What Spending $66,372.09 On Paid Advertising Taught Me

scotch magic ad

About three months ago, I launched a landing page on my personal site, NeilPatel.com. I never really completed the landing page as I got a bit lazy and didn’t finish the case studies on it.

Nonetheless, it does all right. It converts at 3.7 percent, which means 37 out of 1,000 people fill out the lead form. I also tested a shorter version of the page. Conversions went above the 5% mark, but the quality of the leads decreased drastically. For this reason, I went back to a long sales letter format.

The way I currently drive traffic to that landing page is from Quick Sprout. From the Hellobar at the top to the “consulting” link in the top navigation to the two banner ads in the sidebar, I’ve been able to drive at least 6,000 visitors a month to NeilPatel.com just from Quick Sprout.

Because I wasn’t satisfied with the volume of traffic I was getting on NeilPatel.com, I decided to test a few different advertising sources: LinkedIn, Google AdWords, Retargeter, Perfect Audience, and StumbleUpon Ads. Here is what I learned:


Compared to the other paid traffic sources, LinkedIn had the second lowest conversion rate at 1.6%. On the flip side, it provided the highest quality of leads. I’ve tested it in the past with a handful of other campaigns, and I’ve quickly learned that LinkedIn ads tend to do the best for B2B companies.

The big issue I had with LinkedIn is that it doesn’t drive a ton of volume, especially if you compare it to some of the other paid advertising channels. To get the most traffic out of LinkedIn, I was paying around $4.76 a click, which gets really expensive.

I would have turned off the LinkedIn ads, but due to the quality of the leads, I left them on.

Lesson learned: LinkedIn can drive high quality leads for a B2B company, but it will cost you an arm and a leg. Plus, you shouldn’t expect a ton of volume from it.

Google AdWords

As you already know, Google AdWords can drive a ton of traffic that tends to convert well. On average, I spent $5.62 per click, and my conversion rate to a lead was 6.55%.

Volume wasn’t the issue with Google, but lead quality from LinkedIn was literally 15 to 20 times better. My ads were set up right; I was only targeting my ideal customer; but for some reason, the lead quality wasn’t that great.

Because of this, I turned off Google AdWords as the cost per lead was too high because most of them were not qualified.

Lesson learned: Google is typically a great channel to advertise on for both B2B and B2C companies. It just didn’t work well for me as I was pitching a service that was in the 6-figure price range.


I used Retargeter to remarket to my Quick Sprout readers and get them to head over to NeilPatel.com. The cost for this was extremely low for the volume of traffic I received as well as the number of leads.

I was paying under $2 CPMs to have my banner ads shown across the web to anyone who has been to Quick Sprout in the past. My click-through rates on the ads were around .2%, and visitors converted into leads at a rate of 5.05%.

The reason I think Retargeter worked so well is because:

  1. Quick Sprout receives well over 100,000 unique visitors each month, which means I have a big enough pool to remarket to.
  2. Those visitors are likely to convert because I’ve already built up trust with them through my blog.
  3. Although Retargeter’s backend wasn’t the most usable, they were optimizing the ads on their end. From geo-targeting to selecting which ads to display based on click-through rates to day parting, they reduced my CPM costs and increased my click-through rates.

The biggest flaw that I saw was that over time your ads get a lot fewer clicks even if they are served to new people. My click-through rates dropped well below half. Due to this, you continually have to create new ad designs and copy for Retargeter.

Lesson learned: Retargeter can work well if you have a big enough user base and you continue to rotate your ads on a weekly basis. This will keep your click-through rates high.

Perfect Audience

Similar to Retargeter, Perfect Audience remarkets to your user base, but the difference is they specialize in Facebook remarketing. Retargeter can also remarket on Facebook, but the CPM rates Perfect Audience provides for Facebook are really affordable.

Perfect Audience ran around 33 cents per CPM, and it had a click-through rate of .16%. A visitor converted into a lead at 3.58%. The quality of the leads weren’t as good as LinkedIn, but they were decent.

The biggest downfall with it was that the click-through rates on your ads decrease over time unless you can continually rotate them, similarly to Retargeter.

