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Posts Tagged ‘best practices’

Paid Search: The Basics for Beginners

September 11th, 2014 by Somer Klepper

Paid search will always be a critical component of the success of any integrated marketing campaign but only if it’s developed, monitored and managed properly. There are multiple variables to consider from the beginning and throughout the campaign that can affect budget, visibility and the desired end result. It’s important to frequently assess your analytics to make sure the campaign is on track and make ongoing changes to improve performance. But where does a beginner get started? Lisa Raehsler delivers A Beginner’s Guide to Paid Search that offers some initial thoughts on paid search success.PPC Blog

Get Started with Goals: Define from the beginning what you are trying to achieve when obtaining clicks to a website. Is it to generate a lead? Close a sale? Drive engagement? Build awareness of the latest product? Draw donations? A clearly stated and measurable objective is important so that you will be able to properly analyze the results daily and make revisions to your paid search campaign when needed along the way.

Determine your Keywords: Pay-per-click (PPC) is popular because you’re paying for the clicks that drive traffic directly to your website – so there is the idea of only paying for results, right? Right, but it’s first imperative to choose the right keywords, meaning they are specific, relevant and commonly searched. The wrong keywords can generate clicks but deter viewers on your website from completing the desired call to action (CTA) that will ultimately help you achieve your stated campaign objectives.

Example: A boot company would choose a variety of keywords such as: Boots, leather, cowboy and several combinations of those and similar words. Then they might choose to exclude negative words such as: sandals, sneakers, high-heels.
That’s a very basic example, but it demonstrates the avoided loss by removing keywords that would generate paid clicks that are completely irrelevant to what the company offers and, therefore, what is featured on the given website or landing page. The negative keywords are just as important as the selected keywords. Review historical metrics reports to discover popular words that have driven traffic to the site and have either positively or negatively affected performance depending on the desired action (or objective)  Always keep your goals and strategy in mind when choosing the keywords because remember – each click will cost you.

Budget: This can get tricky and again confirms that paid search campaigns should be monitored daily. To start a PPC campaign, confirm the monthly budget and divide it by the number of campaigns you have. You’ll want to divide that by 30 for the number of days in a month. This will keep you on track when monitoring a daily allotment to make sure you don’t go over budget if clicks spike unusually high on a day. Allocate an equal dollar amount per campaign at the beginning and as the campaign continues, you can make adjustments as needed based on click traffic and performance.

Optimization Required: After the PPC campaigns are up and running and you’ve been monitoring the analytics, it’s necessary to optimize your efforts and reach. Confirm that the ads are up and what the Click-thru-Rates (CTR) look like – a good place to look is within the Google Ads Diagnostic Tool. As you grow in your knowledge of conversions and analytics, strategic keyword, campaign copy and landing page changes that could improve performance will become more apparent.

Analyze the Last 30 Days: You allotted a budget for the 30-day campaign. Really look through the data presented for spikes, dips, and/or steady numbers. Decide what changed for any fluctuations. Did you add keywords? Change your campaign copy? Change your landing page URL? In looking at the numbers, what were the impressions? What was the CTR? And, most importantly, what were the conversion rates and did you hit the initial goals you set to get viewers to buy, engage, gain knowledge or donate? Those initial goals need to be measured from the beginning to end, otherwise a paid search campaign can feel like money flying out of a window.

As said before, PPC campaigns can be extremely successful and are widely used for their reach and analytical data offered. The above basics are the first steps to understanding PPC and the importance of keeping a daily watch on the metrics to stay in line with budget and goals.

AdWords Sitelinks Setup and Best Practices

August 27th, 2014 by Kathryn Drake

According to Google AdWords data, sitelinks have been shown to increase the average click-through rate (CTR) on ads by as much as 20%. We have also seen a jump in CTR when we have implemented them in our clients’ accounts and recommend it for all pay per click campaigns.

Below, you will find step-by-step instructions for adding sitelinks to your AdWords account as well as a few best practices to use in order to improve the effectiveness of this feature.

Sitelinks Setup

1. Log in to AdWords and go to either a campaign or an ad group (depending on the level of sitelinks you are adding).

2. Click on the “Ad Extensions” tab.

Sitelinks Setup Step 2

3. If you are not sent to the Sitelinks Extensions page, select the dropdown with the various extension types and select “Sitelinks Extensions”.

Sitelinks Setup Step 3

4. You will then see any sitelinks that are currently being used.

5. To add new sitelinks, click on the “+ Extension” Button. To add new sitelinks to a campaign or ad group that already has them, scroll down to the “Edit sitelink extension” box and click on “New Sitelink”.

Sitelinks Setup Step 5

Sitelinks Setup Step 5

6. A box will pop up where you can add each of the fields.

Sitelinks Setup Step 6

7. Once you have created the sitelink, select the arrow next to it to add it to the campaign or ad group. Repeat this process for each sitelink and click the “Save” button.

