PPCOne of the most recent surges in advertising expenditures in the last decade is Google Adwords – where you pay Google to advertise for certain search terms of your choice.

Google makes tens of billions of dollars in revenue alone from Adwords – but the real question is – are you getting as much as you can from your campaigns?

There is a real benefit from taking time out to analyse how your campaigns are doing on Google Adwords instead of just throwing tons of your hard earned revenue at it.

My advice to you is this – set up a spreadsheet so you can see how much is going to each campaign.

How many clicks is it receiving and how much is it costing you?

A lot of clicks you receive may be from people searching for something that is similar to your product but you don’t offer this – meaning that you have paid for a click that was a complete waste of money.

As a result you should be campaigning your negative keywords on a weekly basis.

This is where you gather these similar, and sometimes irrelevant, search terms that are wasting you hundreds, maybe even thousands, of pounds annually.

Put them in a shared library that covers all campaigns in your Adwords account.

It’s important when carrying out any marketing that you can easily measure the response from your marketing campaigns.

See if your search terms are converting to sales. As previously mentioned – monitor how much you are spending and whether it Is beneficial to be paying so much for search terms that are bringing in so little.

Just a simple cost per click calculation can see how much you are paying on average. Compare this to previous weeks and see why your cost per click is up or down.

Many businesses who opt to use PPC marketing ended up wasting huge amounts of their marketing budgets on Google Adwords, but with a bit of extra time spent every week monitoring and adapting your search terms and keywords – you will see a direct correlation of improvements in your click throughs and conversions.

Thanks!

Ben

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Ben Lyons

Marketing Assistant

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

(Image courtesy of Sailom at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net)

list of keywordsBefore you can optimize your websites for search engines, you need to know what keywords you will be optimizing for. That’s the role of keyword research. If your website is perfectly optimized for keywords that no one is looking for, it won’t help your traffic or your sales. On the other hand, if your optimization is not perfect but your keywords have huge search volumes and little competition, you’ll be successful.

Step 1 – Identify the pages that you are optimizing

You can either choose existing pages on your website that you are going to rewrite for keyword optimization, or you can create new pages. To identify the page, you need to have an idea of what the page will be about, even if it is only a general concept. A website devoted to dogs may have one page about choosing a new dog, one page about paper training a puppy, and one page about getting the right size of collar for your dog.

Step 2 – Create a list of keywords

Once you know the concept of the pages that you are optimizing, you can come up with a short list of keywords (no more than 20) related to that concept. Don’t try to get the best possible keywords at this stage. Just choose keywords that relate naturally to the concept of the page. If you are directing people to pages in a sales catalogue, be sure to include words like “buy” in your keyword phrases.

Step 3 – Use the Google Keyword Tool

For each set of keywords you came up with in the previous step, use the Google Keyword Tool to determine search volume and suggested similar searches. Remove any keywords with low search volumes, and add any suggested keywords with high search volumes.

Step 4 – Perform competitive analysis

For each keyword phrase in the revised list, choose three to five companies that are successfully getting traffic for that keyword phrase. If there are more strong companies than that, or those five companies have locked up the first two pages in Google, remove the keyword from your list. Otherwise, review their websites and lift additional keywords from their meta text. You can also use SEO tools to discover the anchor text that links to these pages or which Adwords phrases they trigger. Add these new keywords to your list.

Step 5 – Refine with the Google Keyword Tool

Run your updated list through the Google Keyword Tool and again remove any keywords with low search volumes. Check the competitiveness of the keywords, and remove any that are too highly competitive. Your final keyword list will be profitable keywords for which you are likely to be able to place highly.

 

Thanks!

 

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

 

(Image: Morguefile)

jumpBounces are bad. Bounces indicate that someone visited your website, felt that it did not meet their expectation of what they were looking for, and immediately left your website without taking any other action. Or do they indicate something else? Do they indicate that your finely-tailored web page answered your visitors’ questions so precisely that there was no need for them to look elsewhere for their answers? How can you tell what is really being measured by your Google Analytics bounce rate? More importantly, if you are paying for Google ads, a higher bounce rate will cause you to have to pay more for each click.

