DIY marketing is a relatively new term in the digital industry and is referring to mainly small and medium businesses who turn their back to expensive digital agencies and have a go at their own digital campaigns. Especially small and medium businesses simply do not have the financial budget to advertise with offline billboards or newspapers. However, as themarketer.co.uk stated in their January/February issue, it has never been easier for businesses to do marketing on their own, or as a new terminology arises - DIY marketing. However, yet again, this is easier said than done. With growing competition and pressure, lack of time is as always one of the main reasons for neglecting marketing activities like social media or paid search campaings. As a multilingual PPC agency, we know best how valuable time is but understand that every single penny counts when running your own paid search campaigns. For this reason, we will outline the top tips how to run successful PPC campaigns in 5 minutes per day without loosing sight and keep your spend under control. If you wish to have more insight on these tips, you can get one of our top PPC tutors in who will teach you the best practices and latest industry tricks.
1. Filter the most expensive keywords
In the keywords tab, select the data range to 7 or 14 days and filter the keywords according to costs. Scroll down and review the top 20 keywords. Are there any keywords of which you know they are low-performers? If yes, reduce bids, pause or even delete them.
2. Add negative keywords
Review the search queries received in the last seven days and exclude keywords which are not related to your business as negative keywords. This results in surpressing your ads should one of your negative keywords be included in a search query.
3. Impressoion spikes
When selecting the data range in Google Adwords, a compare button can be switched on whereby you'll be able to compare your data with a previous period. Again, select this for the last 7 days and filter by changes in impressions. If you realise a drastic increase in impressions in a certain adgroup, do a deep dive into the search queries to avoid the Myley Cyrus impact on your account.
4. Expensive keywords with low conversions
In the keywords tab, filter the keywords according to costs. Additionally, select a filter for a suitable conversion count and review the filtered keywords. If conversions are not sufficient, lower bids, pause or delte keywords. This can also be done in the ads tab where you might want to review the ad copy, making the ad more relevant.
5. Note down the changes
It is highly valuable that you write down your thoughts and changes into a logbook. By the end of the month, it will be important for you to know, why certain adgroups performaned in a certain way. Furthermore, going forward in the long-term, you can spot seasonal changes and therefore make bid adjustments or depending on your industry, pause adgroups which do not perform in certain months.
This 5 minutes PPC checklist is an inexhausted list and you might find that you have other priorities to do your daily PPC activities. These tips heavily depend on industry and seasonality but also on the correct structure of your account. It depends whether you sell something physical or a service, whether you have a brick and mortar office or just act digitally. If you have additional inputs, please share them with us and help other small businesses to grow.
As a new addition to the cheapclicks portfolio, we are diversifying our services into a tutoring business. As marketing consultants with significant years of experience, coupled with academic qualifications, we can offer students and aspiring marketers digital marketing tutoring.
One-to-One marketing tutoring
We have tutored marketing undergraduates or professional adult students who felt that schools were not giving them the practical theory how to tackle an assignment. This is especially difficult if the person has not enrolled in a course for a few years. As a result, we have focused on getting students through their assignments by giving them practical examples aligned to their marking sheets.
There are a wide range of tutor businesses out there whereby students can find and contact marketing tutors. We feel that the relationship between the learner and the marketing tutor works best when there is a basic understanding of the tutor what the learner requires to submit.
For more information on tutoring services, get in touch. We either teach online or tutor one-to-one.
Remarketing lists for search ads or short RLSA are a great opportunity when the PPC budget is tight, this is particularly the case for PPC budgets in small businesses. In short, RLSA, like the Google Display Network, can serve an ad to a user who previously visited your site. The main difference here is that the ad is served as a traditional search ad and does not differ from other competitor ads on the search network - besides the ad copy of course. The creative PPC practitioners spot endless opportunities using RLSA and indeed, this is a great technique which you should include in your PPC strategy when pitching to your boss when the time comes round where money talks.
