When it comes to paid traffic, most of us just think Google Adwords and leave it at that. But there are actually many, maybe even hundreds of paid traffic sources that can all be used to drive traffic, significant traffic to your website. And usually this comes at a much cheaper cost when compared to AdWords.
In one sense, you do get what you pay for. AdWords is by far the most superior network out there, the traffic is highly targeted and you’re often getting the first bite of the apple – particularly if you’re maxing out your CPC price. But that doesn’t mean to say lower tier traffic won’t convert. In terms of an ROI it actually does pretty well in comparison even if the volume and overall costs are lower.
So today we’re going to run through 10 paid traffic sources that you might not have considered. Some are obvious, some are lesser known but all of the below have been tried and tested by me personally over the years and all of them have generated significant traffic numbers on any campaign I’ve utilised them for.
For those who have become disillusioned with AdWords, Bing tends to be the obvious alternative. As expected, BingAds covers the second-in-market search engine, Yahoo and Bing – so it’s the obvious choice. However, given it’s very much a second tier advertising platform it means that the prices you’ll pay, per click are significantly cheaper than the likes of AdWords. But as you’d also come to expect, the traffic tends to be massively lower in volume. But in terms of ROI, it’s a great alternative – especially if you’re working with low volume/big ticket keywords.
Believe it or not Facebook offers more than cat videos or updates on what your friend had for their lunch. It actually boasts a high end advertisement platform. Sure, some people shun it but think for a second how many people are viewing Facebook at any one time, using it to search for things, get recommendations etc. Wouldn’t you like to reach these people with your product or service offerings? Exactly. The pricing compared to traditional search based networks is also massively lower.
Whilst not as good as Facebook on the conversion front, given it’s nature, it’s also worth considering. Like with Facebook, you’re paying for interactions not views so the key with this network is targeting interactions which will result in a sale/conversion. The good thing with Twitter is it’s not keyword based entirely like AdWords. You can target key demographics or even followers of your competitors which makes it a very powerful weapon in your marketing arsenal.
One of the most popular of the non-search and non-social traffic platforms is 7Search and if used right it can yield big numbers for a fraction of the cost when compared to the likes of AdWords. 7Search sources its traffic via a lot of different methods but when all things are considered, the numbers are significant. You can quickly search for keywords in a given niche and it will report the traffic volumes and expected bid price. Immediately you’ll notice how cheap keywords are compared to AdWords but you’ll also find big companies can also drive up the PPC price massively.
PPC is all well and good but sometimes it’s better to just buy traffic in bulk, at a flat CPM rate or even agreed fixed monthly fee. As to whether this approach will work better for you and your project only you will know but stepping out of the PPC circle is definitely worth trying if your current efforts are failing. In short, BuySellAds.com offers a medium for webmasters to sell banner/ad space on their sites independently rather than via a network.
Similar to 7Search in terms of the interface and bidding options although you have several different media type options and you can target both search and in content links on those sites which are running their ad platforms. This can be a great way to not only source new traffic but also split test source type. Typically the search stuff performs much better than the in content links but again it depends on what you’re promoting and to who.
A good all rounder in terms of advertising media is Clickor. They’ve been a key advertising alternative for the best part of 12 years and currently boast over 150,000 publishers operating in 196 countries. They’re quite a player. Whilst the reach of Clicksor is without question what sets it apart from its competitors are its media types with advertisers able to make use of everything from traditional banner ads to pop unders right through to in content media blocks.
If you’ve ever seen the big blocks of banner ads at the bottom of an article labeled “from around the web” or “recommended content” - this is typically Outbrain or one of its competitors. Typically, these ads in terms of PPC don’t cost too much as you need masses of clicks/traffic to convert but if you’ve got any kind of potentially viral content it’s definitely worth considering. What Outbrain also does is open up doors to high end websites which you typically wouldn’t be able to advertise on via traditional networks like AdWords. Many of the worlds biggest brands use Outbrain as a secondary monetisation method.
If you’re operating any kind of ecommerce store you need to stop what you’re doing and sign up to Amazon. By using Amazon, you can have your products appear in the search listings on one of the worlds biggest marketplaces. It’s a no brainer. You’ll need to pay for it obviously but if you’re selling real world products, with good margins and not simply peddling affiliate offers it should be your first port of call.
AdBlade pretty much merges the best converting (and looking) ad formats into one platform. The ads it displayed are similar to Outbrain but usually integrated much better. The reach is worth mentioning too as they’re boasting over 300 million unique visitors per month. That’s a lot of eyes on comparatively cheap ads. You can also specifically target demographics and territories too and like with Outbrain it allows you access to some extremely high end websites. But like with anything in the PPC industry, you’re not going to know how good it is until you try it.
I will be doing a part two of this list and featuring some of the lower level / cheaper networks for those wishing to get a foot in the door via PPC but who don’t really have the budgets to compete with the major players making use of the networks above.
Like with all things PPC, it’s all about trial and error. You need to tweak everything from your website landers, to your ad text and even the entire platform you’re using before you find a balance which is going to work well for you and your project. But stick at it, mix in the lower paid networks with the better ones and find that balance.