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  1. Your ad copy and headline is not the only component that will make your paid campaign successful. Getting a user to click is only the beginning … they should arrive on a landing page that’s optimized for conversion and then be taken to a Thank You page that tells them what to do next. If you want your Google Ads to produce qualified leads and customers, then check out these additional resources and use them as guidelines as you set up your Google Ads campaign. Landing Page Best Practices will teach you how to set up a landing page that’s prime for conversions so you don’t waste those precious clicks. Optimized “Thank You” Pages shows you what to do with your new lead post-conversion, how to keep them on your site, and ways to maintain their attention. Tips for Mobile Google Ads teaches you the key differences between desktop and mobile ads and how to optimize both. Optimizing Google Ads Costs will show you how we, at HubSpot, maximize our Google Ads spend to get the best ROI. Quality Google Ads Examples That Convert shares examples of Google advertising campaigns that got it right. hubspot.com
  2. Once you’ve set up your ad campaigns and have tracking in place, it’s time to start bidding. Remember, your ability to rank in Google Ads depends on how you bid. While your bid amount will depend on your budget and goals, there are a few strategies and bid settings you should be aware of when launching your paid campaign. Automated vs. Manual Bidding You have two options when it comes to bidding on your keywords — automated and manual. Here’s how they work: Automated Bidding puts Google in the driver’s seat and allows the platform to adjust your bid based on your competitors. You can still set a maximum budget, and Google will work within a range to give you the best chance at winning the bid within those constraints. Manual Bidding let’s you set the bid amounts for your ad groups and keywords, giving you the chance to reduce spending on low-performing ads. Bidding on Branded Search Terms Branded terms are those with your company or unique product name in them, like “HubSpot CRM.” There is much debate on whether to bid on your branded terms or not. On one side of the debate, bidding on terms that will likely yield organic results could be seen as a waste of money. On the other side, bidding on these terms gives you domain over these search results pages and helps you convert prospects that are further along the flywheel. For instance, if I’ve been doing research on live chat tools and am heavily considering HubSpot’s Live Chat, then a simple search for “HubSpot live chat software” will yield exactly the result I’m looking for without the effort of scrolling. The other argument in favor of bidding on your branded terms is that competitors may bid on them if you don’t, thereby taking up valuable real estate that should belong to you. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) If the idea of spending money to convert prospects into leads makes you uneasy, then you can set a CPA instead and only pay when a user converts into a customer. While this bidding strategy could cost more, you can take comfort in knowing that you only pay when you acquire a paying customer. This strategy makes it easy to track and justify your ad spend. hubspot.com
  3. Google Ads Retargeting Retargeting, a.k.a. remarketing, in Google Ads is a way to advertise to users who have previously interacted with you online but have not yet converted. Tracking cookies will follow users around the web and target these users with your ads. Remarketing is effective since prospects need to see your marketing at least seven times before they become a customer. How to Set Up Your Google Ads Setting up your paid campaigns on Google is relatively easy (and quick), mostly because the platform takes you through the setup and provides helpful hints along the way. Once you visit the Google Ads site and click “Start Now,” you’ll be taken through a series of steps to get your ads up and running. If you have your ad copy and/or images created, set up should take you no more than 10 minutes. What may be less obvious are all the additional things you need to do to make sure your ads are optimally set up and easily trackable. Let’s cover these together. These are the steps you’ll take once your ads are submitted for review. Link Google Analytics You likely have Google Analytics set up on your website so you can track traffic, conversions, goals, and any unique metrics. You also need to link your Analytics account to Google Ads. Linking these accounts will make tracking, analyzing, and reporting between channels and campaigns much easier because you can view these events in one place. Add UTM Codes Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) codes are used by Google to track any activity associated with a specific link. You’ve probably seen them before — it’s the part of a URL that follows a question mark (“?”). UTM codes will tell you which offer or ad led to a conversion so you can track the most effective parts of your campaign. UTM codes make it easier to optimize your Google Ads since you know exactly what’s working. The trick, though, is to add your UTM codes at the campaign level when you set up your Google Ads so you don’t have to do so manually for each ad URL. Otherwise, you can add them manually with Google’s UTM builder. Set Up Conversion Tracking Conversion tracking tells you exactly how many customers or leads you’ve acquired from your ad campaigns. It’s not mandatory to set up but, without it, you’ll be guessing the ROI of your ads. Conversion tracking allows you to track sales (or other activities) on your website, app installs, or calls from your ads. Integrate Your Google Ads With Your CRM There is something to be said about keeping all of your data in one place where you can track, analyze, and report on it. You already use your CRM to track contact data and lead flows. Integrating Google Ads with your CRM gives you the ability to track which ad campaigns are working for your audience so you can continue marketing to them with offers that are relevant. hubspot.com
  4. Your ad copy can be the difference between a click on your ad and a click on your competitor’s ad. It’s important that your ad copy matches the searcher’s intent, is aligned with your target keywords, and addresses the personas pain point with a clear solution. A search for “baby swim lessons” yielded this result. The copy is concise and uses the limited space wisely to convey their message and connect with their target audience. The Swim Revolution knew to put the keyword in their headline so we instantly know that this ad matches what we’re looking for. The description tells us why this is the best option for swim lessons because it addresses the concerns of their persona — a parent looking to enroll their baby in a swim class. They use words like “skills,” “fun,” “confidence,” and “comfort in the water” to ease our nerves about putting a baby in a pool and to prove to us that we will get what we want out of this class — an infant that can swim. This kind of ad copy will get you clicks, but conversions will result from carrying this level of intention into your landing page copy. Ad Extensions If you’re running Google Ads, you should be using Ad Extensions for two reasons: they’re free, and they give users additional information and another reason to interact with your ad. These extensions fall within one of these five categories: Sitelink Extensions extend your add — helping you stand out — and provide additional links to your site that offer users more enticing reasons to click. Call Extensions allow you to incorporate your phone number in your ad so users have an additional (and instant) way to reach out to you. If you have a customer service team that is ready to engage and convert your audience, then include your phone number. Location Extensions include your location and phone number within your ad so Google can offer searchers a map to easily find you. This option is great for businesses with a storefront and it works well for the search query “...near me.” Offer Extensions work if you’re running a current promotion. It can entice users to click your ad over others if they see that your options are discounted compared to your competitors. App Extensions provide a link to an app download for mobile users. This reduces the friction from having to perform a new search to find and download the app in an AppStore. hubspot.com
