Not long ago it was very easy to profit from pay-per-click
advertising. In fact, I used to spend 99% of my advertising
budget on pay-per-click search engine advertising since it
was so easy just to post up an ad, add funds to one of the
popular pay-per-click providers and sit back and watch the
orders food in.
It was that easy.
Using simple tracking software the source for each sale
could be determined. It was then a simple calculation to
determine how much I could bid on popular keywords,
by dividing the gross amount in sales by the number of
visitors to my website.
This scientific marketing approach produced a real healthy
return on my investment. So I continued to top-up my
pay-per-click account and watch my profits grow!
Slowly, over time my results began to change...for the
worse! More and more advertisers began to take advantage
of the clear benefits of advertising online, being able to
reach targeted niche markets quickly and easily. With the
increase in competition for popular keywords came higher
and higher bids, with each advertiser striving for the
exclusive pole position. The end result was a bidding war!
Gradually, those popular keyword terms that used to bring
in huge chunks of profit, were just too expensive. The
cost of pay-per-click advertising started to overtake
the actual sales achieved and lowering the bid simply
didn't bring the amount of traffic that was needed.
So this was my position regarding pay-per-click advertising
up to a few weeks ago. If you are an online advertiser who
has used pay-per-click advertising over the last couple of
years or so, then my experience will probably sound very
familiar to you..
So when I released my new product I decided to 'err on the
side of caution' and test my advertising campaign with a
few different pay per click traffic providers before
committing my budget to just one popular source.
So, I decided to perform a comparison test between 3
different pay-per-click traffic sources with an initial
budget of $200 committed to each pay-per-click engine for
my latest ebook 'Cash From Your Camera'
The first was the most popular of the PPC systems -
The second was another fairly popular source of
pay-per-click traffic - Kanoodle at http://www.kanoodle.com
Finally, I tested a new kind of traffic source -
Have Traffic at http://www.havetraffic.com. This isn't a
pay-per-click search engine but it is a type of PPC
advertising. They say that their traffic achieved through
a network of related sites instead of a direct result from
a search engine.
Here are my results....
Google's traffic was the most expensive at 45 cents per
click for the list of targeted keywords that I chose.
They delivered a total of 449 visitors to my web site for
my $200 investment. I got one sale and 20 sign-ups to my
newsletter. So the sign-up conversion rate was 4.4% and my
return on investment was 43%
Kanoodle provided much more traffic for my dollars. I
actually received 1523 visitors at around 8 cents a visitor.
Unfortunately, the results were very disappointing. The
campaign did not achieve a single sale and I got only 2
confirmed sign-ups to my newsletter....not good!
Have Traffic was the real surprise package.
I received 1,000 visitors for my $200 and actually received
3 sales and 46 subscribers to my newsletter.
The actual return on my investment was a 135% plus I
received 46 leads with which to follow-up
Just one of the campaigns broke even and that one only
earned 135% ROI. I'm sure that if I optimize everything
a little better then Google and Have traffic would provide
a profitable return on my investment. It really seems that
Kanoodle is a bust no matter what I do. Its a pity.
In the distant past I could count on decent traffic from
If I had used different keywords then it may have been
possible to achieve different results for the campaigns
But overall, this test shows that it is still possible to
find cost effective pay-per-click advertising. You just have
to look harder (sometimes at unexpected sources) and
optimize your adcopy quite a bit more than was necessary
in the past for even solid known good sources of traffic
One of a series of articles by Robert Hartness, successful
freelancer and author of Cash From Your
which offers a step-by-step guide to those on the threshold
of freelance photography and is illustrated with 40+
published photographs. Acclaimed as a great reference
source for serious freelancers. For More information please