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Closing May 25. Investment Opportunity.

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Getting frustrated. My site gets lots of traffic, but I am still not making much money. Affiliates schemes seem to be next to worthless, and adsense is good, but not great.

 

Should I find some products and sell direct? No idea what. Probably weight loss / supplements etc. ? Or should I form better partnershiips with companies for some direct advertising, based on monthly rates?

 

Shame almost to see all the traffic get wasted! If I can get up to 500k uniques a month I will be ok, but 140k is not currently putting food on the table (although it does pay the mortgage).

Edited by jonbey

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but 140k is not currently putting food on the table (although it does pay the mortgage).

 

You are making 140K from your site from ad revenue and you are complaining!!!!! :huh: ... And if thats only just paying the mortgage I suggest you get a smaller house :mellow:

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Have you seen how much my son eats?

 

Sorry. Those figures are unique visitors per month, not GBP! Revenue is WAY lower. Like, miles.

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What about selling digital content? It is a little easier to manage than shipping physical products. You could work with a publisher of digital content to rebrand it.

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Sounds like a good idea. What do you mean? Like, eBooks?

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Try everything. :mellow: Direct advertising, selling digital products, selling physical products, hooking up with cpm advertising networks like value click, tribal fusion, burst media, etc. You won't know what will work for your site/audience until you try.

 

Another possibility: membership of some sort - monthly fee gets extra goodies of some type.

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I am going to take a guess at something... and this is nothing more than a guess.

 

I wonder if your adsense is being "smart priced"?

 

If you have a site that has a poor conversion rate (lots of people click the ads but nobody buys) then the price that the advertiser pays per click and the income that you receive per click are reduced by Google.

 

You have a big block of adsense above the fold - atop of your content. Lots of people could be clicking that ad simply because they don't know that it is an ad. They go to the advertisers site and realize that they were fooled by the ad, they buy nothing. A wasted click for the advertiser. Google sees this and lowers the price to the advertiser because your traffic does nothing for him. Advertisers see that people from your site do not buy anything and realize that they don't want your traffic (and when you loose advertisers there are fewer people bidding your ads up - so this is a double damage to your earnings).

 

If this was my site, I would try moving the ads down into the content. So that content is what the visitor sees first in the top of the center column. Or removing the ads from the top of the center column and placing them at the top of one of the side columns.

 

Yes, this will do major damage to the CTR of your ads. But this will increase the quality of traffic that you send to advertisers and they will be more willing to allow ads on your site and bid for your visitors.

 

Sometimes I think that you will make more money by allowing your ads to be recognized as ads.

 

Go to the adsense blog and search for "smart pricing" http://adsense.blogspot.com/ .

 

Also, read this post by Jensense. She describes it better than anyone (although post is old). http://www.jensense.com/2005/10/25/one-poo...dsense-account/

 

Something else...... that big block of ads at the top of your content could reduce the number of people who are willing to link to you. They visit your site and think... "this site is about slapping ads in the visitors face not about giving the visitor good content"... so they don't recommend your site to their valued visitors. They don't want your ads slapping their visitors' face. I love adsense, but I personally do not link to sites that have huge blocks of adsense above their content. It makes it look like I am linking to ads - not content.

 

Again, I am guessing here, I could be wrong. But if this was my site I would remove the ads from above the content and be willing to take a damagingly low CTR for a while until google figures out that the ad traffic from my site has increased in value.

 

Your goal is to maximize the average income per visitor - not get a maximum number of visitors clicking on your ads.

 

I am curious to see if iamlost agrees with this.

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Cheers Donna.

 

Egol, the current ad placement is where it is after years of experimenting. It used to just be in the footer, then had link units/small ads to the right/left, but none work as well as the block.

 

I did worry about accidental clicks, but on the best performing pages in terms of ctr/epcm people are reading for a fair while (more than 2 minutes) so I think people skim the ads, then go back when ready.

 

But, maybe time to experiment again.

