Alternatives to AdWords

Alternatives to Google Adwords advertising program. Adwords is a good program for getting visitors to your site, but it can also be very expensive and can even attract the wrong type of visitors. This article will detail legitimate alternatives to Adwords with an emphasis on the positives and negatives of each.

Facebook Advertising

Facebook Advertising

I am almost reluctant to bring up Facebook as an advertising alternative because it is so underused at the moment, making it cheaper than it probably deserves to be. Undoubtedly Facebook’s advertising program will experience growth in the coming years, but for the moment it is quite underutilized.

Positives

Facebook Advertising Demographics

The main strength Facebook’s advertising program has is that it has a lot of data about the people your adveritsement is reaching. For example, you could choose to target men aged 25 – 40 who are divorced. This makes the site very appealing if you know specific information about the demographic you wish to target. In essence, you can get more bang for your buck than you can with Google’s advertising, at least until it becomes more popular.

Negatives

Facebook Paypal Problem

You can pay through paypal, but you do need to use a credit card for instant payments. It is unfortunate that Facebook went with this method of payments as most advertising networks allow you to deposit either through a bank or through Paypal. The benefit of allowing people to deposit is that they are completely aware of how much they have spent, which adds a layer of security that makes advertising more appealing.

Another negative is that you cannot target people who are already searching. Google AdWords’s main strength is that you can target advertisers who are searching for a very specific set of keywords. For example people searching for the phrase ‘used car salers’ can be advertised to directly. The benefit is that these people are already looking for something, whereas people on Facebook are not necessarily looking for anything and so are more likely to be browsers.

Conclusion

Facebook advertising is probably the best alternative to AdWords, but lacks the ability to target users who are searching for a specific product or service.

BuySellAds

 BuySellAds Logo

BuySellAds charges either per 1000 views or for specific advertising spots for a 30-day period.

Positives

Sometimes you can get a fantastic advertisement for $10 a month. It will not get a huge amount of clicks, but given the price is roughly 30 cents per day it is cheap. The trick is to look for advertising places that are high on the page when you first access it, as these will deliver the most traffic.

The benefit of BuySellAds is that it allows you a little bit of control in that you choose the sites you will advertise on. As a result you have to be somewhat intuitive in your approach, but take a guess at the sort of audience a site on their network attracts and then try to direct some of that traffic to your own.

Negatives

One of the major negatives to BuySellAds is that you cannot tell how well an ad unit will convert. With AdWords and even Facebook you can choose to pay for your advertising based on cost-per-click (CPC). This is usually more expensive, but you know how much you are paying for each person that will click your advertisement. With BuySellAds it is entirely possible that no one will click on your advertisement.

Conclusion

Not a bad network to advertise on, but traffic may not be targeted.

Project Wonderful

Project Wonderful

Project wonderful allows you to bid on advertisements based on how much you would pay for a day’s worth of them. It allows manual bidding or campaign-based bidding. I highly recommend you use a campaign as the whole system just moves too quickly for manual bidding to function effectively.

Positives

Project Wonderful Funds Screen

The help documentation on Project Wonderful is absolutely fantastic and I found it to be one of the easiest advertising networks to use. Its automated campaign system is also great and has plenty of customization options. On a purely technical level, this is one of my favored advertising networks as its system is very refined and simplistic.

The cost is also very low per click, with my first campaign averaging about 6 cents per click. The traffic was not all that targeted, but I was able to target traffic from the United States which was a major boon. If you are looking for an advertising network that just drives traffic to your site, this is a good option.

Negatives

Some of the places to advertise are not the sorts of places you may wish to associate your brand with. For people who just want traffic this is not an issue, but for more prestigious brands it may be a problem. Many of the publishers who you can advertise with, for example, are web comics. This means that the people viewing them may be unlikely to be buyers and their web-comics may have content that you do not want associated with your brand. Political in-correctness, albeit intended to be humorous, as an example.

Conclusion

Use the campaign option if you intend to advertise via Project Wonderful as it really is the best way to use the system. Overall, provided you do that, it can be a great way to drive traffic to your site.

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