Magnifying glass on Search Search engine optimization is probably the most cost effective way to grow your business on the Internet. With an estimated one billion people online as of 2005, the Internet is a major force in the world of search engine marketing. Optimizing your business’ site so that search engines rank you higher and people can find you more easily is the whole purpose of search engine optimization. SEO gets you free traffic, but if your looking for some paid advertising strategies to supplement your web marketing efforts, here are a few you should consider.

Pay Per Click
Pay per click (PPC) ads is one of the more well-known ways to advertise your product or service. These are short, written ads that capture the attention of potential customers, causing them to click over to your site. Many search engines offer this type of marketing, for example Google Adsense. It is better to begin slowly to investigate whether this strategy works for your company before jumping in with both feet.   There are many PPC sites that use this model it is not just Google.  For example, Yahoo and Bing also have this advertising method as well as Amazon.  It is best to test to see which option fits your niche best.

Affiliate Sites

An affiliate program is another idea that many companies use to market their business. An affiliate program is in the “cost per action” (CPA) category. The general idea is to build a group of affiliates who will market your product or service for you in exchange for a small financial commission when they make a sale. Businesses that wish to consider this route must think about how much they are willing to pay in commissions, how to go about the technical aspects of setting up the program, and finding affiliates.

Comparison Sites

Another option that operates on both a PPC and CPA basis is listing your product or service on sites that compare prices. PriceGrabber, BizRate, and are all examples of this type of site. Especially in a poor economy, people want to be sure they are getting the best deal for their money, so shopping comparison sites get a lot of traffic. Ensuring that your business’ products are among their listings will give you a shortcut into some of that traffic. Since this is a paid way to advertise, you are essentially paying to obtain first time customers. The goal is to make them repeat customers in order to make this type of marketing really valuable.

Do you agree or disagree?  Perhaps, I missed something?  Either way, I would just love to hear what your thoughts are on this topic… just let me know your alive!

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