Browsing articles in "pay per click"

7 Golden Rules to Achieving the Largest ROI Possible from AdWords

Mar 4, 2013   //   by Andrew Lolk   //   pay per click, SEO Blog  //  7 Comments

Building and maintaining a successful AdWords campaign is mostly about following the same recipe over and over again.

The ingredients will vary and sometimes you’ll use less seasoning because you’ll know your guests aren’t that into spicy food.

Your basic rules, routines and procedures for properly-building your campaigns hardly ever changes. Only if you find a new tool (like when I found MergeWords.com) or when you see that you can optimize your time spent on certain tasks.

As for me, I’ve followed the same basic recipe for a long time now and have had great success implementing clusters of it into the White Shark Media Search Team’s standard operating procedure when the Department was first conceived.

The recipe has since evolved to better suit our target audience, but my original rules still apply. I use them regularly for my own search efforts and have seen great success for 5 years straight using these rules. They have become better and clearer over the years.

My 7 Rules for Getting the Biggest Bang for your AdWords’ Buck

7 Golden Rules from AdWords Expert Andrew Lolk of White Shark Media

Even though I mention 7, it’s not the full list. Other AdWords experts might completely swear by other key strategies, but that’s what makes AdWords wonderful. You can have success in so many different ways that it’s just about finding the best approach for you.

Always Do your Research

Prior to building an AdWords campaign, I will visit competitor websites, search on Google, click on related searches and enter a state of trance. I don’t have any real goal in mind, but rather I’m trying to just take everything in and get an overall feel for the industry. I tend to ask myself:

  • Who are the industry leaders?
  • What’s the pricing look like for the main competitors?
  • How do people talk about the industry?
  • Are they active in forums, communities and blogs?
  • Who usually uses the product and how do they feeling about it?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you be a lot more specific about building your campaign and particularly your ads.Always do Your Research Before Starting an AdWords Campaign

Some industries are not eager to talk about their product, such as with the case of flatulent underwear (yes, I watched a Shark Tank re-run). I’ll try to be more serious now and get to the point with my ads.

Know your Product and your Audience

One of the keys to achieving success with any kind of advertising is to thoroughly understand the product in question and your audience.

You need to be intimately brand-known. Furthermore, your products’ advantages and disadvantages must be established  and be compared to that of your competitors. If you don’t know why your competitors are better than you (some competitors are always better in some aspects), it’ll then be hard to find a way that will make your product seem superior.

Knowing the Audience will Facilitate your Keyword Research Incredibly

Let’s say you’re selling broadband services. It’s an industry I’m intimately familiar with in Europe so I basically know everything concerning the matter.

All broadband connections are sold with an accompanying phone line. You don’t pay for it if you don’t use it, but a lot of people don’t want the phone line or think they’ll have to pay for it.

By knowing this, we were able to set up an ad group focusing on keywords such as:

  • Broadband without a phone plan
  • Broadband without phone
  • ADSL broadband only

We could then approach the sales leads generated specifically with promises of a $0 phone plan or offer the choice to not include it.

Know your audience.

Use Negative Keywords Early and Never Stop

I’ve seen many advertisers kind of skip over negative keywords. They add a couple of negative keywords from a general list and then move on.

Huge mistake.

Building a thorough negative keyword list is one of the key ingredients to making sure your campaign is profitable from the get-go.

Getting slammed with a lot of impressions and low CTR is the super fast-track to low Quality Scores. Quality Scores can be very difficult to recover and will take you a lot of time to recuperate decent scores.

Start from the Beginning

Take the time in the initial research phase to build up your negative keywords. I always keep a notepad open where I write everything down I find that I consider to be a negative keyword.

My philosophy is that I’d rather exclude too much, than too little.

Use Negative Keyword Sculpting to Control Impressions

Negative Keyword SculptingAnother part of proper-utilization of negative keywords is what I like to call negative keyword sculpting. I build my campaigns with a pretty simple structure:

  • High-volume keywords get their own ad group
  • Low-volume keywords are bundled together until they reflect a decent amount of clicks or conversions

I like to bid aggressively on my high-volume keywords. This can cause the smaller, higher-volume keywords to take away impressions from the long-tailed keywords in my low-volume ad groups.

