Posts Tagged ‘PPC Hero’
Time to stuff the ballot box again! MarketingSherpa is once again out to find the best marketing blogs across a range of categories, based on reader votes. The nominating “primaries” are over, and it’s time for the blog-reading public to select the winners.
So here’s my “voter guide” to the MarketingSherpa slate of candidates, but like any vote, it’s your call. Let you voice be heard! Vote for your favorites today.
Best Email Marketing Blog nominees
I’m partial to Janine Popick so I’d vote for the VerticalResponse blog. But as with every category and entrant here, there are no bad choices!
Best B2B Marketing Blog nominees
Um, Webbiquity, of course!
Best E-Commerce Blog nominees
Ooh, tough call—both really solid choices.
Best Inbound Blog nominees
Okay, now this just isn’t right; this is arguably the most difficult vote of the bunch. Both of these are outstanding inbound marketing blogs. HubSpot needs no introduction, and features remarkable bloggers like Laura Fitton, Peter Caputa and Rebecca Corliss.
Kuno is a real contender in this race though, featuring thought leaders like John McTigue, Chad Pollitt and Duce Knipper (okay, Duce isn’t really big on thought leadership, but he’s cool anyway). I like Kuno as the “underdog,” but wow, you’ve got to go with your gut on this one.
Best Copywriting Blog nominees
Lightning & the Lighting Bug—going with the underdog again.
Best PPC (pay-per-click advertising) Blog nominees
This is a question, seriously? No disrespect to the contenders, but PPC Hero is the standout choice here.
Best SEO (search engine optimization) Blog nominees
inBlurbs. This is a real David vs. Goliath matchup, and I’m pulling for David.
Best Marketing Strategy Blog nominees
No pick here, but no bad choice.
Best Social Media Marketing Blog nominees
I liked the VerticalResponse blog in the email marketing category above, but for social media? No question, the Blue Focus Marketing blog hands-down. Cheryl Burgess and Mark Burgess are a must-read for social media marketing and branding strategy.
Best Viral Marketing Blog nominees
I have to go with Jeff Bullas on this. He’s a perpetual font of knowledge.
Marketing Operations Blog nominees
Another tough pick; I’ll go with Chief Marketing Technologist as I gave the nod to inBlurbsfor best SEO blog above.
Best Design Blog nominees
Both very solid choices, but for website design, Smashing Magazine is really, really good.
Best Optimization Blog nominees
Flip a coin on this one, once again two excellent choices.
There you have it, my sample ballot. Just food for thought. Now go forth and do your patriotic blogging duty—vote for your favorites before the June 18 deadline!
Paid search sometimes gets a bad rap, as various studies have shown that (depending on whose numbers you believe), anywhere from 75% to 85% of all clicks are on organic, rather than paid, links.
That high-level analysis is misleading, however. Consider just one category of searches: students conducting research projects. Whether its a junior high, high school or college student, researching anything from the paintings of Pablo Picasso to the writings of William Shakespeare to the mating habits of zebras, the odds of such of search resulting on a paid ad click are virtually zero. That’s just one entire category of searches that should, rightfully, be removed from any relevant analysis.
The fact is, paid search is a vital component of any web presence optimization strategy because it enables advertising companies to:
- • appear prominently in search results for terms that would be difficult to rank for organically (e.g. competitor names or highly competitive search phrases);
- • control the precise message (their ad) that searchers will see in the search results;
- • guarantee exp0sure on page 1 of search results when buyers are late in their purchasing process;
- • specify exactly what page searchers will be linked to; and
- • direct searchers to landing pages that may be very difficult to optimize organically (e.g., pages with a conversion form and limited content).
The best approach is to use organic SEO and paid search (e.g., Google AdWords) in conjunction to maximize first-page-of-the-search-results exposure. With that said, how can you maximize the impact of paid search ads? Increase the click-through rate on paid search ads? Understand Google AdWords quality scores? Optimize landing pages for conversions?
