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Pay-Per-Click – What Is It & Where Do I Start?

Many website owners will turn to pay-per-click after realizing that just having a website does not mean people will visit it. The problem is that most people do not know what pay-per-click is, how it works and the pros and cons of choosing a program.

Does the following scenario sound familiar?You’ve done all the behind-the-scenes work on your e-commerce business. You’ve researched your products and pricing. You’ve chosen a domain name and found a dependable hosting company along with developing a very well designed, customer friendly website. You’re all ready to start making sales. Time to sit back & count the money as it rolls in, right? Well, not quite yet. You need customers. (Oh yeah! Customers!)So now you submit your website to all the popular search engines and directories, fully expecting a fair amount of traffic to start showing up on your webstep. NOW it’s time to sit back and start counting your money, right? Not really. You now realize that virtually no one (except maybe your mother) is visiting your website. How are you going to make sales if you have no real visitors? It can take weeks, months or even longer to get a new website pushed up in the rankings in the better search engines.

This is the point where many webmasters turn to pay-per-click (PPC) programs. But just is a PPC? PPC advertising means having your ads placed on different search engines and/or directories, then paying a set amount of money each time a visitor clicks on your ad. Hence the name “pay-per-click.” (Ingenious, huh? Shame I didn’t invent it.)

So now that you know what PPC is, where do you start with choosing a program? If you type in “pay-per-click advertising” in a Google search, you will most likely see over five million results. Not all of the results will be PPC companies, as many will be articles, tutorials, etc., but it can be mind numbing just trying to gather a little information--to say the least.

Here’s a very short list that I’ve put together of some of the top PPC advertising companies along with a few “pros and cons” for each one. This is by no means meant to be an all-encompassing guide to pay-per-click advertising. Consider it just enough to give you a little background on the PPC “biggies”.


Pros: Not only is Google one of the most-used searches on the web, their PPC ads are also placed on other networks, including AOL, Ask Jeeves, Earthlink and others. Quick sign up and no monthly minimum spending or monthly fees. Very good support and their CTR (click-thru-rate) can help lower your cost per click.

Cons: There aren’t many. There is a five dollar set up fee and they do have a $.05 minimum bid per click.


Pros: They offer a large amount of traffic. If your ad ranks in the top ten, they place your ad on other high traffic engines/directories. They were the original PPC company. Very helpful keyword selector tools.

Cons: High cost–per-click rates. Slow customer service (compared to others). Minimum $0.10 bid requirement and they also have a minimum spend-per-month.


Pros: Normally lower cost-per-click rates than Overture. They offer an easy-to-use website with user-friendly tools. Delivers traffic at much lower cost than many other PPC companiess.

Cons: May have a wait of up to three days for keyword approval. Seems to be getting better though.


Pros: Bids start at $.01 with no minimum spend or monthly fees. Mass keyword submission available. Dependable and helpful customer service. Use-friendly tools help with keyword selection.

Cons: Lower traffic than Google, Yahoo and others, especially on lesser-used keywords. Typically you can expect a couple of days of waiting time for program approval.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Choices abound, but please do some more research before spending anything. You’ll be glad you did. Pay-per-click can be a great tool for your business, but it can also be very expensive. Do yourself a favor and read up on each program before jumping in. It can be a costly learning experience if you act in haste.


PPC companies & services vary widely, but can give you a good return for the money spent. Used properly, pay-per-click programs can give your website a tremendous boostArticle Search, helping to get it in front of the people looking for exactly what you have to offer. It can also be a great way to give your business a “jump start” during slow times. Hopefully I’ve given you some good PPC starting points & you’re site will soon be meeting or exceeding your traffic expectations.

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Craig Binkley is a husband, father, and home business owner. Visit our Work From Home Directory located @ for legitimate work from home business opportunities.

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