Why You Shouldn’t Use AdWords Express

A laptop open up to Google Ads.
AdWords Express has been called the simplified version of Google Ads. It was designed for small businesses that don’t have the time or the knowledge to run Google Ads.

While AdWords Express is just like Google Ads in that your text-based ads will be displayed at the top and bottom of a Google search, on Google Maps pages, and across the Google partner site network, we don’t advise businesses use it even though it’s quick and easy. Here’s why.

You can’t select location-based keywords

This one is irritating as most people have a city or ‘near me’ in their search queries. Because you can’t select location-based keywords in AdWords Express, ads end up going everywhere, and if you’re a small, local business this is a terrible way to waste your marketing dollars.

You’re limited with your keyword matching

You’re stuck with broad match keywords in AdWords Express. This means your ads will also appear under similar keywords to the ones you selected.  

Broad match means your ad can appear in searches that have a keyword you bid on, but that isn’t always good for your business.

Like if you’re a contractor and you bid for ‘contractor boston,’ you may appear in a search results regarding how to become a contractor.

You’re not able to build a negative keyword list

Negative keywords are the keywords you don’t want your ad to appear for and they are important for any campaign.

Imagine if you’re an IT company for businesses and your ad starts appearing for searches related to personal computer repairs.

Or imagine if you’re an interior designer who helps clients redesign their rooms, but doesn’t do remodeling projects, and your ad starts appearing for bathroom and kitchen remodeling projects.

Or what if you offer a high end product, you wouldn’t want your ad to show for search queries where the words ‘cheap’ and ‘inexpensive’ were typed.

In AdWords Express, you can turn off keywords that you don’t want to bid on, but this won’t actually keep Google from showing your ad for that keyword. Your ad could also still show to a searcher using one of your negative keywords through another broad match keyword.

You can’t track conversions

In AdWords Express, you can’t add conversion tracking! This is one of the worst qualities of AdWords Express in our opinion. While AdWords Express can show you how many clicks you are getting, it will not tell you who has converted from those clicks. Most businesses don’t use AdWords Express or Google Ads just to increase their website traffic. They are usually trying to increase sales. With the ability to track conversions possible on Facebook Ads, email marketing, and regular Google Ads, it’s a waste to not know with AdWords Express.

You can’t add ad extensions

Ad extensions are callout links, site links, and snippets. Ad extensions make your ads more enticing to users because they have more content.  

Another annoying thing about AdWords Express is you have a limited number of characters. You have 25 characters in the headline, 35 characters each in the two lines of text, and 35 characters in the display URL. This makes coming up with catchy headlines and a clear call-to-action even harder.

AdWords Express has a minimum monthly budget of $45

Another reason why we don’t like AdWords Express is it gives the impression you can have a small marketing budget to advertise on Google. We always tell our clients that any monthly budget under $500 is not worth their time. As we’ve all heard this before, it takes money to make money.

As you can see, Google Ads gives you control and optimization. To learn more about Google Ads, check out our earlier blog post, Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads here.

Google Ads Vs. Facebook Ads

A person using a computer mouse.

Pay-per-click advertising has become a popular advertising avenue for businesses in the digital age. There are many types of pay-per-click (PPC) ad services, but the two most common ones are Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

Google Ads appear when people search for things online using the search engine, Google, and Facebook Ads are ads that appear in Facebook users’ feeds.

In today’s blog post, we will cover the benefits of both platforms and when you should utilize Google Ads and when you should be using Facebook Ads if you can’t utilize both.

What Are Google Ads?

Google Ads is the world’s largest PPC advertising platform. Google Ads is so widely used it is often referred to as “paid search” even though the search engine Bing has Bing Ads, which is just like Google Ads only the ads appear on Bing.

Google Ads deals with selected keywords and are largely text-based. Advertisers bid on keywords, which are either specific words or phrases users put in the search query, in the hopes of their ads appearing in the search results, either at the top of the page or at the bottom.

Every time a user clicks on the ad, which brings them to either the advertiser’s website or a curated landing page, the advertiser is charged a certain amount. At its core, advertisers are paying for the potential of finding new customers and/or clients based on the keywords and search terms they enter into Google.

What Are Facebook Ads?

Facebook Ads are referred to as “paid social.” In Facebook Ads, advertisers market their products or services to Facebook users based on their target demographics, behaviors, and interests. At its core, advertisers are paying for the potential of finding new customers on Facebook based on targeting features.

