Basic Search Advertising Part 1

Apologies, it’s been a while since our last post. It’s no excuse but we’ve been very busy recently, we’ll make sure we post at least every other week.

Anyway, we’re getting plenty of enquiries for our web marketing services, but equally, people just wish to know the basics of search advertising. I’m happy to help.

I’m usually discussing Google SEO issues or updates, but PPC advertising is a hot topic in Liverpool at the moment.

Firstly our advice would be to take the time to look at the help and training from all of the search engines, and read each search engine’s blog regularly for updates.

Find webinars, Google are running workshops in Liverpool, If the campaign isn’t working very well, you may get a call from a Google PPC manager

Remember that if you love data, you’ll love PPC.

  • The most successful PPC managers are highly analytical.
  • Microsoft Excel is your friend. You can have expensive tools, but it does a lot for you.

Progression

  • Start small
  • Test, measure, adjust, test it again
  • Expand on your successes

Pre-flight checklist for building campaign.

  • Good tracking software. At least install Google Analytics. You’ll need two pieces of code, from both Google Analytics and from Google AdWords. Might take some time to get this set up
  • You need to establish KPIs (Key performance Indicators)
  • Set Values (What is each action worth)
  • Establish baselines (The starting point)
  • Strategy (goals)
  • Money
  • Rules

Setting base values and goals

  • Conversion: This can mean many different things, work out what a conversion is for you
  • Absolutely required homework
  • What are your target goals?
  • What are the actions you value?
  • What Pound values can you set? You can even do something like value an email lead at 32p, as that’s the cost it saved you for a stamp.
  • It’s OK to guess. Use your gut if you’re not sure. You can always modify your assumptions.

Conversion funnels are a little complex at this stage.

Finding Keywords

  • Where?
  • Your site.
  • competitors (a quickly, is to view their page source)
  • trade literature (this maybe to industry focused)
  • vertical sites (other associated digital assets)
  • lots of other ways that i haven’t time to detail.

Brand names are typically best performers if you have a known brand. You can control the message this way, much better than in organic SEO. You’re taking up more real estate on the page.

  • Find “negative keywords” during this phrase as well. Use lots of negative words to filter out random impressions which hurt your quality score.
  • Start with “free” “cheap” and “naked”. Look in your referral logs to see what is bogus traffic.

How many?

  • If you have a low budget, don’t spread yourself too thinly across a billion “tail terms”. Start with just a few and get them working well then expand from there.
  • 80/20 rule. 20% of your keywords will drive 80% of your traffic (and budget!).

Next time we’ll discuss building the ads

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More Viral Marketing Tips

At Summit Online Marketing we want to give our readers tips, we know that some business don’t need to pay for SEO Packages, they just need a little helping hand. On that basis some information in a recent survey from Nielson shows that recommendations from consumers are most powerful. On the web, this translates into thousands of people.

As a Google SEO have a look at this frankly salient advice

Case Study – Starbucks announced closure of stores. Stock price dipped. At the same time there was a huge spike in the blogosphere regarding Starbucks.

More Stats. 7/10 Brits use the net for news. If your in that space, you have a huge opportunity. 97% of journalists go online to find stories on the web. 79% find stories on the news wires.

Budget – How many people have a viral marketing budget? Not too many. This is a definite issue.

Myth – Web and viral marketing costs a fortune. If you’re writing a white paper get an interview in the Times and other industry related magazines. This approach can take time, but their isn’t much cost involved.

Basic Elements – Free is really good, like a white paper, if you give away your expertise you will reap the rewards.

Make it easy for your content to spread and share

  • Make sure it scales easily from small to large. Don’t crash your server! Use Youtube to host your content if need be.
  • Social media takes advantage of common motivations and behaviours. People are generally social.
  • Utilise existing communication networks like the news wires such as PR Web. Can you put news or podcast or video on there. Take advantage of these resources.
  • The key is great quality content! There many different strategies. Great tip is adding an RSS feed.
  • To blog or not to blog? Need a strategy. Who is going to say it? How often? You really need a plan. Don’t start a “me too” blog.
  • Basic techniques: Forward to friend, bookmark features, etc. “Addthis.com” is a great tool to enable sharing.
  • Youtube – Setup your own branded channel – create simple videos that are fun and quirky. Tell your clients and friends. Optimise your channel. Link from your website. Get a Flip Video Camera!
  • Tubemogul is a free service that distributes your videos across the major channels. Can check the stats and pull reports.

Measuring success – Links – We know that links are gold for organic rankings. In our early days, we had a page on our website with lots of new free emoticons. From this we generated over 2,000 links within a couple of weeks

The best SEO advice is to make sure you have a plan to create the right connections.

