When should you consider advertising your products on sites other than on Google, Yahoo! and MSN? By properly identifying and evaluating various second-tier PPC advertising options, you may uncover a diamond in the rough.
Investigating your options is not as hard as you think. Payperclicksearchengines.com has a list of its “Top 10 PPC Search Engines.” You could start with that list. However, if you are in a niche market, consider other options as well. Payperclicksearchengines.com also contains a directory, or, alternatively, consider one of the sites listed in other directories such as DMOZ. If I have a niche product to sell, such as tennis balls, I could go further and search Google for the phrase “tennis pay per click.” Having done that, I found that Business.com has a tennis category where I can pay for each click.
Once you have narrowed down your options, consider developing a short list of potential websites. Contact each of these sites by phone, if possible. Tell the employees there that you are considering moving some of your budget over to their PPC advertising opportunity, but you would like to test out their network first. Typically, many of the alternative or second-tier search engines will gladly give you an initial credit of $25 to $100 to get you started, but many times you have to ask them for a credit to test out their network. A small credit is generally enough to get an idea of the quality of traffic you will get from that network and whether or not you will end up seeing any sales. There are a few PPC networks that will not give you credit, however, so consider spending up to $100 to test their network.
Once you have decided on some of these alternative networks, it’s time to start testing. We’ll discuss testing in the next installment of “Alternative Pay-per-click.”