Lesson learned: If you want to remarket on Facebook, Perfect Audience is the cheapest and most effective solution I’ve found. You just have to be willing to create new ads each week.

StumbleUpon Ads

By far, StumbleUpon Ads were the cheapest form of traffic. I was able to drive visitors to my landing page at 5 cents a visitor, and I was able to buy thousands of visitors a day.

The big issue with StumbleUpon is that it isn’t a high quality traffic source and the visitors don’t convert well. They converted at a rate of .05%, and the leads were the worst out of all the traffic sources.

Due to this, I ended up disabling StumbleUpon after a month as it wasn’t providing a positive ROI. In the past, I have had success with it, but it was working better for content pieces than for a landing page that was selling something.

Lesson learned: Don’t use StumbleUpon Ads to drive traffic to a paid product or service. StumbleUpon Ads should be used to seed social media traffic to your content, not to paid products.


I’ve been doing paid advertising for over 7 years now, and I see that not much has changed when it comes to buying quality traffic. Google AdWords, LinkedIn, and forms of remarketing still seem to be the best forms of ad buying.

The sad part is, AdWords and LinkedIn continue to increase in price year after year, but it is still worth using them. I’ve also found banner advertising to work well in the past. I just didn’t have time to test it out on NeilPatel.com as it is a time-consuming process.

Do you have any ad buying tips you would like to share?


  1. Wow, nice work, Neil. Not so many guys are willing to spend that money amount. But the results are very sweet, I guess 🙂

    Thank you for your great post!

    • Yeah Tony..! Thats true..! But Neil is an experienced player of this game and a rich man also..! 😛

      He dont bother investing money..! because he knows.! ROI will be better ..!

      • The problem is: where will I get that amount to invest? the ROI, in % might be big, but it’s hard to get that amount of money! Maybe one day…

        • Kris Angeloff :

          Arroz, you start small and build your way up. No one starts with investing 66K on their first attempt. I’ve seen people start with only a couple of hundred bucks and turn them around in 1000s of ad spent in 6 months.

          • That’s right! Neil Patel started with selling CDs in his school, and had a perfect entrepreneurship environment.

            From his about page:

            My cousin, who is a year older than me, was selling burned music CDs to students at the time. I saw how he was making a few bucks so I started doing the same thing within my freshmen class, but I tried to be a bit more careful by not selling pirated media.

          • Exactly right, started very small and eventually worked my way to where I am today.

        • Kris has a great response. You just need to start small and work hard. That’s what I did.

      • Yep, I am experienced but I was not always rich!

      • He is an Expert Player and we all know if we want return then we have to make some kind of investment first.

    • Thanks Tony, glad you liked it.

  2. Amir @ Blue Mile Media :

    Before I read the article the first thing I thought was the quality of leads you were getting especially because you’re not planning on taking any single client and are probably ultra selective about it.

    Have you ever thought of advertising print ads? I had a professor back in college who was a marketing executive for IBM and said for the types of clients they wanted, print ads in magazines in business class flights were the best.


    • I haven’t tried that out, but I want to one of these days.

      It must be working out for someone or else that space would be dead.

  3. Thomas S. Moore :

    I like Linkedin but sometimes people are so concern with traffic they forget about the quality. I would rather have less leads with better quality then 100k of garbage.

    As for PPC with G I have found the the long tail words and retargeting works like a charm. But make sure you are landing them on the landings pages the need to be landing on. If the are looking for a blue pencil the landing page should be about blue pencils not red purple or black.

    Banners actually don’t work well for us. The text ads in the content networks are gems.

  4. Kris Angeloff :


    Great article, as always.

    I am wondering if there is a reason you have not tried Facebook PPC ads? Facebook has become a major ppc player over the last years so I am curious to hear your thoughts on them.

    Also, how do you actually measure the “quality” of a lead? Is there an actual metric that you use or do you just fill out how serious the leads are when you follow up with them?

    • “I am wondering if there is a reason you have not tried Facebook PPC ads? ”

      Think about it, he said he’s selling a six figure service package. Who hangs out on facebook all day, employees burning their bosses dollars or the company CEOs capable of affording Neil’s price points who are also paying for their employees to hang out on facebook?

      Doesn’t seem like a good target market at all for high end B2B packages.

