Business technology

Internet marketing: How to use pay-per-click advertising

- March 18, 2006 3 MIN READ

The most common complaint about internet marketing is traffic, or lack of it. So how do you get visitors to your website? Here’s an overview of how to use Google AdWords (pay-per-click advertising) to attract visitors.

Internet marketing is not like in the real world. You don’t set up shop and have an instant audience walking by your premises. Once your website is online the only way to get visitors is to do something proactive to attract them.

There are literally hundreds of ways to get traffic to a website. Some cost money, some take time and your results can vary. My guess is that you want your website generating sales as soon as possible and the most effective way to use Internet marketing meet this goal is to use Pay-Per-Click advertising.

What Is Pay-Per-Click advertising?

It is a method of online marketing where you buy traffic from other websites based on a per-click fee. A click is counted each time someone clicks a link that brings them to your website. It is trackable, so you know how many clicks you get and how much money you spend per click.

‘PPC’ has been around for a while but it wasn’t until Google implemented PPC and built an amazing system to support it that it became easy for any person to use it. The system is called Google AdWords and is all you need to get your business going.

Here’s an overview of the basics.

Where do Google AdWords appear?

The system allows you to place advertisements, usually as text boxes but also banners, on the Google search results, where the search boxes appear down the right-hand column and sometimes as the first two “sponsored results.” They could also appear on the Google content network, which is made up of websites that display Google AdWords on their website in exchange for payment from Google.

Want more articles like this? Check out the SEM strategies section.

Contextual advertising

Contextual matching is the real secret sauce when it comes to PPC advertising. AdWords functions on a keyword system. You bid for words and phrases that match what your target market are searching for. When a person searches Google using your keywords your ad shows up. This is called contextual advertising because you can clearly refine your campaigns to match your exact target market using context sensitive keywords.

Here is a simple example:

A Sydney-based plumber wants clients not too far away, ideally within short driving distance.

To attract this market Google AdWords can be used to bid for keywords such as “Sydney Plumber” or “Plumber Sydney” etc. The AdWords system can be set up to target geographic areas so our plumber targets only Australian Internet users and ensures no overseas browsers see the ad. Whenever an Australian searches using those keyphrases his ad shows up making sure that any clicks come from targeted visitors – people that are searching for what he offers.

There are many further refinements available within the Google AdWords system, too many to go through here, but rest assured that any target market that is using the Internet can be reached with the AdWords system.

There are skills to learn and certainly AdWords has a level of complexity that can only be mastered with practical experience, but even at the most basic level it can bring you good levels of traffic for as little as $100 per month.

Sounds interesting. What next?

Head over to the Google AdWords sign up page and start exploring. There are help files and online lessons that Google provides to learn the system so you won’t be lacking study materials. One word of warning, though, especially for those not familiar with PPC:

Don’t spend any money on AdWords until you have spent time studying techniques for successful PPC campaigns.

It’s very easy to spend lots of money quickly with AdWords, implementing poorly thought out campaigns and attracting the wrong kind of traffic. If you are ready to learn more about AdWords I recommend Perry Marshall’s free AdWords course as a great beginners guide. I took it myself after failing miserably with my first few campaigns.

Have you used AdWords? Or are you reluctant to? Share your experience below.

This article is part 4 of a series on Internet Marketing. Below are links to all 8 articles in the series:

Internet Marketing Part 1Its use as a business growth strategy
Internet Marketing Part 2 – Creating an effective business website
Internet Marketing Part 3 – Using email autoresponders
Internet Marketing Part 4 – How to use pay-per-click advertising
Internet Marketing Part 5 – Introduction to search engine optimisation (SEO)
Internet Marketing Part 6 – Search engine optimisation part 2
Internet Marketing Part 7 – The basics of blogging for business
Internet Marketing Part 8 – Breaking down technical skills barriers