Online Advertising Answers: October 2021


In the October edition of Online Advertising Answers I look at two sides of the same coin – what can you get from Google Ads for $5 and how much will 100k page views earn you from AdSense. Also, I give top-level advice to a charity working setting up a brand new charity Twitter account for the first time.

As always – get in touch to get answers to your digital marketing questions and maybe you’ll see yourself featured here next month!

Good times. Let’s dig in.

[Have a question about digital marketing? Ask me on Quora or email me at justin@theonlineadvertisingguide.com]

 

This month’s questions are:

[Click these links to skip down to the question]

 

Online Advertising Answers: October 2021

 


 

Q: “What can you achieve with a 5$ a day budget using Google Ads? (Build a list, get more sales, etc.)?

&

A: “Hi Bogdan,

There are many ways to look at this question and the answer is, of course, that how an ad campaign really depends on what you are advertising, how well your campaign performs, and where you are based.

For example, a mature campaign that you have optimised may spend $5 a day really efficiently so could get you a lot for your money.

A brand new campaign spending $5 per day is unlikely to get anywhere as you need to run traffic through Google Ads in order to train its algorithm. At this low level of spend, it will take a very long time to work out what you want.

Having said that there are ways to estimate what you would get from $5 (and I hate the answer “it depends”) so let’s go through a few of those and make some best guesses.

 

Buying Clicks

CPC Formula or Cost Per Click EquationClick to enlarge

CPC = Amount Spent ÷ Clicks

 

The average CPC for Google ads is between $1–$2 meaning that you would expect between 3–5 clicks per day from $5 per day.

I have personally seen CPCs (this year) between $0.30 and $25 so that would mean the overall range of clicks you could expect is 0–17.

Note: for keywords that have a CPC of $25, your ad simply would not serve as it’s not bidding enough.

So you should expect 3–5 clicks per day, but you could get 0, or you could get as many as 17.

Taking that up to monthly (eg multiplying the above by 30):

Low Estimate: 0
Expected: 90–150 clicks
High Estimate: 510 clicks

[If you want to speculate more about the results of different CPCs, you can use this calculator]

Buying Conversions

CPA Equation (or Cost Per Acquisition Equation)Click to enlarge

CPA = Amount Spent ÷ Conversions

 

When buying conversions (conversions are sales, form completions etc – any action after a click), you should run a Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) campaign.

Conversion Rates are typically around 5% which means 5% of your clicks will convert. We can take the results from our CPC estimates to model this. I’ll also use a range of Conversion rates rather than just the average – of 1% for bad campaigns, and 15% for great campaigns.

Note: if you run a CPC campaign you’ll likely get more clicks but fewer conversions, while if you run a CPA campaign you’ll get fewer clicks but more conversions. This is why I’m providing a range rather than absolute values as there are too many variables to make any exact estimate work.

We’ll skip straight to monthly results as daily will be too small to register. Also, CPA campaigns track conversions that don’t happen immediately so a daily tally wouldn’t make sense:

Lowest Estimate: 0 (never discount the possibility of 0!)
Bad Campaign Estimate: 60–300 clicks x 1% conversion rate = 1–3 conversations
Expected: 60–300 clicks x 5% conversion rate = 3–15 conversions
Good Campaign Estimate: 510 clicks x 5% conversion rate =26 conversions
*Great* Campaign Estimate: 510 clicks x 15% conversion rate = 72 conversions

So you would expect somewhere between 3–15 conversions. Less than 3 is a bad campaign, from 15–26 is a good campaign.

An “in your wildest dreams” campaign would see up to 72 conversions, but honestly, I wouldn’t expect that unless you really know what you’re doing, and/or the thing you are selling is really cheap.

[If you want to investigate the effects of different levels of conversion rates use this calculator]

 

Buying Leads

CPL or Cost Per Lead EquationClick to enlarge

CPL = Amount Spent ÷ Leads

If you are running a Cost Per Lead (CPL) campaign then logic would dictate that you should see the same results as a CPA campaign. This is because a lead is essentially a type of conversion.