  5. Google Ads displays your ad to potential leads or customers who are interested in your product or service. Advertisers bid on search terms, or keywords, and the winners of that bid are placed at the top of search results pages, on YouTube videos, or on relevant websites, depending on the type of ad campaign selected. Many factors impact your ability to create effective and high-performing Google Ads. Let’s cover them below. AdRank and Quality Score AdRank determines the placement of your ads, and Quality Score is one of the two factors (the other being bid amount) that determines your AdRank. Remember, your Quality Score is based on the quality and relevance of your ad, and Google measures that by how many people click on your ad when it’s displayed — i.e. your CTR. You CTR depends on the how well your ad matches searcher intent, which you can deduce from three areas: The relevance of your keywords If your ad copy and CTA deliver what the searcher expects based on their search The user experience of your landing page Your QS is where you should focus most of your attention when you first set up your Google Ad campaign — even before you increase your bid amount. The higher your QS, the lower your acquisition costs will be and the better placement you’ll get. Ad Campaign Types: Search, Display, and Video You can select from one of three campaign types on Google Ads: search, display, or video. Let’s cover the optimal uses for each and why you might choose one over the other. Search Ads Search ads are text ads that are displayed on Google results pages. The benefit of search ads is that you’re displaying your ad in the place where most searchers look for information first — on Google. And Google shows your ad in the same format as other results (except for denoting it as an “Ad”) so users are accustomed to seeing and clicking on results. Responsive Search Ads Responsive search ads allow you to enter multiple versions of headlines and ad copy (15 and four variations, respectively) for Google to select the best performers to display to users. With traditional ads, create one static version of your ad, using the same headline and description each time. Responsive ads allow for a dynamic ad that is auto-tested until you arrive at the version that is best suited for your target audience — for Google, that means until you get the most clicks. Display Ads Google has a network of websites in various industries and with an array of audiences that opt in to display Google Ads, known as the Google Display Network. The benefit to the website owner is that they’re paid per click or impression on the ads. The benefit to advertisers is that they can get their content in front of audiences that are aligned with their personas. These are typically image ads that draw users attention away from the content on the webpage. Additional options for Display Ads include shopping campaigns and app campaigns, which are displayed on search engine results pages. Video Ads Video ads are displayed before or after (and sometimes in the middle of) YouTube videos. Remember, YouTube is a search engine, too. The right keywords will place you in front of a video, disrupting the user’s behavior just enough to grab their attention. Location When you first set up your Google Ad, you’ll select a geographical area where your ad will be shown. If you have a storefront, this should be in a reasonable radius around your physical location. If you have an ecommerce store and a physical product, your location should be set in the places where you ship. If you provide a service or product that is accessible worldwide, then the sky's the limit. Your location settings will play a role in placement. For instance, if you own a yoga studio in San Francisco, someone in New York that enters “yoga studio” will not see your result, no matter your AdRank. That’s because Google’s main objective is to display the most relevant results to searchers, even when you’re paying. Keywords Keyword research is just as important for paid ads as it is for organic search. Your keywords need to match searcher intent as much as possible. That’s because Google matches your ad with search queries based on the keywords you selected. Each ad group that you create within your campaign will target a small set of keywords (one to five keywords is optimal) and Google will display your ad based on those selections. Match Types Match Types give you a little wiggle room when it comes to your keyword selections — they tell Google whether you want to match a search query exactly or if your ad should be shown to anyone with a search query that’s semi-related. There are four match types to choose from: Broad Match is the default setting that uses any word within your keyword phrase in any order. For example, “goat yoga in Oakland” will match “goat yoga” or “yoga Oakland.” Modified Broad Match allows you to lock in certain words within a keyword phrase by denoting them with a “+” sign. Your matches will include that locked-in word at the very least. For example, “+goats yoga in Oakland” could yield “goats,” “goats like food,” or “goats and yoga.” Phrase Match will match with queries that include your keyword phrase in the exact order but may include additional words before or after it. For example, “goat yoga” can yield “spotted goat yoga” or “goat yoga with puppies.” Exact Match maintains your keyword phrase as it is written in the exact order. For example, “goat yoga” will not show up if someone types “goats yoga” or “goat yoga class.” If you’re just starting out and don’t know exactly how your persona will be searching, move from a broad match to a more narrow approach so you can test which queries yield the best results. However, since your ad will be ranking for many queries (some unrelated) you should keep a close eye on your ads and modify them as you can gain new information. hubspot.com