      • Amir @ Blue Mile Media :

        Pretty sure I’ve seen a picture of Neil on my Facebook sidebar!

        I’m not speaking for Neil’s campaigns specifically, but sometimes these types of campaigns are run just for brand awareness. I wouldn’t expect a direct click from Facebook to lead in a 6-7 figure contract but it would help/influence in the buying cycle.


      • Kris Angeloff :


        I see your point but out of the 1 Billion people on Facebook, I am pretty confident at least some fall into Neil’s target market.

      • Typically B2B sites like LinkedIn provide much higher quality of leads than Facebook.

    • Facebook PPC ads cost more than remarketing. I’ve tried them in the past, but not for this business.

  5. Terrance Charles :

    Neil, I feel your pain brotha. I’ve spent a lot on advertising myself and had some good and terrible conversions. 7Search is converting pretty decent for me as far as PPC goes. I’m using a high converting squeeze page and the click cost are low. Some keywords I have for $0.01 a click and big keywords for $0.23 a click, but I am getting some subscribers.

  6. Owen McGab Enaohwo :

    @Neil what are you thoughts on sending traffic to a webinar landing page so that they get to learn something that is relevant to them instead of to a sales page so that they get to buy immediately?

    Anything thoughts on Facebook for ads too?

  7. Great insights on these advertising channels. I am gradually coming to the conclusion that the decision makers for top brands hardly convert through digital leads. Old print and referrals seems to be a huge one there. Any thots on these?

    Thanks for sharing measurable analytics.



  8. I think the best form of paid advertising is finding high quality sites and contact them directly for custom ads. You can get a big bang for your buck doing this. Unfortunately, this does take a lot of time and testing. Some sites won’t perform while others can make big money. I recommend this for almost any business if they have time to put into finding good sites and testing ads on each one.

    I just use Adwords because it is easy and gets the job done. It is very expensive. For my services, I pay around $10 per click. I do get a ton of leads that boil down to something like this… “I need you to increase my conversions and revenue, but my business does not make money and I really can’t pay you.” This is common in the b2b area when advertising through adwords. You can’t stop these leads from coming in.

    The good part is Adwords does pull in a few solid clients each month for me and it is well worth the price paid. Adwords is huge and you need to take the bad with the good. There is a lot of both with Adwords.

    I need to try Linkedin. I set up a quick campaign and it was not very successful. I did not give it a fair shot though. I will need to give it another shot.

  9. Awesome stuff Neil – quite a bit of investment but definitely a learning experience, for sure.

    A client I work with is using Steelhouse for re-targeting which is returning amazing results even with a conversion rate of about 2%. I’m surprised businesses don’t implement these type of tools more often.

    Anyway, awesome insights. I’m just about to setup a new venture and this definitely saved me on some of the ideas I had in terms of marketing it.

  10. Jonathan Rosenfeld :


    Thanks for sharing your experience with paid ads. Were you doing an on-site development during this time? If so, what were you doing? As an injury lawyer I have used paid web advertising on several occasions, but the returns we relatively meager compared with on-site development and the creation of worthwhile content. Surely time consuming, but a good long-term investment.

  11. Jonathan Drake :

    Amazing that you are not doing ( or not saying) outbound prospecting. Should prove way more valuable. Also a simple email notifying people of the offer. I also see an opportunity to create an automated funnel that leads to a Webinar where you sell.

  12. Great article.

    So you know my SEO secrets that I used on Zappos huh? 😉

    • You had some great tricks at Zappos… like the product showoff thing. Every time you refreshed it a new product would appear, which helps indexation. 😉

  13. Please tell me after spending 66K you at least triple your money?

  14. Neil,
    Could not agree more. Stumble Upon provided lot of traffic but the bounce rate was around 80%. Based on your exp which paid ad would work for a service oriented industry like us ..?

    Also have you used Outbrain? It is giving us good results..
    Please advise

    • I use Outbrain, but it isn’t that great when it comes to the quality of traffic.

      I am not sure what ad sources are a good fit for you… I would try them all out. It is all about testing.

