07.26.12

Why Outsourcing Paid Search Marketing Campaigns Makes Sense

Google Adwords Certified Partner

Simplified Solutions is a certified Google Adwords Partner.

How are you getting your leads, letting your specific audience know about your services or products or staying on top of your competition?

Are you investing in paid search marketing?  If not, you should.   Don’t think you have to do it on your own.  With the rapidly evolving changes in online marketing strategies and tactics, creating the optimal paid search campaign should be left to the experts.  Engaging a PPC management agency can significantly impact on how your campaign performs and ultimately affects your business’ bottom line.

Think about these undeniable reasons why you should be outsourcing your PPC search:

  • Productiveness- Search management is a time-intensive activity.  Is this what you want you or your staff spending their days doing? Outsourcing to an agency allows you to do what you do best-focusing on your business’ big picture. An online marketing agency knows how to manage the details of maintaining your PPC budget, crafting ad copy, keyword research and the many other factors involved to optimize your online advertising successes.
  • Speed to Market- Most agencies have an arsenal of big-gun technical resources available to them, letting them implement the most strategic campaigns, quickly.  Through leveraging bid management tools, the competitive landscape and the ability to make the impactful changes at a moment’s notice, your online marketing efforts are that much more effective and robust.
  • You are the expert at your job, let the PPC gurus ply their expertise- Paid search, when done well is more than bidding on keywords.  By outsourcing to a team dedicated to understanding and implementing geo-targeting, remarketing, quality score, device segmentation, ad builds and more. Do you really want to try and do this in-house?  Consider the time and financial resources of keeping up-to-date on the most recent trends and analytics associated with paid search.

    Google Search Result

    Paid Search can put your company at the top of a search engine.

  • Results- Letting a firm specialized in paid search create a customized campaign based on your marketing goals will yield positive numbers.  Investing your dollars into a purposeful and customized digital advertising strategy can catapult your online initiatives to its fullest potential.  Isn’t that what you ultimately want your online marketing campaign to do?

Clearly, it’s time to reassess your online marketing efforts.  How is it working?  Do you have a plan?  How are you being found online?  Working with a PPC marketing agency will certainly add to your digital bench strength and should be a vital component to your advertising mix.

To learn more about effective online advertising campaigns contact Tom Casale or Bill Kamper at info@simplifiedsolutions.biz or call 312-886-7669.

Share

 

04.22.12

SEO: How to Make Your Website “Google-friendly”

Almost 75% of all search engine traffic comes from Google. It’s important that you play by their SEO rules to get your website ranked and indexed properly. Google looks for two important things to qualify a site: content and relevance.

We’d all be richer than Bill Gates if we could figure out how to make a website appear number one in Google, but there are several basic SEO rules that that give your website a fighting chance.

Searchable and Unique Page Titles

The page title is the first thing Google reads. Make sure each of your pages has a different title that begins with a keyword related to your business. For example, a website for a home staging consultant with a homepage title of “Susan’s Designs in Tampa” tells Google nothing about what the business does. A good title would read, “Real estate staging in Tampa with Susan’s Interior Designs.”

HINT: Put yourself in the mind of a customer that might be looking for you. What words would they type into Google to find the services you provide? Write down 5 or 10 of these search terms or phrases and use them throughout different titles and pages in your site. They are your KEYWORDS.

Keyword-Rich Headings

After the page title, the next bit of web page text Google typically reads is the heading of the first paragraph. Most inexperienced web writers would write something like “About Susan’s Designs” as the first paragraph or topic heading. The more Google Friendly text should read “Real estate staging in Tampa for more than 15 years.” This way Google is beginning to understand that this page must be all about real-estate staging in Tampa (after reading the page title and first paragraph).

Good Keywords in the Copy

Google reads your page looking for validation of the first two instances of your keywords (Page Title and Heading). Make sure you include the same keyword or key phrase a couple of more times in the page especially in the first paragraph. Try, “I have been doing real estate staging in Tampa since 1995.” Bingo… Now Google correctly assumes what this page is about and is more likely to index it properly.

Be sure to create a different page title on every page. The easiest way is to pull from your list of keywords and use a different one to start the title of each page. If you can’t control your page title, be sure to ask your Webmaster to do it for you.

Links

Equally important as titles and keywords are the relevant “inbound links” (other websites that link to yours). The more relevant inbound links that point to your site, the better your site will get indexed by Google. For example, you can create a separate blog that talks about trends in your industry and links to your website. Another good source of an inbound link can come from a listing in a directory or through membership in a professional association.

So that’s a basic overview on how to make your site Google-compliant. Keep in mind that Organic SEO takes some work, and more importantly, some time to work. If you want to pay your way to the top, you might think about Paid Search Advertising.


For a free SEO review of your website, contact Tom Casale or Bill Kamper at info@simplifiedsolutions.biz or call 312-886-7669.

Share

 

04.20.11

Online Advertising: Paid Search is the Sugar Buzz of Online Marketing

Target MarketingEvery business wants to grow their business and become more successful.

