Saturday, October 29, 2016

The ultimate paid advertising guide

Paid advertising is a fantastic way to drive more traffic to your site and to boost your revenue, but it can turn out to be expensive if you aren't careful. You are probably wondering, how do I make the most out of your paid ads without letting my budget spin out of control?
There are several simple ways to make sure we are getting the best value for money. 

The Biggest Advertising Platforms

The 3 most popular ad platforms are Google, Twitter, and Facebook. 

Google AdWords

When launching paid search campaigns on AdWords, you get a quality score that
determines how much you pay for a click. This is Google's way of determining how much your ad is related to the searched query. 

Here are the 4 major factors that impact the quality score:

·        - Keyword relevance within the ad group
·        - Ad copy relevance
·        - Click-through rate of your ad quality
·        - Relevance of your landing page

A higher quality score will see a significant drop in cost-per-click (CPC) and simultaneously increase conversion rates.

Here are the 3 ways to improve your quality score:

  Do a thorough keyword research

Keep digging and adding high-relevance keywords to your campaign. Add long tail keywords because of their specificity and typical position towards the end of the purchasing funnel. The prominence of long-tail keywords in a successful AdWords account is a major factor behind the high-quality score. These keywords might not improve your quality score directly, but you'll reduce your irrelevant impressions. This will result in improved click-through rate (CTR) and therefore increase your quality score.

  Improve your CTR

The best way of improving your CTR is by allocating a bigger budget for branded keywords. Reserve 15% of your budget for branded keywords. Another clever trick to improve your CTR is using site extensions like 'sitelinks.' 

  Constantly optimize your ad copy

One of the most important things you can do to improve your quality score is optimizing your ad copy consistently. Keep it more relevant and targeted. Optimize your landing pages. ​You must keep your ad copy relevant to the content on your landing page. Doing otherwise is the biggest mistake that will hamper conversion.

Facebook Ads

Much like Google, Facebook gives you a relevance score for your ads. It tells you whether or not your advertisement is showing to the people who care about it.

The factors that influence the relevance score here are similar to Google. A high CTR on your ad will show it's targeting the right people. ‘Shares' on your ad are a strong signal of its quality and hence improve your score. Likes and comments also play their part. Users ‘hiding' your ad in their newsfeed, on the other hand, will impact your score negatively.

So, how do you improve the relevance score and make your campaign more effective?

  Test your images

Images are usually the first thing Facebook users see. That’s why testing your images can make all the difference. Plain images tend to better than dazzling images. But you won’t be sure what effect your images have on the audience until you test a few different options.

  Keep a tab on your ad frequency

You may be surprised by this, but the CTR actually decreases as the frequency of banner increases. The thing is, an average Facebook user gets hit by a whopping 1500 stories when they log in. So, you can’t really bomb the audience with ads from left and right and expect a good response. Set an optimal number of ads and don’t try too hard.

  Target your audience

Laser-focused targeting can make a world of difference to your business. Facebook provides you with a host of targeting options, so make sure to take full advantage of it and narrow your audience down to your niche as much as possible. You can even create a custom audience using your email lists, and you'll massively improve your relevance score.

Twitter Ads

Twitter uses quality-adjusted bids to determine the ads. The score is determined by the 3 Rs - Resonance, Relevance, and Recency.

Engagement rate plays an important role, the cost per engagement is inversely proportional to engagement rate. This means that at a 60% engagement rate, the cost per engagement becomes one penny. And, at 36% engagement, it's two pennies.

Here are 2 ways of getting the most of your Twitter ad campaign:

  Promote only the best tweets

Use your Twitter Analytics to find the high engagement tweets and then allocate them your maximum budget for promotion.

  Narrow your targeting as much as possible

If the CTA on your landing page is the call button or if it's relevant to local customers, then you should try to target mobile visitors. You can also target people based on their offline activities by using “Select Behaviors.”

Creating A Great Paid Advertising Campaign


Creating and setting up a successful pay-per-click (PPC) campaign takes knowledge and experience, but let’s start with the basic concepts you can easily implement into your own campaign.

First, let’s talk about three elements of a PPC project: ads, ad groups and campaigns. We're talking about a hierarchy in which the campaign takes the top shelf; ad groups come next and ads are at the bottom.

