The Untold Secret Of Pay Per Click Advertising:
An often misunderstood reality of Pay-Per-Click advertising is that many times you can’t determine where you ad will be displayed once you sign-up with one of the PPC Search Engines. In the incestuous world of online advertising, companies are often simultaneously competitors and partners. This is never more true than in the case of Search Engine Advertising.
Even The Big Guys Do It:
If the Pay-Per-Click program you’re using is from one of the major brands that has it’s own consumer search destination site (Google, Yahoo, Lycos etc,) it’s a little easier to tell where your ads will show up. However, even if you’re working with the major players, your ads won’t be limited to the Search Engine you signed up with. For example, Google has agreements with Lycos, Ask Jeeves, AOL, and other lesser known brands, to display ads from the Google AdWords program. Yahoo has relationships with MSN, and CNN.Com to display ads from its Overture Pay Per Click Program. Lycos owns HotBot.Com and has partnered with affiliates outside its network to increase the distribution of ads from the Lycos AdBuyer Pay Per Click program.
Distribution Strategies Of Smaller Search Engines:
Once you go beyond the major Pay Per Click Advertising programs it becomes increasingly difficult to know where your ads will appear. Most of the second tier Search Engines rely exclusively on networks of unknown sites for their distribution. FindWhat.Com, Kanoodle, Enhance and Search 123 don’t operate sites that consumers use to search the web. Because of this they have developed relationships with thousands of smaller sites to display ads from customers who sign up for their Pay Per Click programs.
Affiliate Traffic Isn’t Necessarily Bad:
Just because a Pay Per Click Advertising program doesn’t have its own search site to drive traffic doesn’t necessarily mean that the traffic is of lesser quality. Like everything else when it comes to a successful PPC Advertising campaign, the key is to track and analyze results on a daily basis. Set-up independent tracking URL’s for each PPC Search Engine you are working with, or use a third party tracking tool like Atlas One Point to track how many clicks you’re getting from each Search Engine, and how much of the traffic is converting into sales.
Can You Cherry Pick Affiliates?
As a rule, most Search Engines won’t divulge the list of affiliates they are working with to display your ads. Even if you are able to determine which affiliate sites are converting better for you than others, the Search Engines generally won’t allow you to cherry pick which affiliates will display your ad. However, some Pay Per Click Search Engines like Google allow you to opt out of their affiliate network.
Driving traffic by displaying ads across a network of affiliate sites is a fact of life for Pay Per Click Search Engines. It’s not necessarily bad, but it is something you need to be aware of as you analyze which PPC Search Engines to use, and which ones perform. By displaying your ad on affiliate sites your marketing message is put in front of more people who are looking for the products you sell. The downside is once you move beyond the big brands and venture into the vast mysterious world of affiliate networks, there is a chance the quality of your traffic will decline. As long as you monitor your traffic sources for volume, and conversions, and adjust your campaigns accordingly you should be able to benefit from the increased distribution affiliates provide, while maintaining the profitability metrics for your Pay Per Click Advertising campaign.