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Dare to Diversify Your Promotional Channels — Or Else

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Google launches a Panda update, and webmaster blogs and forums are filled with anger over lost audience and revenue.

Google launches a Penguin update a year later, and the same blogs and forums are filled with more anger for the same reasons.

Imagine winning $1 million and investing the entire amount in the stock market, but in just one stock.

The risk is too high to imagine.

Invest an enormous amount of time and energy in getting audience just from Google search and revenue from just Google AdSense.

The risk is really no different.

Google is a drug because it is so dominant in the Internet search and advertising environment.

Sites learn to rely on it because Google often can provide as much as 90 percent of total site traffic.

Sites that rely only on Google AdSense for revenue get 100 percent of their revenue just from AdSense.

So when Google makes a change, the result can be beneficial or devastating.

The Internet is filled with stories about sites being banned by Google related to search, AdSense or AdWords (the platform that allows sites to buy ads on Google and Google partner sites).

Diversify for Audience

Unfortunately, it’s not so simple just to decide in favor of finding more sources of audience or revenue.

Many of the alternative sources of audience are well known:

  1. Branding
  2. Bing and Yahoo search
  3. Social media
  4. Content marketing
  5. Email marketing
  6. Mobile
  7. YouTube

Each one can deliver meaningful results only after a concerted effort in getting those results.

Some simply won’t work based on the type of site.

For example, branding works in a local market or for a national site that has a large budget for buying advertising.

It doesn’t work for a small national site that doesn’t have an ad budget or a narrowly defined audience that has a good reason to keep coming back.

So give careful consideration to the site and the potential for each channel to generate more audience.

Diversify for Revenue

The complaints about Google AdSense CPMs have been growing louder for quite some time.

The simple truth is that CPMs are dropping everywhere because of the economy and the fact that the number of Web sites and Web pages are growing much faster than either the size of the online audience or of the growth rate for Internet advertising.

A site that relies on only one source of revenue is destined to underperform. Sites that have multiple sources of revenue will outperform.

Multiple sources doesn’t necessarily mean finding several providers of banner ads. More importantly, it means finding different TYPES of revenue — search, classifieds, directories, e-commerce, et.

Diversification isn’t just a buzz word. It is a necessary strategy for survival as a business.

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