A PPC campaign corresponds to a single advertising objective. However, it encompasses all your advertising efforts and can contain as many products as you’d like. For example, you can have a seasonal campaign (like Christmas) and advertise all the products that fall under that season.

Ad groups are meant to advertise only one product. But, within ad groups, you can have several different ads and test which ad works best for the given product.

And, finally, the lowest in the hierarchy – ads. These are physical pieces of text, or visuals that will be shown to the audience

When setting up a PPC project, you will need to start from the top and work your way down. Since the campaign is the topmost element of the project, that’s what you need to focus on first.

First, you need to adjust the settings. You will need to set the bid strategy as well as the budget you will allocate to this project. It’s advisable that you start small, and then raise your budget as you test different ads and see what works and what doesn’t.

Next up, advanced settings. Some advertising platforms have the option of setting the start and the end of the campaign.

Now, you’re ready to focus on the ad groups. Two important things here are naming the different ad groups and finding who the target audience will be.

Targeting is the tricky part here, and we’ve already talked about it in the first chapter. It’s basically the keywords that you use to target your audience.

After all that is done, you need to create your ads. Here’s what elements you need to bear in mind while doing this:

·         Headline – This should be the title of your landing page or content
·         Description – Why a reader should click on the ad
·         URL – The link where you’re sending your reader
·         Network Specific Elements – Sitelinks, likes, shares, etc.

Now it’s time to start creating your PPC campaign, and the first step should be a killer research. 

Research and implement

If you need help with your PPC research, you can use one of these tools: 

iSpionage is an excellent tool that helps you find out everything about competitors' keywords, ad copy, and even ad budget. It basically puts you one step ahead of your competition and provides you with really useful information especially if you're working on a small budget. However, this tool is not free. It's pricing starts at $59 a month.

Keyword Spy is another amazingly helpful tool. It shows you what strategies your competitors are using emphasizing the most profitable keywords and the most successful ad copy. The best feature of this tools is the ROI indicator which reveals the keyword value. Keyword Spy’s pricing starts at $89.95 per month.

The Search Monitor is the right tool for enterprise-level campaigns that function on a large budget. It is a highly precise tool which provides full insight into all paid search activity of your competitors and market leaders across more than 1,200 verticals. Of course, this tool is a lot more expensive and costs $499 per month.

Keyword competitor is a really good option for those that don’t have a lot to invest in a tool. It gives you information on competitors’ paid and organic keywords, ad copy and landing pages. It also notifies you instantly if your competitors start gaining on you. The pricing starts at $29 per month with a free trial for the first month. 

Create A Landing Page

A mistake a lot of businesses make, is sending incoming visitors to their homepage. This is a no-no. You should create a unique page on your website. This may seem counter-intuitive, but there is very good reason for using this strategy.

Landing pages allow you to customize your messages for incoming visitors. This means the visitors land on a page with a consistent message that was started by the ad, which creates a cohesive experience for the visitor.

 Also, landing pages are extremely useful in tracking your visits, which basically shows how effective your ad is.

Sometimes, you can create a single landing page for an entire ad campaign. At other times, you may want to create a specific landing page for each keyword that you purchase.

Make sure to block search engine spiders. This makes tracking more accurate and reliable. If you get non-paid traffic through Google or Bing, you might get a false sense of how your ad is performing. 

Call To Action 

Your next step is to convert the visitors on your landing page into leads or customers. This requires a Call To Action. Every page you send your customers to should have a clear CTA. 

Budget

If you are thinking a week's ad campaign will turn over your company's fortune and increase revenue by ten folds, let me tell you now, you're mistaken. It's best not to go the paid advertising route then.

Think long term, because that's what'll boost your revenue. This doesn't mean you'll have to break your bank. You need to give it time and patience to get the best results. Accumulative trends and statistics will give you a clearer picture. Spend time on research, as we spoke earlier.

There is no quick-fire solution. Patience and observation will bear the fruits.


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Thursday, October 27, 2016

The best marketing channels for business growth


Opposed to traditional means where the focus is volume, todays marketing looks a lot different. 

Multiple channels have sprouted and can be used to market products and services in different ways because of that.



We as marketers need to be able to use each channel in the right way and choose channels that are compatible with our own businesses and ideas.


