Be Aware of PPC Company Scams

So, you’ve decided to start PPC or begin searching for a new management company. There is so much to consider. Here’s a short list of things to be aware of when it comes to common scams associated with paid search:

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Third Party Reports

If a company fails to show you reports directly from Google but instead present their own fancy-schmancy version of a report, that’s definitely a red flag. Analysis and separate reports can be helpful, but make sure that you see the reports directly for yourself when it comes to charges to your account and what exactly you’re paying for.

No Transparency

Cost, clicks, and keywords are all something that you should be aware of at all times. This goes along with the previous item but it’s surprising to know that some clients don’t even get regular reports or updates of their PPC account. Some PPC companies operate under the impression that if they spend your budget of X amount in a certain time period, that’s all that needs to be done. This often happens in larger companies that employ salespeople who work separately from the PPC and creates a disconnect in what you’re being sold/told to what is actually happening with your account.

Other Clients and Charging Your Account

Speaking of larger companies, this is sadly not an uncommon practice: the company charges the client the budget amount (plus management fees) and puts that money into their large, master account where they manage multiple clients and web sites. In this case where your account is not charged directly from your credit card, there’s no real way to see how much of the budget was really spent, if all of it was spent at all. With that said, keep your eyes peeled as this is not best practice for PPC management.

If It Sounds Too Good to Be True…

If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. A PPC (or PPC salesperson) who promises #1 ad placements, free clicks, etc. cannot be considered 100% trustworthy. Don’t forget to read our accompany blog post: ‘How to Choose a Trustworthy SEO Company‘, all these can also apply when choosing a PPC company.

Choose a Reliable PPC Company

If you’re looking for a PPC management company in Los Angeles, look no further! We also serve clients nationwide. Emarketed is a Google Partner and an Adwords Qualified company. We serve industries including: Business-to-business, education, healthcare, media and entertainment, retail, technology, and more. Don’t hesitate to call us today for a free consultation. You have nothing to lose except getting in touch with a knowledgeable PPC.

Do Google Updates Affect PPC?

Each year, there are hundreds of Google algorithm updates ranging from minor, everyday adjustments to a handful of major roll-outs. SEOs can never seem to get a break from these constant changes. As to whether or not (and how) these organic updates affect paid search, isn’t so clear. But paid search managers still need to be aware of organic SEO fluctuations.

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The Mysterious Quality Score

Think of Quality Score as the sought after factor in PPC – the higher, the better. In organic search, there are MANY, not-so-transparent factors that determine search engine rankings. Although there are monetary components related to PPC ads, it can be argued that some tangible factors (such as CTR) correlate to organic search rankings.

Relevancy in Landing Pages, Keywords and Campaigns

Keyword quality and relevancy are now tied to landing pages in a PPC campaign. Before, Google didn’t scrutinize landing pages as much, with the thought that it was something users saw AFTER they clicked on an ad. But nowadays, landing pages are just as important as the ad copy and keywords themselves.

This mirrors organic search in that Google judges the copy of the landing page to what the user is searching for and deeming the content relevant or irrelevant to that query. For those unfamiliar with PPC, it means that it’s not all about bids and your budget. You can spend a lot of money but without following Google’s guidelines and recommendations, your PPC campaigns aren’t going to get your business anywhere.

Google’s End Game: The User Experience

Even though PPC and SEO can be very different, they’re more related than you think because the end goal is the same. Google wants content, whether paid or organic, to be relevant to the user. Having meaningful and useful content isn’t new in the SEO world, but PPC is definitely following this train of thought. Instead of treating PPC like a different monster than SEO, they can work together in some ways. Diversifying your online campaign is important and an AdWords Certified Partner like Emarketed can help. Contact us today.

PPC Success for 2015

Pay-per-click campaigns are an excellent choice for businesses of any size. But beware, changing search and user behaviors will make it more difficult for PPC success. From understanding goals & budgets to setting realistic landmarks, it’s time to start NOW to ensure the success of your business tomorrow.

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Learn About the New Things

Nothing is truly “new” in the world of marketing or even when it comes to PPC. It’s all about what’s new and right for your business and industry. Dynamic ads for PPC is relatively new and quite successful in e-commerce settings.

Ads are more powerful when they create a tangible sense of urgency. See the difference between these two ads:

1) End of Year Sale – Today Only!
2) Shop Our End of Year Sale – 5 Hours Left!

