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Caution - Free Pay Per Click Credit

One of the tools that we all need as webmasters is web hosting, and like any product that is in high demand, suppliers are falling over themselves to get our business. That's fine, competition among companies benefits consumers by keeping prices in check, but as consumers we need to be vigilant, because not all promotional offers are as good as they sound.

As you shop around you are going to see ads from web hosting companies that offer "Free PPC Credit" as part of their marketing campaign. Pay per click has been around for sometime now and most major search engines offer some form of PPC advertising.

The promotional offer usually goes that if you pre pay for hosting for an extended length of time, usually 12 to 24 months, you will receive $25 to $50 (depending on the plan you select) in Free PPC credit for a certain search engine. "Hey, Free stuff!" The offer sounds great, anything free, especially money, is always enticing. But before you sign on the dotted line, let's have a little closer look.

Who does this really benefit? You need web hosting so you've decided to sign up with X company and take advantage of the free PPC that they offer. You've paid for at least 12 months, probably more, (which benefits the hosting company) of web hosting service and now you're ready to claim your free PPC credit.

  • The first thing we find out is that it's for "New Accounts only" and is only valid for X# of days. So, if you already have a PPC account and planned to use the free credits there, sorrry! This benefits the search engine. They've accomplished the hardest thing in marketing, they got you to sign up.
  • Next we find out it's going to cost you $5 of your free credits to create an account. Funny, they didn't mention that in the brochure. So, we're out $5 more bucks and we haven't even got the account open. Let's push on.
  • Next we find out that "Advertisers will be charged for advertising that exceeds the promotional credit". Hmm, what does that mean? It means that if you're not familiar with PPC advertising that your remaining $20 bucks will be gone in no time and all additional charges will be applied to your credit card. You know, the one you had to put on file to open an account. Advantage, search engine.
Most likely, once you've opened a PPC account you're going to continue to use it, at least for a while, even after your credits have been used. Advertisers know this and although they've done nothing wrong, in my opinion, it's border-line deceptive and at the least low down.

Is anything ever really free? The scenario: You're new to PPC advertising, you have $20 worth of PPC credit and you've opened an account.

The first thing that you will do is set up your keyword list. Because you're new to all this you select several "competitive keywords" with a minimum bid of $1. You activate the account and log out. The next day you log in to see how it's going and find out you're in the hole $30 to $40.

What happened? It could take as little as an hour, maybe less for a popular keyword to receive 20 clicks. After that, it's costing you.

The point to all this is, if you don't know anything about PPC advertising and your shopping for web hosting, don't be swayed by the offer of "Free PPC Credit". It ain't all it's cracked up to be and odds are it's just going to end up costing you more than you bargained for!

Daryl Putnam is the creator of the popular web site Web Essentials and other web based educational Internet sites. He is also the author of numerous authoritative articles on web design and development topics.

To learn more about web site design and development visit Web Essentials

Source: www.articlesphere.com