In this guide, I want to take the opportunity to explain to you exactly what SEO and SEM is and how it can help you take your business to a whole new level if done correctly.
But first, some stats.
Fact #2: Google receives over 100 billion searches each month according to Mashable.
Fact #3: 61% Of all marketers, feel that improving their company or business SEO is one of their top priorities.
Fact #4: 81% Of shoppers, research a service or product online before making a purchase
Fact #5: 72% Of local customers, perform a search before they visit a store in their area.
Fact #6: Local searches can lead 50% of mobile visitors to a store in one day.
Looking at these stats, it is clearly evident, that any business whether offline or online utilising search engines is essential.
The 3 Most Popular Search Engines
Google is by far the most popular search engine, in fact, over 68% of people use Google as their primary search engine.
Google accounts for approx. over 96% of all mobile search traffic globally!
When it comes to the desktop, Google accounts for over 81% of all desktop search traffic and the rest is divided between Bing, Baidu, and Yahoo.
Yahoo used to be one of the more popular search engines in the late 90’s.
Today however, Yahoo is making little to no impact on the search market as they are only responsible for approx. 1.2% of mobile searches globally, and on desktop they are responsible for 7% of all global searches.
Bing was founded in 2009 and like Yahoo, it’s not really making an impact on the search market.
Which Search Engine Should You Put Your Time and Money Into?
I would suggest that all efforts should be aimed at increasing your company’s visibility in the worlds most popular search engine, and that would be Google.
This where you are going to get the best ROI.
Improving SEO To Help Grow Your Business in South Africa
In Part 1 of the Beginner’s Guide, I mentioned how important it is to ensure you appear on the first page of Google.
The percentage of people that actually view the second page of a Google search results is little to none, and more than two-thirds of all clicks go to the first five search results in Google.
To improve your business rankings, take a step back and find out how a search engine actually works.
If you’re a solo entrepreneur looking to take your business to a whole new level, then this part is especially for you.
How Search Engines Work
One thing to understand is that if you are searching something in Google, you aren’t searching the web, you are searching Google’s index of the web (or at least as much information as they could index).
With that said, if your business or company’s details are not in the Google’s index, then you are missing out.
Google indexes as many websites as they can, but it’s up to the owners or web masters of the company to make it easy for Google to find.
Google is able to find this information and display it on the web through the use of “Google spiders”.
Spiders are bots designed by Google whose sole purpose is to crawl the web and index the information they can find.
In return, when you search for example, “How high is Mount Everest?”, Google then goes into its index and finds every page that includes those keywords.
In this case, there would be over a thousand different results, so, how does Google decide which pages to show first?
They do that by asking over 200 different questions like:
- How many times does the page contain the specific keywords?
- Do the keywords appear in the title, header tags, and URL?
- Does the page include synonyms for those words?
- Is the page from a quality website or is it low quality?
- Does the page look spammy?
- What’s the page’s page rank?
- Does this page have any links pointing to it?
These are just some of the questions Google needs to ask itself before compiling all the information and determining each page’s overall score.
The amazing thing, is that this all happens in half a second after you submit your search!
To make your page appear on the first page of Google, you need to ensure that you take all these questions into consideration each time you publish a page or create a website.
And this is where Search Engine Optimisation comes in.
Now that you have an idea of how search engines work, let’s look at the two main ways to optimise your page or website for search engines.
On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO, What Is The Difference?
On-page SEO is basically what the title suggests.
It’s optimizing the page you want to rank for and improving key elements on the page that is connected to Google’s ranking factors.
This would include the headline of the page, page structure, content, etc.
These are Google ranking factors that aren’t necessarily under your control. For example, the total amount of social media mentions, websites linking to your site, the authority of your site and more.
The Most Important Factors Of On-Page SEO
Your website structure, in my opinion, is definitely one of the most essential ranking factors.
If it’s not designed and correctly, Google won’t be able to access your content.
You might have all the necessary information on your site to help customers understand your services and products, but if your website is not designed to allow Google’s spiders to crawl your content, then your website might as well not exist.
If you are like me, then you are probably not a web developer, and this can get overly technological, however, bear with me, as I will try and make this as simple as possible.
