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Monday, February 25, 2008

how pay per click came into light of web corporate world

The PPC industry was pioneered by GoTo.com (later re-branded as before it was purchased by Yahoo! in July 2003). Despite their enormous success, Go To's PPC model was met with a lot of skepticism in the industry following their IPO in 1999. Their eventual purchase by Yahoo put to rest any doubts that pay per click advertising was here to stay.

In October 2000, which was eventually to become the world's most popular search engine, their own keywords advertising model (Google Ad Words), blending algorithmic search results with pay per impression ads.

In 2002, in an attempt to compete more successfully with Overture, Google Ad Words to include the pay per click pricing model we are familiar with today. This model proved both more popular and more successful and eventually replaced the pay-per-impression model as the default system.

By 2002, GoTo (by then rebranded as Overture), had distribution deals with an impressive range of search engines including Yahoo!, MSN, AltaVista, InfoSpace and a number of meta search engines including MetaCrawler and Ixquick. Overture's powerful distribution network guaranteed advertisers placement of their ads in front of a LOT of eyeballs and it became clear that many were willing to pay big bucks for the privilege. Other major search engines also formed successful distribution partnerships with PPC providers during this time, noticeably AOL, AskJeeves and MSN with Google AdWords. The pay per click industry had officially arrived.

Scores of PPC search engines began to spring up following Overture's lead, however the PPC industry continued to be dominated by the two big PPC players, Overture and Google AdWords, while Yahoo!, MSN, AOL and Google fought it out for dominance in the general search market

In July 2003, in a move that shocked the industry, Yahoo! purchased Overture to enable them to better compete with market leader Google. In April 2005 they the PPC engine as and in 2006 they a revamped version of the service, code-named Panama.

Meanwhile, in October 2005, Microsoft called . In the US, together with a name change to Microsoft AdCenter occurred in May 2006. In May 2007, Microsoft revamped AdCenter with new features and to advertisers worldwide.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pay Per click and search engine basic fundas

Here’s a fact for you, 85 to 95% of websites are found through a search engine. You may have the most incredible website on the Internet, but it will receive little or no traffic without search engine visibility and ranking. Can you imagine a billboard in the Sahara desert? Who sees it?

So, how will searchers find your website? What types of search engines could they use?

Search engines fall into two categories. The first is referred to as natural, organic or standard. The second is called pay-per-click, paid inclusion or paid placement.

Natural, organic and standard are interchangeable terms describing a search engine that bases its search rankings on a ranking algorithm. The algorithms involve a number of criteria and parameters, all relating to the content of the website, the website’s size, the number of incoming links to the website, and the content’s relevancy. You will hear terms such as keyword relevancy and keyword density to describe various components of the algorithms.

For the standard search engines, you, your webmaster or hired search engine optimization specialist could spend considerable time optimizing your website to achieve top rankings. The goal is for your website to appear on the first or second page of the search engines’ results when your target user searches keywords or keyword phrases.

The good news is rankings on standard search engines are free. The downside is the tremendous amount of time and effort required to achieve exceptional search engine rankings. Let’s confess to each other that top rankings on standard search engines can be tough and timely to achieve!

The interchangeable terms pay-per-click, paid inclusion or paid placement describe a search engine that bases its search rankings on a "bid for position" basis. Simply stated, you "bid" a price to be in a specific position of the search rankings for a particular search keyword or keyword phrase. For example, the #1 position on the search phrase "pay per click" recently required a bid of $3.55 per click, whereas the 15th position required only a bid of 55 cents. As a result, your differential website advertising costs between position #1 and #15 can be considerable.

With pay-per-click search engines, your ability to bid high can dramatically impact your website's search engine ranking when the search results display website domain names or URL's for the search keyword or keyword phrase. The benefit is your website gains visibility with the searcher, but you are not charged the pay-per-click "bid" until a searcher actually clicks on your website domain name or URL displayed in the search engine results. The selection of your website in the search engine results is called a click-through.

