In yesterday’s blog post, I spoke at length about the necessity of high quality image and video assets in a company’s marketing efforts. With visual media becoming an increasingly useful tool in every internet advertising campaign, the race is on to secure photos and digital camera footage that users will find engaging. Whereas in my previous blog entry I gave advice to small business owners on how to procure this media, today I will be giving guidelines on how and where to implement these excellent strategic marketing assets.
The key to any visual media-centric advertising campaign is knowing where to find one’s audience and how to make those assets appeal to potential traffic. While there is no shortage of options available when it comes to selecting a venue for media sharing, different types of sites do provide different better potential for media exposure than others. As always, I encourage readers to experiment with how they use their visual assets. Sometimes going off the beaten path can prove far more rewarding than sticking to tried-and-true SEO techniques or online marketing practices.
Social Networks: Sharing Visual Media with the Masses
For the highest level of exposure for your unique media, look no further than social websites such as Google+ and Facebook. Both these networks are excellent places for visual assets of all sorts. From professional photographs to video blogs, nearly anything can be shared via social media these days. The current page layout found on Facebook allows for trending images to remain high up in the follower Timeline feed for extended periods of time, while Google+ pages actually spotlight large photos for users to find easily.
The only issue with posting your media assets on social networks comes from the fickleness of public trends. Although a high quality photo can provide a solid click-through rate for attached links, most companies are subject to the whims of the web itself. When a trending topic starts to die off, relevant media takes a hit. It’s because of the fickle nature of public interest that social media sharing takes an attentive eye to use successfully. However, if a company is able to time its efforts correctly, the pay-off in traffic and conversion rates can be worth it.
Blogs: Building up a Following and Community over Time
More often than not, a significant amount of a business’ media assets are found on its company blog. Many businesses maintain a running blog as a way to gain loyal customers, continually add unique original content to a page (thus increasing its SEO value) and convey important news. Accompanying photos and video clips are usually included with blog updates as they add visual panache to a page and give readers something with which to associate the new text content.
While a blog does not offer immediate benefits for the small business owner, a well-run WordPress or Blogger page can act as a hub for both outbound and inbound links. By updating its blog regularly with new content and implementing interesting or eye-catching media elements, a company can draw in visitors to the site which may then interact with valued links.
Video Advertising: Getting Clips to Earn their Keep
Although much of the footage a company creates may be intended to show off its staff and locations, advertising and publicity-based videos are also a core component of most businesses. For those more overt marketing films that a company may shoot, it’s important that they’re used in a strategic and cutting edge manner. To this end, video ads often find their home on websites such as Hulu or Youtube.
In particular, Google’s recently rolled-out AdWords for Video service offers SMB owners a straightforward and efficient way to manage PPC advertisements on YouTube. My previous write-up on the new marketing program goes over the details in full and offers some excellent starting tips for it as well. Businesses looking to get the jump on their video ads should go ahead and create a YouTube channel with all their video media assets uploaded to it. This will make launching a pay per click campaign that much easier when the time comes for it.
By choosing the correct venue for one’s media assets, it’s possible to see results that can bring a small business the sort of traffic it would normally think impossible. If any readers have any further questions regarding my recommendations, I can be contacted at email@example.com.
When new venues for internet advertising go live, every online marketing firm and PPC company takes note. Just a few days ago, Google announced the launch of its AdWords for Video program which it claims places more ad control into the hands of small and medium-sized businesses (SMB). Putting its money where its mouth is, the company is also giving potential SMB clients an incentive in the form of over $50 million in account funds to new AdWords registers. Those companies that sign up for AdWords for Video will be working with a free $75 in ad credits from which to drive their PPC campaigns.
Of course, the prospect of free money and a strong marketing venue is sure to entice any company. In addition to the Google-fueled fiscal motivation, there is also an ease of use that comes with the new AdWords for Video system. Companies that already have existing videos in their YouTube channel can simply select these clips to become the video ad for their PPC campaign. Targeting an appropriate audience is also made surprisingly straightforward through the setup process. Google has also created a very simple step-by-step video guide for AdWords for Video to help get SMB owners started.
