While the announcement of Quality Click Pricing was only made recently, R.O.EYE, the UK based agency that supports the European team with account management in the UK and Ireland, already has a few months experience working with the model, liaising with a number of publishers from different business models to fine tune activity. During this time we have been able to identify what works and what doesn't work in terms of achieving a profitable EPC. From this experience we will offer some advice on how to take full advantage of quality click pricing and ensure you are achieving the highest EPC possible with your campaigns. Targeted traffic One of, if not the most important factors in Quality Click Pricing success is the targeting of your traffic. You are much less likely to succeed under Quality Click Pricing if the majority of your campaigns are promoting the eBay brand and linking to the homepage. From our experience, the publishers that are set to gain the highest increases in commission are niche content, shopping comparison or review site publishers who direct link to the related product and category pages or publishers who surface some of eBay’s great deals or products available in a user’s area.
From an incremental value point of view, directing a potential eBay customer to the homepage of the site with the hope that they will be able to find what they are looking for by themselves adds little value. Good quality traffic should already be qualified with the customer already intent on making a purchase. To give you an example of how traffic can be made more targeted, we worked with a price comparison site that previously just linked to the eBay homepage through a simple text link. While the other merchants being listed on the page had live accurate prices, the eBay option was simply an invitation to visit the site. Customers were linking through to eBay without even knowing if the product was available, and whether the prices were competitive. Unsurprisingly, bounce rates were very high and the conversion rates were compromised. By simply replacing the homepage link with a Custom Banner widget, customers were able to view items and prices prior to click through. The knock-on effect was uplift in conversion rate and more importantly a higher EPC and earnings.
User experience Publishers can add a lot of “value” by assisting with and influencing the customer decision process and you can do this by promoting the best and most relevant products that are available on the site, but also eBay as the best merchant from which to purchase. There is no point in disguising the fact that the products you are promoting from eBay. A good publisher’s site will offer all the information that is required to decide on the purchase, before actually having to click through to eBay. If we look at the example of a laptop content site, a model specific page outlining specifications, pictures and reviews, combined with live listings from an RSS feed will undoubtedly result in a more qualified customer being driven to eBay. Publishers we have worked with have built out the functionality of their sites further by using the eBay API. Features such as showing the average selling price and plotting the location of “pick up only” items on a map added to the user experience. Having a good user experience is what will encourage repeat visits from a customer base which is an important factor in your traffic quality.
Relevancy If you have gone to the effort of setting up Custom Banners, RSS feeds or even an API integration, make sure that the items that are being displayed on your page are as relevant as possible to the content. With the Custom Banner ensure that your keywords are as specific as possible e.g. model number, colour, brand to ensure the best match. This will ultimately lead to higher click through rates and conversions. Relevancy is even more important when working with the API as there are a lot of functions which will allow you to filter out products at almost every data level. We will be following this article up with another blog post in October with some advice on optimising Custom Banner and API integrations.
Utilising the reports Because the EPC is calculated at campaign level, it is very important that your activity is broken down into separate campaigns. Depending on the size or number of your sites, this can either be done by category or domain. With campaign level reporting, you will be able to identify both the successful areas of your activity and the activity that is diluting your EPC, as the EPCs are calculated and reported separately. We have worked with one publisher who used to run all activity through one campaign ID. Although the task of splitting down the activity into separate campaigns was initially deemed a laborious process, it resulted in highlighting that the publisher had been spending most of their resource developing sections which made them the least money.
Paid Search One of the major positives of the new Quality Click Pricing system is that the beta publishers were able to manage their paid search budgets much more efficiently. Because the EPC is calculated the next day and the amount is locked (unlike the old revenue share a model which could change after the event date) budgets can be amended much more quickly in response to spikes in demand and product popularity. Whereas previously a spike in EPC may be discounted as a blip, only for the EPC to crash the following day, the QCP reporting makes it easier to identify trends across products that are performing well or poorly. Consequently the paid search campaigns can be altered in order to minimise losses and maximise gains from market changes.
Finally, by reading this blog article you may have realised that to take full advantage of Quality Click Pricing a level of proactive development will be required from you, the publisher. Regardless of your technical expertise, eBay Partner Network offers a range of tools that will help you improve the quality of your activity and increase your earnings. In our experience with beta publishers, people that are willing to commit to the programme and work to better optimize and target their campaigns can improve their performance, which leads ultimately to higher commission.
The eBay Partner Network R.O.EYE team