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How Much Do I Bid?
The bigger PPC engines such as Goto and Sprinks require a minimum bid of $0.05. Startup engines have lesser minimums of $0.01.
How much to bid depends on your return-on-investment (ROI) calculations.
For example: If you bid $1.00 per visitor, and 1 in every 10 visitors buys your product, your cost-per-sale is $10.00.
So if each sale of your product produces a gross profit of $15, then your net profit will be $5.00 ($15 gross profit minus $10 cost-per-sale).
Your return-on-investment (ROI), before non-marketing expenses, is 50.0% ($5.00 net profit / $10 cost-per-sale). Always price your bids to achieve a positive ROI!
A great tool that you can use to compare bids for a specific keyword across multiple PPC engines is at http://www.compareyourclicks.com
To read about how you can maximize your returns from PPC engines, go to http://internetmarketingfocus.com/article.php?sid=53
You'll learn how to reduce your bids while still maintaining same ranking or get a top 3 position for maybe just 1 cent more!
How Do I Track Clicks?
Most of time, you'll notice that number of clicks tracked by yourself is between 15% to 30% more than clicks PPC engine reports.
This is because reputable PPC engines such as Overture have installed anti-cheating mechanisms that prevent your competitors from repeatedly clicking on your listings and wasting your bid fees!
They will count multiple clicks within a specified timeframe from same computer as only one clickthrough while your own log will usually register multiple clicks.
There was once when I noticed that my log was registering less clicks than Overture's reports. They were experiencing some bug which prevented clicks from being properly delivered to advertiser's website.
Because I was tracking my clicks, I notified them of problem and they credited my account for bad clicks. Tracking your clicks give you a more reliable picture of how well your PPC campaign is performing.
If you have access to your CGI directory, I recommend LnkinLite, a small yet powerful tracking software that can track clicks to your site in background. Get it at http://www.dtp-aus.com/cgiscript/lnkinlte.shtml
Otherwise you can consider free online trackers at http://www.hypertracker.com or http://www.linkcounter.com
Michael Low is a widely-published marketing consultant. He provides top-notch press release (PR) services at affordable rates. Check out his full-range of PR services at http://www.prbuilder.com/pr.cgi?a003