Over the last few weeks I have gotten quite a few emails asking me how my other businesses are going due to the fact that my attention has been focused on my adbank.network project. If you haven’t had the chance to check it out my “long overdue update”- you can that here! Well, I thought that this would be a really great opportunity to shed some light on how we’ve managed to keep some of the other businesses going strong without a whole lot of involvement on my end. This blog post is going to be about the success of Content Refined which has scaled consistently over the last year and a half and is a solid business on its own.
Madeleine Taylor, the Co-Founder with me at Content Refined shared some useful hacks at a conference a few weeks ago, so in this blog post I want to go over those hacks with you and share some of the valuable lessons my team and I have learned about growing service businesses online.
The 4 hacks that we’re going to talk about are the following:
1- The Importance of building your teams properly and managing them effectively
2- The Importance of recruiting the RIGHT management team to run your business
3- The importance of proceduralizing your business to optimize output
4- The importance of collecting and creating data to prove the value of your product to your audience
If you do these 4 things consistently and effectively, your business will be Solid and Scalable
Back in November 2016, when we launched Content Refined, we started with 3 beta clients. One manager- which was Madeleine, one writer, and one VA. Our criteria for hiring our freelancers was:
1- Are they the cheapest rate I can find?
2- Do they have good reviews?
3- Have they done it before?
Our very first hire was a writer that we found on upwork for 10$ per article. We had our first client- they were a beta client . The very first article the writer wrote for us- she absolutely knocked it out of the park and we thought- wow this is going to be super easy! Client #2 – we used the same writer. This time it’s a train wreck. Madeleine had to rewrite the entire article herself. Actually, she had to submit 3 times before it was suitable for the client. At this point we’re wondering if this is just a one time fluke or if we had a real problem on our hands. Client # 3- This time we get the copy back and we’re a lot closer to what we had received for client #1. We were super stoked. Problem solved. UNTIL it was checked it for plagiarism and it scored almost 80% exact copy from another online article.
So what’s are our overall takeaways?
#1 Freelance contractors are all over the map. – Some are good, some are bad and some are criminal
#2 Doing this by trial and error is an error!!!
#3 We better put some systems in place or Content Refined isn’t going to last very long
And so that’s what we did and here’s what we came up with:
We created a system where we hired about 5 writers at a time, tested them out over several weeks and then fired the bottom of the talent pool. Now we kept doing this over and over again and put systems in place where we were culling the good from the bad at all times. So what was the result? The bottom 10% would ALWAYS get sifted out and that was our very first SOP. How to cull the talent so that we got consistency and quality from our freelancers. This is still an SOP we use with every hire! On a monthly basis, we let go of the bottom 10% of our performing freelancers. This is how you build and manage effective teams out of contractors who possess skills that are not unique to THEM. Don’t waste your time on flaky contractors- they are the worker bees of your company and they are replaceable. Building systems that will save you MANAGEMENT time is crucial to the success of your business or else you’re going to constantly get bogged down with managing people who are always going to have some sort of BS excuse as to why their stuff wasn’t submitted on time.
Takeaways from Hack #1:
So- At this point, we’ve got a nice system in place and we’re scaling up- but here comes our big problem #2- Madeleine’s time has now been extended to a point where the customer service is suffering. In other words- she’s pulling some really long hours and still not getting everything done. So what do we need to do? We need to hire our first Project Manager to help with clients. Unlike hiring a bunch of freelancers, this is the first permanent employee of Content Refined. Now you might be thinking that it was probably time to create SOP #2- but no, we didn’t. Instead of creating an SOP, we created an interview methodology for the things that we wanted to learn about our potential candidate so that we would feel comfortable working with them. Unlike the freelancer -who essentially works for the client, this hire works for us. They’re representing our brand and making big decisions on our behalf. The idea behind the methodology is that if you don’t get to know someone on a human level, especially when you’re working with remote teams, you’re not going to be able to make informed decisions about WHO you’re hiring. So my recommendation is to take this very seriously when it comes to permanent staff and get to know your candidates really well. If you do this and empower the right people, you’re going to build impactful teams within your organization. So this is how we proceed with Management hires. These hires are treated differently than freelancers and we take a really long time getting to know the character of people since we need to place so much trust in them. The benefit of making this hire early is that you’re going to be able to increase production capacity which will allow you to scale your business.
