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The Sheep, The Shepherd and an Internet Marketing Fleece-Job

You have a site that's just returning on investment; nothing more or perhaps
a lot less. You believe in professional services as they're the experts. You
have little knowledge in their field, nor the time and resources for
private research or independent consult.

Perhaps its Internet promotion and advertising this time round and your
parting with $1000's a month for ho hum returns on your Web site investment.

BANNERS BABY!! Your net marketing agent says over and over... "We're
going to expand the banner campaign." When this advice hits your desk,
another $500 a month gets released to the professional coffers.

Next week, how are those sales stats going?

Some Internet promotion 'professional' may be fleecing you $1000's a month
in worthless banner advertising. Fortunately for you, this expenditure
imbalance is exposed with the help of a text log on your Web site's
server, raw website statistics. GOLD BABY!!

I recently submitted a proposal to a new client for, you guessed it, website
promotion and advertising. The first request to the client was for their
website stat logs, secondly their tentative figures on banner and other
forms of advertising on the Internet.

Web site stat logs are black gold. Each hit to your site is recorded
by the Web server in a text file. Much information about those individual
hits is recorded too; among that array are all your hit 'Referrers'. A referrer
is the site page from which a link was used to land on one of your Web site pages.

For my new client, I found a big, fat gold nugget worth $4477.05 in these
web stats. The client's banner campaign was restricted to one site, one domain,
one referrer. There was no evidence of an acceptable conversion to sales
by visitors from this site. Unique visits from these banners also generated .004%
of total traffic.

This client released equal money to that of banners for a major search engine
campaign. Without tallying up all the miscellaneous referrals from 3rd party sites
that used the same search engine and ads, 57% of total unique traffic was
being referred by the major search engine.

The search engine campaign bought in 150 visitors for every 1 from banners.
Please keep in mind here that banner visitors were also not notable sales converts
either. The cash spent on banners in this case is nothing more than gold leaf
dunny paper.

The "Sponsored Links" you see next to your favourite search engine's results
are usually priced by the key terms used for your search. A successful bid on
the ad's account for those terms determines the cost of a click through to the
ad's destination site. After a quick enquiry using one such ad account, I found a
low bidding term which related to the client's needs and delivered 30% more
visitors. All this for the princely sum of $22.95.

In other words, the client could have the $4500.00 banner visits delivered for
$22.95. For how many years has this banner campaign been going?

Scenarios such as this indicate one of 2 things; your getting fleeced or gross
negligence on your trusted professional's behalf. Black gold is not Texas Tea
these days. It's also not newspaper classified ink. Black gold is currently your
Web site statistics logs.

Always ask your prospective advertising agency or promotion agent whether they
can back up campaign decisions with statistics. Assign someone within your company
the task of analysing site statistics against ad methods. If there is nobody
suitable, then you could save $1000's by paying for an independent 3rd party
assessment of your Web site statistics logs.

About the Author

Mark Senden is an Australian professional within the commercial art and display
service industry. His services are sub-contracted to media studios in
Australia, UK and USA. His services can be found via;

Web Site Design and Promotion at v2Media.

Mark Senden