Whether you own an established bakery or a start-up tech firm, you know that marketing is the backbone of your small business. It’s how you communicate with potential customers and create stronger ties with existing ones. So when it comes to marketing your business, you want your efforts to be as effective as possible. That’s where intention makes a difference.
Although a casual approach may seem like the best fit for your schedule or your personality, when you become intentional with your marketing, positive results will follow. Rather than seeing marketing as an expense, you will begin to see it as an investment in growing your business.
But what does it really mean to be intentional? At its core, it means having a plan and sticking to it. But more than that, it means making deliberate decisions, starting with the end goal in mind and not relying on luck.
Here are just a few ways to be intentional with your own small business marketing:
Use an Editorial Calendar
Using a tool like an editorial calendar goes a long way towards being intentional with what you say and when you say it.
How many times have you tried to write an email, or a newsletter, or a social media post and found yourself completely blocked, wondering what to say and how to say it? How many days (or weeks) did you let your marketing communications slide because you got too busy with the day to day of running your business? An editorial calendar will help you plan out your messaging, time your communications with events or holidays, and keep you accountable for following through.
An essential tool for organization and consistency, an editorial calendar can be as simple as hand written chart or as complex as a multi-tab spreadsheet. It can also be a handy place to keep track of which communications garnered the best results. Knowing which topics your customers were most engaged with can help guide your messaging goals month-to-month.
An editorial calendar will keep you focused on the goal – the very essence of intention.
Know Your Important Keywords – and Use Them
If you’re not already focused on optimizing your website (and all digital content) for search engines, it’s time to start. When the content you post matches what people are searching for in search engines like Google, you have better chances of being listed in the results that are returned. It’s called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, and it’s value to your website (and your business) cannot be underestimated. After all, what’s the point of a beautiful website if no one can find it?
While there are sophisticated methods for researching keywords, there are also simple ones that can go a long way. For instance, start by putting yourself in the mind of your customers. What questions might they frequently search? Then, make a list of important topics that are related to your business. Search these questions phrases yourself and look at related searches that appear in the drop down box. Come up with a list of 10-15 relevant words or phrases to use on your website, in your blog and any place you put words to screen.
Being intentional with the language you use in your digital communications will set you up for success right from the start.
Really Understand your Key Performance Indicators and Where to Find Them
Being intentional also means knowing how to measure your efforts. How do you know if your marketing is successful? It rests on understanding your key performance indicators (KPIs) and where to find them.
So much information is available that digital analytics can be overwhelming. But throwing your hands up will get you nowhere. Intentional marketers will take the time to understand measurements like how many people are visiting their website, how long they stay and where they are coming from. KPIs can answer questions like: Do people find my website easy to navigate? Are customers finding my business on Google? Are my social media posts really bringing customers to my website? Do customers visit my site frequently or are my visitors primarily first-timers?
Understanding how to measure success will help guide your marketing decisions. It will make you intentional about what you do and why you do it.
Provide a Call to Action
Sometimes it’s the simple things that make the biggest difference. Making sure that your marketing materials offer your customers a next step – a call to action – can be the difference that brings positive results. Do you want them to visit a specific web page? Sign up for a newsletter? Make a phone call? Being intentional also means communicating what it is you want your customers to do. If you’re not clear about what you want them to do, they aren’t likely to do it.
Taking advantage of tools like editorial calendars, keeping search engines in mind with all of your communications, knowing your KPIs and always including a call to action are just a few examples of being intentional with your marketing.
If you’re looking to take your marketing to the next level but need a little help getting there, consider a two-hour power session. In a hands-on one-on-one session, Amy DeLardi, founder of Infinite Web Designs, will not only help you set your marketing intention, but she’ll show you how to achieve it.
For more information, check out: https://infinitewebdesigns.com/2-hour-power-session/
It’s February, the time of year when we celebrate love. And when it comes to your website, while it won’t give you chocolates, if you love it, it will give back in delightful and perhaps unexpected ways.
