As the holiday season is upon us, we find ourselves reflecting on the past year and those who have helped to shape our business. It’s been quite a year for us all! We hope that 2014 has been just as memorable for you, your colleagues and your loved ones. We look forward to working with you in the years to come.
What happens once your visitors click on your ad and they arrive on a page not finding what you promised?
They “bounce” off your site, you loose a sales-lead, and you pay for the cost of the click. No amount of Google AdWords $100 free advertising credits is going to change bad marketing habits. It probably sounds like I’m having a go at you, I’m not. I’m simply sharing the most common (and costly) mistake 98% of new advertisers are doing.
There are 2 pillars to a successful Pay Per Click Advertising Campaign: Message Match and Landing Page
If the message on your ad does not resonate immediately with the headline of your landing page, your campaign will under-perform and your page will have a high “bounce rate.”
Keep The Promise: Follow through on your ad’s statement: Your visitor should make a seamless connection as you lead them from an engaging and enticing ad to a rewarding landing page which should do the heavy lifting and convert your visitors into leads and customers. Below is an example of an ad matching the headline and messaging of the landing page (because you’re reading the SiteWit blog, you would never send ppc traffic to your home page, right?) The benefits of developing good marketing habits by applying pillars 1 and 2 are: 1. Your campaign is more likely to be successful because visitors are instantly reaffirmed that they can get what the ad stated. 2. Because you are providing your visitors with a better experience, the “bounce rate” will be reduced. Search engines do take note, and this does contribute to lowering your cost per click. 3. Less work for Brigitte because I don’t have to work on so many ads to get you off to a flying start!
At SiteWit, each Google AdWords Certified Advisor has a focus and excels in an area to deliver the best results for your company. Drawing on our respective experience with small business owners across a multitude of business landscapes, we collectively agree that the one single piece of advice we would give to businesses is:
Never start a marketing campaign without a dedicated landing page!
We know what you’re thinking … “What’s wrong with using my home page?”
99% of business owners use their home page as the landing page of their PPC ads.
Admit it, you’re doing it wrong.
The landing page should never be your homepage!
Your home page has a general purpose. It speaks to your overall brand and company values, its founders, mission statement, etc. It can have links to encourage exploration of your website to discover more about you, read your blog, view your testimonials etc….
A landing page, on the other hand, is exclusively dedicated to 1 campaign objective and serves 1 purpose only: Generating leads
It should be immediately clear what you’re supposed to do on this page. Therefore, to avoid distracting the visitor and keep him focused on your call to action, remove the navigation bar and any links from the landing page.
Below is an example of an excellent landing page
This landing Page design is reprinted with permission from Emmy Jonassen of Indie Game Girl.
We love profiling small businesses who succeed in attracting visitors to their site using SiteWit, and we’re excited to introduce you to American Car Craft on our blog!
American Car Craft is a design company with more than 30 years experience customizing stainless steel accessories for Chevrolet Corvettes, Camaros, Ford Mustangs, Late Model Muscle Cars, Ram Trucks, Classic Hot Rods, and more…Their designs are laser-cut and crafted to produce truly amazing stainless steel accessories you just won’t find from any other company. Their product lines include custom grilles, stainless steel interior and exterior trim to state-of-the-art digital graphics. A major reason for their success is due to the uniqueness of their product lines, such as the classic under hood panels and hand-etched stainless accessories from their art department.
The customer experience at American Car Craft is also unique. Whether their customers are on a tight budget or are building their dream-car, they all share the love and passion for classic cars. This has facilitated a great community hub where friends are made between individuals who care for a car or truck as a way of life.
Based in Hudson Florida, American Car Craft’s growing customer base extends to a global presence through established distributors in Canada and Europe. Check out what Matthew Books, Marketing Director, has to say about the challenges of covering advertising, public relations, promotions and sales, and why SiteWit has been a strategic marketing tool for the past 4 years:
“I manage our site, our social media, our online merchandising, our photography, our blog, our videography, our IT and our licensing management. So I don’t have time to babysit several Pay Per Click advertising campaigns. That’s where SiteWit comes in and I’m very thankful for them”. Matthew Books, Marketing Director
See more about American Car Craft by visiting their website www.americancarcraft.com
Preparing your business for the holiday season can be overwhelming, especially if you make a chunk of your annual profit during the November and December period.
