Have you ever wondered why pay-per-click advertising continues to be an integral part of Internet marketing? The simplest answer is that the concept works.
The truth of the matter is pay-per-click, or PPC for short, has ascended from a typical online marketing trend to a staple, a constant feature, in the world of online advertising. When it comes to Internet marketing, we’ve all heard of the importance of search engine optimization (SEO), social search optimization (SSO), content marketing, and all of their various forms and evolutions over the past few years.
In all of the changes and transformations of the way Internet marketing is being approached, the trends that have come and gone and those that continue to remain essential to the process, there is one component that stayed true to its purpose and that is pay-per-click marketing.
But what is pay per click , exactly? And how can your business benefit from it?
If, for some unfortunate reason, this is the first time you have heard of the term, here is a quick lowdown on what is PPC and how it affects brand awareness and your business as a whole:
PPC, or pay-per-click, is an Internet marketing model that is essentially a form of buying online traffic or visits to your business website. This is how it works: advertisers (that’s you) pay a certain amount or a specific fee for each time your ad is clicked by a user. The ads are usually in the form of banners, which you often see on the left or right hand sections of web pages.
When a user clicks on a banner, he or she will immediately be directed to a landing page on your website, thus creating inbound traffic. PPC is the exact opposite of what SEO is trying to achieve, which is generating web traffic through organic means.
Wait. There’s more!
Pay-per-click marketing comes in many forms, but one of the most popular PPC methods is search engine advertising. Basically, advertisers bid for ad placement in the search engine’s sponsored links section.
When a user performs a search using specific keywords, and one of those keywords is associated with your business, your ad or your business website will then appear in the sponsored links section in the SERP, or the search engine results page. And needless to say, the sponsored links section is located at the very top of the SERP, a position that takes a lot of time and hard work to accomplish when you’re doing it organically through traditional SEO methods.
But there’s a catch.
Just because you have a PPC campaign doesn’t mean that it’s a guaranteed success. There’s a lot that goes into a successful pay-per-click strategy, from comprehensive user-intent and keyword research to organizing the data you’ve gathered and using them to form a cohesive ad campaign in order to promote your business to a targeted audience.
Developing a strong PPC campaign also involves creating user-friendly landing pages that are optimized for conversion as well as for mobile and smartphone users. As you well know, majority of consumers nowadays use smartphones and other mobile devices to surf the web, so you need to keep this in mind when creating your landing pages.
The Dominance of Google AdWords
When it comes to PPC advertising, no system is more popular globally than Google AdWords. This particular platform allows businesses to create and develop ads that will appear on Google’s search result pages, as well as their other properties online.
This is significant because, well, Google is simply the most widely used search engine in the world. And if you want to maximize your reach when it comes to your target audience, Google is the best and most logical solution to make that happen.
But Google AdWords is not the only pay-per-click advertising system out there. There are a lot of alternatives that you can try to further enhance your capabilities as far as promoting your business to the right consumers is concerned. But what are these alternatives, and are they as effective and far-reaching as Google’s AdWords?
What Is PPC: Great Alternatives to Google AdWords
It’s true that when people talk about PPC ad campaigns, the first thing that goes through their minds is Google AdWords. That alone says a lot about the popularity and dominance of Google’s PPC advertising system.
But even though AdWords is indeed an excellent PPC ad network, there are other alternatives that are more cost-effective. Let’s be honest, as good as the AdWords system is, it also carries quite a hefty cost even with precise audience targeting and meticulous keyword selection. With that said, here are a few alternatives that you might find quite agreeable as far as cost and efficiency are concerned:
1. Facebook Paid Ads
Facebook is arguably the largest social media platform in the world with over a billion users. Think about it for a second. If your goal is to get your message across a wider audience, there’s nothing more far-reaching and extensive as this social media giant.
Facebook caters to a wide demographic, across age barriers, interests, and social classes. This system allows businesses to target specific audiences with their strategically placed ads. The bottom line? You can choose to show your ads to a specific age group, gender, interests, and even locations if you’re serving a particular locale.
If search engine PPC campaigns or social network paid ads is just not your thing and advertising on popular blogs is more in line with how you want your brand presented online, then here’s a great option for you.
BlogAds is another PPC ads network that focuses on placing ads on popular blog sites. Furthermore, this particular system also caters to social media ads, which can serve as a great alternative to Facebook paid ads if reaching out to social media users is also one of the core objectives of your PPC campaign.
3. Yahoo!/Bing Ads Network
It’s no secret that Yahoo! and Bing are rivals when it comes to the field of search engines, even though Microsoft (which owns and operates Bing) made a deal with the former to power Yahoo! Search back in 2009.
Both Bing and Yahoo! are only second and third, respectively, when it comes to the query volume, with Google taking the top spot. In order to compete with Google AdWords, the two combined forces to make up the Yahoo!/Bing Ads PPC system, formerly known as Microsoft AdCenter.
This particular system is not exactly a cheaper alternative when it comes to overall cost. However, it is still worth considering especially since when done correctly, your PPC campaigns could potentially yield huge returns.
For a cost-efficient paid advertising system, 7Search is one of the oldest and fairly effective alternatives to Google AdWords. This is certainly not the most popular option out there, but with the right strategy and research, this system could work for you.
Because it’s low-cost, 7Search is often used by businesses for conducting tests and experiments for targeted keywords and to determine the efficiency of their campaign. But that’s not all—this paid ad system is also ideal for small startups with limited advertising budget to deliver their message to a specific niche. With the right approach and technique, 7Search could work for you.
If 7Search is one of the oldest paid ads networks available, BuySellAds is probably one of the largest systems you can use to effectively and successfully improve brand awareness through banner ads all over the web.
If your business caters to a very tight niche, especially in the field of Internet and technology, you will have an excellent choice of high-quality sites and pages to advertise in, ensuring a lot of eyeballs from quality consumers that may have an interest with your products and services.
When it comes to choosing the best PPC advertising system, or at least determining the best alternative to Google AdWords, it really is difficult to say. Why? Well, determining the success of a PPC ad campaign is not just about the vehicle you choose, it’s also about the strategy, the amount of effort and research you put into developing your campaign, and the expertise and dedication of the PPC management company you choose to employ.
The bottom line is it takes more than Google AdWords, Yahoo!/Bing Ads, or any other viable alternative to make an effective and successful PPC ad campaign. You can’t make delicious lasagna with just the pasta alone. You need all the other ingredients to make the perfect dish that everyone will enjoy.