However, in reality, I have seen CPL rates come in at roughly the same levels as CPC rates from Google Ads (ie $0.30-$25), so my predictions for it would be roughly the same. The difference is that when buying clicks if you are below the CPC other advertisers are paying then your ad simply won’t get a look in. With CPL campaigns Google will keep showing your ads hoping the average CPL will work out lower.

In a practical sense, that means if the average CPC is $25 that means 0 clicks for a $5 campaign. But if the average CPL is $25 that means one lead every 5 days for a $5 per day campaign.

So looking at this monthly again (eg $150 budget)

Low Estimate: 6 leads
High Estimate: 500 leads

[To speculate more about the results of different CPLs, you can use this calculator]

 

Target ROAS

Return On Ad Spend Equation or ROAS FormulaClick to enlarge

ROAS = Amount Gained From Ads ÷ Amount Spend on Ads

 

ROAS stands for Return on Ad Spend and is the amount you get back in revenue from your advertising. The average ROAS is 2.87 (meaning for every dollar you spend you would get $2.87 back).

However, you can target any ROAS. The general wisdom is that a ROAS of between 2–4 is good. I would like to add that I have seen them go as high as 20 though!

Note: ROAS calculates revenue, not profit so you would need to subtract the amount you paid for the ads as well as any other costs to know how much your ads were truly earning you.

Looking at this daily you could model the following:

Low Estimate (ROAS of 2): $10 revenue
Average Estimate (ROAS of 2.87): $14.35 revenue
High Estimate (ROAS of 4): $20 revenue
Highest Estimate (ROAS of 20): $100 revenue

And monthly:

Low Estimate (ROAS of 2): $300 revenue
Average Estimate (ROAS of 2.87): $627.18 revenue
High Estimate (ROAS of 4): $600 revenue
Highest Estimate (ROAS of 20): $3000 revenue

[To investigate different levels of ROAS, use this calculator]

 

In Conclusion

$5 per day is a very small ad spend. It is not unlikely that you will gain nothing from it, either because you are priced out of the market or because your ads aren’t running enough to get Google to optimise them.

Assuming you pass this most basic barrier, you could reasonably expect:

For CPC campaigns: 3–5 clicks per day
For CPL campaigns: 0–17 leads per day
For Target ROAS campaigns: $14.35 revenue per day
or for CPA campaigns: 3–15 conversions per month.

If you are an incredibly optimistic person and great at running campaigns, at the absolute best you could expect from your $5 per day:

For CPC campaigns: 17 clicks per day
For CPL campaigns: 17 leads per day
For Target ROAS campaigns: $100 revenue per day
or for CPA campaigns: 72 conversions per month.

Again, please note that this is very unlikely – but also that stranger things have happened!

I hope this helps,
Justin

 

[This answer was written for Quora]

 

 

Q: “I’m working for a local education-ish charity and they’ve asked me to start a Twitter account for them on the side of everything else I do.

I’ve never used Twitter before. How much should I tweet? I’ve heard the more the better, is this true?

&

A: “Hi Kate,

Twitter can be a great way to interact with your supporters, but you’ll probably get very little out of it directly – at least not to begin with. It sounds like you’ve got a lot on already, so I wouldn’t go too crazy about it.

Just work slowly and steadily to build an audience. As it’s a local charity you’ll want to stick to your brand guidelines (find them if you haven’t got them already) and make sure you give a lot more than you ask. This means don’t constantly fundraise or ask people to sign up to stuff – provide interesting stuff and value at least 80% of the time.

The best way to learn how to be good at Twitter for your specific account is by doing – over time you’ll come to understand your audience and what works. Before you start though, you should spend a bit of time looking at similar accounts and writing down what you like and don’t like about them. Decide what you want from your Twitter account in advance.