Discover the answers to these questions and many more here in 17 of the best AdWords and SEM guides of the past year.
AdWords Guides, Tips & Tactics
The New Paid Search Ads On The Block by MediaPost Search Insider
Janel Landis Laravie highlights changes Google had made to give paid search results more prominence, among them Local, Product, Video, Phone and Sitelinks, and states that “If you still are not using these, you are missing out.” She describes in detail how sitelinks are used and how advertisers can take advantage of these features.
How to Write a Killer AdWords Ad by Treating It a Mini Landing Page by Search Engine Journal
Observing that “text ads follow structure of good landing pages. First, there is a headline. Then there are two lines of text (the copy). Finally there is call to action (the URL),” Paras Chopra discusses the attributes of an effective PPC ad and how to create one by optimizing each element of the ad.
2 Little Known Ways To Increasing CTR And Quality Score by Certified Knowledge
Noting that “the biggest factor that influences (quality score) is CTR,” Chris Thunder shows how to use day-parting and geo-targeting to gradually increase CTRs and quality scores by granularly excluding low-click-through hours and geographic locations.
Frequent best-of honoree Ron Jones notes that Google uses three primary factors—CTR, ad relevance (“relevance of the keyword or search query to the ad”) and landing page relevance and reputation—to assign quality score, and walks through a 5-step process, from creating carefully targeted ad groups to reducing landing page loading time, to help improve quality scores.
How Does the AdWords Auction Work? [Infographic] by The WordStream Blog
Elisa Gabbert illustrates “how exactly the AdWords auction works, including what gets entered into each ‘auction,’ how Google determines which ads are shown where, (and) how Google determines what advertisers pay” for search ads in this handy and helpful infographic.
How to Schedule Dayparting on Google AdWords by Search Engine Watch
Writing that “all businesses have specific time periods in which they are more profitable than others,” Howie Jacobson steps through the process of how to determine the most and least productive hours for any AdWords campaign, and details the process for excluding certain blocks of time each day. He also adds a helpful reminder to take time zones into account when day parting.
AdWords and PPC Guides from PPC Hero
Nowhere else in this best-of series does a single source gets its own section in a summary, but the team at PPC Hero so consistently produces notable PPC-related content that they have earned this distinction.
Jessica Cates steps through Google’s changes to its privacy and transparency requirements from AdWords advertisers. Essentially, Google requires that advertisers make it clear to landing page visitors how their personal information will be used, how to opt out of communications with the business, and a secure connection if any financial information will be transmitted.
The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords Quality Score
***** 5 STARS
This must-read-and-bookmark guide is designed to de-mystify the murky value that is the Google AdWords Quality Score, and to help PPC marketers “understand the different types of Google Quality Score, why they’re important, the misconceptions about Quality Score, and (provide) a checklist of actions you can take to help raise…Quality Score.”
For ADD-sufferers interested in this topic, Kayla Kurtz presents a highly-condensed version of the the guide above, focusing on a handful of quick tips to help improve your AdWords quality scores, in this less-than-two-minute video.
Bryan Watson analyzes the six keyword match types (broad, phrase, exact, negative, embedded, and modified broad) and explains how to properly use each type, e.g., “if your marketing campaign is targeted towards customers in the beginning phase of the buying cycle, broad match may be good to utilize in order to target people who are looking for your service, but aren’t entirely sure what to search for.”
For anyone who’s not entirely clear on what all the unique phrases and acronyms used within the AdWords realm mean exactly, Faseeh Shams has compiled a list with extensive definitions for terms ranging from quality score and CTR to search query reports and negative keywords–along with tips for improvement in each area.
Explaining that “I’ve found that literature pertaining to (Microsoft adCenter’s paid search interface) is sparse, so I intend to contribute to the lack thereof,” Dave Rosborough supplies an overview of how adCenter works and steps through the setup process.
