If you're building a gas station, would you have it on a rural country road or a freeway off-ramp? The answer is simple: You want to position your business where your customers are located. The best businesses in the world can't succeed if their customers can't find them. That's why location and access are so important, even for an online business.
You want to position yourself where the traffic is, and nowadays most people find Web sites through search engines. Therefore, set up shop right on a search engine page with advertising, and benefit from that “drive-by” traffic.
After all, one big benefit of search engine advertising is that you know in advance what the target consumer is looking for. Search engine advertising works like this: You tie your products or Web site to specific keywords. When someone types those keywords in the search page, your ad is displayed. Figure 3-8 shows how Google displays its ads. Suppose that a potential customer is doing a search on Google for a certain brand of golf clubs. If your business sells that brand of products, your ad can appear next to the search results. Because the ad is targeted only to people who demonstrate that interest, your rate of return is higher than in a generic ad.
Although Google and Yahoo! are the two biggest companies in ...