Pay Per Click

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is the industry name for the ads you see on Google and also the ads you see on websites and social media. It’s the name for ads on the internet because you as an advertiser pay for the ads when users click on them (never when they do not).

Here are the main types of PPC ads:

  • Ads on search engines like Google and Bing
  • Ads on websites
  • Ads on social media.

As such, pay-per click ads are both a guaranteed way to get traffic and a more efficient way to get traffic than ads in the real world. Why?

 

Virtually Guaranteed Traffic

If you are not getting (enough) traffic, you can pay for it. Because the internet is gigantic, and is used by billions, it’s pretty unlikely that you will set up an ad campaign, no matter how niche, and get zero clicks. Whether your advertise on search engines, on websites or on social media, you will probably get some traffic. (Search engines being the best option.) Whether or not that traffic converts is another story.

 

More Efficient Than Real World Ads

Provided you are set up to convert the traffic, PPC ads are more efficient than ads in the real world. Why is that?

Say you have a billboard in the real world; you pay for the billboard. With PPC ads, you only pay when someone not only looks at your internet billboard, you pay only when they actually follow that billboard to your virtual storefront. That is a much more specific group of people, as you are only paying for the people who “travel” to your store, not the people who just look at your billboard, nor the people who drive by it and don’t even notice it. So you’re spending money only when people decide to visit your virtual store. That’s much better.

 

What Could Go Wrong?

Well, as anyone who has ever set up a Google AdWords account can tell you, PPC is expensive. Very, very expensive. Inefficient or poorly designed AdWords campaigns can cost thousands or tens of thousands of dollars a month, and even efficient Adwords campaigns can cost this much, depending on your settings.  Google will just charge you even if your ads are up without you realizing you published them. The same is true for Bing Ads and the social media ads – you must be ready to go “live” with your ads when you set up the campaign, otherwise you are literally throwing money away.

 

Prepare Before You Advertise

You need to make sure you have a good landing page, which should convert, before you launch your PPC campaign. Don’t just use your homepage as the url for your AdWords or AdSense ads.

If you’re using social media PPC, you need to have a strategy how to make money off of those ads before you start paying.

Unless you find the dashboard for your ads account super intuitive, it is worth looking into getting help from an expert or getting help from the provider as well. A PPC expert will help you save money and get a better ROI. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you should hire an expert before you even set up the account.

 

Is PPC Worth It?

Whether or not PPC is worth your money is a complicated question. A PPC expert will tell you that you should advertise, as will representatives of AdWords, Bing Ads, or any of the other PPC providers. But I won’t.

Deciding to spend your advertising money on PPC is a huge, expensive decision which could lead to much bigger profits or huge losses. Whether or not PPC makes sense for your business depends upon what your business is. If you are selling $15 t-shirts enshrining current internet memes, PPC may make sense. If you are offering a complicated, expensive service, it’s hard to imagine why PPC would make sense.

So what’s the short version? If your product or service is affordable, there is a low threshold for the customer to buy, it or it’s an impulse buy, PPC is a great option to improve your sales. However, if you need to convince your potential clients over time, PPC makes basically zero sense.

Still not sure what to do? I can help you decide whether or not to invest in PPC ads. I have years of experience with PPC ad campaigns (for search and for social media) and alternative marketing strategies that have replaced PPC ads or made them irrelevant. Contact me for more information.

Marketing Tips for April 2017

Hello, I hope you are enjoying our wacky spring.
This month we have three interesting reads for your business

  • My introduction to Google Search Console and how to diagnose issues with your website and its appearance in Google Search Results
  • How much money should you spend on AdWords?
  • 16 SEO Experiments that will change how you think about Search Engine Optimization

I hope you find this month’s content useful. And remember, I’m only an email away.

Introduction to Search Console

What is Search Console (aka Webmaster Tools)? Why should you set up a Search Console account?
Search Console informs you of your website’s health and how it’s appearing in Google’s Results. It’s an essential tool and central location for diagnosing issues with your website and how potential clients find it. Basically, Search Console lets you improve the way your site is presented in google so you can get more customers.
My presentation will show you how to set it up and give you a brief introduction on what’s available.

Read or watch my presentation

Using Adwords? Don’t know what to spend? Markeing Profs assembled a series of Infographics by Word Stream which illustrate differences in AdWords spending across industries. This is just a brief intro, but it’s a good place to start if you have no idea about what you should be spending and what you should be looking for in terms of results.

See the infographics.

By the way, click on the “X” to read the content, no need to sign up.