In a nutshell, the more your website is accessible to Google, the better you will rank.
1.1. It’s All about the user experience (UX), so make sure to put the user first
1.1.1 SEARCH AND BROWSING YOUR WEBSITE
Google is always trying to find ways to benefit its users, and if your website is not designed in a fashion where someone has a great UX when they are visiting your site, then sooner or later that will come back to haunt you.
The first order of business is to ensure that your website is easy to understand a.k.a user-friendly.
Make sure people can easily find the content they came for.
One of my favourite things to do is to ensure that the search bar is prominent on the webpage ,thus you can use the search bar to find what you are looking for.
1.1.2 KEEP YOUR SITE SIMPLE
Research has shown that if a website page is filled with banners, different colors, pop ups, and menus, people end up leaving it within seconds.
Why? Because they are overwhelmed with what is happening on the page.
Think about it like this, liken it to going shopping for a printer. What’s the first thing you do when you get to the shop?
You look for a capable professional to help you. You do this because, if it were up to you to browse through all the printers and pick the best one suited to your needs, and most likely end up being overwhelmed and buy the wrong one.
The same rules apply to your website, you need to ensure that your website is not overwhelming. It needs to be user friendly and efficient.
1.1.3 ENSURE YOUR SITE IS MOBILE FRIENDLY
With more and more people using their smartphones to browse the web, it’s essential that you ensure you cater for them.
Google has also released a few major press statements confirming that they are planning on improving the user experience on mobile.
Improving user experience is one of the major driving forces behind the project “Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)”.
Search Engine Land has confirmed that nearly 60% of all searches are now happening on mobile devices.
Here is a breakdown of the what percentage of users that are searching on mobile devices
- Food and Beverage = 72%
- Health = 68%
- Sports = 68%
- News and Media = 64%
- Lifestyle = 62%
- Automotive = 62%
There are different ways to check if your website is mobile friendly, but my favourite is Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.
You can add your website URL in the available field and see what Google has to say about your website.
Make sure to send the report to your developer if you see that it’s not a 100%, as I can guarantee that it’s affecting your rankings.
1.2. Make It Easy For Google To Crawl
Like I mentioned before, the better “the spiders” can crawl and index your website, the better it can report back to Google.
A sitemap is a simple way of allowing search engines to understand your site structure.
See it as a roadmap to where you have saved the most important content you want users to find when they are searching the internet.
If you have a developer, make sure to confirm with him or her that they have uploaded a sitemap to Google and other search engines.
1.3. Speed Matters
When was the last time you stuck around longer than 10 seconds to wait for a web page to load?
The chances are you can’t remember. It’s a fact that we have less patience in a world where everything is instant.
On average, if a web page loads longer than 5 seconds, visitors start getting annoyed.
The sad thing is, it’s not only the visitors that get annoyed, but it’s also Google’s spiders that need to crawl your website.
A website loads slowly due to clutter in the code, high-res images, and unnecessary scripts.
With that in mind, the spiders struggle to crawl through all the clutter and eventually leaves before getting to the most relevant content.
A fast loading web page increases the experience of the user and allows the spiders to get to its core content which can then assist Google in indexing your website.
I usually use Google’s Speed Test Tool to ensure that my website is on par.
Like the Mobile Friendly Test, just add your URL in the field and see what Google has to say.
If you aren’t happy with the results, make sure to pass it on to your developer to look at, as there is no doubt that it’s affecting your SEO.
1.4. Keywords and URLS
I’m sure you know what a URL is, but even if you don’t, it’s the link you want visitors to click on to visit the specific web page you want them to see.
Keywords play a significant role in SEO, especially when it comes to the URL. They can help Google identify what the link is all about without having to crawl it.
Often I browse a site and and have a look at its URL, and most of the time the URL is something like, www.domainname.co.za/2016/09/12/store/products/77654
If you were a Google spider, what would you think this link is all about?
We see it as a store selling product, but looks are deceiving.
What if it were something like this, www.domainname.co.za/store/shoes/nike/nike-tanjun-running-shoe
Without even having to think about it for too long, we can immediately see that this company is selling shoes, and the page they want us to view is a Nike Tanjun Running Shoe.
