Making Pay Per Click Pay Big Dividends


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By Hector E. Cisneros

The chief specialist cognac of business of Mol...
The chief specialist cognac of business of Moldova. The beginning of 70th years. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There's no question  pay per click Internet advertising is an effective means of garnering leads and finding prospects for many companies. However, large numbers of small businesses have found they've yet to crack the code needed to make pay per click profitable. Pay per click has many elements and it has often been compared to art rather than science.  In this article, we'll explore the ins and outs of pay per click and teach you how to hedge your bets so that pay per click pays big dividends for your business.

It All Starts With Research


If you're planning to engage in pay per click advertising, you need to start with a plan. You'll need to research and understand your unique selling proposition, your ideal customer profile/s and you'll need to know what hot button keywords people are keying in when they search for your products.

Your ideal customer profile and your selling proposition need to come from your internal research, where you've taken the time to analyze your customer base in order to determine why customers are buying from you. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to ask your existing customers via a survey what they're keying in when they search for your products. Once you have an idea of what they're typing in a search, you need to go to Google’s keywords you're interested in. This keyword tool will also show you other possible phrases you may want to consider.

Key Words/Phrases are Important


Keyword not provided
Keyword not provided (Photo credit: bloeise)
My partner, Carl Weiss, always says a Google search is like a question and your Landing Page needs to be the perfect answer. So in pay per click, the keyword that people type in is the question they're asking and your pay per click keyword purchase ad needs to be the answer. What I'm saying  is not only do you have to bid on the right keywords in your pay per click auction; your ad also has to have the right keywords in it as well! If a person types in "oranges from Florida" and your ad says "navel oranges from California," they may just skip over your ad and click on another one that has the word "Florida"in it. 

Negative Keywords are Important, Too


Negative keywords also matter in that these phrases will improve your click-through and purchase rates. They can also lower your cost and increase your ROI. A negative keyword is a word or phrase you don’t want people keying in to find your product or service. If we continue to follow our preview example, a negative keyword phrase could be “the history of orange growing in Florida.”

Your Ad Copy Can Make or Break the Deal


Ad copy is always extremely important. If your ad copy doesn't motivate a person to click on it, winning a bid position means nothing. Your ad copy needs to include the keywords along with a clear and enticing offer. It also needs to be competitive in terms of price versus your competitions'. (Having a great ad and a lousy price will not make your cash register jingle.) If there are any inconsistencies in the ad it will fail. Also, if the ad is different than the content listed on the Landing Page it will fail.

What Does the Competitions' Ad Copy Look Like?


Your competition also matters. If they're advertising a very similar product at a lower price, they'll get most of the conversions.  If their position on the page is better than yours, they'll usually win. If  they're on Page One with a higher price and you're at the bottom of Page One with a lower price they'll still probably win.

Paid Position is Important


Your physical position on the page of Google search is very important. You want to shoot for position three, four or five, if possible. If your budget doesn't allows for buying these positions, then go for position four, five and six. If your budget doesn't afford you  showing up "above the fold" on page one of Google search, then realize you'll get fewer clicks and often lower quality clicks than those who can afford to pay for position three, four or five.

A/B Testing is Extremely Important


One of the most common mistakes business owners make is not testing their ads to see how well they work. Oftentimes, they'll come up with a concept, plug it into AdWords and assume  this is the best that they can do. The reality is the exact opposite. I can’t tell you how many times I've created several ads, had a winner in mind only to find out  my test proved that a different ad was the better performer. Sure, after you've created and running these kinds of ads for a few years you get good at it, but the only real way to see which ad produces the best return on investment is to AB test the ads.

I suggest you always create at least four ads for any campaign and then launch your test and run it for at least 15 days. If you have the budget, run it for 30 days. This shouldn't be a losing proposition if the ads don’t perform well. (Remember: it's pay per click so if they're not clicking you're not paying). A bigger problem is you get lots of clicks but very little conversion. We'll address conversion later in this article.