  6. Conversion Rate (CVR) CVR is a measure of form submissions as a proportion of total visits to your landing page. Simplistically speaking, a high CVR means that your landing page presents a seamless user experience that matches the promise of the ad. Display Network Google ads can be displayed on either search results pages or a web page within Google’s Display Network (GDN). GDN is a network of websites that allow space on their webpages for Google Ads — these ads can be text-based or image ads and are displayed alongside content relevant to your target keywords. The most popular Display Ad options are Google Shopping and app campaigns. Extensions Ad Extensions allow you to supplement your ad with additional information at no additional cost. These extensions fall under one of five categories: Sitelink, Call, Location, Offer, or App; we’ll cover each of these ad extensions below. Keywords When a Google user types a query into the search field, Google returns a range of results that match the searcher’s intent. Keywords are words or phrases that align with what a searcher wants and will satisfy their query. You select keywords based on which queries you want to display your ad alongside. For example, a searcher that types “how to clean gum off shoes” will see results for advertisers that targeted keywords like “gum on shoes” and “clean shoes.” Negative Keywords are a list of keyword terms that you do not want to rank for. Google will pull you from the bid on these keywords. Typically, these are semi-related to your intended search terms but fall outside of the realm of what you offer or want to rank for. PPC Pay-per-click, or PPC, is a type of advertising where the advertiser pays per click on an ad. PPC is not specific to Google Ads, but it is the most common type of paid campaign. It’s important to understand the ins and outs of PPC before launching your first Google Ads campaign. Quality Score (QS) Your Quality Score measures the quality of your ad by your click-through rate (CTR), the relevance of your keywords, the quality of your landing page, and your past performance on the SERP. QS is a determining factor in your AdRank. hubspot.com
  7. These common terms will help you set up, manage, and optimize your Google Ads. Some of these are specific to Google Ads, while others are related to PPC in general. Either way, you’ll need to know these to run an effective ad campaign. AdRank Your AdRank determines your ad placement. The higher the value, the better you’ll rank, the more eyes will fall on your ad, and the higher the probability that users will click your ad. Your AdRank is determined by your maximum bid multiplied by your Quality Score. Bidding Google Ads is based on a bidding system, where you as the advertiser selects a maximum bid amount you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad. The higher your bid, the better your placement. You have three options for bidding: CPC, CPM, or CPE. CPC, or cost-per-click, is the amount you pay for each click on your ad. CPM, or cost per mille, is the amount you pay for one thousand ad impressions, that is when your ad is shown to a thousand people. CPE, or cost per engagement, is the amount you pay when someone takes a predetermined action with your ad. And, yes, we’ll review bidding strategies below. Campaign Type Before you begin a paid campaign on Google Ads, you’ll select between one of three campaign types: search, display, or video. Search ads are text ads that are displayed among search results on a Google results page. Display ads are typically image-based and are shown on web pages within the Google Display Network. Video ads are between six and 15 seconds and appear on YouTube. Click-Through Rate (CTR) Your CTR is the number of clicks you get on your ad as a proportion of the number of views your ad gets. A higher CTR indicates a quality ad that matches search intent and targets relevant keywords. hubspot.com
  8. If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to advertise on Google, don’t give up. There are many reasons why your Google Ads could be underperforming. Let’s cover some common offenders. Broad Keyword Terms. You really need to nail it when it comes to your keywords, which is why testing and tweaking should be a part of your strategy. If your keywords are too broad, Google will be placing your ad in front of the wrong audience which means fewer clicks and a higher ad spend. Review what’s working (i.e. which keywords are generating clicks) and adjust them to best match your ads with your target audience. You likely won’t get the mix right the first time but you should keep adding, removing, and tweaking keywords until you do. How to fix it: Review the keyword strategies that we cover below. Irrelevant Ads. If your ad doesn’t match the searcher’s intent, you won’t get enough clicks to justify your ad spend. Your headline and ad copy need to match the keywords you’re bidding on, and the solution your ad is marketing needs to solve whatever pain point that searcher is experiencing. It’s a combination that will yield the results you’re looking for, and it may just be a few tweaks away. You have the option to create multiple ads per campaign — use this feature to split test which ads work best. Or, better yet, use Google’s Responsive Search Ads feature. How to fix it: Read our best practices for ad copy. Low Quality Score. Your Quality Score (QS) is how Google determines how your ad should rank. The higher your rank, the better your placements. If your quality score is low, you’ll have fewer eyeballs on your ad and fewer chances to convert. Google will tell you your Quality Score, but improving it is up to you. How to fix it: Keep reading to learn how to improve your QS. Poor Landing Page. Your efforts shouldn’t stop with your ad — the user experience after a click is equally important. What does your user see once they click your ad? Is your landing page optimized for conversions, meaning does it use the same keywords? Does the page solve your user’s pain point or answer their question? Your user should experience a seamless transition through to the conversion. How to fix it: Review landing page best practices and implement them to increase your conversion rate. hubspot.com
  9. To answer this, let’s consider a few statistics. Google Ads have a click-through rate of nearly 8 percent. Display ads yield 180 million impressions each month. For users who are ready to buy, paid ads on Google get 65% of the clicks. 43% of customers buy something they’ve seen on a YouTube ad. So, yes, Google Ads works. With an optimized ad campaign and lead flow, you can create a high-ROI marketing campaign. Why advertise on Google? Google is the most used search engine, receiving 3.5 billion search queries a day. Not to mention, the Google Ads platform has been around for nearly two decades, giving it some seniority in the area of paid advertising. Google is a resource used by people around the world to ask questions that are answered with a combination of paid advertisements and organic results. And, according to Google, advertisers make $8 for every $1 they spend on Google Ads. So, there are a few reasons why you’d want to consider advertising on Google. Need another reason? Your competitors are using Google Ads (and they might even be bidding on your branded terms). Thousands of companies use Google Ads to promote their businesses, which means that even if you’re ranking organically for a search term, your results are being pushed down the page, beneath your competitors. If you’re using PPC to advertise your product or services, Google Ads should be a part of your paid strategy — there’s no way around it (except maybe Facebook Ads, but that’s another article). hubspot.com
