5 Mistakes Small Businesses Make While Spending on Google AdWords

AdWords can be one of the most powerful ways to instantly gain access to thousands of hyper-targeted customers. But at the same time, if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can become a black hole that eats up your marketing budget and leaves you with nothing to show for it.

The competition for achieving success with AdWords is becoming more challenging each year, as more businesses become aware of its potential and users learn to resist poor attempts at engaging them.

However, if you know how to implement an effective AdWords strategy, it won’t matter how many competitors are out there trying to do the same, and you’ll never have a shortage of fresh leads for your business.

But how can you achieve success with AdWords?

Well, most AdWords campaigns fail because businesses keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Avoid them, and you’ll be well on your way to separating yourself from the majority of AdWords users.

Read on and learn about five of the most costly mistakes that businesses make when running AdWords that prevent them from achieving long-term success.

Not Using Exact Match Keywords

Google AdWords offers its users a variety of ways for targeting keywords – most of them have used in specific situations, but if you’re just starting out, chances are you’ll only need one keyword targeting type for your ads, called exact match keywords.

Using this method, you will only target the exact keywords that you input, without any variations in word order or unrelated phrases that aren’t relevant to your offer.

Many people starting with AdWords make the mistake of setting up their ads with a broad match or phrase match keywords, and then the ads are shown to people who have no interest in what they have to offer.

Going for a Sale Immediately

In the beginning, it’s natural to feel hesitant about spending money on each click. Therefore many businesses end up compensating by being extra pushy with their sales message, which often causes more harm than good.

You see, although the obvious end goal of any campaign is to make a sale, sometimes the prospect, even if he’s a good fit and is interested in what you have to offer, just isn’t ready to buy immediately after clicking through to your site.

That’s why, in some instances, you may need to opt to capture the lead into your funnel instead of trying to sell him outright. If you’re able to collect his email address, you can educate the lead on your product, showcase your expertise, and guide him toward making a buying decision.

Not Knowing the Value of Each Lead

As you probably already know, AdWords can get quite expensive, so one of the worst mistakes you can make is not having a clear idea of how much each lead is worth to you.

Now, this may be hard to boil down to an exact science if you don’t have an extensive list of previous customers, but you need to at least figure out an estimate of how much you can expect, on average, from each lead that you convert into a customer.

Once you know a more specific number, you can then work out what conversion numbers you need to achieve at the average ad price to make the campaign profitable.

You should also make sure to include the customer lifetime value into the equation as well – many companies are willing to lose money when acquiring their customers through AdWords because they know they’ll make up the money on the back end.

Not Running Thorough Tests

AdWords can be expensive – you’re paying for every person that clicks to your site, and those clicks don’t come cheap, so you need to ensure that every part of your campaign is generating the best possible results.

It’s likely that at least in the beginning, your ads won’t be very profitable, and the only way to change that is to continuously tweak the ads by testing different options and seeing which one works better.

Almost all businesses that fail with AdWords don’t have good split testing practices and rely on intuition or their own judgment when making adjustments. However, the only way to gain an advantage over others and significantly reduce your cost per lead is to test everything out to find out for sure what works and what doesn’t.

If you don’t know how to split test your ad campaigns, you can always consult a digital marketing agency which can guide you through the entire process.

Spending Too Much

Finally, you need to remember that with AdWords, you will likely need some time to figure things out and start seeing great results.

Until you’re able to test out a few approaches and see what’s working, you might end up losing money on all the leads that you acquire.

That’s why you should be very cautious when setting your budget, at least at the start – until you have a proven winner that’s generating leads at an affordable cost, you should spend small amounts and run tests to try and improve the performance of your ads.

Even professional and experienced AdWords management services providers don’t dive into a new campaign with large ad budgets because they know that each situation is unique and requires testing before any assumptions about the preferences of the audience can be made.

Why Small Businesses Should Know About Paid Social Media Advertising

Today, there are over three billion active social media users. This implies that about 40 percent of the world’s population is actively using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, and other social platforms. The next implication is that your target audience is most likely among these users. And thus, to get their attention—and convert them into customers—it is imperative that you incorporate social media marketing into your small business strategies.

However, that can be easier said than done, especially if this is your maiden voyage in the realm of paid social media advertising. This article will discuss what paid social media advertising is, and why your small business needs it.