Different Platforms May Require Different Messages 



So far we've been mainly talking about Google search. However, there are many other pay per click venues out there for you to choose from. There’s Yahoo and Bing search, there are mobile versions of all the major search engines, and there are social networks where you can run pay per click as well. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter also have pay per click models.  Each venue has different rules and audiences. So, if you create an ad that works well in one venue that doesn’t guarantee it will work well with others. Again the only way to tell is to do your AB testing in each advertising platform. Ideally, if you have the right budget, you would test all venues simultaneously to not only see which ads work best, but also find out which platforms perform best and which provide the best return on investment.

Always Set "S.M.A.R.T." Goals Based on Your Real Budget


S.M.A.R.T. Goals allow you to be objective in your search for effective pay per click ads and platforms. S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based. Creating any other kind of goal will be less meaningful and will cost you more than you should be spending.

A realistic budget is based on two factors. First, what can you afford, and secondly, what does it take to be found and clicked on. If you’re in a very competitive and mature market, you may have a tough row to hoe. It's always tougher and costs more to compete in these types of arenas. It’s quite possible to have a budget that you can afford, but it won't get the job done. It’s also possible that the same money spent on a different platform can make that same budget work for you.

Set a Realistic Goal Based on Your Budget


Once you have a realistic budget, you need to set realistic goals. Your ultimate outcome also has to be a S.M.A.R.T. Goal. Your goal needs to include the number of leads you need to generate, phone calls received, and/or sales created. These goals need to have time limits tied to them, such as garnering five leads a week or closing 12 sales a month, etc. Also, you have to be prepared to do the testing up front in order for your goals to be realistic. Otherwise, you could spend a year or more and still not understand your market. By then, you would have either wasted a substantial amount of money, or if you did the testing, would have discovered how and where to land your next prospect.

Set a Realistic Time Frame for Your Test


Your time frame for your ROI should be tied to your business plan. That means it should be tied to your sales forecasts along with your annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly sales goals. If you've been in business for a while, you should have a handle on what are realistic weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual sales projections. If not, you'll  have to make your best guess and then measure against it. Either way, you'll be measuring against the time frame in your projections. If the difference is drastic, then you need to either adjust to reality or figure out what you're doing wrong. AB testing is a great way to understand what is realistic and what is just a W.A.G., (a wild guess).

Conversion is the Next Step


Now that we've discussed the importance of AB testing, we need to discuss what you're testing for. In other words, what are clients looking for when they visit your Landing Page? In this part of our testing, we're looking to improve the conversion rate. Any Landing Page worth its salt has to have five elements that people are looking for. These elements add to your company's credibility and also help keep the visitor's mind focused on what their original search was for in the first place. The more information and or subjects listed on a Landing Page, the greater the chance the visitor will be distracted, feel like this isn't what they were looking for, or get frustrated by not easily finding what they were looking for.

If a person is searching for "Florida oranges" and your Landing Page lists "apple, bananas and oranges," they now have to make additional decisions instead of knowing that their search is over. Every primary product(s) (your "cash cows," so to speak) each need their own focused Landing Page. Likewise, each main product or service you sell needs its own focused marketing messages on its own focused Landing Page. If you want the page to be effective with a higher conversion rate (i.e., turning clicks into leads, phone calls or cash), then this is the only way to go. Even e-commerce pages should be focused. Yes, they can show add-ons and up sales, but the pages themselves need to be primarily about one product or service.

Five elements every Landing Page needs to build credibility:
  • Bold Headings based on keywords - above the fold
  • Focused message based on keywords - key bullet points above the fold
  • Easy to understand and competitive offer - above the fold
  • Testimonials – video or hand-written – above the fold
  • Easy-to-find contact information, including address and map - above the fold

Organic Position Also Matters


The main reason having organic position matters is because if your business is showing up in both pay per click and organic listings, your chances of being clicked on goes up increases as much as 98%. All things being equal, most prospects will select an organic listing over a paid advertisement, seven out of ten times. If you're showing up in the organic listing above the fold, most people will select you as one of their primary choices.

