Google Small Business - Duct Tape Marketing

Tag Archives for " Google Small Business "

Running a Christmas Sale Using a Small AdWords Budget

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 9.36.47 AM

photo credit: Wikimedia

It’s no news that the holidays increases sales, however, one of the drawbacks of the holiday season is the increases of competition and marketers.

So we’ve put together a list of marketing tips that will help you get the most out of your Christmas sale and on a budget. We’ve focused our actions list of Search Marketing since it has a higher potential of the best ROI.

Choose your keywords carefully – make sure that your ad wish show only on searches that 100% of people who are searching are relevant to you, searches that might be relevant should not be on your list; don’t think of it as “losing a potential customer” but think of it as allocating your budget from people that might buy your product to people who will buy your product for sure.

A characteristic that the holiday season is known for is the increase in searches, so don’t worry about exhausting the searches inventory.

Tip: one-word keywords should probably not be on your list, as they are most likely too generic and fall into the “might buy” list.

Stay clear of “Broad” match type – as in the point above, you really need to keep your keyword list as tight and targeted as possible, you don’t want Google to show your ads on keywords that it thinks are relevant to you. Due to the limited budget we want total control over the keywords that your ads are shown on, and for that reason, Broad is not the match type for this activity.

Another big con of the broad match type is that you bid you placed on the target keyword is the bid that the system attributes to all the words it find relevant, which is another point of no control that we want to avoid.

Brush up on your negatives – Another act of refining your keyword list, and making sure that your ads will show on the most relevant searches, is the use of negative keywords. 

You can use Google’s keyword planner to find out common search patterns in your industry that aren’t relevant to you, and simply put them as negative keywords from the get go, don’t wait for them to get to you.

For example, if you aren’t offering any free item you don’t want to show your ads for people who are looking for your product for free. (Remember to stay clear of the “might buy” list).

Tip: negative keywords also have match types, if there you spot a word that represents an intention that doesn’t fit your activity, like free for example, put just that word as a negative keyword with the Phrase match type (it will look like this: “free” on the negative keyword list), this will make sure that no search with the word free will trigger your ads.

Use “Call Only” campaigns – if phone calls are relevant to your activity, create campaigns with the sub-type of “call only”, these campaigns are targeted only to devices that can make outgoing calls.

Clicks on the ads from this campaign will call your number and not direct to a landing page. A lot of business are call oriented and have a high sale rate over the phone. Make sure to use scheduling if you don’t want to receive calls during all hours of the day.

Radius Targeting – if your business is a local business and you want to show your ads only to people who are near it, in a specific radius you can do that through your campaign’s settings.

Go to Settings → in the “Locations” section click “Edit” → click on “Advanced Search” → in the top of the right box you’ll see a few tabs, the second one is “Radius targeting”.

Now simply enter the center point (usually your business address) and the radius, in miles or kilometers you want to target around it.

Ad extensions, the more the merrier – make sure to utilize every ad extension you can, these are very helpful to CTR, as position and the amount of information in your ads. Do not disregard them, put the same effort into writing your ad extensions (if it’s site links, call outs or any other extension) as in writing your ad. Create Christmas oriented ad extensions; you can simply stop them after the holiday.

Give your ads that Christmas spirit – make sure to write Christmas oriented ads, make sure to refer to the pains of holiday shopping with a solution, like long lines, cold weather etc., emphasize how you can solve the issues you can.

Tip: remember that “Xmas” is less characters than “Christmas” but have the same meaning.

Use the countdown feature in your ads – when writing an ad you can add a countdown to it, this feature is known for increasing CTR. The instructions in how to use the tool are super simple, when writing an ad simply type a curly braces (“{“) and the drop down menu will appear, simply choose the countdown from the menu and follow the instructions shown.

Give your site the Christmas cheer – paint your site in red and green colors, you can also change visual elements on your site, like your logo, to be a Christmas oriented with a Christmas tree or some Christmas bells. This shouldn’t take any time, and doesn’t have to be at a designer level, you can do this in any image editing software.

