Paid Traffic in 2015 – Facebook, Pinterest, Google & More

Ezra Firestone

Figuring out which paid traffic option to focus on for your business can be a struggle. We talk to paid traffic pro Ezra Firestone of SmartMarketer.com about executing a strategy that will drive multiple streams of traffic to your business.

Ezra has become a paid traffic guru, focusing on the multitude of ways to drive traffic to your website using the different channels that are available today. He weighs in on the best method to determine your strategy specific to your business and budget. And of course, we talk about what paid traffic in 2015 looks like, from Pinterest to Instagram and so much more.

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The Full Conversation

(With your hosts Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel.com and Ezra Firestone, of SmartMarketer.com.)

Andrew: Today on the show, we’re going to be talking paid traffic in 2015. Really a high level overview of what’s working today in this new year, relative I guess, it’s not so new anymore, but what’s working well, where are there some great opportunities. Is the stuff that was working in the last year or two, is it still working in terms of Facebook, AdWords, those kind of things? And the man to really give us some great insight into, couldn’t think of many people better than Mr. Ezra Firestone for chatting . . .

Ezra: Woo doggies.

Andrew: . . . paid traffic.

Ezra: I always wanted to do that on a podcast. I always wanted to say, “woo doggies”. Now, I got a chance. And I said it actually at the introduction of myself, so that’s cool.

Andrew: You moved out in the country, man. You took a cue from me and you moved out of New York City. You’re parked next to a little pond, on Walden Pond here. I’m glad I rubbed off on you.

Ezra: Well, to be fair, right now I’m still in a hotel room. Six months of nomad and I move into our house actually in two weeks. That’s really exciting. Come on out, man, we’ve got a stream, we’ve got all kinds of stuff.

Andrew: You’ve got a stream. A stream is big news to someone that used to live in New York city. That’s five. But seriously you moved, what, 60 miles outside the city or you’re going to be?

Ezra: Yeah, about an hour outside the city, up to a little mountain town on the Hudson river. It’s just beautiful, man. It’s like I’m finally burned out of the city energy. And I needed some nature. Dude, we tried to go to Austin, we attempted it, we went down there, we leased the house, we bought a car. We were down there for three weeks. We came back home to get all of our stuff, the rest of the stuff to ship down to Austin. We got home, and Kerry was like, “Yeah, we’re not going back.” So that was that, man. She put her foot down. She didn’t like it. And so we didn’t go back.

Andrew: Man, well, I’ll send you a few little little things I get around the house that’ll help you adapt to a more rural life.

Ezra: You sent this this beard-shaving kit, which it turns out I don’t actually need because I accidentally shaved off my beard myself.

Andrew: How do you accidentally shave a beard off?

Ezra: Well, the story starts in Japan, and Japanese are traditionally good craftsmen. One of the things I was really impressed by, that culture is actually . . . They’re focused on craftsmanship. It’s so interesting that their cultural focus is on where they fit into the greater society rather than individualism, whereas our cultural focus is on individualism and not really about fitting into the greater society. But I bought this beard-shaver. I couldn’t read the instructions because they were in Japanese. And I thought I knew what I was doing, but next thing you know, I didn’t have a beard anymore, and it was really sad.

Andrew: I love it. In the show notes, we’ll post a picture of Ezra beardless, if anyone is stalkeresque enough to check it out. Well, hey, man, I’m excited to get into paid traffic. First, I want to do a quick first sale shout-out to Brandon Pleshek, and apologies, Brandon, if I butchered your last name there, of AnalogGamer.com. And Brandon writes to me and says, “I just wanted to say thank you for your amazing podcast. I recently launched my online store. It had three sales within the first few hours,” which, man, that’s impressive. “I know the great tips and resources played a key role in the first days of success. Looking forward to learning more from you and your guests. Keep up the good work.” Awesome, Brandon. Congrats, man. Three, man, again, I’ve said this before.

