Pay per click (PPC) management and prices

This page summarises some of the issues to consider when managing yourself a pay per click (PPC) campaign or getting a pay per click (PPC) campaign managed by an Internet Marketing company. It also gives an indication of the prices that Cornish WebServices charge for managing pay per click (PPC) campaigns and related search engine optimisation work.

Pay per click principles   |  Pay per click management prices

Pay per click (PPC) principles

The most successful internet advertising is pay per click advertising. You pay a fixed amount every time someone clicks through to your website based upon keywords they have selected. Provided you choose a good set of specific keywords, this means you are only paying for visitors who are interested in whatever your website has to offer.

Keyword selection

Selecting the best set of keywords is one of the most important aspects of pay per click advertising. There are several aspects of keyword selection to consider:

Actual keywords chosen

It is usually a good idea to choose more specific keywords or keyword phrases rather than general ones. There are at least two reasons for this. Firstly specific keywords will attract a more relevant set of visitors to your website. Secondly specific keywords are likely to be cheaper.

Keyword matching options

Having chosen your keyword phrases, the type of keyword matching option (in Google) has a major impact on your click-throughs.

Unwanted keywords

It is possible to target pay per click campaigns to exclude certain keywords that bring unproductive visitors to your website. This reduces your advertising spend.

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Target Position and maximum cost per click (CPC)

The target positions vary between Google and Overture. This can influence the maximum cost per click that is selected for each keyword.

Pay per click (PPC) Advertising Copy

When your ad is shown, the words displayed beside your link are very important in determining how attractive your website appears to be, and will determine whether or not potential visitors click-through. This can also be used to make your website look less attractive to unproductive visitors.

Pay per click (PPC) Tracking

The major pay per click providers (Google and Overture) now provide tracking systems to allow you to monitor the effectiveness of your advertising spend. Google's system does require a small logo (Google Site Stats) to appear on your final destination page. Cornish WebServices scan implement and monitors these tracking systems.

It is also possible to use other 3rd party tracking systems - although most of these work best or only on Overture and other non-Google pay per click systems.

Tracking systems work best when used in conjunction with other data such as web statistics or page tracking systems. Cornish WebServices can provide analysis from these various systems and produce a concise monthly management report on your website activity.

Pay per click (PPC) Fraud Prevention

When an organisation is spending hundreds of thousands of pounds per month on advertising it is important to check that this is for true clicks from potential customers. Unfortunately, there are several types of click-fraud that need monitoring. These include repetitive clicks on your ads by a competitor or by the owner of a directory type website specifically created to generate income through click-throughs.

The major PPC providers do make some attempt at preventing this, and not charging for such clicks. In our experience they do not spot all such fraudulent click-through activity, but if presented with the data they do refund advertising charges. The minor PPC providers have a very poor check on such activity, and we will only use these when we can provide checks on the validity of the clicks.

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Pay per click management prices

These are indications of the costs of pay per click (PPC) management services offered by other Internet Marketing companies and also by Cornish WebServices. Contact us for a realistic quotation as there are many different factors that influence the cost of a pay per click management service. We offer significant discounts for charities and non-profit making organisations.

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Prices for Pay per Click (PPC) management

Internet Marketing companies offer a variety of different pricing structures for managing pay per click (PPC) advertising budgets. These include:

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A fixed fee broadly based on the number of hits your website receives per month.

For 5,000+ hits per month, fees of £2,500 are not uncommon. Cornish WebServices are willing to charge for PPC management services on this basis if the client prefers, but prefer not to. Increasing the number of hits per month is not usually the aim of a client, but rather increasing the number of relevant visitors that turn into potential sales or repeat visitors. One of the first steps to improving the return on investment (ROI) of a pay per click campaign is often to stop paying money for less relevant visitors to a website.

A fixed fee broadly based on the pay per click (PPC) advertising spend each month.

In 2004, prices charged for pay per click (PPC) marketing services on this basis are in the region of £300/month for up to £1,000/month advertising spend and £1,200/month for £5,000/month advertising spend. Cornish WebServices are willing to charge for PPC management services on this basis if the client prefers.

However there is no difference in the management time or the complexity in handling pay per click (PPC) campaigns for larger budgets than smaller budgets. An overall Internet Marketing strategy may be able to significantly decrease the monthly pay per click (PPC) spend, yet this type of pricing structure offers little incentive to do so!

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A monthly fee based as a percentage of the pay per click (PPC) advertising spend.

In 2004, prices charged for pay per click (PPC) marketing services on this basis vary from about 10 - 15% (or even more) of the monthly pay per click (PPC) advertising budget. Cornish WebServices are willing to charge for PPC management services on this basis if the client prefers, but prefer not to.

One aim of a pay per click (PPC) advertising campaign is to increase sales for minimum cost. By charging on a percentage basis, there is very little incentive to provide solutions that actually involve decreasing the advertising spend. Although in some markets, pay per click (PPC) advertising may be required, there are often times when better results can be obtained through other channels (such as natural search engine optimisation) and the pay per click advertising spend can be reduced.

A monthly fee plus a percentage of the pay per click (PPC) advertising spend.

In 2004, typical prices based upon this type of fee structure are £60/month for Google or Overture (or £100/month for both) plus a 10-15% percentage of the monthly pay per click budget. This may work well for smaller pay per click budgets, and this pricing structure at least acknowledges that there is a cost involved that is independent of the advertising spend.

A monthly fee based upon the broad number of keywords.

In 2004, some Internet Marketing companies are charging fees based upon this type of price structure. Initially this looks sensible, as this price structure acknowledges that the advertising spend and amount of management effort are not directly related. However there are problems with this type of charging. A good pay per click management service will actively monitor the keywords chosen, and alter them throughout the campaign to maximise the return on investment from click through rates.

Cornish WebServices predict that as Internet users become more sophisticated in their searching behaviour, the optimum number of target keywords in pay per click campaigns will increase. It is likely that a good campaign will have a large number of more specific keywords, rather than a few very general keywords.

Towards the end of 2004 many PPC management companies were using automated tools to add in hundreds (or thousands) or keywords for each campaign. The major PPC providers now discount poorly performing keywords - so this type of tactic is ineffective.

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A monthly fee based upon the target market segment and the clients' existing website.

Cornish WebServices think that this is the best option for pricing a pay per click management service. This allows the Internet Marketing company the scope of reducing pay per click advertising spend and of increasing significantly the number of target keywords.

The exact price that Cornish WebServices charge for pay per click management services depend upon:

  • Target market - some markets are more straightforward, less competitive or more static than others. Rapidly evolving markets offer excellent opportunities to exploit new niche markets (at relatively low cost with a high return on investment) before competitors follow suit. Competitive markets offer the advantage of being able to analyse the competitors' tactics - very easy in the Internet marketplace.
  • Existing website design - some websites are more search engine friendly than others. Pay per click works better on websites that are accessible, search engine friendly and actually contain some interesting readable content.
  • Other website related services offered - many of the tasks that should be performed by a professional pay per click management service are identical or have significant overlap with website design, website redesign, website maintenance, search engine optimisation and natural search engine optimisation services. Significant reductions (over 50%) in cost of pay per click management services can be offered if Cornish WebServices provide others services as well.
  • Numbers of reports required - producing client reports takes more time (and hence costs more) than simply monitoring and analysing the pay per click, tracking and/or web statistics. Cornish WebServices normally produce a monthly summary management report, with some supporting data, highlighting the pay per click performance and any significant actions taken. More frequent or more detailed pay per click performance reports cost more.

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