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Old 11-26-2000, 01:39 PM   #16
SearchTraffic
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A whole facet of this conversation is the time value of money.

Is it better to make $20.00 off of 1000 surfers today? Or make $5.00 and hope they keep returning?
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Old 11-26-2000, 01:44 PM   #17
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Exactly. And is it worth gambling on whether someone is coming back or not? While they are on my site, I have some degree of control over how much they make me, but once they leave, I have Zero control on whether or not they come back.



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Old 11-26-2000, 01:53 PM   #18
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With my site repeat visitors are very important. Its very much a niche site and people tend to want to see the site keep going. So between visitor contributions, products sold (many come back to my site just to purchase items via my affiliations) and banners clicked I do ok. Some of my visitors have been coming to my site a few times a week since 1996.

I think we need all types of visitors personally to make it. It's impossible to make all visitors happy on the site - some won't come back because of a pop-up, others because they don't like your color scheme and a variety of other reasons I've heard along the way.

As far as search engines - why bother going to one directly when you can just type ? and your topic in the address bar of the browser? :-)



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Old 11-26-2000, 03:38 PM   #19
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For sites that are oriented around directly selling a fairly small number of products, this might be somewhat questionable. Once the visitor sees what you have to offer, and decides they don't want/need it, then there isn't much business reason for bringing them back to read articles, etc. It depends on whether the repeated exposure ever convinces them to buy in the future.

For totally ad-supported sites like mine, then I would definitely say *yes*, repeat visitors are valuable...

1. With CPM banners, every page view counts (at least, when a CPM ad comes through, as opposed to the CPC and CPA ads also rotating in the same spot.)

2. With many different CPC and CPA banners rotating in addition to the CPM ones, a repeat visitor may see a different (and perhaps more appealing to him/her specifically) sponsor each time they come back to the same page.

3. Since a repeat visitor may view more parts of the site (e.g. an article they didn't have time to read on the previous visit), and since there are many text link ads scattered throughout the content, they will gradually be exposed (over the course of multiple visits) to a wider variety of text ads, with more opportunities for them to find something they like/want/need.

4. Even if they never click on an ad, they might recommed the site to someone else, in a discussion on a forum somewhere, or as a link on their own site.

5. Even if they never click on an ad, they might post to the BBS on my site, which makes my site more valuable to visitors in general, along with providing more content for search engines to index, and hopefully building traffic including other people who do click on ads.



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Old 11-26-2000, 03:57 PM   #20
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wsz,

I still disagree with most of your post...

1) If you are a typical site getting $1 to $2 CPMs even if you have 5000 returning and bookmarked visitors that visit a few pages each your looking at making $30.00 a month.

2) I agree that rotating banners and keeping them fresh will increase CTRs. But the surfers who are returning over and over again are experienced and obviously know your site and are looking for specific content. They are going to be the least likely to click on anything.

3) I agree with you on this point.

4) No way. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif If you get 10 visitors a month from word of mouth its a lot.

5) This plays into exactly what I'm saying. Rather than hoping they post to your BB and then hoping that search engines will index it and then hoping the link gets clicked on and then hoping the new visitor clicks on an ad.....isn't it a better idea to make money from them today?
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Old 11-26-2000, 04:20 PM   #21
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I stand by what I said earlier, but an idea did just occur to me, that maybe somebody could use.

We all design templates for our sites right?

What if you're fed up with repeat people who ignoring your banners cos they know where *not* to look?

What if you made a bunch of templates that had banners in different places. You could rotate in a different template on each return visit. So they never get aclimitized to avoid looking at your banners.

I don't know if this would help, but it's an idea.

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Old 11-26-2000, 04:26 PM   #22
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Yeah. Thats a heck of an idea.

We had some affiliates complain that our web portal site needed a redesign to keep it freshso we are in the process of redoing it.

We're working on a bunch of different looks but I'd love to be able to target the template that comes up to the surfer in some way that maximizes the CTR.

I know USA surfers love Red. Maybe we could show red sites to USA surfers and blue to UK surfers.

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Old 11-26-2000, 04:50 PM   #23
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we do? cool. i will have to write that down for future sites http://geekvillage.com/ubb/wink.gif
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Old 11-26-2000, 05:55 PM   #24
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I run a couple of entertainment sites, and repeat visitors are very important. My biggest sources of income are supertaf and Mailbits, so, the more times I get somebody to come, the more money I make off of the from the taf forms (more so with supertaf) and they also tell more people about my site, which in turn leads to more new traffic that I can hopefully turn into faithful visitors and keep expanding my traffic like that. But as far as banner ads go, repeat traffic is worthless for me.

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Old 11-26-2000, 05:58 PM   #25
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Searchtraffic:

I'm not trying to tell you how to live your life, but...

