While researching the myriad of advertising options available to businesses on the Internet we will undoubtedly come across the term ‘Pay Per Click’ (PPC) advertising, This is an advertising model which is growing in popularity among companies nowadays. In simple terms, PPC advertising is billed on a click through basis, ie. advertisers are charged based on the number of visits or ‘click-through’s’ they receive rather than a charge for the number of times their advertisement is displayed on the users screen.

In this article I will be focusing on PPC advertising on search engines. This type of PPC advertising involves the company selecting a series of relevant keywords and registering these with certain search engines. These keywords are entered with corresponding ‘bids’, prices you are willing to pay for someone to click from your search engine listing or advertisement through to your website. Depending on the keywords selected you may or may not find that other companies are bidding for the same keywords. If this is the case advertisers are ranked in order of the bid amount they have set, the more you are willing to pay the higher your ranking. Most PPC search engines will offer a system whereby you can set your bids to enable you to be listed first, or as highly ranked as possible to a maximum bid amount that you can set. Some can even set a maximum daily or monthly spend.

One of the key benefits of PPC advertsing is that your website will get instant traffic, but it can prove costly, depending on the popularity of your keywords. PPC campaigns also require constant tracking and tweaking to ensure a decent return on your advertising spend.

Getting Started
On most search engines, keyword bidding typically starts at EUR 0.05 per click with an EUR 50.00 minimum first payment. One need simply create an account on the PPC search engine, choose your keywords, write your listing advertisement, and within a few minutes to a day you’re listed. The great benefit of this system is that you only pay when people click. Sounds easy, right? But that’s only half the battle! You must have a good offer on the entry page of your website to achieve tangible results.
Each search engine has its own editorial rules for keyword and listing acceptability. In general though there is a limit to the the number of characters in the title (approx. 40) and in the length of description to between 190 and 240 characters.
There are also varying guidelines regarding the content relevancy of the page being advertised, so pay particular attention to this aspect.

Where to go from here?

Below is a compilation of PPC search engines and services which I have found most worthwhile. The list is not exhaustive but does include some of the better services.

7Search
7Search.com’s network covers over 700 search engines and over 35% of the top 150 search engines in English-speaking countries. According to independent traffic ranker Alexa.com, 7Search.com is the second most visited pay-per-placement search engine. Minimum bid: $0.01. Monthly minimum spend: none. Recommended.
Visit Website

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ah-ha.com
receives over 5 million page views per day from more than 150 content and search partners. ah-ha.com focuses on family friendly search content and results. Minimum bid: $0.01. Monthly minimum spend: none. Recommended.
Create account here .

foxbanner9
The primary directory offered by BrainFox is directly derived from the DMOZ project and all paid listings are offered by BrainFox’s own competitive Pay Per Click service. Minimum bid: $0.001 (one tenth of one cent). Minimal Initial Deposit: $5.00. Recommended.
Create account here

epilot
ePilot provides 3 different ways to drive traffic to your site via its search engine, net guide and category menus. ePilot listings appear in DogPile, InfoSpace, NetZero, and CBS Switchboard. Minimum bid: $0.01. Monthly minimum spend: $10.00. Recommended.
Visit Website.

findwhat
FindWhat drives quality search leads to your site. Partnerships include: Excite.com, Webcrawler, CNET’s Search.com, MetaCrawler, Dogpile, and many others. Minimum bid: $0.01. Monthly minimum spend: none. Highly Recommended.
Visit Website.

GoClick
GoClick handles over 40 million targeted searches per month. Minimum bid: $0.01. Minimum monthly spend: none. Recommended
Visit Website.

Google
Google listings appear in Google and AOL. $5.00 activation fee. Minimum bid: $0.05. Monthly minimum spend: none. Highly Recommended
Create account here.

Kanoodle
Kanoodle.com has been serving PPC search engine listings for over 2 years. Currently receiving 410 million a searches a month through partners like AskJeeves, Lycos, CNET, Dogpile.com, NetZero, Metacrawler.com, Mamma.com, plus 9,700 other search enabled sites. Minimum bid: $0.01. Monthly minimum spend: none. Highly Recommended.
Visit Website.

overture
Overture search results reach 75% of all Internet users through partnerships with AOL, Yahoo, MSN, Lycos, AltaVista and Netscape. Overture receives 2 billion search queries per month. Minimum bid: $0.10. Monthly minimum spend: $20.00. Highly Recommended.
Visit Website.

search123
Search123 – Get qualified, targeted click-throughs from our Network of over 500 quality partner sites. Minimum bid: $0.01. Minimum monthly spend: none. Minimum initial deposit: $25.00. Recommended.
Visit Website.

sprinks
Sprinks is the only PPC-engine to offer placement within high-traffic content-based pages of top Internet properties like About.com. Minimum keyword bid: $0.05; Minimum ContentSprink bid: $0.20. Highly Recommended.
Visit Website.

The writer is Operations Director of the electronic Business School International and has over 8 years experience in promoting companies over the Internet.

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