Every year we have to renew various online advertisements and they always seem to be more difficult than they need to be. Normally there is some sort of yearly contract that needs to be e-mailed over, viewed, checked on, revised, e-mailed back, viewed again, printed, signed, scanned, faxed, etc. Another similar process will happen with the invoice. Then there is the performance aspect…
how much bang are we getting for our buck? Last year we paid $1000 for the advertisement and got 700 visitors from it… the year before we got 1400 visitors from it. While the annual price is the same the “cost per visitor” has doubled. Of course what really matters is the “cost per acquisition” of a customer. Yes, we are rambling now. The point is that dealing with annual fixed-price contracts where you pre-pay opens you up to potential issues.
Why is pay per click advertising a better option? Answer: Basically everything that sounded inconvenient or negative in the above paragraph does not exist with pay per click advertising.
So is it safe to sign up for all pay per click advertising? Answer: I recommend you “test the waters” with anyone who calls up with a cost per click offering. After your listing is live you will immediately be able to see visitors arriving on your website in your Google Analytics reports. You only need to see a hundred or so visitors to determine if it is going to be worthwhile. Just compare metrics like time on site, bounce rate, and goal conversions with your existing campaigns you know are working well.
Sept 2014 Update: I found a new tool that makes contracts easy; no printing, mailing, faxing necessary! Checkout www.echosign.com.