Google Adwords has gotten more expensive and much more complicated to deal with. Now you  have to be just as concerned with your landing page – its quality and robustness – as you do with the google ads themselves.

MSN Search and Yahoo Search are improving. While they can be cheaper than Google, they are still significantly more expensive than small search engines. A few years ago a marketing research company found that pay per click advertising using small search engines could be successful and far cheaper than using the big 3 players. It recently revisited the the whole issue of smaller search engines to see what the results would be today.

The search engines included in the tests were Enhance, Miva, Kanoodle, Mamma, GoClick, AdBrite and Ask. Here are the main results for one of the tests – for a newspaper site.

-Conversation ratio to sales for Miva were .09%, at a cost of  $66.58 per sale.
-The conversion ratio for Enhance was .04% at a cost of  $292.38 per sale.
-Conversion and sales for the other search engines were negligible.

The results are a mixed bag. The cost per sale for Miva was 43.4% lower than Google over the same period and 59.2% lower than Yahoo search. That’s good, but the volume for all the small search engines was low, and as you saw, conversion ratios were also low, so total sales were disappointing.

The upshot is you can test smaller search engines, but be careful. While your cost per sale (or action) may indeed be lower than that of the big 3, make sure that your total sales are high enough to exceed the time and cost of setting up the campaign.


Source: Marketing Experiments

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