Time to get creative on advertising

Posted on Monday, December 7, 2009
Filed Under Business | Comments Off

We delivered 78 hits last week, up from the previous week’s 60. That bump came at a cost, however. The additional hits were purchased by increasing the maximum price per clickthrough that I offered the search engines. As a result, the average cost per hit increased to $0.82 last week, a step up from the $0.62 I paid previously.

My max budget on cost per hit is $1.00, so I am hesitant to again increase my limit on what I will pay the search engines for a clickthrough. I don’t want to pay more, but at the same time I would like to spend more! I would happily double my advertising spend if the money were well spent.

I think it is time to get creative on my advertising. I will try to find an alternative source of advertising for Live-Answers.com. In the meantime, here are the hit results for last week, broken down by category.

Hits Last Week for Live-Answers.com Experts by Category

Category 2009-11-29 2009-12-04 Change in Hits
Business 277 314 +37
Internet Jobs 28 33 +5
Internet Marketing 25 35 +10
Freelance Writing 86 95 +9
Business Startups 39 43 +4
Human Resources 47 49 +2
Other Business Services 52 59 +7
Personal Finance 23 25 +2
Financial Planning 4 5 +1
Stocks & Bonds 14 15 +1
Trading Strategies 5 5 0
Computer Technology 30 35 +5
Security 8 8 0
Networking 5 5 0
Graphic Design 15 19 +4
Mobile Phones 2 3 +1
Legal Advice 18 18 0
Personal Injury 6 6 0
Automobile Accidents 2 2 0
Immigration 3 3 0
Divorce 2 2 0
Business Law 4 4 0
Military Law 1 1 0
Taxes 19 19 0
Personal US 19 19 0
Homework & Education 30 34 +4
Math 15 17 +2
Science 9 11 +2
College Entrance 6 6 0
Automotive 17 18 +1
Foreign Cars 8 9 +1
Domestic Cars 4 4 0
Boats 5 5 0
Beauty & Style 63 70 +7
Personal Style 32 38 +6
Cosmetics 18 18 0
Interior Decorating 2 2 0
Art 11 12 +1
Wellness & Spirituality 200 217 +17
Counseling & Relationships 113 121 +8
Parenting 8 8 0
Meditation & Yoga 8 8 0
Tarot Reading & Occult 33 42 +9
Making a Difference 38 38 0
Medical 35 35 0
Alternative Medicine 5 5 0
Nutrition and Weight 30 30 0
Entertainment 37 39 +2
Cooking 13 13 0
Travel Guides 8 8 0
Weddings 15 17 +2
Dance Music 1 1 0
Games & Sports 6 6 0
Coaching 1 1 0
Sports 5 5 0
Home & Garden 9 9 0
Hobbies 7 7 0
Organizing 2 2 0
Pets 29 32 +3
Cats 5 5 0
Dogs 22 25 +3
Other Animals 2 2 0
TOTAL 793 871 +78

Second week of advertising yields 60 hits

Posted on Monday, November 30, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off

What the heck happened? How could our hits be cut in half this week versus the week before?

The number of impressions purchased last week was approximately the same, at 2.2 million. The number of clickthroughs on those impressions, however, dropped from 584 to 320. Our advertising clickthrough rate last week dropped precipitously.

One change I made at the beginning of last week was to reduce the amount of money I would pay for two of the most popular questions:

How can otherworldly contact transform my life?

and

What’s the acceleration of gravity?

I added to how much I would pay for other questions, trying to even out the traffic on the site.  The end result was a far lower clickthrough rate.

I will try boosting my payouts on the other questions this week, to see if I can drive a bit more traffic.

