7 Key Metrics for Producing Highly Effective PPC Ads

“If you build it… you may still need Google AdWords.” – Regenald Chimhanda, Social media marketer and Digital Manager at Regewall Tec

No matter your niche, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can likely serve to provide your business with far-reaching gains.

If your brand seeks to drive increased traffic, downloads, conversions, or sales, PPC advertising should be on your radar as a profitable marketing tactic.

As the number of businesses investing their marketing dollars in paid search begins to reach critical mass, it is imperative that you understand how to properly dissect your paid adverts to maximize the gains your business can receive.

With the wealth of content online showing how to measure PPC success, it can be challenging to decipher which metrics are most impactful, and which are less relevant to your campaign’s interests.

To help you sift through the noise and develop the most profitable PPC campaign possible, here are 7 key metrics to producing highly effective paid adverts.

1. Impressions

Impressions indicate how many individuals have seen your advert. It helps to provide a measure on the search volume a given campaign or keyword receives.

This is vital for determining which keywords are prosperous and which are holding your campaign back.

For instance, if a term you are using only generated 10 impressions over the course of a month, you know that it is a dud. If you have a different keyword that garners 1,000 impressions a month, you will likely want to optimize your campaign around this phrase.

2. Cost Per Click (CPC)

Your cost-per-click, or CPC, is the average amount that your brand spends on a single click on its website. This data can be analyzed at an account level, but it will likely serve a greater purpose by viewing the CPC for various keywords.

A good benchmark for these metrics will greatly differ from industry to industry. For example, in 2017, the term “bail bonds” was one of the most expensive keywords, with an average CPC of roughly $58. Most terms you target will come in well below this, but be aware that your industry may have a sizable impact on pricing.

This metric will not only tell you how much it costs to gain a click to your site but also provides business owners with an estimated budget to reach specific goals.

3. Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

While your CTR is a vital metric to monitor, this one comes with a bit of baggage as it is found by leveraging two other metrics.

The first is clicks.

Clicks are essentially the entire goal of PPC advertising; to get folks to click on something you want them to see. Clicks indicate the number of people who clicked your ad and landed on your site or optimized landing page.

To get your CTR, take the number of clicks your campaign generated and divide that by the number of impressions received. Doing this will provide you with the number of people who saw your ad and clicked on it.

This number indicates the quality of your advert or targeted keywords. If you have a low CTR, it could be due to poor copy or irrelevant keywords. Conducting a bit of A/B testing can help you determine the underperforming element.

4. Conversions

Conversions are the outcome you aim for a user to take. Depending on the goals you have established in Google Analytics, this could be engendering a phone call, gaining a download, acquiring an email address, driving a sale, or any number of other objectives.

While this number is vital to monitor and measure as it indicates how many people are taking the desired action, it tells a much larger (and more informative) story when analyzing conversion rates.

5. Conversion Rate

Your conversion rate is the number of conversions your campaign received, divided by the number of clicks it generated. The outcome is the percentage of individuals who clicked on your ad and proceeded to convert.

This number indicates how well-optimized your campaign or landing page is. If folks are clicking through to your website, but quickly bouncing off, you might be targeting irrelevant keywords. If users land on your site, stay for a good while, and then leave, the next step(s) you want them to take may not be clear.

Look at where and when you are losing your potential customers as this will give you an indication of where your campaign could use a little TLC.

6. Cost-Per-Conversion

No matter your company’s definition of what a conversion is (based on your goal), this metric tells you how much it costs to gain each conversion.

To determine your cost-per-conversion, divide the number of conversions generated by your campaign by the amount of money spent.

While many consider this to be the single most important metric to monitor during a PPC campaign, there is one (depending on your goal) that will always trump all others.

7. Return on Investment

To determine your campaign’s actual return on investment (ROI), you need to be able to track a lead all the way from click to close. Additionally, you’ll want to measure the amount of revenue you earned per lead.

While this may sound complex and daunting, it’s rather simple in practice.

To track consumers through their entire journey, you will need a good customer relationship management system like Nimble or HubSpot. Many CRM systems like these integrate with nearly any PPC platform; this enables you to determine which campaign brought a customer to you.

To establish your campaign’s ROI, just compare the sales data to the amount spent.

No matter how you cut it, PPC advertising is a complex beast with lots of ins and outs. Running a prosperous campaign and improving your brand’s efforts moving forward requires a keen understanding of the most important metrics to monitor, how they work together, and lots of practice.

