What Are Keywords & How They Work in PPC

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Keywords are the foundation for everything in PPC. Keywords are what you use to define where your ads should appear.

Without a solid understanding of what keywords are and how to use them effectively, you’ll never be successful with PPC.

Before getting started, it’s important to understand some of the terminologies in this guide.

  • Search Term: The word or words a user types into Google when performing a search.
  • Keyword: A word, or a set of words, that you add to your Google Ads campaigns.
  • Keyword Match Type: A setting for your keywords that will determine the keyword’s reach.

Types of Keywords

When you think of keywords, it’s useful to understand what buckets the different keywords are in and how this sets them apart.

The types of keywords include:

  • Branded keywords include company names (e.g., Amazon, Target).
  • Generic keywords typically cover ambiguous keywords, and can also be referred to as short tail keywords (e.g., “running shoes,” “plumbing,” “towing”). The gist of a generic keyword is that we don’t understand their intent yet. There is nothing in the search that shows us whether this person is looking to buy a pair of shoes, or if they are just searching for different kinds of shoes.
  • Transactional keywords are keywords that have both a strong and weak purchase intent. As long as there is some purchase intent, then you can label a keyword a commercial keyword. This is everything from “Nike running shoes” to “plumbing services.”
  • Locational keywords cover everything that’s related to a location and are very powerful for location-based companies. Often these are your typical home services. It can be a city name (e.g., “towing company San Francisco”) or an actual request to show ads that have companies “near me” (e.g., “towing company near me”).
  • Long-tail keywords cover keywords that consist of more than 3-4 words (e.g., “Nike running shoes for marathon”). They are typically highly transactional meaning they have higher conversion rates than the other keyword types.
  • Informational keywords cover keywords where people are simply looking for information. This can be anything from “Sears store directions” to “how to get rid of a wart.” You would rarely use info-keywords for Google Ads.

Quick note: The buckets above are not either or. Just because a keyword is “long” doesn’t mean it can’t also be a branded or an info-keyword. – Read more

How to Improve Your Landing Page Conversion Rate

My Post - 2019-03-28T111029.831.jpgUse these 10 strategies to turn website visitors into buyers.

1. Streamline to the Essential
According to Oli Gardner, a digital marketing expert who co-founded Unbounce, landing pages should ideally have an “attention ratio” of 1:1. Attention ratio is the ratio of the number of things a visitor can do on a given page to the number of things the visitor should do. The more things visitors can potentially do on a page that distract them from the one thing a marketer wants them to do, the more confusing it gets for the prospect and the less likely they are to take the desired action, the reasoning goes. With that in mind, shear each landing page to its essentials – a paring down that many marketing experts say should include removing links, social share buttons and navigation menus. Yuppiechef, a South African company selling premium kitchen tools, doubled the conversion rate on a landing page by removing a navigation bar – an action that helped take the attention ratio from 15:1 to 3:1.

2. Get Creative With Your Offer
In a study of high-conversion landing pages, the online advertising/marketing experts at WordStream found an impressive range of creative and differentiated offers. In its own case, WordStream discovered that offering a free trial of its software – a common carrot, so to speak – wasn’t generating desired conversion. WordStream mixed things up and devised an offer of a free AdWords Grader, which provided prospects with recommendations to improve their Google AdWords strategy. “Prospects loved it and conversions went through the roof,” founder Larry Kim (https://mobilemonkey.com) wrote in a blog. – Read more

How to Do PPC Keyword Research in 2019

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If you’re looking for the latest strategies in PPC keyword research, there’s something you should know: Google was never designed to be about keywords.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin said:

“My vision when we started Google… was that eventually you wouldn’t have to have a search query at all – the information would just come to you as you needed it.”

Google’s getting closer to that mission, and in 2018 it rebranded AdWords as Google Ads, dropping the “words” entirely. Many older keyword building methods are now outdated or defunct.

Today, there’s a new and easier way to handle PPC keywords, and it starts with a focus on users. To understand this new strategy and why it works better, it will help to know what’s different about the current search landscape.

Google’s Giving Less Weight to Keywords

Once upon a time, many algorithm updates ago, Google’s best chance of serving up relevant results was to match a user’s search terms with keywords on a page (or, in the case of paid ads, keywords in a list). A lot has changed.