Ezra: Three sales in an hour, dude? You need to come on the podcast to tell us what you’re doing.

Andrew: Yeah, no kidding. Maybe you can do some coaching for us or something here. I didn’t get . . .

Ezra: I tell you what, took me 10 days back in 2007 to get my first sale.

Andrew: Took me two weeks, yeah. Yeah, you should be feeling pretty good, Brandon. Congrats. So Ezra, are you excited? You ready to having some paid traffic stuff here?

Ezra: Yes, I appreciate your having me on to get serious about this subject. It’s something that I put a lot of attention on. And really it’s the only thing in my ecommerce business is that I still, you could say, bottle neck, but I wouldn’t call it that because I won’t really let it go because I love it. It’s the thing that I do still really for most of our ecommerce businesses, or at least manage on a high level. And so I’m excited to talk about it because we buy traffic from many different networks for our ecommerce businesses. Our Amazon businesses, our traditional ecommerce business. And we do direct response advertising, as well as traditional query-based advertising. So it’ll be fun to talk about.

Profitability of Facebook Advertising Today

Andrew: Awesome. So Ezra, traditionally you have been a big outspoken fan of Facebook and you’ve leveraged it a ton content marketing for ecommerce and for ecommerce lead generation to drive sales that way. What do you think? I feel like it’s not as new, of course, as it once was. Maybe that’s stating the obvious. But are you still seeing it be as profitable? You seeing any big changes for 2015? What are you seeing, man?

Ezra: Okay, I love Facebook. You know I love Facebook. I think Facebook right now is the best source of traffic on the Internet because you can get the highest quality at scale, meaning Pinterest is delivering me higher quality traffic than Facebook, but I can’t scale it. They’re just not giving me enough of it. Facebook will give you a lot. So Facebook wants to be a commerce system and they’re going to roll out the ability for one-click purchasing the same way Amazon has with people having credit cards on file. And so that’ll be great especially for retargeting adds placements, where you can just say, “Okay”, you can put a retargeting ad, and then it’ll be like, “Click here to buy this,” and they can just buy it right there, inside of Facebook.

But to answer your greater question about whether or not Facebook is still good, yes. We’re still using it. I would say the best placement on Facebook, the best opportunity that you have as an advertiser on Facebook right now is to use the Power Editor, the equivalent of the AdWords editor for Google. Lets you do bulk editing of your Facebook ads. And when you use the Power Editor, what you can do is you can go in there and you can set your targeting and you can say, “I would like to target people who are fans of Burt’s Bees,” which is a targeting group that I use a lot because I have a bee skin care line. “And I’d like to be, women in this age range.” And then you can go and you can set the device. So you can go and set, “I want to run only in the mobile news feed.” And you can only run on mobile.

But you can go a step beyond that. When you select a mobile news feed, you can say, “I want to run only on iOS devices.” And then if you look a little bit further, when you select iOS devices, it gives you a drop-down menu, and you can get rid of iPhones and iPods, so you can only run on iPad. And right now, our most profitable placement is iPad-only traffic on Facebook. So the same targeting group, the same demographics, the same everything, but only to people on iPads. So mobile news feed placement using only the iPad is really working well.

Andrew: Is it cost more or less to serve up an ad to somebody on mobile versus desktop, or is it pretty much all the same?

Ezra: So yeah. So mobile is significantly cheaper. So this is a campaign, and I can show you some screenshots from it and stuff in the show notes, if you want, of this exact campaign and the difference between a desktop ad and a mobile ad. But basically the desktop ads that are running on the desktop news feed in right column we’re paying about 50 to 75 cents a click, they start at 50 cents a click, and then when the advertisement, the image gets stale and the click-through rate drops, the click goes up to around 75 cents. So then we switch it up, and it drops down to 50. The mobile placements are between 20 and 30 cents. So we’re getting clicks on mobile between 20 and 30 cents. And the iPad in particular is about 25 cents a click, so about half price. And it’s converting better, which is really interesting. Obviously you need a mobile-optimized website and that kind of thing.

