Category Archives: PPC

Pay Per Click, Impressions, Display, or Text- Choose the Right Adwords Options for Your Business

Google Adwords is a powerful and robust internet marketing tool, but only if you know how to use it. Countless options and advancements continue to roll out, making it challenging to stay on top of the latest trends and to really know all the options that are available to you.

For businesses, there are four basic types of campaigns you can run through Adwords that will help you reach your target audience. Here’s an essential overview of how each of these options work to help you decide which one will give you the biggest bang for your buck!Pay Per Click...

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Pay Per Click online marketing campaigns (PPC) are pretty much what they sound like. Search engines (like Google) allow you to buy listings that appear in their search results when people search for terms that are relevant or related to what you’re trying to advertise. These listings appear along with the organic, non-paid search results and are denoted with a small “AD” symbol.

PPC campaigns are great because you bid as much as you want to pay and only pay when you receive a click. However, if you’re competing for very popular search terms, another business can easily outbid your budget which will decrease the amount of times your ad appears in search results, thus decreasing the amount of clicks you receive back to your website.

PPC campaigns are a good starting point for businesses just beginning to explore internet advertising. Google allows you to start, pause and stop campaigns at any time, change your keywords and adjust the run-time and your audience as often as you wish.

Impressions (CPM)

Through Google Adwords, you can run a Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) campaign in which you pay for the number of times your ad is shown; however, there is no guarantee that users will click on or engage with your ad.

CPM works through a bidding process similar to PPC. You tell Google how much you’re willing to pay per thousand impressions. This type of campaign is best suited for businesses who are focused on brand awareness, not so much a direct call to action.

Display

The Google Display Network includes all types of ads (text, image, interactive and video) and places these ads on websites that are relevant to what you’re trying to sell. The main benefit is that you’re reaching an audience that is going to be most interested in your service or product.

Display ads go beyond search engines and allow your message to be placed on countless websites where you can reach your target audience even if they’re not specifically searching for your type of business. This type of advertising is ideal for new and non-standard businesses that users may not know to search for. Display ads help you find and get in front of potential customers without them having to first find you.

Text

Lastly, a text ad is the standard type of AdWords ad. Typically, this includes a link to your website and a 2-line description of your product or service. The title of your ad is also clickable to further drive traffic. These ads can appear on Google search results pages and across the Google Network, often with a label that denotes this text as an advertisement.

Text ads must be brief and attention-grabbing. As the name implies, you only have text to draw in your audience and entice them to click on your link. This type of Adwords advertising is best for businesses who have a clear and direct call to action and are not as concerned with building brand recognition.

Try Google Adwords to promote your brand or business. You can go it alone with Google’s help or hire a company to manage your Adwords campaigns for you.

~Stephanie

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Filed under Adwords, PPC, Search Engine Marketing

Your Jaw will Drop When You Read these Headlines

Oh my goodness. It worked.jaw drop

You actually clicked to this article based on my cliché headline and a blurry pic of a hospital mannequin.

Let’s figure out why.

I just saw a version of the headline earlier today on a sponsored article and wondered, what is it about the secret, the awful, and the surprising that makes us click to read?

According to Psychology Today,

Humans seek out news of dramatic, negative events. These experts say that our brains evolved in a hunter-gatherer environment where anything novel or dramatic had to be attended to immediately for survival. So while we no longer defend ourselves against saber-toothed tigers, our brains have not caught up.

Fast Company suggest several psychological theories that are responsible for getting us to act. Persuaders often tap into ultimate terms.

Certain words carry more power than others. This theory breaks persuasive words into three categories:

God terms: those words that carry blessings or demand obedience/sacrifice. e.g, progress, value
Devil terms: those terms that are despised and evoke disgust. e.g., fascist, pedophile
Charismatic terms: those terms that are intangible, less observable than either God or Devil terms. e.g., freedom, contribution

Headlines that Produce Clicks

The following “you should know better” lines might be helpful the next time you create content for ads or articles. Tell us your favorites.

“TV Host Reveals Real Hair”

Just change up this click-getter for anything.  We want the truth. Here’s another example- SEO Guru Reveals Real Algorithms.

“Epic Prank Pulled on So and So”

You could create an entire video series based on spoofs and pranks. People like anything funny- or not. Are you selling facial cream for a company? Try something like “Her Wrinkle Cream is Not a Prank.”

“12 Things Only People with Lots of Kids Understand”

This headline makes your customer feel smart because he or she is in on the advice. It also appeals to those who want to know more about something they lack. Switch out parents and kids for dog lovers and dogs. Dress up the phrase for writers and work or accountants and clients, etc.

“10 Pumpkin Spice Latte Hacks Every Coffee Lover Must Try”

Again, we want to know your secrets. What lies over there in the greener pastures of hidden hacks? Anything “hacks” shows off your trendy.

“The Weirdest Thing I Saw At My Conference”

The weirdest anything appeals to one’s inner weird. Could there be people weirder than you? Worst yet, maybe the stuff you do is consider weird?  Use the word to harness your targeted demographic with something the audience does or a trait it has.

