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Understanding Your Pay-Per-Click Budget/Billing Information

June 29, 2012

If you’ve been using online services like Pay-Per-Click like most of our clients have, you may be a little confused about your credit card bill. This recent customer query has brought this to our attention:

“I am trying to get a better understanding of the automatic billings from Google & Bing. Can you give me some direction?”

Because each search engine has a different way of billing you, here is a breakdown that will help you understand their methods. We hope this will help clarify some details and help you decipher your bill a little more quickly and easily:

Google – Google offers two options – Prepay and Pay As You Go.
With Prepay, you put a designated amount of money in an account and they use it until it is gone. Then you have to manually add more money to your account to start your ads running again. The biggest problem we see with this is that if you have a smaller budget, your money could be gone in a day or two and then you have to add more. You can create daily caps that will help stretch your dollars out a little longer.

With Pay As You Go, they debit your credit card every time you hit the $500 threshold of “click spending”. So if you see many charges a week or month on your credit card billing statement, now you know why.

MSN/Bing/Yahoo – They start billing for ads at a $50 threshold and then as you make successful payments they raise it based on your credit history with them. So you instantly get raised to $100 and they bill when clicks reach $100. From here on out they will keep raising your threshold up to $3,000 max (though it will probably cap at around the $500-$1200 threshold). As soon as it hits the threshold, it debits your credit card on file. This explains why you’ll see multiple charges for small amounts as opposed to one charge for everything.

Each of our customers has a unique business, seasonality, and individual quirks in their particular market. Lure Creative can help you make the best decisions when setting up your Pay-Per-Click account. Hopefully, this will help you understand the billing and budgeting a bit more clearly. Thanks for your continued business!

About the Author

Scott Christian

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