Traffic is the lifeblood of any business

If you have your site up and are ready for customers/visitors, now is the time to start thinking about bringing traffic to your site.

For many people creating the site is an overwhelming experience. When they have their site up and are ready for customers to look at it, most site owners take a long hiatus before they advertise their site, if ever.  Surprisingly, despite no website promotion, they still expect instant results. Having your site up is like having a house build in the middle of nowhere with no roads to get to you. Don’t fall into this trap. Once your site is launched, look at ways to bring traffic to your site.  You don’t want just any traffic; you want people that are interested in your content and products. One way to find these people is to catch them when they are actively looking for your products or relevant content to your site. On the web, these places are the search engines. Google, Yahoo and MSN are 3 major search engines that account for almost all the Internet searches. These search engines are monetizing their search traffic by selling top and left hand side listings to advertisers that want to appear in the search results for the terms they choose

What is PPC or pay-per-click advertising?

It means paying for your text ad to appear on top of the natural search results (aka organic results) that a search engine brings when someone searches for a keyword or a phrase that you identified to be relevant to your website. The bold results on the top, which are highlighted, and the ones on the right hand side are usually labeled as “sponsored” which means paid for by the advertisers.  The advertisers pay for the clicks to their sites from the search results page, which is why this type of advertising is called pay-per-click.

Google’s pay-per-click program is called AdWords, Yahoo’s is Yahoo Search Marketing (YSM) and MSN’s is AdCenter

If you have never done this before, take a deep breath. Is not that hard or expensive as you might think. You can start with a budget of around $50 and of course, your time and effort. Start with Google since it has the largest search volume. In future blogs we will cover techniques and tips for getting most qualified traffic with least amount of investment.

What you will learn from testing PPC is how to position yourself against your competition, what words your customers use to find you and how much you should pay per click based on the returns you see.

Understanding what it takes to receive great return on your search advertising or online marketing investment would save you a lot of time, money and headache down the road. Educating yourself on different online marketing techniques will allow you to be knowledgeable enough to be “dangerous” so you can select a consultant that is a true expert and can deliver value. Unfortunately, there is a lot of hype when it comes to search engine advertising and/or optimization. The only solution to avoid being ripped off is to educate yourself.

So, how can PPC help you?

Search advertising allows you to bring instant traffic to your site. Some alternatives are search engine optimization, social media, e-mail marketing and banner advertising to name a few. You should test eventually all of these online marketing efforts but pay-per-click has the advantage of being accessible to anyone and bringing results faster than any other.

Here are some more reasons:

-You can see traffic instantly after your ad is ready and you can start making sales within minutes.

-Fast feedback to your message, product, and price or landing page. It takes a few hours and you can evaluate how well your advertising investment is paying off.

- Test new business ideas, products, prices or message

- You pay only for visitors that come to your site (clicks)

Is PPC for you?

In answering this question, you will have to look at these sets of data:

• Cost/conversion. You want it as low as possible and this is influenced by how competitive your market is and how well your site sells.

•Product price (success event value). The higher the price for your product the more you can spend on the clicks.

•Clickthrough rate. This should generally be higher than 5%. This should be a benchmark for how well your ad entices a visitor to click compared to your competitors.

Next blog post will cover resources for learning about pay-per-click:

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