A good example are doll clothes.

Doll clothes are high-volume.

Seventies-style doll clothes is long-tailed and low-volume.

If my Ad Rank (see this video for calculation) for doll clothes is higher than seventies-style doll clothes due to a higher bid, then doll clothes will run with all clicks.

My campaign structure might as well be non-existent.

I therefore make sure to implement cross-referencing negative keywords from the beginning.

I will take my long-tailed keywords, turn them into negative keywords and implement them in my other ad groups for that campaign.

This is super effective and not that time-consuming.

Bid Higher on Exact Match Keywords

I like to know what I’m getting. That’s why I’m a sucker for exact match keywords.

I always start out bidding higher for exact match keywords. They’ve almost always had a bigger success rate for me – especially when the keyword is high-volume.

Another example is if you’re bidding the same for phrase match and exact match keywords, then you might end up having your phrase match keywords get all the clicks.

It shouldn’t happen, but it often does.

Don’t be Funny – Funny Kills Sales in AdWords

Funny kills sales in AdWordsTo all the aspiring David Ogilvy’s out there, I’m sorry to disappoint you: Funny AdWords ads rarely do well when it comes to generating profits.

I simply believe the reason lies in the format. There’s very little room to be funny and still convey a message. You therefore end up with an ad that looks kind of odd and doesn’t make much sense.

Yes, of course I’ve seen funny ads have success, but I never start out my campaigns with funny ads.

Focus on benefits, USPs and a call-to-action in your ads. It will take you to attractive numbers much quicker.

Never Activate a Campaign the Day You Finish It

This is a frequent mistake I used to make. I would get so excited about a campaign that I would instantly call my Client, do a quick review and then activate it the same day.

I’ve had sufficient situations where there were just too many bad mistakes made and then felt forced to have to stop campaigns that same day.

I found that the more you rely on search-and-replace and other AdWords Editor features, the higher your chances are to overlook mistakes.

Give yourself a day and review your campaign again. It doesn’t hurt and you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches.

Golden Rules Are Not Truly Rules

To be honest, after working with AdWords for 5 years, I consider achieving success in AdWords search to be rather easy if I just follow my key principles.

The golden rules mentioned in this blog post are by no means my entire list, but they follow my basic principles on how to achieve AdWords success:

  • Simplicity, but do the nitty gritty work too
  • Don’t leave anything in the hands of Google
  • Know your customer

Some of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen during my career come from not being thorough enough. If you have an eye for detail, put in the required hours and set up the proper structure from the beginning. Your potential will be endless.

Andrew Lolk

Andrew Lolk is the CMO at WhiteSharkMedia.com; a Search Engine Marketing agency specialized in Paid Search management for small and mid-sized businesses. Download White Shark Media's free ebook on AdWords strategy or through whitesharkmedia.com/blog/

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The Standoff: SEO vs. PPC or BOTH

Jul 4, 2012   //   by Alexis Thompson   //   blogging, internet marketing, keyword research, pay per click, SEO  //  10 Comments

The prevailing question among marketing professionals and businessmen right now is how to effectively market their products to their target consumers through the internet. Both Organic SEO and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) give companies the opportunity to advertise their brand and products online. In this article, we will discuss whether SEO, PPC, or a fusion of both will be most appropriate for your business requirements.

SEOOrganic SEO

Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is basically the practice of improving website traffic through White-hat SEO techniques, which allow your website to figure prominently whenever search engines turn-in the search results made by internet users. Some White-hat SEO techniques include putting more meat on content and placing more quality backlinks on the website. All of these tactics are done without violating the terms of service that the search engine has set.

