One of the first lessons I learnt in advertising back in the pre-Google days was to plan media schedules for some of country’s biggest retail shopping centres which was a pretty easy task back then as there were really only three mediums on tap – TV, press and radio.
The very first one I prepped was for the launch of a shopping centre in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.
I filled in the ‘Xs’ in the columns, added up the figures and presented them to the agency’s media buyer.
He took one look at my schedule and shook his head. Not because I couldn't add up or chose the wrong stations, but because I’d overspent on media.
As best as I can remember the conversation went something like this: “Son, the client wants a ‘soft’ launch – she doesn't want a big bang with thousands of people arriving on opening day for free coffee and balloons and creating havoc in the car park. Besides, she’d have to put on more security, the store owners would have to employ extra staff and the traffic congestion and hassles of people trying to get to the centre would be horrendous.”
It was the old story. Our media buyer and the client wanted QUALITY. Not quantity!
I was reminded of this other day while looking at the editorial traffic numbers of Australia’s major online automotive sites.
According to Google search the top four numbers are Carsguide, Car Advice, Drive and The Motor Report.
You can test this for yourself.
Simply clean your browser search history from your computer or tablet (this is important, your browser notes and remembers where you commonly go, which can skew results) and type the year, make and model of each of the cars you sell into Google search, and check the search returns.
These four sites dominate the results because they are number one, two, three and four in Google search.
They also dominate search because Google has learned that people visiting these sites trust the information they provide in conducting their research for their car-purchasing decisions.
This is QUALITY traffic.
While there are other sites that deliver massive numbers, they don’t necessarily convert to QUALITY traffic.
So before you commit a truckload of money to your next campaign ask yourself how many pages of display inventory will be served to those casual viewers.
And if you’re paying per impression, how many impressions will you burn on low value eyeballs?
It’s a bit like the shopping centre analogy. What’s the point of unnecessarily maxing out your budget to hit thousands of people who have no intention of buying when with astute planning you could be reaching in-market new car buyers who are genuinely researching prices, specs, features and product opinions through reviews?
This is QUALITY traffic!