Start getting some PPC experience by crafting compelling ads, avoiding the most common PPC pitfalls, and continually aiming to improve each of the above metrics and you can become a PPC superstar in no time.

What is your biggest PPC challenge? Do you think there is an important metric that wasn’t mentioned here? Or let us help you to build one.

“Regenald Chimhanda”

5 Powerful Tips for SEO on a Budget

In my early days as a marketer, I used to dream about having an unlimited budget to implement all my ideas. OK, let me be honest: I still do that sometimes. I do it for my own digital marketing agency, Idunn, as well as for clients whose businesses I truly believe in.

But unlimited budgets are just that: a dream.

Even the biggest corporations in the world have a limited budget (albeit the limit is quite high).

So I snap out of it and work on coming up with the best strategies within the budget our clients or I have.

And you know what?

It’s actually quite rewarding!

I love looking back on how much we managed to achieve with so little. We work with a lot of bootstrapping startups, so we actually have a knack for making things work on a tight budget.

SEO on a budget is by far one of the most challenging and common issues of small and medium-sized companies. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

5 tips for excellent SEO results on a budget

Let’s take a look at how we can maximize optimization even with budget constraints.

1. Take a close look at your keyword strategy

I wrote a lot about choosing the right keywords here, but let me summarize this for you: try to go for keywords that are both easy to rank for and relevant to your business.

Here’s an example: it’s hard to rank for “hotel in Paris”, but you can rank for “hotel near the Eiffel tower” much easier. This comes with the added bonus of sending you qualified leads aka the people who are most likely to book your hotel.

Granted, you will get fewer visitors than if you rank for “best hotel in Paris”. But the strategy above won’t cost you an arm and a leg. And, after all, why should you care about the visitors who don’t turn into customers anyway?

2. Make sure all your information is correct

This is vital for local businesses, but also very important for any type of company. Make sure that your address, phone number, email address, contact person and ZIP code are identical on every platform you use, from Yelp to Facebook and your own website.

Make a Google My Business listing for an added bonus. This way, when people near you search for your products or services, Google will return your page as a result.

3. Write for humans

Yes, keywords are important. But not as important as keeping your readers engaged. If you take a look at the 17 factors that impact ranking, you will see that most of them speak about a great user experience.

Bounce rate, a source of traffic, time spent on page and many others indicate that an unnatural writing style will chase off your visitors.

This not 2010. Google bots now understand user intent. And, thanks to innovations like Regewall, the search has become more conversational.

A user is more likely to search “how do I make a chocolate cake from scratch” than “chocolate cake” today. That’s because they also know that the latter search may send them to a bakery shop. If users get specific, you have no reason not to.

4. Outsource SEO tasks

I know what you’re thinking: outsourcing means paying. And we’re on a tight budget, remember?

Of course, I do!

But the kind of writing that gets you on the good side of search engines isn’t embodied by 500-word blog posts anymore. You need to go long form and in-depth. This means tons of research and a lot of time spent putting together memorable and informative pieces of 1500+ words.

And time is money. If you get this done in-house, you are still paying an employee for it.

Most of the copywriting clients we work with say the same thing: it’s much cheaper to outsource to a reliable agency than to pay a full-time employee for it. Plus, it’s more easily scalable. When your budget runs out, you can pull the plug or limit your investment in content – without firing anyone.

5. Optimize and link everything

It’s quite common to have a superbly optimized blog post and forget about the smaller things. Meta descriptions, alt tags, image tags and more are equally important.

They tell Google bots that your content is relevant for the keyword you chose more clearly than an extra paragraph in your copy.

The same goes for links. If you’re on a budget and links from other domains are an issue, make sure you do a lot of inbound linking.

It’s perfectly free and incredibly powerful. Whenever you write a new blog post, link to some of your previous ones. Ideally, the anchor text should be the same as the keyword of the article in question.

This is how you signal to search engines that your article is relevant for a certain keyword. The more links to it, the better it’s ranking.

Conclusion

Great SEO is not something that happens overnight. It’s something that you have to work on continuously. Even if you had an unlimited budget, you’d still have to constantly add new texts and review your links.

The key here is being patient. It may take you a while to see tangible results, but they will come if your work is up to par.

“REGINALD CHIMHANDA”

How to Set Up Custom Intent Audiences in AdWords.

“Consumers are more curious, more demanding, and more impatient than ever. . . AdWords has been redesigned to help you reach these mobile-first consumers in faster and easier ways. Today, we’re introducing more innovations available only in the new experience. From promoting your latest offers to finding ways to grow your business, these products can help you save time and boost performance.”

