Should Businesses Pay Per Impression When Advertising on the Internet?

Small businesses throughout the United States have to properly allocate their marketing budget to be successful. Some businesses still get customers from billboards and TV commercials while others get most of their business from the Internet. Finding out where business is coming from is the first step then an owner must decide how much to spend and where to focus.

When advertising on the Internet there are hundreds of options. Many will consider Google Ads, Facebook Ads or Yelp advertising. Others will consider an investment in social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Snapchat. Ultimately, businesses want to gain exposure to potential customers in a setting in which they are willing to buy. In essence, they want as many positive impressions for the most affordable price.

There are a number of advertising firms that specialize in getting customers impressions. Unfortunately, some of these companies are vague in describing where the impressions are coming from. Not all impressions are equal. A potential customer that is searching for a service is much more “impressed” than a Twitter or Facebook user that is quickly scrolling throw their stream or news feed while they are bored. This is one of the reasons Google is a money printing machine.

Before signing a six or 12 month contract with an advertising firm I would strongly suggest getting a complete understanding of the type of impressions they are selling. I personally would rather pay per click but some firms push the impression route. When you are paying per click you know someone is actually getting to your website. When you are paying per impression they very well may not even notice your advertisement.

I would also encourage small business owners to understand the click through rate (CTR) of the campaign. There are companies that offer over one million impressions but only guarantee 1000 clicks. This click through rate is terrible. Out of one million people seeing your advertisement only 1000 are actually going to click to go to your website? In Google search I get a click through rate around 5%. I will admit that this is very high for a website because I have properly optimized my content but a 5% click through rate for one million impressions would be 50,000 clicks; not 1000.

This makes me wonder where the impressions are coming from with specific advertising firms. I know there are many fake Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Google Plus accounts out there. In fact, some would argue there are more fake accounts than real accounts. If the advertisement is being impressed to fake users it is worthless. From personal experience, I can tell you social media impressions are worth significantly less than search impressions. When I share an article on Twitter, Google Plus or Facebook I am happy to get a click through rate of 0.05%. That is 100 times worse than Google search impressions.

In my first six months of learning the Internet Marketing trade I realized how powerful Google search truly was. Since then I have focused on helping my clients rank in search rather than trying to game algorithms of social media networks. Even if you are extremely successful on a social media network the click through rate will be low and the users are not looking to buy or purchase a good or service. If you are looking to gain customers from the Internet please reach out to me at jwojdylo@gmail.com. I have several monthly packages that can help you get more business starting today.


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