If you own your own business, you already know that your website is a reflection of what you do and how you present yourself to potential customers. And when you love your website – really love it – it can give you confidence in how you portray your message, your product or your service.
As website designers, we frequently hear things like, “My website just doesn’t represent ME,” or “When people look at my website, they just don’t get what I do.”
At Infinite Web Designs, our mission is to help you fall in love with your website. There are so many different aspects of your website to appreciate. Here are just a few:
- How it functions
There is so much more to a website than a pretty face. For example, how does it work for you? Is it efficient? Does it actually do what you need it to do? Maybe you’re a DIY-er and you never quite got that online submit form to work. If you want people to fill out a form for more information, or to join your mailing list, and the process is clunky, hard to find or doesn’t work properly, it can at best undermine your credibility, and at worst cause you to miss out on new customer opportunities.
Or maybe there are features you wish your website could do like offer a calendar system for customers to schedule online appointments, provide customer service via online chat or function as an ecommerce site rather than just a display of your products and services. When your website functions well, it does more than communicate. It can actually do the heavy lifting, freeing you up to focus on running your business.
- How it looks
When you own your own business, your website can feel a lot like an extension of yourself. Do you like the way it looks? Do the colors and the design represent what your business does? Does it feel connected to and consistent with your sales materials?
Your website is one of the most important marketing tools you have. What people see shapes their perception of your company or your brand and weighs heavily on their decision-making process. So when your website looks the way you want it to, you can be sure that first impressions are good ones.
- How easy it is to use
Your website might look great and even have all the functionality you desire, but is it effortless for your customers to use? Is it smooth to navigate? Are your products and services prominent and searchable? The better organized your website, the easier it will be for your customers to find what they need and the better the chance that they won’t look elsewhere to have that need filled.
When your website is simple to navigate, you can be sure the customer experience is a positive one. You don’t need to be an enterprise-level organization to undertake a digital transformation. All you need is the willingness to see your website from your customer’s point of view, and a little ingenuity (or professional help) to make it happen.
- How well it works on a mobile device
As a society, we are increasingly “connected” to the digital world. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans now own a smartphone. So if your website is not mobile friendly, you are definitely missing out on potential web traffic.
Due to recent changes in the way Google searches your site and determines your search engine rankings, having a mobile-responsive website is more critical than ever before. (Click here for more information on Google mobile-first indexing.)
Verbal dictation via mobile devices (using voice technology to search the web) is another area where lacking a mobile-optimized site could leave you lagging. (Stay tuned for an upcoming blog on verbal dictation from a mobile device.)
When your website works as well from a smartphone or tablet as it does from a desktop, you can be sure that you’re not missing out on opportunities to attract and engage with potential customers.
Rapidly changing technology can make it difficult for businesses to stay ahead of the curve where their website is concerned. Let us help!
At Infinite Web Designs, we pride ourselves on the quality of our work. Contact us today and let’s talk about turning your website into something you love – really, really love.
Developing a marketing plan can seem like a daunting task, especially if you run a small business without the benefit of dedicated marketing resources. As a business owner, you likely wear many hats and frequently get pulled in many directions. It’s no wonder that building a marketing plan can easily fall to the wayside.
But investing effort into planning will actually save you time in the long run. It will also keep you focused on the end goal – growing your business.
A solid marketing plan should be easy to understand and provide you with clear direction. And it’s not as hard as you might think. To get you started off on the right foot in 2019, here are five best practices to creating a winning marketing plan for your small business:
1. Reframe the way you think about marketing.
If you approach marketing your business as one more task on your growing “to do” list, it can seem tedious at best. Try shifting the way you think. Look at more like planning a party. What you’re really doing is finding ways to invite people to share in what you love – your business! Changing the way you look at it could tap into your natural excitement and enthusiasm about what you do.
2. Start with a clear understanding of your target audience.
Who are you inviting to “your party” and why? Think about who your best customers are today. What is the best way to reach them? Are there other groups of potential customers you want to attract? Who are they and how do you want them interact with your brand? Spending time identifying your audience will help you to create a plan with an end goal in mind.
