Pay Per Click: What's
It All About?
No doubt you've heard
the phrase "pay per click" before. This refers to any type
of advertising where you only pay per click-through.
by Alexandria K. Brown, “The E-zine Queen”
Traditional Web advertising,
such as banner ads, charged advertisers based how many people SAW
your ad. But with pay-per-click deals, you only pay for how many people
actually CLICK on your ad (to get to your offer page or Web site).
This is great because essentially
you only pay for RESULTS.
THE PAY-PER-CLICK SEARCH PHENOMENON
One of the most popular places pay-per-click has become a phenomenon
is within search engines and Web directories. For example, let's use
one of my own listings.
Go to http://www.yahoo.com/
right now and search for "ezine publishing." On the search
results page, you'll see at the VERY top a section called "Sponsor
Guess who is listed up here?
Yours truly! In fact, at the time I wrote this article, my book site
— http://www.ezinequeen.com/tutorial/index.htm — is listed
at number one.
Underneath the sponsor listings
is the section called "Web Matches," which shows the regular
search engine listings that are submitted and indexed the traditional
If you do searches for "ezine
publishing" on Lycos, AltaVista, and CNET, you'll also see me
in the top "Sponsor Listings."
How did I achieve this? Did I pay some search-engine-optimization
guru thousands of dollars to tweak my Web site in the favor of all
these search engines' algorithms?
No way! I'm on a small business budget, just like
you. I achieved these listings myself, and you can too. In fact, it's
I simply opened an
account with Overture and bid on the phrase "ezine publishing."
provides the "sponsor" listings at all of these sites.
Now, don't let the word "bid" scare you
— it's actually a simple process. Once you have an Overture
account, you can go in and see exactly who is bidding on the keywords
you want, how much they are bidding, and how many clicks these keywords
get each week. Then you can choose an appropriate amount to bid and
estimate your budget. Some popular keywords go for several dollars,
while others go for as little as 5 cents.
AIM TO LAND ONE OF THE TOP THREE SPOTS
Your goal should be to land one of the *top three* spots for your
keywords at Overture, because most of the affiliate sites (such as
Yahoo) ONLY show Overture's top three listings at the top of the page
in that "sponsor" section, which people see FIRST. If you're
number four or five in Overture, you may show up at the bottom of
the search page, if at all.
Right now Overture has contracts with Yahoo, MSN,
Netscape, Lycos, AltaVista, CNET, and more search sites, and they
claim their listings reach more than *80 percent* of all U.S. Internet
EASY TO SET UP, QUICK RESULTS
I'm the first to admit that while I'm "The E-zine Queen,"
I'm NOT a technical person. I do none of my own Web design, programming,
or computer maintenance, and I'm apt to throw money at anyone who
can help me avoid technical tasks! But I found Overture easy to figure
It only takes them a few days to approve and post
your listings. This means if you sign up today, your site can be listed
for the keywords you choose by next week. And that means more TARGETED
TRAFFIC to your site by next week!
THERE ARE OTHERS TOO
There are a few other popular pay-per-click services out there. Google
AdWords Select (https://adwords.google.com/select) is one of them.
Their service works very similarly to Overture, although your listings
appear a bit differently — in little boxes alongside of the
regular search listings. And your position is determined not only
by your bid, but by your ad's popularity (number of clicks).
The only drawback I found with Google's service is
that they absolutely will not accept any listing for a site that features
a pop-up window. Even if the pop-up features content that is completely
related to the site, such as for a newsletter. I hemmed and hawed
to their editorial staff ... and got nowhere.
GIVE THEM A TRY!
So be sure to give pay-per-clicks a try. You only pay when someone
clicks on your ad, so why not see what type of results you get?
It's important to remember that pay-per-clicks are
just one tactic in your bag of online marketing tricks. Don't rely
on them for all of your Web site traffic. You should still put effort
into achieving regular search engine listings and gaining online exposure
in other ways.
As your mother likely told you, don't put all your
eggs in one basket! ; )
(c) 2000-2003 Alexandria K. Brown. All rights reserved
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandria K. Brown, The
E-zine Queen, is author of the award-winning manual, Boost
Business With Your Own E-zine. To learn more about her book
and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit her site at http://www.ezinequeen.com.