sem advertising

 

Strategic advertising on various search engines is meant to boost your online visibility and drive targeted traffic to your website. But what does “strategic” mean in a practical context? We gathered a few essential tips to help you create a high-performance SEM campaign that generates results no matter what kind of business you do.

 

Whether you’re a fresh entrepreneur, a small business owner, or seasoned marketing expert, these tips will help you optimize your SEM efforts and achieve your marketing goals.

 

Learn from people who’ve done it before


Success often leaves a trail of useful breadcrumbs, and that applies to SEM campaigns as well. Take the time to study and replicate successful marketing campaigns in your industry. Analyze their strategies, ad copy, landing pages, targeting techniques, etc.

 

Of course, don’t copy them outright, but you can and should draw inspiration from those who’ve already achieved what you’re working for. Adapt their successful tactics to fit your brand and your unique circumstances. You can fast-track your own performance and improve your chances of achieving remarkable results with a lot less effort.

 

Aim for concrete numbers and people


Before dedicating resources to any marketing campaign, it’s important to clarify your objectives and accurately define your target audience. To begin with, ask yourself what specifically you aim to achieve with your SEM campaign. Is it to increase website traffic by 100% by the end of X month?

 

To generate Y% more leads next quarter? Once you have a measurable objective, narrow down your target audience. And we mean narrow. Examine factors like demographics, interests, and online behavior to identify an interest group. Then break the group down further according to who is most likely to react to your message.

 

By analyzing your audience beyond the archetypal customer personas, you can tailor your SEM strategy at a new level and deliver highly targeted stimuli to exactly the right people, maximizing the effectiveness of your campaign.

 

Make your ad copy compelling


Craft concise, benefit-driven headlines that highlight your unique selling points. Focus on the value proposition, addressing your audience’s strongest pain points and offering creative solutions. Use compelling calls-to-action that encourage users to take the desired action.

 

You might want to brush up on innovative small business marketing trends, as these insights often grow to be relevant to corporations and the overall market too. Remember, the more contemporary and relevant your ad copy, the higher the likelihood of attracting clicks and driving conversions.

 

Your keywords should be specific and positive


You already know that keywords are the foundation of any successful SEM campaign. But do you know where to focus your research? Choose specific, relatively uncommon keywords for your product or service. By avoiding broad and widely-used phrases, you can increase the odds that your ads appear to users who are actively interested in what you offer.

 

Additionally, include negative keywords into your strategy. Flagging keywords as “negative” tells search engines that your ad shouldn’t be served when people search those terms. This prevents your business from appearing in searches irrelevant to your product, saving you money on non-converting clicks.

 

You might also consider partnering with a reliable SEM company that stays at the forefront of industry developments, including search engine algorithms. Utilize their expert guidance to proof your plans and boost your campaign’s performance.

 

Optimize landing pages for structure


Make sure that your landing pages are optimized for conversions by aligning them with your ad messaging and offering a seamless user experience. In other words, structure them in the same basic way as your ads. This includes design, message, tone, layout, and navigation.

 

Perform A/B testing to experiment with different page specifications, headlines, calls-to-action, and forms. Analyze user behavior using heatmaps and user recordings to identify areas that need improvement. Your visitors need to either immediately purchase what you offer or immediately get more relevant information about your product or service.

 

Monitor and analyze performance


Finally, commit to regular monitoring and analysis of your SEM campaign’s performance to optimize its effectiveness in the long run. Leverage the analytics provided by your advertising platform, e.g. Google Ads, to track key metrics like click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, cost per acquisition (CPA), and return on ad spend (ROAS).

 

Identify areas where you’re excelling and those that require polishing or troubleshooting. Use this data to make informed decisions on your bidding strategy, targeting options, and ad placements. Staying vigilant and responsive to performance data is how you make iterative improvements and drive better results throughout your business’ lifetime.

 

To sum up, creating a high-performance SEM campaign requires strategic planning and continuous optimization. Adapt tactics from successful marketing campaigns to fit your unique brand and accelerate your own performance.

