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.
Below is the press release discussing the addition of Bridget Shea to the Sitewit family.
Bridget Shea joins SiteWit as new Chief Revenue Officer
Marketing Executive set to accelerate SiteWit’s serious momentum with SMBs
New York (October 3, 2012) – SiteWit (www.sitewit.com), a brain for your website driven by fully automated SEM optimization and engagement analytics for SMBs, announces the appointment of Bridget Shea as Chief Revenue Officer.
“Bridget has a proven track record of driving fast growth for leading technology companies. We are excited to leverage her experience in building and scaling superior sales and support teams at SiteWit,” said Ricardo Lasa, SiteWit CEO. “Bridget is an industry veteran with a reputation of thinking creatively to create mutually beneficial partnerships that prosper with a foundation of trust and amazing results.” Bridget will focus on identifying strategic growth opportunities and oversee the global business development and support teams. Key areas of focus for Shea will include recruiting top sales talent, scaling successful partnership models, driving customer retention by delivering value to each SMB and incorporating customer feedback into the product roadmap.
“I’m joining SiteWit at an exciting time, with demand for simplified and fully automated analytics and advertising technologies growing rapidly,” Shea said. “We intend to disrupt the SMB software space by translating the sophistication of Big Data optimization into simple SEM set up and optimization for an SMB.”
Most recently, Bridget was an early employee at Kenshoo serving as VP of Global Client Services where she was responsible for account management teams across the globe. Her team provided strategic consulting to clients, helping them employ Kenshoo to deliver scalable performance lifts while generating operational efficiencies. Bridget worked with blue-chip advertisers such as Facebook, Groupon, Zappos, Expedia, Sears, Target, eBay and Kayak.
Prior to joining Kenshoo, Bridget was VP of Search Operations for SendTec, where she managed the SEO and SEM divisions, overseeing brands such as Intuit, CDW, Bed Bath & Beyond, AAA and Lancôme. Shea also held leadership roles as a founding member of the media team at i-Frontier (now Razorfish). Bridget is a frequent speaker at industry events including Search Insider Summit, eTail and SMX. She is a graduate of Haverford College and holds a Master’s Degree from New York University.
SiteWit is a brain for your website that informs, automates and optimizes online marketing initiative specifically for SMBs. SiteWit provides all the tools necessary for website owners to optimize their content and marketing efforts through a deep understanding of visitor engagement in an automated fashion. Thousands of SMBs around the world are using SiteWit to optimize their websites and SEM campaigns every day. We offer seamless integration with hosting and website software companies such as Endurance International, WordPress, Wix, Weebly and Yola. Please visit www.sitewit.com for more information.
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:
- 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 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.
In an ideal world you’d have so much money to throw at online advertising that you could just wait to see what works and then fix it. But here in the real world we need to start with best practices and expand with success. So I’ve put together a small list of the mistakes I’ve made and have seen others make over and over again.
5 Common Pay-Per-Click Mistakes to Avoid
- Mistake #1 – Too large of a scope
Within the two major ad networks, you get to choose to display your ads on the primary search network or extend it to context sensitive ads on other sites. While it’s alluring to reach out to a larger audience remember that for most sites the primary search network provides the best and most cost effective results. So, by spreading your budget out you will get less impact and you will typically weaken your ROI.
- Mistake #2 – Too broad of a phrase
When you’re working in an industry, you start to think that your key terms could only apply to you. However, even terms like “appliances” could refer you a lot of dental related traffic to your home goods store and waste untold dollars in click waste and lost traffic. So, start by adding a qualifying word to all of your keywords. In this example, only buy clicks for “kitchen appliances” and, until your budget expands, use keyword and phrase matching only.
- Mistake #3 – Targeting the wrong audience
The world is very large place, despite the popular Disney ride jingle that may counter my argument. There are a lot of people who can’t read your site, can’t make use of your product, or can’t have your product shipped to them. So, keep this in mind and set your geographic and language targeting to focus on just those who can.
- Mistake #4 – Forgetting about Quality Score
You researched your keywords, carefully crafted your ads…Now what? Dump those keywords in your homepage, put together a graphic with a pitch and call it a landing page? No, you need to spend as much time and energy putting together a landing page that matches the keywords that you’re buying. Otherwise, your ad will be seen as irrelevant and cost more per click and get shown less often. So be sure to use keyword relevant text instead of images and make a compelling pitch on all your landing pages, even if it is your homepage.
- Mistake #5 – Follow-up
This is the big one. It’s so easy to create a great campaign and then forget about it. But things change, keyword bids go up and down, popular culture and trends can both benefit and ruin previously unknown keywords, and some things simply work better than others. It’s important to regularly monitor your keywords, bids, and ROI. This takes a lot of time. We built SiteWit because campaign management is laborious to do right. There are lots of spreadsheets and calculations to adjust bids, maximize ROI, and find the gold in your campaign. So frankly you’re better off letting our giant brain keep track of your campaigns while you focus on building your business.
In conclusion, I’d like to say that while there is never an excuse to make mistakes 3, 4, or 5, there is a time and place for expanding your ad scope and casting a larger keyword net. How will you know when that time comes? The best indicator is when you can no longer spend your monthly budget. When this happens you need to start expanding your reach with great oversight, even if it means harvesting a few more weeds with the wheat.