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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Key changes in online marketing that affect business owners. 

David Guest speaks with Nathaniel Bibby from PositionMEonline on some of the best ways to improve conversion rate for a website.

 

Summary

The key changes in online marketing that affect business owners are:

  • Location based searches
  • Searches on mobile devices has spiked at 30%.
The biggest mistakes that hinder conversion rates are:
  • Not having a Google Places listing
  • Not having enough information about services
  • Not having relevant content
  • Poorly managed Google Adwords campaigns
  • Not having local suburb names on page
3 ways to increase conversion are:
  1. Install "phone - click to call" (By 2014, mobile search will surpass desktop)
  2. Professionally managed Adwords campaigns
  3. Live Chat
Thursday, January 12, 2012

 

Google’s algorithm changes over the past 2-3 years are making it harder to directly influence search engine rankings.  Factors such as the Google ‘trust’ factor (which gives preference to older domain names) are impossible to influence, leaving many businesses with sub-optimal organic rankings.

With many businesses being disgruntled with SEO results there is an ever-increasing trend (as Google had hoped) towards paying for search positions.

Yes, with pay-per-click advertising you need to continually spend to get a result.  However, these 7 key reasons may have you reconsidering your marketing mix to include pay-per-click advertising.



1. Paid Clicks are from Hungry Customers

Common sense suggests that people clicking organically are early in the buying cycle, whereas those clicking on paid ads are more ready to make a purchase.  Paid ads often contain special offers, discounts, pricing examples, and are directly targeted towards what the searcher is looking for.  E.g. see the compelling offers that appear when ‘carpet cleaning’ is searched on Google – '3 Rooms for $65', '10% off' etc. Compare this to the first 4 organic listings which have minimal marketing appeal.

 
 Click to Enlarge


2. Search Engines have Shareholders

Organic results are being bumped down the list in favour of paid ads, in an attempt to maintain share prices of the search engines.  Ads can now include a business location and links to other pages within the website (see examples below).  As a result, the paid ads are getting clicked on more than ever before because searchers don’t like having to scroll.


   
 Click to Enlarge  Click to Enlarge


3. Organic = Watching Grass Grow

It can be frustrating watching and waiting for your website to improve organically.  No one knows how high it will reach and how fast it will get there.

Pay-per-click advertising gives immediate visibility.  Ads can be shown to a searcher in a specific location for a specific keyword, within as little as 10 minutes.  This sure beats sitting around hoping/praying for your website to improve organically.



4. Pay-per-Click Covers 1,000’s of keywords

It is difficult to get a website ranking organically in the top 3 for 100’s of popular keywords without the website having literally hundreds or thousands of pages.  Many older websites will rank well under a select few popular keywords but they could be missing out on customers who search for variations of these keywords.  Pay-per-click lets you actively pursue all keyword variations, without having to write additional content!


5. Greater Control

The description used in organic search results will be the meta description of the relevant page, or in some instances, an extract of text from the page.  Whilst you can alter the meta description, it isn’t guaranteed that this will be displayed, and any changes that you make won’t be reflected until the search engine re-crawls your website (which could be hours or months – no one knows exactly). By comparison pay-per-click ads can be changed almost instantly and are reflected generally within 10 minutes online.


6. Make use of Landing Pages

1-page websites, also known as ‘Landing Pages’ or ‘Squeeze Pages’, are renowned for having higher conversion rates than full websites.  Landing pages work well for businesses whose customers are making a time-sensitive decision (e.g. pest control), the customer can get the same or a similar service elsewhere (e.g. mortgage broking), and credibility can be quickly conveyed in a few key bullet points.

1-Page websites generally don’t rank well organically in competitive areas due to the website having insufficient content.  However, pay-per-click advertising can have these pages ranking high in any keyword category, and driving quality targeted traffic that converts into leads.  It is not uncommon for a good landing page and pay-per-click campaign to convert 25% of visitors into leads.

