Category Archives for "Google AdWords"

Why It’s Now Worth Considering PPC on Bing

Without fail, it would ruin my day.

While my main focus with PPC (pay per click advertising) has always been Google AdWords, I’ve also managed some PPC campaigns through Microsoft’s adCenter (adCenter is Microsoft’s equivalent to Google AdWords where your ads run on both the Bing and Yahoo! search engines).

I hated those adCenter campaigns. Even making seemingly simple changes would result in lots of wasted hours, cursing and head banging for me.

This was mainly because the adCenter management interface didn’t work as well as AdWords, wasn’t as intuitive as AdWords, and didn’t have many of the helpful features/options that AdWords has.

Partly due to my frustration and partly due to adCenter not having nearly the traffic potential of an AdWords campaign, I never encouraged clients or prospects to take a serious look at using adCenter for their businesses.

Big Improvements in AdCenter

Things have changed though. I had to launch a few new campaigns in adCenter recently and was very pleasantly surprised by how smooth an experience it was. No head banging, no cursing, no wasted hours of work!

The user interface, experience and performance both online, and in their desktop tool, has improved dramatically. Plus Bing’s added a bunch of welcome features like Modified Broad Match, ad extensions, exact/phrase negative keywords that give you much more control over your campaign and help improve your results.

In fact, I’ve been so impressed that I started running a campaign to promote my own business!

While there are still improvements that can be made (as is the case with AdWords as well), I’ve started recommending adCenter to prospects and clients for the first time.

5 Other Reasons to Consider Adding adCenter to Your Marketing Mix

Besides the improvements to the user interface, here are 5 other reasons to consider adding adCenter to your marketing mix:

1. Cheaper clicks

The competition in adCenter is not as great as on Google so you’ll generally pay a lot less per click. I’ve seen situations where clicks costing $7+ on Google go for under $2 on adCenter.

2. Less competition

This is highly related to lower costs per click, but also gives you the chance to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond. Small companies may not have the budget to compete with the big spenders for their best keywords in AdWords, but they may be able to carve out a nice niche they can dominate in adCenter.

3. Variation

I’m constantly harping on the concept of having variety in your marketing mix. Relying on just one source of traffic for the majority of your leads is a dangerous game to play. Adding adCenter to your marketing mix gives you one more source of traffic/leads you can leverage to put your marketing on more secure footing.

4. 30{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} Share of Search

No question Google dominates the search engine world with 66{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of market share. But combine Bing and Yahoo! and they add up to just about 30{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of the market. When you consider that billions of searches are done each day, 30{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} is still a big number and is hard to ignore.

5. More desirable demographics

Depending on your target market, adCenter may let you reach a more desirable demographic group. In comparing Bing vs. Google users, Bing users tend to be older (35+, especially 55-64), are more likely to have children and tend to be less sophisticated from a technical standpoint.

I don’t think adCenter will ever catch up to AdWords in terms of reach or functionality, but they’ve certainly made some impressive strides recently. If you’ve got a limited PPC budget and/or want to enhance/supplement your PPC efforts over and above AdWords, it’s definitely worth adding adCenter to the mix.

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.

This Book Changed My Life

It was one of those seemingly random, insignificant events that happen every day in life. But, in this case, the effects still reverberate strongly for me every day.

This was 6 years ago. I was President of a drug testing company that had been struggling.

I’d been going to networking events, speaking in front of groups of prospects and even cold calling (just typing that makes me shudder!). We had a little bit of success with direct mail sales letters I’d written, but things were really slow.

A few people had mentioned Google AdWords to me, but I hadn’t paid much attention to it. And I’d heard of this guy Perry Marshall who’d written a new book on Adwords. I’d been planning to pick it up at Amazon, but hadn’t gotten around to it yet.

After leaving yet another sales meeting that didn’t result in any business, I had about an hour before I had to pick up my daughter from school. So I stopped at Borders and started browsing through the business books.