 

Maybe I shall get some rotating going again. Hmmm.

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"Google sees this and lowers the price to the advertiser because your traffic does nothing for him."

 

I guess the big question is, what should I expect in terms of eCPM.

Obviously I cannot say what I get due to the TOS.

 

:mellow::huh:<_<<_<<_<<_<<_<<_<

to

:emo10::emo10::emo10::emo10::emo10::emo10::emo10::emo10::emo10::emo10:

 

Easy PM's

 

Does that make any sense?

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eCPM might be the metric to watch.... or income per visit might be better. You can calculate it by dividing monthly income by monthly visits.

 

=========================

 

If you have records of where you placed ads on what date, you can load your adsense data (downloadable in your adsense account) in Excel, plot it over time and see if your eCPM droped a week or so AFTER putting the ads in the center column.

 

If you did not have ads in the top of the center column and then placed them there, you probably immediately saw a fantastic increase in eCPM... but then, over time, did it drop? Such a pattern would suggest that the new ad position caused your ad clicks to be smart priced. Jensense says that google reevaluates smart pricing weekly. Even if that is not correct they do not change your pay rate immediately. There is a delay.

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I think my new year resolution was to log each change. I have yet to fulfil that one...

 

This jensense would make some sense, as ecpm can vary widely from week to week, to day to day. Day before yesterday was actually my best day EVER, but the yesterday was about average for the month.

 

Will calculate value per visit. Traffic is always up each month, so no point in going by revenue alone.

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I must say that I really like your site design as seen in FF with NoScript enabled. :mellow:

 

You have a real problem - imo - with that top GoAn ad block. It looks as if it is the page content. I don't mean just the blending but right under the title with the 'ads by G' below initial eye scan the impression is that those ads are the contents. If you track by which ads, i.e. first, second, get the click spread I suspect you will see confirmation.

 

Do you know the clicktracks? That 2-minute on page time might be ad clickers actually lowering average time on page. Without the right metrics, extensive analysis, and a benchmark it is impossible to be certain. But I tend to agree with EGOL.

 

Now if you were a typical MFA site you'd be driving traffic by whatever means and loving the setup. But motleyhealth is a quality site. Therefore the requirements change. You need quality clicks not quantity. And I really doubt that positioning and appearance is providing the potential quality. CTR is not your most important metric, eCPM is.

 

I don't know if you benchmark before changes so as to know the effect, if not start doing so. Then change one thing (you have lots of pages - if you want to test a dozen changes pick a half dozen pages for each test and test them all - that's 72-pages total to track against benchmark) per page. If four of those changes are positive, revert pages to pre-test configuration, set up another test sequence of a half dozen pages testing two of those successful changes together - 36 or 72 pages depending on whether you need to switch order. Eventually you have something proven to roll out for general use. Start all over again.

 

As you have tried GoAn to side, to bottom, and now to top why not try within? Let the visitor read a bit and then serve a smaller ad block between content sections. I'd suggest testing first for initial ad position: test several pages with ads only betwen first and second sections of content, several pages with ad block only between second and third, etc. After several days to a week (depending on traffic) you should have a good idea where to start your ads. Now run a new test to see how adding ad blocks between subsequent content sections fairs. There is no one answer.

 

But keep you eye firmly on eCPM. There is always a sweetpoint where eCPM and CTR combine to give the greatest return. Note: this can vary by page. You just need to find it.

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Within content is not, I think, an option. At least not without shed loads of editing...

 

I shall be brave and try no goan on top in one of the sections, probably fitness and strength, and see how it goes.

 

Another option I guess could be skyscraper to the right. Maybe with a spacer of blank so that the ad is not on top.

 

Limitations of CMS? Hmmm. Unless there is a clever WP plugin that allows ads to apear after the first paragraph or something.

 

Oh, no, do not know the click tracks.

 

How do I find out?

