Create Conversion - Traffic Conversion and Growth Discussed
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traffic purchased on

In an ongoing effort to explore new ways of buying traffic, we setup an account to purchase traffic from

Here are the numbers, facts, and conclusions:
Total # of Billable Clicks: 176
Total Cost $123.20
average cpc is $0.70

Grade “A” for authenticity of traffic
Grade “D” for quality of traffic in terms of lead generation

We advertised for our Conversion, ROI, search term and referrer reporting capabilities
“Online Advertising”  was good for 23 clicks for $16.10
“Internet advertising” was good for 24 clicks for $16.80

In total 176 clicks all of which appears to have been real and referred from the domain “” so while the traffic was real, and we give an A for that, the results are disappointing because there was no conversion activity, and so the D grade.
Of the 176 people that came to our site, exactly one person looked at our free trial signup page. Unfortunately, they didn’t even signup.
Of course one could argue, as would if we wrote to them, that the problem is ours, because our advertisements for one reason or another, did not reach the correct people.
We were very careful to be very specific in our advertisement text, in other words we described exactly what we did in our ads.
Therefore, we have to conclude that is a poor source for purchasing advertising for

Posted in Uncategorized.

Signed up for twittercounter

As a test, in an effort to gain visitors to our twitter feed, with the ultimate goal of converting twitter followers to subscribers, we signed up to try out the service of twittercounter.

twittercounter is not affiliated to twitter as far as we can tell

They sent us an email, using our public twitter email, based on our twitter traffic activity

They offer a free twitter stats service

What we purchased from them was “15,000 views” for $65.00

As far as we can tell, what that means is that we will be a “featured user” and displayed in the pages / feeds of the free statistic reports that are seen by people using their app.

The first step was to sign-in and activate our account. When setting up our campaign, we were given the option to geo-target our views. We can choose the countries where we are viewed. Because we know from experience that we don’t get clients from China, most likely because they have no way of paying us, we don’t want to “advertise” to people in China.

Using the geo-targeting feature reduces your purchased views by 50% – in other words we have now purchased 7,500 views for $65.

This works out to a cost-per-acquisition of approx. $0.008 or CPM (cost per thousand) of $8.6 per thousand impressions

This seems like a pretty high CPM relative to industry and blog standards, but we’ll wait to see what happens. It’s hard to under estimate the value of quality-targeted traffic.

Unfortunately we will not be able to collect data any time soon, because when we logged in today, 27 October 2010, to activate our campaign, we were told: ”

“Featured user queue: We have a limited amount of page impressions, so you have to wait for other featured users to finish their campaigns. We estimate that your campaign will be activated on 26 November 2010″

Therefore we’ll have to wait and post again once we have some data to work with.

At the moment our twitter feed, which is located here:!/Opentracker and has 58 followers.

Posted in Uncategorized.

A drop in conversion – how to react

October 2010. We recently put a new version of our website online.
Numbers: The result was a drop in conversions.

On an average day we receive between 20 and 30 conversions. For Opentracker, a conversion is when somebody signs up for a free trial by creating an account.
We thought nothing in the sign-up process had changed, however in the week that followed, we saw sign-ups decrease dramatically.

From 25 sign-ups per day, we were now receiving less than 10 per day, a major cause for concern.

First-time visitors per day was increasing from approx. 800 per day to 1000, but not new sign-ups. We looked at 2 variables:

1. the number of pageviews per visitor and
2. clickstreams leading to conversion activity

We learned that the number of what we call “s.e.” Single Event visits – meaning single click visits, had increased. People were coming to our site, looking for a few seconds and leaving.

We started looking at typical clickstreams of visitors who converted; at the most popular pages viewed prior to signing up.
Our article database is located here.
Our articles are our main source of organic traffic and potential leads.

Conclusion: our new pages had not been designed in a way to make people aware of our free demo product.
We created a series of banners or “advertisements” on our own site, internal links leading to three important places:

1. more articles on our site
2. “create free trial”
3. “check out live demo

What we learned:
1. Look what your top 5 incoming search terms are and where those people land. Focus here
2. Check, check, and double-check the technical aspects of conversion processes. We also found errors in our sign-up process
3. Pay close attention to the number of single-event visits. Do people come into the site and then click away (bounce)? If so, that is probably because your navigation has changed
4. Use a CMS with a low barrier to entry. We are using drupal because the whole team can have access and make changes quickly and independently

In conclusion: after we tweaked the site for a few days, the conversion numbers went back up, and are now improving past their original levels, which was our original goal. By remaining calm and combing through clickstreams to identify typical conversion behavior we were able to improve the numbers within a few days.