Hits Last Week for Live-Answers.com Experts by Category

Category 2009-11-22 2009-11-27 Change in Hits
Business 249 277 +28
Internet Jobs 26 28 +2
Internet Marketing 20 25 +5
Freelance Writing 78 86 +8
Business Startups 36 39 +3
Human Resources 43 47 +4
Other Business Services 46 52 +6
Personal Finance 23 23 0
Financial Planning 4 4 0
Stocks & Bonds 14 14 0
Trading Strategies 5 5 0
Computer Technology 29 30 +1
Security 8 8 0
Networking 5 5 0
Graphic Design 14 15 +1
Mobile Phones 2 2 0
Legal Advice 17 17 0
Personal Injury 6 6 0
Automobile Accidents 2 2 0
Immigration 3 3 0
Divorce 1 1 0
Business Law 4 4 0
Military Law 1 1 0
Taxes 19 19 0
Personal US 19 19 0
Homework & Education 27 30 +3
Math 13 15 +2
Science 8 9 +1
College Entrance 6 6 0
Automotive 17 17 0
Foreign Cars 8 8 0
Domestic Cars 4 4 0
Boats 5 5 0
Beauty & Style 57 63 +6
Personal Style 26 32 +6
Cosmetics 18 18 0
Interior Decorating 2 2 0
Art 11 11 0
Wellness & Spirituality 183 200 +17
Counseling & Relationships 101 113 +12
Parenting 7 8 +1
Meditation & Yoga 8 8 0
Tarot Reading & Occult 30 33 +3
Making a Difference 37 38 +1
Medical 35 35 0
Alternative Medicine 5 5 0
Nutrition and Weight 30 30 0
Entertainment 33 37 +4
Cooking 12 13 +1
Travel Guides 8 8 0
Weddings 12 15 +3
Dance Music 1 1 0
Games & Sports 6 6 0
Coaching 1 1 0
Sports 5 5 0
Home & Garden 9 9 0
Hobbies 7 7 0
Organizing 2 2 0
Pets 28 29 +1
Cats 5 5 0
Dogs 22 22 0
Other Animals 1 2 +1
TOTAL 732 792 +60

First week of advertising yields 121 hits

Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized | Comments Off

Last week’s advertising (Monday, November 16th through Friday, November 20th) resulted in 121 hits for expert websites.

More broadly, I purchased 2.2 million impressions from Yahoo, Microsoft and Google, resulting in 584 new visitors to Live-Answers.com. Those 584 visitors clicked through to expert websites 121 times.

Here are the hits last week by category:

Hits Last Week for Live-Answers.com Experts by Category

Category 2009-11-15 2009-11-20 Change in Hits
Business 228 248 +20
Internet Jobs 24 26 +2
Internet Marketing 16 20 +4
Freelance Writing 69 78 +9
Business Startups 35 36 +1
Human Resources 43 43 0
Other Business Services 41 45 +4
Personal Finance 23 23 0
Financial Planning 4 4 0
Stocks & Bonds 14 14 0
Trading Strategies 5 5 0
Computer Technology 18 29 +11
Security 5 8 +3
Networking 5 5 0
Graphic Design 7 14 +7
Mobile Phones 1 2 +1
Legal Advice 16 17 +1
Personal Injury 5 6 +1
Automobile Accidents 2 2 0
Immigration 3 3 0
Divorce 1 1 0
Business Law 4 4 0
Military Law 1 1 0
Taxes 16 18 +2
Personal US 16 18 +2
Homework & Education 10 27 +17
Math 4 13 +9
Science 3 8 +5
College Entrance 3 6 +3
Automotive 13 17 +4
Foreign Cars 8 8 0
Domestic Cars 4 4 0
Boats 1 5 +4
Beauty & Style 46 55 +9
Personal Style 24 26 +2
Cosmetics 15 16 +1
Interior Decorating 1 2 +1
Art 6 11 +5
Wellness & Spirituality 140 177 +37
Counseling & Relationships 79 96 +17
Parenting 7 7 0
Meditation & Yoga 8 8 0
Tarot Reading & Occult 18 29 +11
Making a Difference 28 37 +9
Medical 32 35 +3
Alternative Medicine 5 5 0
Nutrition and Weight 27 30 +3
Entertainment 20 32 +12
Cooking 3 12 +9
Travel Guides 8 8 0
Weddings 8 11 +3
Dance Music 1 1 0
Games & Sports 6 6 0
Coaching 1 1 0
Sports 5 5 0
Home & Garden 5 9 +4
Hobbies 3 7 +4
Organizing 2 2 0
Pets 27 28 +1
Cats 5 5 0
Dogs 21 22 +1
Other Animals 1 1 0
TOTAL 600 721 +121

This advertising stuff makes a big difference

Posted on Monday, November 16, 2009
Filed Under Business | Comments Off

Even a little bit of advertising makes a big difference here on Live-Answers.com.

Check out the tables below showing hits over the four days prior to advertising compared to hits during the three days of (very small) advertising. The site generated 3 hits over four days prior to advertising versus 27 hits over the three days of advertising.

Those three days of advertising were very light — I spent $9.70 on 88 clickthroughs over those three days. This week, I will try to spend $120 on advertising. Lets see if we can get this place humming.