PPC

One of the most popular forms of marketing done on the internet today is called Pay-Per-Click (PPC). It is an advertising model wherein companies pay website owners a specific amount of money for every click that their advertisement gets from internet users who visit the website. Advertisers would craft their own set of keywords that reflect their target market and the products that they offer. Whenever internet users would key-in words similar or related to those keywords, the website and the advertisement would most likely come up in the search results. PPC can also be used to increase traffic for a website.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Both

SEO

An inherent advantage of the use of SEO is that it comes at a lesser cost, or even at no costs at all, compared with PPC. Unlike PPC, the success of SEO fully lies on the effective implementation and execution of SEO techniques and methods to improve a website’s visibility. Furthermore, another advantage of SEO is that it becomes more beneficial as time passes. Over time, a website can continue to accumulate quality backlinks. These will have positively affect website visibility significantly and the effect would remain so long as the links are there.

However, the use of SEO also has its own disadvantages. First, it takes time for your website to become visible. A day or two may improve the ranking of a website, but such a short period of time is insufficient to push its ranking to the top spots. There is no guarantee of how long it will take for a website to become really visible to internet users, but it usually takes six months to one year. ­Second, there is risk in SEO. The internet is a world full of different kinds of SEO practioners and some of them use black-hat and unethical SEO techniques. You never know when they will strike, but these people have the potential to destroy your brand and credibility to consumers.

PPC

As for PPC, results and progress come in pretty fast. Rankings improve quickly. It is also pretty easy to start a PPC campaign online. Moreover, the better positions your ad gets from search engine results increases the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. Typically, ads are put on top, the right side, or below the search engine results. In addition to these, another advantage of PPC is that it allows you to focus your campaign on certain regions, countries and regions. Furthermore, PPC gives you the freedom to manage and edit the keywords you have previously set any time.

Pay per click The most alarming disadvantage of PPC is that it comes at a great cost. Overtime, the costs will begin to pile up and your company may end up spending too much money on PPC. Furthermore, traffic is totally reliant on the money you pour into PPC. Once funding stops, traffic disappears into thin air almost instantly.

A thorough examination of the qualities and advantages and disadvantages of PPC would lead to the conclusion that a mixture of both would be best. Starting with PPC, then slowly switching to Organic SEO would help you maximize the results that you can achieve. Timing is always an important factor in advertising. When you need to send an important message to your consumers, it might be best to use PPC for a short period of time instead of relying completely on the slower Organic SEO. But, complete reliance on PPC may hurt your company’s resources. The use of both advertising methods also allows you to effectively manage and lessen the costs that you will incur without sacrificing the quality of the results.

Overall, internet marketing is an art. It requires crafty manipulation and employment of advertising frameworks such as Organic PPC and SEO to reach your target consumers and maximize the effectiveness of your advertising campaign.

Alexis Thompson

Alexis Thompson is an alumna from Martin College Australia, a former Mountain Backpacker and a 26 year old mother of 2 daughters, Sophie and Rhian. She is into almost all types of Music especially The Fray and Hillsong. She also has a passion in Singing and Scrap Booking. Follow her escapades on her Twitter.

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SEM, SEO, Social Media and their Connection to Each Other

Aug 31, 2010   //   by Melvin Dichoso   //   Contests, internet marketing, pay per click, SEO, SEO Blog, Social Media  //  20 Comments

This is a guest post from Melvin Dichoso . It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.

Most people who have just got started in their online ventures usually focus too much on SEO. It’s no secret that its really one of the biggest misconceptions most beginners and even experienced guys run into as far as their online businesses are concern. Today in this blog post, I’m very much hoping I can address this by writing about SEO as well as its connection to SEM and Social Media.

First and foremost I’m not an SEO guru or whatsoever. Heck, my blog is even PR0 up to now, although I have managed to reap a lot as far as  the blog’s traffic is concern. Just consider me as you’re typical online entrepreneur and blogger.

Setting up some Initial things

So what does these three things I mentioned above have something in connection? When building a website or any online-based project, you want to build SEO in it from the get-go. You want to optimize it for those key terms that you’re looking into from the start. I know you’re saying, “how can you do that, you don’t even have content yet?” Yes, you’re right but what I mean is that with every websites you can already set up things from the start that would give you a dramatic effect later on. Let me explain.

For example, if I’m building a site based on a WordPress platform, I can start fine-tuning the site’s search goals by doing the necessary things like adding an All in One SEO pack, canonicalizing the domain, setting up the meta descriptions properly and creating a robots.txt (and many more of course). You see, these are the things that you can already do from the start yet it doesn’t take that much to do those. On the flip side, it may not yield that much results for the first few months but its future benefits would be enormous for sure.