  15. Believe it or not, I was just coming to say that I found that ad that says “Hey, I haven’t seen you in a while” so sweet! I didn’t click the ad because I assumed it was a CPC ad and I didn’t want you to pay for my click, so I came directly. I believe many people may think same way, so perhaps Retargeter is even more effective than originally thought.

    By the way, you haven’t seen me in a while only because I can’t digest all the info along with writing for my own website and looking for new ways to earn money with it. But I am waiting for your newsletters like the most loyal dog as I find them very helpful. They just nail all the mistakes I have done. Thank you!

  16. Charles Montgomery :

    Very interesting! I’m still reading, but what was the conversion rate of the retargeter?


  17. Matthew Ogston :

    Hi Neil – is there a reason why you did not try (or at least report back on) Twitter ads, or networks such as BuySellAds and Influads?

    • I haven’t used either of those for NeilPatel.com.

      I’ve tried them for other businesses… it is typically a hit or a miss with those 2 channels.

  18. Alexander Sumner :

    Each of your articles is a goldmine, Neil. Actually I didn’t try Retargeter and Stumble Upon, but my colleagues did, and they weren’t satisfied.
    I used 7search for some CPA campaigns a long time ago, and I wasn;t satisfied either. I don’t know if any of you guys tried it.

  19. Neil,

    What I really want to know is what ROI did you get on your $66,372.09 ad spend.


  20. Jerrywhyte Obamwonyi :

    Please Neil can you also share with us your ROI on investing 66k plus on paid advertising?

    Just curious

  21. Hi Neil,
    As always a master piece, very well summarized. I think you missed out on the one of the key and cheap form of advertising. “Contacting the webmasters directly” for banner ads, I have done that in the past and have manged to get amazing rates. All you need to do is write an formal email to the webmaster briefly introducing yourself and your offer.
    The only drawback is that you have to spend a couple of hours on drilling down the websites which are most suitable for your target audience. Once you have shortlisted the websites just draft an email and shoot.

  22. Thanks for this piece of research! candy for my sweet tooth and the good Neil shared a 60k+ worth bag 😀

    Now, I would have removed the case studies links , at least, not the testimonials, just the dead end, which might have given a quick exit to some interested prospects and an excuse to not follow through.

    Some thoughts on your lander, If you had a perfect customer in mind, I would have liked to read some validation / filtering about that, that would have not been rude but saved both , your visitors and you, some time unless you’d still want to educate them about your overall offering growing your authority.

    Example, this is for businesses hungry for growth and looking to maximize their potential online, willing to invest x in an unparalleled “Done For You” service.

    I know you work hard on this stuff and I am no copy expert, just sharing my thoughts if in anyway are useful.

    The link below was shared with me today and maybe you find it inspirational too 😀


    Thanks again

  23. THANKS, Neil, for another TERRIFIC post!

    Maybe not quite on the subject, but a couple thoughts:

    1) It seems to me there is somewhat of a disconnect between the content on the QuickSprout blog and your intent to promote your consulting services, although I do recognize that you also have other purposes for QuickSprout which it fulfills, so it does what’s it is supposed to do. Your consulting services are high-end, six-figure range and as such clearly targeting “bigger-fish” businesses that can afford and will be willing to pay six-figures for your services. But the content on QuickSprout and the readership are not necessarily aligning with that. Many of the posts, in my assessment, would be more appropriate for “smaller-to-medium fish” businesses. For ex., as a “small-fish” one-person business, I really enjoy and find extremely useful your more hands-on posts, such as on search optimizing images, how to write blog posts etc etc, as well as your motivational posts on how to succeed in business and so forth. But I am not sure that executives in larger companies in the position to write six-figure checks to you for your services would be reading this kind of posts. Their staff may. But I am not certain again whether the staff members that would be reading this kind of posts would be then talking to their bosses to suggest hiring you (which, by the way, may cost these staff members their job security).

