• Pay-per-click programs will allow you to quickly test the ability for your web site to convert visitors to a call to action or make a purchase.
• You will be able to identify which keyword phrases will provide the best conversion rate.
While ordinary search results frequently include links to non-working pages, home pages with irrelevant content and filler listings, paid search content ensures a user will gain quick access to relevant sites of interest. Since each listing is displayed by either a keyword search or relevant text link, you are ensured only visitors with interest are being sent to your site. Thus, pay-per-click programs offer a more targeted approach.
The most prominent and successful Paid Placement programs are Google Adwords and Overture.
In 1998, Overture was the first to charge advertisers to be listed in its search results. Now, all the major search companies have jumped in. So-called paid-search revenue grew 40% last year, to $1.4 billion. It’s now up to 23% of the $6 billion Net advertising market, which shrank 17% last year, according to analysts’ projections.
Placing ads near search results offers the simple appeal of the Yellow Pages, but with different economics. Overture made $78 million last year on $668 million in sales, about half of the paid-search market. That’s more than Yahoo made on $953 million of revenue, largely from traditional online ads such as banners. Paid search also pushed search specialists LookSmart Ltd. and Ask Jeeves Inc. into profitability in the fourth quarter. And the biggest potential initial public offering of an Internet company this year is Google Inc., which began offering pay-per-click search last year. Search ads will make up the lion’s share of Google’s revenue, estimated at $350 million to $400 million.
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