Project Statistics

(This update was sent to readers on 5th April. I appologise for the delay in posting it here).  Today I’m going to take a good look at the statistics of the worm farming secrets website and relevant marketing techniques and see what information & conclusions we can pull from this to help improve the marketing.

I haven’t done much at all since I last emailed you aside from setting up a Google AdWords campaign and splitting the lead generation form up into several unique forms. This was done in order to be able to determine where leads are actually arriving from and allow us to market to them differently if desired.

To be honest, I didn’t put much thought into the AdWords campaign. I simply used Google’s keyword suggestion tool to find all appropriate terms related to these adgroups…

“Worm Farming” (150 Keywords total)
“Vermiculture” (569 Keywords total)
“Composting” (227 Keywords total)

…and in addition to these terms, placed the keyword terms I researched using Keyword Domination (which we discussed several weeks ago – located under market selection on the project update website) into their respective adgroup above.

The ad I am running is as follows…

Worm Farming Secrets
Worm Farming Newsletter Contains
Professional Worm Farming Advice

…and there are slight variations on this depending on the adgroup. That is for the vermiculture group we are running…

Vermiculture Newsletter
Vermiculture Newsletter Contains
Professional Worm Farming Advice

…and composting we are running…

Worm Composting Secrets
Worm Farming Newsletter Contains
Professional Worm Composting Advice

…the only reason I haven’t really put much thought into the campaign at this stage was due to lack of time. I basically just set it up to get it running & gather some statistics to improve upon later. I will come back and refine keyword terms, the adverts running and all of that tweaking jazz.

Here are the results from the campaign from the time I initiated it until today;

Adwords Campaign Started 28 Mar 2007 (Total Running Time 8 days)…

Clicks = 1,051
Impressions = 136,786
CTR = 0.76%
Average CPC = $0.17
Total Cost = $178.16
Average Position = 4.1
Conversion Rate = 19.33%
Cost Per Conversion = $0.88

…all Adword magicians out there reading this will see these are not very impressive CTR rates (click through rates) at this stage, but again, we have yet to tweak this campaign.

The best thing about this campaign (even in its unrefined stage) are the low cost per click we’re paying, the conversion rate of clicks to leads, and the cost per conversion.

We’re paying an average of $0.17 per click (with a maximum cost per click set at $0.30) and of the total clicks we are converting around 20% into leads / subscribers. That is a total cost of $0.88 per new lead which is respectable. It works out we have obtained 203 new leads for a total cost of $178.16. As these are averages however, we have actually obtained 204. Pretty close.

As typical with most Adwords campaigns, the “content network” is delivering more impressions and less click throughs but cost per conversion is also less. We have set a maximum cost per click of $0.10 for the content network. The CTR here is 0.42% whereas on actual Google and their search network, we have a 4.57% CTR for the same advertisement.

Now at $0.88 per new lead for a $100 investment we can add approx 113 new subscribers to the “Worm Farming Secrets” newsletter, which is soon to become an automated sales funnel with expanded email follow up campaign and regular newsletter. That means if we have a sales price of $97 we need to close only 1 sale from those leads to produce a small profit (create a sales funnel with a 1% conversion ratio).

This is interesting to know as I’m sure you’ll agree. I could get into how we can improve all of those figures now but we’re not going to as it would be hypothetical. I’ll show you exactly how we do it when the time comes so we can use real marketing techniques and see the direct impact they have on the bottom line.

So now lets take a quick look at where these leads / subscribers are being captured from;

Total Subscribers / Leads = 541

Breakdown – >

Main Site = 302
Cloaked Domains = 31
Adwords = 204
MS Adcenter = 4

The main site is of course the…

…website. Traffic is arriving here from the search engines. we have already discussed our positioning in them. The most notable improvement in our results is that we are now sitting in 10th position in Google for our target term “worm farming” and have jumped to number 14 for “vermiculture”. Again these are continually improving week after week as the site matures in age.

I thought we would be closer to the top 5 positions by now but it will happen in time so there is no concern there.

Traffic is also arriving from direct requests, and links from other websites and I will give you a complete breakdown of those statistics in a minute. However the best thing about all of this traffic is that it is highly targeted and at no cost. If we assume a $0.88 per lead acquisition cost, 302 leads would’ve cost $265, however as these are natural search results we eliminate that. Got to love natural search engine positioning.

Cloaked Domains to date have generated 31 new leads. I haven’t talked too much about these yet as I am still working out the best way to do it without jeopardizing the campaign. Basically I have 100 individual domains all generating traffic. That traffic is being redirected to a site independent of our main site here and we are capturing those leads. They are then put through an identical but independent marketing funnel.

There is a cost associated with the above in terms of the purchase of the domain names and the cloaking technology we use, however these require a little more time to also mature and start generating more traffic and more leads. I expect this to become the most cost efficient means of lead generation over the coming months, second only to the no cost natural search engine traffic.

Once I have figured out how to explain this process more delicately I will do so. I’m just not sure whether I am prepared to reveal the exact techniques I use (with examples) in a no cost newsletter that goes out to over 30,000 individual readers.

Adwords has generated 204 new leads as we have already discussed.

MS Adcenter is a replica of the Adwords campaign I have setup on the pay per click advertising feature. It has only been running for a day or two so is not really worth mentioning at this point.

So here is a breakdown of lead generation and where they are being captured from in terms of percentages…

Total Subscribers / Leads = 541

Main Site = 55.82%
Cloaked Domains = 5.73%
Adwords = 37.7%
MS Adcenter = 0.79%

How am I tracking this?

Basically I have 4 separate lead capture forms, all identical to each but with an invisible tracking code tied into our mailing list management application. All new leads being generated from the main site are tagged as being as such.

