Pay-Per-Click Advertising and Affiliate Marketing

Pay-Per-Click Advertising and Affiliate Marketing often go hand-in-hand. Pay per click or PPC advertising is a method in which you pay search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing for visits to your site via clicks from their search engine. Keep reading for more on PPC.

Pay-per-click or PPC advertising is one of the emerging advertising methods of affiliate marketing.  As the demand for prime placement in search engines continues to be a driving force in online retail, and therefore affiliate marketing to drive traffic and increase sales, the devices and strategies to land top-of-the-list placement have become more complex, creative, and costly.  One tool in an affiliate’s arsenal is PPC advertising which guarantees prime placement on search engine lists for selected key words in a search. 

Most research shows that whether results from a search engine are organic or paid placement, users rarely explore any links beyond the first few pages.  Therefore, it is ever more imperative to land these primo spots.  You can spend all the money in the world in designing the ultimate web site but if no one knows it’s there, what’s the use.  PPC Advertising is designed specifically for increasing traffic and exposure.

The basic premise behind pay-per-click advertising is bidding on a key word or words related to your affiliate website and depending on the popularity and amount of words you select, you pay a set price every time a user clicks on your link. Typically with PPC, the higher your bid, the better your placement.  If you look at a search engine page, PPC placement can be found among other places in a highlighted box at the top of the page, in the margins or highlighted boxes that are flush left or right, or at the bottom as highlighted options.  Unlike traditional advertising where you pay a set fee for a daily, weekly, or monthly ad, in PPC advertising you select a budget or limit, and then your ad runs until you’ve hit your stop point.

The nuance behind PPC advertising is figuring out the best formula of key words, price, placement, search engine, and budget allotment to really make some magic happen for your affiliate web site.  There are numerous free online tools that will help you determine your best key words, estimate your bid costs, and track your Return on Investment (ROI).  All major search engines offer these types of services among other options.  Below is a review of the major players in PPC advertising.

Google Adwords – $5 Startup/ No Minimums/ No Signup Bonus/ Very High Volume

Google has the advantage of currently being the most popular PPC search engine and the standard by which every other is judged.  Their enormity alone guarantees you the advantage in exposure, but bidding prices are more competitive as a result. They’ve also been one of the first to jump on the band wagon of “quality scoring” which for better or worse may render some key words obsolete as the formula also takes into account the relevance and quality of your ad in relation to the landing page. Google’s user-interface is straightforward, helpful, and offers great tools to research and build PPC ads.  They also offer regionalization of PPC ads. The price tag is higher and bidding for key words more expensive, but it has a monopoly on over 50 percent or the search engine traffic.

Yahoo!Search Marketing – $30 Startup/ No Minimums/ $25 Signup Bonus/High Volume

Yahoo! is also a reputable and highly touted search engine, although not as popular as Google, they are competitive in terms of volume, price and product.  Their PPC program underwent modifications with a Panama update that was similar to the ‘quality score’ in determining PPC positioning.  The new approach gives advertisers more understanding of what they can accomplish within the given parameters of their budget with a better estimation of placement, impressions, and clicks.  They also offer regionalization of PPC ads as well as tutorials, and support, and are well-recommended for their superior tracking tools.  Additional services come with a monthly fee including a marketing console, automated keyword bidding, and a more advanced research and advice service for $199 a month.

Bing (Microsoft) – $5 Startup/ No Minimums/ $50 Signup Bonus/ Medium Volume

This is a complete rework of Microsoft’s now defunct LiveSearch a.k.a. MSN, and in terms of ambitious start-ups is quickly gaining ground on Yahoo! and putting a dent in Google with increasing traffic volumes.  Their big advantage is having the massive market research of parent company, Microsoft, behind its marketing and advertising strategies.  The mass of demographic and behavior data accumulated by the behemoth Microsoft is being put to good use in making the most of PPC advertising.  Their tracking and tutorial tools have also received good reviews.

Related Article: Negotiating Affiliate Commissions >>


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