There on the shelf was the Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords by Perry Marshall and Bryan Todd. I picked it up, plopped down on the couch and the rest of the world melted away. Before I knew it, I was 50 pages in and was late to get my daughter from school.

I bought the book there on the spot (which was a big deal because the cheapskate in me wanted to save $4.59 and buy it on Amazon instead) and devoured the rest of it that night.

The book changed the direction of my life forever.

After reading it I set up a Google AdWords campaign for the drug testing business. By using AdWords for market research, I was very quickly and inexpensively able test out a hunch I had about a potential new market for the business. In less than a month that market turned into our most productive source of leads and sales.

Ultimately, it wasn’t enough. The business had three big strikes against it…

  1. It was selling prevention (the hardest thing to sell)
  2. It was selling a unique technology that required people to change the way they thought about drug testing (and people don’t like change)
  3. It was dealing with an issue, drug testing, that most people would rather stick their heads in the sand and ignore

That realization, along with discovering how much more fun it is generating leads on the Internet with AdWords than trying to chase down drug users, led to me leaving the company and starting Words That Click 5 years ago this week.

And it was the simple act of picking up Perry and Bryan’s book that started me on this whole wonderful adventure.

Last week, the 3rd Edition of the Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords hit Amazon’s virtual shelves and I’ve already picked up my copy. It’s been updated and has new chapters on key topics like Remarketing, Local Marketing, Reviews and “Dealing With the Dark Side of Google.”

Whether you’re a newbie or experienced with AdWords, I’d strongly recommend picking it up at Amazon today. It’s only $16 and, you never know…it just might change your life.

The Difference Between Making $6K and $25 Million

Cubic Zirconium ringWhat separates the big winners in the business/marketing world from everyone else? This story from marketing legend Jay Abraham illustrates the difference perfectly…

It’s the story of two friends of his. One was a great tactical thinker who was an incredibly gifted copywriter. The other was a serviceable copywriter, but more of a strategic thinker who kept his eyes on the Big Picture.

The tactician went into the cubic zirconium business. He wrote an amazing ad that ran in the LA Times. The ad cost $30K and because he was such a talented copywriter, it was a big success and he ended up pocketing about $6K on the deal. It’s important to note here that he shipped his stones to customers in plain packaging with no enclosures.

The strategist also started a cubic zirconium business. He also wrote an ad that ran in the LA Times at a cost of $30K. Though, not being as strong a copywriter, his ad didn’t pull as well. He lost about $2K on the initial orders the ad generated.

But he was a strategic thinker. So when he fulfilled the orders, he shipped the stones in a fancy velvet jeweler’s bag inside a simulated wooden box.

He also included a letter and a brochure in the package.

The letter went something like this…

“Thank you for investing in our diamond. When you open your package and take out your 1 carat stone, 2 things will be evident. The first is that it’s more fiery brilliant than you were expecting. And, second, it’s going to look smaller than you were expecting. But it’s not because we cheated you, it’s because our stones have more density and are a higher quality than most.

When our clients see how magnificent their stone is, the vast majority want to order larger ones. And then when they get them, they have another problem…they want to get the stones set but jewelers charge an arm and a leg to do this.

So as a courtesy to our valued clients, we’ve put aside some of our exquisite 5, 10, and 15 carat stones,  set them in necklaces, rings, etc. and priced them at approximately half of what the average jeweler would charge for the same settings.

Because we’re sorry for any inconvenience, we’re happy to let you trade in the stone you just purchased and get double credit toward any other stone you want to buy from us.”

Remember the tactical thinker made about $6K? The strategic thinker lost $2K on his initial ad…

but 15 months later had made $25 Million.

That’s the difference between tactical thinking and strategic thinking.

I see the stark difference between the two all the time online. Especially when it comes to building and managing AdWords campaigns.

I’ve reviewed plenty of campaigns set up and managed by people who have a strong technical understanding of AdWords. But these campaigns fall well short of what they could be because they take the same approach as the tactical thinker in Jay Abraham’s story.

