Home Lessons & Videos PPC Introduction to Affiliate Marketing PPC

Introduction to Affiliate Marketing PPC

Affilorama members only


Watch a preview Join for free

Introduction to Affiliate Marketing PPC

2008-09-11 11:06:52

One potentially huge source of traffic is from the search engine, but to take advantage of it you need to be ranked highly in the search listings. One way to improve your ranking is by employing either PPC or SEO methods. In this lesson we introduce you to an overview of Pay-Per-Click (PPC).

What is Pay-Per-Click (PPC)?

Pay-per-click (or PPC for short) is when you purchase ads to display in the search engines when a user enters your target keywords. These ads usually appear at the top of the page, the right hand side of the page, or both, typically under the header 'Ads' or 'Sponsored Listings'.

Here we can see some paid ad listings in Google:

And some more in Bing:

Unlike traditional advertising, you don't pay only to put your ad there, but also when somebody clicks on the ad, hence the term pay-per-click; sounds straightforward, doesn't it?

It takes more than just deep pockets

Things do begin to get a bit curly once you start digging into things - with Google's AdWords, for instance, it's not simply a case of out-bidding your competition to reach the top of the paid search listings. Google is interested in making as much money as possible, and for them it's not always the highest paying ad that is the biggest earner - a lower paying ad that is more attractively written and gets more clicks is going to earn more for them, so they'll give this ad a more favorable position.

It's also not as easy as just banging up a one-page site and buying some clicks (anymore). The search engines realize that if their users are just being taken to rubbish pages when they click on the sponsored listings, they'll soon stop clicking on them, so the search engines are implementing quality measures for pay-per-click advertisers to ensure that they're offering a good experience for visitors.

That said, paid search listings can be a great way to get traffic to your site without the huge amount of work that goes into a SEO campaign. If you've got the money, it's also a great way to test a market before deciding if you want to devote your time and energy to it in the long run.

A word of warning here though: for a new PPC campaign you should expect to burn through, on average, about five hundred dollars before you start to break even and another five hundred before you start seeing significant profits.

Why is pay-per-click so expensive? It comes down to math: if you're paying 20c per click for a visitor and the product you're promoting earns $40 in commission, you need to make one sale for every 200 visitors you get in order to break even.

  • 20c per click
  • $40 in commission
  • You need at least 1 sale for every 200 visitors

Make more sales than that and you'll be earning a profit. Fewer and you'll be losing money. It can take a while before you hit on a formula that allows you to make this ratio of sales to visitors.

If you're looking at the work ahead of you with a SEO site, be aware that being able to make money on pay per click is as much a science as search engine optimization. The only difference is that with search engine optimization your lessons are free. With pay-per-click the meter is running while you learn. Even seasoned PPC affiliates walk into a new campaign fully expecting to burn through at least a thousand dollars before they can see what's really happening and tweak their site so that it starts earning money.

For this reason we strongly recommend that new affiliates first try their hand at a SEO site - you will learn a lot of things with this site that are applicable to pay-per-click without the expense. Once you've created a few SEO sites you should be comfortable enough to try a PPC campaign.

Lesson Summary:

Pay-per-click is a method of advertising where you bid on certain keywords and only pay when somebody clicks on your ad.

  • Pros:
    • Fast results: You can turn a campaign on and start seeing traffic that same day. Compare this to SEO when it might be weeks or months before you start seeing traffic.
    • No need to work on things like link trading and search engine optimization.
    • Scalable. What you earn is relative to what you spend. Put in more money = make more money (generally).
    • More scientific. You can analyze all aspects of your campaign, choose exactly how your ads display in the search engines, split-test and hone your ads to perfection. There's less "superstition" than in SEO
  • Cons:
    • Your margins probably won't be as great as you think they will be.
    • You still need to create significant content for your site in order to meet "quality" standards.
    • It's not free


Learn something new? Share it with your friends!


Questions & Comments + Add a comment

Pay Per Click
  • Writing and Placing Google Ads Google's AdWords is the biggest beast of the PPC marketing world: it has the largest PPC engine, and the fiercest com...
  • What is PPC? Here's the low-down on this unique-to-the-Internet advertising model, how much it costs, the importance of keywords, ...
  • PPC Landing Pages Landing pages for PPC need optimization so that they make as much money as possible, or you'll quickly find yourself ...
  • Conversion Tracking When you're paying for traffic, it's important to keep track of which keywords, ads and landing pages give the best r...
  • Bonuses for better PPC conversions The "free bonus when you make a purchase" concept is as old as the hills. See how affiliate marketers use this techni...
  • Alternative sources of traffic PPC doesn't start and end with Google and Yahoo; We cover some more great sources of traffic (some paid, some not) th...

Don't forget to follow us!

More topics

Essential Resources Every New Affilia... New to affiliate marketing? Not sure what it's all about? Then let us get you started!
Affiliate Outsourcing No one person can do everything on their own. Learn how to reduce (or even eliminate!) your workload with outsourcing.
Site Building As an affiliate, chances are you'll end up building a website or two. Here's your basic quickstart!
Marketing Ideas Needing inspiration? Wanting to go outside the box? Take a look in here for your next few marketing ideas!
Market Research for Affiliate Marketers To be a successful affiliate you must learn how to research their market before dedicating your precious time.
Pay Per Click Pay-per-click is one major method affiliates use to get traffic. Learn what it is and how you can use it effectively!
Search Engine Optimization Search engine optimization (SEO) is a major way of getting traffic to your site at minimal cost! Learn how to put it ...
Content Creation This section is all about content: How to write it, how to get it written for you, and other useful goodies!