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In my opinion the best results will be obtained when people know your ads are ads... but when the ads also attract attention.

 

One thing that Google has done recently is allowed you to select a font size for your ads. With that tool you don't have to put the ads at the top of the content column to attract attention. Instead you can put the ads to the side and use a strong font to attract attention.

 

I have experimented with increased font size in bright blue over a lot of pageviews and at least for my site the larger font is doing really well.

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Apart from trying and maybe implementing every monetizing model you can think of (paid subscription, your own digital products and building an email list to market affiliate physical/digital products being the most effective ones), you need to test what drives you money.

 

ClickTracks iamlost mentioned is a powerful log analyzer that can help you track your visitors (not sure about Adsense usage: use channels for that heavily).

 

ClickTale is a script that tracks clicks (and maybe even mouse movements) on the page. Use it in your testing. CrazyEgg is a good addition, too.

 

As for incontent ad blocks, check the so-called AdSense-ready themes. They have lots of options (or research WP plugins for AdSense placement: I bet there are 2-3 worthy ones that can do the job).

 

In short, test everything. No one forces you to use only one monetization method. Use every method that makes you profit.

Edited by A.N.Onym

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Smart pricing is done for your entire account... so doing experiments on one part of the site will tell you the effectiveness of your PAGE but it will not achieve a change in smart pricing - if that applies to your account. For the change to be effictive you must do it across your entire site... and you must leave the new ads in place long enough for google to reevaluate the site.

 

Also, I think that eCPM is not as good of a metric as income/visit. The reason: if you remove the big block of ads from the top of the center content then visitors might be inclined to view a lot more pages. The more pages the visitor views the greater the chance of the visitor clicking an ad. But since the CTR of the ads will likely drop the eCPM will drop too. I calculate income per visit and use that as the metric to guide me. I want visitors to view lots of pages - that is the sign of a successful site.

 

================

 

iamlost gave your site two compliments above. I want to second them. You have done a lot of work on your site in the past year and it is looking really nice. You also have added a lot more content. It is looking like a rich content resource. Keep up the great work you are building a nice site.

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Thanks guys! Keep those compliments coming. I feel that I have just had the html version of a power shake! Ready to take on the world now. GGrrrr. I do know that one day it will be *the* resource for all things fitness and weight loss related. Slowly but surely I am getting there.

More work to do now.

Also spoke with my redundancy consultant today, and he took a look at my advertising page, and suggested I cut out a lot of the content, provide more impact and bung the less important details in a more info page. So need to update that too.

Edited by jonbey

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I shall be brave and try no goan on top in one of the sections, probably fitness and strength, and see how it goes.

 

I'd suggest also testing a much smaller block in that top location. Plus a much smaller more obviously differentiated block in the same position. The location is a natural for clicks but if you remove some of the ad-or-content confusion the click quality may go up with a minimal CTR decrease. Never know until you test.

 

Do remember what EGOL said: Smart pricing is done for your entire account. So you need to make some inferences and guesses based on visitor action changes. Then roll out the best combination site wide and wait to see the impact. Recovery is always a longer venture than starting from scratch.

Also, I think that eCPM is not as good of a metric as income/visit.

 

I prefer income per page. :mellow:

Then income/visit (by referer and by median as well as by average) - but given GoAn's inaccurracies I would be hesitant to use it for anything/visit except as a relative measure.

 

But then I have multiple revenue streams. With just AdSense the combination off eCPM and CTR should be quite usable.

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One of the reasons for a big block below header was because I started placing an image top right of content, so adding an advert block across the board would interfer with layout when there is an image. Anyone know if wordpress can handle diff. Templates? That would be good. Or I need some sort of code that says "if an image no ads please, otherwise show this".

 

I have also been toying with the idea of using ad manangement software - installed an os thing, forget name, but not worked it out yet.

 

If I triple my traffic I will be ok really, but I now only have about 6 months to either triple traffic, or get higher paying ads on the site. Somehow I think the latter will be easier!