What is Paid Social Media Advertising?

This refers to paid ad content on social media platforms. You have come across examples of this before, such as that ad that comes before your YouTube video, an advertisement for shoes on Facebook, and so forth. However, it is not the same as Pay Per Click advertising (PPC). PPC marketing is different from paid social media advertising. In PPC you pay a search engine to display your ad when an internet user enters specific search keywords; whereas, in paid social media advertising, you pay the social media platform for displaying your ad. In PPC, your ad is displayed based on keywords, while in paid social media advertising, you can target a specific audience based on factors such as gender, age, marital status, and so forth.

Why Do Small Businesses Need to Paid Social Media Advertising?

A lot of businesses have set up social media accounts to connect with their customers, showcase promotions, and build their brands. There is no downside to this as there are no costs involved in setting up a social account and advertising your wares. However, all the free stuff comes at a cost; you will not reach as many people.

A survey done in 2016 revealed that organic reach for Facebook business pages had fallen by 52 percent. In other words, posts from business pages were seen half as regularly as the year before. Why? Facebook is now prioritizing content from the user’s friends and family in their newsfeeds over that of business pages. (Translation: As your customers scroll through their newsfeeds, they’ll first see posts from people they regularly interact with before they see yours—that is if they will ever see your posts.)

Facebook is hardly the only social platform prioritizing organic content. Photos and videos on Instagram appear on the user’s news feed based on how likely they are to engage with the poster, i.e., comment or heart. You can see this on YouTube where the platform only recommends videos that are similar to what you searched for.

The consequence is that even if you are creating content that is unique, compelling, and adds value to the user, it is becoming incredibly difficult to get the attention of users. This is the beauty of paid ads. Getting attention is a lot easier when you are paying for it.

Which Social Media Platform Should You Use?

When working on a budget, your choice of platform is essential because some channels are more expensive than others. For instance, a paid ad on Instagram costs more than a Facebook one. Nevertheless, you should consider your target demographic when choosing between the two.

Facebook, however, offers the most significant diversity as over three-quarters of adults online use the platform, in addition to being popular across all age groups.

When you are looking to target women, consider Pinterest as approximately 85% of all Pinterest users are ladies. It is also the ideal platform for highly visual products, as photos are their primary kind of content.

When it comes to Instagram, about a third of adults online use it. However, it is highly popular among 18 to 29-year-olds as close to 60% of them use it, as compared to only 8 percent of adults over 65 that use it. Instagram is good for visual brands as well.

Twitter is popular among mothers with kids under 18 and urban teenage girls. If your product fits this demographic, then Twitter is the platform for you.

LinkedIn is popular among college graduates and people earning over $75k a year. It is a good fit if you sell career-related products or sell professional services.

Paying for Ads

These social platforms allow you to budget for your ads based on your objectives:

Cost-per-click (CPC): This refers to the amount of money that you pay for every person that clicks on your ad. The ideal CPC will be determined by the ROI that you are aiming for. Nevertheless, the revenue-to-ad ratio that is most recommended is the five-to-one, where you receive $5 in revenue for every dollar that you use on advertising.

Cost-per-impression (CPM): This is the amount of money you pay every time your ad is viewed. The difference between CPM and CPC is that in CPM, the user does not have to click on your ad. As such, it does not necessarily lead to profits. It is, however, a good way of promoting your brand’s awareness as you will be paying for your ad to appear on people’s news feeds.

Measuring the Ads’ Performance

You must consistently check on your ads to see whether they realize their intended objectives. Therefore, after letting your ads run for a couple of days or a week, take the time to analyze their performance. The most common ad-performance metrics include:

Click-through-rate (CTR): The higher your CTR, the better. This performance indicator shows many people took action after seeing your advertisement.

Cost per Conversion (CPC): Converting your target audience is the ultimate goal of your campaign. Thus, CPC refers to the average cost of getting one individual to take the desired action.

Cost-per-acquisition (CPA): For instance, let’s say that the desired action was to get your target audience to book a free consultation with you. Among them, there are some that will eventually sign up for your paid service. CPA, therefore, refers to how much it cost you to get these new customers. By measuring your ads’ performance, you will tell whether your campaign is successful or not.