 

Set measurable objectives and concretely define your target audience to deliver highly targeted messages to the right people. Craft compelling ad copy that highlights your unique value and addresses your audience’s pain points. Choose relatively uncommon, specific keywords, and incorporate negative keywords to avoid non-converting clicks.

 

Finally, optimize your landing pages to align with your ad messaging and monitor your campaign’s performance regularly. Leverage analytics to make informed decisions and drive better results in the long term.

banner advertising

 

The phrase ‘header bidding’ is used to describe a popular kind of online advertising that has exploded in popularity in recent years. It’s easy to see why both publishers and advertisers are flocking to it. Using header-bidding technology is now widely accepted as best practice, with 2.6% of the top one million websites employing it over the last year.

 

If you’re unfamiliar with the process, deciphering its inner workings and figuring out how to put it into practice properly might seem like an insurmountable task. That’s why, we’ve put up a beginner’s guide to help you get familiar with header bidding.

 

How Does Header Bidding Work?


Waterfall auctions, in which ad inventory is made available to a small set of purchasers in a predetermined sequence, have historically been employed in the ad-buying process. If the bidder offering the highest CPM rate declines, the item is offered to the bidder offering the second-highest CPM rate, and so on.

 

However, header bidding technology operates differently. It’s an auction when numerous purchasers of advertising space place bids at the same time. This ensures that all interested parties have a fair shot at purchasing the stock, with the highest bidder ultimately being awarded the item. Header bidding is superior to waterfall auctions because it maximizes income for publishers and gives advertisers more opportunities to reach their target demographic.

 

Using Header Bidding in Practice


Now that you’ve covered the fundamentals of header bidding, it’s time to get started on implementation. The first step in implementing a successful header bidding strategy is settling on the optimal option for your website. Make sure you choose the one that meets your requirements and is within your price range.

 

The next step, after deciding on a header bidding solution, is to implement it on your website. In order to do this, you must install the header bidding code on your website’s header and set it up to communicate with your ad server. Don’t worry if you’re not very tech-savvy. You always have the option to speak with your header bidding provider or a technical expert to ensure that everything is set up in an accurate format.

 

Frequent Difficulties with Integrating


When it comes to putting header bidding into action, there are a few typical obstacles that you may run into. One of them is latency, which may cause pages to load slowly on your site, leading to a negative effect on traffic and conversions. If you want to prevent this, you and your service provider should collaborate to fine-tune the header bidding code you use.

 

Ad fraud, which sadly has become a significant problem in the internet advertising sector, is another obstacle that you could encounter. Ad fraud can be avoided by using reliable header bidding services and maintaining a close check on advertising campaigns. While header bidding implementation presents certain challenges, the benefits far outweigh the initial effort.

The Importance of Optimizing Header Bids

Maximizing its performance is necessary if you want to use it to its full potential. The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you are keeping track of how well it is doing. Keep an eye on the important data, including income, impressions, and clicks, to see how it’s doing.

 

Having this information at your disposal will allow you to quickly pinpoint and resolve any problems you may be experiencing, such as a shortfall in revenue or excessive latency.

 

There might be technical issues that need to be optimized for your header bidding code, modifying your bid tiers, or working with your header bidding supplier. The key to ensuring that your header bidding runs smoothly and generates optimal results is to be attentive and take immediate corrective action when necessary.

Best Techniques for Optimizing Header Bidding

Here are some tried-and-true methods for increasing your revenues:

 

  • Set up bid tiers. This will allow you to rank your bids depending on their worth. The more valuable your bids are, the more money you will make by giving them precedence.
  • Dynamic floor pricing. This method automatically changes the minimum bid price depending on the demand for your product in real time. Using this method, you can be confident that your stock is being sold at maximum profit.
  • Experimentation and testing. There is no ‘one size fits all’ setting for header bidding, so you’ll need to experiment to find what works best for your website. If you want to test how different bid tiers, floor pricing, and other options affect your earnings and results, you can try them out and see what happens.

Final Thoughts

Header bidding is a very successful programmatic advertising method that can increase both publishers’ and advertisers’ chances of reaching their target demographic. Although header bidding might be difficult to establish and optimize, the advantages outweigh the challenges.