In this article, I've provided an in-depth explanation of what pay per click advertising is and how it can help you make money. I've provided the key factors needed for your success. I covered the importance of paid listing position, budgetary considerations, AB testing, differences between pay per click platforms, and much more.

If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, family and co-workers. If you feel you have something to add or just want to leave a comment, do so below. It's been my pleasure sharing with you our view of the current state of search engine marketing. I look forward to reading your comments. Thanks again for reading and sharing. 

If you like this article, you can find more by typing “pay per click” or "advertising" in the search box at the top left of this blog.
  
That's my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.


If you'd like a free copy of our eBook, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century," please fill in the form below and we'll email it to you. Your information is always kept private and is never sold.



Hector Cisneros is a partner, COO and Social Media Director for WorkingTheWebToWin.com, based in Jacksonville, FL. You can connect with him on TwitterFacebookGoogle+LinkedIn, and YouTube. He is also the co-host of Blog Talk Radio’s “Working the Web to Win,” where he and Carl Weiss make working the web to win simple for every business. Hector is a syndicated writer for EzineOnline and is an active blogger (including ghost writing). He's a published author of two books, "60 Seconds to Success"(on sale at Amazon and BHYPERLINK "http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/60-seconds-to-success-hector-cisneros/1102590716?ean=2940012849052"&HYPERLINK "http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/60-seconds-to-success-hector-cisneros/1102590716?ean=2940012849052"N) and "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century."

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Unplug and Get Away From It All


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Today’s blog is all about getting away! If you are looking to really get away from it all this summer,
to offer you some destinations that you won't find at your local travel agency.  The Internet can connect you to exotic locales that are truly out of this world.  In this article we will explore a number of unusual vacation concepts including space tourism, the top five underwater hotels, an igloo village, a guided tour allowing us Paris' sewer and an ice hotel in Sweden, just to name a few. 

Going Mobile


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The Internet has been going mobile for the past few years.  In fact, there are now more people accessing the Web on their Smartphones than there are on all the world's computers ... combined.  Yet few businesses are exploiting the clear advantages that going mobile can bring by 
Is the PC Dead? 2 Decades of PC Obituaries
Is the PC Dead? 2 Decades of PC Obituaries (Photo credit: IntelFreePress)
adapting their online marketing model. In this week's article, we'll talk about what it takes to start raking in the chips and upgrade your Web presence with smart mobile marketing.

Here's a NEWSFLASH


There are 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide.  This is surprising, considering the current world population is just a little over 7.1 billion (men, women and children).  More surprising: mobile usage has jumped more than 1 billion during the past three years alone. Of that, more than one billion subscribers are now Smartphone equippedhttp://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/latest-mobile-stats/a

What this means to business owners and managers is that if they have yet to embrace mobile marketing, they could be missing the boat.  The problem for many is the fact that it took them nearly 20 years to learn how to effectively add the Internet to their marketing mix.  Now many are reluctant to jump on the mobile bandwagon since they believe it will require the expenditure of yet more time, energy and money.
HTML5 oval logo, see W3C HTML5 logo) Fran├žais ...
HTML5 oval logo, see W3C HTML5 logo) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today, mobile marketing encompasses text messaging, direct email marketing, mobile Websites, blogs, video portals, mobile apps, mobile social, article marketing and QR code marketing. All of these can produce Web presence traffic, increased click though, contact form leads, and phone sales. Let's look at these individually.

HTML 5 to the Rescue


While it's true Smartphone users can -- and do -- surf the Web, most Websites created before 2012 rely on code that forces most people to squeeze many Websites down to size in order to read them.  This is not only inconvenient.  It usually means most people will choose to surf elsewhere almost immediately.  HTML 5 creates a site that can detect and reconfigure itself to make it easier for tablet and Smartphone users to view without having to manipulate the site to make it fit their particular platform.  Better still, HTML 5 works with most browsers.  Plus, it makes embedding video as easy as embedding images was with HTML 4.

