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Question for MJ and Others w/ Google Ads

Merkin Man

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Jul 25, 2007
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I am not a fan of Google Ads - I almost never click on them, and I feel they diminish a website's impact and overall worthiness. In fact, more often than not, when I do click on them, the sites they take me to are garbage. Just phishing for my contact information. So why bother with them?

I know that The Fastlane has some Google Ads, and I see that MJ has AptoHosting set up as a forum sponsor. The Apto banner I like. It draws my interest. Its personalized. Other ads like it would be alright, as well. Just something about the Google Ads I don't like - maybe they aren't personalized enough. I don't know.

I guess my question for MJ and others here with websites or blogs is, why not sell the space on your sites to particular businesses that wish to advertise, instead of the Google Ads? Let's say this site, or a blog that has multiple visitors per day, wouldn't you stand to earn more money by getting company XYZ to pay you $X.XX per month to advertise on your site or blog, all the while ensuring a quality advertiser on your site as opposed to some get-rich-quick scheme that most Google Ads take you to?

Obviously, my question is for personal reasons here. I am looking into starting a blog that I think could garner some interest from folks on the internet. I would like to offer advertising on it, but not the Google ones. I want to have control over what companies I affiliate myself with...
 

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MJ DeMarco

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The ads are more of a temporary fill until a more critical mass in traffic is reached. At that point, it becomes a simple decision of which platform harnesses more revenue.

When a site generates 10,000,000 page views per month, you have many options available and advertisers are attracted to you -- and, you can command a premium price. However, when its only 100,000 page views... the options are more limited and until higher #'s are achieved, the Google ads suffice.

I like the Google ads. The targeting isn't the best though and I've tried to fix that with the keyword tags at the bottom left of the forum home.

MJ

PS: BTW, the revenue from the Google ads pays for the board license and hosting with excess to spare. So I'm running the board for *free*.
 

carlhuber

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Jan 31, 2008
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That John Chow fellow makes a large portion of his scratch from ad sponsors. It kind of depends on the focus of your site. If you can get a sponsor, why not? The google ads I run on my site pay for hosting and bandwidth with a little to spare, and that's okay for now. I've often considered my site to have too diverse a series of subject matters to ever be likely to attract a sponsor. Of course, the websites set up to make a lot of income tend to be laser focused from the get go. I'd like to investigate using some other options but I'm not quite sure how to court sponsors. Does one go around saying "hey, wanna be on my website?" or does one wait for people to come to them?

PhxMJ has it right: google ads pay the same from the outset. Pay per click. It depends on your traffic. No one's going to want to sponsor a site that's just starting out with no traffic. It makes more sense to have google ads (or other ad programs) until a site's established.
 

Merkin Man

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No one's going to want to sponsor a site that's just starting out with no traffic.
I can appreciate that. Wouldn't I be better off going with zero ads until I can drive up the traffic?

PS: Thanks to both MJ and Carl
 

carlhuber

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I would personally suggest some very small text-only and very unobtrusive ads. Google Adsense has an option for just one line text ads. You could use those. That way it wouldn't clutter up your layout and if people see something they like, they could still click on it.

The reason I didn't say to avoid ads altogether is purely psychological. It's nice to see some revenue, no matter how little, come in from your efforts. If there are no ads, there's no revenue, and that might bum you out (plus it's kind of like a free hit counter for your site).
 

offroadaz

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Feb 5, 2008
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PS: BTW, the revenue from the Google ads pays for the board license and hosting with excess to spare. So I'm running the board for *free*.
What is your click through conversion rate for the google ads? Im running adsense on the forums of my jeep site but our our click through rate is very low.

The forums have had 22,659 impressions and only 52 clicks with a CTR of 0.23%
I dont run the ads on any other part of the site although I am thinking about it, we had 65,650 page views for January

Ive tried to target the ads as best as I could, most of them are relevant. Im kind of disappointed in the conversion rate though. Is it normal to have that low of a CTR or should I try something else?

You can see the ads here www.higherground4x4.com/forums
 

carlhuber

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.23% is not a bad CTR (in my experience) - again it all depends on your market. Informational sites may have highers CTRs but lower payouts. Technology sites may have lower CTRs but much higher pays per click.

FWIW (not much) my site got 613,275 impressions last December, but .09% CTR with low paying ads. Quantity definitely does not equal quality when it comes to having readers click ads.
 

MJ DeMarco

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.23% is not a bad CTR (in my experience) - again it all depends on your market. Informational sites may have highers CTRs but lower payouts. Technology sites may have lower CTRs but much higher pays per click.

FWIW (not much) my site got 613,275 impressions last December, but .09% CTR with low paying ads. Quantity definitely does not equal quality when it comes to having readers click ads.
Yea, under .5% CTR is typical -- I don't think the CTR here is anything other than < .1%. However the argument for the ads is simple: Why pay for something when you can get it for free? The ads pay for the board. Cruising down the street, opening up my wallet, and tossing-out the window a few 20's isn't in my makeup.

Now with a site that has 613K views -- you have a 613 metric on a CPM model. If you charge $10/CPM to advertisers, that is $6,130/mo. If you have a very specific target, the CPM rates go up. If its a news portal (broad reach), the CPM wouldn't command as great a rate.
 

offroadaz

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Feb 5, 2008
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Yea, under .5% CTR is typical -- I don't think the CTR here is anything other than < .1%. However the argument for the ads is simple: Why pay for something when you can get it for free? The ads pay for the board. Cruising down the street, opening up my wallet, and tossing-out the window a few 20's isn't in my makeup.

Now with a site that has 613K views -- you have a 613 metric on a CPM model. If you charge $10/CPM to advertisers, that is $6,130/mo. If you have a very specific target, the CPM rates go up. If its a news portal (broad reach), the CPM wouldn't command as great a rate.
Good to know that my ctr isn't abnormal, makes me feel a little better about it

I had to Google CPM model, I had no idea what that was :) CPM = cost per thousand impressions.

Found a site marketing terms on it that I should probably familiarize myself with http://www.marketingterms.com
 

carlhuber

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Now with a site that has 613K views -- you have a 613 metric on a CPM model. If you charge $10/CPM to advertisers, that is $6,130/mo. If you have a very specific target, the CPM rates go up. If its a news portal (broad reach), the CPM wouldn't command as great a rate.
I would literally eat my hat if I could run $6k income through my site per month. That would be pretty amazing. Maybe I should start looking around for direct sponsors.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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There should be some CPM networks ... I haven't really looked. They might charge a $10/CPM and pay out $8 CPM.
 

kimberland

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Jul 25, 2007
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You have to look at the hassle factor too.
If you're just starting out
with not a lot of traffic,
sponsors are going to want low rates.
So are you going to bother with the sponsor hassles for $25/month?
I wouldn't.
Adsense is easy.

As for advertising putting off readers...
After a couple years of no ads,
I finally put adsense on NoLimitsLadies.
I expected some pushback
but you know what?
I didn't receive a single complaint.
No decrease in readership.
Nothing.

So why not?
 

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