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List of CPM Traffic Networks with No Required Minimum

CPM stands for Cost Per Mille, or thousand, and is a form of advertising where views matter. As a publisher, you own a site you want to monetize, so you want to sign up for a CPM traffic network. You bring in traffic, that traffic sees the ads, and the ad network pays you based on the people who see it. There’s a lot of nuance to this kind of advertising. You might earn a different amount for your traffic depending on where the traffic comes from, with traffic from the USA, the UK, Australia, and other primary English countries coming as a premium, while traffic from India, Pakistan, and other low-tier countries earning you very little. You may have variable pay rates depending on the volume of traffic, the placement of the ads, and other factors. The two most important factors to consider when looking at a CPM network to join, however, are the minimums. Does the network have a required minimum amount of revenue before they pay you? This is a common restriction for a lot of CPM networks; they don’t want to have to cut checks for $5 every month to a lot of low-tier sites, so they put a minimum payment threshold into place. However, this can mean you send traffic to a network for months with nothing to show for it, which really isn’t worth your time. Does the network have a required minimum amount of traffic for you to be able to join it? A lot of the best CPM networks are restricted only to the top sized sites, so they can attract their own advertisers. “Your ads will show on sites that average 100 visitors a month” isn’t really a selling point, after all. There are reasonable rationalizations behind both minimums, but they definitely bias those CPM networks towards certain kinds of sites and certain sizes of communities. It makes it quite hard for those of us with smaller sites to properly monetize, and without good monetization, how can we expect to grow? There’s a self-fulfilling prophecy here, a circular feedback of mediocrity. CPM ads work best when you’re running a site that doesn’t really click through affiliate links or buy products, but is more readily willing to view ads as incidental to content. When you’re bringing in a lot of people, even if those people aren’t exactly the most engaged. It’s also very good for sites that have a relatively low income audience. They might not have the spare money to buy products, but they’ll at least view and maybe even click ads when they know it’ll help you out. There are a lot of lists of the best CPM ad networks out there in terms of the amount they pay, but there aren’t as many available lists of CPM traffic networks that lack these restrictive minimums. What I’ve done here is tried to find as many of each as I can, and listed them for your perusal. Hopefully you find one here you can use. CPM Traffic Networks with No Minimum Traffic Requirements First up, let’s look into some CPM ad networks that don’t require your site to have exorbitant levels of traffic every day. Some of these may be a little iffy, though. The first one is a prime example. RevContent is the first CPM network on my list. It’s iffy in that I’ve seen quite a variety of different requirements bandied about on various forums and in blog post reviews of their network, but I haven’t been able to find specific requirements on their site itself. Some people have claimed to be accepted with virtually no existing traffic, while others say they need 3 million impressions per month. That’s one hell of a variation, right? RevContent’s sign-up sheet makes me think they’re open to a wide variety of different levels of site traffic, since you can plug in the rough amount of traffic you get, and one of the options is under 1,000 hits. Whether that’s per day or per month, I don’t know. What I suspect is that they maintain different tiers of network within their overall program. They’ll always be open to the high tier sites, but the smaller ones may have limited space available. When they need to purge out a few of the underperformers or the inactive or cancelled accounts, they’ll be open to replacing them with other small sites. AdCash is the second entry on this list. This is the first one that very definitely has no minimum traffic requirements, but they’re also pretty much entirely self-serve. You sign up for your publisher account, they give you some tags to add to your site in whatever locations you want your ads to display, and you earn money based on those display ads. It’s all very simple. AdCash has been around for over 11 years, they serve over 600 billion requests per month globally, and they have tens of thousands of active campaigns going at any given time. All that combines to virtually ensure that you’re never letting ad space go empty, so long as you have the views to make it worth running. I can’t estimate your prospective CPM values, of course, since that will vary based on your traffic and your sources, but they’re far from the worst network out there. AdCash is not without some restrictions, however. First and foremost, they do not allow adult websites in their network. They have additional rules against sites with violent content, hate speech, hacking and cracking content, illegal item sales, and so on. It’s the usual slate of “if it’s illegal, we won’t monetize it” rules you probably expect from other sources. Clickadu is a pretty decent and flexible network compared to many of the others on this list, so it’s right up top. They have a variety of different ad formats, including some mobile ad formats and video pre-roll advertising that aren’t offered on other kinds of CPM networks. They have no minimum traffic requirement, at least not as of the last time I checked. Clickadu is also unique on this list in that it’s one of the only CPM networks that is available to anyone that also does not restrict adult content. They have the usual “no illegal products, no hacks, no piracy” rules, but they don’t specify anything against adult content. RevenueHits is another pretty great CPM network that partners up with a few other networks, like Propeller Ads, Clickadu, and Link Shrink. You can sign up as a publisher with ease, they don’t even ask for a ton of information. They’re a self-service ad network platform, developed by Intango. They’re also definitely on the list of publisher networks with no minimum traffic requirements. RevenueHits is interesting in that their system is very simple. You create a placement on either a desktop or mobile version of your site and they give you the code tag to add to your site. Once it’s up and running, your ad space is filled with ads from advertisers and you earn based on your traffic. It’s all very easy. While there are no minimum requirements for traffic, they do have the usual sort of restrictions on site content. No adult content, harassment, illegal weapons, or other illegal content. It’s the usual, basically. Adsterra is next on the list, and I have a soft spot to for it simply because the big A on their homepage is fun to play with. They’re another very simple, more or less self-service ad platform for publishers with no minimum traffic requirements. The do have some requirements, but they’re quite simple. No sites under construction, no sites with no content, no sites with 15+ banners or 5+ pop-ups on them, and no sites with an alexa rank greater than 1 million. Those are basically “don’t be deindexed and don’t be malicious.” Adsterra has the same content restrictions as other sites as well. No hacking, no piracy, no porn, no hate, no illegal activity or items, and so on. Other than that, there’s nothing really unique to know about this network compared to the others already listed. Criteo is possibly the most unique network on this list, in that they aren’t standard display ads. Rather, they offer a unique style of retargeting ads. Visitors on your site see Criteo ads, and those ads point to products or businesses that the visitors have visited recently and expressed interest in. Remarketing and retargeting are important forms of marketing today, so it stands to reason that there would be a newcomer that is willing to open up to small sites. Other than that, Criteo has many of the same requirements as the other networks on this list. Don’t promote anything illegal, don’t serve malware, you know the drill by now. Their mechanism may be unique, but their service is not. Conversant is another “maybe” on this list. Conversant is the company that you may have heard of for CJ Affiliate, one of the top affiliate networks out there. Conversant also has a private exchange for CPM advertising, and they have fairly low requirements. I say low because, while they have a minimum traffic requirement, it’s only 3,000 hits per month. That’s really not all that much, only around 100 hits a day, which isn’t too difficult to achieve as long as your site isn’t terrible. is on this list as a “maybe” in that they don’t list their minimum requirements, and some other reviews have said if they have traffic requirements they are fairly low, but that’s not necessarily meaningful. They do mention that you must have primarily English traffic from the US/UK/Canada markets, and they have traffic quality standards as well, so they’re really more of an honorary mention than an actual recommendation. Dishonorable Mention: Chitika. Chitika was once one of the top no-requirement ad networks in the world, so much so that back in 2010 when Yahoo shut down their own CPM network, they recommended people migrate to Chitika. So why are they in a dishonorable mention now, without even a link? Well, this link might elucidate some things. As of April 30 2019, Chitika is shutting down.  In fact, they’re basically already shut down. Their advertisers are gone and no earnings for the month of March were paid out at all. Another one bites the dust. CPM Traffic Networks with No Minimum Revenue Payouts This is where things get tough. The fact is, virtually no ad network out there is going to pay you for a few dollars without some specific exception. Many networks have a clause where, if you’re closing your account, they’ll pay you whatever remaining balance you had, even if it’s under their minimum threshold. Still, though, pretty much every ad network HAS a minimum payment threshold, it’s just a matter of how flexible it is. AdCash is a great example of this. They’re a very large and simultaneously very open ad network with thousands of advertisers and publishers active every day. They’re also very flexible with payments, giving you the option to get paid via bank transfer, PayPal, Payoneer, Skrill, WebMoney, and even in Bitcoin. Even with all of this flexibility, they still limit you to a minimum of $25 USD or 25 Euros in your account before you can request a payment. Every other network I’ve listed up above either has a $25 minimum or higher. Some like Criteo have different thresholds, like 50 Euros or $150 USD. Some of them have different thresholds depending on the payment method you choose. Some CPM networks that I didn’t include had even more complex payout schemes, including fees depending on the bank you use. Overall, there’s not really a good option if you want under $25 payouts, unfortunately. Over to you folks now. Are there any good CPM networks you’ve used that have no minimum traffic requirements and no minimum payout thresholds? I’d like to hear about them if so. The post List of CPM Traffic Networks with No Required Minimum appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

MegaPush Review – A Unique Push Notification Ad Network

With the increasing prevalence of mobile devices and the fact that now nearly 60% of web traffic is from mobile users, it makes sense to start catering to mobile more and more in everything from web design to content to advertising. Traditional display ads, banners and lightboxes and slide-ins and pop-unders, these all rely on the unique multi-windowed approach to computer usage coming from desktop platforms. Mobile devices have less available screen space and less room for pop-style additional windows, so advertising has to adapt. One unique advantage mobile devices bring to the table for advertisers is push notifications. If you can use push notifications for advertising, you can take advantage of a unique mobile-specific channel that is otherwise left for, well, notifications. What are Push Notifications Exactly? If you have a smartphone, you’ve experienced push notifications. Any time you see a message or icon on your lock screen, or an app icon in your top nav bar, you’re seeing a push notification. They come from a wide range of sources, but mostly apps. A game might send you a notification when they’ve pushed a patch, or when your stamina bar refills. A restaurant app will message you when a special deal is active or when your reservation is ready. Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger will leave you a notification when a new message comes in. Push notifications are powerful because every mobile user is used to checking them. In a way it’s like email in that sense, but push notifications don’t have an inbox to be ignored or a spam filter to weed out the messages. Using push notifications for marketing is a relatively new, untapped channel. That’s what makes MegaPush a key player: they were the first to build a complete advertising network around them. These days, push notifications are an increasingly available marketing channel. Networks like MegaPush are springing up, but more importantly, existing and established ad networks are starting to add push notifications as another ad format to their networks. What is MegaPush? As you probably guessed, MegaPush is an advertising network unlike any other. They were the first push notification focused advertising network, and are still the largest such network focused entirely on push notifications. They were founded in 2017, so you know at least their technology is up to date. MegaPush is nice enough to publish a neat infographic on their homepage showcasing their demographics and audience niches right up front. Their audience is (roughly) 80% male, with a majority of users falling into either the under 18 age group or the 45-54 age group, with 35-44 taking a middle ground. In terms of niches, the categories that are broad enough to have a full segment of their pie chart are cinema, literature and teaching, tourism, software, and business. Other niches may not have as much traffic, but are certainly still available. So what advantages does MegaPush bring to the table? Here are some of their selling points, beyond the demographics. Global traffic. CPC bidding. Minimum price per click of $0.001. Fully implemented tracking. 12+ million clicks per day. Now, a couple of these may be questionable as positives, but we’ll talk about that some more in a moment. The core fact remains: push notification marketing is relatively new, and MegaPush is the most prominent player in a largely untapped market. They are poised to hit the big time, if they navigate the early years where most ad networks fail. I should also mention here that, as a global company, MegaPush works with a variety of payment processors, including Qiwi, MNP, Ibox, Wire, Beeline, and Visa, but they do not mention some of the big names, like Stripe or PayPal. For those of you who are into the crypto craze, they accept Bitcoin as well. Using MegaPush Getting started with MegaPush is actually very easy. There are no traffic minimums or minimum spends to be an advertiser. All you need to do is register and deposit $100 into your account to get up and running. Even the sign-up form is easy, simply asking for a name, password, and basic contact information. Before you get too far into it, though, make sure it’s a network that works with your niche. As with a lot of advertising networks, MegaPush has a rules document that includes a list of niches that aren’t allowed to advertise through their platform. It’s mostly the usual, no illegal items or materials, nothing political or religious, nothing sexual or adult. You can read their full list of rules here. Actually creating a campaign is dead simple. If you’ve ever looked at any other advertising network before, you should know more or less what to do from the moment you’re in their dashboard. First, click the new campaign entry on the left column. This opens the main window to the new campaign pane. Fill you information: your campaign name, link, title, message, image, icon, and targeting information. For targeting, you can choose country, device, and OS. Choose your start and stop times and your budget. You can also choose IP ranges, traffic feeds, and ISPs. On the other hand, there are no interest or demographic targeting options. This is where one of the biggest potential drawbacks of push notification advertising makes itself clear. Push notifications are, if you haven’t noticed before, very short. They only give you 30 characters for your title and 45 characters for your description. That’s less than 1/4th of a tweet! You’re able to use emoji if you want, so that can help a bit, but you’re still very heavily restricted in the amount of space you have available. This is, however, an inherent limitation in the ad format, due to how much space a push notification takes up on a mobile device. There’s no way to expand that until Apple and Google collectively decide to expand the size of push notifications. Will that ever happen? Who knows! Once you have your ad configured the way you want it, simply submit it. As long as you have money in your account, it will be submitted to the moderation queue, which takes roughly half an hour before your ad is reviewed and either accepted or rejected. MegaPush has a very high acceptance rate. Basically all they check for is if you violate any of the rules listed upon that rules document, and they will only reject for violations of those rules. Keep in mind, however, that three violations will result in the closure of your account, so don’t push it. Drawbacks, Warning Signs, and Problems Now, it’s not all sunshine and roses in the lands of the MegaPush. I have a few issues with it as an advertising network. First and foremost, the bottom chunk of their homepage is covered with case studies copied from people who have tested out their service. Unfortunately, most of those case studies are, well, bad. A lot of them are Russian, for one thing, and almost all of them show off losing money in mediocre tests. They talk about targeting third-tier countries for a few cents with really bad, literally Google translated advertising. None of it is even applicable to the kinds of advertising I run. I wouldn’t even be surprised if some of these “case studies” are bare minimum experiments created specifically to get MegaPush to syndicate the post on their site, giving that backlink to the site that did the study. Since most of them are spending very low amounts of money, and they’re operating in niches like dating and pharma, it doesn’t inspire confidence. The fact that the rules and FAQ pages for MegaPush are in a very “engrishy” style also doesn’t inspire confidence. The fact is, MegaPush is a foreign-created and ESL company that is using English as a trade language, not a native language. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it comes with certain connotations and a history on the web. An advertising network lives and dies based on the balance of its publishers and advertisers. Too many advertisers means competition drives pricing so high that it no longer becomes feasible. Too many publishers and the opposite happens. If the publishers are not high enough in quality, the traffic the advertisers get is garbage and they abandon the platform. Conversely, if the advertising is poor quality or spammy, publishers start to back out. Smart advertising networks can solve this problem through some aggressive filtering. I can understand MegaPush holding off on this filtering as long as they can; it involves cutting out a lot of publishers and advertisers. If they don’t have enough high quality members of their respective rosters, they won’t be able to survive the purge. They need to build before they can prune. The break point, in my mind, will probably come in 2-3 years. At that point, we will known whether MegaPush wants to become one of the big players, or if they’re going to content themselves with low quality traffic and ads. My hunch is that the currently existing high quality advertising networks are going to offer push notifications – some do already – and that MegaPush won’t be able to compete. I’ll be happy to be proven wrong, but that’s the way I feel the wind blowing. Get the Most Out of MegaPush If you’re determined to make use of MegaPush – and it’s not a bad idea, especially if you just want to get experience with a new ad format with very low pricing – you can play around quite a bit to optimize your traffic. Here’s the thing with MegaPush: the traffic is generally quite low quality, but so long as you have an offer that can be claimed in your target zones, it very likely will be claimed eventually. Even really bad ads can have a decent return, simply because there’s very little banner blindness for push notification ads just yet. The first and best route for optimization you have is feed optimization. MegaPush has over 50 individual traffic feeds, but you need to actually be tracking the {feedID} parameter in your advertising to be able to see what traffic you’re getting from what feeds. Without that parameter, everything is just lumped into one record. Basically, run your ads with no feed targeting, then pick out the top performing feeds and add those to your next round of targeting. Alternatively, edit your existing campaign to remove the feeds that don’t perform well enough. Device targeting is useful as well. Remember that, while push notifications are primarily a mobile innovation, they are available on desktops as well. The trick is, push notifications on desktop are a lot harder to get, since they require an opt-in on the user’s part rather than being a natural part of mobile usage. I find that desktop push notifications are very unlikely to convert, though it’s not completely unheard of. At the very least, run different campaigns for mobile and desktop, so you can optimize them individually. Have you used MegaPush? Have you experimented with push notification ads on other platforms? Let me know in the comments how your experiences have gone. I’d like to see if the case studies they publish are typical, or if a savvy user can make more out of it than they make it seem. The post MegaPush Review – A Unique Push Notification Ad Network appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

Why Nobody Is Clicking Your Affiliate Links and How to Fix It

When you first learn about it, it seems like affiliate marketing should be easy. It’s not really that difficult to set up a blog; all you need is a domain, some WordPress software, a few plugins, and you’re good to go. It’s trivial to sign up for most affiliate networks. Then all you need to do is put links on your page and rake in the cash, right? How hard can it be? The answer, of course, is “quite hard.” There’s a reason there are entire blogs based on “how to succeed with affiliate marketing.” You’ll soon discover that there’s a lot more to affiliate marketing than just slapping a blog and some links online. There’s a mountain to climb, and you need to prepare yourself for the journey. What I’ve done is put together the most common reasons why you aren’t getting clicks on your affiliate links. Check each of them down the list and see which apply to you, and work to fix the issues you find. Your Site Lacks Traffic The first and most common problem with any affiliate marketing website is a lack of traffic. A lot of bloggers start off slow and try to monetize too early. I understand the desire to set a precedent; people don’t like building up loyalty only to be monetized at the first chance. On the other hand, it doesn’t do you much good to put links up when you only have a few dozen hits per month. It’s a matter of simple math. The typical affiliate marketing conversion rate is something like 5%, and that’s out of the people who click. An average click rate might be 1%. That means five out of every hundred people who click go on to make a purchase, and one out of every hundred people to visit go on to click, so you need tens or hundreds of thousands of visitors to see reliable conversions. Obviously, you can do a lot to tweak these numbers – and a lot of the subsequent headings in this article follow those tweaks – but the numbers are still the numbers. You need volume to succeed with affiliate marketing. Your Links are Off-Topic Have you ever been reading a blog post and, in the middle of it, seen a sentence or a paragraph that’s entirely out place? Something that stops the entire train of thought to then pitch some pest control service or as-seen-on-TV crap? I have, and I know most people have. It’s baby’s first attempt at affiliate marketing, and it’s a lowest form of spam. Often one of the hallmarks of a spam blog is a bunch of unrelated, usually stolen content with some mostly unrelated affiliate links added in. The spammer doesn’t care that their content isn’t their own or that their site isn’t good, as long as they can get even a single conversion, it works out in their favor. Always make sure your affiliate links are as close to on-topic as possible. Your Links Lack Context This is a small extension of the previous item, but it’s a narrower focus. Consider that your links need to be relevant to your niche, but they also need to be relevant to your article itself. If your links aren’t relevant to the article you’re writing, who is going to want to click on them? I generally recommend that you should build your posts around your links. Know what the product is and how you’re going to recommend it, and build from there. Your Links Lack a Call to Action Every affiliate link should have an inherent call to action. Either that call to action should be a simple “click here to buy now”, or it should be something more detailed and tuned for the specific product and the problem it addresses. A good piece of content is geared towards explaining how a product is going to solve a problem, with affiliate links to that product. You Aren’t Adding Benefit Here’s a question for you: Why should your reader click your link and buy the product through you? Why wouldn’t they just go to Amazon on their own time, or to a manufacturer page, or to a different storefront they trust more? What makes your offer special? There are a lot of possible answers to this question. Timing. You’re targeting your content to be found by people actively looking for a solution to a problem, so presenting them with the solution gives them a path of least resistance to solving their problem. Additional value. Your site is geared towards helping people with a given industry or job, and the product, while perhaps not beneficial to order from you, grants them access to exactly what you recommend when you give advice, and makes your advice all the more applicable. Discounts. Many affiliate offers allow you to present the product at a discount. Maybe clicking through your link gets them a free upgrade or a free month of service. You need to have some kind of benefit to bring to the table, and more importantly, you need to inform your readers what that benefit is. If you’re offering a discount to anyone who buys through your link, make sure you’re saying so. Make it clear that you’re providing something they can’t get by going elsewhere. Your Links are Ugly This is an issue for a small subset of users who pay attention to links. This subset is growing more and more as people grow more aware of the kinds of tricks that are used to scam them online. Take a look at these four different Amazon links. All four of these lead to the same product. The first one is the full link with reference information Amazon adds to the URL when you click through their pages to reach a product. The second one is the same link with all of that reference information stripped out. It looks significantly less ugly. The third one is a bare affiliate link with reference information, and the fourth is a shortlink an Amazon affiliate can generate. The fourth one is by far the cleanest, because it hides all of the reference information used for tracking. (Note: the affiliate links have had the affiliate code removed; they’re for demonstration purposes and are not valid tracking links, so don’t worry about clicking them.) For something like Amazon you can just use a shortlink, but other affiliate networks don’t offer their own domain for shortlinking. This is why a lot of affiliate marketers choose to route their affiliate links through a cloaking redirect. Cloaking is also a convenient centralized way to manage your affiliate links. If one product changes or you want to change a link, you can change a single central redirect a lot more easily than you can change a hundred links across a hundred internal pages. You can read more about the benefits, as well as how to do it, here. Your Links are Front-Loaded Putting your affiliate links up at the top of your article is a great way to get them ignored. If someone is finding your page, they’re generally doing it because they have a query they searched for, and they found your article. That means they are looking for information they assume your page will provide. They don’t want to click a link off the page until they’re sure they got the information they wanted, or they’re sure you don’t have what they need. Putting a link in the top half of your content isn’t generally a good idea. You can put one in the top third, near the end of that third, to capture the people you’ve already convinced. Otherwise, you’ll want to put links closer to the end of your content. Of course, you should do some testing with different positions for your links, so you know what captures people the best from your best posts, as well. Your Links are In Your Navigation (Or Elsewhere) Adding your affiliate links to places that aren’t in your content is a death sentence for those links. For one thing, no one is going to click a link in your navigation or sidebar that isn’t extremely compelling, and an affiliate offer is very, very rarely compelling enough to click without a full blog post backing it up. For another thing, adding such links to your navigation can be a cause for a Google penalty, or at least a demotion in your search visibility. They don’t like it when you put advertising as part of your overall layout, and the omnipresence of such advertising can cause issues. It’s not guaranteed – and cloaking can help hide it – but it’s still not worthwhile to try, in my opinion. Your Site Isn’t Trustworthy There are a lot of different signs of trust a website can portray, and you need to have at least a few of them if you want to get anyone to click through your links. What kinds of trust signals might you try to use? Customer testimonials are good, though they don’t necessarily help a pure affiliate site. If you sell products of your own or even offer consulting, they can be worthwhile. Product reviews can be very useful. Just screenshot or quote a few good reviews of the product you’re trying to sell and use those as part of your marketing. Social signals can be useful, though they’re harder to get and less valuable than they have been in the past. Still, a lot of shares on your posts can indicate to people that what you have to say is worthwhile to many. A lot of trust signals are more applicable to storefronts, and I go over them in greater detail in the article linked above. Some, though, can be very useful to affiliate or hybrid sites, so it’s worth looking into them. You’re Clearly Just In It For The Money Every good blog should have more than just product reviews for affiliate links. Sure, the microsite method can work, but if it works, it’s on a small scale. That’s why the people who go with microsite marketing tend to build dozens of sites across a niche, which could just as easily have been built into one larger authority site. The only reason they tend to not go the centralized route is so they can take advantage of the minor benefits of matching keyword domains, while maintaining the ability to simply cull any sites that underperform. When you’re running a site and every blog post you publish is nothing more than a basic overview or review of a product, with a bunch of links to affiliate products, it becomes quite clear that you’re not in it to help your readers, but really just to make money. That’s the wrong approach, and people can sense your lack of expertise, sincerity, and value a mile away. Many will simply decide to ignore your site in the future, and most will avoid clicking your links once they realize what’s going on. You’re Reaching the Wrong Audience Even if you have a lot of traffic, maybe that traffic is a different audience than you want it to be. I see this a lot from people who are chasing high-paying affiliate commissions rather than high-volume commissions. Sure, selling that yacht might earn you a year or two’s worth of wages in a single click, but if you aren’t designing your site explicitly around targeting the hyper-rich in their yacht-owning ways, you aren’t going to be getting any sales. That may sound like an extreme example, but I’ve seen yacht-based affiliate offers and let me tell you, that’s a very narrow niche. The post Why Nobody Is Clicking Your Affiliate Links and How to Fix It appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

Why Does My Cost Per Conversion Fluctuate Daily?

Cost per conversion is probably the most important metric for any paid advertising plan, regardless of whether you’re running Facebook ads, Google ads, Twitter ads, or ads though any other network. CPC is your return on your investment, the cost to make a sale, and by optimizing that cost, you can get more sales out of your money. The thing is, while you’re monitoring CPC, it often changes. It changes in response to just about everything you do, but it also changes when you’re not doing anything. Why does it fluctuate up and down, and what can you do about it? Factors that Change Cost per Conversion There are a lot of different factors that go into calculating cost per conversion. Let’s run down the list. First of all, you have your bidding style. Automatic bidding will adjust your bid on the fly, which means your costs will change based on any factor the platform considers worthy of adjustment. Facebook’s automatic bidding is particularly prone to this, and your cost per conversion will likely be changing by the hour, not to mention by the day and by the week. Of course, even manual bidding styles have some level of adjustment in them. When you bid $25 on an ad, you’re not actually paying $25 every time. You’re paying just a hair above what the second-highest bid is, to save you as much money as possible. Every ad platform understands that you’re going to optimize your ads for cost, so they do it automatically rather than have you waste your time dropping your bid 10 cents at a time until you reach a breaking point. Next up, you have your competition. Competition is generally one of the biggest factors when it comes to rising costs. As I just mentioned, most ad platforms will only charge you a hair above what the second highest ad under you is paying. If you bid $50, and the second place advertiser is bidding $20, you’re going to be paying $20.01. If that second advertiser decides to up their bid to $25, suddenly your cost per conversion is going to be $25.01, with no other changes you can see. This happens when existing competitors change their bids in an attempt to get higher in the auction than you or than other competitors, and it happens when newcomers decide to target the same keywords or same audience you’re reaching. Given that we operate in a world where there are millions of advertisers competing in a very fuzzy way, changes in competition in an entirely different industry can lead to overlapping keywords changing, bumping up your costs. It’s very hard to trace and is just a fact of life for online advertising. Beyond that, you have to consider temporal factors like time of day, time of week, and time of year. Sometimes your costs change because the audience you’re trying to reach is more or less available than before. On an hourly basis this follows a fairly regular pattern during peak hours and dropping off when people are asleep. On a day to day basis you also tend to see weekly trends, though holidays and special events can skew this. Even seasonal shifts can change your costs, though you should be able to broadly predict these changes once you have experience. There are often also geographical factors that you might need to consider. For example, ads in Nebraska this spring are probably going to have skewed costs due to all of the flooding. People who just lost a lot of property to water damage are going to have different priorities in the kinds of content they’re looking for online, so some ads will benefit and others will falter. Any time there is a large-scale natural disaster, it skews advertising in that geographic area. Now, if you’re advertising on a broad, country-level or global basis, this won’t be a huge blip on your radar. On the other hand, if you’re targeting local areas – which you should usually be if you can, they tend to be more engaged and easier to optimize – you can be severely impacted when one of those areas is hit by some act of god. You can also look to see if any specific keywords are bumping up your costs. Costs are typically calculated on a keyword level, even when you’re running ads that target a dozen or more keywords. Your cost per conversion for those ads will be averaged across all of those keywords, since it’s an ad-level calculation. Dig into your ads and look at the costs at the keyword level. Sometimes one keyword will go crazy for some reason, be it competition or some other factor. Cutting that one keyword out will decrease your costs. You do have to be careful doing this, because if that keyword was giving you most of your traffic and conversions, cutting it out can dramatically decrease the performance of your ads. Always make sure you’re paying attention to each factor and how it impacts your ads as a whole. Some platforms use a fuzzy bid cap that can cause costs to fluctuate. For example, Facebook allows you to set a daily bid cap, but they can actually charge you up to twice your cap in a given day. They simply need to then under-charge you the next day to even it out. They use this to help capitalize on quick trends and surges of ad performance, and make up for it during slow times. It’s a nice feature and means you are less likely to miss trends, but it also means your daily costs can be very fickle looking. Other forms of audience engagement can have an impact. Some platforms, particularly Facebook – they sure come up a lot in this discussion huh? – take some outside factors into consideration when running your ads. Your organic post performance on Facebook will alter your potential target audiences and their impressions of you. If you’re running ads targeting an audience, and then you have an organic post go viral in a positive way, suddenly a lot of people who didn’t necessarily know about you before have some positive exposure to you. This means more people may see your ads in a new light, and may convert when they otherwise wouldn’t have, which can lower your costs. The same goes in reverse, as well. If you have a piece of news break about workplace rights violations or some political scandal, or whatever negative piece of news would trend today, it can negatively impact your ads as well. Clicks getting verified can change your cost per conversion as well. Google, for example, runs all of your click data through a verification process to make sure they’re legitimate rather than not. Processing this data isn’t necessarily immediate, and the volume of qualified clicks can change from day to day. Since Google ignores clicks they don’t think are qualified or verified traffic, those clicks don’t go into the calculation of your cost per conversion. As that data comes and goes, so too does the cost per conversion metric you’ll see. Quality score matters too, on platforms where it’s calculated. In fact, depending on the platform, quality score may be the single most important metric to monitor. Quality score will change based on time and based on other changing factors, including historical ad performance. I highly recommend reading up on the factors that go into calculating both the Google ads quality score and the Facebook ads relevance score. If you’re using a different ad network, check to see if they have their own version of a quality score, and read up on what affects that. Generally, optimizing your quality or relevance score will have a good, positive impact on your ad costs over time. There are other external factors too, like changing algorithms in your ad platform. Most ad networks change the way they work and display ads on an internal basis all the time. The changes aren’t necessarily big, and they usually don’t affect much at any given time, but as more and more changes are made, the landscape of advertising changes. Facebook is notorious for changing how all of their internal algorithms work with little notice, and you simply have to adapt or perish. Another external factor is industry trends or announcement affecting attention. If you’re Samsung and you’re running ads for the latest Galaxy phone, Apple making an announcement for a new iPhone is likely to have an impact on your ad costs. Whether it’s positive or negative depends on how their device stacks up against yours. Of course, companies on the scale of Samsung and Apple likely have a lot of competitive intelligence going on and can predict a lot of this, but smaller brands may not even realize a competitor is launching until they’ve hit the scene. Other trends can cause issues as well. A data breach in a related sector can be either a big opportunity or a big risk to your brand, for example. You never know what kind of news can affect public perception and ad exposure. Your costs will fluctuate if you’re using a platform like AdEspresso that optimizes ads on the fly. AdEspresso in particular uses algorithms to create large-scale variations and tests for ads, to optimize costs over time. Usually this will trend your costs downward, but it does have to fight against all of the other effects that may be pushing costs upward. In a balanced world, you’ll see minor fluctuations up and down over time. If one push wins out, you’ll see a clearer trend. And, of course, ads simply grow stale over time. If you’ve been running an ad long enough to saturate your target audience, it will get worse and worse in terms of performance, and thus become more and more expensive. Ads simply die over time, and there’s nothing you can do about it aside from mercy killing them and replacing them with the new hotness. How to Cope with Fluctuating Costs There are a few ways you can handle fluctuating costs. The first suggestion I always have is to pull back and look at costs on a longer time scale. Your cost per conversion fluctuating from hour to hour is completely meaningless. Look at it on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis, and look for fluctuations or trends there. Ideally, when you draw back, the fluctuations smooth out and you see some kind of trend. Costs decreasing is good, if conversions remain the same. Costs staying the same is fine. Costs rising may be cause for concern, or at least monitoring for future changes. The second suggestion is to always strive to optimize your ads. You can use an algorithmic optimization platform, or you can just constantly run tests of your own. Don’t let ads get stale, don’t give them time to die on their own, push them to be better at every turn. There are, of course, a thousand different ways you can tweak your ads for better performance, lower costs, higher volumes, and better conversion costs. The more you push for improvement, the less the minor fluctuations will worry you. How often do your ads fluctuate? Do they change wildly from day to day or week to week, or are they more stable? Tell me stories about the best and worst platforms you’ve used, I’m interested to hear your experiences in the comments. The post Why Does My Cost Per Conversion Fluctuate Daily? appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

How Effective Are Mobile Push Notification Advertisements?

You’ve probably seen the statistic a few times over the last few years. An increasing number of people online are using mobile devices rather than desktop devices to access the web. That number surpassed 50% back in 2016 for the first time, and you can bet it’s going to keep rising. After all, there are a ton of conveniences inherent in a mobile platform, despite its limitations. This means reaching your mobile users in a way they understand, a method native to their platform, is more essential than ever. That’s why one of the newest ad formats, push notification advertising, is on the rise. The question is, are they worthwhile ads, or are they a waste of time? All About Push Notifications Push notifications are a style of notification for phones that started life on the Blackberry. Back then, they were primarily used to notify a user when an email was coming in, so they could respond in a timely fashion. This was unprecedented convenience for the business traveler on the go. These days, push notifications are inherent in pretty much every app on every mobile device. Blackberry may be more or less dead, but this part of their legacy lives on in both iOS and Android devices. A push notification is, simply put, a notification an app pushes to the front of the screen. If your phone is locked, push notifications often appear on the lock screen, though not always. Phone users can choose whether or not to display information like that on their lock screen, as a privacy feature. If you’re in an app, a push notification generally appears as a drop-down window from the top of the screen. You can interact with it there, which may allow you to take brief actions – such as answering or cancelling a call – or will take you into the relevant app. If you don’t interact with the push notification immediately, it typically turns into an icon related to the app that sent it and hovers in the top infobar on your phone until you swipe down to engage with it or clear it. Part of the power of push notifications is that the app that sends them does not have to be open, it just has to be installed on the device. It’s not like browser-based advertising, where the user is immune if they don’t have their browser opened. Push notifications only require the app to exist on the device to operate. Push notifications today are used for a wide variety of different purposes. For example: Email apps can send you a push notification when a new important email arrives. Games can send a push notification to let you know about a new update. Calendars can send push notifications to alert you to upcoming events or meetings. News apps can send you push notifications for breaking local news. Weather apps can send push notifications with weather advisories. Bank apps can send you alerts, such as when a deposit is made or when an overdraft occurs. Airline apps can show you a push notification for flight delays or cancellations. Pretty much any purpose an app can have, a push notification can be used to get your attention. That’s their primary power, after all; capturing a few seconds of attention, pretty much regardless of what you’re doing at the time. Very few apps will so totally control a phone that they prevent push notifications from appearing. Games may be interrupted, full screen videos will still show it, and other apps don’t take that level of control over the display. In fact, the only way to prevent push notifications is a system-wide or system-based setting. In Android, for example, you can control each app’s ability to send push notifications from the system settings, though many apps also have the option in their own settings menus as well. Why Push Notification Advertising is Great Push notification advertising has a few unique benefits over other forms of advertising, so I’d like to go over some of them in case you’re not convinced First up, push notifications are generally enabled by default. Any user who is using an app usually has to manually disable push notifications if they don’t want to see them. Very few people block all push notifications, simply because they are often so useful to have. Secondly and perhaps most importantly, push notifications are opt-in already. Your audience is pre-qualified, in that the only people who receive push notifications are people who already have an app installed willingly. You aren’t foisting some advertising on someone who doesn’t want to see it. It’s almost more like mailing list marketing with an opt-in pre-screening your audience. Not all push notifications come from apps. Or, well, that’s not technically accurate. Marketing push notifications come from an app, but the app is the browser used on the phone. Browser-based push notifications come from websites when a user opts into receiving them. Even then, it’s still an opt-in for marketing messages, not an unwanted advertisement in a platform they didn’t want to see it in. Push notifications can also work on desktop platforms, though they’re a bit different in that format. Web push notifications are limited to browser-based opt-ins, and don’t work if the user’s browser is closed. They’re also harder to get people to use than on mobile, simply because it’s an unfamiliar and explicitly marketing channel that many people don’t want to enable. I generally consider push notifications to be a solely mobile format, though many people use them to good effect with desktop users as well. I consider that additional audience a bonus. With mobile ads, you also don’t need to content with ad blockers quite so much. Blocking ads on a mobile device is a much larger hassle than it is on desktop platforms due to the sandboxed nature of apps in a mobile environment. This, coupled with the opt-in nature of push notifications, means audience sizes tend to be larger. There are also some unique features for push notifications hitting the market. Some businesses are using geofencing; essentially creating a zone surrounding one of their retail locations, and triggering push notification advertising only to people within that zone. Another one of the best features for push notification marketing is that they’re almost 100% bot-free. Bots aren’t using the kinds of apps or user behaviors that would even allow them to receive push notifications. Many bots that use mobile user agents are on desktops spoofing it anyway. It means a huge majority if not all of your traffic is real users. The Drawbacks of Push Notification Advertising There are, of course, several potential drawbacks to using push notifications for advertising. First of all, push notification ads do not work on iOS devices, at all. This is a policy from Apple. App notifications can be used for non-marketing purposes, but using them for marketing is verboten. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen. Push notification advertising happens through apps on iOS, though Apple users often report those apps and/or leave negative feedback. Consequently, iOS is not generally an option for push ad targeting on reputable platforms. Secondly, if you send too many marketing messages or otherwise abuse push notification advertising, chances are very good that your users are going to mute notifications for whatever app is sending them. Push notifications are also very short. Longer notifications get cut off, and you can’t just open a notification the way you can a text message. If you don’t hook a user with your first 10 words or so, you don’t have much more space to do it. Push notification ads also typically lead to a landing page, so your landing page needs to be very well formatted for mobile and it needs to be a natural progression from notification to landing page. How Well Do Push Ads Work? Rumor throughout the marketing world right now is that push notification advertising is the Next Big Thing. It’s relatively new, it’s relatively untouched, and thus it has relatively high click rates. The precise performance of your push ads depends on a lot of factors. The mobile ad network you choose is a big part of it; you need your ads to be showing up through useful, high quality channels, otherwise user trust will be low. Your bid is also important, as it is with any kind of paid marketing. This is where you’re likely to see the biggest change over the next couple years. Right now, depending on other factors, you can get around 1,000 clicks for a mere $5. That is, however, just clicks. Push notification ads are almost always pay per click, so it’s up to you whether you can leverage those clicks into conversions. You need to be able to get at least enough conversions to make back the money you spent on the clicks, and that requires a high quality landing page and a compelling offer. Push notifications generally have a high open rate, though in part that’s due to their short and trivial-to-access nature. Many people are used to checking their notifications regularly, and when a few of those end up being ads, well, they still check them. Of course, the best kind of push notification marketing comes when you have your own app. Amazon can advertising sales all day long to people who have the Amazon app installed, and those users will thank them for it. Your business might not be able to develop your own app, though, so you will have to rely on notifications through other channels. Push notification ads are a very new frontier as far as advertising is concerned, so there will likely be a lot of developments in the space over the coming years. Expect the big names to get in on it, and expect a lot of innovations still to come. Likewise, expect a growing amount of competition, increasing bids, and decreasing click rates as people grow wise to the strategy. How to Succeed with Mobile Push Ads Mobile push notification advertising is, as I said, relatively new. The tips I give you are based on limited experience, and may change as the state of the industry changes. Still, many of them are just good tips for advertising in any channel. First, keep your messaging short. Push notifications don’t do well when they’re truncated unless you’re explicitly using the truncation as a form of clickbait, and that’s likely not going to work too well. Under 10 words is ideal for your notification in general. Next, make use of symbols. Emojis are part of the native language of the mobile web, so don’t be afraid to use a few of them, so long as they’re relevant and aren’t getting in the way of your message. Crucially, don’t send too many notifications. Sending more than about 3-5 notifications in a week is going to cause as much as 50% of your audience to mute notifications to avoid the advertising. It’s better to only send maybe 1-2 per week, if that. I prefer to limit them to special occasions; send a couple for a weekend sale, but don’t send a bunch leading up to the weekend. Don’t be afraid to experiment. At the end of the day, there are no hard and fast rules for push advertising yet, as it’s still a developing format. You can get in on it now and be one of the trend setters, and pave the way with your own experiments. The post How Effective Are Mobile Push Notification Advertisements? appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

SimilarWeb vs Alexa: Which Traffic Estimator is More Precise?

Traffic Estimators are pretty useful sites for a certain demographic. Not everyone has need of one, but they come in handy when you’re a marketer looking to say, figure out how much traffic your competitors are getting. You can estimate their traffic and compare it to your own to get a decent idea of how well their marketing strategies are working. Of course, all of this relies on the traffic estimator working well enough to provide you accurate information. There are a lot of different estimators out there, but the two biggest options are Alexa and SimilarWeb. I’ll be comparing them both. Testing Traffic Estimates No traffic estimator will be perfect. The only way to see an accurate traffic number for any site is to have analytics code running on that site. You can see your own traffic within Google Analytics – kind of – but you can’t see the traffic on another website without having internal access to their data. So why do I say “kind of” when talking about Google Analytics? The fact is, Google often applies statistical sampling to their reports, in certain circumstances. If you’re just checking traffic numbers, it should be accurate, but be aware that there’s always that chance. If you want to check how accurate a traffic estimator is, you need to run it on your own site. Basically, here’s the process: Choose a time frame. Determine how much traffic your site received in that time frame, via an Analytics app like Google Analytics or Raven Tools. Check Alexa, SimilarWeb, or another traffic estimator to see what they estimate your site traffic to be. Compare the data several times over the course of several months as your traffic changes, particularly if a spike happens due to a viral post or marketing push, and check how the estimators account for it. This may or may not cost you money, depending on the traffic estimator you’re using. In fact, accounting for price is pretty important, so I’ll discuss that later. Data Sources Both Alexa and SimilarWeb are large, enterprise-grade companies offering a huge wealth of information. It stands to reason that they both have sizable indexes and data sources to use. But what are those data sources? SimilarWeb has an entire page dedicated to their data. They combine four groups of data for their analytics. They have panel data from partner apps that send them analytics information. They have ISP data with a similar story: ISPs send them anonymized user behavior data for analysis. They have public data sources they scrape on a monthly basis. And they have data they measure directly from sites that use their other services. Essentially, hundreds of millions of user devices globally are running at least one app or service that gives data to SimilarWeb, and they are able to analyze that data in broad terms to estimate how users behave. Alexa is, meanwhile, an Amazon company. They, too, have a page for their data sources, though it’s less of a landing page and more of a help center article. They maintain data from a huge number of apps and other data sources, and they apply statistical sampling to a lot of it. Alexa only considers domains, and don’t pay attention to subdomains or specific pages, so you’re only able to estimate traffic for domains as a whole. They also tend to focus on large sites, so smaller sites are more likely to be inaccurate. Alexa’s main claim to fame is their global web rankings, which again tend to apply more accurately to large scale websites and get fuzzy with smaller sites. As such, Alexa Rank isn’t really that important. If you’re big enough for ranking to be accurate, you’re too big for it to matter, if that makes any sense. Pricing Pricing is pretty important when you’re considering any sort of analysis or data suite, so it should come as no surprise that I’m going to look into it. On the other hand, basic traffic estimates aren’t usually anything more than the hook they used to get you to buy other features. Does this hold true of these two services? SimilarWeb has two plans: free and enterprise. The Free plan is very basic. It lets you get five results per metric you search, and it gives you one month of mobile app data and up to three months of web traffic data. For most sites, this is three months of data. Sites that have apps to access their content, like YouTube or Facebook, would give you inaccurate information after one month, but it’s also not that useful for most small-scale sites. Many sites don’t have app-related data sources anyway. The Enterprise plan has unlimited results, over two years of app data, three years of web traffic data, and a lot of deep segmentation for that data. Popular pages, keyword analysis, engagement, desktop and mobile splits, and so on are all available. As for the pricing, they don’t list it publicly anymore. I’ve seen quotes ranking from $200 per month to much, much higher. Alexa has a lot of services that aren’t relevant to our traffic estimation discussion. If all you want is traffic analysis tools, you need to get their website traffic analysis plan, which is a flat $80 per month with a one-week free trial.  It gives you monthly unique visitors, site overview metrics, site comparisons of up to ten sites at a time, historic trends for three years, and a bunch of other data. If you want additional tools, like site audits, keyword research, and other stuff on this list, you’ll need either the $150 per month plan or the $300 per month plan, depending on how many sites and users you want to access it. Note that you can get very, very basic metrics using the Alexa SiteInfo tool, but most of the data is hidden; it’s a teaser for the paid plans, not a real tool. They also estimate their data pretty heavily, so how accurate it is may vary. Be Aware! The Alexa graphs they show you are not traffic numbers. They look like they’re upside down, but they also show small sites starting at 1 million, which is very, very much not what you’re getting traffic-wise. The fact is, those are charts of the Alexa Ranking, not traffic. Traffic is only one part of the Alexa Rank, so don’t confuse the two. Data Accuracy This is where things get tricky. Every traffic estimator out there is going to be using some variety of data sources, and none of them are going to be completely accurate short of Google Analytics or similar on-site analysis code that can track individual viewers. Even then, you may get viewers that block scripts and thus aren’t recorded. SimilarWeb seems to be one of the most well-regarded traffic estimators on the market. Several tests I’ve seen – like this one and this one – indicate that SimilarWeb is fairly accurate, at least in terms of trends. Since they sample data from a variety of sources and apply assumptions to it, they have to consider biases and data sources. For example, most tools seem to underestimate sites that have a lot of traffic from narrow, long-tail sources. Given the modern trend of long-tail keyword targeting, this means tools need to broaden their informational base or they will be increasingly inaccurate. Among them, SimilarWeb seems to be the most accurate. SimilarWeb also tends to overestimate data. For most sites tested – and I’d guess for your site as well – they would give a number between 1 and 20 percent higher than the actual numbers you’ll see in Google analytics. That said, their estimations are consistent; if your site is trending upwards, so are their traffic estimates, at about the same rate. That said, when SimilarWeb gets something wrong, they get it very wrong. ScreamingFrog’s test had SimilarWeb overestimating one site by a whopping 128%, more than double the actual traffic the site got. Imagine running it on your competition and seeing that! As far as Alexa is concerned, well, they’re in the toilet. First of all, many tests don’t even cover them, because to get traffic numbers, you need to pay. Those that do tend to trash them. Rand Fishkin was complaining about the inaccuracies of Alexa all the way back in 2012, where not only are their numbers off, but sometimes their trends as well. Adjustments for overestimation lead to a site dropping when it’s not, and it just becomes a mess. Rand followed up on this in 2015, with similar issues. Neil Patel followed up on this with his own confirmation that Alexa, while potentially useful for showing some trends and other information, is not useful for traffic. Appropriate Comparisons Any time you’re using a tool for competitive intelligence, you need to understand that the tool is not working in objective reality. Any and all tools will be necessarily limited in the amount of data they can index and analyze. Much of this data is from data sources that are shared between different tools. This means a service either needs its own data sources or some other unique selling point to stand out from the competition. What this means is you need to compare apples to apples. If you’re looking at traffic numbers for a competitor on SimilarWeb, those numbers are almost guaranteed to be higher than what they actually are. If you compare a competitor’s SimilarWeb numbers to your own Google Analytics numbers, you’re going to feel like you’re being left behind, every time. Instead, what you need to do is run the same SimilarWeb check against your own site. Benchmark yourself before you start benchmarking others, right? My Choice So which of the two tools would I choose? Personally, I’m going to go with SimilarWeb. It has too many benefits to ignore. First of all, SimilarWeb is more accurate in every test I’ve seen that involves both of the tools, and is more accurate than most other tools I’ve seen it compared to. The fact that you can get some data for free just for signing up is a very potent sell, so I’m not going to complain. Alexa costing money to even see traffic numbers, especially when those traffic numbers are so often just so wrong, rubs me the wrong way. The fact that Alexa Rank has been misused for decades by people who have no idea what they’re talking about – and by many who should know better – just continues to rub it in. On top of that, it’s an Amazon company, and Amazon doesn’t need the financial help. They could provide basic analytics for free, but instead they charge for inaccurate data. Now, all of this only really matters once you’ve built your site up to a decent position in the first place. If you have fewer than several thousand monthly visitors, the data is going to be irrelevant no matter what site you’re using. Your competition is either going to have too little data to estimate properly or they’re going to be bigger than you such that you’re not really competition. Grow more first. Go with SimilarWeb. Use their free account to benchmark yourself, and then check a couple of your top competitors. If you feel like you want more data, more benchmarking, or better results, pay for an account, but it’s not really necessary. There are better ways to get competitive analysis anyway. The post SimilarWeb vs Alexa: Which Traffic Estimator is More Precise? appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

Can You Use HTML5 Ads and Content on Google Ads?

A few years ago, back when there was a big debate over various animation protocols on mobile phones, Steve Jobs made the argument that HTML 5 can do pretty much anything Adobe’s Flash could do. That decision led to countless memes, as well as restricting Flash developers from creating content for iPhones in general. Advertisers needed something different to show on iPhones, game developers would need something else to work through phone browsers – though many transitioned to apps – and those few remaining websites powered by Flash were forced into retirement. Though there was some debate whether Jobs was correct or not, history is written by the victor, and HTML 5 has clearly been the victor. Today, HTML 5 is the current go-to standard for powerful web development, while Flash is on the verge of its end of life.  Indeed, with the constant, rampant security issues that come with Flash, it’s no surprise that Adobe would love to get rid of it. All About HTML 5 HTML 5 is simply the newest version of the HTML standard, and as such, much of it is familiar to long-time web developers. Plenty of elements and the creative ways you can use it are new, though, and it’s an evolving standard. It changes from time to time, as any good standard should, and it has been available in some form since 2008. With 11 years to learn it, web devs have no excuse by now. The primary benefit of HTML 5 these days is the power it brings to the table with interoperability and delivery of all sorts of cool features. It can do apps, it can do games, it can serve video – YouTube’s video player runs on HTML 5 – and a lot more. Many sites with slick animations or parallax scrolling run on HTML 5. Here are a few examples: Citrine Estates makes use of the standard for fade-in elements on the page. Watson Design Group uses a lot of slick animations for all kinds of page elements. Borraginol has a completely animated town where individual elements are links to new pages, all in HTML 5. The best part of all of this is that, unlike Flash animations, HTML 5 elements can be part of any page and don’t require a third party plugin to use, view, or maintain. You don’t have to worry about updating anything other than your browser, and every major web browser supports HTML 5 out of the box today. There’s no specific HTML 5 player. And, since HTML 5 is an evolving standard, it grows more secure and more feature-robust every year. HTML 5 and Google Ads One major use of Flash in the past has been web advertising. Rather than static banner ads or basic animated gifs, Flash enabled robustly animated ads with interactive elements. Everything from slick animations to “catch the element” ads encouraging engagement were available through ads. Of course, Flash ads were not without their downsides. Flash can be used to serve code that the user might not want to run, and indeed have been misused frequently to serve viruses while obfuscated from automatic detection. Even Google has to rely on user reports to identify malicious ads as often as not. Today, with the end of life for Flash quickly approaching, most web browsers have started blocking Flash natively. Instead of seeing a Flash element, you see a gray caution window and are given the option of allowing the unsecure plugin to run. No one is going to click to run Flash in an ad, right? Flash ads are dead, effectively, and HTML 5 ads are their replacement for slick animations and interactivity. Google has actually deprecated Flash advertising, and with good reason due to all of the above. As of 2016, you have not been able to upload new Flash creatives to Google Ads, and Google has been steadily putting pressure on its users to upload “responsive” ads or create them through the Google Web Designer. On top of that, as of summer of 2018, Responsive Ads have become the default ad type for Google Ads for the display network and the modern Google Ads experience. Google provides detailed instructions on how to create responsive display ads, complete with their HTML 5 guidelines, on this page. The instructions are fairly simple, though the page is long; mostly you just need to make sure to follow specific guidelines and avoid trying to do anything malicious or misleading. Options for Updating from Flash Ad Creatives If you’ve been running Flash-based ads and want to update to HTML 5 ads, you have three options. If you have Flash ads on Google, you need to create new responsive ads in their place. You can upload HTML 5 ads with the Google Web Designer, or you can upload them directly to Google Ads. Google-based HTML 5 ads require you to meet certain standards, and Google provides a validator I’ll link later to double check that all such standards are met. As part of the change to the new Google Ads experience, Google actually converted many existing Flash ads into HTML 5 ads with an automatic process. This process is not perfect, and some existing Flash ads display poorly or are broken. Converted ads are shown as “Flash and HTML 5” in your Ads browser. Unfortunately, this automatic conversion is almost over, and once the conversion period ends, those ads will cease to display. If you created Flash ads in your Ad Gallery, Google recommends that you upload a new image ad or a new HTML 5 ad, or design a new Responsive ad from scratch. If you’re running Google Ads through a third party ad server and use Flash ads, Google will cease serving them. In fact, any Flash ads uploaded prior to January 2017 are already cancelled. Flash tracking pixels are disapproved, and Flash content is no longer supported through third party managers. If you’re using DoubleClick or another third party ad network, Google has the same recommendations: add a new HTML 5 ad or create a new responsive ad. Additionally, any third party ad vendor must be certified to use HTML 5 to continue using the Google Display Network. If that’s relevant to you, you can read more about it here. HTML 5 Requirements for Google Ads If you’re running Google Ads through the Google Ad Manager – and you probably are – your HTML 5 ads have to meet certain requirements. What are those requirements? I’ve listed them below as of this writing, though if Google changes them, you can find the up to date guidelines here. HTML 5 ads must be SSL compatible.  This actually isn’t a strict requirement for all ads, but if you want your ads to serve on HTTPS sites, your ads need to be compatible with SSL. To achieve this, you can either host all creative assets within Ad Manager, you need to maintain compatibility. This means all images, stylesheets, JavaScript, and tracking pixels need to be secure. You can test for compatibility through Chrome Dev Tools, and you can read about how to ensure SSL compatibility on this page. If you’re designing your ads through the Google Web Designer, you must choose the right environment when creating the ad creatives. Choose the “Display & Video 360” environment. HTML 5 ads must follow dimension guidelines. There are three parts to this. Use the size meta tag to specify the size your ads are supposed to display. Use fixed sizes, as dynamic sizes (“fluid”) do not work. Your minimum dimensions cannot be zero. You can, as always, read more about this here. HTML 5 ads must follow click tag guidelines. This is also covered on the page linked a sentence ago. What are click tags? They’re definitions for behavior on click for your HTML 5 ads. Basically, it’s setting the landing page appropriately. You can set it in different ways and specify assets in different ways, so refer to the page above. Click tags need to be easy for the server to read, so no obfuscation or minification for those tags specifically. You also probably should hard-code your click throughs, since it prevents Google from properly tracking them. There are additional technical specifications for what is and isn’t supported through Ad Mob, too. File type must be a .zip file, and that file can contain CSS, JS, HTML, SCG, GIF, PNG, JPG, and JPEG files. File size must be under 150 KB when fully zipped and compressed. Ad sizes can be 320×50, 480×32, 320×100, 468×60, 728×90, 300×250, 320×480, 480×320, 768×1024, or 1024×768. You can read more about Google ad format sizes here. All images must be local images included in the .zip file, not referenced images. Videos and maps are not supported. Web fonts other than Google Web Fonts are not supported. Timers and multiple exits are not supported. Expandable ads are not supported. Local storage is not supported. HMTL 5 ads need an Ad Name, a Destination URL, and a .zip file of Creatives to work properly. HTML 5 ads for Ad Mob must be created through the Google Web Designer, but Google ads for other formats can be created through other services and uploaded manually. The validator can be found here. This is the asset validation tool for Google ads, and another tab at the top serves as the landing page validation as well. Create your ad creatives, zip them up the way you would to upload them, and upload it to validate it. Google will identify any potential issues and will offer tips on fixing them. Finally, you can view examples of HTML 5 ads in the Google rich media template gallery. There are a lot of different templates here, so just look for anything with HTML 5 in the name and view it. To upload HTML 5 image ads, simply go to your Google Ads Editor and find the Account tree. Choose Campaign, and then the appropriate Ad Group for your intended ads. Choose Ads and then Image Ads. Under the Data view, choose whatever ads you’re editing, and in the edit panel, Choose Image. Choose and upload your .zip file of creatives, and Open it. This will upload the creatives for your HTML 5 ad. Image ads cannot have animations longer than 30 seconds, and shorter loops must end after 30 seconds of looping. HD animated gifs are not supported. Image quality must meet certain standards: Sideways, upside down, or otherwise improperly aligned images are not supported. Images that don’t take up the full space available are not supported. Images that are blurry, unclear, unrecognizable, or illegible are not supported. Strobes, flashes, and distracting images are not allowed. Movement that is triggered by mouse-over is allowed, but only if it lasts 5 or fewer seconds. Images that expand beyond the boundaries of the ad format are not allowed. Additionally, images have to be clearly relevant to what you’re advertising and cannot include misleading information. Adult content can be allowed in certain specific circumstances, but not in general; you’ll know if you’re in a niche that allows it. HTML 5 is the new future standard and will be the standard moving forward for quite some time. It’s an in-development standard as well, so rather than getting an HTML 6, we’ll simply get more evolved and expanded versions of HTML 5. I highly recommend learning it, as it can do some very cool things, and it will make your ads truly pop. The post Can You Use HTML5 Ads and Content on Google Ads? appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

5 Ways to Get More Views on Your Vimeo Video

Years ago, when YouTube was a newcomer to the world of online video hosting, other websites sprung up to serve the same purpose. Most of them have either declined into small niche video hosts or folded entirely when the cost of infrastructure outstripped the possibility of monetization. Only YouTube has made it to the big time, at least in the safe for work markets. One of the few competitors that still exists and is reasonably popular is Vimeo. Vimeo actually launched in 2004, a year before YouTube. It has gone through a series of ups and downs, ranging from their focus on indie filmmakers to their ban of gaming videos that lasted six years. Today, while Vimeo is a solid platform, it plays second fiddle to YouTube simply due to the sheer size and scale of the latter platform. They monetize through disk space allotments and premium packages, something YouTube hasn’t needed to do. Even so, Vimeo is a good platform for hosting videos, you just need to know how to use it to grow. You have a choice to upload your videos to YouTube or Vimeo, so it makes sense that you might want to know which is the better platform. While that’s not the focus of this post, you can read a good breakdown and analysis from TechSmith here. Honestly, though, the answer is probably “use both of them.” If you want your videos to get more exposure, there are a few ways you can do it. Here are my top five techniques. 1. Lay the Strongest Foundation The first thing you need to do is make sure you’re laying a strong foundation for your video on Vimeo. If you aren’t setting up the groundwork for success, every subsequent effort is going to falter. It’s like having a great promotion strategy on Facebook and Twitter, only to link to a 404 page. It just doesn’t work. So what makes a strong foundation? Consider the technical elements. Your profile should have an avatar and banner photo that match your branding. Header photos are often screens of projects you’ve created, while profile photos are generally logos. You should have a sensible username, and fill out your profile completely. Your header can also be a video, and that works even better if possible. Your video page itself should have a clear title and a well-written description. You get more space for a description than on YouTube, so it’s a good idea to fill it out as much as possible. You should add “credits” for anyone who worked on the video who has a Vimeo account. This allows it to appear in their profiles and allows fans of those individuals to see the video more easily. Your video itself should, of course, be high quality. Vimeo is a platform that focuses heavily on short films rather than marketing videos, but a lot of different kinds of content can thrive there if you find the right audience. Vimeo might have a much smaller audience than YouTube, but they have a much more engaged audience on average, with many users being filmmakers and producers themselves. Nothing here should be new to you, other than the credits system. It’s all elements of any video or social network that allows you to upload video files. Just fill out everything as much as you can. This is all baseline stuff, so make sure you’re doing what you can. 2. Make Use of Vimeo Groups Vimeo Groups are an interesting system that sites like YouTube don’t have. Unlike something like playlists, where you add your own videos to a list of more videos you uploaded, Groups are accessible to anyone. Groups are basically just “channels” of content in a specific niche or topic. For example, you have: Motion, a group for motion graphic artists. Motion graphics are a specific kind of video that is often used as cuts, interstitials, intros, and stock videos. This group has 30,000 members and is 10 years old. Music Videos, a group for, well, music videos. This is a “closed” group that operates as a companion to a specific channel, which they use to curate videos they like. HDXtreme, a group for extreme sports videos in HD. It’s a great place to see high resolution videos of extreme athletic ability. Video School, a group for tutorials for everything from film lighting to audio editing to production. Now, browsing through those groups, you’ll notice a few things. Some groups are closed, meaning the creators only curate videos themselves, so you won’t be able to access them if you’re not part of the group. Some groups aren’t active, and may not have curated a video in years. Other groups might be more active, but are narrow niches that might not fit your video. You can’t use Vimeo Groups the way you would Facebook Groups, just joining to dump your video and leaving. Vimeo Groups are communities centered around a specific topic. Only join them and add your videos if you’re genuinely going to be part of the community. To be honest, Groups are something of a legacy feature that isn’t really in active use amongst the whole of Vimeo’s audience. If you can find an active group that suits your niche, by all means, join it and make use of the community. If you can’t, don’t sweat it. In order to make use of Groups, you need to have a Vimeo account in the group. Browse groups – you can see the group hub here – and join any that look both active and relevant to you. Participate in the group for a while, commenting on and promoting videos from the people within the group, and eventually you’ll be accepted as a member in a social way. When you’re part of a group, you can visit your video page and hover over your video itself. One of the buttons that appears is “add to collection”. Click this and you will see a list of groups you’re in; you can add your video to any group. Just make sure you aren’t going to run afoul of a moderator who doesn’t want random videos added to their group. 3. Consider Vimeo Marketing Tools Vimeo as a platform can be free to use, but there are paid plans as well. This is how they stay ad-free for normal viewers. They have four different tiers of paid plan on top of their free plan. The free plan has limited video storage and a lot fewer features than the paid plans. Plus: This plan costs you $7 per month. It gives you the ability to customize the video player, adds privacy controls, and lets you link social networks for automatic distribution. You get unlimited player bandwidth, 4K support, and ad-free videos. You can embed videos anywhere and create custom end screens. You can password-protect your videos and get private link sharing. You get the ability to embed playlists as well. Analytics include a stats dashboard, social stats, and custom reports. Pro: This plan costs you $20 per month. In addition to what the Plus plan gives you, it bumps up your storage limits and gives you team member access. You get the ability to manage team projects. You can add your logo to the video player and get playback speed controls. You can also access video version histories, portfolio mini-sites, and get engagement graphs in your analytics. On top of that, you can sell videos through the site if you want. Business: This plan costs you $50 per month and removes the weekly limit on uploads. You can link Google Analytics to your account, and you get up to 10 team members. You can create end cards and calls to action within your videos and harvest user email addresses directly from your videos, something you can’t do with any iteration of YouTube. It also opens access to the Vimeo API for marketing software integrations. Premium: This plan costs you $75 per month and gives you all of the above, with the addition of livestream functionality. As you can see, there are some very interesting marketing tools, including the ability to generate a mailing list opt-in directly from your video! This is a very cool tool that is unfortunately quite expensive at the $50 per month minimum. It’s very worth considering, but if you’re trying to growth hack your video marketing, it’s probably just too much. 4. Strive to Earn a Vimeo Staff Pick One pretty cool feature of Vimeo is that the staff can pick videos that they like and feature them in a custom channel. This channel, the Vimeo Staff Picks channel, has a million followers and is active with recently added videos. Staff picks get a number of benefits. First up, all staff picked videos get a special badge that indicates how much attention they’ve gotten. Staff Picks can also be re-featured in best of the month, best of the year, and best of the decade features. These are incredibly evergreen and give you a ton of additional exposure. In some cases, with a deal with a staff member, you can premier a video as a staff pick, but that’s not super likely to happen. So how do you get a staff pick? Well, you need to attract the attention of a staff member and get them to use their pick on you. If that sounds like a tall order, it certainly is. There are a lot of good creators on Vimeo, and not a lot of staff members. In fact, only a handful of staff members post picks, and they claim there’s a system in the back end to help choose those picks. This article analyzed a series of staff picks and came up with averages for what a staff pick looks like. Titles are generally short, between 2-5 words long. Film-like titles are often the most evocative. Thumbnails for your videos aren’t necessarily important; it was an even split between custom thumbnails and video stills. Shorter descriptions seem to be more frequent. Your actual description section can be full of plenty of information, like credits, links, and awards, but the actual description should be more like the elevator pitch or tagline. Picked videos are often produced by credited teams. This is in part simply due to the higher level of quality from team productions, and in part due to the additional exposure you can get from mobilizing team members. Sound is very important; if you use both music and sound effects you’re much more likely to reach a staff pick than using one, the other, or neither. Above all, you need a high quality video that stands out. Staff picks are high profile features and could be considered awards themselves. You’re not going to earn them with basic 5. Send Video Links to Key Influencers At the end of the day, there’s always one tried-and-true method of marketing, and that’s influencer marketing. You want to get exposure? You want something on the level of a staff pick, but without needing to go through the Vimeo staff themselves? Find off-site influencers and send them the link to your video. I’ve seen some great success come from getting a video in the hands of a site like Gizmodo. Simply make a list of good, high quality publications that could be interested in your video, draft up a pitch, and send it off. The worst that can happen is they ignore you, right? On the other hand, one of those “this film from <creator> is blowing my mind” articles can give you the viral surge in popularity you’ve always wanted. The post 5 Ways to Get More Views on Your Vimeo Video appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

