Shimmer PPC management services and pricing.

Better PPC Management Service & PPC Management Pricing for 2014

Full Service PPC Management Services

At Shimmer, we have updated our PPC management services and PPC pricing for 2014. We provide full service PPC solutions for Google AdWords, Bing Ads and LinkedIn pay-per-click campaigns.

  • All of our PPC management services include landing page optimization as part of the basic service; there is no up-charge or adder for optimizing your first two landing pages.
  • No Long-Term Commitments: All Shimmer managed PPC campaigns are a “month to month” service that may be canceled at any time. We prefer to earn your repeat business the old fashioned way… quality work and superior results.
  • Improved Return-On-Investment: Shimmer’s monthly management services provide much more than just maintenance. We continually analyze, update and grow your PPC campaigns to achieve more hits, quality traffic, higher conversions and better ROI for your online marketing projects.
  • Nationally Ranked, Front Page and Trusted: Shimmer proudly moves forward into 2014 with a top 10 rank by TopPPCs.com, a first page Google placement for the keywords “AdWords Management Company” and an “A” rating by the Better Business Bureau.

Affordable PPC Management Fees

Some of our top competitors are charging $3,000 – $10,000 for their initial campaign analysis and setup, and up to 20% of your monthly ad budget for their monthly management fees. We fail to see how your pay-per-click ROI can be anything more than dismal with those kinds of setup and management costs.

At Shimmer, we offer very competitive rates and focus only on improving our clients bottom line — in return, our clients continue to retain Shimmer for services which improves our bottom line. It’s a simple strategy… provide quality service at affordable rates, gain and retain more paying clients — Voila! Everybody wins.

View our PPC fees for 2014

Improving AdWords PPC Performance with Negative Keywords

The goal of any AdWords PPC (pay-per-click) advertising campaign is to attract as much highly targeted web traffic to your site as possible, and to convert that traffic into buyers. The prospects you’re looking for are people who are using Google’s search engine to search for the same products or services you are offering. To do this, you need to identify the most profitable keywords for your niche around which to build your AdWords PPC ads, but also to eliminate keywords that will never deliver.

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Understanding How Negative Keywords Can Help Your AdWords PPC Campaigns

Blocking negative keywords in AdWordsAchieving the maximum possible return on your AdWords PPC campaign investment should be your ultimate goal. In other words, you need to find those keywords that will generate not only the highest number of click-throughs but also the highest conversion rates. Identifying and removing keywords that will generate click-throughs that will never deliver is just as important to maximize the cost-effectiveness of your campaign. And the way to do this is through negative keywords.

Negative keywords allow you to make sure that your ads aren’t served if certain keywords are used. For example, if you are a plumber in Trenton and are using Google AdWords to attract clients, you don’t want to display your ads to people searching for plumbers in Los Angeles or plumbing jobs. In the first case, even if the searcher is looking for a service you offer that person won’t convert due to geography. In the second situation, the person is not in your target market as they are seeking a plumbing job. However, each of those ads will cost you money if clicked upon.

Managing AdWords PPC campaigns effectively involves constantly expanding and refining your keyword lists to ensure maximum relevance so that you get the best possible returns. Negative keywords are a great way to refine your lists and maximize your return on investment by ensuring your ads aren’t served to irrelevant queries.

Negative keywords can help the click-through rate on your AdWords PPC campaigns by making sure your ads are exposed to fewer uninterested parties. This will result in a higher percentage of people clicking on your ads, and since a higher percentage of these visitors are targeted, you’ll also see a higher conversion rate. And, of course, this will also save you money since fewer of your click-throughs will come from irrelevant searchers, which will also lead to higher Quality Scores and lower overall costs.

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Building a Negative Keyword List for Your AdWords PPC Campaign

Creating a negative keyword list for AdWords.A comprehensive negative keyword list can save you a lot of money, but many people don’t spend enough time generating this list. The first place to look for negative keywords is in your own search query report. Download the report and look at the search phrases triggering your ads. Determine which ones are irrelevant and add them to your list.

You can also use existing negative keywords lists generated by other people. Some lists are designed to eliminate terms most people don’t want their ads showing up for, while other are designed to exclude specific classes of searchers, such as job seekers or people who just want more information. Just run an online search, and you’ll find plenty of these lists.

