Internet Marketing & Advertising Blog
If you own or manage a business and you are on the prowl for a SEO agency, don’t take the decision lightly. If you choose the right SEO agency, your business will reap significant benefits. Opting for an agency that produces poor results could really hamper your bottom line and also serve as an enormous waste of your time. Let’s take a look at how to go about choosing the right SEO firm.
When you speak with potential SEO agencies, one of the first questions that you should ask them is about keywords. Find out exactly how they go about determining which keywords will be targeted in optimization efforts. Oftentimes, keywords are the crux of a successful SEO optimization campaign. The SEO firm that you select should have refined research methods and plans that have proven successful in the past. They should also be flexible enough to mold these efforts to fit the idiosyncrasies of your unique business.
A Review Of Your Current Website
Find out if the firms’ optimization programs will include a comprehensive analysis of your company’s website. The SEO agency’s efforts should be all encompassing. If they really know their stuff, they’ll help you improve the design, coding, navigation and content of your website. If they won’t do this work themselves, they should at least be willing to offer recommendations. These efforts really will go a long way in impacting your website’s search engine placement as well as the user’s experience. Also, consider whether the firm will study your competitors’ websites. They should be willing to perform an extensive analysis of the websites that are succeeding in your industry. If the firm isn’t willing to perform such an analysis then they won’t know how to go about targeting your competitors in the online arena.
Another key question to ask SEO vendors is whether they are willing to develop a specific link strategy for your company’s website. Aside from developing such a strategy, they should also possess the ability to promote your company’s website by way of other websites including blogs, article directories, pictures and videos. If they don’t have a solid link strategy and can’t point to examples of those that they’ve implemented in the past, don’t consider them.
Knowledge Of The Business
SEO firms should be able to point out specific on-page and off-page tactics that will improve your website. While this will require an extensive analysis of your current website, you should still ask for examples from the past where the agency has implemented these tactics. Ask them about their plan and why they think it will boost your business. If they don’t sound like they have a firm grasp on how your business operates and where you need to improve, they probably won’t be successful at SEO optimization. SEO agencies really need to know your company quite well before they can even begin to target keywords.
Respect The Formalities
Don’t overlook the simple stuff. While you might feel a bit intimidated by a group of tech geeks at an SEO agency, you must remember that you are the one who is making the decisions. It’s not a waste of time or too petty to ask how long each firm has been in business and what type of experience they have. Ask for references from prospective SEO firms. Request samples of past projects that generated positive results in the top search engines. Once you’ve gathered this information, take your time to process it all before you select the SEO agency that is right for you.
Say you want to offer your website to advertisers for extra revenue. What is the best way to go about it? One of the most popular means of internet marketing revenue generation is the PPC (Pay per Click), also known as CPC (Cost per Click). With PPC, advertisers will pay you each time their Ad is clicked on by users. There are two ways in which you can run this campaign: by doing it yourself, or engaging a third party agency to manage your PPC investment.
Managing your own PPC investment
The three main goals for running a PPC campaign are reach, speed, and flexibility. To achieve this, you must ensure that your website is attracting the right target customer activity as efficiently as possible. You also need to understand how to set up your PPC bids, target the right customers, and undertake a coordinated advertising strategy.
There are multiple PPC management platforms that can ease the process through which you manage and sustain this venture. You should invest in a PPC management platform that can
- Guide you on how to adjust and optimize your keyword bids for higher revenue
- Alert you on keywords that are no longer delivering returns
- Suggest some keywords that might be useful for your bid
Using analytics, you can also track the progress of your investment, and make prudent decisions for future action.Which ads are generating revenue for you? How are your bids and keywords performing? With this, you can be able to make informed decisions on what to change, including which accounts are not worth investing in. There are multiple platforms that can also manage this process of analytics for you, including Google AdWords and Analytics.
There is also the issue of managing your clients – the advertisers. Currently, there are systems that enable you to work with all your ads and accounts in a single platform, for example, Google’s MCC.
Lastly, it is always important to stay informed, and connected with the broader PPC Management community through advisory platformsand support groups. With these, you can also stay informed and up to date on the latest trends, and stay ahead of the competition.