In general, click-through rates range from 1% to 5% of the number of impressions. What is all of this? A click is when a searcher selects or "clicks" your pay-per-click ad. An impression is one display of your pay-per-click ad on the search engine results. So, the click-through rate is a measure of the total number of ad clicks versus the total number of impressions in a period of time:

Click-Through Rate % = Total Number of Ad Clicks / Total Number of Ad Impressions * 100

Let's do the math for our #1 position bid of $3.55 per click. In September, 2004 there were 21,535 searches for "pay per click." First, let’s assume a 1% click-through rate. The top bidder spent $764.49 (21,535 * 1% * $3.55). Now, at a 5% click-through rate the top bidder spent $3,822.45 (21,535 * 5% * $3.55). Budgeting and controlling marketing expenses with such a broad range of potential costs could be tough. Plus, such costs could be the tip of the iceberg. We still must consider derivatives of the keyword or keyword phrase. So, was being #1 worthwhile? That depends on your website’s cost per visitor, conversion rate and profit margin of your product or service.

From what we’ve covered so far, you should realize you can achieve a top or high ranking through the pay-per-click search engine. But, a high ranking will cost money and these costs can be volatile. Meanwhile, the standard search engine remains free.

However, pay-per-click offers one significant advantage. It enables you to achieve website visibility with a high ranking instantaneously or overnight. If you want to draw traffic to your website fast for any reason, pay-per-click can make that happen. Remember, maximizing the standard search engine process takes time!

Let’s summarize the pros and cons of pay-per-click marketing:

Pros

* Improves your website’s ranking and traffic quickly.
* Tests the marketability of your product or service swiftly.
* Determines the ability of your web site to convert visitors to a call to action or make a purchase promptly.
* Identifies which keyword phrases will provide the best conversion rate rapidly.
* Provides complete control of the search engine campaign, both position and cost.

Cons

* Cost

Many individuals criticize pay-per-click because of the costs involved. But, have you really thought about the cost issue? Unless you or someone in your organization has expertise in search engine optimization, you’ll probably pay several thousand dollars in fees to a search engine optimization specialist to improve and optimize your website to achieve higher rankings in the standard search engines. So, my question to you is. Are the standard search engine rankings really free?

At the end of the standard versus pay-per-click search engine debate, it’s like the old saying, "There is no such thing as a free lunch." Or, it’s like the old commercial, "You can pay me now or you can pay me later." The reality of the debate is you must evaluate your specific website situation and utilize the search engine approach that maximizes your website promotion goals and investment.

For good site Rank Page Rank should be high :)

In case you’re not familiar with Page Rank, it’s merely a number from 0 to 10 that indicates the link popularity of a page in Google’s index. So, basically, the more links a page has, the higher its Page Rank will be. It’s not quite that simple, since thePage Rank of the linking pages also effects the Page Rank of the linked page (that is, onepage can “pass” Page Rank to another). I’ve seen the formula Google uses to calculatePage Rank, and it’s pretty daunting. Fortunately, it’s also unimportant.
Page Rank is the currency of link buyers and sellers, to be sure. The higher thePage Rank of a page, the more it will cost to buy a link there – period. People pay a premium for Page Rank because of the ever-present myth that having a high Page Rank will help your site rank better. Untold millions of dollars are wasted on purchasing linksat exorbitant prices because the pages where the links will appear have a high Page Rank value.

The reason why this myth persists is that it appears to be true. Many top ranking sites do have a high Page Rank, and therefore the connection is often made that their rankingis because of their Page Rank.
To demonstrate this, I ran 500 very competitive keywords through Google and checked the Page Rank of each of the top 10 ranking sites for each set of keywords.Here's the average Page Rank for the top 10 ranking sites across the board:
1. 6.722
2. 6.866
3. 6.292
4. 6.234
5. 5.968
6. 5.88
7. 5.73
8. 5.662
9. 5.656
10. 5.604

Now, just looking at the averages, you might say, "wow, I guess high Page Rank sitesdo rank better!" And you wouldn't be entirely wrong for saying that. Yes, overall, sites with higher Page Rank are ranking better in Google.But the question is: is it the Page Rank that's causing the high ranking, or is itsomething else?

Monday, February 18, 2008

What are keywords?

It seems keywords are making the top of SEO list time and time again. The problem is that some optimizers do not understand the rightful purpose of keywords. Keywords should not be solely embedded for the purpose of reaching the top of search engines. Search Engine Optimization should not be the primary focus of any website. The primary and number 1 focus should always be the visitors. If you create a website for your audience and for your visitors then you should rank fairly. I can't see why any legitimate website can not rank properly within search engines, after time and dedication. Search Engine Optimization main purpose is ranking faster within search engines. Instead of gaining a good balance of traffic within 1 or more years, it is possible to gain a good balance of traffic within 6-9 months with SEO.