Getting the Most out of the new Video Advertising Program
Besides familiarizing themselves with the ins and outs of the system, SMB owners will also want to brush up on their pay per click knowledge and practices before committing any considerable effort to AdWords for Video. At its core, the new video marketing program operates similarly to existing PPC programs from networks such as Microsoft adCenter and Google AdWords proper. As such, there are a number of steps one should take prior to getting started:
- Always take the time to seek out trending or popular keywords that may be relevant to your business. Knowing what terms your potential audience is looking for will help you improve your PPC’s click-through rate dramatically.
- Determine what sort of budget you will be working with well before you set up your ad campaign. YouTube’s TrueView Pricing system ensures that you will only be paying cost per click when site users actually sit through the bulk of your video advertisement. This helps keep the cost of video PPC campaigning manageable.
- Direct your efforts on the right networks. While Google for AdWords Video allows you to select the full range of websites and Google properties for your campaign, focusing your ads on fewer networks will keep costs down and ads consolidated. This means that you’ll show up more often to users on a particular network than if you simply selected all possible markets for maximum exposure.
While the new YouTube advertising system is still in its infancy, there’s plenty of potential already available for would-be PPC campaigners. Should any small business owners have any additional questions or would like some advice on their PPC efforts, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many business owners who are new to the world of online marketing often consider pay per click as their main channel of advertisement. As what is essentially the internet’s oldest form of direct marketing, PPC ads continue to be one of the most prevalent methods of inorganic link building. It certainly doesn’t hurt that every search engine website displays its own custom PPC ads on every SERP it shows. Although PPC usage remains constant across the web, the prominence of this popular marketing method is not even across all ad networks.
Recent reports indicate that paid search activity is up year after year yet still dwindling in some markets. According to an article from Search Engine Land, the first quarter of 2012 saw a 15% increase in PPC campaign activity for American companies. At the same time, Google’s cost-per-click rates have been following a downward trend that continues its decline from 2011. While Google’s CPCs are down another 5% from last year, the Yahoo-Bing adCenter network is up by nearly 20%. Google is quick to defend its low CPCs as not being indicative of the overall health of their company, but many SEO industry analysts are quick to claim otherwise.
The Cause of Google’s CPC Decline
Although the declining popularity of AdWords may make some business owners question their PPC relevance, the fact is there’s no concrete reason to doubt the effectiveness of a Google ad. Even though Microsoft continues to push its own search engine along with its advertising partnership with Yahoo, Google still remains at the top of its game when it comes to user activity – especially on mobile platforms. Some SEO experts have seen the company’s recent CPC decline as being a result of businesses trying to go where the competition isn’t.
adCenter, being a relatively newer PPC network than Google AdWords, has a greater draw to it due to the relative lack of market saturation. This isn’t to say that Bing’s PPC results will yield dramatically better results than those ads hosted on Google’s SERPs. Rather, the chance of securing better conversion rates when using adCenter is slightly higher for certain search terms. Of course, regardless of whatever network you go with for your PPC campaign, nothing beats having a strong keyword.
The Best Outcome with any Ad Network
If business owners want to run a pay per click campaign that gets the results they want, they need to implement excellent PPC behaviors instead of fretting over which network they should pick. In particular, there are a few choice guidelines to live by when it comes to solid cost-per-click campaign management.
- Research your campaign keyword thoroughly. An excellent selected keyword is one that is not too broad so as to get overshadowed by other ads but also not needlessly specific either. Always consider using negative keywords to help narrow your focused campaign term for best results.
- Determine the budget of your PPC campaign prior to getting involved with the keyword-bidding process. If you find that the search term you want to use is out of your reach, decide whether or not it’s worth it to simply select a term that is lower ranked.
- Choose an appropriate platform for your PPC ads. As I mentioned before, Google AdWords carry more weight on mobile devices that Microsoft adCenter. If you feel that the good or service you provide would appeal more to a mobile market (ie. cell phone covers, rechargeable batteries), then choose what you feel your ad network based on that.
