Update: Domain Parking Still Converting
Friday, August 15th, 2008
Here’s more proof that domain parking converts for advertisers.
About a month ago I wrote about how the domain channel at Google was converting well for me, even though a number of advertisers would tell you otherwise.
Now that I have a month more of data for my ad campaign at Google, the parking channel is still performing very well. In fact, it’s performing just as well as my ads that show up on Google and the Google search network. Content is also performing very well. The only thing that’s lagging is error page ads (more on that later).
Search: 17.85% conversion rate, $.83 per conversion (this includes parked domains in the search network, which have a lower cost per conversion than the rest of the search network for me).
Parked Domains: 20.33% conversion rate, $.84 per conversion
Content: (excluding parked domains) 19.43% conversion rate, $.69 per conversion
Error Pages: 15.15% conversion rate, $1.12 per conversion
And for those who complain that the parking channel on Google includes ads from the search network, here’s proof that that’s not a bad thing. Of my parked domain clicks on the search network, my cost per conversion is $.71. It’s $.98 for content. For Google to serve up search ads on a parked domain, the visitor must have entered a search term or clicked on a “related link”. Once they do this they are more qualified and more likely to convert.
The error page conversion rate is disappointing. Error pages are served up with partnerships including ISPs (e.g. Verizon, Time Warner) and computer manufacturers (e.g. Gateway, Dell) to show ads on typos that don’t exist. But Google won’t tell you what errors are showing your ads. This is probably because 99% of them are typos of trademarks and real web addresses.
So what does my test show? For non-competitive industries, conversions on parking and the content network can be better. Indeed, my content performance is better than search. I’ll give myself some credit here for creating an ad campaign that catches the attention of people on the content network.
The problem comes into play with competitive industries with high click prices. Spammers and scammers tend to focus on these, which increases the overall level of fraud. Autos, credit cards, and home mortgages are more likely to have fraud than sports and entertainment.
If Google and Yahoo are able to weed out the bad clicks, and if advertisers are willing to manage their campaigns well, the content and parked channels can work very well. Don’t have time to manage it? Google now offers a conversion maximizer that let’s you assign a cost per conversion goal and it will manage where your ads are placed and how much you pay per click for you. If a particular content site isn’t performing well, Google will stop showing your ads on it or adjust the click price downward.