Keywords play a major factor in SEO and search engines in general, but the question is are keywords for the search engines or the visitors? The visitors are the ones who are trying to find your site by typing in a keyword, but the search engine is the one locating your site and delivering your site to the visitor based on the searched keywords. Therefore I would have to say, keywords, visitors, and search engines all work hand in hand, but if you focus on the visitor and not the search engine, then you will reap greater rewards. A webmaster should have a plentiful of quality and researched keywords, which becomes the sites core. To receive a good balance of keywords you need to think like your visitors or know how your visitors think. It boils down to research and tracking your visitors. Tracking visitors on your site is business-wise and is not an unethical practice, it’s your website (business). In an offline business you are well aware when a visitor opens the door to your business and comes in the store, the same applies online. It becomes unethical when you continue to track visitors when they exit your site, when you invade visitors’ privacy, or when you intentionally collect personal information about a visitor without their consent or knowledge. Tracking a visitor within your site does not need to be intense, the common web log files are helpful enough. With the web log files you should be able to track the keyword used to find your website, track where a visitor came from to find your site (the referrer), track the total number of unique visitors, track the total number of all visitors, track how many pages were viewed, track the path visitors take within your site, and much more information is available through the web logs. There are many tools that can translate your raw web log files into graphical and legible text, such as: Nihuo or Web Log Expert which both offers a free log analyzer download as well as an inexpensive analyzer for more detailed stats and more features. There are other upscale web log analyzers which are mostly for enterprises or larger sites but are extremely detailed and rewarding, such as: Web Trends, Deep Matrix, or Urchin (which has recently been acquired by the search engine giant 'Google'). Knowing your visitors can only benefit your site. If you have a new website without any visits then you will not have the benefit of knowing your visitors and you will have to create your visitors habits, by using good judgment and research to determine which keywords best suits your site. Your best effort should provide you with at least 250 keywords and keyword phrases, depending on your site category.

Once you have tracked your visitors and/or have completed researching keywords, you are ready to make informed decisions and begin the process of elimination. Many argue to stay away from popular or general keywords because the market for popular and general keywords is flooded and over-crowded, you will never be able to compete. My sentiments exactly, but remember keywords are for visitors, not search engines...so yes, I recommend including popular and general keywords as long as the keyword(s) show room for opportunity. Meaning, it has been used by your visitors...as a solitaire keyword or within a keyword phrase. Creating keyword phrases is important because at least 95% of internet users search using keyword phrases, not many use one word. With that said, you should still include a few solitaire keywords. Use singular and plural expressions for keywords. Once you have gathered all your keywords make two lists, one list can be titled active keywords...keywords which you are currently using or plan to use in the near future. The second list can be titled inactive keywords...keywords which have been eliminated and may never be used. Eliminate keywords based on your research, visitor data, and site category. Regardless how general your site is try to have only one focus audience, this zooms in on your target, makes marketing the site easier, and more successful. When done eliminating you should have a plentiful of keywords and keyword phrases. Generally, the goal should be to have at least a combination of 100 keywords and keyword phrases. This number may be greater or lesser depending on your site category/niche market. Keyword research can be accomplished a number of ways. I would recommend using best judgment and sticking to your site topic. If your site is about “the rules of playing baseball” then anything pertaining to the rules of baseball should be included as keywords. Remember think like your visitors, if you were a visitor looking for 'the rules of baseball' how would you search...your search words would probably be something like "rules of playing baseball"...."baseball playing rules"...."playing baseball rules"....rules of baseball"...."baseball rules"...."how to play baseball"...."baseball and the rules"...if your site contains the 'rules of baseball' then each of those keyword phrases will be sufficient for inclusion into your active keyword list. A few links that can help with keyword research are: NicheBot, Wordtracker, Google Keyword Tool, Digital Point Keyword Tool. Some of the main attributes which you want to research is how often the keyword/keyword phrase is searched for within search engines, how much competition there is for the keyword/keyword phrase, and if you are considering pay-per-click then you would probably like to know the average cost per click for each keyword/keyword phrase. You should not rely 100% on any of these reports or other reports from any third-party because there are many deterrence which may offset the reports, you should collect data from each of them and derive a census report which will allow you to make an informed decision.