The keywords here are the category name which in this case is “shoes”, the brand name which is “Nike” and the shoe name which is “Tanjun Running Shoe”.
This is easy to understand, not only for the user but also for the Google spider crawling your website.
Make sure to have a look at your website’s link structure, if it’s not similar to what I’ve indicated above, then make sure to ask your developer to look into it.
CONTENT AND HTML
Now that you have the basic website structure under control, it’s time to make a move on the content.
It’s difficult to differentiate the importance of one component over the other. In my experience content is the main entity that gets indexed and without it nothing will be crawled.
I believe it’s structure first, and then content.
Back in 1996, Bill Gates said that “content is king”. And he was right.
Think about it like this:
Google is all about the user experience. To keep its users happy, it needs to give them what they are searching for.
If they can do that by showing the most relevant content related to the users question first, the higher the chances of the user using Google again next time.
This is where the quality of your content comes in.
As a local business or e-commerce store, you need to ensure your pages provide value to its visitors.
What do I mean by this? Well, if someone is visiting a page on your website, the chances are he or she is looking for something.
In most cases, it might be a product or more info related to your services. This is your opportunity to provide value.
2.1.1 HOW TO ADD MORE VALUE?
One simple way to do this is to visit your competitor’s website. What are they offering that adds value to the visitor/potential customer?
- Do they explain the product or service in-depth which helps convince the user to make a purchase?
- Do they provide extra tips and tricks on how to use the product or service to get the best bang for buck?
- Maybe they already address all the question the visitor might have of the product before the visitor even thought of it.
If they are not doing this, ask yourself, why aren’t you doing it? This is your chance to go the extra mile and add more value. I have no doubt that it’s going to help not only increase conversions, but also boost your SEO.
Keywords are not such a big ranking factor as it used to be. However, it’s still important.
A keyword is a specific term you want to rank for when people are searching the internet.
If you are selling shoes, then your keyword would be “shoes.”
However, due to the competitiveness of the online world, long-tail keywords are becoming more popular.
Long-tail keywords are keywords that are more specific.
If you mainly stock Nike shoes, and you know people love the Tanjun Running Shoe, then your long-tail keyword would be “Men’s Nike Tanjun Running Shoe.”
This helps target more specific customers and can help increase conversions rates as well as overall SEO.
2.3 Bringing content and keywords together
You can rank for as many keywords as you want, but you will have to ensure you have the necessary content to support the keywords you want to rank for.
You can’t expect to rank for “Men’s Nike Tanjun Running Shoe” if you don’t have a page showcasing the shoe or actually stock it.
Another example is, if you want to rank for “Best Hairdresser in Bedfordview,” you need to ensure that your website and content supports that.
- Do you have a web page explaining why you are the best?
- Do you have a page with customers testimonials proving why you are the best?
No? Then how are you planning on convincing customers and Google that you are the best?
The better your content can support your keywords, the better you will rank in Google, the more you will outrank competitors and the more new business you will be driving your way.
This concludes the basics of on-page SEO. By no means are these the only factors involved in improving your SEO.
But by ensuring you have these basics covered, I can guarantee that you would start to see a growth in organic traffic in a few months.
The 3 Most Important Factors of Off-Page SEO
In the beginning of the article I’ve roughly mentioned what off-page SEO is all about, now let’s dig into how it affects your SEO.
This is actually simple but think about it like this. Where do you take your car for a service whenever it’s time for a fix-up?
The chances are, the car dealer you bought the car from, or alternatively, someone you trust.
The same goes with ranking higher in Google. Google will rank the page it trusts higher than the page it doesn’t.
1. How do you improve Google’s trust
Google likes websites with authority, and if your website has a low authority score, the chances are Google doesn’t trust it too much.
Two factors that determine your overall authority
1.1.1 Domain Authority – How popular your domain is, and how well-known it is in its space.
1.1.2 Page Authority – Which has got to do with the credibility of a single page.
If you want to view your website’s domain authority, have a look at this link.
Usually, a new domain has a score of 0 out of a 100. The majority of websites on the web has a domain authority score of 0-20.
Anything higher than 20 tells Google that your domain can be trusted, then it’s just a matter of how much.