 

Oz Wintrob has online Marketing experience of over 9 years. Experiences in various marketing platforms like: Google, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, Yahoo Japan, Baidu, Yandex and more. I’ve managed various B2C & B2B activities, for companies of different sizes, from small independent businesses to big public corporations.  

How to Clean Up Your Data Wasteland

thumbnail 9.2We live in a data-driven world. Even our most basic activities—like exercising and sleeping—have become subjects for tracking and analysis. With constant access to apps and technology that gather detailed information about our lives, it’s easy to become inundated with information that we don’t know how to allocate.

The same is true when it comes to gathering data about our digital marketing campaigns. We have a wealth of tools at our fingertips to discover some pretty great insights about current and potential customers. But if we aren’t intentional about the way we gather and organize that data, we’ll end up in a dreaded data wasteland with scattered information that can’t be put to good use.

So how can you best collect and manage your data to inform your marketing efforts? Here are a couple places to start:

Create an automated data machine

Your top priority should be to ensure all your marketing tools are working together seamlessly. Doing just a bit of legwork before launching a campaign can help you automate your data capture and organization.

Here are three steps to turn your data wasteland into a data wonderland:

#1. Set up lead attribution.

Attributing your traffic sources through UTM parameters can help you gather important data about where your leads are coming from. Adding unique tags to your URLs lets Google automatically track your precise traffic sources (i.e., organic search, paid search, social, etc.).

In the end, this gives you great insights about which traffic sources are driving your best leads, and it allows you to better allocate your marketing dollars.

#2. Set up tools that provide deeper insights on leads.

Syncing tools like Google Analytics and Google AdWords to the marketing tools you’re already using can help you systematically capture useful information about your lead generation campaigns. If you integrate with these powerful tools, priceless information can be sent to your accounts automatically when someone converts.

Google Analytics can help you monitor various aspects of your marketing campaigns—from form conversion rates to traffic sources. And Google AdWords can help you determine which keywords are driving your highest and best conversions.

#3. Set up tools that automate lead data transfer.

Taking advantage of data transfer automation can save your team a lot of time. Integrating with customer relationship management (CRM) and email marketing tools that automatically accept your lead data and campaign analytics can help you keep your data organized and actionable.

Integrating with CRMs like Salesforce and HubSpot allows you to keep your sales lead information updated in a central location. And integrating with email marketing software like Emma and MailChimp allows you to keep your email lists relevant with little effort.

Make your data actionable

Once you’ve done the back-end work to automate your data collection process, the next step is to use your data to take action. Making data-informed decisions about where to put your marketing efforts can help you better nurture prospects and leads and convert them into customers.

Here are three steps to make good use of your collected data:

#1. Segment your audience.

Examine your data for ways to segment your collected leads into groups. This will allow you to craft more customized engagement and upselling strategies based on your audience segments.

Consider grouping more engaged leads together and sending them a monthly newsletter. And for those who’ve had minimal interaction with your brand, consider creating a group for a drip email marketing campaign.

#2. Create personas.

Use data you’ve collected about customer behavior to create your ideal buyer personas. Defining your personas can help you tailor your content, landing pages, offers, and other marketing collateral for maximized customer acquisition and retention.

When building your personas, make sure to include information about demographics, background, top pain points, and solutions you can provide.

#3. Pinpoint ideal customers for testimonials.

Pay attention to any data that points to a successful customer or highlights positive customer feedback. This data can be used to identify customers for testimonials or case studies.

Testimonials and case studies can boost marketing and sales efforts because people love to hear true stories about how you helped someone else succeed or solved a similar problem for another business.

headshot 9.2Chris Lucas is the Vice President of marketing for Formstack. He is passionate about setting the vision for Formstack’s marketing department, as well as discovering new ways to drive web traffic and leads. Follow Chris on Twitter at @chris_c_lucas.

