What does cheap mean?
Raw CPC is not a good enough metric. When you run an ad campaign, you don’t want to minimize the cost per click, you want to minimize the cost per acquisition.
If you pay 1000 visitors at 5 cents each, but no one is interested by what you offer on your website (badly targeted traffic), it will end up a more expensive solution than getting 1000 visitors at 10 cents with 10% interested in what you offer (assuming you are selling something)
It makes sense to pay a little bit more per click for a keyword that converts better.
Let’s start with the most obvious way to get paid traffic. Google Adwords. Managing an ad campaign is an time consuming art. You can gain dramatic productivity by using campaign generators, but you still need to monitor your campaign and tweak them (and your website).
I would like to remind a few tips you should be applying when using Google Adwords. This is not new but it is worth repeating. Target as many long tail keywords related to your website as your can. Long tail keywords (generally at least three words) have less traffic, but they are also cheaper. Avoid to target USA / Canada / UK that everybody else is targeting. Aim for educated countries that speak fluent english instead like Norway, Finland, etc…
Fine grained Facebook ads
The Facebook ads platform is a different paradigm from Google Adwords advertising. On Google, people are searching for a specific term and you bid to appear on the search result page.
In Facebook ads, you push your ad to the user, without them actually looking for anything. It means you actually get much lower conversion on your ad but the cost of running under Facebook Ads are also smaller.
The great benefit of Facebook Ads is that it allows you to target the users at a very fine-grained level.
So how can you get cheap and targeted traffic on Facebook Ads?
When possible, again, don’t target US / Canada / UK. Everybody is bidding on them and the competition is higher than on other less obvious countries like South Africa, Norway, Finland, etc…
Use the Pages criteria. With CoachFire, I wanted to target professional coaches. How would you target coaches in Facebook Ads? Yes, using the Pages criteria. I was showing the ad to all the facebook users who were fans of the International Coaching Federation, of Business Coaching, of Life Coaching, etc… you name it.
CPC instead of CPM. This way you will have control over how much you pay per visitor (I start at $0.05 and increment as I need more traffic. You can also use a combination of other alternatives presented in this article to add more traffic.
Play with colors. For the same ad, I usually have different versions of the image that goes with the ad. Sometimes, a green button with a call to action works better, sometimes a good looking woman is more effective. Just remember to test your ad copy and your image.
For example, this is some of the variations I used to bring some traffic onDogether (a goal achievement game on Facebook)
StumbleUpon is not as effective as Facebook Ads in terms of targeting. ForTaskArmy, I am looking to target freelancers. When I created my StumbleUpon ad, I only had a limited number of categories I could target, the closest I could find for my niche was “Home business”. Then I reduced the age range to only target people who are likely to be young professionals (I assume younger people would be more open to TaskArmy). One nice thing about StumbleUpon is that you can get free stumbles if people like your site, which can drastically reduce the CPC. For every 6 stumbles, you may get one free for example (depend on your website, to give you an idea I am getting clicks at 3.5 cents at the moment)
The reason why you pay more for a click to your website is because you are competing with other people who are also bidding for that click. It means that using “niche” ad platforms is an effective way to get cheaper clicks (but less traffic too).
The other alternative to Google Adwords is Bing ad center. Very few people actually think of using it to advertise. Note that you only get 15% of the traffic you would get on Google (depends on the keywords of course).
There are countless ways to bring targeted and cheap traffic to a website in a timely manner (SEO is a long term strategy).
What tips do you have for the rest of us?