In the run up to Christmas, I tend to relaunch quite a few seasonal PPC campaigns from years gone past which nicely boost the sales through my site Wherecanibuyonline.com. The site collects together and features bestselling products and gifts from UK retailers then gives price comparisons for where to buy them online. While I mostly have organic traffic through Google; Christmas is the time I like to get some Adwords traffic through to the site.
So, it came as a really unpleasant surprise last week when I got an email from Adwords telling me that my new ads had been disapproved (which were the very same ones I’d used for the last 2 years with great success). After some digging through the policy rules I found that my site is now classified as a portal site by Google Adwords – meaning it cannot now be advertised. I wondered if it was just me affected by this change, but after checking Kirsty’s AffiliateStuff blog I noticed that two of her sites have been hit by this change too.
I’m hugely disappointed I won’t be able to put up my Christmas ads this year but I’m trying to see this as an opportunity to branch out into new promotional methods… I’ve wanted to diversify my traffic sources for ages – I’ve had a lot of eggs in one basket. So I thought now seems the perfect time try publishing relevant news stories like many authority sites tend to do and see if I can attract some extra traffic, links and sales that way, along with building up the reputation of my site.
The News Stories Experiment
Photo credit: bizior
The day after I’d finished sulking about my lack of PPC (and had been clothes shopping to cheer myself up), I found a story through Google Alerts about a student who was automatically buying gifts through his computer. I did some research and then wrote out a quick article linking to the story and its original source on my website under a news section. At this point, just a handful of newspapers across the world had published the story, including the Guardian in the UK.
A day later – I had a couple of new links from the original blog itself (where the author had mentioned my site alongside other sites that had written about his story). Not a huge amount, but I had a really good traffic day the following day which was in part down to that. That article got me a few new links, retweets on Twitter and extra traffic through a post on my site’s Facebook page – plus I added a new section to my site for news articles.
I now plan to stick with adding interesting news stories to my site at least once a week. I think it should complement the usual product posts on the site and the traffic source should also be cheaper than Adwords.