3. Know your call to action.
Once you know who it is you want to reach, decide what it is you want them to do. Do you want them to visit your bricks and mortar store? Engage with your company on social media? Join your mailing list? Defining what you want your audience to do will help you figure out what messaging to use and where to use it.
4. Be intentional about what you want and stay focused on the goal.
It’s easy to become scattered when you are trying out new strategies every other week. Set a plan, implement it and measure your results. Figure out what worked and then repeat it. (Stay tuned for a future blog on tips for being intentional with your marketing.)
5. Keep organized!
Using tools like an editorial calendar and a social media content calendar will in the long run make day-to-day marketing tasks easier and faster to perform. Set yourself reminders and keep yourself accountable for delivering on your plan. It may even be helpful to make yourself “cheat sheets” for things like social media image sizes for different platforms, advertising specs for different publications or even contact names for local media.
Spending the time to create a marketing plan will make it easier to stay on task, and quicker to change direction if you find yourself straying from the path you created.
Of course if you find that you need professional help, contact your local marketing experts at Infinite Web Designs. Our talented staff can help take your small business marketing to the next level.
It’s not to late to make 2019 your best year yet. Develop your marketing plan now and let it guide your business to new heights.
According to a new study by Stone Temple Consulting, 63% of all website traffic in the U.S. now comes from mobile devices. So it makes sense that Google has responded by rolling out mobile-first indexing. But what exactly does that mean and what should you do about it?
What does mobile-first indexing mean?
Historically, Google’s crawler, known as the Googlebot, would search the desktop version of your website content in order to index your site and determine your search engine rankings. Now, with mobile-first indexing, Google will use the mobile version of your site first. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly version, the desktop version will still be included in the index. But, not having one could negatively impact how your site ranks. Mobile-First means that the mobile version will be considered the primary version of your website.
What impact will it have on me?
If your website is already mobile responsive, and your mobile content has already been optimized, then you will probably not experience any significant impact to your search engine results. But if it hasn’t, for example, if the mobile version of your site does not include the full content of your desktop site, you may find that your site is not as visible in search engines as it once was.
What do I need to do?
If your website is already mobile responsive and the desktop and mobile versions of your site are identical, you may not need to do anything differently. Of course, even with a fully responsive site, you should check to make sure that your page load speed is prioritized and that all images have been optimized correctly. But, if your mobile site is separate from your desktop version, you will want to make sure that your mobile version contains all the same valuable content that appears on the desktop version, including text, videos and images. You should also ensure that your metadata (titles and descriptions) are equivalent on both versions.
It’s always a good idea to have a website professional take a look at your site to ensure that it is performing in the best way possible and that it will continue to do so. If you’re unsure how mobile-first indexing might affect your website rankings, give us a call. Infinite Web Designs has over 17 years of experience creating and optimizing web designs. 203-307-5107.
You’re launching your new business and you need a website. With so many “low cost” website builders to choose from, a DIY solution seems like the perfect place to save money, right? It’s easy to get dazzled by $19.99/month plans and drag-and-drop website creation, but what you don’t see are the myriad of hidden costs lurking behind the so-called easy solutions. In the long run, a professional website designer can actually save you time and money, and set your business up for success. There are many reasons why a DIY website costs more than you think. Here are a few:
1. Search Engine Rankings
There’s no point in having a great looking website if no one can find it when searching for your product or service in major search engines like Google or Bing. That’s why having a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is critical to your success. And the more control you have over your content and the structure of your site, the better. Sure, the low cost website creators have gotten better about incorporating some behind-the-scenes SEO best practices, but what they can’t offer you is the one-on-one attention you will need to formulate that strategy from day one from keyword research to competitive analysis. A professional will give you sound advice, like not including text on your images because search engines can’t read them, and other valuable tips based on years of experience.
2. Growing Your Site
It’s hard to see five years into the future when you’re just getting started, but like birthdays and holidays, they come fast! What happens when you’re ready to add that online store, or integrate your website with another platform? When your needs become larger than a drag-and-drop builder can provide, you might just discover that you don’t actually own your site. Those low-cost monthly rates are actually more akin to rental fees. You can’t port your site over to a designer in order to incorporate more complex features because the site isn’t actually yours. It can come as quite a surprise to learn that your site will need to be re-built from the ground up.