Other good sources to help you brainstorm negative keywords for your AdWords PPC campaigns include:

  • Geography lists – if your service is limited to a particular area, even if you’ve geo-targeted your ads, it’s still a good way to limit irrelevant click-throughs;
  • Movie, music and book lists – there are so many movie, book, and music titles that could contain terms that seem relevant at first that you want to ensure your ads don’t get served up if someone is looking for the movie Bridesmaids when you sell Bridesmaids dresses;
  • Wikipedia lists – you can find many lists in Wikipedia on practically every topic, which will give you even more ideas of what keywords to weed out.

Besides these sources, remember to use common sense. If you offer furniture moving services, for example, you want to eliminate people looking for home staging services, interior decorators, and any other terms that could apply to your industry but are irrelevant in terms of what you offer.

Negative keywords might not seem that important to your PPC campaign at first, but you will soon discover their value. Consider that you might be paying $3 per click. If you’re getting just five bad clicks a day–people will usually click on anything, even if it makes no sense—that’s $15 per day, and $450 per month. And it’s often a lot more than that. So, instead of throwing money out the window, build a comprehensive list of negative keywords for all your AdWords PPC campaigns so you can maximize your ROI.

Will SEO Actually Work In 2014, Or Is All Hope Lost?

The short answer: Of course SEO will work in 2014 — better than you think.

The long answer: Yes, SEO will work in 2014…
Consider This: 60% of our business here at Shimmer is derived from AdWords PPC Management. Most of our PPC leads come from Google, but here is the kicker — we haven’t run a single paid Google ad for our PPC services in 4 months!! (How’s that for ironic?) That’s right, the bulk of our traffic (sales leads) comes from being on the first page of the organic search results [ for our particular keywords ]. A quick Google search for the phrase “AdWords Management Company” will offer a bit of proof. Same goes for searches on Bing, Yahoo and Duck-Duck-Go. BTW, the balance of our leads come from social media channels and business referrals.

So, maybe you’re thinking Shimmer is a big player in the SEO industry with tons of high-quality backlinks and a zillion social media followers that are constantly retweeting and posting our awesomeness? Nope. In fact, our Twitter followers are fewer than 1200 (as of today) and we have exactly 38 likes on Facebook.


How We Do SEO

What’s our SEO secret? First, we never anticipate, worry, panic or freak-out about Google algorithm updates. Google makes some 200-300 updates a year, that’s way too much stress to put on our plate. Second, we realize that SEO has become a somewhat dated term — we use SEO as a broad term that encompasses far more than keywords and meta tags. Lastly, we follow a simple SEO strategy: Quality + Depth + Persistence = SEO Success. I’ll break each of these down in detail:

[list icon=”plus-sign”][list_item] QUALITY: Typically, the word “content” will follow the word “quality” in any given SEO discussion. Unfortunately, this is where it usually stops for most guys and gals, and that is a very big mistake! Obviously, quality content is paramount to internet success, but you already know that so I won’t rehash what’s been stated countless times before.

When we talk about quality SEO at Shimmer, we mean quality across the board: Quality website code, quality page titles, quality headers, quality meta descriptions, quality link structure, and, of course, quality content. Everything about your website needs to ooze quality — Is it mobile friendly? How much content is placed below the fold? Is the content informative, yet easy to digest? Is every page easily accessible? Forms? Calls-To Action? Navigation? And so on.

The bigger picture here is providing a website that meets the needs of your target audience. Not just their product or service needs, but there information needs, their accessibility needs, and their convenience needs. Attention to these details signal to the search engines that your site provides significant value to their users as well as yours.
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[list_item]DEPTH: Here, at the end of 2013 and moving into 2014, SEO depth is a biggie. By depth, I mean reach and saturation. Anyone still hanging on to the hope that a website with quality SEO is enough to make the front page of Google will be sorely disappointed. Your quality SEO strategies need to stretch well beyond your site and deep into the interwebs. You need to apply quality SEO to branded social media channels, online videos, blogs, white papers, PDFs, press releases, emails, newsletters, images, etc. In short, you need to always have a “Quality SEO” mentality, and you need to apply it to multiple internet channels.

Yes, SEO can be complex and time consuming, but the payoff can range from huge to ginormous!
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[list_item]PERSISTENCE: Never, ever stop applying quality SEO to your online campaigns. This is not a one-and-done effort. Things change, algorithms happen, and new opportunities always present themselves. Your SEO efforts need to remain consistent and they need to stay relevant. Follow SEO news blogs, pay attention to Google updates, always be informed and always apply your new knowledge to your SEO strategies.
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Quality SEO… and then some!