Search Engine Optimization isn’t a short-term goal in the first place right? Organic rankings is something that can be achieved over time and if you’re getting lots of traffic from search engines then you know what I’m talking about.

Before the SEO our site picks up

Now we all know that ranking in search engines does not happen overnight, but does that mean we’re going to wait that long before doing anything? No! That means we have to work on something that would alleviate the lack of traffic from our new site.

There are two things that you can do that would offset the need for SEO for short term. One is utilizing social media and the other one is via search engine marketing. Let’s tackle both of those things here.

Social Media

Social Media is something that everyone these days wants to utilize but only few can do it well. With that my tip has always been to focus on one niche targeted network first and forget everybody else. If you’re into Stumbleupon then focus on it, work on it first.

The problem with people is that they try to get everything from each and every social media sites but the truth is its never gonna happen. These social sites have different audiences and you can only target the ones which is the most relevant to what your business is. Also social media has an effect to search rankings. Indirectly you can see that it can boosts links, search rankings and web traffic in particular.

Popular site Mashable has even written an article on how SEO and social media goes hand in hand together.

Search Marketing

Unlike social media, search marketing does not have an effect with your search rankings. Instead this can be a quick way to boost your site’s traffic immediately from the start.

Let’s go back to our WordPress Site example. After we’re able to set up all the basic SEO-related stuff to our sites, we can immediately focus on running search campaigns for our sites via Pay Per Click. The way I do it is I focus on the top three networks, Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing, and MSN Ad Center. These three have the biggest market share and there’s no reason to go to other 2% of small search engines that can give you almost no traffic.

Running pay per click campaigns can be really tricky and hard. You need to focus on a lot of things like Ad copy, keywords, targeting different demographics, quality scores and a whole lot more. I had learned all of this for quite some time and to be honest, I spent a lot of money testing things but  I could say it’s all worth it.

I know not all of us can run PPC campaigns so there’s always an option of hiring a search marketing person or a team to run your campaign for you. This can be an investment on your part but the way these guys could do the job for you could later on offset the cost.

The logic behind running search campaigns is to immediately drive traffic to your site, find the top markets and top demographics for what you’re business is about and penetrating that market. We could also experiment on our campaigns and as a return this could only give us the whole pie of what we’re trying to achieve. We could forever do these campaigns until our search traffic starts picking up. In short, SEM is for short term and SEO is for long term.

Conclusion

Driving traffic to our website, more generally our business is an unending cycle. We as business owners continue to tweak and test things and try to find more sources that could give us the maximum return for what we spend.

These three components that I mentioned namely SEM, SEO and social media play a key role for that. They have their own ideal time to get implemented and it’s all about connecting them and making  them work harmoniously.What do you think?

Melvin Dichoso

Melvin Dichoso is a blogger and internet marketer who writes at MelvinBlog Dot Com. He's currently giving away a free report called the Blog Marketing Guide for his newsletter subscribers. He also tweets out occasionally.

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The Bad Ass SEO Guest Blogging Contest

Aug 2, 2010   //   by Gerald Weber   //   blogging, pay per click, SEO Blog, Social Media  //  36 Comments

Yes, you read correctly, it’s time for The Bad Ass SEO Guest Blogging Contest. For the next month, I’ll be accepting guest posts right here on my blog. As you can see below, the top guest bloggers are eligible to receive cash prizes (current pot is $2100.) cash and there are a couple non-cash prizes.

To clarify, you don’t have to actually be a bad ass SEO (although it wouldn’t hurt) to enter the contest. The general theme is SEO and the contest itself is bad ass since we have several generous sponsors that put up cash and a few other prizes.

What is the Bad Ass SEO Guest Blogging Contest? Blogging is always fun, but it’s even more fun when there is cold hard cash involved. Starting today (August 2nd) until September 2nd, you can submit guest posts to my blog. I’m pretty flexible as far as acceptable topics as long as they fit within the general theme of this blog. So, anything from SEO to blogging to social media will do.

