We are now 8 days into 2010 and I have yet to put forth my New Years resolutions. I know what youre thinking " What kind of person doesnt put together a list of items which they will emphatically try and convince themselves (and others) that theyll actually follow through on?
I really cant imagine what kind of person would do that, as Im certainly not one of those people..
I have 3 PPC resolutions for the New Year and I challenge you to adopt them as your own. Whether youre running your own campaign or managing your clients campaign, these resolutions should help make 2010 a year to remember.
A small caveat with these resolutions " I am going to assume that youve been a good PPCer and that youve done a great job at optimizing your campaigns to a point where youre ready to take the next step.
What do I mean by a great job? Why dont I break it down in a list for you:
Account Structure " you have logically segmented campaigns and within each campaign, your ad groups contain only a small number of keywords which closely related to each other and finally, you have ads which speak to those keywords
Keyword Research " Youve been so thorough with your research that your keyword list will capture all those people you want to capture, and exclude all those you dont (Negative Keywords!!!)
Ad Copy " You are consistently testing ad copy. An easy rule of thumb is to always have at least two ads running per ad group. Analyze the data, optimize accordingly and test again.
Conversion Tracking " You have identified appropriate conversions for your business, you have attached some sort of dollar value to each conversion and you are now measuring ROI at the keyword level arent you??
Okay, I feel like Ive buried the lead here, so without further ado, my 3 PPC Resolutions are:
1. Pursue Mobile Opportunities
2. Dont Forget Facebook
3. Utilize Googles Website Optimizer
Lets take a closer looks at those, shall we?
Weve all heard that 2010 will be the year of mobile and weve been hearing it for a while now. Will it really though? Me thinks that the answer is yes!
Let me share a personal story with you:
I went out shopping this past Boxing Day and as expected, the crowds were out in full force. I was on the hunt for a new home theatre receiver, which means after 20 minutes of navigating through the parking lot, I was standing in Best Buy trying to decide which of their Door Crashers would suit my A/V needs. I found the one I wanted, picked it up, looked at the checkout line and cried a little. I refused to wait. So I pulled out my iPhone, went directly to the Best Buy site, found the receiver I wanted, ordered it and had the new gadget delivered right to my front door. I got it for the same sale price as in-store, the shipping was free, the delivery was fast and I didnt have to wait in line.
Heres another little story: After Best Buy, I walked over to Golf Town in search of a new golf bag. I found the exact bag I was looking for, but they didnt have the colour I wanted. I pulled out my trusty iPhone, found the bag online, ordered the colour I wanted and had it shipping to my front door.
If this were 2 years ago, or 1 year ago, I dont think I could have seen myself buying two relatively big ticket items through my phone. This past Boxing Day was different though, I didnt hesitate for a moment, and data shows that other people were buying on their phones as well.
Just look at Ebay, where users purchased 1.5 million items through either eBays iPhone app or their mobile site this holiday season. Ebay says that through 2009, an item sold every 2 seconds via Ebay Mobile (worldwide).
What were people buying? Oh, nothing huge, just a 23-Foot Boat for $19,108 and maybe 250 grams of Gold Bullion for $10,025. No big deal.
According to a very recent study by Compete, 37 percent of smartphone owners have purchased something non-mobile with their handset in the past 6 months.
There is no doubt that people are making purchases on their phones, but the most popular shopping-related activity continues to be research related, with 41% of iPhone users comparing prices while physically shopping for an item. Next to price comparison, reading consumer reviews is the second most likely activity on a mobile device.
With all that said, people are willing to buy through their mobile devices, if only it were a smoother process! According to the same Compete study, 45% of those that abandoned the sales process did so because the shopping cart didnt load properly, with an additional 38% abandoning because the site wasnt developed with smartphone users in mind.
So what does this all mean for you and your PPC campaigns? Quite frankly, it means that Mobile cant be ignored. People are using their phones to search and if theyre searching for you, you need to be there.
With Google AdWords, you can set your Campaigns to target iPhones and other mobile devices with full internet browsers. I would recommend breaking out a separate Campaign and only target mobile, which will allow you to optimize accordingly and make reporting that much easier.