This is also a time when the competition heats up. Although SiteWit can’t provide you with an extra set of hands during this hectic time of the year, we can give you a tool that will spread the word and bring the most out of your marketing efforts: Our lead generation tool “Connect”
Instantly Connect With Customers
Visitors to your website see the Connect tab “How may we help you?” and call you on your cell phone allowing you to respond instantly and engage with them so that they don’t try contacting your competitors.
Mobile Coupon Offers
Coupons become visible once a visitor clicks on the Connect feature displayed on your website. The coupons are fully customizable and require the visitor to input their contact info to get the coupon.
Mobile coupon usage is on the upswing with 75% of mobile shoppers having redeemed a coupon from their smartphones last year. The holiday season is an ideal time to tap into this obvious consumer interest in mobile coupons. You can create a steady engagement by modifying your offer once a month. Avoid vague language and be clear with the discount that is being offered. Users are busy, and free is a word that can help get your audience to stop and read the offer. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
-Free sample if you sign up by Nov 30
-Buy one entree, get one 1/2 off
-Free item with any purchase
-$10 off your first order
Connect is free for 2 months, allowing you to take full advantage of this deal during the crucial holiday season. (the fee is $9/month thereafter)
1) Download the SiteWit Connect app from the Google Play store for Android or the Apple App store for iPhone.
2) Headover to your SiteWit account, click on the “Leads” tab on the navigation bar of your SiteWit account.
3) Enter your contact Information, location, store hours, and create coupons
If you need help setting up Connect, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org – We are just an email away
SiteWit is pleased to announce the addition of its new staff member, Jonathan Ortiz, who joined the Paid Search Support Group. In his role as a Certified Google AdWords Advisor, Jonathan will provide support and recommendations to our clients for driving well-targeted internet searchers to their website through properly executed paid search campaigns. Additionally, Jonathan will demonstrate how SiteWit’s automated bid management software puts paid search campaigns on “automatic pilot”, so small business owners and micro-entrepreneurs are free to look at the bigger picture and find growth opportunities for their business. With his extensive background providing customer-centric solutions, Jonathan is well-known for his responsiveness and his commitment to empowering customers with the best knowledge to facilitate their business objectives. Jonathan truly enjoys sharing time with his family, and when he finds a moment, you might find him digging through history books or catching a hockey game.
This week’s post is dedicated to writing an effective ad from the SiteWit interface
The headline is limited to 25 characters (including the spaces), therefore, use keywords associated with the core activity of your business. Examples include:
– Dangerous Tree Removal (Tree Services)
– Budget Kitchen Makeover (Home Improvement Contractor)
– Unique Designer Jewelry (Independent Designer)
Capitalize the first letter of each word in the headline. This is the attention grabbing headline; so it is not appropriate to put your company’s name on the headline.
Avoid using trademarks in the headline such as “IKEA Furniture on Sale” or “Make Money With Instagram.” Using trademarks will cause your ad to be disapproved by Google.
Line 1: Be Clear and Up Front
This line allows for 35 characters (including the spaces) to get your word out.
Use it as a support to the headline to engage the consumer with a thought-provoking message:
– View Our Exclusive & Unique Designs (Independent Jewelry Designer)
– Don’t Wait Until it’s Too Late (Dangerous Tree Removal)
– Don’t Replace, Refurbish (Kitchen Makeover)
Line 2: Make a Call To Action (CTA) They Can’t Refuse
You have about 10 seconds to get a visitor to click on your ad. This line serves as your “Call to Action” (also limited to 35 characters). Write an irresistible call to action to entice the consumer to take action now. Examples:
➢ Get A Free Bid, Enter Your Zip Code
➢ Save 20% During Our Winter Special
➢ New Customers Receive 10% off
Tips for Lines 1 and 2
Do not insert a phone number or email address anywhere in the text of the ad!
