Discussions and blogs that relate to the monetisation of domain traffic.

Why domain traffic is so valuable

Getting to the real value in domain traffic.

Have you ever wondered why advertisers keep on paying for domain traffic year after year? Despite all the naysayers out there saying that domain traffic monetisation is dead it seems to keep on getting better….yes, you just heard me right.

Escrow.com

Domain monetisation isn’t just about views, clicks, RPM and the like. Domain monetisation is all about matching advertising to user intent and this is why it’s so valuable for advertisers. When a person goes to a domain name, they have an intent behind their query about what they are looking for and this is incredibly powerful. The user has already passed from wondering what to look for to seeking to find.

The great majority of people who are in a seeking to find mode are wanting to purchase when they find what they are looking for. The difference between looking up something on a search engine versus domain traffic is that a person looking up something on a search engine is seeking information while a person typing in a domain name is seeking to buy.

Many years ago, I read a report that Google produced outlining that domain traffic produced better results for advertisers compared to search traffic. It was at a time when Yahoo reigned supreme in the domain space but it wasn’t long before Google aggressively went after the domain industry as the traffic converted for advertisers.

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Recent Comments
joezepy
Hi Michael, Do you have any stats as to how much of Google's ad business comes from domains? Do you know where that might be acq... Read More
16 August 2019
mgilmour
There isn't any definitive data on this but my guess is that it's several billion dollars a year to Google.....of course, the indu... Read More
17 August 2019
mgilmour
Hi Todd, All good questions. I can only say that at ParkLogic we've been developing a platform over the last 2 years to do exactly... Read More
17 August 2019
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Part 4 - Traffic Test - Show Me the Money!

Analytics can generate exceptional returns.

This is the third in the series on running a traffic test. The first three articles in the series can be viewed at:
Part 1 – Baseline Data

Part 2 – Focusing on Performance
Part 3 – Improving the Revenue

Escrow.com

In the previous three articles I’ve been taking readers through an actual traffic test that a real prospective client is doing with ParkLogic (I'm a co-founder). I have not doctored the numbers or done anything to make them look better. They’re the real deal.

The traffic test is now at the stage where we are looking at really putting the foot down to maximise the revenue. Overall, there has been a 36% uplift in revenue, which for most people this would be an outstanding result. Once you begin to dig into the numbers the results look even better.

The following chart compares the performance of the latest week’s data versus the baseline as a percentage for various traffic levels. For instance, for domains where we saw at least the same level of traffic as the baseline there was a 46% uplift in revenue, for domains with at least 80% of the traffic, an overall 43% uplift. This continues on until for all domains it’s just shy of 36%.

Results by traffic level

 All domains will have varying traffic levels over time and what this chart displays is the performance of the traffic test at the different traffic levels. Since domains with less traffic take longer to optimise then it also suggests that the low traffic domains still have potential upside that is yet unrealised.

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Part 3 – Traffic Test – Improving the Revenue

Turning the revenue trend chart around.

This is the third in the series on running a traffic test. The first two articles in the series can be viewed at:
Part 1 – Traffic Test – Baseline Data
Part 2 – Traffic Test – Focusing on Performance

As we discussed in Part 2, what’s vital in running a traffic test is understanding the performance, both positive and negative. The data is the data but interpreting what it’s telling you is far more important if you are wanting to develop long-term value from your domain traffic.

Escrow.com

So how is the real live test portfolio progressing so far? The following two charts show the overall trend lines are all heading in the right direction. Despite the time of year and the typical overall decline in advertising spend over the northern hemisphere summer, revenue is continuing to trend upwards.

Revenue and plRPM charts

The second chart clearly shows the reason for this is due to the normalised RPM (or plRPM as we call it at ParkLogic) is also trending upwards as the optimisation algorithms continue their work. For those of you that are unaware, RPM stands for Revenue Per Thousand - more of per thousand what shortly. It’s at this point that I’m going to take a little detour to explain a few things about plRPM and how it differs from RPM.

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Part 2 – Traffic Test – Focusing on Performance

What determines good performance?

This is the second in the series on running a traffic test. The first may be viewed by clicking on the link below:

Part 1 – Traffic Test – Baseline Data

Escrow.com

One of the challenges of running a traffic test is to determine which metrics should be used for comparison purposes. I’ve had so many people tell me that all that matters is revenue…..I beg to disagree.

Although revenue is a very important metric it is not the only metric that should be paid attention to. For example, let’s imagine the baseline data for an education related domain is from May and the traffic test started mid-June.

Many education advertisers wind down during June and therefore the pay-out rates per click will typically be less for this type of traffic. In addition, depending upon the type of education domain the traffic is likely to be less as well.

What we need to do is to interpret what the data is telling us and not just look at it and say, “The revenue is down, I’m pulling the test.”

One of the challenges in running a traffic test is using views as a comparison metric. Because every provider counts views differently then using this metric can end up becoming quite subjective....that being said, sometimes it's all that is provided in the baseline data so it's better than nothing.

Many years ago, I was sitting in a meeting with a person that controlled a very large domain portfolio. They were running a traffic test with us and we were taking them through our typical analysis and discussing what was happening at the individual domain level. This surprised the prospective client as they said they’d never done that before.

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Part 1 - Traffic Test - Baseline Data

Running a Traffic Test

Getting your hands around the data is paramount when it comes to working with domain traffic monetisation. I’ve had a number of readers ask me to write further about how ParkLogic conducts a traffic test and whether it really is worth all the hassle.

Escrow.com

The first thing we ask for is baseline data from where the domains were previously being monetised. Some people get suspicious with asking for this information and take the approach that we should just perform as “good as we can” so I thought it would be good to unpack why we ask for this data.

There are three primary reasons:
1.    Focus
2.    Accountability
3.    Trust

By having data prior to starting the test helps us immediately focus immediately on where the effort will have the most impact. Without baseline data we end up spinning our wheels for the first part of the test and this is not worthwhile for either ourselves or the potential partner.

Accountability is crucial in any transparent relationship. We take managing domains very seriously and we believe we need to be held accountable against the baseline data at the very least. Let’s face it, the revenue from these domains goes to paying mortgages and putting food on the table for many domain investors.

The last reason is trust and, in many respects, this is the most important reason out of the three. ParkLogic has a stance that we do not have people who use our service, but partners and these relationships are built upon a solid foundation of mutual trust.

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