Pay-per-click marketing is the use of paid promotion services such as Google Adwords, Bing adverts, Overture/Yahoo, or Miva in order to appear high in the sponsored sections of the search engine results.
Most of the popular systems involve bidding on the search terms you wish to be advertised for. When someone searches for that term the search engine, in addition to the main organic listing, shows the top bidders in a separate section; often on the right hand side of the page or in a coloured box above the organic results. The higher you bid the higher in these results you appear, but you are only charged when someone clicks on your advert. You can manage your bids so that your spending doesn't exceed a certain amount per day or a certain cost per click and there will often be a facility to target your adverts - for instance at a particular geographical market or within a certain time band.
PPC is a very useful method of promoting your site but we believe it should be viewed as a short term or tactical techique in most cases. For instance if you don't have any natural search results then PPC can give you required exposure until an SEO campaign can provide them. PPC is also very useful for widening your search terms on a seasonal basis - perhaps you sell something at Xmas that you don't sell at any other time of year - or for promoting a special offer. An example might be a travel agent with surplus capacity on their holidays for a few weeks near the end of the season.
It can also be used as a form of research - to establish whether there is sufficient market for your product or to check the likely traffic that might be obtained if you can rank well organically. Used in this way PPC complements natural search engine optimisation rather than replacing it.
Please note that we do not currently offer direct PPC management although we do have relationships with other trusted companies who we can engage on your behalf. This is partly because PPC is a specialist area and we don't feel we have enough spare time to keep up to date with the latest wrinkles in it while doing the same for the ever-changing world of organic search. It is also the case that unless you have a reasonable PPC budget or your current campaign is very poorly set up that the cost of management can outweigh the benefits of management. However every case is different so do contact us and we will do our best to advise you on the best solution for your business.
The dominance of Google in regular search means that their Adwords service has become immensely popular with advertisers.
With the rise of Bing in general their advertising network is now well worth considering as an alternative to Adwords
Overture - Yahoo
Overture are now part of the Yahoo empire and their products are now appearing under the banner of Yahoo Search Marketing. As well as appearing on the Yahoo search results pages adverts will also appear on MSN, Alta Vista, Go2Net, and Excite amongst others.
Now operating under the name Adknowledge Miva, the former Espotting tends to offer ads that appear on major sites such as eBay, British Airways, Kelkoo, etc. rather than on other search engines.