Why Pay-Per-Click is the Perfect Advertising Tactic in Uncertain Financial Times
Mon, March 31, 2008
What do you need from advertising in times like these? Effectiveness, especially cost-effectivness, accountability and flexibility. Pay per click has all that.
The ability to tightly target your ads to consumer interest and intent ensures better return on ad spend, often with instantaneous responses from customers.
During the 2001 recession, online paid advertising increased 175% and 210% the next year.
Read more about pay per click during economic downturns here, and talk to your Fuel or Brandon account manager about getting into pay per click advertising.
Are You Googleable? Increase Your Findability
Thu, March 13, 2008
A friend mentioned she searched her name in Google- she'd done it before, but another woman had the exact same name, even middle name as her, so she was completely un-Google-able.
But now she said Google had figure out she existed as a separate person- she's finally Googleable.
I don't care if it's narcissistic, I've googled myself more times than I count. And I'm highly Googleable.
We were going to bet, but she doesn't bet, about whether this term was already in Google. I said it was. She said it wasn't.
We also differed on the spelling- I preferred Googlable, she preferred it with the extra E. Now that I've seen it written, I prefer Googleable. With the E. And there are almost three times as many pages in Google for Googleable with the extra E.
Anyhow, if you search for Brian Carter, I have about half the top 20 search results... partly because I do SEM for a living so I know what to do to be findable (my CEO said I should talk about findability if I wanted to be cool. I said I'm already cool), and partly because I've done a bunch of different things online- most of what I do in life is online- music, comedy, adwords, stupid youtube videos, etc.So I thought I'd write a blog for regular people about how to be more googleable.
SEO/PPC Success Measures and KPI's
Wed, March 12, 2008
When you get not just rankings for desired terms, but also traffic and business results. If you choose the right terms ahead of time, you're more likely to get those business results, but you have to monitor with analytics and modify your targets and tactics as you go. Specific keywords' rankings may go up and down from month to month, but an SEO campaign should be judged as a whole in terms of business results and overall trends.
How do you know when your PPC is a success?
PPC like SEO is a staged iterative effort. There are certain basics to start with like target keywords and budget parameters, but you also have to put conversion tracking in place on your most wanted responses (you do have MWR's don't you?), and have analytics like omniture or google analytics in place so you can measure results.
You start with a goal like "spend the budget on relevant keywords" and then later modify it to "find out what keywords and ads get the best results". As time goes on, you amplify what's working and eliminate what isn't. You spend more on high ROAS keywords and delete the ones that aren't working.
Success depends on what your goals are, and your goals will change as your PPC campaign matures. You can't run before you walk; you can't optimize for ROAS before you track conversions, and before that you have to get enough qualified traffic to get the stats that allow you to optimize.
What's the ideal PPC campaign like?
The ideal PPC campaign focuses on getting a specific MWR (most wanted response) from a target demographic. You manage a budget to spend getting clicks from target keywords, geography, time of day, and day of week. You conceive and test ads to elicit the MWR from your audience. You optimize to eliminate keywords, locations, times, and ad messages that do not elicit the MWR. You use quantifiable results (stats and metrics) to navigate a sea of semantic indicators (keywords). You optimize according to the best KPI (key performance indicator) you can get data for.
What's the best PPC KPI?
As described above, your success measures should change as your campaign matures. You may start with total ad spend (make sure you can spend it), CPC (cost per click- lower it as much as possible) and CTR (click through rate- increase it), but later move CPA (cost per action/acquisition) or ROAS (return on ad spend) and later to overall profit. Campaigns where the conversion goal is a lead utimately go by CPA, and campaigns that measure revenue results go by ROAS and profit.
What's the ideal PPC client like?
The ideal PPC client:
- Has a MWR,
- Has or develops specific landing pages,
- Cooperates to include conversion tracking and analytics,
- Suggests keywords and ad copy, even dictates branding keywords, but does not try to micro-manage the campaign,
- Lets us optimize according to their desired results and the data we see.
How long does it take to see SEO results, and what results can I expect?
Tue, March 11, 2008
With search engine marketing, there's a huge barrier in jargon, education, technical expertise, so it's easy to let it just be a big unknown.
I suspect the perspective of many SEO clients is "we know we need to do it, because we want high rankings, and we have no idea how to get them. You get them for us." And that's our job.
The Keywords You Target Can Make or Break Your Campaign
You want high rankings on which keywords? Every client has some keywords they want to rank for, but are those the keywords that get the most searches? Are those the keywords your best prospects are typing into the search engines? How do you know? Even we experts guess wrong frequently- we can find out what people are really searching for.
More importantly, how tough are those keywords to rank for? After all, if they're the best keywords, a lot of sites will be competing to rank in the top 5 or 10 results for them, right? So it takes a lot of effort.
How long will it take to get the rankings you want?