3. Credibility is Priceless
When you have aches and pains, you see a doctor. When you need legal advice, you consult a lawyer. When you need a website that conveys trustworthiness and credibility you go to a… DIY website creator? Sure, drag-and-drop design is easy. But what is the end result? An experienced, savvy professional website designer can craft a website into one-of-a-kind user experience that can make a small company look larger, more established and unique. A professional can help you convey what your business stands for. In a well-designed site it only takes one click for potential customers to “get you.” And if they don’t? There’s always your competitors…
Any good website design firm is well versed in internet security. And should anything malicious occur, you can be assured that they are prepared to handle it. From backing up your site to keeping on top of the latest security protocols, they are pros at responding to issues before you even know they exist. Unfortunately, many of the drag and drop website providers are vulnerable to attacks, as a quick Google search will reveal. It pays to know up front how security issues are dealt with and if there are any hidden costs to data backups and site restores.
5. Design Pays
Think you don’t care about fonts or color combinations? Spend a half hour with a professional website designer and your head will be spinning from the endless possibilities. Yes, serif fonts convey a different feel than non-serif fonts. Color does matter. And what about custom logos that convey your brand personality? There is a level of personalization and expertise that you just can’t get from a DIY solution. And it shows.
6. Add Ons Add Up
Drag-and-drop services can reel you in with low monthly fees but what happens when you want access to your website analytics? You’ll have to upgrade to a premium account. Need more storage? That will be extra. The bottom line is that as your business grows, your needs will grow. You’ll want to be sure that whatever platform your website is built on can handle your future. But what if you don’t know what you’ll need in five years? A professional website designer can offer experience-based guidance. It’s basically the next best thing to a crystal ball.
7. Keeping up with Technology
Let’s face it. Technology is fast moving and ever changing. Making sure your website is optimized for mobile devices and tablets is just the tip of the iceberg. Professional web designer will make sure your website is up to par – even behind the scenes. They will make sure any plug-ins you use are updated and functioning properly and will provide ongoing advise about new developments that will keep your website running smoothly and efficiently. And what about analytics? A pro will be able to run an analytics installation and start capturing your data on day one – valuable data that will help you with future marketing decisions. In short, professional website designers offer so much more than design.
Using an out-of-the-box, drag-and-drop website builder might seem like a cost savings initially, but using a professional website designer from the beginning can save you time and money in the long run. And that doesn’t even count the opportunity cost of lost revenue from a website that doesn’t look unique and professional. Before you build a website, do yourself a favor. Talk to a professional. The alternative will probably cost you more than you think.
Looking to launch a new website or overhaul a current one? With nearly 20 years experience working with clients of all sizes across many industries, Infinite Web Designs (IWD) can help. Founder Amy Delardi also offers consultation services to help you get your business pointed in the right direction right from the start. See what IWD can do for your business. Call today. 203.307.5107
You might find it doesn’t pay to go at it alone.
Infinite Web Designs is a full-service web design and development agency also offering digital services that drive traffic to your website, increase sales and generate leads and build brand awareness.
Welcome back to Infinite Web Chat! Last week we talked SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
On Episode 2 we are talking all things PPC (Pay Per Click). Click to listen above or you can read the transcript below. You can also subscribe on iTunes »
Here are Some of the Highlights:
- Pay per click marketing should be viewed is a long-term investment.
- PPC can be useful for several different goals, whether you’re launching a new service and need awareness or you’re launching a new website and want to drive traffic quickly and raise awareness quickly to get people to your website to learn about your new products or services.
- You must have clearly defined goals, content and a funnel for your PPC campaign.
- Define your target audience, keywords and budget.
- Ad campaigns must have a clear call to action.
- Tracking and analytics is key to determining your ROI and adjustments that need to be made.
- Following Google’s best practices will ensure you receive more [quality] traffic.
