Elements of Successful Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay Per Click advertising is a Search Engine Marketing Strategy that requires that you pay a fee every time someone clicks on your ad taking them to your site. The fee is the amount that you pre-bid on how much you are willing to pay per click based on a selected keyword or keyword string vs. the other bidders. Your bid affects placement of your ad in relation to the other bids. You only pay each time someone actually clicks the ad and visits your site.

Paying people to hold signs is one of the olde...

Optimally, the ultimate goal with any PPC campaign is conversions. Conversions are the amount of click-throughs that are converted into your goal, normally making a sale or receiving a lead etc…. Since 80% of all searches online are done on search engines, the more exposure that you receive on search engines, both naturally and paid, the more traffic you should receive. Search engine placement naturally for any given term where you want the listing to appear can both take a lot of your efforts and take a long time to achieve. PPC cuts the time to time invested setting it up and monitoring the bids. Hence, producing traffic and conversions much faster.

The key objectives of any PPC campaign are to maximize impressions, clicks and conversions once they are on your site while minimizing cost per conversion.

Four ‘Best Practices’ to enhance to any PPC campaigns success are:

Keyword Research and Targeting – prior to launching any campaign you must research your keywords and phrases. It is also to your advantage to analyze what keywords your competition is targeting. Target the ‘long-tail’ phrases. For example, bidding on the term ‘ergonomic keyboard’ is going to be both expensive and very competitive. The person searching for an ‘ergonomic keyboard’ may or may not be just beginning their search. Bidding on the term ‘ergonomic keyboard with touch pad’ will cost less, have less competitors bidding on the same phrase and the person searching for an ‘ergonomic keyboard with touch pad’ has most likely already narrowed down their search and be closer if not at the final decision stage of their searching.

Creative Ad Copy – research PPC ad copy strategy. There are plenty of tools available like Keyword Spy, Link Diagnosis, Wordtraker and others that will help you analyze the current ads including performance stats. From this information, you should be able to formulate a reasonably successful, creative Ad.

Bid Management – If you cannot manage your bids daily, most people cannot, hire a service like ours or if necessary, use a 3rd party bid management tool. The 3rd party tool is much better than not monitoring it at all, but using a service usually more than pays for itself just in bid savings. Why pay 75 cents for even 1 click when the next highest bidder just dropped his bid to 25 cents?

Tracking, Reporting and ROI Analysis – Without feedback, you cannot improve. The amount of data that can be retrieved and analyzed from a PPC campaign can be mountainous. Look specifically a keyword performance, specific Ad copy performance, conversion rate and of course, ROI.

In conclusion, the money that you spend mounting a PPC campaign and specifically utilizing a PPC service such as the service offered by AES through our site will far out weigh the loss in sales that you are experiencing and your competitors are reaping by not having a PPC campaign and letting then reap the rewards.

Look for our next post titled ‘How To Calculate ROI On A Pay Per Click Campaign’. Please leave comments, we welcome your thoughts and ideas.

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E-Business vs. E-commerce

I hear these two words mis-stated on a regular basis. It seems to me that people don’t quite understand the difference so I thought I would clarify it with a blog post. They are very similar, but e-commerce is a function of e-Business and thats where the clarification is needed.

DoD Electronic Commerce Concept of Operations ...
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E-business is defined as “A business that operates partially or primarily over the Internet, usually providing services to other businesses.” by wictionary.org. E-commerce is described as “commercial activity conducted over the internet”.

Any business cnducted via the web or over the web would then become e-Business. e-Commerce is a function or a feature of e-Business. All e-Business is not e-Commerce. For example. Jim Bob owns a plumbing store/company and has a static/brochure website built to maintain a web presence, add himself to local search, and make his services searchable and findable for online users. He sells nothing over the internet. His static/brochure website is conducting e-Business by acting as an advertising platform and virtual storefront for his business.

Jenny Sue owns a custom Teddy Bear Store on the internet. You go to her site, pick and order your bear, it is made, shipped and delivered to you. She has no brick and mortar storefront. Jenny is conducting e-Commerce over the internet through her commercial activity. He e-Commerce site is an e-Business as it performs and operates a business or business acitvities on the web.

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Top 10 Web Design and E-Business Mistakes

Web Design and E-Business seems like old hat to me anymore but I think I’ve probably committed all of these errors and still constantly see mistakes all over the net I will try to go from worst of the worst on down.