Keep it flat
If you read our posts about the perfect Adwords account structure, you know by now that we like things flat. A flat hierarchy in a company means mostly great agility and flexibility and avoids mutli-layered power struggle going through the different management levels. Similar to this, we always advise to split RLSA from search campaigns. We don't want to go into detail how to set up a RLSA campaign which you can read directly on Google's website, but would like to point out some key features which simplify the monitoring and control process.
RLSA bid only or target and bid - which one?
RLSA is an audience you can attach on adgroup level. Seperating the campaigns between search ads and RLSA ads will give you greater budget control. When setting up RLSA campaigns with the Google Adwords Editor, the default RLSA is bid only - make sure you're changing this setting in the audience tab on the Google interface to target and bid. Changing the bidding option means that the ad will only be served if the remarketing tag fires up. If the user hasn't visited your site or a specific part on your site, the ad will not show. And this is ultimately what we want, serve the user with the normal search ad in a search campaign and be more aggressive by raising your CPC bids within the RLSA campaigns.
Why should I use RLSA campaigns?
Competition is fierce and you might not be able to afford to be on first position. If you however work with RLSA and select the target and bid option, you can guarantee that the ad will only show to users who previously visited your website and by now familiar with your brand or have at least seen the logo. The second time round, it is worth being much more aggressive. Yes, CPCs will be expensive but the conversion rate tends to be much better as the customer already indicated to be partly interested in your brand or your products. Raise up your CPCs and get top positions and improve your CTRs, you can even bid on keywords which you otherwise would not dare to bid on.
Over the recent years, businesses increasingly focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and quite rightly so. In the digital age, savvy consumers expect companies to act ethically, fair, honest and decent. But CSR goes beyond fair pricing, paying your staff and caring for the environment. Despite the non-existence of a code of ethics in digital marketing communications, CSR does play a part in how we communicate with our audience and how we manage our immediate stakeholders of which our competitors play a vital role.
Ethical behaviour in digital marketing
The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines regulation in marketing communications as a blend of two main approaches. The first is clear defined by legislation whereby business obey the legal boundaries. The second approach is somewhat more blurry and mostly based on voluntary agreements within industries or between companies. Whilst organisations like the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) monitors the way we communicate on traditional online and offline channels, it becomes much more complex in paid search and brand bidding.
Keep PPC ethical
Brand bidding unfortunately sparks ongoing debate. Whilst allowed in the UK as long the brand name is not actually used in the ad copy, it can be somewhat considered non-ethical. The purpose of bidding on your competitor brand keywords is to expose your brand to a new audience who otherwise might not have considered your business in the first place. This, while limited successful, can bring in some revenue or leads. But why should I keep PPC ethical if other competitors do it as well? That's a good question! We believe that a competitive market is healthy and the only stakeholder who benefits from intense competition is the consumer. However, the ethical approach does also include to achieve this competitive edge without bidding on brand keywords. It feels almost like cheating! The real art of PPC is to outplay your competitor by constantly finding new keyword, optimise your account and bring down your costs while slotting in your ads on stable positions.
Approach of non-ethical behaviour
If you realise that a competitor is bidding on your brand, quite often a email or telephone conversation suffices to settle the brand bidding and come up with a "gentleman" agreement. We've done this many times and had success in 9 out of 10 times. There will always be sneaky advertisers who will try everything to get more exposure. There is a simple trick to overcome this.
Automated rules for brand-bidding
Google Adwords allows the set up of automated rules where the positioning is adjusted as soon as the position of your brand drops from first position to 1.1. Furthermore, settings allow that an email notification is sent out so you keep control when a competitors sneaks onto your brand keywords.
Grouping tight sets of keywords will bring better results in your PPC campaigns. I was once given a good piece of advice to reverse the process when creating new adgroups and rather starting with the keywords, actually come up with the ad copy first. Afterwards, you allocate a tightly set of keywords to your ad copy and continue the process until you end up with a bunch of highly relevant adgroups. Your efforts will be rewarded with good quality scores. Writing catchy and punchy ads is one of the key success factors for good click through rates. However, once you have written qualitative highly relevant ads, you still have to overcome the challenge on deciding in which keyword sets you should group them.