Popular Digital Marketing Channels

1.   Affiliate Marketing

Most people ask themselves how they could reach a wider audience as soon as they start marketing products online.

One of the best ways you could do that is through affiliate marketing.

It
s also great for people who are just starting out because they can quickly spread the word about their brand and their products, without worrying to much about marketing themselves at that point.

All you need to do to make it work is make a deal with an affiliate and ask him to promote your product.

It
s their obligation to entirely promote your product and sell your product. So you really dont have to do any marketing yourself.

You do however, have to give them a large portion of the sale, but all of the money you make from affiliates is basically the money you wouldn
t have made on your own.

In a way, it
s a simple passive income that can be exploited by anyone selling a digital product such as a course or an e-book.

Businesses selling physical goods can also benefit but they provide much smaller commissions to their affiliates and the general affiliate marketing sphere has turned towards digital products because of that.

2.   Content Marketing

Content marketing is the coolest thing out there right now! It now forms the very basis of any successful online business and it
s become an essential part of any successful marketing strategy.

It usually consists of some form of content that
s frequently published on a page in the form of a video or written text.

These then provide visitors with awesome information in the form of a video or text that is free and easily accessible. It is also easily sharable, if you catch my drift, and because of that, you can get the word out easily.

Content marketing is such an evergreen way to market your products because people will always appreciate valuable content.

However, content marketing is not for everyone. It is very useful but it also takes up a lot of time. Also, some businesses may not be able to provide any form of content besides the very product or service they
re promoting.

This usually includes e-marketing platforms, physical service providers, such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters and so on.

Content marketing can be used, to an extent, for these sorts of businesses, but it cannot provide a main platform from which they could advertise their services further.

3.   Social Media Marketing

Social media is the best thing out there for marketers right now!

It has been booming in the last few years and marketers have been pouncing on that opportunity to make a lot of money!

Just ask yourself how much your everyday individual spends on their social media accounts daily.

Two, three hours perhaps? Maybe more?

Now ask yourself if it makes sense to advertise there since that
s where most of their attention is focused throughout the day.

It does in my book and I
m sure that it does in yours too!

Any kind of business, not just digital marketing businesses and big companies, but literally any type of business can benefit from social media marketing campaigns!

Social media is also a great place to establish a sense of branding and provide newcomers with relevant information while also providing existing followers with engaging content and valuable information, while at the same time pitching your offers.

The first thing that anyone does nowadays when they hear of a particular company is check social media and look at the post they
ve been making.

And most of the time, if they don
t have a social media account or campaign, theyll get thrown in the trash almost instantly by a perhaps, highly qualified lead.

4.   Email Marketing

E-mail marketing is one of those essential marketing tactics that nearly every business can benefit from.

And as you most likely know, every page online nowadays has some sort of opt-in box that
s asking for your e-mail address.

This is because e-mail marketing provides a personal touch to marketing that wasn
t possible before.

With e-mail marketing you
re able to send offers to a specific audience and retarget that audience to get as much out of every visitor as possible and improve your ROI pretty much instantly.

And the best thing about it is that nearly all businesses can somehow implement e-mail into their marketing strategy and use it effectively.

5.   Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)

If you need a high traffic flow to your sites and are willing to invest a little bit of money for it, PPC advertising is a great way to get a lot of traffic without spending a lot of time on traffic yourself.

PPC works through click suppliers that are paid a certain amount of money for each visitor they send to your site.

And this is a very cool way to boost traffic to your site to test some elements and see what the general response looks like.

This is what we call data analytics and as I
ve said already, Ill be telling you where you can get more information about that, at the end of the report.

So if you
re selling something or providing a service that nearly everyone would want, PPC advertising is a great way to promote your brand, increase awareness and simply increase sales!

6.   Display Advertising

Display ads are just advertisements in the form of a banner or a visual ad located on a particular site or page.

It
s similar to PPC in the sense that payments are made for each click that this form of advertising provides and in the sense that its a money investment that can bring higher quality traffic to your pages without a lot of hard work from your end.

Many people visit blogs, forums and other sites that are heavily focused on one topic or another. So if you
re providing a service that fits into a specific niche, display advertising can allow you to promote your product on such sites and get visitors that are already interested in your products by being on that site in the first place.

For example, if you
re selling a fishing e-book or course, a good place to advertise it would be on a fishing forum, right?

