Category Archives for "AdWords"

A Totally Foreign Way Of Getting More Leads From Your AdWords Campaign

It’s one of those AdWords settings you don’t think about much.

Languages.

For most of you reading this, if you’ve set up an AdWords campaign, you’ve just left that setting at “English” without giving it a second thought.

And, for the most part, that’s what you should do.

However, I have a client that recently used Language targeting in a creative way to get customers their competitors were missing out on in a highly competitive market.

We’ve done a great job optimizing his AdWords account over the last few years (though I am a bit biased there!) and, without a significant increase in budget, there’s not much room for improvement at this point.

However, his business is in a U.S. city with a decent size Spanish speaking population. So he set up a new Spanish language version of his website and we set up an AdWords campaign using Spanish language ads.

Before I give you the results of this campaign, here are a few quick tips for setting up a foreign language campaign in AdWords (I’m using Spanish as an example, but this applies to any other language):

1. The Language setting in AdWords asks you to select the languages your customers speak. Make sure you select BOTH Spanish and English as shown in the screenshot below.

 

The reason to do this is this setting targets users by the specific language setting they use on Google. What I’ve found is that a lot of people keep their language setting on the default of “English” yet they still type their searches in Spanish.

By selecting both Spanish and English, you’ll cover your bases and make sure your ads show up when someone types in a Spanish phrase no matter what their Google search settings are.

2. Converting English ads to Spanish can be a bit of a challenge because the Spanish translations are often much longer than the space allowed in an AdWords ad. You’ll need to work with a translator (or, as I did, rely on 4 years of high school Spanish) to tweak the ads enough so they’ll fit within the AdWords limits.

3. This should go without saying, but make sure you have someone on staff who actually speaks the language you’re targeting so you can actually help those who contact you through your foreign language ads!

The result?

  • The clickthrough rate is about 6 times higher than the English language campaign.
  • Th costs per click are about a half of those in the English language campaign.

Yes, the number of impressions and clicks are a fraction of what’s generated by the English language campaign but, for not much in ad spend, the Spanish language campaign is generating a solid ROI.

It’s often hard for small businesses to compete in highly competitive markets in AdWords. But that’s no reason to throw your hands in the air and give up.

You can out-think your competition and carve out small niches where you can win – just like we did here using Spanish language ads.

No, these Spanish language ads aren’t going to have a huge impact on the bottom line for this business. But they are generating an ROI and the client is getting a few new clients each month that he wouldn’t have had otherwise.

And, if you can exploit enough of these smaller niches (whether in AdWords or other forms of marketing), they can all add up to make a very significant impact on your business.

What is Google Remarketing and Why You Should Care More Now Than Ever

Imagine you run a bakery and a customer walks by your front window and stops and stares longingly at the goodies you have on display.

You watch them closely and can see the internal debate raging inside them about whether or not to walk in the door and buy something. After a minute, through a great display of willpower, they decide to move on without making a purchase.

But when they leave, you have a secret advertising weapon up your sleeve. You have special technology that flashes an image of that Bavarian Crème Pie they were drooling over on every billboard and bus stop poster they pass.

Gonna be hard for them to get that pie out of their mind, right?

Well, so far as I know, no technology like that exists in the “real world”. But online, you can accomplish the same effect through remarketing.

A remarketing campaign is run through Google AdWords.

Here’s How It Works…

When someone visits your website, they get a remarketing cookie placed on their computer. Then, when they leave your site, you can show ads to them that promote your products and services when they visit other sites around the web that display Google ads.

(Google has what’s known as the Display Network that allows websites from the New York Times down to someone’s small personal blog to display Google ads on them. These ads reach about 80{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of internet users. Remarketing ads are displayed through this network and can be text ads, image ads or video ads.)

Remarketing eliminates one of the big challenges with online marketing…mainly that most people will visit your website and leave without ever taking action.

Before remarketing, these visitors were lost and gone forever but with remarketing, you can create a campaign that keeps your company name and message in front of them to subtly (or not so subtly) remind them you’re still around.

And one of the coolest things about remarketing is you can target people who visit your site no matter what traffic source they come from. It could be from a PPC campaign, organic traffic, social media, or TV ads.

Doesn’t matter.

If they land on your site, you can reach them with remarketing.

Running Highly Targeted Remarketing Ads

And you can get pretty strategic about how you structure your remarketing campaigns.

Say you run a digital camera store. You can have a remarketing campaign that specifically targets people who visit Canon DSLR related pages on your site. The ads this group sees through remarketing could be for a coupon or special offer good toward the purchase of a Canon camera.

And you can have a separate remarketing campaign that does the same for those who visit Nikon DSLR related pages on your site, only offering a coupon for a Nikon camera.