Takeaways from Hack #2:
So, now we had a nice operational fulfillment side of the business with a team in place and so this is when we ran into problem #3. How does Madeleine shift her responsibilities and start working ON the business rather than IN the business? She felt like we were at a major turning point in the business and we needed to take a step back and really take a look at where this organization was going to go- so at this point, we sat down and created an org chart of the business with the idea that many of the roles would be delegated to Madeleine, and other roles on the org chart would be filled later down the line. This gave us a solid framework and an idea of what staff we needed to hire next. The good thing is, we had a business and had real revenue but needed to see and understand where this business was going to be 6 months- 1 year – 5 years down the line. By the way at this point we were at 7 months since launch and we were at about 25k in Monthly Recurring revenue.
Now we’ve got our org chart and Madeleine’s name is splattered all over it which is normal for entrepreneurial businesses so don’t freak out if this is your reality too. But In addition to that, throughout the entire the build of the business we’d been writing SOP’s like crazy. In fact at this point in time we had created 42 SOP’s. We are of the opinion that there is absolutely no way we could have been successful if we had not done that. Every time a new situation arises in your business- you need to write an SOP about it. If you don’t do that- then every time you do something you’ll be creating a new procedure and you will stunt the scalability of your business. With that being said, these SOP’s are organic living documents and need to be reviewed and updated all the time. If your SOP’s aren’t getting better over time, then your business isn’t either and that’s a problem. So with this in mind, we plugged all of the SOP’s that we’d created into our org chart, to expose fundamental structural gaps in my company. SOP’s- just like the plans that you would use to build a home- are the glue that are going to hold your company together.
The simple task of getting to plugging in SOP’s and missing SOP’s for the business allowed us to take the business to the next Level!
Takeaways from hack #3:
Okay so now we have the business set up- we’ve got several teams in place, our org chart, our procedures- but our business CANNOT scale unless we ’re getting new clients in the door and keeping them around! So think about it for your business. For Content Refined, the 3 most important things our clients want to see are:
#1- Quality Content
#2- Increased traffic to their website
#3 Return on Investment
So what did we do with this information? We started putting processes in place that would give our clients what they wanted so that they would have no reason to leave. We even took it one step further with this and we started collecting and creating data to prove the value of our content marketing service to our clients. We created a SCIENCE around content marketing so that we could point to some TANGIBLE data and say
Now in order to make this work we actually had to be legitimate! So we did a lot of work and used the DATA with the help of a whole bunch of different off the shelf tools to create data analytics. If your IDEAL CLIENT requires data analytics- then you need to be prepared to provide those. So if you’re wondering what I’m talking about and want the details, take a look at the posts we wrote last summer about these studies:
So these case studies were designed to prove that we had a formula around our content creation process that would rank your content with certainty. We compiled a year’s worth of content marketing data from our clients’ projects and analyzed it against several keyword research tools and content optimization tools. We then had that data analysis reviewed by a contractor that has a Master of Science in Statistics from Texas A&M University. The results showed which tools are most effective in determining the probability of ranking, and what measures you can take to improve the quality of your content.
1- Competitive Keywords Matter!
2- Content Quality Matters!
3- Word Count
4- Show some success stories.
It doesn’t matter what business you have- get creative and find ways to show your ideal client that you’ve SOLVED their problem!!
Takeaways for hack #4:
So since we’ve built out our businesses this way, I have been able to step away and focus on other projects such as adbank.network, without it impacting our bottom line in a negative way! If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment!
After many years of getting content created, I have had my team work on getting a great outline on what we expect in our review articles when we send them to our writers. There are many ways that you can create the articles, however, this format is one that I use with my sites as it’s one I see that has had great results in both ranking and click through rate.
The following steps will outline a more in-depth the process of creating a stellar review and getting the results you would expect from including them on your website and other online platforms:
Clients that approach us already know their niche and what products and topics their website and business will be focused on; however, they may have not already completed the keyword research that is needed to come up with the right titles and reviews for their websites.
When choosing which product to review, it is important to fully understand the niche that you will be covering. Keyword research will help to streamline search engine optimization (SEO) and bring in more targeted results, which, in turn, generate improved profits.
