This falls into the search engine marketing category. Pay per click is a form of paid advertising where you bid on keywords and phrases that are relevant to your product or service and when a surfer clicks on your ad, which shows up on search engine results pages, you are charged a fee for that visitor clicking on your ad.
The grandfather of PPC is Overture, which used to be Go To. Overture pioneered the pay per click model and currently feeds paid results to the following major search engines: Yahoo, All The Web, MSN and Alta Vista. It is a powerhouse! Of interest also is that in the spring of 2003, Overture purchased Fast and Alta Vista. About the same time Yahoo purchased Inktomi. Then in the summer of 2003, Yahoo purchased Overture! Look for huge things from Yahoo once again very soon.
The other big boy on the block for PPC is Google. Google Adwords have been fed as paid results to the following major search engines: Hot Bot, AOL Search, Ask Jeeves, Teoma, Netscape and iWon. Yes, Google AdWords is also a powerhouse in the PPC industry.
Pay per click is not something I recommend just diving into. Companies can go broke quick unless they set up their PPC campaigns with skill, monitor the results and ROI and refine the campaign. When PPC is done correctly it can be a money making machine. If done sloppily PPC becomes a money pit.
Facebook now had paid advertising also and I hear it is easier to set up and segment your ads to you target audience than any other PPC platform. You should toy with it and see if you like the results. If you have a large budget I recommend you talk with Dennis Yu about Facebook Advertising. I believe he is the top Facebook Marketing expert on the planet.
There are several other, second tier pay per click companies that are promising and can provide very targeted traffic for much less than Overture and Google and are worth looking into if you are going to budget for PPC. Keep your eyes on companies like FindWhat, Kanoodle and Enhance.
My PPC strategy is this, I suggest SEO first. That way you can see which keywords and phrases you can get good positions for naturally, then you will know which words you don’t need to bid on and pay for. As your campaign progresses and we are able to build quality links to your site, and as I refine your page optimizations, at the same time you can trim your paid click budget and when everything goes right you can possibly eliminate the PPC altogether or just keep a few of your highest converting phrases with a minimal budget.
Frankly, I don’t use PPC hardly at all because I do an exceptional job at SEO. Only about 5% of my clients have found a need to also pay for clicks. I do recommend some pay per click budget as part of a balanced Internet marketing diet. I do not require it or push it. If you want to explore paying for clicks, I can consult with you regarding best way to proceed and to give you some insider tips. I’ll be happy to discuss this with you further, just inquire.