The Benefits of Google Ads

In Google Ads, advertisers are able to advertise to users in their search network and display network. The search network is the search engine, Google, and the display network are the banners you see when you’re surfing the web. Google’s display network spans 98% of the World Wide Web. Their display network is great in that it enables you to spread brand awareness to those who haven’t converted while they are using the Internet.

Another benefit of Google Ads is the number of people who search with Google. Google is the most popular search engine in the world with more than 40,000 Google search queries every second!

A misconception PPC newbies have with Google Ads is they think the advertisers with the biggest budgets are the only ones that perform well. The ads that perform the best aren’t necessarily the ones with the biggest budgets behind them, but the ones that are the most relevant to the users. You need relevant keywords on your landing page and ad copy. If your ad is getting a lot of clicks and conversions, you will see it appear higher in the search results over time. It’s important to note one of the only ways you can continue to improve your ads is to do A/B testing.

The Benefits of Facebook Ads

Just like Google, Facebook has an impressive number of users. Facebook has more than 1.55 billion monthly active users. That is more than ⅕ of the entire world’s population!

Facebook users share a lot with the social media giant. Not only do they share the biggest moments of their lives, but they consume, like, and share content that aligns with them, which enables advertisers to really market to their niche audiences.  

Advertisers can also use Facebooks Ads to create lookalike audiences, which allows advertisers to input deals of their existing audience into Facebook to reach new people who fit that mold.

With Facebook ads, advertisers can also upload photos and videos to peak the interest of users.

The last great benefit of Facebook Ads is fairly affordable. You can be a small business with a budget and competitors that are household names and still meet your goals.

Google Ads vs. Facebooks Ads

Based on the passages above, it’s clear Google Ads and Facebook Ads are both very useful advertising outlets. But which one should I use? Well, it depends.

When You Should Use Facebook Ads

You should use Facebook Ads when you really know your ideal audience since Facebooks Ads allow you to target people based on their demographic, behaviors, and interests.

You should also use Facebook Ads if you don’t have a big budget if you are small fish and your competitors are sharks. We always advise our clients Google Ads aren’t favorable if they have a small budget. If your budget is under $500 a month, you can still do well on Facebook.

Facebook Ads are great if you have an event coming up or a special offer as Facebook has ads that are meant just for these types of specials.  

Through Facebook Ads, you can also put the ad on Instagram. So if the picture sharing app does wonders for your brand already, it may be worth putting most of your marketing dollars to Facebooks Ads.

When You Should Use Google Ads

Google Ads should be used when you’re trying to increase sales. When people utilize Google, they have a problem and are looking for answers. People don’t scroll through Facebook because they have a specific problem. They want to catch up with their network so with that in mind the intent to buy is much higher with Google Ads.

You should also consider Google Ads if you have used it before. Google likes giving preference to businesses with experience as they have more insight into the user experience.

All and all, when it comes to marketing, it’s always important to evaluate your goals. Call Sperling Interactive today at 978-304-1730 to learn more about how we manage our clients’ ad campaigns.

The Four Types Of Keywords For Paid Search

The word 'search' in Scrabble letters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key to successfully nailing paid search is keywords. Bidding on the right keywords will allow you to pop up in the search queries your target audience is using. Google and PPC professionals say there are four different types of keywords when it comes to paid search, and they are worth checking out as they can help boost relevant clicks.

Broad

Broad keywords are considered by many as the default keyword type. Broad keywords will give you the widest reach. They will match to search queries that have misspellings, synonyms, related searches, words out of order, and anything else that Adwords deems relevant. You want to be careful with broad keywords, though. While they can help you receive a lot of clicks, you want to make sure you’re not getting irrelevant clicks. Always monitor your campaigns, and make a list of negative keywords as you go along.

Broad Match

Broad match modifier are keywords that have a ‘+’ in front of the keyword. Important to note – you don’t have to put a ‘+’ in front of every word in the query, and the order of the words does not matter. Broad match are right in the middle when it comes to the four types of keywords and can perform pretty strongly. Through the plus sign, you can have better control of where your ads pop up by locking individual words.

Phrase

Phrase keywords are keywords that are put in quotations. For a search query to match a phrase keyword, it must contain all the words, or at least close variants, in the same order without any words in between, with additional words before or after. Close variants include misspellings, singular and plural words, acronyms, abbreviations, and accents.

Exact

Exact keywords have the lowest reach, but the highest relevance. Exact keywords are put in brackets. Only ads that match the keywords exactly will pop up.

Need help choosing keywords for your paid search work? Sperling Interactive would love you to identify the right keywords for your organization.

