You used to rely on word of mouth to get customers. Referrals were the name of the game for getting more business, and sometimes an ad in the local paper didn’t hurt.
Things are different today because we operate in the digital age with a worldwide market. It’s not easy to reach your community, let alone the world. Even if you set up shop in someone’s backyard, they probably wouldn’t notice because their face is stuck in their phone.
There are more factors to consider when building an internet marketing plan than there used to be. You have a website and a blog already (at least I hope you do), and probably some social media accounts, but when it comes to advertising on search engines, things get a little tricky.
Google leads the search engine world in number of users, but don’t be too fast to discount Yahoo yet. Let’s take an in-depth look.
Using Google Analytics tells you how traffic comes to your site, including demographic information like geographical location. These details help you narrow where you want to advertise on Google using pay per click campaigns. You can directly place your ads where you know potential clients see them.
Because Google AdWords is well-known, it’s more expensive. It costs nearly three times as much as advertising on other search engines, but you’re also paying for volume. Google controls sixty-seven percent of search marketing. You will likely get a more significant return on investment with Google over time.
Google provides a little more flexibility in keywords than other search engines do. You don’t have to worry about targeting specific words or phrases to get the recognition you want because Google is intelligent enough to crawl for closely related searches and return appropriate results.
Google has also made setting up AdWords easier than most other search engine ads because Google products like Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics are easy to integrate. There are benefits to keeping all of your marketing and analytics in one place if you can afford to do so.
Let’s clear something up before we jump into the benefits of using something other than Google. Bing controls the Yahoo search engine, as well as that of all of their affiliates like duckduckgo.com and slickdeals.net. With Yahoo behind them, Bing continues to grow, so don’t underestimate the power of this team.
Bing and Yahoo rankings are virtually identical even though your search in each engine may return different results. Also, consider that many cell phone providers have made deals with companies like Yahoo to be the default search tool for mobile.
Markets exist regardless of your personal preferences. You may not use Internet Explorer anymore, but some people do. Why? No idea. The point is, just because you like or use or advertise on Google, doesn’t mean everyone does.
It would be difficult to spend the same amount of money on Bing or Yahoo using pay per click because there’s not enough volume. But performance makes up for this. You get more for your dollar, and if optimized correctly, your ads will land on the same corresponding pages, meaning they have the potential for the same click-through rates as Google.
Yahoo’s network of search engines makes the audience quality fantastic, so even at a smaller volume, you get a high concentration of quality clicks. Bing also has options that Google AdWords doesn’t. Advertising on Bing gives you transparency to the websites where your ads are running, allowing you to exclude poorly performing ones. You can also run segmented campaigns to run ads exclusively on specific search partners.
However, setup isn’t easy. It takes more work to integrate with things like Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager because Yahoo and Bing aren’t Google products (obviously). What you don’t spend in money, you may spend in time. Regardless, Yahoo tends to have better conversion rates, and cost per conversion is cheaper.
We’ve established that Google has more volume, but Yahoo and its affiliates have higher quality. Any advertising platform will eat you for breakfast if you let them. You have to set bids and control the parameters of your campaign no matter which one you use.
If you already use Google’s suite of products and you don’t have time to configure a new service or optimize your keywords, Google is probably the best choice for you. However, if you are running ads under budget constraints, you may want to consider Yahoo.
If you want to optimize nearly one hundred percent of the market, I would recommend using both to measure the quality of each campaign and find what works for you. You can also check out my done-for-you system for more advertising ideas.
Additional resources on Search Engin Optimization