Friday, 15 March 2013

14 How AdWords Platform Works - Part II

bidding graph
Google AdWords advertising platform is really easy to use but if you want to set up successful campaign with high conversion rate you have to know what you are doing.  Because of that I decided to write a bit more about Google AdWords. In the first part i focused on how Google AdWords platform works and how to create an account. In the second part you will get to know more about campaign setting and biding.

Campaign Setting

When you create an ad campaign for the first time, AdWords guides you through several steps. You have to choose your ad campaign's settings, write your first ad, and select keywords that you think your customers would use when they're searching for your products or services. Each campaign also requires a unique name but that does not affect performance in the AdWords auction.

Google Adwords campaign for online electronic store

Starting with your campaign setup, you'll be asked to pick a campaign type. This determines which settings and options you see as you customize your campaign. You have to choose networks you want to target your ads to - the Search Network only, Display Network only, or both Search & Display.  With language and location settings you are able to specify where in the world ads are eligible to appear. But don't forget that the ads always display in the language you wrote them in.

How to choose your location and language settings

  1. Click the Campaigns tab.
  2. In the left hand panel, click All online campaigns.
  3. Click the + New campaign button
  4. You'll be taken to a page where you'll be able to update your campaign settings. Look for the section titled "Locations and Languages."
  5. To target locations, you have the option to:
    • Select a location from the listed options...
    • Or enter a location in the search box.
  6. To edit your target language, click Edit in the "Languages" section.
  7. Check the boxes next to the languages that you'd like to target.
  8. After you choose the rest of your campaign settings, click Save and continue.

Bidding

To run your ads on Google, you have to decide on the right campaign budget and ad group bids.
There are two basic bidding options :
  • Manual bidding: This is the default option to let you manage your maximum CPC bids yourself. You can set bids at the ad group level, or for individual keywords.
  • Automatic bidding: If you're new to AdWords (or if you're busy), we recommend this option. All you have to do is set a daily budget, and the AdWords system manages your bids for you, to bring you the most clicks possible within your budget.
If you are are not familiar with Google AdWords the best option is to select “Focus on clicks—use maximum CPC bids” and start with the “Manual bidding for clicks” option. The budget is a whole dollar amount with a $1 daily minimum. Keep in mind that your budget amount is for a single campaign only. If you have multiple campaigns the total daily ad spending is the sum of the spent budget across all campaigns.

Beneath the budget section is a subsection labeled Delivery method (advanced). Ad delivery determines how often your ads show throughout the day. After you set your campaign's budget, you have the option to choose one of two ad delivery methods:
  • Standard delivery (the default option) - AdWords will display ads as evenly as possible over a 24-hour period, working within the allocated budget. This 24-hour period is based on a midnight-to-midnight schedule, using the time zone selected when the account was created. This option is recommended if you want to reach your audience evenly throughout the day, rather than just in the morning.
  • Accelerated delivery – Adwords will show your ads until until you run out of budget. If your campaign is limited by budget, your ad might stop running earlier in the day.

Keyword bidding

First you have to select the right keywords (more about that in part III) and after that you have to choose how much you're willing to pay for each keyword whenever a customer searches on that keyword and clicks on your ad. This is called maximum cost-per-click, or max CPC, bid amount.
You can use different AdWords tools that will make your job a bit easier.
  • The Opportunities tab can help you identify which of your keywords seem to be good candidates for bid changes. Suggestions are for increased bids (to help capture more clicks) and decreased bids (to help lower your costs).
  • The Bid Simulator runs "what-if" scenarios such as: "How many more impressions would I have received if I had raised my bid by US$0.10?" so you can adjust your bids to the right level for your budget.
  • Enhanced CPC is a bidding feature that looks for ad auctions that are more likely to lead to sales for you, and then raises your max CPC bid up to 30 percent to compete harder for those clicks. When it sees auctions that don't look promising, it lowers your bid.
  • Conversion tracking is an advanced feature that shows you which keywords most often lead customers to take the actions you want them to take. Tracking your conversions can help you decide whether to increase your max CPC for keywords that are performing well, and decrease it for those that are underperforming.
It is a lot of different but still important things you have to know while creating and managing successful AdWords campaign. I am currently studying for AdWords Certification and I am finding the material overwhelming. Because of that i decided to spread this topic into three blog posts. In the last AdWords post I will write about choosing the right keywords for your campaign.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

5 How AdWords Platform Works - Part I

increase in sales with google AdWords
Google AdWords is auction-based advertising platform. AdWords advertising is often described as pay-per-click (PPC) or a cost-per-click (CPC) model because advertisers are not charged when ads display but only pay when someone click on ads. AdWords ads appear in the shaded box at the top of the page and on the right side of the page. Ads that appear in the highlighted box above the organic search listings are called top-ranked ads.