The buying decision and conversion funnels
Let’s assume you sell a physical product. It makes sense to look into the different searches made specifically for this product on its own or in conjunction with a high intend-keyword such as buy, book or order. Straight away you can split the generic terms from the buy-intend keywords and group them separately. Is your brand known and searches appear with your company name, make sure they are separated and sit in its own adgroup. Searches with brand related terms tend to convert higher as they come from users already familiar with your services and products. This however can dilute your performance results as it does not show the true value you would have achieved without support from your own brand terms. Exclude these terms as negatives in your generic adgroups. And already we have three adgroups about the same product, but let’s go a step further.
If you see clear patters in specific keywords and you want to be the ultimate champion of CTR optimisation, split your action terms even further. Create a new adgroup for terms like buy and order. You’ll definitely see an uplift in click through rates. People no longer go through the traditional purchasing funnel but drop out at any stage and come back in again. Comparing products on different websites means that users will probably visit your website more than once or compare different deals whilst having multiple windows open. By trying to overlay the buying process onto your adgroups, you’ll gain more insight in what type of searches are conducted and you can therefore amend or optimise your sets of keywords. Setting up your remarketing on search (RLSA) as well as display will additionally help to bring back the visitor.
Create a misspelling adgroup capturing all the searches which are too far away to be captured with close-match variants. Experiment with different ad copies. I saw some decent results using dynamic keyword insertion which then actually shows the misspelling of the product in your ad. Despite the fact that mistakes in PPC ads are off-putting, this very user is still in believe to have written the name of the product correctly and therefore sees exactly what he/she is looking for in bold letters.
Substitute names and searches
Make sure that you also capture queries of people who do not exactly know the name of the product or your brand. This might take time and requires you to analyse the search query reports. Think of how you would describe your product, its functions, its unique selling points, its purpose and so on. As multilingual PPC agency, we work with international clients whose target audience speaks various languages. Think of name of products in different languages and check the search volume.
Bidding on competitor terms
This non-ethical PPC strategy is very cheeky and in some countries even forbidden. Before you even think of bidding on your competitor brand names, see whether you get the results with the above adgroups. Otherwise, make sure that you understand the advertising regulations in that particular country, set up your keywords in a clever way or get a good laywer.
The right PPC structure
The above are only some guidelines and by all means, the list is non-exhaustive and your thoughts and comments are welcome. The process of creating relevant adgroups with tightly themed sets of keywords requires sufficient traffic. The real expansion and deep dive into adgroups happens best when there is already sufficient data available.
Depending on the nature of your business, your target audience might not search for your product or sevice every hour of every day of the week. If you are a small business and provide a service which depends on opening hours, it makes sense to only show ads accordingly. Or you offer your products exclusively to B2B clients, it might be a good idea to keep advertising switched off during weekends. Global companies with multilingual PPC advertising might want to take different time zones into account.
Google Adwords lets you fintetune your scheduling very precisely. Once your business accumulated a bit of data, the dimensions tab in Adwords is a helpful tool to assess when your campaigns are most successful. Add the segment day of the week and your time range is filtered into the 7 days of the week. If you track conversions on your website, this data might be quite revealing. You might find that your customers don't convert at weekends or individual days of the week. You also have the option to filter the data more granular and switch the segmentation to hours of the day. All this insight can help your small business to understand when your customers are most active, get cheaper clicks and save some serious bucks with ad scheduling.
How to set up ad scheduling in Adwords?
Choose the campaign to which you want to add ad scheduling. Click on settings and then the ad schedule tab. Now add an ad schedule and choose first the days and hours whereby you want to apply bid adjustments. Choose individual days or Monday-Friday, selecting the hours of your business or for competitive reasons. Save the changes, your ad schedule is now visible. Tick the days/hours you want to amend and change the bids by either increasing or decreasing them.
How to copy ad schedule to all my campaigns?
