When we first started out with our children’s website www.candostreet.com, we used AdWords as a vehicle for creating awareness and followers.
At first the .15 per click seemed reasonable, then the price per click started rising to .25, .40, .65, .85, 1.25 and then to 1.95. This price rise did not occur over a long time but within a month or 6 weeks.
The first reality of paying $1.95 per click was that if we wanted a thousand followers it could cost us $1,950.
The second reality of paying $1.95 per click was that there was no guarantee that each person that clicked through was really interested in the site or was just browsing and if they were interested, would stay with us on a steady basis.
The third reality was seeing that there was no limit or capping as to how high cost per click would go.
The fourth reality was that this price was for just one phrase or word grouping. What would be the cost for 3, 4 or 5 phrases?
As with most start-ups, we had a finite amount of money. In this case it was my own money and not that of investors – not that it should make a difference.
When we analyzed our cash flow for advertising, the questions were “Was this the best way to commit $20,000? Also, did we want to commit $20,000 for advertising or were there better uses for this money”?
We then started to research and analyze what we believed were the reasons for the price jumps and also wanted to find out whether were there better ways to structure advertising pricing and deliveries.
One of the first things that we concluded was that since a “click-is-a-click”, there should be no difference in price since we are paying by the “click” not the amount of audience. We are looking for one client at a time. If the number of viewers or followers was influencing the price-per-click, then there has to be an additional charge or value added for impressions/views or exposure to a greater population group.
AdWords text advertisements are short, consisting of 25 characters and two additional text lines. There are neither pictures nor sounds. Since AdWords can be selective as to distribution on a local, national, and international distribution levels, with pay-per-click (PPC) and cost-per-thousand (CPM) options, we did not see McDonalds and other major companies using the Right Column advertising.
While advertisers can select the words that should trigger their ads and the maximum amount that they will pay per click, the reality is that the internet is a small screen TV with unlimited channels (websites) capabilities. Why spend money on non-event AdWords to trigger an advertisement when companies sponsor NASCAR, sports teams, various TV programs, activities and events? They are sponsoring an EVENT where an interested audience can see and relate to their product. This is Branding and Brand Awareness. Branding is a combination of audio, visual and ASSOCIATION.
We were fortunate to have a couple of advertising professionals review the AWSTATS for our sites, they commented that they were impressed not only with the number of visitors to the relatively young sites but more impressed with the depth of interest by our visitors as shown in the number of impressions (pages) per visitor.
Summing up, if you advertised on a number of niche websites which charge $3 per thousand impressions with 4.0 impressions (with click through to your site) per visit and we used the $1950 above as an advertising budget, you would get 580,000 impressions while reaching 145,000 passionate visitors. Advertise on websites whose statistics exclude spiders, robots and such from the actual visitor count.