15 Strategies to Promote a B2B Wholesale Business

In the past, things like scarcity and lack of competition made the job of a B2B wholesaler easy. You could sell to businesses as a sole supplier simply because you were the only one capable of fulfilling orders in bulk, at the prices your customers expected. These days, the advent of widespread internet sales and advanced on-demand technology mean the need for wholesalers is slipping. Manufacturers can sell directly, or businesses can order on-demand rather than recurring shipments and estimated bulk orders. In order to keep up with the times, you need to offer something more. You need to be able to bring something to the table, to get and keep customers in a world where customers might not need you. You need value adds, you need efficiency, you need sales enablement, and you need a solid customer experience. Rather than relying on being the only available avenue, you need something that inspires customer loyalty. I’ve put together 15 strategies you can employ to gather new customers, retain existing customers, and upgrade your current customers into better customers. While some of them may seem like basic strategies to some of you, others might be new, and it’s worthwhile to look into employing as many as you can. 1. Invest in a Web Presence I can’t tell you how frustrating it is as a business to look for a supplier for something I need, only to be confronted with bare mentions of brand names with no websites, or with websites that are little more than an “about” page, or websites that bury their distribution information seven pages deep in a hidden FAQ. I’ve done digging before just to see how hard it is to access such information, and sometimes even I give up. Investing in a modern web presence is an incredible benefit to any wholesaler. It’s even more important moving forward, as millennials – web natives – are taking increasingly prominent roles in business, often owning their own businesses and looking to grow. If you can’t reach one of the fastest growing segments of your audience, you can’t hope to keep up with the times. This does mean you’ll have to learn or hire someone to handle the basics of SEO and web marketing. You should eventually learn your way around web advertising and social media, but even just starting by creating a content-rich website that can show up in relevant Google searches will go a long way. 2. Open up Lines of Communication It’s important to have a web presence, but you need to do something with it as well. Using a website to show information to your potential customers is good, but you also need as many possible avenues for them to order as you can. You don’t necessarily need to set up a full storefront, though with modern e-commerce plugins like Shopify and Magento that’s not quite the difficult task it used to be. You do, however, need at minimum the ability for potential customers to contact you via email and telephone. It’s usually a benefit to be accessible on social media as well as though a website-based live chat function as well. 3. Offer Recurring Orders You may already do this, but if not, consider it. The subscription model has been growing in recent years, with everything from B2C companies like Dollar Shave Club to Amazon’s recurring grocery and supply orders on the table. If you can offer a hassle-free way for customers to get a monthly shipment of their staples, with the option to spot-order additional products as necessary to fill gaps or add bonuses, you can hook a lot of potential businesses. The set-and-forget method of ordering supplies that are regularly consumed goes a long way towards keeping satisfied customers around. No one wants to have to waste time on monthly supply chains if they can help it. 4. Offer Special Deals and Incentives Sometimes all you need to get in good with a new customer is something to push you over the edge of the competition. Special deals and incentives to customers fits the bill nicely. Maybe you can offer bulk discounts your competitors can’t. Maybe you can offer introductory discounts on the first order, first month, or first subscription. Maybe you can offer free shipping on orders over a certain value, or discounts on multi-product orders, or something else. There’s a huge open space for any deal you can come up with, so long as it’s something you can financially handle. 5. Create Starter Packs When you want to hook a new customer, one great way to do it is to create a starter pack. A starter pack should have a selection of your products available so the customer can see what they would be ordering. It should also be fulfilled quickly, to showcase the speed, efficiency, and flexibility of your order processing and shipping. Impress them before they have time to forget what they ordered, and you can segue them into full customers quite easily. If you’re a wholesaler with a variety of different customers of different sizes, you can create different levels of starter pack. You can have one that has a small selection of products for a small store, and one with a larger selection for a large retailer, and even customer build-it-yourself packs for businesses that have multiple interests. Just profile your existing customers, figure out what they would like if you were trying to hook them today, and offer those starter packs. 6. Recommend Complimentary Products One of the biggest strengths of Amazon is their ability to get you to buy more things whenever you shop on their platform. Every product page you see has recommendations for other complimentary products, or alternatives if you’re not satisfied with the primary product, or even mostly unrelated products people just happen to buy together frequently enough. Over and over, you’ll find that people spend more on larger orders because the option is right there in front of them. Whenever you’re ready to make a sale, talk to the customer about complimentary products their business may need, or that sell together frequently enough. To sweeten the deal, you can even offer a discount when purchased together. 7. Make Information Easily Available This can in part be covered by having a web presence, but you can also include other ways of making your product information available, such as on-order brochures, product catalogs, and mailers. In essence, you need your potential customers to find whatever information they could want, or be able to talk to someone in your organization to learn at the drop of a hat. This is why a chat system on a website can work very well as a supplement to product pages and informational PDFs. Sometimes users have questions that aren’t easily answered with a generalized FAQ, and a quick and easy communication is the ideal way to inform them. 8. Collect and Display Testimonials User testimonials are traditionally more of a B2C technique, but they can work well in the B2B world as well, assuming you use them properly. Again, this works best with your website. Testimonials should come from powerful or recognizable people if at all possible. If not, getting them from an inventory manager or otherwise important person at a recognizable brand is just as good. There are a lot of specific ways to encourage or solicit testimonials from your customers, so give it a try. 9. Give Top Customers a Personal Touch Some of the best companies out there are giving their best clients a white glove level of service. Identify your top customers, maybe the top 10% of them, depending on how many customers you have, and give them a little extra customer service. Go out of your way to give them a call and ask them how they’re doing or if they have any concerns. Figure out how to offer them a loyalty or volume discount for being such loyal customers. Consider rewarding long-time customers even if they have low volume, since they’ve stuck around. 10. Emphasize Customer Service Don’t leave the rest of your customers feeling left out in the cold. Even if you’re prioritizing your top 10% of customers, you should be offering top of the line customer service to everyone regardless of their customer status. Helping to resolve issues quickly and conveniently is one of the top ways to retain customers, no matter whether you’re B2B or B2C. 11. Maintain and Utilize Usage Statistics Here’s a clever trick for you. Monitor what your customers are buying on an individual basis. Identify if there are any patterns, not just in their regular weekly or monthly orders, but in their irregular orders. Maybe you notice that one customer orders a refill of a specific product every three months. When they’re getting close to the next time they’d be placing that order, send them a reminder. You know they’re going to need it; you can offer it to them ahead of time so they’re certain to get it from you. If you’re concerned about retaining that customer, you can offer an additional discount or a complimentary product at the same time. 12. Create a Referral or Affiliate Plan Why not get your customers to bring more customers to you? Referral programs or affiliate marketing programs can incentivize your customers to send people your way, and when those new people become customers, you give something – cash back, a discount, pure money – to the referring customer. While we usually think of affiliate marketing as part of a B2C relationship, it can work well enough with B2B, especially if your typical audience is entrepreneurs and small businesses. How do you go about starting up some kind of referral program? We covered this a while back in this post. That article lists ten different services you can use to start up an affiliate program fairly easily. Most of them are quick to set up, though you may have to pay for them. 13. Ensure Fast and Reliable Delivery Getting new customers is important, but retaining them is even more important. One recurring customer can be worth a dozen one-time orders, if you play your cards right. While a few other strategies on this list help retain customers, like adequate customer service and deals for loyal customers, one of the best ways to keep customers around is simply to be fast and efficient with fulfilling orders. One of the most common pieces of advice I see for wholesalers is to unify your processes. Don’t leave a gap or confirmation between ordering, processing and billing, and shipping. When a customer clicks a button or confirms they want to order something, that order should be processed and on its way in as little time as possible. 14. Offer Bundle Deals I’ve mentioned this as a fringe concept in a couple of other strategies thus far, but it’s worth considering as an option of its own. Just make bundle deals! When a customer has three products they want to buy on a regular basis, bundle them together and offer them at a slight discount. As long as you’re not significantly cutting into your profit margins, that bundle can keep a customer buying a product they don’t necessarily need for far longer than they might otherwise. It can also convince some other businesses to buy the bundle for the discount, even if they don’t necessarily want everything in it. 15. Pitch to New Ideal Customers You may have come across this advice before, as it’s often given out to new wholesalers, but you can put it to use at any time. Think about your business and make a list of the top 100 businesses you would consider to be ideal customers. Maybe they’re huge, maybe they’re throwing money around, maybe they’re local, maybe you just want to support them. Take this list of 100 and start building out a list of contact information for each of them. Then start to reach out. You can call them, you can send mailers, you can contact specific managers via email if they’re the one you think is influential in the purchasing process. Simply try to acquire these as new customers. You may be surprised at how receptive they are. The post 15 Strategies to Promote a B2B Wholesale Business appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

Propeller Ads Review on Average Pricing and Conversion Rates

Off and on for a while now, we’ve been reviewing various ad networks with as little bias as possible. We’ve covered networks like Yahoo’s Gemini, AdBlade, and TrafficVance, and now it’s time for another review. This time, let’s talk about Propeller Ads. What is Propeller Ads? Propeller Ads is an advertising network that has been around since 2011. They’re based in the UK, and have a sizable presence in most English-speaking nations. They are an “alternative traffic source” initially operating entirely within pop ads. Pop ads, in case you’re not sure, are generally pop-under windows. You know those times where you close your browser and see a website in a new window you don’t remember opening? That’s a pop-under. In the last few years, they have expanded from just pop-unders, to include a couple of additional forms of advertising. Their on-click ads are the traditional pop-under; a user clicks in a side and that click opens the pop-under as well as whatever they had intended it to do. Additionally, they have native ads, which are ads designed to look similar to on-site related post widgets. Any time you’ve seen a bank of “related posts” that lead to other sites, chances are that’s a native ad display. They have native interstitials as well; this combines the timed pop-over lightbox technology (which we implement on our site) with native advertising. Instead of the pop-over pitching a service or newsletter, it shows a few “related” posts as advertising. Finally, one of their newest technologies is push notifications. Whenever that bar at the top of your phone shows a notification, be it a message, text, or game notifications, that’s a push notification. It’s “pushed” to your phone, you see. Since an increasingly large number of people are using their mobile devices to browse the web, push notifications are increasingly useful and relevant. All of this is presumably backed by a lot of potential targeting to reach specific users most likely to be interested in your brand. Propeller has a self-service platform and automates a decent amount of ad optimization, and they have their own fraud prevention engine to cut out fake or bot traffic and ensure that you as an advertiser receive the best quality traffic their network can provide. Propeller works for traditional businesses advertising themselves, and they have agency-level lead generation options for agencies trying to advertise their clients. They handle links to other ad networks with RTB/XML, and they allow affiliate marketers to use their platform as advertisers as well. A lot of mobile and affiliate advertising companies partner with Propeller. They work with HootMobi, YeahMobi, STM, AffLift, AdCombo, and a lot more. How Does It Work? So how does all of this work? Well, from the publisher’s side, all they need to do is categorize their site and their country of origin for the purposes of tracking and traffic distribution. The publisher chooses which type of ad they’re going to use, and plugs it into their website. As the ad runs, they earn. From the advertiser side, you need to generate your postback code and use it with your tracker/network. You customize the information in your configuration, including your IDs and custom variables for accurate tracking. You know, offer value, campaign IDs, that kind of thing. When you want to create an ad, you basically get to choose between two models. One is the traditional Cost Per Mille (CPM) ad. You pay for impressions, and you hope your ad is optimize to convert those impressions into clicks into customers. It’s all very standard. The alternative is to use a SmartCPA system. This is a Cost Per Action system, where your goal is to get conversions. There are a few quirks to this system. On the bad end, when you run a SmartCPA campaign, the performance of your campaign is analyzed. If it falls below a certain threshold of performance, it transitions into a CPM campaign, sort of. Basically, if the campaign is successful, you only pay for the actions taken. That’s how something like Facebook works; the impressions are free but the actions cost money, though ideally the cost is still lower than what you get out of the action in return. On the other hand, if the campaign is not successful, you will be charged for the impressions as if it was a CPM campaign. This means you can’t intentionally run a bad campaign to get free impressions and exploit the system. On the good end, the Smart part of SmartCPA is a machine learning algorithm that optimizes your ad offers over time. You run an initial campaign so it can get some benchmark learning, and then it optimizes itself to further boost your actions over time. Their unique machine learning engine is somewhat effective, though it might make choices you wouldn’t normally choose to make. It’s up to you to analyze and decide if it works for your goals. When you’re running CPA ads on Propeller Ads, you need to set a conversion price for your campaign. Propeller recommends something around 70-80% of your payout. So if you’re running ads for an affiliate offer that earns you $1 each time someone buys, Propeller would recommend that you run their ads with a price of 70-80 cents. This means you pay Propeller that 80 cents each conversion, and Propeller pays their publishers probably something like 60 cents or so; I don’t know specifically their take offhand. Sure, this means you’re reducing your earnings from $1 per sale to 30 cents per sale, and that sucks, but remember it’s all sales you wouldn’t have gotten in the first place. All of the traffic you get from Propeller ads is traffic you wouldn’t have gotten normally, so you’re not losing potential sales, you’re gaining raw sales. You can generally adjust the pricing of your conversion to increase your traffic. It’s a simple scale; the more you’re willing to pay, the more publishers will accept your ads to run, and thus the more traffic you get. If you run your offer at 70 cents, you’ll get less traffic and less conversions than if you run it at 80 cents. You know, in general; I make no claims as to the exact specific success rates of any given price point. In SmartCPA ads, success or failure of the campaign depends on your price point. Calculate the conversion price times the number of conversions to get your generated revenue. Then Propeller will calculate the cost of impressions. If your revenue is not more than the cost of the traffic they gave you, they will charge you for the difference. This is why you should always have extra funds on hand in case a campaign falls flat on its face. When you’re creating a campaign, you can use Propeller’s publisher network, or you can activate Traffic Boost. Traffic Boost basically just allows you to get traffic from the network of Propeller’s partners as well as Propeller itself. Think of it like the difference between using Google Ads on the search results pages versus in the display network. Propeller Ads also has frequency capping, which is a very useful feature to make sure you don’t end up with a ton of redundant impressions. It’s usually a good idea to keep it active, though you can disable it if you want. As with most ad networks, in Propeller you can choose your target countries, your bid, your budget caps, and your campaign schedule. Scheduling works on a dayparting level, meaning you can choose to start and stop during specific parts of the day rather than just on-or-off for calendar dates. As far as specific targeting, you have some options, but it’s not super robust. You can choose to segment different types of mobile device, for example, between Android or iOS, and between phones and tablets or other devices like iPads or even Windows Phones. For Desktop devices you can choose operating system. You can also choose connection type for mobile devices, between 3G or 4G or WiFi. This can be useful to exclude, for example, people who aren’t on a connection they’d want to use to download an app. You can include or exclude individual targets, so you can create a whitelist or a blacklist, whichever works best based on how narrow or broad your targeting will be. You can also filter proxy traffic, which is a good initial way to filter out potentially fraudulent traffic and protect your account. Propeller Ads Pricing and Conversions What kind of pricing might you expect, and what kind of conversion rates can you get out of it? As with all things in advertising, much of the specific depend on your offer, your site niche, and your budget. As far as CPM goes, I see CPMs ranging from 50 cents to $5 in general, depending largely on country traffic and site niche. Entertainment blogs have some low CPMs, while gaming sites get higher CPMs, and other niches ranging in between. Your CTR will, all things being average, likely range somewhere around 14%. For some niches with CPM ads you’re going to get zero clicks, and that’s fine, when you’re just paying for impressions. For others, you might see something as high as 50-60%, such as in music. Mobile ranges around 10-20%. All of these numbers are simply reflective of some of my experiments. You can see some more data here, though it’s aimed at the publisher side of things, not the advertiser side. Problems with Propeller Ads There are a few potential issues with Propeller ads that I have to cover. First up, it’s primarily a pop-under network, which not everyone out there likes. A lot of people are consistently irritated by pop-unders, and that can reflect on your brand. I know people who have blacklisted certain companies due to their use of such annoying ad methods. Personally, I can’t fault them for giving it a try, though I also block most of those kinds of ads by default, so I’m a bit hypocritical here. Another problem is that you’re not given a lot of detailed targeting. I know we’re spoiled with things like Facebook’s targeting, and I don’t expect that level of detail out of smaller third-party networks. But for a network that’s heavily focused on mobile traffic like Propeller, you’d think they would be more specific with device targeting. You can choose to target just Android, and just Android 4 or 5 or whatever, but you can’t target sub-versions. This is important if you’re pitching an offer that is more relevant to a specific version than another version. As with all ad networks, geographic targeting is hugely important. Targeting the tier 1 countries like most of Europe and North America will get you the best results, while targeting the middle east, eastern Europe, or SEA will have worse results. Propeller also doesn’t track a lot of information. Surprisingly enough, in a world where analytics is a common add-on for value in a platform, Propeller doesn’t offer it. Rather, they require you to use a tracking platform for your offers. That means you have another dashboard and another set of configuration, and you need to keep track of all of the details. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing to have, but it means you’re not getting an all-in-one platform solution. There’s also the simple mechanical aspect of the ad network, simply that it’s not very user friendly. It’s a pretty boring, pretty bland user interface and, while it works, it’s not slick or advanced. Is Propeller Ads a Scam? When you’re searching for Propeller Ads, one site you’re guaranteed to see is this one. It’s chock full of 1-star comments talking about how Propeller locks accounts with funds inside or finds reasons to cancel accounts and steal money. Is this legitimate? I can’t tell you for sure. I haven’t had that experience, and a lot of the people complaining are anonymous or have common names. Yes, I’ll trust “John” with no other information, eh? Of course, there are 23 negative reviews for an ad network that presumably has hundreds of thousands of customers, so that’s a pretty small number. Every ad network is going to have a few people who broke rules, intentionally or not, and who were punished for it. Every ad network will have its vocal detractors. It’s up to you how much you want to believe them. I don’t believe that a nearly decade-old ad network is a pure scam, but your experience may speak differently. The post Propeller Ads Review on Average Pricing and Conversion Rates appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

