I’m probably not the biggest fan in the world of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. What’s PPC? It’s what you get when you search for something in Google, Yahoo or the other search engines. The "organic" results are the ones you get on the left of the screen; what you see on the right of the screen is the paid-for ads.
The thing about PPC ads is this: you can have a fantastically written ad which gets loads of people clicking to see what you’re offering, but (a) every click costs you money and (b) a click through to your site doesn’t equal a converted sale. You can end up spending a heck of a lot of money in a short time and not have very much to show for it.
One big advantage PPC marketing has over search engine optimisation (SEO) is that it’s immediate. Get yourself an account with Google Adwords, set everything up and you can be seen right there on the first page of results for the keywords or keyphrases you select the very same day. It’s really that quick. SEO takes time. That’s okay if you are prepared to invest days, weeks and months into waiting for the rewards of your efforts, but if you want results right now then PPC can be very effective.
So here’s the point of today’s post: the thing I’m about to give you the link to will allow you to check the market out and see what your competitors are doing with their PPC spending. I don’t know what kind of black sorcery it contains in its software, but it’s able to look at a paid ad, analyse how much the advertiser is paying for the ad, estimate how many clicks they’re probably getting for the ad every day, and – I’ve no idea how this is possible – even check out what other ads they have running, sometimes in completely unrelated fields.
And the best thing is, it’s completely free. Once you download it, it runs as an add-on part of your browser and you can switch it on and off just by clicking on the software’s icon. Sure, they try to upsell you to a paid version of the software that promises you positions one and two for whatever you want to advertise yourself, but I can’t really understand how that works. Doesn’t quite make sense how they can guarantee it, but my brain is feeling particularly small and challenged today, so I’m probably missing something. Anyway, the free version is more than good enough to be able to have a good look at what people are up to. Check it out:
Have a great weekend.