Designing a great looking website is good. Putting it on a strong information architecture is better.
Rolling out a newly optimized website is good. Checking it first is better.
Let me repeat that: Cost is not important.
What is important is ROI (Return on Investment).
When spending any money on a marketing campaign, you should consider the following:
If you can spend the money (1), not go broke while you’re waiting for the return (2) and the result will be enough of a profit to make it worthwhile (3) then the cost of the campaign is not important.
Recent news and notes that every PPC advertiser should be aware of…
Wow, mobile is evolving fast. AT&T introduced location-based “ShopAlerts” in NY, SF, Chicago and LA. People can opt-in to receive offers and promotions via SMS or MMS when they physically enter a designated area defined by the advertiser (e.g. a mile from their store). This can help drive in-store traffic and reach mobile users in very specific markets. This is even more targeted than web-based and app-based advertising, but it is opt-in.
Last Wednesday, Google announced a new ad targeting setting that optimizes ad serving by conversion rate. Google will monitor the ads in your ad group and over time will favor serving the ad with the highest conversion rate. The ad with the best click-through rate doesn’t always generate the most ROI or profit; especially when advertising on broad keywords where search intent can vary greatly. Just make sure you don’t turn it on when data is skewed. For example, if you already have an ad that has accrued a history of performance and then add a new one to your ad group, Google will automatically favor the ad with the conversion history over the new ad that has a 0% conversion rate because it hasn’t run yet. So, let the new ad run on rotate until you feel there’s enough information for Google to make a decision. This is probably only a good feature for those advertisers that pay little attention to optimizing their accounts because if you have to wait until you have enough data to turn on the setting, you could just make the decision yourself based upon the data that’s accrued.
Google just changed part of their search algorithm and it will affect approximately 12% of U.S. search results. This change is aimed at punishing sites that contain numerous pages with low-quality content; what many call “content farms.” This change will not only affect SEO, but also PPC because if you are running ads on the Google Display Network, it is likely your ads are showing on content farms. If you get a lot of traffic and conversions from these types of sites, you could see a drop. If not, you may see an improvement in performance from display campaigns.
There’s huge opportunity in display advertising, especially when uniting it with mobile devices. The technology has caught up with the promises that were talked about for so long. Here’s Google CEO Eric Schmidt in a short video talking about this future…
Last week, we talked about PPC trick #1 to building your online business for the long-term – using keywords correctly. This week, let’s talk about another “trick of the trade” that will also help on the way to this goal.
Trick #2 – Using Campaigns Correctly
As the number of targeting options for PPC increases, so do the creative ways in which you can organize your campaigns to get the maximum effectiveness out of them. As I mentioned last week, for example, you can create a “fishing” campaign and a “bucket” campaign in order to separately control budgeting, bidding and other targeting options to focus your efforts on dominating the locations (search queries) that really put food on the table.
The first thing we have to think about when deciding how to use each campaign is what the goals of each of them are. As you move into being an advanced PPC manager, you will start to be able to use campaigns not just for the macro-goal of making sales and money, but for more micro-goals within each campaign that will contribute to making the lasting impact of the macro-goal bigger, better and more stable. So, instead of just one goal (making leads, sales or whatever), your account may look like this…
Campaign #1 – Find search queries that work for my business
Campaign #2 – Maximize search queries that have worked for my business
Campaign #3 – Make search queries that aren’t working for my business, but should be, work for my business.
Why would you do this? Again, it’s to make obtaining the different micro-goals that contribute to your macro-goal (making money) more efficient. How do they become more efficient? By utilizing the different features available for ad serving that are built for the different purposes. Here’s a couple examples of what I mean…
Keyword Match Types
For example, the different keyword match types serve different purposes. Broad match is a net that goes out and catches fish (search queries) to advertise on. Then, you can see if these fish are worth keeping. Phrase match is more like a fishing pole with specific bait on it to catch more specific kinds of fish. But, still a fishing tool. Exact match is the fish. It’s the exact fish in the Search Engine Sea.
For fishing campaigns, the point is to go out and catch search queries to decide if they’re keepers or not. So, you want to maximize the amount of search queries and clicks that you get on those search queries. Remember, this campaign is not directly about ROI or profit. Thankfully, AdWords has a bidding option called “Automatic Bidding” that serves just this purpose. When you set your campaign on this bidding option, the AdWords system will maximize the amount of clicks it can get for your set budget. By doing this, you are most efficiently accomplishing your goal for the campaign, which is finding search queries that will work for your business.
Then, once you find the search queries that work for you, you want to then bid differently because the purpose now changes. It’s now about maximizing ROI or profit. Different purposes, different bidding options; so different campaign. In our “bucket” campaign, we’ll use Maximum CPC bidding or Conversion Optimizer (designed for those purposes) to test what bid levels will accomplish this while increasing performance through optimization.
So, here’s a very simple general layout of how campaigns could be organized differently because of their differing purposes…
There are many more features that make creating campaigns with different purposes possible. It’s up to you to learn them and then get creative as to how they will help your account. But hopefully, above and beyond the specifics, the couple of examples I’ve given here will enlighten you to the ways in which you can be creative with targeting/organizing your account to more efficiently accomplish long-term growth.
One of the questions that I keep hearing from small business owners every year is this: How can a small business like me afford SEO/SEM? It’s a fair question coming from budget-conscious business owners. Not everybody can afford SEO. But, nobody can afford NOT to SEO.