Any respectable PPC service has a list of rules with which your
ads must comply. Things like limiting obnoxious SHOUTING CAPITALIZATION or
limiting the use of certain terms. (For example, we recently observed that the word
was forbidden to any but a subgroup of Google AdWords advertisers.) Limi-
tations on adult content and affiliate sites are also common. You should also know
their editorial procedures: Do they publish your ad right away and review it later? Is
there a waiting period before new ads can go online? Do they warn you before they
take your advertisement offline, or do they just yank it for violating the guidelines?
This probably won’t be a major issue if you are planning to
use YSM or Google AdWords; they both offer very low minimum spending levels. If
you are considering another PPC service, be sure that you are willing to cover their
minimum spending or activation fee requirements.
Keyword Matching Options
If you love to micromanage, this section is for you. PPC
engines, including Google and YSM, offer a variety of keyword matching controls:
causes your ad to display if searchers combine your key-
words with other terms (for example, your ad for “wedding bands” will
show when the term “platinum wedding bands” is searched). This may
include plural forms of the term, misspellings, and synonyms.
allows you to exclude searchers who use certain words
from viewing your ad (for example, if you’re targeting “wedding bands,”
you can exclude people searching for “wedding jazz bands”).
may allow you to show one ad for several different key-
words, rotate multiple ads, or manage keywords as a group.
Ad Display Options
It’s important to understand exactly where and when your ads will
be displayed. If you’re interested in a PPC service other than the two Biggies, make sure
they’re up front about who they partner with for ad displays. You don’t want to dis-
cover your ads unexpectedly displaying in annoying pop-up windows that may be detri-
mental to your branding. Many PPC services also offer these types of display controls:
Contextual vs. search engine display
. Contextual advertising displays your
sponsored ads on a wide variety of websites, not just search engines. Your
service should give you the choice of whether you want to include contex-
allows you to display your results to searchers in a particular
Dynamic Keyword Insertion
places the searcher’s keywords directly into
your ad. You’ll learn more about this later, when you write your ads.
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