Pay Per Click (PPC) is an effective way to get traffic. While article marketing is free (except for the cost of your time), Pay Per Click costs money.

The most well known service is Google Adwords. Yahoo and MSN also have their own PPC networks. And, there are many smaller pay per click networks that have shown promise.

So, how does pay per click work? Basically, you pay for every visitor that you receive to your website through the pay per click service.

You'll create a text ad that entices people to click on it. Your ad will appear for searches based on the keywords you have chosen. It can cost anywhere from five cents per click to several dollars per click. This figure depends on the niche you’re in and how many other people are bidding on the same keywords at that time.

It’s easy to “lose your shirt” if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s best to learn as much as you can about this useful traffic generation tool – especially how to track your results so that you can quickly find out which ads are working and which aren't and adjust your spending accordingly. The greatest thing about PPC is that the results are nearly instant. As soon as you put up your ad, you can start getting traffic.

Tip #11 – Plan carefully

As I mentioned earlier, it’s very easy to get carried away and pay too much for your PPC advertising. That’s because your ad might be shown more than you expected, and a lot of people click on it. If you haven’t tested this you can lose a lot of money.

The absolute best thing you can do is to plan ahead and learn all you can about this method of traffic generation. The first step in planning is doing proper keyword research. You want your ads to be highly targeted so that when people search and your ad pops up, it entices them to click.

For example, if you are selling a certain brand of MP3 player you wouldn’t want your ad to pop up for the search term "CD player." Instead, you would select keywords that are targeted to strictly to MP3 players.

Before you even start your campaign you need to use the Google keyword tool ( or something similar) to determine what your keywords should be.

The Google keyword tool can be found here:

This careful planning will help you earn money instead of losing money.

Tip #12 – Test first

The best thing you can do after you’ve selected your keywords is to test them out. Don’t start out with a huge bid amount because you can quickly lose money that way. You’ll want to start off with a lower amount to see how many clicks you end up getting. It could be that you’re not getting as many as you expected, so you'll want to increase your bids. Or, you might find that you're seeing some traffic and high returns.

Don’t worry — testing doesn’t take long. You can determine within a few days whether or not you should discontinue your ads, tweak them, or keep them going as they are. Being cautious is the best thing at this point, because there are way too many people who dive in headfirst with PPC and then end up with a huge bill that just didn’t pay for the kind of traffic they received. If you do this right, on the other hand, the results from PPC can be faster and more profitable than they are with article marketing.

Tip #13 – Split test your ads

Sometimes, people don't click on our ads even when we think they're great. There are many different reasons for this, and that’s why it’s so important to split test your ads. Pay Per Click engines like Google Adwords actually make this easier than ever. You can set up two or more different ads so you can see what is the better performer over time. I recommend that you take advantage of this because you might find that one ad never gets clicks and the other gets great clicks and conversions. Once you have these results, you can delete the non-performer and concentrate on the one that’s giving you the level of traffic and sales that you want.

It’s important to keep in mind that if people are searching and your ad pops up it should contain the keyword you’re targeting. That’s because the search engines highlight the keywords in your ad, which makes them stand out more to your prospects. This is a great way to get more clicks and more traffic.

Tip #14 – Make sure your landing page is relevant

One mistake that manypeople make is sending their PPC traffic to an unfocused or bad landing page.

You want the landing page to be relevant to what that person searched for. This will ensure that your visitor doesn't simply click away the second they land on your page.

People are often trying to find something very specific, and if it’s not clear that you have what they want you'll lose that visitor fast. If you make an effort to customize a landing page that is relevant to your website you will find that your traffic converts a lot better.

This often means sending visitors to different web pages depending on the keyword they clicked on.

For example, if one of your keywords targets "natural acne treatments for sale," you want to make sure the page people come to clearly showcases these natural acne treatments.

If a different ad created references "homemade recipes for acne," that landing page had better show some homemade recipes.

It might seem picky, but the more targeted your page is, the more likely your traffic is to convert into sales.

