Lets face facts… Not every click is going to convert into a sale or lead in your PPC Account. Brand awareness is going to almost always be your primary goal. With brand awareness come sales/leads over time. However, the majority of your visits are going to always be people looking for information on a product or service. So… what do we measure to determine the effectiveness of our campaigns when they don’t convert? Here is a short list of things to add to your “to do” list.
1. Check Your Bounce Rates: Your Bounce Rate tells you how many people simply came to your site and left without exploring any further than the page that they landed on. Keywords with high bounce rates tell us that people aren’t finding the information they are looking for. So either you should get rid of that keyword or develop a new landing page that gives your visitors more information on that product or service so that they would be more inclined to convert.
2. Check Your Time On Site Data: Reviewing your Time On Site data can give you insight into how your visitors view your landing page. For instance if you Time on Site is low chances are that your content is less engaging and could use some help. However if your Bounce Rate is high and you have a higher Time on Site it could just mean that people are either shopping around or that your offer didn’t meet their requirements. In this case you might consider adjusting your offer.
3. Review Your CTR: CTR can help you determine the quality of the traffic that you are receiving. If you’re not getting the performance that you initially expected your CTR can help you find out if certain keywords are having a negative impact on your overall campaign performance. In these cases you should think about either getting rid of the said keyword or break it out into a separate campaign so that the negative
CTR doesn’t effect the historical data that your good keywords are getting.
4. Ad Performance: The overall performance of your ads can help you determine if you need to test out another ad variation. In most cases we would look at the conversions of our ad variation to determine their success, but even if you are getting conversions we can see what is attracting people and whats not by referring to your ad variations CTR. This can help us better understand what people are expecting and at this point it may be a good idea to either test a new ad or change up your landing page.
These are just a few things to think about when you have no or low conversions. Even when your campaigns are performing well these few tips are still good to keep in mind.
Written By: Ed Cehi – PPC
HTML5 was designed to replace both HTML 4, XHTML, and the HTML DOM Level 2. I can go on here and spout technical terms about how much better HTML5 is to its prior version, but I will not do that. All we need to know is what it can do.
So what exactly can it do?
1st – You’ll have more consistent and defined error handling, which will cut down on the time spent trying to get web pages to show consistently.
2nd – You’ll have the ability to easily add video and audio to your website with simple <video> and <audio> tags.
3rd – The structure of your documents will be more intuitive and easier to read when viewing source code. No more painful scanning to see where that
HUGE <div> tag is closing. Structure will be easier with <header>, <menu>, <section>, <article> and <footer> elements.
4th – Flash may be finally dead. http://churchm.ag/flash-is-dead/ Click on any of the animations and you’ll see why!
Lastly, HTML5 are getting rid of a few tags. No more <b>, <font>, <frame> and <center>.
Written By: Izaak Hale – Web Designer
Friday, 25 July 2014 15:33
Content marketing is the systematic process of posting and sharing information about the products or services that you offer in the digital spaces that you own. Whether it be your website proper or an external blog that links to a landing page, these are the locations for you to get your information out to the individuals who are looking for you. There are people searching for what you offer right?
In reality, simply posting informational content is only the beginning. First the content should be engaging and offer value to the reader. Second, the page on which it appears should provide a clear means for conversion with calls to action that are noticeable and easy to understand. Finally, assuming that your content is reachable for consumption by the search engines, each new installment should also be pushed in to the social spaces.
So when does this content phase end? It doesn’t. Content marketing should be an ongoing effort running concurrent with email, search engine optimization and social media campaigns.
Written By: Jeff Harrison – SEO
The biggest difference between CSS2 and CSS3 is that CSS3 is now split into different modules. Since each module makes its way through the W3C individually, there’s a wider range of browser support. Make sure you test your CSS3 pages in as many browsers and operating systems as possible to ensure compatibility.
Background-image, background-position and background-repeat can now be used to specify multiple background images to be layered on top of one another. The first image being closest to the user, with the following image layered behind. If there is a background color, it’s painted below all the image layers.
background-image: url(sheep.png), url(betweengrassandsky.png);
background-position: center bottom, left top;
Prior ways to get multiple backgrounds required the following HTML…
then add to your css file
New Background Style Properties
Background-clip: how the background image should be clipped.
Background-origin: whether a background should be placed in the padding box, the border box, or the content box.
Background-size: determines the size of the background image. This allows stretching smaller images to fit a page.
Borders are still what we’re used to (solid, double, dashed, etc.). Now you can create rounded corners.
border: 2px solid;
Border images are new because you can create an image of all four borders.
border-image:url(border.png) 30 30 30 30 round round;
*Internet Explorer does not support the border-image property.