Using a PPC management agency
As you see, it is possible to run and manage your own PPC campaign. However, if all your need is for your business or website to generate revenue for you, it might be too difficult to begin learning how to navigate this fairly complicated field. In addition, the PPC investment is not a once-off task, but requires constant management which could be time consuming if poorly managed. Many companies lose income, and often invest too much for very few returns.
This is where third party PPC management agencies come in. There are lots of agencies out there that are well versed in the world of internet marketing, and are skilled in ensuring that your website generates maximum revenue for you.
These agencies understand and keep up with the latest features and trends in PPC management, including key-word selection, bidding strategies, and testing. If you outsource to these companies, make sure that they have a clear understanding of your goals, objectives and expectations, and what you seek to achieve through your PPC investment. Once the agency understands what you need, they can then customize the best strategy for you.
As you can see, utilizing the services of a PPC management agency takes the load off your back, allowing you focus on critical revenue generating aspects of the business.
Direct response online advertising gives you an immediate way to create website traffic. Perhaps this is why so many companies are pouring money into direct response advertising. Nearly 60% of the $50 billion spent on digital ads in 2014 was spent on direct response advertising, according to Advertising Age. It is a form of advertising that gets results, results worth paying for.
So how do put direct response online advertising to work for you, especially on a limited budget? The key is learning to leverage low-priced options, like Google AdWords.
Putting Low-Cost Direct Response Online Advertising To Work For You
Currently Google AdWords is one of the top options available for businesses and websites that want a low-cost option for direct response online advertising. Utilizing AdWords gives you a number of advantages, including:
There are few advertising options that offer more visibility than Google AdWords. Because so many websites include ads from Google in their design, your advertisements have the opportunity to be seen all over the web. The level of visibility you achieve will be based to some extent on what you are willing to spend, and therefore achieve a higher Ad Rank. But you can also affect the visibility of your bid by improving its quality.
Google is interested in creating the most relevant ads it can, so the more relevant and useful your ad is, the more likelihood it will be shown to site visitors.
Google allows you to bid on where you will have your ad placed, a bid which is most commonly based on cost-per-click. This means you are offering a set amount of money for each time the ad is clicked. If the ad is not clicked by site visitors, you do not pay any money.
This gives you a very cost effective way of getting your direct response online advertising out there, while also ensuring that you only pay when the ad placement actually benefits you. While there is no guarantee that the person clicking will convert when he or she gets to your site, the ad has still completed its purpose. It got you a response.
In the old world of direct response advertising, you would come up with an ad campaign, send it out, and hope for the best. If it did not work, you would have to go back to the drawing board, hoping your next effort would be more successful.
Google has made this whole process much less time consuming, and given you far more control over how you adjust your advertisements. You can link Google Analytics with your AdWords, allowing you to get current data on exactly what visitors to your website are doing. This means you can immediately know what ads are working, and how they are working. You can see what ad was clicked, and what the person who clicked it does on your website after he or she arrives.
This means you can adjust your ads on-the-fly, and quickly duplicate your successes as you discover them.
You may choose to hire a marketing company to help you get the most out of your advertising, but this does not mean you want to give up all control. Google AdWords allows whatever marketing company you are using to put your AdWords account under an umbrella account, known as a My Client Center (MCC) account. The marketer can manage the day-to-day details of your AdWords account, but you always have access to what is going on with your account, how it is performing, and insight into how your advertising dollars are being spent.
Your website is the foundation for your inbound and outbound marketing campaigns online. Every qualified lead will be funneled through your website at some point in time. Instead of letting all of that SEO, digital advertising and online branding work go to waste, you need to take full advantage of these opportunities. As such getting your web design right is absolutely critical. That being said, you integrating direct response web design into your next website redesign will significantly help boost your bottom line. Here are the reasons why:
First, what is direct response web design?
Simply put, direct response web design is one that focuses on inciting targeted consumers to take very specific actions. Now let’s take a look at how this can help your business.
They focus on progressing the consumer to the next step in the sales process
You aren’t getting people to visit your website so that they can click aimlessly through its many pages. You ultimate goal for increasing your website traffic is to gain the business of relevant consumers. You cannot do this if your visitors are aimlessly browsing or leave as soon as they get bored with your website.