    Now, your KISSMetrics blog is certainly much more aligned (in my opinion) with marketing your high-priced consulting services. It is clearly geared more towards bigger companies who are serious about conversion and such. But: The KISSMetrics blog is attached to the KISSMetrics product. This attachment steers it towards KISSMetrics and what it has to offer, but away from you and what you have to offer. Also, in my subjective opinion, the KISSMetrics blog is just way too dry and impersonal in terms of its presentation, I end up hardly ever going there because it just does not have a welcoming, live atmosphere. Also, I keep being puzzled why you don’t promote your KISSMetrics blog on the QuickSprout blog. Why not just say something like “If you like my posts on QuickSprout then chances are you will love my posts on the KISSMetrics blog!” and then direct people there. If it were me I’d also once a week or every other week put out a post on QuickSprout simply listing, with a couple sentences descriptions and links, the posts that have being posted on KISSMetrics, – since it is reasonable to assume that many of the QuickSprout readers would find those of interest.

    But back to my thought that in my opinion the content on QuickSprout is not totally conducive to selling six-figure consulting services. A good counter-example that comes to my mind is Alan Weiss. Alan Weiss has a whole bunch of books on consulting, sold through Amazon etc. The books are superb and many people, including myself, end up assembling all of his books. The audience for those books is quite broad and includes consultants from really “small-fish” to the top elite ones. And yet, when you read the books, it is so clearly conveyed from every page that as for the services of Alan Weiss himself – they are in the six-seven-figure range only, that’s his level.

    I love your QuickSprout blog so much, Neil. I’d hate to see it changed. But perhaps giving greater prominence to the KISSMetrics blog to market the high-end consulting services?

    2) I looked through the NeilPatel.com landing page. It is terrific that you have such diverse, broad experience and having Amazon, eBay and the like featured of course totally impresses. With that said, it seems to me that there is nevertheless great value in stating explicitly some of the major industries as ones in which you have documented experience and expertise. I think a great way to present this would be: (a) state that you have expertise and experience in a given industry (e.g., hospitality, or banking, etc), and maybe state that you have a person on your team with focus on that industry, and (b) then point out that because you work with so many industries you are positioned to see if any of the best practices from other industries can be applied to the client’s industry.

    For ex., the hospitality industry with the hotels, resorts, timeshares etc. It is huge, and it also seems like the kind of industry that can benefit greatly from your services. But it is also quite specialized. I used to do quite a lot of work in the hospitality, hotels and such sector. It is specialized. They do want to see that the person has experience in that industry. Once you are in it, they also appreciate that you work across the hotel companies and can hopefully provide them with some insight. E.g., I recall being in a meeting with executives for some well known hotel chain. And they posed to us, in advance actually so that we give it some thought, a question: “You have worked with so many hotels, you have been to so many hotels, and you have also been to our properties. Any best practices from other hotels, any new trends you’ve seen, any suggestions from what you’ve seen happening in other hotels?” A lot of it is not proprietary in any way, it just takes someone noticing things.

    So that’s competitive intelligence aspect. But there is also competitive intelligence from looking at the other industries. I remember talking to someone in charge of competitive intelligence in a pharmaceutical company, they were looking not just at other pharmaceutical companies but also Home Depot, car sales etc etc – to see if there are any sales and other best practices they can learn.

    My point is: Since you have been working with many industries, you could emphasize that you can leverage and share best practices from other industries if you think they are applicable to the client’s industry. But it would also help state explicitly the industries you have experience in.

    • You are correct on the Quick Sprout audience. Most of my visitors aren’t fit for the consulting service. For me, Quick Sprout is a place where I can just educate. If I don’t make money from it… so be it.

      As for promoting the KISSmetrics blog, I do to some extent, but more so by linking to blog posts from Quick Sprout. And in my Quick Sprout newsletter, I promote the main KISSmetrics site versus the blog, as that converts better.

      You also make a good point on leveraging other industries and sharing best practices. I am going to A/B test that on NeilPatel.com.

  24. And you never tried sponsored ads on Bing? I was doing well with adCenter several years back and the traffic quality (and thereby the ROI) was much much much better than AdWords.

  25. Thanks for this information Neil

    What is the best platform to advertise gambling sites?

  26. what do you think of microsoft adcenter and chitika? I think Bing can be used for marketing purposes. Google is overcrowded so obviously, prices have gone up. Probably Bing can deliver similar quality of traffic at lower prices (relatively). Anyway, thanks for sharing this.

  27. David - Business Expansion Opportunities :

    Hey Neil,

    This is a great post somehow coming just as I was thinking of paid for advertising last night before bed.
    I see your retargeter ads but like Elena above, I prefer to come direct so that you don’t have to pay for the clicks.