How long does the contest last? The contest starts today August 2nd and ends September 2nd You must submit your post between these dates in order to be eligible to win. The winners will be announced 15 days after the contest ends. This will allow us ample time to publish any remaining posts and to judge all contest entries.

What can you win? Take a look at all the sponsors, cash and other prizes!

$200. Prize Sponsors

Daniel McGonagle Link Building

BestTravelWebsites.com Best Travel Sites

ArrangeYourVacation.com Vacation Rentals

$150 Prize Sponsors

Candy Store

$100 Prize Sponsors

Alisa Bowman Marriage Advice

Vertical measures

Internet Marketing Services

SEO Software

SEO Ottawa

Virtual Assistants

Hesham Zebida Thesis Skins

Gerald Weber Houston SEO

Toni J Young Network Marketing Training

Quillcards Distinctive Ecards by Quillcards

Ghostwriter Dad Ghostwriting services

$50 Prize Sponsors

Whitney Segura Whitney Segura’s Internet Marketing Blog

James Brown James Brown

Raxa Design Houston web design

Eric Brantner Freelance Copywriter

The Servant Media Houston Business Development

Ana Hoffman, Traffic Generation Cafe Increasing Targeted Website Traffic

The Lane Real Estate Team Kennewick Homes

Other prizes: Non-Cash Sponsors

Hostgator.com 1 year Business Hosting plan. Includes toll free phone number and SSL $179.40 value Business Web Hosting

David Harry A full years membership at SEO Dojo, a value of $250.SEO Training Dojo

Link-Assistant.Com SEO PowerSuite Enterprise (max. functionality license) $599 worth with a life-time Live! Plan subscription. SEO tools

Special thanks to the contest media partner: My Blog Guest. MyBlogGuest.com is the free guest post exchange community where users meet to exchange guest posts and network.

What are the rules?

  1. Register for a user account with SEM Group so you can submit your post for review. Please fill out all of your profile information and if you don’t have a Gravatar please get one. You may have up to 3 links in your bio.
  2. If you have already published a guest post here in the past there is no need to register. If this is the case and you aren’t sure about your login just send me an email and I’ll let you know your login credentials.

  3. You must submit your post by September 2nd 2010
  4. Your article must be original content, and it must be written by you.
  5. On the day your post is published, you must write a post on your blog about the contest that contains a link to the official contest post and links to all of the sponsors. A You can get the code to link to all of the sponsors here

    $200. Prize Sponsors

    Daniel McGonagle Link Building

    BestTravelWebsites.com Best Travel Sites

    ArrangeYourVacation.com Vacation Rentals

    $150 Prize Sponsors

    Candy Store

    $100 Prize Sponsors

    Alisa Bowman Marriage Advice

    Vertical measures

    Internet Marketing Services

    SEO Software

    SEO Ottawa

    Virtual Assistants

    Hesham Zebida Thesis Skins

    Gerald Weber Houston SEO

    Toni J Young Network Marketing Training

    Quillcards Distinctive Ecards by Quillcards

    Ghostwriter Dad Ghostwriting services

    $50 Prize Sponsors

    Whitney Segura Whitney Segura's Internet Marketing Blog

    James Brown James Brown

    Raxa Design Houston web design

    Eric Brantner Freelance Copywriter

    The Servant Media Houston Business Development

    Ana Hoffman, Traffic Generation Cafe Increasing Targeted Website Traffic

    The Lane Real Estate Team Kennewick Homes

    Other prizes: Non-Cash Sponsors

    Hostgator.com 1 year Business Hosting plan. Includes toll free phone number and SSL $179.40 value Business Web Hosting

    David Harry A full years membership at SEO Dojo, a value of $250.SEO Training Dojo

    Link-Assistant.Com SEO PowerSuite Enterprise (max. functionality license) $599 worth with a life-time Live! Plan subscription. SEO tools

    Special thanks to the contest media partner: My Blog Guest. MyBlogGuest.com is the free guest post exchange community where users meet to exchange guest posts and network.

