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Blogs by date "06/01/13"

AdWords Campaign Management Tips for PPC Beginners

Google AdWords PPC Campaign Management

Managing a PPC campaign on Google AdWords can be a confusing undertaking, even for adept search marketers. Many businesses and advertisers balk at the PPC model because they think it's an ineffective waste of ad spend. 

The truth of the matter is, when a PPC campaign is well-constructed and properly-managed, the results can be quite substantial. It all comes down to understanding the basics of PPC campaign management.

Whether you operate a small business with a local target market, or an ecommerce store with national focus, the PPC campaign management tips mentioned below will help to ensure your PPC investment is profitable.

1. Ensure Your PPC Campaign Settings Are Correct

Upon creating your first PPC campaign in AdWords, you are presented with many settings options. A few of these options will make or break your campaign if not addressed.

  • Always select the option to run a "Search" only campaign (never combine Display & Search PPC advertising campaigns.)
  • Know your geographic parameters. If you're doing PPC campaign management for a local business, you'll want to set your ads to display only to searchers in your specified target locations.
  • Set your ads to rotate evenly. Although Google will display a warning sign, disregarding the warning. Even ad rotation is key to conduct ongoing testing of ad copy (which is critical for high volume keywords.)

2. Take Advantage of Ad Extensions to Make Your PPC Ads Pop

Ad Extensions are a feature in Google AdWords that easily enhance the presentation of your PPC ads. There are many Ad Extensions to choose from, and none of them require an extra fee to use.

 PPC Campaign Management Extensions

Go through the various Ad Extensions and pinpoint those that are most relevant to your business. Professional PPC campaign management services utilize 2-4 different Ad Extensions (e.g. "SiteLinks" can be used for any type of business, as well as "Call Extensions" and couple others.)

If you're managing a PPC campaign for a local business, then you'll definitely want to consider "Location Extensions." If you have a ton of Google+ followers, then you may want to include "Social Extensions." The combination of at least 2 Ad Extensions will significantly improve the click-through rates of your ads.

3. Create Extremely Tight & Focal Ad Groups

It's extremely important to develop each ad group around very focal keyword groupings. A good tip for PPC campaign management is to only include about 3-5 (or less) similar keywords in one ad group.

This is one of the biggest PPC campaign management mistakes advertisers make. Not only will tightly segmented ad groups enable you write more targeted ad copy per grouping, but keyword quality scores can increase and cost per click (CPC) can plummet. It might take a bit more work to develop 10 ad groups, as opposed to 4, but your overall PPC campaigns will have greater efficacy across the board.

4. Avoid Using Broad Match Keyword Bidding

The fact of the matter is, Google's definition of "broad" is extraordinarily broad. Bidding on the keyword phrase "red wagon" could make an ad trigger for "burgundy hatchback." That example might be extreme, but know that broad match keyword bidding is a good way to suck your budget dry on keywords you may not want to target.

Instead use more precise bidding strategies like "modified broad match" and "exact phrase match." For more tips on how to use these bidding strategies, checkout the section under "Keyword Bidding" on this PPC strategies article I wrote last year.

5. Never Stop Exploring, Nor Fine-Tuning

Once you think you have your PPC campaign on auto-pilot, think again. There's always ways to fine-tune your account. Whether by conducting negative keyword research, or exploring new keyword variations to add to your list of targets, the search landscape is constantly evolving.  PPC Campaign Management Tips

Features like "Product Extensions" (for ecommerce) and "Click to Call" (for local mobile) are becoming game-changers for various businesses. Continue refining your practice in PPC campaign management and you'll learn Google Ads in no time.

 

About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky is the Internet marketing manager here at OIC Group. Tyler is highly engaged in many facets of search marketing and social media. You can email him directly at Tyler(at)oicgroup.net, follow him on Twitter, at YisooTraining.com, or encircle him on Google+.

How Social Media Influences Google Search Rankings

It goes without question that social media now has a significant influence on Google's search engine rankings.

"Social signals," (also commonly referred to as "social indicators") are redefining how Google values quality, rank-worthy content, and thus the best practices of SEO. These are the Facebook Likes, Google +1's, Tweets, Pins, Shares, etc. that you often see on blog posts. Social Media SEO

That's not to say other ranking factors, such as inbound links and keyword relevancy, do not play a role in the SEO practice. But rather, SEO has becoming very socially integrated.

In order to achieve top search engine rankings, it's critical that you understand how social media impacts the game. Below we reveal some of the primary ways social media shapes SEO.

How Social Media Influences SEO

Of course social media in itself serves as a powerful marketing medium. However indirectly, social media can contribute to better search rankings.