As we mentioned earlier, a direct response website is designed to incite a targeted group of people to take very specific actions. In your case, your direct response website can be used to get people to call you, email you, fill out a form or otherwise get them to move onto the next step in the sales process — as opposed to floating around your website aimlessly.
You don’t need to spend countless dollars trying to make everything look pretty
One of the most costly elements of a website is its beautification. Many companies spend thousands upon thousands of dollars just trying to make their website look cooler, sleeker and generally more attractive than the competition. This investment is often moot, because a bunch of pretty icons will not close a sale.
Direct response web design makes dumping money into they aesthetic appeal of your website even more unnecessary, because it is all about helping potential customers to move beyond the website smoke and mirrors that often frustrates them, and instead shows them the way to the products and services that they actually need.
Your website won’t be out of date
An out of date website will run slowly, be clunky to operate and look completely unprofessional. This will obviously hinder your ability to close the deal, since nobody will hang around long enough for you to convert any sales.
We cannot stress enough the fact that direct response web design is all about optimizing your website’s ability to incite consumer action. This starts with keeping people there in the first place. As such, a true direct response website will include all of the latest web design elements that will make your website intuitive, quick and professional.
You will be able to take full advantage of all of that analytics data you’ve been collecting
Analytics is a critical element of a digital marketing campaign. The data therein allows you to quickly adapt to changes in consumer habits so that you can spend your marketing dollars more wisely.
Direct response web design works similarly, learning from consumer actions to determine the best approach to inciting people to act.
Let direct response web design help your company make more money
As you boost your search engine rankings and build partnerships on the web, don’t forget about the importance of your website’s design. Direct response web design will allow you to get the most out of every online opportunity.
As you surf around the web, you may have come across a couple of ads that seem to be following you around as you jump from one site to another – Impressive, right? How much money do such companies invest in marketing to afford ads on almost every website you visit? It must be a fortune, right?
Well, guess what…you’re wrong! This type of marketing is what some marketers refer to as ‘a second chance at love’. It’s like casting a fishing net back at sea for the second time, but now with smaller holes to prey on the smaller, elusive fish. It’s considerably effective and comes at a significantly smaller price compared to paying for ads on different websites.
So, how does it work?
How it Works
Remarketing, also popularly referred to as retargeting, is directed at warm leads who after accessing your site, leave and move on to other sites. If you, for instance, accessed www.x.com and moved on to www.y.com, you might see a banner ad on the latter site specifically targeting you to redirect you back to the former. Therefore, it’s more of a personalized marketing strategy targeting specific individuals.
Remarketing is considered to be significantly more effectual than traditional banner ads primarily because of the principle of targeting warm leads. A person who visits your website has demonstrated some interest in your company and is therefore considered to be a warm lead, who may visit again and perhaps get converted into a paying customer.
Traditional banner ads usually target cold leads by profiling them according to their interests, age, sex and browser history. A sports fan who regularly Google’s on soccer for instance, may get ads on ‘adidas soccer shoes’ on a random website. This type of ads is reasonably effective but not as effectual as retargeting. For such a sports fan, remarketing would display ads on specific websites he may have visited in the past, hence increasing the chances of revisits and subsequent transactions.
Various websites have successfully used this marketing strategy to improve the lead conversion process and subsequently increase revenue. A case study by Google on the Loews Hotel Group revealed that the company had shifted 70% of their offline budget to the internet, to invest in remarketing and contextual targeting. Through that, they increased their unique site visitors by 5%, bookings by 9% and the overall revenue by 10%. Ultimately, they were able to convert $800 marketing budget to $60,000 in sales.
Setting it Up
Like any other marketing strategy, it’s critically important to track the performance of your remarketing strategy and subsequently measure your results vis-a-vis your investment. Here are some of the most important metrics to look out for:
- ROI (Return on Investment): Deduct the investment costs from the investment gains and divide the result by the investment gains.
- CPC (Cost per Click): Divide the total marketing budget by the number of clicks received.
- CTR (Click Through Rate): Divide the number of ad clicks by the number of impressions
These key metrics will ultimately give you the true results of your remarketing strategy, which in most cases, has generated impressive results.