If there is one thing you should take away from this article, please let it be this:
While SEO can seem a bit overwhelming, a high rank in the search results does not require a huge team procuring copious backlinks for your site, nor does it require big, big bucks for overrated content marketing strategists. To get right with Google, your business needs to have a quality, deep and persistent SEO strategy. There’s no SEO secret, there’s only a willingness to succeed.

Small Business SEO Services and Internet Marketing

Professional, Affordable SEO and Internet Marketing for Small Biz Websites

Internet marketing can often be overwhelming for small businesses, especially when it comes to search optimization. At Shimmer, we take great care in educating our small business SEO clients and providing only the professional services that best suit their needs. We do this without all the costs, double-talk and algorithm heavy jargon currently spewed by our competition.

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Where Does Your Business Website Rank?

  • Does your website rank on the first page of Google for its related keywords?
  • Does your website rank higher than your competitors for the same keyword searches?

If you answered NO to either of these two questions, we can change that. How: We’ve been providing professional SEO services for small business for over a decade. We know how to improve your small biz search results, we do it ethically, and we do it better.

[button size=”medium” text=”National SEO Services” link=”http://www.getshimmer.com/services/seo-services/” window=”false” color=”#000000″ text_color=”#FFFFFF” fullwidth=”false”]National SEO[/button]  [button size=”medium” text=”Local SEO Services” link=”http://www.getshimmer.com/services/seo-services/local-seo-cleveland/” window=”false” color=”#000000″ text_color=”#FFFFFF” fullwidth=”false”]Local SEO[/button]

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 Modern SEO: Best Practices For 2013

[divider style=”medium”]Understanding how Google and other search engines rank websites is not for the faint of heart, to say the least. The most important thing to know is that Google continually changes and updates the way it evaluates and ranks a web page. This is to ensure that their users are always getting the best possible service, as well as keeping their search engine free of spammy techniques used to manipulate the search results.

For this reason, it’s easy to understand the importance of trusting your small business SEO to only a modern, ethical and professional SEO agency. Read our blog post HOW DO I RANK BETTER IN GOOGLE? for SEO guidelines and best practices in 2013.

National and Local SEO services by Shimmer.

Modern SEO Best Practices | 2013: How Do I Rank Better In Google?

When it comes to SEO, so much has changed in just the last couple of years that many folks really don’t know what the best practices are for improving a website’s placement in the search engine results pages. From my perspective, this a great thing — not because more than a handful (read… zillions) of people are confused about SEO, but because fewer people are able to easily manipulate the search results (with less-than-ethical tricks and tactics).

Over the years I’ve seen so many good folks, small biz owners, and corporate marketing execs get burned by the allure of a 1st page presence — and by the quick dollar vultures that feed on them — that I’m ecstatic that Google and others are going to great lengths to eradicate easy and shady manipulation of search results. If there is one thing that I am sure of, it is that those complaining the most that “Google Is Killing SEO” or “SEO Is Dead” are the very people that use shady tactics to manipulate search rankings and make easy money off of unsuspecting clients.

The truth is… there are billions of web pages on the internet — getting a web page to the top of Google (for any given keyword) is not, and should not be a quick and easy task. That said, it is not an impossible task. Heck, Shimmer does it for clients each and every day. So, for those not interested in securing professional SEO services from a company like Shimmer, what are the modern SEO best practices for improving search results? (i.e. How do I rank better in Google?):

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[blockquote style=”large”]First, Whatever You Think SEO Means At This Moment — FORGET IT.[/blockquote]

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SEO has evolved so much over the last few years that “Search Engine Optimization” is no longer a fitting term. Web Presence Optimization seems to be a better fit these days. (See this article “Time For A New Definition Of SEO” from Search Engine Watch, for an in-depth read on SEO’s evolution.)

Whatever you decide to call it, SEO has a much broader scope in 2013.  But at the core, SEO has always been — and will always be — about quality content.

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What Are Modern SEO Best Practices?

For the balance of 2013 and moving forward with SEO in 2014, here are some guidelines to help optimize your web presence and improve search placement:

[list icon=”adjust”][list_item]WEBSITE USABILITY — Make sure your website is easy to view and navigate on as many browsers and modern devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones) as possible. Is your web design responsive? Does it look and work just as well on an iPhone as it does on a Dell laptop? Does it work well in all modern browsers? (e.g. Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, etc.). If you are not familiar with responsive web design or fluid layouts, visit our web design page for more details.