Keyword research helps to build up a list of relevant and important topics for the niche. When using a keyword research tool or program, it is likely that you will be presented with an extensive selection of potential keywords that could lead to generating increased traffic and sales. However, you want to narrow down this massive list to a select few keywords that are highly targeted to the particular niche to be presented. It is these keywords that will provide more inherent value for the website and drive more traffic to your website.
When narrowing down the list of keywords, you need to determine how competitive the niche keyword phrases are and narrow down the intended audience; this can be done based on the client or audience and the location in which they feel is more relevant for their rankings.
Once the list has been narrowed down, it can then be customized to more specific metrics. Keywords we select will have over 500 monthly searches and are under 30% competition. The keywords used should be able to generate more sales and should be optimized to rank higher in searches. This is an effective way to determine which products are most the in-demand and the best to be reviewing. If you are looking for some great keyword research tools to help with this process, please read our in-depth review that we did here.
Once the keywords are acquired, there will be a greater idea of what products will need to be reviewed. Once the title has been generated, it is then the time to conduct some thorough research online to discover some of the best coffee makers there are currently available.
Amazon, for example, has countless assorted products to choose from and they already include a lot of the relevant information that will be needed to complete the article. However, it is never recommended to write a review based solely on the information provided on the Amazon link.
Instead, do some research, check other reputable sites, including the manufacturer’s sites, to acquire additional information that may prove to be useful in the product review article.
It is best to limit your reviews to the products that have received the most reviews and most stars. It is easier to find information for these products as well as user-generated testimonials highlighting the specific pros and cons of each—remember that very few products are perfect for everyone.
All the information gathered through the research process will then help create a more convincing, compelling, and accurate review with trusted and reliable information the reader can count on when making a final purchasing decision.
Once you have determined the niche, the keywords, and the title for the review, it is time to find a writer that is up to the task of completing the article. If you missed my article on the best places to hire writers, you can find that here. Take into consideration the type of review that will be written, the purpose the review will serve, and what you want the review to ultimately accomplish.
For the example article of the Best Drip Coffeemakers for At Home Brewing, we are looking for a knowledgeable writer who understands the importance of keyword use and SEO and will be able to research a product thoroughly to dissect its value and key features. The review should be compelling and able to better position the website to be higher up on the go-to list of similar niche websites and it should also attract and entice visitors to visit the page, click on the links, and discover other products and services that the website has to offer.
Providing the writer with a template is a good starting point for the article process so they are sure to touch on each element that is needed to create a well-rounded and complete review article. You can review the template we send to our writers here. For our coffeemaker review, we want to make sure to include all relevant information including the price range, key features of the product, and any pros and cons that there may be. The content should also be in a readable format that is easy to skim.Download the Template We Send to Our Writers!
Long paragraphs will most likely be skipped over by a reader. Rather, smaller paragraphs, tables, and bullet points with appropriate headings and subheadings are an easier and more straightforward way to complete an article. It provides an easy-to-read format that can be quickly read by the potential customer and provides a clear and valuable comparison of each product that they can keep going back to without having to search within a wall of text for the information.
The following is an example of a good template to follow when completing a review article. It includes a breakdown of each section that should be included and provides an easy to read format and layout that will appeal to a reader interested in the product.
Provide a Brief Introduction
As with traditional-style newspapers, the introduction should immediately grab the reader’s attention so they continue to read—headlines sell. The tone should be more conversational, as if you were talking to a friend, and provide valuable information that answers the initial question of the article. For the coffee maker reviews, we are looking for the best coffee makers for home brewing and we are using the article to present this information in a meaningful and valuable way.
Next, you will be introducing the products. For this review article, we provided a link, image, and relevant information of the product in the beginning so the reader knows exactly what was being discussed. We then go on to discuss a few more elements including:
In the first paragraph of each reviewed product, it is recommended to describe the product in detail and describe the results you will achieve from using the product. The paragraph should be short but include all relevant information pertaining to the product that you may not be able to find just through the key features and pros and cons.
Testimonials will typically include the pros and cons of the product and why the user would or would not recommend the product. However, it is best not to be too negative and instead provide a solution to a con or a feature that may help overcome this small downfall.
