2.07 Paying for it
You can't, at the moment, directly improve your search
engine ranking by waving your credit card around. Any search engine
trying this would soon found their reputation plummeting. There
are, however, several ways you could spread your marketing budget
None of the options we list here are ideal for marketing UK veterinary
practices. The various approaches are designed for web sites with
a global, or at least national, client base. The area served by
most practices is much smaller. Most options are the equivalent
of a small animal practice advertising its services on national
PFI - Pay for inclusion
Some search engines will fast track a review of your site in order
to get it indexed more quickly. This doesn't generally guarantee
inclusion, just that someone will look at your site within a day
or two. The sites that offer this service know that, if they only
show sites that have paid for inclusion, they will lose credibility
so they also provide free listings. It just takes more time. It
is unlikely that paying for inclusion will prove cost effective
for a practice web site.
PFP Pay for placement
Several search engines accept payment to place an additional "sponsored
link" above the normal search results. You select which search
phrases you want to target and, when someone searches using those
words your link is prominently displayed and your account
is charged a few pence. If someone clicks on your link a further
charge may be added. Paying for placement is valid for highly competitive
search terms where a large number of web sites are trying to capture
traffic. In the main, the kind of keywords that someone would use
when looking, specifically, for your practice should be easily optimised
within your web site so that you appear in the top few links anyway.
Banners are the rectangular ads you see all over the internet. They
are unpopular with users because too many examples use garish colours
and distracting flashing effects in order to encourage people to
click on them. Software is available to prevent at least some being
displayed. Banner advertising is generally arranged through an agents
and can leave you with little control over where your banner is
displayed or what other content the link to your site is alongside.
There is usually a set up fee then a PPV and/or PPC charging model.
Banners, in their usual manifestation, are unsuitable to promote
a practice site.
You may be able to place individual banners on suitable sites through
direct negotiation with its owners.
PPC Pay per click
Each time someone clicks on a paid link or banner you get charged
anything from pence to pounds.
PPV Pay per view
Each time your paid link or banner is presented to a viewer you
get charged though generally a bit less than for a PPC
With similar set up and running costs as banners, these open the
link to your site in a new browser window. They annoy lots of web
users and there are lots of software packages available to hide
them or prevent them being displayed.
This is Google's advertising program. You bid for specific
keyword combinations. When a web page containing those words is
viewed, if the web master of the site has set the page up to present
AdWords, then a link to your site appears on that page. If someone
clicks on your link then you get charged a fee.
Selecting an ad campaign
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None of these options are likely to provide your site with much
useful traffic but could give your credit card a good toasting.
AdWords may be viable if you have sites serving your local area
that carry AdWords and you carefully select your keywords to appear
on that site.
We welcome your comments, criticism and questions.
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