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Internet Marketing 101: The pros and cons of PPC advertising


Evolution of search engine marketing. Photo by Search Engine People Blog

Pay Per Click (PPC) is an Internet marketing strategy used by search engines, advertising networks, and content sites, such as blogs, in which advertisers pay their host only when their ad is clicked. With search engines, advertisers normally bid on keyword phrases relevant to their product and target market.

If you place the highest bid for a specific keyword or set of keywords, then you rank number one in these paid listings. Every major search engine now displays these paid ads above and to the right side of their 'organic' rankings.

If someone clicks on your PPC listing, they arrive at your web site. And you are charged the amount you bid. So, if you bid $.25 per click on 'baseballs', and that's the highest bid, you'll show up first in line. If 1,000 people click on your PPC listing, then the search engine or PPC service will charge you $250.00.

Dangers of PPC advertising:

1. Costs can add up in a hurry, especially if your bidding strategies are automated.
2. Return on Investment (ROI) can be very hard to measure.
3. Beware of Junk Traffic-Some of your clicks may get siphoned off into the affiliates in the deep corners of the Internet.
4. Pay per click advertising does not scale. If you get more traffic, you pay more money in direct proportion to the traffic.

Benefits of using PPC:

1. Pay per click marketing can generate traffic immediately, if you're bidding on relevant keywords.
2. PPC marketing is flexible. You can adjust your pay per click campaigns in hours or days.
3. PPC can also be a bargain. Sometimes you'll find keyword 'niches' with cheap top bid prices.

In summary, a good pay per click marketing campaign combined with a good search engine optimization program is your best bet in creating a comprehensive Internet marketing campaign for your business.

For more Internet Marketing tips, read: What is search engine optimization?


  • Ryan Beale 5 years ago

    I agree with the summary of yÓur blog post. A smart PPC campaign combined with SEO campaign is a small businesses best bet for internet marketing success. For those starting out with internet marketing, I think PPC should inform SEO and SMM efforts.

    - @RBeale