Well display advertising can allow you to do that and those forums and sites will happily rent out ad space on their pages where you can place your banners and get high quality clicks for dirt cheap.


Using The Right Channels  

These platforms work for most types of businesses and when they are used in combination with one another, they can bring about great results.

However, apart from knowing how to use each platform correctly, you also need to be able to monitor the results you
re getting.

A marketing strategy is as effective as the ability to collect and analyze the data it provides.

You must be aware that without the right input and knowledge of what needs fixing and
fine-tuning, you wont be able to conquer the market, no matter how good of a position you might have.


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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Usability checklist for website evaluation


Have you ever wondered does your website satisfies the needs of its visitors? 

Years ago, we tried to find an answer to said question, and failed to find an answer on the internet. Now, after years of experience, we’ve decided to create an ultimate checklist that could help anyone to estimate how good is their website performing.

What follows is a 70 points usability checklist that you should use for the examination of any website, regardless of type and its purpose.




Examine your website and determine does it have the following elements:

HOMEPAGE

1. Consistent page layout with clear and recognizable sections
2. Header with clear logo (on the left side)
3. Navigation menu in the header
4. Clear footer
5. Area for related links and info
6. Responsive design
7. The most important information is visible without vertical scrolling
8. There is no need for vertical scrolling
9. Clear page title
10. Clear sub-headings
11. Clear sections and sub-sections
12. White space between title and sub-headings
13. White space between sections and sub-sections
14. There are no scroll stoppers
15. The content is grouped both visually and contextually

TEXT

16. Left-aligned text (body text)
17. There is no text that is justified
18. Used fonts are from Sans-Serif family (Verdana, Arial)
19. CAPS LOCK was not used (body text)
20. There is no blinking text
21. Underline is only used on links

COLOR

22. There are no red/green color combinations

NAVIGATION BARS

23. Navigation menu stands out at the top of the page
24. There are no navigation bars on the left or right side
25. Link to the home page is easy to find
26. Logo is also a clickable link to the homepage
27. There is a visible breadcrumb trail
28. Current page is highlighted on the breadcrumb trail
29. There are no multilevel cascade menus
30. The menus can be used with keyboard

LINKS

31. Links stand out easily from other content
32. Links are blue with underlined text
33. Link style is consistent
34. There are no calls-to-action: “click here”, “here”, “click now”, etc.
35. Useful information is included next to the link (link is only for those who want more)
36. Related links are positioned at the end of the page
37. Link is at the beginning (or at the end) of the sentence (or bullet list)

TABS

38. Current tab looks like it is in the front and all others look like they are behind
39. There is a clear connection between the current tab and the current page
40. There is only one row of tabs



IN PAGE CONTENTS

41. Font formatting is never italic or bold for more than one sentence (with an exemption for quotes)
42. There is a “back to top” link
43. No more than 21 words in the sentence
44. No more that 6 sentences in paragraph

IMAGES

45. Images are in JPEF or PNG format
46. Images are optimized for the web
47. There are no animations on the website
48. Every image has “alternative text”
49. Every image has an appropriate description

POP-UPS

51. There are no pop-ups (except “exit intent” pop-ups on pages with products)
52. The pop-up has a “close” button
53. Pop-up is smaller than the original web-page
54. Mobile pop-up doesn’t cover the entire screen

SUBMIT BUTTONS

55.  Submit buttons have calls-to-action (not just “Ok” or “Submit”)
56. Button can be easily tapped

404 PAGE

57. There is a 404 page
58. 404 page has a link towards the homepage or product page
59. 404 page is humoristic or visually appealing

ON-SITE SEARCH

60. Searched queries are highlighted in the search results
61. Searched query can easily be modified or the search can be refined
62. There is a “sort by” option for the search results
63. There is a clear indication on how many search results were returned by search

SITEMAP

64. Sitemap is up to date
65. Sitemap page doesn’t have adverts, related links or anything similar
66. Sitemap page has in-page alphabet menu (a-z)

FAQ

67. Questions are sorted into logical, related groups
68. Question is clearly different from the answer and it is clear witch answer is related to witch question
69. Most important questions are highlighted
70. A link towards FAQ page can be found in the navigation menu


SCORE

If you have more than 90% checks – your website is usability compliant.
If you have between 70-90% ticks – your website is average.
If you have between 40-70% ticks – your website is not user friendly.
If you have between 0 – 40% ticks – your website needs professional help. 