Episode Links and Resources:
Amy DeLardi: Welcome to episode two. This is Amy and LeeAnn. Last week, episode one, we talked about organic SEO. This week we are going to talk about Google advertising and pay-per-click campaigns. LeeAnn, you with me?
LeeAnn Holmberg: Yes, I’m with you. Hi, everybody.
Amy DeLardi: Before we get into the best practices and the budget and the quality score and some of the different things that we’re prepared to talk about today, let’s just talk about when to use Google pay-per-click advertising. LeeAnn, do you want to answer that first and then I’ll give my perspective on it?
LeeAnn Holmberg: Sure. It’s important, if you’re going to use PPC, pay-per-click marketing, that you are in it for the long game. I think it is something, when we are working with clients, we recommend a minimum of six months and we would love to see them commit to at least a year before we can have a fully optimized campaign and seeing them reach the goals that we define in the very beginning.
Amy DeLardi: Yeah. Often time people think it’s a quick fix and so they really don’t have the budget for it, if they’re a smaller business. They don’t understand that some keywords can be very competitive, which translates to very pricey, so they don’t have a budget to compete over a long period of time. We could get more into that in a little bit. Last week, again, we talked about organic SEO. I prefer that method of attracting leads and traffic to your website, but sometimes you need a more immediate gratification, whether you’re launching a new service and you need awareness to it or you’re launching a new website and you really want to drive traffic quickly and raise awareness quickly and get people to your website to learn about your new products or services.
That’s when I find that Google pay-per-click or PPC is a good alternative solution to driving more of that quick traffic and leads, especially if you have a certain conversion or a certain goal that you’re trying to hit. Often times I like to consult people to run that in tandem with organic SEO strategies. Again, talked about that in episode one. Have a listen if haven’t to that. Again, I think that Google pay-per-click has a use definitely.
It’s more of that immediate gratification or a tougher arena to play in or to get organic ranking in, but it also is competitive and it can get costly. Let’s get into best practices. You’ve decided that you really need to pay to play and you really need to get awareness to a product or service quickly and you’ve decided that you’re going to use Google pay-per-click as a strategy to do so. Where do you start?
LeeAnn Holmberg: Sure. I would suggest the very first thing is something you’ve already touched on, and that’s having a very clearly defined goal. If you’re going to run a campaign, it really needs to be focused on one specific goal. If you have more than one, then we would suggest, obviously, more than one campaign. It’s so important because we want the end user to have one experience and we need to keep them on track to do what we want them to do. We don’t want to muddy the water.
Your goal, it can be to drive traffic. Like Amy said, if you need that immediate, get people to your page, if we are looking for them to make a purchase, if it is to make a phone call or if it’s lead generation: we want their name and their email, but we have to pick one. If you give them too many options, then they’re going to be all over the place and they’re not going to stay on track. They’re going to go down a rabbit hole and you’ll lose them. That’s lost money for you and that’s not helpful.
We need that clear, defined goal. Then next, who do we want to be looking at these ads? We need to define who that target audience is. Part of that is working with our clients and listening to who their audience is. Then part of it is doing some research based on that so that we can help guide and direct them. One of the reasons that we suggest running these ads for a long time is we also get data back once the ads have been running.
Once that information starts to roll in, we may think that your audience is this group of people, but really we can narrow that focus down based on some of the data that we start to get back after your ads have been running for a good period of time. When we are starting out, it’s the same as the organic SEO that we were talking about last week; we want to have very clearly defined keywords. We’ll help you with that.
We’ll take the keywords that, again, you think and then we’ll run them through some tools so we can get some numbers based on searches, tweak that, and then really come up with a clear list of what those are to help design a landing page. That landing page will be based on what your goal is. We know that you probably have a website and it’s beautiful and there’s probably lots of amazing things that you’re offering, but in order to reach this clearly defined goal, we want a clearly defined landing page.
It almost puts blinders on the user. It keeps them flowing and looking at exactly what we want them to look at. If our goal is lead generation, we need them to fill out a form that will get them a free downloadable and then stick them into a long-term email campaign to sell them, then that’s what we want them to do. We don’t want to say, “Do that or call us.” We want to keep them flowing and moving to our one defined goal.