Advertising Decade

 

The year 2020 marks the beginning of a new decade and technological changes so rapid it may be hard to keep up at times. A look back at 2010 to present day is a reminder of how rapidly advertising changes. Ten years ago, digital ads weren’t nearly as prevalent as they are today. If you’d told a marketing professional in 2010 that the majority of their budget would go to online advertising or they’d pay everyday people to share info on their products, they likely would have laughed at you.

 

Analysts at Statista predict social network ad spending will reach $37 billion this year, with around 90% of companies using social media for some marketing. More than likely, you’re already using online strategies to drive sales and growth, but expect digital expenditures in promotion to increase rather than decrease. As more and more data becomes available, analysis of marketing campaigns will make up a lot of the work involved in advertising.

 

It might be difficult to keep up with all the changes, new platforms and methods of advertising, so we made some predictions on what you can expect in the next 10 years and how you can keep up with advances.

 

1. Prepare for New Search Features


A recent Pew Internet Research survey conducted in June of 2019 found that around 25% of U.S. adults have at least one voice-controlled smart speaker in their home. As you plan out various advertising campaigns, think about how you can tap into this new market that grows every year. One key is a voice-enabled site so machines can seek out information.

 

However, there may be other ways to integrate advertising into smart speakers. For example, apps that integrate with smart speakers are quite popular with owners of the devices. Can you create an app that taps into what you do as a business and will alert users to special sales and new product offerings, or remind them when it’s time to re-order?

 

2. Focus on Brand Awareness


Building a recognizable name for your brand is something that never goes out of style. Since companies first started coming into the mainstream, business owners have tried to get their names out there with marketing and make their organizations a household name.

 

As the new decade ramps up, brand awareness may become even more important. Most people wouldn’t care if a brand went out of business, so you have to make your company timeless and important to those users. Embrace a cause they care about, offer the best customer service around or create a unique product unlike anyone else’s. How you can innovate depends on the type of business you run, but the key is finding out what your customers care about and exceeding their expectations.

 

3. Create Stronger Business Signs


No matter how global the economy becomes, local customers are always going to be more loyal and a great place to start when building your brand. If you own a brick-and-mortar store, bringing in foot traffic is a vital component in your overall success. One way of letting people know where you are and what you offer is adding signage to the outside of your store or office.

 

Signs have many essential uses, including setting a mood, serving as a locator and even serving as its own advertisement. Make your signs the best they can be by enlisting the help of a professional designer and then viewing the finished sign from different distances and angles to make sure it meets your needs and attracts attention.

 

4. Don’t Forget Traditional Methods


While the technology of the next decade includes things not yet invented, there are some traditional methods that will never completely go out of style. Connecting with people on a personal level requires getting out into the local community. Host a booth at the local craft fair and sponsor a little league team or two.

 

Don’t forget how effective print advertising can still be. While you want to embrace digital whenever possible, don’t do so to the point that you neglect getting mailers and other materials to your regular customers and leads. Remember that other possibilities as well, such as local cable television appearances and radio spots, can also help to get the word out about your brand.

 

5. Ramp up Social Media


Not only does social media advertising generate billions of dollars a year, but social video advertising spending alone should reach $15 billion by 2021. If you’re already marketing on social networks, think about investing in videos for more impact.

 

Even though the ways people interact with social media changes over time — such as more and more people using mobile devices — the impact of advertising doesn’t change. However, it is smart to stay on top of trends as they change frequently. Clickbait ads are very past tense and almost offensive to target audiences, for example. Know what works and what people prefer and change your tactics to match.

 

6. Automate Basic Tasks


One thing you can count on in this next decade is machines becoming more intuitive and powerful than ever before. Machine learning is going to new levels with computers learning common sense tasks and ways to think more like human counterparts. The implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) into the advertising medium has already begun. Services such as Buffer and Hootsuite track best response times and even automate posting on social media.

 

Customer relationship management (CRM) programs help to personalize emails and offers that are most attractive to your client base. In the future, as machines do more and more, expect basic reminders and offers to become automated. This allows marketers to focus on the more creative aspects of reaching new people.