Andrew: You’re saying the tablet, the iPad, is converting better than the desktop?

Ezra: Better than the desktop, although mobile, just iPhone and iPod or other mobile devices are still terrible for us. We’re not able to make a profit on that. We make some sales here and there, but we’re not able to buy traffic at it within the positive return on ad spend.

Andrew: So Ezra, just to clarify, you’re not using these Facebook ads as a way to just drive direct traffic to product landing pages and get a real quick product sale. You did a whole talk about this at eCommerceFuel live. We’ll link up to that for people in the private community.

Ezra: Yeah, and I think that this is the misconception with traditional ecommerce retailers. As a traditional ecommerce retailer, what you are used to is query-based traffic, people typing in a query on Google or Amazon or Bing or Yahoo, and you showing them a product to buy. It’s really easy to sell someone a product when they were looking for it. You can’t really make sales on Facebook by sending people directly to your ecommerce product page. The way that we’re doing it, the best way, the way that’s working right now the best is we’re sending people to a piece of content, and it’s a presell article. And the article is related to the problem that our product solves. So “Five makeup tips for older women,” and then we give them the five tips and we say, “Oh, by the way, this makeup line,” link over to our product page, “is really great for this,” and we pitch our makeup line. So it’s basically an article that is designed to engage them in a story that then alludes to a solution, which is our product. And then they click through and then they go to our product. And so my advertising content, we actually are getting much cheaper clicks because content is what Facebook wants. People share content, they engage in it.

So the content has to be written well. So that’s one way we’re doing it. That’s the most profitable way. We’re sending people to what’s called a presell article, and that article is designed to engage them in a story. And this article is literally just on the blog on our website. It’s not on some fake blog with some fake name designed to look like it was written by a third party. It’s a blog post on our website that is about something that relates to our product. Now, so that’s one way and that’s what I would recommend, and it’s the best way because it’s a way that you can run direct response, where you can send traffic from Facebook to an article that engages someone in a story that then leads to your product page, and you can an immediate sale that day.

The other way to do it to send people to a lead capture, so send people to some kind of a page that offers them something. Maybe it’s a piece of content, maybe it’s an ebook, maybe it’s a social promotion. But it offers them some kind of incentive to get their email address. And then you get their email address and you put them on a pre-purchased autoresponder sequence where you send them content and sales messaging that then leads to your product sale. So you have to be able to create a sales funnel in order to make contextual advertising work.

Andrew: Quickly before we move on a couple other platforms, have you seen any big changes in terms of how Facebook’s serving things up, in terms of settings, any big changes in the last three to six months that people on Facebook need to know about?

Ezra: Well, what we’ve found, what we used to do is we’d run our ads really wide, so we’d run the entire country in a certain demographic. And that was working really well because we’d get extremely cheap inventory because nobody was bidding on it. So if we just said, “We want to target all the women in America who are over 40,” that was what we would do and it would work really well. Now what we’ve found, two things that we found. Number one, the nicher the group, the better. So basically we’re now doing really small targeting groups of 30,000 and 50,000 and we’re only doing in certain states. So we’re not longer doing nationwide.

Every one of my campaigns now, if I’ve got one targeting group, for example, my best targeting group right now is friends of fans over 40. So anyone who is not a fan of my website but has a friend who is a fan of my fan page. So that’s 400,000-500,000 people. Now, I’m running that same targeting group in New York and I’m running it in California so I’m separating it out based on state. And I highly recommend you do that because it turns out that New York, California, Texas, Florida, New Jersey and Pennsylvania across all of our ecommerce campaigns are converting the best. If you want to give yourself the best chance of success, only run in New York and California because those are the best for ecommerce, at least for us. But separate it out by state instead of running nationwide because you’ll find that certain states don’t perform.

