How To Double Your Ad Budget

Todays post is packed full of actionable items.  Grab a coffee and pull up a chair, and let’s jump right in!

I’ve written before about the importance of advertising goals, so I won’t dwell on them again too much, suffice it to say, every ad campaign you run should have a specific goal you can measure its performance against.

This activity is most often referred to as conversion tracking.  In the simplest terms a conversion can be thought of as a sale, but can also be more abstract, such as a website visitor, PDF download, or even calling a number from (yes you can even track calls on a number from a specific ad campaign….).

OK, so it’s pretty obvious how important conversion tracking is to ALL advertisers.  If you don’t know what your ads are doing, how do you know you’re not wasting your money?  So the next few stats might come as a surprise to you.

  1. Research conducted across 2,000 google advertisers last year revealed that 42% weren’t tracking what their ads were doing at all. The (so if your know what your ads are doing, you’re already ahead of 40% of your competitors)
     
  2. Worse still, of the remaining 58% that had conversion tracking, more than 50% had broken or faulty tracking on their campaigns (might want to quickly check if the pat on the back you just gave yourself was justified)
     
  3. Of the remaining ads with tracking that worked, less than 40% of ads reported a single conversion. (Yes that’s right, 60% of their ad spend was wasted)

Now the 3 steps needed to double your ad budget? 

  1. First you need to go on a quick journey.  Click on your ads and follow the path they lead you down.  Then review the conversion tracking to make sure it’s all working as it should.
    (this should be all accessible in your google analytics).  
     
  2. Next you need to review your campaigns for the last 180 days.  Stop running the ads which show low or no conversions. (on average this will be 60%+ of your spend over the last 6 months)
     
  3. Take that spare (more than double) advertising budget and apply it to the ad campaigns that have shown conversions over the same 180 day period (most campaigns are capped by budget rather than results)

So in summary…..

At the very least this email will have confirmed you deserve an A+ for conversion tracking! 

Hopefully for everyone else, I’ve helped you identify a big fat saving which you can now apply to the ads which are working.  Not only does this mean you stop wasting money, it means you can actually increase the return youre getting from your good campaigns  That’s much more than just doubling your ad budget.  Its doubling your profitable ad budget!

As always if you’d like to discuss any of your PPC or Email marketing campaigns over a Zoom call, you can book some time with us via the following link.

3 Facebook Ad Ideas to Get Your Content Seen by Your ‘Perfect’ Audience

You have countless ways to promote your content online, but one of the most effective is Facebook ads.

With over 1.8 billion daily active users, you can almost guarantee your audience is there. You just need to learn how to get your content in front of them.

Given a Facebook post’s organic reach is in the single digits, your time is best spent making the advertising side work for your content.

In this guide, I detail three of my most effective ways to promote content using Facebook advertising (without ever touching that boost button.)

1. Create a “content bucket” campaign to reach new fans

Many content creators are focused on more. They want more fans, more readers/listeners/viewers. With that in mind, focus first on growing your audience by reaching people who are unfamiliar with your brand or your brand’s content – but who would be interested in your topic.

My “content bucket” campaign idea works so you don’t have to spend too much time creating big Facebook campaigns for every piece of content you publish.

The concept is simple: You create one campaign. Every time you publish a new piece of content, add it to that campaign.

Let me walk through how to set this up: Head into your Facebook ads manager and click on “create new campaign.”

Pick an objective based on the content. If it’s a Facebook video, pick video views. If it’s a blog, podcast, YouTube video, or other non-Facebook content, select traffic. – Read more

#FacebookAds 

How to Submit a Sitemap to Google

There are a few important tasks you’ll need to complete if you want Google to crawl and rank your website. 

One of those tasks is creating and submitting your sitemap to Google. Submitting a sitemap directly helps Google’s crawl bots index your site, understand your website’s relevance, and determine your site’s ranking.

In this guide, we’ll share how to submit your sitemap to Google and some sitemap best practices.

What is a Sitemap?

Sitemaps detail the structure and webpages of your site in a format Google’s bots can understand. You can use your sitemap to indicate content hubs and internal links between pages.

A sitemap guides the crawl bots through your site, showing them the most important pages. Remember, you want Google’s bots to crawl your site, so the search engine understands which search terms your website is most relevant for. 

Sitemap Types

There are 2 common sitemap formats: 

  • XML: Only search engine bots can read this format. 
  • HTML: Bots and users can both browse these sitemaps. 

XML sitemaps indicate the most important pages on your website to Google and can tell the search engine when your website has been updated. 