They may be great at AdWords but there’s no focus on the Big Picture…it’s all about the immediate return.

Those who take the more strategic approach to managing AdWords campaigns produce a bigger pay off in the long run.

  • Because they’re not just focused on the profit from the first sale, but on building the lifetime value of the customer.
  • Because they use the data from the campaign to determine the most successful ads and use that to improve the results in the business’ other marketing efforts.
  • Because they use keyword data to strategically focus their SEO efforts on the keywords they know are going to produce for them instead of taking wild guesses based on incomplete (and often inaccurate) keyword data.
  • Because they use AdWords as a way to build a highly interested list of prospects that can be marketed to via email, direct mail and other channels over the long haul.

Strategic thinking vs. tactical thinking. What’s driving your marketing efforts?

Image courtesy of fuzzyblue

Chaos on Google and the 1 Word That’s Key To Your Survival

If a Google algorithm change makes the Wall Street Journal, you know it’s a big deal.

Google’s been on a tear lately. And what they’re up to affects businesses just like yours that rely on Google traffic for lead generation (or want to).

Let’s talk about what’s going on, the 2 big reasons why it’s going on and, most importantly, what you need to do to protect your business.

Beware the Penguin

The algorithm Google uses to determine where sites rank in the organic search results is always changing. Recently, however, the changes are coming faster and furiouser (if that’s not a word, it should be!) than ever.

The biggest of the changes, dubbed the Penguin Update, has especially been a whopper.

The WSJ’s article about Penguin focused on small business owners who’ve been affected by it (mostly for the worse). One of the owners saw sales fall from $68K to $25K in just one month. Unfortunately, stories like this are not uncommon in the wake of Penguin.

Over the past year or so Google’s algorithm changes have been focused on three main areas:

  1. Penalizing low quality sites that have unoriginal, spammy content and/or have lots of ads on them.
  2. Increasing the importance of “social signals” (ie. sharing and mentions of websites in social media) in determining how a site ranks
  3. Penalizing sites that have been “over-optimized” (ie. Google thinks the site owners have been trying to artificially boost their rankings). This is largely what the Penguin update is all about.

What’s Google Really Up To?

There are two things (which are closely linked) I believe to be at the heart of these changes.

One, Google is trying very hard to compete with (become?) Facebook. By integrating social signals (led by their Google+ social platform) into the search algorithm, they seem to be trying to turn into a social media company instead of keeping the focus on what they’ve always done really well…search. Time will tell whether that’s a smart move or not.

Second is money. The Penguin update has been a doozy. There’s pandemonium in the search engine results now. Business owners who’ve relied on their top Google rankings to pay the mortgage suddenly find their income has dried up overnight and they’re understandably panicking.

It’d be one thing if this change has improved the search engine results on Google. However, it’s not clear that’s the case.

Lots of post-Penguin searches are pulling up spammy sites that have no place on Page 1 of Google. At the same time, there have been established sites with lots of authoritative, unique, quality content that have been torpedoed.

It’s chaos.

There’s more uncertainty and volatility in the organic search results right now then I’ve ever seen. And that uncertainty and volatility serves Google very well.

Why?

Because it makes their paid advertising programs (which accounted for 96{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of their $39.7 Billion in revenue last year) a lot more appealing.

If you’ve been living the high life at the top of Page 1 of Google’s organic search results and your site suddenly disappears, where’s the first place you turn?

For a lot of people that’s going to be AdWords, Google’s paid advertising program. (Though, as we’ll get to in a minute, there’s plenty of other options.)

Not only that, but with social signals playing a larger role in the rankings, more people will have to pay attention to Google+ which Google’s pushing like crazy.

I don’t fault Google for any of this. They’re a public company, accountable to shareholders, and it’s their job to get people to use their services and, ultimately, make money.

And while I feel bad for those who’ve been negatively affected by the recent changes, they knew the risks involved with Search Engine Optimization (or at least they should have).