If you use Google Adwords Editor, you can download your ad schedule which is unfortunately not visible, however you can still copy it. Click on the Edit tab and copy campaign shell from "copy special". Afterwards, select the campaigns whereby you want to apply the same bid adjustments and "paste special" the campaign shell. Upload everything and once you check the campaign settings of the chosen campaigns, you'll now see the ad schedule attached.
Monitor your ad schedule and have a close eye on conversions and costs. If you're not getting the results you were hoping for, you might have to further test various bid adjustments. Campaign experiments might be another interesting tool which we will cover in another blog.
Google Adwords can be a powerful tool in getting clicks to your website. If you are in fact a business owner or run your little art gallery, music studio or whatever the nature of your business might be, you know too well that after the launch of your website, the buzz and traffic on your website declines after your initial word-of-mouth in the pub, to your friends and ex-colleagues. Now the question is of course how to maintain a constant flow of traffic to your website.
Organic search rankings
The organic way is certainly the long-term goal, or at least it should be, whilst we are not focussing on best practises for search engine optimisation, it is advisable to brush up on the good old SEO skills. Don’t expect to become a specialist as keeping up with the latest trends is almost impossible and companies pay good money for a natural search practitioner. At this point, it might be a good idea to get in a consultant or even a small agency to look into the structure of your website.
cheap clicks throuh PPC
In this blog however, we focus on paid search or in other words, how to get cheap clicks to your website. By cheap pay per clicks we mean, clicks with a low cost-per-click (CPC). Now again, being a multilingual PPC agency, we manage and have seen accounts in all different sizes and shapes. If you’re a medium or large enterprise and can afford to actually employ a Pay-per-Click Executive, well done! But this blog might not be of interest to you as we’re not focusing on getting all the effort to get a click a penny cheaper. Whilst this is certainly the way to go and again in the longer term does result in cheaper clicks, a freelancer, small or medium business without the resources to employ a PPC specialists has most certainly other worries and should focus on the core business, whether this is getting more sales, leads, sign-ups, etc. No, we’re talking about how to get the most relevant traffic on your site which in a way is the ultimate way to get cheap clicks. What’s the point spending hours and hours of your valuable time in chaffing off cents by cents and get a CPC down, we would argue without the right targeting or the keywords, you might not even wanted this click and would have just saved yourself a pound. For a small business, it is surely more efficient to get the “right” clicks rather than cheap clicks.
What is the definition of “the right clicks”?
Well, there are some really basic points. When we do our audits, we came across some horrific PPC geeks who bragged on how they brought down the costs. The first action we do when we evaluate an account’s performance is the targeting. Check your settings in Google Adwords! It rarely makes sense if you have your local shop in fore example Finsbury Park, North London and your goal is to get more leads within your postcode, but then targeting entire Great London which has a reach of 36mio people. That’s a lot and that’s exactly where you spend the money the wrong way. Get rid off your irrelevant targeting and make your account more cost efficient. Suddenly your cost-per-acquisition in Google Adwords will drop drastically. The saved money can be invested in raising the bids on your immediate targeting locations and keywords which really matter to you, whatever goal you may have in mind. Raise your CPCs on converting “action” keywords such as buy, order, book and group these keywords into tight and relevant adgroup. The result is straight forward, despite raising the bids, you actually lowered your costs and overall got cheaper clicks onto your website. The money saved can be put into further expansion of your account, display advertising or brand awareness or depending on your goal. PPC illusionists Don’t be blinded by a PPC agency who promises you the cheapest clicks, ok, it may be our name, but we have a different approach to it. Whilst we also aim to get your clicks cheaper, we question every single paid visit to your website.
If you own a business and reached the stage where you invest and develop into new geographic markets, it is time to think about how you market your products in a foreign language. Your time is well spent by researching the country you're going to expose your products to. Understanding a country's culture can also be translated into their online search behaviour, at least to a certain degree.
Vital language skills for your advertising
Different countries, different rules. What works in the UK does not apply in France, Spain or Germany. As a multilingual PPC agency, we looked into a great number of PPC accounts; and sometimes the insights were quite revealing with need for PPC opimisation. A small hint here, use Google Translate as a reference but don't use it for your Google ads.
