One of the more popular forms of advertising is currently pay per click marketing. Some of the perceived advantages of PPC marketing is that the business only needs to pay for people who actually visit their site instead of just paying for general advertising. PPC is also very closely related to affiliate marketing and can be beneficial to the advertiser and the host of the advertisement. This type of advertising began with a single small start-up company has grown into a major marketplace. The costs of this marketing are quite affordable and have become more flexible as the technology has improved.
Goto.com was the first PPC marketing company and was founded in 1998. It was later renamed Overture and acquired by Yahoo. This company revolutionized how marketing was priced. Websites only had to pay when users clicked on their advertisement and visited their site. Along with developing this marketing model, the company began to develop tools in order to track and prove the number of clicks on a given advertisement.
Currently, the main pay per click marketing providers are Google AdWords, Microsoft adCenter, and Yahoo! Search Marketing. The industry is becoming a much more competitive environment since providers are falling over each other to offer services that are unique. They are also cutting prices and offering special deals for certain types of ads. With PPC marketing being extremely popular with businesses of all sizes – from large multi-national corporations to a small mommy blog – the adspace is becoming flooded with ads that some users are beginning to find irrelevant. This means that fewer people will click on these ads and over time the value of a PPC ad may begin to decrease.
With the return on investment declining for advertisers, the major PPC players are beginning to find new ways to add value to their product. This includes side features like website analytics, direct marketing and email campaign assistance. Very few PPC companies are able to maintain a foothold in the industry without also being involved in other aspects of e-commerce. The barriers to entry are fairly large right now, so it would be difficult for a new player to get involved, but if a small company was able to discover a new way to package this type of marketing, they could have a distinct advantage over their competition.