Pay per click advertising is a great way to drive immediate traffic to a new Web site or drive supplemental traffic to an existing Web site. With most pay per click (PPC) programs, a bidding process is used to determine the rank positions for the ads. With PPC advertising, you do not pay the advertising partner anything to display your ads. Ads are displayed (called impressions) for free, but you do pay a click charge each time users click on your ads, which then takes them to any page in your site that you choose. The click charge is based upon the amount bid for the rank position.
Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing (formerly called Overture) are the two largest and most effective pay per click advertising programs. The best part of PPC advertising is that the traffic driven to your site is qualified traffic based upon targeted keyword phrases that trigger the display of your ads. These users are qualified because they are already looking for the products, services or information that you offer.
The cost for Google PPC advertising can range from $0.05 to $50.00 per click. Very competitive industries with high dollar ROIs, such as the medical profession, tend to be near the high end. The bidding range for most industries is $0.50 to $1.00 per click. Non-competitive industries tend to be in the $0.05 to $0.25 per click price range.
Google advertising can be localized very easily. If you sell automobiles in Minneapolis, Minnesota, or have a veterinary clinic in Mesa, Arizona, you probably do not want your ads to display for a user in London, England. Geographic regions can be easily set up by country, state, city or metropolitan area. This means that your ads will only display for users in your selected regions. Localization tends to drive the bidding cost down due to less competition for keyword phrases, and drives more highly qualified local traffic to your Web site.
Budgets can controlled with Google AdWords by setting a Campaign Daily Budget. The maximum that Google will charge for clicks on a monthly basis is thirty times the Campaign Daily Budget. This prevents campaign costs from getting out of control.
For information about PPC terminology, see our Google AdWords Glossary of Terms page.