Natural Language Processing Advancements

Last week, I did a Google search for a podcast episode. I couldn’t recall the episode number or name. But I remembered the gist of it, and Google knew what I meant. – Read more

7 Powerful Benefits of Using PPC Advertising

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There are many compelling benefits of PPC advertising.

Whether you’re trying to convince your boss or a client about the value of Google Ads, there’s a powerful case to be made.

For starters, PPC:

  • Offers quick entry.
  • Results are easy to measurable and track.
  • Works well with other marketing channels.
  • Provides a wealth of useful data

PPC can have a major – and positive – impact on most businesses and brands. If you aren’t doing any PPC marketing, you’re likely losing out on valuable traffic and revenue.

Need to make the case for PPC advertising? Here are just seven powerful benefits of using PPC.

1. PPC Contributes to Business Goals

This is often the most compelling reason to use PPC advertising. PPC can help you achieve a vast number of business and marketing goals. These goals range from high-level brand exposure and thought leadership to a hot lead submission or e-commerce sale.

Nearly any type of conversion goal can be tracked. PPC is a powerful tool for aligning website traffic drivers to end-goals.

In the era of content marketing and thought leadership, PPC can foster the middle ground of nurturing and serving the middle of the funnel through advertising content downloads, seeking newsletter signups, contest entries, and pushing for app downloads.

PPC can support many parts of the sales funnel and the path that your prospects take from awareness to becoming a customer. Regardless of the set of identified goals, PPC campaigns can be set up effectively.

2. PPC Is Measurable & Trackable

A major benefit of PPC advertising run through Google Ads is that it’s easy to measure and track. Simply use the Google Ads tool in combination with Google Analytics.

You’ll see high-level performance details including impressions, clicks, and conversions (based on the defined business goals).

There’s no mystery to your PPC performance. Stats are readily available and show how your campaigns are performing and what kind of traffic and results they are driving for your budget.

In other advertising and marketing channels, the picture isn’t as clear for attribution of the budget to direct results.

When you send your PPC traffic to dedicated landing pages and track it all the way to conversion using Google Analytics, you’re able to clearly see what you spent and what it drove in terms of your end goals. No billboard or magazine ad can attribute to sales like that.

3. Quick Entry

Even if you’re a decade behind your competitors on jumping into PPC marketing, you can get up and running quickly with a little bit of optimization. This is often a big contrast to starting up SEO efforts, which often take a lot of time and attention to get the same type of positioning and traffic that Google Ads offers within minutes of launch.

When compared to other channels like email and organic social, you have the advantage of targeting people outside of those who are already aware of your brand, and you aren’t limited to your existing followers or customer lists.

PPC lets you quickly cast a wide net to find new prospects and customers.

Plus, most of the work is done within the PPC advertising platform — from the research to campaign build out, to writing ads. You can get up and running quickly with minimal involvement of your development teams, aside from help setting up conversion tracking and any desired landing pages. – Read more

 

Back to Basics: A beginners guide to voice search and digital assistants in 2019

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Here’s a roundup of the various digital assistants on the market today with some beginner tips on how to optimize for voice search.

Voice search isn’t only here to stay, it’s on the rise. Is your website optimized for spoken queries? If not, then you could lose market share to competitors whose websites are optimized for voice search. Good news, though, that’s a problem you can start fixing today.

In this article, I’ll explain the various types of digital assistants and what to do to get your site ready for voice search. If you want to learn more, I’ll be talking about voice search in more detail at SMX Advanced in Seattle on June 5.

Voice search is the new mobile
Many webmasters were caught off-guard when the mobile revolution arrived (almost overnight). They thought their “old school” websites would rank just fine in response to a query on a smartphone. Then they learned the hard way that wasn’t the case and started optimizing their sites for mobile platforms. – Read more

Goodbye green? Google testing black “Ad” label in Search

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Google appears to be looking to switch up the way it labels text ads again.

It’s been a little over two years since Google last played with the “Ad” label it shows next to text ads on Google.com. Since February 2017, Google has used green text and a green border to delineate text ads from organic listings in the search results. Now, it looks to be testing a simpler, more subtle ad label treatment.

The latest label test. On Wednesday, UK-based marketing consultant Darren Taylor, who runs The Big Marketer, spotted “Ad” labels with bolded black text and no border. The label appears at the top of the ad with the display URL appears next to it.

Others in the EU region have also spotted it.