A helpful review will generally include a small list of pros and cons that include three to five bullet points each.
The following is a representation of how the customer reviews are displayed on Amazon. It provides a mix of one to 5-star feedback that can be used to better determine the product’s pros and cons. It can be used in addition to other research from other reliable sources.
Buying advice can be included following the product reviews or at the beginning to accompany the introduction. If it is placed at the beginning, then the reader will have a better idea of what they should be looking for regarding the products. Likewise, if it is placed at the end, it will provide a refresher and a reminder of what they already read.
For the conclusion, you should write one to two final paragraphs that summarize the content of the product review article.
The summary should be a brief retelling of what was discussed and explain why the review article will help make buying decisions easier. Finally, the second concluding paragraph can include a recommendation section in which a product is recommended based on the reviews.
As you can see from the example article, the format includes the introduction and buying advice, the introduction of each product including relevant information, the name, and the link where it can be found along with general and useful information. We then go into the bullet points of key features and then the pros and cons that can be expected from each product.
The format is repeated for each of the products being reviewed. A good review article will provide between three and five different product reviews to provide the reader with a plethora of information to help with their purchasing decision
A call to action (CTA) is a brief statement at the end of a product review article that engages the reader and invites them to do something. Key phrases can be used for this including:
The CTA will entice the reader to engage in a specific action as directed by the writer of the content and will make a compelling and creative addition to your content. Keep in mind the placement, the design, and the copy of what the CTA says.
There doesn’t have to be only one CTA per article. They can be strategically placed within the article to persuade the reader to continue for more information. In review articles, for example, you can include a “Click Here” CTA that will lead the reader to other information about the product or will provide them with the link they can use to purchase the product that is being discussed.
The design of the CTA should be appealing to the reader and can even be colorful to draw their attention to it. Finally, it should be noticeable on the page and stand apart from the other text.
The text of the CTA should be brief, straightforward, clearly written, and concise. Do not be afraid to be bold and compelling here; you want results and improved sales on the products you are marketing. Make the CTA stand out and serve its purpose.
Once the writer completes the article and sends it back for review, the content can be edited and then upgraded, if needed, using MarketMuse.
MarketMuse is a content planning tool that helps content marketers and content creators maximize the value of the articles they are writing. The article is pasted into the box, the keywords are typed in and the title is included. Once all this information is entered, the content is analyzed to see what changes or improvements need to be made and offers ways in which the content can be upgraded to make it a more thorough and informative piece that will do better in searches.
MarketMuse offers three scores for the content. Under Content Analyzer, you will see the Content Depth Score, Average Content Score Target, and Best Content Score Target. Next to that information, you will find the approximate word count of the content, the average word count target, and the best word count target.
The Content Score will stack the content we have provided against other content that includes related information and will then be able to identify and provide topics that will be the most relevant to the page for the site and the competitors.
It will also be able to show how similar content ranks on search engines and the average word count and content score the other sites have generated. It provides a foundation on which can be built and improved on to produce higher quality content.
For this review article, we were targeted in on coffeemakers so that is what I will put in the space provided
Best Coffee Makers for At Home Brewing
Knowing what kind of images to include and where to get them from can pose a challenge. When looking for images, make sure that they are relevant to the content you are publishing are of superior quality, original, and will appeal to your target audience.
The images for a product review will be of the actual products so the reader will have a better idea of the style and look of the product they are about to purchase. In the case of our Coffeemaker review, other relevant images could include a cup of coffee, a travel mug of coffee, or anything related to the at-home brewing process.
Avoid lower quality images that cannot be correctly sized or appear too blurry. These types of images can actually detract from the quality of the writing. High-resolution images are best and will make an impressive and professional appearance on the site.
Just as you would include a CTA at the end of the product review, the images should also invite a call to action. The image of a steaming cup of coffee may be enough to inspire the reader to crave that cup of coffee, making it more likely that they will read on to learn about the coffeemaker options they can purchase for their own home.
Writing a compelling and informative product review article, while time-consuming, can lead to greater success online in terms of attracting the target market, improving search engine results, and increasing sales generation and traffic.
Hopefully, this article helped highlight the various steps involved in the process from start to finish.