 

4 How To Avoid the 3 Most Costly Mistakes When Using Google AdWords

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Adam Lundquist– Enjoy! 

photo credit: Red X  via WikiMedia Commons
photo credit: Red X via WikiMedia Commons

Do you ever feel like your small business would get a better return on investment by literally lighting your money on fire than using Google AdWords?

You began your AdWords campaign for your small business with high hopes and launched it, excited to fulfill orders from your new customers. Except those orders never came.

You attempted to fix it with different keywords, ad copy, and the newest techniques from self-proclaimed “experts”. However, with each new “fix” you spent more of your time and money – but added no new revenue. You are low on advertising budget and even lower on patience.

If this is your experience then you are not alone, almost all small businesses make costly mistakes when they start using AdWords. This is because the AdWords system penalizes you for mistakes you do not even know you are making. Even worse, in some cases AdWords even encourages these mistakes. The more you mistakes you make the more money AdWords earns from extra clicks you don’t want.

This article helps you identify these mistakes – and more importantly learn how to correct them to put you on the path to AdWords profit.

Mistake One: Keywords In Broad Match

AdWords is set by default to have your keywords in broad match, and this causes your keywords to match for a huge variety of searches you never intended.

For example, if you are a pizza store in Philadelphia and use Google AdWords, you might bid on the keyword Pizza delivery in Philadelphia. You assume that a hungry user has to type in the phrase Pizza delivery in Philadelphia into Google to view your ad and order your delicious pie. However, that is not the case and it costs you money!

By default your ads shows for a huge variety of searches that you never intended. If not changed from default, your keyword Pizza delivery in Philadelphia actually signals to Google to show your ad for searches such as how to cook a frozen pizza, and when clicked, you still have to pay for that irrelevant click.

The discrepancy between the searches you intend your ad to show for and the actually searches that trigger your ad is because the AdWords system uses different match types for keywords. There are four main match types: broad, broad match modifier, phrase, and exact. The different match types allow you (the small business advertiser) to match for a broader or narrower range of actual search queries that users type in. Broad is (as it sounds) the most broad in terms of what searches trigger your ad, and it is ALWAYS set by default in Google AdWords. This means that it is at Google’s discretion to decide that a user’s search is “close enough” to your keyword. Since Google gets paid on every click, they have a broad view of what is close enough.

When beginning your account change the match type of your keywords. Make sure your keywords are either in either phrase match or broad match modifier. These match types ensure that the words you use as your keywords have to be the ones the users searched for in Google. Here is a handy chart to visually see the differences as well as the special symbols that change the match type:

photo credit: chart via PPC HERO
photo credit: chart via PPC HERO

Mistake Two: The Wrong Industry For An Immediate Sale

A common mistake when beginning AdWords is to immediately go for the sale. In some industries an immediate sale makes sense, but in many industries users are not ready to make the purchase at first interaction.  In these industries, the user needs to trust your company before they even consider making the purchase. If the user clicks on an ad and is taken to a site where the only option is a sale, if the user isn’t ready to purchase they have no choice but to leave your site without providing your business any valuable data.

Rather than throw money into the AdWords abyss a, try a different approach. A better way to run AdWords in these industries is to think of a longer sales cycle, and change your goal (called a conversion) from getting an immediate sale to getting their contact information. You can use your ads to send users to a page that asks for their contact information in exchange for a small incentive, build trust by marketing to them via the email they provided, and finally sell to them when they are ready to make a purchase and already trust your company. Incentives can include:

  • Free eBooks
  • Samples
  • Free consultations

This approach works best for industries where trust is key, such as an expensive physical product or a long-term service provider.

Mistake Three: Sending Users To The Homepage

Once you decide on your goals in AdWords, you need to send users to a page that matches the users search and makes it as easy as possible for them to convert. All too often I see new AdWords campaigns send users to the home page. The homepage doesn’t match the users search and conversions are unlikely to happen.  A homepage often has a variety of items and is designed for navigation deeper into the site rather than a conversion.