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[list_item]PROMOTE ENGAGEMENT — Does your website encourage users to interact? Does it have an informative blog where users get valuable information, request and provide feedback? Does your website have multiple Calls-To-Action? (web forms, subscribe to list, get the newsletter, view our monthly specials, etc.)

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[list_item]EXPAND PRESENCE — Social media is now an integral part of SEO and Google gives weight to business sites with related social content. Remember, you are marketing your products and/or services online — you should be utilizing as many quality channels as possible. Do you have a business LinkedIn page, a YouTube channel, a Twitter account? More importantly, are they active and continually updated with fresh, relevant content?

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[list_item]OPTIMIZE TITLES AND DESCRIPTIONS — Don’t forget about the SEO basics. An optimized page title not only helps Google, but it helps your visitors understand what the page is about. Consider a first time visitor to your website; he/she decides your web page could be useful, but does not have the time to thoroughly digest its content. He/She bookmarks the page for later — Does your page title quickly and accurately describe what the page is about?

Same goes for meta descriptions. Do your page summaries accurately reflect the page’s content?

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[list_item]DISCOVER NON-INDUSTRY KEYWORDS — This is a biggie. Time and time again folks will optimize their web pages for branded and/or industry specific keywords. That’s fine for the Googlers that know exactly what they are looking for, but the vast majority of folks don’t know your particular brand or industry specific keywords. Take this article for example; did you get here by searching “modern SEO best practices” or by searching “how do I rank better in Google”? The latter would be a much more common search as a significant majority of internet users are not familiar with the SEO industry and its terminology.

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[list_item]LAYOFF THE BACKLINKS –While backlinks are important to your website’s page rank — too many folks, for too long, have placed too much emphasis on using backlinks to boost search placement. Google has taken note, Google has lessened the value of backlinks that do not directly relate to your content, or contribute to a better service for Google users.

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[list_item]REMEMBER WHO IS KING — Although it has been spewed forth and discussed ad nauseum, quality content always has been, and will forever remain the undisputed king of SEO — and your web presence. From the very first paragraph of your website, to each tweet, and every image description and video title in between, your content should always be descriptive, informative, relevant to your product or service, and helpful to its viewers. Period.

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With the exception of new web development, all of the tips above are easy to implement in your SEO strategy. Probably the the best thing to take away from this article is DEPTH. That is, don’t look for a single solution to enhancing your web presence. Instead, focus on creative, quality content and how you can incorporate that content into multiple online channels.

Get creative, think outside the box. Get rid of that stale content and discover new ways to inform viewers without boring them to sleep. Engage folks via social media. Be helpful. Do it all. Do it well.

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If you would rather outsource your SEO project, we’d love to help out. Visit our service pages for more SEO best practices and to learn how Shimmer can help you with a professional SEO campaign.

Making The Front Page: The Importance of Search Placement in 2013

The online marketing world is buzzing with blistering hot keywords, the promise of new and better strategies, the demise of worn out practices and a slew of predictions based on upcoming algorithm updates from Google. Internet marketing gurus are shouting “Content Marketing”. Search advertisers proclaim PPC is the new king!  A content creator claims SEO is dead, another erupts, “You said that same crap 10 years ago, 5 years ago, and just last year!”.

The onslaught of new digital marketing terms, strategies and predictions is mind-boggling. How do you know what is right for your business’ online marketing plan when there are thousands of “professionals”, each with different strategies for increasing online presence, generating web traffic and improving leads and sales?

YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS TO RANK ON THE 1st PAGE OF GOOGLE [For Your Industry’s Keywords]

Search QueryThe answer to the question above is simple: The right online strategy for your business is one that allows you to outrank your competitors in the search engine results pages (SERPs). In order to outrank your competitors in the SERPs, you typically need to make the first page of Google for your industry’s particular keywords.

Before discussing the methods for making the first page, it’s important to understand why your web pages need to rank well in search:

  • There are Nearly 700 Million Active Websites on the Internet [Source: Netcraft] — Each clamoring for Google’s attention.
  • 93% of Online Experiences Begin with a Search Engine [Source: Search Engine Journal]
  • Over 100 Billion Global Searches are Conducted Each Month
  • Google Owns 65-70% of the Search Engine Market Share

Beyond merely ranking well, other factors point out the need for an actual first page presence:

  • 75% of Search Users Never Scroll Past the First Page of the Search Results
  • A Web Page That Ranks on the First Page Gets 3-8 Times More Search Traffic Than one on Page Three
  • First Page Placement Establishes You as an Industry Leader and Enhances Credibility

The Payoff for making the first page is far too large and profitable to ignore:

Given the statistics above, it’s easy to understand why it is imperative for companies of all sizes to have  first page search placement if they want to grow their business and improve online leads and sales.

