Monday, September 2, 2013

Improve PPC Quality Score

When you want to improve the overall performance of your pay per click campaign, one of the most significant factors to monitor is the Quality Score of the keywords you're bidding on. A keyword Quality Score ranges from 1 to 10, with PPC managers striving to keep their average keyword Quality Scores above 7 to ensure maximum performance. The higher your score, the less you spend per click, which provides higher ROI.


Why Does Quality Score Matter?

Quality Score directly impacts the placement of your PPC ad on the search engine results page. If your PPC ad has a high quality score, you'll get more favorable placement in front of searchers.

If your PPC ad has a low Quality Score, your ad might not display on the homepage, or it could be served up less than other ads with higher scores because the search engines don't see your PPC ad as relevant.

Quality Score weighs heavily on the amount you pay when someone clicks on your PPC ad. The higher the Quality Score, the more relevant your ad is, and search engines reward your PPC ad relevancy with lower bid prices.


How To Improve PPC Quality Score

  1. Having highly segmented and targeted campaigns and ad groups. If the structure of your ad groups are highly granular and organized to target very specific keywords, this should have a positive impact on your PPC ad's Click Through Rate, which impacts Quality Score.
  2. Write convincing PPC ad copy for each of your highly segmented ad groups that includes your targeted keywords, a benefit, and a call to action that will attract more clicks.
  3. Improving the quality of your landing page will also improve PPC quality score. Search engines are on the look out for misleading keywords that do not match the content that is displayed on the PPC ad's landing page. If your landing page content has nothing to do with the PPC ad that you're running, your Quality Score will suffer.
  4. Use the new Enhanced Adwords Campaigns to your advantage. From desktops to mobile devices, many companies need to segment their PPC campaigns by devices, which provides highly granular targeting of users based on the type of device they are searching on. This level of targeting can lead to higher Click Through Rates (CTR) and better overall performance. Google's new Enhanced Adwords Campaigns allow you to easily manage your mobile ads.
  5. Utilize the powerful geo-targeting functionality that allows you to narrow down the geographic target area of your PPC campaigns to your local area. This allows you to target users close to your business' location, who are far more likely to click on your ad (higher CTR) because they're looking for a local provider.
For more information about optimizing your PPC campaign and how to improve PPC Quality Scores, contact the search marketing experts at Captivate Search Marketing.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Content Marketing: Why You Can't Ignore Video

When it comes to content marketing for SEO, diversification is key. Creating blog posts and other SEO focused articles have been the go-to strategy for search engine marketers for years, but if your SEO provider isn't utilizing video as part of your content marketing strategy, your program isn't going to realize its full potential.

Video marketing is an underutilized content marketing channel, but has proven to be an incredibly powerful source for inbound traffic and link building. Videos can drive traffic after being optimized for organic search rankings and from being shared socially and in other blog posts.

According to a recent study, 17% of internet users spend an average of four seconds skimming a website’s content before they decide whether what they read is significant or not. In contrast, many internet surfers are willing to spend 2.7 minutes watching videos.

In fact, a research conducted by Software Advice on B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Survey for 2012 reveals that Internet users prefer to watch videos over reading articles, case studies, and live demonstrations. Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D. is a widely respected and admired brand consultant who worked with various mega corporations like Walt Disney, Amazon, and Walmart to name a few.

According to Dr. Weinschenk, the human brain is the key why video marketing should be part of any content marketing SEO strategies. Scientifically speaking, Dr. Weinschenk says that the human brain is hardwired to focus on a human face when gathering information and establishing believability. Also having a believable face and an authoritative, plausible voice can easily convey meaning and message compared to a written product review.

Videos can subtly evoke emotions better than other means of communication. Videos that are expertly crafted and have a very significant script and story line are effective in instilling desired emotions to their viewers such as curiosity, encouragement, and happiness. Positive results can lead to desired actions, like conversions and increased sales.

Put simply, utilizing videos in your content marketing strategy enables your brand to establish a human connection with your target audience. You might be thinking about the extreme production costs that come from creating videos that you can use, but you can utilize sites such as Screencast, Animoto, and Bravo Video to help get you started at a lower cost to you.

Each of these concepts should be gripping for SEO marketers and business owners who are promoting products/services online. If you're not utilizing video as part of your content marketing strategy, start creating a diverse and effective off-site SEO program that gets results!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

SEO Agencies: How to Find the Right One to Work With

One of the necessary strategies that entrepreneurs need to incorporate into an effective business plan is an efficient marketing strategy. For most businesses, particularly ones that are small and do business locally, there are many ways to get your business in front of local consumers.

Traditional marketing methods such as word of mouth, billboards, print ads, radio, etc. are strategies that entrepreneurs need to consider. Aside from word of mouth marketing that you get from providing a great product or service, when it comes to ROI, the Internet is the most likely source of achieving measurable gains for growth.

For young businesses, getting your company in front of local consumers is absolutely essential, and investing in a local SEO strategy that targets these local consumers who are in the market for what you have to sell can have a huge impact on the financial direction of your business in the long-term.

Finding an SEO agency to work with that will work to earn you maximum exposure in front of these local consumers is the first step. But knowing what traits to look for in an SEO agency that you can trust to deliver the results – while delivering essential gains from your investment – isn’t always that clear.

