Which Engines Should You Use?
Following Goto.com's (now known as Overture) phenomenal success with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, more than 160 PPC startups have sprung up.
Out of these 160 PPC engines, only a few may actually have search volume to generate a respectable number of clicks for your site.
Most PPC startups require between $10 to $25 of setup fee which can be applied to clickthroughs. They offer low minimum bids of $0.01. But with limited search volumes, they may bring you only a few clicks each day!
My recommendation is to go for established PPC engines with high search volumes that can generate higher clickthroughs. The big boys are Overture (previously known as Goto) at http://www.overture.com, Sprinks at http://www.sprinks.com, FindWhat at http://www.findwhat.com.
Overture is best because they serve over 2 billion search queries monthly through their partnership with major search engines such as America Online, Lycos, Altavista, Netscape, Hotbot and InfoSpace.
You can test startup PPC engines but commit only minimum setup fees. If they generate decent traffic, you can always top up your account. That way you minimize your risk to only $10 to $25 per PPC engine. For a list of over 160 PPC engines, see http://www.payperclicksearchengines.com
How To Find Relevant Keywords?
Since you are paying for each clickthrough on your bid, it makes good sense to ensure that your keywords are relevant to your target audience.
One of my favorite tools is Overture's Search Term Suggestion at http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/
Enter a keyword and it shows number of times word was searched - which indicates its popularity. The more popular keyword is, higher are your clickthroughs. Overture also generates a list of similar keywords and their search counts in previous month.
Overture's tool is one of best ways for finding good keywords to bid on. Another alternative is to download Good Keywords at http://www.softnik.com/products/gkw/index.htm
Enter a keyword into this free software and it will display a list of relevant search terms and their search counts across multiple PPC engines.
You can also try JimTools' Keyword Toolkit at http://jimworld.nu/keywords.html
JimTools can generate a list of related keyword possibilities, some with search counts, from Goto, Google, Magellan and WebCrawler.