These statistics are from a test comparing the conversion rate of a full website (SEO Landing Page) with a 1-Page PPC Landing page –


  Conversion Rate 
SEO Landing Page  15.1% 
PPC Landing Page 26.9%


7. You Control your Rankings

By bidding on keywords you can control your rankings with pay-per-click advertising.  Note however that your bid is only one of a number of factors search engines look at when determining how much you pay per click.  A good quality landing page with relevant keywords will help keep your click costs to a minimum.
Friday, October 07, 2011

The Truth about Google AdWords

AdWords is a phenomenal marketing tool if used correctly. Our clients have generated millions of dollars worth of sales and achieved a positive return on investment where their campaigns have been correctly architected and managed.

Google AdWords is designed in a way that encourages businesses to spend money using campaign settings they think are beneficial, but can actually be detrimental to the performance of a campaign.


A typical day in the life of an Australian small business owner...

So you’ve just received a Google AdWords voucher in the mail for $75 worth of free advertising credit – how exciting!

You login to Google’s website, setup your campaigns, enter your credit card and voucher details, then wait for the phone to ring.

But somehow nothing happens. This brilliant advertising service that everyone talks about just spent $75 of Google’s money with no result. 

Speculating, you spend a little more of your own money, tweak some keywords, re-write your ads, and then your receive a call from someone claiming to be looking at your website.

It must be working! You spend some more, this time increasing your bids because you notice your ads are too far down the list. Your cost of clicks increases and you’re now sitting in the top 3. The phone rings a little more!

A few days later you check your ads and you’re sitting 5th of the list for your #1 keyword – how dare your competitors outrank you! You then start to wonder if they’re clicking on you.

So you increase your bids a bit more but notice your ads are receiving less clicks, and you start wondering ifAdWords is all it’s cracked up to be.

Then...you read your credit card statement and nearly faint at the charges from Google!


Case Study – 82% of a budget wasted!

When we added the keyword ‘advertising perth’ to a trial campaign it triggered visits for keywords including ‘how to study advertising in perth’, ‘personals adverts perth’, ‘quokka advertising perth’, ‘transperth advertising’.Of the $162 spent in 7 days, $134 was spent on clicks that were totally irrelevant!

Click on the thumbnail below to see the full list –

This click wastage is prevalent in almost all AdWords campaigns and is a moving target.

This is only one of over 10 different ways Google encourages businesses to spend more on AdWords than they need to (last quarter they generated $9.03 billion in revenue from this service). It pays to have any AdWords campaign professionally managed to obtain the best possible result!


Are You Bronze, Silver or Gold?

If you are running Google AdWords or are considering launching a campaign to promote your business, PositionMEonline provides three levels of Google AdWords management to ensure your campaigns are run most effectively. 

Starting from $130+GST/month for the Bronze service we will review your campaigns every month and provide you with an update on your campaign performance. This small investment often pays for itself as a result of substantially reduced click wastage and a higher return on investment.


Find Out How Much You’re Wasting - FREE

If you have a Google AdWords account that is currently not managed by us and would like to know how much you have spent on unwanted clicks, we provide a complimentary campaign review and will reveal the finite dollar value of your wasted click costs. This offer is valid until 31 October 2011.


Not Running AdWords Yet?

You could be missing out on an excellent source of high quality traffic to your website. All new campaigns are created by PositionMEonline’s AdWords Qualified Consultants and are highly refined to ensure minimal click wastage.


Friday, December 24, 2010
To remain competitive and at the forefront of your industry in 2011, the team at PositionMEonline recommend giving consideration to the following components of your online marketing strategy –

1. Bulk up your website content
This will keep visitors at your website longer and attract more searchers for a broader variety of keywords. Best of all it doesn’t cost much except your time in writing the content!

2. Register keyword-rich domain names & build additional websites
Don’t miss the boat on this. Many clients now run multiple websites for the purpose of generating leads for their business. A once-off investment that will yield results for years to come.

3. Market your business with MySuperAds
Before you consider running newspaper, magazine, radio or Yellow Pages ads in 2011, talk to us about the value of being able to advertise to customers specifically looking for your business, and monitor how many of those call or email you for more information.

