Step 5 (pt 3): Driving Traffic: Online Paid
Avish: Alright, first up Fred, let’s talk about online paid advertising and what do you mean by that and why are we starting with this one?
Fred: Well one of the reasons why we’re starting with this one, just to answer that question first, is that you know, one of the things that’s nice about online paid advertising which are the king of that jungle is pay per click advertising. And within that, the top one that we would use would be Google AdWords. The reason why that’s nice is you can start, literally testing your site within minutes after you have it up.
So this allows us to do things like test our conversion rates, pretty quickly so the thing that I would suggest that people do is look at doing your paid online traffic generation first, because it will allow you to get a quick sort of sense of how your website’s working and what you need to work on an tweak, almost immediately after you put it up.
So that’s why we’re talking about paid online traffic in the number one position there.
Avish: Okay, let’s talk about. Now paid online, there are a lot of different ways of generating paid online traffic, right?
Fred: Right, and I think that one of the things that’s important to understand is that in every one of these that we’re going to talk about, and I will talk about this again and again and again, throughout this whole section on traffic, which is that, I think that people, when we give you this plethora of different methods of driving traffic in each one of these four quadrants, I don’t want everyone to try and use all of these. I want you to take a look at, you know the different methods to drive traffic and pick one or two perhaps, from each one of the quadrants to concentrate on.
So again, don’t get overwhelmed, by the volume of different ones that we put up here and think that in order for you to be successful in information marketing that you need to employ all of these, you don’t. You just need to understand all of them, see which ones work best with you, your situation, your site and frankly, with your personality as well.
So understanding that, the first thing we have to talk about with paid online traffic is Google AdWords. Now again, there are other sites that allow you to do advertising on their site. And I wouldn’t exclude them, but I would start with Google AdWords. And Google AdWords are those ads, you set up a Google AdWords account, by going to Google and saying you want advertisers and buttons you have to click. And you can just go to AdWords.Google.com and you can get yourself set up with a Google AdWords account.
Now once you do that, and it’s fairly easy to do – and you may want to talk about this Avish, like you have a gmail account and you’ve done some Google AdWords advertising, how easy was it to do?
Avish: Oh it’s really easy to set up. It’s very step by step and Google explains it very clearly what you are supposed to do at each step and then they give you recommendations for things as well.
Fred: Yeah and the nice thing about it is Google, the majority of their revenue comes from this particular source so they are very, very helpful, in getting everything you need to help you get started quickly and easily.
And that’s why you sort of have to be careful, because one of the things you want to make sure you do when you set this up is to set yourself a maximum daily limit so that you don’t all of a sudden get a bill for a thousand dollars for three days if you have a popular keyword term, which I’ve known a lot of people to make that mistake.
Avish: Yeah, and I think, I want to step back just a minute for people who don’t really know what Google AdWords are and Pay per click advertising is.
Fred: I would agree, so yeah, what we need to do is sort of really tell people what they are and where they’re found. So if you go to any search page on – if you go into Google and you put in a term to search for, you’re going to see a lot of different listings. But the ones at the very top, and the ones at the right hand side of the page that are sort of separated, are what are called sponsored links. And those are the links that people are paying for. They’ve paid to be displayed on that page and when you click, they actually don’t pay to be displayed. They sometimes will be displayed on different pages based on what you put into your search box. But they will only be charged when someone clicks on one of those links.
Now, what else have I missed in terms of the explanation Avish?
Avish: I think that covers it pretty well, so I guess that gives people a basic understanding of what pay per click advertising is, so what you’re saying, what you said before about not spending three thousand dollars is you can actually tell Google, only spend $5 a day, so as people click, and your ads rack up, they’ll cut your ad off once you hit $5 a day.
Fred: Exactly, you can make it so that there is no way that Google will charge you more than a given amount that you put in there. Now the reason why, again this is so important, is that once we’ve established, you know, what keywords you are going to try and use to get people to see your site, you are going to be able to generate traffic very quickly and be able to adjust certain things that you can tweak on your site to adjust your conversion rate.