For example, let’s say you are in the right industry for an immediate sale, like a winter clothing retailer that sells winter hats amongst other items. If you are just beginning to use AdWords you may send all of the users to your generic homepage. If you buy the keyword winter hats and the user is sent to the homepage, which is crowded with all of your items, the user has to search to find the specific sales page for winter hats. This means the user had to spend additional mental energy to search more through your website and click again. The majority of users will not expend this mental energy– they leave your page without making a purchase.

You want to make it as easy and friction-less as possible for the user to convert by sending them to specific high-converting sales pages. If the user type in winter hats send them to the exact sales page for winter hats.

What is your biggest AdWords obstacle?

Adam LundquistAdam Lundquist (@adamlundquist) is the CEO of Nerds Do It Better, an Internet advertising agency for small businesses. He has been featured in The Harvard Gazette, Search Engine Journal, KISSmetrics, WordStream, PPC Hero, Certified Knowledge, Mtv, Vh1, Sports Illustrated, and Moz. Visit his site today for a free eBook: Make Internet Advertising Work For Your Small Business. 5 Steps To Find, Cultivate and Market To New Customers.

 

4 A Visual Guide to Local SEO for Small Business Websites

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Justin Sturges – Enjoy!

How to Build a Perfectly Optimized Local Website by Following the Google Guidelines!

Building a winning local website is no simple task. We need content about our business, a blog, location pages, photos and galleries, contact pages and more! All this can quickly overwhelm budgets and plans.

So in order to help, we’ve built an infographic which attempts to help small business owners, consultants, web designers and local marketers get a better plan.

Anyone a fan of the A-Team? Remember Hannibal Smith, big cigar in his mouth, saying “I love it when a plan comes together”? I loved that.

And the goal here is to help your plan “come together”.

In the process of creating this post, we first attempted to write it in s standard blog text format… we tried hard, but it was B-O-R-I-N-G. Really, boring. Then we got the idea to make it into an infograhic.

We think it worked, it’s a big one, but hopefully you’ll agree it’s the best approach. We hope you’ll save it and use it to guide the development of your website and get the clarity you need as you go.

We’ve combined our experience with extensive research across the local space online. At the bottom of the infographic we site the sources we used in developing the blueprint.

At the bottom of this post we provide a PDF link and embed links at a couple sizes as well.

Here you go:

Local-SEO-Template-Blueprint-Infographic3

This graphic and the systems we use ourselves in-house to build sites following these guidelines are always evolving. If you have questions or further ideas from the trenches we’d love to hear from you.

Share this Image On Your Site

Wrapping up:
The key take aways here are to please read the Google SEO Guidelines, you will be a step ahead if you do. Use the Google guidelines together with this infographic and you will be far ahead of 99% of the folks out there.

Get the PDF version:
Visual-Guide-To-On-Page-Local-SEO.pdf

Justin is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Systemadik Marketing where he and his team work with local businesses to build better online marketing systems.  Justin has been working online since 1994, he is currently working on launching the Systemadik LMS (Local Marketing System) which is a custom WordPress SEO and content solution for local businesses.  He is a Duct Tape Marketing Consultant and employs the DTM system to provide strategic support and leading marketing tools to his clients. Justin is a father and husband and enjoys exploring the cenotes and coral reefs of the Yucatan Peninsula with his family.
If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to Website Design.

What Is Your Biggest Wish for 2011

wish

Image: avlxyz via Flickr

Yesterday the Google Small Business team kicked off a conversation about the hopes and wishes you have for your business next year. They are working on a project to help small businesses succeed in 2011 and they want to hear from you.

So, here’s the one question they have for today – if you had one wish for your small business in 2011, what would it be?

Head on over this blog post and fill in the form – should be interesting to see what themes bubble up repeatedly.