    I hope you had a positive return on the 66k?

    Thanks for sharing.

  28. If LinkedIn leads were 15-20X more qualified given the CPCs and conversion rates you mention then by my calculation your total cost per *qualified* lead is about 80% less on LinkedIn or, conversely you can get 5X the volume of *qualified* leads with the same spend as Google PPC, so who cares about the volume? Or are you saying that no matter the budget not enough traffic exists in the universe of LinkedIn traffic?

    • No matter what budget I put, not enough traffic exists in the LinkedIn world. That’s the biggest problem with it… hard to get volume from LinkedIn.

  29. Googma Sansar @ Make Money :

    Hi Neil Patel ! I’m also planning to Ads on Google Adwords. I think it is better option to others because of the popularity as well as trstuworth. Google always to their advertiser no to their publisher. I have seen many publishers have been kicked out by Adwords due to voilation of Adwords policy. So that, it will better for me to choose adwords. What do yo think? Please give me some clues.

    • It is really up to you, I would suggest trying it out to see how it works for you. If it doesn’t work try another route.

  30. Thanks for the great blog! I’ve recently gotten into LinkedIn and have heard some buzz about advertising on it, but I wasn’t really sure if the conversion was the quality I was looking for. The company I work for uses Google Adwords very successfully and based on that I was wary of venturing too far away. This was some great insight; awesome post!

  31. One of the best lessons I learnt from your personal site and your post, 100 lessons for first time entrepreneurs :

    ‘Do not wait your copy/product to be perfect for the launch. Get something to sell, and just launch.’

    We had a talk in emails about the bugs in quicksprout and also in neilpatel.com, but I guess they are not noticed by majority of people. So I learnt from you that, ‘perfect is not always necessary’.

    who’s your webmaster / developer?

    Thanks Neil.

    – Darshan

  32. Neil:

    Out of curiousity….why would you want to spend that much money to get traffic to a site with your name on it when your name is associated with this great site?


  33. Have you ever tried co registration Services to fetch new customers?

  34. OMG 😮 Neil , how you get so much courage to spend such huge amounts :O

  35. That is a lot of spend, I came across the Quick Sprout ads everywhere on Adwords.

  36. WOW, crazy business risk!
    Good stuff man

  37. Isn’t LinkedIn just a glorified CV site? I would assume that the only ads worth running on there would be job sites or CV writing services.

  38. Hi Niel!
    Nice post, love read more of yours post.

  39. I like your conclusion…pretty much right on the money. Not much HAS changed in paid search. Retargeting can be a new shiny spot for some, but not all. Testing and analysis are really the only way to see what works – just as you did – but the time investment can be pretty high for the return. Not always a great tool for smaller businesses with limited budgets. Great post, thank you!

  40. Quite the eye opener…and some grat points also…opening a half baked site is better than no site at all holds true! IMO adwords give the better bang for your buck…..obviously dependant on what you are advertising.
    Great post….got some more?

  41. Neil:

    I am amazed those “sales letters” work, but I assume they do, as they are in place all over the web…

    Do you think you’d get a “higher quality” response w/ a more straightfwd, less sales-y approach?

    As for tips, here’s my POV:
    — No “call to action” above the fold…
    — No “contact” page (which is a nice call to action)
    — No phone number…

    When I talk about “conversion rate,” I like to start with maximizing conversion opportunities. Rather than “what else you should buy,” I’d add more conversion opportunities to your site… “let folks convert anyway they’re comfortable” is my golden rule. Bounce rate is the enemy.

    If I understand correctly, your current ROI is based on one form, buried way below the fold… you might have much better ROI if you had more conv opportunities.

    (And I bet you don’t want calls from all this traffic — but for “pro” services, in-bound calls are the hottest leads in many cases. In that case… you’d have to track inbound phone calls from ads as well! That’s a “fun” part of online marketing that is typically overlooked.)

    Cheers to you — thanks for the insight!

    • I’ve had better luck with the sales letter type of pitch. The direct, straight forward copy, hasn’t converted too well for me when I tested it.

