Cost Per Click Advertising

You might note that some websites that violate all the infrastructure rules of the Internet still can be found in search engines.

That may be because they PAID for it.

The biggest online revenue generator for Yahoo and Google are their Cost-per-click advertisements - also known as Pay-per-Click, Performance Advertising and Search Advertising. Introduced many years ago by a company now called Overture (owned by Yahoo), the pay-per-click concept is simple. You choose the keywords and phrases you think best apply to your website. You then tell the search engine how much you are willing to pay for the privilege of having a link to and description of your website appear somewhere on the page (typically separate from the actual search results) when someone uses your keywords. But unlike the old banner ad approach, which charged you each time your banner was viewed (downloaded), pay-per-clicks only cost you when someone actually clicks on the link to your site.

So you open an Adword account with Google, for instance, for say $500. You choose the keyword phrase "residential real estate" (not that anyone would actually make this choice) and then you go through the rather complicated process of determining daily budgets and how much you are willing to pay for each click, etc. Once you've completed this step and written your ad, you give Google your credit card and away you go.

When website traffic is a must and time is of the essence, pay-per-click programs can come in very handy.

The Advantages of a Cost-per-Click Campaign

  • Quick Results: traffic will begin the day the campaign starts. This is huge, especially if you have a new site which can take many months to get ranked.
  • Control: in most cases you have total control over budget and keywords
  • Quality of Visitors: keyword selection controls who will visit your website

The Disadvantages of Cost-per-Click

  • Confusion: the many options and choices can make the process confusing
  • Keyword Selection: some experience is a good thing
  • Budgeting: the wrong selections can result in too much or too little money being spent
  • Labor Intensive: very time consuming, especially for those without experience


Search advertising is a very viable, though increasingly costly, traffic generator. In our opinion, every website client with a marketing objective should consider a cost-per-click program. Depending on the competitiveness of the keywords, such programs can be very cost-effective and quick to show results.

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