Save Your Adwords Budget With These 5 Local SEO Tips

Your budget for a Google AdWords campaign can quickly disappear. Especially small businesses competing against firms that can afford to spend more on primary keywords. But rather than trying to reach an audience on a national level, nurture you budget by scaling your target market down to a local level. Small businesses have far more success with PPC by incorporating local SEO tactics. Location-based Ads By including your town, city, neighbourhood or even a street and postcode in your Ad Groups and Ad Copy will give you more relevant matches against local searches. This tactic should help you maximise your ROI as user intent is clarified more than an ad with generic terms. By narrowing your audience to a local level you should expect to receive more click-throughs and higher conversion rates. AdWords extensions Ad extensions enbale you to make “call outs”. The majority of ads only feature address and phone numbers. Whilst this is okay, if there is a local buzzword, event or iconic attraction in your area you can lean on local knowledge to reach out to your audience. Include a postcode If you have offices in a prime location of the city where the postcode adds credence, use it to your advantage. For example: doctors on Harley Street in London, or estate agents with luxury pads in a well-sought after area. Including an area code not only gives your add a swagger, but takes up far less space than a full address, which means you have extra space to use for persuasive sales copy. Give directions Web advertising is all about making it easier for your...

Paid Ads v Organic Search – Which Is More Sustainable?

PPC has become a major player in online advertising. It gives online businesses more visibility, drives traffic and increases conversions. But is it more sustainable than organic search? It’s no secret that search engines like Google et al make huge profits from paid ads. To give you some idea, Google is hitting around $10bn a quarter on AdWord spend. Search engines will always try and drive companies down the path of paid advertising, but this method of online marketing is not sustainable for every company. For small businesses in competitive fields for example, it becomes expensive, with some clicks costing in excess of £100 each. You don’t necessarily get more visitors if you pay more, and when you stop your paid ads campaign, the amount of traffic you receive suffers. The advantages of paid advertising For start-ups and other online businesses that have low visibility online, paid ads does offer a solution to increase your earnings. By bidding on targeted keywords and purchasing advertising space, you will be guaranteed visibility on the first page. Furthermore, you are only charged when somebody clicks on your ad. You can therefore be assured of lead generation. Your advertising budget is not being totally wasted. What does matter however, is that your landing page and sales pages do a good job of converting browsers into buyers.  Reach without action and conversion is expensive and if the user experience on visiting your site for the first time is not as good as your ad led them to believe, you’ll have a hard job of luring them back again. So what about organic search? The...

Where To Start With Paid Marketing: Top Five Tips

Paid search can present a real challenge to marketers. Like most marketing campaigns, trial and error is necessary, but the difference with paid advertising is the platforms present you with crucial information that enable you to leap the hurdles earlier. The following article gives you a good starting point of the best practices to follow if you are just starting out on a campaign or have tried pay-per-click with little success. Avoid big lists of keywords It has become common practice for large enterprises offering multiple services and products to keep large lists of keywords. But in doing so, paid advertising campaigns are difficult to manage, complex and time-consuming. Keep tasks simple. Use Google’s Quality Score to determine how effective keywords are and keep the number of keywords to a minimum. This becomes more difficult if you do not have a sizeable budget to splash out on the most competitive keywords. They are more expensive and will eat into your budget like Pacman. In such circumstances, testing is more necessary, so check on the keywords being used by your competitors and avoid using them. Then use query mining… Query mining Google analytics offers search terms used by end-users to find sites and throw up new search terms all the time – especially now voice commands on mobile are being used more often. Use these keywords in your ads – avoiding duplicate keyword matches – and when checking your campaign, remove low CTR’s. This will cut down the time it takes to analyse the performance of your ppc campaign and should help make it more effective – providing you select...

New AdWord Tools for Mobile Apps

A new tool for AdWords will make it easier for marketers to track ad campaigns on mobiles according to Google. The California-based search giant has partnered with 20 new advertising networks to offer a comprehensive service. The sophisticated upgrade enables marketers to integrate data with ad networks in order to pull consistent metrics that give deeper insights to mobile campaigns. One of the new features however, is the ability to pull data from participating third party sites such as events and collaborating partners. Google’s intention for the tool is to offer marketers and users a structured platform that is more cohesive and allows companies to build API’s across multiple platforms. Universal App Campaigns The tool that will most impress marketers is the Universal App Campaign that enables you to promote apps across an array of media. In a similar way that search ads appear on Google Play, the new product will display AdWords alongside app results. The Campaign App scales ads across Google search and the companies AdMob network in addition to its recognised platforms including YouTube and Google Play giving brands more exposure at the touch of button. The new AdWord tools promise to drive more traffic without marketers having to put more time into preparing and posting content across multiple platforms. The tools are scheduled to be released in June, so keep an eye...

