If you’re new to Internet marketing, then you’re probably a bit overwhelmed by all the different options you have for promoting your brand. There are a lot of different ways to advertise online – banner ads, text links, sponsored blog posts, pop-up advertising, social media, pay per action, and pay per click advertising. All of them have their positive and negative aspects. The most popular however, and most often the most effective, …and one of the more affordable ways to get your product or service noticed is to use a pay-per-click (PPC) program(s). Here’s a short list of some of the best sites and programs available.
Nobody can talk about the best pay-per-click sites without mentioning Google. Google Ad Words is far and away the number one PPC program out there, so it’s definitely worth your while to figure out how this works. One of the major factors in determining what the best pay-per-click sites are is overall traffic, and in this regard, Google trumps them all. This of course makes Ad Words popular with marketers, and makes the bidding wars for top keywords pretty fierce. Before jumping in with an all-out campaign, it would be a good idea to read some Ad Words strategy guides to see how the big boys play the game.
Trailing closely behind Google AdWords on the unofficial list of the best pay-per-click sites are Yahoo and MSN – now known as Bing since Yahoo and MSN cut a deal to have MSN’s Bing search engine as the shared search engine between the two of them. The PPC of both, i.e. Yahoo’s PPC program, Search Marketing, and MSN’s called Ad Center have merged as well, for all practical purposes, in an effort to keep up with the ‘new kids on the block’ at Google (good luck Bill). Between Yahoo and MSN, the Bing search engine pulls an extremely high volume of traffic, and most experienced marketers would agree that the quality of visitors from these sites is much better than at Google since people clicking on your ads with Bing tend to be actually interested in buying, which is of course the ultimate goal, right?
After the Big Three or rather two, there’s a steep drop-off in search traffic volume for the rest of these best pay-per-click sites. But there’s still a sufficient number of visitors to make getting acquainted with these other programs worth your time, especially if you’d like to feel your way around the whole PPC scene before taking the plunge with Google and Bing. To get an idea of how PPC works on a smaller scale, you can try Marchex AdHere, MIVA, ABC Search, and SearchFeed. There are another 50 more out there trying to make a run for Google, but really, they come up short in providing you with any great ROI (return on investment). All of them operate under the same general principles, so don’t worry about the learning curve for the different programs.
When you take the time to learn how PPC advertising can add to your bottom line, and start to play around with it some, be careful! It can get addicting! I heard one story not too long ago about a high school student that wanted sell an eBook on how to decide on a college that she had written. She did a little studying on the PPC advertising concept, took her graduation money (I think I remember it being $500 or something like) and investing it into pay-per-click advertising to sell her book. The $500 she spent on PPC advertising generated her over $4000 in eBook sales, which she reinvested $2000 of it back into her pay-per-click campaign and when the dust had settled after her rolling part of her profits back into her campaign about 4 months later, she had earned over $82,000, that is eighty-two THOUSAND dollars (in case you thought those zeros were a typo).
Yes, there is nothing like a really good organic lead generation campaign for your Website or the products that you want to sell, but IF you have a niche market and take the time to learn a bit about PPC marketing, you will quite possibly find it the best investment you have ever made. Happy selling!