Paid social media advertising is an excellent way of reaching your target audience. Hopefully, you have begun to understand the ways you can incorporate paid social media advertising. By using this strategy, a small business can grow its brand much faster than using traditional marketing techniques.

When starting a new business, marketing will be a very important part of your company’s success. For more articles that will help you with your company’s marketing, check out our blog!

Three Common Pitfalls of AdWords Campaigns and How to Avoid Them

Three Common Pitfalls of AdWords Campaigns and How to Avoid Them

The AdWords program provides bloggers, businesses, and quite a few other individuals and organizations with the opportunity to reach interested clickers and viewers. For those who don’t know, AdWords refers to Google’s advertising options; clients can purchase ads based on the keywords that internet users search for on Google.

For instance, a Google search for “cheap hotels in Miami” will lead browsers to the highest-ranking websites—according to their search engine optimization (SEO) metrics, that is. Before that, companies, individuals, groups, and web platforms that advertise with AdWords will be displayed. Hotels in Miami will undoubtedly work hard to rank highly in the mentioned search, but an aggregator of the cheapest hotels in Miami could, with a bit of precision and focus, rank higher than those.

With all that said and for as beneficial and useful as AdWords advertising is, there are several deadly—in a financial sense, of course, but the description is hardly an exaggeration—AdWords mistakes that will ultimately render advertisers broke—and without conversions, clicks, and a dedicated collection of visitors. The worst part of all is that many people and groups don’t learn of these mistakes until it’s too late, and they’ve lost a substantial sum of money and a great deal of time.

To help these and other individuals get the biggest bang for their AdWords buck, let’s take a look at three deadly mistakes that should be avoided at all costs!

Vague Keywords

Bluntly stated, vague keywords are disastrous—financially and otherwise—for AdWords advertisers. It’s imperative that those who use AdWords carefully research the keyword(s) they link their website, products, and/or services to; additionally, those who aren’t sure how to do so should consult a hands-off AdWords management service. These management services are affordable, reliable, and sure to help clients receive as many high-quality conversions as possible for as little money as possible.

Vague keywords will attract an abundance of clickers—many of whom won’t have the faintest interest in the advertised content/items. These clickers include accidental visitors, those browsing the web leisurely, and others. Importantly, vague keywords attract visitors who aren’t likely to buy, subscribe, and/or follow. In this way, entire advertising budgets can be spent on individuals who have a small chance of producing tangible results on the website and/or platform at-hand.

Lacking or Nonexistent Limitations

Limitations are integral ingredients in the recipe for AdWords success. Without limitations and specifications, campaigns can become overly expensive and underwhelming in terms of results. Consider that sellers of women’s apparel can safely omit the vast majority of male internet users from their campaigns; including these individuals will effectively reduce the efficiency (and increase the expense of) a campaign. In the long run, this will lead to weaker results and greater costs.

Moreover, failing to establish a reasonable cost-per-click (CPC) limitation can encourage overspending. CPC refers to how much an advertiser is willing to spend on a click from the targeted audience; the more in-demand a keyword is, the higher its average CPC will be. And the higher its average CPC is, the more clients will need to pay to competitively rank their ads.

Automatic CPC pricing, which is the AdWords default, will result in advertisers automatically spending more than the overall average spent by other clients—even when they don’t need to! In short, establishing CPC limitations can help AdWords users to reach more clickers for less money. Establishing a conservative overall budget—that is, the total amount that can be spent on a campaign—is also advisable. This amount can be raised in the future, particularly after the campaign at-hand is tweaked for efficiency. $10,000 is a lot of money, but with billions upon billions of users utilizing Google, advertisers can blow through the budget in no time at all.

Unspecific Demographic Specifications

Lastly, lacking demographic specifications can negatively affect even the most (otherwise) carefully planned AdWords campaigns.

Advertisers have the opportunity to specify virtually every characteristic of the audience they’d like to reach. Age, gender, the device used to access the internet, the time of day one is browsing, and much much more can be specified—and it’s strongly recommended that advertisers take the time to specify these things. Even categories that don’t seem like a big deal can end up being significant.

