One of the quickest and most effective ways to get high placement on Google is with paid placements, more commonly known as Adwords. These are the sponsored links that appear at the very top and to the right of the search results pages. Search engine marketing (or SEM as it is more frequently called) has rapidly become the most popular method of driving scores of visitors to your website without having to wait for your site to slowly climb the ranks of normal, or organic search.
Here is how it works: When you sign up with Google Adwords, you can create ad campaigns by selecting keywords that would trigger your specific ads to appear. You then write the ads you want, and link them to your website. Keep in mind that you pick the price you are willing to pay, which determines where your ad will rank next to the other advertisers. When somebody clicks on your ad and is passed to your website, that is when you are actually charged.
Google has a wide variety of tools and metrics to help you manage your SEM campaigns, as do many of the other major search engines out there. You can even refine the times and geographic locations of where you would like your ads to run, allowing local businesses to really capitalize on targeting prospects in their area.
Before advertising with Google, Yahoo, MSN or any other company offering sponsored links, we encourage you to read up on best practices so you know how to set budgets and refine your search terms to get the most qualified leads. Inadequate preparation can certainly result in expensive lessons, so you want to make sure you have your ducks in a row before you begin.
Like most advertising mediums, if you can perfect your tactics, sponsored links can be an invaluable piece of your marketing arsenal.