This is a how-to article explaining how you can use online advertising services to gain more traffic to your website.
As you begin to advertise your website you're going to come across various paid advertising services. Over the years there have been countless forms of paid online advertising offered by various companies. In this hub I will try and familiarize you with some of these paid advertising services. I will also attempt to show you the difference between some of these various forms of paid advertising so that you'll have a better understanding of where to spend your advertising dollars.
When you're just starting out paid advertising is totally optional. You have hundreds of other strategies for marketing your site at no cost. However, there is some significant advantages to paid advertising that you need to be aware of before you start advertising your site, and why paid advertising is so important.
Advantages of Paid Advertising Services
The main advantage of paid advertising is that you can instantly buy as much targeted traffic a you're budget affords you. The other main advantage is simply that it speeds up the process by which you can test your new site, idea, product, or sales pitch. Paid advertising will allow you to:
- Launch your site into profit faster than just using free advertising
- Test your sales pitches effectiveness quickly and easily
- Test to see what the demand or response is for your product or service
- Conduct split testing quickly
- Paid traffic is constant and predictable
- Calculate how much each visitor is worth to your website
- Secure market share faster than your competitors
- Build your database of prospects and clients faster
- Build your affiliate program faster
- Build your exchange of links with other sites faster
- Quickly eliminate errors or unforeseen challenges with your site, hosting, or other key elements of your operation
- Quickly determine the profitability of your site
- Gain consistent website traffic
- Develop an advertising budget based on your cost per click and your conversion rate
- Determine if there is a market for what you're selling
- Grow exponentially faster than compared to just free advertising
- Secure immediate top ranking in the major search engines
- Rapidly build company brand
- You can rapidly see a return on each dollar you invest, of which you can continue to use to spend on more advertising giving you exponential growth.
- Start to build up your Alexa ranking, and your Google page rank
- Start seeing immediate sales and profits
And these are just some of the reason why paid advertising is so important to growing your business quickly.
There are tons of different types of paid advertising services available online. Some of these advertising companies sell software that is designed to promote your website. Others sell various forms of exclusive advertising services designed to send visitor traffic to your site. I recommend that you be willing to invest in both services and software. As the more traffic you can get, and the quicker you can get it, the better.
Purchasing Advertising Software
Do a search on the internet for reviews on the software before making your purchase. (i.e.: "Name-of-software reviews") This will allow you to gain an unbiased opinion on what the software is really like and what it can really produce for you.
Some software is basically a one shot deal. For example the software has a database of emails, or classified ad sites and it will send out your advertising to only that one database. So after you use it once it's next to obsolete. However other software is more dynamic. These types of software allow you to either tap into a database that is constantly being updated or else allows you to create your own database. Again this database will depend on what type of advertising the software provides. (i.e.: email database, links exchange partner database) These types of software are more valuable and worth more as you can continue to use them on a regular basis to gain more and more advertising.
How user friendly is the software? Check to see what is mentioned in the software reviews. Even though you would think that most software being developed in this day and age is all completely intuitive and user friendly, it's not. And if it ends up requiring you to spend endless hours figuring it out, or having to hire someone else to run it for you then it may or may not be for you.
How much the software is worth to your business will depend on a number of factors such as: what the useful life of the product is, how much traffic you'll be able to generate with it and how efficient it is to use. Generally these products range in price from $20 to as high as $1000. Also beware that some software products are a one time fee to download the software, while others tag on monthly fee's for things like support, or access to their updated databases and things of that nature. So try to determine before you buy what your real ROI is going to be.
You also need to consider how long the software will remain current with changing internet trends. Generally speaking you should be able to get some use out of it before it might become outdated, or the company making it no longer offers or supports it. Other factors that will influence the life of a piece of software include things such as regulations, and governing bodies dealing with the type of advertising it's providing. For example if you're software deals with search engines and the search engines change their criteria that they use to accept listings, this type of a change could make a software or service obsolete. With the rapid changes in the internet generally the useful life of a piece of advertising software is between 1 and 3 years.
