Basic Search Advertising Part 2

Here at SEO Liverpool, we offer virtually all web marketing services. Having said that, I always seem to be discussing PPC with clients, and thought I’d go over some points and FAQ’s.

We all agree that it’s very important to understand all the steps if you’re starting you own SEO PPC campaigns. Here’s the second part of our post.

Building the Ads

  • Because CTR  (click through ration) affects your position , do NOT get lazy. Don’t use one ad for everything. You do need to put the effort into writing your ad, you want your quality score to be high.
  • Use keyword in title and/or description. Users follow scent trails.
  • Remember, you must pass an editorial review.
  • Choose appropriate landing page URLs (Usually NOT the home page) you may want to A/B Test.
  • Use dynamic keyword insertion – this is a little complicated to explain here, so check out tutorials on each site. The usage is different between engines.

NoteSearchers prefer uninterrupted logic. Make sure that the ad text and the landing page all talk about what the person is searching for.

Schedule

  • Don’t just set it and forget it.
  • Map out a calendar in terms of;
    • Campaign roll-out.
    • Reporting/analysis.
    • testing periods(s).
    • Other promotions (offline, online, trade shows, etc., like an editorial calendar).
    • Budget changes (e.g. overspend on Google during kickoff).
  • Schedule promotional and seasonal messaging.
  • Day-parting – time of the day – days of the week. If you are only open during the week, you may not want to advertise at the weekends.
  • Schedule quarterly ‘housecleaning’.

Budgeting

  • Daily budgeting technology isn’t perfect, so engines usually under-deliver or over-deliver. Set it for a little more than you want to spend, so the engines don’t under-deliver. So do look at your spend.
  • Put your high-traffic or high-pound words in their own campaign, with their own budget.
  • Start out with a bang, so you can lock in a high CTR which will help your quality score – then pull back
  • Google has different ways to manage budgets;
    • Conversion Optimiser.
    • Budget optimiser (most clicks for a defined budget).
    • Preferred cost bidding (set average CPC preferred).
    • Manual bidding (you control it).

Managing Bids

  • Bid management software can help.
    • Popular tools: search engines’ tools, Atlas, Keyword Bidmax, Omniture, SearchRev, Performics, Clickable, Adapt.
    • Note: “bidding rules” don’t work well on hybrid auctions.
    • Low volume keywords won’t have much data to optimise automatically against ROI or other projected values.
  • People are still required!
  • Paying too much? Improve your CTR and landing page.
  • Delete low performing keywords, or pause/isolate them so they don’t bring down the overall campaign. Don’t have pity, get rid of them if they don’t help you

My Final Thoughts

  • Don’t be afraid to start small and grow your success.
  • Build a risk portfolio for yourself – set aside some budget for experiments and branding. Be creative, try some things, see what you can figure out.
  • Reinvest a portion of  ‘profits’ back into the budget.
  • Leverage the engines for knowledge, but don’t believe everything they tell you.
  • Provide enough resources to support the campaign.
  • Strive for integrated strategy across all media.

Hope this helps

Did you like this? Share it:

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

Did you like this? Share it:

What do we need to think about when we hire an SEO?

SEO Liverpool have initiated pub-based discussions over the Christmas period with our SEO Manchester colleagues. A couple of days ago we got into the hiring in-house or SEO outsourcing services, and the competencies you should look out for. For example, when choosing an SEO, you might want to ask some questions like these:

* Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
* Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
* Do you offer any web marketing services to complement your organic search business?
* What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe?
* What’s your experience in my industry?
* How long have you been in business?

If you’re thinking about hiring an SEO, the earlier the better. A great time to hire is when you’re considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site.

Can’t remember anything else about that night!

Did you like this? Share it:

SEO Basics: What Is Link Popularity?

A recent SEO Manchester discussion on what is link popularity?

Link popularity measures the quality and quantity of links pointing to a web page. All the major engines use it, it’s considered an off-page factor and is also called “link juice” (most popular), “link pop”, “link reputation” or “link love”. Link Popularity Components

There are four main components that agencies involved offering web marketing services will openly discuss:

Link quantity: The number of links pointing to a web page.