The Exhaustive List of Ecommerce Types and Categories

If you’re interested in starting up a web business, it’s important to have a good idea of what business you might start. What kind of ecommerce category do you fall into? There are important considerations for each different type, and those considerations can vary quite a bit. For example, if you’re looking to sell a service, you need to establish yourself as enough of an authority that people will trust you. If you’re selling something in a retail format, you need to figure out your inventory and fulfillment processes. Let’s explore, shall we? B2C Vs B2B Vs C2C Vs C2B First, let’s cover the broad, top-level ecommerce categories. I figure there are only four of them, but some people think there are as many as six; more on those in a moment. The main four are those I’ve listed in the subhead. So what are they, if you’re not familiar with the acronyms? Business to Consumer is the most traditional type of business you think of when you think about, well, a business. A retail store is a business to consumer brand. Amazon is large business to consumer. A store like Office Depot is a hybrid, catering to home users and to businesses. Business to consumer brands are businesses that sell products directly to non-business customers. Business to Business brands are also very common. Think about any service provider with a business tool to sell you. Google has a lot of business to business tools. Marketing platforms like Hubspot or MailChimp or HootSuite are all business to business companies. A business to business brand is simply a brand that is selling their services to other businesses, either of a specified scale or of any scale with varying pricing and service levels. Consumer to Business is a less common type of transaction, but it has become increasingly common over the years as the benefits of hiring an employee drop, while the benefits of contracting a freelancer rise. A freelance writer working for a company is a C2B relationship. A website that provides stock photos is acting as a middleman; consumers produce the content and businesses can buy it. Consumer to Consumer is the newest and fastest growing form of transaction. There are a variety of different ways this can manifest, from traditional to brand new. Traditional consumer to consumer transactions include small-scale sales like a yard sale or the transactions facilitated by eBay or Craigslist. It also includes the entire gig economy, ranging from for-contract courier services to Uber. Some people also consider B2G or B2A as different from B2B. The G or the A stand for Government or Administration. Selling a service to the government as a contractor would be a B2G transaction. Filing and handling tax services would be a B2A service, potentially. I figure these are just a sub-set of B2B, if you consider the government or various public administrations to be a variety of business, or at least an organization. It’s not strictly necessary or beneficial to make the distinction. So, the first thing you need to decide when you’re starting a business is what your target audience will be. Are you going to be a freelancer selling your services to companies? Are you a creative, working with whoever will pay you? Are you going to set up a deal with manufacturers or retailers to sell for them or refer customers? You have quite a few options. The second thing you need to do is pick a business model. Here are three divisions, and the business models you might find within. Tangible Goods The first category of ecommerce is the traditional retail sales model, and various related business models. I call it the tangible goods category, because what you would be providing to your customers is a tangible product, something that can be handled physically and requires shipping. Retail Sales, also known as Wholesaling and Warehousing, is the traditional sort of sales model. You produce, or hire someone to produce for you, physical products. You then store those products somewhere, be it in your spare bedroom or in a warehouse down by the docks. You create a website with a catalog users can use to browse your products, or you use a third party system like Amazon or Etsy to showcase your inventory. Customers make an order, and you fulfill the order, handling all of the shipping and support. Some companies, like Amazon, offer services like Fulfilled By Amazon to ease some of this process and guarantee shipping. Retail sales can range from B2C, where you’re a company selling items to people, to B2B, where you’re wholesaling large quantities of products to other retailers, who will sell at a markup. Either way, you’re the initial provider of the item, not counting whatever factories you have hired to produce it for you. Drop Shipping is a way to streamline the retail sales model. A wholesaler doesn’t care about most small customers; it’s not worth their time selling individual cans of Coke to people when they can sell truckloads to retailers instead. A drop shipper steps in and says “I will make you a deal; I will aggregate orders from small customers and process them; all you need to do is ship to the addresses I supply.” There are a ton of drop shippers on Amazon. It’s incredibly easy to set up contracts with certain wholesalers and list products on Amazon (or your own storefront, set up using Shopify and some plugins), and sell those products. Customers are buying at a markup – so you can profit – but they don’t care, or the wholesale price isn’t available to them, and so on. White Labeling is sort of like a form of drop shipping, or of wholesaling, as a kind of bridge in the gap between them. You typically purchase products from a company and sell them to individuals, like you would with drop shipping. However, instead of keeping the manufacturer or wholesaler’s branding, you add on your own branding. This is common in the health and beauty niche, but is more difficult in other niches. Print on Demand is somewhat similar to drop shipping, though you can be the first-party provider or a second-party middleman depending on your position. You can do the printing yourself, or you can hire a printing company to print what you want them to. The difference between print on demand and drop shipping is simply that, with wholesaling and drop shipping, there’s a warehouse full of products somewhere just waiting to go out. With print on demand, the item is not created until an order comes in. This is exceedingly common with apparel and small accessories like phone cases. It’s also common with art prints.  Affiliate Marketing is similar to drop shipping, except you’re not handling any part of the process except advertising. With drop shipping, you have to create the storefront, and forward orders on to your wholesaler. With affiliate marketing, you don’t even handle orders; you simply direct customers to your wholesaler’s storefront. Amazon also does this; the Amazon affiliate program allows anyone to just make a link that points to a listing on their storefront, where they get paid if their referred user makes a purchase. It has the lowest overhead – all you need to succeed is a blog – but it’s also likely to have slimmer profit margins. Manufacturing can be considered the root of all B2B tangible goods sales. Being the company that actually creates the products means you can make a lot of profit; if a widget you sell costs $100 per case, and it takes you $2 worth of materials to manufacture the case, you’re pulling in a lot of cash. The trick is, you have to source raw materials and you need the hardware to manufacture the products in bulk at a rapid pace. There’s a reason most manufacturing is now performed in places like China; it’s expensive to get set up and reconfigured. Many of these ecommerce categories have a supplemental or spin-off type in the form of subscription services. The Dollar Shave Club is a prime example; they’re a drop shipping and white labeling company that operates on a subscription model rather than discrete sales. For the most part, I don’t consider these subscription services to be different categories; they’re just recurring orders for existing categories. Intangible Goods There is a lot of overlap between tangible goods and intangible goods sales. Many of the same business models apply. Affiliate marketing, for example, works equally well for Amazon regardless of whether you’re buying a book or an ebook. Digital Product Sales are a form of intangible good where you’re simply selling something that has no physical form. Software is the prime example; everything from boxed software at Best Buy to the library you can buy on Steam can count as digital product sales. Training Courses are another form of intangible good. It’s different from a service, because you aren’t necessarily training anyone directly; rather, you’re providing video lessons and coursework in PDF form, and whatever else is included. Services The final ecommerce type is being a service provider. Rather than providing a book, you provide the service of writing. Rather than providing a painting, you provide the service of graphic design. Freelancing is one of the primary forms of service one can provide online. Freelancers can do anything from coding and writing to art to marketing. Almost anything a business needs can be done by freelancers, though it’s not always appropriate to contract freelancers rather than hire employees. There’s also the middleman business model of providing connections; sites like Upwork or WriterAccess provide the service of connecting freelancers with people who want to hire them. Consulting is another form of service one can provide. You don’t have to provide the service for a company directly, but you can examine their processes and explain to them how they can improve, with your own recommendations, and perhaps your own services on offer. Consulting is simple outsourcing institutional and industry knowledge. Training is similar to consulting, but more in-depth. You can hire someone to train yourself or your employees in a task. Training is often provided along with tangible and intangible goods as well. As A Service (XaaS) is an entire class of internet-based service providers. Anything you think of as a web app today is usually “software as a service”. Rather than buying a piece of software and the hardware to run it, you buy access to someone else’s computer running that software. Anything from Google Analytics to Canva to Microsoft’s Office 365 can be an example of software as a service. More than just software can be provided as a service. Amazon’s web services, Google’s App Engine, and hosted blogs are examples of Platforms as a Service. Content Delivery Networks and outsourced processing power in the Google Compute Engine are examples of infrastructure as a service. Any as-a-service model relies on uninterrupted internet connections and reliable providers to succeed, which is why many of them tend to be B2B; they need the scale to support themselves. Still, more and more, these are becoming commonplace. Once you have chosen your target audience and the category for your ecommerce business, you can start to nail down more of the details. What is your product or service? How are you going to provide it? What kind of infrastructure do you need in place to succeed? Have at it, and good luck! The post The Exhaustive List of Ecommerce Types and Categories appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

The Ultimate Guide to Google Display Banner Ad Sizes

Getting the best return on your investment is the core desire for anyone using paid advertising of any sort. You’re spending money, so you want to make as much in return as you can. Part of optimizing your ROI is knowing everything you can about how the ads system works. One crucial element of Google ads is the size of the various display ads you’re able to use. Publishers need to know this so they know how much space to assign for ads on their site. Advertisers need to know this so they know how large their images should be. Google has quite a few different ad sizes, many of which are surprisingly similar, so it’s best to get the dimensions straight from the horse’s mouth. Remember, though, that these ad formats are not for Google’s search result advertising. Those ad slots are text-only, as are several other formats for Google ads. If you want to use image ads where the dimensions matter, you need to choose that particular format of display advertising. Google divides their ad sizes into three categories. These are “top performing ad sizes”, “other supported ad sizes”, and “regional ad sizes”. Why they keep any beyond the top performers is anyone’s guess, but I suppose giving people more options allows them to test variations on ad sizing and performance. Top Performing Ad Sizes 300×250 pixels. This format is known as the Medium Rectangle in most publications and is one of the most common ad sizes Google offers. As a publisher, it’s a good option to choose because you’re always going to have something to fill in the space. Since it’s very common amongst publishers, it’s very open to advertisers, with plenty of inventory to fill. This format is available for text ads, display ads, and mobile ads. It tends to perform well when embedded within the text of articles, or when merged with a multi-column layout on a website’s feed. 336×280 pixels. This format is slightly larger than the medium rectangle format, being 36 pixels wider and 30 pixels taller. This means the aspect ratio is very slightly different, but not by enough to truly matter. This one is called the Large Rectangle in many publications and is another common ad format. Like the medium rectangle, the large rectangle is very commonly found embedded within content like an image, though obviously it stands out as an ad due to ad disclosure rules. This format is available for both text and display ads, but is not available for mobile ads. 728×90 pixels. This is the “leaderboard” ad format, but the majority of you out there probably recognize it as a typical “banner” ad. It’s very wide, not very tall, and forms a horizontal bar that is used in a wide variety of ways. You very frequently find this ad format placed above content or below it, as part of the navigation or in the footer. Sometimes you see these used in place of spacers in the middle of articles, but this can cause issues with people encountering the ad and assuming the content is concluded. Be sure to encourage further scrolling if you use this format in the middle of your content. These are available for text and display ads, but not for mobile. 300×600 pixels. This is occasionally called the Half Page ad format, though many people just think of it as “that large ad to the side of the screen.” These ads are tall and vertically oriented, which means they would fit a cell phone orientation, except they are not available on mobile. Rather, they are often used to fill in whitespace to the sides of your content, which would normally simply be a gutter for widescreen monitors to center content. Google claims this is one of the fastest growing ad sizes, and as such it is becoming increasingly available amongst both publishers and advertisers. If you want to experiment with some of the most cutting-edge ad formats, this is one to look into. As mentioned, this is not available on mobile, but works with both display and text ads. 320×100 pixels. This is known as the “large mobile banner” ad format. Unlike the other top performing ad formats, this one is available for mobile ads but not for traditional display or text advertising. It is considered a mobile alternative to the 320×50 and 300×50 ad formats, which we have not discussed yet. They are vertically quite tall compared to other mobile ad formats, offering plenty of space for mobile viewers. If you want to capture as much mobile attention as possible in content with display advertising, this is a good format to use. Other Supported Ad Sizes 320×50 pixels. This is the “mobile leaderboard” style of ads, and is only available for mobile ads, not for desktop displays. Unlike the top performing mobile ad format, this one is half the size vertically, making it very squat and very wide. They are often used the same way as banner ads for mobile browsing, used at the top of content or in the footer at the end of content. 468×60 pixels. This is the ad format Google specifically calls the “banner” ad format, not to be confused with the leaderboards. Like leaderboards, it is short but wide, but it’s not quite as wide as the leaderboards. This is to make it more accommodating to narrower website layouts that don’t have the space to plug in such a wide ad format for the leaderboards. This format is available for desktop display and text ads, but not for mobile. Additionally, Google warns that this ad format is going out of style and, as such, inventory tends to be limited. Fewer publishers are using it, fewer advertisers are paying for it, and it will eventually be deemed a legacy ad format. 234×60 pixels. Those keen with math will notice that this is exactly half as wide and exactly as tall as the banner ad format. Fittingly, it is thus labeled the Half Banner ad format. It’s designed to fit in smaller spaces than the usual banner ad, and can be a small and unobtrusive ad format. However, this means it is also prone to being overlooked, which means it tends to underperform compared to other ad formats. Ads need to be large and in charge to be successful these days; trying to slip under the radar only works if you have some inexplicably high value display ads. This format does not work for mobile, either. 120×600 pixels. The official name for this ad format is the skyscraper ad format. It is less than half as wide as the half page format, while being just as tall. It’s essentially a banner turned on its side, which is how it got its start, more or less. As a desktop-only display ad, this one allows you to take up some gutter space on the sidebar of your website, without needing to dominate it with something as large as the half-page ad. However, this is also a less popular ad format than the half page, which leads to lower ad performance. 120×240 pixels. This is the actual “vertical banner” ad which, like the similarly sized half banner, suffers from being too small to capture a ton of attention. This kind of ad format would be ideal for small slide-in or pop-in widgets, but Google doesn’t like ads that only appear in certain dynamic circumstances, responsive design notwithstanding. The small size, the fact that it is limited to desktop-only display advertising, and the strange dimensions mean it isn’t very well suited for modern web advertising outside of specific circumstances. 160×600 pixels. This format is slightly over half as wide as the half page format, and is a little wider than the skyscraper format, serving as a sort of middle of the road between the two. The wider space than the skyscraper allows more creativity in your display ads, while still being narrower than the very dominant half page format. This tends to have a lot of inventory available, and is ideal for publishers with sidebars they want to fill with advertising. It’s available for desktop advertising, but not mobile. 300×1050 pixels. This is the “portrait” advertising format. It’s not very wide, but is extremely tall. Many modern mid-range computer monitors today are only 1080 pixels tall, so this can take up most of the vertical space, accounting for the navigation bar of a browser. These are brand-centric, which means they tend to work best when run alongside specific branded content or sponsored posts. Some sites use these as a sort of pseudo-background element in the gutter space of a centered page, making it look as though the ad content is peeking out behind the page content. Again, this is not available for mobile advertising. Currently, this is a high-demand, low-supply ad format, as few publishers are equipped to run them. You can take advantage of this for exclusive positioning and always-full advertising, if your site is configured for it. 970×90 pixels. This is occasionally called the Large Leaderboard format, and is a uniquely dynamic ad format. When a user views it for the first time, it will expand downwards, sliding the content further down to reveal the full content of the ad. The fill size of the display is 970×415 pixels. Once the user has seen the ad once, it no longer automatically expands, but can expand if the user clicks on it. This format is often used to display video, animations, and app advertising that tends to be very dynamic by its nature. 970×250 pixels. This is a billboard ad, and as such, has the same basic dimensions as a billboard you would see on the side of the highway. It’s very wide and quite tall, making it a very prominent ad. It’s best to run this at the top of your page, since it will often be cut off below the fold, and if it’s embedded in your content, users will assume it signals the end of a post unless otherwise indicated. This is another format where advertiser demand has outstripped publisher supply, putting publishers in a good position to earn. 250×250 pixels. This is a square ad format, which Google helpfully calls the Square ad format. It’s good for fitting into small spaces that aren’t wide enough for banners or leaderboards, and aren’t tall enough for skyscrapers. It’s large enough that it is not entirely ignored like the other small ad formats, and it’s quite common to be seen within text. This is also one of the more prominent formats for mobile advertising, because it’s available for both desktop and mobile ads. 200×200 pixels. This is the “small square” ad format, called such because it is a square and is smaller than the base square format. Why Google doesn’t call this the square and the other one a large square is anyone’s guess. It has all of the same benefits as the square ad, except it’s smaller, which means it is often overlooked. It is also limited in supply. It too is available for both desktop and mobile ads. 180×150 pixels. This is a small rectangle and, of course, is called the Small Rectangle ad format. It can fit into small spaces, but that’s often a detriment, as explained several times before. It doesn’t tend to perform very well and is probably well on its way to being deprecated. 125×125 pixels. This is the “button” ad format, which is basically just a small square, slightly larger than what most web forums use for avatar photos. It doesn’t perform very well and is limited to desktop advertising only, so it’s at the bottom of the list where Google can try to forget it exists. Regional Ad Sizes I’m not going to go over every regional ad size variation, because there are a lot of them. Google Ads makes certain specific ad sizes available in different countries, because different regions tend to have different preferred website layouts. For example, the most popular ad size in Russia is 240×400 pixels, called the vertical rectangle. It’s smaller than a half page, but larger than many other formats. Google also provides a few specific formats exclusively for use in Poland. Your guess is as good as mine as to why. The post The Ultimate Guide to Google Display Banner Ad Sizes appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Google Ads Expert?

