What are pay-per-click search engines? Pay-per-click search engines (also called pay-for-performance, paid listings among other names) are engines which allow site owners to determine their sites ranking in that particular search engines results by bidding on keywords. Usually first 3-5 search results are used by a network of partner search sites. The result for site owner or webmaster is a lot more highly targeted traffic and a lot more sales.
So underlying idea to pay-per-click search engines is that you find keywords related to your website and then you bid (how much you are willing to pay for each visitor that visits your site through search results) and buy high positions on your chosen engine. The more times a word or phrase has been searched for higher you will have to bid to get high rankings. The only limitation is that your site must be at least vaguely relevant to keyword you want to bid on. These engines allow you to skip all search engine optimization stuff and simply pay for visitors.
Pay-per-click engines have a number of benefits to any webmaster.
Only pay for visitors, unlike banner advertising where you have to pay each time someone sees your ad, on pay-per-click engines you only have to pay when someone clicks on your listing. So you are getting guaranteed visits.
Pay-per-click engines provide highly targeted cheap visitors. Often you can buy a good ranking on a decent keyword for as little as 1 cent or 2 cents per click. Overture has of late installed $.05 as minimum bid however. Popular search terms can cost much more on big pay per click search engines most notable overture.com and findwhat.com. Even still PPC engines are one of most cost effective way of driving targeted people to your site. Hopefully you will agree now that using pay-per-click engines is a great way to increase traffic and profit. OK lets talk about how to use overture.com, findwhat.com and other PPC's to make to most of your money.
Relevant terms are ones that will bring you highest quality traffic. Basically this means only bid on terms that are directly related to your site. For example if AKAMARKETING.COM decides to use overture or any of other PPC search engines in future, it would be bidding for terms such as "Internet marketing articles" and "website promotion articles" because they are main focus of site. Imagine if you bid for terms that were not really directly related to your website, people that come from these terms are not likely to buy or sign up, but you still have to pay for them, it's like giving PPC's free money so ALWAYS STAY RELEVANT.
Bid on as many low-cost relevant terms as you can. The cost of a top position with overture or any of other big PPC's depends upon keyword you are bidding on and how many people search for it. If you have to bid on a popular word such as 'Internet marketing' be prepared to pay around $2 - $4 for a decent position. But what if you went for "Internet marketing articles" it costs less than a quarter of price, it will produce far less visits of course, but is much more cost effective. Imagine doing this on a wide scale basis, securing lots of low-cost positions, combined traffic from these positions will add up to level produced by a popular keyword - but at a fraction of cost.
It used to be a good idea to bid on all relevant terms (if you could), however some of big PPC's now require a $.05 minimum bid. This means some terms will not be worth it, terms that are worth it will contain several words and are highly targeted, meaning that searcher who clicks through is really interested in your page and more likely to buy/sign up.