Category Archives for "Ad Strategy"

Feb 02

10 Things That Will Make OR Break Your Marketing [VIDEO]

By Laura Kimball | Ad Strategy , Internet Marketing , Keyword Ideas

In this video,  ‘10 Things That Will Make OR Break Your Marketing’ I have put together my top 10 list of things that have the most impact on your marketing. Marketing in today’s environment can be difficult with so many distractions that we can easily be led down time consuming tasks that often times yield in no returns. Hopefully this video will provide some much needed insight to help you stay on target with your marketing efforts.

  1. Understand your audience as this is the foundation for everything you do.
  2. Create a keyword strategy that includes both head and long tail keywords.
  3. Use those keywords to lay out a content strategy that is realistic.
  4. Produce great content that includes a variety of formats such as PDF’s and Videos. Make sure that content is easily sharable on social.
  5. Promote solutions, not features!
  6. Content is king but design rules.
  7. Show a consistent brand message. Don’t be afraid to have a brand personality, a little swagger so to speak. It’s your attitude that people will remember.
  8. Customer service never ends. Happy customers make for great marketing.
  9. Use inbound and outbound marketing as appropriate.
  10. The internet is always evolving. Test, Measure and Refine your marketing efforts often.

10 Things That Will Make OR Break Your Marketing Following this outline will help you understand your audience and build a marketing strategy that will send the right message to the right person at the right time!

Let us know what methods are working for you.

Jan 28

Mastering AdWords PPC with Campaigns That Turn Clicks INTO Customers

By Laura Kimball | Ad Management , Ad Strategy , Google AdWords Performance , Internet Marketing

Introducing a new series, ‘Mastering AdWords PPC’ that we have put together to help those struggling with the challenges of managing their Google AdWords accounts.  Get everything you need to know about creating and optimizing your campaigns leveraging the latest available features delivered in 4 weekly parts. This series is organized to get you up to speed as quickly as possible.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL GET

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WEEK 1 – Creating a solid foundation with the right campaign structure

WEEK 2 – Improving your ‘Quality Scores’ & Optimizing your Budgets

WEEK 3 – Landing Page & Ad Optimization with A/B Testing

WEEK 4 – Create a scheduled optimization plan for future growth

In this guide you will find detailed instructions on how to improve your  Google AdWords Campaigns and save money on your paid search advertising  by lowering your average cost per click.

The 30 Day Plan includes strategic topics that are prioritized to get your campaigns delivering the best ROI possible. We answer the most popular questions and show you what to look for while managing your campaigns.

Topics Include:

  • Establishing KPI’s That Make Sense – setting the right campaign goals that align with you business objectives.
  • Understanding Your Audience – how to create buyers persona’s and answer the most pertinent questions. Who are they? What do they want? How do they find their information? What is their key motivator?
  • Creating a Solid Campaign Structure with AdWords ‘Best Practices’ in mind.
  • Search VS Display Campaigns – an outline of how to create the right type of campaign for your network.
  • Using the Right Ad Types For the type of content you are promoting and the type of audience you wish to reach.
  • Making the Most of ‘AdWords’ Features with Advanced Tactics for Remarketing, Targeting, Sitelinks, and Bid Modifiers.
  • Setting Up Your Analytics with the Right Campaign Tracking
  • Recovering from a Troubled Account – a detailed look at the corrective options available for an account that has been historically underperforming. A step by step guide on how to decide if you should start over or implement changes.

We are dedicated to helping you get the most out of your advertising dollar. Get started today with the 30 day plan!

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Dec 07

Top 10 Google AdWords Features That Can Improve Your PPC Campaigns [Infographic]

By Laura Kimball | Ad Strategy , PPC Advertising

This year marked substantial changes in the PPC industry, Google alone has been busy cranking out changes like no body’s business. Do you know if you are using the latest Google AdWords features to your best advantage? We are here to keep you in the loop!

It seems as if you blinked or took a quick vacation this year, you may have missed some important changes in the Google AdWords system. The days of the set it and forget it approach to managing your campaigns has been over for quite some time. To make your life easier we have created a list of the latest feature available to keep you up to date.

We hope you find this information useful. Please feel free to share it as you like!