4. Keep building inbound links
A well executed link strategy will make it difficult for competitors to outrank your website. Stay tuned in early 2011 for more information about our new improved Link Building service.

5. Establish a Facebook Page
Facebook is here to stay, and a company Facebook page is no different to a web page. Find a young staff or family member to run this for you (we can help kick-start the page with a design specific to your business). You can see our Facebook page by clicking here.

Get to it before your competitors do!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How Much Money is Google Making?

Any business who has ever run a Google AdWords campaign to drive traffic to their website for a minimum of 3-6 months will have experienced a rise in the cost of traffic at a rate greater than inflation.

We have experienced this first hand - in June 2009 some of our Google Ads were costing around $5.25 per click. Nine months later these same keywords are bordering on $18 per click - not per enquiry, but per click! However, in this article we share with you some useful strategies for keeping your click costs to a minimum with Google's powerful advertising tool.

Why such a sharp increase in click costs?

With Google AdWords being a real-time bidding machine the click costs are largely driven by supply and demand. There is a limited supply of top or first page positions on Google, therefore those that want to be there have to pay a premium.

Click costs in certain industries have plateaued due to profit margins being eroded - e.g. the average cost per click in the florist industry is unlikely to go beyond $5 because if it takes an average of 10 clicks to get a sale, it is costing $50 to obtain the customer - on tight margins this is prohibitively expensive.

Does this mean my website is correspondingly more valuable?
Yes! If you have a website that generates organic/free search engine traffic, this traffic has a worth that can be equated to what you would otherwise have to pay Google in click costs.

Example:
If your website was generating just 20 'free' visitors a day as a result of its organic search engine rankings and your industry average cost per click is say $3, your website could be valued at - 20 visits x $3 per click x 365 days = $21,900 per year!

This is what a competitor new to the industry might have to pay direct to Google to generate the same amount of traffic. With this in mind you can see that apart from the business a website can generate, the potential worth of a well optimised website in considerable for any business.

How does Google establish the cost per click?

Interestingly, the bid or click price is not necessarily the most important factor in Google's AdWords ranking algorithm.

Other factors aside from 'price' which can have a major effect on the click costs include -

  1. Age of your Google AdWords Account - Google gives preference to businesses that have been advertising for a longer period of time. Like most businesses, they look after their long term customers and are wary of doing business with new customers with whom they have no trading history. We have seen some click costs drop by 50% in the 2nd and 3rd month of being active yet top positions were maintained.
  2. Your Keyword Quality Score - in every AdWords account next to each keyword is a tool that provides an arbitrary 'quality score' out of 10. This is measured by calculating the correlation between the chosen keyword, the ad that gets displayed when a searcher looks for that keyword, and the landing page of the website the visitor is taken to. If there is a good correlation (e.g. the keyword, the ad and the landing page all mention 'discount widgets') Google will assign that keyword a higher quality score and give it a corresponding increase in its ranking position.
  3. Click Thru Rate (CTR) - this is a measure of the percentage of searchers that click on the ad when the given keyword is searched for. E.g. a CTR of 3% means 3 in every 100 searchers click on your ad. A high click through rate is good news - searchers like clicking on your ad. Correspondingly, Google gives your ad a boost in the rankings because it may be making more money from your ad than your competitors because it is worded more attractively.

How do I combat rising click costs?

Many businesses lack the knowledge of Google's ranking algorithm for AdWords and as a result continuously increase their keyword bids in order to maintain their top positions. This is great for Google, but not for your hip pocket.

Here are 5 quick and easy ways to ensure you aren't paying a premium for your clicks:

  1. Link to the most relevant page on your website - this will improve your Quality Score for the given keyword
  2. Split your keywords into logical campaign groupings rather than one large campaign - this will also improve your Quality Score due to increased relevancy
  3. Ensure your ad is attractively worded - use digits in your ad, give pricing indications, and even include your telephone number - the digits will attract searchers eyes and result in more clicks
  4. Create ad variations that include the keywords you are targeting - if 'eco rainforest tours' is a keyword ensure 'eco rainforest tours' is mentioned in your ad
  5. Build a website specific to the campaign you have created - we did this for our websites that target specific strategic locations and noticed a 20-40% reduction in click costs!
PositionMEonline is a Google AdWords Qualified Company and has managed millions of dollars worth of spend with Google. We have an intricate understanding of how to get the best out of pay-per-click advertising based on our own experience and that of our clients.

