Be a Keyword Critic by Rating Your Paid Search Keywords
Many movie critics use a star rating system to let people know if a movie is worth seeing. A 1 star movie usually means it’s a real stinker and you’d probably have more fun watching grass grow. If a film gets 2 stars, it falls around the same territory as a 1 star but there might be a couple of worthwhile moments buried in the mess. A movie that receives 3 stars is usually a “take it or leave” one: You won’t mind watching it but you won’t miss anything if you don’t. Movies that fall in the 4 stars category are usually must-sees that will leave most people very satisfied and wanting more. And a 5 star movie…well that’s a, “Stop reading this and go watch it now because it will change your life” kind of experience. It’s a simple system that most people can identify with and understand.
Rating Paid Search Keywords is as Easy as 1, 2, 3…4!
So we decided to take the same approach when it comes to choosing keywords for your paid search campaigns. We’ve created a keyword rating system that works in the same way. Before, when creating a campaign, we would present you with a large list of keywords that you had to refine to make sure only the most relevant keywords were active. Now, you are given a small set of initial keywords that you can rate from 1 – 4 stars based on how relevant they are to your product and/or service.
If you rate a keyword with 4 stars, then we know it’s very relevant to your business and we will make it front and center in your campaign. A 3 star rated keyword lets us know it’s still relevant and we include it in your campaign. A 2 star keyword will not be included in your campaign because it is not relevant to your business. And finally, a 1 star keyword is deemed so irrelevant to your campaign that we not only exclude it, but also turn it in to a negative keyword. And for those that don’t know, negative keyword will give you extra protection from irrelevant clicks related to that keyword.
Also, every time you log in, you’ll have new keywords to rate that will be added or excluded from your campaign. We highly recommend checking in on your account once a week and rating some keywords.
So start filling your campaign with blockbuster keywords and get only the best traffic!
If you want to have your commercial air during the Superbowl, it’s going to cost you—a lot.
It’s mind-boggling to think that the average cost of a 30-second Superbowl ad in 2012 was $3.5 million. That comes to a staggering $116,667 PER SECOND! That’s as much as some people’s mortgages! So why would any company consider spending so much for a 30-second ad? Obviously they must be getting millions of customers out of this, right? WRONG! Companies such as Anheuser-Busch and Coca Cola don’t spend so much on these commercials to get more cans off the shelf. They do for another, more abstract reason: Branding. The ads are not about acquiring you as a customer, it’s about making sure the first word that comes to mind when you think of soda is “Coke” or, in Anheuser-Busch’s case, “Bud Light” when you think about beer.
PPC vs Superbowl Ad
How can I prove it? Let’s put a Superbowl ad with a price of $3.5 million up against a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign spending the same amount of money. Let’s use the insurance industry. Now we’ll set some parameters:
- Budget: $3.5 million
- Cost of most expensive keyword for insurance – $54.91
- Average conversion rate for the Adwords search network (in Q3 2012) – 5.63%
Now let’s do some math:
- $3.5 million in budget / $54.91 cost of most expensive keyword = 63,740 clicks to site
- 63,740 clicks X .0563 average conversion rate = 3,588 leads or sales
- $3.5 million for 30-second ad = 111 million views…..But that’s it.
A Superbowl ad will get you views, but not necessarily results.
This article in Forbes can back me up on that too. Also, there’s really no business math formula that shows an average number of leads or sales that will come from those 111 million impressions. Better put, there is no justification for spending so much on something that doesn’t have a measurable return.
So if you’re a company that is thinking about maxing out your marketing budget on a Superbowl ad just because there are going to be a lot of people watching, I would suggest that money be funneled into PPC. I may be biased but at least I know it will work. And in the end, isn’t that the point?
Today marks the beginning of a new blog series called “What’s New at SiteWit?”
We will be updating this new series every two weeks or so. Our goal is to keep you updated with all of the new features we release. We like to keep you guys involved.
After finishing our most recent development sprint (see: scrum development), we have instituted the ability to produce, apply and track the use of promo codes within SiteWit. This will work in a few ways. First, it will work in conjunction with our partnerships, allowing our partners’ clients to try SiteWit DIY online marketing at a discount. This will allow for more people to try search engine marketing who may have been reluctant to try it in the past (or just may have had bad results doing so on their own).
SiteWit helps users to maximize their search budgets and advertise online with confidence by leveraging our automated management and optimization tools. Gone are the days of micro-managing your campaign(s) and maintaining them daily to keep performance up. With SiteWit, your campaigns will inherit an effective strategy for success right from the beginning. Secondly, we will begin to offer promo codes to existing clients to pass on to their family, friends, business partners, acquaintances…whoever! We know that if you end up loving SiteWit, they will too!