Additionally, punctuation such as exclamation marks or question marks are also not allowed. Using any of these will trigger an automatic disapproval of your ad by Google. Note: This is not the case when you advertise on the Bing search engine which allows phone numbers to appear in the text of ads.
Suggestions to Attract, Delight and Satisfy
Examples: 5-Star Rated Arborist / 100% Money Back Guarantee/ Early Bird Special Save 20%
An ad targeted to a local area can often perform better than a sleek, well-written ad covering a very large area such as the entire US. So consider including your city or county somewhere in the text of the ad. Examples:
➢ Tampa Customers Receive 10% off
➢ We serve Pinellas & Pasco Counties
Offer Something Free
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, one way to attract leads is to offer something useful for free, then try to “convert” the visitor into a customer afterwards by other methods, such as sending coupons or special offers by email. So consider these examples:
➢ Download Our Free Tree Pruning Guide
➢ Sign-Up For A Free Webinar
See the examples of Ads below
This Ad Will Be Disapproved by Google AdWords (phone nbr in text)
This Ad will be Approved But The Spelling Error Raises Doubt About The Advertiser
Here is an excellent Ad.The Headline attracts attention by informing of a local service.Line 1 Establishes trust and expert-authority. Line 2 offers a free guide providing value and reinforcing the advertiser’s expertise.
What are long-tail keywords?
A cluster of tightly-focused Keywords formed by 3 or more words grouped together. Here are some examples derived from the base keyword: running shoes – running shoes for flat feet ( 5 words) – running shoes for women (4 words) – running shoes for flat feet women (6 words) – running shoes with arch support (5 words)
Why should I use long-tail keywords?
With the ever-growing number of websites, it’s getting increasingly difficult to obtain sales leads using short keywords, at least initially. Long-tail keywords will play a strategic role in giving you a head start for your advertising campaign. To keep it simple, just remember:
Short keywords are more competitive (so they cost more per click) and will generate fewer sales leads. Long-tail keywords are less competitive (lower cost per click) and will generate more sales leads.
For a small business operating with a limited budget, it means a better allocation of your budget on traffic relevant to your business.
Where can I find long-tail keywords for my campaign?
Head over to www. Ubersuggest.org This is a free tool which generates thousands of long-tail keyword suggestions: Type in the base keyword. Click on “Suggest” Voila! a list of long-tail keywords. This alternative suggestion tool is worth checking out: www.soovle.com It provides long-tail keywords based on real user queries. To recap, long-tail keywords or phrases are strategic for attracting your ideal customers. Using long-tail keywords/phrases is the quickest way to get: Targeted traffic to your landing page; Sales leads and buyers; Repeatable Success
Search engines are in love with long-tail keywords. If you are not using long-tail phrases, you are missing out on a lot of targeted traffic.
What happens on the internet, stays on the internet.
You may be a small business who caught flack by a customer complaining on a review page such as Yelp or Thumbtack. You may have been attacked by a list of derogatory comments found on a consumer discussion board such as Rip Off Report or Pissed Consumer. Or perhaps you fond comments about your business on a Community Forum posted by an ex-employee who actively seeks to reduce business by driving customers away.
In any of these scenarios, you need to take steps to immediately restore your reputation. A reputation is like trust. It takes time to build it but it can be ruined in seconds.
A big misconception is that you need to hire a Web Reputation Defense firm to “clean up” or remove the bad reviews. This is a myth. A bad review is not removed; it is “buried”, pushing it back deeply as far back as page 8 or page 9 of search results where a consumer never wanders since 92% of the web traffic stays on the first page. Reputation Defenders “clean up” the damage caused by creating paid, positive reviews to counteract the negative ones. This is not always productive as “eagle-eyed” consumers can spot these fake reviews.
Another misconception is that you need social media monitoring tools to track your online reputation. You can manage your online reputation yourself. Here are some simple methods:
- Do A Simple Search:
When was the last time you searched for your business online?
Do a detailed search. If your business name is Chuck’s Roofing and you are based in Tampa, extend your search beyond a general search. For example:
”reviews about Chuck’s Roofing Tampa”,
“complaints about Chuck’s Roofing Tampa”
“working at Chuck’s Roofing Tampa”
“employee reviews Chuck’s Roofing Tampa”
Are you happy with what you find?