      I still need to make tweaks as I should be able to boost my conversions by double on that page. I think adding a personal video will do the trick to boost conversions and shorten up the page.

  42. I am finding the same thing with Facebook ads. I love the demographic targeting but a year ago the ads were so much cheaper. The price just keeps creeping up but the quality does not. What was once more effective for me than Google Ad Words is now less effective.

  43. Prashant Rohilla :

    Hello Neil, What i feel about the success and higher conversion rate from LinkedIn is due to the audience which LinkedIn catters, which consist of Proffesional, Service seekers etc. Traditionally Google Ads may or may not be catterd to the potential service buyer.

  44. Hi Neil,
    I was wondering if you had suggestions on number of days to track view-through conversions and post-click conversions. Most seem to default at 30 and 30.

  45. Hi Neil
    Like your transparency on your findings. Given your six figure acquisition conversions, do you find Google’s Display network giving you higher or lower conversions versus Google search ads?


  46. wedding photographer Ipswich :

    I wanna know where you got that picture from!

  47. iPhone Apps Development :

    Agree with Neil. One of my business colleague has spent lot of money on LinkedIn Ads , but of no use. He went into full of loss. Getting ROI from your ads is very important. Also your experience in this field matters a lot. Newcomers or beginners may face loss in their investment if ads not done wisely.

  48. Lavneet Sharma :

    Wow. That’s a huge amount to spend for advertisements. But the result was equally same. 😉
    Great article. Enjoyed reading it.. 🙂

  49. The money you spent to learn things cannot even be our investment in many years. Astonishing!!!

  50. Hey Neil I was wondering what PPC services were better for B2C products..?

  51. Google Adwords isn’t as great as it used to be. I remember getting decent leads for £1 a click. But the big businesses are upping the cost per click and Adwords is no longer a place for the underdog…

  52. I’ve tested a few paid ad campaings, but becuase my blog is relatively new I’m looking for organic traffic and free traffic first. When I see some traction I’ll ramp it up with paid traffic. Of the few campaigns I’ve etsted, I can say the results were fantastic and I agree that adwords especially is still a great way to get targetted traffic. It’s a shame the costs of paid advertising keeps going up.

  53. What about using Chitika, Clicksor and Bidvertiser, because most of the bloggers will be using their service.

    In the blogging community these are more famous alternatives for google adsense.

    Please suggest.


  54. Dan @ Stock Trading Tips :

    Hi Neil,

    Great post as usually, thanks for sharing with us your PPC experiences. In my opinion the best thing is to invest in driving organic traffic, on the long way is the cheapest solution. Its true that a PPC campaign can drive you leads fast, but I still think that is not the best choice for long term.


  55. Hi Neil,

    Great post, and very useful info.
    Regarding retargeting, I wonder if you had any chance to review other providers such as Adroll. Their “dynamic” CPM is slightly higher than Retargeter and Perfect Audience, but I had a chat with support on their website and they claim to cover 98% of the Internet.

    My concern was that living in a small country in Europe, where Internet has 50% population adoption and internet portals are less than 10 years old, while blogs are just starting out, retargeting might prove somewhat difficult (except for retargeting on facebook of course). Do you have any information regarding Internet coverage especially regarding specific countries regarding retargeter and perfect audience?

  56. That’s a lot of money!

  57. Hello!,,,,
    Hi!,,,,,,,,Very interesting! I’m still reading, but what was the conversion rate of the retargeter?

    Thanks so much!,,,,,,,,

  58. I really enjoy and find extremely useful your more hands-on posts, such as on search optimizing images, how to write blog posts etc etc, as well as your motivational posts on how to succeed in business and so forth. But I am not sure that executives in larger companies in the position to write six-figure checks to you for your services would be reading this kind of posts.

  59. Casey Armstrong :

    Have you ever used Twitter paid ads? I’ve used them before to help drive signups and exposure by targeting conferences in specific niches with high Twitter volume back when you used to be able to sit at the top with a big gold ad badge, but haven’t lately. Would be great to hear what creative ideas there you’ve explored if you’ve played in the space.

    Thanks as always!

    • Casey, I haven’t used Twitter for paid ads. However, if you have any insights regarding that method please let me know… would love to hear.