There are plenty of exciting new products and features coming through the SiteWit pipeline.
Stay tuned for our next installment of What’s New at SiteWit when we discuss our new SiteWit Auto product that is currently underway.
If you have any suggestions for new features, please send them our way. At the end of the day, it is really all about you, the user!
Here is a blog post from Yola about using SiteWit to start a paid search campaign after publishing a Yola website.
To see the post on the Yola site, click here.
How to Make Paid Search Pay Off
How can you drive a high volume of traffic to your new Yola website–and do it right out of the gate? One of the most effective ways is a paid search campaign on one of the big engines, like Google or Bing & Yahoo. It can bring in visitors who are actively looking for the specific products or services you offer. Best of all, paid search can start driving people to your website the same day it goes live.
Launch Your Search Campaign Right
Achieving success with a paid search campaign isn’t as easy as simply signing up. Doing it right means that, before you launch even one search ad, you need to understand the work involved. It can be a very daunting endeavor due to the fact that there are many steps you need to take and some risk if you don’t utilize a professional team or software to help you get going. Here are just a few of the tasks you’d have to complete to get started:
- Open an account with Google AdWords or Bing Ads.
- Plan out and build a campaign.
- Break up your campaign into ad groups.
- Select strong keywords.
- Create captivating ads with compelling messaging and visuals.
- Determine how much you want to spend for placement.
Manage Your Campaign for Results
After launch, there is still much more to do. You’ve only just begun. You need to carry out ongoing management to optimize your campaign outcome and to avoid paying for ads that don’t work. For instance:
- Track keyword performance. Determine which keywords to keep and which to ax by looking at click-through rates (CTRs), costs per click (CPCs) and ad position.
- Identify your most effective ad messaging. Perform manual A/B testing to see which is driving the best traffic.
- Check your keyword bids daily, and bid strategically. Keep your ad on the first page of search results by bidding according to how the competition has affected the bidding landscape.
Turn to the Pros for Help Driving Traffic
Want to take full advantage of paid search marketing? Try engaging a company that specializes in helping maximize search campaign results. An excellent and affordable example is SiteWit. Use SiteWit to set up a campaign fast — in about five minutes. They’ve found a way to automate all of the set up steps and make sure you are getting the optimal results for your budget range. SiteWit support includes:
- Quick set up process on Google and Bing all in one place
- Keyword development and analysis
- Local geo targeting
- A/B testing
- Automated keyword bidding
- Automated budget maximization
- Landing page recommendations
- Campaign recommendations
- Quality score optimization
Visit www.sitewit.com to learn how they can help you drive more search traffic to your website.
Keywords Are One of the Most Important Parts of a Paid Search Campaign
Keywords are words or phrases that best describe your product/service. Your keyword list should be as relevant and specific as possible to your business in order to get the best quality traffic to your site. Keywords are NOT promotions/incentives your business may have and they are not sales slogans. A good rule of thumb for picking keywords when you have a small budget is to not pick very general keywords. In other words, don’t pick single word keywords. They are expensive and can bring in non-relevant traffic. From the examples you’ll see most of the keywords have at least three words in them. Keyword examples for different industries: Online shoe retailer that specializes in men’s shoes
- men’s leather shoes
- leather shoes for men
- dress shoes for men
- men’s shoes online
Local used tire shop
- used tires for sale
- cheap tires in [city]
- cheap tires for sale
- used tires cheap
Financial consulting firm
- financial consulting services
- finance management companies
- wealth management firms
- personal accounting services
The best way to think about keywords is to put yourself in the shoes of the people searching. If you were them and you were looking for a company that sells/provides what you do, what would you type in to the search bar?
Hooray you just built an awesome site! Now what? Well the answer is very simple: It’s time to start driving traffic to your site.
One of the best (and quickest) ways to drive traffic to your website is to build a paid search campaign on one of the big search engines such as Google or Bing & Yahoo!.
Paid search is a great way to drive traffic to your site because it will bring in visitors that are already looking for your specific kind of product and/or service. Best of all, it can happen right away! You could have people coming to your website just hours after it has gone live.
So how do I do start, you ask? Well that’s a bit more complicated. First you’ll have to open a Google Adwords or Bing Ads account. Then you’re going to build a campaign. Then you’re going to break up that campaign into ad groups. Then you’ll have to pick your keywords. Then you’ll have to build ads. Then you’ll have to determine how much you want to spend. Then you’ll have to…see where this is going? And here’s the kicker…starting the campaign is the easy part. After that you’ll have to consistently:
- Check your keyword performance by looking at CTRs, CPCs, ad position, and Quality Score to determine which ones need to stay in your list and which ones need the ax.
