Archive for the ‘Pay Per Click’ Category
I love Jill Whalen’s newsletter; sometimes it gets me thinking. This article, in particular, got me thinking today. If you want to understand what I say below, please pause for a moment and read Jill’s article, then come back to this one.
I don’t have any reason or evidence with which to really disagree with Jill. I’m also not sure that I do, in fact, agree with what she said, and I want to propose another thought.
Jill’s premise is that Google may be keeping their page 1 search results informational so that the commercial search results have to be bought. I.E. Jill is arguing that Google keeps their search results inaccurate in order to sell more AdWords. Again, I’m not saying this is true or false. Here’s what I do know:
Google has little motivation to improve their results at this time. Why? Because they’re already the most popular search engine! They’ve already won your business. If Yahoo and Bing really make a comeback, then OK, there’s a reason to accelerate improvement. Some folks might even say Bing has done or is doing just that, taking Google’s market share. Perhaps this will motivate Google to start presenting ‘better’ results. For now, Google is getting billions of searches and even more page views, and lots of clicks which are paying them billions of dollars. Why change?
It’s a well documented sociological reality that if you want to know how someone is likely to act, you need to understand their motivations and incentives. Something would have to motivate Google to make big changes to their algorithm. Obviously, they haven’t had that motivation.
Now, Jill might be right in arguing that Google’s incentive (paid clicks) is driving them to produce a poorer algorithm. I would argue that I don’t think Google is actually trying to make a bad algorithm. I don’t think they’re trying to mislead us. I think they’ve got something that’s pretty good and it’s making them billionaires. So, why fix it?
Lastly, I’d love Jill to come up with a fix. I mean a real fix. She does present a 1 line suggestion. It’s not a bad suggestion, but I think the complexity of search engines is quite deep and to make changes to an application like Google ain’t no small task. it’s just not that easy. They have a lot of money and very good developers, but it’s very costly to build a better mousetrap. Google knows this and they’re probably trying to make their capital investment – or all past dev work into their search – stretch out into the future.
One more thing. Do you remember the web before Google? Trying to find stuff was next to impossible. Google came along and they made it possible to quickly search and find what you need. Then they made AdWords and PPC took off and a market for SEO was born, and now search is a huge paid medium for both ad buy and SEO services. All of this tells me that the world wants to be able to search the web – we want it to be fast, easy, accurate, and vastly comprehensive. We want portability and personalization, and we use these tools all the time. Google will continue to provide a quality system to do all of this – and most of us will keep using Google for a long time.
For those of you who attended our last LogicClassroom – Intro to Google Adwords, we had a great real estate SEM question in regards to keywords that you utilize in your Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns:
If you are targeting users in another country for your business, do you use foreign language keywords?
For Google PPC Campaigns, one of the recommended strategies is to target users with whom you do your business – for many businesses, this may mean international targeting.
Languages with Google PPC
- Keep it Consistent – You should target the language that your ad is written in. So if your ad is written in English, your PPC campaign should target English-speaking users. Google will not translate your ad for you.
- Keep it Organized – If you want to target users that speak another language, create a separate PPC Ad Campaign for each language.
- Keep it Focused – In addition to targeting by language, you can also pair this with location targeting. Users can potentially speak different languages in many different locations, and language targeting gives you an great way to reach your users even if they’re located in non-native areas.
International targeting means that your PPC SEM campaign targets more than one location. Let’s say that a business might want to target several countries where customers speak the same language (such as targeting English-speaking users in the US, Canada, and Australia).
Again, setting up a separate campaign for each main location (such as each country) and selecting the relevant language for each campaign is your best option. By creating these separate geographic campaigns, it will be easier to manage your account and track each region’s ROI.
You can also create very targeted and customized campaigns by tailoring your keywords and ad text to each market. In response to our question, make sure that each keyword list and ad text for each ad group are in one language. This will show the ad in the same language in which the keyword was entered. So if a user enters a keyword in Spanish, the ad will appear in Spanish.
- Over 70% of online consumers start their search for products, services, and information by typing in what they need on a search engine. You probably can’t afford not introducing your company and yourself to this process (AND an enormous new audience!)