PPC account per language
If your business is at an early stage of going into various markets with different languages, it is somehow tempting to have all your campaigns in one single account. If this is your decision, we'd switch on the warning lights. Your business might be still small and the campaigns are easy to manage. Comes growth and success one day, your account will expand and become bigger and bigger depending on the nature of your business. When it then comes to reporting or simply just exporting some basic data, it is quite a tidious process to split the languages apart. Applying filters which sort your campaigns according to your language will be a daily excercise. By the time you had enough of this and actually decide to split the languages into their own accounts, then of course, you will lose the Google history you've acquired over the period of time your ads were running. By separating the accounts, you basically start from scratch resulting in your CPCs being higher.
It pays to get the language and the tone right. This is a challenging task when it comes to ad copy in different languages. German PPC ads are different from French and English. The character count of 25 makes it difficult to squeeze everything in you want to say including ideally a main keyword, to capture a user's attention. However, if you get it right, you'll be rewarded with decent click-through-rates. Users in European countries are easily put off seeing English PPC ads. If you market specific niche products, your big competitors don't tend to go through the hassle of translating all the ads but instead use keyword insertion to display the actual search query of the user. This can be a powerful tool but again, since users become more and more search savvy, the way we look up things don't necessarily stand in a grammatically correct sentence and your German PPC ad copy will read something like "Rote Rosen kaufen wo?" which translates into "red roses buy where". Would you click on this ad? Exactly, neither to the Germans.
Multilingual PPC is the key to sucess
Not everyone in Europe speaks English, bare this in mind. And the ones who do might mistrust an ad in a foreign language. The focus of this blog was solely on multilingual PPC, ignoring the overall customer journey. An even more important bit is of course the language supported landing page. It pays off getting people with mother-tongue knowledge of a language to check your ads. Professional translators might not be entirely familiar with your business and might also struggle to use full potential of the character limit in Google Adwords. cheapclicks offers multilingual PPC in German, French, Spanish, English, Dutch, Portuguese and has further freelancing marketers based across Europe.
Whilst we do not want to go into too specific detail, we would like to explain some basics how pay-per-click can help your small business and where you have to be careful not to waste your money. Too often, a digital agency will approach you and try to convince that your campaigns could be run more efficiently - and quite often they have a point. However, with the following guidelines, you can make sure to minimise spend whilst get the most out of your paid clicks.
Reach and targeting
Imagine you own a take-away restaurant, it makes sense to limit the reach of your PPC ads to a radius of your delivery zone. If your small business is based in Crouch End and you deliver pizzas to households within a 1 mile radius from your location, you want to make sure that your ad does not show up to people searching for a take away who live further away. Google Adwords has various possibilities to target. The most common one for small businesses will be a specific area in e.g. London like North-London or post code areas, a x-mile radius from your location or if you deliver nationwide, you can target the entire country. Besides geographic targeting, Adwords also offers language targeting. This might be helpful if you own an Italian deli and sell traditional Italian specialities, you might want to target Italian speaking customers in North-London. By limiting your reach and a relevant targeting, your business can ensure that only people within your reach are targeted. If your business sells coffee, it might sense to stop your advertising and schedule your ads depending on the time of the day.
Google Adwords works with keywords. If you own a hair salon in Finsbury Park, the keyword "haircut in Finsbury Park" might be a relevant keyword to add into your adgroup. A common mistake is that the negative keywords get forgotten. They can be a bit of a life-safer when it comes to spending money on irrelevant keywords. Taking our example of the hair salon in Finsbury Park. If this hair Salon is for Gentlemen only, it would make sense to add "woman" or "female" or any other related terms as negative keywords. By doing this, if the search query states "woman's hairdresser in Finsbury Park", the ad would be surpressed as "woman" would stop the ad from showing. In many accounts, the negative keyword lists are very long. Use keyword suggestion tools such as Google or Ubersuggest. It makes sense to add generic terms which are not related to the business. Generic negative lists are available on the Internet and are beneficial to avoid the Miley Cyrus effect, however it might sense to develop your very own negative keyword list specified to your business. Reviewing your negative keywords on a regular basis will help you to cut down costs. If you work with an agency together, insist on seeing the search query reports and review the keywords which potentially should be excluded.