In order to determine what the return on your investment is in your display advertising campaigns, most marketers only need two variables: the anticipated revenue generated from the advertising campaign and the cost of running the advertising campaign. By subtracting the cost from the revenue and dividing it by the cost, you can get a good idea of the percentage of return on your investment. However, this can be a rather simplistic model, particularly if you have no idea what the anticipated revenue might be. How do you then know what to budget or even if it yield results? The answer lies in three other variables that you must understand to better price your online display advertising efforts: the conversion rate, the traffic you attract, and the average amount of your order per conversion. Use these with either a PPC or CPA campaign type to determine what is best for your business.
The Difference Between PPC and CPA Campaign Pricing Models
To figure out how effective a campaign might be versus the cost, start with one of two pricing models:
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Display Advertising – The conversion rate will depend on how well you picked keywords, but PPC tends to be very effective and the most expensive format to buy since you pay for each click on a keyword phrase of your choosing, which brings a potential buyer to your website, whether they convert or not. However, if your average order is high, you could generate handsome profits with the amount of traffic you obtain from PPC, even if some of that traffic never converts.
Cost-Per-Action (CPA) Display Advertising – Pricing for CPA is not for clicks, but rather the action taken. You pay for marketing leads (filling out a survey or contact form) or conversions. CPA campaigns are often set up as affiliate programs where you track the referral id and then give credit to the affiliate advertiser for a marketing lead or conversion. Traffic may be low to start, lowering the overall number of conversions.
Controversy of Pay-Per-Click Versus Cost-Per-Action Display Advertising Campaigns
There are marketers that favor either in both camps. Those that favor PPC will tell you that you get instant traffic with PPC, where it might take quite a bit longer with a CPA campaign as it relies on individual affiliates, not Google, to drive your advertising campaign. You don’t have to create an ad format for PPC, you just fill out your keywords and put in the sales blurb, and Google does the rest.
Marketers who favor CPA will be quick to point out that paying for every click on a link is “not fair” especially if you don’t get a lead or a conversion and that people can game the system by clicking on your links when they never have any intention to buy. This would produce excellent revenue for Google, but nothing for the campaign. They also suggest that you can end up spending more on PPC campaigns, if you’re not careful, making it hard to stick to a budget and the likelihood that your ad is placed in an advantageous position compared to other competing marketers is low when it comes to high competition keywords. So, which is better?
It All Depends on Your Business
If you are a new business trying to generate traffic, then it might be in your interest to start off with a PPC campaign to get noticed by Google right away. If you are trying to keep costs down and already have enough traffic, then a CPA campaign may do the trick.
Serving ads to people that have previously visited your website is known as retargeting. It’s a well-known fact that a small percentage of the audience will convert during a first visit. This is why retargeting has such a great appeal for marketing professionals.
Learning a bit more about the technique, it’s benefits and limitations will help you figure out whether retargeting is the way to go in order to accomplish all of your promotional goals.
The Huge Role of Ad Ranks and Positions
Ad position plays a huge role in the effect this ad has on the user, thus the concept is also critical in the world of retargeting. Numerous surveys tell us where on a page the user goes and which parts he doesn’t pay attention to.
When we’re talking Google Ads, the position depends on the Quality Score of your site and your particular bid.
Ad Quality is what influences the score the most, but you can still have a mediocre ad with huge coverage…just pay more.
- Using Quality Scores for Best Optimization Results: Quality Scores are a critical criterion when it comes to AdWords and practically all types of advertisement through Google services. If you want to influence the users enough, you have to have at least 7/10.
- AdWords, Analytics and How They Ease Your Whole Campaign: Linking AdWords to Google Analytics may seem like yet another world conspiracy or a danger to your personal data, but it is definitely not so. If you are using both these service anyway, linking them will just ease the transfer of data between the to services.
Uses of the My Client Center Account Option
My Client Center (MCC) account is a tool used by professionals. Agencies and individuals who take online marketing seriously use if for several main purposes:
- Oversee and maintain all AdWords accounts from one single tool
- Easy dashboard overview for fast and accurate manipulations
- Automatic alerts, set by the user, for multiple AdWords accounts
- Create and link different accounts from the MCC one
The bad sides of this are somewhat understandable, considering the type of service provided:
- Only a user with Administrative Access can unlink optional accounts from your own one
- These optional login accounts can be created only via the original AdWords interface
Google Partners Benefits
Google Partners is a way to connect to other business owners and advertisers. But that’s not all, via this platform, you can also reach out to consultants, digital marketing professionals and people from other sectors of the online marketing industry that can help you achieve success the easy way.
By using the platform, you’re helping your retargeting marketing strategy. How? By helping you pass the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) certificate and become an online guru yourself. Free exams and training materials are provided for the users.
Here are some of the benefits of the program:
- Partner Badge proves your reliability
- New clients are in the same platform, easy to reach and speak to
- Get full access to your sites by connection your Google account
- The IQ certification
Naturally, there are also some bad sides of all this:
The certification is available only in a limited number of languages
- You cannot sign in without having an email that is linked to a Google account
- You must have a My Client Center manager account to sign up as an agency or a marketing professional
Ever since the internet marketing boom began, marketers have been scrambling to figure out the most effective ways to connect with consumers on the web. One of the most prevalent forms of internet marketing has been display advertising (outbound advertisements on websites). Generally speaking, there are two types of display ads that exist: banner advertisements and pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements.
However, marketers often fail to see the difference between the two. To help clarify things, we are going to explain to you the difference between PPC and banner advertising, as well as the pros and cons of each.
What is banner advertising?
A banner advertisement is an online display ad posted on a website. This is usually paid for upfront and remains on a website for a predetermined amount of time.
What is pay-per-click advertising?
Much like a banner ad, a PPC ad is an online display advertisement posted on a website. Unlike banner ads, however, they are paid for based on the number of clicks that they receive.
How do the above differences affect each type of display advertising?
With banner advertisements, you know exactly what you are paying upfront. However, it is very easy to overpay for banner advertisements, since you are guessing at how much you need to invest in an online display ad space.
With PPC ads, your investment is more valuable, because every dime spent is the result of a consumer interaction. There are also management tools that allow you to keep a PPC campaign within your budget. Because of the powerful analytics tools often connected with PPC advertisement solutions, it is also easier to optimize your investment, based on real-time data. However, you need to approach data analysis correctly, you could mistake bad clicks for sales lead opportunities.
With banner advertising, context is 100 percent guesswork. If the website you decide to post your banner on does not attract your target audience as well as you thought it would, then you have wasted your money.
This is where PPC advertising starts to use some elements of inbound marketing to connect with your target audience. This is due to the fact that powerful PPC engines such as Google AdWords display PPC ads to people based on the context of the search they are engaged in or the website they are visiting. What’s more, PPC ads have no drawbacks regarding context.
Outside of initially choosing the website and location of your banner ad, you have very little control over it. As such, they do not allow you to take advantage of the real-time data that analytics tools can provide you with.
PPC ads allow you to alter the location, positioning and topics of your PPC ads instantaneously. For larger campaigns, many PPC advertising resources also allow you to create multiple accounts under a single umbrella for easier management.
Due to the fact that they often lack context, banner ads have been the target of much derision from both marketers and consumers. In fact, some consumers are even taking steps to block out banner ads entirely.
The marketplace for PPC advertising is growing fast. It is opening up new ways to engage marketers, including large support communities that feature global marketing leaders and partnerships with monolithic entities such as Google.
PPC marketing is the future of display advertising
Pay-per-click advertising outclasses banner advertising in just about every way. You get more value out of every marketing dollar and it is supported by massive marketing machines like Google.
Display advertising in the social media market can be very lucrative with the right positioning. The key is to understand the types of display advertising and how to match it strategically to your service or product. Having this knowledge will help if you are looking to DIY or hire a marketing professional.
Search Results Display Advertising
Most likely you’re wondering how to get your ad displayed when people are performing internet searches on products or services similar to yours. One of the ways to do this is become savvy about using Google AdWords. This is a paid Google advertising tool. When someone clicks on your ad, you pay Google. The term used is pay-per-click (PPC).
The complication arises with SEO practices and creating marketable key words on your website’s landing pages. The great news is that Google makes available training and best practices on how to optimize display advertising.