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Dec 02

5 Tips for Writing Effective PPC Ad Copy

By Laura Kimball | Ad Strategy , Internet Marketing , PPC Advertising , Search Engine Marketing

Coming up with fresh ideas on how to create ads that convert can become a never ending task so here are my 5 top tips to help keep you inspired. Before we begin let’s breakdown the elements that make up the perfect PPC Ad Copy. It all starts with the attention getting headline. The offer itself and the almighty call-to-action is also important. Writing enticing ad copy that also follows your keyword relevance is always a challenge. You must ensure that all your copy aligns with what your customer is expecting and is directly related to your keyword, your offer and your landing page.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Know your competition! Do your research to understand what you’re up against.
  2. Keep it simple. We have a tendency to over complicate the message when a simple straight forward approach often times works best.
  3. Create an emotional response which establishes a connection and inspires action.
  4. Have a clear compelling offer and call-to-action that explains exactly what you deliver.
  5. Make your words count. Limit your abbreviations and technical jargon while keeping your ad relevant.

The right combination can make a big difference in your click-through-rates. Headlines are especially important as this is the attention grabber. If you don’t get them hooked instantly your odds of persuading a click go downhill fast. Get their attention quick and reel them in with a great description that quickly identifies your offer.

ad-copy-description

You need to answer the following questions. What sets you apart from the competition? Why should they buy your product instead of someone else’s? What do you have that no one else does? Describe your offer – Free Trial, Get a Demo, Free Shipping and invite them to complete the action. Make it easy for the user to get what they need and you see a great improvement in your ad performance.

You should continually test at least 2 ads for any given ad group, keeping the best performing ads while rotating new ads into the testing mix. Ads that have a higher CTR will improve your quality scores and will reduce your CPC saving you money.

Leave us a comment and let us know what works best for you.

Nov 25

Get More Chances with Your Customers Using Google AdWords Remarketing

By Laura Kimball | Ad Strategy , Google AdWords Performance , Internet Marketing , Paid Search Campaign Performance

Do you want to get more chances with your potential customers? Perhaps the answer is  Remarketing! Google AdWords Remarketing works by showing ads to visitors who previously visited your website giving you a second chance to make an impression.  A visitor comes to your website, did not complete a conversion or abandoned a shopping cart, you add them to your list and they see your ads on other websites.

Remarketing works best for websites that already receive a fair amount of traffic!

For a Google AdWords Display Campaign you must have a list of at least 100 ‘cookied’ and 1000 for a Search Campaign.

You should have a specific/relevant offer in mind and be looking to increase brand awareness. Your campaigns should be as specific as possible based upon what the user did when they first visited your website. Remember you’re looking at a second, third or fourth chance to get in front of your potential customer.

As the visitor sees your ad on other sites you increase the odds that they will return and complete a conversion which is exactly what you want to happen.

Here’s how to get started with Remarketing

Remarketing

First, you must create a remarketing list which can be as simple as selecting all visitors or you can use rules to create a more sophisticated  list, such as people visited a certain page on your site. Once you have created your list and added the tracking code to your website you must now create a campaign.

Create a new campaign and determine if you will use search or display. For display simply use “Display Network only – Remarketing” as your campaign type. If you are using a remarketing campaign with Search you must select “Search Network – All Features” in order to use a remarketing list for search ads. After you add an Ad Group you can then attach the remarketing list and your campaign will begin.

Remarketing can be a very effective way of increasing your conversions.

Nov 13

How to Use Google AdWords Ad Extensions to Improve Your Ad Rank

By Laura Kimball | Ad Management , Ad Strategy , Google AdWords Performance , Internet Marketing , Paid Search Campaign Performance , PPC Advertising , Search Engine Marketing

Why should you use Ad Extensions? You have probably heard several weeks ago that Google added Ad Extensions and Formats as part of their ad rank which now makes it essential for you to implement extensions as part of your campaigns. Winning an ad placement went from Quality Score + Bid = WIN to Quality Score + Bid + Impact of Extensions = WIN.

Google AdWords Ad Ranking

So where do you start? You need to create a variety of extensions in your campaigns and Google will pick which ones to use depending on what they believe will have the most impact. Keep in mind not all positions will include an extension, typically only above search results which tend to have a higher CPC to begin with.

First here is a breakdown of Ad Extensions:

Locations: You can link a Google Places address or create an address manually.