So, what do you need to consider when making the critical decision on which SEO agency you want to work with to solidify the future of your small business?


Experience and Reputation are Crucial

SEO is a complex undertaking with many layers that come into play to execute properly.  It’s not an investment you want to entrust in an amateur. When sifting through the massive amounts of SEO agencies out there, pinpointing an agency with proven experience and results greatly increases your odds for success.

It’s important to do your background check on each SEO agency, asking for references and examples of past work. Check out their testimonials and search around to see where their current clients are ranking in the results.

If a prospective SEO agency that you’re vetting doesn’t have solid references, sketchy online reviews, and has produced mediocre results for their current clients, it’s probably best to avoid working with that agency.


Expensive Services Doesn’t Mean the Best

When it comes to SEO agencies, your company can absolutely spend as much or as little as it wants on SEO services. Depending on the size/scope of your project, larger SEO agencies can charge monthly retainers in the 5 digit figures. The thing you need to know as a business owner is just because an SEO agency is charging an exorbitant amount to optimize your site, that doesn't necessarily mean that firm is going to provide the best results for your project, particularly when it comes to getting a return for your investment.

The agency that you need to work with shouldn't be a cut rate $100/month firm either. An agency that works on that sort of a budget has “Black Hat SEO” written all over it.

Find your company a reputable SEO agency that has a great track record in achieving results for both rankings and ROI, because in the end even if you're spending $1000/month on your SEO services, if you're making an additional $3000/month in sales because of it, it's well worth your investment.


Be Sure to Ask Questions

When selecting an SEO agency, be sure you get the full picture on what that agency is about, and what methods they utilize to get results for their clients by asking the right questions. Dig deep into their strategies to make sure they don't participate in unethical SEO practices that could get you penalized by the search engines.

Also be sure to determine what deliverables you can expect from your agency, in particular which types of reporting is produced and how often you'll get progress reports, etc. Transparency is a sure sign that your SEO agency is working in your best interests and will be working toward achieving your objectives.

Not all agencies are built equal, and as an entrepreneur/business owner, you need to be certain that you're investing your time, effort, and money into an agency that will deliver results ethically, at the right price, and will help you build your business into what you want it to be.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

PPC Landing Page Optimization

In SEO marketing, there's no faster way to garner more traffic to your company's website than Pay Per Click Advertising. Once a PPC campaign is setup, the playing field is relatively even for small businesses and large corporations alike.

While the promise of more traffic might sound enticing, traffic in itself doesn't really mean anything unless those website visitors become customers. Yes, driving traffic and converting traffic are two entirely separate strategies of SEO marketing. One important aspect of converting more vistors is the setup of your PPC landing page.

Below you'll find 5 key PPC Landing Page Optimization Tips to take into consideration for capturing more leads from your company's paid search campaign.

1.  Make Your PPC Landing Page Headlines Keyword Relevant

Headlines are critical in keeping visitors from surfing away (bouncing off) your PPC landing pages. A page headlines (H1 tag) essentially is the first thing a visitor notices when they land on your PPC landing page. If the visitor doesn't see anything highly relevant to the query they searched, they'll likely bounce off your PPC landing page as quickly as they arrived.

Effective PPC landing page headlines should tell visitors that they came to the right place, whether they are looking for home products, ebooks, or pet shampoos. Conversion-oriented headlines will tell visitors that the action they took in clicking on your PPC ad will lead to the solutions they are looking for.

2. Utilize Keywords as You Would for Organic Search

The most important thing when discussing keyword optimization for both organic SEO marketing and PPC landing page optimization alike is NOT to get out of hand with your keyword usage. In short: Don't keyword stuff!

However, when a PPC landing page is optimized for certain keywords, the probability of a conversion are much higher. Keyword optimizing your PPC landing page can also have a direct impact on the overall Quality Score of your ad (Ad Relevancy) which means you will also be paying less for your clicks..

3. Write Conversion-Oriented Copy

Having conversion-oriented copy is essential for all facets of a PPC campaign. From having persuasive Ad Copy that garners clicks, to a relevant headline that keeps them on the page, the body copy of your PPC landing page should also be written in a convincing tone. A good SEO copywriter can not only write for the search engines, but also can convince users to convert with their use of persuasive copy.

Conversion-oriented content on PPC landing pages should center around what your product or service is and how it provides a solution to the user's problem or need. Content structure should be simple and concise. Providing visitors with readable, understandable, and well-researched content with a strong call to action.

4. Have an Eye Catching PPC Landing Page Design

PPC landing pages with simple bulleted lists are boring. Design your PPC landing pages to be eye catching, easy to navigate, and to drive conversions from website visitors.

5. Always Be Testing!

In SEO Marketing and in PPC landing page optimization, make sure you're always A/B testing.

A/B split testing is a process that is common in SEO marketing on both the paid and organic sides. In a nutshell, A/B testing provides two separate landing page layouts, on-page copy, calls to action, button colors, etc., in order to identify which is more effective for enticing conversions.

If your company is investing in a PPC campaign, make sure you're considering these five PPC Landing Page Optimization strategies to ensure your campaign is performing at its peak.