Don’t Know HTML, How About Mobile Blogger!


Don't have the money to pay for a Website? Build a blog site with Blogger and kill two birds with one stone. Google owns Blogger, so you know it'll get indexed in the search engines. More importantly, Blogger automatically creates a mobile version of your blog site. Blogger isn't just for blogs. You can build a full-fledged Web presence that includes everything that is currently listed on other Website (your Home, About, Product, Sale and Service pages, and more). Plus, it can hold your blog articles, a major component in any serious online marketing effort. Best of all, 
"JAMES WHATLEY, Mobile phone blogger"
"JAMES WHATLEY, Mobile phone blogger" (Photo credit: whatleydude)
Blogger's hosting is FREE. If you feed your blog weekly and push out your article to your social nets and get others to do the same, you'll generate traffic, build a following, and sell more products. These blog articles can also be easily tied into Yahoo/Bing streaming mobile ads as well.

Of course, it can still be a chore for Smartphone readers to view a site if it has a lot of text. I need a 12-inch tablet to make reading practical. That’s why I still recommend every business owner and manager spend a few bucks to create a .mobi site that uses videos to showcase their business in a size anyone can VIEW. There is at least one other advantage to creating a .mobi site: many prime URLs are still up for grabs that can help your business generate more traffic.

Make an App for That


Some businesses have embraced mobile marketing in a big way by having mobile apps created that not only allow them to get a jump on the mobile craze, but also allow them to do some pretty sophisticated things online.  Whereas in the past, many businesses relied upon radio and TV ads to generate a buzz about their products and services, today it's all too easy for someone to change stations or filter their TV viewing to eliminate all those annoying four-minute commercial breaks. (Darn TiVo.)

Photo Credit: buzztala.com
This is where mobile apps are changing the way in which businesses engage their customers.  Offering everything from interactive coupons and contests, to games and built-in customer appreciation programs, many businesses are capitalizing on the public’s infatuation with smartphones and smart devices by developing apps designed to interact with customers and prospects. 

·    Unlike standard email, a text message is more likely to be read right away. 
·     Using push technology, an app can deliver relevant information to individual prospects.
·     Apps can also take advantage of GPS technology to geo-target customers.
Of course, the downside is that it can be fairly pricey to develop a sophisticated app from scratch.  This makes many apps unapproachable for smaller businesses.  Also, taking an app to market can take months.  Even upon entering the marketplace, you're forced to compete with millions of other apps.

“It's no accident or surprise that more than 2 million cumulative apps are in the Apple App Store and the Google Play store. While creating an app has been a great gateway into mobile, and still is a valuable tool to deliver content, reach is limited by the number of people who download and use the app.”

Before you plunk down a wad of cash to develop an app for your business, you need to consider several factors:
·         What's the app going to do for your business to give you an edge over the competition?
·         How big is your anticipated audience?
·         How long of a shelf life will your app have?
·         How are you planning to distribute your app?
·         Is there a third-party app available that can do a similar job?

With two million apps on the shelf, it's highly probable someone has already come to market with an app that can do the same or similar job.  Why pay retail when you can access many of the same benefits for pennies on the dollar through a developer?

Mobile Scratch-Off Anyone?

Working the Web scratch off on Facebook
Don't want to plunk down the money needed to get your own app? How about using mobile social to engage mobile users with scratch off games, mobile coupons and customer loyalty programs. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn all have mobile versions of their products. We currently use a great Facebook program that lets a business provide scratch off, coupon and loyalty programs, all from one plugin.  Winners can share their good fortune and friends can share coupon links. Business can keep loyal clients coming back with customized rewards that they control with margins that make sense to them.  These programs are perfect for restaurants, bars, coffee shops, cleaners, bowling alleys, nightclubs -- any business that relies on repeat customers and has predictable slow days.

