Using pay-per-click advertising is one of the most popular and simple ways of generating traffic to your website and growing your online sales. With many great networks out there, choosing which ones to use can be confusing if you are just starting out in PPC advertising or even if you already have some experience but are trying to expand your reach.
Remember that you will either need to invest a good amount of money or a good amount of time to make PPC advertising really work for you, and you don’t want to waste either one of those on an advertising campaign that will not result in sufficient revenue for your business. When deciding which PPC sites are worth your attention, look into things such as the average cost per click, the traffic volume the network generates, the quality of that traffic and the ad conversion rates, among other factors.
Here are several of the most popular options you should look into, but keep in mind that there are many other good ones to consider.
Google remains extremely popular among users, and many advertisers choose to take advantage of the high traffic it generates. AdWords allows you to decide where your ads are placed and helps you to keep track of the effectiveness of each ad. The network has no minimum spending commitment, so you can start with as small of a budget as you like and increase it once you are happy with the results. You can target the users from certain geographic locations, or even just visitors of specific websites that best suit your advertising goals. In addition to the traditional text CPC ads, Google has helpful tools for designing image ads, as well as video ads for placement on YouTube and other popular video hosting websites. AdWords utilizes the cost-per-view model for the latter ad types.
A lot of people like to start with smaller PPC networks, testing their ads at a lower cost before they move to Google. If you are looking for an alternative to AdWords, which provides lower keyword bid prices, check out some second-tier networks such as 7Search. Keep in mind, though, that there is a catch to a lower cost. You should expect a lot less volume on 7Search than you would get with Google, and the traffic will generally be of lower quality. You likely will not see nearly as high of a conversion rate, either. The network has a minimum deposit requirement of $25, which in most cases is enough to do some proper testing of your ads, considering the low CPC rate.
Bing Ads, formerly known as Microsoft adCenter, has developed over the recent years into a strong competitor to Google AdWords. Bing search engine accounts for almost one third of the U.S. search share, and although the traffic you will get through Bing Ads is still lower than that of AdWords, it is high-quality traffic. You can expect to spend less on your ad campaigns here with the lower CPC rates, but still get a high conversion rate when done correctly. This is a great option for those marketers who have been banned from AdWords for one reason or another, and as well as those that consider Bing their primary search engine.
Among the ad network’s negatives, users have reported invalid click detection, which led to unnecessary spending. On top of that, you might end up paying the maximum CPC that you have entered when your bid is facing zero competition. On the positive side, you can still get a good return on your investment with Bing Ads, while paying less for the clicks and not having to worry about being banned for any small violation.
Launched just four years ago, this network is still relatively new to the PPC market, but it’s quickly gaining popularity among advertisers. What Ad Dynamo did differently from most of its competitors is that it incorporated the features of both Google AdWords and Google AdSense, giving its users the ability to create a single account for both advertising and publishing. But while the network has taken the advertising side very seriously, the publishing aspect has a lot of flaws. Its publishers, who are paid a very low CPC, quickly lose interest. As more advertisers have been joining, however, the bidding wars have been allowing for better CPC for publishers. This, in turn, has been giving advertisers a more stable platform for their campaigns. It will take some time before Ad Dynamo becomes a real competitor to networks such as Google, but the fact that it has implemented pretty much all of the Google’s PPC features means that it has a lot of potential.
ADsmonster is another newer option in the PPC marketplace. It has several features that help it stand out among competitors, such as a personal manager that will keep track of your stats, payments and feed coverage, which could potentially save advertisers a lot of time. The network requires a $50 minimum deposit and pays its users on a NET7 basis or daily per request. While CPC is generally very low, some ads are placed on websites irrelevant to their content.
To sum it all up, Google AdWords remains by far the most popular player in the PPC field, but there are many alternatives you can try, helping you diversify your marketing campaigns. In addition to the services listed above, others worth mentioning include Kanoodle, LookSmart and Advertise.com.
Sources for this article include: