In September I spent $5,111.91 advertising on Facebook. The campaign was very profitable and generated leads at a far lower cost than any of the other lead sources I was currently using.
After the campaign was over I spent some time analyzing the data I made 4 important discoveries I wanted to share with you…
4 Critical “Platform Discoveries” From A $5,111.91 Advertising Campaign On…
Below are the results of a Facebook advertising campaign that was run over a three week period promoting a live, free workshop. I learned a a lot from these results and wanted to pass this knowledge on. Remember though, every business is different and your conversion cost may be higher or lower depending our your offer and market. The real purpose of this infographic is to demonstrate the performance of the different platforms and placements…
Targeting & Bidding Options: – City Specific (singapore & Malaysia) – Age 30-60 – English Speaking – Cost-per-click (maximum Recommended)
4 Critical Discoveries & Conclusion
Desktop Newsfeed Ads offer the lowest cost per conversion. My assumption would be that it is easier to complete a transaction on a desktop/laptop but unfortunately the volume of people using Facebook on a computer is declining rapidly.
Mobile is clearly becoming the dominant platform for interacting with Facebook. Unfortunately, even with responsive design and mobile friendly pages it is more difficult to complete a transaction on a mobile device which means the cost per conversion is going to be higher. That said, if you want to drive volume then mobile newsfeed ads are the only option. *NOTE: The registration system this campaign was driving to was not entirely optimized for mobile. Although it did work it could have been better and with future changes I would expect my conversion cost on mobile devices to drop.
Desktop Sidebar Ads offer poor results and should only be used with a CPC bidding strategy or you will be paying for impressions that are getting no results. Even with a CPC bidding strategy the cost was too high.
Mobile External Ads do not convert. They may be good for corporate branding but offer little value in the way of direct conversion. As Facebook launches their own external ad network I would proceed with caution.
In summary, Facebook is an incredible source of leads. For me a CPC bidding strategy made the most sense and led to a lower conversion cost than CPM. Will it be the same in your business? The only way to know is to test!
What I can tell you with confidence is this: Before you run ANY campaigns on Facebook make sure your entire website is optimized for mobile.
The easiest way to increase the number of people sharing the content on your website is by simply making it easier to share. But despite how painfully obvious this “solution” is, every day I see websites screwing it up.
And remember, “social sharing” is now playing a bigger role than just exposing you to new potential customers on the different social networks while at the same time creating free social proof (just in case this isn’t enough)…
It’s also playing an ever-more-important role in getting good rankings in Google.
If you sit in a room full of SEO geeks for about 5 minutes you are bound to hear them mention “social signals”.
Social signals happen when someone shares your content across one of the big social networks, which Google looks at as a ‘signal’ that people care about your site. And if other people care enough about your site to share it then Google knows they need to pay attention.
Another way to look at it, social signals are like backlinks from social networks… kind of.
So if you still don’t believe or care about social signals then you can quit reading now… but if you want to learn about the tools I use to get the visitors to my website to share my content and create social signals then keep reading…
Oh, I should also note that this post is NOT about writing great content.
I mean, it should be a given that if you write crappy content you can make it as easy to share as you want but it ain’t gonna happen (unless it includes a cute kitten in a cup… then all bets are off).
Instead, I want to share a few of the tools I’ve discovered over the past year that I use on my different websites to make sharing my content dead simple and like any “favorite tools” type article, it may not seem like a lot but it is all of the tools I spent hours testing that you do NOT see here that makes this information so valuable.
I can honestly say that I’ve spent at least 50 hours in the last year testing social sharing WordPress plugins and tools. So figure out how much an hour of your time is worth, multiply it by 50 and that is how much this article is worth to you.
You can thank me later (cash or credit will be fine :)…
Also, all of the social sharing tools I am about to share were tested on WordPress and some will NOT work for non-WordPress sites.
So in no particular order…
My Top 3 Favorite Social
Sharing WordPress Plugins
This is great if you just want a simple social sharing plugin for WordPress that gets the job done and does not overcomplicate things.
You may think that more is better: it isn’t.
Don’t go crazy and add as many share buttons as you can find – just stick to three or four that best reach your audience. I always go with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and then depending on your brand you may want to include Pinterest.
Another nice feature is that you can easily position the share bar in different positions and styles to suit your site’s layout. For those of you who are members of The Internet Business Accelerator, I offer an easy step-by-step video on how to do this.
Shareaholic is another sharing plugin that I personally use on my blog because it comes with a few extra features I like including…
Social Analytics: So you can gauge how often your content is shared, and which posts appeal more to your readers.
Cool Icons: If you want to get away from the ‘standard’ sharing icons then Shareaholic is the answer. They have a few different sets of VERY cool icons that are more likely to grab the reader’s attention.
There are tons of different social sharing WordPress plugins out there and lots of them have their own strengths but the three I listed above are the ones I use every day.
I should also mention I am going to be testing Digg Digg built by BufferApp which offers a whole suite of social media management tools but it is too early to comment and I may revise this post if it turns out to be a keeper, but I am not holding my breath…
So far my experience with social sharing WordPress plugins and apps that require scripts and buttons to load on someone else’s server (ie. AddThis.com and ShareThis.com) haven’t been good. All too often I would find my site had loaded and the sharing buttons hadn’t. Not good.
And if you have a favorite social sharing WordPress plugin that you think deserves mention please feel free to share it in the comments section below. I would love hear about it…
Today I want to answer another one of those questions that I’ve been asked over and over for the last 15 years… “What is the absolute, hands-down best website traffic sources?”
This is a common question from people who have just put up their website and are starting to drive traffic.
Of course, the really important question is:
“What is the best source of buyers?”
Because traffic is useless if no one is buying!
I have a couple of different answers to this question.
Best Website Traffic Sources – Your In-House Email List
Now, I understand that you need traffic in order to build a list, but the fact is that an email list that you have a strong relationship with is your BEST source of buyers.
At the flick of a switch, you can send out an offer to a solid source of buyers and make sales.
Of course, this is assuming that you have been marketing responsibly and creating a strong relationship with your list!
This is why I always emphasize to people that you have to build your list.
The money is in the list!
Best Website Traffic Sources – Affiliates
If you have a brand new business and haven’t built a list yet, you need other sources of traffic.
After an in-house list, affiliates provide the next highest converting source of traffic.
Getting affiliate traffic means using a sites like:
Share a Sale
…and leveraging the traffic that these sites get for your own site.
Of course, you can also build your own affiliate program using 1Shopping Cart, Infusionsoft or any of the other ecommerce systems which have affiliate technology built in. You would then go out and find affiliates who will recommend and endorse your product.
The reason that this is such a high converting source of traffic is because these are people coming to your site have been partially or completely pre-sold by the referring site.
The right affiliates who have strong relationships with their list and audience can send a ton of qualified traffic to your website.
Affiliate marketing does have a downside though – consistency.
There are two reasons that consistency is a problem with affiliate marketing as a primary website traffic source.
When you get a new affiliate, they’ll generally write a blog post or send an email that directs their readers to your site and you’ll get a bunch of traffic and sales.
Your affiliate might even make your product a regular feature, but the fact of the matter is that each affiliate you get can bring a spike in traffic but it won’t be a consistent flow of website traffic.
The second reason the traffic is inconsistent is because affiliates tend to be most loyal to the product that has the highest conversion and pays the highest commission.
This means that an affiliate who’s sending a lot of website traffic your way can suddenly get a better offer from a competitor and you’re left hanging.
So although affiliate traffic is one of the best website traffic sources giving you high converting buyers, it’s not a good long-term source of consistent traffic.
This is why I recommend that people who are just starting out also pay attention to my third choice…
Best Website Traffic Sources – Search Engines
There are a couple of different strategies to use with search engine traffic – organic and paid.
Organic Search Engine Traffic
If done properly, organic search engine traffic is by far the most consistent and the highest converting source of website traffic.
