Posts Tagged ‘PPC Expectations’
Posted June 23rd, 2011 by Sarah Wallace
There’s been a lot of talk lately about The End Of The World. Just check out a few Google search results on the topic. I blame Harold Camping, and his May 2011 Rapture predictions. Either way, there appear to be two distinct camps battling it out: those who believe on some level that something disastrous is coming our way; and those who feel as though that first group is totally nuts. Regardless of which side you’re on, if you’re in the PPC game you might find some credibility in one of my favorite ‘the end is coming!’ quotes:
It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
The meaning is pretty clear for those considering an underground backyard shelter. But for PPC? When it comes to online advertising—and more specifically, the spending of your hard earned dollars on advertising—it’s probably best not to sit around and wait for something disastrous to happen. Take it from the boy scouts, and Be Prepared.
1. Do your keyword research!
You don’t need to be a PPC expert to do a little bit of introductory keyword research. Never assume that you can throw a few phrases together that describe what you do or what you sell, use those as keywords, and watch the revenue come rolling in. Google has put together tools that are fairly simple to use, that will help you identify keywords that a.) have healthy search volume, and b.) don’t cost an arm and a leg. The Keyword Tool is a great place to start. You can begin with a word or phrase that accurately describes your business, and the tool will populate with additional keyword suggestions related to that original term. Don’t be surprised if there are a lot of duds. This is an automated tool, after all, and algorithms aren’t always known for their subtlety or understanding. Don’t write these off, though, without first considering using them as negative keywords to weed our irrelevant traffic. The bottom line? You want a balance of high search volume (i.e. actual folks out there looking for what you’re offering), and low cost (CPCs).
2. Create plenty of ads
Now that you’ve got a decent keyword list in the works, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got good ads to go along with them. One common mistake made during the ad creation process is putting together one really great text ad for each ad group, and letting that ad do all the work. Poor ad—that’s a lot of pressure! Not to mention the fact that if for some reason your ad is disapproved or comes down for editing there will be no ads left to show in its place. Add to that the fact that you’ll have nothing else to compare it to stats-wise, and you’re not in a very good position. You always want to have at least two ads per ad group at all times. This way—provided they’re not identical—there’s a good chance that if one of your ads gets disapproved you’ll still be in the game with the other. And if you need to edit them, do it one at a time so that you continue to run. You’ll also be able to get a better idea of what users are responding to, and make better ads because of it. You can measure your stats, see which ad is performing better, and use that information to optimize your ads…but remember, do it one at a time.
3. Brush up on policy
Yeah, it’s no secret that I’m a bit of a stickler about the Google AdWords policies. And I completely understand that policy isn’t all that fun to read about. So I’ll keep it short and sweet…as I’ve said many times before, while you may not be able to memorize all of the policies, at least make an effort to know those that govern your industry. You should also probably have a basic understanding of things like editorial policy for text ads, to avoid getting disapproved for something simple and preventable. No one likes having their ads come down for not following the rules, only to spend hours researching online and calling support to get them back up.
4. Analytics is your friend
I won’t lie—Google Analytics isn’t the most user friendly program for those new to PPC. However, if you have the ability to get the tracking code on your website, and understand enough about the reports to get a basic idea of what’s going on, it will help you—I promise. Even if you don’t intend to do super in-depth analysis of your traffic patterns, visitors, and goals, Analytics will help to show you where people enter your site, where they navigate, and where they drop off. Why is this important? Imagine for a moment that you’ve been running PPC campaigns just fine for a little while now, and all of a sudden the calls just stop coming. You check your Analytics reports to see what’s going on. You notice that the bounce rate on a key page just prior to your conversion page has jumped immensely in the past few days. You check out your website, and—voila!—the very page that Analytics pointed you towards is now showing a 404 error. Who knows how it got there, but now that you know why people are leaving your site, you have the opportunity to fix it, ASAP.
So there you have it. None of this is rocket science, or even as drastic as stocking up on a year’s supply of filtered water and dehydrated meals. But with a little bit of preparation and time spent up front on your PPC account, you’ll fare much better in the face of unexpected difficulties. By no means is this a comprehensive or complete list of things that one can do before or during the creation of PPC campaigns, but it is a start, and could help save you some dollars down the road.
Posted in Online Strategies, Pay Per Click
Tags: Pay Per Click Account Management, PPC Expectations
Posted May 31st, 2011 by Kristin Cox
It can be difficult to rank on the Keywords you want to bid on, especially if competition is high. It becomes very important to the success of your Keywords and overall account to have “Good” to “Great” Quality Scores. Typically, when you first set up an Ad Group, the Keywords will have a good Quality Score, but then as Google has a chance to review everything, those Quality Scores can change. Below are some tips to follow which will help to boost the Quality Scores of your Keywords.
- Use the Keyword tool to find Keywords that are relevant to your site and landing pages.
- Split Keywords up into smaller groups.
- Send under-performing Keywords into their own Ad Groups (If you don’t want to pause under=performing Keywords [which really should be done] then split them up into their Ad Groups so they don’t drag down the Quality Scores of good Keywords).
- Don’t use every phrase match type in the same Ad Group; be sure to include Negative Keywords.
- Send traffic to quality Landing Pages; you want to create keyword targeted landing pages.
- Create fresh content for your site (i.e. – articles, blog posts, newsletters, etc). Content is King, and you want to make sure your landing pages provide new, relevant content and are easy to navigate.
- Tailor your Text Ads to your Keywords and Landing Pages; these three items are very important when Google determines your Quality Score, so you want to make sure they are closely aligned.
- Testing, Testing, Testing; it is very important to continually test new Text Ads, Landing Page content/templates and Keywords as you rid your account of under-performing ones and find what works best.
- Improve Landing Page load times; if your page is slow to load, this will negatively impact your Quality Scores.
Follow these tips and continually check in on your Quality Scores to make sure they are in the “Good” to “Great” range, and you will pay less for your CPC’s and receive better Ad Ranking.
Posted in Pay Per Click
Tags: Pay Per Click Account Management, PPC Expectations, PPC Optimization
Posted April 11th, 2011 by Thomas Heed
All marketers lust after affordable leads or profitable sales. Nothing wrong with that!
We all know the meaning of lust in the traditional sense. Its origins are somewhat more interesting as it was once used to describe a lack of self-control or an excessive love that rendered other, more important, aspects of life secondary.
The same basic tenets apply to PPC Management. Ignoring them is sinful.
An excessive love of marketing lingo or industry jargon
It is far too easy to forget that “It is not about you” and what you most desire.
Believe it or not, Ripley, even grizzled (or grizzly) industry peers use basic terms to conduct their search for solutions. You cannot afford to assume that your target audience is comfortable looking for narrow terms. The exception is Purchasing Agents and a select few who search by part or model number(s).
Do not ask people to be perspicacious while evaluating perspiration reduction solutions when “Antiperspirant” will do just fine. Deodorant is even better.
Falling in love with trendy, unproven tactics
Does anyone remember Second Life?
We received a call Friday, April 1, asking what we thought about Google’s new gBlimp Text Ads … Nuff Said?
Ad Positions and Self-Control
You have an irrational desire for your PPC Ads to display in the Number 1 Position. You may be Number 1 in Search Results, but you’re probably not Number 1 in profitability.
This is a battle we fight over and over again. Many companies will insist that they have to be in the top position. Now, it definitely makes sense to be in the Top 3 Positions for SEO, but not always for PPC.
For instance, not long ago the top bid for indiana cosmetic dentist was $24.00.
It was possible to be in Position 2 or 3 with a high Quality Score (8-10), and a CPC Bid of $4.00.
Advertisers in Positions 2 and 3 could easily generate 6 times the Click Volume for the same cost necessary for their competition to remain in Position 1.
It comes down to whether you just want to be seen (a must for ego-driven Hollywood types), or you want to be Profitable!
Lust if you must.
The real sin is PPC Management executed without self-control or done to excess.
Posted in Pay Per Click, SEM
Tags: Pay Per Click Account Management, PPC Expectations, PPC Management, PPC Management Sins
Posted March 16th, 2011 by Thomas Heed
It is critical that you have realistic expectations before jumping feet-first into Pay Per Click (PPC). You should not use PPC if –
- You believe that PPC should provide a positive outcome in 30 days or less.
- You are not prepared to lose money on PPC Services during the first 4-6 months of launch.
- You want to cut bait and run within 2 weeks of launching any new PPC initiative when you do not see immediate returns.
Why is this so? Because it takes months to accumulate enough data to begin making informed decisions about what is working, what is not, and how to leverage/adjust to these findings.
Here is what EverEffect shares with PPC prospects –
One of our long-term clients is committed, and patient. Don’t believe me? Check out the chart below. Revenue grew from $73 in 4th Quarter 2009 to > $7,400 in 4th Quarter 2010. ROAS improved from 0.02 to 1.47 over the course of one year; revenue/quarter increased by greater than 10,000%.
An impatient advertiser (there are many) would have quit within three months of launching PPC!
This client sells 1000′s of products. Months 1-4 were spent understanding which ones would consistently sell profitably.
Months 5-8, our efforts were directed at de-emphasizing non-performers and leveraging high-performers.
