By: Jim Conley II,

Search engines come in all shapes, sizes and forms. There
are your free-submission type search engines like AltaVista,
Excite and Google. Then there are your pay-for-inclusion
directories like Looksmart and Yahoo. Lastly, you have pay-
per-click search engines. being the most famous
of them all, pay-per-click search engines have been cropping
up left and right lately. As of right now there are close to 70
pay-per-click search engines (some of which are specialty.)
Visit for the most
current listings. Unlike your typical search engines, pay-per-
click engines allow you to pay to have a better ranking on
different keyword phrases. Of course the more popular the
phrase, the more it will cost to have a high listing. But for the
most part, you can acquire some good traffic by only spending
a few cents per click for each keyword phrase.

Generating Keyword Phrases

To really make this marketing technique effective you must
purchase a few hundred keyword phrases. More is better, in
this case. Don’t expect to purchase a dozen phrases and find
hordes of visitors showing up at your doorstep. It just won’t
happen. A good tool to help you come up with some great
keywords is Good Keywords by Softnik Technologies. It’s a
free program you can download at Just enter in a few keywords
that relate to your business and the program will generate
quite a few phrases you can purchase on any of the pay-per-
click engines. Yet another good keyword generator can be
found at

Determining Your Visitor Value

Before purchasing keyword phrases it’s important not to
overpay for clicks to your site. In order to have an idea of
where to “cap” your bids, you need to figure out how much
each visitor to your site is worth. Here’s a simple example of
how to do just that:

Let’s say you convert one sale for every 50 visitors and your
average sale is $50. In this example, each visitor to your site
is worth $0.50. So when it comes time to purchasing keyword
phrases don’t bid over that amount per click. This will ensure
you are profiting from your pay-per-click campaign rather than
losing money.

Don’t feel you have to pay the maximum to get a top listing for
different keyword phrases. You will find that in many cases
your minimum bid (just a few cents usually) will put you at the
very top. Your goal should be to shoot for a listing on the first
page of results for each phrase you purchase. A top ten
listing is even better.

As you’re starting out, it’s probably in your best interest to
purchase all your keyword phrases at the minimum bid
possible. You can tweak your listings from there on out once
you’ve had a chance to track some of your results. A minor
change here and there can mean a substantial change in the
amount of traffic you’re generating from some phrases. More
on tracking shortly.

Maximizing Your Title & Description

Give your title and description some thought before jumping in
with both feet. Just as with your regular search engine listings
it’s very important to develop a compelling title and description
that are sure to attract the searcher’s attention. Words like
free, low cost, skyrocket and increase are words that always
catch people’s eyes. Of course there are more attention
grabbing words, so put on that “thinking cap” and see what
you can come up with. Make sure, whatever words you
choose, that you use them in ways that will attract people’s
eyes. Don’t forget to put important keyword phrases in your
description and title. You don’t have to use just your business
name for your title. In fact it’s better to include important
keywords. Just make sure it looks like a title and not just a
bunch of keyword phrases thrown together. People are less
likely to click on listings like that.

Here’s a sample title for an office supply company:

Low cost office supplies for your business – FREE shipping!

A good example of a description for the same company might

Don’t pay list prices for brand name office supplies. Get brand
name office supplies and equipment at wholesale prices.
FREE shipping for orders of $25 or more.

Gaining The Most From Your Campaign

In order to get the most from your pay-per-click search engine
campaign it’s important to track your results. A weekly check
is what I recommend at the minimum. You will find that your
position for many of your keyword phrases will go up and
down frequently, depending on other people’s bid changes.
Your “hard core” pay-per-click buffs will no doubt be
monitoring their most competitive listings every day. If you’re
not on top of your competition, your competition will be on top
you. Don’t put yourself in this kind of a situation. For
example, has a great tracking system set up for its
customers. You can track your current listings, find out how
much more it will cost to have a top listing and more. Use
your tracking system to the max. For the most part you will be
spending your time tweaking your most competitive keyword
phrases. Just remember not to over bid on your phrases.
Refer back a few paragraphs to find out how to figure your
cost per visitor. I can’t stress this enough. Once you go over,
you’ll start losing money and the campaign will become less
profitable for you.

Some Last Minute Tips

Here are some points to remember when setting up your own
pay-per-click search engine campaign:

1. Target your keyword phrases and don’t try to acquire non-
related phrases. The search engines monitor this.

2. Evaluate how much each visitor to your site is worth so
your campaign will be profitable for you.

3. Come up with a few compelling titles and descriptions.
Look at it from a visitor’s point of view. Would you click on it?

4. Constantly track your results. Listings will change all the
time as people raise and lower their bids for different
keywords. Do the same accordingly, and remember not to
over bid for phrases.

If you can remember these pointers, and use this article as a
guideline, you shouldn’t have a problem developing a
profitable pay-per-click marketing campaign for your business.

Jim Conley II is the CEO/Founder of MerchantSeek. MerchantSeek allows merchants from around the world to search FREE for a Merchant Account Provider that best fits their businesses needs and budget. Visit us at