  • Social Signals - This one's worth repeating. As a webpage earns more social signals, Google finds the page to have greater value and authority (and thus better ranking potential.) In addition to having a strong social media presence, you'll want to share your prized website content from time to time. This will help generate social favor (and thus SEO value) for your domain.
  • Citations - Also known as "mentions," are simply a company's name, address, and phone number found on other websites. From Google's perspective, citations represent greater credibility and legitimacy in a website. This is particularly influential for local SEO and increasing a business' listing in Google's local search results. Social media sites are a simple way to build citations.
  • Backlinks - These are inbound links that stem from other domains (such as a Twitter or Pinterest profile page.) Backlinks have been a huge topic of discussion in the SEO community. Now more than ever, it's important to generate backlinks organically. Building a presence on various social media sites is perfectly natural way to generate backlinks to your website.

Quick Tips to Leverage Social Media for SEO 

  • Build a blog, produce awesome content, and share it with your social audience.
  • Leverage Google Authorship in your content marketing practice.
  • At the very least, include Google+, Twitter, and Facebook in your social media portfolio. These social sites have the largest volume of users, and offer the greatest potential to generate social signals.
  • Integrate social sharing icons on your pages to make it easy for visitors to Like, +1, or Share your awesome content.
  • Reach out and build an strong, loyal community of social followers. This will only magnify your ability to generate social signals, as well as make your profile page an SEO asset in itself (social profile pages can rank very well in Google search.) You can use promoted tweets on Twitter, or Facebook advertising to help building your audience.

Want to learn more? Drop us a line here at OIC Group. Our social media marketing experts will be glad to assist you in creating a socially-integrated SEO campaign.

The Cornerstones to Building a Successful Blog

Building a blog, whether for business or personal interests, has become more prevalent than ever.

A blog serves as the voice of your brand. It enables you to communicate your value, purpose, and insights to the world.

Successful Blogging

However, the entire world is not listening, nor willing to read your blog.

The fact of the matter is, only a very fine and narrow audience is interested in what you have to say. Being mindful of this fact is the first cornerstone to building a successful blog.

In the rest of this article, I will share with you the remaining cornerstones to creating an effective and successful blog that actually gets read by your target audience.

Focus Your Blog on a Specific Niche Topic

Too often, businesses and individuals create blogs about general topics of interest. Although you may have many different things that you want to say, too much topical overlap will diminish the degree of audience loyalty and attraction your blog could potentially have.

Take a moment to specify the niche in which you or your business is most proficient. Additionally, define the characteristics that reflect your target audience. What types of articles will they find most interesting (and keep them coming back for more?)

For example, let's say you're thinking about building a blog about cooking and sharing recipes. (Yeah, so does else everyone else with culinary aspirations.)

Instead, think about the qualities that will make your cooking blog very unique and interesting to a specific target audience. Can you focus on a specific cuisine, such as Thai recipes or plant-based nutrition? Furthermore, can you center your blog on "cooking channel" theme that entails weekly, 5-minute YouTube videos? Successful Blog Content

Start brainstorming how you can focus your blog on a very fine niche while retaining your passion and willingness to share your ideas. Your true audience will appreciate it, and remain loyal for the long-term.

Diversify Your Blog's Content

To reiterate the example in the last cornerstone - what forms of media and content can you integrate beyond text-based articles?

The best blogs are loaded with rich media, such as quality images, graphics, and videos. These forms of content offer a higher level of audience engagement. As a result, visitors are more inclined to share your blog posts, in addition to becoming loyal visitors themselves.

Think about ways in which you can diversify your blog's content within you technical capabilities. Not everyone has access to video recording equipment, so be honest and real with respect to your resources.

Be a Social Butterfly with Your Blog's Brand

Just a like a business, your blog also has a brand and voice of its own. To magnify your blog's voice to its fullest potential, it's paramount to be active on social media.

Successful Blogging Tips

Three of the most essential social media platforms are Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. These social networks have the highest volume of users with widespread interests.

If your blog is image intensive, then you may want to include Pinterest. If your blog is video intensive, then you definitely want to have a YouTube channel.

As more and more people share, like, +1, pin, or Tweet about your blog, the greater value your content will have. Not only does this make your content more prominently exposed on social media sites, but these "social signals" can empower your content's SEO potential.

In conclusion, you want to build your blog around a very focal topic. This will make it easier to generate quality traffic to your blog, as well as build a loyal audience both naturally and on social media.

By respecting these cornerstones of blog creation, you'll be well on your way to developing a successful web presence.

 

About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky is the Internet marketing manager here at OIC Group. Tyler is highly engaged in social media, organic SEO, and content marketing. You can email him directly at Tyler(at)oicgroup.net or follow him on Twitter.

 

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