Websites with an authority score of 100 out of 100 are usually companies like Facebook, Google, Youtube, etc. These are the most popular and trusted pages on the web.
Most universities and governmental websites usually have an authority score of 70 to 80 out of a 100.
You can always use that link to see what your competitor’s authority scores are. That will give you an indication if they are trusted more than you by Google.
Factors that can Affect Your Domain Authority
Bounce Rate – A bounce rate is someone that visited one page, and not another. This tells Google that the website was not as impressive or interesting and caused the user to leave after only one visit.
Now you can start to see how user experience plays a role in bounce rate. And that eventually plays a role in domain authority.
Domain Age – It’s sad, but if your website is new, you will, unfortunately, have to start at the bottom like all the others.
Links – Links can play a significant role in your domain authority. If high authority websites are linking back to you and if you are linking out to authoritative websites then the chances are your own domain authority will increase.
Think about it like this, who would you rather take a restaurant recommendation from? Your best friend, or a stranger?
Google works in the same fashion. If a high authoritative website links out to you, it’s telling Google that this website can be trusted.
The more people you have following you on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., the more it can help benefit your SEO.
The two main factors that play a role here are:
The Number of Shares – This is the total amount of shares a page or website receives.
If your Men’s Nike Tanjun Running Shoe page has received over 500 shares, it tells Google that this page is popular and people enjoy its content.
That’s in a nutshell how a number of shares can play a role in off-page search engine optimization.
The Quality of Shares – I’ve talked about getting high authoritative backlinks from other websites, well, this is similar to that but just related to social shares.
Even though the number of shares plays a role, the quality of those shares is even more important.
Here are two easy ways to get more people to share your content
- Have a look at sponsoring key influencers in your industry
- Produce quality content that adds value to customers
Maybe you are not aware, but if you visit a website frequently, the chances are whenever you are searching something relevant to the company or business, the higher its pages will rank in your search results.
Google’s algorithms are intelligent enough to know when you are visiting a website frequently. If you are visiting it often, it must mean it offers some value to you.
With that in mind, if the search term you are searching for falls in line with the companies organic keywords, Google would allow it to appear higher in your search results.
There is no way of forcing people to visit your website often, but by producing quality content and offering them a ton of value, I can guarantee you they will be coming back soon or later.
Please keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to improving your business and website’s SEO.
By ensuring you keep what is mentioned in this guide into account, and making some necessary changes, I do not doubt that you will start to draw more organic traffic within a few months.
I hope this guide has opened your eyes as a sole entrepreneur or business owner.
At the end of the day, you don’t need the skills to improve your SEO, you just need to understand the basics and know what to look out for.
At least now you know as a CEO, marketing director or business owner what to ask your marketing team or developer and what to do about it if your SEO is not on par.
10 Online Marketers To Watch In 2018
The more diverse your sources of news and inspiration, the better. These ten people can help get you there.
Online marketing requires experience, creativity and a working knowledge of the latest trends and technologies necessary to stay competitive in the modern landscape. And while there aren’t any shortcuts to gain more experience, there is a convenient way to stay up to date on the latest marketing trends and get inspiration for your creative campaigns.
That way? Following and paying attention to the best, smartest marketers in the industry.
With 2018 just getting started, I wanted to list some of my favourite marketing influencers, some of the most influential experts in the industry and some of the most promising creative minds to pay attention to this year:
The Best Conversion Rate Optimisation Tips To Help You Grow Your Business
Whether you’re the owner of a company, or an online blogger, knowing conversion rate optimisation techniques will help you immensely.
Conversion rate optimisation, otherwise known as CRO, is a 21st-century way to turn visitors to your website or blog into followers of your information or customers of your product or service.
Therefore, whether you’re the owner of a company, or an online blogger, knowing conversion rate optimisation techniques will help you immensely.
What Is Conversion Rate Optimisation or CRO?
Internet marketing, or what some people call online marketing, is promoting your product or service on the Internet through the digital channels available. Driving traffic is to your website or blog is hard, but it’s something you need to do in order to sell your product or service, so the last thing you want is to leave money on the table.
Traditionally, from the traffic you drive to your blog or website, a percentage of that traffic will become your customers or followers.