It is never advisable to underestimate the results that can be achieved by writing a detailed product review article. Even statistically speaking, a consumer is less likely to purchase a product if they are unable to read reviews on the item. Reviews are especially practical for online and other web-based sources because the consumer cannot try the product before purchasing. They are relying solely on the information being provided and the reviews.
Readers will look first at the product ratings for various items and will most likely ignore any products that are rated below three stars. They will then click on the product with the higher ratings to learn more about it and then begin to compare the available reviews.
Therefore, a product review article definitely is an essential tool to include in your arsenal when it comes to improving sales, generating traffic, and seeing continued success within your niche.
If there anything you think I missed that should be included in the review post I would love to hear about it!
Most posts on the internet teach you how to create articles, but none really tell you how to take an existing article and turn it into a top ranking article on that topic. We have worked over the last few year to bring you this tutorial by running different tools and monitoring the success and the outcome from those tools. Today we will show you the tools that we believe are the best (and the ones our team uses) in order to get the most predictable outcome.
When we create sites and get content created we never really think too much about going back and fixing or changing the articles. We let it sit and hope it ranks well. Over the last few months, I have had my team at ContentRefined take some older sites, run it through MarketMuse, adjust the content and see how it does. The results have been great! I have found that sometimes if you have an article that’s not really moving in rankings, you add a bit more content and input some of the words Marketmuse suggests, you should be able to find your rankings improve over the next few weeks.
As always, whenever I find something really good, I love to share it with my audience so that they know how to do it too.
There are several tools available that can help successfully upgrade content and provide more valuable and in-depth information. MarketMuse is one viable tool that is easy to use and provides you with a starting off point for what needs to be done.
Step One: Sign into your MarketMuse account with your credentials and you will then be taken to the dashboard where you will see the Content Analyzer tab.
Step Two: Find the article that needs to be upgraded and copy and paste it into the box labeled Content. Type in the title of the article and then go above that and type in the focus for the content that MarketMuse will be analyzing.
When finished, click Analyze so that it can generate your results. The results will show several factors including the Content Depth Score, the Average Content Score Target, and the Best Content Score Target.
It is important that after the content upgrade, it is far beyond the Best Content Score Target. Otherwise more work will need to be done to get it to the place it needs to be for better results.
Step Three: Review the results and then thoroughly read the article from beginning to end. Pay attention to the quality of the writing, how valuable the information contained in the article is, and then look for basic grammar, sentence structure, and word choice.
Do not use keywords as fillers or try to place them where they do not belong. The keywords being used should make sense, fall into line with the article, and not clutter it up with unnecessary words and filler.
Step Four: After filling in some relevant keywords as described above, you can then begin to take a closer look at missing words and missing subjects. You will be able to see if there are any relevant topics or information that should be included that the previous writer of the article may have left out.
Step Five: Begin adding to the word count by covering the missing topics. Even adding just a small paragraph with four sentences to discuss a missing subject can help raise the content score of the article.
Step Six: Run the article through MarketMuse one more time to see what your revised score is after making all the edits, improvements, and additions, and you are ready to send it off.
MarketMuse is just one useful tool that can successfully help you upgrade the article. Another useful tool when working on content upgrades is Cognitive SEO.
REMEMBER – This isn’t about stuffing keywords but about adding valuable/useful topics to the article to help it meet the searchers intent.
CognitiveSEO is another online tool that is designed to help people manage their SEO programs and it has an easy to use and well-designed interface.
Much like MarketMuse, Cognitive SEO will also analyze the content and track the site when comparing it to competitors. It will help provide you with a better idea on why your website and content may not be ranking as high as it should be and why your competitors are rising above you in the ranks.
CognitiveSEO will be able to provide you with the SEO tools you need to help improve and increase your traffic.
Step One: To get started, you will first need to sign in with the proper credentials on the sign in screen.
Step Two: Open the Keyword Tool and Content Assistant and then copy a keyword you have on your spreadsheet and paste it into the keyword tool and content assistant.
Step Three: You will then copy CognitiveSEO Keyword Difficulty and the Average Content Performance to a Google sheet. Then open the article URL in the first column of your Google sheet and copy the title to the title bar and then copy the article content and click Check Score.
