|counting click throughs|
selling space on site for first time
have a site in a niche market that is pretty much No1 ranker accross SE's/directories for the relevant keywords, am thinking of selling 3 small ads on my index page for a bit of extra revenue, it's virgin territory for me.
have 2 questions really, first is technical, i'd like to count the click thru's and also not pass any of my page rank on. i'm figuring linking the ads to an empty page on my site which will have a js redirect to their site on it, this way i can count the click thru number and not actually give them a link (in page rank or link popularity terms) does this sound like the way to go or is there a better way??
second is the potential fee, i want to do a monthly rather than per impression or per click thru, i guess there is a bit of try and see, but i'd value some input.
the scenario is: highly targeted niche market traffic, i get approx 1k uniques a day; selling only 3 links/ads maximum (properly placed and viewed on index page without scrolling); overture top bid is currently 20c.
For the technical part, I'd recommend using a click counting script. You should be able to find something suitable and probably free at the script sites like hotscripts. The problem with using the JS redirect page, is you will effectively be breaking the back button, and users will have a hard time returning to your site, aside from being annoyed. You will also lose any non-JS visitors.
As far as sponsorship fees, rcj is very experienced with that. He will probably have some great insight for you there.
I'm doing exactly what you describe, CW. As Drastic suggested, I'd deliver the ad using a good, solid, commercial banner script. Even at $400, you'll be able to pay off the script's cost in a very short time and not having to scramble to cover yourself when a cheap/free script cracks under load is worth the cost of the insurance. (Been there) Also, the 'pro' scripts have online reports available to your clients which become part of your sales pitch.
> highly targeted niche market traffic, i get approx 1k uniques a day; selling only 3 links/ads maximum (properly placed and viewed on index page without scrolling); overture top bid is currently 20c.
In some ways, sponsorships have gotten easier to price. I use Google adwords and Overture to establish a range. On top of that, you might add something for exclusivity and positioning.
Using the 20c bid and a CTR of, say, 5% the comparable CPM would be $4. Assuming they haven't changed rates, Google would charge $8 to $15 CPM, depending on placement. Given the above, I'd open with $12 and discount heavily to the first one to get the program going -probably to $4.
I also bill flatrate. I simply estimate the annual traffic and apply the CPM.