Seach, Social & Content Marketing Blog

Getting Your PPC Ducks in a Row

February 14th, 2012 • By:  • PPC Advertising
When advertising online, how can you be sure you’re making the best decisions for your business? It is very easy to make mistakes when launching a PPC campaign, especially if you’re new to this kind of marketing. You can avoid those typical rookie faux pas simply by educating yourself. There are some key things to be aware of in order to ensure you are setting yourself up to attain healthy click-through rates and a high return on investment (ROI).
First, you should consider how to utilize your match type options. “Broad Match” is the default keyword type in AdWords. Unless you choose to be more specific (by using Phrase Matches, Exact Matches, or Broad Match Modifiers) then you will automatically be setting your keywords up as a “Broad Match” type on the Search Network. If this seems overwhelming to you, have no fear! Google currently offers a free keyword analysis tool that helps you measure the level of effectiveness of your keywords.
While many queries may be fine, you should take note of how vast a “broad match” can be. Because Google ultimately decides whether your ad should appear based on a user’s query, you want to ensure that your ads are showing up on only the most relevant searches. For example if you are advertising a traditional bike store, you might choose a keyword like “cycle shop”. Unfortunately, this is not specific enough and your ad may appear when a user enters a query for a motorcycle store. This would be an example where being more specific is key.
If you still decide to stick with using “Broad Match” keywords, you should be closely monitoring your AdWords query reports to see if irrelevant queries are in fact spurring your ad. By analyzing your results, you can find better ways to ensure that your ad appears to users who actually have a need or desire for your product or service. Making your ad accessible to potential customers will ultimately improve your click-through and conversion rates.
Second, if you think your CTR is low for a campaign, you should reevaluate your ads to determine if they are interesting enough to stand out against the competition. Make the text appealing and informative. If a user enters the words “Discount Tickets” and you are a concert and entertainment ticket vendor, make sure that your ad copy matches the search query. Use the exact words, “Discount Tickets”, in the ad and Google will bold them for you, making the ad stand out.
Another simple way to make your ad stand out is to use the ad extensions features that AdWords has made available. As we have covered before, an extension can be anything from a picture to a price tag or even location information (address, phone numbers) that appears in addition to the text in a text ad. For products, the addition of a picture can be a huge selling point. Customers want to be able to see what they are purchasing, especially when they are shopping online. By giving someone the chance to see a price and photo of the product they desire, you are giving them two more reasons to click on your link. If they already have this basic information, they are more likely to click-through in order to learn more. Ultimately, they are then closer to making a purchase on your website.
If you are advertising something like a restaurant or house cleaning service, then you definitely want to include contact information in your ad as a phone number or an address. You want to give customers a simple way to reach out to you. Because you are providing the information in your ad, it will also help for overall exposure, even if they don’t click on your link. Google has given you access to these features, so you should at least give them a shot, if applicable, to see how it affects your campaigns.
You should be ambitious when setting up your PPC campaigns, but always remember to be cautious with your launch. Taking the extra time to select effective keywords, evaluate analytics and investigate prices for extensions can go a long way.

Romancing Your Blog

February 14th, 2012 • By:  • Business Blogging

Romancing Your Blog

So here we are, it’s Valentine’s Day and once again I’m feeling a bit neglected. It’s been a while since you’ve written some pleasant words for me, given me nice images to wear or shared me with your circle of friends. Our relationship could prove to be very beneficial if you would just spend some time with me. I’m your blog and I think it’s a shame that it takes a holiday to get your attention, but while I have it here are some things that could greatly improve our bond.

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Online Marketing Summit 2012 Top Takeaways

February 13th, 2012 • By:  • Tips


I recently had the opportunity to attend the Online Marketing Summit, better known as OMS, in San Diego, California. The summit covered topics such as social media strategy, search engine optimization, email marketing, local search marketing, eCommerce and more. I came back with several pages of notes, a brain packed full information and ideas, new industry expert friends, tons of business cards, some t-shirts, and a suntan. Most importantly though, I crafted this blog post for our readers that is jam packed full of top takeaways from the summit. As you read, keep in mind that I am not directly quoting the people that I list, but rather citing which presenters provided the information or enabled me to spark the idea. 

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Don’t Launch Your New Site Before Using These 4 Website Marketing Techniques

February 9th, 2012 • By:  • Content Strategy

Don't Launch Your New Site Before Using These 4 Website Marketing TechniquesDoFollow Thursdays

Many businesses that are new to Internet marketing start with building out their site and then look at the type and volume of content they will deploy. This approach is exactly backwards. Many brand sites that we work with have thousands of pages that are, quite frankly, ineffective because of the way they built their site structure and their content focus. Had they done the keyword research first and determined their content focus and volume, they would have built out their sites very differently and the Internet marketing techniques used to grow their traffic would be much more effective.

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Keyword Match Types

February 7th, 2012 • By:  • PPC Advertising
Setting keyword match types is an important step in creating a successful PPC campaign. You have the ability to designate these match types in both Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter. However, if you are using them simultaneously, you should do so with caution. There are differences with the way these functions work in AdWords and in adCenter. It is crucial that you know these variances so you can get the most out of your PPC campaigns across the board.
The first match type you can set for your keywords is “Broad Match” which is the least specific. When you set this keyword, your ad may appear anytime someone runs a search query with a similar phrase or a variation that is closely related to your keyword. You do not have to use any denoting punctuation when setting Broad Match keywords.
By using Phrase Match, your ad will show on searches that have submitted that exact phrase. There is less of an opportunity here for your ad to show up on irrelevant searches. If you set the phrase as “rental car”, your ad could show on returns like “affordable rental car”, “family rental car” or “weekly rental car”. If you were to set the keyword to Exact Match it will only return ads with that phrase exclusively. So, if you chose [affordable rental car] as your exact match keyword (the brackets designate this function) your ad would only show when someone searched that exact phrase.
AdWords also has a more flexible match type that is deemed Broad Match Modifier (BMM). The modifier is a plus symbol affixed to a word in your keyword phrase. The affixed plus symbol tells Google to require that word to be present within the query regardless of the word order. For example, if I want an ad to show for queries that include “car” and “rental”, I would opt to use the broad match modifier +car +rental because the word order does not matter. It is less restrictive than Phrase Match but without the open door you get with broad keywords.
A negative keyword is another necessary match type in both AdWords and Microsoft adCenter. The approach is much friendlier in AdWords than in adCenter, and you can read more about the differences in this post about using negative keywords across PPC platforms.
Be sure to educate yourself about the differences before running multiple campaigns, especially if you are utilizing both AdWords and adCenter for your PPC campaigns. In most cases it is beneficial to use all match types within an account, being sure to monitor the search queries as well as the keyword’s ROI.