Step Four: You are then able to copy the metrics that CognitiveSEO provides you back to your Google spreadsheet and then repeat the steps for the other keywords until you have eliminated all of your Check Score credits.
Each one of these useful tools provide you with what you need to upgrade an article so it rises in the ranks and does better than previously. Each program has different offerings to help with the process and it is up to the user to decide which one is more beneficial for what they are trying to accomplish.
MarketMuse and CognitiveSEO both offer insights into potential improvements that should be made. MarketMuse ranks high when it comes to ease of use, customer support, and overall cost.
MarketMuse helps the user improve search engine rankings with more on-site effort than it does with link building.
MarketMuse also utilizes an easy to read scoring system. When scoring content, it will provide a different color to share with the user regarding the score. Red is bad, yellow is okay but offers room for further improvement, and green is good and is aimed at raising the score as high as it can possibly get without using invaluable or filler content.
It also offers several related topics and keywords that you can use to add content to the article. This can be achieved by adding keywords into the current article and also by adding in an additional content section to cover a keyword or topic that had been missed previously.
CognitiveSEO is another tool that is useful in upgrading content. However, it is not strong when it comes to keyword research. Instead, they are more focused on link building that will help enhance the overall value of the site.
CognitiveSEO offers a wide range of backlink analysis tools to help with link building and the interface was designed to be easy to use. They also offer different SEO management tools to help track the current campaign and any progress that is being made.
CognitiveSEO is also helpful when it comes to tracking your competition and managing the smaller and more delicate details of SEO.
Therefore, you must decide if you want to focus more on keyword research while upgrading your content or would you find increased success if the focus shifted more toward creating stronger backlink tracking and analysis.
As usual, we don’t suggest things without testing the results ourselves first. We had a site that was doing pretty good with traffic and was sitting on the second page/bottom of first page for a lot of quality keywords. So instead of getting a new article creating towards that keyword, we already took an article that was working and ranking well and just improved the content. We were then able to get many of those keywords into the top 3 spots of Google. Also, to be completely transparent, we pointed 10 Use My PBN posts from Lightningrank to those pages as well.
We are now currently executing this strategy amongst many of my other money sites and the return in value has been fantastic.
Whichever program you choose, SEO will always remain an vital component when it comes to website traffic and ranking and the success of your site.
SEO is what attracts potential clients to your website and this is done through the use of important and relevant keywords and phrases that are able to rank highly in search engines. There is a lot of competition so it is important that you rise above and improve your scores.
Organic SEO is an investment that each company should make for some very specific reasons:
As you can see, the world of content marketing online is extremely competitive and upgrading your content is just the first line of defense when it comes to conquering the competition and being able to provide valuable, relevant, and fresh content for your audience.
Utilizing the right SEO tools when upgrading your content can lead to an easier and better way to track data for you or your competitors, can help build your SEO rankings in several different ways, can help improve the traffic going to your site, and can also help to improve your website. If you are interested in having a hands off approach to this, we offer this service through Content Refined. If you are interested you can book a call with our team and we would be happy to discuss your needs!
If you test this out I would love to know how your results went!
Just about a year ago I sent you the first email about Content Refined, the content marketing company Maddie Taylor and I founded off of the back of my own content creation process for my money site portfolio. Happy Birthday Content Refined!
The company started with a tiny production team; a manager, two writers and a publisher. Our goals were to hit $10k monthly recurring revenue within 6 months. We quickly realized that this was a really cute goal. In January 2017, we started growing at a rate of 10% per week! This didn’t stop until we hit a bit of a plateau in July and August, but it has picked back up since, due to a few different marketing efforts, finding our ideal clients and word of mouth sales.
What makes Content Refined different from any other content marketing company is that we are very Data Driven!
Our mission at Content Refined is to push the science of Content Marketing forward by creating online content that is optimized to rank on search engines. We do extensive data analysis tests on the effect of different metrics on the performance of our articles in Google. This includes analyzing keyword metrics, word length and the use of various Content Marketing tools. Our tests continue to refine our Content Marketing strategies that will help you – and your business – succeed online.
Content Refined has grown into an agency of 4 full time Project Managers, and about 60 contractors! We’re publishing about 170 quality articles on a weekly basis!