27 Hits during three days of advertising

Category 2009-11-12 2009-11-15 Change in Hits
Business 223 228 +5
Internet Jobs 23 24 +1
Internet Marketing 15 16 +1
Freelance Writing 68 69 +1
Business Startups 34 35 +1
Human Resources 43 43 0
Other Business Services 40 41 +1
Personal Finance 23 23 0
Financial Planning 4 4 0
Stocks & Bonds 14 14 0
Trading Strategies 5 5 0
Computer Technology 16 18 +2
Security 5 5 0
Networking 5 5 0
Graphic Design 5 7 +2
Mobile Phones 1 1 0
Legal Advice 16 16 0
Personal Injury 5 5 0
Automobile Accidents 2 2 0
Immigration 3 3 0
Divorce 1 1 0
Business Law 4 4 0
Military Law 1 1 0
Taxes 16 16 0
Personal US 16 16 0
Homework & Education 7 10 +3
Math 2 4 +2
Science 2 3 +1
College Entrance 3 3 0
Automotive 13 13 0
Foreign Cars 8 8 0
Domestic Cars 4 4 0
Boats 1 1 0
Beauty & Style 45 46 +1
Personal Style 24 24 0
Cosmetics 15 15 0
Interior Decorating 1 1 0
Art 5 6 +1
Wellness & Spirituality 131 140 +9
Counseling & Relationships 75 79 +4
Parenting 6 7 +1
Meditation & Yoga 8 8 0
Tarot Reading & Occult 15 18 +3
Making a Difference 27 28 +1
Medical 30 32 +2
Alternative Medicine 4 5 +1
Nutrition and Weight 26 27 +1
Entertainment 17 20 +3
Cooking 2 3 +1
Travel Guides 8 8 0
Weddings 6 8 +2
Dance Music 1 1 0
Games & Sports 6 6 0
Coaching 1 1 0
Sports 5 5 0
Home & Garden 4 5 +1
Hobbies 2 3 +1
Organizing 2 2 0
Pets 26 27 +1
Cats 4 5 +1
Dogs 21 21 0
Other Animals 1 1 0
TOTAL 573 600 +27

3 Hits during previous four days with no advertising

Category 2009-11-07 2009-11-12 Change in Hits
Business 221 223 +2
Internet Jobs 23 23 0
Internet Marketing 15 15 0
Freelance Writing 68 68 0
Business Startups 33 34 +1
Human Resources 43 43 0
Other Business Services 39 40 +1
Personal Finance 22 23 +1
Financial Planning 4 4 0
Stocks & Bonds 13 14 +1
Trading Strategies 5 5 0
Computer Technology 16 16 0
Security 5 5 0
Networking 5 5 0
Graphic Design 5 5 0
Mobile Phones 1 1 0
Legal Advice 16 16 0
Personal Injury 5 5 0
Automobile Accidents 2 2 0
Immigration 3 3 0
Divorce 1 1 0
Business Law 4 4 0
Military Law 1 1 0
Taxes 16 16 0
Personal US 16 16 0
Homework & Education 7 7 0
Math 2 2 0
Science 2 2 0
College Entrance 3 3 0
Automotive 13 13 0
Foreign Cars 8 8 0
Domestic Cars 4 4 0
Boats 1 1 0
Beauty & Style 45 45 0
Personal Style 24 24 0
Cosmetics 15 15 0
Interior Decorating 1 1 0
Art 5 5 0
Wellness & Spirituality 131 131 0
Counseling & Relationships 75 75 0
Parenting 6 6 0
Meditation & Yoga 8 8 0
Tarot Reading & Occult 15 15 0
Making a Difference 27 27 0
Medical 30 30 0
Alternative Medicine 4 4 0
Nutrition and Weight 26 26 0
Entertainment 17 17 0
Cooking 2 2 0
Travel Guides 8 8 0
Weddings 6 6 0
Dance Music 1 1 0
Games & Sports 6 6 0
Coaching 1 1 0
Sports 5 5 0
Home & Garden 4 4 0
Hobbies 2 2 0
Organizing 2 2 0
Pets 26 26 0
Cats 4 4 0
Dogs 21 21 0
Other Animals 1 1 0
TOTAL 570 573 +3


Here are the initial questions for ad campaigns

Posted on Monday, November 9, 2009
Filed Under Business | Comments Off

So, here are the initial questions I will be using for the ad campaigns. If you are an expert here on Live-Answers.com, I welcome your feedback!

