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Pay Site Traffic, Advertising, and Conversions

Pay Site Traffic, Advertising, and Conversions

June 18, 2002
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" When I want to find something, I use Google because I find it to be the best tool. "

I'm banging my head against the wall, wondering where my traffic went. Sometimes it just makes no sense to me. I have not changed anything, I am with the same advertisers, the same search engines, the same link trades. But I am only getting half the traffic today as I was yesterday.

Where does everyone go? This is what I do not understand. Not even a change from weekday to weekend, one Saturday is great and then the next is not. Next one is great again. Monday sucks, then Tuesday rocks, then Wednesday sucks again. I just don't get it sometimes. There are reasons for some days and some weeks; ISPs go down, server problems and the like. But there are other traffic changes that have no pattern, that follow no discernible trend.

While I have made a career of marketing and tracking traffic and trends, I am still at a loss many times to explain what is going on. It is like advertising, as well. I can advertise on Site A and get great results. Amazing I say, so off I go to find more sites that are similar, then go through their media kits and find one that is almost identical to Site A.

So, I buy the same ads in the same spaces on Site B as I have on Site A, assuming I will see similar results. The same banner, in the same category, on a site that claims to have the same traffic as the other site claims, even saying that they have the same type of traffic - results? Completely different! Where is the pattern?

While yes, many of you will say that different sites will give you different results. Fine, I know that. But, I have enough experience to know that similar setups should, in theory, give similar results. In the end, my working day becomes one big experiment. Try this and try that and hope that something works.

Like search engines: something else that can make no sense to me. Why is it that I can get X clicks from SE1 and get a fantastic conversion, 1:100 or better, yet SE2 sends me 10X clicks and I get 1:1000 conversions? What is the difference? They are both search engines and they both send surfer traffic, why would one search engine have better traffic than another?

Now I know many of you will say that Google is the best, and I agree. When I want to find something, I use Google because I find it to be the best tool. Now, when someone searches for "midget horse fisters" (of which I have the only site), and they find my site on a search engine other than Google, does that mean it is of any lower quality than if they found it on Google? I just don't understand.

And then take advertising on Google, using ad words or sponsored links. I have had 0 success with those. Click-throughs are terrible, CPC goes through the roof and I get like 3 clicks a day. So, their normal traffic is good, but their paid traffic sucks. Great advertising plan.

Which brings me to paid placement search engines. Again, why are the clicks from one better than from another? Are those clicks coming from "the wrong side of the tracks"? A search engine is a search engine and a searching surfer should be just that. And don't even get me started on the costs of the paid placement engines.

Let me see, I can pay 10 times as much on this engine, for the same term, with 10 times the traffic - which means I get screwed 100-fold. I can buy the same term on a smaller engine and get slightly lower traffic, for a lower CPC - and it is of better quality. I get more conversions for my ad money than with the "big boys" and I know where my money is going. Why is it that one day teens are popular and the next day the chubby girls are converting like mad?

Speaking of conversions, what goes on with that from day to day? I am seeing 1/2 the conversions for yesterday as one week ago. Same day, different week - nothing else changes. What accounts for the difference? No new sites, no changes to any of the sites, billing companies all online and no server problems for us. Just makes no sense to me why we will see 1:X conversion one day and then 1:Y the next. Same volume of traffic from the same sources as the day before.

But sometimes the volume of conversions is there, but the percentages swing from niche to niche. Why is it that one day teens are popular and the next day the chubby girls are converting like mad? One day it is midget wrestling and the next it is horse fisting; can't people make up their minds? Are they changing their perversions mid-week to try something new?

Same with gay versus straight, another one I don't get. One week our gay sites are getting hundreds of signups and the next week it is the straight sites. Are people changing their sexual orientation a few times a month to see what gets them off?

I don't know, I am sure there are answers for a lot of this, but I was just going through our stats and getting confused, so I thought I would tell you all about it. I'm sure that more than a few of you can relate to this, so why not click the link below and tell us about it?


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