With this being said, we have added a lot of value to Content Refined over the last year…. we’ve improved our systems,
We have done all this, having only raised our prices once over the last year, keeping it budget friendly for our clients.
In addition over the next months we will be rolling out a custom backend client dashboard that will allow allow all our customers to know exactly the status of all their orders at any point.
Well… we’ve made the business decision that we are at the point where we need to raise our prices in order to keep up this level of intensity across the board.
On Tuesday, we will be officially raising our prices, so if you would like to be grandfathered in to our current pricing structure, check out the prices and order before Tuesday!
If you have a content based site and are earning from ads you have likely wondered how much of the cut are the advertiser networks you are working with taking?
In that search you likely had the same problem as we had… resulting in confusion about exactly how much the middle-man (ad-tech-tax) was!
To get to an approximate answer on how much the middle man takes you need to dive deep into the industry and understand.
Networks gеnеrаtе revenue frоm thе ad іnvеntоrу they buу аnd ѕеll. These percent they take and margins they make vаrу оn a mасrо lеvеl frоm nеtwоrk to nеtwоrk, аnd оn a micro lеvеl frоm impression tо іmрrеѕѕіоn.
In an efficient market if they charge tоо muсh, advertisers wоn’t buy; if thеу сhаrgе tоо lіttlе, рublіѕhеrѕ wоn’t lеvеrаgе thе ad nеtwоrk (more on if it is an efficient market later).
Fоr аdvеrtіѕеrѕ, it’s іmроrtаnt tо keep іn mіnd whеthеr thе network іѕ passing оn this “margin” to thеm in thе fоrm оf ROI оr not. Do the саmраіgnѕ they run on thе network meet thеіr gоаlѕ? Whаt kіnd of dаtа аnd tесhnоlоgу dоеѕ thе network рrоvіdе to hеlр drіvе реrfоrmаnсе? More tіmеѕ than nоt, buуіng dіrесtlу frоm аll the рublіѕhеrѕ thаt the nеtwоrk works with wоuld nоt drіvе performance on par with thе nеtwоrk buу and would сrеаtе massive ореrаtіоnаl соѕtѕ thаt аrе еntіrеlу eliminated bу wоrkіng through thе nеtwоrk. Thіѕ is the value thаt the network раѕѕеѕ оn to аn аdvеrtіѕеr.
For a marketplace to be efficient there is a key central concept… is all information public?
Although not perfectly applicable to this marketplace knowing that an efficient marketplace requires transparency the digital advertising ecosystem definitely fails!
Have a look at the image below showing the complexity of the digital advertising system!
Aссоrdіng tо a Fіnаnсіаl Tіmеѕ іntеrvіеw wіth Outbrain’s managing dіrесtоr іn Europe, thе nеtwоrk ѕhаrеѕ “about half” of any rеvеnuе gеnеrаtеd bу раrtnеr sites. Thе соѕt per click раіd іѕ said tо range frоm $0.15 to $0.30 whіlе click rаtеѕ аrе іn the nеіghbоrhооd of 0.50% tо 0.75%.
Uѕіng thоѕе (big) ranges, wе саn соmе up with ѕоmе revenue еѕtіmаtеѕ:
In оthеr wоrdѕ, mоѕt publishers will ѕее RPMѕ between $0.37 and $1.12 wіth Outbrаіn. Thаt trаnѕlаtеѕ іntо $370 tо $1,120 реr million pageviews, mеаnіng that уоu’ll need tо hаvе a рrеttу substantial audience in оrdеr to gеnеrаtе mеаnіngful revenue from these widgets.
Pеrfоrmаnсе dаtа оn Tаbооlа іѕ muсh harder to dіg uр; thе соmраnу dоеѕn’t ѕhаrе thе revenue splits іt offers, and dеtаіlѕ оn performance are sparse. But wе have a few dаtа роіntѕ:
Thаt wоuld trаnѕlаtе into revenue реr сlісk (unіԛuе visits ѕеnt) оf about $0.35, which іѕ rоughlу іn lіnе with Outbrаіn (реrhарѕ a bіt hіghеr). It also іmрlіеѕ a сlісk rate оf about 0.05% реr rесоmmеndаtіоn, which trаnѕlаtеѕ іntо 0.20% to 0.30% реr раgе (since the Tаbооlа wіdgеt оftеn іnсludеѕ multірlе rесоmmеndаtіоnѕ). Thаt gets us tо аbоut $1.00 in grоѕѕ RPM (і.е., $1.00 in tоtаl rеvеnuе gеnеrаtеd per thоuѕаnd раgеvіеwѕ) before tаkіng іntо account Tаbооlа’ѕ сut.