Second thing is, use smaller targeting groups. Don’t go huge, wide, multimillion-people targeting groups. Try to get it down to 100,000 or less, a little bit nichier targeting groups. And there is a tool called the Audience Insights tool, and it’s a phenomenal tool. Facebook gives it to you for free. Just click on the left menu of your Facebook ads dashboard there and you can find out you can put in “whole foods” and you can see all these pages that people who like whole foods also like, so you can get a lot of ideas that way.

We used to bid for website conversions. So basically you set up a campaign, and that campaign has an objective. The campaign objective is either website clicks, website conversions, whatever it is. And man, within that campaign that has a certain objective, you have these Adcepts that have these different targeting groups. So we used to say, “We’ll place a tracking pixel, a conversion pixel on our post-purchase thank-you page and we want Facebook to optimize for as many sales as we can get. So we want to bid for conversions.”

Now what we’re doing is we’re taking our campaign objective and we’re saying, “Bid for clicks. Just give us as many clicks as you can get.” Now, of course, when we build our ad, we still set the conversion tracks and pixels so we can track conversions, but we’re not asking Facebook to optimize for conversions. We’re asking them to optimize for clicks. And this is the antithesis of what I taught at eCommerceFuel live because how we were doing it before was bidding for conversions. Now we’re bidding for clicks and we’re getting cheaper clicks and more conversions. So that’s interesting.

Andrew: Why does it work like that? It seems like if you were optimizing for conversions, wouldn’t Facebook . . . Are they not optimizing your spend effectively?

Ezra: I believe that most campaigns don’t have enough conversion actions to get a good optimization going in the Facebook system. And with clicks, we’re getting thousands of those, so Facebook can optimize and get us the people who are more likely to click, when we ask them to get us the people who are more likely to convert. And we’re only spending 500 or 1000 bucks a day, I feel like they’re just not getting enough data to be able to do it effectively and so they are charging us more. I don’t actually know. I can’t tell you why it’s working better that way. I can just tell you that it is. So I don’t know. My theory is that they’re not getting enough data from small advertisers to be able to optimize for conversions well enough. But I don’t know.

Jump on the Pinterest Bandwagon

Andrew: So I’ve got a hunch I know what you’re going to say on this one but I’ll leave it open regardless. Looking for this year, what’s your favorite new platform or advertising opportunity that you see in 2015?

Ezra: All right, well, I think you know I’m going to say Pinterest, right? I’m on the Pinterest bandwagon. And everyone’s like, “Dude, last week you were telling me Facebook and you’re just a bandwagon jumper, bro.” I had one guy that actually said, and it was in that voice. I didn’t just make that voice up. And I’m like, “Look, man . . . ”

Andrew: You’ve got a pretty good bro accent, Ez, and impression.

Ezra: I can bro down with the best of them, bro. I can brother on down. I grew up in California part time, so I have met a lot of the bros out there. Have you seen that Save the Bros video?

Andrew: No.

Ezra: Dude, it’s brilliant. You have to just go Google Save the Bros. It’ll change your life. It’s hilarious. And we’ve really got to save the bros because they’re disappearing. So anyways, here’s the deal, man. Facebook is still my favorite traffic source because I can scale with it. However, my experience is in the last six weeks, by the way, I’ve only had access to Pinterest ads for seven weeks, that Pinterest ads are converting literally 10x, literally 10 times as well. Quite literally. It’s unbelievable how well Pinterest is converting right now. And I don’t know if it’ll stay that way. I don’t know if I’m just getting an incredible quality of traffic or what it is, or if my product is just the perfect product for this market, which is 70%, who have a $100,000 a year or more income. It’s perfect for me and my market being a beauty market. So it could just be that I’m in the right place at the right time, but it’s just unbelievable how well it’s converting.

