I’ve recently written posts on SEO practices to avoid, and SEO practices that are effective, but some of the entrepreneurs that I coach have been focusing too much on SEO and are not entirely happy with the results. This can be expected given that even those who are SEO expects have to constantly change their methods due to updates in the way Google ranks websites. Though I encourage my clients to employ the best SEO practices, nobody should rely entirely on search engine results for their traffic. The best traffic you sources are paid traffic sources, and of the various paid traffic sources, there are none that are more efficient than Pay Per Click advertising (PPC). PPC helps you secure targeted traffic and brings in clients that are looking for your keywords, and though it does cost money, it can be very effective in driving traffic to your site. In order to understand the value of PPC, it is important to go over its benefits, so I’ve decided to list some of them here.
1: INSTANT TRAFFIC
One of the problems with relying on SEO, is that it takes a long time to build up the level of content you need to be bringing in a significant amount traffic on a regular basis. The beauty of PPC, is that it brings in traffic immediately. If you don’t want to wait and need immediate results, then and overreliance on SEO is going to leave you dissatisfied. To bring in traffic immediately, simply sign up for Google Adwords, or the more affordable Bing Ads, and starting bringing in traffic today. Once you launch a campaign, your ads will come up in search results immediately, and you will not have to wait for traffic to come in.
2: TARGETED TRAFFIC
You don’t simply want to bring traffic to your site, you want to get targeted traffic. PPC allows you to use the keywords related to your niche so that you can bring in users that are searching for those exact keywords. Not only that, but you can target people geographically as well, or factor in language, age and time of day if it is required. Because companies like Bing and Google already have the tools in place to track their users, they can bring your ads to a select demographic, something you can’t do with traditional banner ads or by using SEO exclusively. This kind of laser precision used to be impossible, but with Bing and Google, it has become a reality, and using PPC will allow you to capitalize on the tools that Bing and Google have developed.
3: TRACKING AD CAMPAIGNS
I know some people are going to get nervous when they hear the words ‘ad campaign’, especially if you are new to the online marketing, but both Bing and Google have made the process extremely easy. Sign up for Google Adwords or Bing Ads, and follow their easy step-by-step instructions. You select the wording of the ads, as well as which key words, and you can track how effective different combinations work. I will sometimes make three different ads, and then see which word combination works best. Because Bing and Google provide you with the tracking information, you get real-time results and can make adjustments after only a couple hours, rather than more traditional ad campaigns, which used to takes months of expensive market studies to evaluate.
If you have a small budget, it’s not a big deal. You can set up a specific campaign and set your own budget. If you can only afford twenty dollars one month, then that is what you set your budget at. You can run the campaign for as long as the budget lasts, put it on pause, and then start it back up when you have more money to invest. The best part of this is that you only pay when people click on your ad. With traditional banner ads, you can to pay the get your ad up, and you paid whether people click on it or not. With PPC, you only pay when a customer clicks on your ad. The traditional banner ads can be great because they can bring in an unlimited about of traffic with a single payment, but the problem is that if they don’t bring in anybody, you still have to pay, and your advertising budget can be sucked up in a short amount of time with no results. PPC will bring people to your site, or you won’t have to pay.
It is going to be extremely difficult to bring in a significant amount of traffic without spending some money, but if the money you have is limited, PPC is one of the best options you have. Google Adwords is likely the most popular program out there, but they have a strict policy and I know a lot of new users get banned from the service, so be sure to read the policy carefully. The other issue is that the bigger business increase bids on certain keywords because they know how popular Google is. For these reasons, I always encourage people to use Bing Ads. It has been my experience that Bing can bring you in more traffic on the dollar than any comparable service, though results vary from niche to niche. Before investing in PPC, however, you want to make sure that the traffic you get will return, so be sure you have something in place that allows your visitors to sign up for notifications about your new content, be it an autoresponder, RSS Feedburner, or any number of free social networking options that help you to keep your visitors coming back, because the last thing you want to do is pay for this traffic, and not see it return.
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