You can also prevent certain groups of visitors from seeing your remarketing ads. Using the digital camera store example, you don’t want customers to see that coupon for a Canon DSLR after they’ve made a purchase. Remarketing lets you exclude those who have made a purchase so they won’t see your ads.

(Or, you could get really clever and start running ads promoting Canon lenses to people who bought a Canon camera from you.)

Until recently, remarketing required multiple codes (depending on your strategy) that you had to manually install on one or more pages of your site.

And It Just Got Even Better…

However, you can now run remarketing through your Google Analytics account. Doing it this way provides some intriguing advantages.

First, you just have to install one Google Analytics code on your site that can be used to control all your remarketing campaigns.

Second, and even cooler, is you can now use data from Google Analytics to get even more strategic about your remarketing campaigns.

For example, you can now decide to only show ads to people who visit certain pages on your site AND stay on those pages for more than 1 minute (indicating a higher level of interest compared to those who only spend a few seconds on your site).

In a recent article I wrote for the Daily Egg, How Remarketing Just Got Even More Remarkable, I outlined a number of different ways the Analytics–remarketing link can be used to help a website run a highly targeted remarketing campaign.

You want to make the most of the traffic you get to your website. And as PPC ads get more expensive, as the game is changing for SEO and other changes take hold over the online marketing landscape, that’s truer now than ever.

With remarketing, there’s no reason to let people who come to your site (indicating at least some level of interest in what you offer) to slip away without ever hearing from you again.

A Relatively Inexpensive Way to Boost Conversions

Because Display Network clicks tend to be relatively inexpensive and the traffic from remarketing ads is from “warm” prospects, I’ve found remarketing to be a very cost effective way to boost conversions for many of our clients. If you’re interested in giving remarketing a try or finding out more about it, contact us today.

Image courtesy of Mundoo

St Louis Meetup on Google AdWords

If you pay attention to what’s going on online, you know about the drastic changes that Google’s been up to lately…

The Panda and Penguin updates have been playing havoc with the organic search engine results.

Google Places has been replaced with Google+ Local.

Google Products is moving away from being free listings to all paid advertising.

And they’ve been some big, yet under-the-radar, changes to Google AdWords.

The full implications of all these changes, and more that are surely coming, have yet to be realized but one thing is certain…paid search on Google (which accounts for 97{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of Google’s revenue) is a big part of Google’s plans.

On September 13, I’m going to be speaking at the Where Is My Business Meetup run by St Louis SEO guru Will Hanke.

I’ll be talking about:

  • What AdWords is (there’s more to it than most people realize)
  • Why it’s becoming more relevant and more important by the day to everyone marketing online
  • How to use AdWords for so much more than simply driving traffic to your site (and how doing this can transform your entire business)
  • Common mistakes business owners make when running their own AdWords campaigns
  • How to make AdWords work, even if you’re on a tight budget
  • And, most importantly, I’ll be answering any and all questions you have about AdWords

There is a $10 fee to attend this Meetup and about half the spots have already been spoken for so if you’re interesting in going, head over to the Where Is My Business Meetup page and sign up today.

St Louis AdWords Expert Interviewed By Bestselling Author

A few months ago, I wrote about a book that literally changed my life forever.

It was the “Ultimate Guide To Google AdWords” by Perry Marshall and Bryan Todd, a bestselling book about Google AdWords that’s now in its 3rd Edition.

Recently, Bryan interviewed me about how the book changed my life and more.

In this 25 minute interview, you’ll learn:

  • How I initially discovered Google AdWords
  • Why I quickly realized AdWords is about much more than just driving traffic to a website
  • How even AdWords couldn’t save my previous business from the “Anti-Trifecta of Marketing”
  • My story about transitioning from running a small drug testing business to running AdWords campaigns for businesses
  • A few other key business and marketing lessons from both Bryan and me that apply to businesses whether they use AdWords or not
It’s a big honor for me to be interviewed by Bryan. Though I’ve never met him or Perry in person (though that will change next month), they’ve had a big impact on my career path…and not just because of the book. They put out a consistent stream of incredibly high-quality materials on AdWords, and marketing in general, that I’ve been able to use to help my clients grow their businesses as well as me grow mine.
There are very few people that I listen to in the world of online marketing these days but these guys have a well-earned spot at the top of that very short list.

 

Is PPC Optional Any Longer?

The assumption by experts (myself included) and laypeople alike is that when it comes to getting the most clicks on Google, the organic results is where most of the action is.

However, new research by Wordstream provides some interesting stats that cast some doubt on that assumption.