Now so again, this is not a course on online paid advertising or pay per click advertising. There are plenty of other course on that topic, and I’m certainly not the expert in that field. So I think that if you really want to get into this in depth, you may want to get a course and I know that you know, I’ve worked with a guy name Howie Jacobson who wrote the book – and you may want to start there – which there is a book that Howie wrote AdWords for Dummies so you may want to pick that up if you’re interested in this particular area of generating traffic.
So but realize that in the paid online world, that this one, again, pay per click advertising is the place to start.
Avish: So as far as the technical details, I think that’s a great resource, is the Dummies book, but at a higher level, when – who should consider using the pay per click advertising and when should you use it and do you have any guidelines for what kind of budget you should have for it.
Fred: Well I think the person who should use it is anyone who starts their site at all, in order to start to look at your conversion rate. So I think that everyone should at least dabble in and get started with Google AdWords and then what’s going to happen is the people who want, or who should continue doing advertising in Google Ad Words are those who can turn a nice profit.
And by a nice profit, I really mean that if you can get – and actually it’s a misnomer cause if you can get people, you know, to get to your site for a dollar and your average visitor value is a dollar. Meaning it costs you a dollar to get them there, but they spend a dollar once they get there, you know I would do that a million times. Because if you get people to your site for a dollar and they spend a dollar, well you basically got them there for free. So they’re going to be aware of your site, they’re probably going to be, certain percentage will be opting into your list, certain percentage will have bought something, because if you get them there for a dollar and they spend a dollar on average you know, again if you get a hundred visitors and you have a hundred dollar product, and one out of a hundred visitors buy, you’ve sort of broken even so it’s a dollar per visitor. And we can talk more about some of those stats later.
But I think that anyone and everyone should start by using pay per click advertising to test whether or not your landing page, your home page, the page that people find when they go to your site, whether or not it’s doing what you want it to do.
So everyone should start there.
Avish: So now Google will actually give you all the stats for how many have clicked and what not?
Fred: Yeah, and now is probably a pretty good time to talk about some of the stats that we need to keep and I’m almost tempted to put that in a separate section , but here’s a good place to discuss it.
Which is that really you need to be concentrating on four critical information statistics within your websites and everything about them. So and again, this will apply whether or not we’re using pay per click or any other kinds of methods to drive traffic.
But our most important element that we want to figure out is, how many unique visitors do we get? And again, you just said, Google has a free tool called Google Analytics which will easily allow anyone to put this code and it sounds fancy, but it’s not, put this computer code on the site and they’ll show you how to do it. In such a way that Google will measure the number of unique visitors that you have. It will also measure some other things but that’s one of the critical things is how many unique visitors do you have?
Avish if you come to visit my site today and then you come back tomorrow, you’re not going to be considered a unique visitor cause you’ve been there before. So how many unique visitors you get is number one thing that you want to know in terms of measurements. And there are really four critical measures. So number of unique visitors, that I think is fairly clear.
Number two is the number of people who end up buying, the percentage of people who end up buying your product or service. So we want to know how many people actually go there that are unique, we number two want to know how many people ended up buying your product and what percentage that is. So if you have a hundred people visit your site and on average two people, say buy a $100 product, then our conversion rate is 2% in terms of percentage closing rate for sales.
Our third stat that we want to keep is our percentage rate for opting in. Because if we try to sell people something on our site and we are not successful, our fallback position is to get those people to give us their name and e-mail address, in exchange for something free so that we can try and sell them at some point in the future.
So we’ve got now, unique visitors, the percentage of people who buy, the percentage of people who opt into our list in exchange for a valuable digital bonus, and the fourth thing is our average visitor value, which we spoke about a little bit earlier, but didn’t explain.
Now for average visitor value, what I mean here is, let’s say we have on average 2 people buying a $100 product for every 100 visits, well then we have a total of $200 revenue generated and 100 visits, so dividing 200, the total number of dollars, by the total number of visits, which is 100, our average visitor value turns out to be $2. So those four statics, and the average visitor value number is so critical because when we are dealing with pay per click, whether it be with Google or any of the lesser players, we want to know what our average visitor value is to know what we can bid and actually make money.
But again, you don’t really know that until you start testing with pay per click so it’s a little bit of the cart and the horse thing, so those are the four elements. Any questions on that to make it clear?
Avish: No, I think those four elements are pretty clear. Now how do you , if you run a pay per click campaign like we’re talking about with those numbers, are there certain numbers we’re looking for? Like how do you know if your site is working or your pay per click ad is working?
Fred: Well we want to try and, well the first thing we want to do is make sure that we are not paying more for traffic then we can afford. So if we know our average visitor value is $2, as per our example we just gave, we certainly don’t want to be paying $3-$4 per click until we’ve tweak our site to make sure that we’re getting those kind of numbers, cause that’s a good way, somebody was once quoted as saying well, how are you doing? He said, I’m losing $5 for every car that I produce or whatever, or every widget that I produce. He said, well how are you going to turn that around? He said I’m going to make it up in volume.
You know, if you’re trying to make up in volume something that you’re losing money every time you have a visitor you’re on the path to ruin. But instead, the real reason why we want to keep the statistic on visitor average value which is critical, is so that we know. Now these numbers, people will always ask as you just did, well what should I sort of expect, or what is my baseline expectation number? What should I be targeting.
And the answer is it really depends. So for one industry and one person, you know, a closing rate for 4.5%, like take sales for example. If I was selling a $10 product, Avish, as opposed to a $100 product. My percentage closing rate would obviously be higher. Because it’s a $10 product, it’s cheaper. So if you’re selling a $10 product on your site and I’m selling a $1000 product on my site, for you to brag about the fact that you have a 4% conversion rate compared to my 1% conversion rate would be inaccurate, because I’m actually making more money.
So the true indicator of success, is your average visitor value. It isn’t the individual data on closing rates, whether it be for buying or opting in. That make sense?
Avish: Absolutely, it does.
Fred: So what else do we need to talk about before we close up this topic on pay per click advertising?
Avish: Well is it worth people investigating any other pay per click advertising options besides Google? Like you said there are other small players.
Fred: Yeah, there are other small players, and my answer is yes, because what is it really matter, because if Google gives you the bulk of your traffic, but some of these other pay per click search engines, and by the way, the way to look – there used to be a site PayPerClickSearchEngines.com, but I’m not sure if that’s there still, so what I would do is I would Google list of pay per click search engines. And Google will give you a list even though it’s Google they will still display other people’s stuff and you’ll be able to see that Yahoo does some of this and so does MSN, you know some of the other players being, all these places do it, they’re just not the 800-pound gorilla that Google is.
So I don’t think there is any problem at all in advertising any and everywhere that you’re doing pay per click cause you only pay when people click. So again, Google is getting these days somewhere between 60-70% of all pay per click traffic, but all of the remaining search engines being MSN, all of those, all of those lesser players are getting you know somewhere around the 30%. 30-35% area. So it’s certainly okay to set up accounts with each of those, but don’t expect the bulk of your clicks to come from the lesser players.
Avish: Okay. And I do have one more question about pay per click advertising and that is of the three websites we talked about before, your sales, your squeeze page and your authority site, which one do you use your pay per click advertising – where do you send that pay per click advertising traffic to?
Fred: Yeah, that’s a good question, and it really will depend. It might be useful to send traffic to each of those, but it will depend on the kind of conversions that you get. Now obviously if you’re sending pay per click traffic to a squeeze page, in order to see results it may take a while cause what you’re really trying to do on a squeeze page is to get people to give you their name and to opt in, so that once they give you their name and opt in, there is going to be a series of auto-responder messages and the sale isn’t going to come as immediately as if you sent people directly to the sales letter site.
But there have been a lot of people who have had great success in sending pay per click to a squeeze page site, and within a matter of days, weeks or months, they end up making much more than they would have made and by the way, Google has the ability to track this through all the way to see whether or not that person who came in as an opt-in to your list on the squeeze page, ended up buying something later. So the problem is the immediacy of the results from the squeeze page.
Now from the sales letter page, fairly obvious, you’re going to get your – you’re actually going to target people for a sale so that would be the most logical one that most people would send pay per click traffic to. And the authority site, since it’s a little bit more general and not really trying to get anything, that would be your least likely place, but if you have a really great opt-in rate on your authority site, your authority site, because of all the authority and image that you present on that site, might – your opt-in rates there might be pretty high, almost as high as your squeeze page.
So there, all of these have the ability – it would make sense depending on your particular circumstance, to consider sending traffic to each of them, and again the only way to know whether or not this is going to work is to test it and to just try it.
Avish: Okay, well I think that, pretty well covers pay per click advertising.
Fred: Yeah and so now we have to talk about a few of the other paid online – and again, that’s the Big Daddy of them all, pay per click advertising. And again for people who want to learn more about this, I’m not, I’m just giving you a little bit of an overview here of what it is. I’m not intending this to be in and of itself a course on it. If you want to learn more, that’s not my major area of expertise. It’s something where you go to Google AdWords for Dummies.
Avish: Okay. So I want to talk quickly about some of the others ones, cause they do exist and they might be right for some people.
Fred: Yeah, well there are a couple other ones that we should discuss. Banner advertising, which was really popular in the late ‘90s and early 2000s which was where people would pay to have a banner, a graphical banner usually displayed and you would be charged based on the number of times people saw that or impressions as they call it and banner advertising for a while, after the dotcom crash, banner advertising rates just dropped by like 80% or 90% because frankly they just weren’t working.
Now banner advertisings have, because of their price, have become something worth testing. And a banner ad is something that if you have a banner on the proper site that relates to your topic, area or you know, or product that you’re selling, you might be able to make this work. And in fact some people are having it work really, really well. Again, the only way to know how to do this, is to do this. And by a banner ad, I mean a graphical ad that sits on somebody else’s site that does either a flash or some kind of color to attract attention to itself and is trying to get people to click on that ad so now once they click on that ad, they’re taken to one of your three pages or to any page you want them to go and again, you’ve got to track whether or not the banner advertising is worth it, in terms of the dollars. Cause it’s always an issue, Avish of dollars in, dollars out, so if you pay $500 for banner advertising, and over the course of the next month, you get $500 in revenue, then I would keep doing it.
If you spend $500 and you only get $200 in revenue I would stop doing it. So as long as you’re getting, from your banner advertising, at least as much as it’s costing you to pay for them, I would continue to do it.
Avish: And what length of time do you think is a good test that you can say, okay, I have enough data that I can say this is working or this is not?
Fred: Well in this case, we’re not dealing with the length of time, we’re dealing with the number of impressions. So if you have your banner ad on a site like Yahoo say, that’s extremely heavily trafficked, you might get all of your impressions in an hour and a half. You might get a thousand impressions in an hour and a half. So it’s not an issue of how long but it’s how many impressions. So in general, in order for you to get a good idea of whether or not your banner ad is working, you sort of do need a critical number of impressions, to see whether or not people are actually going to click through.
Now usually they measure banner advertising costs in terms of cost per thousand. That means cost per thousand impressions. So let’s say that you were to get some kind of advertising for $50 per thousand, now obviously a thousand you might go through – and again, the more data you have the more accurate it will be so I would say in a case like that, at least if you could get two to three thousand impressions, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what your click thru rate will be.
Now again you made need to tweak your banner ad to improve your level of click thrus, now the thing about it is just because a large percentage of people click on your banner ad is that really going to be what you’re going to measure on, no cause that has nothing to do with dollars. If 30% of the people who see your ad click on it but none of them buy, it doesn’t matter. So if 10% of people who click on your banner ad go to your site and you know 10% of those people buy, now we’re talking depending on your numbers. But again, banner advertising is something that has nothing to do really with – you just have to think, dollars in, dollars out but also in order to get a critical number of people, you probably need to get a few thousand, is what I’ll say is sort of a rough estimate there.
Avish: Okay, makes sense.