In the past, many colleges didn’t bother to specify the time of day their target audience needed to be browsing the web; ultimately, as marketing and analytics developed, professionals realized that they were reaching most of their audience in the morning and early afternoon and that these clicks were coming from the same IP address; middle and high school students were compiling large lists of colleges as part of assignments! This wasn’t a complete waste of advertising revenue, but spending a lot of money to reach individuals who visit the website for a minute or so is hardly ideal, and the dilemma could have been avoided by setting PPC time parameters.

Hopefully, this information made clear just how much time and thought needs to be put into a successful AdWords campaign. The good news is that once this time and thought is administered, advert campaigns can reach a tremendous number of interested individuals

6 Google Ads Stats & Facts to Know in 2019

Google Ads Stats & Facts to Know in 2019

Google Ads (formerly AdWords) has come a long way since its launch in 2000. Back then, it started with 350 advertisers reaching thousands of searchers across the country.

As its 20th birthday (anniversary) approaches, many are asking what the future holds for this platform. The stats are encouraging for Google, as Google Ads continues to grow and add thousands of new advertisers each year.

According to Google, over 1 million advertisers use the platform to promote their products, services, and businesses.

Here are some interesting statistics and facts to help you learn more about Google Ads:

Has more prominence than Organic listings above the fold

The recent changes to the Google search results pages have made some significant changes to Ads. Google ads now have more prominence in the search results because of their positioning.

The top 4 positions are occupied by ad results for many business and transactional searches. So, Organic listings rank lower and this is one of the reasons why advertisers with top 4 positions are achieving higher click through rates (CTR).

In the past, the right section of the search results page was occupied by Google ads. And the main part of the page was dominated by Organic listings.

Now, ad results have more prominence than before. And if you have an ad position between 1.0 and 4.0, then your ads are likely to be at the top. However, it’s important to note that ad position doesn’t refer to the ranking of an ad relative to other ads. It doesn’t refer to the position of the ad on the page.

In fact, an ad could have the highest ad position at 1.0 but still, appear below the Organic listings at the bottom of the page. This is quite common with informational searches.

One sign that a search is informational is when information sites like Wikipedia appear on Page 1 of the search results.

So if you’re looking to increase sales or leads, you should steer clear of informational searches. Aim for transactional searches that include words like:

  • buy
  • purchase
  • download
  • free
  • expert

Also, with many competitors to contend with, you should aim to bid for higher positions. There are many benefits to appearing at the top of the ad results including higher click-throughs, more traffic, more sales, etc.

Has over 70% of search traffic (netmarketshare.com)

Google Ads’ market share trumps all other PPC advertising platforms. And Bing Ads is a distant second with about 15% of search traffic. So, it’s a no-brainer that Google Ads should be your primary search advertising platform, followed by Bing Ads and Yahoo.

Mobile traffic drives over 50% of searches (Google Benchmarks and Insights)

Mobile has continued to grow in importance and now currently drives over 50% of searches on Google. So as an advertiser you should have a mobile strategy to reach your audience.

This should include understanding the devices they use to search and also browse your website: tablets and smartphones. And your website should provide a great experience that increases stickiness and reduces bounce rates.

For example, aim to include the most important content and features above-the-fold. People on smartphones are busy and fickle and will not hang around to figure out what your website is all about. They will click the back button in no time.

Advertisers make $2 from every $1 they spend on Google Ads (Google Economic Impact Report)

That’s a 100% ROI and it’s difficult to replicate on other platforms. Because searchers are highly qualified on Google, many of them will be looking to complete an action like purchasing, downloading, subscribing and a host of other actions that could be relevant to your business.

So, you’re able to reach them with targeted ads as they search for your products or services.

Display ads reach 80% of global internet users (Google Benchmarks and Insights)

Google owns the worlds largest online network. And according to Google Insights, that reaches 80% of global internet users. This is a powerful network for any business looking for sales and to increase brand awareness.

As a Google Ads advertiser, you should launch display campaigns and target people on the Display Network with image, video and text ads.

15% of searches on Google each day are new to them (thinkwithgoogle.com)

This shows that Google continues to grow and more people are using search to find products and services. As an advertiser, that means about 15% of the searches you get each day is a good opportunity for your business.

However, it also means you should keep a close watch on your search terms report to ensure that all searches are targeted.

