Tuesday, February 20, 2018

7 Ways to Stop Burning Your AdWords Budget

Every brand wants optimum visibility in the search results. Try though they might, most fail.

Because of the obvious value of appearing atop the first page of search results pages, the war to rank your homepage, landing pages and key pages of your website is furious.

burning money in adwords

The competition expands relentlessly while more often than not, the onscreen real estate you covet has shrunk to a piece of glass with dimensions roughly the size of a half slice of bread.

More bad news: achieving top spots on organic search generally requires owning one of the most authoritative website in your industry. Achieving as much now takes years of commitment to creating remarkable content and optimizing it better than the rest of the pack.

I’ll segue to paid search now, and ask you to realize one last hurdle: atop most Google search engine results pages (SERPs) users discover ads.

For searches such as these, the greatest blog post, ebook, study, video, infographic, or product page in the world does not outrank the AdWords listings.

Pay-per-click ads usually rule the top of search results.

Now for the good news…

You can pay for the privilege to get a link to your page to appear there. But don't let the casual pay-per-click (PPC) proponent fool you. It’s not easy to justify continuously investing marketing dollars in the program.

You have to get good at it. You have to make more than you spend.

Let’s look at seven ways to avoid burning money on AdWords, so you can prosper from the world’s most used ad network.

1. Squash click fraud

If not contained, click fraud can murder your PPC budget. Last year, CNBC reported alarming stats on the matter:

  • Nearly 20 percent of total digital ad spend was wasted due to click fraud in 2016.
  • Click fraud will cost brands $16.4 billion globally in 2017.

Whoa.

Search engines tell you they do everything in their power to combat click fraud and invalid traffic, but you’d be foolish to rely on their measures only.

The way to protect your budget is to respond proactively with a tool such as ClickCease expressly designed to enable you to combat click fraud.

Fueled by insights from activity logs, AdWords buyers can identify IP addresses, referring websites and geographic territories where fraudulent activity comes from and adjust accordingly.

stop click fraud

You can also drastically reduce click fraud on the Display Network by using exclusions and managed placements.

2. Focus on buyer intent

All searches are not created equal. With CPCs rising every year, search marketers can no longer afford to think of all searches for specific keywords as quality buyer intent signals.

saving money in adwords

Ignoring signals can severely diminish performance. Understand the ways prospects engage with your brand at different stages of the sales funnel to align your campaign accordingly and make the most relevant offer at each level of search intent.

3. Bid on branded keywords

Is it wise to trim your budget by not bidding on searches for your brand or products? Many would say, “Yes, we’ll rank for those phrases anyway.”

But realize this: if you don’t control the ads that appear when your brand name is searched, one or more of your competitors will. That’s dangerous.

branded searches in adwords

“The number one reason to bid on your own brand name is to make sure your competitors don’t have an ad that ranks higher than your organic result and steal valuable clicks in the process,” writes Joe Putname of iSpionage. (Note: their service notifies you when competitors bid on your brand terms.)

Another thing to understand is branded clicks tend to be inexpensive. You can expect super high Quality Scores for branded terms, which keeps your click costs very low.

Your average CPC is likely to be just a fraction of the price you pay for other keywords. And they convert well too.

4. Beware of broad match

Understand the difference between broad match and exact match.

With broad match—the default setting for AdWords buys—your ads will be shown for searches that are related to your keywords, not specifically the precise keywords.

Broad match is the way to go when you want to reach the widest audience possible. However, “banking” on broad match hits your bank account harder.

save money with more refined adwords match types

You get more impressions that are less targeted. Inevitably, you wind up paying for clicks from people who don’t align well with your offer.

For example, you may be tempted to use a keyword like “guitar,” but because it’s so broad, you may generate clicks (and charges for those clicks) far from searches you covet, such as “learn how to play finger style guitar.” That’s not likely to result in a sale.

It should be easy to see how buyer intent enters into the formula and how the match type you select can affect your spend.

5. Use negative keywords

Choosing what not to target is another key to curbing costs and realizing superior ROI in AdWords.

