The Benefits and Risks of Pay-Per-Click

Written by Barry Harrison

Many companies have been "buying their way torepparttar top" of search engines using Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns. Should you promote your Website with PPC? There's no simple answer. But in this REDiTIPS we offer an introduction to PPC so you can make an informed decision. --------------------------------------- What Is Pay-Per-Click?

Google AdWords Select ( and Overture ( arerepparttar 128333 two leading Pay-per-click players, but there are over 400 search engines using this model. They all work in more or lessrepparttar 128334 same way. You bid on keywords and phrases that your target audience may use to find your site inrepparttar 128335 search engines. When they do a search for those keywords your ad or "sponsored listing" appears in a special section nearrepparttar 128336 top or side ofrepparttar 128337 search results.

The position of your ad depends onrepparttar 128338 amount you bid andrepparttar 128339 competition for your keywords, so selectingrepparttar 128340 best keywords is essential. You pay only when someone clicks through to your site.

What Does it Cost?

You can set up your PPC campaign with Google AdWords Select for just $5.00, with no monthly minimum. Overture requires a $50 setup fee and a $20.00 monthly minimum. Both allow you to set a maximum monthly budget. The cost is a function of your keywords, your bid amount, and your click-thru-rate.

Make sure thatrepparttar 128341 cost of acquiring a customer through your PPC campaign is less than your average profit from each sale. Overture has a return on investment (ROI) tool to help with this calculation.

Here's an Example

As of 3/11/03repparttar 128342 top bid in Overture forrepparttar 128343 term "professional website design" is $3.86. Every time a searcher clicks on that ad,repparttar 128344 company pays $3.86. For "web design consultant"repparttar 128345 top bid is $1.05. In January 2003, Overture tells us 5,955 searches were done for "professional website design" and 3,522 for "web design consultant." Assuming a 1% click-thru-rate (CTR) that translates to about $230 forrepparttar 128346 first term, and about $37 forrepparttar 128347 second.

How to Make Sense of Your website's statistics?

Written by Donald Nelson

Inrepparttar early days ofrepparttar 128332 Internet it was common to visit a web site and see a counter informing you that "you arerepparttar 128333 118,456th visitor to this site", and various webmasters would proudly talk of how many "hits" their sites were getting. Now, things have changed and you will mostly find counters on amateur sites, and wiser webmasters now know thatrepparttar 128334 term "hits" doesn't really mean much.

The term hit refers to a request for a file on your web site. When someone visits your web page, they request your URL, but in order to seerepparttar 128335 page, they also have to get allrepparttar 128336 graphic files that are located on your page. So, one visitor to your page may be requesting 25 different files, and thus you have 25 hits.

The counters ofrepparttar 128337 Internets early days only measured whether someone requested a particular page whererepparttar 128338 counter was located. They did not give any indication of whatrepparttar 128339 visitor activity was like onrepparttar 128340 other pages ofrepparttar 128341 site. Those counters often did not differentiate between a "unique visitor" and total visitors. The number of unique visitors isrepparttar 128342 number of different people (as measured by their computer's distinct IP number) as opposed to total visitors, which could even be only one person visitingrepparttar 128343 page many times. (I used to visit my first site a few times a day to see how I was doing!)

So what then isrepparttar 128344 professional and up-to-date way of gathering statistics and what arerepparttar 128345 statistics that really count?

Web servers keep logs of all visitor activity. When someone visits your site, he or she requestsrepparttar 128346 various files onrepparttar 128347 site. The log records all of these requests and records other vital information as well including:repparttar 128348 referrer page (orrepparttar 128349 last page whererepparttar 128350 surfer was prior to entering your site), what operating systemrepparttar 128351 surfer is using, what screen resolution he or she is using, what search terms he or she made to request your site and a lot of other vital data that could be crucial to your ability to have Internet success or failure.

If you would look arepparttar 128352 raw logs of your site you will see a long text file withrepparttar 128353 date of each entry and would see a few interesting items but you would not be able to put them together very well due torepparttar 128354 volume of information. (a line of text for each file requested). There are log analysis programs that do this work for you. One way of using them is to downloadrepparttar 128355 log file from your server. Your host should be able to tell you whererepparttar 128356 file is located, and you can retrieve it using an FTP program. The log file is then fed intorepparttar 128357 analysis program andrepparttar 128358 results are generated. There are many programs that do this work. I got started with a simple program (open web scope-and there is free version available). Alternatively, your host may have an analysis program preinstalled onrepparttar 128359 server, andrepparttar 128360 results may be able to be seen online (some hosts haverepparttar 128361 Webalizer program installed for their client's use)

So what arerepparttar 128362 things to look for when analyzingrepparttar 128363 logs?

You should look forrepparttar 128364 number of unique visitors per day. This will give you an idea of how many people are viewing your site and will give you a broad overview of how you are doing.

Another indication of overall activity onrepparttar 128365 site isrepparttar 128366 number of "page views" per day.. Unlike hits, page-views refers to distinct html files or pages that were requested. Suppose you get 200 unique visitors per day, and there are about 2000 page views per day, then you can infer that your average visitor is viewing 10 pages of your site.

Another indication of overall activity isrepparttar 128367 amount of bandwidth used, or to put it another way,repparttar 128368 total ofrepparttar 128369 amount of data that has been transferred per day. This will vary according to how many visitors you have, how many files they view, and of courserepparttar 128370 type of site you have. If your site is heavy with graphics, or if there are e-books and mp3s to download thenrepparttar 128371 data transfer on your site will be higher than on a site with plain text. This is an important statistic to look at if you have bandwidth restrictions. If you are not worried about this, it is also a good figure to look at just to seerepparttar 128372 overall activity ofrepparttar 128373 site.

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