 

What to Expect From the 2020s


More than likely, some things will remain exactly the same as they have in advertising since the age of Mad Men. However, automation and new technology will definitely create an impact in other areas. The biggest changes will likely be seen in digital advertising rather than more traditional mediums. Stay on top of new inventions, watch what your competitors do and don’t be afraid to try something unique.

 

Author

Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

Advertisement for the Digital Space

 

If you’ve been in advertising for any length of time, you’ve likely created ads for both print and online. Developing ads for digital spaces is quite a bit different than designing a print ad. For one thing, you’re competing with a million other things vying for the consumer’s attention.

 

People view most digital ads today on mobile devices, which makes designing even more of a challenge. Companies spent about 51 percent of the total budget for digital ads on mobile advertising in 2016. That number will likely continue to increase.

 

Creating advertisements for the digital space requires a bit of specialized knowledge and an eye to digital detail. Here are eight tips to help you design your next digital ad.

 

1. Add Creative Elements


Every brand has distinctive elements that make it more recognizable. Starbucks has their mermaid logo. AT&T has a globe that appears to be in motion. Whether you use a specific color palette, a mascot or a logo, be sure you consistently use these elements in your digital advertising just as you would in your brick-and-mortar store or on your website.

 

2. Know Your Market


You can throw a lot of money at digital advertising without seeing any results. Before you pay for an ad on social media or decide how to create the ad, make sure you know the audience you want to reach and where they spend most of their time online. For example, if you want to reach women who enjoy cooking, Pinterest is a good choice for you to pay for advertising or spend money on content creation to add to the social networking site.

 

peapod

 

Peapod is a grocery delivery service. It makes sense Pinterest would be a good place to market their brand. However, how do you make the connection between food delivery and homemaking? Some of their pins include content, such as slow-cooker Hawaiian chicken tacos, a recipe for chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache frosting and spring cleaning tips.

 

3. Tell a Story


When creating a digital ad, you have the opportunity to present beautiful images and videos, but don’t just post any old image because it’s pretty. Instead, make sure the images you use tell a story to the viewer. They should be relevant to your business and the product you’d like to sell, and they should create a strong emotional connection between the image and the viewer.

 

4. Study Return on Investment


Track different campaigns, and make sure you understand what the return on investment is for each type of campaign. Creating an ad is about so much more than just getting the word out. You have a message to share, which needs to connect with the viewer on a personal level. However, that’s much easier said than done.

 

One of the best ways to ensure this happens is to study internal metrics. If you place an ad on social media, you’ll be able to see who clicked on the ad. That allows you to determine if you need to do something different or keep doing what is successful.

 

5. Take the Customer on a Journey


Customers want to be entertained. You’re competing with dozens of other things trying to grab the consumer’s attention. Her kids are arguing in the next room, she needs to get dinner started, her husband is texting her to ask if she needs anything from the store and she’s distracted with the ad she saw for a new jacket she just has to own.

 

If you don’t grab the customer’s attention amid all the noise and pull them in, you risk losing them to all these other distractions. Take the customer on a unique journey by sharing a story with them.

 

mouth

 

Mouth Foods does a great job of telling short stories on their Twitter feed. Note how they tie the above post to Mother’s Day. They use an interesting photo that makes you wonder how they got up to that peak to set a jar of pickles and take the shot. Once they have your attention, they then remind you about everything your mom has done for you. It’s brilliant advertising that tells a story quickly.

 

6. Make an Offer


Truly great ads have something to offer to the consumer. That is especially the case with digital ads, because they can inspire a consumer to take immediate action. Ads created for a digital space should clearly present the offer and explain the advantage to the consumer. Sometimes you can accomplish this by sharing an image or statistic, or just coming out and stating the offer. Often, the focus is on pricing, but you can also focus on things such as special packages or a limited-time offer.

 

7. Add a Clear Call to Action


Just as you need to state the offer to consumers, you should also present a clear call to action (CTA) to entice the consumer to take action. A CTA can be as simple as “Get this deal,” or something more complex, but either way, it should be eye-catching and easy to recognize.

 

Even though you might have heard you should use blue or red buttons for your CTA, the truth is no single color converts best. There are many variables involved, so the best thing is to try different colors and wording until you find the one that converts best with your target audience.