- Do your own manual a/b testing to determine which message in your ads is driving the best traffic.
- Look at your keyword bids DAILY to see how the competition has affected the bidding landscape and then determine what the right bid should be today to stay on that first page of search results.
In a nutshell, paid search is great but it is no easy task.
Luckily there are companies such as SiteWit that have made it easy to start a paid search marketing campaign with all the confidence and none of the know-how. Setting up a campaign through SiteWit is easy, can be done in about five minutes, and it won’t break the bank. They’ll take care of the technical stuff by performing:
- Keyword analysis
- Automated a/b testing
- Automated keyword bidding
- Landing page recommendations
- Campaign recommendations
- Quality score optimization
- And so much more!
Now that you know where to start and what tool to use, let’s start driving people to your website! Visit www.sitewit.com to learn how they can help you market your website with confidence.
1. What am I trying to accomplish?
2. What am I doing that produces the most value?
3. What can I automate so I can increase sales?
PPC can be time well spent if done right
If you are spending your time trying to lower the cost of your PPC campaigns, you may be wasting time and money. Time should be spent trying to increase revenue, not lower costs. Think about it: If you spend $200 in labor trying to lower the cost of your PPC campaigns by $200, what did you really accomplish? More important, what did you not accomplish? Focus on tasks that produce revenue, regardless of whether they’re part of campaign management or not. Perhaps your time is better spent doing customer service or new client acquisition.
Evaluate how much time you spend doing each part of your campaign management and see what produces the most value. Where do you spend most of your time? Are your fiddling with your campaign keywords, writing better ad copy, A/B testing, or designing better landing pages? If you spend most of your time fiddling with your keywords, maybe you need to reevaluate your strategy. Although long tail keywords will lower your cost, you’re wasting time if all you’re doing is lots of research. Focusing on ad copy and landing page design will produce much better results for your time investment. Always have new ads in the rotation and always be testing two or more landing pages. Focus on doing things that increase engagement, conversion and revenue.
Let’s look at automation. What in the PPC management process can be automated for less than the cost of doing it manually? There are dozens of tools available to use for managing PPC campaigns or building and testing landing pages. Look at what you can do well, what you can do fast and what you can automate so you can spend your time more wisely.
SiteWit Analytics, Marketing and Enterprise Platforms gives users the tools to lower the time they spend doing PPC research, analysis, and optimization.
Our new SiteWit Engagement Index provides users a new way to optimize and report PPC success whether tracking conversions or not. We free up your time so you can focus on ad copy, A/B testing and landing pages. Learn more about how SiteWit measures, analyzes and optimizes using engagement to save you time and money.
We released a press release that introduces Sitewit 3 and our new Engagement Metrics. The full press release is below:
New Software Adds A Brain To Any Website
Sitewit introduces its new Engagement Metrics, a set of analytics that makes any website smarter.
TAMPA, FL – Sitewit, a leader in website analytics and pay-per-click (PPC) optimization, is raising IQ levels with the release of Sitewit 3. The new platform revolves around Engagement Metrics, a set of smart analytics that uses advanced algorithms to compute a Sitewit Engagement Index (SWei) score for every part of a company’s website based on visitor engagement. In simpler terms, it gives a website a brain. This is the only set of analytics that provides these measures automatically, right out-of-the-box as a simple java code snippet or WordPress plugin, and can be used by companies of any size.
“My goal is to be the number one analytics and pay-per-click optimization company in the world. I believe Engagement Metrics will get us there. With our smart engine, price point, and ease of accessibility…there’s no stopping us,” states Ricardo Lasa, CEO of Sitewit. Most analytics today simply don’t give enough answers, making for a dumb website. Many “informed decisions” on improving website performance are made based on the approximately 5% of site visitors that accomplish something on a website or, in web lingo, convert (i.e. buy, sign up, download, etc.). Engagement Metrics takes those and the other 95% of site visitors and their actions into account, putting the “website performance” puzzle back together using all of the pieces. With a complete picture, website owners can tell what parts of their website are engaging visitors, driving conversions, and which parts need improvement.
Engagement metrics helped Jamal, the owner of a carpet cleaning business based out of Washington, D.C., make better decisions on how to improve his website. His site’s newfound brain let him know what organic keywords and pages on his website were driving the most engagement from his visitors (not just the most hits). Overall, he has seen an improvement of approximately 50% in leads and sales through his website, all thanks to Sitewit and their Engagement Metrics.
About Sitewit: Sitewit is a leading engagement analytics and digital marketing platform for Small Businesses (SMBs). It offers Engagement Metrics to help website owners make better decisions and automatically optimize their marketing campaigns on Google, Bing, and display. Sitewit uses its own patent-pending big data analytics engine and evolutionary algorithms to measure engagement, predict conversions, and optimize paid search campaigns. For more information, visit www.sitewit.com.