Type of website matters

Whether or not you need to be concerned with the bounce rate statistics for your website depends greatly upon what type of website you have. If you are directing people to a landing page, the bounce rate will accurately depict the number of people who leave your landing page without taking action on your offer. For these types of websites, the bounce rate matters, and a lower bounce rate is preferable. If people enter your website as a result of organic searches, and may arrive at your home page, a landing page, an interior page describing your products or business, or a posting on your blog, the bounce rate as calculated may not matter. In those situations, it is more important to know if the person is engaging with your content, taking time to read it over before leaving the website. The simple bounce rate is not a meaningful measurement in this case, since it does not tell you the difference between someone who leaves your page immediately and someone who spends 5 minutes perusing everything you wrote about a subject. That second visitor, even if they have no other interaction with your website, will recognise your name as a subject matter expert, and have more trust in you when they encounter you again.

Using a different bounce rate calculation

In order to incorporate information about how long someone stays on your website before leaving, even if they do not interact in any other way with your website, you need Google to consider only those visitors who leave within a certain timeframe as true bounces. This can be done by adding some customised code to the Google Analytics script. The customised code uses the Google Analytics API to create events, or something that Google interprets as a website visitor interacting with your website. As a result, they are no longer considered bounces. An added side benefit of this is that the Google Analytics measurement of the average time each visitor spends on your website will also increase to more accurately reflect real visit lengths. Using this new calculation for bounce rates, you will be able to differentiate between true bounces and people who engaged with your content without taking additional action on your website.

Before I sign off, here are some more useful articles on using Google Analytics to your advantage:

Thanks!

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

(Image: Morguefile)

I came across this fantastic infographic on Hubspot’s blog yesterday which I just had to share with you.

The following image explains exactly how Google makes its money through its Pay Per Click advertising – and how much each industry contributes to Google’s massive $100 million a day advertising revenue.

As an internet marketer you are likely to be using Google Adwords to market and promote your business online, so the infographic below is going to make some very interesting reading for you.

Enjoy!

Thanks!

Sean

 

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

We all know the main goal of an Internet marketing campaign is to generate traffic the converts to sales. Using SEO to optimise our presence online has been part of this for many years. Recently, the changes to Google’s algorithms made countless marketing coordinators wonder which way to go with SEO. SEO is a large part of the Internet marketing world. However, in order to be successful, you have to adjust your strategy and avoid common mistakes.

Keywords are the backbone of SEO. You have probably spent hours perusing key words and their popularity. You search for the right keywords to get your site recognized in organic searchers.  The mistake many marketers make is misunderstanding how the public searches for their business. The average web query is straightforward words or questions. Once you understand this, your success in choosing keywords will increase.

Your organization might be the leading distributor of polyvinyl chloride products, but the general public is not going to search for that term, they are going to look for plastic. You have to get inside their thought process and figure out how they search the Internet.

There are people who literally ask Google what they want to know. This breaks keyword research down to the simplest possible ways of describing your business. In this example, plastic makers could be a key word.

Another common mistake I have seen in regards to SEO and keywords is a failure to do competitive keyword analysis. Google Tools, Hubspot’s Keywords Tool and other research tools are available to help you determine if you have the best keywords in your strategy and compare them to keywords being used by your competitors. You can lose position in the rankings quickly if you fail to evaluate keywords.

You need to make sure that you are monitoring your keyword strategy on a constant basis. Trends change constantly. What is popular today will be unpopular tomorrow. If you have a plan in place to monitor search trends,  you can get ahead of the game. This is where many seasonal businesses experience shortfalls. They neglect to monitor trends and lose business. For example, many women start Christmas shopping and planning well before the fall season arrives. If you are monitoring your keywords, you will see this early and cash in on the increase in traffic.

The bottom line in SEO strategy and keywords comes down to research and monitoring trends. At one time, keyword stuffing worked for many websites. Today, you have to be smart and use them appropriately to achieve maximum conversion and increase your profitability.

If you have made mistakes using keywords your marketing strategy, I’d love to hear from you. Use our comments section to share the lesson you learned so we can all avoid costly keyword mistakes.

Thanks!

Sean

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

The Internet Marketing Academy

http://internetmarketingacademy.com

(Image: WikiMedia Commons/Nedmarx)

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a potent weapon in the advertising arsenal of any business owner or internet marketing, but it is crucial to your bottom line that you really understand how to use it effectively.

While you can simply sign up for a Google AdWords account and start throwing money at it, you’ll make your advertising campaign much more cost effective, much more effective, and much more sustainable if you integrate your PPC campaign with the advertising efforts that you already have underway. Read on to learn how you can do just that.

