Search Marketing


Online Advertising and Ecommerce Web Sites

Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:11 pm
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There are many types of web sites out there but for the most part they can be broken down into a few major groups. You might have a blog, an ecommerce web site, or an informational web site, but what these all have in common is that you want visitors to do something. On an ecommerce site you want them to buy, on a blog or informational website you might want them to click ads, but ultimately you want them to act.

Main Groups

  • Ecommerce
  • News/Information
  • Product & Service Reviews/Promotion
  • Encyclopedic Information
Sometimes people utilize advertisements to generate income, or use subscriptions, or directly sell products, or in some cases they opt to provide free information.

But there are those that for some reason mix these various techniques. I recently came across a site that attempted to mix ecommerce with Google's Adsense network across most of their site.

Now I don't know how things are going for them in terms of product sales or ad clicks, but what I can be sure about is that this a flawed technique. Since I was looking for prices and information about their products I was confused whether I wanted to click on the ads that displayed or on their “Buy Now” buttons. This is a classic case of over-reach and an unfocused site design. Are they trying to sell products or get ad clicks?

This situation probably arose from the site ranking well in the SERP's for their main keywords, and they figured they might as well try to get those visitors not buying to click a few ads and make some extra money.

The flaw with this situation might be that they confuse those who actually want to buy from them into clicking much lower value ads. The products this site sold are expensive and can be complicated. The lower end of the product line went for around $10,000. This is also an industry that does not have paper-thin margins so actually making a sale is far more valuable than getting a few ad clicks. Now given that they rank very well for their main keyword they would most likely see good sale conversions. But with the addition of context related ads like Adsense they confuse the focus of their site. They also lose site real estate in further diverting people from their products.

The best situation is to focus your line of income and not confuse your customers. If you want to benefit from another line of income then one way would be to use a subdomain or directory and put up an additional information site supported by context related ads. But even then it is difficult to benefit from competing with yourself, and you might end up cannibalizing your own traffic.

The bottom line is to focus on one form of income and have complementary products, given that ranking well for one basic term and having two distinct lines of income creates a supplementary situation that potentially devalues both. Basically everything you put on a page competes with every other part.

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