Pay-per-click ads are an Internet advertising model where the advertiser pays for each click that directs an Internet user to a specific website. PPC ads can be part of search engine results or marketers can place PPC ads on websites that potential customers read. Online marketers place PPC ads based on search engine keywords that potential customers would likely search and more common search terms require higher payments. By knowing the most valuable keywords, online marketers can design website content and PPC ads that get the best results for their marketing campaign.
Make a list of topics that are relevant to your small business marketing campaign. These general topics will be useful to help create a list of specific keywords for your ad campaign. Many PPC ad providers -- including the largest, Google AdWords -- don't publish keyword costs, since they are sold by bid. However, a survey by Internet-marketing blog WordStream identified some of the top-paying keywords, with "insurance" being the most expensive, at more than $54 per click. Other top keywords include: loans, mortgage, attorney, credit, lawyer, donate, degree, hosting, claim and conference call.
Find search engine keyword tools that can help identify the top keywords. While these searches won't provide dollar values for PPC ads, they will show which keywords are getting the most traffic and therefore, will require the highest bids. Google AdWords provides several keyword evaluation tools, including a keyword tool that tells you what words are in high demand and approximate monthly search volume. One alternative to Google AdWords is the Bing Ads, a Microsoft/Yahoo collaboration that offers similar search tools. Other options include BidVertiser, AdClickMedia and 7Search, all of which also provide keyword tools.
Add results from other PPC tools to improve your keyword lists and find the highest-paying search terms. The Google AdWords contextual targeting tool will provide groups of keywords based on a keyword search and give suggested bid prices for the keywords. For example, the term "options trading" produces a series of results, including "options trading software" and "learn options trading." The Google Trend search engine shows how often users type in popular keywords and tracks the search results over time.
Use social media sites to expand your keyword list and find related search terms. According to Search Engine Watch, the auto-fill functions on social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn can also provide useful information on finding high-priced keywords. These social media search engine results will provide auto-fill results that are similar to the keywords you've typed, giving you additional terms for your keyword list and expanding the possibility of finding high-paying keywords or terms.