Call: Add a phone number for your campaign or ad group. You can also select all devices, Desktop and tablets, or Mobile devices only. If you want to use call reporting you must use a Google Forwarding Number(Google Voice).

This feature is currently only available in U.S., U.K., France, and Germany.

Sitelinks: You can create up to 20 custom links by defining the link text and destination.

Example:  Home, Stores, On Sale, Support, Products, About Us

Social: Add a Google + page.

Dynamic Search: This extension uses your website content to target your ads.

Apps: Target either Google Play or Apple App Store to promote your application.

Review: Promote third party review links.

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What does Google like to see? You can create any combination of the above extensions and simply add them to a campaign or ad group. Google will decide which extension to display based on what they feel is relevant and will produce the highest click-through-rate.

Oct 29

Your Complete Google AdWords Audit

By Laura Kimball | Ad Management , Ad Strategy , Google AdWords Performance , Internet Marketing , PPC Advertising , Search Engine Marketing

Complete your Google AdWords Audit to see where you can improve your campaign performance. Anyone looking to promote a website understands that Google AdWords can be an excellent way to drive traffic and increase your sales if done the right way. It can also be a very expensive way to fail if you don’t manage your campaigns.

Google AdWords ChecklistManaging a PPC campaign can be rather exciting and very rewarding when it all goes well. It can also become very costly if it is not done properly.

Here is a great way to start by finding out if your campaigns are set up for success. Simply follow the checklist below.

General Campaign Strategy

  • Do you organize your campaigns with logical/descriptive names that are easy to follow?
  • Are you making the most of targeting settings? You should leverage devices, location and time of day.
  • Do you have remarketing specific campaigns?
  • Do you include ad extensions? This is now part of Google’s new algorithm for its ad rank calculation.
  • Do you have campaigns specifically for branded terms? If you are not bidding on your own brand odds are your competitors will.
  • Do you use negative keywords to eliminate unnecessary clicks?
  • Do you have your campaigns separated by Search and Display? These are two very different types of campaigns and should never be combined. Besides being able to control your bids effectively you must also consider the difference in your visitor. A click coming from search is already looking for what you have to offer. A visitor coming from a display network may have never heard of you before seeing your ad and therefore requires a different type of landing page/offer entirely.
  • Do your display ads include a variety of banner sizes?

Must Haves for Ad Groups

  • Do you organize your ad groups with logical/descriptive names that are easy to follow?
  • Are you taking advantage of ad group settings?
  • Do you limit your keywords to 20 or less to promote themes with ad copy?
  • Do you use negative keywords to eliminate unnecessary overlap between ad groups?

Ad Essentials

  • Do all your ads align with your keywords for relevance? Does the ad clearly promote the keyword?
  • Have you checked all of your destination URL’s for landing page relevance? Does the landing page follow the theme?
  • Do you include proper analytic tracking for your destination URL’s ?
  • Do you include at least two ads in each group for A/B testing?
  • If you are using a display ad have you included ads for all available sizes?
  • Do you monitor for ad position and CTR’s?

Keywords Mechanics

  • Do you use keyword research tools to discover competition, # of searches and costs before you implement them?
  • Are you leveraging the right match types to achieve the desired results?
  • Do you monitor your Quality Score for each keyword? QS includes Landing Page Relevance, Click Through Rates, Ad to Keyword Relevance and several other miscellaneous factors.
  • Is your landing page to keyword relevance where it should be?
  • Do you use query reports or negative keywords tools to discover possible negative keywords that should be added?

Landing Pages Fundamentals

  • Do your landing pages follow industry best practices?
  • Do you have multiple landing pages for A/B testing?
  • Does your offer and call to action do the job?
  • Does your landing page pass the blink test? If you can’t clearly identify the intent by the time you blink you should consider improving your landing page.
  • Do you have separate landing pages for each type of offer?
  • Do you have separate landing pages for each type of device?

Analyze and Understand Your Metrics

  • Do you have a regular schedule to analyze your reports?
  • Does your average cost per click align with your company goals?
  • Do you understand your conversions?
  • Do you measure clicks vs. conversions?
  • Do you look for changes in key areas such as cost per click, position, click-through-rates?
  • Do you analyze your landing page activity to look for improvements?

We understand that managing PPC campaigns can be a complicated and challenging endeavor. If you start with a good foundation you greatly increase the odds that your ads will perform well. Having a well organized campaign will also reduce the amount of time required to maintain your campaigns which will make everyone happy!