SEO has always been an ever-changing game and never had any guarantees.  No one knows when or how Google will change things next week, next month or next year. The only guarantee is things will change. Those changes will help some business owners and hurt others.

(By the way, this is not a knock against SEO which remains a very viable and very important online marketing strategy…you just have to be smarter about it these days.)

The bigger point is if your leads mostly come from just SEO or just PPC or just Facebook or any other form of lead generation, you’re playing with fire. One algorithm change, policy change, cost increase, etc. and that could be it for your business.

The One Word That’s Key to Your Survival Online

The lesson here is you have to protect yourself and your business. And the way to do that comes down to just one word…DIVERSITY.

This means getting traffic from a lot of different sources which could include:

PPC, SEO, Local Search, Bing, Yahoo!, Email Marketing, Blogging, Display advertising, Direct Mail (yes, I’m mainly an online marketing guy but direct mail, done right, does work!), Social Media (including YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook), Video Marketing, Article Marketing

And that’s just a starter list of broad categories. Even within each of the above there’s no shortage of options available.

The strongest businesses get leads from a variety of sources. Sure, if you have strong 1st page rankings on Google and your site suddenly takes a nose dive because of an algorithm change, that’s gonna hurt. But if you’re diversified, that drop won’t be the difference between making payroll or not.

And, by the way, diversity is also the key to successful SEO.

Getting backlinks (these are links from other websites to yours and are the single most important factor that determines how well your site ranks) from a variety of different sources has always been important. One thing that’s clear from the Penguin update is having variation in the anchor text of your backlinks is also very important.

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Quick Mini-Lesson: Anchor text is the actual text you click on a web page that takes you to another web page or website. It’s usually blue text and is often underlined. The words used for anchor text matter because they help tell the search engines what the page the anchor text links to is about. “Click Here” is horrible anchor text for SEO purposes because it doesn’t provide any useful description. However, if you want to rank well for the term “flowers st louis” then having backlinks from other sites that point to yours with the anchor text “flowers st louis” can help you rank better for that term. However, with the Penguin update, having one keyword make up too high a percentage of your anchor text will likely hurt your rankings. So, again, diversity is key.

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While my site hasn’t taken a hit because of Penguin, watching these changes and others unfold has been a big wake up call.

  • It’s part of the reason why I started a newsletter and am blogging again.
  • It’s part of the reason why I’m having more conversations with clients and prospects about paid advertising on LinkedIn and Facebook and Bing.
  • It’s part of the reason I’m working with clients more closely on the messaging on their sites in order to boost conversions so they make the most of the traffic they’re getting.

If you’ve been relying on one source of traffic for lead generation, I challenge you to add just one more source to the mix over the next 14 days. It’s not that hard to do and will put your business on more solid footing no matter what changes Google has in store for us!

Not sure what sources of traffic make the most sense for your business? Sign up for our 30 minute Post-Penguin consultation where we’ll analyze your business and traffic sources and come up with a game plan for adding more sources of traffic to help you Google-proof your business.

The New York Giants Guide to Executing a Successful Marketing Campaign

The Super Bowl Champs are back on the field. Last week the New York Giants, and the other 31 NFL teams, strapped on their helmets for the first official round of workouts for the 2012 season.

And each team took to the field knowing exactly what their goal is…hoisting the Vince Lombardi trophy at next year’s Super Bowl.

Having a goal like that puts these teams at a big advantage over most businesses. Because everyone in every NFL organization knows exactly what they’re working toward each season.

Most businesses don’t. Especially when it comes to their marketing campaigns.

Sure, there may be vague goal-ish type targets in place…”more sales”, “improved website”, “increased ROI” but you can’t measure that stuff.

When I set up a Google AdWords campaign, the first thing I want to understand are what the campaign goals are.