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OK, made a change to the main blog (thought, what the hey!). Ad above the title. And more obviously and advert.

Also removed some of the bottom stuff that was not doing much anyway.

Lets see how this goes....

Edited by jonbey

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For different templates for wp pages, see: http://codex.wordpress.org/Pages

For different templates for wp posts, see: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/custom-post-template/ (and there may be others)

 

There are lots of wp adsense plugins available, so you can probably find one that will work for you in terms of placement issues. Here's a fairly decent summary list: http://www.nofullstop.com/2009/04/26/wordp...ated-regularly/

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Thanks again, will check them out.

 

One thing - doesn't the adsense placement and style on nofullstop look familiar? It is almost identical to what I had, except no line below.

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OK. Regarding testing, what is the best way? I have just decided to do what I usually do, and change almost the whole site with the new layout. I figure that this will provide a quicker test, as many more pageviews if whole site updated.

 

Results so far are a little worrying though. CTR was 4.5% on previous banner, but with 270 pageviews so far, it is 0%.

 

Maybe it will pick up in a moment..... :mellow:

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I personally like this format a lot better.

 

Give it some time for the new ad unit to adjust.

 

Don't forget there are two types of income that you can receive. One is ad revenue and the second is visitors supporting your site with links, bookmarks, recommends and return visits. Every one of those is future income by return visits and by increased rankings. If ad income drops a bit the gain from increased visitor engagement might make up for it.

 

I think that you could place a large rectangle ad below the article and it would get some action. In my opinion that ad below the article would not damage the linkability of the site. You could even allow image ads if you don't mind them.

 

If this was my site I would experiment with different formats of the 468x60. I think that it currently looks like a feature of the site. I would run this for a few days and then put up something quite different. The bigger the change that you make the greater the chance for it to flop or to do a lot better.

Edited by EGOL

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Sorry Egol, but I am toooo impulsive. I have already changed the header banner to boring blue (and now changed it back a bit.....)

 

But, I have followed your advice and added a new image&text footer square (still updating, /articles done tho')

Edited by jonbey

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Fingers crossed traffic will grow by 1000% in the next month.

 

:emo11:

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Well, time to leave it. But please promise, all of you, no-one tell my wife. She will be shocked if she sees a big dip in earnings. Will have to blame the credit crunch.

Last update of the day - followed Egol's advice (from another thread I think) and made lots of changes.

Added a link unit to the left top
Smaller, above header title ad banner
text&image large footer
reduced right 125px ads to 4
moved up larger square bodybuilding ad to nearer the fold
cut out a lot of the other footer ads
removed most of the left lower ads
and on my best page, added the large block in manually, so at least this will not be negatively affected, hopefully.

Really, all ads that were not performing have been removed. Except the Adsense, which was performing OK but not greatly.

It looks better. But need those extra customers and more impressions now. Maybe easier to sell direct advertising this way!

Gosh, need sleeeep

:wacko:

Edited by jonbey

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Tests are usually done one change after another, and if you change many things at once, you need to do many many tests by varying changes to identify which combination of them works better.

 

It takes time, but careful, responsible testing produces results. If you can't tell what improved your CTR, you still need to test every change one by one.

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I think you should sell things on your site like yoga and fitness equipment. You have so much going for you - an authoritative site with so much traffic. I'm lucky to live near NYC and every week or so, there is another trade show that comes to town at the Jacob Javits Convention Center where vendors sell everything under the sun. Twice a year there is a show called the New York International Gift Fair and there is a huge section called "Extracts" that sells only body care products (not sure how this relates to you), but go to a fitness or health show in a big city near you and just go up and down the aisles to see what they sell. You'll get ideas that you never dreamed of.

 

A problem with fitness equipment is that it might take up too much room in your house and the shipping is probably a lot, but maybe you can sell something relatively small and lightweight, like the fitness balls, or yoga clothing, or fitness CD's, or mats, pedometers.

