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Last Updated on September 23, 2021

Pay Per Click advertising is a very popular method used by many experienced affiliate marketers. While it can be a very successful technique, it can also be overly expensive when not done properly. Today I will try to explain to you the basics of Pay Per Click, but I would highly suggest you try to get more in depth on the topic prior to beginning your first campaign.

What is Pay Per Click?

Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising has been made famous by search companies like Google or Yahoo. It allows you to place your ads on various participating sites, and pay a fee based on the number of times your particular ad is clicked. Google AdWords is the most well known and trusted of the PPC engines in use today. Website owners allow the ads to be placed on their site in exchange for a portion of the fee collected by Google when someone clicks the ad. Google handles all of the processing and money exchanges and you get to place your ad on highly visited sites without having to broker a deal yourself.

What Are Keywords?

Pay Per Click engines like Google AdWords work in several different ways, but the most common is by what we call Keywords. A keyword is a term that is associated with your site, that you would like to use to trigger your ad. For example; you run a World of Warcraft Leveling Guide site, and you know that people will be searching on Google for the phrase “WoW Leveling”. “WoW Leveling” would be considered your keyword. Keywords are the foundation of a PPC campaign and will determine when and where your advertisements will surface. To find out what keywords your competitors are using and lighten your workload, you can use sites like Keyword Spy (my favorite).

Setting Up a Campaign:

When creating a PPC advertising campaign, there are several parts to the campaign that you must design. Each step is an intricate process and requires research in order to keep your costs down. The first step is to research keywords and find the terms that you would like to use to trigger your ad. Once you have your terms selected, you can most on to creating the actual advertisement. Google and Yahoo allow for text ads, video ads, and banner ads. The most common type is the simple text ad. You have probably seen these types of ads down the right side of Google when you do a search.

Text Ads require three lines of text and are your chance to sell the product. You need to make the ad enticing and with very limited space. There are entire ebooks on the subject of creating PPC ads and how to write the best copy, we will not go in depth as this is a basic introduction to PPC. However just keep in mind that even professionals are constantly testing multiple ads and everyone at some point or another will write a dud.

Once you have your keywords and ads fleshed out, you simply need to make a bid on the keyword. The bid will determine how you rank within the results for any specific keyword. If 100 people are bidding on the keyword “WoW Leveling”, and you bid less than they do, your ad will not show. The actual algorithm is somewhat more complicated than that, but bid price plays a large factor in how you place on Google.

The Google Quality Score:

The other major factor that goes into how your ads rank on Google is the Google Quality Score. Google assigns a score to your landing page based on an unknown series of criteria. The quality of your ad (having the keyword in the title) and the content of your landing page seem to be the most important. The higher your quality score, the less you will pay per click to advertise on Google. Again, whole books have been written on optimizing Google quality score, so we won’t delve any deeper onto the subject.

What to take away:

PPC Advertising can be a great way to gain traffic to your sites. However, it is not wise for a new affiliate marketer to rush in head first. If you use the wrong keywords, create horrible ads, or bid too much for your advertising, you can spend a lot of money in a very short period of time. Read up on the subject, look into how to select your keywords and write proper ads, as well as how to increase your Google quality score before you get started. If you do the research, you will be able to use Google AdWords to bolster your affiliate marketing business and make a substantial income doing it.

PPC Advertising and AdWords 101