  60. Steven Chang :

    I have calculated that you spent 85,80 dollars for each lead that you get using google adwords. How do you earn these 85,80 dollars back? It seems impossible to me.

  61. Steven Chang :

    Can you see what is wrong with my website? It doesn’t convert somehow.

  62. John Calvin :

    I’m just now getting into paid advertising- thank you for the tips I will try some- Very scary to jump into paying for advertising 🙁

  63. Atlanta Wedding DJ :

    Thanks Neil for the great post

  64. KurlandMedia :

    PPC is very good for testing different keywords, although it doesnt provide the exact results, its still very helpful for SEO campaigns.


  65. Thank you Neil for sharing your experience. Very informative with some very useful tips. I have a quick question though. What would you do with the budget of a campaign you stop? Spend it on volume, conversion or quality?


  66. Stefan Pretty :

    This is helpful, but we’re currently looking at doing Facebook re-marketing ads and Neil hasn’t shared insight on this, does anyone have any opinions on it? The targeting seems very powerful. B2B.

  67. 5 adsense Alternatives :

    I like what you guys are up too. This type of clever work and coverage!
    Keep up the great works guys I’ve added you guys to
    my personal blogroll.

  68. Great article Neil – thanks so much for sharing your insights… just wondering whether you have tested YouTube in-stream ads?

    We are about to embark on our first campaign…

    cheers, coxy

  69. Kamaljit Singh :

    Hi Neil,

    I think I am very late to reply your post, but still I would love to share my experience here.

    Very informative article about paid advertising. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. I am currently advertising with Google Adwords search, display, re-marketing (RLSA specially) and shopping ads for one of my E-commerce client.

    RLSA worked much better for us than any other type of campaigns like Search, Display and Standard re-marketing. Its conversion rate is almost around 30%.

    Did you test RLSA in Adwords and what were the results?

    And one more thing that is “affiliate marketing”. Did you test any affiliate network like “CJ” for your paid advertisement as it could be a good idea to get quality leads. Please share your thoughts on this as well?

    Advanced Thanks,

  70. Just a quick, how about Jobrapido in terms of quality traffic

  71. Great post and great comments. Even it is quite old still very informative. I look forward to reading the second edition! 🙂

  72. Thanks Neil for your Amazing article. Just ONE WORD KICKASS.

  73. Thank you for setting forth the various advertising forums such as linked in and google ad words. Very informative and detailed explanations.

  74. Bradley Lisotte :

    That was a great lesson!! Thanks for sharing practical insights with us Niel. Can you please tell me if you have written something on PPC landing page optimization, i think i really need to see some tips and tricks for that from you. Because i found an article on the web here: http://blog.abtasty.com/en/4-guidelines-to-optimize-conversion-rates-on-landing-pages which has 4 great points. But will be looking to learn more from you. Please do share some stuffs on this as well.

    Bradley Lisotte

  75. Google I believe is the most expensive traffic source.

  76. Gurpreet Singh :

    Hey Neil What about the Facebook Lead Generation Campaign ?

  77. Neil, My partner and I are photographers/Videographers who specialize in a few areas. We are in the process of rebuilding our business as we had a major project which lasted two years however it was so busy that we lost most of the customer base we had worked so hard to build. While i love building a company its a lesson I learned and we wont make the mistake again by putting all our egg in one basket. We have some great clients we have worked for but need to rebuild our customer base in this extremely competitive industry. Can you suggest which of the above mentioned resources would be good for us to kick off our marketing campaigns. Thank you for any direction and I apologize for the length of this question. Cheers

  78. What do you think of PPC call only feature? I use it with success, however you’re unable to use call to actions like ‘click to call’ because it violates googles TOS. So I still have to pay for the click, even though user did not commit to pressing send on their phone.

  79. When you use Perfect Audience to remarket does it matter the context where your ad appears. If I am a B2B business and my ad comes up on Hulu or WSJ does it matter since it is the person I am after? Should you try and filter out all the B2C sites so your ads only run on business sites.

    • It can perform better on certain websites, I would try Semrush on trial as they have a traffic insights report now which may help or adbeat 😉

  80. Really a readable content but 2012 is too old as paid advertising is changing daily.

Speak Your Mind