If I had the huge number of hits that you have, I would constantly experiment with the makeup of my site, and automate the gathering of data, so I would have proof whether a certain background colour worked best with visitors from a certain country, or if one was best for all visitors.

I would vary every parameter I could think of, examine the net change of income, and do this over and over again, constantly optimizing my site.

Here's a very interesting article about what sort of marketing miracles happen when you have lots of people using your service. It's about credit cards, but deals with the use of computing power to determine what is the best way(s) of marketing what is essentially a commodity.
http://www.fastcompany.com/online/24/capone.html

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Old 11-26-2000, 08:35 PM   #26
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I too depend alot on word of mouth and bookmark/return traffic http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif

In fact, bookmark traffic and unsolicited external links, are the two most important stats I monitor.
If these stats stagnate or go down, your traffic will usually head south.

There are still alot of new users and "once in a while" users available on the net which have not seen alot of banners, content, or anything much and are eager to click on anything that moves.
I try to take care of both the new users and the return users on my sites.

You can learn alot about your web progress by the return visitors. And if your smart you will do something proactive to get to know them and learn what they want.
I have regular visitors who frequently sent updates, suggestions, and content to me almost everyday. I do my best to provide what they want.

Return traffic is a goldmine if you work it a litte. A simple mailist will prove that easily.

The way I see it, some search vehicles are now weighing link popularity and hit popularity within their own listings very highly.
There is indication that they can even tell how long a visitor stays on your site. The longer you keep them on your site, the better off you are with these engines. Content should do this.
If a visitor bookmarks my site and finds content of value, a webmaster somewhere may see the same value and give me a link.
After all, alot of your visitors are webmasters http://geekvillage.com/ubb/wink.gif
A visitor who joins my ezine, may recieve and pass the great article to a friend who may pass it to a friend.

Yes indeed, bookmark/return traffic equals traffic genteration. If you are smart you can compound the value to your site...

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Old 11-26-2000, 11:32 PM   #27
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Very interesting thread :-)

I would like to add my $0,02.

Repeat visitors are very important. I have 2 other reasons :

1) they are free. You do not have to pay anything to get them for a second, third ...
visit.

2) they contribute to your world wide traffic ranking. The more traffic you get, the higher you will be ranked and the more you will be noticed by other businesses.

I want more and more return visitors even if I do not make any money from them.
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Old 11-27-2000, 12:20 AM   #28
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GMiller,

&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;
First, the marketing efforts (be it SEO, buying ad space, or whatever) are subject to diminishing returns. Past a certain point, it's easier to keep the people you have rather than going out and getting more.
&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;
I understand what you're saying. But your talking traffic and not dollars. Exactly how are you making money on these people?


&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;
Second, a lot of money has recently gone to niche sites with heavily biased demographics. Repeat visitors tend to match the demographics you target much more than first-time visitors.
&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt;
Okay. But again, except for a very few sites (eBay, recurring subscriptions, sites that command VERY high CPM rates) how are you making money off of these people?

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Old 11-27-2000, 12:56 AM   #29
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This certainly is an interesting topic http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif

I have to admit, for a long time I was under the impression that maximizing return visitors was the best way to go. However, lately I've found that that usually isn't the case. There are relatively few sites that can benefit (Financially) from repeat visitors. Communities, search engines, and sites that make money off the very thing they return for (ie, sending something to a friend, via a Mailbits link) are probably the only sites that are going to see much financial benefit from return visitors, for the most part.

One of my sites, DailyStarts, does benefit financially from return visitors, but that is because the very nature of the site is for people to come send something (however dumb it may be) to a friend, which earns me money. However, my newest site, CelebGrams, doesn't make anything at all off return visitors. In fact, I've found that once they are past my front page, they are financially useless to me.

Like SearchTraffic, I have a few sites I visit regularly. Cnn.Com is one of those. I don't think I've clicked on more than 5 banners on that site in my life. Mostly because I don't even see them. I am so used to the layout that my eyes know exactly where to go for the stuff I want, I subconsciously focus on that part only the second the page loads, so I couldn't tell you what banner is on top of the page. Now, for a site that I haven't been to before, the first few seconds, I'm scanning around trying to find out where the "Meat" is, and then I may see a banner/button and click on it.



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Old 11-27-2000, 04:50 AM   #30
consent
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For me, it's no dimpled ballot.

Half my visitors are repeat traffic. According to my BURST survey (1069 replies)...

Daily 4%
Several times/week 17%
Once/Week 14%
Several times/month 10%
Once a month 6%
Less than once a month 4%
First visit 45%

Also, I find site promotion very tedious. It's much easier to perform weekly updates in order to keep up traffic.

Add to this equation a CPM network (with managed defaults) and a text-link ad rotator, and the point becomes elementary.

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