PPC Marketing with Adsonar: Intro

By Ian Fernando

After experimenting with Yahoo Search Marketing, I went ahead and tried another system called Adsonar. I started this about the same time I started with Y!SM. I found Adsonar by simply reading CNN.com and Forbes.com. I saw these advertisements spots within articles and on main pages. I thought to myself, I wonder if I would be able to advertise on Forbes.com or CNN.com. The reason for this is because the users are all targeted.

For example, if you go to the Health section of CNN.com you may see health related ads, Forbes.com with business related ads. I did notice some ads were out of placed, but that may be the marketer themselves. So what I did was just click on the advertisement link within the ads and it re-directed me to Adsonar. Below is where the ads are located on Forbes.com.

As you can see these ads are targeted to the readers of Forbes.com, some ads you will notice are not even relevant to the current content or Forbes.com. The point I am getting is CNN.com, USAToday.com, BestDietForMe.com, and so many others are directly connected to Adsonar, which is already targeted readers and potential buyers. If I can get my ads on these niches specific sites, I could possibly get better and higher conversion. It makes sense to put ads to their targeted areas, right? Since Forbes is all about business and what is going on in business, it would make sense to promote money related items on here, correct?

So how was my first time experience with Adsonar? First, there is a huge list of news sites where you can advertise on. I was advertising something for fitness and there were some great information sites out there, also big name websites as well. Below is a snapshot of a small section under health and fitness. As you can see, Adsonar is a network of compiled sites where you can advertise on, content base. Similar to Adwords or Y!SM but not base on keywords. It simply rotates your ads within each of the network you chose to advertise on and the higher your bid the higher your placement and impressions you will receive.

Below you can see I am bidding to advertise on USAToday in the health section and other news sites. These are targeted areas where I want to promote affiliate products or services. Each section has targeted readers, so I want to put my ads where they are in the state of mind of reading something related to what they are already reading. <- makes sense?

Creating a campaign is fairly simple, just click on create a campaign. I have created a campaign and here are stats for 1 days work. So far my stats really suck. My CTR is at .05% that is really bad! The campaign dashboard is really simple to maneuver through and the best part for me is it exports data to excel! When it exports to excel, I have data I can play around with and create graphs. But simply looking at the numbers, I do not need to do so and get my morale even lower. I mean these stats really suck!

A total of 122484 impressions got me 58 clicks, which means my CTR is only at .05% - GOSH! I did a total of 2 listings for 1 campaign, even my listings stats were horrible, I mean what should I expect from a CTR of .05%? These listings are distributed through out the chosen news site, but how are they distributed? I wonder if Adsonar use specific algorithm to determine where ads should be rotated? I mean I spent an extra .25 cents over the highest bid to just get the higher impressions and place higher over the other ads. With all these impressions and little clicks I began to worry where my ads where placed?

Well maybe it was the ad placement of the news' sites themselves that may have caused this poor CTR? Below are where my ads were displayed among the network that I have chosen. You can see for each network Adsonar either showed my ads or did not. Now I do not know how it calculates on distribution of my ads but some received higher impressions than others. At least here I can find some relief since my CTRs are a little bit higher, but are under 1% - BAH! Now I went to each of the sites where my ads were seen and saw where their 'Advertisements' were located. To me I think they are in good places, next to content and links. So I do not understand the poor CTR I was receiving. Could this be a case of 'banner blindness'?


I like Adsonar because I do not have to critique keywords. My ads are rotated among the network that I have chosen, which I like. To me advertising on networks like these shows that there is a more likely chance to generate an affiliate commission from those that search and 'might' be click happy. BUT with the low stats that I am seeing I am not sure if I will be playing around with Adsonar anytime soon. I will still take into affect that I do have an account with them and may test them again later down the road. They do have a good stat system and it takes a day for stats to actually come up. So far Adwords is still at the top at my list and my other secret PPC marketing technique which I will be talking about it soon. All in all, I think Adsonar is a good newbie place to start to understand PPC marketing and what CTRs are. It is also great for a newbie to understand PPC marketing without the thought of keywords as well.

Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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