Pay-Per-Clicks . . . One Way to Boost Traffic to Your Web Site

Aug 1


Robin Nobles

Robin Nobles

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One of the ways to boost traffic to your Web site is ... keywords from one of the ... search ... ... But with ... hundreds of choices, how do you pick the pay-p


One of the ways to boost traffic to your Web site is by
purchasing keywords from one of the pay-per-click search engines
or directories.

But with literally hundreds of choices,Pay-Per-Clicks . . . One Way to Boost Traffic to Your Web Site Articles how do you pick the pay-
per-click engine with the best visibility that has the potential
of giving you a higher return on your investment?

And, just as important, what are some strategies for working with
the pay-per-click engines, and how do they operate?

How do Pay-Per-Click Engines Operate?

With pay-per-click engines, you bid on keywords that describe
your business, your products, or your target audience. Then,
you’re charged your bid price every time someone clicks on your
ad, which is displayed when a searcher types in the keyword
you’ve chosen into the search box at an engine. Whoever is
willing to pay the most for the keyword or keyword phrase will be
at the top of the rankings.

There are many benefits to working with pay engines, which we’ll
cover in this article.

Important Pay-Per-Click Engines and Directories


Overture is certainly the pay-per-click engine that most people
recognize. It’s also one of the most expensive and competitive.

However, the visibility of Overture is impressive, to say the
least. It provides the top two or three results to “big boy”
search engines and directories like Yahoo!, Lycos, HotBot, and
MSN Search. In fact, Overture claims to reach 80% of all Internet

Overture listings are generally found at the top of the regular
search results in an area called “Sponsored” results or sites.

Overture’s pay-per-clicks operate under one premise: whoever has
the deepest pockets and is willing to pay the most gets on top.

The minimum bid is $.10, and there’s a minimum charge of $20 per
month. A $50 initial deposit is non-refundable and will be
applied to click throughs or to the minimum monthly spend. When
your account is depleted, they’ll contact you to see if you want
to add additional funds to your budget.

Google AdWords

Google AdWords have fast become extremely important in the pay-
per-click arena, with results being shown at search engines like
Google, AOL Search, Ask Jeeves, and Teoma.

Google AdWords operates differently than Overture in a number of
ways. Your click-through rate and cost per click together
determine where your ads are shown, so better ads rise to the
top. That means no one can lock you out of the top position.

Google AdWords are shown on the right-hand side of regular search
results in a pink shaded area called “Sponsored Links.”

Because your click through rate has an influence on the placement
of your AdWords ad, your ad’s title and description must be
captivating and designed to pull in traffic.

With Google AdWords, there’s a $5 activation fee, and the minimum
bid amount is $.05. You decide on the maximum cost per click that
you’re willing to pay and set your daily budget. You don’t have
to spend a certain amount per month, and you only pay for clicks
you actually receive.


Another popular pay-per-click engine that is generally much less
expensive than Overture is FindWhat.

With FindWhat, whoever bids the most gets on top. The minimum bid
is $.05, and they require a $25 minimum amount to open an

FindWhat provides results to 200 different partners, including
many of the big meta engines like Dogpile.

Lycos InSite AdBuyer

A fairly new pay-per-click program that’s displayed on both Lycos
and HotBot is Lycos InSite AdBuyer.

Again, it operates similarly to the way that Overture and
FindWhat operate, with the top results being those who bid the
most for their target keywords.

The minimum bid is $.05 with a $50 minimum to open an account.


LookSmart is a pay-per-click directory where you pay a flat $.l5
per click through. It claims to reach 77% of the Internet users
through the partners that display LookSmart results.

Some of those partners include MSN Search,, Netscape,
and AltaVista.

With LookSmart, you don’t bid for listings. Everyone pays a flat
$.15 per click through, and your ranking is determined by how
relevant your site is to the search term, according to
LookSmart’s ranking criteria. To get started with a LookSmart
listing, the initial investment is $29.

Other Pay-Per-Click Engines

This comprehensive site lists over 500 different pay-per-click
search engines and offers individual reviews on many of them.

Advantages to Working with the Pay Engines

The pay engines offer many advantages to Web site owners,

1. If you have a brand new site with little or no visibility and
no link popularity, the pay engines are certainly a way to get
started fast while you wait for your standard search engine
marketing efforts to kick in and take effect.

2. Pay-per-click engines are ideal for holiday promotions,
special sales, or to jump start slow engine traffic.

3. With the pay engines, you have instant visibility in whichever
search engines display those results.

4. You choose your rankings, depending on how deep your pocket
book is.

5. If some of your keywords aren't performing, you can choose
other ones.

6. You only pay for clicks to your site, so you can target your
traffic by the keywords you choose.

7. With regular optimization efforts, it's sometimes difficult to
achieve top rankings if you're in a highly competitive field.
With the pay engines, you pay for your rankings, and VOILA!
You're there!

8. Purchasing keywords is certainly easier and less time
consuming than optimizing your pages.

9. With regular engines, when algorithms (or ranking criteria)
change, you can find yourself booted out of your top spot. With
the pay engines, as long as you're willing to hand out the cash,
you'll be on top.

10.You can target your audience based on the keywords you choose.
Most Web sites have multiple target audiences, so pay-per-click
keywords are a way to reach each of those target audiences.

11.Pay-per-click is generally less expensive than traditional
advertising media.

12.With pay-per-click engines, you don't have to worry about
design strategies that could mean death to a Web site otherwise.
Is your entire site one huge Flash movie? No problem, if you go
through the pay engines.

Tips for Boosting Your Chances for Success with the Pay Engines

When working with the pay engines, it takes practice to achieve a
level of success. So, start out slowly, and keep a tight rein on
your budget. As you become better at crafting titles and
descriptions and choosing highly targeted keywords, you’ll
gradually be able to increase your budget, if you choose.

Here are some additional tips:

1. It's not always best to be #1. Many compulsive "clickers"
automatically click on the #1 result when they have no real
interest in buying your products or services.

2. Be sure to include your keyword phrase in the title and
description you create at the pay engines. Take special care in
creating a description for your site, since within the top three
slots, the best description gets the most traffic, as a general

3.Your keywords must be relevant to the content of your pages.
Overture is particularly careful about this.

4. Choose very targeted keywords so that you don't pay for
needless click throughs. Don’t ever choose a general keyword,
because your costs will skyrocket but the traffic won’t convert
to sales.

5. Spend time researching your keyword choices at Overture's
Search Term Suggestion Tool

or my favorite, WordTracker:

6. Generally, you'll have more success if you purchase 10- 20
keywords as opposed to just a few.

7. Choose a broad range of keywords and bid prices and test the
waters. Watch your keywords carefully. Non-productive keywords
should be eliminated and new, more productive keywords should be
purchased instead.

8. For Overture, consider purchasing a "Premium Listing," which
means that you hold the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd ranking for your keyword
phrase. Why? Because engines like AltaVista and Lycos show the
first listings only.

9. Set up a separate "tracking" page to send your pay engine
traffic. In order to show whether or not the cost is worth it,
you need to be able to track your click throughs and sales. Don't
send pay engine traffic to your home page.

10.Write your title and description using “objective” language
rather than “subjective.” In other words, don’t say that your
product or service is the best or #1 (subjective). Rather, list
some of the benefits of your service that make it unique

In Conclusion

You’ll find many benefits to purchasing keywords through pay-per-
click engines, but you need to learn some basic guidelines before
you get started. By doing so, you’ll hopefully find more
successful when working with the pay engines.