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Ways on Optimizing your PPC Campaign

Aidah Omar PPC Marketing Leave a comment   ,
Pop quiz: Who knows the difference between PPC and SEO? Can somebody tell me?

If you can recall my post on how to become a natural at SEO, Search Engine Optimization is the method of improving the visibility of a website or online page in search engines through unpaid search results, also known as “natural” or “organic” results.

Search Engine Marketing and Pay-Per-Click, on the other hand, refer to a kind of online advertisement that seeks to market websites by increasing their visibility in computer program result pages via the employment of paid placement, discourse advertising and paid inclusion.

As its name indicates, unlike other varieties of promoting, with PPC you merely pay once somebody clicks on your ad. In some cases, SEM is used as the umbrella word for PPC and SEO. Paid results can be seen either on top or at the right hand-side of the search result page.

As I cited before, search isn’t a particular science, but a bit like SEO. There are strategies to optimize your SEM/PPC efforts.

The following are some of the many ways for you to start with.

1. It may seem like a no brainer but, as with any selling campaign, it’s vital to list your objectives before diving on your PPC adventure. Whether or not you’re trying to get traffic, sales or prospects, you would like to see that right off the bat.

Without a transparent purpose and understanding of the info you’ll be obtaining, it’s terribly easy to induce in PPC since it’s absolutely cheap to start with. However those tiny amount of cash add up in an urgency, and before you realize it, you would have dug yourself into a hole.

The great benefit with PPC is that it’s super versatile. You’ll be able to create alteration to your campaign while on the progress or stop the campaign completely if you want it. Thus it’s pretty easy to regulate if the results don’t exactly meet your expectations.

2. List creation. This is usually the part that will create or break your campaign, therefore take time to think about it. Again, because of PPC’s flexibility you’ll be ready to modify your keyword settings immediately, therefore any slip are often simply corrected.

Keywords are usually divided into two classes:

a. Brand: these are directly “connected” to your company, (i.e., your company name, product/service names, trademarks, etc.) In our case          “VerticalResponse” or “Roost” would top the list of brand terms.

b. Category/non-brand: these are more generic terms that can be used to describe what you do. They are also the ones you and your competitors will be battling for (even though it IS common practice and fair game to try to “leverage” others’ brand keywords as well).

In VerticalResponse’s case, they include “email marketing” or “social media“.

Matching options: once you have your nice huge set of keywords and key phrases, you  select to add them to your account in 4 methods:

  •  Exact match: As the name implies, it will just show the results if the exact keyword has been inputted in the search bar. To manually input a keyword as an exact match, just add brackets around it (e.g., [spa]).
  • Phrase match: The results will show as long as the information carries the keyword in exact order as you have inputted them.  For example, an ad will be shown if the user types in “what is the best email marketing software” and one of your phrase match keywords was “email marketing.” To mark a keyword as phrase match type, just add quotation marks around it (e.g., “spa”).
  • Broad Match. This matching option relies on the search engine’s capability to pinpoint which search query is related to your keyword. As the term implies, this could mean that your ad will show on search queries which are entirely non-related to your business.
  • Negative Match. This matching option allows the get some degree of control on your keyword, especially if you are using a number of broad or generic keywords. For instance, if your product or service is under the cloud computing industry, you may want to exclude keywords such as “weather channel” or “rain” so your ads will not display on people searching for weather forecasts. Negative keywords are inputted with a minus sign preceding the keyword (e.g., -weather forecast).

You may think that Broad Match is an entirely irrelevant option for you. It can actually work for you.

If you have phrases with more than 2 keywords, broad match can be used as the number of keywords gives the search engine more cues on what you’re actually looking for. In this case, it can use it to eliminate searches which are not relevant to your business.

3.  Setting up your SEM/PPC Account(s)

  • Picking a provider. There are several companies offering SEM and PPC services, Yahoo, Google and Microsoft all have their own solution for PPC service. Google has Google Adwords, Yahoo has Yahoo!Network Plus and Microsoft adCenter. It will be good to start with one of these top search engines as your customers are using them already for their searches. Please note that each of these search engines utilizes their own algorithms so make sure you understand how they work before investing any of your advertising money. Once you’ve picked up the provider, you will need to create an account and then proceed in implementing your strategy.
  • Campaigns and ad groups. Once you’ve created an account, you’ll be asked to group your keywords into buckets which will be the basic structure of your campaign and ads group.