Someone coming to your site from an organic search listing in Google is going to convert as high as 7 times higher than someone coming from an equivalent paid ad.
So if I have a keyword such as “Internet marketing training” and I rank in the number 1 or 2 spot organically and I also have a pay-per-click (Adwords) ad, the people who find me organically are 7 times more likely to buy than the ones who click through the paid ad.
There are lots of theories as to why this is true, but the one that makes the most sense to me is because people are sophisticated enough to know that you can’t pay to be ranked organically.
So if Google has you listed in the top spot for your keyword, Google is basically endorsing your product!
That is hugely powerful and makes the organic search engines (primarily Google) a great source of qualified buyers.
Of course, when we talk about search engine marketing, we’re basically talking about Google because it’s by far the biggest source of search traffic.
So, getting ranked organically for your keyword will get you:
The most consistent website traffic source
The highest converting source of website traffic
Website Traffic Sources Summary
In summary, your list is your highest converting source of buyers but you need traffic sources such as affiliate marketing and search engine marketing to build that list.
Affiliate marketing is awesome for its high conversion rate, but inconsistent and tricky for building your business.
Organic search engine marketing can drive you the most predictable, consistent source of qualified buyers.
And really, even your affiliate marketing is driving traffic that originated from the search engines in many cases anyway!
Beyond those three sources, there are other options for driving traffic such as blog posts and forums, but they typically can’t match the website traffic generation potential of the source listed above.
You might be wondering where social media fits in to all of this.
Frankly, it doesn’t make my top 3 right now because as far as conversion goes from social media, my experience (and that of many marketers out there) is that social media at this point in time does not convert anywhere near as well as the three options I’ve given you… at least not right away but I will save that discussion for another day.
So there ya go. My favorite website traffic sources.
Today I am going to show you 4 tactics you can use to accelerate the rankings in Google of a new website.
Of course, the words “Google” and “fast” typically don’t get used in the same sentence very often, but the reality is that there are a few ways that you can accelerate your rankings.
Now, these strategies will all cost at least some money – and some more so than others.
Tactic #1: Buy an Existing Website
This is often (although not always) the most expensive way to accelerate your site up the rankings. If you buy a website that already has rankings, you can save yourself a lot of time and money.
People often assume that this is way out of their price range to do, but that’s not necessarily true.
Here’s what you do…
Pick a couple of keywords you’re looking for and do a search. Ignore the first page and check out the sites around pages 3 and 4. Look for a site that seems to have been neglected for a while and maybe isn’t actively selling anything.
Then approach the webmaster and ask if they’re interested in selling.
I’ve used this method to acquire websites relatively cheaply that aren’t really highly ranked but that do have some history.
With a little bit of link building, optimization and elbow grease, it’s way faster to get an existing website to page one than it is to get a new one there.
Tactic #2: Buy an Expiring Domain That Already Has Page Rank
This is a strategy that a lot of smart marketers and super-affiliates are using these days to tap into sources of traffic.
This is buying a domain that someone has already built and spent time developing. It’s been around for a while and has page rank, but for whatever reason (sometimes people just lose interest) it’s about to come available on the market.
If you can pick it up just as it expires and bring it back up (even with the current pages on it) and get it hosted, you can keep the page rank of that site.
Again, you’ll be able to move it up the rankings very quickly.
This is a cost effective way to speed up rankings because if the domain is expiring and no one else wants it then you can pick it up for as little as $10!
There are all sorts of gems out there if you’re watching.
Tactic #3: Buy an Aged Domain
If you can’t find a suitable domain that has page rank, you can buy an aged domain.
This is a domain that doesn’t have any pages set up, but that has been registered for a long time.
In my experience, a domain that has been registered for a longer period of time will rank much faster than a domain name that was just registered.
Tactic #4: Get an EMD
An EMD domain is an Exact Match Domain. This means it is an exact match for the specific keyword you are looking to rank for (provided you put quality content on it).
Now this theory has some controversy around it – even Google has announced that they are devaluing exact match domains. But my testing experience has shown that even after the devaluation, you will still rank much faster for that keyword.