Have other users already exhausted the effectiveness of the software? This is common with any kind of software that has a static database that is not available to be updated. If the advertising provided by the software has already been saturated by other customers then it may not be a wise investment. You can check the software reviews to try and determine this. Generally as s rule of thumb if it doesn't have some type of dynamic database then it's likely it could be overused and not worth the investment.
What guarantees does the developer promise you? Both in terms of the amount of traffic that is possible to derive using the software, as well as what money back guarantees are there if for some reason you can't get the results you want.
Minimum hardware requirements: This is usually not a factor but if you're using an older computer then it could be wise to ensure that your system has the computing power to run it.
Competitive Products: Before making your purchase see what the prices of competitive products are going for and what functions they offer. How does it rank compared with competitive products?
Support and Training: What support or training is available in case you have problems with it? Do they have a 1-800 number you can call or do they only provide support by email.
Purchasing Advertising Services
Again, you can do a search on the internet for reviews on the particular advertising service. (i.e.: "Name-of-service reviews") This will allow you to gain an unbiased opinion on what the service is really like and what it can really produce for you.
Again, is the service a one shot deal where you pay a fee to advertise to a static database? Or does the service allow you to continually reach out to new markets with some kind of dynamic platform.
Again, how easy is the service to understand and apply to your website advertising campaign.
Again, are you paying a one time fee or is it reoccurring? Generally online advertising services are a reoccurring fee often based on the amount of traffic you purchase.
How long will it remain current with changing internet trends?
Is the service over used and has already been saturated by other users?
Again what are the guarantees of the service provider and also the refund policy?
How does it rank compared with competitive products?
Support and Training
What support or training is available in case you have problems with it? Do they have a 1-800 number you can call or do they only provide support by email.
Types of Paid Advertising
As you begin to advertise your site you'll find all sorts of different websites selling internet advertising software and services. Here are a list of some of these services and software that are available:
Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising is a type of online advertising in which advertisers pay for visitors to their websites on a Cost Per Click (CPC) basis. The people buying the advertisments only pay when somebody clicks on a link and visits their site. The difference between PPC advertising and "traditional" online advertising is that with PPC advertisers only pay according to how many times their ad is displayed. With Pay Per Click Adverting, an ad can be displayed many times, but the advertiser pays nothing unless a Web searcher actually clicks on the ad. When done correctly, PPC Advertising can produce highly targeted traffic -- the most sought-after and valuable entity on the Web.
Search Engines that sell PPC advertising basically let advertisers bid on specific keywords and key phrases. Advertisers will choose ones that are relevant to whatever product or service their trying to promote. Advertisers can also further filter their bids by geolocation to narrow down their target audience. The higher the amount an advertiser is paying, then higher they will be placed amongst other ads for the same keywords by other advertisers.
The cost for buying PPC ads can vary in a huge way from a few pennis per click to a few dollars. This is based on how popular the keywords and phrases being bid on are. For example a very niche key phrase such as the specific name of your company will be extremely cheap, but a popular key phrase such as "Credit Cards" or "Insurance Quotes" could cost up to $15+ per click in some instances.
Pay Per Call
Pay Per Call works similarly to click-based advertising, except that it drives phone leads to your business, rather than clicks to an Ecommerce website.
Like click-based advertising, Pay Per Call enables you to:
- Easily sign up as an advertiser and create online advertisements
- Bid for prominence in search results
- Manage budgets and accounts using a secure 24/7 account manager
For online-search engine and directory consumers, Pay Per Call works like this: Consumers search for merchants or service providers in a designated geographic area. Then, relevant Pay Per Call ads appear in search results. When your business's ads appear in search results, consumers can reach you via the toll-free numbers that is often provided with your Pay Per Call ads. These toll-free numbers forward calls directly to your business number as well as track calls for billing and reporting purposes. For each call that comes to your business this way, you pay the price per call that you bid in advance.
Traffic brokers specialize in providing website traffic to paid clients through a number of means. They get their traffic through means such as: networks of websites that sell advertising space and abandon website addresses. The traffic they sell is generally somewhat targeted, usually based on generalized categories that relate to different industries. You can purchase advertising in bulk from anywhere form 10,000 visitors or more at a time. The traffic generally arrives at your website in a rapid pace of several thousands visitors per day depending on your industry. Generally the traffic coming from brokers is of lower quality, so they sell it at bargain basement prices such as in some cases at less than 1 cent per click.