And now I’m doing a beta course with my email group, my subscribers. And there’s a lot of people having great success with it. So I think there’s a lot of people having great success with it. So I think it’s probably from an ecommerce perspective going to be a really great opportunity because Pinterest really does drive purchase behavior in a way that other social sites don’t because people are really there to look at products and show interest in things they’re interested in buying. So I think it’s probably our favorite new source and one that we will continue to focus on for 2015.

Andrew: You mentioned you obviously are a great fit for it, given your segment market. But do you think if you’re particular about . . . Because Pinterest obviously is so visual. It’s predominantly, what is it, 80% plus used by women I think.

Ezra: I think it’s down to 70% now because said their fastest-growing demographic on Pinterest is male. So I think that number has dropped a little bit.

Andrew: When you have a 80% platform woman, it doesn’t take much for your fastest-growing demographic to be male because there’s no males on it.

Ezra: That’s true.

Andrew: So have you seen anyone else maybe outside of that beauty or the fashion?

Ezra: I see a lot of people in pets doing well, a lot of people in pets doing really well. I’ve seen some folks in survival doing well on Pinterest. But a big problem with Pinterest is there’s just not enough traffic right now. The way they’re throttling it, I’ve got my budget set $1000 a day and I’m just not able to buy more than about $100 a day worth of traffic, which is making me a good amount of money, but so far they really haven’t opened up the floodgates. And I do believe that Pinterest is just like any other platform, where your product and your market really do matter. Right channel radios, I don’t think it’s going to work on Pinterest, you know what I mean? It’s not really probably going to be the best fit.

Andrew: Hey, man, of those males growing on Pinterest, truckers are the fastest growing male segment on Pinterest.

Ezra: Oh, yeah, bearded . . .

Andrew: You didn’t know?

Ezra: No. Yeah, so I think that it really, just like any other source, it does come down to whether or not your product is a fit for that. And I think that right now Pinterest is much better for people with products that are focused at women and pet markets and things like that. But you never know. I wouldn’t go out and bet the bank on Pinterest if I was selling radios and stuff like that.

Andrew: Great. We’ve got a Carole Rains, the Pinterest queen in the private forum. She’s got a great Ask Me Anything with tons of good tips and tricks. So if a forum member, we’ll link up to that in the show notes.

Ezra: Love Carole Rains.

Andrew: Yeah, she knows her stuff with Pinterest. It’s impressive.

Ezra: She is. Carole Rains is not to be messed with, man. She’s been one of my bootcamp. I love Carol Raines.

Instagram’s Advertising Platform

Andrew: What about Instagram? Have you been on that at all?

Ezra: Dude, I got a guy in my mastermind group who’s spending $5,000 a day on Instagram, bro. And you noticed I started with a dude and I ended with a bro?

Andrew: Yeah, you saved the bro credentials. You’re getting them [inaudible 00:19:22] out there.

Ezra: Yeah, I’m trying to get up there. I actually had a conversation with my wife recently, where she’s like, “You’ve got to stop using ‘dude’ and ‘bro’. You’re starting to get a little famous and you’re doing a lot of content and you can’t be dudeing and broing all the time.”

Andrew: We won’t edit them out. We’ll leave them here for the record.

Ezra: Man, this’ll be some of the last dudes and bros, and I’ll drop them. Anyways, Instagram. Unfortunately their advertising platform is also not available to everyone. It’s in beta right now. And I will say one more thing about Pinterest. I have a coffee brand that I’m rolling out that I’ll let you know how it does in Pinterest, so that could be an interesting test. Instagram is one of those other things where, again, I believe that it’s really more relevant for health and fitness and beauty and pets. I don’t know how well it would work for CB radios.

But a lot of products would work for it. And the way that this guy is doing it is he’s finding people with big followings by searching through Instagram. He’s got some system for searching and finding people with big followings that are in his market. And then he just private messages them and says, “Hey, can I pay $50 for a sponsored post?” And most of these people with these really big followings are used to that because since there is no advertising platform for most people, you just do it backdoor-style by sending them private messages.