This listicle from SEO Sherpa covers 16 Search Engine Optimization experiments from across the Web that show what really matters when trying to get your site and business discovered by potential clients. There’s lots of great stuff here, for those of you who feel comfortable implementing this type of thing:

  1. Click-through-rate does indeed affect organic rankings
  2. Google’s mobile emphasis really did affect businesses
  3. Backlinks may boost your site even after they are removed
  4. Duplicate Content is not the end of the world
  5. The Top Spot is not what you think it is

And much, much more
Read the article.

 

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When Word of Mouth is No Longer Enough

You’ve been relying on your friends and your happy clients to spread the word about your business. But what happens when your word-of-mouth referrals dry up?

I suspect this is the fear of every small business owner who relies on referrals. Fortunately, the internet has made it possible for us to get clients another way, without relying too heavily on referrals and without paying for expensive advertising in print, on billboards or on TV or radio.

Internet marketing – or digital marketing – allows the small business owner to both better target their marketing efforts and to handle these efforts ourselves, if we’re willing to spend the time.

There are four main types of digital marketing:

  • Content Marketing
  • Pay-Per-Click Advertizing (PPC)
  • Search Engine Optimization (the infamous SEO)
  • Social Media Marketing

No matter which methods you choose, all of these methods are cheaper than conventional media advertizing and all can be handled by you, the owner, if you are willing to commit the time to learning how. When done properly, they will also provide you with leads on a far more consistent basis than word of mouth referrals.

 

Content Marketing

Content Marketing is basically the use of “content” – blogs, videos, podcasts, reviews, and other internet content – in lieu of traditional advertizing. This blog post is an example of content marketing – I give you some information for free in the hope that you will not only like the information but come to trust me as an expert and a person you can trust.

 

Pay Per Click (PPC)

PPC is the most famous kind of digital marketing – it includes both the ads you see when you use Google or Bing, and the banner ads you often see on websites. Think of PPC as the ability to have an online billboard, but have that billboard shown only to people who are looking for words related to your services, and this billboard doesn’t stay in one place. Also, you only pay for the billboard if people look at it.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the basic, ground-floor building block of digital marketing but the industry is jargon-obsessed and so understanding what it is and why you do it can be hard to figure out. The short version is that SEO is all about compliance of your website with the best practices dictated by Google (and Bing, to a lesser extent). That’s all it is. It isn’t a secret sauce for huge traffic and leads. It can be done well and poorly and the effects of either aren’t always apparent. But it is necessary in the long run so that you will get “organic” (i.e. unpaid) search engine traffic to your site. There are both technical and non-technical aspects to SEO, and the technical stuff will require a developer.

 

Social Media Marketing

The trendiest form of digital marketing is also the most misunderstood (well, outside of SEO) and most time-consuming. You should engage in social media marketing only if your product or service can fit into one or more social networks and you can spend the time to perform it consistently. If you can’t do both of those things, there is no point whatsoever.

 

I will be covering all of these topics in more detail in the future but know that you do not have to rely on referrals. You can become a master of some or all of these marketing techniques which can support your referral marketing efforts going forward.

Email me any time at riley dot haas at gmail dot com or find me on skype at riley dot haas.

 

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Solopreneur Tips for March

I hope you had a good Easter. This month I’ve got two videos and one guide to share with you. One of the videos in particular is more for SEO experts, so I’ve left it for the bottom.
It’s an all Moz month this March (sorry), as Moz remains the best source of quality content for any small business owner wanting to learn digital marketing.
First, we’ve got a beginner’s guide to content marketing, an extremely detailed and useful piece for those looking to avoid using Google Adwords.
And thanks for reading.


Moz has long been the source for the best, most thorough and in-depth marketing insights online. Their content marketing guide is unparalleled. It is written so that even the most lay person can understand it, but it provides insights even an expert might try out.
Even if you’re not interested in their other content, I strongly suggest bookmarking the index for this guide, or even downloading the webpages for future reference.
Read it here: https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-content-marketing

 

In this episode of Moz’s Whiteboard Friday (their weekly series of internet marketing videos), Moz CEO Rand Fiskin deals with that question that always eats at the small business owner: should I rebrand / redo my website to gain more business?
Watch it here.

 

This second whiteboard Friday video is a little more for the expert, but it’s still worth watching. In it, Rand explains to us how to estimate potential traffic for our business, provide the business is for a particular niche and isn’t some big e-commerce site (not a problem any of us have!). It’s the kind of video that’s worth watching more than once, over the years, as you get more and more comfortable with online measurement tools.
Watch it here.

Ask me a question any time at riley.haas@gmail.com or on skype at riley.haas

 

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