Competitive Tools To Help you Get Ahead In AdWords PPC

Google is improving its Pay-Per-Click (PPC) service consistently. The latest tools including in AdWords help marketers to be even more competitive in the market and raise your online visibility. But despite Google’s power tools there are a string of third party tools you can use to boost your paid advertising campaigns. Below are some of the best tools to help give you a competitive edge. Split testing Experienced PPC campaigners understand the need for testing ads before they get it right, but it can be a time-consuming drag working out all the data to determine which ads are turning in the best performance. A free tool offered by splittesting.com resolves that issue and saves you a whole heap of time. When you run your ads through the split test it gives you a clear winner whereby you can drop the loser. The tool also enables you to run split tests across other metrics such as conversion tools on your website. Keyword Wrap So you have run the Keyword Planner exercise and now have a list of keywords to work with. You have a lot of keywords don’t you!? And you don’t know what to do with them all do you!? What you need to do is decide whether to run your keywords as exact matches or broad matches. But to do that manually takes ages. Using the free AdWords Wrapper tool from mikes-marketing-tools however, sorts out you campaign within seconds. AdWords performance grader Talking about time-saving tools, the AdWords performance grader gives you 40 hours of data analysis in 60 seconds. Once your PPC campaign is set-up and underway...

Leverage PCC Conversions With Google Buy Button

Google recently launched a “buy button” to rival Amazon’s “one-click” feature…but how will it help retailers leverage their products and increase conversions? The new feature is called “purchases on Google” and is designed to make the purchasing process easier for mobile users. At the moment, making online purchases using mobile handsets is problematic for consumers as typing in order details and navigating the purchasing process is more difficult than buying an item online with a wider screen. Furthermore, mobile users typically search for items on their mobile, but prefer to visit physical stores to make the purchase. But the Google “buy button” is set to change the way mobile users conduct their shopping methods which could save heaps of time. Once a consumer has made their first purchase, their bank details are stored in Google’s memory bank so that every time they make a purchase after that, the transaction can be carried out in one click. This of course will encourage people to make more digital purchases rather than visiting physical stores. So the benefit for the consumer is clear. But how about the retailer? Enhanced paid advertising The principle purpose of the “buy button” is to make online transactions more effective. Speed and convenience are the key factors in Google’s mission to enhance user-experience on mobile. However, although the scheme is only open to retailers using AdWords, it is expected to increase the value of paid advertising. But not only that, managing your AdWords campaign will be easier. All transactions carried out through the Purchase on Google scheme are co-ordinated by Google. This means less admin for retailers...

Don’t Be Fooled By Limited Budget Messages in AdWords

Large corporations word their adverting to provoke customers into action. Google is no exception. As AdWords is their primary product, PPC campaigners should be careful of what you invest in. An example we noticed recently was the lightbulb box notification that reads: “campaign may be losing clicks due to a limited budget.” Losing clicks is hard to ignore. But the only way to gain the 90 clicks Google says you are missing out on is to raise your budget cap. So you can see where this is going right? Sure, you have to plough more money into AdWords. Alternatively, you could bid on less expensive keywords. Essentially the “limited budget” notice is warning advertisers you don’t have sufficient budget to use the chosen keywords or you are bidding too aggressively. How to get more PPC clicks Being in the top ad positions does not necessarily mean you attract more clicks. You just need to make the wording of your ad more powerful than your competitors. That could also mean making your offer more appealing than other ads. The key point to remember here is, being in the top ad positions means you pay premium rates, but that doesn’t mean you attract the most clicks. Let’s look at it from an economical point of view. You only pay for advertising space when someone clicks on your ad. The higher your ad position the more premium you pay. Therefore if you occupy the top ad slot and pay £1 every time someone clicks on your ad, ten visitors will cost you £10. But if you are in a lower-placed ad for...
5 Tips For Optimise Video Ads To AdWords

