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More Alphabet Soup

DATE PUBLISHED: April 02, 2012
If you’re puzzled by abbreviations that relate to marketing on the Internet, you’re not alone. Many businesses don’t have a clear understanding of what PPC, CPC, CTR and a variety of other permutations of those letters mean. But if you’re going to use the Internet, and banner ads more effectively, you need a short course in marketing “alphabet soup.”

The biggest buzz is “pay-per-click” – and that started several years ago. It means that you place banner ads on various websites, and only pay when people “click” on your ad. Often, pay-per-click is used with search engine marketing, allowing you to actually advertise on various search engines like Google. The good news is that the Internet provides a remarkable way of tracking just about everything, including your banner ad, who is clicking and how many times it’s clicked on. The “click” takes people to your website or a microsite, which is a great way to capture prospective customers and deliver your message.

If you place enough PPC ads out there, you’re bound to get a lot of new traffic to your sites. But you’ll need to know the CPC, or cost-per-click, so you can measure whether or not it’s an effective use of your budget. You’ll also need to know the CTR, or click through rate, and measure who stays on your site, who leaves, how long they’ve spent time there and--- well, the list goes on and on. That information is known as “analytics” – and it’s the “bible” of social media buying and planning.

So, how can you maximize your PPC efforts, making sure that you’re increasing your site’s traffic and qualified leads while reducing your overall costs? Well, a good starting point is having the right websites on which to place your banner ads. You can get to the right sites by doing some advanced keyword research. This is critical – because you're basing your entire pay-per-click marketing program on those keywords. Get the wrong words, and you’ll be missing out on key sites and a ton of qualified traffic.

The good news is that you don’t have to be a keyword genius, because help is available. There’s software, like WordStream, which uses different analytics to generate a list of relevant keywords. In addition, the software tracks where your visitors are coming from – and uses this data to find additional variations of your keywords and expand the potential websites available to you. Most importantly, it keeps your keyword list fluid, always expanding and enhancing your original list.

By honing your keyword search and utilizing tools and sites that enable you to leverage your exclusive keyword data, you’ll be reaching new customers at relatively low costs.

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