November 3, 2010

Analyzing cost effectiveness across search engines for PPC


Hostway Team

By Buffy Cranford

Even with limited funds, Internet advertising can be an affordable part of your monthly marketing budget. Using a website search engine, you can associate your ad with selected keywords and take advantage of Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. With PPC, you pay the website each time someone clicks on your advertisement.

The top PPC providers on the market all offer estimates based on keyword searches. Using a keyword or phrase and comparing high-traffic websites provides a clear analysis of the cost effectiveness for each search engine.

In this article, Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Facebook go head-to-head in keyword price comparison.

Keyword Price Comparison

The Challenge

The keywords “dome tent”, “external hard drive” and “hotels” were entered as price comparison of PPCs on each search engine. A daily budget of $10 was set for each website.

"Dome Tent"

  • Facebook estimated the keyword “dome tent” would receive eleven clicks per day at a rate of .99 per click.
  • Yahoo! predicted higher search traffic of 108 clicks per day, with each click costing $1.76.
  • Google delivered a similar click rate with eight to twelve clicks per day with a range of $.45-$1.25 per click.

"External Hard Drive"

  • Yahoo! costs were $.72.
  • Google was fairly close, with a range of .79-$2.50.
  • As with the key phrase “dome tent”, Facebook stayed consistent with the .99 PPC.


  • Facebook didn’t waiver from the .99 PPC.
  • The cost on Yahoo! dropped drastically to .41.
  • The price on Google skyrocketed to $1.42 to $5 PPC.

Adding It Up

Comparing the results of all three search engines, Facebook pricing maintained consistency at .99 for every keyword or phrase search, but the site did not always offer the most competitive price. Yahoo! offered aggressive pricing for the “external hard drive” and “hotels” comparison, but was higher than the other two Web sites for the “dome tent” estimate. Google’s PPC range might be worth further investigation as an advertiser, plus, the website offers some great tools.

Search Engine Highlights

For a $5 activation fee, Google offers analytic tools for testing your keywords and phrases, breaking down potential search results by competition, global and local monthly searches for the keyword.

Of the three search engines examined, Yahoo! Search Marketing is the only search engine that provides keyword pricing estimates without signing up as an advertiser.

Advertising on Yahoo! opens your business to a potential 2.3 billion searchers every month, but setting up an account on Yahoo! costs more than Google or Facebook with an initial $30 deposit.

If you have a select audience, including demographic factors, Facebook includes advertising tools for targeting specific consumers. Pricing includes a suggested bid, which reveals the current price other advertisers are paying for your target audience.

Whether your company is advertising sporting goods, computer peripherals, or hotel deals, you can reach millions of potential customers using one of these three search engines. A few keywords could increase traffic to your website in a few easy clicks.

About the Author

Buffy Cranford has over 20 years of experience in writing and publishing. Her writing background includes newspaper journalism, and reviewing and researching computer software and hardware for Smart Computing and PC Today magazines. She has worked with established companies such as Dell, IBM and Acer.

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