5 Tips For Optimise Video Ads To AdWords

Over the coming years, video marketing is going to become more prominent and important for online advertisers. But with over 100 videos being loaded to YouTube every minute, it is easy for video campaigns to drown in an ocean of emotion. So how can you be certain that your video campaign will be watched? Choosing the right ad format Adwords offer two viewing formats for video; in-stream and in-display. If you opt for TrueView in-stream, your ads will be played at the beginning of YouTube videos or at 15-minute intervals depending on the length of the program viewers are watching. TrueView in-display ads appear in the list of watch pages alongside other relevant content. Both ad formats give you visibility, but there is a difference with engagement and how you are charged. You will only be charged for TrueView in-display videos when the ad is clicked, but the benefit here is user-intent. Charges for TrueView in-stream ad formats are determined by running time. For example, if your ad is 30 seconds or longer, you will only be charged once the ad reaches the 30-second mark. Shorter ads are charged if the entire video runs. Viewers are given the option to skip the ad after 5-seconds whereby you are not charged. Video remarketing Creating video remarketing lists will automatically send video ads to users who have previously visited your YouTube page. Google also recommends using remarketing options to target prospects that have visited your website, and not just viewers that have engaged with your YouTube channel. Bid more on TrueView in-display Viewers watching your ads from TrueView in-display offer a...
How Paid Search Is Becoming A Branding Strategy

How Paid Search Is Becoming A Branding Strategy

When Google first launched Adwords it was used solely as a tactic to accompany SEO. But as paid search has evolved, online companies are recognising the value of using PPC as a branding strategy. The fact of the matter is paid search is a powerful marketing tool. It gives you visibility in search engine listings, drives traffic and helps to increase conversions. Paid search is not for everyone of course, but as online shopping goes mobile-centric, the need for visibility in search engines becomes more critical. Building your brand To build your brand online, you need to connect with consumers. But the only way you can do that is by being seen. There is social media of course, but attracting new customers that want to engage with your brand is a slow process. Search on the other hand attracts customers with intent. They are actively looking for your products and services. Not only does Google et al work for brands, it works for consumers as well. But you have to find a way to connect with consumers actively looking for your products and services and that are ready to purchase. And paid advertising is the only strategy that makes that possible unless you have had a dedicated SEO strategy for years and have not been punished with Google penalties. Audience-based solutions So your brand is now on the first page of search engines. But so are a score of other competing firms. Half the battle is won, but you still have to attract users to click on your ads. And that means getting into the mind of your audience....

Is Google Buy Button Beneficial To Online Retailers?

Google recently announced the launch of a new “Buy Now” button which will enable consumers to purchase merchandise from participating retailers instantly. We can’t tell you exactly when the new feature will be launched other than it is “imminent” – according to the company’s chief business officer, Omid Kordestani. The move comes in retaliation to a string of other instant purchase options from big-name platforms like Amazon, Facebook and Twitter. The “Buy Now” button will be added to mobile search results enhancing Google’s belief that handheld devices are the way forward for online consumers. On the face of it the instant purchase feature sounds like it could offer promising benefits to online retailers. But this is Google we’re talking about. You guessed it, there’s a catch! Pros and cons of Google Buy Now button The Buy Now button will only feature alongside paid search ads. Therefore, you have to pay before you can benefit. This wouldn’t be so bad if consumers were directed to your online store whereby you have more control of the shopping experience and pick up page rank points – except that is not how it works. The Buy Now feature directs browsers to Google’s own product pages. Consumers enter their details there and a notice is sent to retailers who arrange for the merchandise to be shipped. The plus for retailers here is it cuts your admin down. However, given visitors ultimately bypass the host site, you lose traffic data which may ultimately affect your search engine rankings once you choose to quit PPC. You will however receive consumer data for future marketing. The move...

5 PPC Mistakes To Avoid

The majority of advice you read about PPC marketing is about what you should do. But we like to be different so thought we would explain which paid advertising strategies do not work. After all, advice about potential paid ad pitfalls is just as valuable as proven strategies that do work. Let’s just dive straight into this shall we! Keep an eye on spending It’s easy to set up your PPC campaign, then just forget about it and leave Google to do the rest. But whilst you’re busying yourself with other things and waiting for leads from your PPC campaign, your budget is being eaten into. So what if you are not getting results? Money not very well spent. Check on your PPC campaign at least twice a day, one around midday and one just before the end of office hours. You need to track you ad performance in case tweaks are required for the next day. Crossover keywords Keywords are the all-important element of PPC campaigns. Every time someone clicks on your ad, you pay. Therefore, you need to ensure that your keywords relate specifically to the type of audience you are targeting. If you include keywords in your ad campaign that can show up for a cross-over search query you are potentially throwing money down the inter-flute. Therefore be specific about your target audience and label ads with accurate promotion descriptions. Don’t ignore best practice PPC advice Setting up a PPC ad may appear to be a simple task, or a complicated one if you are not tech savvy, but whatever your first impressions are, always look...

Are Online users Frustrated With Paid Ads Despite What The Stats Say?