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Adwords Quality Score Help Part 2

The second part of our series on Adwords quality score. Here at Summit we’re not all about getting the best search engine placement possible for a budget. We’d also like to inform our clients about the why and How around online marketing strategy.

You will now get as close to Google SEO level knowledge as possible today!

Talking specifically about Google. Their Quality Score permeates everything in the account about what it affects. Your bids. Your position. Your placement targeting. Ad rank.

So we will walk through how the Quality Score factors affect everything;

* Why is Quality Score important? It affects your ad rank, where your ad appears.
* Ad rank = keyword Quality Score x maximum CPC.

So often you don’t want to change your bids, you want to see if you can raise your Quality Score rather than your bids.

First Google determines your minimum bid. The minimum you can pay to have your ad shown. And if your bid is higher than the minimum then you can show on search, but if its lower you can’t show up in search but you can show up in content network.

Minimum bid is determined by:

* Historical click through rate on Google.com – not on the content network.

* Relevance of keywords.

* Landing page (goes into the minimum bid calculation).

* Other factors.

What to do;

* Don’t get caught up in other factors.

* So viewing minimum bids: you can see them right away. Take your minimum bids and export them into Excel so you can see them more clearly.

* Quality Score factors chart: look at particular factors as a reference when you start diagnosing issues.

* The higher your minimum bid, maybe you have a landing page problem. Start playing with them and see what’s working. Go into your Adwords accounts to see more information. Load time of your landing page and other factors.

* Account organisation is the number 1 factor to get a good jump in quality score. The more granular the campaigns, the more relevant everything will be.

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Domain Strategies for Search Engine Optimisation

You’re optimising your Web site. You’re working on building links to your Web site. The best SEO will ask you ‘are you paying attention to your domain name strategy?’ Yes, your domain name strategy.

Although you have one main domain name, every small business SEO knows it’s important to take a look at your domain strategy as a whole and check for things that may help — or hurt — your search engine rankings.

Redirect Domains to Main Web Site

If your main Web site is www.maindomain.com, then you’ll want to 301 permanent redirect all the domain names you own that aren’t in use to www.maindomain.com. There are several reasons for this, such as stopping mirror sites from appearing, making sure your main domain name gets credit for links to other domains you own, and making sure your main domain name gets the PageRank credit for links to other domain names you own.

This brings up another issue: the links pointing to other domain names. By doing some domain name research, you can find domain names that were previously on the same topic that might have traffic, backlinks, and PageRank. You can benefit by finding the right domains, buying the right domains, and redirecting them to your Web site with a 301 permanent redirect.

Choose the right domain name and you may benefit from better search engine rankings. If you were to find a domain name that was formerly on the same topic of your main Web site and you’re able to buy that domain name and redirect it, it could mean additional traffic and additional sales.

Depending on how the search engines deal with that domain name, it could mean getting credit for additional backlinks and more Google PageRank to your site. And, if your domain is new to the Internet, there could be benefits to gaining some quick “authority” through domain purchasing/redirecting.

No Guarantees

Buying domain names and redirecting them won’t necessarily bring more traffic, backlink credit, or Google PageRank to your main Web site. There are many factors that might prevent this.

Whenever you buy a domain name, you don’t know if traffic is already going to that domain name until you take ownership of it and point it to some place where you can look at the traffic (you could point it to your Web site, set up separate Web hosting for it, or use a domain parking service).

There are many factors that can influence whether you get backlink and PageRank credit, including whether the search engines give you that credit. Some search engines, such as Google, have been rumored to “zero out” PageRank and backlink credit when a domain name changes owner; they’ve also been rumored to “zero out” PageRank and backlink credit for other reasons, as well.

There are many checks you can perform before you buy a domain name, and that’s probably best covered in a separate Google SEO discussion. Those include going to the search engine and typing the domain name to see what comes up — and searching for it in quotes to research it. You can also look at the domain name in the Wayback Machine to see its history.

Domain Auctions

There are several ways to find domain names, including searching at the expired domain name auctions such as Go Daddy’s TDNAM.com auctions, Sedo auctions, and eBay. There are other domain auctions at NameJet, SnapNames, Pool.com, and TUCOWS Auctions. Most of these are covered all at FreshDrop.net, a domain research service that allows you to search those auctions for domain names. You can also sort the results using several helpful factors, including sorting by domain age, PageRank, and number of backlinks.

By doing some domain name research, you may be able to find domains you can buy that were on your site’s topic that might bring some additional traffic to your site. And backlinks and PageRank might just come along with that on the side, as well.

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