One method of search engine marketing techniques widely used today is pay per click advertising and many website owners are questioning the cost of such ads and whether the return on their investment justifies the expense. Many search engines offer pay per click ads based on the sale of certain keywords, and there are also networks offer pay per click as a means of gathering more customers to their sites.
A website can contract with one of the search engines, such as Google, Yahoo! or MSN an bid on keywords. When a person using the search engine enters one of the keywords in the search box, their ad pops up on the search results page as a sponsored ad. The search company pays every time a person clicks on their ad, with costs ranging from one cent to maybe 50 cents for every click. This is in addition to the cost of the keywords bought in an auction atmosphere.
With network advertising such as Google’s Adsense and Yahoo’s publisher network when a person visits a site, ads are automatically generated to that site with information related to the site they are on. The advertiser pays a similar scale for every click of their ad and the website owner receives percentage of the income the search engine receives from pay per click advertisers.
When deciding to participate in pay per click advertising there are factors to consider such as keywords you will have to buy to be assured coming up on the first page of search results and how much those words will cost. Depending on the popularity of the keyword, they can be pricey and too expensive for many websites. However, for the bigger sites with deep pockets it can mean generating a lot of traffic.
Others see it as a way to buy their way onto the front page of search results, often considered an envious position and plan on increased sales making up for the cost of the keywords. Most companies do not limit themselves to just one word, however and the cost can quickly escalate, making the pay per click program a questionable investment.
When pay per click advertising was first used, companies could manipulate the results by creating their own multiple clicks on a specific ad. Search engine companies spotted this practice and quickly made adjustments to make the recording of multiple clicks from the same computer in a certain time frame meaningless.
Additionally, with many network pay per click programs, if the owner of the website clicks on a pay per click ad it could result in termination from the program and the loss of any income previously generated. Even if the site owner is interested in an ad, it is in their best interest to find it another way as opposed to the risk of losing the program.