Despite Search Engine Optimization it might take many months if ever to rank high in competitive areas.
The solution if you quickly need traffic is Pay per Click search engines. Pay per Click search engines are also a good complement after you already established a healthy traffic through organic search engines.
They also make you less vulnerable to algorithm changes. You might one morning wake up and realize you dropped from 3rd place in Google to 98th place for your most important keyword. I’m sure you realize what that means for your traffic.
How does Pay per Click search engines work?
Pay per Click search engines works as an auction. You place bids on a keyword and the higher you pay in comparison with your competitors the higher position your ad get in the search results.
Your ad shows up on top, below or on the side of the organic search results. The ad usually consists of an eye catching headline, two short lines of text and the url so you should quickly communicate your message.
The search engine charges you a sum every time someone is clicking on your ad. You set (bid) the maximum sum you are willing to pay in advance and this sum will not be exceeded. You can also set a fixed daily budget.
The biggest PPC search engines are Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing.
Google AdWords is the biggest and most sophisticated PPC search engine. You can decide if you want you ad to appear on AOL search, Ask Jeeves and other Google partners. The ad can also be placed on thousands of web pages through Adsense.
In Google Adwords it’s not only your bid price that determines your ad position.
Googles formula for Ad-position looks like this:
Ad-position = QS x Max bid price
QS or Quality Score depends on many factors but the most important is the Click Through Rate (CTR). This means that the quality and relevancy of your ad in relation to the keyword you bid on is very important.
Your PPC campaign can be approved by Google within hours so it’s very fast to get started.
Google Adwords has several matching methods for your keywords.
If you include a search phrase such as trout fishing your ad will appear when a user's query is either trout or fishing or both trout and fishing.
Broad matching doesn’t care if other words are included in the search phrase as well so the as will appear when someone search for “best trout fishing lake”.
Your ads will also automatically show for plurals and other relevant variations of the keywords.
Use keyword phrases of at least two words when you use broad matching.
If you include a search phrase such as “trout fishing” your ad will appear when someone searches for both trout and fishing and exactly in that order. Other words might be included in the search as well but that doesn’t matter as long as “trout fishing” is included.
Phrase matching is more targeted than broad matching but not as targeted as exact matching.
If you include a search phrase such as [trout fishing] you ads will appear when the search includes exactly those two words in the same order and with no other words in the search phrase.
Exact matching is the most targeted and because most users know exactly what are looking for so your CTR will likely increase.
You can also prevent your ads to appear when the search term contains certain words you want to avoid. You might for example want to avoid the word “free” if you don’t want bargain hunters to click your ad.
Yahoo Search Marketing
Overture was the first PPC search engine and was later acquired by Yahoo. It is the biggest competitor to Google Adwords.
The ad-position is completely based on bid price in contrast to Google AdWords.
The interface is not user friendly and takes some time to get used to. Yahoo can however drive a considerable traffic to your site.
Yahoo Search Marketing has a rigorous approval process which takes a few days before they approve your PPC campaign.
Yahoo has several matching methods for your keywords.
Standard match is similar to Google’s exact match but slightly broader because it will also display ads for plurals and misspellings.
Advanced match is similar to Google’s broad match.
Yahoo will however not display ads for synonyms and related phrases like Google does.
Yahoo has no match type that is similar to Google’s phrase match.
Other PPC search engines
There are a few more PPC search engines worth mentioning.
They will usually not generate much traffic to your site but the cost per click is lower. They can be a very good complement to Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing.