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PPC/Local SEO

Pay Per Click Specialist

Scott Salwolke is a Pay Per Click Specialist with nearly 10 years' experience in SEO and search marketing. He is certified by both Google Adwords and Bing Ads for their programs. He also provides Local SEO services to businesses.

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How Much To Bid on Google Adwords And How Not To Overbid

 

One of the biggest decisions a business must make with pay per click is how much to bid for a keyword. Most businesses have a set budget they want to spend on pay per click and a list of keywords they want to target.  The problem is how to get the most out of that budget and that begins with how much to bid on each keyword.Pay Per Click Bid

Determine Your Monthly Budget. And then Lower It

How much you bid is often determined by how much you can spend. Let’s say your budget is $1000 a month. And you want it to go the entire month.  So if there are 30 days in the month you set your daily spend at 33 dollars a day. You assume that even if you reach your daily spend each day you’ll be at $1,000. Yet, Google can go over your daily limit by 20% so your actual spend for the month could be $1188. So set your daily budget at 30 and then monitor it. You might need to drop it to 20 for the second half of the month.

Now that you have daily spend, figure out how many words to bid on

Let’s stick with your $1,000 budget. You are spending 30 a day and have a list of 10 words you want to target. Type these words into Google Keyword Planner to determine the average cost per click on them for your market. If you find out that the average cost per click is 10 dollars for some words, then you could hope to get 3 clicks for this amount. If you can bid eight dollars on these words, then you might four clicks. That’s still not very much when you might have conversion rate of 2 percent. You could go the entire month and get 2 customers. That’s fine if these two customers more than pay for your spend. If not then you need to start bidding lower, even if it means you’re not on top. And limit the number of words you're bidding on. You can always add more in the future.

Don’t get caught up in Being Number 1

I hear customers all the time tell me that they need to be number 1 in order to get business. And the data does show that the top 3 spots usually convert the best. Yet, that doesn’t mean you need the top spot right away.  Most likely the most competition you’ll have is at the beginning of the day when everybody’s daily budget hasn’t been spent. As your competitors get clicks they may start to drop out of the competition. Halfway through the day you might get that top spot without spending nearly as much as what it would have cost earlier in the day. Begin bidding lower for the first few days and see if you’re moving up as the day progresses, and most importantly, getting cheaper clicks.

Remember your bid could be your real cost.

Google AdWords determines your bid based on your maximum bid and the bids of your competitors. Basically its one cent higher than what your competitor is willing to spend. So if your bid is 20 and your competitor’s is 10, then your bid is actually 10.01. Unfortunately, this can create a misconception when people place their bids. They overbid thinking it will give them the top spot, but that they won’t actually have to pay that amount.  Yet if a competitor suddenly increases their bids or a new competitor enters the market, your actual cost could increase dramatically.  What you bid an hour ago may have doubled by now and at the end of the day a single click could have eaten up your entire budget.

Lower Your Costs Through Quality Score

Part of Google’s pay per click algorithm is quality score. Your AdRank is partially determined by both your bid and your Quality Score. If you have a high Quality Score you can actually have a lower bid then your competition, but still show up in higher position. Google is interested in the ads that people click on, not the ads that someone bids high for, but which no one clicks on. Click through is the main criteria and this comes down to how people respond to your ad. Spend some time on your ads to create something that captures the attention of your prospect and compels them to click on your ad.

Determine the Value of Each Keyword to Your Business

Whether you have a list of 10 keywords, or a million, you’re going to find some keywords have a higher potential for conversion. If you’ve set up each ad group with bids for that then you’re essential saying all the keywords are the same. That’s never the case. Monitor your words thorugh various means, including Google Analytics. Once you determine what words work best focus on these. If you need to raise the bids on these, then do it if you can without losing ROI. If it eats too much of your budget, then begin pausing the lesser performing words.

I’m Confused. Have You Said How Much To Bid on Keywords?

If you were looking for a specific number or algorithm to determine the optimal bid for your keywords than I’ve likely disappointed you. Every keyword, in every market, is going to be different. The Google Adwords Keyword Planner will give you suggestions on what the average cpc will be provided you type in your specific market. Even then, however, that data will likely be out of date. Often keywords in the same market will change over time. I’ve offered suggestion in how to approach your bid and now not to overspend. But you have to determine the bid your comfortable with.

Monitor, test, and evaluate all the time. Your bid is often going to change, so work to make sure it's of value and not breaking your budget.

Are The Yellow Pages Still Important For Marketing Your Business

 

This spring businesses around the country are coming to an important decision, whether or not to take out an ad in their local telephone book. They’re not just deciding on if they should renew their ad, but also are hearing from these companies about the online directories they offer. Often these are being bundled together, making them seem like a great deal. But for many business it might not be the deal it seems.

In the past, it was often critical that a local business have an ad in the telephone book, as this was the primary way prospects could find them.  Yet, this has changed and even the publishers of phone books realize this. That is why their pushing hard for business to reup with them and in the process buy advertising online.  Telephone Books

Three years ago Forbes Magazine was already asking Should Small Businesses Still Book Yellow Page Ads? The situation hasn’t gotten any better for telephone books.

If you're a business owner and debating about where to spend your marketing dollars, then evaluate carefully whether the offer they are making will benefit your business enough to justify the cost.

Here are some things to consider when deciding on your marketing plan for the upcoming year.

Evaluate How Are Your Prospects Finding You Now

Each business is different and each community is unique. How much your business might benefit from telephone books is something you must decide on your own. The more data you have the easier it will be to make a decision. Now that more people use smart phones then computers, you want to make sure you’re in front of the people who need your services or products.

It might be too late to gather data for this year, but you should start collecting information for next year to make a better decision. Here are some ways to gather data, both on the print ads and the paid listings.

• Ask customers how they found your business
• Look at your analytics to see referring sites. Do you see yellowbook.com or yp.com among the drivers of traffic to your site?
• Have a special promotion code that only shows in the print edition.
• If they offer call tracking, then take advantage of it and keep track of the data for the year.
• Monitor your own use of the telephone book. How much are you actually using it to look up numbers?

Are People In Your Community Actually Using the Online Directories

Part of the push for renewal involves the online directories that these companies now have. For larger communities there may be a portion of the population using these directories, but for smaller communities people are simply going to Google and Bing in their search for local products and services.

Compete is one site that measures traffic to sites and while It’s not a perfect source, it does give insight into how popular sites are in comparison. This is the February data for some of the local directories. And one thing to remember these aren’t even the main directories people turn to. That would be Google and Bing.

DexKnows.com 2,345,460
Yellowbook.com 1,372,058
Yelp.com 23,488,824
Foursquare.com 2,773,204
Angieslist.com 4,406,063
Superpages.com 8,992,741
Mapquest.com 31,763,252
Yp.com 611,327
Yellowpages.com 32,106,427
Telephone Books
The data on Google also shows the interest in these directories is on the decrease, even while searches for Yelp and Foursquare increase.

One thing in favor of the online telephone directories is that they are taking out paid ads on Google for many local services. See if this is occurring in your area and this might make this a better investment.

What Do You Actually Need to Purchase

Most Online Directories have a paid platform, but they also offer a free listing. For some businesses this free listing might be enough. If you service a small community, with few competitors then chances are that people using these directories will find your business anyway.

Yellowbook.com is pushing some clients to purchase a website. This is fine, if you don't already have one. Unfortunately, some sales people are saying businesses should get a site even if they already have one. I had one client decide to end my services because she was getting a new website and new url from Yellowbook.com. It was a small client so I wasn't worried about my loss. I was more concerned that their current site already ranked number 1 for all their key phrases and their url was on all their marketing material. Now they were starting from scratch.

Don't Be Misled By Wrong Information

My main concern with the push for telephone directories is that the information I've heard about some sales people is concerning. I already referenced the client who gave up their current site, even though it was a main driver of leads for their business. One sales person said that having a new site. "With all of the claiming that is done on the 400 plus different online directories/search engines  when the listing pops up AND you have your url part of your profile it will help your organic relevancy for your website."

Really, there are 400 directories out there? That people are actually using? This is like something shady SEO people used a few years ago. More importantly they were using this as an argument to get a second site. Again this was with a client whose current site also ranked number 1 for their services.

They also boasted that their company was only one of 19 premier partners with Google Adwords. This is true about the business, but it's not the case about the person actually handling their account. I'm a Google Certified Partner and to achieve that I had to pass their exams and meet their criteria. The person calling on this business likely didn't do any of this. 

Make An Informed Decision

I'm not saying advertising in telephone books isn't a good investment. For many businesses they still are. But if you have a limited amount for your marketing business, consider if putting most of it toward print and online directories is worth it. If you’re business is one of them, then sign on for another year. If most of your leads are coming from online sources, however, then a simple listing may be the better investment for your business.

 

What is Google Shopping And How To Set Up Adwords Shopping

 
I called into Google Adwords last month to talk to one of their specialist about the new Google Shopping Program.  I had some questions about the setup on a client’s campaign, but when I brought up the question he wondered what I meant by the shopping program. He was a member of the team assisting with Product Listing Ads so he should have been the person to talk to. Instead he put me on hold even though I hadn’t even told him what client I was calling about.Google Shopping

The program was just being released to all advertisers, but I was still surprised at the lack of knowledge the “expert” had. Luckily I called back a little while later and this Google person was knowledgeable about the program.  As she walked me through the program I realized why so many advertisers who had tested the new format were so excited about it.

The Evolution of Product Listing Ads.

Product listing ads had once been a free service offered to business that sold products online. Instead of their wares showing up as text ads, people could see what they offered with both a photograph and their price. Many of my clients benefited greatly from PLA’s, so needless to say we were disappointed when it became a paid program.

From Google’s perspective it was obvious why they made it part of their Adwords program. Many consumers were finding PLA’s a great way to search for items and the number of searches increased dramatically. Today billions of items are listed in the shopping program.

If you’ve been running the Product Listing Ad, switching over to google shopping doesn’t require a lot. You can use your existing feed, although you’ll find you’ll want to make additions to it in order to take full advantage of what Google Shopping offers.

Five Ways To Get The Most Out of Google Shopping.


Use keywords in your titles

This is a carryover from the original program, but still key to your listings success. Try to include the main phrases people might use for searching for each specific products in its title. Yet, try to be descriptive. Simply throwing in a bunch of keywords could result in a nonsensical title.

Get the Most Out Of Your Descriptions

The terms you use in your description is often what triggers your ad. So include in the description, not just terms related to the product, but also its OEM  You can have up to 10,000 characters in the description, but according to one person I spoke to at Google, it is the characters between 500 to 1,000 that have the most impact. So don’t get too carried away.

Take Advantage of Custom Labels.

The main benefit of the Shopping Program is that you can now bid higher for certain items. For example you can break your listings down by product type and bid higher on those items that have a higher ROI.  More importantly you can create custom labels (up to five).  So you can label some products such as Big Ticket Items, others as low profit. Then adjust your bids accordingly. Everything that doesn’t fall into one of your custom labels are grouped together as “all products.” You can get very granular with your bidding, just as you would if you were pricing your items in a department store.  Be careful though, as you could create too many labels and in the process create confusion about your bids.  And don’t remove the current labels Google has created, even if you’re not using them at the moment. They could be important later.

Don’t Duplicate What Your Competitors Are Doing.

It’s not like text ads where ads are positioned in a specific order and which you want to be in the top 3.  For products the items are grouped together in a box. So to stand out here, use unique photos if possible. Price is another factor in click through rate, as well as the title.

See What The Competition Is Doing

Another big feature of the new Shopping Campaign is the competitor’s benchmark. You can see benchmarks about your competitors for specific products, from the average cost per click to the average click through rate. This is a great way to get your products to appear more.  Unfortunately you can’t download this information as a report yet, and to see the date you often have to have large sample size, such as the last 30 days of your campaign.

One thing to keep in mind is that because the Shopping Campaign has some great features, don’t let it disrupt what you’re currently doing with PLA’S if they are working for you. Review the data on your PLA’s and determine what if anything needs to be changed.

What is a Google Adwords Certified Partner And Should You Hire One?

 

If you’ve been searching for an agency to help with your pay per click management, you may have come across agencies that call themselves a Google Adwords Partner. In fact, they may even have a logo stating as much and a link to Google stating they are.google adwords partner logo

You may wonder what is a Google Adwords Partner? And if you should give them more consideration than an agency that isn’t?

First of all Google Adwords Certified Partner is a new designation, although the program has been around for a number of years. Agencies that met Google’s requirements were originally called Qualified Google Advertising Individual. Although the name has changed the main criteria are primarily the same.

To become an authorized agency or individual you have to meet a number of requirements. The first is that they must take two tests a year. The first is a general overview of the Adwords program. It is designed to be difficult, but anyone who regularly works on campaigns has a good foundation to work with. They also provide a wealth of study materials. I know when I prepare to retake the test I go through the study guide. Often I find something I wasn’t aware of or had forgotten and which would benefit one of my clients.

For the second test, an individual can choose to take Advanced Search or Advanced Display exam. I chose to take the Advanced Search test because it ties in with my work as a SEO consultant as well.

Passing the test is not enough to be certified. There is also a criteria of ad spend. The agency or individual must also maintain campaigns that spend a minimum of 10,000 over a 90 day period. This is a relatively low number so most have no trouble meeting this requirement.

What has changed with the program is that individuals or agencies are being held accountable more. Now they must also demonstrate that they are demonstrating best practices. This ensures that they aren’t going through the motions with their clients, that they’re actively adding new features to campaigns and actively adding new phrases and ads. This I’ve also found beneficial as they point out areas I can improve on, even though my score is above average.

Should You Use A Google Adwords Partner

First of all, there are a lot of qualified pay per click specialists that aren’t partners, for various reason. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of bad agencies that have spent a lot of money for a business with nothing to show for it. At least with a Google Adwords Partner you know they’ve had training and are being held to a standard of some sort. And yes, there are still partners who lack real experience.

Google Adwords Certified Partner often have access to new features, sometimes when they are still in the testing process. This means you might start features that your competitors don’t even know about.

Google has also been proactive about educating partners, providing weekly hangouts on new features or on how to best utilize current features.

One benefit I particularly enjoy is the Google Plus forum for Certified Partners. Agencies and specialists share knowledge with one another. I'll be the first to admit I don't know everything about Adwords and never will. But with the forum I have access to most every answer.

I’ve done thousands of campaign and have experimented at some point or another with all the features of Adwords, but I also know that I have room to improve. The Google Adwords Certified Partner program ensures that I'm constantly learning more and as a result seeing a higher return on investment with clients.

Bing has a similar program, calling their partners Bing Ads Accredited Professionals.

Need Assistance WithPay Per Click. Monthly PPC Plans from $255 to $6,000 a monthClick here to learn more

Which Keyword Match Type To Use for Pay Per Click

 

Choosing which keywords to target with pay per click is just the first step in a campaign.   How to target them is often the next step. Use the wrong match type and you could be wasting a lot of money. Or, just as bad, miss out on a lot of opportunities.

Google and Bing allow you four methods in which to target phrases and all have strengths and weaknesses.

Broad match is just that. It can trigger synonyms for any of the words in your keyword phrase. For example, say you’re targeting the phrase Google. Because it means search, words such as Yahoo or Bing could trigger your ad. And in some cases the phrases being triggered aren’t anything remotely like the words you’re using.

The advantage of broad match is that it can trigger a number of phrases. From these phrases you might find additional words to target. I recommend broad match if you have a small list of word to begin with and want to expand on it.  Once you’ve expanded your list, however, you might want to use a different targeting option for your phrases.Keyword Match Types

Modified broad match provides you with a little more control. By adding a plus sign to some of the words you ensure that only those words trigger your ads. So +oil +filters means that only phrase that contain both words will cause your ads to appear. One advantage of this is that they words can be used in any order, something not possible with phrase match.

With phrase match you have even more control over your words. So if you’re targeting the phrase air filters you could see your add appearing for cheap air filters or red air filters. The problem is that you could still miss out on sales. If someone types in filters that are red you’re ad won’t appear.

Exact match is the most restrictive and will usually result in the fewest number of impressions. The ad only appears if people use your specific keywords in the specific order you have them. So if you have red air filters your ad won’t appear if they type in anything but that. So red air filters for sale won’t trigger your ad.

Why use exact match if it’s so restricting. The best reason is that you’ve found these words convert very well and so you developed your ad group around them.

In looking at the words your prospects used that triggered your ads you’re bound to find a number that don’t apply. This is especially true if you’re using broad match, which is why you don’t want to use it too long. Yet even with modified broad and phrase match you’ll find phrase that don’t apply. For example, you’re using the word rubber tracks because you sell them for construction equipment.  Yet, a searcher typed in rubber tracks for exercise equipment and by clicking on your ad, cost you  money.

Using a word that doesn’t apply as a negative word means you’re phrase won’t appear. Negative match is a great way not only to avoid wasted clicks, but to lower your overall impressions and potentially improve your click through rate.

With negative keywords, however, you can run the risk of accidently blocking some of the phrase you’re currently targeting. If this is the case, then consider using the word being blocked as exact match and moving it to its own ad group.  Then apply the negative phrase to all the other ad groups.

With any successful campaign you're likely to be running a lot of the same phrases using the different matching options.  The key is to constantly review your keywords, focusing on those that are converting and pausing those that don't. Need Assistance WithPay Per Click. Monthly PPC Plans from $255 to $6,000 a monthClick here to learn more

10 Reasons Why Your Google Adwords Ad Was Rejected

 

This past year Google rejected 224,000,000 ads submitted to Adwords. This certainly seems like an astounding number, but not as much when you consider how many ads were submitted overall. So the percentage of rejected ad isn't that high. Google Adwords Ads RejectedAnd from experience I know the simplest thing can get an ad rejected, so it's not just spammers who are seeing their ads rejected.

As a pay per click specialist, I occasionally get calls or emails from clients who are in a panic that one of the ads we’ve done is rejected. They’re concerned that this will get their site banned from Google Adwords.  What I tell them is that they shouldn’t panic. Google doesn’t want to ban businesses from Adwords. They simply want you to rewrite your ads in the proper manner.

This being said, it's better to avoid any issues with your ads, so they'll start generating you business more quickly. Here are some things that can get your ads rejected from Google.

Having a phone number in the text. Google did allow this, but with the introduction of Google Enhanced, this was prohibited. Instead they wanted business to use click to call. In this way they could get credit for the call and thus get paid. If you want to have a number in your ad, Bing still allows this.

Using certain brand names in the ad. While you can bid on most major brand names, that doesn’t mean you can use their name in your ad. For one I can’t put Google Adwords in the text, even though I’m certified by them for their advertising platform.

Some products can’t be advertised. Alcohol, tobacco and firearms are the most prominent.

Your landing page is lacking needed information. Tech companies were especially hard hit in the last year with many of their sites being actually banned. It wasn’t that they were necessarily taking advantage of people (although many were).  Instead, they were lacking things that Google required such as pricing information, mailing address, etc. There are other industries, such as financial institutions, that also have specific requirements.

You make a claim in your ad. Saying it’s the best, or the number 1 rated isn’t going to pass unless you have something on the page (or a link) showing data from a third party.

Having more than one site targeted in an ad Group. This is common if you’re running a campaign and then decide to use a landing page that has a different url. You can’t simply pause the old ad and start the new one. You’ll have to create a new ad group.

Too much punctuation. Are you a fan of using numerous exclamations point? Curb that enthusiasm as too much punctuation can cause an ad to be rejected.

The landing page has issues. If your page is under construction or returns as an error, then your ad will be rejected. This happens when you first submit your ad, but later could become an issue you’re not aware of. For example, I’ve had clients who’ve had their sites redesigned and in the process the webmaster created new urls.

You're doing remarketing but lack a privacy policy. If you’re doing a remarketing campaign that means you’re adding cookies to a visitors computer when they visit your site. Your privacy policy, must then notify people of this and let them know what to do if they want to block them.

Taking advantage of natural disasters. You can’t create ads that attempt to capitalize on natural disasters, wars or other tragedies.

If you’re wondering why I’ve had ads rejected when I’ve been certified by Google Adwords for nearly four years, it’s because there are so many policies and they’re constantly changing. Even though I constantly review the Google Adwords policy page there are changes that I miss out on.

If your ad is rejected review the reason for the rejection. If you have questions then contact Google Adwords or consider hiring a professional such as myself. I'll help you avoid penalties and develop ads that compell your prospects to click on your ad.

Why Pay Per Click is Needed for Local SEO Marketing

 

Imagine you’re a plumber working in Chicago. You know the yellow pages aren’t generating leads like they used to. Instead your prospects are looking for your services online and most likely they’re looking on Google. So you know it’s important to be on the first page of Google to be found. The Local SEO for Plumbersproblem is that there are hundreds of other plumbers in Chicago who’ve came to the same conclusion. So now you’re all competing for the top 10 spots on Google.

Yet, you’re not competing for the top 10 spots on Google. You’re all looking to be in the top 3. That’s because Google has a 7 pack of local business on the first page, effectively taking away most of the spots. Most of these are businesses close to the person performing the search.

Showing up at 15 or 20 may seem like an achievement, but if someone has a leaky faucet, they're not going to call a number of plumbers. They may talk to 2 or 3 at the most. So if being on the first page of Google is crucial to getting calls for your business, how do you achieve it when the odds are stacked against you.