Online marketing offers many new channels for finding and growing potential new customers or clients—from 2.0 websites, email marketing, and video to social networks, micro-blogging, RSS channels and applications. Any and all of these may be part of your online marketing plan. But if you rely on a company website to showcase your services, an e-commerce site to sell your products, or you just want to be found, period, search engines are still king.

So… if you want to drive some quality traffic – FAST – you should consider focusing on folks who are searching for you.

We are big believers in having a fully optimized, or Google-friendly website. Another approach that works much faster involves Pay-Per-Click advertising. We like to call it the sugar buzz of online marketing tactics.

Pay-Per-Click, or PPC, is an advertising model used on search engines, advertising networks, and content website/blogs, where advertisers only pay when a user actually clicks on an ad to visit a specific landing page on an advertiser’s website

This form of search engine marketing requires advertisers to bid on keywords they expect a target market will use as search terms when looking for a product or service. You are bidding to have your ad appear in the “sponsored listings” section of search engines like Google or Yahoo. You’ll pay for each click on these ads to your site.

Here’s our over-SimplifiedSolutions process:

The Search Engines

Yes, Google has 75% of the traffic. That is hard to ignore. But there are many others like Yahoo, Bing (Microsoft’s latest), and Ask.com, plus several specialized and local engines as well. Because there may be less advertiser competition for keywords, some of these engines can actually cost less and be quite efficient. Using a combination of search engine and PPC programs can help you achieve your goals in a more cost effective manner and deliver better ROI.

Ad campaigns

When we develop PPC campaigns, we start by looking at the specific products or services our clients want to promote. You may be offering multiple products. If this is the case, we suggest multiple campaigns or groups. For example, you would have one campaign for your video production services and another for website development. The more focused the ad campaign the better.

Converting on Your Website

Instead of a PPC ad linking to your home page, it should link to a “landing” page that best fits the searcher’s description . For example, if you are selling tax services, make sure they land on the tax service page versus a page that lists all your accounting services. Make it simple for them to make the connection. You also might want to include an offer to incent purchase or a strong call to action. Always include your phone number and email contact link on EVERY page. Google Analytics code should be added to each page and order confirmation to track results.

Keywords are Key

It’s not about how you want to be found, it about how the searcher finds you. If you want to be successful in PPC, you must let the keyword research and analysis tell you which terms are most relevant and produce effective searches for your services or products. The words you may think represent your business may not be the same terms searchers use. And guess what? Everyone wants the main terms so they cost more and in some categories like “insurance,” a lot more. Maybe niche phases will suit you better. Or choose longer tailed phrases. Here’s a cheesy example: Instead of cheese, you are selling cheese platters… or gourmet cheese platters… or European gourmet cheese platters… with delivery … in Chicago… South Loop. You might actually be surprised what word combinations and phrases people use to search when they are browsing versus buying.

Bidding for Placement

This is pretty simple. The most popular words and phrases cost the most. And the higher you want your ad to appear, the higher the bid price. Bids can change on daily basis. The key is to find a mix of popular and niche words to keep your cost-per-click at a reasonable rate. Bids on Google are higher than some of the other search engines, so we recommend a mix of ad platforms to average out your bid prices.

Text Ad Copy

To create campaigns, we start by going wide. It is best to create multiple text ads per group to see which will perform best before we narrow it down. We are always experimenting. PPC text ads limit your characters (25 for the headline and 35 each for the next two lines), so think about using keywords liberally in the copy that match specific searches. PPC copy techniques are not the same as traditional print. One golden rule: Do not think of PPC as a branding tool; it’s not. It’s all about the searcher’s needs.

Kicking Off the Campaign

We start by putting some conversion goals in place for the type of behavior we want to measure, i.e. contact by email, sign-ups for your newsletters, virtual tours taken, pages visited, products sold via e-commerce, etc. As the campaign kicks off we set base performance measurements and bids for each campaign. Then several times a week we monitor how the ads, keywords and bids are performing against each other. By comparing effectiveness and efficiency of each of these key factors we can make adjustments to optimize performance. It’s an on-going process. Our goal is to have a reasonable cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPI) measured against a reasonable cost-per-acquisition (CPA). This is all based on your particular business model.

Budgeting for Success

One tool we use to set budgets is “spying” on how much your competition is spending. We usually set daily budgets, not to be exceeded. So if you budget $500 for month for your ads to run Monday though Friday, and the cost per click is $2 to be in the fourth position, we would set a daily budget of $30 per day. Over a month that can drive 250 high quality clicks. Leads or sales can vary by product group and how successful your “landing” pages are in converting. Budgets can ranges from $500 to $10,000 per month. Start slow and build upon success.

The Bottom Line

PPC is not the only way to drive traffic to your website, but it is one of the most measurable forms of online marketing. And if you need some action fast, PPC can be extremely effective for driving traffic, leads, and sales for growing your business online. It’s more of a science than an art so consider hiring an agency that has paid search experience to deliver better results.


For more information on paid search advertising, contact Tom Casale or Bill Kamper at info@simplifiedsolutions.biz or call 312-886-7669.

Share