THE BLOG
06/11/2014 09:31 pm ET Updated Aug 11, 2014

4 Paid Traffic Options to Drive Visitors to Your Website

If you have an online business then you know how important it is to attract visitors that turn into leads and sales. Search engine optimization and inbound marketing is great for traffic generation, but the traffic isn't instant. If you are looking for immediate traffic that is highly targeted you should look into paid traffic.

While there are several paid traffic advertising networks available, let's discuss the pros and cons of four popular paid traffic sources that you can use to drive quality traffic to your website.

Facebook

Facebook advertising provides you with a platform to introduce your brand to the more than 1 billion users currently using Facebook. More than half of all active Facebook users visit daily, giving your business a huge audience to interact with.

Pros

  • Largest consumer database: Facebook PPC gives you the ability to market your product or service to the entire Facebook user base, which is the largest and most active social media community.
  • Multiple targeting options: Facebook allows you to target specific demographics, geographical regions, and user interests. If you wanted to target females between the ages of 30 - 45 that live in Los Angeles and "like" the TV show The Bachelor it can easily be done.

Cons

  • Needs constant refreshing: If you are targeting a very small demographic then you will need to keep switching up your ad copy and images in order to avoid ad fatigue. If your target audience sees the same ad over and over they will become immune to your advertising effort.
  • Lower CTR: The click-through-rate (CTR) is usually much lower than pay-per-click ads triggered by a Google, Yahoo, or Bing search. Facebook users aren't actively seeking your product or service, so you need to use compelling ad copy and images to grab their attention.

AOL Sponsored Listings (Advertising.com)

AOL's Sponsored Listings allows advertisers to target specific websites and adjust bids based on the particular websites they want to appear on. Some examples of the inventory include Huffington Post, ESPN, and major news media websites such as CNN and Fox News.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable clicks: Ads on the ASL network receive a lot of impressions since they are appearing on some of the most popular websites that receive millions of page views daily. Top positions can be costly on some sites, but based on the huge volume of traffic these sites receive it is possible to still receive a lot of exposure with lower bids.
  • Placement quality: The website inventory available through the ASL network is super high quality. You are in complete control over which websites your ads appear on, and you manage bids for each individual site placement.

Cons

  • Lower CTR: While your ads will receive a lot of impressions, the click-through-rate will typically be lower than pay-per-click ads on the search engines since you are attracting impulse clicks.
  • Lower conversion rates: Since you are targeting specific websites and not specific keywords, your conversion rates are going to be significantly lower than they are when you are receiving clicks from consumers that are actively seeking your service or product.

Yahoo! Bing Network

The Yahoo! Bing Network (YBN) is a popular PPC option that allows you to target the majority of the search market that isn't using Google. Check out this infographic to see several benefits of using the Yahoo! Bing Network.

Pros

  • Lower cost per click: Keywords that can be very expensive on Google's AdWords platform will usually be much more affordable on the Yahoo! Bing Network. An overall lower cost per click provides a great opportunity to test various ad copy and keywords prior to transferring them over to Google AdWords.
  • Superior customer service: If you have a question about your campaign it is easy to get someone on the phone (yes, a live person!) that will be happy to answer your questions. This is great for advertisers new to PPC marketing.

Cons

  • Lower volume of traffic: The search volume on the Yahoo! Bing Network is much lower when compared to Google AdWords.
  • Smaller growth opportunity: Since the search volume is fairly low it can be difficult to scale some campaigns the same way you can on Google AdWords.

Google AdWords

I saved the most popular for last. AdWords can provide a massive amount of traffic, as Google is the largest search engine (67 percent of the market share). If you need a lot of traffic AdWords is your ticket.

Pros

  • Reach the top immediately: There is no waiting game to hit the top ad positions. If you are ready (and willing) to outbid your competition your ads can be sitting on top right away.
  • Volume of traffic: Google commands such a large percentage of search traffic, giving you access to millions of consumers that are actively searching for the service or product that your business sells.

Cons

  • Steep learning curve: It can take some time to fully grasp Google AdWords and many business owners end up paying a higher cost per click than other advertisers that have experience or are using a professional PPC management service.
  • Clicks can be expensive: You will typically pay a higher cost per click (CPC) on AdWords when compared to other PPC options.

If you would like more free online marketing tips make sure to sign up for my company's (Market Domination Media) weekly online marketing newsletter. You can also download a free copy of our 80+ page eBook titled, "The Complete A-Z Online Marketing Strategy Guide," by clicking here.

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