One thing we have been helping more and more clients with recently is domain acquisition for conversions. We are by no means hard core domain investors and our experience of the domain industry is intermediate at best. However, one of the often overlooked benefits of PPC marketing is the conversion data from the different sources the networks use…
For this example, we’ll use the trusted Google Content Network. For those unfamiliar, Google allows you to advertise using Adwords on three different “networks”. These are “categories” are the Google Search Network, which AdWords advertisers will be most familiar, The Search Partners Network which includes AOL and various other “trusted sources” and the Google Content Network which consists of hundreds of thousands of websites and domains running Google AdSense. For the sake of simplicity, I am leaving out print, audio and TV. What we will be focusing today is the Google Content Network.
Many advertisers either fail to consider buying additional domains to compliment their main one or don’t want the trouble of researching the value of the domain. With the Google Content Network, this is already being done for you behind the scenes.
The content network is, by default, run on all sources. This includes a plethora of relevant publisher websites as well as social networks, video portals and parked domains. We want to take a closer look at the latter.
It should be noted that Google give options to exclude most of these sources from within the AdWords console.
Assuming you are advertising on the content network and have your conversion tracking set up (you do have it set up don’t you?) you can use a rarely spoken about AdWords report called the “Placement Performance Report”. This report gives you insight into how your ads are performing on the different sources and gets as granular as the domain and URL of where your ad was served from.
When you run this particular report, you can choose to report and view on a variety of metrics. For the purpose of this post, we will only be looking at the domain, URL impressions, clicks, conversions and Value/Cost (Return On AdWords Ad Spend).
Below you will see an actual report run for one of our clients. As you can see, we have sorted the list by ascending conversion data. This is a report for ONE WEEK. Starting to see where I am going with this? For this particular client, the value for each conversion is between $97 and $227 so you can clearly see that the content network is working for them.
Great! We can see the content network is working well for this client. We can leave it running right? Well… let’s just take a look at what’s actually on “parked domain 1″. When we navigate to the site, we see a typical SEDO landing page with content network ads prominently displayed. We can also see the clients ad running in position #3. However, as with most/many SEDO landing pages that are only monetized through advertising while they are waiting to be sold, in the left column there is an offer to “Buy this domain“.
So this domain is for sale eh? If this domain is generating an average of six conversions per week for this client and it’s getting a lot of type in traffic, it must be worth something. Even sharing this domain with ten advertisers using AdWords, the value to this particular client is on the bottom end is $762 ($127 x 6) per week or $39624 per year! (assuming traffic is maintained AND that the client is still sharing with the other advertisers). We might be on to something. Clicking on the “More Details” link to buy the domain brings us to the following page:
So here we have a domain that’s generating $762 a week gross revenue and it’s for sale for $500? Do I need to tell you what happened next?
We advised the client and they purchased the domain the day of this report. Because we know which landing page was generating the conversions from this domain, the client simply did a 301 redirect to the landing page and let me tell you, they are reaping the rewards. They are getting an even higher than expected return because now they are not paying for the clicks to their site and are not sharing the page with 9 other competitors! Since the beginning of the year, they have purchased over 30 domains using this method.
Buying these domains that have type in traffic and that you KNOW convert (from your AdWords conversion data) offer a significant long term return on investment. So what are you waiting for? Go run your placement performance reports and see what money you are leaving on the domain table today! (before your competitors read this)