One of the quickest ways to get targeted visitors to your website is by using Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, and the most popular PPC ad program is Google Adwords. These are the ads you see down the right-hand side of your screen (and sometimes across the top as well) when you do a search on Google.
Adwords is an amazing system. Once you get it right, it can work like clockwork - for example, you might put in R1000 a month, and get 100 qualified prospects which turn into 10 customers. As long as nothing changes, it could go on doing this indefinitely.
Google allows you to limit the amount of money you want to spend per day, to set the length of a campaign and to switch your ads on or off at certain times of the day.
You can geo-target your ads quite accurately - for instance, you could have your ad appear only to people who are in Sandton.
Pay-Per-Click advertising is simple in concept - you choose the keyword phrase you want to target, write an ad, and when someone types your chosen keyword phrase into Google, your ad appears. You only pay when a visitor clicks on your ad, and you can set the amount you're willing to pay for every click.
Like most things in life, there's a bit more to it. There are 10 Adwords positions available on a Google search results page. The position in which your ad appears depends on a number of factors.
1. The amount you're willing to pay for a click - "Cost Per Click" or CPC. Google Places is a blind auction, so you don't know exactly how much your competitors are paying per click (although you can get a pretty good idea.)
2. The relevance of your ad to the search term - your ad should ideally contain the search term typed in by the buyer. Google does allow you to replace some of the ad text dynamically, with the buyer's search term.
3. Quality Score - this is a number calculated by Google, which is determined by the relevance of your landing page to the buyer's search term (as well as other factors, like the historical performance of your campaign.) The more relevant your landing page, the higher the Quality Score, and the lower your Cost Per Click.
It's entirely possible that someone can be paying less than you, but still get a higher position on the page, because their Quality Score is higher or because their ad is better written.
You should also note that being in the first position on the page is not always necessary - there can be a dramatic drop in cost if you target position 3, with a less dramatic fall-off in the number of clicks. Google allows you to specify where you want your ad to appear.
I currently have a limited number of R500.00 Google Adwords coupons available. These can be used on NEW Adwords accounts - that is, accounts which are less than 14 days old. They expire on 31st December, and I would prefer to give them to people who will actually USE them. Please send me a PM if you would like one.
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