Google offers access to a huge advertising network with three major components:
  • Search - Google Search, Google Shopping, Google Maps, Google Images, and Google Groups.
  • Search Partners - Search sites that partner with Google (search partners), such as AOL.
  • Google Display Network (GDN) - Display Network is a collection of partner websites and specific Google websites like Google Finance, Gmail, Blogger, and YouTube. This network also includes mobile sites and apps.

Setting up AdWords Account

If you want to use Google products (AdWords is only one of them), you are required to set up a Google account. And now that you have created a Google account and are able to access to all Google products, select the button that says “I have an email address and password I already use with Google services like AdSense, Gmail, Orkut, or iGoogle.” Now, select the button that says “I’d like to use my existing Google account for AdWords” and log in with your username and password.
The new account is identified by the customer ID (CID), this is a ten-digit number formatted like a phone number, in the top right corner of the page. Occasionally a new account does not display the customer ID immediately but it should appear within 24 hours.
Once you have set up your AdWords account there are two things you won't be able to and these are the time zone and currency. However you can make other changes such as viewing it in a different language or viewing numbers in a different format, and you can also change settings ( language, country, and zip code) for all your Google products.

Access levels of AdWords account

For the same AdWords account you can create multiple logins and assign various access permissions for other users. The access levels are: 
1. Administrative access
With Administrative access you are eble to view, edit, and manage any part of the account. You can invite other users, change access levels, and disable access. 
2. Standard access and Standard (managed) access
With Standard access/Standard managed access you can view, edit, and manage any part of the account but can not invite others, change access levels, or disable access. 
3. Read only access and Read only (managed) access
With this access level you can view the Campaigns and Opportunities tabs in read-only mode, as well as view and run reports.
4. Email only access
With email only access can receive account reports and other notifications via email and nothing else. An email address cannot be associated with more than one AdWords account. If you have to access multiple accounts, create multiple Google Accounts, one for each AdWords account.

Creating you first AdWords campaign

It is a three-step process to create a campaign so it is not that hard to create your first Adwords campaign. You can set up and launch a campaign in a matter of minutes but you have to understand how the settings, keywords, bids, and creative impact performance in the auction. Think about your customers' preferences, habits, and select keywords that your customers would while searching for information related to your products or services.
  1. The wizard starts with campaign settings, including the campaign name, target location and language, and bids.
  2. Next, write an ad, select keywords and placements, and set bids.
  3. Save changes by clicking the “Save and continue to billing” button or “Set up billing later.” If you choose the latter, your campaign is saved, but ads do not run until billing information is added.

AdWords account structure

AdWords account is organized on three levels:
  • Account level - controls administrative information, such as account access and billing.
  • Campaign level - campaigns specify settings that apply to all ad groups within them.
  • Ad group level - Ad groups are found within campaigns. Ad groups contain keywords, ads, websites that ads can appear on, and bids.
How AdWords account is organized

At the end of this article i want to mention the account limits of AdWords platform:
  • 500 campaigns (paused and deleted campaigns don’t count toward this limit)
  • 20,000 ad groups per campaign
  • 5,000 keywords per ad group (including negative keywords)
  • 10,000 negative keywords at the campaign level
  • 300 display ads per ad group (including image ads)
  • 50 text ads per ad group
  • 3 million keywords per account
  • 5,000 managed placements (websites) per ad group
  • 5,000 excluded placements per campaign

Successful AdWords accounts typically include many ad groups, each focused on a single theme. In the second part I will try to explain more about campaign setting, biding, and how to use right keywords.

Monday, 11 February 2013

9 Top Ten Social Media Sites and Other Web Trends in 2012

social media trend for last yearIn the last months I've been really busy and I postponed my blog posts till now. It is already 2013 and I hope I will get back on track as soon as possible. I did lose all my notes and some content I prepare to post in here and there is nothing more frustrating than losing the important documents. I've learned the hard way to back up my files regularly.

Year 2012 is over and we can now look back and see which social media sites were the most popular and which operating system was used the most in 2012.

Top ten most popular worldwide social media sites in last year were:

  1. As expected Facebook was the most popular social media site with 65.1%
  2. StumbleUpon is in a second place with 9.41%
  3. YouTube with 8.39% is in third place.
  4. Pinterest – 6.55%
  5. Twitter – 5.58%
  6. Reddit – 3.5%
  7. Vkontakte – 0.39%
  8. LinkedIn – 0.33%
  9. NowPublic – 0.16%
  10. Digg – 0.12%

Top ten most popular browsers:

  1. IE was the most popular browser with 33.23%
  2. Chrome – 32.78%
  3. Firefox – 23.79%
  4. Safari – 7.25%
  5. Opera – 1.69%
  6. Android – 0.36%
  7. 360 Safe Browser – 0.13%
  8. Maxthon – 0.12%
  9. Sony PS3 – 0.12%
  10. Chromium – 0.08%

