Carrying Out Your Pay Per Click Marketing Plan

After you’ve decided to carry out a pay per click (PPC) marketing campaign, you need to decide where to spend your PPC budget. Given that Google provided almost 65 percent of all searches in April 2011 (according to comScore) while Bing and Yahoo! controlled another 14 and 16 percent, respectively, your PPC campaign will probably include Google and perhaps one or both of the others.

Choose your PPC venue based on where your target audience searches. According to Alexa, Google, which draws one-third of its search base internationally, has the fewest young users and the fewest without a college education.

Considering that most users are likely to browse from the workplace, Google has been an essential pathway to reach B2B customers. In the future, LinkedIn is likely to compete for this audience. The Yahoo! user profile is quite similar to Google’s, though more Yahoo! users are likely to browse from home.

The oldest demographic of users prefers Bing, which has the best conversion rates for older users, especially those over 55. Concentrated in the United States, other components of Bing’s audience are more likely to browse from school, be less well educated, and have a lower income (both of which correlate to being in school).

Although Google generates more online sales revenue than any other search engine (at least partly because of its vastly larger user base), Bing has, anecdotally, a higher conversion rate for retail and travel purchases.

Your best bet is to try the same ads and search terms on all three search engines — Bing, Yahoo!, and Google — to see which ones work better for you.

Watch your own traffic statistics and the results of your search engine optimization (SEO). The source of visitors and the terms they use for a natural search provide invaluable information about the best tactics for your PPC campaign.

PPC features change often. Now that Bing is running PPC for both itself and Yahoo!, their combined operation has become more like Google’s. Check both Google AdWords and Bing/Yahoo! Search Marketing regularly for updates.

Google offers its own chart-comparison features at Google Adwords comparison.

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