It depends on a lot of factors, including:
- The competitiveness of the keywords
- How many webpages you have
- How old your site is
- How many links you have to your homepage
- How many links you have to deeper pages
- The quality of those links, their age, and the relevance of the pages that link to you to the topic/keyword you're targeting
- How well optimized your pages are for the target keywords
- How quickly your webpages load
...and many others. There are literally dozens of ways to negatively impact your search rankings- some of them are done by webmasters with their choice of URL, some of them happen when you choose what words go in your navigational links, and so on. SEO touches every aspect of your website's design, functionality, and hosting.
As implied above, selection of keywords and a study of your competition comes first. It doesn't matter how hard you work on SEO if you work on the wrong keywords.
Here's how it can go wrong with bad keywords:
- You might rank #1 for your favorite keywords, but they won't bring you traffic if few people are searching for them
- The people that do come on those keywords might not give you your website's most wanted response
- You could chase after good rankings on a too-competitive keyword and get nowhere, wasting effort you might have spent on another searched-for keyword that was overlooked by the competition
- You might want to target a keyword that your site's content will never allow you to rank on
Let me expand on that last one with an example.
Being Unreasonably Ambitious in Keyword Choice
I'll bet Ford, Toyota, and Chevrolet would each love to rank in the top ten for the search "new car". But if you search Google for that keyword, you'll notice not one brand has succeeded at that. Is that because they haven't worked hard enough on SEO? Maybe. But it's more likely because Google wants to provide the best possible search results, and a searcher for "new car" has not yet chosen a brand. There are dozens of car brands, so it would be better to serve up search results for "new car" that deal with the entire topic of new cars. If you notice, the natural search results include Kelly Blue Book, Edmunds, and MSN and Yahoo's car subsites. This is Google giving the searcher the most appropriate results for their level of specificity. Now, if you search for "ford", or "new ford", you'd expect to see ford.com in the top five. And not Toyota, no matter how much somebody at Toyota wants to be #1 for it.
You can only rank for keywords your site deserves to rank for. You can't fake out the search engines anymore. A site about trucks will never rank highly for a search for "cars".
If you want to rank for "new cars", you need to create a site that covers the entire topic and is good enough for hundreds (thousands for a keyword like this) to link to. Then get those links. How much would it cost to compete here? How many pages and links do kbb.com and edmunds.com have?
How Pay Per Click Is Different From Traditional Media Spending
Fri, March 07, 2008
I came at this from the PPC side. Having done AdWords and Yahoo PPC freelance before joining up with an interactive agency, I didn't deal much with clients used to traditional ad spends. But clients with larger budgets seem more likely to have this orientation. It was a shocker and an adjustment. But it's better than clients with no budgets!
Here's the traditional assumption: we define exactly how much to spend each month for the next year, and we cannot change those amounts during the course of the year.
I understand businesses have budgets and planning ahead is essential. But the problem is you can miss opportunities you discover along the way.
Top 5 Reasons Not to do Post-Pay Billing AdWords in an Agency Setting
Fri, March 07, 2008
Ok, so I've never danced with a moose in heat, but I have it on good authority from Survivorman Les Stroud it's pretty darned dangerous.
So is postpay billing with AdWords. I know from experience. Here are my real top five reasons not to do it.
- Friday Fuel: Changes to Google+, Awesome 404 Pages, #NSD2013 & more! Fri, May 17, 2013
- Awesome Apps for Productivity Fri, May 10, 2013
- Friday Fuel: Diversify Guest Blogs, Maps Update, Paid YouTube, lrn2searchn00b & more! Fri, May 10, 2013
- 5 Things I Learned from the Big Leagues Mon, May 06, 2013
- Friday Fuel: Google Is At It Again & Microscopic Movies Fri, May 03, 2013
- Science Fiction and Technology: Preparing for the Future Wed, April 24, 2013
- Friday Fuel: Twitter is All The Rage; Dove Hits Another Home Run; Google Glass on eBay? Fri, April 19, 2013
- Social Media Overload Wed, April 17, 2013
- 5 Power Tools To Connect with Your Visitors Tue, April 16, 2013
- Adobe Summit 2013 Wrap-up Part 3: Analytics Rock Stars Tue, April 16, 2013
- Friday Fuel: ISP complaints, Facebook makes me angry, the second coming of Penguin & more! Fri, April 12, 2013
- Adobe Summit 2013 Wrap-up Part 2: Time-Saving Tips in SiteCatalyst Advanced Thu, April 11, 2013
- Google Glasses Are Arriving Soon Wed, April 10, 2013
- Adobe Summit 2013 Wrap-up Part 1: The Last Millisecond Tue, April 09, 2013
- Friday Fuel: Facebook Home, Google Shopping, Vadering and more Fri, April 05, 2013
- Forum Administration: Making A Successful Online Community Wed, April 03, 2013
- Google Releases Platypus to Target Poor Spelling And Grammar Mon, April 01, 2013
- Friday Fuel: Good Friday/ Thursday Fuel Edition Thu, March 28, 2013