Top ten operating systems:

  1. Windows 7 was the most popular operating system in 2012 with 49.63%
  2. Windows XP – 30.01%
  3. Windows Vista – 8.3%
  4. Mac OS X – 7.36%
  5. iOS – 2.46%
  6. Linux – 0.84%
  7. Android – 0.43%
  8. Windows 8 – 0.35%
  9. Windows 2003 – 0.22%
  10. Playstation – 0.12% 

Top five most popular search engines in 2012:

  1. Google has an amazing percentage of users – 91.35%
  2. Bing – 3.34%
  3. Yahoo! – 3.09%
  4. Baidu – 0.38% (Baidu is the largest Chinese language search engines.)
  5. Yandex.ru – 0.36% (Yandex.ru is most popular search engine in Russia, with headquarters located in Moscow.)
  6. Ask Jeeves – 0.32%
  7. Babylon – 0,3%
  8. Conduit – 0.23%
  9. AOL – 0.19%
  10. SweetIM – 0.08%
What do you think about this statistics, a big surprise or nothing unexpected?

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

69 Search Engine Marketing

Graph that shows that web traffic is going up .
Search engine marketing or shorter SEM is a form of internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through on-site and off-site optimization and through advertising. In one sentence SEM combines both natural and paid search activities (pay-per-click advertising).
Billions of search queries have created a tremendous opportunity for advertisers, who can finally target their message based on people’s stated intentions instead of the demographics or other poor predictors of purchasing behavior they have been forced to use for decades. Even better, each time a searcher clicks one of these ads and makes a purchase, advertisers can track the result.

What is Pay Per Click advertising?
Pay-per-click (PPC) is a keyword advertising program. Ad is placed on other websites by keyword match. In PPC programs, you’re charged each time a website visitor clicks on your ad. Some pay-per-click services work with actual search rankings meanwhile others are more about text advertisements. There are also the category-specific PPC programs, such as those for keywords, products, and services.
The main goal of PPC is to drive traffic to your website but it also has numerous advantages over traditional search engine optimization:
  • You don’t need to change your current website design. You just have to bid for keywords and pay what you selected.
  • It is really easy to use and quick to implement.  You have to sign up for PPC program and that is it.
  • You don’t need any special knowledge to use PPC but the results are much better if you understand keywords and how they work.
You must test your keywords because you’re not necessarily going to get the best results with all the keywords or phrases that you choose. You can use a keyword suggestion tool when developing your keyword list. Keyword suggestion tools provide a list of suggested keywords based on a base word that you enter into the search tool. Some of the best keywords suggestion tools you can find online:
  • Trellian Keyword Discovery Tool – This tool enables you to ascertain the market share value for a given search term, see how many users search for it daily, identify common spellings and misspellings, and discover which terms are affected by seasonal trends.
  • Google AdWords Keyword Tool – This tool provides suggestions for additional words that you may not have considered.
  • Wordtracker - You can search for terms in the database of terms collected. This program tells you how often a keyword or phrase was searched for.
When you are choosing your keywords you have to be aware that the certain keywords can create issues, especially vulgar words and politically incorrect words. Words such as A, An, Where, But, When, While, The, If, Free, How and other similar words are usually ignored by search engines and are completely useless in your PPC programs.

If you’re not currently using any of the platforms and you want to try one, I recommend opening a Google AdWords account and setting up a starter campaign. I will try to explain basics of Google AdWords in upcoming blog post.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

4 Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Having a website for mobile phone devices is a must for every business. There are two reasons why company needs a mobile website.

The first reason is primarily functional. Size of mobile phone screen is not the same as the size of classic screen, and therefore classic website is not suitable for your mobile device. Even smart phones such as iPhone (which does allow you to view regular websites with mandatory zoom in / zoom out) does not help.  Mobile users are also in different situation while surfing the web. People usually sit comfortably in front of their personal computer, while mobile users are on the go. Mobile website should be designed for users that are on the move so it is necessary that they are able to use mobile phone with one hand and easily navigate through your website.

Different use of applications and features is the second reason. These services are working really well on the phones but are not suitable for classic computers. For example airline company can provide information about flights and inform their passengers about delays, changes or cancellations. Users will probably read this information while driving to the airport or waiting for the plane.

The most important thing while designing your website for mobile devices is simplicity. Try to avoid large graphics and videos and make your code compliant with XHTML standards.  You can highlight the text that is currently selected, that will tell users where their cursor is. And don’t forget to have clear and easy navigation for your mobile website.

If your website is not mobile phone friendly you can redesign it. But if you don’t want to change your website you can take into consideration the following options:
1. You can create 2 different stylesheets, one for the classic computer and one for mobile phone.
2. And the second option is to build an identical website but with a mobile version of the site layout contained in a subdomain. People visiting your site on mobile phones will be redirected to your subdomain.