The answer if you’re a plumber, a remodeler or any business in a large locale is pay per click. You can reach the first page of Google and do it in a manner of minutes, not months as what is often needed for SEO. Local SEO should always be part of your marketing plan, but so too should pay per click. Yes, there is cost involved with each click, but if you're generating legitimate leads this cost will be more than made up in revenue.

The Advantages of Pay Per Click for Local SEO Marketing.


Buying your way onto the first page of Google is the main advantage of pay per click, but it has other benefits, as well.

You control when your ads run and where. You might cover just parts of Chicago or San Diego or whatever metropolitan area.

Site links can encourage customers to click on more than just your landing page. They could go to a coupon page or a page about a specific service.

You can show up for specific services, not just general terms. While many people might type in Chicago plumbers, they’re most likely typing in something like clogged drain or leaky faucet. Your ads can literally run for hundreds of different phrases.

You can find other terms to target for SEO. By looking at the search terms people use to find your ads, you will likely find new terms to use for your local SEO campaign. People constantly change the way they search so this allows you to find out these new search terms.

You can change the text of your ad or your offer right away, something you can’t so with your meta descriptions (at least not how they’re displayed). You can test the text used on an ad so you can learn which description has the best results. More importantly you can fashion your ad to what is taking place in your community. For example, if a hail storm occurs, a roofer can target people immediately who need their roofs inspected.

Yet, for all the advantages of pay per click, there is one obvious disadvantage, the cost. Bidding on certain keywords in major markets can be as much as 50 dollars a click and that's a conservative figure. I've seen a 500 dollar daily budget eaten up in a matter of a couple of hours.  This is why you need to make sure you're not just targeting your market, but that they respond to your offer or your website.

I recommend all my clients keep pay per click management as part of their local SEO marketing campaign. The goal is to make the phone ring with relevant customers on the other end. This is what a well done pay per click campaign can do.

What is A/B Testing for Google Adwords and How It Impacts Conversions

 
One of the key features of Google Adwords is that you can constantly test elements of your campaign to improve it. And should be. In the past, marketers would test direct marketing campaigns to see which mailings had the biggest response. Unfortunately, it would take months to test various elements of a campaign, if not longer. With Google Adwords you can test elements much quicker and in the process improve your conversion.

A/B testing is in effect, putting two variations on elements of your campaigns to see which version performs better. It could be something as large as competing offers and something as small as testing out different words in text ad.

Here are some elements to test in an Adwords campaign

Testing the words used in text ads – there are only 25 characters in the text link of an ad and just 35 characters each in the two descriptive lines. This isn’t a lot, so each word is crucial to your ad. Always run at least two ads in an ad group, but not many more (then you won't hA B Testing of Ad Campaignsave accurate data). Try not only testing the words being used, but also the punctuation. Let the ads run concurrently for a period of time then tweak the one with the lower click through rate. If it eventually overtakes the better ad, then begin tweaking that one.

Testing the site links used with your text ads – site links are proving to be very effective for getting prospects to click on an ad and you should test what site links you use. And the words you use to describe them.

Elements of the Landing Page/Pages – Ideally you want to be able to have more than one landing page so that you can test elements here, as well. Be careful not to test too many elements at once, however, or you’ll lose. Here are just some elements of a page to test:
•The Headline on the Page
•The content of the page, including how much or how little text to have
•The graphics on the page, not just varying pictures, but also the size of the images.
•The colors on the page, from the colors used in fonts to the background.
•The layout of the page
•Having a navigation bar on the page or not

Tweaking the Contact Form – in most cases you want your visitors to perform an action and for some its simply to make a call. In the majority of cases, however, a form is used to capture information about your visitor.  Test not only how many form fields to have, but also the color and text used in the button they click to submit the form.

The smallest element of a campaign can have a surprising amount of impact on a campaign. I’ve seen a period being replaced by an exclamation point have a dramatic impact on click through rates in an ad. So don’t discount anything.

If you’re having an agency doing your campaign and they only seem to be making minimal changes to your ads, don’t assume they’re simply doing busy work. Hopefully there’s a method to their madness. I’d be more concerned if they weren’t doing anything.

Finding Evidence That Your Pay Per Click Agency Is Failing You

 
I’m constantly surprised when companies contact me about their pay per click campaigns, expressing their disapproval of their current agency. They tell me that they’re no longer getting the results with their ads that they once did and/or that they never hear from their agency. Their bill arrives promptly once a month, but that is about all the contact they have with thDetectiveem.