Hоw did Gооglе AdSense dеtеrmіnе the аmоunt уоu receive реr сlісk? Google also runѕ AdWоrdѕ, whісh is kіnd оf a mіrrоrеd ѕеrvісе tо AdSense. On AdWоrdѕ аdvеrtіѕеrѕ runnіng ѕhорѕ, ѕеrvісеѕ, or оthеr mаrkеtеrѕ сrеаtе ads аnd tell Gооglе tо рublіѕh thеm оn еіthеr the Gооglе search engine or іn the dіѕрlау nеtwоrk, ѕо аll wеbѕіtеѕ belonging tо the AdSense nеtwоrk. 68 реrсеnt оf thе amount an аdvеrtіѕеr рауѕ per сlісk on thеіr аdѕ on уоur ѕіtе is уоur іnсоmе. Thе rest іѕ Gооglе’ѕ commission fее.
This ѕtіll іѕn’t аll you nееd tо knоw аbоut hоw muсh AdSеnѕе pays уоu. Thе соѕtѕ per click are саlсulаtеd іn an auction. Evеrу аd thаt іѕ somehow in thе рооl tо роtеntіаllу bе dіѕрlауеd оn your wеbѕіtе takes part in іt. In thіѕ auction, іt іѕn’t juѕt thе hіghеѕt bidder thаt wins, but thе wіnnеr is аlѕо dеtеrmіnеd by his “quality”. Wіthоut gоіng deeper at this mоmеnt juѕt rеmеmbеr thаt Gооglе wіll ultіmаtеlу run some smart аlgоrіthmѕ thаt try tо gеt thе highest іnсоmе реr thоuѕаnd іmрrеѕѕіоnѕ (rеturn реr mille = RPM) fоr уоu (and them).
Blосkсhаіn technology іѕ grеаt news for рublіѕhеrѕ and аdvеrtіѕеrѕ, bаd nеwѕ fоr middlemen.
Thе most ѕuссеѕѕful оf these сеntrаl authorities аrе Outbrаіn, Tаbооlа, Facebook аnd Google. Google mаkеѕ wеll over four bіllіоn dоllаrѕ a year frоm it’s Gооglе Dіѕрlау Nеtwоrk. This іѕ whеrе Google асtѕ аѕ a middle man bеtwееn website оwnеrѕ whо have traffic and advertisers whо wаnt clicks to their site.
If thеу trusted еасh оthеr and had the technology/market, the аdvеrtіѕеr аnd thе publisher wоuldn’t nееd Google аѕ аn іntеrmеdіаrу taking an often unknown ѕhаrе оf the revenue.
Why are ad networks needed?
In a perfect world… If еvеrу uѕеr is a genuine uѕеr wіth 100% ассurасу, the website owner is only сhаrgіng thе аdvеrtіѕеr for gеnuіnе clicks, the advertiser would always pay the publisher when they are supposed to, a central marketplace existed and ad tech to deliver the ad was simple to implement then there would be no need for a сеntrаl аuthоrіtу/middle mаn, ѕаvіng thеm both mоnеу.
Sо now уоu can ѕtаrt to see thе mаѕѕіvе implications blockchain hаѕ fоr thе wоrld оf digital marketing. Blockchain based ad networks cutting out the middle man represents the ѕаmе kind of thrеаt tо bіg tесh gіаntѕ аѕ bіtсоіn/cryptocurrency dоеѕ tо bіg bаnkѕ.
Find out more about how this technology will benefit advertisers and publishers – checkout the site and deck at adbank.network
Lеt’ѕ bе сlеаr though, thіѕ is good nеwѕ fоr аdvеrtіѕеrѕ and ѕіtе оwnеrѕ. Thеу gеt tо kеер mоrе оf the rеvеnuе for thеmѕеlvеѕ!