Fred: And if people need more information again on banner advertising, this isn’t a course on any one of these elements. I would just go into YouTube and Google, you know Google banner advertising techniques or on Google itself and see what you come up with cause again, I’m not intending this to be a course on any of these items.
Avish: Alright, so let’s talk about a couple more ways to get paid online traffic. Taking advertisements in ezines.
Fred: Yeah, a lot of times there are people who have very successful, very targeted ezines and they will actually allow you to advertise in those. And if you want to see a list of these, there’s a guy I know, Charlie Page who has this publication that he puts together and it’s online called DirectoryofEzines.com and that will give you a directory of all the ezines and what they charge for their advertising. But a properly placed ad in the right ezine is really good. Now remember, over the last few weeks I’ve been sending you emails from this one company that’s targeting one of our markets, which is consultants, speakers and trainers. And they had some special deal going on, in their case, they were willing to do not just an ad in their ezine, but what they called a solo mailer to their ezine.
Do you remember what I sent ya?
Avish: Yeah, yeah, it was specific to the market.
Fred: Yeah, it was specific to the market. In a situation like that I think in Avish’s case where I sent him, they wanted $1000 for three what they called solo e-mails. In which they’re going to send out an e-mail. Now this is a little bit different then ads in the ezines, so also sometimes different companies that have ezines that go out to a number of people that are very targeted to a particular niche will allow advertising. So you can either contact them directly to see if they allow for advertising, look at their ezine and see if you see other ads, but you also might be approached by various people who have big lists to do targeted solo mailers like we were just talking about.
So targeted solo mailers from companies that have lists is another way in addition to ads in ezines, and again directoryofezines.com is a good place to get a list of all those and to see what they have and what their requirements are, so that’s another method of paying for online traffic.
Avish: Okay, I’m assuming that your answer is going to be the same on this one which is that try it out, test it, see what your results are?
Fred: Yeah, and I think that the more, the real thing before you start testing is to see how precisely you have a match between a person’s ezines, or a person’s list that they want to send out several emails to, to what it is you’re trying to do.
So if you were trying to target professional speakers and somebody had the most, you know, well read publication, ezine in that field, it would probably be worth testing cause it’s an exact match. So the closer you can get to your particular target market, the better.
Avish: Okay. Next paid online method is something called co-registration.
Fred: Yeah, co-registration is something where, you know, and again there are a lot of firms that do this, not a lot anymore that I feel comfortable recommending, but it is – I just wanted to mention it, co-registration is where you pay for people who sign up to be on your ezine and usually what happens is somebody will buy something and I’m sure you’ve bought something Avish where it then threw up a little pop-up that says click here to receive any of these valuable ezines on a regular basis. And people would have to click to receive your ezines, so that’s what’s called co-registration. It’s called co-registration cause usually this opportunity is not presented as a just get one ezine, it’s after somebody has bought something, they are presented with a number of different ezines where they can click and become, you know get membership in or get ezines from these various groups.
Now the problem with this is that often times people who are unsophisticated, once they buy something they are presented with a list of all these ezines that they’re going to get and they’re already clicked and it says you know, unclick to not receive these ezines. So the quality of your names that you generate here –cause really the purpose of doing co-registration is to gain names into your opt-in list so you can then sell them something in the future.
So again, co-registration, is that clear or do we need any further clarification?
Avish: No I think that’s pretty clear. That is something you are, now is that something you recommend people test or you don’t think that’s –
Fred: I would do that as something you test much later in the game, cause it’s not something you want to try right off the top, so leave this as something you might want to look at later on, but not something you put at the top of your list.
Avish: Alright Fred, well that was a whole bunch of paid link, paid traffic for online. And even though we’ve only done one quadrant, they can be overwhelming so do you have any thoughts about how to kind of approach this without you know, going crazy?
Fred: Yeah, just like each of the quadrants we’re going to talk about, you want to start with one and so in this case I would have everybody start, in this case it really wouldn’t matter what your inclination or personality is, I think everyone should start with pay per click traffic and specifically with Google, so that’s where everyone should start. Once you’re comfortable with doing that, you may want to expand to some of the other ones but get started there.