With one client I recently took on, I took a look at the ads their current agency had created for all their campaigns and each Ad Group had the same ad, with only the location being changed. At the very least there should have been two ads in each ad group so that they could see which had a higher click through rate.  Testing ads is a critical element of successful pay per click management.

While it makes sense to turn over your campaign to a professional it doesn’t make sense that they shut you out of your own marketing campaign. First of all the account should be under your company’s name and that you still have some control over it.  You should never give them your user name and password, but instead have an agency or consultant link to your account. With Google they make it especially easy for agencies to link to their clients though a Client Center. Bing also offers something similar with accounts that are post pay.

If your agency hasn’t been in touch a while, then look at the Change History in your account. If you’re not seeing much or any activity for a month, then what exactly are they billing you for? Here are some things that should be occurring with your account.
•New ads should be created on a regular basis to test against the current ads
•New phrases should be added on a regular basis
•Negative keywords should also be added on a regular basis as well
•Adjustments in bidding would most likely occur due to competitor’s activities
•New features should be added as Bing and Google Adwords constantly add new features to their platforms.

Another place to look for neglect of your account is the opportunities tab. This is where Google themselves offers suggestions on your account. If you log in and see the opportunities available, then log in again in a couple of weeks. If the same suggestions are there, it means they’re not taking advantage of these opportunities. Even if some of the suggestion don’t apply, they’ll at least be removed from the list.

Finally, do they get back to you in a reasonable amount of time when you have a question? I try to get back to clients the same business day even if it’s to tell them that I’ll get back to them with an answer by the next day.

If you’re marketing agency is MIA, part of the responsibility has to fall with you. Not that you picked the wrong agency (mistakes do happen), but that you continued on with them even though they’re bringing nothing to the table. After all it's your money being spent and you have to make sure it's being spent properly. You don't need to look over the shoulder of an agency, but should feel its a partnership.

If you’re dissatisfied with your current agency, then contact me today. I can take a brief no obligation look at your site and let you know if you need to look for a new agency.

How Google Adwords Remarketing Can Succeed Or Fail Miserably

 
Remarketing is all the rage among online marketers and it definitely has value for businesses. With remarketing you display ads to people who’ve visited your site. The idea being that since they visited your site, they’ve already shown some interest in what you offer. By reminding them of who you are, you have a chance to reconnect with them. And it only costs if they actually click on one of your ads again.Google Remarketing

For branding purposes there is obvious value to remarketing. Although many people are becoming aware of the practice there are a still a number who aren’t aware of it. They see all the ads from a company and think they’re a major player with an unlimited marketing budget.

Remarketing is also good if you offer a number of services or have a promotion going on. You can connect with even your most loyal customers and alert them to something you offer they might not be aware of.  For example, a veterinarian can run ads reminding customers about getting shots for their pet or that they now offer doggy daycare. A paintball company can let customers know about promotions.

Yet, for all of the potential of remarketing, a number of businesses are failing miserably at remarketing.  For one, searchers are starting to catch on to remarketing and while they may not understand how it works, they are aware of it being used. This may lessen its value for some businesses.

Here are some ways in which remarketing becomes more of a hindrance than a benefit.

Not varying up the ads. Many businesses created a text ad and a display ad and then left it at that. Soon people will become anesthetized to the ad having seen it so many times. This is especially true if you have a small marketing list. Even if you’re not offering anything new, create more than one ad, with different graphics. That way it will at least seem fresh to people.

Display ads that don’t look good in certain sizes. When you create a display ad with Google Adwords you’re creating it for a number of sizes.  For some the graphics and text look good, but for others words may be cut off or half the image disappears. Test out the ads and only check off those that look just right.

They see your ads over and over and over again. Yes it’s nice to have your ads shown to customer all the time, but too often they see it too many times. You want to gently remind customers you’re out there. Not to shove your business down their throat. Set a daily cap on your remarketing so that they’re seeing it no more than 5 or 6 times a week.

Some industries should avoid remarketing altogether. For example, divorce lawyers, private investigators, even doctors. Anything in which privacy is a factor I think, should avoid remarketing altogether. If a spouse for example starts to see remarketing ads for an attorney they may become suspicious.

Remarketing certainly has its benefits and when properly done has a higher conversion rate than traditional adwords campaigns. And the fact that it doesn’t cost except when ad is clicked on makes it very cost effective. Yet, it must be set up properly as with any pay per click campaign. If you need assistance with setting up remarketing or pay per click then contact me today.
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