Pay-per-click advertising with Google, Bing and Facebook
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising online can be a very cost-effective addition to marketing plans – most of us know that. But the world of PPC advertising is expanding into new opportunities. Lately, many business owners have asked me about different kinds of PPC advertising, with questions like, “What about Facebook?” or “Is Bing worth it?” It seems time for me to publicly address some of these questions for my readers.
Google PPC advertising is the must-have for any online advertising strategy. Google enjoys 65.4% market share of internet searches. Being on the page when your customer is searching for your product is incredibly valuable. To learn more about the general benefits of PPC advertising, read my article “Building Your Website Traffic.”
Bing and Yahoo! PPC
Microsoft manages the search results and PPC advertising for both Bing and Yahoo! through its Microsoft AdCenter. In February, Bing had 13.6% market share for online search, and Yahoo! had 16.1%. Combined, the search engines represent 29.7% of all internet searches. It is worthwhile to advertise to 30% of your customer base, and the strategies used for Google PPC advertising will apply to Bing and Yahoo!.
In my experience, you will face less competition advertising with Bing and Yahoo!, for two reasons. 1. Fewer businesses think of devoting marketing resources to these search engines. 2.The Microsoft AdCenter is difficult to use, and its reporting is much less intuitive than Google’s.
Facebook is a relatively new player in the PPC advertising arena, and their approach is quite different from the search engines’ way of advertising. First of all, you don’t have to pay per click; you can pay per impression. Paying for impressions is more traditional marketing language, so I believe Facebook offers the option to make marketers more comfortable. PPC advertising is attractive because you only pay when someone shows interest in your ad – not just if it showed on the screen. Here are some other ways Facebook advertising is different:
- Demographics instead of search. Facebook users aren’t searching for what they seek. Instead they list interests, post updates and engage in conversations. Facebook uses this demographic information to display ads they think might interest the user. Facebook allows advertisers quite a bit of granularity in choosing demographics like age, geographic location, sex and relationship status. Search engines simply don’t have all of this information.
- Interests instead of keywords. With a search engine, finding perfect keywords is crucial to a successful PPC campaign. But with Facebook advertising, it’s all about likes and interests. As an advertiser, you identify the interests of the people you would like to reach, and Facebook makes suggestions, as shown in the picture below:
- Facebook page instead of your website. You can send visitors to your Facebook page instead of your website. I recommend creating and maintaining a page for your business if you are going to advertise on Facebook. Facebook users like to stay on the site, and you will receive more value from your ads if a visitor “likes” your page and receives your regular updates. It’s important to regularly update your business page, so people stay interested (but don’t update it too frequently, or people will “hide” you!). Many marketers might balk at sending visitors to their Facebook page instead of their website- don’t we want to increase our website stats? Website stats are important, but only because we hope to turn visitors into customers. The best way to turn Facebook users into customers is by engaging them on the site they visit every day.
- Ads and pages have to be associated with a personal profile. You need to set up a profile in order to set up a business page in order to set up an ad directing people to that page. Don’t blame me for the complexity; blame Facebook.
Do you have more questions about PPC advertising online? Send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org
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