Let’s face it. I was one of the first guys in this space giving solid information about local lead generation. When I started my local online advertising series I made a post called The Ugly Side of Local Online Advertising. I was being very honest about my experiences and people seemed to blow off all negative points about local online advertising in lieu of trying to make a quick buck. You cannot make a quick buck in local online advertising. You either form a business model and stick with it or you burn out quick.
I’m starting to see a lot of blog posts, forum posts and tweets about how much harder local online advertising/lead gen is then the writer thought it would be. Since Shoemoney & Ad Hustler probably spawned 75% of all the affiliates that are trying to get into local lead gen, i can say, I told you so.
This post isn’t to say stay away from local lead gen. It can work. It just isn’t an overnight get rich quick scheme. If you have the skills and stick with it, there is money to be made.
I’ve seen a lot of products hit the interwebs lately regarding local. Don’t waste your money on most of them. It’s all rehashed crap or common sense. I will however put in 2 thumbs up for Chad from CDFNetworks Local Lead Plan (Not an Affiliate Link). I’ve read a decent portion of his ebook/plan and it is super solid information. I do a lot of local lead gen & I even learned things that I didn’t know from the book. I’m actually surprised he put it all out there. Regardless, if your going to buy ANY product, that’s the only one you should drop any cash on.
(I was not paid to say nice things about Chad’s Local Lead Plan – If I think somethings good I’ll recommend it, if i think it sucks, I’ll tell you. My opinion cannot be bought)
Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Case Studies, Search Engines | Posted on 24-05-2010
After I built the site & got some links I just let it sit around for a while and get indexed. It got indexed pretty fast. Initially a couple thousand pages were indexed. After a bit that fell down to 271 pages. I suspect there was some sort of duplicate content penalty that caused me to lose those indexed pages. Regardless, the total number of indexed pages has remained around 270-300. The site has been online since approximately January 2010. Over that course of time the traffic has grown steadily month over month. Below you will find traffic stats since January.
I hope to see this traffic grow continually month over month going forward. That’s the good news. The bad news is that this site has not converted well AT ALL. Here are some stats since January 2010:
Clicks Through a Product Affiliate Link: 659
Click Through Rate: 7.58%
Conversion Rate: 0.91%
Gross Sales: $197.40
Total Cost: ~$27-$30
As you can see this has NOT been a super profitable venture to date. I’ve made back around what I spent to create the site. The positive side is that since this is organic SEO & the traffic keeps growing, i’m sure that more sales will trickle in over time. The site certainly won’t lose money. The question becomes can you create more of these sites and scale them? I think that you can. Although i’m basing that on theory alone, I believe that if you make a lot of these types of sites you are eventually going to hit a profitable one.
This site is getting traffic so i’m going to work on getting a better conversion rate and figuring out other ways to monetize the traffic and report back to you with what I find.
Please post your thoughts in the comments.
Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Case Studies, Search Engines | Posted on 19-05-2010
In Part 1 of this case study I discussed what I did to setup this datafeed site. Part 2 is what I did to promote it.
I’m going to be honest with you. I don’t have crazy blackhat methods. I just have some simple, straight forward things I do to try to get a site to rank in the search engines.
The first thing I concentrated on was simple on-page SEO. I made sure that every post had appropriate title tags & meta data as well as H1 tags (using a plugin). I also made sure that no affiliate links were visible, everything was cloaked.
Next I needed to get some links. I like social bookmarks as i’ve had a lot of success with them. I almost always use Amit aka Red_Virus for social bookmarks. You can order his services HERE. Tell him Ad Hustler sent you and I guarantee you’ll get awesome service (no, i’m not making a commission). I sent all of the social bookmarks to the main domain. Ideally, I would have liked to get a few social bookmarks to each interior page but I haven’t been able to come up with a good & easy way to do that yet.
I decided that I want to diversify the links a bit so I went over to Fiverr.com and ordered an edu link package.
That’s it. I didn’t do anything else to promote this site. After completing these steps I still wasn’t indexed and had not received any traffic yet. I decided to just leave the site alone for a little while and see what would happen.
Excluding the datafeed script because i’m using that on multiple sites, my total investment in this site so far would be around $32
Part 3 will discuss whether or not I got any traffic or sales.
Any questions so far?