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Google.com is one of the largest and most used engines. It is fast,accurate, and one of the most visited Web sites today. Literally thousands of searches are conducted on Google every day for your keywords related to your site. You can now advertise on Google very affordably using their AdWords program. Your AdWords text ads appear on search result pages for the keywords you buy, and can be targeted by language and country. So, to reach collectors of tin toys you might buy the keywords "toy collector," "tin toys," etc.
Pricing for AdWords is based on the position in which they're shown. Google positions your ad based on how many users click on it over time. Current rates are $15, $12, $10 (per thousand ads shown) for positions 1, 2, and 3 respectively, and $8 per thousand for positions 4 through 8.
Accounts are opened with a credit card and no minimum deposit is required.
The trick is to choose very targeted keywords that will trigger your ad (yes, you can do that). Which means that only very targeted buyers will ever see your ad and your conversion ration will be incredibly high. You can set how much you wish to spend. Google takes the money from your
credit card after you owe $50, by which time your ad will have been displayed roughly 5,000 times. If your keywords are highly targeted, many of the people who see your ad will become buyers and you will get your return before you even pay Google!
Because there are thousands of searches a day, Google alone can be one of your biggest sales drivers with its great AdWords program. For more details, see the Google AdWords pages - they have plenty of tips. Your listing shows up in about an hour. Remember, it is more effective to target about 20 keywords, specific and related to your site, than it is to use just one.
Looking down my current report, my highest CTR is 7.86% (on 10,871 impressions) & 7.42% (on 58,000 impressions) down to 2.1% on 12,581 impressions.
Costs work out between 18.6 cents and 49.5 cents per click. Bearing in mind that there's no cost for artwork (they are small, text only ads, maximum 95 characters), I find that I'm getting many more visitors, and at a lower cost than I have ever managed out of GoTo. Also bear in mind that the figures that I've given above are from the very start of the campaigns. Click through rates on ALL ads (9 different products) are now running better than the quoted figures. (See Note 2 below).
Two final notes
1) I'm in the UK, and the ads are only presented to UK searches. Incidentally, the estimate that Google presents you with when you are building the ad is for if the ad is presented world wide, they don't give you any UK estimates, so they are probably greatly over estimated.
2) You just MUST fiddle with the wording until you're getting good click through rates. Changing just one or two words can double your click through rate. The online stats that Google provide give you an excellent measurement of how your ad is performing, but you must keep tuning that ad.
Brett: are you saying $3 CPM for targeted banners? This would change my perspective, as I am a veteran of the $40-$60 CPM wars years ago. Can you give us some specific sites you know about? It would sure save me a lot of time surfing and calling.
And, oh yeah, great forum!