Tip #15 – Use negative keywords

Just like you’re concerned about getting the right kind of traffic, you should be just as concerned about getting the wrong kind of traffic. You, of course, want to avoid paying for ads that don't convert. That’s why you should make use of the negative keyword tools in your PPC engine. When you enter these, your ad will not show when your negative terms are searched for.

For instance, let's say that you are selling a topical acne treatment (a cream).

You might then choose to use "supplement," "pill," and related keywords as negative keywords so that your ad does not appear during searches that are done by people looking for an acne pill treatment (capsule).

This will save you a lot of money, which will allow you to focus on the words you really care about.

Tip #16 – Use phrase match, broad match, and exact match

There are three basic ways you can enter your keywords into the PPC engines as you bid on your keywords.

These three ways include:

  1. Phrase match
  2. Exact match
  3. Broad match

Let me define those for you.

Phrase match is when your ad would appear for your keyword, plus additions to that keyword.

For example, if you enter your keyword as cowboy boots your ads would appear when people search for cowboy boots, as well as blue cowboy boots. Your ad would not appear if someone searched for boots cowboy or cowboy shoes.

Broad match is actually the default and it will make your ad appear whenever your keyword is used in any order.

You may show up for for cowboy boots and boots cowboy.

Exact match is when you surround your keyword with brackets. That means you want your ad to appear only when someone searches for that exact term.

That means your ad will appear only for the keyword cowboy boots and never for anything else.

Of course, when you combine these matching methods your ad will appear for many different combinations. It’s all about testing and figuring out what will work best for you.

If you want to be completely targeted and spend as little money as possible you should stick with exact match for now. Still, you may be leaving a lot of money on the table by leaving out broad match and phrase match.

Tip #17 – Pay attention to other people’s ads

You can learn a lot by looking at other people’s ads. If you notice that a certain website always bids at the top spot, you can rest assured that they are making some money.

Take note of the phrases they are using in their ads. If they’ve been running their campaign for any length of time at all, the chances are good that they have been testing their click through rate as well as their conversion rate.

No — you don’t want to copy what they are doing, but there is nothing wrong with learning from successful people. Take ideas, and change them to make them your own.

There are always ways to improve on what is already working.

Tip #18 – Decide whether you want your ads to show up for content bids

In addition to showing up at the top and right side of the search engines for paid ads, you can also choose to show up inside other people's website content.

You’ve probably heard of Adsense. This is when web publishers (website owners and bloggers) put Google’s ads in their content.

Where do you think those ads come from? You guessed it. Adwords. So, yes, you can be on the other side of things and display ads on other people's sites.

This is called “content bids” and is a separate option in your Adwords dashboard.

There are benefits to doing this. Content bids can give you more traffic, especially since the ads show up among targeted niche content. Oftentimes, you can get content bids very inexpensively.

Before you decide to jump on this, consider the main drawback to content bids, too. That is that the people who are reading web content may not be looking to buy things. They may not be in as much of a “shopping” mentality as those searching on the search engines would be.

Many people choose not to turn on the content bids in order to save money. You’ll have to test to see if it works for you and is worth your money.

Tip #19 – Bid outside the box

In addition to the standard keywords, you also want to bid on other terms people might be searching for. One of the best strategies that professional PPC users use is bidding on terms that are highly specific.

Some examples would be:

  • Company URLs
  • Company names
  • Specific product names
  • Specific product names plus the word “review”

As you become more and more used to using PPC, you will find additional terms to bid upon. You will also find some duds, so it’s best to get rid of those as soon as you find out they are not working. Fine-tuning your search terms will help you increase your traffic and get targeted visitors.

Tip #20 – Optimize your bids

We don’t always see every possibility available to us, especially if we are new to doing something. That’s why it’s a great idea to use the tools that your PPC engine offers to help you optimize your campaigns.

Google's Adwords has an especially great interface for helping you get more traffic and leads for your business. They’ll even automatically go through your campaign to find ways you can optimize your bids, keywords, and other aspects of your campaign so you can get better traffic.

If you've learned one thing from this section, it should be “test, test, and test some more”. Guessing is like shooting blindfolded. Testing gives you accurate, precise information that will enable you to see big profits much faster.


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