Google has been pre-eminent in the search marketplace for a number of years, but recently many marketers, particularly internet marketers and affiliates have noticed that in its march towards world domination, it has expected to eat up the competition, or failing that, clone the competition in order to force them out of the market. It has also treated with virtual attempted people like affiliates who were for a long time the bread and butter of their paid advertising.
So, its not surprising that many marketers are turning their backs on Google for being both "un-user friendly" and much too expensive, and are consistently looking for new sources of traffic for their websites and businesses. Website traffic is of course the lifeblood of all of us involved in marketing on the web, so obviously the cheaper the better. Google has simply priced most people, apart from big corporations, out of the PPC game, which is why SEO has become more fashionable, and so powerful again.
Google went on the rampage in the past few months, changing its algorithms at will, and punishing even the most well behaved affiliates, who, after all, were doing no more than trying to get website traffic, and make a decent living. Now, even in some obscure niches, you could be paying $ 3.00 a click on Google, and Yahoo and Bing are not far behind. In the end, they only care about one thing – profit. Do not be fooled by those early images of Google geeks cycling to work in sandals and woolly jumpers. They are now very shrewd, very savvy businessmen.
Sorry did I mention Facebook yet? In the last 2 years Facebook has completely overtaken Google in terms of the number of users per day / week / month. And Google are p ** ing themselves. Why? when one is a search engine, and the other is a social networking site? Because they both make money from selling advertising, and Facebook is now totally cleaning up in terms of what it can offer marketers. It probably did not even realize its own potential when it first started, but people like you and I, internet marketers, looking for traffic, have realized very quickly its full potential.
Apart from free / SEO traffic which I'll go into another time, this is some of the best, most highly targeted website traffic you could ever dream of getting – and it aint nowhere near as expensive as Google, or many other smaller search engines . And so far, although they clearly do not like certain "make money" type products being pushed, and they have their own quirky rules, it can be the most amazing platform to advertise on, but also to get a lot, and I mean shedloads, of traffic to your website and business – and that of course, if monitored and set up in the right way, should be able to deliver you a handsome return on investment. OK profit.
Facebook is on the face of it, a very easy platform to create ads on, and very quick at the same time. Once approved, you can be getting clicks, and traffic to your website in no time at all. Their approval process is quicker than Google's because you do not have to jump through so many hoops to please them. And it combines the advantages of Google search combined with content image ads, or banners. You can combine both text and images in the one ad. Its simple but its simplicity makes it very powerful.
The real powerhouse is the demographic targeting options you have, which enable you to absolutely pinpoint the audience and traffic you need. Because Facebook users supply so much information about their likes and interests, it makes them an advertiser's dream. If you want to promote Lil Wayne ringtones to an 85 year old, chain smoking widow in Utah, you could probably do it – its that prejudice. Something you could never do with Google.
BUT, as I suggested before, Facebook does have its rules, and they do boast that they like to approve ads with a "real" person. My basic advice if you are starting to try and get traffic from them, is to promote something really mainstream, and not in any way controversial like a language course for example. Always use images, as they convert better, but they do not seem to like banners that link directly to offers like Clickbank products – just use a part of a banner image, or find something original. Also, start by sticking to the spirit of answering questions – remember this is what people do when they're networking. So, thinking about phrasing your ad text as a question will please the moderators, and even more so if your webpage offers the viewer real answers to their questions. You can direct link to affiliate offers, which again makes getting traffic quicker and easier, but avoid pushing all the Make Money Online stuff – they just do not like it. There are, of course, ways around this, but I'll go into that another time.
The point is, there is plenty of money to be made from a multitude of affiliate products, without having to promote "make a millionaire by midnight with this guru" products. Remember, there is a lot of kids using Facebook and potentially seeing your ads. Learn how to use Facebook wisely, and to your advantage, and your learning potential will be limitless. Many marketers jumped on the Facebook traffic gravy train about a year ago, but just got it all wrong, and have now moved elsewhere, which means there's still plenty of cheap traffic for the "average joe" marketer. Like any game you're in, follow those that know . Then do it right – and do it well.
Copyright: Rob Crusoe – Kefalonia, Aug. 2010