Link quality: Quality is determined by the authority of the host sites and the sites linking to them. Quality flows from one site to the next through links. The most well known quality factor is PageRank. Page Rank is a link analysis algorithm used by Google to determine the quality factor of a page based on its inbound links.

Anchor Text: Query ranking indicator, it’s an endorsement of what’s to come. Anchor text is the clickable part of the link you see; hyperlinked keyword phrases provide additional “weight” and carry semantic value.

In a rare moment of algorithm clarity, Google states: anchor text influences the queries your site ranks for in the search results. And from Bing, an equally clear comment about anchor text: …”anchor text helps define the theme of a linked page…”. Anchor text continues to be one of, if not the strongest component of link popularity.

And last but not least the most important as stated by the top seo agencies…

Relevance: This establishes your topical/geographic neighborhood within the link graph. It is commonly accepted that links to and from topically related sites convey more authority.

For maximum algorithm influence, your linking goals should be to secure large numbers of links (quantity) from quality (PageRank) pages using keyword rich anchors (anchor text) on thematically related (relevance) authority sites/pages. I know, easier said than done right?

Yes, but definitely not impossible if you focus on using tactics that hit on each component. Right now, the best linking strategy to implement revolves around the use and promotion of content because the content influences each component of link popularity.

To rank well, build brand and drive targeted traffic, it all starts with understanding how link popularity works.

Did you like this? Share it:

B2B Paid Search Success Part 1

A successful online marketing strategy, paid search campaign is contingent upon three fundamentals: Keywords, Ad copy, and Landing pages. Together they equal success. Right?

Wrong.

The fact is, those fundamentals are only part of the equation. There is another key component entirely. Namely, Analytics. Or more specifically, tracking, and understanding the quality of a visitor. In fact, not only are these other elements fundamental, they also take on increased importance for the B2B set. Why? Because of the complexity of buying cycles for this market.

Let me explain.

When it comes to web seo and search, there are many similarities between marketing to consumers and marketing to businesses, such is the need to understand your audience and speak their language. However, when it comes to buying cycles, the similarities end.

In fact, B2B buying cycles are inherently complex. Consequently, marketers need to be mindful that prospects can be in very different phases within the buying cycle. And because it’s your job to put yourself in the prospect’s shoes and think about what they need, tracking and understanding the quality of a visitor can be instrumental in helping you do just that.

Tracking: why digging deep on keyword data matters

To be sure, tracking offers marketers a myriad of benefits, not the least of which is keyword data. It’s a rich source, and analysis of it can yield highly valuable information that is both immediately actionable, and has the potential to significantly impact campaign performance. It can also help marketers avoid shooting themselves in the foot.

For example, many web marketing services providers, hastily ditch keywords that appear to be non-performers. This is a mistake. Instead, they should take a closer look at their tracking data. Here’s why.

A few years ago, comScore conducted a study that quantified the number of searches leading up to a purchase, by category. For example, the research revealed that computer hardware buyers searched an average of 4.9 times before ultimately making a purchase.

The implication of this finding should be obvious. Just because a keyword doesn’t yield immediate conversions, doesn’t mean it’s not contributing. It could very well be highly effective at moving a prospect through a particular phase of the buying cycle.

To capitalise on this behavior, marketers need to leverage tracking to better understand their customers and prospects. The first step in doing so is to make sure you don’t discount the keywords with a sub-par conversion record. In fact, before you remove a keyword that isn’t producing conversions, or reduce a bid, thoroughly review the query reports that are available through the search engines and/or your search vendor.

Regularly reviewing these click chain reports will help you understand the searches your customers actually conducted, and that ultimately led to their executing the call to action. Then use this data – whether manually or with a bidding agent – ensure that certain keywords maintain their positioning regardless of their direct conversion value.

And as you review these reports, pay attention to your inclusion window. This is the time allocated for a click and the subsequent conversion event to happen in order for it to be considered a result of a particular paid click.

It is critical to appropriately set your inclusion window within your tracking solution, otherwise the learnings gleaned from the data will be faulty. For example, if someone types a keyword, and then sees your ad and clicks, but doesn’t immediately convert, and then comes back to the site 10 days later and converts, it would not count as a conversion against the originating paid search click unless your inclusion window was set to 10+ days.

Did you like this? Share it: