This week's BusinessWeek has an article called The Small Fry Sour on Search Ads and it reminded me of two posts I made a while back called What's Your Blogging Storey and What Came First The Chicken or The Blog. The article basically describes how smaller search marketing advertisers are getting squeezed out of PPC advertising by the bigger and much deeper pocketed national advertisers. Of course the Googles and the Yahoos of the world really are not in a position to do anything because if cost per clicks rise and big advertisers are the reason than they make more money. My personal guess is that this is only just beginning and will only continue to get worse when Madison Avenue starts recommending more and more spending on search marketing. So, what's a Mom-Pop advertiser supposed to do:
- Don't just rely on Google for search marketing - very often for my clients I find that Yahoo and MSN have MUCH lower CPC rates than Google. I also find that click rates are also much higher on them too. Sure the traffic on Yahoo is half of Google and MSN is probably a tenth, but you just might be able to make up the impression loss with more traffic at a cheaper rate.
- Focus on the Long Tail and try 3 and 4 word search terms if you haven't already done so.
- Try starting your own blog as I mentioned in the posts above. You might never be able to compete with the big advertisers, so try building your own community with your own content to generate traffic. Then turn around and monetize it by selling or linking to your own products.
- Get involved in social marketing either by loading up your own home made commercials (assuming they are entertaining) or joining communities that are already in your products.
- How about a wiki on your product? I'm sure people would find it interesting to share uses and other ideas.
Yes it is going to get harder and harder to rely on search PPC ads to drive traffic to your website. So, try building up your content which will cost you nothing more than time.