PPC for Consultative Sales

Posted on Thursday, November 5, 2009
Filed Under Business | Comments Off

What I wanted to do this week was copy the very successful PPC campaign over at Justanswer.com for the experts here on Live-Answers.com. I purchased an overview of the Justanswer.com PPC campaign from the guys over at kewordspy.com, and I tried to copy it for the experts here.

Its not working, however, because the experts here at Live-Answers.com are different from the experts over at Justanswer.com. The experts here are process and relationship experts while the experts there are quick fix experts.

Consultative Sales versus Regular Sales

Its kind of like the difference between consultative sales and regular sales.  A consultative sale involves a much higher understanding of a client’s individual needs, and it has a correspondingly longer lead time.  Live-Answers.com experts are by-and-large looking to make consultative sales.

Many of the Justanswer.com PPC questions are detail oriented, offering to answer questions on individual brand names or specific diseases.  Live-Answers.com experts are looking to answer much broader questions.

For example, the Live-Answers.com pet experts tell me that their most commonly asked question is “How do I pick a dog trainer?”  Justanswer.com advertises answers to questions like “How do I stop my dog from urinating on the carpet?”

We’ll do it a little differently

What this means for the Live-Answers.com advertising campaign is that I have to target much softer questions than Justanswer.com targets.  I will advertise on these more general questions and see if I can bring traffic.

The success of the initial advertising campaign on “How do I write a great resume?” is actually a good model for what I should be doing throughout the site.

I will try to create PPC programs for 40 of the frequently asked questions offered by the experts.  If they can all be as successful as the “How do I write a great resume?” campaign, we’ll drive a ton of traffic throughout the Live-Answers.com website.

Competitive review of Question and Answer websites

Posted on Sunday, November 1, 2009
Filed Under Business | Comments Off

Question and Answer websites are a hugely important and fast growing area on the Internet now, combining two areas of strength: research and social interactions. The largest Q&A website is Yahoo Answers, growing 50% last year to over 37 million unique visitors for the month of September.  This makes Yahoo Answers the fastest growing component of the Yahoo kingdom, dwarfing the 6% year-over-year growth for the entire Yahoo.com domain.

More broadly, websites I classify as Q&A (see the tables below) have grown more than 60% during the last year, to over 126 million combined unique visitors during September of 2009, up from 78 million combined visitors during September of 2008.

Paid Q&A websites are only 4.9% of that total, with free websites garnering 95.1% of the unique visitors.  Paid websites are tiny compared to the free websites, but there’s still a huge opportunity here.  I compare it to the song download world.  Free downloads through peer-to-peer networks are estimated to be 90% of the total number of songs downloaded.  That hasn’t stopped the iTunes music store — which captures the vast majority of the 10% of downloaded songs that are paid for — from being a huge success.

A closer look at JustAnswers.com

So who is the iTunes music store of the Q&A website space?  At this point, it is JustAnswer.com. As you can see in the tables below, JustAnswer.com dominates the paid Q&A website space with 4.6 million visitors during the month of September. The next largest paid website is Keen.com, with a much smaller 0.7 million visitors last month.

Clearly, JustAnswer.com has done a great job in our chosen area of paid Q&A websites. Their success is due to a combination of factors, including a clean user interface and an intelligent business model. A visitor to JustAnswer.com is immediately aware of the business proposition — ie. we will answer your question quickly and personally for a small fee.

Importantly, JustAnswer.com does a superb job with the search engines. They spend a ton of money on CPC advertising, and they have opened up the completed questions on their website to gather in the free traffic generated by organic keywords.

Let me explain quickly what that means. Every question answered by the experts on JustAnswer.com is catalogued and published on the web for non-paying users to peruse. If your question has already been answered, JustAnswer.com allows the major search engines to catalogue it. Only new questions need be paid for, theoretically. This provides great advertising for the experts and personalized, paid service offered by JustAnswer.com.

Here on Live-Answers.com, we will have a difficult time following JustAnswers.com in the area of organic traffic. Because we send visitors directly to the experts’ native websites, we are unable to monitor or save the interaction between experts and clients generated by our efforts. In addition, Google.com specifically refuses to grant keyword status to directories like Live-Answers.com. So it is very difficult for us to generate organic keywords.

We can, however, try to mimic JustAnswer.com’s success in running a good paid search program. We’ll be a bit smaller than JustAnswers.com, of course. But even slimmed down to 1/100th the size of JustAnswers.com, Live-Answers.com will generate a ton of useful free traffic for the experts here.