These are companies that have large networks of websites that sell and exchange advertising space. This advertising space comes in the form of pop ups, banner ads, button ads, and text ads. You submit your banner, button, popup, or text ad to them and purchase a contract of impressions. Each impression means that your ad will appear 1 time to one visitor to whichever site it appears on in their network. You generally can purchase large banner impression packages of at least 10,000 or more. Because you're ad has a low percentage that it will be clicked on these impressions sell for bargain basement prices at less than 1 cent per impression. Also you'll pay more for the size of each impression ad you display, such each large pop up impression will sell for more than a small text ad impression.
Email List Brokers
Email list brokers have websites and systems set up which have allowed them to develop or purchase enormous email databases. These are email addresses of people who have "opted-in" to receive various offers relating to specific areas of interest. For a fee you can send your email advertisement to the list broker. They will then send out the email for you to their list. And because it's coming from the list broker who is already in contact with these database of people your message won't appear as spam. Although the response rate is low the ROI is actually quit high using these email lists. Another form of this is that the email broker will actually sell you the list. You then can use the list as much as you want using your bulk email software. However, generally these lists offer lower quality response.
Search Engine Specialists
These individuals or companies have expertise when it comes to understanding search engines. They offer various services that promise to give you top ranking in the major search engines. They do this by sometimes making changes to the html or coding on your website. They also commonly create what are known as "doorway pages" which are simply pages that are content weighted toward a certain keyword, allowing that doorway to show up in the major search engines when someone types in that keyword. Others companies simply will create accounts with the pay per click search engines on your behave and charge you inflated prices to get you bid into the top of the paid listings in the major search engines. However, that is really something you can simply do yourself simply by going to any of the PPCSE's. So just be sure they explain to you how they're going to get you the top rankings.
Many directory sites as well as search engines will index or list your site for a fee. These are what are known as paid inclusions. Generally they simply charge a one time fee to allow their website spyder, or human agent, to visit your site to determine what keywords or categories it should appear under. This can reap a high return on investment however you need to thoroughly research the directory you're thinking of listing with to ensure that it is getting large amounts of traffic. Also, conduct some searches with the directory or search engine to try and determine where your site would rank if you paid for an inclusion. Many of these directories only show PPC ads at the top of the rankings in which they are a member of that PPCSE's affiliate program. So if you end up at the bottom of the list under a certain keyword or category it may not be worth it.
Many sites sell advertising space direct. You can rent this advertising space to display your banner, pop-under, button, or text ad. Many sites will also sell space in their newsletters or act as a email broker to rent you their list. You can rent the webspace in a variety of ways such as by impression, per clickthrough, or for an agree upon length of time. Often times this can be a cost effective solution as many smaller sites which still receive solid levels of traffic will allow you to display your ad for 6 months or a year at bargain basement prices. This strategy works great if you can find sites that receive the same type of targeted traffic that you do, but which are not selling anything and are more just "informational sites". Many of these sites would be glad to receive any extra cash flow possible off their site. Also don't take the first price they give you. Be willing to negotiate with them to get a lower price. Also when dealing with individual sites, never pre pay months in advance. Only pay for a month at a time if possible. That way they can't take your money, in the unlikely event that something unforeseen was to happen to them or their site.
Site Submission Services
These are companies that offer to submit your "site" to large databases of search engines, directories, newsgroups, or classified ad sites. You simply submit your information to them and for a fee they will supposedly send submit your listing to their database. These services can be beneficial as long as you can find the more reputable ones to deal with. These services can save you tremendous time as compared to doing it yourself. Search engines and directories these would be less likely to end up being saturated by these types of services. Conduct a thorough review on the company before using them.
Ad Submission Services
These are companies that offer to submit your "ad" to large databases of newsgroups, forums, or classified ad sites. You simply submit your information to them and for a fee they will supposedly send submit your listing to their database. Again, these services can be beneficial when dealing with the more reputable ones. These services can save you tremendous time as compared to doing it yourself. However, keep in mind that countless others must have already used the service before you, so their database might already be saturated and end up being low quality. Conduct a thorough review on the company before using them.