This is a second and final post to my experiment with pay per click engines. This is mostly based on my theories and social engineering. Please make sure you do your own research before jumping into PPC. For a smarter approach to ppc check out graywolfs excellent series called Adsense Arbitrage:
Final Target Acquisition:
So I feel somewhat comfortable with Adwords but I still felt that I could get more bang for my buckâ€¦ well more buck for my buck to be technical. So I started doing some research more research. What is it that we are selling? Well in order for a Ringtones ad to â€œconvertâ€? a user has to put in there phone number then they are text messaged a pin code they must enter into a site. This I a very nice 2 step process for a payout unlike some other things. Who is most likely to freely give out there phone number? Ya… your kids.
So we know we can already eliminate Nextel because they cant use any of the Ringtones offers were are doing. Now lets look at some further demographics of our targets. After doing a quick Google search we see that the average age of cellular phone users is 21. Also you can see that Verizon Wireless customers are very choosy and like to shop around. I attribute this to the fact the have the oldest userbase in the industry with an average user age of 25. In my mind this makes them not such a good target. The next highest age on average is Sprint with an average age of its users being 23. Sprint also has the 2nd most corporate clients behind Nextel which makes them (in my opinion) less likely to submit there phone number to a website for some â€œNo Chargeâ€? Ringtones.
So I am going to target Cingular and T-mobile users. Cingular in my opinion is the best demographic to target. They have an average age of 19 years old. T-Mobile is VERY close with an average age of 19.5.
Now I check this data with the data from my previous conversions:
This is just going off of my previous Adwords data this means that for every 10 Cingular people that are clicking on my ad I am converting 1.8 For Tmobile 1.7 and you can guess the rest.
So if the offer pays 15$ and I have an 18% conversion that means I am Grossing 2.70 cents per click. For 38% I am grossing 5.70 cents per click.
So now we have some numbers to work with. Lets move on before my head explodes.
Adwords: I run all offers on only the Google network. I do not run on any content network (ask.com earthlink. etc) I just find that I get a bad return on those. I am sure they work fine for other niches but for me its not doing it. For the most part with Adwords I set my bids and had a max budget of 300$/day. Fire and forget. I stayed strong on my Adwords bids. I have data that shows what I need to spend to convert so there really is no guesswork involved. If the bid goes up then I am not showing ads. If it comes down then my ads are in full effect.
CPM Targeting for the winâ€¦ Here is a dirty secret. CPM target sites where the only good content is the AdSense ad. Here is the dealâ€¦ with AdSense lets say it costs you 6$ to be #1 for Verizon Ringtones for search resultsâ€¦ but ohh wait, what is this??Why itâ€™s the #1 ORGANIC Google result for the phrase â€œVerizon Ringtonesâ€? and it only costs me 10$ CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions or roughly 1 cent per impression). Since this ad is really the only relevant content it converts REALLY WELL.
In general site targeting these sites is a really good investment. These guys only build these sites for 1 reasonâ€¦ to get AdSense clicks and the other dirty secret about them is they convert really well because the user gets exactly what they were searching for. The key to finding them is just searching on various search engines. Google for the most part does not feel these sites should get good organic listing but that does not mean that they are not making money off of MSN and Yahoo ranking these sites high. Make sure you search them also for these kinds of sites.
Yahoo Search Marketing:
Yahoo Search Marketing was quite a bit more fire and forget then Adwords. I did not have to write 80 million ads to get my quality score up and this was really pretty simple. I scraped about 15,000 terms up using overture inventory, Google suggest and some other tools around the net for anything related to â€œRingtonesâ€?. I went ahead and approved any bid that it said cause I was going to edit them laterâ€¦. MISTAKE!!! I had stayed up all until 5am to get all these terms in and it said it would take up to 3-5 days to approve themâ€¦ well crap. I am going to bed. Then I wake up and they were approved and I burned through about 1800$ DOH. Some clicks were as high as 8$!!! I did get some return on my investment but my first day of yahoo was a bummer due to my lack of foresight. I now have set my daily budget to 300$ and also adjusted all my approved bids to 13 cents. Amazingly enough I got a decent amount of traffic from this that was converting. I really like yahoos placement targeting where you can specify where you want to be placed. I choose to be in position 3 and while that made my average cost go up about 600% I also got a TON more exposure.
Over all I was surprised at the lack of features with Yahoo Search Marketing. I mean these guys have been doing this the longest right? (Formally known as overture) Thatâ€™s what I thought anywayâ€¦ I hate having to wait DAYS to see if my listings get approvedâ€¦ and also I found the editing of listings to really suck. If I wanted to change something even if it was the website address it almost always got deniedâ€¦ They defiantly have some improving to do.
Ok positives firstâ€¦ MSN is by far the cheapest place to buy clicks. You can get tons of good 5 cent clicks. Also the traffic seems to convert 3-4% better then any other PPC program I tested. Also with MSN I did not have to write assloads of ads. It was pretty much fire and forget.
The downsides to AdCenter:
* There is not much trafficâ€¦ even for top phrases. I had set my budget on AdCenter to 300$/day and it never got close to that.
* Import/export really sucksâ€¦ forget trying to mass import large-scale keyword lists. I ended up doing them about 100 at a time and thatâ€¦ suckedâ€¦.
Adbrite is really the true diamond in the ruff. You have to search for them a bit but you can find them pretty easy. I never paid more then 8 cents a click and got many clicks for around 2-3cents.
Adbrite is somewhat a different monster then the others. You pay on a time period based level for the most part so you want to encourage users to click on the ads as much as possible. Because it costs you the same. The goal for Adbrite is to get as many clicks as possible.
The Bottom Line:
Over all the 40k experiment turned out to be a really profitable experiment. I have tried not to focus too much on specific numbers because people always get so hung up on figures. In order to comply with the broad TOS seemed to be shared by most of these PPC engines I am not going to specifics. I will say that on the whole Adbrite performed by far the best bang for the buck. I will say that Adbrite performed the best profit wise and CPC wise. Also keep in mind that I only played in the Ringtones arena and my methodologies produce many different results then others.
In March using these 4 networks I budgeted $40,000.00 Of that $40,000.00 I was only able to spend $28,932.75 for a total gross return of $144,329.29 for the month of march from cj.com and azoogleads.com Ringtones affiliates. The last parting words I have is do your homework. Find out what you need to spend to make a profit then stand strong on your bids. I HIGHLY recommend not using any automated bidding software for PPC-> affiliate.
Note: I was SUPER sick when trying to write this post and jacked up pretty good on cough meds. I will do follow up posts.