Google is not the only search engine for display advertising. Bing has a similar PPC option as well. You should know the market that you want to reach and your demographics, then choose the search engine that fits best. Of course pricing and budget will factor into your decision as well.
Facebook Ad Platform
Facebook has several options for display advertising that go beyond the PPC option and offer customizable solutions. Of course, there’s the basic no-cost option of simply signing up for a Facebook Page. If you are just starting out this is an awesome way to get your feet wet.
Many businesses don’t take full advantage of using Facebook’s free page to create advertising messages and information that’s readily available.
But this is only a start. The display ads that you see on the left side of your Facebook page are paid targeted advertisements. The team at Facebook will lend a helping hand on the creative side to help you produce ads that work. Thirty-eight percent of their ads reach the intended audience with a success rate of eighty-nine percent, and they have several additional platforms to choose from that are worth looking into.
Banner and Retargeting Ads
Some display ads mirror the same process as traditional newspaper ads. Advertisers partner with website marketers for ad placement on third party websites. Often banner ads have nothing to do with the website and these tend to be more of a fishing expedition. When using a banner ad, ask for data and statistics so that you can make an intelligent decision and not waste a lot of money.
If you have ever just shopped for a tooth whitener and then gone to AutoZone looking for a new battery and wondered why a tooth whitener ad popped-up, this is using the concept of ad retargeting. When someone visits a website looking for a product, a retargeting campaign cookie is attached to users, and it follows them to the next website reminding them of the product they just reviewed. As you have probably guessed, this type of display advertising can yield impressive results.
There are more types of display advertising available from the giants of on-line marketing such as Google and Facebook. However, there are many other advertising platforms to choose from. Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram are just to name a few. If you are looking to create a presence using displaying advertising, you have a wide array of choices and some that are very budget friendly.
Targeted advertising for businesses is the perfect catalyst to deliver traffic to your website and inspire customers to take advantage of your products and services. Online paid advertising can make much more of an impact on potential consumers than the manipulation of website content or efforts to improve SEO optimization under some circumstances. It taps into an already interested pool of potential customers who are very willing to consider your business’s products.
Targeted ads will send your prospects right to the website that you’ve worked so hard to create. While Google AdWords is the most popular vehicle to deliver targeted advertising, there are numerous online paid advertising services available for businesses. These services place ads for your business on web search results pages as well as other websites. Some will even put targeted advertisements at the very top of the search results. This strategy can prove to be quite successful for a business that is looking to recruit customers with a need or desire for the product that it sells. Half of the challenge is already accomplished by targeting those who go out of their way to seek out the products or services that the business specializes in.
Business owners and managers who are looking to take advantage of online ads that target a specific group of people should understand some of the strategy’s basic concepts and features. Ad Rank is a number that is created according to a number of unique factors. These include the business’s auction bid, its click through rate, the advertisement’s relevancy etc. Ad position is critical to a successful online marketing campaign. The position of the ad is determined by the Ad Rank. The position speaks to its placement on a web page. An advertisement with an ad position with a low number like “1” will pop up as the first ad on a web page. It’ll be placed towards the top of the page and more people will see and click it. Ads put in less preferential positions will end up on the bottom or sides of the web page.
You can choose to pay for a targeted online advertising according to the number of Internet users who actually click on your advertisements. This is commonly referred to as “pay per click bidding”. Your ad rank will jump if your auction bid is more competitive than that of others. Those with the best bids in terms of the amount they are willing to pay, as well as the quality of their ad, will be able to have their ads placed very highly on the first page(s) of web search engine results. The beauty of this advertising is that you’ll only have to pay a specified premium for each person who actually clicks your ad. This way, you won’t have to pay for an advertising service that doesn’t actually deliver potential customers to your website. Once you take into account the fact that these users are genuinely interested in what your organization provides, you’ll have a true grasp of the magic of targeted advertising.
Once you understand the basics of targeted advertising, you can refine your strategy by taking advantage of Google’s AdWords services. When you tap into its wide ranging features, you’ll be able to see your average ad position and even improve it with the use of Google Analytics. You’ll be empowered to study the actions of those who visit your website as a result of the ads that you strategically placed with your targeted advertising. With this data, you’ll be able to further refine your online marketing strategies to optimize hit rates and consequential sales.