A five-part series on online branding for businesses by Ryan Chaffin

1. What’s in a Name? Everything
2. SEO: Marketing in the New Millennium
3. PPC as a Model of Smart Advertising
4. Social Media: Highly Accessible Advertising
5. Freshening Up: Maintaining Your Brand Image

New methods of advertising, particularly web-based ones, may be confusing to someone not acquainted with the different mechanisms of the web or well-versed in how they work. Take, for example, the classic Yellow Pages advertisement. Every year you buy your ad space for a fixed amount of money. In these ads, the more space you buy, the higher the price. Things, however, have changed. The advent of the Internet has led to many exciting new ways of advertising that are more affordable and sensible than the old, antiquated methods that essentially equated size with relevance.

One of the most exciting and cost-effective means of advertising on the web is PPC. PPC stands for “pay per click.” This type of advertising does exactly what you would anticipate it would do. As a business owner you pay for your ad space only when it is clicked through on the host’s website. Say, for example, your business specializes in a very specific service, such as vacuum pump repair. A savvy business owner would place an ad for vacuum pump repair on a website that sells vacuums. This kind of ad placement ensures you will get clicks from interested parties, bringing truly curious customers to your website and managing your advertising money smartly all at once.

In the world of PPC there are two models that are often followed: bid-based and flat-rate PPC. In a bid-based PPC campaign, you will be placed in direct competition with other similar service providers for advertising space. You will tell the host how much money you are willing to pay for the PPC campaign and the highest bidder is awarded the ad space. A flat-rate PPC campaign eschews the bidding format for a flat rate that is simply agreed upon between the host and the advertiser. Both formats are viable, it is simply a matter of determining your company’s specific needs and then tailoring the PPC campaign to those needs.

PPC is marketing in the new millennium. It is smart, effective, and it saves money. When coupled with an SEO campaign, it can truly transform your business. If you have been considering jumping into the online marketing domain, there really is no better way to get your feet wet. If you administer the advice given above, you will no doubt notice the positive uptick in traffic to your website in no time. And where there are more customers, there is increased revenue. And where there is increased revenue, there is a happy business owner!

About the author

Ryan Chaffin is currently a college student majoring in Business Marketing. He loves anything technology, internet, and social media related along with sports and health & wellness. Ryan currently specializes in search engine optimization (SEO), blogging, and social media and believes in achieving your fullest potential on and off the web. You can also find Ryan on Twitter (@ryanchaffin).

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