PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising is a tool offered by search engines and some niche sites, wherein advertisers have to pay when their advertised link is clicked upon. The ads served on the publisher's websites are based on keywords or keyphrases.

Though an advertiser can begin with a small budget, he still needs to be careful because a PPC marketing campaign can burn a hole in the advertiser's budgets – i.e., too many clickthroughs from all and yet no sales! Here are the top ten PPC marketing tips that will help you get a better ROI (Return on Investment) on your PPC campaign:

1. The basic strategy is that you must deliver your PPC advertisements on quality search engines. The top 5 search engines are: Google, Yahoo, Ask, MSN Search and Time Warner (AOL). [Source: SearchEngineWatch.com – April 2007 survey].

2. Benchmark the competition. These guys, if they have entered the PPC marketing fray before you, would have learned from their mistakes and may be doing the right things. Find out what keywords they are using and the kind of copy they are publishing.

3. It pays to talk to customers. Customers always keep looking for new features and policies, and who knows, one of them might just give you a killer idea that you can add on to your product and incorporate more bang in your PPC campaign!

4. Never advertise all your products in one PPC advertisement. Work your campaign around a product that is a fast-mover and develop a solid advertising campaign around it.

5. Before you release your PPC advertisement, ensure that your website is well built, easy on the eye, easily navigable, features faultless landing pages and does not have any programming glitches. Plus, the content should hook the customer right away. Remember, no visitor will stick around on a website that is shabbily programmed, has broken links, awful landing pages and badly written content.

6. When it comes to keyword bidding, don't bid low, but don't bid high either. If you bid low, your ad may not appear on the first three search engine result pages, and flipping three search engine results pages is quite a way to go for many web surfers. Do not bid too high either, because that will get you to the top and will vacuum clean your entire budget.

So, be moderate while bidding and aim between the 5th–10th positions (in the worst case, go for the 20th position). It's your cash and you know exactly how much to spend, so go ahead and decide.

7. Do not enter into a bid war with a competitor. It will be a cat and dog fight between him and you, while the publisher will be feasting on your bank balances.

8. Do not restrict yourself to just one keyword – Sprinkle your advertisement with a few keywords; two-three keywords work better and they will really help you reach out to a bigger audience.

9. Keyword bids keep on changing and it will be a good idea to manage your bids by investing in bid-management software. Remember, sometimes even a bid that is a cent higher than yours can push your advertisement down!

10. Finally, track your advertisements as well as your visitors. Know where your customers are coming from and how much they are spending. This data is critical, as it will help you devise a better campaign the next time around and even generate higher sales.

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