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How to Get a Website on the First Page of Google

Getting to the first page of Google is much more complicated than it was just a few short years ago. That said, being on the first page of Google is far more valuable now than it has ever been.

First Page: Key to SuccessWhile the process of making the first page may be complicated, the concept is quite simple to understand — Multi-Channel Web Marketing. In other words, there is no single marketing technique that will propel your site to the front page. Instead, a multi-channel plan is necessary for achieving high rankings.

Below is a list of strategies that, when combined, create a powerful and comprehensive digital marketing game plan that will get your web pages to the front of the search results, quickly and cost effectively. It is important to undertand the core principals of each strategy and how each practice effectively contributes to the overall marketing plan.

  • CONTENT MARKETING: Content Marketing is the creation and sharing of valuable content to attract and convert viewers/readers into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. This content is very relevant to what you sell. The goal is to inform potential customers about your business, product and/or service and establish trust so that they will want to do business with you as well as share their experience with others.

 Role: Creative, relevant content is mandatory for creating a web page that will attract attention and perform well in the search engines. The better, more relevant your content is to your industry’s consumers and their needs, the better it will perform in search.

  • SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO): SEO is the process of optimizing a website for search via best practices put forth by Google and other major search engines. It includes proper coding of the site, internal link structure, backlinking, speed and performance of the site, relevant content, meta data, use of titles and headers, image descriptions and more.

Role: SEO is the foundational element of your website. SEO ensures that your site meets Google’s guidelines and best practices for inclusion and promotion of web pages on their platform.

  • PPC CAMPAIGN: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is search advertising — the ads that you see in the top 3 positions and down the right side of Google search results. PPC campaigns can be very effective as you are essentially buying a spot on the front page of the search results. Additionally, the chances of your links being clicked doubles and triples when there are multiple instances of your website on the frist page of search results (e.g. PPC Ad in the top 3 and an organic rank in the top 10)

Role: The role of a PPC campaign is easy to understand — it is a legal and ethical practice of buying your way to the front page of Google, Yahoo or Bing. Where things get really awesome is when you have a top ad as well as an organic placement on the first page. This can greatly increase your click through rates, leads and sales.

  • SOCIAL MEDIA: Nearly everyone is familiar with the popular social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.), but few businesses know how to effectively utilize social media for marketing. That fact is, social means keeping it, ummm… social. Social networkers are not interested in being bombarded with business ads, promotions and requests to “look at us”. Instead, social networkers prefer to be educated and informed as well as being able to provide feedback on their wants, needs, likes and dislikes.

Role: There is plenty of value in a social networking campaign when done properly and as part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Not only does social media provide an effective communication and feedback portal for your customers, social media presence and activity is now an important part of Google’s determination for search relevance.

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Combining the four elements above is the quickest way to get your business to the front page of the search results — and keep it there. This is not merely a claim, the pages of the Shimmer website can be found on the first page of Google for hundreds of search phrases related to our industry. We utilize this very strategy for our own business.

If you plan on hiring a digital marketing agency to manage your online growth plan, make sure that the agency ranks well for their keywords. If they don’t, run away.

SEO: Still Not Sure About Google+ Authorship? Just Keep Reading…

A lot of folks are talking about Google Plus and its potential SEO value. Unfortunately, very few are explaining the relationship in detail, and how it all works together in 2013.

First, if your only interest is looking for a quick way to make the front page of Google, please stop reading here and move on. Those days are long gone. Now, if you are still reading, it’s time to focus on what modern SEO means to Google and how Google+ authorship can improve your authority and presence in the search engine.

Google Plus and SEO

The Down and Dirty

Google+ is much more than the giant search engine’s attempt to get in the social networking game. It is more a unification of all of Google’s services, with a common social layer. Think about that for a moment; the largest search engine in the world (by far) has integrated their email service, social networking and a slew of other services into a data juggernaut capable of personalizing information to unthinkable levels. While it sounds a bit creepy and “big brother” like, it also means that Google is the place to be if you want to find something — and more importantly — it’s the place to be if you want to be found.

This is where we tune into Google+ and the value of authorship. G+ allows you to create a profile with content and imagery. You can then associate this profile with content from another website and/or blog that you own or have article writing privileges.  When you create content on your website/blog, Google can utilize data from your G+ profile and attach it to search results that may be displayed based on a typical query with keywords related to your content.

