To Increase SEM conversion Rates, Look To Domain Park Site Ads

All search marketers are on a quest for new ways to increase the ROI of their search marketing campaigns and ultimately boost conversion rates. Whether it's employing long-tail keyword strategies, using vertical and/or local platforms or fine-tuning landing page copy, we are constantly seeking better ways to drive higher conversion rates at a lower cost.

Recently, we've seen success for companies on the Google content network. For instance, there was the company in one particular sector where a breadth of firms with different marketing objectives all bid on similar keywords. Some had affiliates and dealers with the goal of generating online leads at the lowest possible CPA cost. On the other hand, there were manufacturers whose goal was to increase awareness through branding initiatives. These are two types of companies with very different marketing objectives. However, they generally compete for the same keywords, making the marketplace very competitive for dealers who are trying to generate online leads.



Domain ads are unique because they help clients reach users on the content network in several stages of the buying cycle, including the final stages. These are users who are actively inputting a query into their browser, specifically looking for a company's services. In the case of Google AdSense for domains, we learned that users were served relevant advertising when they input a nonfunctional domain name into their browsers. Because of the quality of the partners in the Google content network and the technology Google uses to map the ads to appropriate domain pages, users find what they are looking for and marketers discover new customers they would have otherwise missed.

We have been able to ensure success using domain ads on the Google content network through the implementation of separate content bidding. When we started experimenting with separate content bids, we observed an average 250 percent lift in conversion rates on the content network, including on domain park sites. Additionally, we utilized site exclusion to refine targeting and boost conversion rates even further. We found that often excluding even a single Web site that isn't performing well can have a drastic positive impact on overall campaign conversion rates.

A historical look back shows that companies' conversion rates with domain ads were double that of search ads. Additionally, our data has shown that domain park sites generally convert at a rate of more than 5%, while search and content conversion rates are about half that. Furthermore, we've found that companies are paying for CPCs equal to that of search ads, but for conversions that are coming in at twice the rate on domain park sites. Frankly, we were shocked. We didn't expect domain park sites to bring in the quality of traffic necessary to result in twice the conversion rates, at a CPC equal to that of search.

As search marketers look to increase conversion rates without spending more per click, I would venture to say that this could be a lucrative quest. The key is how well you know a company's industry and understand how to best employ effective site exclusion and separate content bidding.

If you have any thoughts on domain ads or anecdotes you'd like to share, please post a comment to the blog.

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