So you want to run an Adwords campaign? Your business wants more sales, leads, customer engagement and downloads and you’ve heard that Adwords is a great way to generate all of these. But you’ve also heard that it can be a waste of money, that its no good for small businesses. Which is true? Well, to speak plainly, both can be true. It is very easy as a non specialisit, whether business owner or marketing assistant, to waste an awful lot of money on Adwords very quickly. Adwords can also be a powerful tool for attracting new business based on people who are searching for products and services that your company provides. When properly implemented and regularly managed it can help your business grow and save on your marketing costs.
So how do you make sure that your Adwords account is set up to make the best start possible? As with much in life, it is down to planning and preparation. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t make the usual mistakes that many companies face when first starting out with Adwords.
When you set up Adwords campaigns there are all sorts of possible choices you can make. Without clear goals, its easy to make the wrong ones. If you want to achieve more sales from your online store, you’ll want to consider shopping campaigns, product listing ads, text ads, offers and discounts and more. Which products are you going to promote, what is the target cost per sale by product (this will affect the amount you are willing to pay for a click for example) and does your website currently sell these products at a good conversion rate? All this will affect the profitability of your Adwords campaigns.
Alternatively, if you want to gain leads for your business, how many leads do you need to convert into a customer? If so, how many website visitors are needed to gain one lead? Again, look at your website conversion rate. Then ask yourself, are there enough keyword searches in your geographical campaign target area to produce the number of visitors and leads needed to gain you new customers? You can check this via Google’s keyword planner.
If you are after branding for a product or business, then the possibilities are endless online. You can use Google’s Display network to show image, text and in video ads to get your company in front of people as they use other websites, such as About.com, Gmail, newspaper sites and more. The search network offers the ability to protect your brand by showing ads very cheaply for your own name or products. Remarketing allows for upselling to existing customers or re-engaging with people who have previously visited your website but not bought from you (or contacted you).
So decide on your goals – give yourself a sensible cost per acquisition/sale/conversion target and choose the right combination of campaigns, networks and research your current website’s conversion rates to give you an estimate of possible success rate. (You can do this easily if you have Google Analytics installed properly on your site.)
It is so easy to set up a PPC campaign and click the “start” button without even considering how you will measure your success. It is vital that you sort out your tracking before you start. Without doubt, the best option is to install an analytics programme on your website. Google Analytics is the standard and syncs easily with Adwords (Google’s advertising platform). If you have an e-commerce site, then a small amount of adaptation of the Google Analytics code allows you to track how much you spend in Adwords, how many sales you’ve made, what your ROI and margins are and more. It also tracks similar data from other sources such as organic searches, referring sites and your social networks. This allows you to see which channels produce good results for you and whether they interact at all.
An alternative for tracking Adwords campaigns is to implement Adwords Conversion Tracking. This involves placing some tracking code on the thank you page of your website, for example and then allows you to see which keywords, ads etc produced sales and leads in your Adwords dashboard. It is not as comprehensive as Google Analytics, but it gives you the basics for tracking results, such as gaining cost per conversion data, e-commerce transaction values and more. You can set up different conversions such as sales or leads as long as they have a separate URL. It is also possible to track downloads of apps and calls in this way. Recently there has been an update so that you can now import off-line conversions into the Adwords dashboard. This is also possible for larger companies who use SalesForce. See the snip below for an explanation.
Tracking phone calls is always an important part of running online advertising. You can track mobile click to calls made directly from ads to your business, very easily with Google’s forwarding numbers that allow you to set a call duration as a conversion. These are then added to the conversions in your Adwords dashboard, as well as conversions from forms and transactions. Here’s a great video to show you how.
Tracking calls from your mobile site is also relatively simple with a piece of conversion tracking code that is modified with an onclick command. Tracking calls made after someone clicks through to your non mobile website is trickier. The simplest method of monitoring is to train staff to ask how people found your website. However, this is not a completely watertight solution.
An alternative is to sign up for a service such as Response Tap. This type of service records all calls made from a telephone number on your website and the source that those calls came from, including PPC, organic calls, referrals etc. It is then possible to see exactly where your calls came from and you can import these as off-line conversions into your Adwords account if from PPC. It gives you a more accurate reflection of the success of your campaigns and will positively impact your cost per conversion/acquisition data. It is especially important if a lot of your business comes in through a phone call.
Advertising online can be very targeted. It is possible to find out how many people search on keyword phrases per month within a geographical area, thanks to Google’s Keyword Planner. It also gives you estimates of the number of people who might visit your website for a certain budget per day or keyword bid. This can show you if the keywords you are chosing to bid on are likely to provide you with enough visitors to your website to bring in some sales, leads or downloads at a price you are willing to pay.
Don’t forget to check out your online competition. If you simply type a phrase into Google that you are considering using to bid on, it will show you all the other people already bidding on that term and appearing on page one of the search results. What offers have they got going? Can you beat them on Free delivery, a percentage off a first purchase, price, do you offer something they don’t? If so, use it in your campaign. It will attract people to click on your ads and as long as your offer or benefit is repeated on your website, should result in a steady stream of leads or sales etc for you.
In Adwords you set budget restrictions at the campaign level, so decide where you want to spend your money. Build your campaigns and make sure they are as targeted as possible with tightly controlled ad groups and matching keywords to an appropriate landing page. Incorporate offers, benefits and calls to action into your ads and always run two (or sometimes more) ad versions in each ad goup so you can test messaging or landing pages over time.
Do they contain the same messages that you have in your ads? If you have a 10% off offer in your ad but it is not repeated on the page where your visitor lands after clicking on your ad, they are likely to think, “Oh, that offer is not actually available after all,” and click back to their search results. This wastes your budget and affects your ROI. Get it right however, and it will be more likely to result in a sale.
Another common mistake is to make the checkout process or form too long. If someone is visiting your website for the first time, you want them to find it really easy to sign up, contact you, buy or otherwise take the action you want them to. Keep forms as short as possible and provide all the help you can to make buying online easy peasy! This will improve your website’s conversion rate generally and the success of your Adwords campaigns.
What data is it important to report and collect? Adwords success is normally calculated in terms, initially of clicks, click through rate, cost per click, conversions and cost per conversion (whether sale, lead, download, phone call etc). If you have a very expensive product or a long sales cycle then mini conversions such as whitepaper downloads, pages per visit, etc may be important to track before an actual sale is achieved. Improvements in these mini steps will eventually lead to sales/new customers. Where leads are concerned, someone needs to assess the quality of the leads achieved through your marketing efforts. Make sure that this person receives the leads from any forms filled in. If you have dedicated landing pages hidden from the rest of your site, purely for PPC traffic, it helps in this process as you know that the only way someone has reached that page is by clicking on an ad (make sure the robot text on your landing page is set to No Index so that people cannot find it organically). for smaller businesses or companies with a few high value sales, it is possible, if somewhat time consuming, to match keywords, conversions and forms filled in at certain times of day with actual customer enquiries in order to assess lead quality.
Which keywords, ads and landing pages are producing the results you require and which are not? Adjust bids, change messages in ads and on your website and see if you can improve what is happening. Pause keywords where necessary. Consider your budget in the light of experience and test and measure some more to gain further improvements next month.
Have fun and don’t give up at the first hurdle. Setting up your campaigns and running for the first month is the first step. The next job is to optimise for improved success. To discuss Adwords or Bing advertising with Marketing By Web, please fill in our form or give us a call. We can provide consultation, keyword research, account set up and campaign build and management services.
So . . . you are ready to upload some new content to your site that you believe will have a great impression on your audience, and generate interest in your website. The only problem is that content will only end up buried within blocks of text, which may deter some readers from reaching your most valuable pieces of information. Have you ever considered taking a more visual approach?
An Infographic is a visual device for displaying data and/or information, and is a refreshing alternative to displaying information in the standard linear layout of text. Infographics offer the freedom to develop and present information in as many shapes and forms as you like and, as a result can lead your audience on a much more interesting reading path. This has the potential to make your content appear more appealing. Large amounts of text can be hard to digest. With the aid of an Infographic that information can be refined into it’s most important elements, to present information that is clear and concise.
The above Infographic was taken from our very own Social Media Management page to help explain the process of implementing Social Media as a utility to generate traffic to and interest in your business.
Infographics are great for adding a bit of variety for your readers, but they should be implemented effectively and with purpose. Through a more visual display you can increase the amount of influence your content has and give it some personality. Help people to remember your domain for its unique approach to presentation and encourage them to return in the future. Dozens of other websites may be covering the same topics and subjects as you are. Making the decision to present your content in a more creative output could make all the difference between potential audiences visiting your site and someone else’s.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is a very broad subject, but here are a few reasons why you may want to give PPC advertising a go when drawing up a marketing strategy for your business:
1 – It is highly targeted
PPC works by linking your adverts to the search enquiries made by potential customers using Google’s (in the case of AdWords) or Bing’s (in the case of Bing Ads) search engines. This helps ensure that your services (or item/s that you are selling) are being shown directly to your chosen market, unlike more traditional display advertising such as newspapers or billboards.
2 – It supports full analytics
A major advantage of PPC advertising is that you can track each interaction resulting from your online campaign and its associated data – how much did the click cost; where in the world was the user located; did it result in a conversion? (Which could be a sale, call or other lead for example)
With this information you can help target your advertising budget to certain times of day or geographical location, which have proved to be good for your chosen type of conversion. If you then tie this in with the average worth of an conversion or setup e-commerce tracking (if you are running an online store) then you can get an idea of the return on investment that your online advertising is bringing in.
This can also help highlight services or items that are unprofitable to advertise using PPC advertising – in this case if you have your other marketing methods linked into your analytics software (for example Google Analytics) you could see whether Search Engine Optimisation or e-mail marketing is a better bet.
Using pay-per-click advertising can take a lot of the guesswork out of online advertising.
For additional information on the advantages of using PPC please give our PPC management page a look and feel free to leave a comment also!
Lettings sites carry lots of adverts for apartments for rental. Once an apartment has been let the advert needs to come down. This means maybe 10 – 40% of its pages disappear each week.
In the Google Webmaster Tools dashboard for such a site, it is likely that it will indicate lots of broken links and missing pages. Broken links and missing pages do not provide a good user experience and could indicate to Google that there are quality issues. Additionally, where possible, we want to preserve the ‘link juice’ from external links pointing at the website as this is one of the most important factor that lead to high ranking in the search engines. But what is the best way to solve this?
Let’s imagine that you are a potential user of such a site and that a friend has sent an email to you with a link to flat of the type that you are looking for. Unfortunately, you only click on the link after the listing has been removed.
You might experience one of five scenarios.
So how do these options look like to Google?
*Theoretically, a 410 is better, however, Google’s John Mueller seems to advises that Google treats these in a similar manner.
So which is the best scenario to implement? As ever, I recommend that you always start with the user experience – if the user experience is good then then it is likely that Google will reward your site with higher rankings. Of the scenarios above, the fifth one is probably the best choice, albeit the algorithm that you use to recommend similar properties may be hard to implement. Google will regard it as normal behaviour for a lettings site to have pages disappearing regularly and is comparing you with similar sites.
To out rank your competitors you should:
Finally, keep monitoring the user experience and Google (and Bing) Webmaster Tools to review how the site is performing.
Long gone are the days when people would search for a business in Yellow Pages. You only need to look at the size of the yellow book these days to see the evidence.
In the modern day people are more savvy when it comes to looking up a contact number for a business also. With smartphones and tablets to hand it is far more convenient to search for a business online using the internet. When they search it is also most likely that they will be searching on Google. In fact according to the statistics available in February 2014, 88.6% of people in the UK search using Google.
So what does this mean if you have a business? Well, it goes without saying that if you don’t want to miss the opportunity of any of your existing or potential new clients contacting you then you have to have visibility on Google.
There are several ways that you can gain online presence on the world’s largest search engine and the most important way can be achieved for free! Just 5 minutes of your time will ensure you gain a valuable online listing from the search results on Google.
All you need to do if you haven’t done it already is to register your business on Google Local. If you want to see how that’s done simply click here and you can see how easy it is to add your listing.
Once you have completed this you will have an online listing where people will be able to see your opening hours, a map view and any photos you may have available to upload. Thus providing the user to see instantly what you offer, where you are and of course your contact number.
There is another addition to this that is really helping businesses forge ahead of their competitors and that’s Google Business Photos. This provides the opportunity for people to see inside your business instantly. I will write more about that in my next blog, but if you would like to take a look now just go to our sister website www.marketingbyphotos.com to see the power of this amazing new marketing tool.
Google is the world’s most popular search engine for a reason. They understand that there is an important level of trust that they must maintain with their users and they work hard to keep that trust.
When you make a Google search, you are hoping that the site you’ve clicked on will be useful and relevant. If it isn’t relevant, you lose a little bit of trust in Google. If that trust dips below a certain level: you will start looking elsewhere.
In order to ensure their users’ trust, Google has been working hard to improve the quality of their search results. Google is, in fact, very active in its attempts to rid its listings of spam. It has anti-spam offices working with human controllers in Tokyo, Dublin, Beijing and Hyderabad in India.
Google defines spam as a ‘site appears to use aggressive spam techniques such as automatically generated gibberish, cloaking, [or] scraping content from other websites’.
Spam was a big problem in the olden days, before Google’s Penguin and Panda updates. Website designers would fill a ‘stuff’ a website full of keywords, but not include any real content; – this was widely considered to be a waste of time and was fairly unpopular.
So, if Google hates Spam (and possibly all other forms of luncheon-meat), what does it love? According to their support page, what they are looking for from a webpage is:
What does this all mean?
Google essentially wants to see that you are providing useful information, interesting features and unique content that hasn’t been taken from elsewhere. This can be problematic at times, as it also appreciates regular posting and updates – meaning that you need to be quite productive!
They also want to see that your website is relevant to its keywords and advertising text. If you are clicking on a link for ‘SEO agency in Bristol’ for example, you should not be then entering a website offering pay-day loans.
A website should be displaying its contact details clearly, as a rule of thumb. It should also be easy for them to quickly find the information they are looking for. A prospective customer will not usually crawl through a website for information, it must be prominent and clear. If they cannot find their required information quickly, they will look elsewhere. Google knows this and factors it in to their rankings.
Finally, the issue of trust. Google gives your website a mark on how much they think they can trust you. This is based on an algorithm called TrustRank. In order to build up your trust rating, there are a number of things you can be doing:
If you are looking for a UK SEO company that can help mediate between Google and your website, we’d love to help. Contact us today on 0800 327 7327 with any questions you may have, we’d be more than happy to speak with you.
You’ve signed up for an account, you’ve set a profile photo and an eye-catching cover, all your business details are correct and verified… now what? There are guides galore online on how to use each site, explanations for what ‘engagement’ and ‘reach’ mean and about a thousand people claiming they can do it for you for a monthly price, but what if you just want to do it yourself? How do you go about organising social media in a way that makes sense? Our guide focuses on how you can run your own campaigns with as little fuss as possible so you can get down to the important business: interacting with your customers.
A posting schedule is really easy to make and can be made using a simple excel spreadsheet. Just have the date on one axis and the time you need to post on the other, creating a weekly calendar. The next step is to fill in each box with a post – you can plan posts a few hours, days or even weeks in advance if you know what you’ll be doing. A really simple posting schedule could look something like this:
So now you have a posting schedule, but filling it in regularly can become quite time consuming as you run out of things to say. How do you come up with fresh, interesting content regularly?
An editorial calendar has details of themes and features you’d like to run on your profile. An example of a feature from the Marketing By Web Facebook is ‘Motivational Monday’ where we post an inspiring, motivational or funny picture to get people going on a Monday morning. This can be done in a new tab of the same excel spreadsheet as your posting schedule to keep things simple.
There will be two sections for this one. To set up ‘Features’ you have the days of the week on one axis and ‘Title’, ‘Post Type’ and ‘Notes’ on the other. Then fill it in with features you’ll post about each week. There doesn’t have to be one every day, it’s completely up to you. It could look a little something like this:
The second section, ‘Themes’, is set up in a similar way with the months running along one axis and ‘Main Theme’ and ‘Sub-Theme X, Y, Z’ on the other. Themes include new products, upcoming events, problems your customer might face or elements of your industry. There can be as many sub-themes as you like, but try not to make it too complicated. You just want a few as inspiration for your posting schedule. An example could look like this:
Once you’ve filled that out you have a pretty good idea of what you’ll be posting about through the month and it gets easier to come up with content for your posting schedule.
Now you have fresh, interesting content on a regular schedule with plenty of ideas for the future. But you don’t want to log on 3 times a day to post it, do you?
There are a whole host of scheduling apps and websites out there that make it incredibly easy to set your content up in advance, meaning your social media looks after itself while you look after clients. Some are free (for example Hootsuite) and others aren’t (for example Sprout Social) – it’s down to you to find one that you can work with easily and it’s your choice whether it’s worth paying or not – but here are some things to think about when making the decision.
Now you’ve got a posting schedule, an editorial calendar and software to set it all up in advance you’re ready to go! You’ll be a pro at organising social media in to time, go conquer the social media world!
If that all seems like a lot of effort and you’ve decided you’d rather outsource Social Media why not get in touch and ask about our Social Media Management packages? We’d love to help!
As statistics are continuing to show, social media marketing is a leading way for companies to boost sales and trade whilst creating a long lasting rapport with consumers, and with over 200 million Twitter users, businesses of any size will find signing up and tweeting incredibly valuable. Embracing Twitter can be difficult as the social network is highly demanding and requires regular updating with relevant content, but is incredibly beneficial if managed correctly.
Here are just a few things that a single tweet from your account could do for your business.
Regularity and timing are important factors when it comes to managing a business’s Twitter account, as unlike Facebook where newsfeeds are sorted by ‘most recent’ and ‘top stories’, tweets are shown on a rolling timeline. This means that a tweet sent in the morning will not be visible on a user’s feed in the afternoon. Because of this a business’s professional account will need to consistently be updated with relevant content throughout the day so that all followers are targeted.
You may even find it beneficial to ‘repeat tweet’ about any promotions, facts, or links that you wish to highlight. When repeat tweeting, make sure that you don’t simply post an identical tweet over and over. Instead keep followers interested by experimenting in ways to describe what you offer. By posting regularly throughout the day, even with tweets containing the same information, your business is widening its reach and if reaching the right follower at the right time, you can see your tweet transforming into a sale.
Vastly Increase Brand Awareness
The word viral has become synonymous with successful marketing and the creation and successful execution of viral content is a goal for many who want to make their business extremely visible online. Should content be created that goes viral, a company can vastly increase their reach meaning that they quickly get an entirely new audience of consumers taking an interest in their brand.
A company that is fortunate enough to have a tweet go viral can see an enormous increase in brand awareness and sales, but when it comes to social media it is often still a case of slow and steady wins the race. Through regular interesting tweets, a business can slowly build a loyal following that will begin to trust the brand and continue to make use of the products and services they stock, as opposed to those viral follows who may quickly unfollow once they realise that your stream is not relevant to their needs.
Improve Customer Service and Relations
For a number of years customer service and relations has been changing, with businesses adapting to the modern and public ways in which customers can offer praise or complain online. As great as a viral tweet can be for a business, it can also be incredibly damaging should the content be negative. Unsatisfied customers can easily post comments, reviews and reactions that can impact badly on a company if not dealt with in the right way. By having a Twitter presence, a company can quickly deal with and prevent disparaging or derogatory comments from escalating.
Along with being a newer way to deliver good customer service and handle complaints, tweeting is a great way to build foundations for excellent customer relations. Customer relations can be built by simply posting often and making sure that the content is interesting, but also by interacting with followers in a positive way.
Here at Marketing By Web we understand the power that one tweet can have and that a regularly managed Twitter account can vastly increase your web presence and customer reach. If you want to know more about how social media can help your business, or are interested in using our social media management services, then why not give a member of our team a call on 0800 327 7327 or visit our contact us page and fill out an online enquiry form.
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