Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is not just the marketing flavor of the week. It promises to be a very profitable way to get prospects to Web sites for a long time to come. It is direct marketing at its purest. To succeed with PPC, you need to apply all the rules for media, offers, copy, and testing.

Here are 10 tips for maximizing PPC effectiveness.

1. Choose relevant keywords. Don't pick keywords solely based on their popularity. Make sure your product or service would be of interest to someone searching for that term.

2. Cast a wide net. Include misspellings, "fat finger" typos, and plurals to capture additional traffic.

3. Combine multiple words to create phrases. Attach modifier words (Best Widgets, Cheap Widgets, Fast Widgets, Widgets Online, etc.) and cities or states (Los Angeles Widgets, Widgets in California) to your primary keywords. Also use natural language phrases such as "where to download the latest widgets." These terms will not likely drive high volumes in clicks, but they are more likely to convert to a sale. Even using your product's name can work: Sea Eagle, a manufacturer of inflatable boats, has been successful with this technique.

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