While we’re big fans of using SEO to make your mark online, the reality is that using PPC can be an important part of internet marketing. Mind you, the best way to get traffic online is still with SEO. However, the best way to ramp up in the short term is definitely PPC. That’s why we created this list of 5 top PPC services:
What is PPC Anyway?
Google revolutionized the Internet when they created the Adwords program. Until Google came along, everyone would sell advertising online in one of two ways. They would either sell advertising based on the number of impressions (i.e. you pay a certain amount per 1,000 impressions of an ad) or you would pay a flat fee regardless of the number of impressions for a set period of time (i.e. a certain amount for a week, a month or a year).
Google came up with a revolutionary idea – they suggested that you pay for performance. This meant that every time someone clicked on one of your ads, you would pay for it. If no one clicked, you wouldn’t pay a penny. This turned out to be better for both the publisher of the ads (who got more sales for their money) and for the owner of the websites (who earned more overall even though they didn’t get paid every time an ad was displayed).
The concept is called Pay Per Click or PPC and today it’s still considered the most effective method of purchasing advertising online (although SEO works better, it’s also slower, which is why we suggest using PPC at first and SEO as a way to gradually boost your rankings).
The granddaddy of the PPC networks, Adwords is the most widespread. I’m not necessarily so enamored of it. I’ve not heard that it has the best return on investment. However, there is one very good thing that Adwords has (well, two good things).
First, Adwords ads appear next to organic search results in Google, which is a huge plus that no one else can match. Second, Adwords will generally give you a $100 coupon for getting started. You can also set just how much you want to spend so that you don’t go over the coupon value.
I have heard very good things about the Facebook PPC program. The advantage that Facebook has over Google is that they know more about the people who are browsing their site. The big disadvantage of Facebook is that they tend to fairly pricey, so be sure that you’re getting your money’s worth because you can burn through a lot of money very quickly with Facebook’s PPC network.
I like Bing!. The site is becoming increasingly popular and seems to be gaining market share, though it is still in third place behind Google and Yahoo!. However, Microsoft also offers advertising through their network on other Microsoft properties, including the MSN home page and Hotmail.
For all that Yahoo! has lost its shine of late, the fact is that Yahoo! still has a massive, massive audience. They get around 686 million hits on a regular basis according to a recent report and are actually a trusted source for news. This means that if your product is news related, it may well do well on the Yahoo! network.
The one thing I like about Chitika is that they’re relatively cheap. They tend to have advertising on lesser known websites, but that can also be a good thing because it means that you won’t spend much and you’ll hit an audience which other PPC networks tend to miss out on.