Bryan Watson (again) goes through the process of writing effective PPC ads, starting with using keywords in ad titles, moving along to utilizing action words in ad copy (“Call Today, Get a Quote, Sign Up, Etc.”), and proceeding through continuously testing all elements of the ads.
General Search Engine Marketing Guides and Tips
The Backward Landing Page by ClickZ
***** 5 STARS
Brian Massey demonstrates how to design the perfect landing page, starting from a blank slate rather than treating the landing page as another page on your site, with all of the attendant design and navigational baggage. Priceless: writing that the clearest, simplest landing page would contain nothing more than a “Submit” button, Brian notes “Unfortunately, this page will only be effective if you’re selling to a very curious crowd or are selling dominatrix services, where to ‘Submit’ makes sense. For other markets, we’ll have to make the call to action more relevant.”
The Bid Management Recipe by Search Engine Watch
Alistair Dent explains what you’ll need to set up a system to optimize keyword bids in your paid search campaigns, and helpfully defines relevant terms like cost per conversion (CPC): “CPC = Average Order Value x CoS x Conversion Rate.” This works fine for relatively small PPC programs, but advertisers running large campaigns with thousands of keywords turn to bid management software to automate this process.
5 Reasons PPC Search Beats PPC Social by ClickZ
Kevin Lee warns paid search marketers to avoid “shiny object syndrome” in placing PPC ads, noting that while “social media advertising shows a lot of potential for brand advertisers looking for ways to influence demand and build awareness,” search still has indisputable direct response benefits such as harvesting demand and providing clear success metrics.
Done properly, search engine marketing (a.k.a. SEM, paid search, PPC) is a powerful complement to SEO and an effective tactic on its own. SEM enables enterprises to rank for specific search terms immediately (including terms for which it would difficult to rank organically), target traffic to specific landing pages, test everything (keywords, bid levels, ad copy, landing page design), and precisely quantify ROI based on sales or leads generated. Of course, done improperly, it can also be a tremendous waste of money.
How can you improve quality scores to get a higher ad position at a lower cost? How can test to increase conversion rates while reducing the cost per conversion? How can create dynamic landing pages, and are they worth the effort? Discover the answers to these questions and others here in seven noteworthy search engine marketing guides from the past year.
Three strategies for improving quality score, which results in high ad positions with low cost per click (CPC), such as creating small, tightly focused ad groups (“breaking down your campaigns and ad groups into smaller ad groups…allows you to write more relevant ads for a select number of keywords in your ad group. Google and Yahoo both say that by including your keywords in your ad title and descriptions will greatly help increase your quality scores”).
How to quadruple a conversion rate by Google Website Optimizer Blog
Trevor Claiborne shares lessons learned from the Voices.com search engine marketing campaign on optimizing conversion rates, among them: knowing your customers (“time and again, the greatest conversion rate increases I’ve seen have come from a better understanding of the customer”) and testing everything.
Andrew Goodman discusses the importance of testing ad copy and important considerations to keep in mind when doing so, like measuring both click-through rate (CTR) and cost per acquisition (CPA) when evaluating ad copy, and running tests long enough to generate valid data for decision making.
Dynamic Landing Pages by PPC Hero
Amy Hoffman explains why dynamic landing pages are helpful (“The more specific a landing page is, the more likely it is that the visitor will convert”), how to create one using either dynamic keyword insertion or IP targeting, and best practices to follow when using dynamic pages.
How to Double Your Conversion Rate in the Next 5 Minutes by KISSmetrics
Cameron Chapman offers a half-dozen tips for increasing your conversion rate by making your sign-up form more friendly, such as by removing unnecessary fields, making as many fields as practical optional to complete, and explaining why you’re collecting the information requested.
Lessons Learned from 21 Case Studies in Conversion Rate Optimization by The Daily SEO Blog
Paras Chopra uses several case studies to illustrate the role of design, headlines, copy, and calls-to-action in landing page and conversion rate optimization.
