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PPC Campaigns & Online Advertising

Essentially, there are three mainstream search advertising programs, Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing, and Microsoft AdCenter. There are distinctions between these search advertising programs but all are essentially cost per click - CPC programs.

Google Adwords

Google uses a formula to determine in what order your ad appears under their sponsored results, which appear either on the right, top or both of the search engine results page (see arrow below).


Cost per click campaign sample

According to Google, your ad rank (vertical position...result #1, 2, 3 etc.), is determined by multiplying your Cost Per Click bid times your Quality Score.

so, Ad Rank = CPC bid × Quality Score

Simple, right? Well, not really. Because the "Quality Score" of your site, according to Google, is determined by the following factors:

  • The historical click-through rate (CTR) of the ad matched to the keyword
  • The relevance of the keyword and ad to the search query
  • Your account history, which is measured by the CTR of all the ads and keywords in your account
  • Other relevance factors

So, advertisers that have a higher click through rate, receive more weighting, and then there's the "other relevance factors", which, in typical Google cloudiness, might be interpreted to mean they work in some wiggle room to explain inconsistencies in your ranking.

Google also runs a Content Network that allows for contextual PPC advertising (which means your ad appears embedded within the relevant content of a page on their network). Contextual ads can be text, video, or images and are all marked as Google ads.


Yahoo & Microsoft CPC - PPC Programs

Yahoo's Search Marketing program is similar to Google's, so we won't go into to much explanation here. Just note that using Yahoo's service can deliver an ad network that Google's does not, and vice versa. Pricing on Yahoo and Microsoft can vary significantly from Google's, for these two reasons, it is often advantageous to spread your paid advertising across more than one search engine marketing program.

Sean Elkin of Searchlight Interactive, LLC is a certified Yahoo Ambassador. Click on the Yahoo Ambassador logo to see Yahoo's acknowledgement that demonstrates knowledge of Yahoo! Sponsored Search paid advertising products.

Yahoo ambassador - certified logo

The Searchlight Interactive paid advertising process

Regardless of the network, our PPC campaign management process remains the same:

  1. Research (keywords, competition, PPC ads, etc.)
  2. Design ads (multiple designs/messages)
  3. Test ads (small rollout and A/B test)
  4. Rollout
  5. Monitor
  6. Adjust
  7. Monitor
  8. Adjust, etc.

Please contact us to learn more about our CPC search engine marketing services.

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