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The Perkins Journal
Perkins, Oklahoma
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July 8, 2010     The Perkins Journal
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July 8, 2010
 

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Thursday, July 8, 2010 Business 401 S. Main St., Stillwater &finance 1405"372"1647' 800-678,200] Fax 405-372.7752 1d/hat is Pay Per Click Advertising? Many businesses are look- ing for ways to increase their customer base or to increase traffic to their websites. Pay per click may be one option you may choose "jewelry" as your keyword. When- ever anyone uses Google to search for "jewelry," your ad will pop up on the right of By Dr. Suzette Barta for doing this. The general idea is that the business gets their ad placed on a site and then must pay a fiat fee every time the ad is clicked. Google and Yahoo search engines both have pay per click ad options and so does Facebook. A wonderful fea- ture of these forms of adver- tising is that the business can choose how muchit wants to pay per day. Once that limit has been reached, the ad is removed. Thus there are no surprises in terms of daily advertising costs. Google's pay per click option is called Adwords. Go to www.adwords.com to learn more or to sign up. With Google Adwords, you pay for keywords. For example, ff you sell jewelry, the screen under the head- ing of "Sponsored Links." If someone clicks on your ad, you will have to pay the predetermined amount for that click. How much will you have to pay per click? The answer is that it depends. In the example above, because "jewelry" is a highly searched-for word, the cost of using it as your keyword is going to be relatively high. The more specific you get with your keywords, the less likely they are to be searched and the less expensive they will be. For example, "Native American turquoise jewelry" is a much more specific keywordl To get an idea of what your cost per click (CPC) will be, Google the term "Google Adwords Keyword Tool," and use this tool to check your keyword. The keyword tool reveals that "Native American turquoise" will cost $0.97 per click, while "sell jewelry" will cost $2.13 per click. Even though fewer people will be searching for specific keyword "Native American turquoise," those that are will most likely be "better" visitors, since they are already pre-inclined to shop for your specific item. Yahoo Search Marketing works very similar to Google Adwords. Learn more about Yahoo's advertising options at www.advertising.yahoo.c om. Yahoo even offers a free webinar for people interested in learning more about this form of advertising. Facebook also has its own form of pay per click advertising. With Face- book advertising, you are able to filter your target audience so that your ad only appears on Facebook pages that meet your cri- teria. For example, if you want to target, young mar- ried families in Oklahoma, Facebook allows you to do that To get your ad placed, however, you will have to go through a bidding process to determine your cost per click. Once your CPC has been determined, you can set your daily budget. Once your daily budgeted amount has been reached, your ad will cease to appear. The minimum daily amount is $1.00. To learn more about Facebook advertising, go to www.facebook.com/ advertising. When it comes m driving traffic to your website, it's important to try new meth- ods like pay per click advertising. Even so, no advertising method should be followed blindly. All three companies discussed in this article offer analytical tools to help you learn more about your website traffic. Careful review of these data know if you don't give it atry. Dr. Suzene Barta is an Extension Educator, Community and Economic Development, with Payne County OSU Extension. She is also an active member o) the Perkins Community Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Perkins Area Economic Development Authority. To contact her can help you determine if regarding the content of this your ad is working or if or other articles, e-mail her it isn't. But...you'll never at sbarta@provalue.net. New Credit Card Rules and What They Mean to You Did you know that there are new roles governing the fees and penalties that credit card companies can charge you? The provisions in the Credit Card Accountability Responsi- bility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 should save con- sumers at least $10 billion a year, according to the Pew Foundation. The Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants explains why the changes are important, and offers some advice on dealing with credit cards. A Response to Consumer Concerns In recent years, many con- sumers have complained that it has become more difficult to understand how credit card deals work, since companies sometimes seemed to raise their rates without notice or imposed surprise fees on bills paid even a few hours late. Consumers felt the contract terms were often not satis- factorily explained or were difficult to understand. New Disclosures The new roles are intended to change all that. For example, with some exceptions, the terms that you agree to when you sign up for a card must stay in place for at least one year, and even promotional rates for new account hold- ers must last a minimum of six months. Once the credit card company raises rates, it can only apply them to new charges for cardholders in good standing. Rates cannot be applied retroactively to existing balances. And your payments must be applied to your highest interest-rate bal- ances first. In addition, pay- ment due dates must be clearly indicated and consistent from month to month, and the bill must be sent at least 21 days before the payment deadlines. Consumers will be told when they're about to exceed their credit limit, enabling them to avoid over-limit fees. Knowing Where You Stand It should also be some- what easier to understand your credit situation. Your monthly statement will now include information on how long it will take you to pay off your outstanding balance if you pay only the minimum due or if you pay off your debt in three years, and how much you will pay in interest in each case. These disclosures may be a valuable wake-up call for many consumers who don't realize what their outstanding balances are costing them. Just Say No When credit card corn- parties are set to raise rates or impose a new tee, they must now ask customers in