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Friday, October 7, 2016

Step by step guide for Facebook lead ads

Lead generation is one of the most important objectives for a modern business. Today, even though lead generation may happen through different channels, the rise of digital technologies has transferred this concept almost entirely online. Facebook realized the potential that lead generating ads have and developed a more elegant alternative to website pop-ups – Facebook lead ads.

Marketers are aware of the benefits of lead generation, but they also know how challenging it is. According to the recent study 67% of marketers reported finding high-quality leads problematic. In fact, it was the highest-rated problem for some major companies.

However, a lot of these problems could be avoided. Extensive research and use of appropriate channels will ensure less time and budget spent with high-quality results. Facebook lead ads are now a proven way to find some high-quality leads for your business.


Step by step guide:


1. Log into you’re your Facebook ads account

2. Click on the button titled - Create new campaign

3. Choose the option Collect leads for your business, enter the name for your new campaign and click on the button - Continue






4. Select your page, choose an audience (if you have a saved audience) or create an audience

5. Choose the placement type you feel most comfortable with (automatic placements are recommended)

6. Define a budget for the campaign


7. Select the option titled - Optimize for leads





8. Choose Standard delivery type and click on the button - Continue

9. For your first time, choose the option with the single image




10. Add an image (either browse old ones or upload a new one)






11. Call to action should be – Sign up

12. Fill in all of the text fields in order to make your ad look bigger and less spammy

13. Choose an existing or create a new lead form


           






How to create a new lead form

  • Click on the button - Create lead form
  • Name your form and choose the form’s language
  • Provide a link and a text description to your website’s privacy policy
  • Provide a link for the website’s thank you page  
  • Check everything and confirm for the last time


14. Check everything in the campaign once again and submit your order


Congratulations, you have created your first lead ad!

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

The only ecommerce product checklist you will ever need

Are you thinking of starting an ecommerce business? You have the capital, but don’t know where to start and which products to choose?

We’ve created a checklist that should help you determine the right product for your new, high grossing web store. Pick a product and run it through our criteria, if there are at least two “ticks” missing, maybe you should consider another product.


Perform a keyword research
The first thing you need to focus on are keywords. Top 3 keywords should have combined 10K exact match searches. Make sure to check out Google Trends, as well as the Google Keyword Planner.

Find out do you have any competition
Many people think that having competition is a negative thing in ecommerce game. This is not always the case.

Think about this scenario:
You’ve invented a selfie stick. Nobody has ever heard or seen a selfie stick and doesn’t know that such a thing exist. This means that you will spend at least 6 months investing in marketing, only to educate the major public about the existence and purpose of a selfie stick. Sure, you will have the media coverage for such a product, but the next person that starts selling it will have it too, but won’t spend a dime investing in product introduction to the public.

The point of this example is - you should be glad if you have competitors that are just getting started or that don’t take advantage of the whole market. Otherwise, if the market is limited and you have some serious competitors, then you should probably consider another product.

Calculate the average value of your future orders
Let’s say that average order will have one high value product or two lower value products. Does this value fit in the range between $70 and 180$?

Calculate the gross margin
Is your gross margin going to be 20% or more?

Figure out how big is the need for your product
Does your product lend itself to return customers?
Does your product lend itself to multiple item orders?

Try to buy the product locally
Is the product you are considering difficult to buy locally?

Calculate the average product weight
Even though you might have a drop-shipping contract and don’t need to think about the logistics of every shipment, you should still consider the weight of your average order. If the weight exceeds 2kg, you might want to consider other products.

Find out who is your audience and when will they buy
Auditing over 100 ecommerce websites, we’ve determined that those that operate on high margins are those that have female customers and seasonal products.
Seasonal aspect is very important here, because having spikes in sales keeps you focused and determined to perform better every time.

You’ve reached the end. Now be honest with yourself and see if you have at least 6/8 points ticked. If you do, you are on to something great.


Good luck with your new – high grossing product!


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Conversion Rate


Conversion Rate
- The number of sales of a product compared to the number of people who visit a website to look at that product, or to the number of phone calls or sales visits that are made. (Cambridge dictionary)

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