 

simplisafe

 

Simplisafe knows people who land on their website are looking for a home security system. While they provide several options, such as a video you can watch, they also create a clear CTA button in the upper right that says, “Shop Now.” The button is easy to locate and takes the user right to the correct page to begin shopping. You can also visit SimpliSafe’s Twitter page here.

 

8. Designate Specific Landing Pages


One way to track how well your ads are doing and to funnel site visitors to the areas you most want them to visit is to create specific landing pages for different advertisements. If you create an ad for Facebook, you can designate a landing page for just that ad. This practice allows you to track traffic and to funnel those visitors based on the audience you were targeting with your ad.

 

Landing pages also allow you to test different marketing strategies to see which ones work best for conversions. You can easily change elements on the page that aren’t working, while still keeping the page tied to that particular ad.

Designing Ads for the Digital Space


Designing ads for a digital world requires a bit of research and extra thought. Online consumers don’t always behave the way you think they will, so invest in learning their habits and creating user personas to figure out which ad elements work with the people you most want to reach. Digital advertising tends to be a cheaper marketing medium than print, so you should be able to try different tactics until you find the one that works best for your business.

 

Author

Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

Adversity

Some people get frustrated or go overboard in their advertising campaigns due to adversity. People are always resistant to new ideas or doubtful of value. Occasionally, some big companies fail in a big way. Some negativity is part of the process. Here are a few tips to countering the adversity.

Price Resistance

Setting prices that meet the value proposition is always tricky. Consumers and partners are not going to accept prices they feel are too high for the market, nor find value in prices that are too low. However, if your pricing is based on cost and market analysis, you’re no different from your competitors.

Reducing your price to attract more buyers reduces your profitability and the prestige of your brand. You don’t want be known as a “bargain” alternative if your profit margins can’t sustain it. Before cutting prices, find ways to introduce further value into your advertising, such as free shipping, guarantees, or package deals. Pricing can be a matter of context. Show confidence in your product, and higher prices may seem justified.

Lack of Trust

Particularly in your initial campaigns, you’re company will be one buyers aren’t comfortable with. It’s important from the outset to start building trust through your advertising. How your brand is perceived will be a big part of gaining consumer confidence. Hard sales tactics from faceless, generic companies don’t go over well. A lack of transparency, unrealistic promises, and little or poor customer service will figure into a consumer’s judgement. What’s more, a bad first impression will probably keep them from coming back.

Focus on building trust. Make branding a part of your advertising by sharing you company’s vision and leadership. Provide credentials such as industry awards and certificates, and mention strengths like research, quality control, and technology. Provide glowing customer testimonials and referrals from influencers such as well-known blogs and review sites. It’s important to build trust first and sales second.

Low or No Response

You may have brainstormed to come up with a catchy slogan and great graphics only to find that audience response is disappointing. Before you spend time and money on your advertising, do the research to ensure that you understand who your customers are and where they can be found. Then you find out what advertising clicks with them.

If the response is still less than enthusiastic, don’t trash all your hard work, but find ways to make it more exciting. Experiment with unique images and graphics. Add an incentive, such as a giveaway or contest. You might introduce a mascot or sexy spokesperson if those fit your brand and product. Start weaving a storyline into your ads. Remember that the real point of advertising is not merely to sell, but to get people’s attention and keep it.

Internal Resistance

You are very likely to find doubt, criticism, and active resistance within your own company. This brings on feelings of doubt or resentment that can lead to hesitations, delays, and disruptive internal politics. If you believe in your ideas, you should back them fully and from the start of campaign planning.

Begin by gathering feedback, and following through to correct any valid critiques. Make up a list of possible arguments from nay-sayers and prepare answers. Be prepared to explain any rationale behind your ideas and try to come up with some data to support them. But state your case in terms of the larger picture of company branding and profitability, not the minutiae of personal tastes. If you’ve done the work and prepared your case, proudly take ownership and responsibility for it.

Adversity can be good, as long as you learn from it and find ways to make it work like during the supposed ACN scam. Remember that even your very first ad campaign is marketing your brand as well as your product or service, and that’s a reward in itself.

