This is a common question I’m asked. Since 1998, we have tried many different strategies and over the years pay-per-click advertising has emerged as the quickest and most profitable way to drive traffic to our web sites.
What is pay-per-click advertising?
Pay-per-click, or PPC, is an advertising strategy where you bid to get an ad placed near the search results for a given term at a set bidding price. For example, if you go to Google and search for “low acid coffee“, you will see blue rectangle at the top of the screen with text ads in it and some text ads to the right of the search results. These are all labeled “sponsored ads”. When a visitor clicks on one of these ads, the advertiser is charged a fee. In this example of low acid coffee, we bid on this term for our ChamplainCoffee.com web site. You should see our ad in the right hand side of the screen for search results.
There are many advantages to using PPC advertising. You have a lot of control on where your ad will be placed and how much you will pay. Also, you only pay if a prospect clicks on your ad to go to your website… you only pay for qualified leads! You can pay as little as .10 to $10 per click on your ads. What you may have to pay to get listed on the first page depends on how many competitors you have for a given term and what they are willing to pay. Because many businesses are now using PPC advertising, we do much more research than we used to do in figuring out which terms are best for us to bid on.
For example, we could bid on the search term “coffee” for ChamplainCoffee.com, as we were advised to do by some pay-per-click firms. This really made no sense to us as the term is too generic… we would get a whole lot of traffic, but at too high a cost. The sales wouldn’t justify the advertising cost. However, being that we sell low acid coffee that is 75% acid free, we decided to bid on terms such as “low acid coffee” and “acid free coffee”, which through our research, turned out to have a lot of searches and very high rates of return.
Interestingly, we found that while the term “acid free coffee” has less searches and an average bid cost of almost half as much as “low acid coffee”, it produces more sales. Therefore, being the most profitable. We also found that bidding to be #1 or even #2 in search results is often most unprofitable.
In conclusion, PPC advertising is quicker and easier than other methods of getting traffic to your web site. However, due to increasing popularity it’s more difficult than it used to be, but still by far the most effective.
As we have been very successful with doing it for our own businesses generating over $1 million in sales as a result, we have decided to offer pay-per-click advertising management services to our clients. We are able to do this for as little as $25/month, which should be affordable to any business serious about doing business online. If you are interested, please contact us to discuss it further.