We reached out for comment. “We’re always testing new ways to improve our experience for our users and advertisers, but don’t have anything specific to announce right now,” a Google spokesperson said.

Why you should care. Presumably, greater differentiation between ads and organic will have a negative impact on click-through rates on ads. Google doesn’t share this data, of course, but it has a long history of modifying the way it signifies ads from organic content. – Read more

Google Introduces Shoppable Ads on Google Images

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Google is introducing a new way for retailers to promote products in image search with shoppable ads.

This new ad format lets retailers highlight multiple products within a single ad unit, which will appear among Google Images results.

These ad units behave like shoppable pins on Pinterest where multiple items within a photo are tagged for sale.

Google’s shoppable ads will appear in image search results with a “Sponsored” label as well as a price tag icon.

Hovering over the price tag icon will reveal the prices of the items, along with the brand name and other information.

See an example in the GIF below:

Google Introduces Shoppable Ads on Google Images

Users can click on their product of choice to visit the product page and make a purchase.

Shoppable ads on Google Images are currently being tested on a small percentage of traffic with select retailers. – Read more

How to Prequalify Traffic with PPC Ads & Increase ROI

My Post (95).jpgOn the surface, getting a higher click-through rate (CTR), more clicks, and more conversions may look great in a report. However, are those clicks and conversions from the right people?

Unqualified conversions don’t pay the bills.

Yes, you want to make sure you’re targeting the right audience and using the right keywords.

But, going one step further, carefully written ad copy can also help to gate out the people that aren’t relevant, limiting clicks to your true potential customers.

Read on to learn how to use PPC ads to prequalify traffic, discourage users you don’t want, and deliver better ROI.

1. Define a Qualified Conversion

Start by defining what a qualified conversion is for the business you’re advertising.

For ecommerce, that may mean any sale with a positive ROAS, a sale above a certain amount, or sales of specific priority products.

For a B2B company, that may mean a form submission from a person who’s the right fit for the service (for instance, a director-level job title and a company of 1,000+ people).

For a SaaS product, that may mean a contact who registers for a product demo. – Read more

What publishers need to know now about creating a better ad experience

My Post (89).jpgWhen you work in digital advertising, it’s easy to forget what it’s like to be an average internet user.

But when you take a step back and experience the web as most people do, you begin to understand why so many people employ ad blockers.

Ad blocking is bad news for everyone in digital advertising, including publishers who depend on ad revenue to fund content and advertisers trying to connect with audiences. But ad blocking is really a symptom of a broken user experience — one that marketers, agencies, publishers, and ad technology providers must work together to help fix.

For years, the user experience has been tarnished by irritating and intrusive ads. Thanks to extensive research by the Coalition for Better Ads, we now know which ad formats and experiences users find the most annoying. Working from this data, the Coalition has developed the Better Ads Standards, offering publishers and advertisers a road map for the formats and ad experiences to avoid.

Since the Coalition launched the ad standards in January 2018, I’ve been working with publishers to help them improve the ads on their sites. Based on my experience, here are three key things publishers need to know about what this change means for them. – Read more

SEO vs PPC: How to Choose What’s Best For Your Business

My Post (55).jpgAs a business owner are you often confused about choosing the right online marketing channel?

Most businesses struggle with scanty resources. Marketing seems like that perpetual back pain. It’s hard to know which platform will help get the best ROI.

Considering the quantum of online search activity, SEO and PPC are two essential marketing strategies.

The number of daily searches on Google is a whopping 3.5 billion equating 1.2 trillion every year! – Smart Insights

Which one activity to focus on while the business is still small? It’s critical to first understand the difference between these two most popular approaches.

Let’s dive into the fundamental difference:

Search Engine Optimization
SEO is an organic or non-paid form of marketing that helps build site authority including a host of other benefits.

61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. – (HubSpot, 2017)

Many business owners and marketers have a myth that SEO is a quick ranking hack. The truth is that SEO requires you to invest considerable time, effort, and resources. Here are some of the key SEO activities:

  1. Creating a well-structured website
  2. Resolving technical issues on the site
  3. Performing keyword research
  4. Creating an audience persona
  5. Creating content that matches user intent
  6. Acquiring quality backlinks

Search engines provide online searchers with the best possible solution to their queries. Publishers who create audience-centric content out-do others and rank on search result pages. SEO is a race to provide the best answers to web searchers. – Read more