 

I think you have a golden opportunity to at least try to sell something on your site. Oh how I wish I had your numbers! Your potential is huge!

 

Risa

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Some of the pages on my website have been through at least 10 and sometimes 20 different formats, each time keeping a screenshot and data. It is amazing how much difference you can get by changing things. Some formats earn 10x more than something not very different.

 

If I was still running my original format I would be out a LOT of money. And, I am still not done experimenting.

 

Google just released the ability to change the font size of your adsense. Amazing how much different font size can do for getting ad action.

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Screenshots are a nice idea, EGOL. I should start doing that. Descriptions of a visual fall flat, so use a visual of a visual where possible. ;-)

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re. "Some formats earn 10x more than something not very different" - yes, I am seeing that already - but in reverse.... :wacko:

 

Hopefully it will pick up. But people just are not clicking now.... oh, I am not going to enjoy this change much.

 

But then there is the possibility of improved performance from the extra affiliate links and banners. Then just wait for some good advertising, and find a product to sell/advertise. But with a diverse range of customers, hard to pick stuff that will appeal to many.

 

Risa, lots of people I speak say they would like my traffic. No one however would like my revenue!

 

Such is life. I shall grin and bear it. If it does fail, then I will blame Egol. If it makes the site a great success, then I will need his address to send him flowers!

 

It does look better though. I shall go to work now and try not to worry about it all too much.

 

:thankyou:

Edited by jonbey

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AH HA! Suddenly so obvious.

 

THe suggestion to monitor revenue per visit makes so much more sense. It has only just occured to me (after 3 years messing about!). As soon as you add another ad block, such as an extra banner or a link unit, then your eCPM will obviously drop, as impressions leap 25%. No idea why I never thought of this before!

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OK

 

I have now added 8 new channels (this replaces one previous channel).

 

ARTICLES BELOW CONTENT - Middle Centre - Text Ads Only

ARTICLES BELOW COMMENTS - Bottom centre - Text and Images Ads

FITNESS BELOW CONTENT - Middle Centre - Text Ads Only

FITNESS BELOW COMMENTS - Bottom centre - Text and Images Ads

DIET BELOW CONTENT - Middle Centre - Text Ads Only

DIET BELOW COMMENTS - Bottom centre - Text and Images Ads

EASTERN BELOW CONTENT - Middle Centre - Text Ads Only

EASTERN BELOW COMMENTS - Bottom centre - Text and Images Ads

 

Next I will update the skyscraper so it has 4 channels.

 

Then same for link unit.

 

And then I will sit back and watch the bidding war take place on my prime internet real estate. Or just panic as revenue plummets, again.

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There are a lot of ads on that site. However, the content area is fairly clean of ads. The thing that irritates me about this site is that there are several animated ads on the same page.

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Ok, new plan, or old revived. A pal, who happens to be really fussy about advertising and spammy content, downloaded the ebook that was being advertising on my site. He said that the information was all good advice, nothing we do not know already, but sound, correct etc.

 

I was going to write my own ebook a while ago, but then never had time. Well, seems logical to now do my own, in my own style, and promote it on my site.

 

Pal says to get a new domain for the ebook and advertise, rather than brand it iwth my site, as those ads pages do look really naff (you knoe, the long pages with testimonials, yellow highlighted text and shock effect sales pitch. There is a good keyword rich, no hyphen domain available that I could snap up once I am out of hospital.

 

Shall I do it?

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OK, just bought 4 new domains for my eBook! (.com net org and co.uk)

 

Now just got to write my eBook.

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OK, just bought 4 new domains for my eBook!

 

Sounds to me like the (x)banker is hedging his investments. :)

 

Think I'll go go register the servicemarks Find it on jonBey and Found it on jonBey, Buy it on jonBey and Bought it on jonBey, Get it on jonBey and Got it on jonBey :lol:

 

It's great to see your enthusiasm. :cheers:

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