A half-dozen tips for “PPC housekeeping” to get you account shaped up for the coming year, including reviewing your negative keywords, segmenting your analytics by device (to determine, for example, if you get enough traffic from mobile devices to make it worthwhile to set up separate mobile campaigns) and replacing under-performing ads with new copy.
According to recent research from eConsultancy, “Paid search consumes the largest portion of online lead generation budgets, accounting for 28% of spending (in 2010), up from 22% in 2009.” In addition, more than half of companies that use paid search increased their budgets for it last year.
There’s no question that paid search delivers leads, and no question that AdWords is the big dog in the PPC world. Yet many marketers struggle to optimize this channel in the face of increasing competition, changes to Google results pages (e.g. Google Instant) and changes within AdWords itself. How can you use AdWords reports to fine-tune campaigns? How do the new keyword targeting options work? When should you use the AdWords Editor? How can you optimize campaigns using search funnels? Where do image ads fit in the mix? And most vexingly, how can you fix low Quality Scores?
Find the answers to those questions and more here in some of the best Google AdW0rds tips, tactics and techniques of the past year.
4 Ways to Leverage Adwords Search Query Reports by PPC Blog
Four ways to generate actionable data from Adwords Search Query Reports, such as finding new keywords from phrase variations and synonyms, and identifying negative keywords to add to campaigns.
Including Image Ads In Your Marketing Mix by PPC Hero
“Image ads (a.k.a. banner ads) are run on the content network, and they are a great way to add an additional variable to your ad testing, and reach your customers in a new way.” This post outlines several considerations to keep in mind when using image ads on Google’s content network, as well as step-by-step instructions for setting up image ads.
3 Rarely Used AdWords Settings You Should Be Aware Of by Daily SEO Tip
Eric Gesinski explains how to adjust keyword bids by time of day, set up a custom area within which to display ads for local campaigns, and rotate ads evenly for proper A/B testing.
New keyword targeting feature rolling out globally by Google Inside AdWords
Dan Friedman illustrates how the new modified broad match keyword targeting option works, complementing the original broad, phrase and exact match options in AdWords.
Google AdWords Quality Score Factors by PPC Blog
***** 5 Stars
An outstanding post detailing the factors that make up Google’s notorious Quality Score, the most important steps you can take to improve a low quality score, and which actions don’t really matter.
Uncovering Valuable Insights With Google’s Bid Simulator by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Comparing Google’s bid simulator to “a spreadsheet where marketers can test different scenarios to illustrate the real value between click and cost,” Jeff Licciardi explains how the bid simulator can be used to drill down to the revenue-per-click level and optimize bids to increase impressions, clicks and ROI.
5 Reasons Why We Love AdWords Editor by 1upDigital
The AdWords Editor, as Lucy White describes it, is “a free Google application that allows you to manage and update your Google AdWords campaigns offline, and then upload your changes to the online AdWords interface.” She details five reasons why this tool is helpful for managing large AdWords campaigns, among them the ability to find and replace, copy and paste, and make bulk changes (such as changing max cpc bids for a group of keywords).
Spotlight on AdWords Search Funnels – Part 1 by Google Conversion Room Blog
Noting that “The standard approach to conversion reporting traditionally focused on a customer’s last click on your ad. Search Funnels fills in the gaps on what happened before this last click!” Evelyn O’Keeffe steps through the benefits of and process of using AdWords Search Funnels to hone in on metrics such as assist clicks (clicks on one of your AdWords search ads that happened prior to a conversion) and assist impressions (unclicked ad impressions viewed prior to a conversion).
6 Steps To Raise Your Quality Score by PPC Hero
Amy Hoffman provides a helpful checklist of actions for improving quality score, such as using keywords in your ad copy and creating tightly themed ad groups.