Relevant ad copy
Writing ads seems at first an easy task. It can be a challenge though as the character limit is very short. The headline is limited to 25 characters and the two description lines are 35 characters only. Once you start to write ad copy, you will soon realise that it is not as easy as you might had thought and you require a innovative brain to differentiate yourself from your competitors. In order to highlight what your business offers and to stand out, the keyword of the search query should ideally be within the headline of the ad. If Google sees that the keyword in the search qurey matches with a keyword within your ad, the keyword will be displayed bold which captures the reader's attention. That's exactly where camaigns benefit from multiple adgroups with tightly grouped sets of keywords. So, ultimately, all adgroups are very specific to the search query and the ads are very specific with the keywords search for showing up.
User experience and Quality score
Quality score is given to each keyword in your account. The Quality score is a combination of various algorithms, not all known by the specialists. The range is from 1-10 where a 6 is a good score. In order to improve your quality score, you have to make sure to improve the user experience. Google rewards an account when the user can find easily find what he/she is looking for. If the search query typed into Google matches the keyword and the ad, additionally, the landing page matches exactly what the user was searching and the website has an overall clear navigation, Google perceives this as a good user experience. Ultimately, this raises quality scores and can make your overall cost per clicks (CPC) cheaper and potentailly improve your ad positons whilst paying the same price per click. There are numerous algorithms how Google calculates quality scores, onsite optimisation and improving click-through-rates will support the overall score.
There are many factors one has to take into account in order to run a successful Adwords account. How Google Adwords can help my small business depends on you. Whilst Google Adwords is not rocket science, it is mainly time-consuming. If you happen to be in charge of your small business or are responsible for any marketing activities, you will be well aware that time is exactly tight in small businesses. When you start a Google Adwords account, it is of utmost importance to monitor it on a daily basis. Limit your costs by having campaign budgets if sudden increase in traffic occurs or put your remarketing of your site in place. We will be happy to discuss any opportunity to set up Google Adwords on behalf of you. It is really not as expensive as you might think. There is no limit you spend on Google Adwords and the more precise, relevant and specific you are, the more qualitiatve traffic you get onto your website. It might just be little return to begin with but can make a real difference if it is made correctly. Contact us today for a free Quote whether you have Adwords already set up or you just would like to have a Chat with one of our experts.
Saturday the 7th December is an important day for all small businesses in the UK. It is the official Small Business Day which actually originates from America. The purpose of this day is to put a spotlight on all freelancers, small and medium enterprises in the UK. It is a chance for lots of businesses to promote themselves through numerous events and various activities which are held across the country.
The Small Business Saturday is a so-called grassroots campaign. This means that businesses individually organise special deals for customers, showcase their products or couple together with other small businesses. It is a great chance to create awareness of small business this country depends on.
Special offer for Small Business Saturday
Like many others, cheapclicks is doing its bits to support the local businesses and introduces its services to young entrepreneurs. Our service is focused on paid search marketing. Wouldn’t it be great to see your products on the Google top positions? It is a great opportunity to market products and services through an additional marketing channel. However, expertise and time is required to gain the most out of Google Adwords. PPC is not rocket-science, managing it and get the most out of your hard-earned cash is however not a walk through the park.
That’s why cheapclicks offers a special deal for all small and medium businesses, freelancers or young entrepreneurs who get involved with the Small Business Saturday on the 7th December. Contact us now using the promo code “Small Business” and get a free consultation for your small business. And it doesn’t stop there, we offer our services half price for the first six months. You’re in capable hands and you’ll get on of our designated account managers who is fully Google certified. Google currently offers a voucher scheme for new businesses signing up to Google Adwords. If you spend £25 in the first 30 days, Google gives you additional £75 for free.
It doesn’t get much better than that. Contact us before the 31st December 2013 using the promo code “Small Business” and make the most out of Small Business Saturday.