Treat Your Advertisers Well

11

BurbankWhen 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!

Stats

11 COMMENTS

  1. Congrats Elliot 🙂

    I take it BurbankLeader.com was the previous #1 website for the Burbank area until Burbank.com came along and destroyed them in June?

    Always great to hear domainers having success with development.

  2. David gave you great advice. By far your most valuable space in your front page, and above the fold. I’m glad to see your hard work on www,lowell.com and http://www.burbank.com is starting to pay off. In terms of tracking stats, we use Google Analytics and find it very accurate and they offer a wide range of reports that are very important, on the visitors coming to your sites.

  3. Good stuff Elliot – i’m also interested in your initial approach to the advertisers. Obviously the increase in monthly traffic is a good door opener now – but in the past when the sites were young and visitor numbers were low. Was your approach different (i know it’s a silly quesition) – but i’m interested in both strategies.

  4. All of my advertisers (except one) had inquired via the web form on the sites. I met one advertiser after a Twitter conversation.

    I use Google Analytics, which offers a treasure trove of information, and is especially useful when used in conjunction with Google’s Webmaster Tools.

    Keep in mind that I update the sites frequently – sometimes more than once daily, which is helping to drive traffic to the site.

    Burbank Leader is one market competitor, but the Daily News also has information. Most people in the area also read LA-area news as much or more than the local news. All of this is a start, but I am pleased because I know they have a decent amount of staff, and I am a one man show who is working just a few long hours a day on the site.

    I really need to find sales staff, but I think that this will be the next step – perhaps if/when I scale up and hire journalists, photographers, editors…etc. That’s a whole other story, and I am not ready to make the leap yet.

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