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Other PPC Engines Worth Their Salt?
consultant




msg:1227060
 12:00 am on Mar 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

What PPC's are worth the time and money to participate in?

Here's a question that has been asked before I'm sure, however in many cases, it is specifically directed at one particular PPC ("noodleppchead.com worth it?", as opposed to gathering consistent responses comparing several with each other -- or the responses are ambiguous without any stats. Granted this is a highly subjective question, let me see if I can make it more objective.

Everyone's actual ROI (both based on gross sales and more importantly, and correctly, net profit) is going to vary depending on the space they play in. Therefore gross traffic is probably a more comparable statistic.

The bottom line is that we, like many of the rest of you, have tried almost all of them. And, to our dismay, we have found out most of these smaller PPCs are just not worth it - they either don't produce enough traffic to justify even the time to signup and manage an account, or the quality of click-thru traffic is so poor, the ROI doesn't justify the expenditure. It seems like Overture, Google, and Findwhat are really the only ones worth bothering with. But in order to focus this discussion, I need define what the criteria is for "bothering with" a PPC is (for us at least).

What I am interested in seeing is everyone's relative PPC traffic figures as a percentage of their largest PPC traffic provider. Ours averages around this:

Google 1.0
Overture 0.85
Findwhat 0.15
Overture UK 0.05

Meaning, if we get 10,000 clicks from Google a month, we get 8,500 from Overture, and 1,500 from Findwhat. We draw the line roughly around 5% (0.05) and it seems like pretty much everyone else we have tried is around 0.05 or lower - not worth our time. I'd be interested to see anyone else's numbers, just divide the lower PPC's clicks into the highest. More specifically, I'd like to here from anyone that knows of a PPC that gets more than 5% of the traffic they get from Google (using the same keywords of course) and is getting decent ROI?

In general, I consider these more obscure PPCs just money making scams praying on the desperate desire of web marketers/masters to get back that ROI of yesteryear they had on Overture, before everyone and their mom was bidding. Whenever I ask a PPC "Who are your top 3 partners traffic wise" They usually beat around the bush and don't answer my question or their top 3 are hilariously obscure site.

I contest the only way to free ourselves from the monopolistic chains and sinking ROIs of Overture and Google's PPC is not find a better PPC but to get higher *natural* rankings on Google and MSN - which depending on your space can be very difficult, time consuming, and costly.

It sure wouldn't hurt though if there were a few worthwhile PPCs that brough significant traffic (5 or more percent of Google) and decent quality traffic (decent ROI).

Don't bother responding unless you have hard figures to post.

 

ScottM




msg:1227061
 7:42 pm on Mar 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WebmasterWorld!

I'm not able to provide any stats for you, but perhaps others can help you?

Mike_Mackin




msg:1227062
 8:04 pm on Mar 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Not that this will be of any real benefit but here is some food for thought:

2/2003 stats from one managed account:

Overture - 6517 clicks - 6060 unique - $15817.59 sales [note: the CPC was half the cost of adwords]
Adwords - 4251 clicks - 3862 unique - $20626.64 sales
FindWhat - 1419 clicks - 1300 unique - $3488.09
Lycos - 443 clicks - 402 unique - $196.41 sales
1 month TEST
epilot - 34 clicks - 34 unique - $139.95 sales
mamma - 324 clicks - 305 unique - ZERO sales

[sorry = massive typo]

[edited by: Mike_Mackin at 10:25 pm (utc) on Mar. 2, 2003]

cheater copperpot




msg:1227063
 9:19 pm on Mar 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

some interesting numbers there Mike.. Thanks

TrffcSndrs




msg:1227064
 2:22 pm on Mar 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Mike_Mackin, what criteria are you using to determine Unique Visitors? Are you using 12 hour unique IP, 24 hour unique IP, Cookie Based, or some other criteria?

consultant, I understand what you're looking trying to do to determine a traffic factor, but what do you what to use for a criteria to determine what 'decent quality traffic (decent ROI)' is? Are you looking for a minimum ROI percentage or net profit margin based?

tigger




msg:1227065
 2:26 pm on Mar 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

don't forget you also have Espotting for the europe market

Mike_Mackin




msg:1227066
 2:38 pm on Mar 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Cookie Based

consultant




msg:1227067
 5:05 pm on Mar 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I compute ROI using NET profit divided by advertising vost, not gross sales divided by advertising costs. However it is my experience that very very few people have the tools setup to calculate this, they look at their gross sales on their web site divided by their advertising costs. And even then, many people can't even determine that. SO, I'm looking for PPC that provide a significant amount of traffic to run a test on. That's why I'm just asking for traffic figures, not necessarily ROI. Plus ROI can very greatly depending on the products/services being sold.

bigace




msg:1227068
 11:02 am on Mar 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

We don't use Google ads because we rank quite high in the free search results. But here are one sites February numbers for traffic from the top ten PPC's using the same 500+ Keywords. Obviously the bid rankings are not the same across all SE's so it is hard to make a pure comparison. But there is indeed some traffic on at least these ten.

Overture: 3640
FindWhat: 2688
Ah-ha: 2436
Kanoodle: 952
PageSeeker: 784
Search123: 532
Sprinks: 476
Findit-Quick 396
IQ Seek: 308
Mygeek: 306
GoClick: 282

ace

consultant




msg:1227069
 3:11 pm on Mar 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Wow, ah-ha almost as much traffic as findwhat? That's a little hard for me to believe. Are you targeting the same keywords, same ad wording, and maintaining the same positions on both those engines?

bigace




msg:1227070
 10:50 pm on Mar 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Of course not exactly, as I mentioned before. I have all of the same terms listed but I don't like to pay $.90 on FindWhat for the same position I can get in Ah-Ha at $.15

This is the best reason for using the second level PPC SE's. Nevertheless, for that very reason, it is possible to get significant traffic, as my logs prove.

consultant




msg:1227071
 6:04 pm on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

We did find ah-ha.com was the 4th place traffic wise behind findwhat.com but if I recall we were getting like about half the traffic of ah-ha.com and really poor ROI - no one coming in from ah-ha.com was buying anything, it was like 1/5th the sales conversion rate of the other 3 PPC engines. Maybe we'll give them another chance...

consultant




msg:1227072
 6:07 pm on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Mick_mackin had Mamma listed. I believe the last time I looked at Mamma's PPC, they were still listing Overture. It looks like they have now dumped Overture? I'm I right?

consultant




msg:1227073
 6:09 pm on Mar 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

A closer look reveals the Mamma top 3 sponsor links are coming from Google Adwords?!

toddb




msg:1227074
 4:22 am on Mar 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

So far this month:

Google 14k
Findwaht 11k

This is their numbers but I thought it was interesting in that Findwhat is catching google. Overture I am new to and I have not solved their submit system so I have a very small campaign there.

webdiversity




msg:1227075
 12:37 am on Mar 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's a bit of a false scenario trying to pit Google Adwords against others using the same keyword list.

The reason is due to phrase match and exact match vs. Overture's Match Driver and Espottings plurals/singular.

As far as others worth their salt, many of the smaller PPC's will deliver traffic of seriously questionable quality. We often measure click/sale ratios and clicks/actions. Typically we achieve results some 50% less from the lesser players than the main 3 of Google Adwords/Overture and Espotting (in UK).

Although the CPC may be less, if you are needing 3 times as many visitors to get the till drawer ringing, or the newsletter subscribers it is a bit of a false economy. And if you are trying to impress potential investors in the company they will want to see conversion ratios above the industry average, so for that reason we tend to tread carefully with lesser PPC's.

We've chopped quite a few from our list of late because they didn't work for our clients, and if they don't work it affects the overall ROI, which is not good news.

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