Think about your visitors each step of the way when using keywords. Which keywords will catch their attention, directly or indirectly? Meaning, if a user searches for 'baseball rules' then when the search engine searches through billions of web pages...it should pull your web page into the results because you have a entire website dedicated to baseball rules and the entire site is centered around keywording. When the search engine crawls through the billions of web pages it should see that your web page title has "baseball rules" within the title, your meta-tag description has “baseball rules” within the description, your meta-tag keywords have “baseball rules” within the keywords, the link to the page is titled “baseball_rules.htm”, and the content on the web page itself has a proper amount of keyword density, basically, the keyword phrase "baseball rules" is plastered throughout the web page mostly leading towards the top of the page. I know most of what I have just mentioned is Search Engine Optimization practices and techniques, yes, that is true, but in actuality the entire process is for the visitors not the search engine. If you create your site easier for the search engine to find then the visitor will also find it easier and faster, but at all times it is important to keep the visitor in mind. Many SEO practitioners would include any keyword about baseball such as: "baseball"..."major leagues"...."major league baseball"...."minor leagues"...."minor league baseball"...."atlanta braves"...."new york yankees"...."baseball players"….etc. Those keywords are for the search engines not the visitors. If a visitors enters "atlanta braves" as a search keyword and your link is displayed as an result the visitor will be disappointed when he clicks on your link and does not find any solid information pertaining to the "atlanta braves"...instead he/she is greeted with "baseball rules". The visitor will immediately back out without referencing your site or indexing it for later retrieval because it does not pertain to their search quest. Once in a while you may become lucky and get someone who stays because it does mention baseball, but if you tracked conversions, it would surely sink, using this method. The better you target your visitors the more success you will have on the web. Properly using keywords to target your visitors and not the search engines will aid in more ways than one. It will create a healthy online circuit and greater chance for success. Imagine if each time you search the web...you had a perfect search! You only needed to search once, because exactly what you were looking for was found in the first results.

What is PPC?

A pay per click search engine is designed for pay for performance advertising. That means that an advertiser pays the search engine owners only for traffic that is delivered to his web site in accordance with key words that the advertiser chooses to bid on.

Example: An advertiser has a web site that advertises vacations to Thailand. The advertiser can bid on "vacations to Thailand" as a key word. If he wants to be in the number one position on the search results page he can place a bid that is one cent more than the existing high bid for the key word term "vacations to Thailand". Let's say that the present high bid is $0.20 per click. A bid of $0.21 would than gain the top position for the advertiser.

If his key word was clicked on 10 times in one day he would pay 10 X $0. 21 , or $2.10 for the traffic that was delivered to his web site for that day. The advertiser is paying only for performance. There is no charge for the number of times that the advertisers ad appeared on the search engine web site that day. The charges are based only on the number of times that a visitor clicked on the key word and was delivered to the advertiser's web site. Thus the name "pay per click".

Why Use Pay Per Click Search Engines?

In just a few words it is because the leading Pay per Click Search Engines (PPC) can quickly deliver quality targeted traffic to your web site. Anyone who has build web sites know that building web sites is the easy part. The tough part of the process is in driving enough qualified traffic to the site to make it worth while from a commercial view point.
Even if you are successful in building a web site that the search engines love it will take some time, probably two or three months, perhaps longer, for the search engine spiders to find your site and for your site to be listed in the search engine. If you are trying to make money on the Internet that is a long time to go without traffic.

No traffic means no sales and no income. That should not be your objective unless you enjoy building web sites no matter how few people ever visit them.


With pay per click search engine accounts you can almost immediately drive qualified traffic to your web site. If you are serious about building a business on the Internet that is a pretty good reason to use Pay Per Click Search Engines.

Pay Per Click Search Engine Tips.

1. Use quality pay per click search engines that already have a high volume of traffic. It doesn't matter how cheap the bid for your key words may be if there is little traffic on the search engine and your key words are never clicked on.

2. Know your market. If you are selling "vacations to Thailand" do some research to find out what words and phases folks who are thinking of traveling to Thailand are actually using in their searches. An excellent tool to assist in this research is Wordtracker . Wordtracker will quickly help you to decide which key words are truly worth bidding on.