“Who has time for all this?” This is a question I hear time and time again, and it’s one I’ve asked just as many times. Who has time to do everything for their business? Sure, when you’re a one-man operation you can cram everything in for a while, but you face the very real risk of burnout. Even the most high-powered cocaine-fueled titans burn themselves out. It just makes sense to offload tasks that end up being a lot of busywork. If you’re spending 4 hours a day filing paperwork, you hire a clerk. If you’re never getting work done because you’re stuck answering the phone, you hire a secretary. Other tasks are worth offloading because they require skills that are outside of your skillset. Instead of spending the time learning and fumbling and wasting money, you hire someone who knows what they’re doing. Many of these tasks can directly make you money as well, so it’s a very worthwhile endeavor to spend a little to make a lot. Hiring someone to manage your Google Ads is generally more of the latter position. It’s pretty difficult to just dive into Google Ads and expect to be successful. There’s a definite learning curve, a lot of skills that go into managing ads for a company, and there are expectations for a certain level of success. Plus, they take a lot of time to manage, monitor, and improve, even if you’re using tools that do a good chunk of that automatically. Of course, you need to make sure you’re balancing out the cost of your employee or freelancer with the profits you make from the ads. If your ads, at their peak, only make you an extra $500 in a month, it doesn’t make sense to spend $2,000 that month on the ads manager. Now, if the ads manager can turn that $500 into $5,000, that’s another story. How to Find an Ads Expert As with any case where you’re looking to hire a freelancer or a new employee, or even contract an agency, you need to know what you want out of the relationship. Different levels of requirements will have different levels of pricing. Let’s look at some of the factors you should think about, and some factors that can affect the cost of hiring a Google Ads expert. What level of service do you require? I already mentioned this right above. Are you looking for an employee you pay a regular salary and can control completely, a freelancer who will likely cost less but dedicate less time to your ads, or an agency that knows exactly what they’re doing, and charges like they do? In general, a freelancer is going to be the cheapest option. Freelancers tend to have numerous clients at a time, and while they can run a wide range of skill levels, it’s easy to pick up and drop a contract if they aren’t working out. Freelancers are also often less reliable; it will take a few attempts to find someone who meshes with your brand, who has steady availability, and who knows what they’re doing. That said, freelancers sometimes come with the additional cost of the platform you’re hiring them through. Sites like Upwork often skim a bit off the top, so you’re paying for both the freelancer and the platform that connected you. An employee is going to cost more than a freelancer, and depending on your business situation and their requirements, you may have additional factors to consider, like benefits. You probably don’t want someone working for minimum wage to be in control of your advertising budget. You need to go through the whole application and interview process, which is much more time consuming that scoping out a freelancer, and you often need to find someone who has adequate experience with managing paid ads. An agency is probably going to cost the most, and in fact often will charge you a percentage of your ad spend in place of or in addition to a flat fee. The upside is that they know exactly what they’re doing and likely have professional tools to help them squeeze every cent out of your ads they possibly can. You’ll see the best returns, but it’s the biggest investment. Did your ads manager learn with their own money? This is a good question to ask when you’re looking at individuals you might consider hiring or contracting. You don’t want someone who is just bluffing with their skills and will be using your budget to practice. You also don’t want anyone who is used to spending other people’s money, and thus feel like mistakes don’t personally affect them. It’s really easy to fall into a trap where, when consequences are minimal, you take risks you shouldn’t. An ads manager may be more likely to be experimental without data, or to go with gut feelings instead of analytics, or to shrug off mistakes that cost their employer money when it doesn’t affect them. If they learned by using – and losing – their own money, they’re more likely to be careful with yours. Are you getting what you pay for? This is usually a question for agencies. Agencies often bundle together a bunch of other services. They’ll run your Google Ads, but they might also offer Facebook, Twitter, or other paid advertising as well. Some will be total marketing agencies, willing to run your social media organically, as well as running a blog for you. The important thing to watch out for is agencies who offer all of those services, but charge you for them even if you don’t want them. If you’re perfectly fine running your own blog, don’t pay for someone else to not do it for you. Alternatively, take advantage of every service the agency has to offer you. Do they have experience in your niche? This is a pretty important question. You want people who are familiar with not just your industry, but your niche within your industry, your competitors, your audience, and the kinds of techniques that tend to work best. Even something as simple as picking the right selection of colors for ad images can vary depending on audience and industry. What are their KPIs? If possible, view a sample report from the agency or individual who will be producing reports for you. If they’re showing you things like the number of clicks or impressions your ads get, they’re not a good ads manager. You want them to be talking about metrics like cost per action, conversion volume, and profit. Is the agency certified? For agencies specifically, you want to find one that is certified as a Google Partner. This usually isn’t available to individuals and freelancers, since it requires maintaining a certain level of ad spend, but agencies can reach that bar quite easily. Are there onboarding or setup fees? When you take on a new freelancer, you may be charged setup fees. Agencies usually have fees, but individuals might not. Some may charge an initial fee as a buffer in case the contract doesn’t work out. Others might use it to cover the costs of the tools they use to manage ads for you. This is generally a one-time fee, so I’m not considering it in the cost analysis below. What Payment Model Are You Expecting? When you’re considering who you should hire or contract to manage your Google Ads, you need to consider the style of payment. This is similar to the decision between employee, freelancer, and agency, except any of them might use any payment model. There are a handful of different models you’ll likely encounter. The Flat Fee Structure is a simple structure where you you’re charged a flat fee per month for services rendered. This fee will be presented as an estimate based on what you need from the individual or agency you’re contracting and the budget and ad requirements you have for them, and can be readjusted periodically. If you’re operating with gradual growth, a flat fee can work out as a discount in the long run between reevaluations. The Hourly Rate Structure is not usually a good choice, so if someone is charging hourly, you may consider looking elsewhere. People charging hourly are either working with a large number of clients to maximize their earnings, or they are inflating their time spent, or both. This is simply because, from the freelancer end, hourly rates are very hard to make a living wage on. The Percentage Spend Structure is one of the most common for ad management agencies, and many high powered freelancers are adopting it as they gain enough of a reputation to make it feasible. When you buy ads, the ad manager bills you for the ads + 10-20%, depending on their fees. This model helps incentivize the ads manager to be successful, because when their ads are successful for you, you’re more likely to spend more on ads, meaning they make more money. The Performance Fee Structure is usually a pretty big warning sign. Paying only on successful performance of your ads may sound like a good idea, but it’s a structure generally used by people who don’t necessarily know what they’re doing, and it puts a lot of risk into the relationship. If the whims of the market mean an ad unexpectedly fails, sure, you don’t have to pay, but the freelancer doesn’t get paid, so they have to struggle and may abandon that line of work entirely due to the risk. The Employee Structure is, of course, simply hiring an employee for a regular salary. The drawback to this is generally the work you need to put into finding a good employee, rather than anything inherent with the fee structure itself. How Much Can An Ads Manage Cost? Now you know the kinds of things that can affect the cost of hiring someone to run your Google Ads. How much money actually changes hands, though? In terms of actual numbers, what are the appropriate ranges? If you like, you can consider looking at it from the perspective of a freelancer, so you know where your money is going. At the low end, the cost of your ads management is going to be basically just the cost of your budget plus 10%. If you’re spending $40 per week on ads, and someone is charging you a skim off the top, you’re only paying something like $44 per week, or around $175 per month. That’s quite reasonable, consider the majority of the money is in the cost of ads themselves. Of course, when you’re functionally paying your freelancers $16 a week to manage your ads, you can bet they’re only spending an hour a week doing it. This goes up as your budget goes up. For freelancers, the cost per hour seems to run between $50 and $200 an hour. You can see a bunch of profiles and their cost ranges by checking out hubs like Upwork. There are outliers, like one who is only charging $36 per hours, but the average seems to run around $75 per hour. This is, of course, an hourly rate, so the total cost per week or month to run your ads will depend on the number of hours it takes them to manage your ads. Plus, you have to consider the cost of the ads as well. Full-service agencies tend to be the most expensive. I’ve seen fixed-price packages running for $1,000 per month at the low end. Mid-sized agencies will charge as much as 10x that, and the sky is the limit for top-tier agencies used to working with companies with a global presence and costs in the 6+ digits. The post How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Google Ads Expert? appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

25 Shopify Integrations That Are Proven to Increase Sales

In many ways, Shopify is to e-commerce what WordPress is to blogging. It’s a common, powerful platform that works well out of the box, but the true power of the system comes from the apps and plugins you can install. Shopify apps come in a wide variety of different purposes, but many of them are extremely good and useful to businesses. Before we dig in, I do need to make one disclaimer. I label these apps as proven to increase sales, but that doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to work for you. Some web stores simply don’t need certain advanced features, and others might not know how to get the best use out of them. Pick the right tools for the job, apps with functions you can make immediate use of, and don’t try to shoehorn in any integrations you don’t know how you’ll use. 1. Boost Sales This app by Beeketing is an upsell and cross-sell engine that helps you turn a low value cart into a higher value customer. When a user is checking out a product, it will show them recommendations of higher-end versions of similar products, as well as products that go well with the original. Looking at a shoe? It will show off pricier shoes, as well as accessories like laces, insoles, or shoe polish. After the free trial, the app costs $30 per month. 2. Facebook Channel This is a free app that allows you to create an embedded store on Facebook directly. One of the hardest parts of Facebook marketing is getting people to leave Facebook long enough to make a purchase on your website. Why bother, though, when you can sell directly through Facebook? Integrations allow you to post photo albums of your products and have them tagged automatically with links to purchase those specific products. 3. Optin Monster Optin Monster is one of the pioneers of exit intent pop-overs and lightbox calls to action. Their Shopify app helps you turn visitors into email subscribers, even if they don’t make a purchase. You can also use exit intent pops to capture abandoned carts, retarget returning customers, and even use geolocation features to target customers with specific regional deals. On top of it all, it comes with easy split testing. The app costs $50 per month. 4. Smile Smile is a loyalty and rewards program manager. If you’ve ever wanted a loyalty card, a rewards or points system, or any way to incentivize returning customers without having to give them special coupons or extreme deals, this is the app for you. It’s responsive, easy to manage, and can integrate with other Shopify apps with no issue. They offer a free plan, but have paid plans for additional features. 5. Omnisend This is an email marketing app that includes several other ways to contact customers and reach out to potential new customers. Not only does it include email, it also can use SMS/text messages, Facebook Messenger, and even Google retargeting. It’s a very robust app, though it does need some configuration and a smart plan for using it. You can’t just shotgun out messages and hope to see a decent return. The app is free but has paid features. 6. SEO Manager We all know and understand the importance of SEO. Web stores often encounter issues unique to them, such as a lower amount of content per page, the need for keyword-focused descriptions, and issues with canonicalization. All of these and much, much more are handled with this app. You can deal with broken links quickly and easily, you can set up structured data to integrate with Google and other apps, and you have all the usual SEO tools like meta data management, keyword research, and connection to the Google search console. The app will run you $20 per month. 7. Printful Printful is a powerful print on demand service. It’s almost less of an app to facilitate your store than it is a system to set up a new business. They have over 200 different products you can customize, including shirts, apparel, embroidery, posters, and more. You just add designs. Users buy them and the Printful facilities create the item and ship it out quickly and with minimal hassle. No minimum order sizes and no warehousing requirements to be found. 8. Referral Candy Referral Candy is an app that incentivizes and rewards users for referring others to your store. It’s basically a way to set up a tiered rewards program for your brand advocates. You can customize the interface from the ground up, track all of your referral performance, and reward customers however you like. Coupons, cash payments, special gifts; it’s all available for you to set up. The app costs $50 per month. 9. Plug In SEO This SEO app is a decent alternative to the other SEO app I’ve already mentioned. It’s a very simple tool that helps scan and monitor your store’s SEO health. It checks things like site speed and blog performance with some keyword analysis. It finds problems and notifies you when they crop up, with regular email alerts and health analysis. Use it to find problems and figure out how to fix them. The app has a free plan available. 10. Socialphotos This is an app that integrates your Shopify store with your social media feeds, in a different way than usual. When users buy your products and post photos of themselves with those products, you are notified, while the app monitors hashtags and widgets. You can then curate those photos and, once you obtain permission from the user of course, can use them in your marketing. What’s better than user testimonials and social proof? 11. WisePops No, it’s not talking about your dad here. WisePops is a pop-up manager. It has a drag and drop editor for creating pop-overs with exit intent or timed display, with a number of different possible calls to action. The most important part, however, is the 30+ different targeting options it’s able to use to display different pop-ups to different people. Of course, you get analytics for all of it on top of the tool. The app costs $50 per month. 12. Sales Pop Have you ever been on a site and seen little notifications in the corner that another user purchased a product? Have you ever experienced the fear of missing out, inspired by limited quantities of an in-demand product? Do you think you could leverage both of those feelings to encourage customers to buy, and buy now? That’s what this app does for you. It’s the second offering from Beeketing on this list, and with good reason; for a free app, it does a lot to encourage sales. 13. Yotpo This is a social reviews app. It monitors your social media and follows up with customers to encourage them to leave their ratings, reviews, photos, and testimonials – as well as questions you can answer – in a way you can use them. The free plan includes on-site display and social monitoring, some SEO features, and even some content generation. Paid plans give you even more ways to display your customer reviews, and more besides. 14. Oberlo Oberlo is an interesting app and it’s not for everyone, but dropshippers absolutely love it. It’s a product search engine that helps you identify products you can sell on your site via dropshipping. The major benefit to the app, though, is that Oberlo has a network of suppliers already working with them, so you can skip the tedious outreach and negotiations and get right to selling. 15. Pre-Order Manager Before you skip this one because you don’t do pre-orders, hang on a moment. While this is a manager for pre-orders, it’s also a way to elegantly handle limited stock. When you run out of stock of an item, instead of showing out of stock and sending users elsewhere, this app allows you to let them pre-order copies for when the product comes back in stock. This helps you continue your sales, as well as know just how many products you need to order to refresh that stock. 16. Messenger Channel More and more people are using Facebook Messenger to talk to both each other and with brands. Many brands on Facebook are setting up response bots and using Messenger as a channel, so why not do it on your store? This free app allows you to add a “contact us” button branded with Messenger, that works in Messenger. So long as you have someone on the other end to answer the line, this can be an excellent channel for both sales and support. 17. Gleam Gleam has quickly become one of the most popular and most common engines for social media contests. You can set up a wide variety of integrations to harvest information about your customers, as well as encourage engagement by requiring visits to your social profiles, asking for retweets or subscriptions, and even referrals to their friends. Gleam is free, but access to certain types of entry, high volume contests, and other expanded functions will cost money. 18. One Click Social Login The easier it is for users to log into an account, the more likely they are to make a purchase. When they don’t need to create a new account from scratch and can just click a button to sign in with Facebook or another social network, they’re a lot more likely to buy just because of the lower hassle of purchasing. This integrates that one-click social media access and helps auto-fill forms based on the information they provide. 19. Free Shipping Bar Remember how, years ago, Amazon used to have threshold-based free shipping? You could get free shipping on orders that met a certain cart value. This had some problems – the proliferation of “filler” items was one of them – but it was still a good way to encourage larger carts under the guise of offering additional value. This app allows you to offer the same sort of plan; free shipping on orders over a certain value, configurable to your custom threshold. 20. Coopt Campaigns This $20 app is a spin-off of another popular app linked in its description. It’s a DIY version. What does it do? It incentivizes your customers to share their purchases and your posts on social media by giving those users coupons or rewards instantly. Think of it like Gleam, except with offer claims instead of sweepstakes or giveaways. 21. Instagram Shop This app by Snapppt is integration into Instagram. Instagram allows you to configure a store with structured data, and can use that data in special posts that allow you to tag products and sell items directly through the site. Setting it all up can be a bit of a mess, so that’s where this app comes in. It can configure it all for you, and gives you analytics, user generated content features, and influencer marketing all in one. 22. Wishlist Plus One great way to ensure that customers can come back, while also giving you excellent data to use to contact those users and sell them when a sale, deal, or contest is underway, is the wishlist. This app lets you set up a wishlist system for your store, complete with deep customization, re-engagement and retargeting options, and a lot more. 23. Shippo If you’re not a dropshipper, you know you have to manage your shipping costs, and it can be a huge hassle to keep on top of all of the various ways to manage shipping without spending a fortune. That’s what this app does; it manages shipping methods and label printing to maximize your profits while minimizing the cost of shipping. It’s a free app, though you do have to pay a flat fee per label printed. 24. Compass Using all of these tools is one thing, but how do you know where your store is underperforming in the first place? Analytics! Compass is a high quality e-commerce analytics platform that can track and benchmark your performance across a variety of different platforms, all on one dashboard. It benchmarks you against similar stores as well. 25. Back In Stock Nothing is worse than losing sales because you didn’t have enough inventory in stock. Rather than offering preorder sales as the preorder manager app does, this one allows users to sign up for email notifications and alerts when products are back in stock. It integrates with a number of popular email apps as well. The post 25 Shopify Integrations That Are Proven to Increase Sales appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

20 Ways to Promote Max Bounty Affiliate Links and Offers

MaxBounty is one of the largest affiliate networks out there, with thousands of offers you can run to make money. All you need to do is get people to click your links and, depending on the offer, maybe fill out a form or something. It’s not that difficult, but a lot of people just don’t know where to start. What I’ve done here is compiled 20 different ideas for ways you can promote a MaxBounty affiliate offer. You can do a few of them, or a lot of them, or even all of them, though layering all of them on top of one another is likely going to be overkill. Pick and choose a few techniques you can pull off first, then ramp up into others. Broaden your base of offers you promote and start raking in passive income. 1. Make a Good Website I’m putting this “tip” up at the top, but it’s less of an individual technique and more a necessity. Almost every kind of affiliate offer needs some way to promote the offer, and the majority of the time, a simple site with a basic blog and a landing page will do the job. Your website just needs to look good enough to be trustworthy, with enough content that helps push people in the right direction. You don’t need a lot, but you need more than a basic no-theme blog. A simple landing page also serves as a destination for traffic you get from other sources, like social media pages or paid advertising. 2. Make a Facebook Meme Page Well, a Facebook niche page, in any case. A Facebook page is a pretty good way to build up a bit of a community while being able to promote your offers in the descriptions of your posts. Claim a bunch of offers relevant to a specific niche, then create a bunch of content from that niche and start sharing it on Facebook. As long as you can get a foothold in a basic audience, you can start building up traffic. Some of these affiliate pages have hundreds of thousands of followers by now, it’s incredible. You’d be surprised at how well they can perform with minimal effort. 3. Make a Twitter Theme Account Twitter is just as easy to get up and running as Facebook, but it’s a little harder to run affiliate links, simply because you don’t have as much space to work with in every post. You’ll want to get a URL shortener up and running, and get used to doing your hashtag research ahead of time, but you can get a lot of traffic this way. Keep in mind that both Facebook and Twitter are great sources of traffic to your website rather than directly to your affiliate links as well.  Nothing says you need to limit your posts to links to offers, right? Make sure to split your traffic over to your website as well. 4. Make a YouTube Promotion Account A YouTube account that you use to create offer-promoting videos can be surprisingly effective. Just make sure you have a high enough basic video and audio quality, as well as some editing skills. Far too many people go into it with a webcam and a hint of a script; you want to stand out from that pack and be obviously better quality. You can promote your offers directly, or you can hint at your offers and link people to the articles on your site, where you have more space to promote the offers directly. Just don’t expect to earn money directly from YouTube monetization; their requirements for that are way too steep for a casual account now. 5. Write for Free Platforms like HubPages HubPages, EZineArticles and several other free content platforms exist as places you can write authoritative content that refers people back to your main blog. Many of these sites have rules against directly promoting affiliate links in your posts, but not all of them. The point is to write high quality content that will bring authority to your name and to your primary money site. Bringing in traffic is a good benefit as well. It helps SEO, it helps CPA, and it helps you earn money; what’s not to like? 6. Answer Relevant Questions on Quora Quora is a great source of traffic to links. There are a ton of people using it for affiliate promotion, which can be a bit of a pain to wade through. However, most of them are pretty terrible at what they do, so you can easily out-do their posts. Just write in fluent English and pay attention to the actual question being asked and you have a good chance of getting some clicks. 7. Write Individual Offer Reviews on Your Blog The time-honored tradition of “blogging about blogging” is still alive and well. Spin the concept over to affiliate marketing and you have an entire niche that is both quite competitive and quite open. Write blog posts about your individual offers – either the products themselves or how the offers work – and get clicks that way. 8. Write Larger Comparison Articles with Multiple Links One of my favorite techniques for affiliate marketing is to make comparison or top-5 lists. People like to have options, but they also like to see how those options stack up against one another. Build a table with a handful of products you’re promoting, compare them across a few categories, and let your users decide which they want to click on. 9. Create Themed Pinterest Boards with Offers Pinterest is a surprisingly ignored social media platform. It gained an early reputation for focusing entirely on topics like crafting and food, so the tech-focused group usually responsible for writing blogs wrote it off. It’s still around, it’s still huge, and it gets a ton of traffic. Promote your MaxBounty offers there and you’re almost guaranteed to get a good chunk of traffic. 10. Join and Promote (Carefully) on Web Forums Web forums are often niche communities with old and dedicated audiences. If you have a good, relevant offer you can promote to that kind of community, go ahead and join the forum. You can promote it by offering it as a legitimate offer, or by asking if people think it’s legit, or whatever you like. Just don’t swoop in to spam; you’ll likely be banned before anyone clicks the link. 11. Join and Promote in Existing Facebook Groups Facebook groups are similar to web forums, except they’re more open and younger in general. There are also like trillions of them or something, it’s incredible how many groups there are. Anyone can make one, after all. You can browse Facebook groups by searching for keywords and looking at what groups come up. Look for groups with a decently sized userbase and recent posts. You don’t want anything that’s basically dead or that has very stringent moderation, and watch out for anti-affiliate rules. Otherwise, go nuts! Join and post in 2-5 groups per day and you can built up quite a lot of traffic in a few months. 12. Comment on Posts from Large Facebook Pages This one happens pretty often by people who don’t know how to look like a legitimate post. Every blog that has Facebook comments on it has people spamming these form-letter copy-and-paste affiliate links. You don’t want to look like that. Look for relevant posts made by big creators – so there’s a large audience to view it – and leave a comment about your experiences and how your product benefitted you. Remember with this kind of outreach that you’re basically being a salesperson, and you can’t drive people away with your spam. 13. Create a Deals App App development is pretty complicated, but making something that’s basically an interface for showing a user affiliate deals is pretty much the simplest kind of app you can make. Spice it up with an interesting UI and you might even be able to monetize it with some ads. A deals app wouldn’t be too much of an investment to make, and you can keep it loaded with as many affiliate offers as you’re able to sign up for. 14. Leave Good Comments on Relevant Blog Posts We all have to deal with spammy blog comments, so we all know what they look like. You can still use blog comments for marketing purposes, though. Target your blogs carefully and make sure you know what you’re going to promote. In fact, don’t even promote anything the first few times you comment; you need to build up a bit of recognition as a legitimate user before you use this platform for your own marketing. Once you’re a familiar face, you can drop a link and not have it immediately removed. I recommend links to blog posts rather than directly to affiliate offers for this kind of thing. 15. Build a Mailing List Mailing lists are a sort of “advanced” marketing technique for affiliate marketers, because most affiliate marketers aren’t looking at things from a long term perspective. The best affiliate blogs are the ones that provide plenty of good information and insight, tutorials and instructions. You click the links because the information is good. The trouble is, building up a mailing list requires that kind of quality and trust; you need to convince users that they want more of your content. You can’t do that with mediocre spun affiliate posts. If you’re in it for the long game, build a mailing list and offer deals and recommendations through it. 16. Consider Promoting on Reddit The rest of the tips on this list are “consider” tips because they aren’t guaranteed to work, and they could have negative consequences if you do them wrong. All of them except this one, the consequence is “losing money.” This one, it’s getting banned from Reddit. Reddit has a million little subdivisions where different people discuss different topics. If you can find the right subreddit, you may be able to promote an offer and have people click through it. It’s not guaranteed, and in fact a lot of redditors hate this kind of thing, so you have to do it right. I recommend spending some time on Reddit before you try to use it for marketing. That, or just go through their own paid ads system. 17. Consider Paid Facebook Advertising Facebook, again, is a great platform for affiliate marketing, particularly when you can build up an audience. If you’re struggling to get that audience, want to kick-start your growth, or just want to send people through to your website, you can use paid Facebook ads. Facebook ads have a ton of very good targeting options to help you narrow down to the specific audience you want to reach, which is why they can be one of the best platforms to use. 18. Consider Promoted Tweets Twitter ads aren’t as robust or as useful as Facebook ads, but they can be pretty cheap, and all you have to do is be able to tweet in the first place. Set up a promoted tweet once you have one that is getting attention – or “doing numbers,” as they say – and put a little money into it. With luck, you’ll get more than you put in. 19. Consider Google Ads Google ads reach millions of people every day, and you can easily get a slice of that pie. Remember for most of these ad systems, you can’t promote an affiliate link directly. You’re going to need a good landing page, and your targeting should be on point so you don’t waste too much money. 20. Consider Bing Ads Bing is like Google except smaller. The ads system works in much the same way, but you can fairly easily get a $50 ads credit to get you started. Free money turning into more money is never a bad thing, right? The post 20 Ways to Promote Max Bounty Affiliate Links and Offers appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