Campaigns – For the campaign, you would want to be as specific as possible. Have one campaign per goal you have. For instance, if you have several product categories on your portfolio, you can have one campaign specific to a category if each one has a different goal.

Ad groups- Ideally, you should have 3 ad groups per campaign. For instance, in a campaign like “ Sell Red Wines” you can have Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir as part of your ad groups.

  •  Network devices and extensions.  This determines where your ads will show so you can optimize your customer reach and maximize your tight budget.
  • Delivery. This function can be handed over to the search engine or you can opt to do it yourself. If you choose to have the search engine do it for you, it will use the clickthrough rate to decide how it can optimize your ad visibility. On the other hand, you can choose to do split testing using measures that best suits your goals.
  • Scheduling. This function allows you to run, pause and stop your campaign as you please. You can also modify you keyword bids if you think that your previous bid is higher or lower than optimal. Google Adwords has Google Auction functionality which allows users to see the other users bidding for their keywords. In this case, users can monitor the activity of their competitors and manage their bids accordingly.
  • Audience. This feature allows you to define the users you would want to see your ads. You can target users based on language, country, city or even specific areas (e.g., all within a 30-mile radius of San Francisco).

4. Writing your Ads

While the keywords act like a secretary who manages your meeting with your potential customer, the ad is where you get to talk to your customer. As with other form of advertising, writing or creating the ad is crucial and difficult to master. Make sure that your ad is linked directly to your KPIs(Key Performance Indicators).

Since most providers allows you to create multiple versions of an ad and that you get charged only when the customer clicked on your ad, you can perform split testing to see which ad works and then take down the others.

You Ads will have (5) lines but only (4) will be visible to the searchers.

  • Ad title (25 characters maximum): Include keywords in your headline so you quickly grad their attention.
  • Description (2 lines, with 35 characters each maximum): Relate what you say in this paragraph to whatever landing page you’ll be directing the searcher to. Get straight to the point, deliver the most relevant information about your business/products/services (depending on the search query) and don’t forget to include a strong, enticing call-to-action. Be consistent on your message.
  • Display URL (35 characters maximum): The URL is visible web address that will show below the description. You can either type in your homepage or most relevant product/service page, just make sure it is short enough and clean.
  • Destination URL (1,024 characters maximum): This is the invisible line I mentioned, and where the ad title will actually link to. It doesn’t have to be identical to the display URL, as you can choose to have it point instead to an entirely different landing page you may have created for the purpose of your PPC campaign, or your display URL but tagged with any referred-by codes you might have assigned to this particular campaign.

5. Bidding

Finally, the good stuff. An old coworker used to say “PPC is like playing chess against a supercomputer,” and it’s not difficult to understand why. Not only do you have to pick which keywords to focus on, you must also try to anticipate which ones your competitors will be bidding on.

Throw in the different types of matches, account settings, ad versions, and you’ve got quite a lot of levers to pull and moving parts to keep in mind. Thankfully, here are some tried and true strategies for you to use:

  •  Choose your weapon: there are 3 different ways to place a bid available:
  1. Manual bidding: you get to set the highest price you are willing to pay. This is the method that leaves you with the most control, so if you have a clear understanding of your goals and typical conversion values, you should be able to determine what a good bid is fairly easily.
  2. Conversion Optimizer: based on historical results, the search engine will calculate the bids based on conversion data.
  3. Budget Optimizer: the search engine does the bidding, to get the most clicks possible for your budget.
  •  Winners don’t necessarily finish first. The biggest mistake PPC users can make is to obsessively go after the number one spot. The spots below it will cost you less per click, and by extension, a lot less per conversion.
  •  It’s all about tweaking. PPC requires constant attention as yesterday’s truth is rarely today’s, given your competitors’ activities and constant traffic fluctuations. Be prepared to pause your campaign if, despite all your efforts, bidding proves too expensive with too little return on investment. Give yourself some time to assess what is going wrong.

6. Tracking

Once your ads are out in the World Wide Web for all to see, it’s time to see how they actually perform. Here are the main metrics to keep an eye on:

  • Impressions: the number of times your ad has been served.
  • CTR (clickthrough rate): the number of times your ad was actually clicked on divided by the number of impressions.
  • Bounce rate: the number of visitors viewing one page only divided by total page entries.
  • Conversion rate: the number of goal achievements divided by the number of visits.
  • CPC (Cost Per Click): the amount you earn every time a user clicks on your ad.
  • Quality Score: this is the other major factor in deciding where your ad appears in the rankings, besides bidding. It is the search engines’ way of rewarding relevance and they calculate it based on clickthrough rate, ad content and quality of the landing page.