Since your G+ account is tied to your ongoing content throughout the web, things like pluses you’ve given and received, comments made in your circles, etc. now give extra weight to the new content you’ve just created on your website or blog. Now, tie in other social factors (Tweets about your similar content, Facebook likes, LinkedIn profiles, etc.) and Google is making an association about your authority as it relates to certain keywords. Bam! This is exactly what Google wants — the most relevant information available in regards to a users search query.

G+ and SEO Results

For hits and wiggles, lets assume that you just wrote a new blog post about “AdWords Tips for 2013”.  You’re in the digital marketing business, you have related content on your website, you have related social networking accounts (including G+). How long do you think it will take for that new article to make the front page of Google for the search keywords “adwords tips 2013”? Well, give it try :-)

Do you see that article on the first page by Shimmer Digital Media? See that profile pic and the author, Craig Postlethwaite?  Yep, that’s me :-)

Guess what? I wrote that article just a few weeks ago and its been on the front page for over a week now. It’s just a short post I did about Enhanced Sitelinks, but it is very relevant to most of my online content.

Additionally, I get the huge adder of having my G+ profile link as well as a link to related articles I’ve posted. They are nicely positioned within the search result — see “More by Craig Postlethwaite”. Many of my other blog articles are doing just as well — Keywords: “adwords help 2013”, “adwords conversion rate tips”, and my personal favorite “my click through rates suck”. Okay, it’s not highly likely that many people will search the latter, but it’s worth the giggle :-)

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Here’s my point: A Google Plus account along with authorship markup is not only valuable for SEO, it is mandatory for good search placement and web traffic growth in a modern, content driven engine like Google. Also, I have no doubt that this SEO value will only increase as G+ continues to grow as a social networking platform.

Things have changed a lot in the last couple years, and social signals are a big part of search placement these days. Like it or not, you need to get on the G+ train — or you are likely to get run over by it.

 

PPC Strategies For Small Business

AdWords Help: Getting Started With AdWords PPC in 2013

PPC: I Want To Get In The Game

Over the last couple of years I’ve talked with many business folks that are interested in launching their first AdWords PPC campaign. While I’ve explained the complexities and ever evolving nature of PPC, there are many that still want to bypass a professional AdWords manager and take on a campaign themselves. Usually, it’s because they heard that a friend or relative does the AdWords thing on their own and have had great success. It sounds something like, “All you do is choose a few keywords, write an ad and throw a few dollars at it… the new clients will start lining up at the door”  ;-)

Fortunately, I was not so naive as to think that it was going to be simple, or that new clients were going to just start flooding in once I got my first campaign started. If you are hoping so, please stop right here.

You are a small business owner, you want to drive some  new web traffic and increase your sales. That said, a few thousand dollars per month is a lot of money to spend with no guarantees of success — and playing in the PPC Big League ($50K, $100K and much more per month for search advertising) is strictly out of the question, for now. Nevertheless, you are intrigued by the possible outcome of a high performing PPC campaign and you want to get in the game — but you’re not quite ready to entrust your budget to an outsider like Shimmer. (No hard feelings, we understand.)

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IMPORTANT: This is a ‘getting started’ tutorial. Use this tutorial only with the understanding that Shimmer Digital Medial, LLC (its employees and representatives) are not responsible for your AdWords campaign success. Additionally, we are not responsible for any mistakes or inaccurate information you may enter, culminating in unexpected results or spend. Example: Not Setting a Daily Budget.

If you are unsure about any of this information or whether PPC is right for your business, we strongly advise seeking AdWords help by contacting a professional PPC management company like Shimmer.
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Google AdWords: Help Me Turn This Thing On

If you’ve never seen an AdWords campaign, but want to get started without the assistance of an outside company or AdWords manager — do your homework and utilize the AdWords help guide and PPC tips below as a resource to assist in getting started with an AdWords pay-per-click campaign. In this tutorial we’ll stick with a basic, LOCAL,  ‘search network only’ campaign to get you started.