Amy DeLardi: And something that is trackable, too, so that you know that your investment is working.
LeeAnn Holmberg: Absolutely.
Amy DeLardi: You definitely want that goal to be trackable.
LeeAnn Holmberg: Yeah. There are several ways that we do that. We can do that behind the scenes with the tools that we’re using, and we can do it with the type of form that we’re using on your website. Also, going to what we were saying, keeping them right there on that page and not letting them wander around. If they go to your website, if we just send them to the contact form on your website, for example, then they might see who we are, about us or what we do or what other clients are saying, and then they start to wander off, and then we lose them doing that.
If we include all of that information in a clearly defined landing page and we keep them right there and we don’t give them opportunities to wander, then we keep them where we ant them and we don’t lose them in our website. Now, of course once we have them reaching that first goal, then we can introduce them to the website and show them all of the other pieces that go along.
Amy DeLardi: Right.
LeeAnn Holmberg: We want to be able to track from A to Z exactly how these ads are doing, and that’s one important way to do that. One of the things that we specialize in is writing campaign ads. When we’re writing those ads that’s going to lead the traffic to those landing pages to reach our goal, we want to be sure that we’re using the keyword that we’ve targeted, want a very clear call to action, so not only do we want them to take a clear action on that landing page; we’ve got to give them a clear reason to go to the landing page.
There’s lots of ads out there, so it’s really important to be creative and stand out. If you are a regular user of Google or Bing, which I think most people are, sometimes it can get really easy to glaze over those ads that are at the top or on the right hand side. We need a reason to not do that. We work really hard with our clients to make sure that we stand out in those ad spots so that it will jump out and really show expertise, creativity, and a reason to click on us, on that ad there rather than scrolling on down into the organic.
Amy DeLardi: Oh, go ahead.
LeeAnn Holmberg: I was just going to say, all the stuff we just discussed, all of that factors into something that Google really values when it comes to Google ads, and that’s a quality score. I know we’re going to dive into that more in just a little bit, but all of those best practices play a part of that, so I think that’s really important: that they’re all on target so that Google sees that we’re playing by their rules.
Amy DeLardi: Yeah. The landing page a lot of people dismiss. I have found that clients dismiss the value of a landing page and they don’t understand how seriously Google takes that. Sometimes Google will shut your ad down as a result of that. I think we’re going to get into that a little bit more with talking about the quality score. You know what I get asked all the time? I’m sure you do as well.
Is “Well, how much money do I have to spend?” That’s such a hard question to answer because it’s nice that Google has allowed anyone to pay to play, but sometimes … That’s a hard question to ask, most often, because each keyword that you’re looking to play and get ranking for is different, so there’s no one size fits all or one budget fits all. Do you want to talk a little bit more about how to determine your budget?
LeeAnn Holmberg: Yeah, absolutely. I think one of the things you’ll find consistent through most of the things we discuss is that it is a long-term game. We have seen the best results out of long-term consistency. I think we mentioned even last week that there are people out there that will guarantee, “If you spend X with us, we’ll get you Y.” We’re just not the people for that. We will work very diligently and we’ll use your money like it’s our own, so we’re very, very ware of that, but if we haven’t run ads at all before, with you before, then we’ve got to get a little bit of data.
The places where I typically tend to start when we’re talking about the factors of your budget: “Let’s look at your overall marketing budget. What is your marketing budget for the year? How much of that are you willing to set aside just for this?” If we’re suggesting at least six months to 12 months, obviously we want that to continue on. It’s not something that you just get to the end of the 12 months and we just shut it off. How much of your budget are we willing to commit to that?
Then “What industry are you in?” and “What keywords are we targeting?” Because the higher your competition is in your industry and for the keywords that we’re choosing, then the higher your budget is going to be. Health and wellness is a highly competitive industry. If you have a very low spend per day, for example if you have 25 or $50 a day, which is a lot of money … I’m not saying in any way that it’s not. That’s a lot. That could be two or three clicks a day, depending on the keyword you choose. Is that worth it?
