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Adwords content network – how to use it

I was recently reading some interesting stuff about the content network and set up a new adgroup to re-visit it. As an experiment. Running the exact same text add I use on my search adwords campaign

Here’s what I found….

 

For many years now I automatically disable the google content network when setting up an adwords campaign. I figured its just not worth it having blown a few hundred dollars and gotten no-where

Where as search always gets me a good clickthrough rate and ROI, the content network was harder to use, understand and monitor. Too much effort for too little return

However I was recently reading some interesting stuff about the content network and set up a new adgroup to re-visit it. As an experiment. Running the exact same text add I use on my search adwords campaign

The content network works but only if….

Here’s what I found: it’s much much better than I remember. Maybe I just understand it better now. I was not able to produce the same volume of click throughs as search but the CPC (Cost per click) was 1/3 of search.

Yes 1/3! That’s a BIG saving.

It’s not all good news as the quality of click through varies depending on where your adword listing runs. In my case it was much lower and so the cheaper CPC was not really an advantage – it ended up being much the same return.

I am sure that with a few weeks of monitoring this could be tweaked up.

I even had the idea of writing specific ads referring more closely to the site the ad will appear on. Haven’t tried this yet but say I select my ad to run on sites abc.com.au and cde.com.au why not have a bit in the text of the ad which specifically relates to those sites? That would increase click throughs I am sure.  ( maybe special offer for readers of ABC website )

Like I said I haven’t done this yet and it may possible not be allowed :> If you want to try it go ahead and let me know what happens.

The Adwords Content Network: An Alternative to Banner Ads?

One other thing I did love about content network is I can use it as a banner ad network. See it will display graphic ads as well as text ads. So you can put together a nice banner ad and have it show on the top of some fairly major sites. All for a fraction of the cost that it would be if you approached the site directly and bought banner impressions.

For example: I ran an end of financial year banner (30 June here in Australia) and got a lot of click through at a very low price.  Conversions were not so good – but that’s probably more to do with the ad and the offer than anything else.

As mentioned above some split testing would refine that down.

Final thoughts on Adwords and the Content Network

In summary
  1. Don’t write off the content network option in adwords.  It can be very effective
  2. Be prepared to do some split testing and research as the audience it reaches is much different from search network. This could bring a  much lower CPC and good return
  3. Do you have a banner? Throw it up on the content network. It’s cheaper than buying banner impressions!

In conclusion I am now using the content network to supplement the ads I run in search. As time progresses I’ll refine it down to an add or banner that works well.

But in a small business it is a case of juggling priorities- chances are I’ll have my customers campaigns running well first as part of their website marketing strategies

I’d love to hear anyone elses feedback as findings. Post a comment!
Regards

Ronald Sayegh

for web design you can afford

Using a blog in website marketing

Using a blog in website marketing
A business blog is an effective way to market a traditional website. Infact blogging is one of the fastest ways of promoting your business and driving qualified traffic to your site. Just about any company should look at launching a blog as an add-on to their main website.

A business blog is an effective way to market a traditional website. Infact blogging is one of the fastest ways of promoting your business and driving qualified traffic to your site. Just about any company should look at launching a blog as an add-on to their main website.

Why?

A website and a blog have different functions and complement each other

A website and blog will in all likelihood reach different audiences, have different focuses and have different conversational tones. So it won’t compete directly with your site.

Used properly a blog will reinforce the main website by feeding it traffic.

Here’s how:

  1. Blogs are active: they can be set to broadcast their content out to the web via RSS every time there is something new.
  2. Blog updates are picked up fast. No waiting for a month for a new update of the google index.
  3. Blogs can build a readership. Set up properly a visitor can to subscribe to a blog feed and receive your postings as they happen. In a way that email marketing can only hope to achieve.
  4. Blogs have new fresh content and google loves that.
  5. Blogs are interactive. Comments can be made easily from each page. Which encourages more people to visit. More than a static site very could.
  6. Blogs have their own network. Some blogs rank well in google. Some don’t. Regardless of that though there is a network of blogs and blog readers independant of the search engines. This is a new market that only a blog can tap into
  7. Blogs are well read and can be opinion leading. According to a Hotwire Ipsos MORI survey “More than half (52%) of Europeans polled said that they were more likely to purchase a product if they had read positive comments from private individuals on the internet.”

