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|Created a Low Quality Page: CTR Beats my Quality Site|
| 9:46 pm on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)|
I have a website. It has good content amd was not originally designed to make adsense money but it makes a bit. I have sought to write lots of good content pages, relevant to the main theme of my site. One of those pages gets a comparitively high visitor rate but 0% clickthrough on adsense. The reason being that the adsense ads are of very little relevance to the page content however hard I have tried to optimize it.
Here's the rub (time to put my crash helmet on here!). Using one of my other sites I put up a "Made for Adsense" style page using "tips" from an email that was sent me. It has a couple of paras of vaguely relevant info, one adsense block and a couple of links to my other sites. Results - better quality ads and 11% clickthrough.
So its annoying - the quality page earns nothing and the rubbish page 11% clickthrough and epcm of over 30$.
My next step will be to adapt the profitable page to make it more acceptable ie other links, more content, hopefully without losing profitability!
| 3:47 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|And one of the big research firms recently predicted that online display ads are poised for greater growth than text ads are. |
There are people who think that Google invented PPC.
In fact Google "Trust Measure" made a rebirth of the PPC industry.
Now, it seems that new young talents at the "big research firm" have never heard of the term - banner.
However, I don't say it will not become another Phoenix.
We just have to wait for surfers' saturation with the text ads.
| 4:02 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|That's a comfortable rationalization, but I don't think it's very sustainable without a constant replenishment of visitors from search. Your return visitors are there for your content--not for your ads. Yes, a few may click but that traffic alone won't be worth your effort if all you do is provide information. |
I didn't say that search traffic is unimportant; I'm saying that relying exclusively on search traffic (i.e., on constant turnover) is a poor strategy.
And yes, users are on my site for my content, but they're researching how to spend their money. So they do click on ads, and--just as important--they click on (and book through) relevant affiliate links.
Before dismissing the value of repeat visitors, search Google for Doubleclick's press release about its "Search Before the Purchase" study of 2005. Most online buyers don't purchase right away; they research purchases over a period of weeks (with multiple searches) before buying. What's more, some purchases are likely to involve multiple transactions. This is especially true in my sector (travel), where a trip might involve separate transactions for car rental, hotel bookings, sightseeing tours, etc. If you rely on one-shot visitors, you're leaving money on the table.
| 4:09 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|Not really. Magazines and other offline media that can deliver quality targeted audiences continue to do extremely well. For example, CAR AND DRIVER's ad revenues grew nearly 25% in 2005, HOT ROD's revenues grew nearly 39%, and BOATING was up 16%. |
EFV... This statement is true for those mags, but how much of that (in your opinion) is due to the extreme interest in muscle-cars and car restoration over the past two years?
With the popularity of television programs like "Pimp My Ride" (and 3 or 4 others), and businesses like West Coast Customs, I think their revenues have quadrupled. As a result, more folks are getting into the auto restoration fad in the U.S. and Europe.
The stats I've seen from other high-profile magazines show that their subscription rates are declining.
|...a better model is to attract visitors who'll come back to your site at every stage of the research and buying cycle... |
That's a comfortable rationalization, but I don't think it's very sustainable without a constant replenishment of visitors from search. Your return visitors are there for your content--not for your ads. Yes, a few may click but that traffic alone won't be worth your effort if all you do is provide information.
While I understrand EFV's position (which I believe works with certain websites) -- I tend to agree with andrea99 here.
I run an online magazine and the folks who return to a magazine site (which is basically a site that markets content with nothing to sell), are looking for updated information, cool new stories, and other magazined-based material. They're not in the process of purchasing anything, so they tend to become blind to any ads after there initial visits.
If they love your reading material, they go straight to it; consume it; search for more content; or leave.
| 4:17 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|If you rely on one-shot visitors, you're leaving money on the table. |
Yes, we are still directly upon the topic of this thread--only quality content will bring them back and make them remember your name. People tend to buy clothing more often than they travel so this applies even more for me than you.
I agree that display ads are under-rated online but direct response has a long way to go before the technology realizes its full potential while display ads will never deliver more than they do now.
| 4:46 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|I agree that display ads are under-rated online but direct response has a long way to go before the technology realizes its full potential while display ads will never deliver more than they do now. |
I think the main problem with onilne display ads has been difficulty of targeting audiences while buying enough impressions to justify the overhead cost of developing and placing ads. Google is obviously hoping to fill that need with site-targeted CPM ads (not just text ads, but display or "image" ads), but niche rep firms and ad networks are also stepping up to the plate. In the travel sector, for example, the Travel Ad Network (which represents my site) is doing a great job of selling ads to airlines, hotel chains, big car-rental firms, national tourist offices, etc. For a site that reaches a targeted audience of potential buyers, a combination of industry-specific display ads, targeted contextual ads (AdSense), and affiliate links can provide better earnings and a better user experience than a single revenue stream.
| 4:57 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|I think the main problem with onilne display ads has been difficulty of targeting audiences while buying enough impressions to justify the overhead cost of developing and placing ads. |
I think the simple answer is low CTR due to ad blindness.