So while exact match domains may not have as much value as they did in the past, they definitely still have value.
Use a Combination of Strategies
So of course if you can find a combination of those 4 strategies, such as an aged domain with page rank that is an exact match, your rankings in Google will shoot up way faster.
These are great strategies if you want to get ranked in Google quickly without having to go through the process of developing a new website and establishing its reputation and authority.
The downside to these strategies is that you can’t always find a domain name that’s suitable for your product.
If this is the case, you can still make use of these strategies.
If you’re starting a business that you know you’re going to keep and develop over time, you don’t want to let the existing available domains drive the decision. You want to search for a domain name that suits the business.
Then, you can find existing domains that are within your niche, even if they aren’t ideal for use as your main domain. You can then build these domains to be “feeder” sites driving traffic to your main site, which is your money site.
How to Find These Existing Domains
The strategies for finding existing, available domains is a whole lesson unto itself. But what I want to do is give you a couple of good sources:
GoDaddy Auctions – watch their bargains and closeouts for dirt-cheap domains that are expiring and still have some page rank. They may not be the best domains for your business, but they could make good feeder sites.
A questions I am frequently asked when my students put up there first website goes something like this…
“How many visitors do I need to get before I make my first sale online?”
You want to know how much traffic you should expect to get to your site before you make your first sale online. This is also known as “sales conversion” or the percentage of people who visit the site who will make a purchase.
Now this is a damn tough question to answer because there are so many variables that come into play that can be affecting this number.
One of these variables is your sales process:
Do you have a good sales letter?
Do you have a good offer?
Is your offer competitive?
Your Conversion Depends on Your Traffic Source
The second variable that has a big impact is the source of your traffic. Different traffic sources have different conversion ratios, so you should expect different results from different traffic.
For example, affiliate traffic is a quality source of traffic.
If you are getting traffic through an affiliate who is endorsing you and encouraging readers to buy your products and that affiliate has a strong relationship with their list and their readers, then you can expect a very high conversion ratio.
In fact, the highest conversion ratios I have ever seen have come from affiliate marketing.
The second highest quality as far as conversion rate goes will come from Google organic traffic.
That doesn’t include Adwords, because that is paid traffic. But in my experience, a visitor from an organic search in Google will convert exponentially higher than a visitor from a paid ad.
My point is that numerous different traffic sources will affect your conversion ratio, so you need to take that factor into consideration.
So if you go out and do some advertising and buy a whole bunch of unqualified junk traffic, you will likely see your conversion plummet.
If you are finding you make 1 sale for every 20 visitors from affiliates, you may well see that it takes 500 visitors from junk traffic before you make a sale.
Social media is a good example of this, as a lot of marketers have tried and failed to get good conversions from social media traffic.
So at the end of the day, there is no one right answer to this question because so many variables impact it.
So What Should Your Conversion Rate Be?
What I want to do is answer this question based on the assumption that the following facts are true:
You have a good sales process
You’ve done your market research and you know you have demand
You have a good sales letter or sales video
Your website is functional and working well
You have a targeted traffic source (you are using Adwords or you are ranked well organically)
Assuming those factors are true, I’ll tell you the number I generally tell people to shoot for when they are starting a new website.
But before I throw those numbers out there, I want to make a “disclaimer” that these are average numbers that I’ve gleaned through experience with working with numerous different businesses over the last 15 years on the Internet.
This is by no means a strict rule, rather it is a benchmark for you to measure a new website against.
As your website develops and you get more traffic, you’ll be able to set your own benchmarks to measure against within your niche.
What I mean by that is that once you have a thousand visitors to your website, those stats become your control group. That is what I do with my sites – once I have a thousand visitors, I use the number of sales I’ve gotten to create my benchmark.
For example, if I get 15 sales from my first thousand visitors, I calculate:
15/1,000 = 1.5% conversion rate
Now I want to start…
…my website and my traffic sources to try to increase that benchmark.
What I do is make a change and then leave it for a period and wait for another thousand visitors to come to the site and see if conversion increases.