Summary

There are many other statistics and facts to look out for in 2019, that will help you set up and launch effective campaigns. Google continues to release new features and capabilities that help you create relevance for your audiences and you can view them here https://support.google.com/google-ads/announcements/9048695

Social Media Strategy: 7 Ways to Engage Your Customers

Many businesses turn to social media platforms because a lot of their customers spend their time scrolling the feed and talking with their friends.

However, there is one catch if you decide to use social media platforms to engage your customers.

Chances are that they are already engaged with something, and you will need to deliver something very interesting to grab their attention.

For this, you will need to devise a new social media strategy. If you don’t have experience in engaging people on social media, we are here to help you out.

Let’s see how to use online quiz software, quality content, and a lot of other things to engage your customers through a social media strategy.

Find Out What Your Customers Love

There are tons of posts on each of the popular social media platforms. What is important here is to note that not all of them drive the same amount of engagement.

Some posts sink down into oblivion, while others become trending to reach many people. The question to ask yourself is: “What does my audience love?”

Fortunately, you don’t have to look at the stars to find the answer. There is an analytic tool for each social media platform you can use.

For instance, if you are using Facebook, you can leverage Facebook Insights to not only find trending posts but also discover which particular one your customers are interested in.

You can also discover the most engaging content types for a specific period of time.

Deliver Exceptional Content

People are not interested in generic content. They don’t have the time to read boring columns of a text nor watch dull videos.

If you want to engage your customers, you have to deliver exceptional content. The better the content resonates with them, the more engagement you will achieve. How can you do this?

Your customers have hundreds of pain points, and your posts don’t have to revolve around your products and business exclusively.

You should research your customers and engage in social media listening to discover specific pain points.

Create content around these, and help your customers resolve them. Only introduce your products or services in the context of improving the quality of life of your customers.

Share Interesting Facts

Do you know that there are countless social media profiles with a huge follower base that only share interesting facts?

The fact is that people enjoy short posts that wow them. It takes only a couple of seconds to read them and they are fun and engaging. You shouldn’t start sharing every interesting fact that you stumble upon.

The trick is to keep it relevant to your customers and to your industry. Point out interesting trends in the industry, shopping practices, customer service, and support.

Make sure to share your own insights into these and your customers will repay the favor by following, liking, and commenting.

Incorporate “How-to” Posts in Your Schedule

One of the KPIs businesses tend to track to assess the engagement potential of their posts is social media share. It is generally a good sign if your posts generate a lot of shares.

The trick is to identify which posts generate most shares. If we are going to trust the research, there is one study showing that “how-to” posts drive most of the social shares.

In fact, they have 18% more chance to get shared.

This is why you should start writing high-quality how-to posts. Customers love hands-on advice coming from their brands. You can leverage this to strengthen the relationship and build more trust.

The most common choices are step-by-step guides and tutorials.

Share Interesting Quizzes with Online Quiz Software

Staying on top of the comments on your social media profiles can be a tricky thing to do. There is a lot of management to be done.

You can streamline a portion of it by sharing content that sends feedback to each one of your followers. Those are, of course, quizzes. Online quiz software is a convenient solution to help you with it.

You can use it to create an interesting personality or knowledge quizzes to engage your audience. Make sure to introduce quizzes with compelling headlines to drive more engagement.

Online exam creator can also help you gather valuable data from your followers and learn what they want, what engages them the most, and what they would like to see on your social media page.

Post FAQ Type Posts Once Every Week

Many people use social media to get informed. This is exactly why managers of political campaigns across the world invest heavily in social media marketing.

You can stay on top of your social media engagement game by dispersing information your customers want to find.

Whether you want to leverage social media listening or look for inspiration in their comments and posts, you will be able to identify more than enough questions troubling the minds of your customers.

Do this on a weekly basis and write elaborate FAQ posts to engage them and attract more followers.

Inspire your Customers with Positive Stories

You are probably aware of how much negativity is present in our everyday lives. Bad news is flooding the internet.

You can become a beacon of light in these times and offer something different to your customers – positive success stories.

If you post encouraging and inspiring stories with customers as your main focus, be sure that they will recognize it.

For inspiration, look at your customers, employees, or business victories. Feature one of these stories every once in a while to remind your customers about the bright side of life.

Who knows, maybe you will even manage to cheer someone up and make their day better.

To engage your customers on social media, you will have to discover what type of content and information they love.

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