Those are things that we look at and evaluate together. If we’re targeting one keyword, just a very small group of keywords and we can only get a couple clicks per day, we don’t want to just take your money and spend it. We’ll tell you Google will do that. That’s how Google has opened it up and allowed for everybody to play because there’s so many people that are in there that play and aren’t necessarily doing it in the most optimized fashion. We want to make sure that we’re using your money wisely and you are too.
Amy DeLardi: Right.
LeeAnn Holmberg: There’s keyword tools that can help guide you to determine each. Like I mentioned, if your keyword is highly competitive, then we can back into what the estimated spend would be so we can plug that in. Of course, those tools give us what it would look like if your account, entire campaign is fully optimized. That will give us kind of a benchmark to work with. I know that that’s not necessarily what our clients want to hear.
A lot of them want us to say, “We suggest you spend $500 or $1,000.” If we do that, then we try to give those numbers and say, “If you use these keywords and you spend $500, this is what we’re estimating.” However, that includes doing all the things we just talked about, all those best practices above. If we don’t follow those, then we end up with leaks and then the marketing dollars kind of fall away, and we definitely don’t want to see that.
Amy DeLardi: Right. I know that Google has settings where you can run a daily budget or a monthly budget or you can also let Google decide how to spend that budget and when to display and all of that. It sort of has a little bit of a wizard, built-in brain aspect to this. Can you talk a little bit … I don’t want to take up too much time. … a little bit about that and what you feel is the best use of that, of those settings?
LeeAnn Holmberg: Sure. As far as the spend, the daily spend or the campaign-wide spend, it’s really important that you pay attention because if you have the wrong information there and you set your campaign budget as the daily budget, then you’re in big trouble. We’re going to talk about managing and monitoring your campaign too. Yeah, that’s important to set that, double-check it. It really is kind of setting that cap on your account. Like you mentioned, Google, they do have an option to run ads and optimize based on their algorithms.
That’s what I use. Even as a professional that runs these ads, typically I don’t stray from that. I feel like they have so many eyes and people working on this and algorithms that are running that they really know what they’re doing and are going to spend it in the best way possible. Now, I may see that at 4:00 A.M. it’s not a good use of time based on some results that we see, so we may adjust over time, but typically I will use that and I would suggest using that because this is their game, they know what they’re doing.
I don’t think that going in and trying to set all that up upfront is really a smart use of your time. Also, if you do that, then you don’t really let Google tell you the information. If you narrow the scope up front, we don’t get to see that big picture. I like to let Google run it. Then we can evaluate overtime and decide if we need to make some tweaks. There is an option to run ads advanced, so if you want to blow through your budget as quickly as you can, you can do that. That may mean in the first three hours of the day, then your ads are done.
It works off of your timezone, so it starts where you start. If you’re in the Eastern Timezone, it will start at your time there. There are use and reason for that, but typically what we want the ads to do is run over time and see how they perform. Then, like I said, we can narrow down a focus. If they’re performing the best over lunch or just after lunch, then we can really hone in on that. Especially if you have a smaller budget that you’re working with, then we can start to target that. I wouldn’t narrow that focus without data first.
Amy DeLardi: Okay. A little while ago we talked a little bit about quality score. Let’s describe or explain what quality score is and then talk about some factors that play into that score.
LeeAnn Holmberg: Sure. Quality score, it’s something that you’ll find. It’s a measure of how your campaign is doing, how your ads are set up, how your landing page is set up, how the overall campaign and your entire account is. There are lots of factors that go into that. It’s kind of Google is grading you. They’re saying, “Hey, you’re doing well. Hey, you’re not.” It’s really important because the better your quality score is, the higher on the page you are. When it comes to ads, that’s extremely important.
We want to be in the top ads or in the top two to three places. If you are below the fold or below where people have to scroll, your chances of being seen get significant diminished, so we want to make sure that our quality score is good, Google sees that we’re following their rules and we’re doing what we’re supposed to do. There’s three main factors, really, that determine it. There’s lots of factors, but three of the big ones that we see are the ad relevance to your target keywords.