    1. Follow this link, Get Started With AdWords, and click ‘Start Now’. Also, you can call the 877 number listed and Google will provide free help for a first time setup.
    2. Fill out the contact info and follow the walk-through process.
    3. Setup your billing information (provide your credit card details)
    4. Once your account is active — Click the campaign tab on top, then click the green  ‘+ New campaign‘  button and select ‘Search Network only‘: How to start a new AdWords campaign
    5. Next, you will see a page that looks like this  <<<< click to view in a new tab.
    6. Before you enter a campaign name, select the ‘All features‘ radio button to the right.
    7. Do not click / activate the other radio buttons (Product listing ads | Dynamic Search Ads)
    8. Now, enter a name for your AdWords campaign. It should be highly relevant to the product, service or brand you will be advertising. (e.g. Plastic Widgets)
    9. Scroll down a bit to Networks and be sure to uncheck the box labeled ‘Include search partners‘ — we don’t want to utilize this feature for our first campaign.
    10. Below Networks, the following should be displayed:

      Desktops & laptops, mobile devices and tablets

      Devices   Ads will show on all types of devices by default.

    11. Scroll down to Locations
    12. Choosing proper locations to target is an art-form all in itself. For this walk-through we’re going to keep it simple with a basic radius targeting strategy.
    13. Click the radio button labeled ‘Let me choose‘.
    14. Click the link ‘Advanced search‘.
    15. You should see a popup window with a map and a few options. Select ‘Radius targeting‘.
    16. Enter your zip code, be sure the radius is set to 20 miles, then click ‘Search‘.
    17. The map should now show a circle (20 mile radius) around your location. Click ‘Add‘, then click ‘Done‘ in the bottom left corner of the popup window.
    18. Scroll down to Bidding and budget.
    19. Select ‘I’ll manually set my bids for clicks‘.
    20. At this point, we’re not ready to start plowing through your budget — so lets spend small.
    21. IMPORTANT: Set your default bid to $1.00
    22. IMPORTANT: Set your daily budget to $1.00 ( Steps 21 and 22 will keep you from spending more than a buck a day — these will need adjusting as you get familiar with how this all works )
    23. Scroll past ‘ad extensions’, click ‘Save and continue‘ ( Utilize extensions when you are more familiar with AdWords PPC )
    24. You should now see an Ad Group page. This is where we will write the ad to be displayed when a Google user searches for our keywords. Additionally, we will define a hand full of keywords on this page as well.
    25. Create an Ad Group Name: All ads in this group should be specific to the content of your landing page, so choose an appropriate group name.
    26. Creating your first ad: try to think of words that an end user would type into the Google search query and utilize these words in your ad.
    27. HEADLINE: This is the title of your ad and the biggest opportunity to grab the Googler’s attention. (Example headline: Old Furniture Restoration)
    28. DESCRIPTION Lines 1 and 2: Be specific and use keywords (Example description: Expert furniture restoration and repair services. Next day repairs.)
    29. Enter the Display URL: This is the web address you would like displayed with the ad. Typically, this would be — www.yoursite.com
    30. Enter the Destination URL: This is the actual web page on your site that you want the Googler to visit. This page’s content should be very relevant to the ad. (Example: http://www.yoursite.com/furniture-restoration.html)
    31. Choose your keywords — just a handful to get you started. More keywords can be added later. Also, use the keyword suggestion tool (on the right) if you are unclear of which keywords to start with. ( Sample keywords: furniture restoration chicago, chicago furniture repair, old furniture restoration)
    32. Ad group bids ~ Maximum cost per click (Max. CPC) ~ IMPORTANT: This bid is the highest price you’re willing to pay when someone clicks on your ad. Keep it small for now.
    33. Scroll down and click ‘Save ad group‘.

Congratulations! You’ve just created your first Google AdWords Campaign. We hope this AdWords help guide is the first step in reaching your ultimate PPC goals.

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Ongoing AdWords Campaign Management

Now that you’ve launched your first PPC campaign, you’ll need to continually optimize your campaign (create new ads, find new keywords, refine keyword lists, track data and perform regular audits and updates). Early on, focus on increasing your quality scores and click-through-rates (CTR).  The better yours ads are performing, the better your conversions and sales will be.

I know it sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but stay focused on growth and perform regular campaign maintenance. Persistence will pay off.

If you decide a PPC campaign is just what your business needs, but all that maintenance is just not your cup-of-tea, get in touch with us. At Shimmer, we’re happy to provide any AdWords help we can. If you want us to help out with campaign management, we do that too :-)

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Monthly Newsletter: Free Digital Marketing Tips From Shimmer

If you would like to receive monthly PPC and SEO tips, signup for our free newsletter (see ‘newsletter’ in the footer of this page). It’s a once-a-month email chocked full of strategies and best practices for increasing your web traffic.