If you sell professional services or consulting and the thought of having to sell makes you anxious, distressed, and uneasy, you’re not alone. You’ve actually got A LOT of company. And here’s a little secret: As a consultant, you already have many of the skills you need to succeed in sales—all you need to do is learn how to apply them to your selling efforts.
To teach you a better way to sell, the folks over at RainToday developed a new training program, Selling Consulting Services with RAIN Selling. Lessons start next week but enrollment for the program closes at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, January 28, 2011.
8 Ways to Optimize Your AdWords Campaign by Search Engine Journal
Larry Kim offers eight tips to improve the ROI from your AdWords campaigns, including using your prospects’ words, optimizing ad copy, and using long-tail keywords to get more conversions at a lower cost.
The New Google AdWords Feature You’re Not Using But Should Be by MediaPost Search Insider
Janet Driscoll Miller explains how the AdWords Call Metrics feature works, who can benefit from it, how to enable it, and how it “opens greater opportunity to effective, trackable mobile search advertising.”
Case Study: Improving Low Quality Score Accounts by PPC Hero
A practical, real-world case study that steps through four key areas for improving quality scores: tightly-focused ad groups, relevant landing pages, using keywords in ad copy, and taking advantage of all keyword match types.
Discover beautiful site designs inspired by nature, mind-blowing microsites, and beautiful icon sets. Find out how to make landing pages work harder and increase conversion rates. Learn which attributes to double-check before launching a new site, mortal web design sins to avoid, and how to create a custom 404 error page. Yes, you’ll see all of this and more here in the best website and landing page design tips and techniques of the last year.
Thesis Tutorial – Customizing the 404 Page by SugarRae
Rae Hoffman provides step-by-step instructions for creating a custom 404 error page in the WordPress Thesis template, and includes a link to 100 awesome and creative 404 error pages for inspiration.
15 Essential Checks Before Launching Your Website by Smashing Magazine
Lee Munroe offers a helpful to-do list before launching a new website, taking care of tasks such as optimizing titles and meta tags, proofreading, checking the site in different browsers, double-checking all links and installing analytics.
Must-have features your website is missing by iMedia Connection
Reid Carr recommends a succinct value proposition, the ability to compare your offerings with competitors, content-sharing capability, personalization and other features to make your website work harder.
149 Mortal Sins That Will Send Your Site to Web Design Hell by Web Pages That Suck
Vincent Flanders supplies an outstanding checklist to help avoid having a bad website, such as “Logo is not on the top of every page and clicking it doesn’t lead to the home page,” “Our site uses cheap clip art instead of high-quality web graphics” and “The content is not understandable by humans and is full of marketing-speak, or jargon, or unexplained acronyms.”
10 Great B-to-B Sites by BtoB Magazine
Karen J. Bannan give examples of 10 excellent b2b websites that meet the test of providing “visitors clear, concise product and company information, reflecting a company’s brand consistently and engaging users in a conversation—whether it’s about an industry trend or about how to take the next step toward a making a purchase.”
20 Incredible Illustrative Site Designs Inspired by Nature by Design Reviver
10 mind-blowing microsites by iMedia Connection
50 (fresh) Beautiful and High-quality Free Icon Sets by Dzine Blog
50 very cool icon sets for a variety of purposes from food and music to antiques and electronics.
Simple fixes for floundering websites by iMedia Connection
Linda Eskin advises businesses to “take a little time first to handle simple issues that make such a big difference to your customers” then provides six steps to “help you discover how your new site can better serve your customers, and therefore your business,” such as listening to your customers, getting your whole team involved and testing everything.
10 common but often overlooked tips for increasing land page conversions, including using minimal navigation, keeping important information above the fold, and keeping your contact form as short as possible.
5 ways to make your site’s contact form work harder by iMedia Connection
Noting that “forms are often the first step in creating the ever-elusive long-term relationship with potential customers,” Chris Lucas shares tips for making landing page contact forms as effective as possible.