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Banner pricing
for a local content site

 4:05 pm on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm curious as to what we be a good starting point for pricing banners on my local content site. I am currently leading towards a cpm model since I expect it will be sept/october before the traffic gets to respectable levels. The advertisers will be local lodging properties, sporting goods stores, and other retailers. Any idea what a starting range would be.



 4:12 pm on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

If its local merchants and the traffic is targetted, $20 CPM is a good place to start.


 6:10 pm on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

And is it typically in order to vary that by the size and positioning of the ads as well as the number of ads on a page. I guess my question here is "Would that be the price for one 468x60 at top of page with that being the only ad on the page?"


 8:26 pm on Jul 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

IME, sites charge differnt prices for different locations. One thing you may want to consider if you do not have that much traffic yet is that companies may be willing to pay a flat rate, even if it higher than the CPM rate, simply because it seems more appealing


 1:56 am on Jul 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would love to do that but I figured cpm would be more attractive to advertisers given the lack of traffic. Also it would allow me to pay for advertising whereas I don't like to dole out ppc whilst earning a flat rate.


 4:53 am on Jul 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have a local community site that has 10 sections, Home, Attractions, Classifieds, Directory, Hotels & Visitors, Kids, Movies, Real Estate, Restaurants & Bars and Webmail...

I charge $100 for a month with discounts for prepayment of multiple months and advertising across multiple sections. I limit the number of banners in each section to 10 with Adwords sprinkled throughout.

I decided to charge a flat rate because some people won't click on the banner but simply having their logo on the page in a banner enforces their brand. It also allows me to target business' that don't have a conventional local website. For example, one of my major advertisers is QuickTrip, a convienence store. People probably aren't clicking on the banner which takes them to the national site but seeing it up on the page increases their local branding.

It's worked out pretty well and most customers don't really care about the number of clicks they get as the advertising is cheaper than the local television and paper outlets. They also like the idea that I limit the number of advertisers I accept. In some sections, (Movies) I'm booked for the next 6 months.

I also offer a weekly (thursday) mailing with "What's Happening" that goes to about 4,200 people. I run two ads in it for $200. The webmail service I have is free through everyone.something and I charge $300 a month with a limit on 10 advertisers.

In the Restaurant & Bars section I offer free listings of all local business' and then charge $10 a month for extended listings/coupons/pdf menus...

85% of the site is static with most of the updates and traffic going through the Movies section on Friday and Saturdays. I've added a customer review section to the Attractions, Movies, and Restaurants which provide lots of new content. Recently added a local Alumni script that is starting to gain some traction...

I've also printed up some stickers with my web site name and address that I provide to restaurants, etc. profiled in the site. They say, "Speak your mind @ ****xx.com" A couple restaurants have put them in all of their menus.

Regarding banner pricing when you are just starting out... What I did was go around offer three months for the price of one. That worked pretty well.


 7:27 am on Jul 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks jmbishop, that gives me some ideas. Does anyone have anything to share regarding offering the potential advertisers a choice between cpm and flat rate.


 8:31 pm on Jul 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

One more data point: I've got a niche site that currently takes about 5K visits per day in a very tiny/specialized field. The site is by far the largest and busiest in the field.

I considered adding cpm pricing, but decided it would be a pita to track, and tough to sell to advertisers who aren't net savvy. So I went with a flat fee per month and rotated the banners. That worked OK, except I had a tough time getting advertisers to pay anything - even though it's a lucrative market.

Eventually got lucky and found someone very web literate at an agressive company who recognized the opportunity. They now have an exclusive banner ad. When we were getting 1500-2500 uniques per day, we settled on about 15K U.S. per year. Even though traffic is 2 or 3 X's now, I don't have any intentions of increasing prices as I'm pretty happy with that,and don't want to go back to scrambling for advertisers.


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