Last summer, Google added an array of new features to the AdWords platform including a new interface that Google noted was, “. . . the most powerful change [they’ve] made to how advertisers visualize and manage their campaigns in over 15 years.”

Following such bold changes, Google introduced exciting new AdWords features like promotion extensions, and variations, new opportunities to meet business goals, and other AdWords amplification elements.

What has many excited, however, is the new custom intent audiences.

In mid-November Google announced a variety of new sales-driving AdWords components, including custom intent audiences. Custom intent audiences enable businesses to leverage the Google Display Network (GDN) to, “…make it easy for you to reach people who want to buy the specific products you offer–based on data from your campaigns, website and YouTube channel.”

Google explained the effects of the new audience option as followers:

“. . . If you’re a travel agency offering holiday getaways, Google could automatically create an audience of people shopping for “all-inclusive ski resorts” or “flights to Palm Springs.” We’ll then show you reach and performance estimates for each audience, so you can plan your campaign with precision.

The system works by employing machine learning technology to analyze a user’s current or previous AdWords efforts to produce a custom audience to target. The automatically generated audience is comprised of the most frequently surfed URLs and keywords for a given product or service search.

While this may sound like a wholly automated marketing solution, users do have some sovereignty over the process as custom intent audiences can be automatically created by Google, or users can take the topics and URL curation process into their own hands and create their own congregation to cater to.

Custom intent audiences give both novice and expert advertisers the tools to successfully expand beyond the bounds of Google Display Network’s canned audience groups. This gives business owners and advertisers the ability to utilize in-house data and information to reach consumers who are likely to find interest in the brand’s offerings.

No matter which option you feel more comfortable using, each presents the distinct potential for entering scads of new, prospective consumers into a business’s sales funnel.

Where to Find Custom Intent Audiences

Once you have navigated to the Display campaign portion of the interface, you can head to the audience page to see both types of custom intent audiences.

Start by creating or selecting an ad campaign to run. Next, select the “Targeting” button just below that. From here, you will be able to select “Intent;” this can be found sandwiched between the “Affinity” and “Remarketing” options.

Now you will be asked to choose between the automatically generated custom intent audience or to create your own.

Auto-Generated Custom Audiences

While crafting a custom audience is in the wheelhouse of some marketers, others might not feel so confident in the process.

For these folks, utilizing the automatically created audience is likely to be more their speed.

After selecting “Custom intent audiences: auto-created,” users will be presented with a myriad of possible audience options. Hovering over each of the audience labels brings up a small window with a description of where its contents came from and what it is comprised of, such as associated keywords and URLs from your account or related to a comparable product or service.

While this approach might feel overly minimalistic, the audience selections from the auto-generated portion produce extremely relevant prospects who are all very closely related. This is the defining feature of customer intent audiences, as opposed to the topic or placement-based options Display Network users have had up until this point.

Creating A Custom Audience

If you have opted to craft your own audience, after selecting the “Intent” option, click the blue “+” icon found near the words, “New Custom Intent Audience.” This will generate a popup where you will be asked to first name your audience.

After this, you can enter relevant keywords and URLs to devise a motif for targeting potential consumers through the GDN. With all your URLs and keywords in place, select “Create.”

You will then be taken back to the previous screen; here you can analyze your campaign’s estimated reach. Feel free to play with your audience criteria until you have generated a reach you find suitable.

This high level of audience detail and identification provides business owners with a much more refined method for reaching prospects and ensuring that their ad dollars go as far as possible.

Custom intent audiences (while quite useful) still fall short in the demographic and geographically oriented wealth of audience targeting options presented by social destinations like Facebook and Instagram. This does not mean that Google’s targeting features are not headed in the right direction, it’s just important to call out the limitations.

While Google still has some way to go until its audience targeting capabilities matches the leader’s in the advertising market, custom intent audiences are helping to produce new fruitful leads for organizations promoting their offers through the Display Network. Get familiar with this new feature now, as it can help your brand earn tons of new leads and sales.

Will your business opt to leverage custom intent audiences? If so, do you plan on creating your own, or will you let Google do the heavy lifting

“REGENALD CHIMHANDA”

6 Top Tools to Grow Your Small Business in 2018

 

For a small business, every penny, and every minute of its time, is important. This is where cloud based tools can level the playing field and ensure that work can be done smartly, accurately, quickly, and often, even automatically. As we prepare to enter 2018, let’s tell you about 6 must-have tools for your small business.