“This Trick Could Save You Hundreds”

Because most people want to save money and aren’t doing so, show how your product or service will help Christmas to come early this year.

“New Craze Wipes Out Slow Computers”

What is this new craze that everyone else knows about, but I don’t? New crazes are manufactured everyday because phrases like this one bring the clicks.

“Everyone is Voting for” or “The Numbers Prove”

You’ve heard these lines from candidates and they work for products and services, too because basically few people check their facts. If you say it’s true, it must be. Tell the population this enough and it’ll become fact.  Of course, there are a few advertising rules you need to be mindful of and organizations like Truth in Advertising that will expose pathetic claims. The FTC says,

Under the law, claims in advertisements must be truthful, cannot be deceptive or unfair, and must be evidence-based. For some specialized products or services, additional rules may apply.

Eh, such a spoiler, but the industry needs rules. Get familiar with them.

What makes you click and why?

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Filed under Advertorial Writing, Audience, Capturing Audience, Email Campaigns, Introductions, Marketing, PPC, Queries & Articles, Search Engine Marketing, Speech Openers, Words Which Sell

How to Build a Content Marketing Strategy across Paid, Earned and Owned Media

To effectively market your content, you must have a strategy that includes the use of paid, earned and owned media. Bombarding your target audience with only paid advertising or relying solely on your owned media such as your website or social media to spread the word creates major blind spots in your overall marketing plan. It also leaves a lot of missed opportunities on the table where you could have reached a broader audience if you had spread your efforts out into all three types of media.Promotion Plan

Before you can sit down and build content marketing strategies using paid, earned and owned media, you must first understand the differences among the three. Let’s take a closer look at what each type of media brings to your marketing strategy.

Paid Media

Most obviously, you can purchase advertising through almost every social media platform. Facebook provides the ability to create highly-targeted ads that appear either in users’ newsfeeds or on the sidebar. You can also promote your tweets or buy clicks on StumbleUpon or Reddit. Carefully consider your target audience and the type of social media that they are most likely to use.

Aside from social media, you might choose to use Google AdWords to boost your SEO or pay for placement on another website or blog. Using all of these tactics can be quite costly to implement. Determine your budget for this piece of your marketing strategy and do you research on what form of paid media will give you the highest ROI.

Earned Media

Out of the three categories, earned media can be the trickiest piece to implement successfully. The simplest reason for this is because you are really not in control. You are asking for other people to share your content because they find it to be of value, but you are not paying them to do so.

Some options for earned media include submitting your content as a guest contributor to a blog or website that’s relevant to your target audience. You should also share the content multiple times and in various ways on social media (sites like StumbleUpon, Reddit, Linkedin and Pinterest are especially effective) encouraging readers to share with their networks. You can also attempt to spark discussion (and sharing) in Linkedin groups. You can also pitch your article to a blogger or professional writer who may be interested in featuring a review or op-ed piece of the article.

Owned Media

Finally and most obviously is promoting your content on the media that you already own and control. This includes your social media, email lists, website and blog to name just a few common assets. This is low hanging fruit that you should always take advantage of as part of your ongoing marketing strategy.

For example, if you publish an article, create a home for this content on your website and publish it on your blog. Then promote these links on your social media accounts (for Linkedin you may consider publishing the entire article on your profile as well). Finally, incorporate some of the content of this article into an email blast to your lists to offer valuable and relevant information tailored to what is likely to interest them. By consistently marketing your content across owned media, you will maximize its impact and fuel your website and social media with fresh, high-quality content that will increase your SEO.

Now that you have a better understanding of the different ways you can promote your content across paid, earned and owned media, now is the time to get started creating your own diverse strategy that uses a little bit of each. Most importantly, remember that even the best marketing strategy still needs high quality content in order to be successful. Provide valuable information and give your readers every opportunity to find it!

How have you build an effective media campaign including paid, earned and owned media? Share your experience by commenting below!

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Filed under Branding, Business Strategy, Marketing, Pinterest, PPC, Reddit, Sales, Search Engine Marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Social Media, Twitter

Maslow’s Hierarchy in your PPC Copy

By My Web WritersMaslow's Hierarchy of Needs

PPC (pay per click) campaigns are all about finding customers who are interested in the advertiser’s product, and then about enticing those people to click on the link, and finally to purchase the product or service offered.

Sounds simple, but the reality can be more complex. That’s why it’s helpful to find tools that will make the task easier. Using Maslow’s Hierarchy in your PPC copy is one way to increase the success of a website or ad campaign.

Maslow’s Hierarchy

What exactly is Maslow’s hierarchy? It’s a psychological theory proposed by AbrahamMaslow in 1943. The hierarchy is represented by a pyramid. Maslow suggested that people must meet needs at the base of the pyramid before they can worry about moving higher on the pyramid to meet the needs found there.

As one moves up the pyramid, the needs become less necessary for life, but focus on reaching ultimate fulfillment. The pyramid ranges from basic physiological needs at the base to self-actualization needs at the top.