It’s about replacing static text with dynamic text in ads and even landing pages, which can greatly improve your ROI. Users are more likely to respond in a positive way to engaging ads, and dynamic ads can be an answer to that problem.

Improve Tracking of Leads

Depending on your field, PPC can be quite competitive and expensive. Without accurate lead tracking through call and Analytics tracking, you might as well be wasting the money you’re spending. It’s ineffective if you’re not tracking how users convert, where they come from, and how much it’s costing your business. The bottom line of PPC isn’t just how much your budget is plus management fees, it’s proper tracking analysis of customers so that you can improve your campaigns and lower your costs to get those customers.

Focus on Potentially High Converters

Your PPC manager should be regularly checking keyword-level Quality Score against conversions. The goal here is to check on ads with high quality scores but no or low conversions and bump it up. Half the work is already done for you, so the heavy lifting comes in on how to capture those conversions. Think in terms of user-friendliness and what a potential customer would like to see.

Gain Insight with Better Scheduling

Over time, the history of your campaign becomes very valuable. This is, the ratio of conversions compared to clicks. This can be monitored with third party tools such as Raven Tools. You’ll be looking specifically to compare days, even down to the hours that occur for your best performing ads. For example, knowing that your customers are searching and clicking after work hours until bed time is valuable so that you can target most (if not all) of your efforts to that block during the day.

Contact a PPC Company Today

Analysis and understanding of PPC campaigns can be complicated. Make sure your paid search campaigns are ready for 2015 and contact Emarketed with any questions today.

What To Do If Your PPC Campaign Has ‘Hit the Wall’

When managing a pay per click campaign, unfortunately there may come a time when you feel like you’ve hit the proverbial wall. Due to exhaustion, time constraints, budget or maybe you just don’t know… but your campaign may not be working for whatever reason and you just don’t know what to do about it. Instead of doing the same old thing and expecting different results, here are four alternatives that are worth your time:

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Invest in Different Types of Paid Ads

Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, retargeting, remarketing, email and more. There are many types of paid ads to choose from and diversifying your traffic from Google might not be such a bad thing. Depending on your budget and industry, it can be the change that you’re looking for. It’s well-known that these other types of paid ads won’t give you the results like Google does, mainly due to the amount of market share Google has… but customers who click on these other ads are definitely of another demographic that you can tap into. Not to mention that Yahoo is now the default and preferred search engine of the latest version of Mozilla Firefox.

Review Opportunities for Keyword Expansion

Getting your ads viewed by and clicked on by more relevant people is the ultimate goal in PPC. One way to achieve this is to find and fine-tune all related keywords. New keyword ideas and opportunities can be found by researching competitors, viewing organic queries in Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, as well as using traditional free and paid keyword tools. These keywords can help boost your PPC traffic and give you the traction that you’re looking for. Remember to review keywords and negative keywords regularly to avoid falling behind on your campaigns.

Review Ad Copy and Calls to Action

On paper, your pay per click ads might look like they’re performing well. But if you’re getting the clicks and conversions aren’t matching up, the copy might be the problem. There are many ways to test copy including: using numerical values (30% off) versus BOGO (buy 1 get one half off) and more. Advertising specific deals and the language you use is important, especially in highly competitive industries.

Another problem is that your ad copy may not appeal to the average reader or the content on the landing page doesn’t help them solve a problem. There may be no sense in urgency to contact your business for further assistance. Simply put, your PPC ads may need to be “dumbed down” and worded more simply. When it comes to PPC ad copy, there is always room for improvement and better conversions.

Conduct an Audit of Your Campaign(s)

Sometimes, it really helps to get a fresh set of eyes on a difficult campaign. Much like website audit, a one-time thorough review of your campaign can help you tackle problem areas. You’ll feel better walking away knowing that there are new specific steps you can take action on in order to  Contact a Google AdWords Qualified Company like Emarketed for a comprehensive evaluation. We serve a variety of different industries, including: Business-to-business, education, healthcare, media and entertainment, retail and technology.

Google AdWords Mobile Best Practices

Today mobile search is much different than what it was 1 or 2 years ago. Before the smartphone boom, phones were used as a secondary device, maybe as a way to browse something that you would purchase later elsewhere… like on your “real” computer or at an actual store. This quarter so far, about 38% of paid ad clicks came from a mobile device according to a study. Don’t you want to make the most of your paid ads on mobile devices?

Google has conveniently released a PDF checklist of mobile best practices for Google AdWords. If you’re handling your own PPC account, it’s a must read. If not, it’s still best to ask your PPC consultant if your campaign is being maximized for mobile devices. Here are some things to check off:

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Mobile-Friendly Ad Extensions and Formats

The same rule of SEO applies – think of user experience first. Help increase the clickthrough rate (CTR) of your ads by making it easy for potential customers to find your business location, products/services and other important details. This can be achieved by adding call extensions and location extensions.

Create a One Stop Shop for the Important Information

You get less room when it comes to mobile ad space, so make sure to put all the important information and other calls to action in the headline and description line FIRST. Even on line 2, some text may not show up on mobile devices, so put all the important information front and center.

Be Creative in Your Confined Space

Even though your space and text is limited, it’s best if you can separate the two lines into two separate sentences. In some cases when your mobile ad shows, line 1 will be promoted as the title while forming a longer headline, so that the next sentence in line 2 will also show.

Target All Mobile Users

Ideally, your website is mobile friendly or responsive. If this is the case, don’t limit yourself by only targeting certain mobile users. It’s best to target mobile traffic from all devices, as it’s only expected to keep growing.

Be Mobile Friendly, Even If Your Website Isn’t

In some cases where a website isn’t very mobile friendly, you can still benefit from mobile traffic by implementing call-only ads. This type of paid ad encourages calls directly to your business and will help potential customers as well.

If you have a question about pay per click ads, don’t hesitate to call us or request a proposal today.

What You Thought About Paid Ads is Wrong

If you thought organic SEO was competitive, wait until you get into the world of paid search. PPC is highly competitive, there are some common misconceptions to the game, especially if you are just starting out.

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Is it Possible to Succeed on a Small Budget?

Bigger companies and brands have the budget it takes to succeed when it comes to pay per click advertising. But it doesn’t mean that your business will be left in the dust on a smaller campaign. This is why it pays to research and target a specific niche or vertical. Instead of working harder, work smarter and more efficiently to target the correct audience.

Big companies run many ad campaigns at once and the strategy they usually employ is to cast a bigger net in hopes of getting more clicks. Hopefully, those clicks will turn into conversions. If you’ve clicked on ads for bigger campaigns, you also might find that they just take you to a specific section on the website, main home page, or even a section that is completely wrong and different than what you were looking for.

The advantage of a small campaign is that there is more time for analysis, planning and updates so that they work to your best advantage. The downfall of big PPC campaigns, is that they are run on auto pilot and there are many  instances where the “fat” can be trimmed.

Take Advantage of Gmail Sponsored Promotions Ads

Have you heard about ads in Gmail? Depending on which study you’re looking at for 2014, users send and receive about 120 emails a day. This means a lot time spent on email, more specifically Gmail. While Gmail Sponsored Promotions Ads is currently in beta, you can sign up by contacting your Google Representative or contact us and we’ll see what we can do to request your inclusion. With this paid ad strategy, you can take advantage of competitors – literally! Your Gmail Sponsored Ads will show up in a user’s email interface, whenever there is a mention of a competitor term that you have bid on.

“Keywords” Versus What Users Actually Search For

SEO and PPC seem confined to a list of keywords. But in reality, we have to constantly remind ourselves of what users are really searching for – search queries (aka “real world” searches). Adwords’ Search Query Reports (SQR) help businesses understand what users are really typing in and how it matches up to what their intent is and what terms the business is actually bidding on. This is where you can make your PPC campaigns even better by searching for and adding negative keywords.

Consult with a Reliable PPC Consultant Today

The nuances of pay per click management aren’t always obvious and it can be confusing. But all these little things are what determine whether your ads are effective or not. If you need help with your PPC ads or have questions about how paid ads can be more effective, feel free contact us at (323) 340-4010 or (800) WEB-5421.

Does Your Business Need PPC Management?

As Google search results are leaning towards favoring paid ad space, it might be time for you to consider help with PPC management. If you don’t have the time or resources to handle paid search campaigns in-house, it’s highly beneficial to hire a company or manager who has the knowledge and experience to grow your business via paid ads. Here are a few things to compare in your search for the right type of help:

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Reviews and Industry Experience

When it comes to other client reviews regarding past PPC management experiences, make sure you check all the usual places: Yelp, Facebook and Google+. You should also want to check BBB, Judy’s Book, City Search and testimonials on their own website. In short, make sure to check out the company’s website as well as reviews on other third-party websites.