CRO is conversion optimisation strategies that puts a focus on your blog or website to determine what small or big changes need to be made to convert as many of your visitors as possible.
It’s the classic case of not working harder, but smarter.
Changes such as a new headline, new sales copy, a different coloured CTA (Call-to-Action) button, and more, are tested for effectiveness. This helps you take out all the guesswork and make changes that are proven to convert more sales.
Techniques such as A/B testing, where you create two different landing pages and send the same amount of traffic to each, is one example.
At the end of the day, the version that receives the most conversion is the one you would choose. A site with significant traffic may successfully test over a shorter time. On the other hand, in order to get accurate data, a site with a smaller amount of traffic will likely need more time than a larger one for testing.
What Happens When You Convert More Visitors Into Customers?
It’s a no brainer, when you convert visitors into clients and customers, your sales increase, and that’s the number one goal of any company or business. CRO can help you grow your business by receiving the same amount of traffic that you’re currently receiving.
Technically that means that you can make more sales without having to spend more money on marketing.
That also means that you’re not focused on the number of traffic you pull in with a mind on percentages, but rather focused on making the most of the traffic you currently have which makes the most of your marketing efforts.
Not Utilising CRO Means You Are Leaving Money on The Table
Let’s say you’re a small company with a goal of R50,000 a month in revenue. Your job is to turn a percentage of your visitors into customers. Without the correct conversion rate optimisation strategies, you’re looking strictly at numbers. You find that 1,000 visitors turn into 50 customers with a revenue of R20,000, which is R30,000 away from your goal.
Without the correct CRO strategies in place, you would work to increase the number of visitors to your site. However, with CRO, you implement e-commerce CRO tips that result in those 1,000 visitors turning into 125 customers. That brings you to your R50,000 goal. Without performing conversion rate optimisation, you’ve left R30,000 on the table.
Now that you’ve reduced your cost per acquisition, or what you pay per sale or click or form submit, you can either invest more in advertising or just bank the profits. Now that you understand what conversion rate optimisation is all about, let’s have a look at some of the best strategies that can help you take your business to a whole new level.
20 Of The Best CRO Strategies
You can spend loads of money on a fancy website or blog, but if it isn’t converting correctly, you’re losing customers and sales. That’s why conversion rate optimisation is becoming the number one priority with websites and blogs in the 21st-century.
1. Create an Effective Headline
If you are trying to convert visitors into followers or customers from a specific post, then your headline is one of the most important elements. It’s not there for a hard sell; it’s there to draw your potential customers to your site so that they’ll check out your product or service.
Your headline must show people what benefit they will receive from using what you have to offer.
Keep changing up those headlines till you find a strategy that works.
2. Reduce Huge Blocks of Text with Bullet Points
The way you present the content on your website is crucial. Give a potential customer too much information, and they’ll leave your site with eyes glazed over. Any material you present should be not only easy to understand but short and to the point. One of the best ways to do that is with bullet points.
Bullet points create an organised presentation that keeps potential customers interested.
3. Include Your Contact Information
Significant changes can be done to your website or blog to increase conversions, but so can small ones. Include your contact information on your site or blog. This shows that you’re accountable and don’t mind being contacted, which can lead to customer trust and eventually sales. Include your phone number, email address, and even your mailing address.
4. Replace Phony Stock Photos
You know what a phony stock photo looks like. It’s the kind that you purchase from stock photo sites, and they’re the kind that you often see at more than one website. These types of photos look phony, and they reduce your credibility. Replace fake-looking stock photos with professional, unique photos or good quality photos that you’ve taken.
For example, instead of using a stock photo model with a cheesy grin, use a picture of one of your employees.
5. Use a Pop-Up Form
One effective way to convert visitors into followers and subscribers is a pop-up form. When visitors come to your side, a form pops up that encourages them to leave their name and email address, or just their email address, to become a subscriber. When you have a list of subscribers, you can then turn them into customers through newsletters, emails, etc.
6. Eliminate Unneeded Form Fields
A website or blog that is not user-friendly when it comes to form fields may not translate to customer conversion. A form field is where your customers type in their information. What is the bare minimum of customer information that you need? You ask for the name, but do you also need the company name, for example, or can you do without having a customer type that in?