Here are the stats…

64.6{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of clicks for high commercial intent keywords are from Google ads vs. 35.4{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} from organic results.

The top organic listing gets just 8.9{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of the clicks, the top 3 ads on the page get 41.1{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of the clicks.

45.5{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of people couldn’t identify the search engine results page if there wasn’t a right column.

Wordstream is a very well respected firm though, to be fair, is very much focused on the PPC side of the equation. So, as with any research, you have to take the source into account.

There’s also some additional data that would be nice to see here such as the conversion rates of PPC traffic vs. organic traffic as well as getting some breakdowns by industry/niche.

That said, those are some pretty big numbers in favor of PPC being the place where most of the action is these days for “high commercial intent” keywords.

However accurate the data is or isn’t, there are two big things going on here that you need to factor into your online marketing strategy.

First is that Google, quite purposely, is shifting the focus of the search engine results to paid search and Google AdWords. Take a look at this screen shot I took for a search for local plumbers in St Louis. The areas is the red boxes are paid search.

Notice how, above the fold, only 4 local search results show up. And this is using a pretty good size monitor. People on laptops and iPads are going to see even fewer of the local or organic results.

Here’s another screen capture from a product search for the Canon Rebel t3i.

Again, look how much of the above the fold space is taken up by paid ads. Google recently transitioned Product Search to all paid results so if you sell products online, you pretty much have to use paid ads if you want to show up on page 1.

The second factor to keep in mind is something I’m constantly harping on (and will continue to do so!)…diversity.

Relying on just SEO, just PPC, just Facebook, etc. is a recipe for disaster.

It always has been (just ask those that have had an AdWords account banned or got slapped by the Panda or Penguin organic algorithm updates) and is only becoming more so.

If the data from Wordstream’s research is accurate, then paid search results are now getting about twice as many clicks as organic search results for high commercial intent keywords. Based on the screen shots above and seeing how the paid search dominates the above the fold results, it certainly seems like those numbers are quite plausible.

If you’ve been ignoring Google AdWords, I hope this research will encourage you to consider adding AdWords to the marketing mix for your business. Because these days, if you want to stake your claim to a spot on page 1 of Google, AdWords may be your best, if not only, option.

Are You Focused on the Most Important Metric in PPC?

Google AdWords logoRecently a local business owner reached out to me because he was stressed over the performance of his AdWords account. His clickthrough rate (CTR) had dropped by about 15{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e}, yet he was getting a lot more clicks and impressions.

He wasn’t sure if that was good or bad so he asked me what the most important metric in PPC is.

The answer to that partly depends on your goals. But in his case (and many cases) where the ultimate goal is sales, then my vote for the most important metric is Profit. (Or, on a more granular level, profit per impression.)

If you know that each impression you get in your campaign generates $0.05, $0.50 or $5.00, AdWords becomes your personal ATM machine. When you’re in a situation like this, you’re going to try to find as many targeted impressions as possible!

If you’re selling something directly online, it’s easy to calculate the sales your AdWords campaign generates because AdWords can do most of the calculations for you.

But it’s a bit more challenging for a local business because a lot of transactions happen offline. But with conversion tracking and a spreadsheet (or at least the back of an envelope!) you should be able to get a pretty good idea of how profitable your campaigns are.

To do this you’ll definitely want to track whatever on-site conversions you can like a contact form completion, request a quote form completion, or newsletter sign up, etc. And, offline, you’ll have to do some calculations about how many of these ultimately result in business.

But you’ll also want to set up call tracking. There’s some basic call tracking available within AdWords, but using a 3rd party service will give you much more valuable information. These services will generate unique phone numbers on your site based on the source of the traffic (AdWords, SEO, social media). The most comprehensive systems will even let you track things down to where you know which keywords are driving the most calls.

And these systems are probably not as expensive as you think. For example, call tracking company Century Interactive offers a pretty robust service for just $25 per month + $0.08 per minute for phone calls.

Once you have the data from call tracking and on-site conversions, you should be able to merge that with your AdWords data to get an idea of what your profit and profit per impression is.

For an offline business, you probably not be able to track these things down to the penny. But the closer you get to that number, the better you’ll be able to optimize your AdWords campaign and squeeze the most profit out of it.

Without conversion data you’re left to optimize based off of metrics like clicks and clickthrough rate. And while those are important, you can’t deposit them in your bank account.

AdWords Ban? Here’s Why There’s Still Hope For You!

Google AdWords logoFor a long time, getting an Adwords account ban meant the kiss of death from Google. When it happened there was really nothing you could do about it but cry your eyes out and then try to find a new source of traffic for your site.

Google was notorious for ignoring advertisers’ questions, pleas, etc. after a ban. Most of the time you couldn’t even get a straight answer from them about why your account got banned in the first place.