 Using Maslow’s Hierarchy in PPC Campaigns

Just as Maslow’s hierarchy helps us make sense of human behavior, a similar hierarchy exists for PPC campaigns. At the base of the PPC pyramid might be the ad campaign account structure: the first step, before writing PPC copy is even begun, is to set up an ad account. What types of payment will be accepted? Is there a theme that can be mentioned consistently through the campaign? Account structure issues must be addressed before moving up the pyramid.

The next step up the pyramid for your PPC campaign might involve keywords. Keywords are a crucial consideration, since the keywords you choose will directly influence how many potential customers reach the copy you will be writing. You can use Google Adwords’ Keywords Tool to determine keywords that your potential customers may be searching for. Aim for finding keywords with many monthly searches, but with low competition. Don’t assume your keywords will never change; you’ll want to monitor them often and tweak them as needed to keep up the traffic to your site.

Continuing our journey up the pyramid, we reach landing pages. These are the pages that potential customers will reach when their keyword searches lead them to your site. Design your landing page carefully, and look at it from a potential customer’s eyes: does it answer the questions your customer may be asking? Is there a call to action to purchase the product or service you’re offering? Spend time creating landing pages that will entice those who arrive on them.

Finally, we reach the pyramid’s pinnacle: the ad copy itself. It may seem surprising that we’re only now discussing the actual PPC copy, but just as Maslow’s hierarchy suggests that humans can only achieve self-actualization after meeting all the needs beneath, your PPC campaign copy can only be as effective as all the pyramid levels beneath it.

Your PPC copy should utilize the keywords you identified earlier. A call to action – often, to make a purchase – should be evident. Talk to potential customers. What phrases would entice them to move from interest to buying? Incorporate these suggestions into your ad copy to turn readers into buyers.  ~Susan

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Five Money-Making Tips for your PPC Campaign

by My Web Writers

Pay-Per Click (PPC) advertising can be an effective way to launch your business or spread the word about a special promotion. As a marketer, you must specify the amount of money you’re willing to pay per click you receive on your ad to programs like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads who promote your message to their vast audience. Setting a budget is a critical aspect to successful PPC campaigns, but just as critical is setting up your campaign keywords and demographics. These five following tips are often overlooked in PPC marketing, but can have a profound impact on turning your ad into future customers:

Pay attention to keyword matching – There is a very important difference between the settings “specific keyword match” and “broad keyword match.” The broad match option will show your ad for your chosen keyword plus any additional words or phrases that your advertising program feels is relevant. While your ad will appear more often with this setting, it will also appear before an audience who may not be your key demographic or at all interested in your business. In short, this is a waste of time and money. Instead, set your options to specific keyword match or specific phrase match so that your ad is sure to run before the eyes of those you’re actually trying to target.

Don’t be afraid to use negative keywords – Many advertising programs will offer the option for you to specify keywords that you do not want included in any ad placements. This is your opportunity to separate your keywords from other related keywords that are not at all connected to your target audience. If you’re advertising a business development program, but it’s targeted to established business owners not students or entrepreneurs, use “student” and “entrepreneur” as negative keywords to avoid wasting your marketing budget on clicks from this audience.

Limit your scope – In many instances you’ll have a very small and well-defined audience who is your target and your best bet for future customers. Use all the tools that you’re advertising program offers to limit your ad’s scope to reflect this audience. In what region, state, city or zip code do they live? What’s their age, gender and income level? Mostly all of the demographics you compile for your target audience can be incorporated into your ad’s scope in some way. Even if your ad calls for a broader focus, spanning several countries, you can still tailor the scope of each ad to its appropriate audience be creating separate keywords for each country. Don’t let your keywords, or your advertising dollars, get lost in translation. The time you spend on developing fine-tuned keywords to hit your target demographics and narrow your scope is time well spent in the long run.

Limit your runtime – Just like demographics, you can also specify at what time and how often you’d like your ad to run. Think again about your target audience. When are they most likely surfing the web or active online? These should be the key times you schedule your ad to run. If you don’t specify your runtime and leave it up to the advertising program, your ad may end up filling vacant slots at odd hours where they receive no attention, or attention from the wrong viewers. In either case, you can save money (and make money) by choosing an appropriate runtime for your ad.

Link to appropriate landing page – This tip may seem elementary, but if you were to click on several random ads running on Google or Facebook right now, you may be surprised by the irrelevant pages you land on. Only in very rare cases should your ad link to the generic homepage of your web site. Whatever you’re advertising or promoting should be the specific page you’re viewers are brought to upon clicking. Make sure your content is up to date!  If viewers clicked on an ad for your new book, viewers should be able to purchase this book on the page they land on without any additional clicks. If it’s an ad for a special coupon at your restaurant, link to the page with the coupon on it. While it may be tempting to take viewers to your homepage in hopes they’ll click on other links, it’s far more likely they’ll simply click “close” when they don’t immediately find what the ad promoted.

PPC advertising has the potential to propel your business forward if used appropriately. By placing your time and emphasis on developing a well thought out list of keywords and a defined target audience, you will maximize your advertising dollars and increase your chances of turning each click into a new customer!  

~Stephanie

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