The Question and Answer Websites

Let me explain the columns in the tables below showing top Q&A websites. Monthly unique visitor data is pulled from the Compete.com website. Click on the values for September, 2009 to see up to data visitor stats from Compete.com. Pay-per-Click advertising statistics and number of organic keywords are pulled from the KeywordSpy.com website. Click on the PPC values and see up to date advertising metrics for each website from KeywordSpy.com.

Paid Question and Answer Websites – Ranked by Unique Visitors in September, 2009

Website Sep 2009 Unique Visitors Sep 2008 Unique Visitors Year-over-Year %Chg in Unique Visitors PPC Ads Organic Keywords
JustAnswer.com 4,611,299 2,438,713 89% 190,231 449,528
Keen.com 694,891 900,707 -23% 5,227 4,089
LivePerson.com 571,921 473,367 21% 14,469 10,513
Ingenio.com (includes LiveAdvice.com) 194,091 171,893 13% 2,108 1,561
Tutor.com 132,934 165,170 -20% 1,864 1,610
Innocentive.com 18,109 12,868 41% 215 51
UClue.com 16,422 6,226 164% 14 217
BitWine.com 8,317 5,681 46% 0 510
Ether.com 7,580 6,378 19% 1 213
ExpertBee.com 3,230 1,328 143% 0 63
BumperBrain.com 1,590 450 253% 0 4
Totals for Paid Q&A Websites: 6,260,384 4,182,781 50%    

Free Question and Answer Websites – Ranked by Unique Visitors in September, 2009

Website Sep 2009 Unique Visitors Sep 2008 Unique Visitors Year-over-Year %Chg in Unique Visitors PPC Ads Organic Keywords
Answers.Yahoo.com 37,517,548 24,940,113 50% 2,523 4,745,868
Wiki.Answers.com 21,751,600 11,990,338 81% 0 2,799,082
eHow.com 21,466,554 9,994,791 115% 50 1,842,634
AllExperts.com 6,214,227 5,242,374 19% 0 4,619
FixYa.com 5,292,238 2,518,577 110% 979,530 1,359,264
HowStuffWorks.com 4,953,225 4,744,685 4% 0 39,980
BlurtIt.com 4,222,851 2,341,040 80% 110,865 339,613
AnswerBag.com 3,725,908 3,036,688 23% 0 613,898
Askville.Amazon.com 3,288,666 1,575,605 109% 0 438,682
MedHelp.org 2,809,255 2,062,219 36% 240 283,187
ChaCha.com 2,687,576 446,043 503% 1 115,133
Answers.Google.com 1,309,746 1,377,049 -5% 0 232,391
Experts-Exchange.com 1,190,655 1,195,527 0% 47 718,951
funadvice.com 1,040,920 727,058 43% 0 129,835
askmehelpdesk.com 927,237 897,305 3% 0 184,852
freeadvice.com 711,111 562,172 26% 46 3,056
2carpros.com 585,250 437,469 34% 0 50,122
webmath.com 257,555 220,668 17% 0 5,876
lawguru.com 221,636 170,067 30% 25,281 19,375
answerly.com 162,428 2,402 6662% 2,868 797
answerology.com 62,490 20,435 206% 0 3,092
linguistlist.org 33,432 31,086 8% 121 20,318
answers.uslegal.com 29,057 12,535 132% 0 369
dearesq.com 22,398 19,373 16% 68 842
knowbrainers.com 13,232 7,943 67% 0 3,061
answerway.com 3,425 3,583 -4% 0 267
askbar.com 2,129 2,566 -17% 0 21
askphilosophers.org 1,639 907 81% 0 137
Totals for Free Q&A Websites: 120,503,988 74,580,618 62%    

Technology sucks

Posted on Friday, October 30, 2009
Filed Under General | Comments Off

Well, I just finished off a scary week of technology turmoil. My database crashed a week ago on Saturday morning and refused to start. Here was the error message I found in the MySQL error log:

091024 15:33:24 InnoDB: Operating system error number 23 in a file operation.
InnoDB: File name .\ibdata1
InnoDB: File operation call: ‘Windows aio’.
InnoDB: Cannot continue operation.

If you find that elucidating, congratulations. I published the error on the Microsoft and MySQL free forums, to no avail. Then, I offered to pay an expert on JustAnswers.com $65 for explaining why my database would not start.  He was basically as clueless as I was, so I now have a $65 credit over at JustAnswers.com.  They make you pay for your answers in advance, but the expert does not get paid unless you are satisfied with the answer.

On a whim, I ran CHKDSK on the server. I got several scary messages:

File record segment 30836 is unreadable.
File record segment 30837 is unreadable.
File record segment 30838 is unreadable.
File record segment 30839 is unreadable.

