Archive | Pay-Per-Click

Fishing for Leads: PPC vs. SEO Keyword Selection

FishingWhen I speak with business owners, the one thing that they all have in common is that they want to grow their business.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click advertising  (a.k.a. PPC or SEM) each offers the possibility of more visitors – qualified and targeted visitors – just what we’re looking for.

Search Engine Optimization is a great tool for drawing targeted, organic (free) traffic. However, it is not a quick fix, and even with good SEO practices, it can be hard to compete for some of the more competitive words in some industries.

Pay Per Click advertising can work nicely alongside SEO. It can allow companies to rank quickly for their chosen keywords, and to compete on the most competitive words. However, many small business owners disregard PPC for fear of losing money.

Both SEO and PC can be effective marketing strategies that complement one another. The success of each is partially dependent on keyword research and selection, however, not necessarily on the same keywords.

Keyword Selection

Although the keyword research process is the same for both SEO and PPC, the actual keyword selection criteria is considerably different.

SEO: More is More

From an SEO perspective, you want to open the flood gates and cast a wide net to draw as much traffic as possible – industry related traffic of course. Although most companies limit themselves to a few select terms – balancing the amount of traffic with their ability to compete for that term – the ideal situation would  be to create optimized pages for any and all relevant keywords (one of the advantages of a blog), draw a high volume of diverse visitors, and use targeted content to meet their needs at whichever stage in the sales funnel they are at.  In his book Outsmarting Google: SEO Secrets to Winning New Business, author Evan Bailyn refers to this strategy as the “Nuclear Football” strategy.

PPC: Less is More

However, with PPC, you will be casting a single hook rather than a net. Because each click has to be paid for, one of the keys to a successful PPC campaign is LIMITING the number of clicks that you receive. You want to focus on those few keywords that you can use to identify a searcher as being near the end of the sales cycle, and interested in your product or service.

This will require that you get into the head of the searcher and try to determine his/her intent with the selected keywords – it is the “art” of keyword selection.

For example, keywords like “Financial Planning” may be too broad. Is the searcher looking for a company to manage his/her financial plan, or are they looking for a new career, to be educated, or simply wanting  to read the most recent issue of Financial Planning magazine? Keywords like “Financial Planning” will probably have to be eliminated from your list.

If the keywords have multiple meanings, you’ll probably want to leave that keyword off of your list as well. For example “All in One SEO” appears in the Keyword research tool as a highly searched term with low competition. Seems perfect for a marketing company that offers  all-inclusive SEO packages right? Perfect until you realize that “All in One SEO” is also the name of a very popular WordPress plugin.

Words that are plural (i.e. SEM companies) often represent searchers that are not as close to buying as their singular counterpart (i.e. SEM company), so, depending on your goals and budget, you may want to remove the plural keywords.

Depending on your industry and experiences, there will be other filters that you use as well. The key is to consider your keywords through the eyes of the searcher, and as much as possible limit their appeal to unqualified searchers.

The success of both your SEO and PPC campaigns relies heavily on the quality of your keyword research and selection.

Remember, for keyword selection: cast a net with SEO keywords, and a hook with PPC keywords and you’ll be off to a good start. – Click to Tweet!

Thanks for reading. As always, your comments and questions are welcomed and appreciated.

photo credit: Bob Jagendorf via photo pin cc

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Adding Adwords Conversion Tracking to Your WordPress Website

What is Conversion Tracking?

What action would you like your visitor to take once they get to your website – make a purchase, Signup for your offer, view a key page, or become a lead? Are they doing it?

How much can you afford to pay for each click, and still make a profit on your Pay Per Click Advertising campaign?

These important questions can be answered by adding Google’s Conversion Tracking to your AdWords Analytics package.

Adding Conversion Tracking will create 4 more columns on your Ad Group’s Analytics Dashboard.

Conversion columns

  1. Conv. (1 per click): counts one conversion for every click that results in a conversion within 30 days.
  2. Cost/Conv. (1 per click): cost per conversion gives approximate cost of acquiring a new customer or lead.
  3. Conv. Rate (1 per click): this is the number of conversions divided by total clicks. It represents how often a click on your ad results in a conversion.
  4. View-through Conv.: measures when a conversion occurs after a customer has viewed an ad, but did not clicked on it.

Set Up Conversion Tracking in your AdWords Account

1. Open your AdWords account.

2. Select “Conversions” from the “Tools and Analysis” pull down menu.

Adwords Conversions

3. Click “New Conversion”.

Adwords Conversions

4. Name your conversion, and select whether you are trying to get visitors to go to a webpage, make a phone call, or download an app.

5. Settings:

  • Select your category of conversion: Sale, Sign Up, Lead, or View a Key Page.
  • Security Level: Http or Https – you can tell by looking at the page URL if you are uncertain.
  • Markup Language for your site.
  • Conversion Value: this is an optional value – how much do you make each time someone converts? This can be easy to determine if you’re conversion is the sale of a product, but may be more difficult with other conversions. This number can be added later if you’re unsure of it now.
  • Tracking Indicator: The tracking indicator is recommended by Google, but is optional. Enabling it allows for a small message to appear on your website informing visitors that they are being tracked.

Settings

6. Select the radio button that reflects whether you, or someone else, will be adding the code to your website. If you use WordPress for your website, you will be able to add it yourself after reading the rest of this post.

Google will produce a snippet of code to be added to your website. Copy the code.

Note: the code is added to the page that the visitor will be sent to after they finish converting. For example, if my goal is to have the visitor sign up for my newsletter, then the code will be added to the “Thank you for Subscribing” page that they will be sent to after they submit their subscription.

Adding Conversion Tracking Code to a WordPress.org Website

Adding the snippet of code to a WordPress website is actually fairly simple:

1. Sign in to your WordPress dashboard

2. Go to “Add New Plug-ins”

Add Plugins

3. Search “Smart Google Code”

smart google code

4. Install and Activate the plug-in

5. You will find the active “Smart Google Code” plug-in near the bottom of the Dashboard’s left-hand side navigation. Click on it and scroll down the page.

Find it on dashboard

6. Label your conversion tracking, paste the snippet of code in the box, and select the page that code should appear on from the drop down menu (remember it should be the page that the visitor is directed to after they complete the conversion).

Conversion code settings

That’s all there is to it! Give it about 24 hours, then check into your Google Adwords account to see if it is recording data.

If you would like to learn more about Conversion tracking or other advanced AdWord strategies, join me on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 for a Free Webinar: Advanced AdWord Strategies: How to NOT Lose Money with PPC Advertising.

As always, questions and comments are welcomed and appreciated.

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