I’ve been corresponding with a few people.. and also found myself talking about this at lunch the other day. This is usually a good sign it’s blog post worthy.
When trying to monetize your site, you immediately think of what products or banners or offers to lay in your site. This is fine, but this thought is often a “after thought”, meaning when the site was originally created, it wasn’t designed to be a monetary site by initial design. Sure, you’d like to make some cash, and adding some banners or adsense make sense. The problem occurs months later when you realize that your site doesn’t convert. One thing to be aware of, and if you’re not aware of this by this time, I seriously wonder about your choice to get into this business, is that all web sites are NOT created equal. Meaning, when you create a web site, it won’t convert as good as everyone else by default! Each web site has a different focus and TARGET.
Okay, now we’re getting to the point. The target is the person you’re trying to get to spend money on your site, either actively purchasing something or passively clicking on a advertisement that pays (ie: Adsense). With that said, it’s time to understand the difference between READERS vs. BUYERS. Once you get a grasp of this, it should hopefully change your perspective of internet marketing.
If you’re trying to sell products on a “reader” site, you’ll need to get large volume of site visitors and traffic to really get a opportunity to convert. Reader sites are basically blogs or article related sites. Good content and people generally enjoy visiting, but you’re only chance to get them is with impulse advertisements or well placed text links. Readers are “readers” after all, and did not come to your site to buy something. They’re drinking their coffee, surfing the “net” or just burning time. These are the worst for selling products.
Buyers on the other hand are people that went to your web site looking to buy the product you’re selling. They have cash in their wallet and finger on the mouse to buy. This are the greatest type of people hitting your site, but if your site is a “reader” site, and you’ve attracted “buyers”, you better make it easy and quick for the buyer to buy, or they’ll leave quickly.
You need to optimize the site towards the target visitor you’re after. If you want to attract buyers, then design the site to be a store front vs a blog. Buyers want to see products and buy it very quickly. They’ve already done the research. Also, you can focus on long tail keywords with these sites, since buyers are going to input model numbers, etc for the product they’re looking for. Buyer sites are perfect for PPC campaigns, since you’re targetting a very select group of individuals that will convert.
If you’re leaning towards a reader site, then most of your traffic will be from Google and social networking sites. This is fine, but adjust your methods of monetizing. Google AdSense or other CPC (Cost Per Click) type ad network is the way to go. Take advantage of their indecision and boredom. They’re just clicking around, etc. Focus on inline text links to product since that will be the most affective way to get them to click on a product. Adjust your writing to product reviews. Readers are generally blind to banners, but adding a few of these could bring in a few dollars.
You definitely can blend the two types. For example you could have a great “buyer” site, which is a store front, but then add a section for product reviews or blog, etc. Treat that section as a reader site. This can give potential buyers an opportunity to read reviews, etc. But your focus should really be clear to take advantage of profits.
I would also experiment here. Possibly make one reader sites and one buyer sites. Try to find a similar niche for each. For example: Star Wars niche – one is a reader site, the other is a buyer site. Get unique domains for each. Try to apply the techniques above and see how you can improve both. This way you’ll get a feel for separating the types of sites and take advantage of ideas and techniques to improve both.