Before you can get started with PPC optimisation, let me discuss briefly what PPC exactly is, and what it is not. PPC advertising is advertising whereby you pay a fee, typically somewhere in the range of a pound but often considerably more, dependent on the popularity of the keyword in question, each time someone visits your site by clicking on your advertisement. Google AdWords is the leading provider of PPC, but all major search engines offer a similar service.

So long as you understand the basics of how it works, PPC can be an effective way to quickly drive a large amount of traffic to your site. However, it is not the most sustainable business model, as you have to pay a set amount for each customer sent to your site. Obviously, it’s much more cost-effective to draw these customer through unpaid search results (SEO) and social media marketing.

With this in mind, one of the most effective marketing tactics today is to use PPC advertising to help build your brand. So when you’re just starting out , or you’ve just released a new product, you ramp up your PPC advertising considerably. This drives traffic to your site, and creates buzz on the social networks. This, in turn will drive more people to your site.

Over time, the high quality content that you’ll continue to add to your site, combined with the social media attention and the additional traffic that continued PPC advertising will cause your user base to reach a critical mass, a tipping point, if you will, and drive it into self-sustainability. Once you reach this point, you can start the phase out the paid advertising in order to usher in a more sustainable advertising model.

Nothing breeds success like success, as they say. Use PPC advertising to get success in the first place, and then once your site gets noticed, let it roll on its own from there.

Thanks!

 

Sean

Internet Marketing Academy

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Some internet marketers would take one look at this title and declare me insane. “Making money with Google Adwords – give me a break, it’s not 2005 anymore,” they might scoff. And they would have a point. It is much more difficult to generate revenue from Adwords marketing than it once was. However, it is by no means impossible. There is a lot more competition, but most of the competition has no idea what its doing. As with anything else, generating sales through Adwords is simply a matter of really understanding the format, thinking creatively, and outmanoeuvring the competition.

AdWords 101

Most of you probably already have a pretty good grasp of what AdWords does and how it works, but we’ll have a quick refresher course here anyway.

AdWords is the premier advertising service offered by Google, and  it generates the majority of Google’s yearly revenue. It was the original super-targeted advertising service, and allows you to create advertisements which pop up when someone searches on Google for the keyword which you’ve bid on. Its an invaluable service, and many internet companies use it as their primary source of new customers.

The AdWords War

The problem is, since AdWords is so easy to use and can potentially generate such great returns on investment, it is no longer solely the domain of small business owners and independent marketers. Large corporations have gotten involved, and have sent their marketing departments, with their nearly unlimited budgets, to scoop up the prime real estate.

Since keyword prices are set by competitive bidding, dealing with a large corporate marketing department in the mix can quickly put you out of the running.

So, rather than trying to take them head-on, the key to success is making a strategic pivot and seeking out better real estate.

Find Your Advantage

The easiest place for you to find your advantage in the AdWords world is to realize how much flexibility your business really has. Keyword selection is the obvious place to start. Look at alternative keywords that you could advertise for. You can probably drive your advertising costs down by focusing on less expensive keywords, and then improving your conversion rates in order to make up for the lost visitors.

The key to driving up your conversion rates is creating a landing page that works. Consider – you’ve already got a potential customer on your site, so you know that they’re at least marginally interested in your product. Moreover, you’ve already paid the cost of getting them there, so you need to sell them the product at that point.

Go back at look at your landing page, the first page that the customer sees when they visit your site. Does it elicit a strong, visceral, emotional reaction? Does it create a need for your product? If not, what can you do to make it stronger? If you want to succeed in today’s hyper-competitive AdWords environment, your landing page needs to convert as much as possible.

The main take-away here is just to consider your customers, and consider how you are advertising to them. And remember that with any pay-per-click advertising, the price of the advert isn’t nearly as important as your return on investment.

Thanks!

 

Sean

Internet Marketing Academy

When you’re advertising with Google Adwords, you need to pay extremely close attention to your competition.  It is possible that you could start advertising on this popular advertising medium and be shocked at the expense of the costs per click.

So here are a couple ways you can determine what you’re up against before you launch your first campaign. This will give you a huge advantage and enable you to adjust your strategy if the clicks are too high.

1) Type in your main keyword into Google.

Simple enough right? What you need to do is count the number of competitors you have for that keyword. It could range between 6 and 66.

You see, in order to be on the first page of Google, you need to be within the top 1 to 8 or 11 best ads on the page.

Regarding what is considered “best”–Google will take into account your bid price, clickthrough rate, and quality score. So it’s not neccessarily the highest bid that wins out when it comes to Google Adwords.

2) Go to www.spyfu.com and estimate what everyone is bidding on your site.

This is a really neat technique you can use to see what everyone else is paying per click for your target keyword.

This website will also let you know who is bidding on these keywords.

Keep in mind this is only an estimate. You will not know for certain until you start bidding on your own campaigns.

If you find that the click costs are too high, you will need to use less competitive keywords. You can do this by going to www.wordtracker.com and choosing keywords that are targeted for your niche–but are lower in compeition.

You can also change your offer, add a couple of upsells, and tweak your copy so you get more conversions. You see, Google Adwords is all about constantly testing and tweaking–but once you find the right combination you’re golden!

Keep Selling!

Sean

Sean McPheat

Internet Marketing Academy

In my last post, we went over 5 Google Adwords ad-writing tips that could boost your conversions. They are what any person who is fluent in Adwords should be familiar with.

Now we are going to cover 5 more tips that could boost your profits with Google Adwords. So let’s get started!

1) Are you taking full advantage of the space Google gives you in each line?

In general, the more you tell, the more you sell. You do not want to shortchange yourself by not filling in the entire space Google gives you to sell the click.  So make sure you utilize all the space Google gives you.

2) Are you listing the benefits first?

Many times people will put the features of a product first.  This is not the way to do it.  You need to put the benefits first as people want to know what the product is going to DO for them. There are exceptions to this rule, but there aren’t many.

3) Is your display URL relevant to what your searchers are looking for?

Your display URL is also a piece of copy.  If you have an obscure URL, it’s not going to connect with the audience. Try sending your traffic to a domain like, “www.datingsecrets.com” so that people will know what they are clicking on when they see your ad.

4) Are you testing capital vs. lowercase letters to see what gets the best clickthrough rate?

This is important. Sometimes having capital letters can boost conversions–and sometimes they cannot. You never know until you test what is going to convert the highest.

5) Are you playing to your hunches?

Sometimes when you’re in the shower and playing with the kids, you could be thinking of new ad copy for your Adwords to test.  Always be thinking of new ideas during your idle time–it could mean boosting your clickthrough rate for your Adwords ads.

So make sure you implement these Adwords ad-writing secrets into your marketing arsenal.  You could conquer Google Adwords and bring more income to your business!

Keep Selling!

Sean

Sean McPheat

Internet Marketing Academy

Google Adwords can be intimidating to some people.  But like anything else in marketing, you can easily master it if you know certain tricks to working with this critical pay-per-click search engine.

Here are 5 things you need to keep in mind with creating your Google Adwords ads:

1) Are you entering into the conversation going on in your customer’s head?

Frequently when people write Adwords ads, they do not spend a lot of time analyzing where their customer is coming from when they enter their search term. For example, some keywords are obvious “buying” keywords and others are just general “searching” keywords.

Generally, the more specific the keyword, the greater the chances that visitor is going to buy from you.  And the ad copy needs to match.

2) Are you bidding on longer phrases, e.g. “how do I stop chewing on my fingernails?”

Frequently, the keywords you should be using might not appear in your favorite keyword tool.  Long-tail keywords are those you’ll need to think of when you’re brainstorming what your target market would type into a  search engine.

3)  Are you trying to “beat your control” by rotating at least 2 ads?

This is critical to constantly ratcheting your conversions higher and higher. You never want to only run 1 ad, as the advertisement that’s going to double your conversions could be on the top of your mind.

4) Are you reading your ads out loud to yourself to see if they have a good flow?

A good ad is conversational and should not sound “awkward” when you read it out loud.  Fine tune any advertisement that doesn’t read right when you read it to someone out loud.

5) Are you always keeping a close eye on what your competitiors are doing?

You need to be constantly monitoring your competition, as they could bid higher than you, or change their ad–thus jumping higher than you on the page. All of this can happen in the matter of minutes and you need to be abreast of your competition at all times if you’re going to survive the PPC game.

Those were 5 tips you need to be implementing in your Google Adwords campaigns. Tomorrow I am going to reveal 5 more so stay tuned!

Live, Love, Laugh!

Sean

Sean McPheat

Internet Marketing Academy