List of 50+ App Directories to Submit Your Mobile App To

Developing an app takes a lot of time, energy, and money. When it comes time to launch it, you need to treat it with the respect it deserves. Simply throwing an app up on the Play Store and iTunes won’t cut it. Some older estimates put the number of new apps on just the Google Play store at 1,250 per day, and you can bet it’s even higher now. Forget about standing out from the crowd; it’s a wonder if anyone ever sees you at all. That’s the beauty of the internet, though, right? You’re not limited to just one platform. You can put your app up on the store, and then you can submit your app or its store listing to directories for reviews, for promotion, and for user ranking. No one directory is going to have even a fraction of the traffic of the main three stores (iTunes, Google, and Amazon), but they have a much higher engagement rate. The only question is, where should you submit your app? Here’s a huge list of directories and assorted app-focused sites for your consideration. Note: I make no claims as to the viability of submitting your app to any of these directories. They all have their own means of contact, their own requirements to be reviewed, and their own themes. Some of them may have a fee for submission; it’s up to you to decide if that’s worthwhile. AppAdvice – A site with a series of regularly published lists that collect apps based around certain themes, like apps for beer lovers or apps for movie fans. AppShopper – An app toplist that monitors prices and allows people to mark if they own or want to buy an app, to watch for price drops. Touch Arcade – A gaming-focused site that covers mobile apps as well as games for the Nintendo Switch. Excellent if you have a game to submit. Apptism – An app directory that displays apps by icon with rating, platform, and pricing information for users to browse. App Addict – An app and mobile device blog that reviews apps and various mobile devices and accessories. App Apes – An app review site that allows a wide variety of apps, though they tend to focus mostly on games. AppChatter – An app directory that produces daily app reviews as well as articles on how to use certain advanced apps or use apps for specific tasks. App Saga – A site that focuses on free apps, though it counts apps that are only free temporarily if they’re good enough. iOS specific, as far as I can tell. App Safari – An app directory focusing entirely on iOS apps, covering anything that can go on an apple device, whether it’s the newest iPhone or an old iPod. 101 Best – A constantly-evolving directory of the top 101 apps for Android. Submitting an app allows it to be reviewed and placed on the daily, weekly, monthly, and all time lists. AppModo – A site dedicated to mobile devices and everything about them, from quirks in the YouTube app to toplists for new apps. FeedMyApp – A directory with app reviews and some longer, more in-depth articles about specific apps or about specific tasks and the apps that assist. GetApp – An app search engine that focuses on business-focused apps. Submit yours to the directory to appear as recommendations for your task. Netted – A site by Webby’s, this general tech and mobile blog has sections dedicated to Android, iOS, and Tablet apps. Phandroid – Another directory with a variety of app reviews, posted fairly regularly. They also maintain several evolving toplists. GameZebo – A multi-platform app directory specializing in games. If you have a game, usually a free game, you can submit it here. Android Guys – A site focused on all things android, from reviews of games to the best choice of cellular providers to reviews of new devices. AppsZoom – An Android-focused app directory. You probably won’t show up on the front page, but you can show up in searches for specific categories. TouchMyApps – A relatively small and somewhat personal app-focused blog, the owner reviews and ranks apps but doesn’t post all that frequently. RazMag – A publication by RazorianFly, this magazine is highly focused on apps that provide a certain aesthetic or experience to the user, specifically to the founder. FreeAppsArcade – An app directory that focuses entirely on the games vertical. There are a lot of different apps to view, so submit yours. Easy App Finder – A directory that helps users find apps in specific categories that aren’t your usual categories, like “dice games” and “fisherman apps” among others. AndroLib – An app directory that focuses on both free and paid Android apps, with ranking and pricing information available up front. AppSpy – One of the more well-done app review sites, this one is quite active and does detailed reviews and price monitoring. AppleNApps – An iOS focused app directory that maintains top 100 lists and daily app lists. Don’t let the trending bar fool you, it’s an active site. BestAppsForKids – An app directory with a very specific focus on apps that are mainly aimed at children, meaning they don’t have in-app purchases, they’re cute and not violent, and they’re child appropriate. AppPicker – An app directory with a very perfunctory blog stapled on, largely aimed at apps that have discounts to make them free. The iMums – Another child-focused app directory run by a handful of moms. App developers are encouraged to submit apps to this Australian blog. AppsMirror – Another broad-spectrum app review and top list site. You can submit apps to their directory quickly and easily. AlphaDigits – An app directory with a fairly large audience, though it might not look like it at first glance. They tend to write fairly detailed reviews and sometimes tutorials. To take a bit of a break from basic directories, here are a few other kinds of sites you can submit your app to for potential review. These sites tend to have much larger audiences, but also less of a chance to get in if your app isn’t stellar. For many of them, you won’t be able to submit an app directly; submit the release of your app as a tip to their writers. Mashable – The tech section of Mashable often covers apps, though you need to be worth noting in some way to be noticed. Make sure your app is top-tier and submit it as a tip. TechCrunch – TC often covers apps in a wide variety of categories, but again, you need to have a very noteworthy or newsworthy app to be featured in one of their posts. Cult of Mac – As the name would imply, this site covers all things Apple, including iOS apps. If you have a good app you want them to check out, submit it. 9to5 Mac – Another Apple-focused news site that will happily cover iOS apps if you have a good one and get it to them the right way. Wired – Wired is one of the biggest tech sites in the world, and they definitely cover apps, but they require a real good reason to do so. They won’t just publish a press release about your new asset-flip game, you need a good app. LifeHacker – If your app can be used in a life hack, regardless of how upscale or bizarre the life hack may be, you can try submitting it here. They might decide it’s fun enough to pick up and write about. MakeUseOf – This site tends to focus more on apps that can be used for specific purposes, to the point that they publish as many tutorials as they do reviews. If you have a great unique task app, this is a great place to send it. CNet – CNet does app reviews, though they tend to focus on apps with a big presence behind them or otherwise with a good reason to be reviewed. PCMagazine – PC Mag will review apps, though they tend to pass games over to their companion site, PC Gamer. Tech apps are generally more appreciated. VentureBeat – If you have a powerful app or something with a lot of funding behind it, VentureBeat has you covered. They tend to focus on newsworthy apps, but you might be able to slip in with something that’s just really good. GeekWire – You know the drill by now; high end tech site, occasional app reviews, need a good reason to feature them. Worth sending in a tip, at least. Android Central – One of the largest Android-focused blogs out there, you can get some good features about your app by submitting it. PocketGamer – Another game-focused app review and ranking site. This one also has a lot of spin-off sections for news, guides, and reviews, so it’s good to get featured. EuroGamer – Another gaming-focused site, only submit your app here if it’s related to gaming in some way, otherwise they probably won’t give you the time of day. Bonus if you’re a European dev. Mac Rumors – Another of the main Mac-focused blogs out there, they don’t cover every app that comes their way, but they’ll be fairly amenable to iOS only apps. Gizmodo – One of the largest mobile-focused sites out there, there’s a lot of content on the site, but they’ve had a bit of a questionable time of it. You can submit your app and see if they’ll review it. Slashdot – News for nerds, you can submit your app here but be aware that they will be quite unforgiving if you give them something terrible. BoingBoing – A pop culture blog that covers a lot of stuff off the beaten path. You can get good coverage if you’re something atypical in some way. Digital Trends – You can get a lot of good coverage for an app here, though you probably want something that’s cutting edge in some way. Ars Technica – You know it, you love it, another high end blog! Submit your app and if it’s great, they’ll give it some coverage. If not, you’ll probably never hear back. Now let’s round out this post with a few other kinds of app view venues. Primarily, YouTube channels. These channels often review apps, so you can get some coverage if you send a copy to the creator. Be sure to check if they have a specific press email or anything first! Nathaniel Reichert – This guy posts weekly videos covering a variety of app-related topics, from app reviews to how to use a mouse and keyboard with yur mobile device and much more. Android Critics – This isn’t a very high-content channel but it does post lists about apps. They aren’t always good reviews – sometimes it’s lists of dangerous apps – but it can be worth submitting. Dave Bennett – Dave is a verified channel where he talks about a lot of different kinds of tech, where apps are just one part of it. iBertz – Another verified channel with over 200K subscribers, he covers an array of different kinds of tech, including the occasional app. Android Authority – The site has its own YouTube channel with three million subscribers. They cover apps as well as Android tech news. Explore Gadgets – Another mobile-focused channel with half a million subscribers. They review apps fairly often. SakiTech – Another mobile channel, this one has half a million subscribers as well. Give it a look and shoot them your app. AppFind – This channel posts weekly videos for your perusal. Some are on hidden features or cool uses of tech, while others review apps. Device Customizer – They only post one video a month on average, but they frequently cover cool apps in lists that do reasonably well. Tech Avenue – A channel that reviews apps and posts top ten lists fairly regularly; worth giving a shot if you have something to contribute. So there you have it; 60 different places you can send your app to maybe get it reviewed or shared in a directory. The post List of 50+ App Directories to Submit Your Mobile App To appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

10 Ways to Solicit Amazon Customers for 5 Star Reviews

As we all know, getting reviews on Amazon is crucial to having a product that sells well. Users often look to reviews to see how they should feel about a product, or how much they should trust it. People tend to buy products with not just positive reviews, but a larger number of positive reviews, even if there are a few negatives mixed in. At the same time, users are fairly stingy with leaving reviews. It’s difficult to get even 1% of your customers to leave a review, and the most motivated to do so are the people who don’t like your products. What you need to do is solicit reviews from the people most pleased with your product. How, though, can you do so? Amazon has rules about review solicitation, so here are a handful of techniques you can use that play by those rules, or skirt them a little. What Not To Do Before we dig into techniques you can use to get more reviews, let’s first talk about techniques you should avoid. Remember, Amazon has no qualms about banning a seller for breaking the rules. You’re one of millions to them, and you’re entirely expendable. Don’t leave reviews for your own products. Don’t buy fake reviews from a review service. Don’t pay for reviews in any way, including bonus products or gift cards. Don’t offer special deals or promotions to qualified reviewers. Remember that if a review is removed, the user who submitted the review will not be able to leave a new one on your product. Only one customer in a given household can review a product: one product for a house of four does not mean four eligible reviews. Now let’s dig into some valid techniques you might use to solicit reviews. 1. Use the Seller Messaging System When you send out a product to someone who ordered it, you will be able to message them through the Amazon seller messaging system. There are a number of ways you can use this, but one I’ve seen quite often is a simple review solicitation. Hello <Customer>. Thank you for your recent purchase from our store. If it’s not too much trouble, we’d love to hear what you think of the item you received. Just click here to leave a review! It doesn’t take much to solicit a review, you just have to be careful not to ask specifically for positive reviews. Any mention of “leave us a good review” can get you penalized. My top tip is to figure out the average amount of time between shipping a product and the user actually using it. Waiting until the user is more likely to have used the product is a good way to ensure a higher review rate from your messages. 2. Filter for Positive Reviews Organically You can’t solicit for positive reviews directly, but what you CAN do is solicit for contact from those who aren’t satisfied. For example, you can send out a message with phrasing sort of like this: Hello <Customer>. We greatly appreciate your order of our product, and we’d love to hear what you think. If you’ve experienced any trouble with the product or need assistance with getting it set up, please send us a message <contact link.> We’d love if you could leave us a review; all feedback is welcome! Your feedback helps us know what’s working and what isn’t, so if you can take a minute or two to let us know about your experiences, that would be great! You’ll notice the very careful lack of specific solicitation of reviews from satisfied customers. However, by including the “if you’re disappointed, click here” message first, the only people who keep reading are the ones who aren’t having issues, thus self-selecting for satisfied users. 3. Use a Drip Campaign for Reviews I’ve had a few Amazon sellers set up a sort of drip campaign prior to soliciting a review. This can be excellent if your product has some complex details or common misperceptions about it. For example, I ordered a UV Flashlight from Amazon, and the sellers send three sequential messages. The first included a detailed FAQ about safety notices for the UV light, tips for battery usage, usage tips for the light itself, and some nerdy statistics about the hardware. This message arrived immediately upon ordering, to lay the groundwork for the device. The second was timed to arrive just after the product arrived, and included a link to get support for shipping from Amazon if there were issues. It also included some usage tips for the light, like how to spot – and then clean up – pet urine stains. The third explained their warranty, included instructions on how to file a claim, and then solicited a review. It even provided a few sample questions you can answer in a review. This kind of drip campaign helps make sure customers who ordered the product are using it properly, and helps get dissatisfied users to self-filter before soliciting a review. It’s quite clever. 4. Provide Helpful Accessories Free Now, I don’t mean “file a review and get X accessory” here. I ordered a USB Bluetooth adapter, and the seller sent out an email that included download links for the driver software, in case the packaged CD didn’t work for some reason. This ensures that their customers can use the device, and can leave a review once they have it up and running. The best part of this is they’re proactive about it. They know their drivers might not be available to everyone right away, and they acknowledge the several different versions of Windows users might be running, so they have several different options. 5. Stagger Solicitations If you get a lot of reviews in a short amount of time, it’s possible that Amazon will view it as fraudulent. After all, that’s the sort of pattern that occurs when a user buys a bulk package of reviews. It’s also the usage pattern for cases where a seasonal spike means you go from 5 sales a week to 50. The spike in reviews can be dangerous. Instead of timing all of your review solicitation messages a set time after the purchase, stagger them out. Send them out in waves, so the reviews come back in similar waves, spaced out to not look fraudulent. This isn’t generally an issue, except when you’re first starting a review solicitation campaign or when you have dramatic spikes in sales. Spikes can be dangerous if you’re not careful, but most often I see this problem crop up when over-eager sellers send out their first solicitation campaign. 6. Offer Advance Copies or Review Copies There’s an entire community of people who receive copies of products and review them. Amazon prohibits any compensation other than the item itself, but does not prohibit using that item as an incentive. “We will give you this product for free if you review it for us” is perfectly legitimate. You simply need to find the people who are willing to make this deal, and those people have to disclose in their review that they received the product for free in exchange for an honest review. I recommend checking Facebook groups and specific review-based communities around the web. 7. Solicit Amazon Reviews from Non-Amazon Customers Nothing prevents a customer from leaving a review on Amazon for a product they bought elsewhere. When you sell products through your own website or another storefront, send out a message to those users. Acknowledge that they didn’t make their purchase through Amazon, but ask them to leave a review on Amazon nevertheless. You can do this by sending a review solicitation out via email to your customers, the same way you do with your Amazon customers. Simply ask them to leave you a review with a link to your Amazon storefront. The difference is, with your own store customers, you can be a lot more direct asking for reviews. Amazon doesn’t monitor these conversations, since they aren’t on the Amazon platform. Alternatively, you may consider soliciting those reviews for your own storefront. Good customer testimonials can be very useful for your sales pages, after all. It’s difficult to ask for both, though, so consider carefully which you would prefer. 8. Include a Product Insert A simple insert in the packaging of your product is a good way to solicit reviews on top of other means of communication. It’s guaranteed to arrive at the same time as the product, so you don’t run into issues with a solicitation arriving before the product. You can include whatever information makes the most sense; instructions, tutorials, links to useful further reading, and so on. Just make sure to include a solicitation for a review. I recommend testing a few different styles. A minimalistic style just soliciting a review might work better than a packet that offers information as well as asking for a review. It’s hard to split test this, since it’s difficult to track, but you can at least send out one type for a few weeks and another type for the next few weeks. I highly recommend hiring a professional designer and/or printing company to handle your inserts. A nicely designed card with a graphical element looks and feels a lot better than something quickly dashed off on a home printer on standard printer paper and clipped up for the package. It’s up to you, of course, but I find a professional feel works a lot better. 9. Include Documentation One technique that is becoming increasingly common is including a free eBook along with each purchase. If you’re selling a cooking tool, create an ebook with tutorials for using it, recipes that make use of it, care instructions, and of course a review solicitation. You don’t need to host or sell this ebook on Amazon; it can be available on your website instead. The key to this is to not mention it until the user has already made a purchase. The unexpected value is an emotional jolt that makes the user feel like they “won” somehow, even if every order gets a copy of the book. I find it to be very worthwhile to hire a couple of freelancers to create this book. Hire a writer to write it – aim for something of decent size, maybe 10-15 pages in a magazine-style format – and hire a graphic designer or photographer to provide illustrations for it. A cookbook can have some good food photos to adorn each recipe, a product guide can have technical and usage illustrations, you name it. 10. Fish for Top Reviewers Amazon maintains a list of the top reviewers on the platform. These are people who leave reviews very frequently – often with hundreds or thousands of reviews under their belts – and who have extremely high rates of “helpful” votes. You can see the lists here. Go fishing! Look through these reviewers and look for ones that review the kinds of products you sell. Many top reviewers include contact information in their profiles, which allows you to reach out to them. Offer them a product to review; many will take you up on it. Top reviewers have a lot of trust within the Amazon review system, and their reviews are never flagged as fraudulent. They’re almost always going to be worthwhile unless the product you send them is somehow inferior. What are your favorite ways to get reviews on Amazon without breaking the terms of service? I’d like to hear if you have any tips or tricks I didn’t cover. Let me know in the comments below! The post 10 Ways to Solicit Amazon Customers for 5 Star Reviews appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

Can You Earn Money with Traffic?