- Optimize your company’s online profiles
Keep all your company social profiles fresh with original content: LinkedIn page, Google+ or Facebook. They should be updated in a timely manner with engaging news about your company or about your industry.
- Be pro-active: I make a point of conducting these searches routinely twice a month. The sooner you detect negative content, the more you can minimize the damage and the easier it will be to counteract the impact.
- Take Control: Do not delay in replying. Once something negative is posted on the Web it can create a damaging ripple effect. The longer you wait, the longer it will take to restore your reputation, and the more tedious it will be.
- Dilute the negative results. Of course, you need to be cautious when addressing negative reviews. This requires a little finesse:
– Acknowedge the review
– Stay positive; a defensive rebuttal will antagonize the attacker.
– Keep it factual and address each point.
– Avoid the trap of a lengthy rebuttal. It will quickly escalate to an online debate.
– Do not wait to act. The sooner you reply, the more you can minimize the damage and the easier it will to counteract the negative impact.
There will be some instances that no matter what you do, negative content is going to show up on the first page of search results. All you can do now is to take the time to create a positive reputation online.
Pay Per Click or PPC is a form of online advertising where the advertiser only pays if someone clicks on their ad. PPC ads are generally just above and to the right of search results where they can be easily seen.
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost for a PPC ad is determined by the search engine (not by SiteWit).
The charge per click varies depending on the popularity of the keyword (or phrase) and the physical location the ad is targeting.
Let’s illustrate with an example:
- Joe owns a carpet cleaning business based in Asheville, NC . He wants to advertise his services in Ashville. His ad uses the phrase “carpet cleaning” and he targets Asheville and the surrounding area. Google charges Joe $1.09 each time a visitor clicks on his ad.
- Mike also operates a carpet cleaning business, but he is based in Houston, TX. His ad uses the same phrase “carpet cleaning” and he wants his ad to be viewed in Houston. Google charges Mike $1.38 each time a visitor clicks on his ad.
How Does Billing Work?
Now that you understand that the search engine determines the cost of a click, and that the cost depends on market forces, how can you anticipate and control your budget?
Let’s continue with our previous example: Joe in Asheville decides to buy an advertising campaign on Google AdWords for $100 per month. Google spreads this monthly budget evenly over 30 days to cover one month of advertising. So Joe’s monthly budget of $100 is divided by 30 days = $3.33/day
- Joe’s daily budget is $3.33 – This is what he can afford to spend on clicks per day
- Remember that Google is charging Joe $0.69 each time a visitor clicks on his ad
- Therefore, Joe can pay 4 clicks per day ($0.69 x 4 = $2.76)
What happens after the fourth click?
Joe’s daily budget is depleted. Google restricts the frequency of his ads. Although Joe’s ads are active, they are not appearing to viewers as often as they could.
What happens at the end of the month?
The cost of clicks are totalled and deducted from his budget (which is often referred to as “Google Credits”). Joe received 120 clicks x $0.69/click = $82.80
The $17.20 leftover ($100 – $82.80) rolls over as “Adwords credits” towards the next month.
Why Is There No Free Trial?
When you purchase a $100 campaign, you are pre-paying for $100 worth of Adwords credits.
Let me illustrate with an example:
Have you ever purchased pre-paid minutes for a cell phone, such as Tracfone? In order to communicate with anyone using their network, you must pay for minutes before service is activated. The pre-paid minutes are gradually deducted from your initial budget as you use up your miniutesthroughout the month. Any minutes unused “roll over” as credits towards the next billing cycle.
Just as you cannot try Tracfone for “free”, you cannot test Adwords for “free” because a budget is required prior to using the service.
What is Free with SiteWit?
SiteWit’s “Free Analytics” feature performs a free audit of your website enabling you to make decisions based on your visitors behavior. SiteWit’s free analytics allows you to:
- Measure your visitors engagement pattern (how long they stayed on your website, the frequency of visits etc…)
- See trends and patterns such as the most popular page of your web site
- Evaluate the keywords in your campaign: the performance of keywords are color-coded in accordance with the engagement level of a visitor