And then basically what they will do is they will put a post on their Instagram, which usually only lasts for a couple hours before it gets taken over by other stuff because Instagram, people’s feeds get filled up. You see a burst of sales that you get, and basically what happens is they click on that post that’s in their Instagram feed, and from there they have to actually click the URL in your Instagram profile. So basically you pay someone to share a post from your profile, that post then says, “Click the URL in my profile to get over to the offer page.” Then they go over to your landing page. And this guy’s selling ebooks and stuff like that.

But I’ve never used it, I’ve not yet had the opportunity to play around with Instagram. I’m excited about it, I would really like to use the traditional ads platform instead of private-messaging people and that kind of thing.

Andrew: If you’re going to spend $5,000, what did you say, a day?

Ezra: Yeah, he’s spending that a day.

Andrew: If you’re spending that per day and you’re trying to do that manually, that sounds like a nightmare.

Ezra: That’s right. Well, I mean he now has all the connections with all these people and he’s buying a lot from the same people. And so he has been at it. But that’s the thing. I don’t want to go and message a million people. I’m not going to do that. I can just spend my money on Google, on Facebook, and Pinterest. I don’t know. Instagram, I’m excited about the opportunity when the ads come out, but for now there’s no ads there.

Twitter for Advertising

Andrew: Yeah. Couple of good resources Richard over at A Better Lemonade Stand put together, a pretty guy, on how to get more followers on Instagram. We’ll link up to that. And then some private forum members are also sharing their tips on how things are working for Instagram, what they’re doing, what’s working, what’s not in the forum. We’ll link up to that in the show notes. Twitter ads. I was chatting with somebody recently who said they’ve seen a pretty good, especially B to B seen Twitter ads work well. Do you use it at all, Ez?

Ezra: I use a bit of Twitter ads for my information business. I think it works great for the kind of stuff we do, which is business opportunity products and that kind of thing. I think it works great for retargeting for that. But Twitter ads on average are about $2.50 a click. I cannot really seem to get Twitter ads for under about two bucks a click. And I have never seen a single ecommerce campaign be profitable on Twitter, not once. From everyone I’ve talked to, I’ve never seen a single campaign where there’s profitable direct response sales for an ecommerce business on Twitter. I’ve seen a lot of branding campaigns, I’ve seen a lot of lead-generation campaigns, I’ve seen a lot of retargeting, I’ve seen a lot of B-to-B and information marketing, but not a single successful ecommerce campaign.

So if you had a successful ecommerce Twitter campaign, give me a call. I’d love to see it. I’m really interested in the platform. I think that the prices they charge are absolutely ridiculous. They’re just so expensive. I have this presell page, those five makeup tips for older women article that I’m running on Google display network, I’m running it on Facebook ads, I’m running it on Pinterest. I’m running it on traditional media buying, places like BuySellAds. I’m converting, I’m profitable everywhere. Twitter was a complete fail. We lost probably two grand. We’ve sent a bunch of clicks.

Andrew: Why do you think it’s so expensive?

Ezra: I’ve no idea. It’s not like their traffic is that good, you know what I mean? I don’t know. I feel like they just are full of themselves. I just can’t believe how expensive it is. And we had super high click-through rates and the whole nine.

Andrew: What about retargeting this year? It’s still a no-brainer? Is it still working as well as ever? And do you have a favorite platform, like AdRoll or Perfect Audience?

Ezra: We’re actually old school. We use just regular Google AdWords, just retargeting lists, and also Facebook ads retargeting lists. So we just make our own. Here’s the thing, man. I don’t have 1,000 skews anymore, right? I’m not in the drop ship world, where I’ve got a ton of skews. I’ve got 10 skews on most of most of my stores. So the way I’m doing it is all manual because I don’t need the dynamic retargeting. That’s something like AdRoll or Perfect Audience or something like that where it would allow you to do as an ecommerce business, what you can dynamically retarget on a per-product basis. I can build all that stuff manually.