This looked nasty, and I called the support group over at GoDaddy (they are the keepers of my dedicated server). The GoDaddy troubleshooters ran CHKDSK /f and reported that the disk errors were so widespread they had no hope of fixing them. Kind of like a surgeon going in after your cancer, seeing the extent of the disease, and just closing you back up.

Long and short, I have spent the last week porting two websites (including this one) over to a new dedicated server. As my chief marketing officer once said, “Technology sucks.”

Great results Monday from Yahoo Search

Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Filed Under General | Comments Off

I had a fabulous day yesterday from Yahoo Search.  As you recall from my summary of last week’s results (see the previous post), conversions last week cost me an unacceptably high $3.78 per new visit to one of Live-Answers.com’s experts’ websites.  To get that cost of conversion down, I either had to lower the money per click I paid to the search engines or increase the conversions on my landing page.

I tried the easy way out first — I lowered the cost per click I would pay on Yahoo search from $1.00 to $0.25.  Yahoo came through spectacularly with a ton of traffic at low cost.  I ended up paying $0.10 per click to Yahoo, and my own conversion rate on hits plummeted to $1.30.

Hats off to Yahoo, and I hope this isn’t a fluke.  I will expand this out to a couple of dozen more frequently asked questions, each with their own marketing campaign.

I tried a similar tactic on Microsoft yesterday, but the results were disappointing.  Lowering my offer from $1.00 to $0.25 resulted in a desultory 627 impressions and 0 clicks.  Thank goodness I pay only for success in this internet advertising world.

Google, of course, was not allowed to participate in yesterday’s $15 marketing campaign.  Suffer, biatch, said the ant to the elephant ;) .

Google wields a large trout

Posted on Monday, October 19, 2009
Filed Under General | Comments Off

As the Chinese curse goes, may you live in interesting times, and that was certainly the case last week with my first foray into using the major search engines to market the Live-Answers.com website.

In total, I spent $147.45 on the three search engines (Google, Yahoo and Microsoft), gathering 314 clickthroughs on 179,252 impressions. That is a cost per click of $0.47 and a clickthrough rate of 0.18% for the text ad. Any clickthrough rate above 10 basis points is good, from my experience, so the text ad did a good job pulling people from the search engines onto Live-Answers.com.

Those 314 new visits to Live-Answers.com drove an incremental 39 visits to our experts’ native websites (a conversion rate of 12%). That is a very high conversion rate, but I had hoped for something even higher. Where else can people go once they get to Live-Answers.com but on to an expert’s website? Clearly, many people just jump back to the search engine. That jump back is called a “bounce” and my “bounce rate” was about 70% throughout the advertising campaign.

My final cost per hit for the experts can therefore be calculated as $3.78. Each new visit to an expert’s website cost $3.78. That is too high for me. I will have to bring that cost down through either paying less for new visitors (less than the $0.47 cost per click I paid last week) or getting a higher conversion on new visitors (somehow lowering that bounce rate). In the end, I want to be paying less than $1.00 per incremental visitor (hit) to an expert’s website.

Google slapped me upside the head with a large trout

Perhaps the most interesting (ie cursed) portion of last week’s marketing campaign came after the first day, when Google effectively shut down all Live-Answers.com advertising through Google AdWords.

The powers that be on Google’s staff took a look at the Live-Answers.com landing page and decided it was too — I’m not sure what — too derivative?  too salesy?  too closely resembling an affiliate program?  Whatever, they slapped a quality score of 1 (out of 10) on all Live-Answers.com advertising, and my google impressions went from 82,000 on day 1 to 2,000 per day on days 2-4.

Luckily, Yahoo and Microsoft took up the slack, and the new visitors to Live-Answers.com remained around 100 on each of the four days of the campaign.  Going forward, I will not spend any more money on Google.  As it turns out, that’s the way they want it.

Yahoo was a huge bright spot

Yahoo Marketing Solutions was a trooper throughout the week, driving in 10 times the traffic of Microsoft.  The clickthroughs on Yahoo were particularly strong at 0.34% compared to the totals for all three search engines of 0.18%, and as a result Yahoo was our best performer.

I will expand the number of frequently asked questions that I use as landing pages over the next few days and launch a series of new campaigns.  Let’s see if we can drive down that final cost per hit from $3.78 to below $1.00 while expanding the benefits of this marketing to the rest of the Live-Answers.com experts.

keep looking »
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