Google makes money purely through paid advertising. The company’s revenue for the first quarter of 2015 was US$17.3bn. So they are clearly doing something right. But at what cost does Google’s billions come to online businesses and end-users. According to Google support, publishers using AdSense receive 68% share of the revenue, which means paid ads is generating revenue in excess of US$40bn a quarter. Yet 74% of internet users say they have never clicked on a Google ad, or have rarely clicked on a paid ad. In 2013, the Telegraph reported that 40% of web users did not realise the links they were clicking were evens paid ads (Google has now flagged that up with a little yellow signpost.) So what does this say about the mentality of web users in relation to paid ads and how is Google making so much money? Study of paid ad clicks Two recent studies on paid ads gave two different impressions. WordStream claim that 41.4% of users consciously clicking on paid ads in search listings. Mike Moran at searchengineguide.com say just 8.28% click on Google ads and 35% do not. The stats are interesting. WordStream point out that the people clicking on ads are because they appear in the top three results. Web users as you know do not have any patience. We want results straight away and will typically click whatever appears on screen. However, it is often the case that when you click on these ads, you do not find the information you are looking for. So you no longer click on the ads and they essentially become clutter on...

Are Junk Keywords in AdWords Wasting Your Time?

AdWords is a great way to raise the visibility of your brand and attract new customers. But it can also be a time-consuming process to manage, especially if you are hanging on to junk keywords. If this sounds like you, don’t worry, you are not alone. It’s a perfectly natural thing for us to horde data we have used already. We seem to have this built-in sensibility that prevents us from discarding anything, “just in case we need it one day.” So let’s try and ditch that mentality shall we and ditch keywords you don’t need. And if you have done a lot of testing in AdWords, you probably have a sizeable store of old keywords you no longer use. Which keywords shall I dump? Of all the keywords stored in your AdWords account, you are at best using just two per cent. However, that does not mean you should dump all 98 per cent of the other keywords, although the majority of them can go. The first to go can be the deliberately misspelt keywords you were testing about 10 years ago. Now Google has brought in spell check the exact match philosophy can be dropped. Long Tail searches do not matter either like they used to. It’s all head terms these days. So you may as well get rid of the expensive head term ads as well if they are out your budget or not working for you. The number of keywords you use has no significance on your Quality Score anymore, so shaving them from your paid search marketing strategy will not have any negative effect....

Want A Successful Pay Per Click Campaign – Avoid These Mistakes

Pay-per-click campaigns are a trial and error process. I appreciate that’s not you want to hear, it’s just how it is. What works for your competitors may not work for you, but with thorough A/B testing you will figure out which type of ads and landing pages work in a shorter space of time. Although there is no particular protocol for success, there are methods that are always doomed to fail. This article will give you a head start in your PPC campaign – by avoiding these mistakes. Don’t overdo the testing Whilst you do need to run tests to monitor the performance of your Adwords campaign, performing too many can confuse the data and is a waste of time and resources. First of all, you don’t have to test every little experiment you do. Decide on what your goals of the PPC campaign are and use these as priority for testing. For example, keywords v cost enables you to determine what keywords are most effective for the best price. Don’t give up on ads too quickly An effective method of testing how well the headlines of your ads perform. To do this run split tests and pitch one ad against another. This enables you to identify winning ads and losing ads. However, don’t be too quick to discard ads from the loser’s list. Just because an ad doesn’t perform well against its split test rival, doesn’t mean the same ad will not be stronger than another relevant ad that was the winner of its test. Optimise landing pages with bells and whistles Once your headlines are attracting clicks,...

PPC News: Verify Contacts Numbers For Adwords

You may remember Google launched a call-only feature in their Adwords account earlier this year. Well, now they are asking companies to verify the numbers prospects have to call. If you are not familiar with the call-only feature in Adwords, it is simply an option for businesses utilising pay-per-click campaigns to include a telephone number in their ad rather than a link to a page on your website. The feature enables prospective customers to contact your place of business directly by phone, rather than browsing your website. The idea is expected help online advertisers convert more sales. Verification numbers Google has since announced that all phone numbers included in their paid ads must be verified to confirm the number belongs to the company placing the ad. Phone numbers that are not unverified will not be approved. To verify the extension numbers of your business designated to take calls from customers responding to your paid Adwords, companies must take the following steps: The phone number must be listed on the contact page of your website Link to Adwords and Google Webmaster Tools Add the Adwords conversion code snippet to the relevant landing page of each call-only ad. The verification process is scheduled to launch until June. For more information about verifying your Adword phone numbers, check out the Adword Editor...