Texting Can Still be Effective and Mobile


Text message marketing was effective before we had Smartphones. It's quasi-old school considering today's mobile technology. Still, a good text messaging campaign can reach the maximum number of cell phone users, (both regular phone and Smartphone users). The key to effective text messaging is building an opt-in database of customers looking for deals, coupons, loyalty programs and the like. These programs are also cost effective, especially if you use your existing customer base as a good starting point.

QR Code - a Virtual Enhancement to Old School Marketing


Speaking of old-school marketing, mobile can enhance virtually every form of print marketing you currently employ.  Have a business card or brochure?  Add a QR code.  Spending money on a newspaper or magazine ad?  Add a QR code.  QR codes, short for Quick Response codes, allow you to send any prospect with a Smartphone to a targeted Website or video.  When you consider a QR code takes up less than one square inch of space, not adding one to every print ad is tantamount to throwing money away. 
If you're still reluctant to add mobile marketing to your current marketing mix, remember this: Your competition isn't. Once you consider all of the benefits that mobile has to offer, and the downside of your competition beating you to the punch, you'll soon wonder how you ever lived without it.

In this article I covered the rapid advancement of mobile internet marketing that has occurred over the last few years. This article covers the wide array of mobile marketing methods and mediums you can use, including dedicated HTML 5 Websites, mobile video Websites, mobile blogs, mobile apps, texting programs, mobile social programs and QR codes.

If you like this article, you can find more by typing “mobile” in the search box at the top left of this blog.

If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, family
and co-workers. If you feel you have something to add to this article, leave a comment below. 

Thanks again for visiting, until next time.

If you'd like a free copy of our eBook, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century," please fill in the form below and we'll email it to you. Your information is always kept private and is never sold.





Carl Weiss is president of Working the Web to Win, an award-winning digital marketing agency in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Web radio show of the same name as well as well as YouTube's Working The Web TV Show series. He is also the co-author of a new book, "Working The Web To Win," based on the hit Web radio show and blog.

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Does Internet Ranking Really Matter?


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By Carl Weiss

About two years ago, a client wrote me in a panic. The client had received an email from one of our competitors saying they weren't ranking on Google search, and that the firm said it could help them do so. What stood out for me was the phishing email never mentioned what my client was ranking for. In fact, Website name ranking as a whole isn't important. For most businesses, only ranking for the important keyword in their industry matters. Overall ranking for most visitors (being number one) for the most part, is the dominion of large companies that have spent the time, money and labor (doing whatever it takes today), to get widespread name recognition. I showed our client the email was just a “phishing expedition.” That only industry keyword ranking mattered. I also pointed out they were showing up on Page One of Google, Yahoo and Bing, for no less than 12 important keywords in their industry. You can read the entire article called "Is Google Calling or is it Someone Else?" by clicking here.

Organic Search Matters ... or Does It?


Given the above, it’s true that being on Page One of Google’s search is significant in that it takes a lot of work to achieve that position today. Importantly, it can make a real difference for your company's Internet marketing success. However, it doesn’t mean a company can’t be successful if they're not organically on Page One of Google search. We have clients that, because of the work of previous digital marketing firms, had been black-balled by Google. So while they couldn’t organically get on Page One of Google search, they were on Page One of Yahoo and Bing.
Courtesy of  Washington Post

Also, getting on Page One is not the be-all and end-all. Your listing still has to motivate someone to click on it. On top of that, the page they land on also has to entice them to buy, call or leave their contact information. And let's not forget that there is always pay-per-click advertising. While this medium has its flaws, it can be a very successful marketing venue when managed correctly.

I’ve been in the business of working the Web for 19 years. Before 2000, it was possible to generate a Page One ranking on a number of search engines such as Yahoo, Lycos and Alta Vista in as little as 24 hours. Better still was the fact that everything you needed to make the grade online resided on your Website. There was no blogging, social networking or video required.

