Blog advertising is currently a hit and miss affair says Receptional, after obtaining some surprising results from recent research. The internet marketing consultancy has concluded that the results of large blog advertising campaigns over multiple sites cannot be estimated. Receptional discovered that click-through rates (CTRs) vary considerably between different blogs and are much lower for blog ads than pay-per-click (PPC). CTR on blog ads typically returned one in 2000 as opposed to the anticipated one in 20 for PPC campaigns. The team’s control experiment, which had no visual graphics but relied merely on text, achieved one of the highest CTRs and therefore delivered the lowest cost-per-click (CPC) of the whole experiment.

Receptional’s conclusion is that the CPC of blog ads cannot be estimated in advance. However there are some techniques that can be employed to enhance a campaign like using text, positioning the ad on the right and the blog site’s subject matter. The word content, visual graphics, Google’s page ranking and the cost of the advertising however have very little bearing on the campaign outcome.

The survey covered 60 blogs and delivered a very wide CPC ranging from 18 cents to US $20 for the worst performing advertisement. Overall 1312 clicks were recorded for a total budget of US $1049.38 - an average of 86 cents per click. Yahoo! Search Marketing suggests top bids on PPC on the phrases used would be between 30 and 50 cents.

“We were extremely surprised by these results,” said Dixon Jones, Receptional’s founder. “Having had nine years in the business of web marketing our instincts led us to expect much more correlation for some elements. However our assumptions proved to be completely wrong. Visual graphics played no part in an advertisement’s success. In fact our control advertisement - which was just text - actually performed best. Page ranking was of no significance and neither was the cost of the advertising. The genre of the page did however show some effect as did the position on the page. The nearer the top the better, with ads on the right-hand side of the screen showing a higher CTR than those on the left.”

The blog sites were categorised after the survey into eight genres: politics, gossip, tech, culture, humour, personal, religion and sport and were then examined for a correlation between genre and campaign success. Receptional found some evidence of this but recommends that much more research into the content of blog sites should be carried out before any firm conclusions can be drawn.

“Blogs have become an extremely important part of the internet so there is a real need for further examination of this area of internet marketing. At the moment predicting the likely outcome of blog advertising is a hit and miss affair,” said Dixon. “Until we have more research data the best strategy would be to carry out a campaign in two stages. A pilot phase would involve placement of ads over a wide range of sites to find the best performing blogs. Once an indication of likely success is deduced, the remaining budget could then be spent on continuing to advertise with the top performing 10% of those blogs alone.”

Receptional has made the results of its research available at where students of internet marketing will be able to view the research data.


About caters for the growing number of companies who wish to realise the potential of their web sites. The company offers a portfolio of
internet marketing services to maximise and monitor web site traffic
and has an enviable reputation for the management of paid and unpaid search for its clients. Receptional is a Google accredited search marketing company,.

For information about SERVICES please contact: Dixon Jones
Upper Floors, 7 Station Square
High Street, FLITWICK MK45 1DP
Tel: 01525 715520 Fax: 0870 121 3846

For PRESS enquiries please contact: Sue Malleson
Taurus Public Relations
Tel: 01908 265774 Fax: 01908 265795

Published on: 12:00AM on 10th April 2006