or Mastering the Google Content Network …
In accordance with my Crisis-response strategy ( as described in an earlier post on this blog ), my current marketing project for my DemoRecorder.com business is to double the number of new leads per day (while keeping the cost per lead roughly constant) and to achieve that goal within two months. I have started that project in end of November and the results I have achieved so far look very promising.
If you do not know it yet, Google Adwords is a great way of getting quality traffic to your website. It is not free, but it is definitely worth it, if you master it.
(That is, if you master it, you will be able to make substantially more with sales than you spend with advertising on Google Adwords. Actually I think that Google Adwords is the easiest and most reliable way of getting traffic and should be the starting point of any Internet Marketing project. I will reveal more about the basic Internet Marketing Formula in a later post. If you want to get started with Google Adwords and get a continuous in-depth and broad education in it I highly suggest that you check out this resource. It ain’t free but such as Adwords, it is definitely worth it. )
Now, what I am starting to reveal here is neither broad coverage of advertising on Google Adwords nor an introduction to it. Rather I will cover a special, narrow topic and <>I assume that you already have the knowledge taught in readily available kits and courses.
If you know something about Google Adwords, you probably know that it really consists of two advertising offers which behave very differently:
- Search Network: Ads which are displayed on search result pages of Google or its partner search engines.
- Content Network: Ads which are displayed on other websites. (You have probably seen Google ads boxes somewhere.)
Now, by my experience it is much easier to get good results in forms of leads and sales from the search network, so for several years I have restricted my advertising to the search network.
But the search network has one problem: There is only a limited amount of traffic available.
So, for my goal of doubling the number of leads per day, I have to look elsewhere. Since I already know something about the Google content network, this was the logical place to start. ( I got my knowledge from various places, including experimenting myself or my primary education source for Adwords related stuff)
So, for the start I have just duplicated my search-network campaign and let it run on the content network.
This “kind of” worked:
- I have got plenty of clicks.
- Google proposed higher daily budgets than I have set and continued to increased its proposition
–> this is an indication that Google is capable of serving a lot of traffic from the content network if you just allow it to happen.
Why do the budgets increase constantly? My guess is that when you increase the budget, Google probably ads additional tests on more websites to the schedule of its statistic modules and if these tests yield good results, it can serve you more traffic…
So I can essentially get unlimited traffic from the content network.
- But there was a big problem:
The lead-capture rate was much lower and therefore my cost per lead was much higher than
on the search network:
Between Nov 30 and Dec 15:
- Search Network: $0.55 per unconfirmed lead
- Content Network: $9.41 per unconfirmed lead with a total of 4 leads.
So that’s a factor of more than 17, or in percent: the cost per lead on the content network was 1610.9% higher than on the search network. ( yes that’s more than thousand percent )
So this was not interesting in an economic way.
Also, I guessed that the usual optimisation techniques such as split-testing ads and adjusting bids will not get me the factor of 17. ( but these techniques will help, too of course… )
So, I saw that there was some potential in terms of a huge amount of traffic but it was not useful in its raw form.
Since I am also a programmer by profession, I have more possibilities than the average Internet marketer and since I can connect the dots between marketing and technology I can also come up with ideas that pure marketers do not come up with so likely.
So, I came up with a technology and a strategy which allowed me to do stunning optimisations.
This is still going on.
Currently ( Jan 1 to Jan 9 ) I have achieved an average cost per unconfirmed lead of $1.26 with a total of 34 leads, i.e, statistically significant numbers.
This means an optimisation by a factor(!) of 7.4 within about six weeks.
In other words, between Jan 1 to Jan 9, the investment of $42.76 got me 34 leads. while between Nov 30 and Dec 15 a similarly sized investment of $37.65 resulted only in 4 leads.
So, now we are getting in a territory which starts to get really interesting from an economic point of view.
And there is a good chance that I am getting to the goal of a similar cost per lead in the content network as I get on the search network.
BTW, Here’s the comparison between search and content network of the optimised setup which looks even better for the content network because the cost per lead in the search network has increased.
Between Jan 1 and Jan 9:
- Search Network: $0.86 per unconfirmed lead with a total of 21 leads.
- Content Network: $1.26 per unconfirmed lead with a total of 34 leads.
This also means that I have already achieved, even surpassed, the goal of doubling my number of leads.
Now, the cost has to be optimised somewhat more but this seems to be achievable by continuing to use my strategy.
Some comments about the cost
You need to have a certain testing budget, i.e., during the optimisation phase you have to purchase a certain amount of traffic from Google, so you get enough data for optimisation.
In my case, my total testing budget spent on Google so far is $282.54 But it is not all exclusively spent for testing because I also got some leads during testing, especially a really nice number of leads during recent testing phases, see above for the period between Jan 1 and Jan 9.
Also, there is a very nice return of investment on the testing budget because of the high number of nicely priced leads which I can get as a result of that.
Plus, some of the budget was needed for research experiments to find out the right strategy, so if I (or you) apply the same strategy to some other campaign, a smaller testing budget may be sufficient because I (or you) avoid some trial and error detours…
BTW, I have started to gather traffic somewhere after November 15 but I started with the optimisations in December.
How does it work and how can you do it, maybe?
This strategy involves a combination of manual optimisations with automated analysis and optimisation done by software programs.
There are several things which have to be done right and which can easily be done wrong.
There is some complexity to it but once you get it, it needs only a minimal amount of time (such as about one or two hours per week. Of course it depends on how much you want to invest into it. You may achieve better results if you invest more time but according to the 80/20 rule you will soon get to the point of diminishing returns.
(The optimal point depends on the amount of traffic you get. E.g. if you get 1000 leads per day for $1 per lead, it is probably worth your time to tweak it even in tiny details than if you get 10 leads per day. Just look at the return of investment for your time…)
How can you learn this strategy and have access to the necessary software tools?
I have thought a while on how I can make this strategy available for you and other marketers.
What I have come up with is the following:
- When there is sufficient interest I will create an eBook which describes the strategy in detail in a nicely organised and structured way and which helps you to avoid pitfalls etc.
- The eBook will be available at an attractive price which will give you a really nice return on investment when you apply the strategies in this eBook.
- Also, to get you access to the software, I will provide a web-based solution which will give you as much automation as possible while being easy to setup and to start with.
- This web-based solution will be accessible for a small monthly fee which will also give you a nice return on investment. Actually, I will make this so attractive, that the decision to use that service will be a no-brainer for you.
- Of course, I will offer a bundle of the eBook and the software service.
When will this be available for you?
The speed of me making it available depends on how many people are interested in this offer. Obviously, if a lot of people are interested I will give it a higher priority.
In any case it will take at least a few weeks because everything has to be put into a nicely organised and structured form and the software has to be converted from the current prototype to an easily useable web-based solution.
If you are interested in this, please post a comment to this blog-article where you tell me so, so I can estimate on how many people will be interested in this and therefore, how much I energy how fast I should invest into this project so it gets available soon.
Also, you may want to tell your friends and colleagues about this, so more people will express interest in it, so I will make it available sooner.
Any news about this project will be posted to this blog, so if you are interested please follow this blog regularly.