There's more than one way to skin...
that TRAFFIC cat!
Goal-of-the-DAY... If you have a new site and the Return on Investment justifies it, jump-start your traffic-building efforts by bidding on less popular keywords related to your theme at one of the Pay-Per-Click engines.
As you recall, we are working on the Big 3 strategies for building traffic...
#1) Free Traffic (DAY 7)
#2) Paid Traffic (DAY 8)
#3) Traffic Through Relationship-Building (DAY 9)
It's time to move on to strategy #2, use paid resources.
8.1. Start Your Pay-Per-Click Campaign...
Open Accounts with Top 8 Engines
Pay-Per-Click Search Engines (PPCs) allow you to bid for specific keyword placement. They provide great opportunities for driving low-cost, supplemental traffic to your Web site.
However, PPCs are best investigated after you have a built a solid foundation of content based upon C -> T -> P -> M.
If you rely entirely on the PPCs for your traffic, you never really own your business. Once you stop paying, your visitors stop coming. On top of that, your relationship with your visitors is purely commercial so these skeptical visitors convert into customers at a much lower rate.
Instead, build trust and credibility through content, and generate much better Conversion Rates.
When is the best time to investigate the PPCs?
The answer doesn't waver. Start your research after you have created 20-30 pages of great content, and are driving sustainable free traffic from the main SEs. How do PPCs work?
Wow! Back to back good questions. Your best strategy is to work the niches. Let's suppose one of your pages focuses on the topic of "fashion models" or "engineering job search". You can bid for the #1 placement (or any other #) on the first page of search results or lower, but what's the point of being on page two?
Boy, does that save time! But there's a catch, of course. The most popular keywords have become quite expensive at Overture (now named Yahoo!
Search Marketing Solutions). And it has been adopting policies (i.e., MatchDriver and Click Index Score) that eliminate or severely hamper your ability to work the "keyword fringes." By matching more esoteric, highly-focused terms with more general, competitive terms, they have effectively eliminated many keyword bargains.
Nonetheless, there are many worthwhile alternatives to Overture, and using them can be an extremely cost-effective way to build a big list of lifetime customers in a hurry.
Let's quickly review the top 8 Pay-Per-Clicks. The grand-daddy of all the Pay-Per-Clicks is...
Overture (Yahoo! Marketing Solutions)
Overture continues to drive traffic on a scale unmatched by any other PPC, largely because its paid listings appear on many major SEs like Yahoo! and MSN Search. However, due to intense competition and policy implementations discussed earlier, Overture has become too expensive for many small businesses.
Don't dismiss Overture entirely though. If you have a great ROI, a phenomenal
Conversion Rate, or a very unique or esoteric business theme or topic, it may still be worth investigating.
Overture is no longer accepting spreadsheet submissions from advertisers spending less than $1,000 per month.
One special point about Overture...
Overture will try to "advise" you to bid in the Top 2 or 3 since so many of their major partners cherry-pick these and report them in or alongside their search results (ex., MSN, Yahoo!, etc.). But these are much more expensive and may generate lower Conversion Rates since they are perceived as ads.
For this reason, several respected SE experts have advised against bidding for top positions, recommending instead the less expensive top 5-10 positions. You will have to decide which position makes most financial sense in your situation.
Register for a bidding account with Overture at...
FindWhat's distribution network will drive plenty of traffic at the cost of a nickel per click through. FindWhat's partners include Excite, WebCrawler, MetaCrawler, and DogPile.
FindWhat also powers Lycos' InSite Adbuyer which provides right margin text advertising very similar to Google's AdWords. (Lycos' ads also appear on HotBot). And here's another handy feature. You can clone your existing FindWhat account over to Lycos.
Unfortunately, you will need to pay both deposits (i.e., set-up deposits for FindWhat and for Lycos) to get started. Not to worry though... you'll receive click through credits for every penny.
To register for a bidding account with FindWhat see...
Be careful. They may try to "brainstorm" and bid keywords for you. If they do, e-mail them to stop and tell them you will charge back on your credit card if they don't refund you.