Pay per click advertising can be one of the most powerful forms of advertising available today. The reason it is so powerful is that you have the opportunity to access almost unlimited levels of traffic and more importantly the traffic can be very targeted. This kind of targeted traffic is the best since the conversion rates are the highest.
There are many pay per click programs out there including google adwords, yahoo search marketing and msn adcenter. I recommend you start with google adwords as you will have access to the highest levels of traffic and then over time expand into other search engines even the smaller ones. The benefit of using smaller search engines is that you can often get traffic at much lower cost per click than the more popular programs like google adwords.
The keywords you select are very important to the success of any pay per click campaign. Many people suggest using a paid keyword tool of some sort but often you can do very well using free tools like the google keyword tool that you can access from your adwords account. It is quite important to select only the most relevant keywords to your product or service. You need to create ads that are specifically targeted for the keyword groups you create. Create small tight ad groups that are laser targeted, this will boost the quality score of your account and you will end up paying less for your ads.
Adding the keyword to the title of your ads is usually a good idea as this will help to boost your click through rates. Remember that any keywords that are in your ad are also displayed in bold in the search results so again this will help to get your ads noticed. Often it is the simplest ads that do the best so in the beginning do not try to get too creative, just accurately describe your product in your ads.
Also when creating your keyword list make sure you are using the matching features. Use the exact matching and phrase matching features in your google adwords account. This will help to increase the relevancy of your ads and may boost the quality score of your account. It is often a good idea to have some way to collect your visitors information such as an opt in newsletter. Keep in mind that most people will not buy on their first visit to your site so you need to find a way to get back in touch with them, preferably several times over the next few weeks.
If you are promoting affiliate products through google adwords then you will need to create separate landing pages. Do not link directly with your affiliate link otherwise you could get penalized and end up having to pay large amounts for each click. Make sure that your landing pages are relevant and try to add the keywords you are bidding on in the landing pages as this will increase the quality score of your ad group. You can even check the quality score of your ads by using the drop down menu in your keywords section of your adwords account.
A good tip to follow is to create separate ads for the content and search network. Also make sure you are not bidding too high for the content network as the traffic is less targeted than the search network. The content network can be a great way to build leads by sending people to a sign up page for a newsletter and then sell them your products in the back end through your newsletter autoresponder series.
Pay per click advertising can get very expensive very quickly if you are not careful. Always track your results very closely, use the conversion tracking feature if possible in your google adwords account. Aim for a one hundred percent return on your investment with each campaign you launch and never spend money on advertising that you cannot afford to lose. Ultimately the greatest teacher of all is experience so get out there and run some test campaigns and you will soon figure out how to make ppc advertising work for you.