In this section you will find what I consider to be the best online marketing choices for those of you who would like to cut to the chase and begin driving traffic to your business right now. SEO is a great way to promote a site, and will usually produce a higher return on investment over the long-haul in just about any industry. But SEO is a long-term strategy, and it’s often a good idea to kick-start a business with online and even off-line traditional marketing methods while working on SEO.
AdWords is the 500 Lb. Gorilla in the online paid marketing arena. With Google AdWords you can place an ad for your company and be at the very top of first page of Google within a couple of hours. This is great, but it comes at a price. One click in a competitive niche can cost $50 or much more – which is why SEO and other methods of marketing are so attractive. In a less competitive niche or area, clicks may still be in the $5 range. So don’t discount AdWords until you’ve checked it out yourself.
If you have the need and the budget for this type of advertising, make sure you target your niche, keywords, and audience location very tightly when you set up your advertising, or you can burn through a lot of money. Thinking it’s a good idea to cast a broad net is a bad idea in this medium.
Here’s a little AdWords Trick: It has come to my attention at this time, that having an active Google AdWords campaign for your site will help boost the site in the organic rankings as well. This was not always the case. This does not mean that you have to spend a lot of money, or that people even have to click on the ads. Just the fact that the ads are set up and turned on should send some of Google’s page-rank 9 link-juice to your site. It will help your site to rank better across the board. Sometimes the improvement can be dramatic.
So, if you have the budget, I recommend you set up a small Adwords campaign and bid on a couple of exact match keywords like “Website Design [Your City].” Set the ads to show only in your chosen city, and only on the Google Search Results pages (not the content network). Bid only enough to keep the ads active all the time. If you get business from this, and you make more than you spend, that’s great. Keep it up.
If you do not have the budget or desire to run a full campaign at this time I recommend you bid on at least 1-3 longtail keywords that are relevant, but that people will not really search for. In other words, if you bid on the exact match keyword, “Website Design for Doctors and Lawyers in [Your City]” more than likely no one will search for that exact term, and so you won’t have to pay for the clicks. But the ad may run and there is a good chance the site’s rankings will improve because of it.
Bing/Yahoo: Although Google has the lions share of searches, Bing and Yahoo do have their users and should not be discounted completely in a comprehensive search engine paid marketing plan. Especially if the budget allows, and measurable results are forthcoming. The methods are similar, but the cost per click can be cheaper on Bing and Yahoo. You can even import your Google Adwords campaign directly into their system if you choose to do so.
Sitescout is the leading self serve ad platform for marketing professionals. With the Sitescout platform you can place banner adds for your offer on websites in your niche within minutes. This type of advertising seems to work best for a national product as opposed to a local campaign. If you have such an offer or business, and it converts (makes you money when people do what you want them to do on your site), you can advertise here and then reinvest your profits to grow your reach, and therefore your profits.
Adroll offers the lowest cost per thousand views in the re-targeting industry. Re-targeting means that if someone visits your site, and then visits any site that’s part of their huge advertising network, the visitor will see your ad on that site, and be more likely to come back to your site to purchase your product. The people at Adroll claim that the average advertiser makes $10 for every $1 spent in advertising with them. If that holds true for you, it’s a formula for success for sure. They also have a free trial period.
Buysellads give you fully-automated, self-serve access to thousands of quality, pre-screened publishers. You can place your banner ads on websites in your niche throughout their network with ease, and without the high minimum account amount of some of Sitescout.
Direct Contact with Blog Owners will give you the best advertising rates possible, and you’ll be able to build a relationship with them over time and perhaps get better placement. Find Blogs or websites in your niche and/or area that lots of people visit, and contact the owner to place an ad. If you also set up a retargeting account at Adroll, after people visit your site once they’ll see your ad on other sites across the web, including FaceBook.
FaceBook is amazing for targeting ads, because you can narrow your audience down to sex, age, who they like, what school they went to, etc. The problem with advertising on FaceBook is that the ads were so small, and people were not there to buy. They are there to socialize. But if your offer is for something that is entertaining or that fits well with the reasons people are on FaceBook, it could deserve some of your attention for sure. FaceBook now offers advertising right in the timeline, which could work better for many ads. As mentioned, retargeting ads from Adroll can also be placed within the timeline now. Also, if you run an ad on FaceBook than takes people to a page on your site, you can place the retargeting pixel on that page. Then, wherever people go on the Internet, they will see your ad. Expect FaceBook to get even better at the advertising game as time goes on. I predict that FaceBook will be huge for advertising in the near future. It would be a good idea for you to start working with FaceBook now to learn the ropes and reap the benefits.
Google AdWords (Paid Google Ads)
Bing/Yahoo Ads (Paid Ads on Bing and Yahoo)
Sitescout (Banner Advertising Accross the Web)
Adroll (Retargeting and Display Advertising)
BuySellAds (Self Serve Banner Ads)