Use negative keywords for your AdWords buys to eliminate unwanted traffic and the costs it incurs. With negative keywords, you dictate to Google specific words that appear in user searches for which you do not want to serve your ad.

adwords negative keywords

Negative keywords are one of the most commonly neglected areas in paid search

Look for search terms similar to your keywords, but likely to cater to customers searching for a different product, service, or content.

For example, if you sell birthday cakes, you might consider using negative keywords such as “birthday cake ideas” or “birthday cake recipes,” keywords that suggest searchers are looking to learn or DIY instead of purchase.

According to ClickCease, “free”, “cheap”, and “wholesale” are prime contenders for your negative keywords lists (unless your products are one of those things).

6. Aim lower

What I’m talking about here sounds odd, doesn’t it? Aim lower? Whether you’re learning paid or organic search, you’ve grown accustomed to gathering advice about ranking in the highest possible position.

With AdWords, you pay more to be number one. Consider NOT being number one.

This tip comes from Oribi, where blogger Asi Dayan writes, “Being in the first position usually requires a much higher bid compared to what it takes to be second or third, even if you have a high Quality Score, and in most cases will dramatically increase your CPA, up to the point that it is not cost-effective.”

Dayan goes on to explain by focusing on average positions lower than number one, your ads will still be seen and clicked on in high volumes, but your spending will be reduced.

7. Measure your results

A cardinal sin in the PPC arena—and a sure way to burn through ad dollars—is failing to closely monitor results. And please note, clicks do not equate to results; conversions do.

There are a number of nuances to conversion tracking over which you have extensive control. If the process sounds daunting you, check out this informative four-minute tutorial video from Google to understand the basics for getting started.

The video also explains how to use your conversion data to improve your cost-per-click (CPC) and overall results by raising your bids on keywords and ads that are more likely to convert.

Make AdWords pay

Clearly, buying into the Google AdWords program is a shortcut to appearing atop the search engine results pages that can contribute to the growth of your brand.

However, your pursuits in PPC won’t last long if your investments are not paying you back. You may have the luxury of having the budget to allow for some ramp time to achieve positive ROI, but the longer the time frame is, the more expensive and dangerous it is.

In the interest of cashing in on one of modern media’s most prominent channel, you need to learn how to avoid making costly mistakes, reduce customer acquisition costs and make AdWords pay.

About the author

Barry Feldman is the founder of Feldman Creative and author of several marketing books including The Road to Recognition. He's a content marketing strategist, copywriter, creative director, podcaster, and speaker. Barry educates digital marketers on his blog, The Point, and many other sites across the web. Follow him on Twitter @FeldmanCreative.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Great Content Isn’t Good Enough

We’d all like to think that the cream of the crop always rises to the top. We’d like to think that years of blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice will eventually pay off in the end. We’d all like to think that the person who is legitimately better at something and works hard at that something will be rewarded and recognized. But that’s not how the real world works. That’s the lie you’ve been fed by conventional capitalism and it’s the lie that keeps the rat race alive and well. And it certainly extends into the world of making money online too.

In the 1989 movie Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner’s character is told that “if you build it, they will come.” This kind of philosophy or perspective has been applied to the world of online content creation too. One of the most common pieces of advice that you’ll read just about anywhere about “making it” online will tell you that content is king. And it’s (mostly) true that you won’t find any real success at this unless you really do offer some quality content.

But quality content, however you choose to define it, is not going to be enough on its own. This is even truer today than it would have been a few years ago, largely because self-publishing content on the Internet is infinitely more accessible today than it was a few years ago. It used to be that you had to hard-code a website and pay for expensive hosting in order to have your own place on the web. Now you can have your own domain and website for less than $100 a year.

And even if you don’t take that route, there are all these free platforms to leverage too, from Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and Medium.

I came across a post by a fellow dad vlogger who said he was getting increasingly frustrated at the lack of success that his YouTube channel was achieving. He’d tried several different strategies over the course of the last couple years and, for the most part, nothing has really stuck. He felt defeated, because he started to feel like his content just wasn’t good enough for anyone to care.