It’s not a great platform for driving people to your website, but if you want to connect with your supporters it can be really useful. You can also use it for service announcements, and branding, as well as campaigning (if that’s what your charity does).

If you know what you want in advance it will make your life a lot easier. As you’re new to the platform, here are some basic starter tips:

– Use a generic company email address to sign up (not your own email address) so that you can pass on the account if you leave the charity.

– Fill out every field in the profile, and make sure you’ve got a good quality image for your logo and header.

– One tweet every day or two would probably be plenty for this account (although you can do more if you like).

– Don’t tweet more than about 8 times per day max, and try not to tweet more than once per hour. This is for your sanity more than anything. Lots of people commit to a very heavy social media schedule to start with, get overwhelmed and then quit. Don’t plan more than you are actually capable of committing to.

– Don’t give up! Make sure you tweet at least a couple of times per week, a dead Twitter account will not attract new followers!

– Try to tweet when your followers are online. I worked for an education charity once, and their followers (mostly teachers) were usually on from 9am-5pm so it may be the same for you. Tweets at lunchtime and just after school ended performed best – gotta catch teachers on their breaks! Regardless, you should test different types of tweets at different times of day until you get a feel for what works best when.

– To start with you will be essentially talking to yourself. Don’t let this put you off posting – no one will follow you if you’ve never tweeted anything. Don’t tweet “How is everyone today?” or conversational questions like that though when you have no followers as it’s unlikely people will answer.

– Questions are good for engagement in general though – if they are interesting and you’ve already built up enough goodwill that people will answer you.

– Remember Twitter is entirely public, so try to make all of your tweets make sense to everyone, not just your target audience (even though most likely only your followers will ever see them). Unless of course, you are just talking directly to one person.

– Reply to any tweets directed at you (or comments) in a timely fashion.

– People can see the tweets you press like on (the little heart symbol). Lot’s of people think it’s private, but it’s not.

– Retweets are the currency of Twitter. Everyone on there wants to know that someone is listening/cares so your followers will love it when you retweet them (you’ll love it when they retweet you too!). The best way to get people to like you on Twitter is to retweet stuff, so do it often (these do count towards your 8 per day max btw).

– Never retweet anything even vaguely political. You are representing your brand, not yourself. If there is some political thing you want to jump on, talk to your boss about it first and make sure it is fully signed off on.

Direct Messaging on Twitter is generally not great. I wouldn’t recommend using it, and you should know that you will probably just get spam through it.

– Make sure your grammar and spelling are correct before tweeting, or people might get hung up on that rather on what you mean to say.

– Picture tweets are much more popular than tweets without pictures so store up some images to use on the regular (doesn’t have to be every tweet though). Videos too.

– Making up a new hashtag works for events, but at almost no other time – the rest of the time it’s just a way to make your tweet searchable.

– You don’t really need to use any hashtags these days, to be honest as Twitter’s algorithm is so good at categorising Tweets. However, if you really want to then only use one or two.

– You can find stats about your account if you go to analytics.twitter.com. Use these to find your best tweets and worst tweets – and then emulate the best ones and don’t repeat the worst ones!

– There are a lot of new features on Twitter right now (Twitter Spaces, Revue, Super Follow). Only invest time and energy in them if you are sure you’re going to continue to do so! I wouldn’t recommend jumping right in when you’re starting out, but if one of them piques your interest find a best practice guide by Googling and give it a go. But again – only if you’re ready to commit the extra time that it will need from you.

– Only make a thread (a chain of tweets) if it’s actually interesting and worth multiple tweets. They can be great for engagement, but a boring thread will probably lose you followers.

– Interact with accounts that interest you. Reply to their tweets and talk to them when appropriate. It’s social media!

– Don’t be afraid to use emojis or gifs – but also don’t overdo it.

– Get a social media scheduler (Buffer, Hootsuite or Statusbrew are all good). This will make it much easier for you to check on people who have tweeted to you, about you and what you have tweeted. You can also schedule tweets for the future which really takes the pressure off. There are free tiers for most social media schedulers and charities usually don’t want to spend money so just use that to start with (you will likely be limited to one per day).