As always, I encourage our blog’s readers to reach out to us and contact us with any questions they may have regarding PPC ads. We have extensive resources regarding PPC management along with other various PPC services. I can also be emailed directly at email@example.com.
As a follow up to yesterday’s WebiMax Blog, Michael Stewart, Senior pay per click manager, discusses the pros and cons of Google’s new Ad placement.
The new placements, previously having been shown on the top and side of search results, will now be shown beneath search results to create a more consistent viewing experience. They have started rolling out the new layout since last week and will continue until fully deployed sometime over the next month. Until these changes are fully implemented, ad placement can vary by search query.
Google testing has shown many cases of click-through rates improving with ads under the results versus the side. This supports Google’s reasoning stating they want to create a more consistent and top to bottom viewing experience. The new ad placement can help low budget advertisers compete with the top dollar advertisers. In addition, it can help capture clicks otherwise lost from result clicks as searchers scan the page from top to bottom. It is up to finding the best PPC company to leverage these changes to the clients advantage.
Inversely, however, it is possible that the additional clicks accrued from the lower positioned ads may cannibalize the top positioned ad clicks. That being said, well-funded aggressive advertisers may face added competition as a whole. This will undoubtedly mean that more intensive management of such accounts will be needed to analyze the ad position placements and optimize them properly.
About the Author: Mike joined WebiMax in March of 2010 with over 10 years’ experience in managing PPC accounts. He brought his Google Qualified Individual credentials to initialize WebiMax as a Google AdWords Certified partner. Helping clients of wide ranging budgets, Mike works across all teams within WebiMax from Sales, SEO, Social Media, Web Design, and Executive Management to insure that clients meet and exceed their advertising objectives by acting as the lead in the PPC management process at WebiMax.
Google opened up a new feature to their AdWords platform called Dynamic Search Ads. This new initiative includes Google automatically generating your headline based on what was searched for, adding an almost on the fly customized direct marketing strategy. It is estimated that 16% of search queries on Google have never been searched before. Dynamic Search Ads will capture this 16% by tweaking the headline as necessary to reach the intended audience.
For this to be effective, Google indexes websites on a regular basis to scan for changes. They will take these changes (if any) and apple it to your search ad that aren’t already set up in AdWords. This will also save costs as dormant campaigns that are not generating many hits or conversions will not be wasted and will clearly be updated as the landing page is updated. The level of transparency is clearly enhanced!
Shortly after Google made the announcement, they also stated that marketers were seeing a 5-10% increase in click through rates (CTR) and conversions.
Creating an effective pay per click campaign goes just beyond the ad, however. Effective landing pages are also highly required. The addition of a dynamic search ad doesn’t mean companies and advertisers can now create a static ad, sit back and wait for the results. Contracting with the best PPC company becomes a priority as these campaigns can easily be mismanaged by amateur firms. Google also recently announced that their ad visibility will favor landing page quality. Sending users to a poor page will not get the company much visibility.
One of the most effective methods of evaluating a PPC campaign is to track conversions. After all, don’t you want to see which ad-landing page relationship is most effective? Be careful, not all pay per click firms will do this for their clients. Contracting with the best PPC company will certainly guarantee you maximum results. WebiMax has an analytics and client center platform that reports the live status of clients campaigns. WebiMax is the only PPC company that provides this amount of transparency to their clients.
Conversions are the result of the visitor (potential client) interacting in some way with the website including filling out a lead generation form, contacting customer service, or even simply writing an email from the contact page. The underlying concept behind pay per click management is to create some sort of customer conversion. This can be tracked through an analytics platform. Google Analytics now has an option that lets users create “engagement goals” and import them into Google AdWords as a conversion. This is a great way of tracking the conversions.
Knowing which landing page(s) are generating the most conversions is like finding the smoking gun. With the knowledge of what works and what does not, advertisers can now focus spending their costly advertising resources on the areas of their website and PPC ads that generate results.
Although tracking conversions can be tedious and sometimes painful, the rewards lay in the fact that finding the most cost effective advertising channel will benefit the organization in extraordinary ways.