For beginner, understanding PPC (Pay Per Click) services can be utterly confusing. With so many search engines to choose from, and so many options within each one: different billing schemes, different terminology, and different techniques for ranking in top spot, learning curve is quite substantial. So why would anyone go to trouble?
For quite some time now Google has been primary source for web search. Nearly everyone who has ever use a computer has either used or at least heard of Google. But as Florida update has shown us, free placements in search engines are not as stable as we would like them to be. Sure after an algorithm change we can go back to drawing board figure out newest line of attack, re-optimize a site, and bring back that first page placement, but how much traffic and sales are lost as a result of down time?
When it comes to most PPC campaigns you can be sure of one thing: Your rankings are stable. When you go to bed, you know that when you wake up next morning you placements will still be there. Now, of course in many cases you may be out bid in overture and find your self slipping a couple of notches, but after a quick adjustment to your maximum bid, you're back in contention. This is a far cry from potentially months lost after slipping, in some cases off charts, into dark abyss of positioning into thousands.
Google is not going away any time soon, so it is still very important to optimize and try to get those top placements regardless of whether or not you wish to pursue a PPC campaign. If you are ranking well on Google, in many cases it is still well worth it to pursue PPC placements as well to get that extra exposure. With a PPC campaign its important to remember that it isn't always as simple as paying top dollar to dominate number one spot. Regular tweaking and maintenance will be required.
So what is involved in achieving top spot in a PPC campaign?
Google Adwords Your Google AdWords Ad is given a ranking value by multiplying your maximum Cost Per Click (CPC) with your current Click Through Rate (CTR) and ads are sorted according.
For AdWords you must constantly monitor performance of your keywords and ads. If CTR of your keywords begin to slip then your position will most likely drop, and its time to either re-write your ads to draw attention, adjust your max CPC, or a combination of both. What will work best, depends on a variety of variables; your CTR, current CPC, how competitive your keyword phrase it, and wording in your competitors ads. Remember you want to stand out as obvious best choice.
Looksmart Looksmart has a PPC Service that is somewhat different than AdWords and Overture. With Looksmart you write your own title and ad text for your listing and pay a set rate of 15 cents per click. The ranking order for listings is "based solely on their relevance to a user's search as determined by LookSmart's proprietary search algorithm. Payment does not influence appearance or rank of listings in Reviewed Web Sites section." - Looksmart