– Do a mix of live-tweeting and scheduled tweets. Scheduled tweets take the pressure off, but reacting live to something is much more interesting. If you have an event, tweet about it as it happens.

– Make sure you know who will cover you when you’re sick or on holiday. Social media never stops, but you have to sometimes! Plan ahead and make sure whoever it is can manage alone. Burnout is all too common for social media managers so you need backup.

– Make a process for when bad things happen (which they do on social). You need to know how to respond to trolls and rude people in advance so you can take the emotion out of it. You also need to know what will happen in an emergency – for example, someone accuses one of your staff of something or there is a negative news story about your charity. Who will you talk to about it in your organisation? Who will sign off what you write and how you respond?

Lastly and most importantly – understand that Twitter itself just wants to entertain people on Twitter. It does this by letting its algorithms judge your tweets. If people like, reply, retweet, or click on your tweet (ie, people engage with your tweet) then it will probably be shown to more people. If you tweet about something and it gets lots of engagement, then it will be shown to lots more people.

If you do have a particularly popular tweet then make sure your next tweet is on the same topic. This is because your popular tweet has told Twitter that you are interesting on that topic so it will likely immediately show your next tweet to people who like that topic. If you change the topic, you’ll lose momentum. It’s a sort of snowball effect.

I hope this helps,

Justin

[This question was emailed in and published with permission]

 

 


 

Q: “How much money I will make from Google AdSense With 100,000 page views on my blog?

&

A: “Hi Aamir,

After running polls and reading hundreds of blog posts, comments, and forum posts on what people I can say with some confidence that AdSense pays out about $10 (USD) Page RPM on average.

RPM stands for Revenue Per Thousand, so Page RPM is the amount you get paid every 1,000 page views. This $10 figure is incredibly handy because it means that you effectively get paid about 1 cent per page view.

Therefore your 100,000 page views will get you about $1,000 (again this is in USD – so if you’re not in the USA translate this into your own currency).

It should be noted that the amount you earn from AdSense varies greatly depending on factors such as what your blog is about, where it’s based, how high quality it is etc.

From the last poll I ran it looks like around 35% actually earn under $5 Page RPM, while 25% earn over $15.

 

How much can a website earn from ads v2

 

So if you are in the top 25% your earnings go up to $1,500+ from that 100k page views, while if you are in the bottom 35% you are looking at under $500.

If you want to give yourself a fighting chance to be in that top 25%, there are a few easy things you can do:

  1. Make sure your blog looks great and works perfectly. People don’t trust slow or broken sites, and if they don’t trust your blog they won’t click on ads.
  2.  Block ads from sensitive categories. Google AdSense will tell you not to do this – but the thing you should prize above all else if your users. If there are types of ads in the sensitive categories that will annoy your users then block them. A high quality and loyal user base will earn you much more than a few more low-quality ads being in the mix.To do this go to the left-hand side menu in AdSense and click on“Blocking Controls” then “All Sites” (or a specific site if you want). Then on the tabs on the page, choose “Sensitive categories”, and switch off all the ones you don’t feel users to your site will like.
  3. The 300×250 ad unit is the best performing ad unit. Make sure you have one on every page – as well as a 728×90 (or a 970×250 even) at the top, as well as a 300×600 down the side. This ad setup will maximise your revenue.
  4. 3–5 ads per page is the absolute maximum you should have. People are only going to click on one ad at most after all, so more ads does not equal more money.
  5. Place ads above the fold. This means that they should be visible when a webpage first loads. Ads that are above the fold are interacted with at a much higher rate than those which aren’t. Ideally, your page layout should be something like this:

 

What is looks like: Above The Fold

 

I hope this helps,
Justin

 

[This answer originally appeared on Quora]

 


 

See you next month,

Justin