  10. It's no secret that, these days, the stronger and more focused your paid campaigns are, the more clicks you generate — leading to a greater probability of obtaining new customers. This is why Google Ads has become increasingly popular among businesses across all industries. Google Ads is a paid advertising platform that falls under a marketing channel known as pay-per-click (PPC), where you (the advertiser) pays per click or per impression (CPM) on an ad. Google Ads is an effective way to drive qualified traffic, or good-fit customers, to your business while they're searching for products and services like the ones you offer. With Google Ads, you can boost your website traffic, receive more phone calls, and increase your in-store visits. Google Ads allows you to create and share well-timed ads (via both mobile and desktop) among your target audience. This means your business will show up on the search engine results page (SERP) at the moment your ideal customers are looking for products and services like yours via Google Search or Google Maps. This way, you reach your target audience when it makes sense for them to come across your ad. Note: Ads from the platform can span across other channels too, including YouTube, Blogger, and Google Display Network. Over time, Google Ads will also help you analyze and improve those ads to reach more people so your business can hit all of your paid campaign goals. Additionally, no matter the size of your business or your available resources, you can tailor your ads to suit your budget. The Google Ads tool gives you the opportunity to stay within your monthly cap and even pause or stop your ad spending at any point in time hubspot.com
  11. 5. PPC Works Well With Other Marketing Channels Content marketing has taken over the digital marketing world and content plans and calendars are the norm in most businesses now. With the investment in producing original and unique content to support the customer buying cycle and establish thought leadership positioning, Google Ads is an engine that can drive visitors to content more quickly and improve the ROI on your content investment. PPC and SEO work well together as the impressions and opportunities for traffic are often to the same audience — the people using Google to find information, services, or products. The performance data of impressions, clicks, and conversions from Google Ads can provide great insight and direction on a keyword-by-keyword basis for where to prioritize SEO efforts. On the flip side, organic traffic performance data and SEO strategy can also advise PPC if the data is available. All of this helps align with content marketing and ensures that efficiencies are gained and business end goals are not siloed. Google Ads remarketing is a great avenue to keep site visitors engaged, regardless of how they found your site. Remarketing ads are shown to people who visited and left your site and are based on specific rules or audiences you select. There are other cases where PPC can help provide data or an alternative to traditional direct marketing activities. PPC can also be directly compared to traditional mail with costs per impression and conversion. If you can shift away from more expensive traditional marketing to methods that provide real-time data and have better tracking, it can be a big win. 6. Incredible Targeting Options Many advertisers take a multi-layered approach in Google Ads to test and ensure full coverage across the networks and targeting types that can gain brand exposure. This ranges from targeting keywords through text ads, to running ads through remarketing based on their past behaviors, or focusing on specific audience demographics on the display network. By testing and trying out a mix, you can ensure the full scope of Google Ads is leveraged and that you’re getting as many impressions as possible while staying targeted to the personas in your prospective audience. Going back to the business goals conversation, you can also see what performs best and set expectations on what the tolerance is for cost per click and cost per acquisition to compare the different targeting methods with each other. Ultimately, the biggest benefit of the PPC targeting options available is that you are able to reach people who aren’t already in your audience as well as those that have been exposed to your brand. You have many options for how wide of a net you want to cast. 7. A Wealth of Marketing Data While there’s a lot of data and performance information directly available in Google Ads, the value of information gained goes beyond just PPC performance. Impression, click, and conversion data for each keyword can be used to advise SEO strategy and content marketing efforts. Beyond that, you can use the built-in keyword planner and display planner tools to find where your audience is. You can also cross-reference where your competition is through third-party tools like SpyFu, KeywordSpy, and iSpionage to build a solid profile of what you’re up against and what market share you can gain. searchenginejournal.com
  12. There are many compelling benefits of PPC advertising. Whether you’re trying to convince your boss or a client about the value of Google Ads (or Bing Ads), there’s a powerful case to be made. For starters, PPC: Offers quick entry. Results are easy to measurable and track. Works well with other marketing channels. Provides a wealth of useful data PPC can have a major – and positive – impact on most businesses and brands. If you aren’t doing any PPC marketing, you’re likely losing out on valuable traffic and revenue. Need to make the case for PPC advertising? Here are just seven powerful benefits of using PPC. 1. PPC Contributes to Business Goals This is often the most compelling reason to use PPC advertising. PPC can help you achieve a vast number of business and marketing goals. These goals range from high-level brand exposure and thought leadership to a hot lead submission or e-commerce sale. Nearly any type of conversion goal can be tracked. PPC is a powerful tool for aligning website traffic drivers to end-goals. In the era of content marketing and thought leadership, PPC can foster the middle ground of nurturing and serving the middle of the funnel through advertising content downloads, seeking newsletter signups, contest entries, and pushing for app downloads. PPC can support many parts of the sales funnel and the path that your prospects take from awareness to becoming a customer. Regardless of the set of identified goals, PPC campaigns can be set up effectively. 2. PPC Is Measurable & Trackable A major benefit of PPC advertising run through Google Ads is that it’s easy to measure and track. Simply use the Google Ads tool in combination with Google Analytics. You’ll see high-level performance details including impressions, clicks, and conversions (based on the defined business goals). There’s no mystery to your PPC performance. Stats are readily available and show how your campaigns are performing and what kind of traffic and results they are driving for your budget. In other advertising and marketing channels, the picture isn’t as clear for attribution of the budget to direct results. When you send your PPC traffic to dedicated landing pages and track it all the way to conversion using Google Analytics, you’re able to clearly see what you spent and what it drove in terms of your end goals. No billboard or magazine ad can attribute to sales like that. 3. Quick Entry Even if you’re a decade behind your competitors on jumping into PPC marketing, you can get up and running quickly with a little bit of optimization. This is often a big contrast to starting up SEO efforts, which often take a lot of time and attention to get the same type of positioning and traffic that Google Ads offers within minutes of launch. When compared to other channels like email and organic social, you have the advantage of targeting people outside of those who are already aware of your brand, and you aren’t limited to your existing followers or customer lists. PPC lets you quickly cast a wide net to find new prospects and customers. Plus, most of the work is done within the PPC advertising platform — from the research to campaign build out, to writing ads. You can get up and running quickly with minimal involvement of your development teams, aside from help setting up conversion tracking and any desired landing pages. 