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How do searchers benefit from Pay-Per-Click Advertising?

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Recent surveys of trends in the Internet marketplace show that a majority of people in some key demographic groups are increasingly using the Internet not just to research products, but as a place to buy them.



Results of a survey by The Kelsey Group showed that:



¨      Of the 5,582 people surveyed who had made one or more purchases on the Internet, 64% used search engines to find what they were looking for.



¨      One-third of all searches were done for shopping purposes (which includes looking for a seller, researching a possible purchase, or actually purchasing something online).



Keep in mind that these percentages come from a statistically significant group of people who were already proven online buyers.



What about those who may not have bought anything online yet? A survey conducted by WebAdvantage.net shows that:



¨      69% of respondents didn’t know the difference between regular search engine results and paid advertising.



¨      Once the differences were explained, 59% said they would use pay-per-click ad campaigns, especially if they could target them to a local marketplace.



Of course, other studies don’t show quite as large an impact (especially of PPC) on advertising results.



However, most agree that search engines are becoming a more widely used tool than printed yellow pages or other offline sources, such as newspapers, direct mail marketing, and magazine advertising.



Very recent surveys confirm these earlier findings and show some indication of the changes throughout 2004. For instance, the findings of a study conducted by Pew Internet show that:



¨      19%, of respondents said they don’t completely trust search engine results, which indicates there is still some confusion over what the results actually are.



¨      62% said they didn’t know that some search engine results are paid results, which is down almost 10% over the year, but still a very high number.



The study also reported that 40% to 45% of search results now show paid ads in them, indicating that almost half of search enquiries are commercial in nature.



Given that more consumers arc looking online for information on purchases and are making purchases online, and most still don’t know how to distinguish paid results from unpaid results, it is increasingly important for consumers to be educated about the advantages of pay-per-click ads as a means of narrowing their search more quickly.



Many spend valuable time searching through organic results for relevant product reviews and information, without knowing that highly relevant links to those products are found in the PPC ad results.



This is a huge consideration! If you can persuade visitors to buy your product while they are researching it, it is certainly worth the cost of educating the masses.



Those who use search engines need to understand the various advertising methods, such as PPC, and how these targeted ads can save them a significant amount of time.



Doing so can ensure that, when your ad is positioned in a prominent place, it will be noticed by users and acted upon.




Can you mention the pros and cons of PPC advertising?


Keywords: pay-per-click ads, online purchases, ppc.


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