Industry experience is especially important if you’re dealing with an expensive industry. This infographic shows the top 5 most expensive keywords in 1) Insurance 2) Loans 3) Mortgage 4) Attorney 5) Credit industries.

Why would you choose a PPC company that has experience in your field over one that doesn’t? Someone with industry experience can help give insight into maximizing ROI, understand what is considered a “normal” conversion rate, and any other industry quirks that an unexperienced PPC manage might not know.

Budget

On top of your PPC budget, pay per click management typically costs an additional fee. Some agencies will charge a certain percentage of your PPC spend while others just charge a flat fee. Make sure you are clear about the costs of managing your paid ads and to ask about any underlying or additional fees, such as initial set up, research and more. If any PPC company is not transparent about their rates, it’s a good idea to steer clear.

Qualifications

Just about anyone can run PPC ads but just because you can, doesn’t mean you understand it and can do it well. Whether your budget is hundreds a week or hundreds of dollars a day, you’ll feel safer knowing that your account is in good hands. Make sure to check that the company is a Google Certified Partner. Emarketed is a Google Certified Partner with 2 Qualified Individuals certified in search advertising and 1 in display advertising. Don’t just take the company’s word for it, these certifications are all marketed clearly on Google’s Partner website.

Other Services

You may want to stick with a company who solely specializes in PPC management. But in the event that you want additional services in the near future, it might be helpful to choose a full-service company that can also help with SEO, content, web design, video marketing and social media. You don’t have to limit yourself by choosing a company that can only help your business with paid ads.

Choosing The Right Company

Finding the PPC agency that’s the right fit for your business is a challenge but the process can be easier if you make a list of factors (like the ones discussed above) to compare. Good luck and contact us for more information about PPC ads.

Are Bing Ads Right for My Business?

Google takes the top share in the search market but what about the smaller guys? More niche businesses are finding opportunities with paid ads with Bing. Here are a few things to consider if you want to make the move:

New Interface

Google and Facebook aren’t the only giants that can make changes this summer. Bing has revamped their ad interface and it will be rolling out soon. New isn’t always better but it is in this case because it’s intended to make users feel more at “home” when using the interface. The new look is simple, clean and most important, easier to use.

Input from Users

Bing made drastic changes to their ad interface and asked users for input. New features include auto tagging, which will reduce errors and help you track campaigns more easily. There are more intuitive features that will help you analyze why your campaign performance has changed, for the better or worse. The goal of the new Bing Ads is to help you make smarter decisions faster.

Features like the Opportunities tab will provide in-depth and personalized suggestions for your campaigns. Efficiency is kept in mind with the online insertion orders feature where you can create with the speed of a click. Goodbye phone and faxing!

Lower Barrier to Entry

Starting on Bing Ads isn’t as expensive as Google AdWords. There are less competitors which means that you can be more aggressive, if you desire, and target a broader audience with a smaller budget than you would be able to with Google. With a smaller budget, Bing Ads is a great way to experiment or test a small campaign that you can easily track and attribute directly to paid ads on Bing.

Diversify Your Marketing

It would be great if you Google organic traffic didn’t dominate the majority of your website traffic. And that’s not just an argument against Google. If 80% of your website traffic came from Facebook or Twitter, that wouldn’t be a desirable thing either! Investing in Bing Ads is another way you can level the playing field and get different (but qualified) traffic to your website. Whether it’s the next Google update or if you’ve been relying on AdWords, you never know when your Google traffic could slowly (or suddenly) drop off. Bing Ads are one way to combat that. Emarketed is a Bing Accredited Professional Company and we can help you with your paid ad options today – (877) 959-5322.

Why Use Negative Keywords?

There are many complicated moving parts that make up a PPC campaign. This might be why some SEOs loathe and even fear paid ads. An experienced PPC manager can tell you that negative keywords are an important part of a campaign, especially if the ads aren’t performing as well as you’d like them to be.

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What Are Negative Keywords?