4. You’re in Control While there are several nuances regarding default campaign settings, you ultimately have control over a wide range of options for how you reach potential customers. This starts with the keywords or placements you choose to target and how restrictive you want to be. You also have a lot of budget flexibility if you want to start small. You can set your own ad budget and bids, and choose what you’re willing to spend (though you have to pay at least close to a market rate to play in most cases). If you’re seeing positive results, you can scale up immediately. And if you want to take a break, you can always pause and stop your ad spend right away. This is hard to do with other ongoing marketing campaigns, giving you the advantage and budget flexibility to move quickly when necessary or desired. Google Ads’ auction and the algorithm involved has the final say as to where your ads will be positioned and what you’ll spend when compared to competitors. The alignment of relevance between your landing pages and the keywords and ad copy can hurt or help you. The good news is that you have the flexibility to make quick edits and to optimize while your ads are running, and to try new tests every day if you wish. There’s not a long cycle from edit to deployment that you see in other mediums, and if an ad stinks, you can pull it without having to let it finish out a contracted media cycle. searchenginejournal.com
  13. The point of all this hard work isn’t to just get clicks. The real end game is to obtain conversions. Conversions are the actions that advertisers want users to complete after clicking on an ad, and depend on the type of business being advertised. Common examples of conversions include: Purchasing a service. Signing up for a newsletter. Placing a phone call. It’s super important to track conversions in order to know whether a PPC campaign is doing well and how many conversions can be attributed to paid search rather than other marketing channels. Platforms like Google Ads can track conversions using a snippet of code that is placed into the source code of the conversion page (which is reached after conversion, like a thank you page) to collect conversion data. Conversion tracking can be a bit tricky, because conversion paths also have a tendency to be more complicated than a simple click on an ad and a direct purchase. They often include multiple searches and website visits, or can lead to an email, phone call or in-store visit. Using an analytics service like Google Analytics can help to decide how credit for conversions is assigned in conversion paths. searchenginejournal.com
  14. Choosing the right keywords is what allows advertisers to show ads to relevant audiences. But there are other targeting options available to optimize campaigns, including: Device. Location. Day and time. Demographics. This way, advertisers can target users who are on mobile in the evening or users who are under 25 and within a certain radius of a particular location, in order to optimize the performance of their ads. These targeting options are incredibly valuable because different variations of ad copy, for example, might perform better for one group of users than for another. It can also be possible, using remarketing tools that allow for more specific ad copy messaging and adjusted budgets, to target or exclude past visitors to a website who do follow-up searches. Bids can be automatically adjusted for keywords based on targeting options, giving advertisers more control over traffic and spend by bidding when customers are more valuable to the business. searchenginejournal.com
  15. There’s more to winning the auction than having the highest bid. Search engines look at other factors to determine which ads should be at the top and most valuable spot on the SERP. Search engines have their own particular ways of factoring in other elements to determine ad rank. Google, for example, considers: Bid amount. Ad relevance and quality. The context of the search (such as the user’s device and time of day). Format impact (whether it includes extensions that enhance the format of the ad). Quality Score is a metric that determines ad relevance. The components of Quality Score are: Historical click-through rate (CTR). Relevance of the keyword to the ad. Relevance of the keyword and ad to the search query. Landing page quality. Ad relevance is absolutely essential; the higher Quality Score is, the lower the CPC will be. Search engines penalize advertisers who bid on keywords with low Quality Scores by rarely showing their ads, even if they have high bids. That’s why it’s very important to have engaging and relevant ad copy that includes high-volume keywords. But landing page quality shouldn’t be overlooked either; ads will show less often when they point to sites with poor user experience. The webpage must be relevant to the user, load quickly and provide an overall smooth user experience on all devices. searchenginejournal.com
  16. In order to participate in the auction, advertisers need to decide how much they’re willing to spend on a given keyword. This is done using: Budgets at the campaign level. Bids at the ad group or keyword level. Budgets are set at the campaign level and can be exceeded on a daily basis, but will not be overspent on a monthly basis. Budgets should be set according to overall account strategy, but bids are a more precise way of controlling spending. All ad groups must have bids, but keyword level bids override ad group level bids. Due to the RTB system, the actual amount paid by the advertiser is dependent on competitor activity and ad rank, not just the maximum bid. searchenginejournal.com
  17. lindagray


    Along with keywords, you need to prepare ads in your campaigns. These are nestled together within ad groups that target shared sets of keywords, and so are organized by common themes. Ads are what the users will see if the auction is won, so they’re very important to get right. They typically contain a: Headline. URL. Description. On a SERP they can show up on top of the results or at the bottom of the page. It’s good practice to test different versions of ad copy to see what performs best. Services like Google Ads and Bing Ads provide features called ad extensions that enhance the appearance of ads. Examples include: Sitelink extensions, which populate an ad with more links to different pages on a site. Call extensions, which add a phone number to the ad during business hours. Ad extensions are great as they increase the visibility of ads by making them more engaging to users while communicating more information. searchenginejournal.com
  18. Keywords lie at the center of PPC, connecting advertisers to users’ search queries. Queries are the actual words that users type into the search box of a search engine in order to find results. Keywords, on the other hand, are what marketers use to target these users by matching their search queries. Keywords work as generalized abstractions of a wide range of search queries, which are prone to irregularities like misspellings. Depending on the keyword match types they use, advertisers can match search queries with more or less precision. For example, advertisers can choose to match keywords with search queries exactly or to allow for variations such as different orderings of the words, different spellings, or the inclusion of other words. It is also possible to have negative keywords, which will prevent ads being triggered by search queries containing those keywords, in order to avoid irrelevant traffic. searchenginejournal.com