Back then, Google was a small part of things. It had yet to become the “800-pound gorilla in the room” that it is today. In 2000,Yahoo commanded more than 40% of the search market. A number of other search engines could also boast significant traffic. Back then, no single entity had a stranglehold on the market.

English: seo block
English: seo block (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Fast forward to 2014: Google controls 80% of search and the rules have changed.  Now, instead of taking 24 to 48 hours to produce a Page One organic result, it isn't unusual for it to take three to six months. And getting there is no longer an injection of on-site SEO.  It’s an interrelated process involving daily social network feeds, weekly blogs, monthly videos, plus partner and directory backlinks, all of which need to be as organized and as well-optimized as your Website.  This means there isn't any quick fix that will enable you to generate prime search engine results.  Also, no sooner do you get a bead on what Google wants, it changes the rules. The result is that one day, you’re on Page One and the next you find yourself somewhere else.

Why Does Google Keep Changing the Rules?


Love it or hate it, the Internet is a game.  Play it well and you’ll be rewarded.  Play it poorly and you might as well not play at all.  However, the rules not only keep changing, they aren't even clearly explained. That can make it hard to devise a winning strategy.  While Google posts information, including videos, which purportedly tell us what it wants regarding content, its
Courtesy of SearchengineLand.com
explanations are oftentimes vague.  The reason it (and all other search engine operators) does this is to keep anyone from being able to dominate search. 

If you read about Google’s recent updates that sported adorable names like Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, then you know there after effect was anything but cute and fluffy. That’s because when it comes to updates, the search engines aren’t simply trying to improve their search algorithms, they’re also out to eliminate anyone who’s trying to cheat the system to get on Page One.

 Cheat and You Could Lose Big


In 2000, it was common for professional optimizers to sway the system by using black hat techniques such as link farms and keyword stuffing to make their client’s sites seem more valuable to the search engine spiders. Back then, the spiders weren't all that savvy, so it was relatively simple to trick them. Today’s spiders are much “smarter,” they can read text and understand its meaning. So now they can determine how well your posts and blogs are constructed. They can even assess if you’re plagiarizing previously written material (which is why auto-blogging can be so dangerous to your ranking). Worse still, once the spiders determine your site isn't playing by the rules, not only are they ready, willing and able to relegate your site to the backwaters of the Web, but they can also blacklist your site so it’s nearly impossible to climb back out
English: OXBOW - You Can't Cheat Nature - slogan
English: OXBOW - You Can't Cheat Nature -  slogan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
of the hole you've dug.

If you want to make the Internet part of your business marketing scheme, then you need to do the work. Or, decide how much of the work you can manage and then delegate the remainder. Either way, if you want to create a rock solid Page One presence, you’re going to have to take the long view and commit to creating fresh content every day of the week, 52 weeks per year.

Here's what Google has to say about hiring & SEO Vendor

Four More Ways to Skin a Search Engine


However, there are a few shortcuts to getting onto Page One that don’t ruffle Google’s fur:

Cover of Short Cuts - Criterion Collection
1.  Press Releases – Online press releases are an excellent way to get your business featured on Page One of Google search. Just don’t expect to stay on there for more than a few days. When it comes to search, old news isn’t good news.

2. Optimized Blogs – Particularly if you use Blogger (which is owned by Google) to write optimized blogs at least once per week, it’s possible your blog could find its way to Page One in as little as 24 hours. Like press releases, expect this position to quickly erode.

3. Video SEO – Have you ever done a Google search only to find a thumbnail image that led you to a YouTube video? This is another example of cross-platform SEO in action. Since Google owns YouTube, a properly optimized video can sometimes wind up on Page One on Google.

4. Pay Per Click Advertising (including Pay Per View) – As stated earlier, this avenue has its flaws, but when managed well it can pay big dividends with results that can easily be measured and adapted to changing circumstances. I’m referring to PPC for search engines, but PPC is also available for social media. And you’re not just restricted to Google; Yahoo has 800 million users and is a viable place to advertise based on the size and demographics of its user base.