In the end, this is how your rankings are determined: Max bid x quality score = ad rank

  • Head and long tail: these aren’t metrics per se, but they are pretty crucial to keep track of. Head is the few keywords that account for most of your visits, while long tail are the ones that individually account for little traffic by themselves, but collectively often could account for a huge amount of traffic.Typically, brand keywords are included in your head, while category keywords are part of your long tail.My recommendation would be for you to focus your PPC efforts on your long tail, and leave your head to SEO. Why?

    Well, category terms are typically used in queries by people who are unfamiliar with your company itself, so you’ll be able to capture prospects and introduce yourself to them early in the sales cycle.

    On the other hand, optimizing your website for brand terms suddenly becomes easier as you just have a few keywords left to concentrate on, and you won’t have to pay too much anymore for people who already know you.

And now you should be set for SEM. Let us know if any of these tips work out for you or whether you have burning ideas you would want to share.

 


A wider reach with a tighter budget: The Google Adwords way

Aidah Omar PPC Marketing Leave a comment  
After a gruelling meeting with your business partner, you finally decided that you need to market your product or service online. Your market research says that your target customers are techy savvy customers who spend a lot of their time on the Internet.

Problem is, you do not have a big budget like those corporations who spend millions of dollars on advertising cost.

So, what do you do?

Google AdWords may just be what your business needs. This is Google’s online advertising program which allows you to market your products and services online with a starting investment of 5 USD. Five (5) USD is the cost of creating an account with Google Adwords.

As per the actual cost of advertising using their platform, Adwords uses the pay-per-click model which means that you pay only when a potential customer clicks on your ad.

The next question is how you can compete with your competitors who may already be using the same service. What if you only have a maximum of $100 to spend on online advertising?

To resolve this dilemma, it is important to understand that the key to good advertising is to ensure that your campaign is highly focused to your target customers. Getting your product across customers who are not likely to buy your product is a waste of your advertising money, unless your campaign is general brand awareness.

But still, even brand awareness uses some sort of targeting to showcase the brand. For instance, there are cultures wherein the wives still do most of the shopping and decision-making for products used at home, even for male products.

If your market research says that this applies your product category, then your advertising should be targeted to the wives and not to the husbands even if the husbands are the consumers of your product.

Here are some tips on how you can maximize your tight budget while still using this revolutionary advertising service.

1. Google Search
Businesses with small advertising budgets should only advertise on Google Search. While Google Search Partner and Google Display Network can produce some leads for your business, they tend to be less qualified and less efficient than Google Search.

Therefore, we recommend you start with Google Search first

2. Keyword Selection

Since your competitors will most likely use the same general keywords you have in mind, it is important that you choose keywords that are specific to your brand or company.

Branded keywords include your company name, your brand and the product or service you offer. For instance, instead of using “auto repair shop” as your keyword, you can target your customers by using keywords such as “KlimischInc, “KlimischAutobody,” or “Klimisch auto repair shop.”

Since branded keywords are highly specific, you have less or zero competition for them. This will result to low cost per click (CPC) and can drive the highest conversion rate.

A study by Google confirmed that you can still get 50% incremental clicks even if your company already have the #1 rank on the Google organic search.

The use of Long tail keywords is another strategy which you can employ. When selecting keywords, it is helpful that you put yourself on your target customers’ shoes. What keyword will you choose to search for the product that you want?

If you are based in a specific locality and are searching for a restaurant to eat, you will most likely use long tail keywords with the city or even the zip code of the place where you’re at as well as a slight description of the restaurant you want to try out.

Instead of using the generic term “restaurant,” you’ll probably use keywords such as “Japanese restaurant near 94305” or “Korean restaurant in Palo Alto” so you can narrow your search results and save time.

3. Geotargeting

This means that Google Adwords has the capability to show your PPC ads to users who are from a specific location. This can work both ways.

You can use this to limit your ad to potential customers who are in your area and you can also use this to advertise your business to an area where you want to expand your business to. If you are targeting people outside your business are, you may want to use ads which gives them discounts or coupons as incentives for going out of their way to go to your area and try your product.

4. Day Parting
Day parting allows you to target when your ads will appear. You can specify the time, day and frequency of the appearance of your ads.