All of these factors make a well kept blog a very powerful source of traffic and business for your site.

Is a blog right for your business?

If you can see yourself adding useful content to a blog on a regular basis ( eg weekly) then it a blog will absolutely work for you.

So for example if you sell CDs you can write reviews of new CDS and ask for people to comment. Plus add a link to the actual CD in your shop. Or if you are a club you can post member news, events and tips and again link it to the relevant part of your site

By ( subtly? ) linking your blog posts and updates to items on your site you get a natural flow through of interested people. If your blog become very popular that in itself can be enough to feed your site with all the traffic you could ever need, regardless of how well it ranks in the search engines

Plus because google loves blogs your blog can gain enough authority to help boost your main site up the search engine rankings through links from your blog to your site. 

How to get a blog

That’s the beautiful part. It’s easy. Use wordpress. This site is built on wordpress.

  • – WordPress is a free blog program which is fairly easy to install and relatively simple to run.
  • – WordPress has many very nice themes available free
  • – WordPress has some very nice add ons that make it super SEO friendly too
  • – So with a just little bit of know-how you can have a blog installed on your domain (http://www.yourdomain.com.au/blog ) for little to no cost

I can even do it for you. There will be a small fee to cover my time but this will cover full set up (wordpress install, theme install, an exclusive suite of SEO plug ins install,  feedburner set up)

Contact me to find out more.
http://www.webdesignspecialist.com.au/pages/contact-us.php

regards

Ronald Sayegh
http://www.webdesignspecialist.com.au

Free Web design and marketing resources

Free resources
I have put together some useful and (usually) free resources you will need for your website.

I have put together some useful and (usually) free resources you will need  for your website.

Specifically covered is

  1. copywriting – always a good subject!
  2. a free graphics software that is just about as good as photshop – without the hefty price
  3. Adwords cheat sheets
  4. and more!

Rather than repeat it all in this post just go to my website page and have a look for yourself

http://www.webdesignspecialist.com.au/pages/resources.php

regards

Ronald Sayegh
Web Design Specialist

Adwords – some simple ways to keep out of trouble

Adwords or indeed any PPC (pay per click) may look easy to do.
It’s supposed to look that way otherwise no-one would try it I guess.

But just ask anyone who has actually used it and they’ll tell you there are many minefields for the unwary- and the price you pay is a blown out advertising budget. And poor returns.

So no it’s not just a walk in the park.

The missing step for most is education.
We often don’t have time or patience or the background know-how to learn all that needs to be known. And we cant afford to employ a full time web marketing expert to help us. So we try to “wing it”

Now I won’t put myself in the league of the real experts like Perry Marshall (few can do that!) but here’s a few simple tips to keep you out of trouble (mostly). Things I have discovered for myself or had pointed out to me !

Adwords or indeed any PPC (pay per click) may look easy to do.
It’s supposed to look that way otherwise no-one would try it I guess.
But  just ask anyone who has actually used it and they’ll tell you there are many minefields for the unwary- and the price you pay is a blown out advertising budget. And poor returns.  

So no it’s not just a walk in the park.
 
The missing step for most is education.
We often don’t have time or patience or the background know-how to learn all that needs to be known. And we cant afford to employ a full time web marketing expert to help us. So we try to “wing it”
 
Now I won’t put myself in the league of the real experts like Perry Marshall (few can do that!) but here’s a few simple tips to keep you out of trouble (mostly).  Things I have discovered for myself or had pointed out to me !
 
