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Old 11-26-2000, 10:06 AM   #1
SearchTraffic
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Cool "Are returning and bookmarked visitors of any value?"

Let's mix it up a bit.....

I got into a discussion last night that I'd love to get other folks opinions on....Let me give you the "gist" of it and I'll be the first to give my thoughts.....

"Are returning and bookmarked visitors of any real value?"

I am of the (apparently radical) opinon that, except in very special circumstances, NO they are not of any meaningful value. I feel you should try to generate the maximum amount of revenue on every single visitor and not worry weather they return to you site or not.

Convince me I'm wrong. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/wink.gif


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Old 11-26-2000, 10:19 AM   #2
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Your site reflects your philosophy. It gives users every imaginable way to accomplish something, and leave a little change in your pocket. From what I've gathered from your forum and this forum, it's VERY successful. But I think its design is such that it's effective for a limited number of visits (possibly as low as 1). More sophisticated users will realize that they can go directly to the sites that you link to, and will effectively cut you out of the middle.

There are other sites that I tend to return to, usually featuring ongoing forum discussion, or news. I tend not to click on the forum pages, but news sites may get a click from me if they have a newish banner or text link that is relevant to their topic (and of interest to me).

I think most clickers are new arrivals, but I'd have to say in certain circumstances, a well-rotated pool of banners and especially text links may provide a significant supplement to a site's income.

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[This message has been edited by musicinsight (edited 11-26-2000).]
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Old 11-26-2000, 10:33 AM   #3
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Musicinsight,

I'm not trying to talk about SI or our philosophy at all.

I have a number of sites that are bookmarked and I visit once or sometimes 2 or 3 times daily. (DrudgeReport and ESPN as examples)

I have visited these 2 sites AT LEAST 100 times in the last month. I NEVER say to myself "Hmm...I appreciate the effort Matt Drudge puts in his website...I'm going to click on his banner and patronize his sponsors"

See what I mean?
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Old 11-26-2000, 10:34 AM   #4
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Return or Bookmarked visitors are of GREAT VALUE to message boards, and such websites. But they may not be as valuable to all type of websites.

For example, if someone bookmarks a News website, and they return daily reading five news articles, and you have two ads per page getting paid $2.00 CPM.

You will make 60 cents every month just from that one visitor, which may not seem like a lot, but in the long run - it all adds up. If you are getting 1,000 return visitors everyday doing the same thing, you will get $600.00 every month.

Now let's say 2% of them decide to sign-up for some free offer from your website, which is paying $2.00 per lead... You will make $100.00 extra. Plus, return & bookmark visitors will most likely sign-up for your Newsletter and other similair things which is very beneficial to the Webmaster as well.

So yes, in my opinion... Returned and Bookmarked visitors are of some value... But not in ALL cases or for ALL websites.

If someone returns to ClickHereToFind.com daily, it's valuable to You since almost Any link they click on will make You money, so what've you got to lose. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/wink.gif

Unfortunately, returned & bookmarked visitors will most probably never click on a banner ad, and this lowers your CTR. But if you are using Free offers and CPM & targetted ads ads, they may be worth something.

$0.02

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Old 11-26-2000, 10:39 AM   #5
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I'm not trying to hassle you, or anything. I was trying to point out that I would have guessed your theory from looking at your page's design.

Do you think that the ad targeting on DrudgeReport and ESPN is adequate? I have a feeling that your level of sophistication probably prevents you from clicking on most ads. If you've been on the internet for a while, or rely on it for your income, you tend to know what's available and where to find it.

If I need to find something, I know I can find it at google. So I go there immediately. Raw users, who are new at the internet, wouldn't think to go to www.google.com to find out about their favourite topic. They surf blindly, are redirected to CHTF , and find a link to what they were looking for there. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/wink.gif

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Old 11-26-2000, 10:42 AM   #6
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ZMan:

The sad part is that CPM revenues have dropped so much. If they continue to drop, forums using them for income will have to do some scrambling to meet their overhead.

Of course, I'm hoping for a CPM bounce, where the entire internet industry proclaims a renaissance of CPM, and rates soar...

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Old 11-26-2000, 10:44 AM   #7
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My new site coming out in Feb 2001(got ALOT of php/MySQL to do) will not be able to survive without bookmarkers. I want people(webmasters) to come back every week. My partners will also want bookmarkers to come back.

