Recently I was telling someone about advertising my web comic with Adwords, and this is definitely some worthy info for the blog. Here’s a screengrab of how much money was spent last month advertising the comic…
Lets look at the most important part first. Cost: $41.61 from 7/1/08 to 7/31/08. Not bad. Thats the price of two trips to the movies with my wife, or about 3/4 of a tank of gas (ahem, 2008 prices). And for that relatively meager price the site got 4,161 new visitors (presumably new). So exactly a penny per click, which is my top bid setting (so its the most I tell Google I’m willing to pay).
NOW here’s the amazing part. The image ad that appreared for visitors to click on had 1,166,618 impressions ( Impressions = ad views but not clicks ). Image ads are important because unlike a text ad that just says something like “Click here for a funny comic strip”, an image ad can have your comic’s logo, your characters, or any other visual of course. So you’re getting some brand recognition even if you aren’t getting a click. Similar to if I saw a TV ad for a car company, I’m not immediately going to go buy a car, but that car company has once again reminded me that they exist. So in some ways, I almost don’t even want someone to click. Because remember impressions costs me nothing. Imagine if Volvo worked out a deal with NBC to run commercials where Volvo only had to pay if they sold x number of cars. Crazy, right. But thats the fun of internet advertising.
I should mention, some websites that run on Google’s Adsense network don’t allow for Pay-per-click ads. Instead advertisers pay per impressions, so for example 1000 views might cost 25 cents. But as an Adwords advertiser, you won’t be included in with those sites unless you choose to. I’ve only done this with a few sites, (none currently) so my memory is a bit fuzzy on the pricing and how you set that up. I think you just choose the domain, and then you get put in a pool of advertisers getting clocked per impression. This option is obviously for advertisers that want a bit more bang for their buck, and want their stuff running on more well known sites. Certainly a site like CNN.com won’t be running penny-click ads because they can get much more money for their available ad real-estate.
And I’m not positive about this, but I think my penny-click ads are usually subject to desperation. Meaning, when all other advertisers have gone over budget for the day (i.e., their ads are done running), and a site is low on ads to show thats when mine are run. When Google is totally out of ads, thats when those public service announcements show up. Like donate to the Red Cross. So yes, before you’re prompted to donate to a life saving organization, a stupid ad for a stupid webcomic gets up in your grill!