Metrics To Know & Understand For Pay Per Click Campaigns

The user symbol on a laptop

 

 

 

 

 

 


Are you creating landing pages for you business? Do you know what what all the metrics concerning paid search actually mean? Here’s everything you need to know and understand about those metrics.  

User – User is another name for a visitor. When you see the term ‘user’, it means that someone from a device has landed on your website. If a married couple shares a laptop and they view a website at separate times during the day, the metric system still considers that one user.

Sessions – Sessions deals with quantity. It is the number of times a user visited your site.

For instance, if someone goes to your website once, leaves, and then comes back two days later for a second time, that would be considered one user and two sessions.

Bounce Rate – Bounce rate is another quantity. It is the percentage of visitors to your website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. Your bounce rate can vary for a number of reasons. If it is a landing page or blog that is meant for someone to read then leave or convert, then we would expect to see bounce rates between 60%-80%. If we are driving traffic to the site and want the user to visit multiple pages to either convert or complete a desired action, a healthy bounce rate would be between 30%-60%.

Pages/Session – This term refers to how many pages were visited during each session by a specific user.

Avg. Session Duration – Average session duration is the total time spent on a website as a whole for each session by a specific user. Again, ways to analyze this and gauge effectiveness can vary.

Pageviews –  Pageview represents the total amount of pages viewed on your website from all traffic sources.

New Vs. Returning Visitors – By far the simplest, yet most useful, metric to look at. Although you always want more new visitors, the key is to bring them back to your website if they didn’t convert. Analyzing this can help you optimize remarketing campaigns to the fullest degree in order to bring back commercial intent users.

If you ever need help managing your paid per click campaigns, reach out to us. At Sperling Interactive, we can consult you on how you’re performing.  

How To Understand Google Analytics

A finger pointing to the word, analytics.

 

 

 

 

 

In a blog post from earlier this month, we dissected Google Adwords. In today’s blog post, we are going to cover the traffic types by channel. On Google Analytics, you can measure how your marketing strategies are performing on social media platforms, search engines, emails, and third-party listing sites.

Organic Traffic – Traffic that comes through optimizing for search engines. This means any link that is clicked on search engine page results (SERP) that is not an ad (ads are marked with a little “ad” symbol). It can also be called “natural traffic.”

Direct Traffic – When someone types your URL directly into the search bar or has your URL (or a link on your site) saved as a bookmark.

Display Traffic – These are the display ads that show up when users visit a website outside of your own. Google has so much information that they have lists of specifically targeted users to whom you can show your ads. Display campaigns tend to have higher bounce rates, between 60-80%, since these are being shown on different sites and are when the user is not actively searching for your company or service.

Social – This is a section in Google Analytics that pools in traffic from all of your social sites. This does not include paid advertisements.

Facebook Advertising – This is traffic coming from our Facebook campaigns. You want to differentiate this traffic in Google Analytics so you can see the difference between Organic Facebook Traffic (natural clicks from your normal posts) and Paid Facebook Traffic (sponsored posts, campaigns etc.).

Paid Search – This traffic source is all paid search advertisements in Google, Bing, and other search engines. Paid search is one of the most important sources to track and optimize to ensure you are reaching the ROI you desire.

Referral – If you use a third-party listing site, any traffic driven to your website from these other sites are considered referral traffic. For instance, say you have a profile for your company on a site that lists other companies, such as Angie’s List, Home Advisor, etc., and someone clicks your website. This would be considered referral traffic.

At Sperling Interactive, we use Google Analytics to track how our clients’ online marketing strategies are performing. To learn how we can help you, call us at (978) 304-1730.

How To Understand Google Adwords

Adwords spelt out in Scrabble tiles.

 

 

 

 

 

 


If you’ve been tasked with managing your business’ Google Adwords Account, you’ve probably discovered by now that it’s no easy feat. In order for your ads to perform well, you need to be able to understand the dashboard. Here is a break down of what the acronyms and terms that appear on it mean, as well as tips to improve your ads’ performance.

Keywords – These are the words or phrases that someone searches in the Google search bar. You bid on keywords so your company can show up at the top of the results.

Clicks – This one is pretty obvious. Clicks represents the amount of times your ad was clicked on. Having a high amount of clicks is always a good thing. After conversion, clicks are the second most important way people should be interacting with your ads. Google Adwords counts clicks even when users don’t go to your website so this may be why your amount of website visitors are different than your clicks.

Impressions – Impressions are the amount of times your ad appeared. While a high volume of impressions may sound impressive, what matters most in terms of an ad’s performance is how many people click on your ads and engage with them.