  6. You can be either a sponsor for the contest or you can compete in the contest. Unfortunately you can’t do both.

Post Guidelines

  1. Guest posts must be at least 450 words, not to exceed 1000 words.
  2. You may have as many links as you wish in the body of the content. However, please limit links to your projects or websites to your bio. Absolutely no affiliate links allowed.
  3. Your bio must have a Gravatar. Please use a picture of yourself and not a logo.
  4. Keep your post relevant to the overall theme of this blog. SEO, link building, internet marketing, pay per click, social media, blogging tips are all acceptable topics.

How to win

  1. Write a post about the contest to help spread the word in the blogosphere. Your post (contest submission) will be judged First on quality of the content and style of the post.
  2. Add Sponsors links to your post using the correct anchor text and make sure the links are do-follow. This is extremely important and your post won’t be eligible to win if you haven’t fulfilled this requirement. The sponsors are the ones making the cash prizes possible, so show them some link love.
  3. A high value is placed on the number of and quality of comments received on your guest post. Also, be sure to interact with and respond to your commentators. This will help you win! Ambiguous and/or spammy comments will not help you.
  4. Spread the word about your post through all your social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, Sphinn, etc. A high value will be placed on number of Tweets and overall social media promotion.
  5. Keep in mind, the sooner you submit your post the more time you’ll have to promote it. So the early bird gets the worm!

Also feel free to use the donkey image in your post. You can get the code here

Also feel free to upload the image to your server if you like.

IF you have any questions feel free to contact me. Also you can contact me on Skype, I’m searchengineguy.

Let the blogging begin! Woot!

Gerald Weber

I founded Search Engine Marketing Group in December 2005. More recently I co-founded viralcontentbuzz.com. which is the free platform that helps bloggers generate REAL "social buzz" on their best content. Feel free to follow me on Google+

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SEO vs PPC Which Do You Think Is Better?

Apr 28, 2010   //   by Eric Gesinski   //   pay per click, SEO, SEO Blog  //  29 Comments

Two of the most prominently used methods of internet marketing are pay per click advertising and search engine optimization. How do they compare? When should you use either? Knowing how to properly use each can make a big difference in your ROI and traffic results.

  • Speed of results. As much as some extreme cases for SEO may be flaunted, on average search engine optimization takes a while to have full effect. This can be a few weeks, a few months, even as long as a year to get desired results. Pay per click on the other hand will have results within a day. If you're interested in getting immediate results with a marketing method, PPC is your choice. You'll find out what keywords are more effective much more quickly and can adjust them almost real-time. SEO is better used for a researched keyword list using keywords you know will have desired results.
  • Cost, immediate and long-term. PPC is very fast to produce results. You pay for the amount of traffic you want. If the traffic that searches for those keywords or browses the sites you advertise on exists, you can potentially pay thousands of dollars a month. For SEO, you generally will pay a large amount up front to get initial SEO work done, then a monthly amount to continue the SEO services. (This varies heavily, depending on where you pay for your SEO services.) On average, this is a higher cost than PPC for the same markets. If your PPC costs are high for every cost per click, chances are your SEO costs will also be high, and the same for markets with lower competition – both PPC and SEO will have costs relevant with the market value, and SEO is usually a higher cost.
  • Results, long term value. PPC is good because it can provide instant results, and you can get immediate return on investment. SEO will not produce results immediately, but the long term value is much higher. The traffic growth on a good SEO campaign is exponential, and growth for a PPC campaign (if any) is usually linear. The difference between an organic position on page 2, position 9 on page 1, and position 1 on page 1 is immensely different. For PPC, the response for difference in positions is quite different, but the it is not as large as those from organic results. SEO will cost more but will provide a bigger long term result, if the keywords being optimized for are quality ones.

Knowing these details, it's recommended that you use PPC to do keyword research fully and test which keywords convert best before pushing into SEO. That way your costs can be adjusted quickly for different keywords, and the commitment to SEO can be done with tested keywords that have verified results. This will save you large costs and help produce definite outcomes.


Eric Gesinski

Eric Gesinski does Tulsa website design, Tulsa SEO, and other local internet marketing services for the Tulsa area.

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