Integrating Paid Search and Social Media Into Your SEO Campaign

Unless you are already ranking in the top half of page one Google, or at the very least the top 20, or operate to an extensive long tailed strategy, SEO alone will not earn you the visibility you need to make a significant impression online. The same can be said for a lone social media strategy. Facebook limits the number of “friends” that receive your posts to just six per cent and Twitter tweets fall off the radar in less than a minute. Linkedin and Google Plus mostly tailor for B2B contacts and the rest are just looking for work. That doesn’t mean unemployed readers will not engage with your content, but they hardly represent a boost to your profits. Paid advertising Online marketing used to be a cost-effective means of promoting your company, its services and products. But now social media networks have snared almost half the global population – many of which are businesses – the whoremongers have a levitated position to force companies to pay for their advertising. And if companies want to make a profit by using online resources, they do not have many options others than forking out for paid advertising. The good news is that statistics show that integrating social ads and search ads generate a higher click-through rate and most importantly improve conversions.  There is also the benefit of the ‘halo effect’ which can be derived from building a brand recognition and a type of synergy (the sum of the parts is greater than the whole). For example, when a user clicks an ad in Linkedin – a social ad – they...

Google Launch “Call Only” Ads For Mobile Marketing

Google recently added a new feature to its Adwords platform that allows customers to directly call advertisers. The ppc ads still work in the same way as the current desktop ads, but aim to swerve part of the sales funnel and increase conversions. Traditional Adword campaigns divert traffic to a landing pages, but then you have to rely on the strength of your copy to convert leads into sales. The new “call-only” ads are time-sensitive and should increase your chances of nailing the sale. All it takes for you to set up the ads is to select the “call-only” option from the list in campaign types in the “create ads” section. Rather than providing prospects with a link to your website, it gives them a number to call. Advertisers will still be charged for the ads in the same way Google charge for pay-per-click campaigns. Customers still have to click on your ad to make a quick call. A call button is embedded into the ad for user-convenience. Potential for advertisers The call-only campaigns promise huge potentials for online companies to increase their lead generation rates and their conversion rates. Mobile is fast becoming the go-to tool for online shoppers and with purchasing processes made all the easier, the benefits for retails and service providers are obvious. By removing obstacles companies with sales funnels, mobile marketing give customers direct access to customer service and sales teams. Not only that, but prospects are calling you when they are ready to but, again increasing your chances of sales conversions. Just as marketers thought pay-per-click advertising was a waste of time and...

Is There Any Point To Paid Searches?

To boost sales it is not unusual for small businesses to paying for advertising through Google Adwords. Also known as pay-per-click (PPC), the technique gives your ads and subsequently your online business more visibility. The problem for many business owners is they are not converting ads into sales and the marketing costs subsequently outweigh the ROI. But even eBay admitted in 2013 that their Adwords campaign was a failure. So are paid searches worth the investment? Why does your PPC campaign not work? When a campaign does not work, it is usually because it is not being executed right. Non-SEO or PPC professionals that try Adwords for themselves often do not always understand the value of keywords and how to use them correctly. It can take quite a bit of experimentation to find which keywords work best for you, so do not be too deterred if you don’t get immediate results. It typically take a month or two to identify effective words for your ad. Keywords should be relevant to the page you are linking the ad to. Don’t send every advert back to your Homepage, direct the link back to the page that most strongly sells your product or service. PPC tweaks Another potential reason your PPC strategy is failing is because you have not set up your campaign properly. This is where a little technical know-how helps. First of all, are your ads finding the right audience? If you rely on local trade to survive, you should be geo-targeting your ad campaign to users searching in your area. If you are selling cakes and your ads are...

3 New AdWords Features For More Effective PPC Campaigns

Google has added three new features to AdWords that make managing your campaigns easier. The search giant has been busy this year with its paid ads system as the online advertising competition heats up – and Google isn’t done yet. Not all the changes have been welcomed – particularly the removal of exact match keywords – but Google looks set to end the year on a positive note with three more tweaks. Multiple account logins and automated extensions reports make the platform more convenient and offer better feedback. While the new Treemaps Reports – which is actually an Analytics feature – will make it easier to improve your ad performance. Multiple account logins This simple little tweak will have AdWords users everywhere jumping for joy. The pain of tabbing through multiple browsers to access different AdWords accounts are no more. Google has installed a new workflow tool that allows you to log in to multiple accounts at the same time, via the AdWords panel. You simply need to click the login email or Customer ID in AdWords and click on the account selector. Then you can select from your account and add new ones to speed up the management process of your ad campaigns. Automated extensions reports Google has also renamed the annotations feature more accurately as “automated extensions”. Earlier this year Google rolled out annotations to automatically generate free extensions for ads that don’t pay for the manual service. And in addition to the new name, automated extensions are also coming with reports so you can see how the feature impacts the performance of your ads. Previously, advertisers...
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