But that wasn’t his problem.

I’m not going to name him here, as he might feel a little embarrased about the whole thing, but the truth is that his vlogs are actually pretty good. He’s got a great presence, a big personality, and the videos offer a terrific blend of authenticity and good humor. The content itself is good.

But it’s not enough.

Success isn’t necessarily rewarded to those who work the hardest or produce the best content. It’s rewarded to those who know how to play the game the most effectively. The rules of the game shift frequently, so you’ll need to be flexible and adaptive. If you’ve ever tried to bend at the will of the latest Google algorithm update or tried to figure out how best to promote affiliate products on Facebook where such certain practices can get you banned, you’ll know this pain all too well.

But that’s what it is: It’s about playing the game.

How many times have you seen or read content on the Internet that is probably mediocre at best, but it was the first to break a story or it was the one that re-framed the content in the most shareable meme-worthy format possible? How many times have you watched a video shared on a Facebook page that wasn’t even that page’s own content, attracting multitudes more views than the original creator who is oftentimes left with little to no credit? It happens all the time, because people are playing the game.

Great content is great, but it’s not enough. Merely good content that is promoted and marketed very well, packaged in a way that exploits every possible advantage it can get, will rise to the top far sooner and more effectively. Recognize that trying to stay “pure” to your art or story will only get you so far without a big dose of luck on your side.

Network with the big players, learn about their game plans, and get back on that court with newfound insight and clever strategies.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

How I Made $725,554.00 In 4 Months

Back on October 14, 2017, I was presented with a check for $3.4 million at the MOBE Supercharge Summit in Las Vegas. The check represents how much I made with MOBE since joining the network in September 2012.

For forward four months later. I’m back in Las Vegas at another Supercharge Summit, and the check has increased to $4,125,554.00.

A little bit of math shows that $4,125,554.00 minus $3.4 million equals $725,554.00 in just four months!

MOBE has become my biggest and fastest growing online income source. To give you an idea of the growth. It took me six months to make my first $128K with MOBE. Now, I can do that in just 21 days.

The check presentation is just one of the many perks and awards from MOBE. In addition to the recognition, top earners can get free cars from the MOBE Motors program. So far, I have received Mercedes SL550, a Jaguar F Type, a Tesla Model X, and I have a Tesla Roadster 2 on order.

Want to join the fun? The best way to find out what MOBE is all about is by applying for the 21 Step Ultimate Dot Com Lifestyle coaching program. The program will give you all the tools, training, and personal 1-on-1 coaching you need to start a profitable online business. You may not pull down a $4.125 million check like I did, but it will give you access to the same tools and training I use to create it.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

MOBE Supercharge Summit Las Vegas – Day 1

Welcome to the Dot Com Lifestyle Vlog! Today is day one of the MOBE Supercharge Summit in Las Vegas and I got all the video highlights. Over 200 people made it to the SLS Hotel for the event. It was great to meet everyone. Check out the video to see all the action.

How To Live The Ultimate Dot Com Lifestyle

I have many internet products and services that makes me money while I’m sleeping. Continuity affiliate programs like Aweber, LeadPages, ClickFunnel, MOBE, and others ensure a steady flow of income no matter what I’m doing or where I am in the world. Of all the programs, MOBE has consistently been one of the highest earners. It’s the program I recommend for new and experienced Internet marketers.

The best way to start is by applying for the 21 Step System. This is a step by step system that I created with MOBE to help you make your first $1,250, $3,300, $5,500, and even $10,000 online. In addition to the steps, you’ll also be given a one-on-one coach who will help you get started on the right track. I can’t promise that you’ll make as much as me, but you will make money if you follow the steps and plug in with your coach.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

Friday, February 16, 2018

New AdWords Remarketing Features in WordStream Advisor Are Here!

