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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

How the UU Blogs promotional campaign is going.

As I announced two weeks ago, I've launched a micromarketing campaign to promote Unitarian Universalist blogs using Google AdWords. Thanks to several generous donors, this is turning into a collaborative project with enough juice to run for a little while. I'm hoping you'll be interested in supporting it, too.

Here's some data about the campaign so far:

I launched the first ad on April 5. Targeted initially to Google searches for "unitarian," "unitarian universalist," "religious blog," and "religious blogs," I soon expanded it to "universalist," "universalism," and "unitarian universalism." My aim was to select a group of keywords that someone exploring liberal religion — and likely to be interested in personal voices about liberal religion — might use. (There was no point placing ads on search results for, say, "uu blogs" because my guide to UU blogs — the target of the campaign — already comes up at or near the top on that kind of search.) The first ad says:

UU Blogs
Annotated guide to blogs
by Unitarian Universalists.

This ad has shown 6,781 times so far. More than half of the impressions have been on "content" sites — Google AdSense publishers whose content apparently matches my keywords — but the click-through rate on content sites is very slight. (I only learned to turn on the content option late last week, so it's clear that the number of impressions will climb quickly; I'll be interested to see what the response rate is.)

The search results have been gratifying, however. This ad is generating at least one click per day, and I've slowly been increasing the daily budget to allow for more clicks.

The second ad, which I introduced a little more than a week ago, says:

Unitarian Blogs
Spirituality, politics and snark by
UU bloggers. A complete guide.

This ad has shown 3,502 times and so far has a somewhat higher clickthrough rate. (I also gave this ad fewer keywords: "unitarian," "unitarian universalist," and "unitarian universalism.") The two ads have generated 33 clicks in two weeks.

I may soon try a Universalism-flavored ad as well — especially because there are many Universalist sites and the UUA comes up at the top of search results. I had hesitated to try "Universalist Blogs" at first because I wasn't sure if that phrase would mean as much, but I think it would work — and we happily have a bunch of Universalism-focused blogs.

How much is this costing? Two weeks ago, most of my keywords were averaging about a dime a click; they're now approximately two quarters per click. Google Analytics tells me that more of my visitors check out at least two pages of my site before clicking elsewhere — hopefully to one of your sites! — and I have been able to track at least one of these visitors clicking out on an "About Unitarian Universalism" link to's page for newcomers.

To recap the goals for this campaign: I hope to increase the readership of UU blogs and think that pointing people to my annotated guide to UU blogs is a good way to do it. (I hope you can see people visiting your sites after finding a link to your blog in my guide.) I also want to learn how such a campaign can be most effectively deployed — and want to share what I learn with other Unitarian Universalists and religious liberals.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please do let me know. If you'd like to contribute to this campaign, click below to send a donation via PayPal or send me a note. Many thanks!

Copyright © 2006 by Philocrites | Posted 19 April 2006 at 10:06 PM

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Next: My first podcast.





April 19, 2006 10:21 PM | Permalink for this comment

Oh, in further promotional news, Beliefnet's Blog Heaven is currently highlighting Philocrites as its Featured Blog.


April 21, 2006 03:20 PM | Permalink for this comment

Hi Chris,

Happy to pitch in to the effort.

I saw your Google ad from the UU Church of Berkeley Google discussion group. It was nice to see something other than show up that was remotely relevant. In the early days of the group, we used to get links to more evangelical sites, I think because of the use of the keyword "church" in many of our posts.

Keep us up on your results,


April 22, 2006 05:54 PM | Permalink for this comment

The ads Google is placing on content sites are significantly cheaper than ads I target to particular sites -- and cheaper per click than ads on search pages. That's very interesting. Readers are clicking over from and from, where the ad is showing up on pages for UU titles. Very cool!

And thanks for your support, Paul!

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