advance if they will accept the new terms or would like to cancel the account before those increes go into effect and pay off their balance at the old "lower" interest rates. In the past, some consumers only realized months later that their rates had been raised, but you can now opt out of any unat- tractive deals. Read Your Mail Even though the new law contains many consumer pro- tections, it's still important to be alert to changes in the con- tract terms that could cost you money. That should be easier to do, because your credit card company in most cases must now let you know 45 days in n _S,ers Must Consider Three Generations If you're a member of Generation X -- the age group born between 1963 and 1981 -- you may well be in the busiest time of living expenses, so from an investment point of view, your biggest concern may be how you'll help them pay for college. Here's a suggestion: Put time on your side and start saving as soon as possible. You might want to consider opening a 529 college savings plan, which offers potential tax advan- tages. Saving for college is important -- but so is saving for your own retirement. Consequently, you'll have to find the right balance of resources to devote to these two goals. To avoid short- changing yourself, take full advantage of your 401 (k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan. Contribute as much as you can afford right now, and whenever you get a raise, increase your con- your life. You're probably in the early to middle stages of your career, for one thing, and if you have children, they're likely still at home. Yet despite the hectic nature of your days, you still have to look after the financial concerns of your children, yourself and possibly even your parents. This three- generational effort may seem challenging, but with some planning and persistence, you can help your family make progress toward a variety of goals. To begin with, let's consider the needs of your children. Obviously, you're already providing for their tributions. At the very least, put in enough to earn your employer's matching con- tribution, if one is offered. Your 401(k) accumulates on a tax-deferred basis, and your contributions are generally made with pretax dollars, so the more you put in, the lower your taxable income. You aren't confined to investing in a 40 1 (k), either, because you can also put money into a traditional IRA, which accumulates tax deferred, or a Roth IRA, which accumulates tax free, provided you're at least age 59 when you start making withdrawals and you've held your account at least five years. Once you've started saving for college for your kids and investing for your own retirement, you've got one more generation to consider -- the older one. For example, you'll need to make sure your parents have adequate financial protection for their health care expenses. If your parents have saved and invested throughout their lives, they may not need any financial help from you -- but that doesn't mean you'll never be called upon to straighten out their affairs. That's why now is the per 7 fect time to ask your parents some key questions: Where are your assets located? Do you have a will? How about a durable power ofattorney ? You might think these inqui- ries will make you sound "selfish," but the opposite is true: The more you know about your parents' financial situation and estate plans, the bigger help you'll be to them, and to other members of your family, if the day arrives when your parents need some assistance. It may not always be easy to act on behalf of three gen- erations -- but it's worth the effort. Matt Hull is a financial advisor for Edward Jones Investments in Stillwater. advance before it can raise its interest rates, charge you cer- tain fees or implement other significant changes. For consumers who have credit cards, the average credit card debt per house- hold is around $16,000. That means that many people are still racking up too much consumer debt and spending or would like sound advice on managing your money, be sure to tum to your local CPA. If you don't have a CPA, you can easily locate one online using the OSCPA's free, online service. Just go to www.KnowWhatCounts.org and, in addition to getting flee money management advice, you can also locate a highly much of their hard-earned qualified professional who money on interest rates. If can assist you. The referral you are having trouble han- comes with a free 30-minute dling your credit card debt, consultation. Networking for Entrepreneurs Creating a successful business network doesn't happen overnight. How- ever, it can happen in one morning. On July 15 area business owners and entrepreneurs are invited to attend the Stillwater Entrepreneur Network at Meridian Technology Center and maximize word-of-mouth advertising to create instant business networks. "Small business owners are often reluctant about describing their business to people they don't know," according to Brad Rickel- man, Assistant Director of the Meridian Technol- ogy Center for Business Development. "Strangers are simply customers that you don't know yet. The upcoming entrepreneur breakfast is a great chance for business owners to polish quick networking skills." Attendees of this event will be able to meet and connect with other entrepre- neurs while participating in an informal social network- ing period that will include a two-minute introduction and statement about their business. Participants are encouraged to bring busi- ness cards, brochures and other promotional materi- als to share. The Stillwater Entre- preneur Network meets monthly at Meridian. Each meeting includes a guest speaker and provides busi- ness owners and entrepre- neurs an informal opportu- nity to network and share ideas and experiences. All networking sessions are free and include a conti- nental breakfast. To attend the July 15 Stillwater Entre- preneur Network meet- ing please contact Diane Maddox at (405) 377-2220 or dianem@ meridian- technology.com. An RSVP is strongly encouraged. The Center for Business Development is dedicated to empowering entrepre- neurs through network- ing, education, consulting and business incubation services. Assistance is available in various areas such as marketing, prod- uct planning, international business and writing busi- ness plans. For more information or to enroll visit www.meridian- technology.com or contact a career counselor by phone at (405) 377-3333 or toll- free at (888) 607-2509. 1 kl "