Dec 14, 2008

Like the Song Said, Been Gone Too Long

Sorry for not posting for awhile.  I had an internship that ended.  It's the holidays.  Blah...blah..blah...all excuses. 

So I'm back.

One interesting thing I've been working on is Collective Interest Green ( I've managed to optimize it for hybrid cars, electric cars and solar energy.  Well, I mean I'm fighting the daily fight to provide content and terms relevant to those topics.  

Anyway, my AdSense campaigns are doing quite well.  In a macro way.  When I started the blog, I played around with AdWords and AdSense.  Didn't really dig in too deep, just enough.  Once I found that spending a certain amount of money in AdWords unleashes AdSense revenue (about $7 bucks/day for this site), then I've really started to use those SEO and SEM lessons to make a little scratch with the site.

The most recent thing I've done is to set up a test.  Here's the situation I'm in.  Advertising across 49 states (Utah isn't a good state for hybrid and electric), I get a lot of impressions.  A lot.  My CTR was never better than 1%.  But on the AdSense side, anywhere from 3-7% of site visitors were clicking on the ads.

So I need to increase the quality of my impressions and try to get that CTR into the 2-3% range. To that end, I found a heatmap of hybrid car sales by state.  I set up 3 campaigns with identical adgroups.  The control campaign is a replication of the original 49-state campaign.  I did a round of keyword optimization, and tinkered with demographics as well.  The second campaign, called "underperforming states" is targeted toward the states where hybrid car sales lag.  Other than the locations, this campaign is identical to control.  The final campaign is called "good states". Again it's identical to the control campaign; but it targets states and metro areas that enjoy good sales of hybrid cars.

What I'm trying to determine is to what extent underperforming states contribute to my traffic, and the corresponding click through rates.  I'd like to see more people in Montana buy hybrid cars, but I'm not sure if I want to pay extra to get them to my site.

What I need to know from the good states is how much traffic they represent, and whether or not their clicks truly contribute to my revenue.  It's not out of the realm of thought that visitors from underperforming states click on ads.  Since visitors from good states have more dealers and people driving hybrids, they have access to more information; especially live information.  This might mean they spend more time with content and don't click on ads as much.

Anyway, the test will fully deploy on Monday.  

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