Written By: Izaak Hale – Graphic/Web Design
My very first blog post here talked about my puzzlement at seeing a billboard for an online-only business. When I parsed it out, however, I realized that it was a brilliant move on their part. Their target market drives past that billboard every day – not just the general run-of-the-mill commuters, in this case, but people researching their options for moving to a 55-and-over community. So let me ask you a question now: where are YOUR customers?
No, I’m not trying to imply that your shop is empty. I’m asking you to think about what your customers do when they aren’t spending time with you. Do they like to go hunting? Camping? Play video games? Hang out with cosplayers at science fiction conventions? Haunt bookstores? Get together in small groups to work on craft projects?
Whatever they do, there is probably a place online where they talk about what they’re doing. And I have news for you: it may not be Facebook. Or if it is, you may have to dig a bit to find them. Facebook has a Groups function, and while you can build a community around your business page on the social media behemoth, you might also want to see if there are any other active groups focused on interests relevant to your field.
When you search for these groups, don’t limit your search to Facebook. You may well discover a number of communities that cater to exactly the kind of people who want what you’re selling. For example, if you run a yarn shop, you’ll want to check out Pinterest and Ravelry, for starters, but there are lots of online communities run by and for crafters. Look carefully, and you will find groups online that cater to just about any interest you can name.
Once you find these groups, you don’t want to come off as a salesperson; you need to be a REAL person who shares their interests. You will want to do more listening than talking, at least at first. You might even learn a few things. Are these community members interested in learning new skills? Maybe you could offer a class at your store. Are several of them having the same problem? Maybe you have some kind of insight you can share. Do they have an opinion on certain products? Pay attention and take note, as this could be money in your bank.
Finding the right online communities and approaching them appropriately can be tricky – and yet, it’s just another instance of being in the right place at the right time with the right message. That’s not just good SEO; it’s good business. Good luck!
Written By: Terri Wells – SEO
Monday, 14 July 2014 12:39
Google Adwords offers a number of different ways to view data that can help you
optimize your campaigns. However, that’s not the only tool you can use to help gain further
insight into your account. Google Analytics also offers good insight into campaign metrics as
well. Here are a few reports to use in Google Analytics to help you better optimize your
CPC) to get a glance at your landing pages behavior. Take a look at your Bounce Rates
to determine which landing page works better for you and why.
2. Behavior > In-Page Analytics: use this report, after sorting by Paid Traffic, to view a
click map of where visitors are attracted to when they view your landing page. This
can help you better understand your visitors and how they navigate your site. If you
have form leads, maybe your form could benefit from having a different placement?
If you are an eCommerce site maybe you could benefit from placing your product
navigation in a different area. Find out how the bulk of your traffic views your
3. Audience > Mobile > Overview: After sorting by Paid Traffic, use this report to view
how your mobile traffic performs. Maybe mobile isn’t the best fit for your vertical.
Find this out here by viewing your Bounce Rates and Average Session Duration.
4. Acquisition > Keywords > Organic: You may ask why are we looking at organic
keywords when we want to know about paid traffic? Looking at our organic keywords
can help us determine some new keywords to target in our paid arena. Search for
keywords that have attracted traffic, but may rank low. By adding these keywords to
your paid campaigns, and you now have high visibility and can monitor these
keywords for conversions.
These are just a few of the ways that Google Analytics can help you better optimize
your Adwords campaigns.
Written By: Ed Cehi – PPC
The answer is yes, a user friendly website is super important. Of course, you are likely to want more in depth information than that short answer, which is why I’m here to give you a few pointers. Some of these are related to good ol’ SEO and others are more web development focused. Ultimately, you want to combine all the best aspects of both to find the right look and feel for your site. Not every site is the same some I can’t be more specific, however, I will do my best to give you a good idea of what to look for in your own site.
Site navigation is probably one of the most important aspects to making a user friendly website. If someone lands on your home page, for example, and they can’t readily get to other pages on your site then you have some problems. Most websites have at least a basic menu setup so to be a bit more specific, you want to make sure that your menu lets users go to all of the important pages on your site such as a main product’s page, your ‘about us’ page, perhaps a ‘contact us’ page, and any other pages you think your customers should see.
People like to look around a website so helping them find all of the pages that could help drive a sale can really help you out. You also want to make sure that if you use a footer with links that they are clean and clear on where they’ll take users when they click those links. Category headers for footer links can be a helpful asset if you have a decent number of links in your footer. Understand, however, that many customers won’t ever look at your footer.
On Page Content
What’s on those pages that you want customers to see? Do you have a long wall of dry and boring text? If so, you’ve already lost them. They may skip around your site and may still make a purchase, but that boring page could very well cause people to visit a competitor instead. Text is a great way to inform people, however, you want to make sure that you hit on all the important points up front and detail them as people read. Most people won’t read more than the first paragraph or two anyway, so make sure you tell them what they need to know sooner than later.