GrubHub AdWords

 

GrubHub is no stranger when it comes to digital marketing. In this recent YouTube video Google breaks down how GrubHub is using AdWords for growth.

 

Small Business PPC

Image Source: Flickr/Gerald Rich

Pay Per Click advertising is an extremely powerful and highly effective marketing tool. Whereas billboards, television adverts, newspaper and magazine pieces and of course radio exposure are all great tools they do take time and significant effort to transform into a solid sale or lead. A PPC agency will help businesses to stand out from the crowd in a place where instant ordering and contacting people is not only possible but even probable, and that place is the internet.

The top 5 reasons that PPC is so right for your small business is:

Your Budget

When you start out in any type of business it is essential that you make sure that people know who you are, where you are and what you offer. It is also important that you don’t overstretch your advertising budget as start-up and smaller businesses rarely have huge amounts of cash to use for this therefore there needs to be a budget in place that yourselves and the PPC agency agree on in order to set realistic goals with the aim of getting you what you want and need. Unlike some advertising forms PPC advertising is still an effective marketing tool regardless of the fact that it doesn’t require a large amount of funding.

PPC and Geography

Having local support for your business is important for anyone however for bricks and mortar businesses located in a town for example, local support is vital for the success of the business. Fortunately your PPC agency is able to combine PPC with geo-targeting which increases local community visibility.

PPC is Quick

A quick fix isn’t always best in business however when it comes to small business start-ups PPC campaigns are fantastic at giving your business a quick boost and building immediate levels of traffic which in turn starts to bring profit in quicker. Over time your other slower to build yet very effective marketing strategies will start to show results however in the meantime you will have already started to build visibility.

PPC is Specific

As a small business you need to stand out above the bigger names and brands in order to get noticed. If you have a very defined niche then PPC agencies will be able to use this to further increase the success of your campaign as specific search terms, which also tend to cost less per click, are going to find you more targeted traffic which is most like to turn into a solid lead or sale.

PPC is Convenient

The beauty of having a Pay Per Click agency working on your behalf is that the advertising campaign will literally run itself in a sense, not requiring you to do anything to maintain it. Small business owners rarely have extra hours in the day so this cost and time effective method of targeted advertising is ideal.

Attribute to: Jag Ture

Jag has been writing for over 5 years. Her sales and marketing background at PPC agency, Cayenne Red has helped her write informative articles in areas including digital marketing; specifically, PPC, SEO, Affiliate Marketing and Social Media Marketing.

Google AdWords Organic Relationship

This has been a question for many years from small businesses to high profile advertisers. The answer is simply, no. Google does not give any special treatment for those who spend a lot of money on AdWords advertising because that would really be an unfair practice. Everyone is on the same level playing field and just because you have deep pockets does not mean you are going to get any special treatment on the organic side of the equation.

In this video Matt Cutts discusses the relationship between organic search and Google AdWords.

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We Love It

Paid advertising using the search engine space can really make a difference for some businesses. The important thing any business needs to remember is that it takes more than just setting up some ads and publishing them live. Like everything in life there is strategy that is required and below is a collection of adCenter testimonial videos that showcase other successful advertisers.

Google + Button Display Ads

Google has been scrambling for some time now to incorporate an impactful social feature that actually grows and prospers and Google + has been their best attempt to date. So many efforts over the years have hit the cutting room floor but their latest attempt is certainly gaining some traction.

Google announced this week that their +1 button will start appearing in the Google display network as well.

“As we explained in our initial announcement several weeks ago, we believe that incorporating personal recommendations into display ads has the potential to change the way people view advertising. A display ad becomes much more powerful when people can see which of their friends and contacts have chosen to endorse it.

We’re working to add the +1 button and annotations to all eligible inventory over the next couple weeks. So while you might not see them immediately, we’re working hard to roll them out to all advertisers as quickly as possible.”

How will this change their display advertising?

Well Google is hoping that it creates a type of social connection with all audiences when it comes to advertising. Advertising is advertising but if you ad the social connection to it you can virtually change the way people look at certain ads.

 

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