  19. Every time there is an ad spot on a search engine results page (SERP), an instantaneous auction takes place for the keyword. A combination of multiple factors, including bid amount and the quality of the ad, decide the winner who will appear in the top spot of the SERP. These auctions are what keeps the gears of PPC moving. Auctions begin when someone searches for something on a search engine; if there are advertisers interested in showing ads related to a user’s search query, an auction is triggered based on keywords that are bid on by advertisers. The ads that win the auction then appear on the search engine results page. To get involved in these auctions, advertisers use accounts on platforms like Google Ads to set up their ads and determine where and when they would like those ads to appear. Accounts are split into campaigns for ease of management and reporting of different locations, product types, or other useful categorization. Campaigns are further divided into ad groups which contain keywords and relevant ads. searchenginejournal.com
  20. Pay-per-click (PPC) is an advertising model that lets marketers place ads on an ad platform and pay the host of that platform every time their ad is clicked. The goal of a PPC ad is to lead the person viewing it to click through to the advertiser’s website or app, where that visitor can complete a valuable action, such as purchasing a product. Search engines are incredibly popular advertising platforms. They allow you to display ads that are relevant to what users are searching for. Advertising services like Google Ads and Bing Ads operate with real-time bidding (RTB), where advertising inventory is sold in a private automated auction using real-time data. searchenginejournal.com
  21. #10 — Sweat the Small Stuff Likely, we could all resolve to be a little bit more detail-oriented. But, whether you call this anal or meticulous, it’s all based on perspective. When it comes to business, it’s the small stuff that counts. If you have a knack for habitually ignoring the small details, you might find launching and running your startup incredibly difficult. The small stuff matters at every level of the playing field when it comes to business. From the initial details on how you decide to incorporate your business and setup your banking relationships, to how meticulously you build and design your products or services, and to just what standard you hold yourself when it comes to living up to your own marketing hype, the details matter big time. Every business owner must develop the habit of sweating all the details, no matter how small they might be. But, developing this habit isn’t easy. Take the time identify all the little things that require your attention. Make a list. No matter how small it might be, check it off your list one by one. People most certainly notice the little things and they absolutely make all the difference in business. #11 — Analyze and Track To succeed with your startup, you have to be a stickler for the numbers. Analyze and track everything when it comes to marketing your business. Whether you’re engaged in content creation, SEO, or any other online marketing activity, create a spreadsheet and track your results on a daily basis. Over time, you’ll see just how much progress you’re making. In marketing, it’s all about the numbers. Knowing what’s working and what’s not is at the very core of a successful startup at nearly any stage. From where the money is going when it comes to your marketing and other expenses, to where the money is coming from in regards to sources of revenue, you absolutely must track everything. Setup a system for tracking all of your efforts. Use any type of spreadsheet to track the numbers and do it on a daily basis. Then, plot those numbers on a graph and watch them like a hawk. Use the numbers to help guide your plan towards your goals. If you see that something isn’t working, take initiative to change it before it’s too late. Without tracking the numbers, identifying potential issues can become troublesome. Tracking also helps when you can identify what’s actually working with your marketing efforts and you can use that information to scale out. For example, if you were able to spend $200 in advertising your business and make $800 from online purchases, then scaling out those efforts might be the ticket to really bring about explosive growth in sales. #12 — Implement the 80/20 Rule The 80/20 Rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, states that 80% of the results comes from 20% of the efforts. In sales, this means that 80% of the sales comes from 20% of the clients. In marketing, it also means that 80% of the income will come from 20% of your efforts. The rule applies across the board no matter what we’re talking about. The fact of the matter is that running a business is hard. We end up getting caught up in so many different issues that can completely derail our progress. However, when we can identify the 20% of our efforts that are bringing in 80% of our results, we can rest a little bit more easy. This is where tracking and analyzing the numbers pays off. Without that particular marketing habit, identifying the 80/20 Rule becomes far more difficult. It becomes more like a guessing game. Spend the time to analyze your efforts and results using the Pareto Principle and go after those efforts as aggressively as possible. #13 — Effectively Manage Your Time Effective time management is a habit that all business owners absolutely must develop in order to achieve business success. This isn’t just about startups; this is about anyone who is anyone that is looking to successfully manage a business or become a great entrepreneur. To effectively manage your time and properly develop this habit, you need to choose a good system for time management. The quadrant time management system is probably one of the most powerful ones that you could select. The quadrant system was originally developed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and later popularized by Stephen R. Covey. In the quadrant system, all your time is split up into 4 categories based on two factors: urgency and importance. Things are either urgent, important, or some combination of the two. The goal? Stay away from things that are neither urgent nor important such as time-wasters. And ensure that you’re doing as much to tackle the activities that are not urgent but very important such as those things related to your long-term goals. #14 — Stay Persistent The last, but certainly not least of the best marketing habits for startups, is persistence. While you might not think persistence is a habit, it most certainly is. In any given day, we have upwards of 60,000 thoughts, many of which occur in our subconscious minds. The bad news? A large portion of those thoughts are fear-based thoughts that help with the onset of anxiety and stress. Staying persistent, is when we work to counteract those thoughts in the mind. It’s also a way that we push through even when the going gets tough. It’s how we avoid giving up and throwing that proverbial towel in and counting ourselves out. That’s not an option. Launching and managing a business is incredibly hard, especially a startup one, and times are most certainly going to get tough. There will be moments when you want to kick, scream, and curse from the mountaintop. If it were easy, don’t you think everyone would do it? Identify and implement some motivational strategies that will help you push through the hard times, and fill your mind with inspirational wisdom and material on a daily basis. While things might get difficult from time to time, the bigger picture is what’s most important. Don’t lose sight of your goals and why you wanted to do what you’re doing in the first place. Remember, nothing in life that’s worthwhile is going to come easy. It’s going to take work — a lot of work. But, in the end, is it worth it? It most definitely is. wanderlustworker.com