It’s helpful to understand what exactly is meant when referring to “negative” keywords. First off, it doesn’t have a negative connotation or mean “bad”! A negative keyword is any keyword that prevents your ad from being shown by a certain word or phrase. Essentially, it tells Google NOT to show your paid ad to a person who is searching for that phrase. For example, if you own an online shoe store but don’t carry baby shoes, “baby” would be a negative keyword. “Free” is also a popular negative keyword for obvious reasons.

Why Are Negative Keywords Overlooked?

The problem with PPC campaigns in general is that there are so many different factors to look at. To the untrained eye, negative keywords might (if you’re lucky) be added to a campaign at the very beginning. And that’s where the process ends. The negative keyword list is never looked at or adjusted again, even if the ads change!

Why Negative Keywords Are Necessary For Your PPC Campaign

Adding specific negative keywords will help searchers get what they want. It filters out the specific type of search so that you don’t get errant clicks when the searcher really was looking for something else. For example, if you’re a lawyer looking to help clients with foreclosure defense, you’ll need to add relevant negative keywords to your list so that you don’t get clicks from people searching to buy and flip foreclosed homes.

Where to Get Ideas for Negative Keywords

– The starting point for your negative keyword list should come from your Search Query report, where you can see all the searches that have triggered your paid ad. Check the list and add any weird or irrelevant terms as negative keywords to your campaign.
– Check a thesaurus for synonyms and add to a list of negative keywords you already have.
– Don’t forget Google’s own AdWords Keyword Planner
– Competitive research, search your desired keywords and see what comes up. If there are results and ads with words with what your NOT interested in, add them to the list.
– There are also paid options, like Wordstream.

Negative Keywords Help Your Bottom Line

Who knew that something that sounds so bad can actually be so good for your ads? Adding relevant negative keywords to your PPC ads will make them more targeted which will increase your Quality Score. This gives way for higher conversion rates and more affordable clicks. Read more about what Google has to say about negative keywords here and call us at (323)340-4010 for help with a PPC campaign.

Maximize Your Online Efforts with Both SEO and PPC

Online marketing covers so much nowadays and it’s actually scarce that a business would have a PPC campaign without SEO or vice versa.

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Even though there are distinct differences in paid and organic search, there are many ways that you can coordinate them to your advantage. Just like PB&J, PPC and SEO can work together… although there are times when you may prefer them apart. Let’s take a look at a few ways a business can benefit when using the two:

Helps With Making Relevant On-Site Changes and Updates

You can make changes to your website with hints of what works for your paid ads. Improving website content is helpful when you can get insight on organic and paid search queries. Since Google is fond of the (not provided) data, Adwords can help. With using the paid search option, you can get insight on what keywords bring a high volume of traffic. You can also look at it per page or keyword basis when analyzing bounce rates and post ad-click behavior.

Figure Out What Keywords Convert

Conversion is one of the most, if not the most, important factors of an online marketing campaign. It can be difficult to measure though, depending on your goals and whether or not you also measure micro-conversions.

Reviewing data for your organic campaign in Google Analytics can help give you a better idea of what converts when it comes to paid ads. In Analytics, you can keep track of conversions like whether or not someone downloaded a brochure or submitted a contact form. Historical data, even if it’s for organic SEO, helps you fine-tune your paid ads. This way, you have something solid to go by in terms of budget, bids, and the return to expect. In return, you can test these keywords with different PPC landing page tests and stick with what works better.

Increase Brand Awareness and Boost Visibility

This is the ultimate reason to use the one-two punch that is SEO combined with PPC. If your site shows up well in organic search, pairing it with a top listing for a paid ad only maximizes your business visibility. This helps potential customers become familiar with your brand and dominating page one shows that you are doing something right, both in organic and paid aspects!

Create a Catch-all for Non-Converters

If you didn’t quite capture a customer from an organic click, remarketing is another paid search venue that your business can utilize. It is extremely versatile in that you can target users who have visited your site before but did not convert. It also doesn’t matter HOW the visitor got to your site, how cool is that? These targeted paid ads help with all the above we just mentioned but also helps increase the chance of conversion, especially with even more targeted ads on what the customer is looking for.

Questions?

Maximizing your business success online means that you should coordinate your SEO and PPC efforts so that the campaigns work together to best benefit your website. SEO and PPC work well together, when you know what you’re doing. Contact us at Emarketed today for any questions on your paid and organic campaigns, call 800-WEB-5421 or 323-340-4010 today.