When I first launched Burbank.com and Lowell.com, I had 4 banner spots available to advertisers rotating on the bottom right hand side of nearly every page. There were between 8-12 banners in total, so each banner didn’t get a ton of impressions. I was able to sign on one great advertiser on Burbank.com a few months after launch, and I was psyched.
A few months in to their commitment, the advertiser told me they weren’t going to continue to advertise on the site. The first person I called was David Castello to ask him how I should respond. I expected a great rebuttal which would secure the advertiser for another six months, but I was wrong. David’s reply was something like, “wait, you’re offering rotating banners on the bottom right of your site and you’re surprised the advertiser isn’t going to renew? Treat them well and they’ll never leave. You need to give them better placement on the site.”
Well, I made a big change a few months ago, adding a row of six advertisements to the top of the home page, just below the banner, and the response has been terrific. The advertiser informed me that her company will continue to advertise, and I just signed another advertiser on Lowell.com for advertisements in several sections on the site. In addition, I’ve had many more advertising inquiries of late and I am close to signing a nice advertising deal on Lowell.com within the next couple of weeks.
Traffic continues to rise for both of my primary geographic domain names, and advertisers are getting even more value. I am treating them well and allowing them to advertise locally in a cost-effective way. It’s a win/win for all parties. Just like I do on my blog and now on my geodomain names, if you give your advertisers the best placement, they will continue to advertise and support your efforts.
As an aside, the chart below is something I am very proud of because it’s been a lot of work. The publicly reported traffic numbers for Burbank.com are several thousand visitors less than my statistics are showing (perhaps because they don’t record type-in visitors), but you get the idea. Every month I work hard to beat the prior month, and it’s beginning to pay off!