I think bookmarkers are more prone to click around your site. If they can't surf your entire site in one sitting then hopefully they come back to read the rest of it later. Hopefully on a later visit they find that item that you are selling that they are looking to buy.

We have a poster up at work: It costs 6X as much money to aquire a new customer as it does to get an existing customer to come back. A satisfied customer will do repeat business with you 80% of the time(VERY important if you sell multiple products). An unsatisfied customer will tell 8-10 people on average.

So....I think bookmarkers who are SATISFIED with your product are very important. Of course if you only sell one product and never update it, then bookmarkers aren't too important. In that case you'd want to get the sale right away.


Ask Amazon.com if bookmarkers are important or not????
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Old 11-26-2000, 10:48 AM   #8
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I'd guess that Amazon would say that paying 5-15% affiliate fees for acquiring a new customer is the key to whatever popularity they have. Businesses are usually overjoyed to have such low marketing costs.

Of course, they're losing money hand over fist...

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Old 11-26-2000, 10:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Convince me I'm wrong
Generally no argument from me.

If you're trying to sell something, adding interesting + amusing bookmarkable content as opposed to simply explaining the product well, is a good way to sell less.

I wrote this in my e-book, and received some criticism from a few "experts" who have banner-supported sites. But, not one person with a successful sales site, even lifted an eyebrow.

Of you're not selling something, maximizing earnings per visitor is the only way to be *sure* it's cost-effective to promote/advertise. The point being that you can easily test + measure how much you earn per visitor.

I know that some people can get people to come back a zillion times and hence show a person a zillion banner impressions. But I freely admit that I am not skilled enough to rely on this, and wouldn't know how to predict average repeat visits. There are sites that do well with high repeat visits (like this BBS), but I think it's fair to say they are the exception rather than the rule.

99% of sites of sites I visit, I never come back to. I find the info I need, and leave. If they don't make money from me on that visit, they never do.

Finally one last thing - if you sell multiple products, except if you have thousand of products, you don't need repeat visits to sell them all. In fact, it would seem to me, that every sales-site would want at least 2 products: a lead one + a back end.

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Old 11-26-2000, 10:53 AM   #10
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This is going to be the most useful thread of the year...

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Old 11-26-2000, 10:54 AM   #11
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Ok, Amazon was a bad example since they lose alot of money http://geekvillage.com/ubb/eek.gif

Maybe Ebay is a better example of the importance of bookmarkers.
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Old 11-26-2000, 10:59 AM   #12
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I have a feeling that we've all carved out our own little niche, and look at the internet from that viewpoint. Sunil sells stuff, and has evolved a sales-based philosophy, Searchtraffic's site is the mother of all referral sites. My mainstream sites are webmaster- and music oriented, but I also spend a lot of time finding new britney spears pictures to send 15 year old boys to Searchtraffic's site.

I guess we have to consider the web as a whole, which is kind of hard when you've focused so much on your own site(s). It's tough to know what works generally, when you've spent so much time and effort on your own site(s).

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Old 11-26-2000, 11:02 AM   #13
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Ok, here's a real world example.

Take a look at http://www.flamingoworld.com This is a website(nothing fancy IMO) ran by ONE lady. She says bookmarkers come back to her site up to 5 times a day.

Are they important to her? Well the fact that she makes 7 figures a year(yes that MILLION(s) boys and girls) goes to show how bookmarkers can be important to certain site types.

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Old 11-26-2000, 11:15 AM   #14
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JakeJeck:

Your point is well taken, but it's tough (and perhaps pointless) arguing generalities by using specific examples. You showed a site that made 7 figures, primarily by repeat traffic. I could show you a site that made 7 dollars, primarily by repeat traffic.

Some sites are made by bookmarkers, some aren't. Some sites make most of their income from the first visit, some don't. What I think we're discussing is the statistical distribution of these behaviours. Can we spot a trend or pattern by looking at our own site, or by a single other site? I don't think so.

Not that I'm disagreeing with anyone in this thread. It's very informative. I'm just hesitant to establish a conclusion about such a broad subject, without seeing some broadly-based stats.



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Old 11-26-2000, 11:59 AM   #15
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I do think repeat visitors are very important for ad-supported sites, for a couple of reasons:

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.

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.

If you're not supporting yourself with ads and not seeking user-generated content (message boards, etc), they're likely not so valuable.
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