And the more specific the better…

  • Generating more phone calls is fine, but increasing inbound phone calls by 20 calls a month is better.
  • Getting more people to download a Special Report is okay, but increasing the conversion rate of the report download form on your site by 50{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} within 90 days gives us something real to shoot for.
  • Increasing sales is the objective for everyone in business, but increasing web sales by 25{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} while decreasing the campaign budget by 10{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} in 6 months is much stronger.

A specific metric achieved by a specific date.

When you have those two things in place, then you have something real to shoot for. And having that specific goal simplifies things. Because every keyword, every landing page adjustment, every word of ad copy all have to earn their spot on the roster. If they can prove they’re helping the AdWords campaign reach its goal, they stay. If not, they’re gone.

When you run a campaign that way, you’re not constantly spinning around in the hamster wheel trying to reach fuzzy objectives. You’re laser focused on what you’re trying to achieve and when you want to achieve it by. That gives a huge boost to your chances of success.

And even if you don’t reach the goal you laid out, you’re still going to get better results than taking a shotgun approach.

(Non)Excessive Celebration

This is another area where entrepreneurs fall short of their NFL counterparts…the celebration. What happens in most companies if they hit their marketing goal (or overall business goal)?

Not much.

Contrast that to what fast growing St. Louis marketing firm goBrandgo did last year. They had a goal of $1 million in revenue. If they hit it, the owners were going to take the whole company on a trip to Mexico. That’s the way to celebrate when you hit your goals!

Now I don’t know if they hit the $1 Million mark or not, but I do know that everyone in that company was laser focused on what they were working toward and what the reward for winning was.

We entrepreneurs are a very hard working bunch and don’t usually stop to celebrate our successes…big or small. So, even if you’re a solopreneur, I challenge you to take a page out of the goBrandgo playbook and make sure you not only plan what your goals are, but how you’re going to celebrate when you achieve them.

So with that I leave you with just one question…

What’s your Super Bowl?

The Only Way to Find Truly Accurate Local Keyword Data

When it comes to finding local keyword data, there are a lot of ways you can go about finding the best ones for your business. But there is only one source you can turn to get accurate, reliable data about what local keywords people are typing into Google and how many (if any) are typing them in each month.

In this video, we reveal what that source is and share a real world example of how powerful getting this accurate data can be.

 

I Really Want to Recommend Google AdWords Express, But…

The other week I posted an article with some words of warning about Google AdWords Express.

I really want to be able to recommend it to small business owners. Truly I do.

Google AdWords is a great marketing tool and having an easy, efficient and effective way to use it would be a huge help for many small local businesses.

Since writing that last article, however, my view of Adwords Editor has not gotten any better. Two reasons why…

1. A very pushy Google AdWords Express rep called a client of mine. The rep had my client on the phone for a long time and, despite the client telling the rep he was already using AdWords, the rep persisted. More to get him off the phone than anything, my client relented and signed up for Express.

But here’s what really got me about this situation…

AdWords Express targets searchers in your local area. 99.5{a950ddf0e7a23367a7e0f17377d3737fa8b8b1820bab9af7071f88951eb5d84e} of my client’s customers come from outside his local area so spending money advertising on a local level does him little good.

Google’s pushing this service really hard, but, unfortunately, at least some of the reps are just looking for the sale and don’t even take the time to see if Express can actually help a local business get clients or not.

2. Take a look at this screen capture…

These are the results of a Google search I did for the term “drug crime lawyer” (and, in case you’re wondering, this was for research purposes for a client NOT because of any drug crime I committed!).

Notice that last result on the bottom right with the blue pushpin looking icon next to it? That’s a Google AdWords Express ad…and it’s for a bankruptcy lawyer.

Yet the AdWords Express algorithm is showing this ad for a search related to drug crime lawyers. Not the best targeting there!

And, unfortunately, there’s nothing this lawyer can do about it because, unlike with “regular” AdWords, in AdWords Express you can’t go in and tell Google not to show your ads when certain words show up in the search query a user types into Google.

I do have faith in Google and believe(hope!) that this algorithm will improve over time.

Until then, I can’t recommend Google AdWords Express for the small local business owner.