Getting the Most From Pay-Per-Click Advertising Through Yahoo Sponsored Search and Google AdWords

These important tips will help you to avoid making costly mistakes and increase your ROI when using Yahoo Sponsored Search and Google AdWords as one of your Internet marketing strategies. Yahoo and Google pay-per-click (PPC) programs allow you to get targeted traffic to your website instantly through search marketing for key words. Both Google and Yahoo allow you to create ads that display in their sponsored search results for keywords that you choose. Let’s review searching and why it is important.

Yahoo and Google Pay Per Click programs give you access to more than 38 million people who use search engines every day to find products, services or information. Studies show that 67% of adult Americans use search engines to do online research prior to making a purchasing decision. This makes search marketing a very effective and useful Internet marketing strategy. Unlike other forms of advertising where the prospect is not looking for ads, people using search marketing are purposefully searching for your ads. Yahoo provides useful tools that permit you to research keywords that people actually search to find your website.

The first step to achieving success in using PPC is to find good keywords that your target market is likely to be searching. Both Yahoo and Google offer free keyword search tools at their websites.

Yahoo’s Sponsored Search and Content Match PPC Program

Yahoo’s program has two options called Sponsored Search and Content Match. Sponsored Search displays your text ad in the search results when someone searches for your keyword or keyword phrase. Your ad appears at the top or to the right of the organic (free) listings. Your account is charged only when your ad is clicked.

Content Match allows your ad to appear on top search sites near relevant articles, product reviews, news and other information. In addition to Yahoo, your Content Match ads display in HP, CNN, iVillage, USA Today, NetZero Buy Google Reviews, eBay, InfoSpace, United Online, AlltheWeb, NBC, Move, Altavista, Citysearch, NationalGeographic.com and Salon.com. Yahoo lets you take advantage of both programs through Sponsored Search. Yahoo offers many desirable features that are similar to the Google

AdWords program. Yahoo encourages you to test alternate versions of your ads through their system for identifying which ad performs better. When you split-test your ads, Sponsored Search automatically displays the ad that gets the best response. Your ads consist of a keyword phrase, description and a URL (link to the page you want them to land on – also called the landing page). You set a maximum bid price per keyword term. Often you pay much less. You can also set a daily and monthly budget. The ranking of your keywords is determined by Yahoo and is based on keyword performance.

Yahoo’s new program allows you to target your ads locally, nationally or globally through a concept called Geo-targeting. People searching from your local area can find your keywords and you can use geographic keywords to let people know where you are located. There are many other features of Yahoo’s program described in detail at their website.

Google AdWords PPC Program

Although Yahoo’s program is much improved, I continue to have a personal bias toward Google AdWords. Google’s success has largely been due to their commitment toward making a more relevant search engine. Google realized that the more a website receives links from related sites, the more likely that it is a quality website. They found that the linking is a measure of a more relevant site with useful content. They developed the concept called Pagerank which measures the importance of a webpage based on its link network. Pagerank is part of the Google toolbar which can and should be downloaded prior to advertising with Google. A Pagerank of 5 or above is considered to be a good rank.

Google has partner sites that display your ad in other search engines like AOL, Earthlink and Ask Jeeves. Being in the top three to four positions in Google gives you access to as many as 100 million people immediately. Google’s full range of AdWords features and functions includes advanced bidding options, keyword search tools, multiple campaigns, conversion tracking and more. Google’s AdWord program allows you to easily target your ads locally, nationally or globally. Your ads also appear on top and to the right of the organic listings. The more productive your ads are in generating clicks, the higher your ranking and the less you pay. Google, like Yahoo, rewards you for better ads that drive more people to your website. Google also promotes split-testing and provides exceptional statistics that allow you to maximize your return on investment.

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