Straight on advertising

Advertising your site to sell or get hits

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0 Replies - 12706 Views - Last Post: 10 April 2010 - 01:36 PM

#1 mhollis  Icon User is offline

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Straight on advertising

Posted 10 April 2010 - 01:36 PM

Lots of the threads here are about how to make money off of your website (allow someone to place ads on it). There are others about search engine optimization so that your website comes up in search.

At the risk of sounding like an advertorial, I'd like to talk about what is working and not working.

Google Adwords is absolutely working. I'm getting frequent hits from them and the way Google lets you advertise is a completely new model. At Google, Life is an Auction. All words are up for bidding and if you're crafty in your advertisement you'll get clicks. Since Google charges you on a per-click basis, you want to make a web page that the Google ad points to. You can call it google.html or landing.html but this is where you try to convert a clicker to a buyer.

When I'm talking with my clients, I ask them what they're willing to give to get a new client. For services (I'm thinking of a psychic who uses me), she's not all that hot on giving away the farm, so usually what a clicker will see is her money-back guarantee ("You're paying me to be psychic and if I'm not, I won't charge you") and her "book in yourself and a friend and you get a discount" special. Others can give more, like $500 off a patio of a certain size.

That discount is only available to the AdWords clicker, so my clients really know who referred them. I also really keep an eye on the pages' AWStats, which shows referring pages as well as page loads. If a client wants to put a button ad on someone else's website, I'll create a page for that (again, with an offer). The AWStats will faithfully tell me how many times that page loaded so I can determine if that button ad on someone else's website is really drawing anything.

I'm finding that button ads draw a lot less than Google's AdWords. Part of that has to be the ubiquitousness of Google, but lots of people will tell you that Google users don't click on the right-hand side very much. I would imagine that a button ad on a website that is drawing a limited audience should do better.

I have been talking to several companies about doing pay-per-click instead of the old-fashioned "pay for space" idea. They're interested but they like to talk about "impressions." I don't know about you, but "pay per impression" doesn't mean anything to me. I, quite frequently tell my web browsers to not display advertisements and I have Safari set up to not display Flash at all because that is the single most annoying form of advertising out there. If I'm reading a website, I want the text, not the moving stuff.

So if these sites are saying to their customers that I'm viewing all of their ads, they're lying. And I know others do what I do.

I had a client who asked me recently about a new trend. One of these sites is called "Leapfish." While I do appreciate their interest in attracting the advertising dollar, I cannot recommend them. Here's what I wrote one of my clients:

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This is old paradigm. Leapfish wants you to pay for position. That's like buying inside front cover of a magazine. And then, that is only for ONE keyword.

Google lets you buy many keywords and lets you bid in their "per click" auction. If nobody clicks, you don't pay for the impression.

Leapfish is an aggregator. They want to be your home page. That's like Yahoo in 1995. Sure, they're adding in the social sites, but you get off Leapfish to go to them.

Leapfish allows you to search all of the search engines, ignoring the fact that Google has 70% of search due to their cutting-edge technology. The other search engines are lagging for a reason. Why clutter up search with non-relevant finds.


One of my clients can buy their prime keyword on Leapfish for about $15,000. But people are searching a whole host of other keywords trying to find her. She would need to pony up some $45,000 for an aggrigation engine while 70% are simply using Google. If everyone suddenly did what Leapfish wants them to do (make Leapfish their home page), I'd say, "Woo Hoo! Let's buy those keywords!" Leapfish says that you can sell your keywords later and you'll make money. As if! Who would want to sell something that is bringing hundreds of clients in the door -- unless they're retiring and closing up shop. Leapfish is trying every hard-sell strategy in the book here and they're just simply not Google.

I would love to see comments from others who are "in the trenches" trying to market clients' websites or their own websites who have success stories.
:)

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