Hi there, my name is Rachael. As part of the Product Marketing team of two here are WordStream, I am happy to share my first post to this blog with you! Sharing ways we are enhancing your online advertising experience is what I’m here for, so in the future you can expect to read more product updates like this from me. Now onto the latest and greatest in product news...

Our customers rely on our software to manage all their online advertising campaigns, while providing them with a seamless and streamlined workflow to put time back in their day and save them money along the way.

To add to the cross-platform capabilities Advisor already supports, search (for AdWords and Bing) and social (Facebook and Instagram), we are happy to announce NEW capabilities to support remarketing with AdWords.

With the power of remarketing in AdWords, WordStream Advisor users can now stay connected with their target audience, beyond direct website interaction and emails. Plus, remarketing ads have much higher engagement (both click-through rates and conversion rates) than typical display ads – bonus!

So how exactly does WordStream help? Let’s break that down…

WordStream Supported Display Campaign Types

The intuitive workflow of the Advisor platform enables you to easily create and manage AdWords remarketing campaigns with a simple step-by-step process to cut out the clutter and target the audiences you want to reach. Now in Advisor, you can create Display campaigns with existing remarketing lists to target website visitors, customer email lists, and “similar to” lists.

wordstream advisor remarketing

By creating display remarketing campaigns, you are able to show enticing visual ads to your recent website visitors or customer lists even as they browse other parts of the web, thus gaining brand exposure, raising trust, and becoming more recognizable to your target audience.

And if that doesn’t get you excited to jump on the display remarketing wagon, these types of campaigns can dramatically increase your conversion rates and ROI, since past site visitors who are already familiar with your brand are much more likely to become customers or complete other valuable actions on your site.

Smart Ads for Responsive Display Ad Creation

Building creative assets for use on the Google Display Network is complicated, time-consuming and – if you opt to hire someone – expensive! But now, you can become your own creative manager without opening a design application or hiring out.

By combining machine-learning with your website and Facebook business pages, Advisor’s Smart Ads suite automatically turns your existing images into agency-caliber creative to produce appealing and attractive responsive display ads.

wordstream smart ads for display ad creation

With the functionality to pre-populate and auto-crop images from your website or Facebook Business page, you no longer need to create specific ads for all display sizes. All your existing creative is at your fingertips to pick and choose from to create ads you can be proud of.

Centralized Place for your Targeting Efforts

With cross-platform capabilities, Advisor allows you to manage all your advertising campaigns in one place for quick access and a comprehensive view of your online advertising efforts.

This means that you can edit your AdWords remarketing targeting and exclusion lists on one page, and within two clicks, change the age range for a Facebook remarketing campaign. Or, you can see where all your spend is going per platform and adjust your budget between AdWords, Facebook and Bing, to get the most out of your advertising dollars.

wordstream remarketing cross platform capabilities

Between the Performance Dashboard which offers an overall view of your spend, conversions, CPA, clicks, and CPC per platform, and the customizable, auto-generated Cross-Platform Success Reports, you are sure not to miss a metric or key insight for all of your accounts.

Getting Started with the New Remarketing Features

WordStream customers: Make sure you’ve added the AdWords remarketing pixel to your website so that visitors can get added to your AdWords remarketing audiences through browser cookies, then simply log-in to Advisor to get started!

While in the “Manage” section, you can access the “Campaigns” Tab to create and manage new Display Campaigns, or review your current targeting efforts in the new “Targeting” tab.

new wordstream remarketing features

Not using Advisor yet? Start a free trial and take these AdWords remarketing features for a test drive.

More to Come

Check back often as we will continue to enhance our AdWords remarketing and Display Network capabilities in the coming months. In the meantime…

Whether you are trying to decide if display remarketing is right for you or looking for a single software solution to help you manage all your online advertising needs, the WordStream experts are here to help. We LIKE giving demos! Contact us here to set one up.

Do you have product ideas and feedback? Send them to ProductFeedback@wordstream.com!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

How To Make Money In Las Vegas

On this episode of the Dot Com Lifestyle Vlog, I travel to Las Vegas and I made money while doing it. Because that’s the kind of stuff you can do when you live the Dot Com Lifestyle! Enjoy the vlog and remember to subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.