For a free 30 minute analysis of your Google AdWords campaign contact our office on (08) 9313 2699 and we will schedule a video/web conference to review your account in more detail - obligation free.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010
For the past 2 years or so Google has been displaying map listings of businesses relevant to local search phrases.  For example a search for 'mechanic perth' will display a list of 10 mechanics in the Perth metropolitan area in the organic (i.e. the free) search results.

The Google Map section displays businesses that are listed with the Google Local Business Centre, a creation of Google's that makes it one of the most powerful local search tools available.

The benefits of listing a business in the Google Local Business Centre are considerable -

  • Search results can contain detailed information about your business, moreso than Yellow Pages, and it's free (click here to see the PositionMEonline listing for 'web design perth'
  • Searches conducted on iPhones and other mobile phones with internet browsing technology often display Google Map listings at the very top of the page (on small screens this prominant view makes clicking on the listings quite compelling)
  • Google often displays a Google Map in the organic search results when a searcher looks for a product or service by location - i.e. we have some clients who have obtained #1 rankings on Google within 24 hours!
  • Searchers using Google Earth have the ability to zoom into the local region and view businesses relevant to their topic of interest
Our client website statistics are showing that Google now has close to 90% market share in Australia.  Obtaining as much visibility on this major search engine is crucial in your online marketing strategy.  PositionMEonline can assist your business with listing on the Google Local Business Centre - call us on (08) 9313 2699 today to find out how.
Monday, February 01, 2010
Despite the financial crisis over the past 18 months many web-related companies have enjoyed strong growth as businesses become more savvy and cost-conscious about their marketing.  With traditional forms of advertising becoming less cost-effective businesses are turning to the internet as a reliable source of low-cost leads.

One particular recent situation stands out, highlighting the major differences in return achieved from traditional advertising when compared with website marketing -

A long-term client shared with us a full page press advertisement that their competitor had run in The West Australian (WA's leading local paper).  The advertisement was on page 48 of the newspaper, just before the stock prices. 

At $7,500 one might think twice about placing such an ad, but the value of this businesses services is such that around 4 new clients would need to be obtained in order to make it a worthwhile venture.

72 hours after running the ad we were told that the business had received 3 phone call enquiries and zero appointments - i.e. the return on investment was practically nil.  It was $7,500 wasted on something that had a shelf life of around 24-48 hours before the next edition of the newspaper was produced.

One might argue that there are other less tangible benefits (such as branding) and that further potential customers may have booked an appointment at a later stage, however the business was not of a substantial enough size to warrant a branding focus.  Hence, the purpose of the ad was to generate appointments, which it clearly failed to do.

What is different about web marketing?
A business that goes about its web strategy correctly will benefit from an asset that continues to generate a good source of leads or sales with minimal ongoing expenditure.

Using the example above, a $7,500 investment in a website that is professionally designed and marketed to be found on the major search engines will continue to reap rewards for many years.

Newspaper advertising, radio advertising, TV advertising and Yellow Pages all require an ongoing investment in order to be given "air time".  By comparison, a websites ongoing costs are generally hosting and domain registration fees (which are easily <$1000 per year).

Think outside the square
Before you invest in your next traditional form of advertising, consider whether that money would be better invested in a website designed specifically to market a particular product. 

Investing in more "salesmen whilst you sleep" will help generate a strong source of leads and sales - why have 1 salesman, when you can have say 3.  Likewise, why have one website trying to capture everything your business is about, when you could have 3 highly specialised websites targeting different divisions/products/services/angles of your business.

To discuss some creative ideas on how you can add more "salesmen whilst you sleep" to your team, call us on (08) 9313 2699 and we can demonstrate how other Australian small-medium businesses are benefiting from our innovative online marketing strategies.









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