- Most internet users don’t bother clicking past the first couple search results pages (many don’t even bother reading past the first one!) so it’s clear why a good position on the first page is paramount to your success.
- Unlike paying for a banner advertisement or a sponsored listing on a search page, you can’t buy a good position in the search engines. What you can do is invest in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to target visitors, provide publicity, exposure and revenue.
- While you cannot actually buy the keywords that will optimize your website, it helps to imagine that you are in fact paying for them. This will help you narrow down your list until you have the ones that will most effectively drive traffic to your site and provide the most return on investment.– For example, “BC apartments” might have a TON of global searches that aren’t relevant to a Boston
broker because they could be searches for apartments in British Colombia rather that Boston College.
- When choosing a keyword, you must understand that the more popular the keyword is, the more competitive it will be to achieve a high ranking for it. Typically, very general keywords tend to be more competitive. For instance, “Apartments” is extremely hard to rank for, but “South End Apartments” is much easier to achieve a high ranking for. Take advantage of the free Google Keywords Tool to determine a keyword’s difficulty rating in Local and Global Search Volumes. If you are a local company, place your focus on ranking high in your Local Search Volume and don’t worry about how you rank globally.
- Don’t be afraid to use specific keywords. With the advent of Google Instant, online consumers are naturally becoming more intelligent searchers. The search results morph in real time for each letter typed into the Google search box, so often consumers end up typing in very specific search terms. Search results now will appear and change almost instantly as the keyword phrase in the search box is edited. This will start getting rid of the need to scroll through pages of results; rather consumers will just refine their search and focus on Long Tail Keywords.
- After you determine how competitive a keyword is, you have to figure out how much traffic it will drive to your site. Luckily, there is no need to hire a psychic to predict the success of each keyword.There are two ways to predict the traffic from a keyword:
- Use industry standard keyword research tools such as Overture or WordTracker. These won’t be 100% accurate, but they offer a basic estimation of traffic flow.
- Set up a Google Adwords (pay-per-click) campaign that ties into web analytics. While Pay-Per-Click advertising is not the same as SEO because it is paid for, you can use Adwords to see the exact keywords that were typed in the search engine by a visitor. To start out, make sure to check the setting “broad match” so that you allow a variety of keywords to prompt your advertisement. While you have to pay for this service (you can rank for the first paid advertisement slot within 24 hours) it will help you learn about the keywords that will benefit your website.
- After you pick your keywords, it is important to make sure you aren’t just shoving keywords into your site without good content. Even if your site is easily found by search engine robots, you must have unique, correct, specific, and appealing content in order to entice online consumers to actually stay on your site. Updating your content often is also important; if you regularly update your website, you are giving consumers more reason to return. One of the best ways to ensure new content is to blog. We recommend blogging at least twice a week to keep a constant stream of content flowing. Search engine robots will also visit your site more often as it is updated, leading to a quicker index in the future.
- One of the hardest parts of SEO is acquiring incoming links. The only way you can make sure that other people link your website is to have good content. This is something that is sort of out of your hands, but by networking and blogging, you can often acquire incoming links. It is important to create social media accounts on popular websites and add links to your website on your profiles. Good websites to make accounts on are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It is also helpful to add your website to directories like Yelp, Google Places, Yp.com and industry-specific directories like Angieslist.com. You should also register your website’s blog on blog directories like Blogcatalogue.com.
- Do not try to fool the search engines. While it may seem appealing and easy just to stuff your website full of keywords to up your traffic, it is the easiest way to get your website penalized or even banned from search engines completely. Search engines need their results to reflect accurately on content, not on link farms, alt text spamming, cloaking or keyword stuffing.
If you aren’t involved with Google Adwords already as an aspect of your real estate marketing campaign (agent or office), then read up on why you should.
Local Businesses thrive on online advertising.
89% of people in the US search online for services and products online before they make a purchasing decision. This is true – perhaps even more so – even when the potential service is available at a business in their area. And with such a geography-centered field as real estate, PPC is perfect. You can also use Google Adwords to set your ads to show only to people in your area: so you can target your specific demographic in the city, state, or zip code that you specialize in!
Excellent SEO coupled with PPC ads can increase the ranking of your website.
