Pay Per Click Marketing 101


Pay per click advertising. When this first came out, the prices were insane. Then the prices dropped like a rock and Google was just the best place to advertise. Then, Google got too big for its own shoes and we’re back to where we started. Keywords that used to cost 7 cents per click are now going for 40 cents to $1 or more.

Okay, maybe for those of you who don’t know what pay per click advertising is, I should give a brief, but by no means a complete definition as pay per click can get very complicated.

Pay per click advertising is the method by which advertisers pay a particular search engine, such as Google, Yahoo, etc., a certain amount of money for each visitor that is sent to the advertiser’s website.

Please believe me, this is a VERY complicated process and the above “definition” doesn’t even scratch the surface.

The truth is, pay per click advertising is so involved that books have been written on the subject. Some of them are best selling books too. Unfortunately, all of those books are worthless when it comes to trying to explain how to use pay per click advertising. And trust me, if this book tried to do the same, it would be JUST as worthless.

Pay per click advertising rules change so often that there is just no way to keep up with the changes. A book written tomorrow is outdated in a month.

So, we’re going to take a different approach to pay per click advertising. Instead of trying to teach you every little thing about it, we’re going to give you a guideline of rules to follow that must NEVER be broken. If you do JUST this much, then the rest of it won’t matter. Why? Because regardless of what anyone tells you, pay per click advertising is very hard to make profitable these days. There are too many problems with it.

Here are the main problems.

1. Cost per click costs are unpredictable from one day to the next

2. Because of the problem of click fraud, too much of your costs are basically thrown in the trash.

3. Each search engine has a different setup which makes trying to teach you HOW to set up a campaign totally futile.

4. Most search engines have very little control options as far as WHO you want your ad to be seen by, such as ONLY English speaking people.

5. Most search engines require you to pay up front even before you get the clicks, at least for the first month or for so many clicks. For example, Miva makes you deposit $50 up front, so you better make sure you get enough clicks to use it up or the money is thrown away. There are NO refunds.

These are the main problems. Believe me, there are more. My point is this. If you see any book teaching you HOW to beat pay per click, run for the hills because ultimately, very little of what’s in those books is going to make much difference…Not today.

But like I said, there are certain things you need to know that will at the very least save you money.

The most important thing is to take the selling price of your product, whatever it is, and figure out how much it is going to cost you to make 1 sale.

How do you do that? Simple.

If you’re selling a tested affiliate product (not your own product) then the industry average is 1 sale for every 100 clicks.

So, if your product sells for $49 and you get a 50% commission on that $49 sale, then your earning per sale is $24.50.

If it costs you 10 cents per click and you make 1 sale for every 100 clicks, then 100 clicks will cost you $10.00. That means your profit is $14.50.

However, if it costs you 30 cents per click to sell your product, then 100 clicks will cost you $30 and you’ll actually LOSE $5.50 for every sale. So in that case, pay per click advertising doesn’t pay well enough to use it to promote your product.

So, the key to all this is to figure out what it’s going to cost you per click to advertise your product.

That is where this gets VERY involved.

Here are the basic things you need to know.

When selling ANY product using pay per click advertising, your results are all going to be based on the keywords you use. All bidding for position (where you land on the search engine page) is done by keywords.

For example. Let’s say you are selling a natural cure for acne. If it’s a product being sold that is made by another company in which you are an affiliate for, email the company and ask them what keywords you should be bidding on to sell their product. If you can’t get a hold of the company, don’t panic. The keywords will be listed in the source code of their HTML on their sales page. Just view this source code and see what keywords they’re using. These are the keywords you want to use when setting up your pay per click campaign.

To find out how much these keywords are going to cost you, you first want to decide what positions you want to land in on the search engine results page. And no, you DON’T want to be in position 1. Why? Because the freebie seekers will eat you alive. You want to fall between positions 7 and 12. Those are the BEST positions to fall in between to make the most sales for the least amount of money.

After you decide on the positions you want to fall in, you then have to figure out how much you’re going to have to spend per click to achieve those positions. This is trial and error.

What you do is go to the pay per click site’s cost estimator, if they have one, and start putting in some amounts for the keywords you want. Start with 10 cents per click. If 10 cents per click only lands you between positions 12 and 20, then you’re going to have to raise it up a bit until you fall between positions 7 and 12. Let’s for argument’s sake say it costs you 15 cents per click to get between positions 7 and 12. That means, 100 clicks is going to cost you $15.00. That means you have to be making at least $15.01 per sale or it doesn’t pay to do this.


Making a penny a sale is a joke. You want to make at least 100% over the cost of the sale. So if it’s going to cost you $15 to make 1 sale, then you need to be paid a commission of at least $30 for that sale. If you’re not, then selling that product using pay per click is not worth it.

There you go. I have just taken the most complicated advertising system in the world and simplified it down to this.

Here are the steps.

1. Pick a product to sell.

2. Pick a pay per click search engine to use.

3. Get the keywords needed for the product.

4. Figure out how much it will cost PER CLICK to promote that product, shooting for a position of 7 through 12.

5. Figure out how much profit you will make based on 1 sale per 100 clicks.

6. If the profit is less than 100% then do NOT use pay per click to promote this product.

I just saved you about $49 on useless pay per click books.

If you need a list of pay per click sites, here are the best ones according to their Alexa rank. There are plenty more, but they get such little traffic that it’s not worth using them. The number to the right of the pay per click site name is their current Alexa rank as of this printing. These do change daily, but shouldn’t change too much.

MIVA – 923


7SEARCH – 4,538


GOCLICK – 5,543

EHANCE – 5,737

KANOODLE – 7,178

EPILOT – 8,289

Remember though, this is the most unpredictable form of advertising on the Internet. And please understand, this is in NO way meant to be a COMPLETE tutorial on pay per click advertising. There would be no point to it. Each search engine has a help section on setting up your ads so there is no need to cover that here, especially since each one is different. Generalizing about how to word ads and what keywords to choose is also useless because these things change as well. Besides, an ad that you ran yesterday may not work today, depending on changes in the Internet environment.

Yes, you want your ads to stand out. Rich Jerk did a great job on this but now that so many people are using his “method” customers are becoming immune to his theatrics and all the copy cats he’s spawned.

So here is the best advice I can give you as far as pay per click. If you get to step 6 and the product is worth selling, come up with a good 3 line ad (that’s all you get) and test it out for 100 clicks. If it doesn’t get you 1 sale by click 200, chuck it and take the loss. You don’t want to throw good money after bad. There’s a chance that product will never sell because the sales page is garbage.

Don’t let anybody tell you it’s the ad because if they liked the ad enough to go to the site then there’s nothing wrong with it. If the ad stunk, people would have never clicked on it. There’s only so much you can do with 3 lines, so don’t get sucked into the “It’s your ad” argument. A lousy ad doesn’t get clicked on. A lousy sales page, that’s different. It won’t convert.

Good luck!

Jake Riley

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