Impression Share – Impression share regards to how many times your ad is shown against other competitors for the same keyword in search ads. If you have an impression share of 20%, that means you are only showing 2 out of the 10 times that search query happened. Healthy impression shares range from 60-80%.

CTR (click-through rate) – CTR is the number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown.

Average CPC (cost-per-click) – Average CPC is the average amount you’ve been charged for a click on your ad. The amount is calculated by dividing the total cost of your clicks by the total number of clicks.

Average Position – This is in relation to the position of your ad and where it is shown in a Google search. Generally, 1-8 lands your ad on the first page of search results, 9-16 lands on the second page of Google search results, and so on. Average positions can be between two whole numbers. For example, an average position of “1.7” means your ad usually appears between positions 1 or 2. Generally speaking, if you are running a Google display campaign, you will always be 1 because there are no “ad positions”. A good average position is generally between 2 – 3.5 since you are at the top but not paying too much to be the first ad showing.

Search Query – This is almost the same as keyword, but there are some differences. It is the actual words someone typed into Google. We could be bidding on the keyword “business start-up” and a search query such as “how to start up a business” would trigger our ads since it contains those keywords.

PPC (pay per click) – The type of advertising when you pay only when your ad is clicked.

Cost Cost deals with how much was spent on the campaign. Remember, you only spend money on your ads when people click on them. You can use Google Adwords Industry Benchmark to find out if what your spending is lower or higher than the average in your industry.

Max CPC – The Max CPC is the highest amount you’re willing to pay for somebody to click on your ad. So if you set a maximum bid of $1.50, you’ll never pay more than $1.50 for each click on your ad. The more money you put down on your Max CPC, the higher positioning your ad will have on a page.

Remarketing – This is another type of display but much more targeted. We track users who visit your site and then show them display ads across the Internet after they leave, enticing those to visit your site and convert.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP) – The pages that appears after someone requests a search from a search engine.

Conversions – Conversions represent how many responded to your ad after clicking on it. Conversions deal with actions and can mean many things. A conversion can be somebody viewing the video you published on the page, a person filling out the contact form on the landing page, a person buying the product advertised, etc.

Cost Per Conversion – Cost/Conversion is the average cost per conversion. This is calculated by dividing the total cost for clicks by the number of conversions. Knowing your Cost Per Conversion is important as it can help you divet up your budget better.  

Conversion Rate – Conversion rates deal with how often cicks resulted in conversions. Some ways you can improve your conversion rate are by switching up your offer, doing A/B testing on your ads, reevaluating your copy so it accurately depicts what you’re offering, and redesigning your landing page.

Want to learn more about Adwords? Call Sperling Interactive to uncover more about Adwords and how we can help you.  

Why You Should Use Bing Ads

Bing Ads

 

 

 

 

 

When most people think of search engine marketing, the first thought that generally pops to their head is Google. Google is the most used search engine, but if you’re a business owner or a marketer you shouldn’t forget about the second most used search engine, Bing. In 2017, Bing Ads grew to 19.7% of the US search market share whereas Google’s paid search clicks went down by 11%. Besides the fact it’s growing, Bing Ads also has some features Google Adwords does not. Here are five reasons why you should use Bing Ads if you’re not doing so already.

You can import your campaign from Google Adwords to Bing Ads. Bing has a feature called Bing Ads Editor that can enable you to add your campaigns on Google Adwords to Bing Ads. All you really need is your Adword login information and account number. What a timesaver!

You can run campaigns on Yahoo and Microsoft display networks. Through Bing Ads, you can show up on the third most used search engine, Yahoo, which has 300 million users, and through Microsoft Advertising, you can reach audiences on XBox Live and MSN’s television networks.  

There’s less competition on Bing Ads and it’s generally cheaper than Google Adwords. If there are a lot of companies that offer the same services as yours, Bing Ads might be the route to take since there’s less competition. Less competition means you’ll also be saving your business money. The average Bing Ad cost per lead (CPL) is 6% cheaper than Google Adwords.

You can set different campaigns for different time zones. With Bing Ads you can quickly adjust a setting for a particular group without having to create a brand new campaign to change the ad, a feature Google Adwords doesn’t have.

Bing users make and spend more. One third of Bing users have a household income of $100,000 then or more and they tend to spend 6% more than people who utilize other search engines. If your ideal client or customer is a Bing user, then you can’t ignore Bing Ads.

Through search engine marketing, you can reach new customers who are searching for your products and services. At Sperling Interactive, we  can run campaigns for you on Google Adwords and Bing Ads. Call us at (978) 304-1730 to learn how we can transform the way people find you online. 

