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Exploring PPC Campaigns in Google and Yahoo

Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing have quickly become two of
the premier online advertising vehicles for online businesses for several reasons.
First and foremost, why wouldn’t you want to place targeted ads on the Internet’s
top search engines to generate exposure for your business and your related
products and services? In addition, by sponsoring keywords and phrases on a
cost-per-click basis on such prominent Web portals, you are guaranteed one
thing—targeted exposure.

Some PPC programs provide businesses with the opportunity to outbid
each other for top placement of their ads. This means that businesses with
large advertising budgets can dominate the top placements using these particular
programs, which is not exactly fair to those businesses that cannot
afford a high CPC.

Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing help to create a level playing
field for all advertisers, meaning that even small businesses with a minimal
budget can compete with large enterprises for premium listings. Businesses with
large advertising budgets can set their CPC for particular keywords well above their competition, but this doesn’t mean that their ads will appear above the competition.

Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing rank each ad based on a combination
of the ad’s CPC and the ad’s click-through CPC cost-per-click, refers to the
price paid by the advertiser each time a visitor clicks on the advertiser’s ad or sponsored listing.

What this means is that if a business with a high CPC creates an irrelevant
ad that does not generate any clicks, that ad slowly moves to the bottom of the
listing of ads that appears on Google’s search results page and on Yahoo!’s
search results page and are ultimately removed. This enables businesses with a
lower CPC, but more relevant ads, to position higher—at no extra cost!

How PPC Campaigns Work
Setting up a PPC campaign account in both Google and Yahoo! can be accomplished
in 15 to 20 minutes by following a few simple steps. When preparing to
launch a campaign, you first determine where you would like your ads to appear
on the search engine’s network of Web sites, and which languages you plan
to target with your ads. You can choose to communicate your ads to the masses,
or you can opt to geographically target your ads to specific locations—some
even offer advertising to locations within a specific distance from your business’s
physical location. Now that’s targeted advertising!

You then need to design an Ad Group for your PPC campaign in Google
or Yahoo!. An Ad Group is a collection of one or more ads that you wish to
display on the network of sites. Each ad consists of a headline and description
that, if designed correctly, relate specifically to the keywords that are associated
with the overall Ad Group. Once each ad in a given Ad Group is designed,
you select targeted keywords that you wish to be associated with the

Ad Group.
Why does an Ad Group contain one or more ads? Google’s AdWords program
and Yahoo!’s Search Marketing program are both designed to work
effectively for advertisers, weeding out ads that are not generating targeted
traffic for them. To illustrate, assume that a given Ad Group consists of five
different ads relating to a specific topic, each with a unique headline and
description. When an advertiser launches a campaign, Google AdWords and
Yahoo! Search Marketing randomly display each ad in the Ad Group to the
advertiser’s target market. Eventually, certain ads in the Ad Group perform
better than others, generating more click-throughs. When this happens, Google
AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing then display only ads within the Ad
Group that are generating results for the client, and they slowly remove the
others from the rotation. This helps to maximize the effectiveness of the overall
ad campaign.

When launching an ad campaign, you are given the opportunity to set a budget for your campaign. You can set a maximum CPC for each Ad Group along with a maximum daily budget for your campaigns.

Developing Your Pay-to-Play Strategy
If you are unsure of what your maximum CPC should be, or if you simply
do not have the time to spend on such decisions, Google AdWords provides the
Budget Optimizer feature. With the Budget Optimizer you simply set your target
budget, and the Adwords system does the rest, seeking out and delivering
the most clicks possible within that budget. The Budget Optimizer considers
keywords, competitive bids, ad positions, time of day, and many other factors
to give you the most possible clicks for your money—automatically.

Both Google Adwords and Yahoo! Search Marketing offer excellent trafficestimation
tools that can help you estimate daily traffic for selected keywords
and phrases. The traffic-estimation tool helps you fine-tune what your maximum
CPC should be, based on your overall online advertising budget and campaign
objectives. By manipulating the maximum CPC, you are able to determine
what your daily expenditures would be based on traffic patterns associated
with the keywords that you have selected, along with where your ads will be
positioned during the campaign.

Where Do Your Ads Appear?
These paid listings usually appear separately from the organic results—sometimes
these sponsored listings appear at the top of the page, sometimes they
appear as a sidebar to the right of the page, and sometimes they appear at the
bottom of the page.
When you implement a campaign on the Google AdWords network, your
ads appear in more places than just within Google’s search results. Through
building relationships with some of today’s top industry-specific Web sites and
search portals, Google expands the reach of your ads to the masses. Popular
Web sites such as the New York Times, AOL, Ask.com, and Netscape all display
AdWords’ advertisements when a Web surfer conducts a search using those
sites’ search tools.

Similarly, when you implement a campaign on the Yahoo! Search Marketing
network, your ads appear in more places than just within the Yahoo! search results.
Yahoo! Search Marketing displays its pay-for-performance sponsored search
results on prominent Web sites such as Yahoo!, NBC, All the Web, and AltaVista.
The network sites change from time to time. At the time of this book’s
publication, the aforementioned is the most current listing of Web sites that
display Google Adwords’ and Yahoo! Search Marketing’s PPC listings in their
search results.
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