  • Assuming that your site looks perfect in all browsers just because it looks good in your own. Not cross browser testing a site before it’s posted online is a major web sin.
  • samuelCARVALHO.com
    Image by samuelcarvalhodg via Flickr
  • Fixed font size. Web designers take power too seriously at times using CSS to turn off the adjust text browser button on the end users machine. Most standard text is just to small. Now that I’m a little bit older, I feel the pain. Leave my font choices alone.
  • Flash Intros, Flash sites, excessive bells, whistles and hoopla. There is a time and a place for anything. I would like to be able to choose my time and place. If your going to do it, at least have a skip intro button available for those of us that do not care and/or those still on slow connections.
  • Popup windows, windows that open countless other windows and windows that push yet another window in your face after you hit the close button asking if you are sure you don’t want to chat with customer service before you leave. Does this need any further explanation?
  • Writing to an audience other than the audience that will be reading it. Example….writing a book instead of a blog entry. This is the web – Short, Sweet and to the Point!
  • I hate PDF’s and waiting for them, however, the worst part is when I have to register and give personal information first just to get the pdf link to download. I have dummy email addresses just for that purpose. I check them, they are just not my everyday email addresses.
  • Customer Service on a merry go round. I reorganized a customer service department a few years back made up of two people. One answered every question with a rambling riddle that resembled English but was not. The other answered every question with a question. They actually had people regularly email them back saying, “hello you did not answer my question”. Frustrating, very frustrating!
  • Customer Service outsourcing to nations where their grasp of the English language is unlike our own or the accent is so thick they cannot be understood. I have tone deafness in both ears. It’s hard enough for me to understand some people face to face let alone around the world and not pronouncing words as I know them. I end up having to say “what did you say” so many times, I’m sure they get mad.
  • Visited Site links that do not change color is an issue for me. I normally have so many tabs working…this is the 21st Century..multitasking, that I never remember which links I have looked at and not looked at. Having visited liinks that do not change color after visiting confuses me and gets me irritated. I have a simple fix though. I enter the CSS for the page through Firefly and change it so when I am looking at the page….it is right for me
  • Last but not least…my biggest blunder of them all…. Not using the spell checker. Duh, it only takes one push of a button. I think they call that a no-brainer and it makes a terrible first impression. Need I say more?

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Tips To Optimize Video Podcasts

Jeong-Hyun Lim performs Pachelbel's Canon in o...
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It does not matter what you call them: vodcasts, vidcasts, videocasting, or video podcasting… there are a few behind-the-scenes actions you can take to help attract more attention to your video productions. Just like websites, it does not matter how amazing the content is if interested people are unable to find it.

Use the following suggestions to help increase the exposure your videos receive…

1. Use Keywords

In Video File Name Insert keywords in the name of the video file. When determining what keywords to use, do not simply rely on intuition; do research, just as you would for a website, to see what relevant terms people are searching on.

2. Create Video Feed

Create an RSS feed of all videos in a collection. Each feed item should contain a different video in the enclosure field. Optimize the feed using related keywords. For additional help, there is a Videocasting Feed Creation Tutorial available at http://www.feedforall.com/videocasting-tutorial.htm .

3. Increase Exposure

Host your videos on YouTube, and embed the video into your website, which will increase the video count on YouTube. The more popular a video seems to be, themore exposure it will receive.

4. Video Name And Description

In the video name and description fields, use keywords that relate to the content of the video. Create a compelling yet relevant title and description that will encourage people to click-through.

5. Google Video Sitemap

Create a video sitemap for the search engines. For details on what to include in such sitemaps, Google has provided specifications in their Google Webmaster Central Blog at http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2007/12/introducing-video-sitemaps.html .

6. Meta Data

Include meta data in the video file. The newer video search engines will often rely on meta data to produce relevant results. Many video editing products will allow you to edit and customize the meta data associated with the video file, and you should use this the same way you would use the meta data for a webpage.

7. Optimize Landing Page

Optimize the landing page on the website, embed the video in a webpage on your website, and then use standard SEO techniques to optimize that webpage for the search engines. Use keywords that relate to the video on the page that contains the video.

8. Transcripts

Provide a text transcript of the video, both on the landing page and in the RSS feed for the video.

9. Embed URL In Video

Brand the video with your logo in the initial video splash screen, and include your website address on the bottom of the video to increase your brand exposure.

10. Leave Them Wanting More

The video should be a teaser and leave the audience wanting more. Engage the audience, but try to encourage the viewer to visit the website or view other videos to learn more.

11. Submit YouTube Feed

YouTube creates an RSS feed for every user account that is created. In addition to manually creating an RSS feed, you can also use the YouTube feed to promote your videos. The formatting details for the YouTube video feeds can be found at http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/api/username/uploads (replace “username” in the url with your own YouTube account username).

12. Anchor Text

When linking to the video, use anchor text that contains keywords which relate to the video.