PopAds is one of a wide range of ad networks available for publishers looking to earn some extra cash. It operates using pop-under advertising, which may or may not be ideal for your situation. If you’re interested in learning more, read on. What Is PopAds is an ad network. It’s not an ad network that uses embedded ads on your site, overlays in front of videos, or other sorts of display ads, however. Rather, PopAds uses pop-unders, a kind of ad format that has been in and out of favor for years. PopAds has a few benefits over old-school pop-under and pop-up advertising. It still opens a new window, but that window is layered below the current window, so the user doesn’t have their browsing of your site disrupted. More importantly, it waits to trigger until the user clicks somewhere within your site. This minimizes the immediate bounces that occur when a pop-up or pop-under shows up, from those web users who are sensitive to that kind of thing. The PopAds network has been around since 2010 and has adapted well with the times, making it one of the larger and most successful pop-up based advertising networks available today. Pop-ups and pop-overs are generally frowned upon, while pop-unders tend to skirt by because it’s more difficult with long browsing sessions to identify which site originated the ad. The Benefits of PopAds PopAds has a few benefits as an ad network. First of all, they have a fairly large range of advertisers, meaning you’ll pretty much never be left with un-filled ad space. Since the ads require a click to appear, your bounce traffic and short-lived visits won’t dilute your click rates. The ad network is also very liberal with their acceptance of websites. It’s not like something like Taboola or Outbrain, where you need hundreds of thousands of visitors to even get into the network. Essentially any website is allowed so long as it doesn’t violate the laws of the United States or, interestingly, Costa Rica. Costa Rica is included because it’s the location that PopAds is using for their headquarters. Basically, that means sites that advertise gambling or pornography are fine, but sites that sell weapons or illegal drugs are generally not. There may be some quirks about the Costa Rican law that I don’t know, but I imagine it’s largely what you might be familiar with. One major benefit of PopAds is that publishers can set the minimum bid for their site. This requires that advertisers who want to advertise on your site have a minimum bid, so you’re not spamming your audience with low-quality advertising and only earning a few cents per click. PopAds also uses a system that, since it requires a user action to open the window, tends to bypass most pop-up blockers. It’s not entirely reliable – some blockers still catch it, and disabling scripts site-wide will catch it – but it’s better than most pop-up based ad networks. PopAds claims that their system is allowable under Google’s rules, specifically for AdWords – now known as Google Ads – but they disavow any responsibility if it gets your Google Ads account sanctioned or restricted. If that happens, of course, it will be up to you to decide which you would rather prioritize. Because of the unique bidding system that PopAds uses, there’s a certain level of diminishing returns for publishers. You can choose how many pop-unders a particular visitor will receive, but each additional pop-under is typically filled with a lower bidder than the initial ad. This means allowing 1 pop-under might be more valuable in the long run than allowing 2 or 3. Additionally, there seems to be mention of a daily limit of pop-unders for publishers, at least in the PopAds FAQ section. I don’t know what this limit is, but it does potentially set a limit on the amount you can earn per day. The PopAds network is global, with a presence around the world. They have advertisers and publishers throughout over 50 countries, though of course some of them are going to be much less valuable than others. You will have to look to see if your country is supported. Can You Earn Money With PopAds? A short section here, but yes, you can earn money using the PopAds pop-under network. There are some caveats to it that I’ll go into later, but it’s not a scam and it does pay people. In fact, the payment is on request, rather than NET30 or another regular distribution. PopAds claims that their average revenue for publishers has never gone below $4 per 1,000 pop-unders. This isn’t the highest rate in the world, but it’s far from the lowest. As usual with any ad network, it largely depends on a wide variety of factors. PopAds also has an affiliate/referral program. When a user signs up as a publisher using your link, you get 10% of their earnings. When a user signs up as an advertiser using your link, you get 10% of their ad spend. All in all, it’s not a bad deal. Frankly, that’s likely where the biggest success stories come from. None of the links in this post are affiliate links, by the way. This author posted their experience with PopAds. Their rates ranged around $2.50 per 1,000 views from the USA, $1.50 for Australia, and $2 for most of Europe. For India it was 60 cents, for the Philippines it was 30 cents, and so on. Well below the promised $4 per 1K views, but that’s the way it always is with ad network advertising. Maximizing Earnings with PopAds If you’re interested in using PopAds to make money as a publisher, here are my tips for making the most of the network. Target high value countries. You would be right in assuming it’s the usual suspects here. The USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, and so on tend to be the high paying countries, while countries in the middle east and south east Asia tend to have much lower rates. Unfortunately, a sizable proportion of PopAds traffic comes from Brazil, which is also not a high value country. Make sure to set your category and restrict advertiser categories. Your category helps ensure there is a match between your content and the content of the ad. Of course, it helps if you’re in one of the niches that is most commonly represented within the PopAds network. Which categories are those? Well, if you remember it’s a pop-under network, you’ll have a pretty good idea. According to PPCMode and my own research, most of the advertisers and most of the publishers in the network are in the adult content niche, with others in file sharing, image hosting, web/Flash games, and gambling. There’s also a lot of sites in various automotive niches, usually in auto sales (through shady subprime auto lenders or used car lots) and in insurance. File sharing in particular is not a great niche to allow. The kinds of people who are interested in file sharing are not the kinds of people who want to pay for anything, so the traffic is pretty low quality and won’t earn you much. Other niches, particularly adult niches, tend to be better performing. Pick offers that you know you can fulfill as much as possible. You pick offers to participate in, but if your metrics for them are low enough – that is, low click and conversion rates – the people managing the offers can blacklist your site from them. In particular, click-to-download offers and other sorts can be difficult to convert, especially with pop-unders. You can try the offers, but you are liable to be kicked if you underperform. Make sure to set a moderate minimum bid. If you set your minimum bid too low, you’ll be flooded with low quality advertising and will eat up your quota of daily pop-unders very quickly. Your rates will be low, though of course if that’s acceptable to you, go for it. I personally prefer higher rates that result in fewer ads, but higher quality and higher value ads. Conversely, don’t set your minimum bid too high. If you set the level too high, you’re cutting out too many advertisers, and the remaining audience might not want to advertise on your site. If your site is really good, you may be able to swing yourself as a premium publisher, but I wouldn’t count on it. Do what you can to encourage clicks on your site. Since PopAds requires a user interaction to trigger the pop-under, you will perform much better if you have some reason for your user to click on your site. Ironically, pop-over light boxes are a great way to do this, since they’re disruptive enough to require a click, but not so disruptive that they drive users away. Monitor your metrics and maintain a level of agility. The pricing and bidding for ads will waver throughout the week, with lower rates on weekends simply because of the number of businesses that shut down for weekends. Keep an eye out and don’t be afraid to adjust your minimum bids and other targeting on the fly. Why I Don’t Recommend PopAds All of the above makes this seem like a decent ad network, somewhere in the middle of the road. I have to say, however, I don’t want to recommend PopAds to my readers. Why not? Several reasons. First of all, PopAds has by all reports gone significantly downhill in the last few years. Every time a post is published on a high profile marketing blog about PopAds, a flood of low quality publishers streams in. This decreases the average quality and value of the network, which means advertisers spend less money. When advertisers spend less, publishers make less, driving the whole network down. The addition of the third point on this list makes it even worse. Secondly, pop-up and pop-under advertising is, frankly, a bit annoying to your website users. There’s a reason most websites have transitioned to display advertising, affiliate marketing, or lightbox-based advertising. Having tabs or windows appear when you didn’t want them is a prime violation of the user experience.  Some people are more sensitive to it than others – I’m not the biggest fan – but in general pop-ups are an outdated technique struggling to maintain relevance. Third and perhaps most importantly, PopAds has been abused by hackers. There are a handful of pieces of malware and viruses that run hidden browser windows and constantly browse PopAds for the benefit of the hacker. This is a guilt by association issue: PopAds is not responsible for these, nor do they sanction them. However, the fact is, it’s a network used by viruses, and there’s always the possibility that it will serve malicious ads to your traffic. Personally, the risk isn’t worth it. I don’t want to risk subjecting my audience to the kinds of issues PopAds can bring with it, so I don’t recommend it. You all, however, are adults capable of making your own decisions. Feel free to give them a try and see if you like them more than I do. To be honest, I would only use PopAds on a site that I’m using for experimentation, or one that’s running in one of the niches that isn’t normally allowed on most ad networks. Even then, the ads that appear can be shady, and you probably want to monitor them to make sure you aren’t accidentally serving malware to your audience. Exercise caution and you can make some money, but frankly, there are better options available. The post Can You Earn Money with Traffic? appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

How to Track Phone Calls as Conversions on Your Ad Campaigns

With most forms of advertising, you’re hoping to attract a customer “eventually”. That eventual time in the future might be in a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks, depending on the type of ad campaign you’re running. Brand awareness campaigns might not even care if a conversion is six months down the line. Ads with a phone number or a call-based call to action are different. They’re aimed at attracting hot leads, the people willing to call you because they’re ready to make a purchase right now. You don’t want to miss these leads, but you also don’t want to fail to track them. Without appropriate data, how can you tell how effective your ads are? I’ve split this post into two parts: one for Facebook ads and one for Google ads. Both have the ability to track phone calls, though the methods for doing each are pretty different. Let’s dig in! Facebook Call Tracking There are two different ways you can track phone calls using Facebook ads. One of them involves ads entirely on Facebook, while the other tracks off-site conversions on your own website. The first method is to track phone calls as a conversion action through your Facebook page. Go to your Facebook page and look for the call to action button in the upper corner, beneath your cover photo. You can change this call to action to be a number of different things. Any Page Admin, Editor, Moderator, or Advertiser can change this button. You can have that call to action be anything from “like this page” to “give us a call” in terms of options. Here’s how to set your call to action, according to Facebook’s help center. In this case, what you want to do is plug in your business phone number as your call to action. This way, when a user clicks that call to action button, they will be presented with your phone number. In some cases, if they’re browsing on PC and have a VoIP application installed, clicking this button might bring up the option to initiate a call via their VoIP system. Likewise, if the user is browsing on a mobile device, it will bring up the option to initiate a phone call using their mobile device. Assuming, of course, the device has phone call capabilities; some people browse on tablets, after all. What you will then need to do is create a promoted call to action. These are specialized ads that have the ad objective of “get the user to click the page default CTA button.” On Facebook, go to your main menu and click Promote, then click Promote Your CTA. You’ll have to fill out all of the normal details for an ad, and then promote it. This is fine, except it only tracks when a user calls you. If a phone call is your conversion action, it’s good to go. If, however, you want to track conversions that occur via a phone call, you will need to record that data separately and import it later. Tracking offline conversions is a surprisingly difficult and complex prospect. You can’t simply ask users if they called you because of your Facebook ad, right? You could set up individual phone numbers for each possible conversion method, but then you’re managing a bunch of different numbers and the associated expenses of having phone management. Thankfully, Facebook has a fairly complete guide to tracking offline conversions in their help center, found here. You will need to use the Facebook business manager rather than their normal ad manager or Power Editor to manage offline conversions. One thing that will probably be useful when you’re setting this up is this table. It’s a reference for how you should format the data for individual kinds of conversions offline. With phone numbers, you need to include the country code for your phone number, which many people forget. You should also, of course, include additional data about your offline conversions, like the name of the event, the value for the event, the ID for the order if applicable, the name of the converting user, and so on. This is all necessary to fully include all information in your analytics. I said there were two methods for tracking calls on Facebook, and so far have only mentioned one. The other is to create awareness ads, under the reach option. You will need to have your phone number as one possible action a user can take on the landing page to their ad, and that phone number will need to be tracked using the Facebook pixel. You can view the pixel API data here, with “contact” being the relevant call. This, again, will only track if a user calls using a call button on your site, so it’s not a perfect option. There’s a third alternative as well, but I’ll cover it in a third section below. Google Call Tracking Google actually has four different ways to track conversions from phone calls. You can track your calls from ads. With Google Ads, you can create a specific kind of ad called a call-only ad. These ads use a special call extension for your advertising, that encourages users to call and only displays in the first place when the user has the ability to make a call. You are also able to set a minimum length for the call, so you don’t track frivolous or spam calls as conversions accidentally. You can track calls from a phone number you have embedded on your website. Much like the second option for Facebook above, you need to have Google’s tracking code embedded on your site. You’re already using Google Analytics, so all you need to do is add the appropriate structured data call to a specific call forwarding number displayed on your website. Again, you can track the length of a call to ensure that the worst, shortest calls are filtered out. You can also track calls specifically on your mobile website. Google can even detect if the version of your website displaying to a user is the mobile or desktop version of a responsive design. This is only tracked as a click, not as a phone call; they can’t monitor the length of the call or filter the data. Finally, much like Facebook, you can import your call conversions as tracked via another system internally. You can track as much data as you want about the call, from customer identity to conversion value to call length, but it’s all data you need to track and then import into Google’s systems. In order to track calls or to import call tracking data, you need to be using a Google call forwarding number. Google forwarding numbers attempt to at least share the area code of the geographic location for your business, so they aren’t obviously a tracked or otherwise “strange” number when a user is considering calling. The unfortunate side-effect of this is that Google can only provide call forwarding numbers in specific countries. You can see a complete chart of the countries where these numbers are available here. Some, like India, only allow toll-free numbers and not local numbers. Others, like Brazil, do local numbers but not toll-free numbers. Most do both. A few, like Japan, will show the caller as Google in Caller ID, due to local transparency laws. There are a lot of different considerations when tracking phone calls through Google analytics and Google ads. I can’t give you specific tips because it will come down to your specific setup and how you want to be tracking call conversions. I recommend mapping out exactly where your calls are coming from and how you want them tracked, and then dig into the help center to find specific information about those sources of data. The general process will involve setting up a call-based conversion action in your Google Ads system. You will then want to install a tracking tag on your number on your website and ads, if applicable, and make sure the phone number you’re tracking is a Google forwarding number. Google also provides a troubleshooting document here for when you’re setting up call tracking but things aren’t working quite right. Third Party Call Tracking The alternative to both of these, and a simpler one, is to use a third party call tracking service. A third party call tracker will do basically the same thing as Google’s call tracking, using a forwarding number to track information about phone calls. Many of them also offer a CRM or related application your call center or sales team will use. When a call comes in, the application activates. The person who picks up the call will then log information about the caller – such as name, purpose of call, and if a conversion happens – along with automatically logged data like date and time. All of this information will then be compiled into one format, usually a specific call-based set of analytics. The third party call tracker may or may not allow you to integrate your data with Google and Facebook analytics, or a third party analytics system. They might allow exports in a format for you to import, as well. It really depends on the system. With that in mind, here are a few possible third party call tracking companies you might consider. Full disclosure, I haven’t used any of these myself, so I can’t vouch for their quality. Do your own research, make sure they offer the features you want at a price you can afford, and contact their sales teams if you want to know more. CallRail – A call tracking company that offers call attribution, business-level call management, integration into several large systems like Google Ads, Hubspot, and Salesforce, and call routing with geographic-level targeting. They have a two-week free trial and their starter plan begins at $30 per month. That includes 10 local numbers, 500 minutes of phone time, and 100 text messages. Call Tracking Metrics – Despite the generic name, this is a specific company. They offer call management, analytics, text messaging, reporting, and agency-level tools. Their business plan starts at $20 per month plus additional fees for usage based on the type of number, whether or not you’re getting transcriptions of your calls, and the geographic location of your calls. Active Demand – This app has predictive automation and has versions for both agencies and for individual businesses. Basic call tracking can be free at low levels, so small businesses might consider looking into this app first and foremost. For larger business plans, they also include email marketing and tracking, as well as automation for varying levels of need. CallCap – This platform has call tracking and call monitoring, as well as some call recovery features for cases where a call is dropped unexpectedly. They also have some tracking for outbound marketing, texting, and integrations into several ads systems, including Doubleclick. Pricing is par for the course and starts at $30 per month, with additional fees if you go over the basic usage limits. Telecapture – One of the older call tracking companies, they offer real time reports, local numbers and toll-free numbers throughout the United States. They’re fully open for exporting your data, and they can allow you to customize called ID and other features. Call recording is available for review, and they have a spam call filter to avoid noise in your analytics. They’re also quite cheap in comparison to some others, starting at $6 per month. Hopefully with at least one of these options, you’ll be able to track the call information you want in your analytics. It can be a little complex to set up, that’s for sure, but the agents working for any individual company, even Facebook or Google, should be able to give you a hand. The post How to Track Phone Calls as Conversions on Your Ad Campaigns appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

Can You Use Multiple Conversion Tracking Pixels on a Page?

Tracking pixels are an extremely important component to any sales funnel. They’re the code that allows you to track information about your visitors, particularly their conversions. Without the appropriate tracking pixel, you won’t have the relevant data in Google Analytics, in Facebook Insights, or in whatever other analytics software you want to use. Not to mention all of the affiliate tracking code that’s becoming more and more common every year. The question is, do you need to pick one tracking pixel, or can you include more than one piece of tracking code on a single page? A Simple Answer The short answer is “generally, yes” you can add more than one piece of tracking code to any given page on your website. This is very common for landing pages and “thanks for buying” pages, for example. Facebook Ads want to track data one way, Google Analytics and Google Ads track it another way, and if you want fluid information on both of them, you need both pieces of tracking code. I can’t give you an unqualified answer, right? Those of you who have been reading my blogs for a while now know I never give a straight answer. There are a few reasons why this might not be the case, and a few issues you might run into, so let’s talk about them. Multiple Google Ads Tracking Pixels One common misconception I’ve come across on the Google Product Forums and elsewhere is that your Google tracking pixel is associated with an individual ad campaign. These users believe that each ad campaign has its own associated tracking pixel. If each campaign has its own tracking pixel, you would run into issues where you have one order confirmation page that is triggered from multiple different landing pages. You would need multiple copies of the Google tracking pixel, one for each ad campaign, on that page. It would be a complex mess of referrer data and tracking. Obviously, the easiest solution here would be to make multiple visually identical confirmation pages, one for each landing page, but that can spiral out of control quickly. Thankfully, none of this is the case. The fact is, your Google Ads tracking pixel is associated with your account, not with any one campaign or ad set. You put the one instance of tracking code on your confirmation page, and you’re good to go. Google’s tracking is smart enough to track user information from page to page, and can carry that information forward from the moment the user clicks your ad to the moment they convert. In fact, due to the slow expiry of cookies, Google Ads can track a user who clicks on your ads but doesn’t convert for up to 30 days. There’s no need for multiple tracking code snippets or anything else complex like that. All of the complexity is on Google’s back end. Multiple Analytics Suites Let’s say that you want to track three different sources of traffic to your landing page. You only have one landing page, but you have traffic coming from Google Ads, from Facebook Ads, and from Twitter Ads. You want to be able to associate what conversions come from which source. Can you do it? In this case, you will need to be installing three different tracking pixels to your landing page and confirmation page. You need the Google Analytics tracking pixel, the Facebook Pixel, and the Twitter Universal Website Tag. All three of these code snippets is a script that loads when the relevant part of the website loads. Usually, this is in the header of your site, though some frameworks might put it elsewhere, and sometimes you want it attached to specific sections of a page. It depends on your site architecture. The key is that all three of them go in the same place in your code. Can you plug in all three of these tracking code strings without issues or conflicts? In general, yes. All three of them are stand-alone, self-contained pieces of code that call scripts hosted on their respective sites. One issue you could run into is instances where you’re flagging certain actions on a page as events to be tracked by individual tracking snippets. This can get pretty clunky in your code, though there’s no real way around it. The biggest potential problem is not with tracking your data, it’s with accuracy in cases where the user comes from multiple sources. For example, let’s say a user finds your product through a Google search and clicks on your Google Ad. They land on your landing page, but they choose not to convert. They have 30 days before the Google Ad tracking snippet expires. Now say that 28 days later, the user remembers you and looks you up on Facebook. They click a link on your Facebook page that leads them to the same landing page. This time, they go through and convert. Which analytics app gets the conversion recorded? Google has a valid claim to the conversion from being the original source of the visitor, but Facebook is the most recent touch, and thus the most immediately relevant. The answer is that both apps will track the conversion, and it’s up to you to realize that some of your conversions will be duplicated. This is actually a pretty complex problem, and it’s something that engineers at Google and Facebook – as well as other agencies – struggle with. Facebook added some advanced tracking configuration options in 2017 to help with this issue, but it’s still something you need to be aware of that could happen. Google also has their own tool to assist with this, called the Google Tag Manager. The Google Tag Manager supports a wide range of tracking pixels from a large number of analytics apps and affiliate tag trackers, including Adobe Analytics, AWIN, Cxense, Hotjar, Salesforce, Personali, Snowplow, Tune, and Webtrekk. If you’ve never heard of most of those, don’t worry; neither have I. Regardless, you can check the full list here. Facebook even has a tutorial on how to add their tracking pixel in the Google Tag Manager here. The other issue you might encounter with multiple pieces of tracking code is simply copy-and-paste errors. You have to copy code from one source, paste it into your site’s code, then copy a second set of code and paste it in as well. It’s easy to accidentally shift around a bracket and break everything, if you’re not careful. So, you know. Be careful. Multiple Affiliate Network Tags Affiliate network tracking comes in a very wide range of complexity. Some, like Amazon Affiliate links, are simply bits of code added on to Amazon links. Others might need to be run through a redirect page. Some can have Google UTM parameters added on top, while others might be disrupted if too much is going on. I can’t give you a simple, clear answer as to whether or not you can add any two given affiliate network tags to the same page. They work in too many different ways. The main problem you might encounter when tracking multiple affiliate networks is if they both track the same thing. If the same vendor is on multiple networks and you’re also using both networks, you could find that one sale is tracked by both networks. Suddenly two networks are supposed to pay you for one conversion, meaning the advertiser is over-charged, meaning the networks need to investigate. It’s fairly likely – and reasonable – that this will be considered fraud, and they will come down on you like a sack of hammers. The best solution to this is to be careful with what affiliate networks you’re tracking on any individual page. Generally, your pages want to be single-focused enough that they’re only tracking one product on one network, anyway. Of course, everyone has their own setup, so I can’t say how your site should handle everything in an ideal situation. Just map everything out and look for conflicts, I guess. Multiple Instances of One Pixel Now let’s go to another situation. You’re a marketing agency, and you want to track customer data with your agency-level Facebook pixel. You also want to track the customer’s individual data with their own Facebook pixel. Since you want to track the same data in two different places, you can handle this in several ways. The first thing you might consider doing is saying “screw it” to your customer’s pixel and just tracking everything with your pixel. After all, you can drill down to just stuff coming from their domain, so you can export a report for them. What happens, though, if the customer decides to cancel their contract with you? They can’t get reports on their data anymore. They don’t have their own historical data to work with. It’s a big mess that no one wants to deal with. The second thing you might consider is to paste in two different copies of the tracking pixel on the site. This works, but it’s clunky. See, both pixels will be initializing the same script, so the same script is running twice for every user. This can slow down the page and, in some cases, cause conflicts. You may end up with duplicate data, with every conversion being tracked twice for each tracking pixel, since the script is running twice. So, that method is out. The actual answer is to realize that the Facebook tracking pixel is smart enough to be able to handle more than one ID. In the tracking pixel code, you’ll see a line that looks like “fbq(‘init’, ‘{{pixel_ID}}’);”, up near the top. This is the line that calls the specific pixel ID, telling Facebook which ID should have this data assigned to it. You can just copy that line, though, and change the Facebook Pixel ID for the second line. You’ll end up with something like: fbq(‘init', ‘{{pixel_ID_1}}'); fbq(‘init', ‘{{pixel_ID_2}}'); This allows one script to refer one piece of tracking data to two different IDs at the same time. You get the data for your overview analytics, and the customer gets the data for their analytics. One thing you need to make sure of in this scenario is that the customer doesn’t start using the wrong ID for other marketing they’re doing on the side. You don’t want them to start sending data from strange sources to your main analytics. Google is a little less graceful with handling tracking multiple properties on one landing page. They can do it with the new Universal Analytics code, the analytics.js script. If you’re still using the old ga.js script, though, you can’t use more than one copy. You can use one of each and it should work. They have a whole article about tracking across multiple domains and tracking across multiple properties, so you can explore the Analytics Help Center to find the information that most closely suits your situation. Your Turn Have you ever needed to track the same conversion or the same piece of referral data in multiple analytics suites? How did it work for you? I’m curious what kind of configurations you’re all using out there, and how tracking it all has worked out. Some of you are probably doing some pretty insane things, and I love reading the crazy stories. Let me know! The post Can You Use Multiple Conversion Tracking Pixels on a Page? appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.


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