You can get more advanced and do split testing, but I’ll save that for another video.
What I want to do is give you a baseline that you can use with your new website.
The best way to break down the baseline is by price point. This is because lower priced products typically range within a certain conversion ratio and as the price point rises, the conversion drops slightly.
This isn’t true for all niches, but on average I’ve found that this is the way it works.
So let’s take a look at benchmark conversion ratios by price point:
Up to $100 = 2% – 3% (2 – 3 sales for every 100 visitors)
$100 – $250 = 0.5% – 1.5%
If your site is under these rates, then you need to make sure you have the basics right because something isn’t working.
If you’re way over these rates, give yourself a pat on the back!
If you’re really close to the rates, then you’re doing well but there is room for improvement over time with some fine tuning.
Of course, as I said, traffic sources play a large role in this. I’ve seen $1,000 products converting at 7% because all of the traffic was strong referral traffic. But if you sent regular, unqualified traffic to the same site you could easily see virtually no conversion at all.
For products over about $250, conversion becomes more difficult and a direct sales process doesn’t generally work well. At that price point you need to establish a sales funnel and nurture your lead to conversion.
This is something that can apply to lower price points as well. You can get traffic into your funnel and start building a relationship. The stronger your relationship with your audience, the higher your price point gets.
But that’s a discussion for another day!
What I want to give you today is just a benchmark so you know what you should expect with a new website.
Are these numbers absolute? No way!
But they are a good reference point to start from so you know if things are going well.
So remember, once you have 500 – 1,000 visitors, use your conversion rate to establish your control and compare it to the numbers I’ve given you.
Then, continue to fine-tune to increase conversion.
I’ve given you averages, but everyone can be better than average!
It just takes a little bit of hard work and testing.
Today I want to answer a question I seem to get asked all the time…
“What is the best time to send an email to my list?”
This is one of those questions that is frustrating for me because of all of the misleading (and flat out wrong!) answers I hear.
I’ve spent a lot of time at various Internet marketing seminars and conferences and I continually see all of these so-called “experts” get up on stage and say things like:
“The best time to send an email is Wednesday between noon and 3pm”
“The best time to send an email is Mondays between noon and 2pm”
“The only good time to send an email promotion is Thursday between 10am and noon”
…and it goes on and on.
I’ve heard many variations of this answer, and where these guys are getting their information from is their own testing. And for their business, that is probably the right answer.
But the fact is that every market is a little bit different!
So what I want to do is share a strategy with you to help you figure out what the best day and time is for your business.
To figure out the best time to send out an email campaign or an email piece or really anything to your list, you need to figure out the day of the week and time of day that your audience is most active on the internet.
And of course it has to be a day and time that they are in the right mindset to listen to what you have to offer!
So how do you figure that out?
In your analytics!
Using Your Analytics to Determine the
Best Time to Send an Email Campaign
If you’re using an analytics program, chances are it’s Google Analytics. You can go into it and see on average over the last few months what day is the highest traffic day of the week.
Your analytics program can tell you what day of the week and what time of that day you tend to get the most traffic to your site.
That is the day of week and time of day that you want your email campaign to land in their inbox!
If you have an email marketing campaign directed at business people and you send it at midnight on a Friday so it’s in their inbox for Saturday morning, your campaign will be in trouble.
This audience likely only sporadically checks email on the weekend and only to check for emergencies.
So on Monday morning when they pour themselves a coffee and open their email, yours will be buried in a massive list of messages and chances are they’ll go through and just delete all of the stuff that isn’t urgent and they don’t want to read.
And there goes your campaign…straight into the trash!
On the other hand, if you send the same campaign on a Wednesday at 2pm, you will have avoided the morning glut of emails and you’re more likely to get their attention.
So, you don’t need to listen to anyone tell you what day of the week or time of day to send your emails. Instead, you just need to log into your analytics department and do a bit of sleuthing to figure out when your market is most active online.
And that is exactly when you want your email marketing campaign to land in their inbox.