Not only are blogs and videos a great way to jump onto Page One of Google, but they can also generate a following of their own. In fact, there are some enterprising people who make a comfortable living by publishing blogs or YouTube videos. Even if your videos don’t generate millions of hits per month, having hundreds or even several thousand motivated followers can be a great way to generate results online. We’ve had several clients generate more conversions from their blogs than they did from their Page One search engine listings. The reason is that on the search engines, you’re just one of the herd. On your blog, you’re the star.

Organic Search Isn't the Only Game in Town


As stated earlier, being on Page One of Google search can be a godsend for most companies, but it's not always cost-effective for small businesses. Here are some other ways you can get Website traffic, clicks or calls that aren't directly search-related(aka content marketing):

The cover of The Only Game in Town.
The cover of The Only Game in Town. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
1. Retargeting Ads – These are network ads that continue to follow you and serve the same ad that a customer showed interest in. It’s a type of PPC ad except it's not running in search.

2. Social Media Promoted Ads (Social PPC) – These can be useful if your ad motivates followers to "Like" your fan page or provide their contact information. It’s particularly useful when you include testimonial information in the sponsored ads. There are a wide variety of these depending on which network you use (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) and the prices can be very cost effective.

3. Social Network Marketing – Posting useful information along with a mix of testimonials and an occasional specials.

4. Sponsored Articles Ads – These are a hybrid between PPC and blogging/article marketing.

5. Industry Specific Directory Ads – If you have a directory that has a highly targeted audience, it may be a fruitful place to run an ad.

6. Partnership Banner Ads – These run on blogs, video channels, and other symbiotic Websites. It's completely okay to enter into an arrangement with another company that has the same customer base and the high traffic you’re looking for. Make sure it's cost-effective and feel free to negotiate for perks and exclusivity.

7. Article Marketing – Unlike blogging, article marketing allows you to gain a higher level of credibility by being published on third party ezines. There can be backlinks and author profiles that can also produce the right kind of Website traffic, even phone calls.

8. Podcast Marketing – This is another useful way of producing content that’s in some ways less competitive yet easy to produce. It can have a long shelf life, especially if it’s produced in an Internet radio format.

9. Email Newsletters – Touch marketing is a great way to subtlety stay in front of your clients minds while enticing them to check out your specials and also tell their friends.

As you can see, there are many ways to get traffic. What's important is that your return on investment be measurable and realistic. Oftentimes we see a prospect spending $2,500 a month and only taking in $2,500 in new business for that month's ads. This is okay as long as those same customers spend an additional $2,500 over the next 12 months, (producing at least a 2 to one return).

When it comes to putting search engine ranking in its proper perspective, ask yourself: “Am I ready to do what it takes to play this game to win?” “Do I know my budget?” “Do I know how much I need to spend to make a sale?” And lastly, “How much is the customer worth over the next 12 months to my company?” Answering these questions intelligently will allow you to plan and measure properly. If you take our advice, success can be yours, but only if you're willing to play to win.

In this article I've explored the value of organic search ranking and provided alternative, cost-effective ways to develop Website traffic, ad clicks, calls, leads and closed sales. Use this information to grow your business, without the fear of Google blacklisting your site.

If you like this article, you can find more by typing “SEO” in the search box at the top left of this blog.

If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, family and co-workers. If you feel you have something to add to this article, leave a comment below.

Thanks again, until next time.


If you'd like a free copy of our eBook, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century," please fill in the form below and we'll email it to you. Your information is always kept private and is never sold.




Carl Weiss is president of Working the Web to Win, a digital marketing agency in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly web radio show of the same name as well as the YouTube, Working The Web TV Show series. He is also the co-author of a new book call Working The Web To Win, based on the hit web radio show and blog.
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