Tag Archives: paid search

LinkedIn Direct Ads – Test 2

Testing 1-2-3 – Again…

In November I began a test run of LinkedIn Direct Ads and wrote about it in this blog post. In the post I committed to posting an update. Here  it is…

The success of the campaign was not as desirable as I had hoped.  I was pleased with the number of impressions but the CTR was extremely low. On many levels I expected this because my audience size was very small (started with about 1000).  

If you read my blog you know that I believe in the Review and Revise philosophy.  You will not get the results you want unless you continually review campaign performance and make revisions to improve results.  I turned my LinkedIn campaign off for a month or so and recently turned it back on with the following significant changes.

  • Deactivated 2 out of 4 ad variations that did not get any results
  • Changed headline on one of the remaining ad variations
  • Created a new ad variation with a new headline and slightly revised copy
  • Increased my audience size from 1000 to 3300
  • Increased my bid (still deciding if I think leads from LinkedIn are worth the CPC rate)

I’ll post another update in a few weeks.  In the meantime, I will continue to review and revise the campaign to achieve optimal results. I would love to hear your experience with LinkedIn Direct Ads. Post your comments.

Looking for results…

~KK


5 Points for Paid Search Keyword Choice

As a small business owner running a paid search campaign on Google AdWords or AdSense, MS AdCenter or others it is critical to set up your accounts in the most strategic way possible.  A paid search campaign cannot be effective without ongoing reviews and revisions but you can set your campaigns up for success by doing your homework at the beginning.

Keyword/key phrase selection for paid search campaigns is a key element in driving qualified traffic to your web site.  Keep the following 5 points in mind when creating keyword lists for your paid search campaigns.

1) All traffic is not equal
Having 20,000 visits to your site means nothing if your bounce rate is high and your CTR is low. You are looking for qualified traffic – these are visitors get to your site and find relevant information relating to the search term that directed them to your site.

In order to get qualified traffic you must choose the right keywords/ key phrases.

2) Broader key phrases are not always best
They can be highly competitive and can drive unqualified traffic. Strike the right balance between specific and broader key terms. In some instances broad key terms are worth it but for most small business that will not be the case.

3) Brand names or product-related key terms are good
If you are looking to promote specific brand names that you sell then use those names in your keyword list. Note: make sure you are not infringing on TM for brands you carry.

4) Specific keywords/ phrases are great!
The more specific the key phrase the more qualified the traffic will be.  The more specific the keyword gets the less traffic it will generate but that can be a good thing.  Fewer clicks but higher quality will turn into leads/sales better than massive traffic

Example: If you sell widgets for the banking industry don’t use the term “widgets” – it is too broad. Use terms like “widgets for banking,” “banking widgets,” “custom banking widgets,” etc.

5) Review and Revise
Continually review your keyword performance to make sure you have the right keywords in place. Make revisions as necessary.  Managing paid search is part art and part science. Check out my previous post: Search Marketing – Review and Revise.

If you are unsure if a keyword is really benefitting you there are many ways to test this. You can find the information in Google AdWords, MS AdCenter or other paid search engines. 

Need help setting up a campaign?  Read this post and contact a marketing coach for help.  I’m available.

~KK


Thursday Threads

Changes are… consistent

  1. This week Google announced Google Instant. Need to keep a close watch on this one to see how it affects my clients’ Adwords campaigns.
    1. How do you think Google Instant will affect paid search?
  2. It will be interesting to see how popular keywords increase in bid price.
    1. A WSJ article speculates that the most common terms(which are already expensive) will jump in price.
  3. A key element of a good marketing coach is to help their clients navigate major changes like Google Instant.
    1. Perhaps I will write something brilliant and get credited by AP as a blogger news source…
  4. The Associated Press (AP) begins crediting bloggers as news sources. It will be interesting to see how this affects the news cycle – if at all.
    1. I doubt I’ll get quoted by the AP tomorrow but it could… happen!
  5. I would guess that to be a cited source by AP one must be consistent in delivering news-worthy information
  6. Speaking of consistency… the use of the same or complementary colors across different marketing platforms can help tie your campaigns together
  7. The use of consistent wording can help do the same
  8. Using consistent (positive) wording is also a good practice with children and families. This is not big news but perhaps it should be…

-KK


Search Marketing – Review and Revise

After you have initially set up your search marketing (PPC) campaign, set the budget, created the ad groups and decided on a landing page, etc., one might think the hard work is over.  It is at this point your paid search campaigns can become costly. The shark can sneak up and bite you in the wallet.

Another key element in a successful search marketing campaign is the principle of “review and revise”. You must constantly monitor and review the performance of the campaign and make revisions/adjustments as necessary. You cannot just “set it and forget it”.

Two issues that frequently pop up with new search campaigns are listed below. Both issues can be addressed by reviewing the campaign performance if you know what to look to look for within the reporting tool.

1. I set up my campaign and I am not getting very much traffic

Issue #1 could be a result of poorly written ad copy.  If the copy does not create the excitement needed to compel a potential customer to click on the ad then potential visitors will not click through to your site. The key indicator to look for here is CTR (click through rate).  The lower the CTR, the fewer visitors your site is receiving.  Solution: rewrite your copy then… review and revise.

2. I set up my campaign and am getting a bunch of traffic but it is not traffic I want   

Issue #2 may indicate some keywords are too broad and therefore are bringing visitors not interested in that type of product. The key indicator to look for is bounce rate (In Google you will find this measurement in the Analytics tool).  The higher the bounce rate the lower amount of qualified traffic your site is receiving. Solution: delete broad keywords and create more specific keywords then…review and revise.

Search marketing (PPC campaigns) can be a key element of your marketing strategy if set up and managed properly.  A time investment on the front-end can you save you time and money later. If you are a rookie, don’t navigate the waters alone – get a little coaching (read previous post on PPC coaching).

Avoid the sharks – review and revise!

-KK


Search Marketing – Don’t Go in the Water Alone

A key element in the success of a search marketing campaign is the investment of time.  It takes time to set a campaign up properly.  This included researching and selecting the right keywords, setting the budget limitations correctly and writing ad copy to maximize your Click Through Rate (CTR).   Once your campaign is set up then you need to continually make the necessary campaign adjustments to receive the best return.

The typical small business executive does not always have the time to focus on learning the “to-dos” and “not to dos” of search marketing on their own.  Trial and error can be expensive and time consuming at the very least.  

Navigating the waters of paid search without experience is sort of like playing with sharks in the middle of the ocean while wearing a children’s flotation device.  It is not recommended. 

For the tech-savvy entrepreneur there are countless sources where you can read about how to successfully implement a search marketing campaign.  If you fall into this category I would suggest you at least get a little coaching from someone with experience to avoid costly mistakes. The investment of a few hours for an initial campaign set up or a campaign review could save you countless hours and many dollars.

For the small business executive who does not have experience or time or the inclination to figure it out on their own look for someone who has solid expertise (and who can provide references) to manage your campaign from start to finish.  Most marketing agencies will offer this service as well many independent contractors.

The Google Certification Program is an excellent credential for one to have.  There are many talented people without this credential but it does add extra peace of mind that the person truly understands search marketing.  I am in the process of getting mine so stay tuned for the announcement.

Happy Searching!

~KK


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