Branding with Google AdWords Content Syndication
Question: Is it worthwhile to pay more for Google AdWords content targeting to get the free branding?
Answer: Before you can determine how much you wish to pay for Google AdWords content syndication, you have to define your websites goals. Let’s look at the broad types of websites and their advertising goals.
No Branding – Give me the Money
Some sites don’t care about branding, customer loyalty, etc – they just want to make a sale – NOW. These sites run campaigns by strict ROI, and if content targeting can’t convert, then its gone for them.
Low Profit Margin Advertising
Some sites are new or run low profit margins, and while they can afford to pay for some branding, they still must at least break even on all advertising expenditures.
If they have a long term vision, and willing to take a few risks, then they might also take into consideration the value of a lifetime customer, which might allow them to run a short term campaign at a slight loss, but it’s not really a loss as the lifetime customer factor will kick in and it will be profitable within the year.
Branding & Sales
Yet there are other sites who want it all – branding and sales. These sites are looking not only at the past month sales stats, but projecting for the rest of the year as well.
These sites should measure ROI, as while they don’t mind adding the value of branding to their costs, they should be able to at least control how much they are willing to spend on just branding (i.e. willing to take $x loss on content clicks).
Their ppc campaigns should run at a profit/break even – and then watch their total visitor counts, and repeat customers, to measure the effectiveness of long term branding and profits.
Give me the Branding – Everywhere
Finally, there are purely branding campaigns. These sites may convert traffic into sales depending on how they make money. However, these sites might make their money through affiliate campaigns, selling newsletter advertising, etc. They often measure conversions in newsletter sign ups or some way that is not directly measured by the almightily dollar.
They are willing to pay for branding, as they want people to use them for info sources, and then get make their money through these other means. This is the hardest conversion to measure if your PPC campaigns are effective, as often your estimating that you make $x on each newsletter, the average person views x newsletters before unsubscribing/changing email address, and the cost of a sign was $x. They often deal in relative figures, but if they are willing to do the math/tracking, can make some very accurate statements as to the bottom line of PPC campaigns.
Define Your Goals – The Rest will Follow
The bottom line is to first define the goals of your website. Then to track the effectiveness of what you consider a conversion. Finally, estimate the value of both conversions and branding. Figure out how much you’re willing to spend in profits for branding. And then check your visitor hits, especially bookmarks/direct referrals to see if your branding is paying off into people coming directly to your site.
Branding is hard to measure in dollar amounts, but it can be measured to some degree. Use a good Tracking Software package. This will allow you to measure the necessary statistics to make informed decisions.