The most popular search engine PPC program is Google AdWords which reaches over 10 billion web pages and 100 different language versions. The benefits of using Google are its inexpensive start-up cost ($5 dollars) and the amount of traffic you will get which is far more than that of any of the other search engines. Google also provides you with its Google Analytics program which helps you with which keywords you should be targeting in your PPC ads, a website optimizer, which allows you to test different variations of your web pages to see which convert better, and step-by-step tutorials that take you through the whole process of setting up a Google Adwords campaign. Most experts agree that it is a good idea to start out with Google Adwords because of the low start-up fee and the heavy traffic. Although it is expensive for competitive terms, you can still get away with not bidding too much on the less competitive longer-tailed keywords.
The Yahoo Search Marketing search engine PPC platform started out named as GoTo, then changed to Overture, and finally ended up as what we know it today: Yahoo Search Marketing. Yahoo charges a $30.00 start-up fee but then offers you 25 dollars of free ads. Yahoo focuses on sponsored Search and reaches over 80% of active Internet users. You can also reach your market through online publishers, newsletters and emails. So, instead of your ad appearing only in search rankings it will also show up next to content like articles and product reviews that are related to your business. You can also reach a local audience by targeting ads specifically for your geographical area. Yahoo also offers certain upgrades like the Search Optimizer which can automatically manage your keyword bids, and the Marketing Console which tracks how effective your online campaigns are. Each of these are available for a monthly fee. Free tools include the Keyword Selector Tool and the View Bids Tool, as well as a PPC ROI calculator and CPM ROI Calculator.
Microsoft adCenter (Bing) is relatively new in the big names of search engine PPC but is very popular since it offers a large range of features, costs only $5 to sign up, and is targeted towards a buying market where the competition is not as high as Google and Yahoo, and so the amount you pay per click is lower. You can take advantage of the keyword research tool which gives you the past month’s searches for your keyword, other relevant keywords, and the present month’s traffic for those keywords. The tool also shows trends for each keyword.
It is generally recommended that, if you are new to PPC, you start with just one search engine (preferably Google Adwords), learn how that works, and then move on to others if you feel that it might be worth a try.