You’ve diligently taken all of our LogicClassroom advice, read all about real estate seo best practices, and your website is now perfectly optimized after all of your hard work. So, your real estate business may already appear in the organic search results on the left side of the page. But run a quick test: Does your website appear on the first page of search results? 2nd? 10th? Does it come up for all possible search terms that your customers may be using when they are looking for what you have to offer? If “yes”, that’s great, HOWEVER, studies have proven that search advertising can still increase traffic to your site. In fact, appearing in both organic and paid positions of the page at the same time increases the perceived relevance of your website and as a result even increases the number of free clicks you get to your website.
Paid Search compliments your SEO Campaign
SEO Campaigns take a great deal of diligence to see through, and takes time to see results. However, in addition to your real estate SEO campaign, paid search has a few advantages: It is easier and quicker to setup, offers much more control over when and where your ads appear, and its impact is easier to measure through comprehensive analytics and reporting. It is recommended that website owners practice both effective SEO and advertising.
Online advertising can be customized to fit any budget
Consider PPC Advertising as an investment, not a cost. You only pay per each click that a user interested in your product clicks to learn more, so there is a direct return on however much or little you spend. And how much you are willing to spend is completely up to you. There’s no minimum spend requirement and you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. You can even set a maximum that you are willing to bid per click and you can start and stop your advertising at any time.
You don’t need to be an expert to set up your own campaign.
While it’s helpful to solicit the service of experts (ahem, Boston Logic!) to manage your real estate sem, getting started is easy. You don’t need to have the perfect keywords or ads immediately: you simply get started, see what works and what doesn’t, and make alterations. You can constantly fine tune and tweak your campaigns as they run, without having to check in on them everyday.
The automated feature allows you to let them run without checking in every day.
Real estate agents and brokers are busy. We get that. But once you have got your online ads up and running, the automated PPC feature doesn’t require that you check in with them everyday. Still don’t have time to get started? We can help you! Contact Boston Logic today about setting up your business’ online advertising campaign.
Outdoor can work. Here’s a great example:
When you want to reach a mass audience with a geographically targeted message, Consider outdoor media.
Now, you may be puzzled why we’re writing about outdoor on an SEO and online marketing blog? Well, first, here are some reasons we love outdoor:
Have a look at the billboard in the photo above. That’s quite a message. It’s in a place where this woman knew her husband would see it. Well, so did another 250,000 people. Let’s call the woman the advertiser and the man her market. Well, she had a very targeted market and she get her message right to them. Imaging your perfect customer. Is there somewhere they go all the time (other than Google). Can you catch them when they’re looking for what you’re selling?
Next, outdoor is highly geographically targeted. Now, with Google adwords, you can pick, in a pretty precise way, the areas where your ads will show up. If you’re doing SEO, and you want to get local, you’re going to need to pick localized terms. The nice thing about this strategy is that the more specific you get, the better your customer will be. Also, these hyper specific terms are easier to rank for and cheaper (if you’re using PPC). They just get fewer searches then some of those marquis terms.
So, here’s why I don’t like Outdoor:
It’s hard to change your message. If you spend $10,000 putting up a billboard, you’re stuck with it. The cost to put up a different billboard is quite prohibitive and it’s going to throw your ROI calculations into the red. By contrast, PPC campaigns can have different language running in about 5 minutes.
Just the other day, i saw a billboard that said BUY MORE CARPET is huge letters. Then, there was some language, in much smaller font, telling you who put up the ad. The problem is, I can’t for the life of me remember whose ad it is. Also, they don’t want you to just buy more carpet. They want you to buy more from them. So, if the ad had said:
BUY MORE CARPET
This would have been more effective.
I guess the folks who put up this ad were going for laughs, but all they had to do was work their name into the joke and then they’d get a lot more bang for their buck. Dunking Doughnuts has a good slogan “America Runs On Dunkin.” If they’d made the slogan, “America Runs On Doughnuts” it wouldn’t have been nearly as effective.
I just feel really bad for that carpet company. By the time they figure out that their message isn’t helping their brand, it’ll probably be too expensive to change. Luckily, the woman who bought the billboard in the photo above doesn’t need to change her ad, even if the message never reaches her audience. I don’t think she really cares.