Regularly updating your website’s content with dynamic content like blog posts or a customer testimonial page can help boost your ranking. Updated content signals to Google that your website may be useful and relevant. 

Gary Illyes, Chief of Sunshine and Happiness at Google, confirmed again in 2019 that XML sitemaps are the second most important source of URLs for Google’s bots after previously discovered hyperlinks.

HTML sitemaps are made available on the website via a webpage. They often appear as a collection of links to important pages on your site. They’ll helpful for attributing PageRank throughout your website, as they link to pages with fewer internal links. 

Check out our guides to XML SItemaps and HTML sitemaps for an in-depth look at each format. – Read more

Why and How You Should Use Google Ads for Your SEO Campaign

Running an SEO campaign is a significant investment of time and resources. There are a lot of on-site factors that you have to get right. It’s a lot of work, and you can never be 100% sure if it was worth the investment until your content is ranking on the front page of the search results.

This guide will discuss how you can utilize Google Ads to test a page before you embark on a costly long-term SEO campaign. Read on to learn more about Google Ads and how to take advantage of the platform to support your next SEO campaign.

1. Test the potential SEO ROI

When you run an SEO campaign, you have a goal in mind. Generally, the goal of getting a piece of content or a page to rank in the search results is one of the following:

  1. Customer Acquisition: directly sell a product or service to visitors.
  2. Lead Acquisition: generate a lead onto an owned marketing channel. For example, grow your email list.
  3. Brand Awareness: make potential customers aware of your product/services.

Most companies will run an SEO campaign based on the assumption that ranking for a particular keyword will help them achieve one of these goals. Running a Google Ads campaign allows you to gather data relatively cheaply to test those first two goals.

Through a PPC campaign, you can test how your page converts visitors into sales. You can check the conversion rate onto your email list easily as well.

The data you collect from a PPC campaign will not perfectly reflect what you’ll see from having a piece of content ranking on the first page of Google. The conversion rates will likely differ, and the volume of clicks you receive will not be the same. However, you can gain plenty of valuable insights that can help you decide if it’s worth running a campaign focused on certain keywords.

2. Gain on-page engagement insights

Google wants to provide people who use their service with a great user experience. The more people use their service, the more money they make from paid ads.

Google has mastered the art of providing a great user experience. How people engage with your content is a critical factor that impacts where content should rank in the search results. You can use Google Ads to gain insights into bounce rate, time on page, and other user experience signals that impact SEO. – Read more

Remember Google?

This week I came across some fascinating google stats (no really….) which I thought I’d share.  It’s often easy to forget the value of a brand when it so integral to our everyday lives.  

I still remember when we moved our business over to using gmail and people thought we were taking a massive risk with such a new tech company. When I checked the dates  I was shocked to find we made that switch 14 years ago!  Safe to say, Google isn’t a baby anymore.

Before we jump into the numbers it’s worth clarifying a couple of terms that pop up (SEO = using content to rank highly in google search results without paying google directly.  Not to be confused with SEM = which is using paid ads to get visitors from search engines).

 Google Stats (2021)

  • There are 4.7 billion Google searches every day. (the year they launched (1998) it was 10,000 per day).  This one really made me feel old.  I launched my first internet business serchen.com in September 1997…..😳
     
  • Google properties control 88% of the search market (This includes youtube which is now the worlds second biggest search engine)
     
  • 15% of daily searches have never been searched before 🤯 (are you bidding on the same terms over and over against the same competitors?)
     
  • 55% of teenagers use voice search on a daily basis (voice searches now account for 10% of all searches) A big percentage of these searches are via smart speakers at home.
     
  • 90% of all websites never see a single organic “FREE” visitor from google (Google is becoming more and more a pay to play marketing channel) In case you wondered, (and I did) there are roughly 2 Billion websites, of which around 400 million are considered active.  
     
  • Google made $147 billion (£106B) last year from advertising (helps explain why SEO is less and less effective). They’re estimated to have around 6M customers, which still leaves them with 394M that aren’t paying them yet…..
     
  • 92% of people never go past page one of google search results (testament to the quality of google search)
     
  • Top 3 results of google get 75% of the clicks (generally speaking the top 4 slots on google are paid ads)
     

These numbers serve as a great reminder to anyone growing an online business. Always be aware of shiny object syndrome and the power of FOMO (fear of missing out), when it comes to marketing strategy.  Just as video may have injured the radio star,  its demise was greatly exaggerated. (who listens to a podcast today…..)  

