I had a discussion with a domain investor today that went like this….."Michael, ParkLogic isn’t performing for my portfolio so I’m going to stop the test.” I replied, “Let’s take a look at the numbers and understand what they are saying.”
We have a standard report that compares a baseline for domain names versus the most recent data. It only took a few minutes to identify the problem….it just so happened that out of over one hundred domains there were five that were pulling down the results for the portfolio.
Without the five domains there was an overall 63% performance increase. Our recommendation was to move the five domains that were pulling down the results and re-baseline them to see if it just so happens an advertising has gone missing during the USA summer period. If the domains popped back up then it was a great win for the client.
Getting into the numbers is key to assessing the performance of a domain portfolio and yet, so many domain investors don’t understand how to do this. The question that I constantly ask is “Why?”. Why are the domain not performing? Why are the domains performing? Why is company X winning the traffic? Why is the traffic going down? Why is the traffic going up? Why are/are not direct advertisers bidding on a domains traffic?
It’s asking the “Why” which leads to a fuller understanding of the overall portfolio performance. For example, without those five badly performing domains there was an overall revenue increase of 75% for domains that had at least 80% of the traffic compared to the baseline. Anyone would have to agree this was a great result!
In addition, it’s often better to play the trend lines rather than try to be like a day-trader and move the traffic all over the place yourself. I don’t know about you but I’m more concerned about overall trends rather than the ups and downs on a daily basis that may have been caused by a US holiday or a domain being "educated" related during the summer holiday period.
I should also state that everything is NOT about the revenue. This may sound counter intuitive but what happens if you're comparing a period of time where the traffic is lower? Most people then turn to comparing RPMs (revenue per thousand views) but you can’t do that as every company counts views differently.
It’s not just about mobilising numbers, it’s also about interpreting what they are telling you. We have a report we’ve nicknamed, “The Forensic Report” which contains the entire performance of every domain in a portfolio on a daily basis across every monetisation provider. We track hundreds of metrics every day for every domain every day and this report is a great snap shot for analyzing the performance.
The report also clearly highlights why a domain is performing. It’s the Bible that unlocks the truth about why and how a domain is performing. We quite often pull this out so that we can dig further into the data to get greater understanding in what’s happening.
What keeps me up at night is thinking of new ideas on how we can extract even more value from domain traffic on behalf of clients. For instance, we just added another five advertising networks last week and we are benchmarking them against existing advertising sources.
These are nice incremental sources of revenue but what I've got my eye on is a revolutionary approach to domain monetisation…..stay tuned on a project I’ve been working on for the past couple of years. :-)
So whatever you do.....get under your numbers. If you need help then give me a call.