Opposite ends of the Spectrum
Two Ways to use Google
'Search engine optimization' is the term of the day. Everyone knows that if you've got a website, you want it listed high in the search engines. And nowadays, thanks to pay-per-click advertising on Google, you can get your site listed high in rankings fairly quickly.
So it seems simple. Not only can you structure your site so that the search engines will pick it up and promote it for free, but also you can now promote it on a pay-per-click basis using search engines like Google and Overture to get top billing.
But wait. If it's so simple, why do most people crash and burn when they try to play the pay-per-click game?
The problem stems from the fact that the two different methods of gaining exposure demand wholly different approaches.
The conventional, tried-and-true method of search engine optimization involves building a really nifty, really useful website, loading it with tons of content, lots of free things, and making it so invaluable that if surfers see it once, they are very likely to add it to their list of favorites, and return again and again.
All well and good, but the pay-per-click venue is a whole different ballgame. Here (if you arrange your ads right) you will be dealing with a highly motivated, highly targeted websurfer, who is searching for something specific. In the most basic terms, anyone who clicks on your ad is saying to you, "I have a problem I need solved, and I think you may be the solution."
Play to that, don't deny it. Present your solution quickly and clearly. For example, if you're running a pay-per-click ad for a flower-delivery website, assume that the person who clicks on your ad wants and needs flowers. The landing page from your ad shouldn't be to your homepage, or a page that tells about how you started your flower business, or a page that tells about the wonderful meanings of flowers. The landing page for a pay-per-click customer should be straight to the point: "You want flowers? I've got flowers. Here's the incredible good price. Order here."
Links from that page to the rest of your wonderful site extolling all the virtues and nuances of the flower business are fine, but they take second place in importance to the primary purpose of the surfer who clicks on your ad. They want something, or have a problem that needs to be solved. Don't make them hunt for a solution; they'll just click back to Google or Overture in disgust, and you'll have paid for the click for nothing.
Some webmasters structure entire mini-sites just for their pay-per-click ads alone, which are only loosely connected to the 'main' site. It's a savvy way of doing business; you play to each audience specifically.
Just remember the purpose of pay-per-click advertising. It's a very direct, very quick method, and if you play to the highly motivated and targeted audience you'll receive, it can work powerfully in your favor.
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About the Author
Daniel Brough is the founder of AdWord Wizards, a free mentoring program designed to teach anyone how to profit from pay-per-click search engines. Want to start a profitable AdWords campaign in less than 30 minutes? Come to http://www.adwordwizard.com and sign up for this free program.
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