You may also download the PDF version, here.

Sep 19

Discover Ad Types That Work For YOU! [Infographic]

By Laura Kimball | Ad Strategy , Internet Marketing

Selecting the right ad types can make a significant difference in your campaign performance. Discover how to pick the right ads for your audience.

We hope you enjoy this information. Please feel free to share it as you like!

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Discover Ad Types that Work For You

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Jun 13

Are You Buying PPC Keywords that Align with Your Users Intent?

By Laura Kimball | Ad Strategy , Keyword Ideas

It is easy to get carried away when you’re researching PPC keywords that all sound good but are you aligning your offers to your keywords not only for general relevance but also for intent. You will improve your conversion rates if you simply line up your keywords and subsequent offers to where your visitor happens to be in the sales process. If you only target customers that are ready to buy you may be missing out on some great opportunities to build a prospect. If you are already participating in content marketing you most likely have some great assets in place that help you assemble an audience up stream.

PPC keyword intent

There may be some overlap in intent keywords but you should have a general sense of what your target audience is searching for at each step of your sales process. Be sure to work those intent keywords into your keyword research and look for opportunities to create campaigns that are very specific to what you want to accomplish. Relevance is always a priority no matter what! If you are promoting a ‘Free eBook ‘you should never send them to a landing page with a ‘Free Trial’ unless that is part of a thank you page designed to offer a next step.

In fact you can create your campaigns by thinking in those terms. Top of funnel, middle, and bottom are very distinct in the activities in which your users participate. When establishing your campaigns it is often helpful to layout a strategy that aligns your efforts. This task should also include an overall methodology to test and track your results. As you build your promotions think of the next steps for each phase and add those offers into the mix. If they download a PDF, offer a Demo or a Free Trial but always keep the forward momentum going.

Top of the funnel is an area that can be more affordable in your PPC campaigns depending upon competition. It is also a great way to begin a relationship with your potential customers. Get in front of them early by proving the right information that will guide them through the buying process and they will continue to come back to you for more information as they get closer to making a decision. This is a great time to promote How to Guides, White Papers and Case Studies designed to educate the audience on your particular expertise. You can always use next step offers to nudge the relationship forward.

Moving down the funnel it is important to continue the relationship showcasing what you have to offer. This will instill a confidence that doesn’t happen right away if you reach them later at the point in which they are ready to buy. Loyalty is a dominate factor in many consumers, it is important to satisfy their need for information at all stages. You can use comparison guides, feature lists and any other content that showcases your product or offer. Again don’t be afraid to get in and start the relationship early and follow up on the next logical step.

The bottom of the funnel will most likely be your primary focus but you may find it comes much easier if you have established the right information path from the beginning. In addition to ad buys it is also important to provide the necessary information for the right stage of the process as many people online now get bits and pieces from multiple sources making the cycle much more confusing.

As you pursue your keyword list research keep in mind what area of the funnel each keyword may apply to and think of ways to work your existing content into promotions. Compare average cost per click, competition, and search volume for keywords that meet the intent criteria and expand your keyword buys to test your theories.

Jan 22

Did Your New Year’s Resolution List Include Saving Money on Your Advertising Costs?

By Laura Kimball | Ad Strategy , PPC Advertising

Typical New Year’s Resolutions include the same old topics such as save money, get organized, lose weight, you get the picture. However, most people fail to uphold those promises so hopefully made on the first. Approximately one third will go by the wayside by the end of January and most will be forgotten by the end of the year. All the best intentions lost somewhere during those 365 days until you revisit the list on the next holiday, real life has a way of getting in the way of meeting our goals. We can help keep you on track with at least a few of those possible resolutions.

Saving money on your advertising cost while still receiving quality clicks can be a challenge for even the most savvy of marketer. Simply buying cheaper clicks from alternative sources may not always result in the best conversions. Specifically when it comes to paid search advertising saving money can be as simple as improving your quality score, expanding your keyword list, or optimizing your keyword list with proper match types and creating negative keywords to exclude search queries that limit your conversions. It’s simple when you focus on the task of optimization, you then get the same quality clicks while paying less which greatly improves your advertising ROI.

You can find out more on how to improve your quality score in a recent post –Improving Your Quality Score – I Know It’s Complicated!