So that’s how I’m doing it. It’s still working great. I’m not seeing as much of an ROI. We might pick up 10-15% on our retargeting, whereas before it was 30%. We used both Google and Facebook. But I hear good things about AdRoll and about Perfect Audience. I’m not using them because I don’t really need what they offer. I think that obviously the environment that we live in, things move so fast, people are consuming content. Think about the video platforms that are most popular, like 6-second videos, Vine and all these other ones. That’s how much video people are watching at a time right now. Six seconds. So I think that you’ve got to have retargeting and you’ve got to have ways to follow up with your customers. And it’s sort of a no-brainer to do it.

I don’t really have anything super special to offer you. The way that we do retargeting is most of our traffic is sent from two content. So we send it to a presell article. Obviously our Google search traffic and our Amazon search ads are going directly to products. But most of our ad spend is going to content. And if people don’t click through from that content to our offer page or our ecommerce store, we retarget them with more content. If they do click through the ecommerce store, we retarget them with more aggressive product ads. And those are the two ways we retarget, so either retargeting with content to re-engage them and then hopefully move them over to our store, or, if they actually made it to our store, we’re going to retarget them with products based on the products that they landed.

Now, I will tell you that if you can . . . In Google AdWords, this is really easy. In Facebook, they don’t have a way to do it, so you’ve got to trick the system. But in Google AdWords, what you can do is say, “Only retarget people who are on the site for more than 20 seconds or more than 30 seconds.” And that will significantly increase your ROI and lower your ad spend because people who didn’t spend more than 10-20 seconds on the site are not worth retargeting. So I think that’s really useful tip that you should do.

Using Retargeting

Andrew: Can you that for AdRoll or Perfect Audience? Is there a way to be able to say, “Hey, this person added this to their cart,” and really only focus on retargeting people who started the purchase process?

Ezra: Yes, you can. I don’t know about in AdRoll and Perfect Audience, I don’t use those tools. But I know that in Facebook, you can set it a list of only people who hit your cart pages and target them. That’s even better. That’s even more specific and that would be even better than doing it if you wanted to save money than only retargeting people who are on the site for a certain amount of time.

Andrew: Well, it seems like if you’re rolling out a campaign and you weren’t sure about if it was going to pencil, if you can’t get that to be profitable, to retarget people who added something to their cart, you’re probably not going to get a broader campaign to be profitable. Wouldn’t you agree?

Ezra: Totally.

Good Old Google AdWords

Andrew: Yeah. So a good litmus test. What about finally wrapping up the old goodie, the old guard Google AdWords? I heard rumors, I think it was in that Four Horsemen video, that potentially it’s getting cheaper. I don’t know if that’s actually true. Are you still using AdWords a lot?

Ezra: Old days, the bad days, the all-or-nothing days. Google AdWords search is still as expensive as ever. For us, it’s still pretty hard to get Google AdWords search ads to work for just a few skews. Google works a lot better when you’ve got a whole bunch of skews. I see a lot of people who are doing extremely well on Google Shopping who have tons of skews. Most of the people that I know who’ve got very few skews for whatever reason are not doing quite as well. We are not doing that well on Google AdWords. We still run it, even at a loss because we like to get customer acquisition or stuff like that. We’re not doing that well on traditional Google AdWords search.

And Google AdWords search is where I started. It’s my first AdWords paid traffic program. And I’m really good it, and we’re still having a hard time being profitable on it because of how expensive it is. However, we are able to drive sales on the Google Display Network very effectively. I think the Google Display Network is the most underrated source of traffic on the Internet. Again, pretty much only good if you’ve got a higher-priced product because on the Google Display Network, it’s hard to get sales for under $50. That’s what it’s costing, fifty bucks to get a sale. You can optimize that down sometimes to $40 and maybe even a little bit less, but it’s got, just like Facebook, a of of scale, a lot of opportunities for scale.