1. The product of a good adword listing is a qualified people clicking through
 
Forget bigger is better.  Give me 100 qualified interested click throughs any day over 500 “browsers”  Even if the per click cost is more.
Why?
 Because I can convert the interest of those 100 people into an action or a sale more easily.
 
It’s all about ROI – return on investment
 
Not just number of click throughs
 
2. Use the ad to create an interest – and feed it.
 
Say enough to grab the attention of the people who will benefit from your product or service. Dont be vague – tell them why this is the solution they have been looking for.
But you only have a small amount of space so use the ad to direct them to somewhere that will sell them.
 
This means create a landing page. A page that takes the message or promise that motivated them to click on that ad in the first place. And expands it. It feeds their interest.
 
Simply directing the click throughs to your home page is a massive waste of time in most cases – It’s just too general and although the info is on your site somewhere (isn’t it?) – who can be bothered looking.
 
The other good thing about this is a good landing page is rewarded by google with a lower cost-per-click!
 
Nice
 
3. Tell them how to take action.
 
It’s not an esoteric TV ad your running here. If you don’t tell them what to do they probably won’t know. And they certainly won’t do it. So tell them – they need to inquire now (and tell them why) or buy now or whatever.
 
4. Measure your performance
 
The Adwords Console has many tools to help you measure how well an ad works.  How well it converts and so on. USE THEM.
 
5. AT THE END OF THE DAY YOU NEED TO BE EDUCATED

 

Sorry but there’s no substitute for knowing the subject. So if you want the best results you’ll have to knuckle down and learn it 
…  or give it to someone who you know can do it.  Even that requires some knowledge on your behalf.
 
6. What to do now

I’ve said this in prior posts – I’ll say it again.  Go here and sign up for teh free course  17 FREE AdWords Cheat Sheets, Videos, and MP3s   – it will give you enough of a grounding to know what yu want to do ie DIY it or outsouce it

And if you do want to outsource it I can help you there. Contact me.

Regards
 
Ronald Sayegh
Web Design Specialist
Tel; 0409148366 / 03 9005 0943
http://www.webdesignspecialist.com.au
for web design you can afford

 

Top recommendations for getting the most out of AdWords

Top six tips for cheaper more effective adwords:

Here are six top tactic to maximising your adwords budget by mininising the cost per click and increasing the click through ratio.

In other words making the ad work better for less cost.

Top six tips for cheaper more effective adwords

Here are six top tactic to maximising your adwords budget by mininising the cost per click and increasing the click through ratio.

In other words making the ad work better for less cost.

These tips are good. Very good.  And they come not from me but from a highly respected expert – google themselves. Yes these following tips come from the google adwords site

If you want to see it it’s here or you can just read on:>

The reason I reproduce it here is it is so good!! ( I think I mentioned that already) and not everyone seems to be aware of the wealth of help and tips google offers it’s users  for free.

So let’s see what google recommends…

1. Focus your ads on low prices and savings.

Consumers care about prices more than ever, especially on day-to-day purchases. When someone searches on a particular product, you know they’re interested; by using your ad to tell them that you’ve got the highest quality and the best price, you’re more likely to earn their click. Update your ad text to focus on low prices, good values, and timely promotions.

Tip 1
To draw the attention of price-conscious shoppers, these ads use savings-related terms.

2. Use value-related keywords.

It’s open season for bargain hunters. To reach these deal-conscious consumers, add appropriate price- and discount-related keywords. Try the AdWords Search-based Keyword Tool and Search Query Performance report to find and higher-performing keywords that people are actually searching on.

Tip 2

To attract more customers, value-related keywords have been added to the keyword list on the right.

3. Make sure your ad groups are targeted and relevant.

Ads perform best when their ad text reflects the ad group’s keywords; this makes ads more relevant to their intended audience. Make sure that both the text and the keywords in each ad group focus on a specific topic or product. For instance, an ad group about “tennis sneakers” will generally perform better than a broader ad group about “sneakers.”