1. Tradify – Job Management Made ‘Smart’

Tradify provides an end-to-end service, including delivery tracking, managing, and invoicing, giving you complete control of your business via all kinds of devices. Real time job allocation and super smart scheduling functionalities make Tradify a must-have for any business with a workforce of technicians and knowledge workers.

Estimating and quoting for jobs and projects can be easily done via this cloud based tool. With tremendous applications in service markets such as plumbing, HVAC repairs, and construction, Tradify digitizes the most important components of the business – job allocation, scheduling, tracking, and billing.

With Tradify, you can track progress on every service and repair project by the minute and can connect with on-field technicians in real time. The tool is well integrated with accounting software like XERO and MYOB, which makes bookkeeping much easier for your business.

2. Groove – Transforming Email Into A Virtual Customer Service Help Desk

Bad customer service could pull down your business before you can even react. Use Groove instead of running the risk of letting the odd customer complaint or request go unattended.

Groove transforms your mailbox into your ticketing tool. Create service desk tickets right from your customer emails, assign them to agents, track progress, use ticket statuses for tracking, merge repeat tickets, see full customer support history, and do everything you can with a dedicated help desk tool. The best part – your email responses are automatically updated in ticket work-logs, which makes Groove a totally hassle- free and agile tool.

With Groove, you ensure that your knowledge base is accessible 24×7, even if you are not awake or available. Customers can quickly search for answers using Groove, and get their problems resolved without even getting an agent involved. Groove supports 12 languages and supports multimedia in its content creation interface. Groove also provides you a contact widget that can be leveraged to deliver quick support to customers.

3. Slack – The Next-Gen Way Of Team Communication and Collaboration

Slack is pretty much all you need to manage communications on any kind of project. It takes a novel approach to delivering advanced communication features, connecting people from different teams together with a very intuitive, classy, and easy to use interface.

Slack organizes communications across different channels, which makes it super organized for everyone to make sense of things, even with dozens of people involved, and dozens of projects running in parallel. In doing so, it creates a searchable archive where information can be found within seconds, letting people judiciously choose which meetings they want to attend, and which to skip (depending on Slack message search later on).

Slack puts your project collaboration efforts on super-charge mode by integrating with almost every office productivity app used these days. And, you can even use Slack’s API to set up complex workflows.

4. ClickMeeting

For anybody in the knowledge market, delivering content via webinars is a scalable and low-cost method of distribution. To monetize your business plan around it, however, you need a power-packed webinar software package, and that’s what ClickMeeting is.

This branded webinar delivery and management software is all you need to connect with audiences, and to train your employees on remote locations. You can quickly create branded invitations for your webinar sessions, host hassle free and interruption free webinars without investing in expensive equipment or software, and let audiences interact with you and share their questions and feedback.

ClickMeeting lets you record your webinars, which adds to your knowledge library. Webinar storage, attendee statistics and trends, branded thank you messages, performance rating, and social media sharing – ClickMeeting has it all. You can use the free version for a 30-day trial before purchasing it.

5. QuickBooks: Accounting and Billing Like The Big Boys Do

QuickBooks takes the hassle out of book keeping and billing for your business. Not only does it keep all your expenses organized at one place, but also delivers advanced analytics features to deliver complete financial management solutions. No wonders, 4.3 million plus customers use it already.

You can integrate your bank account with QuickBooks and let the software automatically import transactions and categorize them. Quickbooks Mobile is a great value-add; your employees (particularly the field personnel) can easily click snaps of receipts and store them using Quickbook Mobile.

Quickbook’s billing solution is impeccable; you can automate reminders to your customers (which can significantly improve your receivable collections). Then, you get access to all kinds of reports that help you get more insights into your billing practices to help you improve them.

6. HootSuite: Social Media Marketing Like A Pro

Social media marketing is a massive enabler for small businesses, provided you do it like the big boys of your market. HootSuite lets you do so. The best part – you can schedule social media posts (100s of them) across your social media accounts and can manage everything from a single dashboard within HootSuite.

Content creation can also be improved via HootSuite, as it lets your team upload content in your favorite cloud service, and lets you approve the content. Analytics make HootSuite a catalyst for your social media ROIs. It generates super quick, super accurate, and super easy-to-understand reports to help you understand social media conversions, separated across channels, and across paid and owned campaigns.

You can even use HootSuite as a basic social media monitoring tool, to find and filter social conversations with specific hashtags, brand mentions, and locations.

Take control of the essential business functions of your startup or small business with these tools, now!

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