The key here could be (again) interaction. Interactive image banners although abandoned five-six years ago (MSN enRiched ads, AdForce Promotions, IQ.com...), could have some potential today. E.g. Chitika has a pretty good CTR in average.
| 6:02 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|I think the simple answer is low CTR due to ad blindness. |
CTR is a meaningless metric for display ads unless they're designed as direct-response ads. Using CTR to measure the effectiveness of of a Web banner or skyscraper is like measuring the effectiveness of a beer commercial by counting the number of people who write or call Anheuser-Busch after seeing a Bud Lite spot.
Even when a banner or skyscraper is designed to attract clickthroughs, CTR is only one measure of whether the ad is effective. Why? Because the person who sees a British Airways "travel with your kids to Europe" ad is being made aware of the BA brand (and of BA's services to families with children) whether or not that person has a need for British Airways or BA's child-friendly services today. That isn't the case with contextual ads, which do very little to promote brand awareness or create an image for the advertiser.
For what it's worth, I'm seeing a big surge in display ads for brand-name travel advertisers on my site. Those companies may use PPC advertising for specific promotions (just as they use direct mail for specific promotions), but display ads will probably always represent the bulk of their non-broadcast advertising--both on and off the Web.
(Addendum: Speaking of airlines, a major U.S.-based international airline has been running display ads and AdSense site-targeted CPM ads on my site recently. As I recall, the display ads are fairly general, while the site-targeted AdSense ads are for a spring fare sale. This just goes to show that major advertisers like to use the right tool for each job--which is why sales-promotion agencies, collateral agencies, etc. have carved out large and profitable niches in the advertising industry over the past couple of decades.)
| 6:17 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|CTR is a meaningless metric for display ads unless they're designed as direct-response ads. |
Banner ads were never designed for brand awareness.
They recently became attractive in that way due to it's low costs (=bad conversions).
Almost all online ads are designed as direct-response ads, to attract customer directly and make a fast conversion.
If you think of display ads as of TV/offline ads, you have it right, but they were never envisioned as such.
| 6:30 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|That isn't the case with contextual ads, which do very little to promote brand awareness or create an image for the advertiser. |
On the contrary, free PPC text ads are being mainly used for branding purposes.
Otherwise we wouldn't see "Buy Eiffel Tower at Ebay" and similar ads, the ads which none will click on.
| 6:46 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)|
activeco, it doesn't matter what banner ads were envisioned as being in 1995 or 1996; what matters is how they're being used now. Also, the clickthrough rates of banners and skyscrapers depend, in large part, on where they're running--a fact that's creating opportunities for vertical ad networks and rep firms, which can serve advertisers and publishers far better than the Bursts and FastClicks of the world can.
| 6:50 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|As for the comment that direct mail can outpull fancy Madison Avenue campaigns, that isn't because of the direct mail campaign's bare-bones aesthetic quality; it's because direct mail is specifically designed to generate responses (hence the term "direct-response") as opposed to establishing brand awareness, and the audience for direct mail is generally targeted to a greater degree than most TV commercials, newspaper ads, etc. are. |
Ya, but a lot of TV commercials still don't seem to care about response. Even calling that 'branding' is generous for many of them- not only do they not show the product much- they don't do anything psychologically to position the brand or get the consumer closer to committing to the brand.
|It's also worth noting that some direct mail has extremely high production values: Direct-mail brochures for luxury cruise lines, for example, tend to have a more upscale look and feel than glossy travel magazines do. |
varies with the industry- but you don't know how well these are fancy brochures are working, do you? They might just all be copying each other and assuming their response rate is the max possible.
|only quality content will bring them back and make them remember your name. |
Hmm- bad content makes return visit unlikely unless you just have really high search rankings and they keep ending up on your site
But the best way to get people to return is to get them to opt in with their email address.
Even good content sites get forgotten and lost the first 10 times you use them- don't you find that's your experience?
| 7:04 pm on Apr 19, 2006 (gmt 0)|
|But the best way to get people to return is to get them to opt in with their email address. |
Is that still effective in the era of spam filters and suspicious users?
FWIW, I had a newsletter when my site was at About.com (1997-2001), and it wasn't terribly effective at generating traffic--probably because the person who's planning a trip to Widgetville isn't likely to respond to blurbs for the latest articles about Springfield or Shelbyville.
| 8:02 pm on Apr 28, 2006 (gmt 0)|
OP here! So I've done a compromise. I tried dumbing down my (in my opinion!) quality site, cutting out some technical info (although its not very technical) etc but to no avail. So what I've done is improved the "rubbish" site to include basic information that will actually be of help and interest, but without getting too technical ie just giving some headline advice. Also put link to the quality site for those who want more detailed info. Result - same decent kind of ads on what was the rubbish site but which I now call an "enhanced made for adsense site" which still gets adsense clicks but now provides worthwhile info to the user in it's own right. So don't feel too bad about that!
Have found some useful advice in amongst the posts so far - many thanks
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