You might have noticed a change in the Catholic Family’s website recently. Our website has traditionally been a landing page for our audio podcast. Most of our traffic (i.e. listeners) comes through subscriptions to our podcast through iTunes and other RSS sources. But recently, Allyson and I decided to “up the ante” and create new types of content such as blog articles. This has shifted the purpose of the website from an ancillary to primary distribution source.
As part of this transformation, we decided to try some things that we hadn’t tried before. I recently went to OpenCa.mp, a conference having a mission,”to educate, foster a sense of community, and remove barriers for webmasters and web developers, bloggers, podcasters, and social media enthusiasts.” Needless to say, I came away a little overwhelmed with all of the information on SEO (search engine optimization), monetization, and leveraging social media. [callout]After consulting with Google, I decided I can’t afford Jesus.[/callout]
So we decided to do a few of things differently. First, we reworked the website to better accommodate blog entries. Since the podcast works independent of the website, the changes didn’t really affect the show. Second, we used several plugins to increase the SEO and social media connectivity of the website. The All in One SEO Pack is used to add bits of metadata to posts that make it easier for search engines like Google to categorize them accurately. WordPress to Twitter is a plugin that posts links to Twitter whenever a blog entry or podcast is published on the website. This simplifies the process of “getting the word out.” Additionally, I hooked up Twitter to Facebook, which saves another posting duty. Socialize is a plugin that puts links to social media sites within a post so visitors can broadcast a topic they like through their favorite social media tools. We also installed Google Analytics for WordPress so we could follow the progress of the site.
Third, we signed up for Commission Junction, a service that connects publishers (me) with advertisers. You control which ads you use, and get a commission when someone clicks through an ad and buys something on the advertiser’s site. You can see some of these ads to the right. Feel free to click on one and buy something – you’ll be helping out the Catholic Family.[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][callout]→[/callout]
Lastly, we signed up for Google Adwords, which is an advertising service that lets you create targeted ads in Google search results. You only pay for ads that are actually clicked on so you know with a high degree of accuracy how many people visited your site and what search terms are the most effective. You pay based upon the “worth” of your search terms. Terms can cost a fraction of a cent up to tens or hundreds of dollars per click. You can set per-click-maximums and a daily budget.
So I decided to try Adwords on this article – Is Jesus Green? I decided to advertise for seven days with a daily maximum of $2. I picked out about 15 search terms, including things like organic gardening, parenting tips, Catholic Christianity and, of course, Jesus. After the first 24 hours, I eagerly signed on to Adwords to check my stats. 3 clicks – all on the term “Jesus.” Each click was 94 cents. So I learned two things – I can’t afford Jesus, and $2 a day doesn’t buy much.I upped my daily budget to $4 (so please buy from one of our advertisers!).
How is it working? Ask me me six days.