Free Tools For Testing Your Mobile Website
When your site is designed you have to test it. That can be time-consuming and expensive due to the large amount of different mobile devices. But you can try out different tools and save your time and money. Here you have a list of tools for testing your website:
  • iPhoney – It is a free iPhone web simulator for designers. iPhoney is not an iPhone simulator but instead is designed for web developers who want to create 320 by 480 (or 480 by 320) websites for use with iPhone. It gives you a canvas on which to test the visual quality of your designs.
  • W3C mobileOK Checker - This checker performs various tests on a Web Page to determine its level of mobile-friendliness.
  • Gomez Mobile Readiness Test -The Gomez Mobile Readiness Test evaluates how well your website will perform on a mobile phone. Instantly get a score out of 100 based on an in-depth analysis of over 30 proven mobile web development best practices including detailed suggestions on how to fix the issues identified.
  • mobiReady - The mobiReady testing tool evaluates mobile-readiness using industry best practices and standards. The free report provides both a score (from 1 to 5) and in-depth analysis of pages to determine how well your site performs on a mobile device.
  • iPad Peek - This web-based tool allows you to see how your websites look on the iPad.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

4 Web Trends for September 2012

It is already October so we can look back and gather information about trends for last month. It is important to know which social media sites are the most popular at the moment, what the trend in browser and operating system usage is and which search engines people use the most.
Happy fingers talking - social media marketing.

Top ten most popular worldwide social media sites in September are:
1. Facebook is still the most popular social networking site with 60,83 percent.
2. Pinterest is getting more and more popular and is in second place with 10,68 percent
3. Youtube with 8,71 percent is in third place.
4. StumbleUpon - 8,5%
5. Twitter - 5,56%
6. Reddit - 4,32%
7. Vkontakte - 0,38%
8. Linkedin - 0,35%
9. NowPublic - 0.23%
10. Fark - 0.12%

Top ten most popular browsers:
1. Chrome is most widely used browser with 34,21%
2. Internet Explorer - 32,7%
3. Firefox - 22,4%
4. Safari - 7,7%
5. Opera - 1,61%
6. Android - 0,41%
7. Maxthon - 0.13%
8. Sony PS3 - 0.13%
9. Sogou Explorer - 0.12%
10. Silk - 0.09%

Top five most popular search engines in September 2012:
1. Google – 91,04%
2. Bing – 3,16%
3. Yahoo – 2,91%
4. Babylon – 0,6%
5. Baidu – 0,49%

Top five operating systems:
1. Windows 7 – 52,2%
2. Windows XP – 27,64%
3. Windows Vista – 7,58%
4. Mac OS X – 7,48%
5. iOS – 2,87%


Which browser/operating system/search engine do you prefer? How many social profiles do you have online and how did you choose what social networks were for you?

Monday, 1 October 2012

3 Measure Social Media Efforts

Social media metrics is the technical term for measuring your social media marketing efforts. If your company is involved in social media, there are some things you can and definitely should measure. The easiest and fastest way to measure your social media efforts is through Google Analytics.

What you should measure?

- How much money you are making 
Ask yourself how much revenue is coming in compared to how much was coming in before you started using social media? Social media marketing is complex, and sometimes it is almost impossible to track exactly how and why someone came to buy from you.
- Number of leads 
How many leads did you get before you implemented social media marketing, and how many leads do you get after?
- Website visits 
Use Google Analytics to measure how many people visited our website and where they came from. If you really want to monitor your web traffic, Analytics and Alexa are the tools you need to become familiar with. Alexa is known for its data collection and reporting on browsing behavior. Once installed, the Alexa toolbar collects data on browsing behavior and transmits it to the website, where it is stored and analyzed, forming the basis for the company's web traffic reporting.
- Conversion rate 
Conversion rate is the ratio of visitors who convert casual content views or website visits into desired actions based on subtle or direct requests from marketers, advertisers, and content creators. This tells you how many visitors became buyers.

Google Analytics Social Activities

The new social media tool from Google Analytics can help you to measure efforts of social media. If you want to use Google Analytics Social Reports effectively you should look and measure:    
  • Conversation rate - number of comments or replies to “Posts”. A high conversation rate shows that you are adding value to your business.
  • Amplification rate – amplification is measured by the extent to which your followers share your content through their network.    
  • Applause rate - number of “likes" per post or "favorites" clicks per tweet.
  • Economic value - sum of short and long term revenue and cost. It tells you how much money you are making.
If you don’t measure your marketing campaign’s success, how will you know what the ROI (Return on Investment) or what the CCA (Cost of Customer Acquisition) is? How will you know what you should keep doing and what you should stop doing? Social media marketing is a long-term strategy that needs to be coupled with your conventional long term marketing strategy. Social media is inordinately effective and in most cases nearly free. Keep at it and it will pay off.

 

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