Posted in Clickstream leading to conversion activity, Drop in conversion, Increasing Traffic, New site online, Single-event visits.

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Footprint Live Analytics picks up where Google Analytics drops the ball

Footprint Live Analytics, located at is a free new tool that completes the partial picture of website activity provided by Google Analytics. It’s presented as a companion to Google Analytics, which is also free.

While Google Analytics has captured a lot of the world’s imagination, it does have the major drawback of not being real-time. An additional limitation is that Google, for whatever reason, does not allow you to drill-down to individual visitor clickstreams.

Enter Footprint, a free new product which addresses both these issues:
1. Footprint shows all website traffic in real-time
2. you can drill down to see the clickpath of any individual visitor

Footprint is basically a Google Analytics upgrade. Footprint allows you to see, in real-time, who is surfing on your website. It also allows you to drill-down to that individual and see where they came from, their search term, referrer, company, etc. The information is based on IP addresses, and so the visitors remain anonymous, and geographical location is based on registered IP ownership.

Like this article? Digg it!

Posted in PPC Campaigns, Traffic Quality.

Best Practice: how-to pimp your PPC campaigns – pt. 1

Fine-tune your google adwords, Bing, and Yahoo! PPC advertising campaigns as often as possible. Keep on top of your campaigns and get the most bang for your buck.

Best practice: every day, take ten minutes to scan through a list of your visitors by search term. What is visitors by search term? This is a website visitors report that shows you your visitors listed by the search terms they used to locate your site.

Does anything catch your eye? For example, which visitors were quality traffic? “Quality traffic” takes the time to click through your site. See which search terms are bringing you quality traffic. Bid higher on these terms if necessary.

While you are looking at your traffic statistics, you should have your PPC campaign dashboards open at the same time. Change things as you go along.

For example, we started a new PPC campaign to advertise our new website Conversion Reporting & ROI tool. We noticed after 12 hours that we were getting a lot of traffic on “conversion rate” and “conversion rates”. None of this traffic was “quality” – they all went away after one pageview. What we are providing is “website conversion rates”. So we adjusted our campaigns with this observation by adding the two phrases bringing us poor quality traffic to our negative keywords list.

Posted in PPC Campaigns, Traffic Quality, google adwords.

Two years in – One report out. Conversion Reporting and ROI released

By Popular Demand – based on user feedback over the past years, Opentracker has developed Conversion Reporting.

This means that you can see the results of all your advertising and PPC campaigns in one place. In a celebration of consumer choice you no longer have to rely on the companies that sell you traffic, to tell you how much traffic you are getting.

Conversion Reporting is a report that shows you all of your traffic sources in a single report. All incoming traffic sources are automatically recorded.

The report allows you to see all traffic sources that led to a conversion on any defined goal. You can also see ROI per traffic source.

Because Opentracker is a clickstream analytics system you can also see the complete clickstreams of all any visitors who reached any goal.

Bottom line: this is an independent 3rd-party reporting system that allows you to keep track of all your online advertising efforts.

Posted in Conversion Reporting / ROI, PPC Campaigns.

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Bing / Yahoo! Merger & PPC: Performance, Traffic Conversion and ROI.

Bing and Yahoo! have merged. That is the big news. What does that mean in “real” terms? By “real” terms we mean things we can measure as opposed to how we feel about it.

As a company Opentracker is affected by this merge in two different ways.

1. The ROI / Conversion Reporting system that we have in beta at the moment. We generated a report per Source Search Engine today and noticed that our numbers did not correspond with what we were seeing in the Yahoo! and Bing Adcenter reporting systems. A bit of research revealed that traffic we purchased through a campaign managed in Yahoo! was coming in through Bing. Technically what this means is that a visitor coming in with a customized destination url containing the tag “yahoo” was brought to us through

What is perhaps most interesting about this is that we ran to the drawing board! In the future all search engines will continue buying all other search engines, changing names, and (re)distributing traffic. We had to failsafe our system to cope with continuous change. We decided to engineer a system which will tell you which clicks came from which campaign no matter how the visitors came to you. In other words: “follow the money” back to where you spent it. More to follow on this subject as we head from beta into production.

