Pay-per-click advertising is an internet marketing model designed to drive traffic to specific websites. Search engines such as Google and Bing sell listings in their search results, based on a per-click fee, and when someone clicks on that listing, the advertiser pays for that click.
Daniel Rosenberg, an internet marketing specialist who co-owns Raleigh-based MarketPlace Solutions, says the tool can be effective, but that owners need to budget carefully.
“Pay-per-click works best for businesses with healthy budgets and a highly competitive environment,” Rosenberg said. “Cost-per-clicks can run high. You need to understand the number of clicks you should purchase to generate a phone call and how many phone calls it takes to make a sale.”
Rosenberg offers this advice on pay-per-click marketing:
▪ Pricing is based on a bidding process. Advertisers enter an auction, which is sponsored by a search engine, by submitting campaigns using search words that are relevant to their business, Rosenberg said.
Advertisers select searchable keywords and bid on how much they’re willing to pay for using them. Google then scores the campaign, based on its relevance to users, plus the keyword bid, and then offers a ranked position in the search engine results page and a cost-per-click rate for high placement.
Advertisers can opt for lower placement for a lower price. Rosenberg said that sometimes advertisers can get a better rate of return if they choose to pay less for lower search engine placement.
▪ Owners should set up a link on their site that takes customers directly to a tracking page that has a phone number and contact form.
That page is tied to search engine analytics, and will count the number of times someone calls the number or submits the form and calculate the return on your investment. The page should have graphics, company information and a call to action that encourages others to seek additional information.
▪ Pay-per-click advertising can be effective for any business. Service providers, such as doctors, plumbers or appliance repair firms, however, tend to get the highest response rate because they are regularly sought, Rosenberg said.
Reach Teri Saylor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tweet her @terisaylor.