3. Quality pay per click search engines will have starting bids from one cent to five cents per key word. It is important to know that about 80% of the traffic for any key word will go to the top three bids. So if you want a lot of traffic to your web site try to position yourself in the top three spots. Just as with real estate location makes all the difference in results.


4. Set up a realistic budget for each search engine. Quality pay per click search engines get a lot of traffic so be prepared for a lot of traffic to your site if you bid on popular key words.

5. Popular key words can be expensive so choose your key words with great care. It is best to stay away from key words that are too general in nature. Thus to continue with the example above bidding on the key word "vacations" would not be wise if you are selling vacations to Thailand. Yes, you would get a ton of traffic but it would be more than likely be too general and you would spend a lot of money for poor results. It is almost always a better strategy to bid on phases instead of one general keyword. Therefore bidding on "vacations to Thailand" would be a far better choice than bidding on "vacations".


If you are selling vacations to Pattaya Thailand it would be better to bid on "vacations to Pattaya Thailand" than on "vacations to Thailand". The more keywords that you can find that exactly match up with whatever it is that you are selling and that folks will be searching for the more money you will save (less money will get you in the top three spots) and the better your results will be.

Wordtracker is an excellent tool that can find key word phases that are actually being searched for and that you would probably never think of going it alone.

6. Think about using a lot of keywords rather that a common few. The common few will be expensive and will likely deliver to your web site a lot of poorly targeted traffic with poor conversion ratios (traffic to sales). People search for the darnest things and those who actually plan on buying something usually search by using phrases. With some effort you can find phrases that are cheap and that will deliver highly targeted traffic...the kind that converts into sales.

7. No matter how much traffic you drive to a web site if you are marketing sorry products or services or if you have excellent products and services but you have a sorry website you are wasting your time and money. Everything must be right to achieve business success. Make sure that your site is "order taking ready" before you turn on your pay per click traffic.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pay Per Click TIPS

  1. Include search term in both the Title and the Description.
  2. Look for “search term suggestions” on PPC sites.
  3. Usually get 40-45 characters for Title; 150-200 in Description

For Max Bid Calculation:

Per Proforma, we are spending approximately 7.5% of “Profit” on BGP “out of pocket” marketing and advertising direct expenditures (not personnel, support costs, etc.)

To Calculate Actual Cash Value (ACV) of client derived from PPC sites:

Multiply, Percentage of visitors visiting web site that make a sale (per 100 visits):

X times, How much profit in dollars you make per sale:

X times, Percentage of profit you wish to spend on clicks:

/ divided by 100

= the most you should pay per click.

For example :

How should you decide how much to bid? Let's look at an example:
Let's say that karishma (from Mary's Bike Shop) get's 100 visitors to
her site, and that for every 100 visitors, 5 of those visitors buy something. Mary also knows that on average when a customer buys something she makes $10 profit. That means that:

5 paying customers x $10 profit per customer = $50 profit

$50 total profit / 100 visitors = 50 cents per visitor profit

So from some simple math, we see that even though every visitor does not buy something, on average a visitor is worth 50 cents profit for Mary's store. That means that karishma can afford to pay up to 50 cents per click to "break even". If she pays any more than 50 cents per click she will lose money, if she pays less than 50 cents per click, she will make money. Mary may decide that she wants to spend at most half of her profits on advertising... this means Mary wants to be listed as high as possible in the listings and pay at most 25 cents per customer.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Search Engine Results Page (SERPS)

If you look at a search engine results page (SERP) carefully, you can generally distinguish between search results that are regular algorithmic or "organic" search listings and PPC search results which are actually paid advertisements. The latter are generally listed under the headings "sponsored results" or "featured listings" and consist of specially designed text, image or video ads that are triggered to display when your target keywords are used in a search query. The PPC ads generally appear on the right hand side and/or at the top of the search results pages.

To appear in the PPC results, advertisers sign up for the PPC program of their choice and create short text ads, image ads or videos describing the product or service available on their site in a way that will best entice searchers to visit it. During the program setup, an advertiser will decide which trigger keywords/phrases they wish to bid on and how much they are willing to pay when a visitor clicks on their ad. Generally, the higher the bid, the more likely their ad will show above their competitor's.