  22. #5 — Build Authority It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, the habit of building authority must become ingrained into your daily routine. But building authority is no simple feat. In order for others to look at you as an authority, you have to position yourself as one. To do that, you need to spend your time finding ways that you can contribute to the business community in your niche. How do you do that? Simply by building great content. While it sounds rather straightforward, it’s nothing of the sorts. It involves a painstakingly heavy amount of work. I can’t even begin to estimate the amount of time I spend creating content that to people with their goals and things like habit development. When you spend a lot of time trying to help others by building great content, you build authority slowly over time. It doesn’t happen overnight. So don’t expect it to. Further, you’ll need a platform you can share that content. So, if you don’t have a business blog, set one up. Not only will you need a platform for sharing great content like a blog, but you’ll also need a professional Website with a custom domain name. Using a domain name hosted on another platform is an okay way to start things out, but doesn’t provide the same air of professionalism. #6 — Be Social In today’s Internet age, you can’t succeed with a startup, or any other business for that matter, without being social. However, being social doesn’t mean going overboard by constantly sharing updates with your personal network; being social means you need to carefully position your business in the public realm by sharing and adding value to existing conversations. Be social on the platforms that matter. Ensure that you have a Facebook Page setup for your business, a Twitter account, and a LinkedIn profile. Share things that matter and try not to be excessive about your self-promotion. There’s an art of passively promoting by adding value without having to aggressively cheerlead your offers at ever turn. Further, find other social groups that matter. Search for communities of people where your prospective customers are gathering, whether on a social media site, message board, or some other online portal, and communicate with people in those mediums. Try to add value to existing conversations in the beginning, and don’t attempt to pitch everyone. #7 — Ask Questions Constantly ask yourself questions on a daily basis. The best marketers ask the toughest questions, even if the answers might hurt. If you have existing clients or customers, ask them what they liked or disliked about the experience with you. Were they happy with the service? Was it overpriced? Was it overhyped? Or, was it under-promised but over-delivered? Of course, it’s the latter that we’re after here. Find a way you can ask these questions without being too invasive. Setup a profile on popular Websites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, and others. Then, solicit feedback and reviews from your customers by placing a link in your signature or on your Website to passively garner their thoughts about working with you. This also shows that you’re serious about customer service and that you’re willing to go that extra mile, so to speak. When people know that they can leave some feedback about their experience with you on trusted sites, they might even be more willing to work with you in the first place. Being open and transparent like this can enormously assist you in helping to grow your business. #8 — Seek Advice Even the most successful people understand that they don’t know everything. Sometimes, we all need a little bit of personal advice. While reading posts like the one can help give you a better understanding for the best marketing habits to have, someone that personally knows your situation can probably offer up even better, and far more custom-tailored advice. Find a business mentor and seek their assistance where possible. Mentors are a great way to have someone in your corner who’s already been through the ringer. They’ve gone through the ups and downs and have achieved success in business. Relying on their trusted advice is one of the best gifts that you can give yourself as a startup owner. Nearly every great entrepreneur has found an equivalently great mentor. Seeking advice can be hard for some, especially when it comes to our very-fragile egos. But, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. This is an essential online marketing habit and one that should become nearly commonplace for every startup business owner. #9 — Resolve Problems Being a problem-solver is an essential online marketing habit. When problems arise, wherever they might reside in your business, you have two choices: stay and face the music, or run like the wind. When we have so much going on, it’s hard to see the forest through the trees. When our obligations stretch us too thin, dealing with problems that might arise can be stressful to say the least. However, when we fail to resolve problems, they can fester and grow into something far greater. So we need to make it an essential daily habit to tackle problems immediately. Whether it’s a problem with a product or service, customer, or other business issue, problems should immediately be resolved as soon as they rear their ugly heads. There’s nothing like allowing a problem to grow that can’t kill a business faster. It can also help to ruin your business’s reputation. Warren Buffet once said “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Those words carry an enormous amount of truth with them. wanderlustworker.com
  23. #1 — Set Goals Setting goals is an important habit to develop for anyone, but an especially important one for business owners. Whether you’re running a startup or you’ve been in business for years, setting goals should be a habit that becomes commonplace. However, this isn’t just about setting goals and forgetting them — you need to to engage in active goal setting by creating long-term goals and daily goals. Create a set of long-term goals first, then fuel those long-term goals by setting goals on a daily basis. The habit of daily goal setting is a great one to develop because small and achievable goals on a daily basis are much more manageable than the bigger goals that we set for ourselves. And, by achieving the daily goals, we’re building momentum towards our long-term goals. As a business owner, it’s your duty to have some overall goals, but also your imperative to set goals on a daily basis to help you get there. Big things don’t happen overnight, especially when it comes to business. It takes time. But the daily goals help you to inch just a little closer every single day. #2 — Create Value One of the underlying online marketing habits for succeeding as a startup, is to create value. While most budding entrepreneurs are in business to enhance their bottom line, it’s the ones who focus on creating value who attain the greatest long-term success. Anyone that ignores this, will fail, plain and simple. But many people ignore the necessity to create value. They don’t make it habitual. They focus on working in their businesses, rather than working on their businesses. When you’re creating value, you’re working on your business and its long-term success. The biggest problem? It’s hard to develop a short-term metric for creating value. This underlying online marketing habit is a difficult one to measure, but one that absolutely must