The Dos And Don’ts of SEM


 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this month, we shared the dos and don’ts of SEO (http://sperlinginteractive.com/blog/dos-donts-seo/). Today we will be covering the dos and don’ts of SEM. SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a powerful tool to bring visitors to your website through your search ads and display ads.

DO write a strong ad copy. Think about what sets you apart from your competitors and put that into an engaging copy that holds your audience’s attention. This includes a killer headline and call to action. 

DON’T forget geo-targeting. Geomarketing should be used by both small businesses and large businesses. For small businesses, geomarketing keeps your ads local and eliminates your ads from popping up anywhere when you only have a certain community. Large businesses can use geomarketing to create custom ads for specific regions.

DO make sure the landing page goes along with the ad. Now that you’ve created an ad that is getting people to click on it, you need to make sure the landing page connects to the ad so you can convert visitors into customers. The foundation of the ads you post online should be trusted.

DON’T underestimate A/B testing. It’s important to analyze how your ads are performing. In A/B testing, you create two ads and test them both to see which one performs better. You keep the ad that performs better and replace the other ad with a new one. You then have those two ads battle each other out. Over time, you can determine the most profitable ads for your business.

DO write different ad copies for different demographics.  Customizing your ads can help your company reach and retain its target audience. You can enable your ad to reach certain demographics such as gender, age, parental status, and income. For example, if you own a bar in a college city, you may want to target an ad to people in their early twenties. If your bar ever hosts a ladies’ night, you might want to create an ad that will bring women to your establishment.

DON’T neglect a negative keywords list. Negative keywords are just how they sound- words you wouldn’t want associated with your business. Important words to always include on your negative list are ‘bad’, ‘worst’, or ‘terrible’. You wouldn’t want the ad for your business to pop up when somebody is inquiring for the worst in your industry.  

DO check your quality score. Your quality score is your ad campaign’s grade. It is a combination of your ad’s quality and relevance, click thru rate, and historical performance. The scores are out of 10, and the quality score can let you know if your ad is performing below or above average.

How to Promote Content

What would be the point of creating content if it is not going to be shared or viewed by others? Getting your content viewed by others is more important than creating content in general. Because of this, we have composed a list of tips to help promote your content in the best ways possible.

Share on social platforms:

This is one of the more obvious tips. Whenever you create content, you should always start by self promoting it on your social media, as well as on your website. Remember that each social platform requires a different form of content sharing, so make sure you are adjusting the way you promote it according to the social media.

Share snippets on social media:

Take several “snippets” of information from your content to share online in order to catch the audience’s attention and promote your content several times throughout the month. These snippets can be quotes, statistics, short statements, etc.

Mention those included in your content:

If you have important companies or personas mentioned in your content, like in a blog post, make sure to tag or mention their social media accounts when promoting. This will help get your content viewed by outsiders who may not have heard of your business before, especially if those who are being mentioned repost or share the content as well.

Get connected:

Connect with other who post similar content as you through email or on their social media. Share what you have created with them and ask them for their thoughts and if they wouldn’t mind sharing your content on their platform.

Share in different forms:

Try making your content more appealing by converting it into a different media form. Short videos and infographics are a great way to share content while keeping it interesting and entertaining. Switching up your content is always a great way to keep your audience engaged.

 

Networking Organizations We’re a Part of: Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce

Cape Ann was founded by pilgrims in 1623 and was named after England’s Queen Ann. Currently, Cape Ann offers big-city culture while maintaining a small-town charm, and its four communities consist of Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-sea, and Rockport. With such an amazing location and so much to offer, it’s no wonder why we have been a part of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce for two years.

As a member of this organization, we are able to express the great benefits that come from being a member – from networking and training to adding value to your business. The following are just some of the many benefits Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce offers:

In their membership directory (both print and digital), help coordinate ribbon cuttings for special business occasions, host networking events (seminars, speaker programs, board meetings, etc.), sponsor and advertise business events in publications or online.

Gain insight into their affinity program. Here your business can save up to 25 percent on constant contact discount and gain access to a variety of health plan options and providers through Health services Administrators. Your company can even save on credit card processing!

Contribute to the community. By being a member your business can contribute to Business Education Collaborative to enrich the education and career development of students, to Businesswomen’s Committee that helps create a strong network group for women, to Government Affairs Council in creating a healthy business climate for the community, and to the Tourism Council, which works to promote Cape Ann as a premier visitor destination.

Gain access to other exclusive benefits like access to over 900 chamber members, office referrals, Cape Ann certificate program, and Discounts on local media advertisements.

To find out more about these benefits, or others, or if you are interested in being a member visit their website here