Sunday, February 04, 2007

Our experience with AdSense + seasonal ecards

We started using Google AdSense about 4 months ago, placing the first one on our Virtual Pumpkin Carver ecard.

The setup was so easy that I don’t know why we didn’t try this before. We just didn’t want to clutter our pages with advertising, but there is a lot of empty space on our ecard pages, since they are designed for 800x600 resolution screens.

We also tried it on Christmas and Valentine’s Day ecards, so here are some numbers…

The CTR rate was pretty good - about 2-5%. I guess, this is due to the placement and blending of the ads. Plus, not having many additional “competing” links on the same page. The keyword popularity comes by default (“Christmas” is still very popular during Christmas holidays). And the viral nature of the ecards assures the stream of traffic. All the ingredients are there.

The seasonal nature of holiday ecards means that you can reap pretty good benefits for a short amount of time.

Our page impressions averaged at about 8K per day, with a maximum of 54K. The price per thousand impressions averaged at about $3. Nothing huge, but enough to cover our traffic bills.

Halloween pays higher – I guess there is less competition. We even had two days with >$100 income. But the interest in it drops pretty fast. The income graph looks like a cliff.

Christmas pays less, but the income graph looks like a rounder mountain that stretches on a larger area. In the long run, both seasons bring about the same income. It makes perfect sense, since it’s all linked to the amount of money the advertisers make during those periods. More money is spent on Christmas, but there is more competition for the keywords. Less money is spent on Halloween, but the competition is also smaller. It kind of levels out.

I don’t have the Valentine’s Day data yet, but so far it started slowly. There are some interesting eCMP jumps. Like this morning the price per thousand impressions was about $43 (it should get back to normal later in the day)! I’ve seen several weird eCMP jumps, but, so far, this is the biggest one. I guess a lot of guys in anticipation of the trouble they will get in after their crude behavior during today’s Super Bowl decided to make it up to their girlfriends/wives.

Generally, Google AdSense works very smoothly. The service is easy to use and the checks keep coming in regularly by snail mail (feels kind of cool to be paid by Google). Feel free to share your own experience with Google AdSense.