13.Video Submission

Submit the video to all the video websites and video podcast websites. Here are a couple of resource sites to get you started…

Podcast & Video Submissions - http://www.podcasting-tools.com/submit-podcasts.htm

140 Places to Submit Your Video List - http://www.stephanmiller.com/my-link-lists/140-place-to-submit-your-video-list/

For Videopodcast there is no universal icon av...
Image via Wikipedia

14. Tag Video

Tag the video on the video networks with relevant keywords, making it is easier for people to find when they search on those keywords.

15. Track Views

Track and review the number of views that a video receives. If you find that a substantial number of viewers are abandoning the video before completion, the chances are good that the video is too long and could benefit from trimming.

16. Social Bookmarking

Use social bookmarking to draw additional attention to videos. This will also help with the number of incoming links, which in turn will help improve search engine ranking.

Videos are the latest marketing channel. In order to make the most of it, optimize the video and increase the exposure it receives.

About the Author:

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll http://www.recordforall.com audio

recording and editing software.

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What Are Meta Tags and Why Do I Need Them?

Architecture of a Web crawler.
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There is no other way to put it; the World Wide Web is big business. As an example, you only have to look at the phenomenal success of the online bookstore, Amazon. In 2008, Amazon brought in over nineteen billion dollars in income, yet only required an operating budget of approximately eight hundred and fifty million dollars. It really is no surprise to anyone then that more businesses are investing in expanded web presence and capability.   Yet, not every organization has the same successes. Barnes and Noble was selling books online before Amazon was even an idea, and yet it isn’t Barnes and Noble that people think of when considering online bookstores, it’s Amazon. The key? Amazon took greater advantage of the opportunity to effectively market their product.

Search Engines, Spiders and Websites, Oh My

The most important and often least understood tool for online marketers is the search engine. The primary type of search engine is the web crawler – these are largely automated programs that crawl through available web pages, indexing data according to a variety of parameters. In short, the crawler, or spider, examines each page of a website. Once it has examined the page, it submits it to an index. Then, when a person uses the search engine software, the index provides links to these pages, ranked according to relevance. It is worth mentioning two other points. First, not all engines index the same way. Some use keyword density; others focus on the content of the first paragraph.   Second, any changes to a webpage are likely to affect search rankings, so webmasters must carefully consider each change and its possible effects.

I Never Meta Tag I Didn’t Like

One important part of preparing a page for good search engine rankings is effective use of HTML meta-tags. These tags do not directly relate to the position a site will have in a search result, but they do offer webmasters some control over the way their sites are presented when they come up in a search. In brief, meta-tags are additional bits of code added to the head of your HTML document, right after “TITLE.” Because of the tendency for unscrupulous coders to find and abuse loopholes in search technologies, search engines do not rely heavily on these tags for rankings. Their benefits to web users are important, however.

First, there is the Meta Description tag. This is a brief report about the content of the webpage in question. When a search engine presents users with a hyperlink, there is frequently a small description accompanying that result. In many cases, that is the Meta Description tag the Webmaster put in the HTML document so that when a spider visits the site, it indexes this information. This is not always the case, however; Google in particular will generate its own description for a site.

The Meta Description is often the first piece of information someone using a search engine will see. The URL may not mean anything to them, but this description will. If it is poorly written, the user will likely skim right past the site for one that presents itself more effectively. Thus, the key is effective, concise writing that conveys exactly what the site is about.

The second tag is the Meta Keywords tag. This tag is a list of keywords the Webmaster considers most pertinent to each page.    Proper use of the keywords tag is also vital. While search engines use a variety of keyword systems, and have in recent years de-emphasized the Meta Keywords tag, it still contributes to website rankings and should not be neglected. The best method is to examine each page carefully, and pick approximately ten keywords that best represent the data therein. Too many nonspecific keywords will lead to inconsistent search results, and too few means missing an opportunity to get a message in front of users. In addition, many sites are actively on the lookout for keyword abuse. Google in particular is known to ban certain pages from its index entirely if they consider the article to be an abusive, loophole-seeking piece.

There are other, less relevant tags that can provide some benefits, though they aren’t as important as the previous two. An example is the Robots tag, which is only useful in making sure certain sites do not index a particular page. This can help a Webmaster keep their content from being associated with undesirable elements, but it does not contribute directly to higher search placement.

No Meta Tag is an Island

Once again, it must be stressed that meta-tags are not a magical solution to the very complex problem of online marketing. They must be regarded as one tool in an inventory of other tools, and should be used responsibly. Properly implemented, they will help complete an effective marketing strategy. ——————————————————————————————————- Enzo F. Cesario is a Copywriter and co-founder of Brandsplat.   Brandcasting uses informative content and state-of-the-art internet distribution and optimization to build links and drive the right kind of traffic to your website. Go to http://www.Brandsplat.com/ or visit our blog at: http://www.brandsplatblog.com/

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