That gave Google and AdWords a bit of a bad rep. Here’s this big bad company that comes along and shuts down the accounts of small business owners for no good reason and, frankly, didn’t a give damn who was affected or whether the ban was warranted or not.

But things have changed and it’s important to give kudos where kudos are due. Google has improved dramatically when it comes to how they handle account bans.

I was recently brought in to consult with a local business whose AdWords account was banned by Google. The account and website had been managed by an outside marketing firm that was either ethically challenged and/or didn’t have a good understanding of Google’s advertising guidelines and policies.

That company is now out of the picture and I was brought in to try to clean up the mess.

I was curious to see what would happen if I used Google’s standard support phone number (as opposed to leveraging any special connections to try to fix the problem).

So I called the number, talked to a very pleasant Googler named Matt who looked into the issue for me. While he couldn’t give me a reason for the ban, he did elevate the issue to the Policy team at AdWords and told me he’d get back to me within 24 hours.

I didn’t hear from him so I called back and spoke to another very pleasant Googler named Kate. She looked into the issue and told me that, after my call to Matt and a review of the account, the Policy team had unsuspended the campaign and it was now live again.

I pressed her a bit to see what the exact issue was that led to the account being banned in the first place. Her answer was a little surprising to me…they didn’t access to the exact reason for the ban any longer.

Not sure I buy that one, but the end result was that, in less than 24 hours, the account was unsuspended and I have one VERY happy new client.

From what I hear in the AdWords community, this experience is becoming more common. Google seems more than willing to listen to reason and review accounts that have been suspended. I’ve heard it take anywhere from under 24 hours to 2-3 months, but as long as you have fixed the issue that got you banned in the first place, you have a chance of getting your account back in good standing (though if you’re an affiliate marketer, you chances of success are much lower).

While I wouldn’t suggest pushing the limits of Google’s ad policies, if you do somehow run afoul of Google and have your AdWords account suspended…

Don’t panic. Contact them. Find out what caused the suspension. Fix it. Resubmit your account for review.

And, hopefully, you’ll have as much success as I did in getting the account back in good standing.

Oh, and if you have hired, or are planning to hire, a company to manage your AdWords campaign for you, keep an on top of things to make sure nothing fishy is going on. It’s your business that’s on the line more than theirs.

Which of These Ads Would You Click On?

Check out this screenshot from the AdWords search results for the search phrase “house painters albuquerque”…

Sure seem to be a lot of “painting experts” in Albuquerque…which one would click on?!

All 3 of these companies have their AdWords campaigns and websites managed by the same big online Yellow Pages type firm that “specializes” in local business marketing. Clearly this firm just inserted their standard “house painter” ad copy into each campaign, added a phone number and website URL and they were done.

Your AdWords copy is your chance to stand out from the competition. Let people know what makes your business unique. Show them that you’re the company that’s best suited to address their needs/problems.

If your ad is virtually identical to the other ads running next to them, you have no chance of doing any of those things.

These business owners (who I can only assume haven’t checked out their ads) are missing out on a lot of leads to other AdWords advertisers who have ads that say something unique and compelling.

The real shame is that, after trying this for a while, the owners of these businesses are going to stop using AdWords because they think it doesn’t work. But chances are good that it would work quite well if they had a properly managed campaign.

If you’re running an AdWords campaign managed by another company (especially a big, national firm), take some time to do some searches on keywords your ads should pop up for.

Make sure your ads are popping up.

Make sure they’re not the same as the other ads their competing against.

And make sure the ad copy contains a benefit, offer, and/or call to action that gives people a reason to click on your ad instead of your competitors’ ads!

When managing AdWords campaigns, we spend a lot of time digging into a business to find the unique qualities that will make it stand out…even if we have to drag it out of the business owner! Whether you’re managing your own campaign or have another company managing it, do your reflect what truly makes you unique?

 

Google+ for Business Has Arrived

So Google launched Google+ for Business yesterday and, at the moment, I’m just not that excited about it. And, if I’m not excited about it as an online marketing professional, most of you

And that’s fine. Right now, I don’t think there’s much benefit to a business to signing up.

BUT (you knew that was coming), as I said when Google+ first launched for individuals, it’s not what it’s about right now, but what it will become. I don’t need to tell you what kind of reach Google has online. From the search engine to AdWords to Places to Android to the Chrome browser to YouTube to Gmail and more, millions interact with Google everyday.

It’s smartly tying all these components together with Plus that will make it worth your time and attention.

For now, just create a Plus page for your business, watch the promotional video below and wait. We’ll let you know when it’s time to take a closer look at Google+ for Business.