If your business hours are only from 9am-9pm, then you may want to turn off your ads during non-business hours. On the other hand, if your business has peak hours or days, you can use day parting to drive more sales during the slow hours and days. For instance, if your business is related to travel, you would know that holidays like Christmas day and summer season are peak days when customers use your service a lot. On the other hand, the rest of the year generates very low sale.

You can use day parting to advertise promos during off-peak days to drive sales during this time.

5. Device Targeting

Google Adwords allows you to advertise your business on different devices accordingly.

Again, put yourself on your customers’ shoes. Why would you be using your phone to search for something? It could be something urgent. It could be something that you want to get at that specific moment.

If this is the case, then elaborate ads which are usually placed on desktop, laptops and tablets may not work optimally on mobile phones. With Google Adwords, your mobile ads are created in a way that maximizes what information your customer can get out of the ad. It allows users to include addresses and telephone numbers on the ads so customers can call your business directly to buy your product or make the reservation.

Google AdWords is a great way to venture onto online advertising without getting yourself locked on an expensive and fixed contract. With 5 USD and highly targeted campaign, you can create your account and reach millions of potential customers on Google’s network each day.


Content Optimization For People and Search

Aidah Omar Search Engine Optimization Leave a comment  
Working as a content marketing director, my team and I are liable for the creation, editing, publication and improvement of dozens of items of content weekly. We attempt to make relevant, purposeful and ultimately helpful info for our readers.

But, we tend to sleep in the globe of the web, and despite however useful our content could also be, if nobody sees it, it doesn’t matter.

So, however will we optimize our content for search, however produce content for people? The key isn’t as exhausting because it may sound.

Write for Humans, Not Search

You don’t started to make content for search engines, of course. You produce content that helps, answers queries and provides utility.

And, if you’re doing that, keep it up. If you’ve been making content with the only purpose of obtaining computer program optimization (SEO) juice, you wish to rethink it and flip your intention on its head.

Produce your content for your customers and prospects 1st. Then, that’s the time to optimize it for search engines.

Keywords for the Win

Keywords are your price tag to making content for each individuals and search engines, and they’re a very important element to any piece of content. By exploitation keywords that folks often search, you facilitate search engines direct readers your method.

The art of exploitation keywords although, is finding the balance of explicating them in an exceedingly natural way so that they bump into effortlessly and aren’t enclosed to tempt search.

Keywords ought to simply be a portion of the content and occur a couple of times within it.

We often get asked if there’s a “secret formula” for keyword density, or however typically you must use a keyword within your content. Of course, it depends basically on how long your content is, however a decent rule of thumb is most likely a hundred words, or more (disclaimer: this could vary and isn’t a tough and quick rule).

If you’ve got a five hundred word web log post, attempt to use your keyword within the following key places:

  • Title
  • URL
  • Meta description
  • Photo name and description (if you have an image)
  • Introductory paragraph, in the body of your post once or twice and in the last paragraph.

 

Above all else, content ought to provide supremacy, therefore if using a keyword will ruin your content, then don’t use it.

Content Rules

When it comes to search engines, content still rules. otherwise to convey yours a lift is by including phrases that are related to your keywords.

Search engines don’t simply hunt for keywords, they additionally crawl your content for both keywords and phrases that are relevant to a specific keyword – this includes a jargony name referred to as latent semantic compartmentalization which sounds a whole heap additional difficult than it really is. as an example, if you own a dog bakeshop and your keyword is “dog cakes,” another connected terms might be dog birthday cake, dog cake recipe, dog ready-mix, etc.

If a hunt engine sees these connected terms among your content, it should rank your web site over sites with simply keyword optimized content. you’ll use Google Keyword Tool to analysis and find connected terms.

So the massive secret to optimizing your content for individuals and search? produce kick butt content that’s relevant and useful to individuals. Use your keyword art to assist the search engines find your killer content and therefore the individuals will return.

The additional people that return, the additional the authority you build with search engines, and everything are going to be well in the world of content and SEO.



Protect Your Branding Online: The DIY Way

Aidah Omar Business Branding Leave a comment   , ,
Business brand needs to be protected from people who had bad experiences from using your services or products. It’s easy to spread fire than building a house, when someone had bad experience with your business. Branding can also be someone’s name, it need not be just a business, or organization name.

I have seen so much people trying to make their mark by offering great services or products, but maybe it’s because of their customer service that did not meet the standard, mouth will talk and online world is just the same, and it’s way worst and faster than offline world.

How to protect my business from this negative feedback?

First, before you even really make the business big, you should be optimizing your brand name online. Occupying at least the first page of the search result using your brand name as keyword. The solution is quite simple, but it take some effort to do this. If your brand name is “Amazon”, you can forget about optimizing your brand name. This solution is for new brands that were unheard of like us “LeadGenExperts.com.sg

1) Get 9 other different websites build, it can be free or paid. For free, you can try WordPress.com, BlogSpot.com, Squidoo.com, 43Things.com, MyBlogSite.com, etc…

2) Create content that circles around the brand, services and products you sell. For example, the article can be “My review on (brand, services and products)”. Focus on writing at least 10 articles talking about the brand name first, then concentrate on the product name and service name.

3) Keyword in title. Make sure that the title has at least your business brand, name of service and name of product you sell. This is to make sure that it’s easily search online, telling the search engine what your content is all about..

4) Set up social media platform for your business. Platforms like FaceBook, Twitter, or FourSquare are great platforms to be rank easily for your business. You can do relationship selling to your followers using these platforms too, which will increase sales.

A true Singapore story…..

Few years ago, there was a well known Internet marketer who specializes in Ebay marketing, he proclaimed that he made a certain amount of money yearly by selling through Ebay. So he have Ebay marketing courses for those who wants to learn market through Ebay. He too sold packages of setting up websites that are great for Ebay marketing.

Horror stories starts…..

His students were not able to profit (in terms of money) from Ebay, and the website packages were not delivered to the people who paid for it. These website packages were not cheap by the way. One of the students who knew SEO, setups a website revolves around the Ebay Internet marketer, by buying the marketer’s name with a scam at the end. The domain name looks something like this, “www.Marketer’sNameScam.com”. It’s now ranking at the top of the search engines whenever I type the marketer’s name.

You can now see that the Internet can be a double-edged sword if you are not careful in the way you handle your business with clients. Clients can be your savior or they can be your worst nightmare if you did a disservice to them. With the above ways, your business will be protected from bad mouthing from the public.


Why Using Groupon Will Kill Your Business Slowly

leadgen Local Business Leave a comment   , ,
 

Groupon was introduced in Nov 2008 by Andrew Mason, now making the company worth about $25 billion when it’s IPO (rumor). It’s a great company that made it to success in less than 3 years.

What is Groupon’s business?

Groupon has websites in different countries that has the deal of the day for local business services and products. It can go as high as 90% discount if you purchase coupon from them. Here is the video link to explain in 2 minutes, click here to view video.

The dark secret why local business cannot use Groupon long term

As customers can use low prices to purchase coupons like dining coupon which can have discount as high as 90%. To most local businesses, most would not be able to give 90% discount and furthermore give some percentage from the remaining 10%, making the local business owners not even making breakeven most of the time.

The question now is that will you be able to sustain long term if you are giving 90% discount for your services or products? I don’t think so. But there are few solutions if you choose to use Groupon;

1) Calculate how much discount you are able to give, and still be in breakeven point. In business terms, you do not make any money upfront,  you have to be market your up-sell soooo irresistible that the customers will come back for more. This can be done if it’s like once or even twice a week promotion.

The trick is to get the details of the customers who used the coupon, and make them come back for more without using Groupon in the future. This way, your business will make money long term.

2) Having your website rank for the keywords your targeted customers are searching online. This is the number 1 reason why most business cannot continue for the first 5 years. They did not tap into the power of search engine marketing.

In their mind (especially in Singapore), they are using the website to showcase their products or services in image form. So the few ways that the local business will get traffic are though business cards and word of mouth. Never in their mind think that their website can be rank in the first page of major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Is that all the solutions to get more customers?

There are of course other ways to get more customers, like newspaper advertising, outdoor ads, etc…. But these cause a lot of money in marketing. This is where Internet is the best leverage for most business.

LeadGenExperts is able to help you in using the best leverage (Internet) to generate targeted business leads for your business. Use the contact form here for free Search Marketing consultation here.


Singapore Business Owners Do Not Understand Web Presence

leadgen Local Business Leave a comment   , , ,
Generating business leads in Singapore is quite simple, but local business owners are still struck in the good old marketing methods, and do not take their business on the web as importance.

Why is this so?

When the web started back in the 1990s, a lot of business owners in Singapore had their business website up.

Read more


Smart Marketers Generate Leads

leadgen Featured Leave a comment  

With exclusive “create and capture” tools, training, and plug-in-and-go methods for online and offline lead generation, your supply of hot prospects will never run dry. Read more