Largely due to the total dominance of Google in the search industry and  lack of new competitors, the FOMO bandwagon has turned its attention to new toys like Snap & Tiktok.  Of course these newer marketing channels present exciting opportunities.  Just be mindful if history has taught us anything, it’s that new mediums rarely replace existing ones.  Social and Search are no different. (Oh and Email is thriving as well!)

I started buying ads on google almost 21 years ago. Today (ignoring email) Google still represents the largest percentage of my ad budget and most importantly the biggest contributor to not only my own revenue, but also that of my clients. 

Why?

Because Google still owns the largest audience with most “INTENT”.  As such you often pay a higher price.  But as a way of connecting with consumers looking to make a purchase (outside amazon’s walled garden) nothing comes close.

Consumers engage with ads on google because to a large extent they’re helping them solve a problem, rather than interrupting their day. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for other marketing channels of course, but their goals need to be very different.  A topic for another day.

The bad news is I’ve yet to find a marketing channel that lets you run your business on autopilot, and Google is no exception.  (Worse news is my instagram feed is full of people telling me I’m wrong about that.  I just need to buy their course….) The good news is Google ads work (the stats above illustrate why).  Like most things worthwhile, the the strategy is simple (if not always easy). 

Why are my open rates dropping?

If you see a sudden and dramatic drop in your open rates, don’t panic.

There could be an easily fixable solution behind those scary numbers. And even if it takes a bit more digging, your open rates aren’t the be-all and end-all metric for measuring success.

Nevertheless, lower open rates could signify a larger issue, whether it’s your marketing strategy or something as simple as an HTML error. In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa outline the questions every email marketer should ask themselves if and when their open rates drop.

Once you’ve answered a few key questions, you can start figuring out what’s causing the problem and stop an email catastrophe in its tracks. Or, better yet, figure out which issues are actual catastrophes, and which aren’t. – Read more

#EmailMarketing

How to Optimize Facebook Lead Ads for Success: Guide for 2021

Facebook lead ads are one of the most powerful lead generation techniques out there.

Not only do they help you learn more about your audience, but they also help you to connect with them, and even make sales.

But despite this potential, Facebook advertising can easily drain your budget and fail to deliver a return on investment if it isn’t done with purpose. This is why it’s important to forget about ‘pay and spray’ strategies and optimize your Facebook lead ads for success.

In this best practice guide, we’ll show you how to improve your Facebook lead ads to make sure they’re achieving your goals, and we’ll share some of our most successful lead ads examples.

When it comes to Facebook ads optimization 2021, look no further than these tips to set you on the right path.

Facebook lead ads basics

If you’re reading this blog, you probably already know—or think you know—how to make Facebook lead ads.

But if your Facebook lead ads aren’t working as well as they should, then you’ll need to take a step back to the basics.

Optimizing Facebook advertising is not as simple as improving on what’s there. It involves taking a step right back to examine the goals that made you create the campaign in the first place.

Lead ads are good for the following marketing objectives:

  • Lead generation techniques: Capture customer details like email address and phone number to use for promotional purposes.
  • Market research: Simply ask your audience anything you want to know about them – directly. Offer them a valuable incentive in exchange for the info.
  • Customer feedback: One of the best ways to collect feedback is directly from your audience. Lead ads are an excellent method.

As you can see, while Facebook lead ads could potentially be used to increase sales and promotions, the main purpose is to get more personal with your audience in-platform.

If you’re not getting the results you want, it’s time to re-examine your goals and purpose. – Read more

#FacebookAdvertising

How to Make Sure Your Email Pops Up in Your Subscribers’ Inboxes

Email is still the most effective tool at any digital marketer’s disposal:

  • Emails have the highest return on investment (Constant Contact).
  • Almost 80% of B2B marketers say email proves to be the most successful channel for content distribution (Optin Monster).
  • 60% of consumers admit to making a purchase as the result of a marketing email, while only about 12% admit to buying from social media (Optin Monster).

I could go on, but we all know what the data shows: Using emails in your marketing is almost always a good idea when done right.

Yes, you need a clickable subject line and effective copy. But before your recipients can get to all that, they need to see your email. Here’s how to make that happen.

Set up a separate domain

A lot of outreach campaigns get this first (and fundamental) step wrong. Outreach campaigns are often sent from a free domain like Gmail and Yahoo or the company’s main domain name.

Free email domains look unprofessional and spammy. Plus, “free” comes at a cost: You cannot control your access to it. A complaint or suspicious activity could lead to a free domain owner deleting the account. It also can make third-party tools that follow DMARC protocols inaccessible.