2. Our own PPC campaigns that we manage for the purpose of bringing traffic into Opentracker
The data here is still being collected. The question on the information superhighway is: how does Bing / Yahoo! traffic convert compared to almighty Google? The first murmurings seem to be saying that traffic from Bing is delivering higher conversions, although we haven’t seen any numbers. The only numbers we have are from an Opentracker dataset that shows a drop in organic traffic referred from Bing as compared with LIVE MSN Search. The example site was receiving close to 1700 clicks in the month of May 2009 from organic and and received 400 in the month of June 2009 from Bing. What does this tell us? That site ranking in Bing has changed from what it was in LIVE. A review of current blogger and industry sites on the subject reveals…nothing. The inner-workings of the Bing search algorithm are still a secret.

We added an PPC campaign to the Bing adcenter a few days after it went live. There were some administrative issues, and on top of that our listings did not seem to be appearing. We spoke with an extremely friendly Live / Bing technician on the phone who was unable to figure it out either. All we could come up with was to use the “update all bids for best position” feature, which does what you can imagine – sets bids for our keywords in Bing at upwards of $50 per click. Bottom line is that now, after 4+ months, our listings have started appearing in Bing results. In other words, have patience. We do not have conversion data for our site yet. When we do, we will write it up as an article.

What we did find very helpful inside the Bing campaign management reporting system was that you can see how much traffic is occurring across the Bing network in terms of impressions for any keyword. And so we were able to research and understand why some results were lower than expected, because the traffic simply isn’t there.

3. Conclusion: The merger itself.

Regarding the merger itself, here are the two most informative / explanatory quotes we could find on the subject:

“Microsoft’s Bing will be the exclusive algorithmic search and paid search platform for Yahoo! sites.”

“Bing will now power search on Yahoo! and Yahoo!’s salesforce will sell the premium (non-self service) search advertising for Yahoo!/Bing. Bing also gets access to Yahoo!’s core search technology and can, at its option, leverage that to help create more relevant results.”

Posted in Bing, Conversion Reporting / ROI, PPC Campaigns.

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managing PPC campaigns from the trenches

Setting up, managing, choosing where and how to advertise. Which markets and vendors to use? Because we are a tracking and statistics company ourselves this is a very important area for us to develop and maintain expertise.

  1. For starters we need to be able to advise our clients, and to build tools that help everybody keep track of their online advertising efforts.
  2. We also need to promote the services of opentracker itself.
  3. Thirdly, we have been working on a Conversion Reporting tool for a few years now. We are using the tool, in beta now, to evaluate our own efforts. This is known as eating your own dog food in the industry, which doesn’t really appeal to us (the metaphor), maybe eating the porridge  that you cook for your kids in the morning would be a better metaphor, although our clients are not our kids. Anyway we’ve been using many systems to purchase traffic over the years, which have all been bought out.

To name a few:  kanoodle, industry brains, looksmart, overture , 7search, aha, enhance, fastclick, miva/ e-spotting/ findwhat, sprinks, xuppa. At the moment we’re running with the big three; google, yahoo, & MSN/bing.

So this is an informal introduction to this blog where we intend to share what we have learned in postings that haven’t been proof-read ;)

for an example of a more formal article on online advertising strategies please follow this link;

Posted in PPC Campaigns, Traffic Quality.

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Create conversion and generate traffic growth

The purpose of is to publish observations on the subject of how to create conversion and generate traffic growth.  This site is maintained by the technical team at We’ve been building and engineering traffic analysis since 2001. Over the past 8 years we’ve realized that there is a lot of goal-oriented behavior on the internet. The tools we build for opentracker are designed to allow webmasters to see the results of their efforts to generate traffic to their sites.

While we build these tools and communicate with webmasters around the world, we receive a lot of feedback, look at a lot of statistics and datasets, and run a lot of tests. We also maintain multiple SEO PPC campaigns for the website. It is our goal to record these observations here for the benefit of whomever is interested.

Because there are plenty of blogs and websites on this subject, we will do our best to use real numbers and data here, so that we are presenting case studies, not just adding editorial opinions.

Posted in Conversion Reporting / ROI.

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