be at the basis of everything that you do. Constantly search for ways you can create more value in whatever it is that you’re offering to people than the money paid in exchange for it. #3 — Wake Up Early Often, for small business owners, it seems that there isn’t enough time in the day. Being a one-stop team member handling accounting, sales, marketing, customer service, and more will do that to you. In order to address these and all the other demands in our lives, we absolutely must wake up early. Even if you’re not a morning person, prioritizing this habit is one of the best ways you can improve your chances of succeeding in business. The fact is that 9 out of 10 businesses fail. And if you don’t want to be just another statistic, then you absolutely must wake up early. But developing the habit of waking up early is difficult. If you’re not a morning person, then you need to figure out a way where you can hack your routine. Shave time off your evening routines, abstain from coffee at least 6 hours before bedtime, or use the micro-habit approach to waking up early. In the micro-habit approach, you would set your clock back 15 minutes every week for 2 months until you’re waking up at least 2 hours earlier than usual. In the beginning, it will be hard. But, over time, you’ll be juiced about getting so much done in the early morning hours. #4 — Plan, Plan, Plan It’s not enough to just set goals. You need to follow a plan. A plan is the GPS system to help you reach your goals. Without it, you’re lost, stranded on the road of life. While the plan isn’t going to help you flesh out every step you need to take to reach your goals, it is going to give you a better sense of direction. Planning is a habit that absolutely must become ingrained in you if you want to succeed in business. Startup marketing is hard, especially if you’re working on a shoestring budget. In marketing, you either need to have a lot of money or a lot of time. If you have both, then you’re golden. But that’s not usually the case. The habit of planning involves creating a general plan that will get you to your long-term goals in business, whatever those might be. As long as you have detailed and quantifiable goals, you can work backwards with your plan or split your goals up into milestones and figure what it’s going to take to move you from one milestone to the next. wanderlustworker.com
  24. Do you own a startup? Are you thinking about launching a business online to join the fray of countless entrepreneurs that dream of a better life? Well, we all know that marketing a business, any business, takes work, especially a startup business. Combine the difficulty of launching and managing a business with the convoluted world of online marketing and its many facets that include things like SEO, content generation, and social media marketing, and it’s enough to send most people into a tailspin. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could easily find yourself drowning in a sea of confusion and misery rather than basking in the glory of success and profitability. If you’re a startup owner, then it’s important that you pay attention to the things you do on a daily basis, because time is money. Over the years, I’ve started a number of successful businesses. I’ve also started a number of businesses that’ve failed, paving the way for something bigger and better. But through it all I learned some invaluable online marketing experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world, even though some of those failures caused me an enormous amount of heartache, pain, and sleepless nights. Thinking about my own personal experiences, all told, there are 14 absolutely essential online marketing habits that can either make or break your new venture. Implement these online marketing habits, and over time, you’ll see business success. Ignore them, and you could be in for a wild and very turbulent ride. wanderlustworker.com
  25. 17. Give a talk at a professional conference or on a webinar. If you're an authority in your field, why not give a talk at a professional conference or webinar? Of course, TED Talks would be the first suggestion for professional conferences, but you could speak at a number of other kinds of conferences or even webinars conducted online. When it comes to online marketing, webinars are one of the most powerful tools for selling nearly anything to a highly-engaged audience. And the larger that audience, the more likely you'll be able to sell your products or services. Long term, this would most certainly give you exposure and allow you to build more authority over time, and it's an excellent portfolio piece or resume item that can be used as well, especially in the case of professional speaking engagements. 18. Use press releases to communicate important company news or events. Press releases aren't going to get you immediate media coverage. While some media professionals will use outlets such as Help a Reporter, or even scour press release sites such as PR Web, you're likely not going to get any type of instant news coverage by putting out a press release. However, a press release that's well-written and has a healthy link profile can assist you marginally with SEO, but it can also allow you to communicate important company news or events that you can then use to actively pursue media outlets with through the proper PR channels. 19. Create a branded email signature. One of the simplest ways that you can market your business online is by using a branded email signature. Place your links and any potential accolades your company might have received directly into your email signature. This helps to passively promote your business to people that you're in contact with on a daily basis. You should include social media links in your email signature too, along with any relevant links to important company marketing pieces -- digital brochures or news pieces that feature your company. Drop a small tagline or one-sentence catchphrase about your business and its mission as well. 20. Implement the 80-20 rule to identify and market to high-value clients. The 80-20 rule, or the Pareto Principle, states that 80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of the efforts. Basically, it's only a small portion of what we do that actually produces results. However, this also applies to sales, which states that 80 percent of your revenue comes from 20 percent of your clients. If you can identify which clients are generating the most income for your business, you can scale your sales out by sending them additional offers and discounts for other services and products. You can also gear your online marketing directly to these clients if they're using a portal system to login or if they're being tracked by cookies. 21. Post photos and videos with relevant hashtags on Pinterest, Flickr, Tumblr and Instagram. There are a number of high-domain authority sites that you can post photos and videos on to build a following. Pintrest, Flickr, Tumblr and Instagram come to mind first. Use relevant hashtags and descriptions to properly categorize what you're posting about, and follow others in your industry or niche posting with those hashtags. This isn't an online marketing technique that will get you instant sales or even instant traffic. It'll take time. But as long as you're adding value and you're passionate about what you're doing, you'll build that following up over the coming months and years. Be sure to comment, like and engage with other people's posts as much as possible in order to get yourself out there in the beginning. entrepreneur.com
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