As a marketing professional, I’ve seen many top SEO or SEM companies say they can effectively target their audience. But they don’t really show their ROI statistics or where they’ve placed ads.
I can not overstate how many marketing professionals say “I focus on delivering ROI” for their marketing budget in the promotional ads of several consumer products or service across the internet and they go straight to the “GOOGLE” Ads. For many marketing professionals, they usually go toward the normal and massive trend, which is just placing Google Ads across all of the websites. But I find this strategy or method rather “unstrategic and dull mind”. You shouldn’t always the follow the crowd like a sheep, but think on your feet first and decide which way to go. Of course, you can sit back and watch Google Adword do the work, but when your client comes back and demand for ROI, you have hard time explaining it. (If you don’t like, you can always find other Google Adword alternatives.)
Every business has its own niche audience, and a specific group of key people that respond very effectively to your advertisements. For example, rather than pursuing the massive sales marketing, GroupOn focused on building an innovative way to lower overall total cost of product purchase through “Group-Buy”, but also targeted the money-sensitive individuals, especially the young college students who are short-supply of cash and fastest purchasers in retail industry. GroupOn didn’t place Google ads, but initially started through word-of-mouth marketing and guerrilla marketing in its early startup stage. Therefore, you shouldn’t rely on the mass marketing trend blatantly.
So you are wondering, “How do I, as a marketing professional, effectively measure the advertising placement if this specific website will bring me the best ROI for the limited marketing budget?”.
I would suggest utilizing these three principles for evaluating any target website for placing your sponsored ads.
Three Basic Principles I use for ROI Measurement:
1. Analyze the Real-Time Website Traffic & Demographics
Regardless of the media kit provided by the website (or publisher), you want to do your own research. Website traffic is very volatile: Traffic can change from 100,000 unique visits the first month and within next few months, the traffic could reduce to 70,000 unique visits. Web traffic will never be always the same because a website is consist of information flow, and in digital marketing and websites, higher content and shares will result in shift in information. So any news worthy or hot information will take away traffic from your site and shift into another website. Traffic is similar to a stock market – you have both negative and positive growth. But the most important thing is the overall web traffic visits within the last six months or a year.
To evaluate your potential targeted websites for the ad placement, you want to check its website traffic. You should look at its monthly visits, unique visitors and past website traffic performance. Several websites exist to show the web traffic – Alexa, TrafficEstimates.com, SiteWorthTraffic.com, StatShow.com, Compete.com and several other websites. Out of these numerous websites, my favorites are trafficestimate.com and siteprice.org.
TrafficEstimate is more efficient than Alexa, primarily because TrafficEstimate will show you monthly web visitors that are around +20,000 visitors to +100,000 visitors. Alexa only measure the largest websites – including CNN, TechCrunch, Meshables, and several well known websites- and don’t really measure the smaller niche website traffic that are growing.
Shown below are the two screenshots: (1) Alexa.com, and (2) TrafficEstimates.com of Dog.com. When you see the difference, you will see that TrafficEstiamtes.com show more accuracy in the traffic change. Because Alexa only measures the top websites, Alexa isn’t appropriate for majority of small to medium business marketing professionals. You really also don’t see what % of your website visitors decreased or not in a simple graph from an Alxea chart. But for TrafficEstimates.com, you notice that 80,000 web traffic visitors came through within last 6 months, and can see the potential growth of dog.com web traffic.
If you are placing your own $5000 dollar for marketing budget, would you place on a dead website or a website that has been growing in the last 6 months? I would say the latter is your best logical and sensible choice for the most marketing strategies. Checking the website traffic is the most sure way to know if the website is lying or not lying about their web traffics and number of visitors, as well as the CPM potential cost.
2. Review the Website Content Relevancy With Your advertisements
When you are placing an advertisement for your company’s product or service, you probably have an idea of what the product capability/features and functions are (for business product, you would which industry to target). So you are probably looking at using different keywords, phrases and specific jargons. For example, if you work in the pharmaceutical industry sales and you are selling drugs to doctors, you are looking for “doctor referral marketing” or “OTC recommended to doctors for their patients”.
Every websites is categorized by different industries, categories and specific demographics. If you go deeper into the marketing research aspect of your target audience, you have to know: (1) Which functional role does my company play in the industry? – Is my company a supplier, provider, buyer or re-seller? (2) Which specific products/services does my company provide? – Is my company supplying essential functional parts to an automobile manufacturing companies or a non-essential luxury accessories in a retail sector? (3) How much does my products/services are sold for? – Am I selling a multi-million dollars contact for an industrial-level company (ex: oil project, pharmaceutical drug development contract) or am I selling hundreds of thousand dollars products to several consumer-related products (B2C)?. Knowing these three key areas will help you search for the right websites for the best sponsored ads placement and if these three areas don’t match with your target website, then I wouldn’t suggest placing an ad within the website.
One of the research tools I use is WooRank.com. Not only WooRank shows the internal website functionality, but it shows the SEO content built within the web contents. Check out the screenshot of WooRank for Dogs.com I just ran.
You can notice WooRank scanned Dogs.com and checked its title tag, alternative attributes for images, keyword consistency with its website content, and meta description used in Google search engine. (P.S If you are interested in developing better website content, WooRank can also be utilized and your website programmers will appreciate you did your due diligence in improving the website ranking and structure.)
3. Utilize Statistic Database to Identify Key Trends & Key Information
If you haven’t realized by now that StartupsGrid.com utilizes and focuses on “quantifiable” and “measurable” information as the basis for developing its blog content, you will not understand why statistic is important. But for those who understand the value of “measurable data points”, I would suggest you look more into using “data-drive marketing” for this part.
You can utilize the below website to understand various “statistics” based information. Everything you do can be quantified – even your daily photo viewings, your doctor visits, or your purchase habits. With the growth of data marketing and big data trend, you should always focus on how realistic your advertising strategy will reach how many % of the target audience based on the previously-tried strategy and improve with the strategy with some reference knowledge.
Statista is one of the fastest growing free statistic database websites and you can find quality research documents, forecasts, topics, infographics, and industry report. Of course, for some of the major industrial level marketing research documents, you need to pay an extra fee to download them. Nevertheless, Statista categorizes the information for you, and helps find the most relevant information at ease.
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Following article is written by Hyun Kim. He blogs frequently on various niche marketing blogs, and StartupsGrid.com. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
(Image Source: Screenshots of respective websites).
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