Yellow Pages Directory Inc. offers set-up and management of Google Pay-Per-Click advertising that puts your specific page in front of millions of searchers. Shoppers who click on your ads are taken directly to your page to view your listing.
Pay per click (PPC), sometimes known as cost per click, is an advertising model for directing Internet traffic to certain websites. Typically, a PPC model has advertisers paying the website owner each time an ad is clicked. Search engines generally let advertisers bid on various keywords and phrases applicable to their particular target audience, while content sites often charge a set price "per click" rather than using a bidding process. PPC advertisements appear on websites with related content, in contrast to "pay per impression" payments methods used for print and TV advertisements.
PPC uses the affiliate model, which provides selling opportunities wherever the target audience may be surfing the Internet, as opposed to the generalized portal whose aim is to direct Internet traffic to one specific website. PPC accomplishes its goals by giving a percentage of revenue to affiliated partners, who offer point-of-purchase click-through to the merchant; payment is exchanged for performance. If no sales are generated by the affiliate, there is no cost to the merchant.
"Sponsored links" or "sponsored ads" are displayed on websites using PPC whenever either a keyword search matches an advertiser's keyword list, or relevant content is shown on a content site. This "sponsored" content may appear adjacent to search results, above search results, or wherever a web developer may choose to put it on content sites. Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter are the three largest PPC providers among network operators, and all use the bid-based model. One drawback of the PPC model is its potential for click fraud. All of the major network operators have effected automated systems in an attempt to prevent such abuse.
Flat-rate and bid-based models are the two most common means for determining the cost per click. In each, the advertiser has to weigh the potential value of a click from a particular source, considering both the type of website visitor the advertiser expects to attract and what revenue can be gained from that website visit. both short- and long-term. Targeting is of the utmost importance, as is the case in all advertising. Other key factors in PPC advertising include the search term entered into the search engine by the target or page content the target is browsing (shows where there interest lies), whether they intend to buy or not, and the time of day/date they are browsing on-line.
The publisher and the advertiser set an amount to be paid for each click in the flat-rate model. The publisher sometimes will have a rate card showing cost per click (CPC) for various areas of its network or website depending upon their content; content that attracts more "valuable" targets will have a higher CPC than other content. Advertisers, however, can often negotiate rates below those listed on the rate card; this is common practice in high-value and long-term contracts. The flat-rate model is used extensively with comparison shopping search engines. Although these search engines usually publish rate cards, their rates are often minimal and will increase for greater visibility to the advertiser. Comparison engines are generally organized into categories that allow a high level of advertiser targeting; often, paid ads make up the entire core content of the sites.
Advertisers using the bid-based PPC model contract with publishers or advertising networks for the right to bid against competing advertisers for ads. The advertiser lets the host know the maximum price it will pay for any particular ad spot via on-line tools, and the automated auction plays out each time a visitor hits that specific ad. If the particular ad is on a search engine results page (SEPR), this automated auction will be triggered whenever there is a search for the specific keyword that is the object of the bidding. The bids for that keyword are compared, the searcher's location and the date and time of the search are considered, and the bid winner is selected. As is common on SERPs, in cases where there are multiple ad spots there can also be multiple winners. Positioning on the page is governed by the amount bid by each advertiser; the highest-bid ad usually appears first but other factors, such as the quality of the ad and its relevance are also considered.
Major advertising networks also allow third-party hosting of contextual ads on the sites of publishers with whom they have partnered. In return for signing up to host network ads, these publishers can receive anywhere from 50-80% or more of the gross revenue paid by the advertisers, depending upon the revenue generated by the network. These networks are often called "content networks" and their ads "contextual ads" because each ad spot is tied in with keywords on the page where it is found. Generally speaking, ads appearing on content networks are less valuable than those on SERPs, and will thus have lower click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates (CR). Examples of content networks include websites, e-mails and e-newsletters.
Bid-based advertisers pay the publisher or network for each click they receive. The amount they pay is based upon the bid amount; auction hosts generally will charge the winning bidder a slightly higher amount than the next-highest bidder to avoid scenarios in which the bidders are continually changing their bids to eke out a win in the auction and minimize their PPC fee. Automated bid management systems are often used to maximize auction success and scale; these are generally administered by ad agencies offering PPC bid management services, but can also be employed directly by advertisers. Automated bid management tools can control millions of PPC bids, usually by placing each bid based on its stated goal (ie., profit, traffic, etc.). The management system is connected to the participating advertiser's website, where it registers each click and sets the bids accordingly. Automated bid management systems are only as effective as the quality of the data they are fed; ads with low traffic can deliver such paltry data as to render the bid management tools inefficient or, worse, no use at all.
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