Google Adwords is one of the best tools for small business owners looking to drive traffic to their web sites. Google is the most-used internet search engine on the planet and many online publishers place Google ads on their sites to earn revenue. For advertisers who are uncomfortable with the thought of relying on Google for ad support or who want to include other ad companies in their campaigns, there are Adwords alternatives who offer good service and decent reach (although not the almost global reach of Google).
Here are other online ad providers that can be used as an alternative to Google:
- Yahoo!. Yes, Google’s underachieving sibling is still around. Its Search Marketing service is actually a decent alternative to Adwords. Plenty of people still visit Yahoo! daily to use its search engine, so your site will still get lots of traffic. What’s more, Yahoo! search marketing can prove much cheaper than Adwords. At the very least, it is worth doing an experiment to see whether Google or Yahoo! can provide you a better ratio of traffic to cost.
- Newer search marketing firms are worth a look because there is less competition for keywords. Fewer people search on young sites like Bing.com, but those who do will see your ads more than they will on more established sites. Again, it’s a trade-off, but one that could work out well if you ads are consistently being featured on Bing.
- Facebook Ads. Love it or hate it (or just feel tired of hearing about it all the time), Facebook is a powerful marketing tool. You can place ads on the world’s most popular web site and target them towards whatever demographic and location that you choose. These ads are also good because they help you build up a community of Facebook followers (friends and fans) who can help give your business a higher profile.
- Choose one of the underdogs. Companies like Chitika and Adbrite can place your ads on member web sites but not on major search engines. You can still get a fair amount of traffic if your ad is featured on popular blogs or sites. Like Adwords, users have to click on your Chitika or Adbrite ad before you have to pay for it. Chitika is known for its customer support and is a good choice for online retailers who want to launch an advertising campaign.
- Paid posts. If you truly want to market to a specific demographic, paid posts might prove more effective than a pay-per-click advertising program. There are companies that can arrange for your product to be featured on a popular blog, or you can contact blog writers directly with an offer. If you are selling travel insurance, for example, what could be better than getting a mention on a popular travel blog? Sure, this takes a little more leg work on your part, compared to programs that do the placements for you, but you will save money overall.
- Join an affiliate program. If you are an online retailer (or even a brick-and-mortar retailer or service provider with the ability to also sell online), affiliate programs might offer the most cost effective, lowest-risk way to get your product advertised. Affiliate programs do not charge per click. Rather, you have to pay nothing until your product or service is sold. Then, you have to pay a percentage to the site that referred the customer. Initially, this might be a negative. You’ll be making less per sale. However, if you consider the overall profit (100 sales with $5 profit each is better than a 10 sales for $10 profit), this could prove to be a good deal once the money is all counted. Aside from some small fees, affiliate marketing requires no upfront money.
Mark Rodgers has been blogging about online marketing for 4 years. He also contributes to various blogs about online insurance quotes and uses for qr codes.