How To Live The Ultimate Dot Com Lifestyle

I have many internet products and services that makes me money while I’m sleeping. Continuity affiliate programs like Aweber, LeadPages, ClickFunnel, MOBE, and others ensure a steady flow of income no matter what I’m doing or where I am in the world. Of all the programs, MOBE has consistently been one of the highest earners. It’s the program I recommend for new and experienced Internet marketers.

The best way to start is by applying for the 21 Step System. This is a step by step system that I created with MOBE to help you make your first $1,250, $3,300, $5,500, and even $10,000 online. In addition to the steps, you’ll also be given a one-on-one coach who will help you get started on the right track. I can’t promise that you’ll make as much as me, but you will make money if you follow the steps and plug in with your coach.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

How To Do A/B Split Testing With These Cool Tips

Landing pages are a great way to convert your readers into loyal followers. Once they land on your page, you can use these pages to promote a product or service while increasing the chances of getting a conversion. However, just like everything you need to make sure you test and tweak along the way for maximum exposure. Every niche will have its own competition so NOT testing along the way is an excellent way to lose your audience to your competition. I have written about landing page optimization before and have gone over how to create them so they are effective. However, today I’ll be discussing some things I learned along the way when testing. For example, I’ll like to discuss what elements matter when optimizing landing pages and how you can ensure you get the highest returns.

A landing page is a single “PAGE” constructed for the purpose of obtaining a specific outcome. This can either be subscription, sales, surveys, etc. Let’s look at some effective landing pages tweaks you should be making during your testing process.

The Headline

Just like the “TITLE” is important when publishing articles, it’s just as important when someone lands on your page. It’s a great way for you to give your audience a glimpse of what to expect. For example, if I am offering a FREE eBook on “link building” then writing something like “25 secret link building strategies” will encourage my readers to opt-in. You have to make the headline attract and need to test different formulas along the way. Your objective should be to split-testing pages with a different headline and find out which ones are converting the most.

Once you have determined the highest converting headline, you can use it going forward and this will guarantee the highest conversion rate.

Video/Images

Embedding photos and videos are a great way to get the point across quickly. With too much text, it can take time for the reader to go through everything and you can lose the conversion along the way. However, having videos which quickly showcase the perks of your products or service is a great way to attract your audience. Here are two growing trends that I’ve noticed:

First, many of the highest converting landing pages are using videos and images to convert visitors. I’ve visited many top blogging landing pages and have seen this happening. Secondly, many of the ESP’s are making it very easy to embed videos into your landing page which means this feature is in popular demand. When adding videos, it’s important to keep this in mind:

  • Make sure they are right to the point
  • Make sure they are relevant
  • Make sure they are attractive
  • High-quality video and images add value to the landing page

However, before you can find what works you have to make sure you test and tweak along the way. Only then, you’ll find out what photos and videos perform the best.

Call-To-Action

It’s important you test different call to action button because all can produce a different result. For example, some buttons can be flashy while others can be dull. However, you need to find out what works best for you. I suggest testing different ones and even making sure you try different locations. Testing and tweaking both these elements will increase conversions by simply finding the right balance between them both.

The Form Information

Many people don’t think about testing this element however I’m here to tell you it’s crucial if you want to increase conversions. If you ask for too much information, it can decrease conversion rates while asking for too little might NOT get you the information you are looking for. Here’s what I’ve learned:

First, only ask for the information you need and nothing more because the visitor knows what’s irrelevant to the service or product. Every niche will be different so test and tweak different elements until you find the right balance. Secondly, it’s important to test the way these elements are displayed: color, size, font, and placement. Third, it’s important to test what happens after they are done inputting this information into the form because this is imperative in making sure the visitor stays subscribed. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How will they download the product or service
  • Where will they be taken after opting in
  • What will the first message look like after subscribing to your form

These are all critical questions but need to be tested in order for you to increase CTR and conversions.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!