by Michel 

Is PPC as a Traffic Strategy Good for Affiliate Marketing

2 Comments

ppc as a traffic strategy

Using PPC as a Traffic Strategy

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising

In today’s Traffic Tactic, I’ll be discussing a method that’s become a dirty term for me, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. It is also an old, maybe even antiquated method of generating targeted traffic. There continues to be merits to PPC because it still exists. Which begs the question, is PPC as a Traffic Strategy a good move for Affiliate Marketing?

If you haven’t realized this by now, as an affiliate marketer, one of the most important focal points is generating leads (potential customers) for your business. However, it is more than just driving large numbers of traffic to an offer, it is finding quality traffic interested in what you have to offer and developing a relationship.

And there are a number of ways (more now than ever) to do it. Pay-per-click is just one of them, and has fallen out of favor with most small time marketers, especially affiliates, for good reason.

Google AdWords

The largest PPC provider is Google AdWords. In the past Google was a good option for PPC ads. NOT ANY LONGER. Google now has much more restrictive policies and has become a lot more expensive which has pushed out most small businesses and especially affiliate marketers whom Google tends to dislike!

Results of my first AdWords campaign

Case in point (my story). When I first become involved with PPC back in 2010, I ran a series of PPC ads on Google AdWords. The niche at the time was for a make money online program in which I ran over 100 search terms (keywords) that cost around 5 to 20 cents per click.

Within 7 days those same keywords jumped to over 2 dollars per click! It quickly became expensive and I paid nearly 300 dollars before realizing what happened and stopping that campaign. In return, I had only gained just 16 sign-ups to my list (a cost of $18.75 per sign-up) and NO SALES.

Even after running a 25 email series to that list, I only made two sales that brought in a meager 14 dollars! In essence, I spent 300 dollars to make 14 dollars (which is a $286 loss), not good.

Results of my second AdWords campaign

Fast forward to this past December (2013). Again I decided to run a specific PPC campaign using Google AdWords. I had accumulated $220 in credits for my one account and decided it was time to cash-in on those credits.

The main reason for it was because I was competing for an additional $1,000 prize if I was the top earner for an affiliate program promotion that I participated in at that time. I ended up losing big time in two ways!

Sadly, I ended up placing 7th from a list of dozens of affiliates and missed the mark significantly from the top earner. Even if my PPC campaign ad had run successfully, it most likely would not have generated enough sales to win the competition.

However, what was even worse was that Google permanently banned my AdWords account associated with that campaign for my site (and that was lucky). I never even got to run that PPC ad campaign in the first place!

They penalized me for directing my link to the affiliate opt-in page which is a big no-no with Google now (been in effect for last several years), and I also lost my $220 in credits along with it. Ouch!

Even after I made a series of formal protests, Google stood by their suspension. So as a result, I ended up dumping that site and domain since then.

Conclusion to my second experience

I was fortunate in two ways. Google could have permanently suspended all my AdWords accounts. And also black listed all of those domains associated with those accounts (which is a kiss of death).

Sadly, however, once Google saw that I was an affiliate, I was no longer their friend. I could have easily gotten all of my sites permanently banned from AdWords! That includes any site associated with my name or my company’s name now and in the future. And Google could have black listed (don’t know why they didn’t) my current sites I have set-up with AdWords as well.

Google AdWords and Affiliate marketers

Nice story Mike, but what does it have to do with using PPC as a traffic tactic?

I am glad you asked. As I see it if you are an affiliate, Google AdWords is out of the question. Google doesn’t like affiliate marketers, especially those who promote what Google considers to be make money schemes. Even their search engine algorithms punishes those affiliate sites in the rankings.

But even if your campaign was approved by Google AdWords, the keyword competition would be stiff enough that your PPC campaign would be extremely expensive. And unless you were selling a hot, high ticket item, your chances to recover those costs would be astronomical.

So if AdWords is out of the question, what you are saying is PPC is not a good affiliate marketing traffic strategy option, right? Wrong!

Google AdWords isn’t the only game in town

There is more than one player in the game of PPC. Too many people focus on the top dog, Google and miss out on other opportunities in which I am ready to reveal to you right now…

There exists what is referred to as a secondary level (or market) of third party PPC services. Not only can these generate quality traffic for you, but the cost to run a campaign are much lower that bring good results.

Companies like 7-Search who offer affordable PPC alternatives that deliver high ROIs for your online business. They offer free campaign assistance with their team of specialists to help you design winning campaigns to tap into quality PPC traffic.

Instead of paying dollars per click like AdWords, your cost will be pennies per click and still tap into the same markets available online. What that means for you is low priced qualified leads that can turn into more income for you! (and you don’t have to kiss Google’s behind)

It depends upon what you are promoting

The last item (and caution). If considering PPC as a traffic tactic, don’t bother if you are only promoting low priced offers. That’s because you won’t get your investment back. The conversion ratio isn’t very high so you will spend more money than you will make.

If you intend on building a list to increase your customer base, then you also need to weigh the cost for each sign-up you get and the sales results you can expect from that list. The idea is always to make sure that you will generate more from sales than the cost to get them! 🙂

As always, I encourage you to leave a comment or question below as I value your input.

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About the author 

Michel

Michel has actively been online as an Internet and affiliate marketer since 2009. He has experience with many systems and programs that he has used throughout those years, finding some to be great and many not so good. He’s learned what works, and what doesn’t work and is willing to share it with you. And it is always changing!

  1. Hi Michel (or do you prefer “Mike”?),

    I have used PPC for other businesses in the past and had some reasonable to good results when selling physical products. But, I had never even considered PPC for my IM efforts.

    I also understand that Google regards our industry as a breed of vermin that would be best swept under the nearest rock, rather than a new wave of entrepreneurs who are actually finding ways to make a living and teaching others to do the same.

    But if I wanted to sell products that promote violence and sexually explicit content, then that seems to be OK…. Please excuse my cynicism, rant over! 🙂

    It clearly had a detrimental effect on your ability to cash in your prize and as you explained, it could have been a lot worse and actually dragged your other sites. So I wonder then, why is it that some offer PPC as prizes or incentives for affiliate programmes in the first place?

    Great advice and thought provoking, thanks Michel.

    WYS
    Dave H

    1. Hello Dave and thank you for your comment! I prefer “cash”, but either Michel or Mike will do.

      I hold the same opinion of Google and their tyrant policies, why I stay away from AdWords, especially now.
      But PPC is not dead since there are other options like 7-search. You can get very close to the same results for a lot less money and hassle when compared to Google (haven’t tried Yahoo or Bing, but suspect their policies are inline with Google).

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