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E-Marketing Performance Blog

Selling Pay-Per-Click & Buying Blue Men

I often over hear Stoney on the telephone, describing to a prospective client, exactly what Pay-Per-Click entails. These explanations vary from one call to the next of course, depending on how familiar the person already is. Sometimes the explanation will be quick as “yes, we manage PPC accounts.” Other times the explanation goes much deeper into what are often overlooked as very basic description as to where the paid sponsored ads display in the search engine results.

Last week the Pole Position Marketing Team went to Las Vegas for Webmaster World PubCon 2007. While sitting in the Major PPC Engines: Vendor Panel presentation, there was a slide that showed screen shots of ‘ad placement’ and it suddenly occurred to me how brilliant of an idea that was. Pictures of ad placement.

Pictures always speak louder than words, and wouldn’t it be nice to be able to email those potential clients a document (PDF) that shows exactly what the paid ads look like across different platforms. Brilliant thinking Diana. Not only that, it also occurred to me that it isn’t just those prospective clients that happen to call in with questions who could benefit from the pictures. This lack of very basic knowledge is often the case for many others who do not happen to call with questions.

Thus, this brainstorm of ideas has led me to this blog post where I am going to provide those images, along with some of the same kind of information that we provide to people who call and inquire about PPC.

Blue ManSince we were lucky enough to go to a Blue Man Group show when we were in Vegas, I thought I’d just use Blue Man as my search term for my three image examples:

Google AdWords Ads
Google AdWords Ads for Blue Man

Yahoo Search Marketing Ads
Yahoo Search Marketing Ads for Blue Man

Microsoft adCenter Ads
Microsoft adCenter Ads for Blue Man

What is PPC?
Very simply stated, Pay-Per-Click (or PPC) are advertisements that display on search results pages such as Google, Yahoo or MSN.. The advertisements that display are specific too, and are a direct result of the search terms the user entered. If they search for “cloth diapers,” the ads that display are related specifically too, and should ideally be advertising and selling, “cloth diapers.” The clincher that makes Pay-Per-Click advertising so different from something such as print advertising is the click.

Pay-Per-Click means that the advertiser only pays for the ad when the ad is clicked. You may (or may not) be able to read the ad text in the images above, but they all have some reference to the Blue Man Group. Someone looking to buy tickets to this show would have an easy time finding a vendor to sell them tickets. The goal of PPC advertising is to have your ad place on the first page of search results. The searcher sees your ad and clicks on it, and they are directed to your website to a page where they can purchase what was advertised. In my example, that would be Blue Man Group tickets. The advertiser may pay $0.15 for the click or they may pay $5.00 per click (or higher) depending on many different factors. Bottom line though, is that even if they pay $5.00 for that click, their Return On Investment is pretty darn good when they sell the tickets for $155.00

Managing a PPC account entails regular monitoring of what keywords trigger the ad to display, while keeping the ad displaying on the first search result page, often ideally in the top 5 positions (most likely to be clicked), and keeping the cost per click down and ultimately the Cost per Conversion down.

I think my nutshell needs tightened up a bit more, but this is a good beginning. A little more information here and there and I’ll have that document to email those prospective clients who are interested in PPC but don’t quite know what it is all about.

Max Speed

If the Pole Position Marketing team had a muse—and it does—it would be Max Speed. We love Max’s occasionally off-color, usually amusing and always pointed “Maxisms.” (Maybe “Maxims” would be a better word.) Max gives voice to some of the things we think but, bound by professional decorum, aren’t permitted to say. At least, not out loud.

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