Sitelinks Setup Step 7

Now that you know how to set up sitelinks, here are a few best practices to follow to get the most out of this feature:

1. Be Targeted

When sitelinks were first introduced, the only option was to create a set that applied to an entire campaign. However, AdWords recently introduced the ability to set up separate sets for each ad group. Much like it is a best practice to create multiple targeted ad groups containing related keywords, creating sitelinks that are as targeted as possible will help to grab searchers’ attention (and clicks).

2. Add Details

In addition to a headline, Google also allows advertisers to include a short description that can appear in search results. Since one of the advantages of sitelinks is the fact that they take up more real estate on the search result page, adding descriptions for each sitelink will only help since these descriptions extend the amount of space the ad takes up on the page.

Sitelinks DetailsPhoto via Inside AdWords Blog

By following these best practices, you can increase the effectiveness of your sitelinks and give your account a further boost. Have you used sitelinks in your AdWords accounts? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.

Need help with your pay-per-click campaign optimization? Contact us today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing best practice

Bill of RightsEngaging with a marketing firm is a large investment and can often be nerve-wracking. How can you be sure that you are engaging with the best firm? There are rights you have as a client that any potential firms you are vetting should respect and follow. We interviewed marketing executives at companies such as Dell, BazaarVoice and Austin Ventures to better understand what they believe these rights to be. Here are five of them:

1. The Right to be Heard.

When evaluating marketing firms, you should be the one doing most of the talking. Instead of being told the capabilities of the firm, the firm should instead be taking that time to learn more about your company and your marketing needs. This shows that they will be valuable partners during your engagement.

2. The Right to Transparency.

You have the right to meet with the team that you will actually be working with on the engagement and not just an executive team, since they will be the ones you will be interacting with the most.

3. The Right to Immediate Value.

After engaging with a marketing firm, you should see results quickly as well as be able to hand-off projects and have the firm execute them to completion with little or no intervention needed on your part.

4. The Right to Proactive Counsel.

A marketing firm should go above and beyond what is asked of them. As subject matter experts, they should be looked at to provide ideas and recommendations for campaign optimization.

5. The Right to Be Number One.

No matter what, you should be treated like you are a firm’s only client. Your questions should be answered promptly, your point of contact should be responsive and you should feel valued.

Read our article A Client’s Bill of Rights for all ten rights that you are entitled to as a marketing firm client.

Content Marketing ROII recently attended the “Content Marketing for Demand Generation ROI: Create, Track, and Optimize Your Content Strategy,” webcast presented by Dayna Rothman, Director of Content Marketing at Captora. Dayna shared some great ideas for marketers looking to improve their content marketing. If you weren’t able to attend, below is a recap of Dayna’s presentation on creating, tracking and optimizing your content strategy:

Today’s Shifting Buyers

Sales used to be the first contact with a buyer, but in today’s world it’s the marketer that starts the relationship. Additionally, buyers now live in a multi-device, multi-channel world with an endless supply of information at their fingertips and a finite amount of attention.

Content marketing is a way to get your buyer’s attention in a way that is not pushy or “salesy”. Content should be the king and queen of all your marketing programs and “the fire that fuels all of your demand gen programs”.

Scaling Your Content Production Efforts

To be successful with content marketing, you have to generate enough content to break through the clutter which can be overwhelming to marketers. The first step in this process is creating a content team, which could potentially include a chief content officer, managing editor, content specialist as well as an outsourced team.

Once you have your team, you are ready to ramp up your content production. A great way to do this is by repurposing existing content and generating new content types from the original piece (i.e. repurposing a series of blog posts to create an eBook).

Content Promotion for Lead Generation

There are a series of steps to follow in order to successfully promote content. To start, you can leverage your website homepage to feature your latest content piece behind a form as well as a content resources section. Another recommendation is to create a blog post to promote new content as a “teaser” encouraging readers to download the piece. It’s also important to remember the valuable social media real estate you have at your disposal, such as your Facebook cover photo or Twitter profile.

Email marketing can also be very useful for content promotion. Consider sending an email to your database for large content pieces and/or a content newsletter that regularly highlights new pieces. Sponsored emails purchased from a vendor with a relevant subscriber database can also be used successfully. Finally, lead generation doesn’t stop at acquisition – set up nurture tracks to keep your company top-of-mind with prospective customers by continuously introducing them to new content.

Content Marketing Return On Investment

Now that you have produced and promoted your content, how can you prove ROI? This has been a struggle for many content marketers and has been seen as a “Bigfoot” that is elusive and difficult to capture.

The first step in determining ROI is to define your goals and metrics and establish benchmarks. The first metric you should be tracking is the number of content downloads via forms or a marketing automation tool. Another metric to include is cost-per-lead to see which pieces are giving you the most “bang for your buck”. Also, first touch and multi-touch attribution is key to determining revenue and pipeline generated by content. This will let you know the first piece that brought someone into your program, as well as all of the pieces that were touched throughout a lead’s journey to conversion. You can then use this information along with the investment amount to determine the ROI of a particular piece.

As you can see, it is possible to track the ROI content marketing, and with the right promotion strategy you can make an impact in your bottom line. You can view the deck from this webinar here and let us know your feedback on the presentation by commenting below.

Photo via lendingmemo