web’s marketplace, wanted to pay for actions, not just eyeballs.Today there are hundreds of these affiliate networks that help pair online advertisers with online publishers. To advertise on these networks, you need to simply join the network. Most networks are free to join and you’ll have a network manager assigned to you. Others are more like exchanges where you pay to join, then post your campaigns on the exchange hoping to get picked up by the many online publishers in that network. You will have direct access to the publishers in an exchange, but probably not have any access to publishers in a managed network.Affiliate networks are using the term “performance marketing” to highlight the fact that you’ll pay for actions, not just eyeballs. What you pay depends on what you are selling and the type of campaign you run.If you are a bricks-and-mortar retailer, you will probably run a cost-per-sale (CPS) campaign. This simply means you pay a publisher only if a visitor on the publisher’s site clicks through your ad, lands on your site, and buys your product. When you start the campaign, you’ll tell the publisher what the percentage of each sale you will pay. So if you figure you can afford to pay 10-percent commission on all sales coming from a publisher’s site and still be profitable, your campaign will have a 10-percent payout. Publishers decide whether to run your ads based on 1) the payout and 2) how well the advertised product fits with the publisher’s site content.If you aren’t selling a physical product, you may want to do a cost-per-lead (CPL) campaign. For example, if you are just trying to build up your email list, you might want to put an ad on a publisher’s site that entices a user to fill out a form with their email address. Once the form gets submitted, that lead gets tracked in a tracking system, you get the email address you’re looking for, and you then pay the publisher whatever amount you previously decided for that lead.If you run performance campaigns through networks, you actually won’t pay the publishers directly. You will actually pay the network, which will then pay the publishers. The network will also have the tracking software that tracks your sales and leads. The network will provide you with a login to their tracking software so you can monitor your campaign’s activity and results.As you can see, there is a lot to learn for advertisers in the traditional and online arenas. I hope this information has given you a good starting point for learning more.

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Automotive GPS

I’ve been listening to comments on the street about the increasing use of automotive global positioning systems. When a new technology comes into mainstream use there are always people cautious about it’s use, as there should be! It is important to look at the cons as well as the pros.One comment I have heard is that they are dangerous. There are stories of people following the verbal instructions and making a turn right off the road because a map was out of date. This reminds me of stories when cruise control first came out. There were examples of people suing the automotive companies because they set cruise control, took their hands off to let the car take them to their destination, and crashed. My point being that the GPS is technology, plain and simple. It must be combined with common sense.I was recently on a business trip to Europe with our President and Director of Engineering, looking at equipment we have been considering for our plant. It was a hectic tour from Denmark, through Sweden, back to Denmark and finally a flight to Manchester and visits to manufacturing facilities throughout northern England. Three different sales associates escorted us and they all used GPS units to take us to our destinations.One had a new Volvo that came with a GPS that popped up when the car started. When activated, it issued instructions in Swedish. The next had purchased a Garmin street pilot. He stored it in the glove box and set his route before starting out. The first instruction the GPS spoke was “make your first right and then continue .5 km, then turn left” and by gosh it was right. Our final escort had rented an Audi with an in dash GPS, that was too cool!This last unit was particularly useful because none of use knew where we were going. The instructions called out by the GPS saved us time and money (fuel). In fact a little friendly competition developed. Our Director of Engineering is a bit of a technology enthusiast. He takes his hand held GPS with him on every trip. Our driver zoomed in on the map, as we got closer to our destination, looking for the actual street name. Our Engineer used his GPS to monitor the direction and update us on how far we were from our destination. Meanwhile, our President was playing with his GPS enabled Blackberry. He commented out of the blue, you probably should make your second left. The Blackberry provided detailed instructions on how to get to our destination.My point in all of this is that the automotive GPS units are safe, when used with common sense. When they become standard features in all cars we will see that people save time (which is money) and will also reduce greenhouse gases by not wasting fuel.In closing I have a word of advise for those programming the voice recognition programs in GPS units. Get rid of the instruction “When possible, make an illegal u-turn”.By the way, if you are self-employed or use your car for work you should ask your account whether you can claim it as a tax deduction.