Images can certainly liven up a page as most of us are visual people and like to look at nice images, especially if we are shopping for a product. Placing an image or two at different points in your text can help break up the monotony. Play around with the placements to find what looks the most appealing. Alternating right and left justified images can help keep they eye flowing around the page.
The last thing, and certainly not the least, that you need to pay attention to are your conversion points. A conversion point can be anything from a simple contact us form to a full blown shopping cart. Make it easy for people to send you their contact information or to make a checkout. It is even recommended that on most pages that people will regularly visit would have some sort of button or small form that either sends people to a conversion point or gathers their basic contact information. Don’t try too hard either. Something on a side bar or after a chunk of text can do it. A button that take you to a conversion point can also be in your header, the top part of your website so that you also have it there on every page on the site.
Always try to put yourself in your customer’s shoes when looking at your website. Review how many clicks it takes to get to somewhere a customer would want to go. Most pages should only be a few clicks at maximum from the home page. If you’re still not sure how user friendly it is then get a friend or family member that is not familiar with the back end of websites to run through it as though they were shopping and give you some feedback.
Written By: Doyle Clemence – SEO
There are so many avenues a company can explore to get product exposure these days; between Facebook, Twitter, Google Ads, and even less notable web sites such as Instagram or Pintrest, conventional marketing seems to almost be a thing of the past for many brands. However, many companies still manage to overlook one huge means of social media marketing: the application known simply as “Vine.”
This smartphone application allows users to upload six second clips of whatever they choose, whether it be a moment from a concert or a cleverly arranged series of one second long clips. Vine is a whole new way for peers to interact through social media, and some companies are beginning to jump on board. You might ask yourself- “How can a company get its message across effectively with only a six second clip?” Admittedly, it does require a different approach than conventional marketing and advertisement, but there are clear advantages; the biggest one being the fact that a consumer is a lot more likely to view your advertisement if it is only 6 seconds long and provides some kind of visually appealling hook.
One example of this is Oreo’s “#SnackHacks” campaign, where they illustrate different unique ways to “hack” their cookie, such as mixing the crumbs with milk in ice cube trays and freezing them, making “cookie cubes” for chocolate milk or coffee. A campaign like this not only gets the name out there in a unique way, but it also engages the consumer directly and encourages them to participate. Other examples include Honda’s “#WantNewCar” campaign, where consumers Tweet in and officials from Honda respond via Vine. The possibility of real time customer service or troubleshooting is virtually limitless through this avenue. The best thing about Vine from a marketing perspective is the ability to get the consumer directly involved, like what the clothing retailer ASOS did with their “Unboxing” campaign. A simple stop motion video of someone opening their new shoes and purse from ASOS with the hashtag #ASOSUnbox sparked a train of people following suit and created free exposure for their company. The key in marketing through Vine is keeping it simple, catchy, and memorable.
Written By: Adam Beldyk – M.A.D
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 20:02
Brand awareness isn’t what most direct response marketers think about when they are advertising in search. However, this is a secondary effect. When a consumer completes a search they often look to the very first search result whether that be paid or organic. What we often wonder is does this visibility have an effect on the users perception of any given company or product. Some people believe it doesn’t have much effect at all, but a recent study by Google is showing what we have known all along. Search does in fact help brand awareness.
“Throughout 2013, Google and Ipsos MediaCT conducted 61 simulated search experiments to measure the impact of search ads on brand awareness.” What they found was a “6.6 percentage point increase or an average 80% lift in top-of-mind awareness.” This study backs what we have always known…that increased visibility has a effect on consumer perception. This is why it’s not only important to have higher rankings for your paid keywords, but also why we should target branding as well. If there is an “80 lift” in brand awareness for your products and/or services. What do you think happens if another company parks their ads on your brand? All of a sudden you not only lose visibility, but you lose brand awareness as well.
Brand awareness is important for branding and product/services. Don’t lose potential customers due to lack of visibility. Advertising increases brand awareness and after all, advertising is just an “opportunity for a brand message to impact a target audience and influence its market perception.”
Written By: Ed Cehi – PPC
Thursday, 26 June 2014 12:33
If you don’t know by now Google cares about the quality of experience you provide to their users. You can bid a higher CPC than all your competitors and still not show up higher on the page.
If you follow Google’s guidelines in terms of quality you’ll end up being rewarded with a lower CPC, and potentially gain higher position on the page for a lot less than your competitors are paying for lower positions!
What’s weighed into your Ad Rank?
1. Your Bid
2. Expected CTR
3. Landing Page Experience
4. Ad relevance
5. Ad Formats
Chief Economist Hal Varian at Google does a great job of explaining how the auction system works, and how you can effect your Ad Rank, and thus gain an advantage over your competition. This is the first time Google has updated their Adwords Auction and Ad Rank Video since revising their formula!
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