Google, Yahoo, and other search engines provide the capability to perform a paid search to locate your product website. Be very careful when employing any type of paid search because it will dramatically eat into your profits. You are basically paying for potential customers to click over to your site when they do a Google (or Yahoo) search for your products or services. When they perform a search, your website will appear in the “paid” listings section of these search engines. When a user clicks over to your website you are charged a fee for each click through.
There are pros and cons to using paid placement programs. The benefit is that you can get immediate exposure to your product website. The downside is that anyone can click through to your site “kicking tires” and can cost you a lot of money every month with perhaps few new sales. You can place caps on how much you want to spend each month for clicks on your website. This all depends on your budget.
If your application is priced between $0.99 and $1.99 paid search is probably not worth the bother because your cost for click-throughs will be very high when compared to the price of your application. The challenge with paid search is that it’s going to direct traffic to your product website. You then have to get the visitor to click over to the Application Store to purchase your application. The odds of this happening drop dramatically for this two-step process. Again, you will be disappointed when your credit card is charged a bundle for click-throughs and your sales have not grown much.
There is some value to using paid search initially when you are building your overall brand as an iPhone/iPad application developer. So, from the standpoint of driving awareness about your products and services, paid search can help you initially to gain traffic to your website and showcase products/services in front of potential customers. Having this mindset is better than hoping to achieve sales from paid search. But, be sure to experiment slowly and optimize keywords at the lowest possible cost per click.
We recommend that you view Adwords (and similar programs) as a way to drive immediate attention to your website because you have not established the site with organic traffic. As you optimize your site over time to appear higher in the search rankings, you should depend less and less on paid search for web placement.
An online presence for your business is an absolute must! Some application developers think they can get by without a website. You can’t! Your customers can only go to two places to find your application: the Application Store or the Internet. If they go first to the Internet to look up whatever they are looking for, you want to be included in the search results to answer their need. But, do this as cost effectively as you can. There are many books and articles on how to increase your search engine optimization (SEO). This topic goes well beyond the scope of this article.