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Online marketing guide

Introduction

The internet has become an excellent marketing channel for many on and offline businesses. A simple and effective way to attract new customers to your business is to pay a search company to list your web site inside its search results when people search for words associated with your business. These "paid listings" are often a more efficient way to attract web visitors than tradition search engine listings which may be difficult to achieve and maintain. Two large internet companies that specialize in paid listings are Overture™ and Google™.

How paid listings work

Paid listings search engines generally work in the same way:
  1. Create a user account with the search engine
  2. Write a search engine listing to be displayed in seaches
  3. Choose which URL will be displayed when the listing is clicked
  4. Create a list of associated key words and phrases
  5. Decide how much money to bid to buy your clicks
  6. Provide the search engine with your billing information
  7. Regularly read the search engine billing reports
  8. Regularly update bids to ensure high placement

A simple example

Here is an example campaign created at Overture™:
  1. Rob created a user account at Overture™ for his plastic surgery business
  2. He wrote a search engine listing "Plastic Surgery Services in California"
  3. He chose www.1800beyourbest.org/?campaign=overture as the target URL
  4. He associated the search phrase "plastic surgery california" with this listing
  5. He decided to bid a maximum of $3 per click
  6. He provided credit card details to pay for his clicks
  7. He regularly checks his Overture™ and Site Stats™ reports
  8. He regularly checks that his bid is high enough for a top-3 listing
Now, if a web user seaches for "plastic surgery california" at any of the search engines that are affiliated with Overture™ (such as Yahoo™, MSN™, etc) his search listings will be displayed in a prominent position. If the user clicks on the listing, Rob will be charged up to $3 and the click will appear in his Overture™ billing reports and Site Stats™ Entry Pages reports. By using his Site Stats reports, Rob can see exactly how the web user browsed his web site after clicking on his paid listing, and measure the effectiveness of his online marketing campaign.

Measuring web traffic from paid listings

Both Overture™ and Google™ provide detailed billing reports showing the cost of your search terms, but they are unable to show you how your web users browse your web site after clicking on your paid listings. This is where Site Stats™ can help you measure your online marketing campaigns.

To measure your web traffic from paid listings, you should:

  1. Choose target URL's like www.yoursite.com/?campaign=overture
  2. View your Site Stats™ Entry Pages reports
  3. Click the ?campaign=overture page in the Entry Pages report
  4. View detailed page navigation paths from your custom entry page
  5. View your Site Stats™ Web Traffic Log reports
  6. Click the "Filter" button to list only traffic from paid listings
  7. Measure the effectiveness of your campaign according to web traffic quality
The special URL www.yoursite.com/?campaign=overture will direct the web user to your home page, but also provide Site Stats™ with the extra tracking information needed for your web traffic reports. For example, at Google™ you should use a URL like www.yoursite.com/?campaign=google so you can identify web traffic originating from Google™ AdWords™.

Measuring sales from paid listings

The Site Stats Enterprise service provides extra e-commerce reports to help you account for e-commerce revenue, especially from paid listings services such as Overture™ and Google™.

To measure your sales from paid listings, you should:

  1. Choose target URL's like www.yoursite.com/?campaign=overture
  2. Sign in at Site Stats
  3. Click "Settings"
  4. Enter your e-commerce page names, for example "thankyou.html"
  5. View your Campaign Entry Pages and Campaign Conversion Rate reports
Your e-commerce pages are web pages that are presented to your web users after they have conducted a commercial transaction on your web site. This may simply be providing you with their contact details, or ordering an item from your shop. The Campaign Entry Pages report lists all the custom pages (such as www.yoursite.com/?campaign=overture) that delivered commercial activity. This report enables you to account for your e-commerce revenue from your online marketing campaigns at paid listings search engines.

Next steps

To measure the true Return On Investment (ROI) from your online marketing campaigns, we suggest that you:
  1. Contact us with any questions you may have
  2. Sign up with Overture™ and create some paid listings
  3. Sign up with Google™ and create some paid listings
  4. Sign up with Site Stats™ Professional or Enterprise services
  5. Regularly check your Site Stats™ Entry Pages reports
  6. Regularly check your Overture™ and Google™ billing reports
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