Tip 3
Splitting up the general ad group on the left into two, more specific ad groups will likely enhance its performance.

4. Don’t waste money on irrelevant clicks.

The wrong keywords can attract people who are looking for products you don’t offer. Use negative keywords to filter out traffic that’s not related to your offering. The Search Query Performance report can help you identify potential negative keywords by showing which queries have triggered your ads.

Tip 4
A search for “peanut butter allergy” isn’t relevant to the sale of peanut butter, so allergy should be added as a negative keyword.

5. Make it easy for customers to buy.

Since people are spending more time comparing products and services online, make it easier for them to find what they’re looking for and buy from your site. Use the best Destination URL to send visitors directly to the page about the product or service promoted in your ad.

Tip 5
To be most effective, the Destination URL for this ad sends visitors to the page where Model XYZ123 camera can be found for $279.

6. Focus your money on your high-performers.

To get the most out of your campaigns, focus your time and resources on the keywords, ads, and ad groups that are driving the most value for your spend. To determine what’s performing best for you, consider Google’s free Conversion Tracking tool.

Tip 6
The overall budget of $100 was split evenly between the two campaigns. Google’s conversion tracking tool showed that the Used Books campaign was converting at a higher rate, so budget was shifted towards that campaign, increasing the overall conversion rate in the account.
———————————————
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Thanks Google.
 
Ronald Sayegh
http://www.webdesignspecialist.com.au/
for web design you can afford

How to Write Effective Copy for your website

IMPORTANT: Your website’s main job is not to look good or entertain but to drive in business.
It can still look good and entertain as long as it does this as well

As such it follows the rules of advertising – writing a good web copy is similar to writing a good ad.

A good effective website should contain the following elements…

IMPORTANT: Your website’s main job is not to look good or entertain but to drive in business.
It can still look good and entertain as long as it does this as well

As such it follows the rules of advertising – writing good web copy is similar to writing a good ad.

A good effective website should contain the following elements

1. HEADLINE – DO NOT MISS THIS STEP OUT!

Use a Headline statement at the top of the (each) page.
And not just the word “home” or “about us”.

Something enticing, interesting and something that grabs the persons attention.

If your site has the page title as well (eg home, about us, contact us) that’s fine as it helps orient the person… the headline can go immediately under this

This is the most important element of most sites. Do this wrong an no-one reads any further.

A Sub-Headline can also go after the main headline as an option to back up the headline and encourage people to continue reading.

2. BENEFITS

Clearly specify the Benefits of what you offer. NOT THE FEATURES.
If you are unsure what the difference is then here’s a tip I got from Brett Mcfall.

Write your list of features and then add to each point “which means” and complete the sentence.

eg;

  • My websites are easy to update via the log in admin area

becomes

  • My websites are easy to update via the log in admin area which means you can update them anytime you wish at no extra cost.

As well as pushing benefits don’t be afraid to remind them what might happen if they don’t take action – what they will lose out on.
So you reinforce the benefits of what you have to offer as well as (subtly, please) the potential losses if they don’t.

3. PROOF

People like to see proof. Otherwise how will they know that you will deliver what you promise?
Testimonials are good.
Evidence of completed projects are good too.
But you must prove that your product does what you say it will do.

4. NEGATE RISK

Make it as risk free as you can. Offer a free trial, low start up fee, or even a money-back guarantee ( in which case there can be no risk whatsoever!)

5. PHOTOs & GRAPHICS

This isn’t absolutely required, but it can definitely increase your response rate.
Eg Showing someone enjoying the product or service can solidify the proof provided above.
Or a picture of yourself makes the communication much more personal and real

Of course an online shop needs good quality pictures of the items being sold.

For information/ services sites choose your graphics carefully to enhance the message and flow of the copy.
Not to distract the reader and interrupt the flow of the words.