Using your company’s main domain can be a risk for other reasons. If your marketing emails are marked or reported as spam, your company’s internal emails can be affected too.

This guide outlines how to set up a custom email address using your hosting provider or Google’s Workspace (formerly G Suite). – Read more

#EmailMarketing

How to Make a Great Facebook Ad (With Examples)

There is so much content flying around on the internet that it’s challenging for brands to stand out through all the noise. When you post something, you never know if it’s reaching the right audience at the right time.

If only there were a way to reach people with characteristics of your ideal audience across a platform that hasover 2.7 billion users.

Oh wait, there is.

Facebook is no longer just a tool for seeing what your grandma is up to. (She’s doing fine BTW; she won $18 at bingo yesterday.) Facebook ads are a goldmine for marketers—if they’re used strategically

How Do Facebook Ads Work?

Facebook ads work by cutting through the noise and showing your ad on Facebook users’ news feeds. Based on Facebook’s database of profiles and the targeting parameters you set, Facebook will serve your ad to someone who fits your target audience. 

There are four main elements that make up a Facebook ad:

  • Title: This is the name of the ad campaign.
  • Visual: The still image, video, or carousel of images you want to display.
  • Copy: The written text alongside your visual.
  • Call To Action (CTA): What you’re inviting the audience to do (and the page where they land).

The ads tool also includes a variety of audience segmentation features. You can target by the traditional demographics such as age or location. You can dive in even further to get more specific characteristics such as level of education, job title, or income. 

(Currently running an ad that’s targeting millionaire ice cream taste testers. We just want to talk… and learn. 👀)

The magic is in the customization. With a database this huge and enough data to drill down to a hyper-specific group of people, Facebook makes sure you’re reaching your target audience and routing them to your site

What to Keep in Mind When Making an FB Ad

“Nothing successful ever came from a strategy with no goal,” said every marketer ever.

Before you run off and launch a campaign, you want to establish what your goals are.

Facebook Ads Manager allows marketers to choose one of three goals for their ad. The goals represent three different stages within the sales funnel:

  • Awareness: These ads let people know your brand exists and that you’re an option to solve their problems. Facebook optimizes these campaigns to reach as many people as possible. 
  • Engagement: These ads generate interest and preference with people who are already aware of you. Facebook will optimize these campaigns for the engagement metrics you define. 
  • Conversions: Conversion ads give viewers who are already interested that final boost to convert. Facebook optimizes these campaigns to convert as much as possible. 

You’ll also want to clearly define who your target audience will be. Blasting your content to anyone and everyone isn’t as beneficial as you’d think. The more carefully you define your audience, the more likely you are to choose the targeting parameters that help your ads reach them. 

Here are some of the options you can choose when defining your audience in Facebook Ads Manager: – Read more

#FacebookAdvertising

Why Your Marketing Strategy Needs a Conversion Funnel (and How It Works)

Why Your Marketing Strategy Needs a Conversion Funnel (and How It Works)

Ever used a funnel while baking? 

That cone-shaped thingamajig may seem excessive when you’re just pouring some liquids from one container to another, but it plays an important role. 

A funnel directs things where you want them to go, and not somewhere else (like all over the counter, or the floor, or your sweater). Funnels guide flow. 

A conversion funnel is the same idea but applied to your marketing strategy.  Conversion funnels help you lead consumers through the buying journey, to make sure they land exactly where you want them to. Of course, the end goal is to convert them. (Or, you know, it should be.)

The conversion funnel isn’t only for purchases or physical products, though. The “transaction” at the end of the funnel could be someone subscribing to your newsletter, signing a petition, joining your Facebook group, scheduling a tour, or making a donation. 

When you implement and optimize your conversion funnel, you’ll experience a boost in lead generation, conversion rates, and profits. So, how do you build a well-defined, optimized funnel to capture leads, nurture them, and get ’em to convert?

Let’s dive in.

What Is a Conversion Funnel?

A conversion funnel (which is sometimes called a “sales funnel” or “marketing funnel”) is a step-by-step process that helps you visualize your prospects’ buying journey, so you can lead them towards making a purchase. 

A well-optimized conversion funnel isn’t a one-off attempt to guide a user from one place to another. It’s a holistic approach that strategically ties your marketing and sales activities into one streamlined system for the audience to move through. 

At each stage of the funnel, there’s content serving as guideposts for how the audience can move forward: blog posts, landing pages, videos, emails, infographics, social ads, PPC campaigns, and more.  – Read more