As I discussed in my earlier post on Googles Click-to-Call, you can now include your phone number alongside PPC Ads, which when clicked, will deliver a fresh lead right to you.
There is also AdMob, which was recently purchased by Google. Weve seen tremendous success running mobile campaigns on AdMob and it is definitely a viable option for not only driving traffic, but for also promoting iPhone Application downloads if this is one of your objectives.
Mobile is all very exciting, but as with anything, you will need to test the waters and monitor results. Mobile will be an excellent fit for some, but not all " you need to test and see if it works for you and your business " and that, my friends, is New Years Resolution #1.
Resolution #2 is pursuing opportunities outside of Google, Bing and Yahoo. While we tend to focus quite heavily on Google due to its market share, there is still tremendous opportunity that exists with other platforms, such as Facebook Advertising.
Facebook is HUGE, but Im sure you already knew that. What you may not know is that while its a Social Network, advertising on Facebook is Pay-Per-Click! As such, you, my devoted PPC reader, should tackle this head on.
Sure, it isnt quite the same as running and optimizing your Google campaigns, but there are definite similarities. Its a CPC model (but you can choose CPM if you dare), you need to write compelling ad copy, you need to split test ad copy and you need to optimize accordingly.
What are some of the differences?
Traditional search engine PPC focuses on Products/Services, as in Find me a widget.
Facebook PPC focuses on PEOPLE, as in Im interested in travelling
With Facebook, you have more control over WHO you can target, such as Men over the age of 25 who are In a Relationship, living in Toronto and like to Travel. If you're in the travel business and promoting Land of the traveler brand bags or romantic getaways for Valentines Day, you just narrowed your targeting down to your key demographic.
This could be HUGELY beneficial to your business, allowing you to target people with a level of sophistication that isnt possible through Google, Bing or Yahoo.
If youre a Local Advertiser, you cant ignore the opportunity that Facebook presents:
12,300,000 Users in Canada
1,300,000 Users in Toronto
Targeting within 10 Miles of a City
50% of users Log into Facebook Every Day
I have run a number of campaigns on Facebook, seeing tremendous success in not only driving quality traffic, but also in terms of gaining extremely valuable insight into what types of people are engaged by an ad. This allows me to further tailor my ads to those people, as well as mirroring my learnings back to any other PPC campaigns that Im running for the client, such as on Google.
Last , but certainly not least, is pursuing greatness with the help of Googles Website Optimizer.
We in the Pay-Per-Click world tend to focus on a couple metrics when determining the success of a campaign, one of which is Conversion Rates. We test ad copy, refine, test again and the cycle continues.with the hope that all this testing will result in messaging that drives conversions.
I think people often put those oh so dangerous blinders on and focus only on the paid search side of things, ignoring where the conversion actually occurs " THE LANDING PAGE!
We can test ad copy, which will refine the quality of the clicks we receive, but once that person lands on the landing page, we cant forget about them. We MUST test the landing page with the same vim and vigor as when we test ad copy.
Fortunately, theres Googles Website Optimizer, which is an excellent tool that allows you to accurately A/B and Multivariate test different components on your site.
You can run an experiment that simply tests Headline A vs Headline B, or you can be a little more complex, testing multiple variables, such as Headlines A, B, C against Image X,Y,Z and Call-to-Action 1,2,3.
Wouldnt it be great if you could say that our online advertising budget has remained the same, but were getting 40% more conversions for that budget? This is the type of statement you can make with the help of the Website Optimizer.
Before you begin, youll need to scope out what youre objectives are and identify what it is you want to test. You also need to ensure that theres sufficient traffic, or else a single experiment could take far too long before results become statistically significant.
And that my friends is New Years Resolution # 3 " Focus on the landing page and utilize the Website Optimizer to identify what combination of variables leads to the highest conversion rates.
With that, I close out my Top 3 New Years Resolutions for 2010. I challenge you to adopt them as your own and take your PPC adventure to great new heights!