6. CALL TO ACTION

If you haven’t done so already tell the reader what it is you are offering and what you need them to do now. Tell the people what to do and they’ll do it ( well some of them will). Don’t tell them and you’ve lost them. So don’t forget to tell them what you want them to do once they have ready your page/ site and want to know more. Tell them to “fill out this form now for a free quote” or some such thing. Invite them to buy now, even. If you don’t have a call to action then steps 1 – 5 above could be great and you’d still get a low response

Make it easy for people to take the next step and they will. Make it hard and they wont.

7. VIEWPOINT

Now 1-6 are all about what to write. There is an important element that precedes this which could be called How to Write. I don’t mean spelling or grammar but mindset. Write as if its a conversation between you and another person.

Then when you read it back to yourself jump into the viewpoint of that other person and see if the message being communicated works.

Again another tip from Brett McFall ; try reading it out loud.
If you stumble, get confused or lost then so will the reader.
Revise your web copy accordingly

8. LENGTH (long or short copy)

Now I am not saying all these elements need to be on the one long page – you can split your message over many pages. Just be sure that each page still has these elements in it eg a headline a call to action and so on.

There’s a bit of a disagreement as to how much copy (words) should go on a page.

Some people opt for the long sales letter type page with everything above in the one place.  These seem to work well for “buy now” type of products.

Personally I haven’t found them to work so well for service and long-term type products.

I do know that a page with 12 words and an image is unlikely to impress though – as well as being a potential search engine disaster.

The rule here is there are no rules. Each market is different and you should experiment with what works and what doesn’t.

9. ADWORDS AND LANDING PAGES

And finally try combining these elements to make a landing page for your adwords campaign and direct your PPC traffic there rather than top your home page. You’ll be rewarded with a better / higher listing from google if you do – they check how relevant your landing page is to your ad and the keywords selected. And a lower cost per click.
But more of this another time…

Regards

Ronald Sayegh
http://www.webdesignspecialist.com.au

17 FREE AdWords Cheat Sheets, Videos, and MP3s UPDATE

Pay per click is undoubtedly THE advertising breakthrough of the
21st century. For the first time in history, you only show your ad
to people already interested in what you’ve got to offer, … and
you only pay when they visit your “store”

* 17 FREE AdWords Cheat Sheets, Videos, and MP3s

Hello again… just a quick addition to my previous post…

Pay per click is undoubtedly THE advertising breakthrough of the
21st century.  For the first time in history, you only show your ad
to people already interested in what you’ve got to offer, … and
you only pay when they visit your “store”

But because the search engines charge advertisers less money for
truly relevant ads which get plenty of clicks (and add a penalty to
all the others), … it’s also the first time in history that
managing a single ad campaign has become a full time job!

You see, increasing competition, costs, and quality requirements
imposed by the search engines make it VERY difficult for most
people to get maximum profit from PPC.

Glenn Livingston who I recommended in my last post, is one of the most highly respected AdWords marketers in the United States.

More importantly, he runs a large AdWords management agency and has seen literally hundreds of PPC accounts, so he really knows what works from a “dollarsin vs. dollars out” vantage point.  (Compare that to a lot of
the self proclaimed gurus out there “talking theory”)

* 17 FREE AdWords Cheat Sheets, Videos, and MP3s

Glenn also actually has very strong business background consulting
for dozens of companies like AT&T, Lipton, Novartis, Whirlpool,
and many, many more.  And, also unlike many of the gurus you
may have followed, Glenn’s successfully built 17 of his own
AdWords projects in markets having NOTHING TO DO with internet
marketing.

And he’s endorsed by the authors of BOTH major AdWords books.

But the best thing is, Glenn’s marketing philosophy is to deliver
real value BEFORE he asks for the sale.  Which means he’s put
a tremendous amount of blood, sweat, and tears into creating
these Adwords Cheat Sheets, Videos, and MP3s.