When it comes to writing ads for your PPC campaigns, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the person that you want coming to your website. Ask yourself:
“What’s going to grab their attention?”
“What information is most important to them?”
“How will I stand out from my competitors?”
“What is it that I want these potential customers to do?”
This will help you determine what will be the most compelling way to word your ad so these interested users will identify with it above those of the competition.
Writing ads for Google Adwords is an art form. You have to stay within the lines of Google’s advertising policy (what is and isn’t allowed in an ad) or risk getting your ad disapproved. You also have a limited number of characters with which to work with. In short, you have to sell your business in a limited space while staying within the rules. Ads consist of:
Line 1 (description)
Line 2 (incentive or call-to-action)
Here are some basic Don’ts when writing effective ads that will avoid disapproval:
- Limit your use of capitalization with one exception (I’ll tell you in the Do’s)
- Don’t use the $ symbol unless you follow it with numbers.
- Don’t use U and R for the words “you” and “are.”
- Don’t capitalize the word FREE in ads.
- Don’t include your phone number in the ad.
- Don’t fill your ads with *#@*gimmicky characters*%!.
- Limit the use of an exclamation point to 1 per ad.
Here are some basic Do’s:
- Do capitalize the first letter of every word.
- Do include numbers in your ad.
- Do include any special offers you have.
- Do include what makes your business unique.
- Use “&” to replace the word “and” (it saves on characters used)
- Be honest.
Again, these are just basic ideas of what you should/shouldn’t do with your ads. You don’t have to include all the Do’s but it will give you an idea of what will make up a good ad.
So let’s build an ad. Let’s say you have a carpet cleaning business in Tampa, fl. You’ve been around for over 20 years and specialize in commercial and residential. You also have a discount for new customers. You’re ad could look something like this:
Carpet Cleaning Tampa
Commercial & Residential. 20 Years
Experience. New Customers Save 15%
In this example, my Line 2 described an incentive with the savings of 15%. Now let’s write one that has a call-to-action, with a few other tweaks
Tampa Carpet Cleaning
Over 20 Years Experience For Home
& Office. Get A Free Estimate Now!
In this example, I have a clear call-to-action which points them to get an immediate estimate. I also substituted smaller words for “Residential” and “Commercial” to help see what language will receive a better response from searchers.
Ads are all about stating who you are, what you do, what makes you unique, and what you can offer as incentive/make a call-to-action. And always remember to build more than one with varying messages. This way you can see which message is getting the most action, and then tailor your other ads with a similar message.
Bing & Yahoo are on the rise in Paid Search
You hear their name all the time. “Google, Google, GOOGLE!” There is no doubt the company has done an amazing job positioning itself at number one in the world of search engines. People no longer say (if they ever did), “I’m going to search for something online.” They now say “I’m going to Google it.” Yes, Google is a verb as well as a Fortune 500 noun.
In April, Google searches accounted for 64% of all U.S. searches. Although that number may seem high, they have been steadily losing ground to Bing powered search (bing.com & search.yahoo.com). Bing and Yahoo! now add up to 30% of all online searches (up 5% since April and 11% since last year). So there is no doubt that they have made tremendous strides against the mighty search giant that is Google. But what is the last piece of the puzzle? Advertising.
Currently, Google makes up about 78% of all U.S. search revenue while Bing and Yahoo! account for around 16.5%. That is a HUGE jump compared to total online searches. It may seem like AdCenter has a lot of catching up to do, but this “catching up” can also be looked at as potential. But why is this happening? Bing powered search has 158 million unique searchers each month. That number is nothing to shake a stick at, yet advertisers insist on staying away from the platform. As you can see in the picture below (right), Microsoft has had a steadily increasing growth in revenue since 2009. Google’s growth rate pales in comparison to that of Microsoft. This displays the tremendous potential of Microsoft.
Why should advertisers start using AdCenter?
There are actually quite a few reasons:
- There is much less competition between advertisers on Bing/Yahoo compared to Google
- Generally speaking, less competition = lower priced clicks
- Less competition means less ads to compete with for the “prime real estate”
When people have fewer ads to choose from, the advertisers in those spaces will have a better chance at success. Another benefit we have seen with Bing/Yahoo is better conversion rates. Simply put, AdCenter is better at creating leads and/or purchases. The combination of those two benefits, along with lower priced clicks and better conversion rate, leads to a cheaper Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA). CPA is one of the most important stats to keep track of because it is essentially your cost per purchase/lead. If you have a low CPA, then your marketing will pay for itself with the purchases/leads it generates…And that should be the goal for most PPC campaigns.