 

Join OnLine Presence at LinkedIn

OnLine Presence: Shimmer Has a New Group on LinkedIn

We’re excited to announce the launch of Shimmer’s “OnLine Presence” group at LinkedIn.

OnLine Presence is discussion platform for web traffic growth professionals and seekers, alike. Join us and make some new LinkedIn connections, get answers to questions centered on improving your online presence, and/or lend your thoughts and expertise to those getting started in the industry.

Typical digital marketing topics include:

  • Search Advertising and PPC Management (AdWords and Bing)
  • Content Creation and Marketing
  • Modern, organic search optimization (SEO) focused on best practices inline with the ever changing search algorithms
  • Effective Social Media Marketing and Management
  • Responsive Web Development
  • Web Video Optimization
  • Online Business Development

OnLine Presence is an open group, discussions are crawled and indexed by the major search engines.

[button size=”medium” text=”Visit OnLine Presence” link=” http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Online-Presence-4911798?trk=myg_ugrp_ovr” window=”true” fullwidth=”false”]Example[/button]

 

Keywords and tips for improving AdWords CTR

Do Your Click-Through-Rates (CTR) Suck?

There are many metrics and variables to consider when optimizing an AdWords PPC campaign, but there is little doubt amongst professional campaign managers as well as the Google advertising folks that click through rate (CTR) is one of the strongest indicators of how well your keywords and ads are performing.

CTR measures the effectiveness of an advertisement by dividing the number of clicks an ad receives by the number of impressions (times the ad was shown). In general, a high CTR% indicates that an ad attracts attention and gets clicks often. A low CTR means the ad is under-performing and should be modified, or even removed from rotation.

So, you are getting plenty of impressions, but not feeling the love via clicks. This can be just as frustrating for a small business owner running a single campaign as it is for a PPC management company like Shimmer. Here are a few tips that can have a big impact on your AdWords campaign CTR, bringing in better quality web traffic and improving your conversions:

1. Search Network | Display Network

The Google Search Network and the Google Display Network are two very different types of networks that require different strategies. Without going into too much detail, the display network (GDN) can have a low CTR and still be very effective. Most often, this is not the case for the search network. The search network is the main platform, where you go to google.com, input your query and are provided the organic results as well as Google ads — this is our focus here.

What To Do: Create a separate campaign for the Search Network. Login to your AdWords account and click the campaign settings tab, select “edit” for the campaign TYPE. Choose “Search Network Only” from the drop-down menu, click the “All Features” radio button, then click save.

For those not yet well studied with AdWords best practices, this tip can provide a considerable increase in you click-through-rates. That said, be sure to do your homework and discover the value of each network and how to best utilize each. For now, stick with Search Only.

2. Broad Match Modifier

Broad match keyword targeting is the default targeting method used in Adwords campaigns. If used incorrectly, broad match can generate thousands of irrelevant impressions that lead to low quality clicks and decreased CTR — not a good way to deplete your online advertising budget.

What To Do: Optimize your broad match performance by using a modifier (+). By placing a plus symbol in front of  one or more words in a broad match keyword, every word with a + sign must appear in the users search exactly, or as a close variant.  This type of keyword targeting is also known as “Broad Match Modifier“.

3. Keywords | Ad Group ~ Mind Your Ratios

Fewer keywords per ad group will allow your ads to be ultra-targeted for those keywords. Remember, AdWords is about relevance, so keep those keyword lists small and in-sync with your ads. Same goes for Campaigns — there is nothing worse than dropping all of your online advertising into a single campaign. The key is multiple campaigns, multiple ad groups, focused keywords and highly targeted, relevant ads.

4. Consider Going Top 3

If your ads are consistently hovering near the top of the right sidebar, consider increasing the bid rate and jumping up to the top three.

What To Do: Increasing bids to Top of Page can drastically increase your CTR, but be sure to mind your campaign performance and ROI as leaping to the top can get costly. My best advice is to shoot for the 2 or 3 spot — the top 3 get the lion’s share of the clicks, no need to get in a bidding war for the number one slot.

5. Sitelink Extensions

Sitelinks are the easiest quick win, but too many folks are still ignoring the feature.  Assuming you took the advice in tip 4 (sitelinks only work in the top 3 ads), sitelinks only  take few minutes to incorporate, they grab precious real estate, enhance visibility and increase CTR. Rock the sitelinks, people!

Search advertising can get pretty competitive, be sure to put the time and energy into making your AdWords campaign the most successful it can be. Don’t set it on auto-pilot and walk away; monitor performance, tweak, then tweak some more  — do what your competitors are not!