Many businesses seem to shy away from Pay-Per-Click Advertising because they've heard a horror story or two. While it is certainly possible to lose money, the upside far outweighs the dangers so long as you educate yourself.
When most think about Pay-Per-Click Advertising (aka PPC), they think that the only benefit is getting traffic for terms they currently don't rank for. This is definitely a great reason to run PPC ads but it's not the only benefit.
Here's a little "insider" information that will help turn your PPC campaigns into valuable data. This data will supercharge your SEO efforts and help you improve your return-on-investment through improved conversions.
One of the main benefits of running a PPC ad campaign is that it gives you the ability to determine "real world" search volumes for the keyword phrases you are bidding on. Although most keyword tools will give you search volume data, I have found the information to be unreliable.
In order for this to work, however, you need to ensure that your ad is displayed on the first page of the search results for the keyword phrases you are tracking. This could be very expensive if you target highly competitive terms but for most local businesses, the cost per click fees will be minimal.
After you've run your campaign for a few days you can look at the stats inside of your PPC account. You'll be able to see the amount of "impressions" your ads have received and have the ability to view your "clickthrough" rates (aka CTR) as well.
An impression is registered whenever your ad is shown. As your ads are triggered by the keyword phrases you are targeting, you'll be able to get a true idea as to how much search volume is really available to those on the first page.
Your Clickthrough Rate tells you what percentage of searchers actually clicked on your ad and visited your website. The better your "CTR" is, the more effective your ad is.
Your ad copy can be used as part of your Meta Page Description text when SEOing your site. The search engines generally display this information under your clickable link on the search results page and if your copy is good, you can get more visitors!
If you are tracking conversions, you can use this data to decide which keyword phrases are most likely to bring you the type of traffic you want. After all, the real goal isn't to drive a bunch of useless traffic... it's to drive traffic that converts into business for your company.
As you can see, Pay-Per-Click Advertising can yield huge rewards when it comes to optimizing your website for the search engines. You'll gain a better understanding as to what keyword phrases are likely to drive significant traffic and which ones are more likely to bring you the type of traffic you really want.