Excited for Bing’s Product Ads?

Are you a retailer or e-commerce store owner? You’ll be happy to hear that Bing has announced the launch of product ads in quarter 3, later this year. From their blog:

Product Ads pulls inventory from an advertiser’s real-time product catalog and creates the new rich ad format – delivering key details of the product offer that a user would need to make an informed decision before clicking to the advertiser’s site.

Take a sneak peak at what to expect:

Have questions about running a paid ad campaign on Bing? Contact us, we’re Accredited Professionals with Bing.

Should I Handle My Paid Search Campaign or Hire a PPC Consultant?

Pay per click marketing is an effective way to find customers who are looking for your goods/services. But why would you want to hire someone to manage your campaign when it’s technically something that you can do yourself?

Questions You Might Have
The technical aspect of managing a PPC campaign is one important reason you might consider hiring an AdWords Qualified company or individual. Some questions you might have include:

– Should I only run my ads in the evening and at night when people have time off work?
– How should I test the effectiveness of my ads and landing pages?
– What is the average daily/weekly spend for my industry?
– Will I always be in the top spots?
– What’s the difference ad placements at the top of organic search results and to the right?

The Evolution of Google AdWords
This
infographic shows changing landscape of Google AdWords. It’s a lot of work to keep up with the evolving world of paid ads, especially when it involves the top spots. This study by SEOmoz shows that top ads are evolving in that the are showing ad extensions, more site-links, and forms for lead generation. You can only expect Google to experiment with different formats in order to increase click-through-rates.

Different Ways to Manage Your PPC Ads
There is no “right” way to manage a pay per click campaign because different budgets allow for different methods. If you need advice or have questions about PPC, feel free to call us at 323-340-4010 for a free consultation.

Do You Have a Love/Hate Relationship with SEO?

Love and hate – when it comes to search engine optimization, it’s normal to have these conflicting feelings. But you don’t have to feel hopeless and directionless. Don’t let the chaos of SEO ruin your outlook on website marketing. There are ways to get out of a slump.

Choosing the Right SEO Firm

Like any good relationship, it helps to know what you’re looking for. Are you looking for a generalist or a specialist? You might be interested in only one or a few aspects of online marketing, such as off-site link building or blogging. In these instances, it helps to really find someone who specializes in these areas.

If you’re looking for a company to help with all aspects of online optimization, it helps to seek out a reputable SEO company with experience in your industry. Make sure to ask for a free SEO website analysis to find out more about your weak areas that need help.

Think About Alternatives
If you don’t have the patience for a long-term SEO campaign, paid search marketing can help those who want more immediate results. Although organic optimization is popular, it doesn’t hurt to think about PPC as a complement to the SEO content on your site.

Speaking of complements: branding, video marketing, social media and reputation management are also aspects of online marketing that don’t necessarily deal with SEO directly, but make a great impact. If you’re too frustrated to deal with natural optimization, remember that there are other areas to spend your time. And this is great because you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket.

Lesson Learned

Yes, SEO can be volatile and results depend on search engine algorithms, search volume and customer trends. Sometimes, these things are far beyond your control and the best thing you can do is sit back and wait until the dust settles. Read and learn about the current algorithm “weather” and remember that like with anything else, there will be ups and downs in your SEO campaign. Make the most of it and you can help reduce those numbers of downward trends.

PPC Lessons of 2012

The holiday season is a crucial time for effective online marketing campaign strategies. Let’s take a look back and see what we’ve learned this year and what we can build on moving forward!

Integrate the idea of being “evergreen – Traditionally, aiming to create evergreen content is a major goal in creating content for blogs, web pages, white paper, slideshows and more. The point is that the content will never get old because it contains long-lasting ideas that can be used for years to come. When using this in your paid ad copy, keep things simple, straight-forward and something that will rightfully belong in your ad group as you make other changes, while keeping this consistent.

Consistency counts – Small business owners might get the urge to spend more on PPC when things are going well and completely turn ads off when things aren’t so great. Just like with SEO, paid ads can be greatly affected (in a negative way) when it’s on an erratic schedule. Online campaigns should be kept at a consistent level even if it means cutting back on bids instead of completely shutting the campaigns off. (Again, it depends on your business and industry and it’s always best to consult with an experienced PPC consultant.)

Divide and conquer – No matter how much you plan, research and test, sometimes, certain phrases or keywords don’t perform so well. It could depend on customer preferences, search trends, and even the weather. (Yes, rain and cold weather can have a huge affect on customer spending behavior!) Instead of having the entire ad campaign suffer from the lack of conversions, it might be a good idea to move them to another group and keep the winners from suffering.

Stay focused – Speaking of testing, there is such a thing as too much testing. Dealing with irrelevant minutia of multiple campaigns can get to a person and prevent you from seeing the bigger picture in the long run. If possible, it’s better to choose a few of the most important metrics to consistent test and limit the amount of campaigns that are consecutively running. This way, you can actually sit back, analyze them, and make changes for the better instead of obsessing over the details… and even possibly getting yourself confused as the campaigns blend together. Never a good thing!

Do your best and be realistic – This isn’t just a reminder of what to tell your customers but something you should always keep at the back of your mind. It’s easy to manipulate statistics and even bring in more traffic, but it all comes back to one thing… is it relevant? Conversions will give you the answer to that. Promising something impossible like the number one ad spot all the time is overly ambitious and can also make your business sound less trustworthy. Building false hope of a successful campaign may sound enticing but it never leads to any good in the end. From the beginning, it’s important to set goals that you are capable of achieving and some that you know you can meet. This way, you can move forward to bigger and better accomplishments instead of trying to dig yourself out of a hole by making empty promises.

Paid search is expected to grow even more in 2013. Lists of important lessons will also grow but there will always be the core foundations that rarely change!

The Key to Keywords Overview

Harry Brooks of Search First Internet Marketing moderated the PR Web webinar this morning with Kye Strance of Vocus. It was an educational overview of beginning the keyword process for PR campaign. These tactics can also be the starting point of your SEO or PPC campaign.

A Keyword Advertising Outline
There are three crucial steps that anyone should start with when organizing a keyword advertising plan for a press release.

  1. What is your goal – PR relation purposes or search engine optimization? You can easily have a mix of both by optimizing your content.
  2. Keyword or key phrase research. There are many free and paid programs but Kye gave these 3 examples. Google’s Keyword Tool, Google’s Wonder Wheel and Marketing Samurai. (Maybe it’s just me but I’m a little wary of downloading free SEO software).
  3. Publicize topic. What message do you want to send? Make sure that the content you release matches with your goal(s).

Organic Optimization for Relevant Key Phrases
Organic optimization is a great way to build a relationship with the key phrases that you want. But where do you begin? Whether you offer a product or service, there are hundreds of words (synonyms and misspellings) that can describe your business. As most keyword experts will stress, you want to hit the words that bring you: high traffic with low competition. This is of course subjective for your industry so don’t be afraid to do some snooping research on your competitors. Keyword research is more than just a technique as it becomes an ~*art*~ form when you add your own special touch.