So you really WILL get critically important AdWords insights about:

– Overcoming PPC Overwhelm –> Maximum Results in Minimum Time
– Sending Your Quality Score Demons Where They Belong
– Selecting Your Single Most Important Keyword
– Attracting Hyper-Responsive AdWords Visitors
– Optimizing the Content Network (the largest network in the world)
– Rolling Out to MSN, Yahoo, and Other PPC Engines
– Finding Your Single Most Important Competitor

And much, much more.

Anyway I just wanted to say that I can’t recommend this highly enough … it’s one of the truly FREE resources on the internet that really does deliver value.

I am getting a LOT out of it myself.

17 FREE AdWords Cheat Sheets

17 FREE AdWords Cheat Sheets, MP3s and Videos Show You How to Easily Attract and Convert the MOST Valuable Customers in Your Market

17 FREE AdWords Cheat Sheets, MP3s and Videos Show You How to Easily Attract and Convert the MOST Valuable Customers in Your Market

Just a quick post today: Over the weekend I was referred to this site by Perry Marshal and since then have spend a few hours watching the videos and reading stuff. I’d recommend it. Most of it’s free – some of it isnt :>

I’m off to implement some of the keyword strategies now as they make a lot of sense. Especially the strategy about finding and focussing on the hyper responsive keywords and building around that and not having too many keyword phrases. (I just watched a fr ee video on this!)

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Ronald Sayegh
http://www.webdesignspecialist.com.au
for web design you can afford

Quick Tip for getting to the top of Google

This is one incredibly useful and a very powerful way to get that top ten visibility fast. Some sites which are not to be found listed elsewhere in the top 3 pages of google are right there at the top of the search results – in pole position

As you may or may not know I used to be based in Malbourne Victoria
So if you go to google and type Web Design in Melbourne you’ll see me in the organic (left hand side) listed in position 3 and 4

Perhaps more importantly you’ll also see  a link to my site in the local business results map at the top of the page. (listing E). You see this map before you see anything else

This is a google map local listing.

This is one incredibly useful and a very powerful way to get that top ten visibility fast.  Some of the sites in that list above are not to be found listed elsewhere in the top 3 pages of google.  Yet there they are – in pole position

Now I dont just provide website design services for the local Frankston businesses but it doesnt hurt having this listing so prominantly displayed.

So if you service a particular area get yourself into google local search/ maps and you might also get a high visibility listing regardless of how well your site ranks elsewhere

It takes about 5 minutes to do.
And it’s free!

Go here and register

 
Ronald Sayegh
Web Design Specialist
for web design you can afford

One Off Costs or Monthly Payments?

For the first time ever I will offer websites on a monthly instalment plan

Will it work?

For many years now I have played with the idea of offering web design in a different way from the almost universal model of deposit upfront + final payment when complete

Don’t get me wrong, this model works well for myself and my customers and I imagine will continue to be the main option chosen

Still, I do occasionally get people who need a website and need it now – but budget restraints just don’t allow for it. They might be a newly started business for example or a smaller “hobby site”.

And now the current ( alleged ) financial crisis only serves to make the already cautious more so

So I have decided to trial a new model. For the first time ever I will offer websites on a monthly instalment plan

Will it work?

I don’t know.

It has potential to be a spectacular success for all or a resounding flop. By allowing low monthly payments I open myself to the risk that someone might only run their site for a month or so then pack up shop – yet I have built them a fully functional website.

On the other hand by helping them get over that initial hump I may be offering them the lifeline they need. And they may stay with me for many years.

Only time will tell.

I’m interested in your thoughts and feedback too. Is the offer too expensive, risky (!), not appealing?  Tell me.

Here’s the details

http://www.webdesignspecialist.com.au/pages/monthly-website-option.php

regards

Ronald Sayegh
www.webdesignspecialist.com.au
For websites you can afford