Before, I mentioned that the ad copy needs to include those target keywords, your expected click-through rate, which is a part of what Google thinks you’re going to get based on all of the factors that go into the campaign, and then the landing page experience. Amy touched on this earlier. She said clients will want to overlook this and they’ll just say, “We’ll just send them to my webpage,” or “Just send them to this specific page on my website.”
That right there will automatically cause an issue with Google because they want to see that narrow focus. They want to see the content on the page matches what the ads are, what the keywords are and that it’s a good experience, that you’re not making false claims, that you’re not making outrageous claims, that it’s relevant information, that there are good images and it’s clear where you want them to take action, whatever that action or that goal is.
Amy DeLardi: I think also, too, we’ve recently seen this with some clients who came to us that were running ads unbeknownst to us and they weren’t working. They didn’t have a landing page, so they were pointing them to the website. Google gave them a bad grade or quality score because the site speed wasn’t loading. That’s another factor that they look at. When you have a landing page, it’s reduced images, faster loading time, again putting the blinders on. You don’t have a navigation, really, to all the other parts of your website. It’s just a faster avenue to the call to action that you want them to do. I know that I’ve recently seen that site speed is one of the factors that goes into your quality score as well.
LeeAnn Holmberg: Absolutely.
Amy DeLardi: So keep that in mind.
LeeAnn Holmberg: Yeah.
Amy DeLardi: Okay. We wanted to keep these chats to a digestible timeframe. I’d love to wrap up and talk about monitoring and measuring as the last topic. I think we’ve given our listeners some quite valuable information. Let’s talk about that before we close.
LeeAnn Holmberg: Sure. AdWords provides some really great tools to monitor and measure your campaign performance. This, in conjunction with Google Analytics, will really give you a good overview of how your campaigns are doing. Again, after you have a good amount of data, you can make some tweaks and edits. Now, when you make those tweaks and edits, again, we suggest you give that some time so we can see that performance and then continue on.
Some really important factors to look at are cost per conversion, click-through rates, the cost per click, and your conversion rates. As we talk about all this stuff, AdWords is really a time-sensitive or, I’m sorry, time-intensive endeavor. It’s also time sensitive. When you’re in there, you need to be making good adjustments and smart adjustments because we’re spending your money every day, so we suggest that you monitor as much as possible and set a schedule.
On our team, we set a schedule to go in and monitor … For smaller accounts with less than five campaigns, we suggest that you’re in there three to four times a week and then scale from there. Of course, all of that’s dependent on how competitive your campaigns or your industry is. Then you’ll scale up from there. It takes a lot of time and there are a lot of good tools, but it can be really overwhelming if you’re trying to run this and run your business, so we’re here to help.
Amy DeLardi: A lot of people will come to me and they’ll have tried it on their own, they’ll call Google. Google is a great resource to help you, but they only help you to a certain point and then they expect that you either manage it yourself or hire a professional. I think that hiring a professional actually will save you time and save you money because they know the ins and outs of how to set up a campaign, use the best practices, and read the data so that we can make adjustments and we know how to measure the return on investment and understanding how to read that quality score and whatnot.
I think we’ve shared enough information. We can keep going and talking about this topic. If we haven’t hit on a specific area that you, as a listener, is interested in learning more about, you know where to find us: infinitewebdesigns.com. Our number is 203-307-5107. We are on social media. Hopefully, we gave you enough information to either help you along or know that we can be a resource to you. With that said, next week’s topic or chat is going to be on social media advertising. LeeAnn, are we going to talk about organic and paid or just paid social media advertising?
LeeAnn Holmberg: We can talk about a little bit of the differences between the two. Then I think we can probably spend a good amount of time covering the paid and then circle back around in another episode and discuss organic and all that goes into all of that.
Amy DeLardi: So stay tuned for our next week’s episode. Thanks for listening today.
LeeAnn Holmberg: Absolutely. Thanks, guys.