For our adwords campaign we are sending clicks through to…

…which is identical but has a unique tracking code in it, and so on, and so on, for our other traffic sources. It is very important to do this when it comes to your lead generation as it allows you to specifically work out conversion ratios and cost per conversions for all of your different traffic generation mediums. It will clearly show you which are more cost efficient and more profitable.

And whilst many advertising mediums like AdWords provides you with a means to track this information, doing it yourself independently like this adds a second level of reference for accuracy comparison. It also allows you to track traffic mediums that do not provide you with this capability… i.e. you need to do this yourself for natural search engine rankings etc.

So now let’s take a look at the actual website statistics data and see where traffic is coming from (this information is pulled from Awstats – the statistics program we have attached to the control panel of this website);

March 07 ->

Number of Unique Visitors = 2,646
Number of Total Visitors = 3,472 (1.31 visits per visitor)
Average Number Visitors Per Day = 112
Average Number Page Views Per Day = 248.42
Best Day = 30 Mar 2007 with 294 visitors & 756 views.

Where are visitors from?

Direct Address / Bookmarks = 64.4%
Search Engine = 16.6% (Using 190 different keyphrases)
Links from Other Websites = 18.7%
Unknown Origin = 0.1%

Estimated Bookmarks = 1,014 / 2,642 Visitors or 38.3% of visitors bookmarked website.

April 07 (up to and including the 3rd) ->

Number of Unique Visitors = 659
Number of Total Visitors = 786 (1.19 visits per visitor)
Average Number Visitors Per Day = 196.50
Average Number Page Views Per Day = 691.25
Best Day = 02 Apr 2007 with 343 visitors & 1,280 views.

Where are visitors from?

Direct Address / Bookmarks = 53%
Search Engine = 29.1 % (Using 97 different keyphrases)
Links from Other Websites = 16.9 %
Unknown Origin = 0.8 %

Estimated Bookmarks = 252 / 659 Visitors or 38.2% of visitors bookmarked website.

…now it’s a little premature to compare April to March here as the above only includes the first 3 days in April. What is good to see however is that in those first 3 days we have already out performed our best day in March.

We can also see our search engine referrals are increasing as a result of improved search engine rankings.

Our traffic arriving from links on “other” websites is remaining pretty stable. This is because I have set a predefined number of links to point to this website and we have reached that number. Once we extend our link building campaign we will see that rise.

The direct address and bookmark stats are also pretty similar and account for the majority of visitors returning to the website, and specifically the discussion forums we have setup.

This should highlight the importance of a technique that I mentioned in a previous email (video I think) which may have seemed a tad insignificant at the time. That is the importance of encouraging your visitors to bookmark your website.

If you look at the estimated bookmark stats for both months you will see they are near identical. 38% of visitors are bookmarking the website. As a result, this is accounting for a huge percentage of traffic arriving to the website.

In every email I send out (automatically via the follow up email marketing sequence) i have encouraged the visitors to bookmark the site right then and there. I have also mentioned it on the “thank you” page new leads are redirected to once subscribed…

…it’s amazing how something so little can have a major impact on your return visitors. A good domain name and the branding of it also helps, however bookmarks are as strong as they have ever been and should be encouraged on your own websites.

The last thing I want to show are the statistics from the discussion forums which are also a large factor in encouraging return visitors…

Discussion Forums

79 registered users

Posted a total of 81 articles (articles are all topics & posts)

Most users ever online was 12, on 04 Apr 2007, 09:35 pm

Averages ->

Posts per day: 3.37
Topics per day: 1.29
Users per day: 3.28

…two weeks ago our forums were looking a little empty however as you can see they are starting to pick up and become very vibrant. Many members are returning daily and contributing to other peoples topics and we see the start of what is to become a very sticky factor of the website.

Now you might be wondering what you should take away from this email… other than man why don’t my website statistics look this good? First and foremost you should understand that we have achieved this in only 6 weeks. I have shared with you exactly what we have done to do this and left nothing out. So you might want to review the entire project to date again…

…you should find some time over Easter. Remember to start at “Project Introduction” to go right back to the beginning.

I have used nothing but “old school” (I’m so cold… I can see blue… he looks Glorious!) solid online marketing techniques that applied back in the early 2000′s, and still apply equally as effectively today.

Just don’t loose focus and chase all of the “new” traffic generation techniques as they come out. Create your own plan similar to this and follow it. Prioritize your expenditure into what you know and have seen to produce results, and don’t throw money away on the latest traffic generation “fad” if you are not in a position to be able to test such techniques. Either income wise, already consistently performing wise, and time wise.

The second thing you should take away is the importance of tracking all of your marketing techniques. Without knowing your data, you cannot improve upon it. With the data I have shown here’s an example of what we can do…

Improve our adwords campaign performance, increasing our CTR rates, tweaking our advertisements, reducing our lead acquisition costs, and reducing our overall spend.

Improve the conversion rate of traffic to lead conversions. This can be done on the main website, and we can use different methods of doing this (different headlines, body copy etc) depending on where traffic is coming from. Increasing the conversion ratio here is going to put more targeted visitors into the soon to be live sales funnel I’m creating.

Improve the conversion rate of newsletter readers to forum participants. Right now only 14% of all leads are registering in the forums. I can try different techniques using the email marketing features, website catches and incentives, and I have a solid point of comparison.

Tracking all of your marketing techniques and knowing the results they are bring is the only way to accurately improve upon them, reducing your overall traffic and customer acquisition cost and increasing your return on investment.

That’s all for this weeks project update.

I hope you have a great Easter.


Duncan Carver