frequently asked questions

I have my PPC campaign in place and running on the search engines I have chosen. However, I find I’m being outbid on my keywords more often than I like. How can I help solve this problem? 

Unfortunately, the administration of a PPC campaign (especially one that is spread over more than one PPC search engine such as yours) can be a very time-consuming project.

As you have discovered, your competitors are constantly changing their bids on specific keywords and unless you are keeping equally constant track of your keyword placement, you could lose marketing dollars very quickly before you discover that you have slipped in the ratings. Your PPC search engine probably offers auto bidding, but it is still a good idea to not rely totally on just this one tool.

For a successful PPC campaign, you need to consider the use of one or more of the tools available that will automatically track your keyword bids for you and make adjustments without your having to sit at the control panel and watch the action yourself constantly. Many tools offer 15 or 30 day trial periods so you can see if they are right for you.

Check out our reviews of these types of products for more guidance on which are currently considered the best choices for automated bidding, which could save you an enormous amount of time as well as help ensure that you are not outbid within your pre-set budget.

Someone has just outbid me on my most descriptive keyword and I have now dropped off the PPCSE’s listing. I have a limited budget, but I really want that listing. What should I do? 

A mistake that people often make, especially when they first enter the world of PPC, is to get involved in a bidding war over a certain keyword. Keep in mind that since PPC involves your budget, you sometimes will find it more advantageous to switch from your preferred keyword (as much as it may work for you in the SEO field) to cheaper keyword(s), especially if you are bidding against a company much larger than yours.

You must keep in mind that because you are spending advertising dollars on your PPC campaign, and not relying on robot indexing for ranking, you need to keep your bottom line always on the top of your thoughts. If you bid too high in order to get that top ranking and don’t get more sales from that higher bid than your previous bid, you are wasting advertising dollars and reducing your ROI.

Look into less popular keywords instead and spread your marketing dollars among them. It is entirely possible that by spreading your money over many keywords rather than concentrating on one or two that you are particularly fond of, you may increase your ROI by attracting the same number of visitors at an overall lower cost.

For example, if the keyword you want is currently at $10, while related keywords run an average of 50 cents each, think of how many more keywords you can add to your PPC campaign for the price of the one keyword at $10, and you will probably attract just as many visitors because of the broader reach of your choice of words visitors may search by.

If I change my bid amount on a keyword, how long do I have to wait until I see the change reflected in my account? 

With any PPC search engine, you should see the change almost immediately, since they operate in real-time using auto bidding software to regulate bids. For example, if your bid has now placed you in first position where you previously were in fifth position, you should see that change reflected very quickly in the search engine. If this is not the case, be certain to contact the search engine immediately and ascertain if there is a temporary problem with their system. If there is still a problem, you may wish to reconsider placing your marketing dollars elsewhere.

I’ve come up with the keywords I want to bid on, have my budget set, and know which PPC search engine I want to use. What’s the next step? 

One key step that some advertisers forget to do before actually registering with a PPCSE and beginning the bidding process, is to take a good look at the page on which visitors will land when they click on your PPC ad.

Many advertisers make the simple error of not ensuring that this landing page is geared completely towards your sales goal. In fact, in the majority of cases, the ideal landing page is not your homepage, but should rather be a page that clearly spells out what you are selling, what benefits you offer, how the visitor can purchase your product/service, and why your product/service is better than any of your competitors’.

In other words, keep in mind one of the golden rules of Internet marketing – the fewer clicks a visitor needs to make to get to the page that will sell them the product, the higher your conversion rate is going to be. If the visitor is interested in exploring your site in detail, they will do that, but it is extremely important in any PPC campaign that the landing page have all the information needed to complete a sale.

I seem to have a lot of impressions or ad views on my reports, but when I look further into the statistics, I see a lot fewer actual visitors to my site. What could be causing this discrepancy? 

An impression or ad view is accomplished when the user’s browser attempts to view the page that is clicked upon (your site). However, if a firewall, router, or other type of filtering device stops the visitor from actually reaching your page, the PPC search engine may count this as an impression anyway. Check with your provider to see if they have any way of calculating this phenomenon or will compensate you in some way for it.

Do I get charged every time someone clicks on my link, even if it’s the same person clicking over and over again? 

What you are talking about is PPC fraud, an increasing problem for businesses on the Internet.

Although at first there seems little one can do to stop this from occurring, there actually are some solutions. First, contact your PPCSE and tell them of your suspicions. Your reports should be able to back up and verify if click fraud is being perpetrated by the repeated number of the same IP address (sometimes reaching thousands of clicks per day from a single IP address).

At times, though, click fraud is a lot more sophisticated and more difficult to catch, but there are many tools in the market, many of which are reviewed on this website, that can also help you identify this problem and work on ways to solve it.

I’m new to the world of pay-per-click. How do I choose from among all the hundreds of search engines that I see advertised? 

There are many factors to take into account when you first enter the PPC market. Some of the key factors are the level of risk you wish to take, how much money you have put aside for this type of marketing, and how involved you wish to be in the management of the process.

A good place to begin is to ask for opinions from your friends and business associates who have already used PPC campaigns and/or who are knowledgeable about website optimization. They likely have experiences of their own to relate of good and bad choices they’ve made in the past with a PPCSE or know of others who have also dabbled in this form of marketing.

Research, research, research, and then do more research on the PPCSEs you have in mind. Start here, on our review pages, which cover the major PPCSEs, as well as smaller properties.

What is pay per click advertising? 

Simply stated, pay-per-click advertising is a means of advertising on the Internet where the advertiser does not pay a fee to place an ad on a webpage, but rather pays a certain amount of money each time someone clicks on their ad and is taken to a page on their website.