7. Remove Automatic Image Sliders
Images that flash before your eyes automatically may look attractive, but automatic image sliders have been proven to create banner blindness and therefore, reduce conversion. Use static images instead.
8. Include Videos
Videos have proven to be effective in drawing visitors and turning them into customers. If your site sells fishing products, for example, include a video of an expert fisherman using one of your fishing poles. Make sure the video is no more than two to three minutes long and be sure to put one on your landing page.
9. Make Your Call-To-Action Button Pop
Here is another strategy that seems small but that may prove to be very effective. Alter your call-to-action or CTA button. For example, is it more efficient for your button to say “Download Now” rather than “Buy Now”? Is it better for your CTA button to be a bright red rather than a navy blue? By testing changes to your call-to-action button, you can determine if such a change will be effective.
10. Limit Your Call-To-Actions
If you have one call-to-action button on your website, that’s a wise choice. Too many call-to-actions can confuse potential customers and turn them off from your site. Put your focus on one effective call-to-action.
11. Have You Included the Word “Free”?
If there’s one thing that people love, it’s free stuff. What can you offer potential customers that are free?
For example, let’s say you sell psychic readings. Offer your potential clients a 10-minute free reading and display the offer prominently on the front page of your site. Chances are you’ll get a lot of conversions for your niche. Once you’ve drawn in customers with the free deal, you can better bring them to your paid services.
12. Match Your Landing Page to Your Ad
When your ad matches your landing page, the colour co-ordination and organisation can translate to conversions. In addition to the colour, the copy you use on your ad should match, in some way, with your landing page. So, when you draw potential customers to your ad, you gently move them to your landing page with no sharp differences.
13. Incorporate Trust Seals on Your Checkout Page
If there’s one thing that draws customers to a product or service, it’s trust. Incorporating trust seals on your checkout page and other places on your website is an excellent way to show that you are legitimate and to increase conversions.
For example, if you are offering dental products, a seal from a trusted dental association helps with customer trust.
14. Convey a Sense of Urgency
When you are promoting a product or service letting your potential customers know that a particular price will end soon, or that a product or service will only be offered for a limited, time greatly helps with conversion.
For example, let’s say yours is a site that sells cookware and you’re providing a crock-pot at a temporarily discounted price.
You would display on your blog or website a photo of the crock pot, along with content and possibly a video, and you would show the price and when the price ends.
15. Give Them a Money-Back Guarantee
There will always be a percentage of customers who are on the fence about your product or service. So how do you get them over that hump and create a conversion? One way is to offer a money-back guarantee and to display it where it can be seen.
Keep in mind that it’s good to put a time limit on the money-back guarantee to something like 30 days or 60 days.
16. Include Live Chats
Many companies are adding live chat prominently on their websites to answer customer’s questions in real-time. This is an effective solution that can lead to conversions. It allows you to take care of all a client’s issues to lead them into a sale. Many companies utilise chat apps to help with this process.
17. Retarget Your Ads
There are large and small changes that can be made to your website to increase conversions, but changes to the way you’re handling your ads could be done as well. Retargeting customers, can help increase conversions period.
When visitors come to your site, you create a customised targeted ad to get to them as soon as they leave.
If a visitor has come to your cosmetic store looking for an eye shadow, when they leave your site you target them with an ad for a different eye shadow in your line. The goal is to keep a visitor engaged with your product or service while staying top of mind.
18. Give Them Free Shipping
Shipping costs for a product can often make or break a sale. So, if there’s one thing that can contribute to conversion, it’s free shipping. Let your customers know that shipping is not a cost that they have to concern themselves with.
If free shipping seems unaffordable for your company, work with ways to cover shipping costs with your product prices.
19. Include Real Testimonials With Photos
One of the best ways to instill confidence in your product or service is with real testimonials. Have customers write testimonials of 50 to 100 words about your product or service and include a photo of the customers next to their testimonials. Include their full name with their picture.
20. Get Customers to Share Their Purchases on Social Media
These days, almost all of your clients are likely to be on at least one social media site. Encourage them to share the purchases they’ve made of your products on social media, such as Instagram.
Every time a customer buys one of your products or your services, automatically give them an opportunity to share and talk about what they’ve bought with a user-friendly share process included on your site.
The sooner you work on conversion rate optimisation tips on your blog or website, the sooner you’ll be bringing in customers in the most efficient way.
Customers translate to profits and profits translate to a successful company or business. CRO takes time, but with patience, your website or blog will see vast improvement in conversions.
Implementing 2 Advanced Google AdWords Strategies
Find out how Dynamic Search Ads and Call-Only Campaigns can give you that competitive edge you need on Google AdWords.
Let’s explore two advanced Google AdWords campaign types: Dynamic Search Ads and Call-Only campaigns. Give these two campaign types a try. They’ll let you squeeze even more from your AdWords account.
Dynamic search ads (DSAS)
Dynamic search ads are magical keys to reaching your customers. And the best part? Using them is easy once you master the setup.
What Are DSAs?
Google knows it’s hard to keep your campaigns perfectly in sync with your website. If you have an e-commerce site with thousands of products changing regularly, it’s a chore to be constantly creating new keywords, new ad groups and new ads inside your AdWords account.
DSAs were created to fill this gap. They let you show ads to excellent prospects who might be searching for items you sell on your site even if you don’t have a corresponding keyword for them in your account.
Why should you set up a DSA?
As long as you set a low cost-per-click, dynamic search ads typically have a decent CPA and provide additional relevant traffic. They’re also great for research as you get to uncover new search terms that people are using to find your site. (You can use this intelligence after the fact to add new keywords to your account.)
Let’s say you’ve just started selling wrought-iron fire pits on your e-commerce site but you don’t have the keywords for them yet in your AdWords account. A new prospect – we’ll call her Kim – is currently online searching for this by name. Kim types it in verbatim: “wrought iron fire pits.”
If you have a DSA campaign set up, you’re in luck: Google instantly recognises that you sell these but don’t yet have keywords for the purpose. Thankfully, you don’t miss a beat with Kim – Google shows her your Dynamic ad, then she clicks, comes to your website and makes a purchase.
How do they work?
It starts with Google regularly scanning your website and keeping an index of all its pages. When you’re starting out, you can choose to point Google to your entire site – we recommend this for your first DSA campaign – although later on you can target specific categories within your site.
Google knows what keywords are in your account and, more importantly, what keywords are not there. This means they can make accurate judgments about when to step in and show your DSA ads.
When setting up DSAs, Google creates the headline and you write the description. They choose the final URL and you set the bid.
Here’s how to set up a DSA:
- Create a new campaign. One of the options you’ll see is to create a DSA campaign. We suggest not using that as it would limit your options further along. Instead, create a new Search campaign with “all features.” Your plan will be to only use DSAs inside that campaign.
- You’ll need at least one ad group to hold your DSAs, and one is typically enough if you’re just starting out.
- You still want to be split-testing, even though Google chooses your headline for you. So, create two different DSA ads with different body copy in each.
- Choose the target. Start with the “all webpages” default. Save the advanced targeting for later.
- Add in ad extensions just as you would for a regular campaign.
Ongoing management of your DSA
Review your data. Keep an eye on the search queries Google chooses, particularly in the first few days. This lets you add any new negative keywords that you don’t want your ads shown for. And it’s a good way to identify and add new keywords you hadn’t yet thought of for other functioning campaigns. (You can add these new keywords as negatives in your DSA campaign, which forces that keyword traffic over to new campaigns in your account. Your DSA campaigns won’t be affected.)
These allow you to create search ads where Google shows your phone number rather than a headline. As such, they only show on mobile devices capable of making calls.
A person clicks on your ad, which starts the process of calling your business directly from their mobile, rather than taking them to your site.
Why use call-only?
Call-only campaigns force people to call your phone number rather than visit your site. If generating more phone calls is high priority for your business, call-only campaigns are worth testing.
How to set up call-only campaigns
Setup is simple. You can create a new campaign from scratch or just copy your existing search campaigns and change the ad type. Replace regular ads with call-only ads.
Tip: Google wants to see individual ad groups with a reasonable number of impressions at the ad group level. So a small number of ad groups with more keywords in each one – generating more impressions per ad group – will work better for call-only campaigns.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com
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