Months 9-12, with additional PPC account optimization, revenues soared, and the momentum continued. For example, this same client beat first quarter 2010 revenue totals within the first eight days of 2011!
Abide before you decide:
- Expect to earn $1 for every dollar you spend early on. If you cannot absorb such a loss, do not pursue PPC. This is typical during the first 3-6 months.
- Our motto is, “Don’t tell us how much you want to spend, but how much you want to make.” Know what you want/need to achieve, and understand what it will take to meet your goal(s).
- Know that campaigns Fail! This does not mean that your offering has no merit, only that you need to find a better way to sell it.
The biggest issue that we experience with Prospects is “Not So Great Expectations.” PPC is not a tap that one turns on and off, its process that requires commitment, diligence, and patience.
Posted in Pay Per Click, SEM
Tags: Pay Per Click Account Management, PPC Expectations, PPC Optimization, PPC Services
Posted November 22nd, 2010 by Chris Bross
Search marketing is evolving everyday and the reason why is no different than story of the Pied Piper.
Everyone knows the story of the Pied Piper, right? If not, check out Wikipedia.
The town of Hamelin promised to pay the Pied Piper to remove the infestation of rats that were plaguing the town. The town reneged on their promise and the Pied Piper came back took all town’s children until he received payment. The Internet has this town called Google, which is infested with hungry potential customers (the rats
) looking for your products and services (the cheese).
In most cases, SEO is the only search marketing direction considered. Of course there are a few that are using PPC up front to help determine the directions to take your SEO efforts in. You can use PPC to determine what keywords convert better, and use that to your advantage in your SEO optimization practices.
The question you need to ask yourself is, why stop (or not at all) paying the Pied Piper (AdWords, if you have not guessed that yet)? It’s an easy answer, don’t!
Within Google’s AdWords, you now can use Ad Extensions to display multiple items to attract more attention, more interaction and more to clicks to your site.
In today’s ever-changing online environment, you need a search marketing strategy that is an on-going combination of SEO and PPC efforts to achieve maximum return on investment.
Back to the theme of the post; remember if used in concert with SEO, the music of the Pied Piper will deliver more customers to your business.
Posted in Online Marketing ROI, Online Strategies, Pay Per Click, SEM
Tags: Pay Per Click Account Management, PPC Expectations
Posted October 29th, 2010 by Chris Bross
From the very outset, lies in three main areas:
- Validation of the online interest in your Product/Service.
- The alignment/integration of your PPC efforts with your stated business objectives and desired outcomes.
- An understanding of your Business, Goals, and what will be required to meet or exceed them.
Research – The Foundation
Whether evaluating an existing program, or starting fresh, we begin with Research. During the first month of an EverEffect engagement, we look at the following:
1. Your site
How is it currently being “categorized”? Often, there is a difference between what a site owner thinks they are presenting to Searchers and how they are perceived by the various Search Engines. This is critical to understand, as Campaigns can suffer when Keywords, Text Ads, and site content are not in sync with how they are viewed by the SEs, Google in particular. Such findings often color our thinking and eventual recommendations.
2. Product or Service Keyword Research
What you are offering vs. what your target audience is really searching for? Each particular offering may yield between 0 and 1,000 possible terms to evaluate at the outset. Just today, we presented our findings to a client who had been advertising an internal jargon phrase (0 searches per month) vs. a more highly targeted phrase (22,200 searches per month), which was more popular with their target audience!
This research covers multiple dimensions:
- Level of competition; how many others are bidding on your core keywords? One of our clients has more than 900 Competitors bidding on their core Keywords!
- Creative; how is the Competition positioning their Product/Service? What can we learn from their approach? How can we differentiate?
- Competition Keywords; what terms currently trigger your competition’s Ads? This is important for two reasons: 1) we can determine how well their campaigns are optimized and, 2) this is often a gold mine in terms of building a Negative Keyword List.
4. Online Commercial Intent
Are terms transactional or informational in nature? In most cases, we would wish to identify Keywords with high-OCI (Intent to buy).
An audit of historical performance on site can guide Strategy and help build our Keyword list. What are your most popular pages? The least popular? Why? What do people do, how do they behave on your site?
Management – Nuts & Bolts
The remainder of what we do is based on testing, measuring, analyzing, and refining what we do on your behalf to continuously improve and meet your goals. How are Keywords, Ads, and Campaigns performing? In the end, PPC must be creating value for you.
Leverage high-performers, eliminate waste … and being properly set up to understand and react – in a timely fashion – is our overall approach.
Shoot us an email or call (888-506-2183) to see if we are the right fit for your PPC Management needs.
Posted in Internet Marketing, Pay Per Click, SEM, Web Analytics
Tags: Pay Per Click Account Management, PPC Expectations, PPC Optimization