In fact, I know someone right now spending $1 million on month on the Google Display Network. And I know several people spending tens of thousands. So there’s a lot of traffic available there, but Google Display Network, again, just like Facebook, is really only going to work to a longer sales where you’ve got a presell page and then maybe a long-form sales page or something like that. It’s more going to be a direct response play than just sending something to an ecommerce store.

Andrew: Got you. There’s are tons of good nuggets to pull out of here from expensive Twitter to the Display Network. Once you’ve got your beard, it’s grown back, and you’ve settled into Walden Pond next year, man, we may have to do this again.

Ezra: Yeah. We’ve had some visits from the PA system, and it’s been interesting. I appreciate it man, always love being on the show. Thank you so much and talk to you soon.

Andrew: Mr. Ezra from SmartMarketer.com. Hey, thanks, man. Appreciate it, buddy.

That’s going to do it for this week. But if you’re interested in launching your own e-commerce store, download my free 55 page ebook on niche selection and getting started. And if you’re a bit more experienced, look into the eCommerceFuel private forum. It’s a vetted community for store owners with at least $4,000 in monthly sales or industry professionals with at least a year or more experience in the e-commerce space. You can learn more about both the ebook and the forum at eCommerceFuel.com. Thanks so much for listening and I’m looking forward to seeing you again next Friday.

What Was Mentioned

Photo Courtesy of Ezra Firestone

Post tagged in: Podcast, SEO & Marketing

5 Comments

  1. I loved this discussion between you and Ezra. I plan to use Ezra’s Facebook methods and see how they work for my company. I especially like how he mentioned mobile ads are cheaper and converts better than desktop for his business. I also plan to send people to content on my blog versus sending people directly to my product page. Overall, very good information.

    Can you bring Ezra back to discuss Pinterest in more detail? I know there is a link to his Pinterest article but its dated 2013. I’m interested in learning how Pinterest is working for him now that Pinterest has rolled out buyable pins.

    Lastly, I just discovered your podcast a few days ago. I love it!

    Thanks!

  2. Awesome Interview. Ezra breathe this stuff, Been a fan and follower. Allow me to ask this question here. What eCommerce software would you recommend for marketplace?

  3. I nearly drove off the road while listening to this podcast! Imagine my surprise when all of a sudden I heard you and Ezra bantering my name around. Thank you so much for the shout out. And great tips in this podcast. The info about bidding for clicks instead of conversions on Facebook is one I’ll definitely be implementing, as well as breaking down my audiences into much smaller groups by state, etc.
    P.S. If any of your listeners/readers would like to get more tips on Pinterest, I did interviews with Steve Chou and Terry Lin on their podcasts: http://mywifequitherjob.com/episode52/ and http://www.buildmyonlinestore.com/podcast/episode-129-use-pinterest-generate-traffic-online-store/
    Of course, Pinterest is evolving so rapidly that there are all new ways to use it as a marketing tool that weren’t available even 6 months ago when these were recorded.

  4. Great interview but I tried searching methods towards how to target audience in Facebook by iPads and I found no such feature in the Boosting ad section. Facebook is not very friendly to all commerce business. For example I was rejected for the Buy now button simply because Facebook doesn’t have means to filter under-age buyers for my products. Pinterest even worst. They have this full sync with shopify, where in order to be approved you must sync each sku along with its picture. My product picture was denied simply because it didn’t follow pinterest guidelines. its like they shut the door on you without trying to help you at all. an email that in overall states DENIED.

    I wouldn’t mind paying Pinterest a cut for every sale. But how is this a benefit when I just get shot down?

    Im still on the waiting list for Pinterest Promotion. Whats the hold up?

    Ive sent them and Shopify numerous emails and I’m left tin the dark. Great interview but sadly unhelpful.

  5. Hey Ezra and Andrew, I really enjoyed the podcast. Ezra, I was wondering if you might give an example or two of the presell pages you use with Facebook?