Which is the most important domaining metric?

What's the most important traffic metric?

Most people would answer this question with a smirk on their face and that the obvious answer is “revenue”. Although revenue is vitally important to any business, I would like to say that when it comes to domain traffic monetisation it is not THE most important.

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The problem with revenue is that it’s a very one-dimensional number that doesn’t tell you how your domain traffic is actually performing. If you only pay attention to the revenue, then it is very likely to be buffeted by traffic volume and this will distort your perception of performance.

Some people may leap to Earnings-Per-Click (EPC) and Click-Through-Rate (CTR) as being the most important metrics…..but they would also be wrong.

EPC is a representation of advertiser demand and CTR represents user engagement. The problem with both these numbers is they are dependent upon how a click is counted….and this varies between every different monetisation provider in the world!

You then have Revenue-Per-Thousand visitors (RPM). The definition of this metric is revenue / visitors x 1000. Although this is a better number that incorporates both revenue and views the question that immediately comes to mind is, “Who’s version of a view?”

Due to lack of standards in the domain industry there isn’t a single “view” definition that has been adopted by everyone. This means that I can claim to payout the highest RPMs simply by discounting back the number of views I count…..which makes RPM a bit of a meaningless metric when you’re trying to compare one company versus another.

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Saturday Musings – Achieving a Breakthrough

Achieve your breakthrough - attend Namescon!

I had a really good night last night. At 3am in the morning I was doing some development (yes….I am one of those founders that still does programming) and I’d finally wrangled a report to display exactly what I wanted it to show. Sounds pretty boring but trust me when I say that it was nothing short of euphoric!

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Programming is one of those strange disciplines where often a huge amount of work goes into something with nothing to show for the effort. Suddenly, at the end of it all a real breakthrough is achieved as the myriad of bits and pieces suddenly come together to make something beautiful.

It’s like an artist that starts painting a masterpiece from the edges and slowly works towards the centre. No one knows what he has in his mind until the finished result is hung on the wall but once it’s up everyone smiles and sees the brilliance of it.....so I thought!

So the next day I proudly showed my wife and daughters my programming Picasso. “Hey look at this report and what these buttons can do,” I proudly announced.

I don’t even think the ongoing conversation missed a beat as they glanced at my phone, smiled politely and continued on. That’s the thing about brilliance…..not many people see it as amazing, let alone as a monumental breakthrough.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to transport the current generation back in time to using DOS and a pager. None of this “user interface” stuff that takes forever to develop….let them feel the power that comes from remembering that “format c:” is probably a bad idea.

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Running a Proper Domain Test

Are you getting the most from your traffic?

I’ve been in the business of managing domain traffic for nearly two decades, the last of which has been as one of the co-founders of ParkLogic. In this article I will share with you how a proper analytic traffic test should be constructed and the pitfalls that so many people fall into….which ultimately robs them of increased revenues.

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Let’s imagine you have a reasonable amount of traffic revenue at your current monetisation partner. By reasonable I mean at least $250 per day. For those of you that think this is impossibly high then you can stop reading hear and continue to believe that domain traffic monetisation is dead. Everyone else can keep on reading.

Let me say from the outset that if you have left your domains with the same parking company for more than a few months then I can almost guarantee that you’re leaving money on the table. For a start, we see that around 60% of all domains achieve greater results from non-Google sources.

In constructing a test, you need to have around $100/day of revenue (based on the previous month’s stats) from a couple hundred domains. Some domains should be doing a few dollars per day, while others should still have traffic but do no revenue. This will provide a good statistical sample that will help verify whether the new monetisation partner is actually performing or not.

Any new partner worth working with should then ask for these numbers. If you think you’re being clever and not providing them by asking them to perform their “best” then all you’re actually doing is delaying the optimisation cycle. The new company will have no idea where to concentrate their resources unless they have the numbers.

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Why Domain Optimisation Never Stops

What to do when flights are delayed...

Once again I find myself in the Melbourne Qantas Club….it’s becoming like a second home for me which in many respects is a bit sad. I’ve just received word that my flight has been delayed by over ninety minutes…..which is not good.

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For those of you that are frequent travelers you will appreciate my angst as I instantly calculated whether I have enough time to get to my connect in Singapore. Since it’s the same terminal I may still just make it…..fingers crossed.

The helpful check-in lady suggested that I may have to stay in Singapore for the night but to not worry as Qantas will foot the bill for the accommodation. The fact that my room at the Park Hyatt at my ultimate destination would be sitting forlornly empty didn’t occur to her. This combined with the fact that I’d miss half the conference I was hoping to attend didn’t inspire me to have many smiles.

So what should I do? Get angry and yell at the world or just roll with the punches. When you’ve traveled a LOT you get used to these types of things and realise that there isn’t much point in getting angry at person number seven at the check-in counter. They’re just doing their job.

Now that I’m in the lounge one of the first things I did was check out the number of flights from Singapore to the Park Hyatt…..there were enough for me to begin to relax. I’m sure that some airline will be happy to take my money.

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Saturday Musings - Dealing With Bad Behaviour

Cutting through the emotional FOG is difficult.

Do you ever put up with people that just treat you badly? Maybe their work colleagues, friends or even family members. They seem to believe that they can treat you in whatever manner they like, while you have to obey a series of rules that they impose upon you.

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I had a situation like this and it was really perplexing how to first of all identify the bad behaviour and then take action to prevent it from happening in the future. Remember, you can never change the other person, but you can change your own behaviour in how you will relate to them into the future.

As a part of my research into how to deal with my own personal situation I read a great article that really helped me in identifying bad behaviour. In essence the article pointed out that when you feel confused in a personal situation that it’s often due to FOG (Fear, Obligation, Guilt).

Fear – the other person tries to level a degree of fear on your life. This could be fear of losing a client, job, a loved one or anything that will make you apprehensive.

Obligation – they will then explain in detail how you owe them or others and that you should alter your behaviour accordingly.

Guilt – making you feel guilty for not doing something they want you to do is a great weapon in their arsenal. They will often say things like, “How do you think this will impact your children?” See this for what it is, guilt.

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