Advertising Experiment: Reddit vs Quora vs Google Search vs Google Display

I've been running various ads for SongBox for about the last 36 hours. All the ads are carrying largely the same copy and exactly the same images.

After 2 days here's the results

Impressions: 18,244
Click: 98
Signups: 0
Spend: £17.31

Google Search
Impressions: 152
Click: 7
Signups: 3
Spend: £13.51
CPA: £4.50

Google Display
Impressions: 76,400
Click: 699
Signups: 6
Spend: £20.39
CPA: £3.39

Reddit (Reddit only been running for about 12 hours)
Impressions: 3,156
Click: 7
Signups: 1
Spend: $3.34 (Note - US dollars)
CPA: $3.34

I think what's working best for me is Google Display - however I'd really like to hear some other analysis from folks on here.



On Google display I targeted only USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most countries in Europe. I also targeted by household income in the top 40%.

  1. 2

    Great job! I think you will need at least 2-3 weeks of data to truly determine which channel is working the best for you. Personally, I've seen the best performance on Google Search and Reddit, but it all depends on your targeting as well.

    1. 1

      Yeah, second this, letting it run more time to get it more statistically reliable is a good idea before committing to a channel. It's like when you let an A/B test run for too short a time; results can be misleading.

      That said, thank you kindly for sharing, @Primer! Would love to see a follow-up in a few weeks if you're willing to share. I always think this kind of stuff is super interesting. (Says the SEO and content marketing guy who most of the time avoids ads as if they had smallpox. 😄)

      1. 1

        Not sure I can afford it for a few weeks lol - but I will definitely give some sort of update again in a couple of weeks from now.

        1. 1

          Haha, there is that! Looking forward to it.

  2. 2

    That seems about right. We tried Quora for a few clients - spent over $1000 - and the results were abysmal, so your experience matches ours.

    It is always nice to see Google Display working well. It doesn't in all niches. Would you care to share what part of the world you were targeting? Are the results from cheaper countries?

    1. 4

      Actually that's an interesting question.

      I only targeted UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands and Norway.

      I also only targeted those with a household income in the top 40%.

      1. 1

        Sounds like some high-quality traffic! Congrats.

  3. 1

    It is now very popular to do such experiments. Finally, people realized that the correct use of advertising, you can make money. I think you have heard about this company, about their activities https://theviewpoint.com/ . With the help of this company, you can build exactly the business model that suits your business.

  4. 1

    Appreciate you sharing this, Mick!

  5. 1

    What of Facebook?

  6. 1

    While numbers are a bit low to set up a long term benchmark, your Google performance is very good!

    May be do some experiments with device settings as well.

  7. 1

    Does your web app have a free plan?
    If so, is that what these users are signing up for? Or is it a paid plan?

  8. 1

    Thanks for posting them stats, will be trying them out and see how I compare.

  9. 6

    This comment was deleted a year ago.

    1. 3

      I think I’m impressed by google display because of how much reach I’m getting for so little money.

      1. 1

        This comment was deleted a year ago.

        1. 6

          It's a fair question, and the answer is irrational.

          I fucking hate Facebook.

          1. 1

            I feel you. I tried Facebook ads for a couple of projects and don't get the results I was looking for.
            Anyway, congrats.

          2. 1

            This comment was deleted a year ago.

        2. 3

          Based on my experience, FB ads are extremely hit or miss and the cost has been going up on a monthly basis. Very rarely do FB ads work (they're mostly limited to "impulse purchase" type of items.

    2. 1

      These are great stats for Google display, the average Display CTR is ≈0,46%!

      Most of the time on early-stage startups, we tend to forget that Display is a great solution for brand awareness and reach and that it is "reserved" for bigger corporations.

      Adding display in your acquisition strategy is a great way to leverage different types of acquisition channels for each stage the user engages with your product/service:

      Awareness > Display
      Interest > Search + Content (blog post / Landing)
      Consideration > Search + Emailing + Guides/Whitepaper
      Evaluation > Search
      Purchase > Display (Retargeting)

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