Facebook Ads: 5 Tips for Creating the best Campaign

Are you sick and tired of losing money on Facebook Ads?

Many advertisers just like you take a swing at a new ad campaign every day, hoping to finally hit the ball out of the park and win the game. They test a myriad of demographics and interests, use a lot of different images, and even tweak their copy over, and over, and over again.

But for some weird, unfair reason, they can’t create a profitable ad. It seems like they are just throwing money out to Facebook’s hands.

It kind of sucks, right?

Now, what if I told you that, with a few tweaks here and there, you could create your first successful ad today?

Because you can.

In this blog post, I will give you three tips that will dramatically change the way you approach Facebook Advertising forever, especially if you’re just starting.

Are you game? Great! Let’s dive right in:

Tip #1: Your Offer Will Make or Break Your Facebook Ads Campaign

Let me start by citing the words of the late Gary Halbert—one of the best advertisers of the 20th century.

“Strong copy will not overcome a weak offer but…in many cases, a strong offer will succeed in spite of weak copy written by marketing morons.

Even though a 50% OFF deal is great, it doesn’t compare to the implied mechanism used by the second offer. The simple fact of feeding seven dogs will entice you to buy the shirt, especially if you are dog lover. You won’t even think you’re buying a shirt. That’s just a plus. In your mind, you’ll be helping seven poor dogs to survive.

And that’s what great offers do.

They sell without selling.

Now, I’m not saying you should start a charity to start selling on Facebook. No. What I’m saying is that you need to find a way to sweeten your offer—and do it in a way people don’t feel you’re selling them something. As Brian Clark says, “great copy doesn’t seem like an ad, it seems like a favor”.

Remember, people don’t like being sold, but they love to buy stuff.

So your mission is to make them feel that buying whatever you’re selling is their idea, not yours. That’s the basic concept I want you to understand.

Think outside the box and go beyond the typical “free shipping on orders over $50” kind of offers.

SaaS companies and information marketing businesses know this (at least the good ones.) They never sell you something. Instead, they offer free trials or give away information and create systems to build trust and entice you to buy the product without even doing any direct selling.

Of course, you can’t take the same approach in e-commerce. But, as an aspiring successful advertiser, your task is to find that compelling offer.

That said, here are a couple tips to do it:

  • Read “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D. — in this book, Cialdini will guide you through the six weapons of influence (reciprocation, commitment, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity) and will show you how advertisers use them to persuade you into doing some things you wouldn’t normally do. This information will help you create more persuasive ads and identify the strategy behind the ad campaigns of your competition.
  • Read as many books on psychology as you can — marketing is simply human psychology in action. The more you know about it, the most effective your offers will be. And though there’s plenty of psychology books in the marketplace, these three will definitely help you start off on the right foot: Made to Stick, The Social Animal, and — of course — How to Win Friends & Influence People.
  • Look at what your competitors are doing and outsmart them — more often than not, you can create an irresistible offer by just analyzing what your competitors are doing, and then offering a “sexier” deal. Burger King, Wendy’s, and McDonald’s are famous for doing this. They continually spy on their competitors’ social media to find their most popular offers, and then create something better.

Tip #2: Track Sales, Not Vanity Metrics

Listen:

Clicks and social engagement are important, but what really matters is how much money you make, not how many people share your Facebook ad.

Here’s what I mean:

If you’re getting a lot of clicks, it’s easy to get false expectations because your ad is apparently “working.” This is a big mistake – clicks do not necessarily mean it’s a high-performing Facebook ad (unless your only goal is to get clicks).

I can’t remember how much money I’ve lost because of this.

I used to think: “I just need to be patient, and I will see the sales coming in. After all, people are engaging, aren’t they?”

Or “I will increase the daily budget. I just need more exposure.”

But those sales never materialized, and I ended up losing money.

Now, you may think this is something silly or that there’s no way it can happen to you, but I say, don’t be so sure.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter if you’re getting thousands of shares and clicks. If you are not getting sales, something is not working. It may be your ad. It may be your landing page. It may be your audience. But whatever the case is, you need to stop the campaign and figure out what’s going on. Otherwise, you’ll keep losing money.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that clicks and engagement aren’t important. To some degree, they are. What I’m trying to say is that you should always keep track of your sales, scale what works, and get rid of what doesn’t work.

This way, you’ll always have a point of reference for your next ad or campaign.

In words of Jon Loomer, Founder of The Power Hitters Club, a private community for advanced Facebook marketers:

If you don’t use Conversion Tracking, you’re going to have a hard time determining which ad is actually leading to revenue. As a result, it’s very easy to make the wrong decisions when managing your ads.

This is extremely important information. Even if you’re making sales, if you don’t track which ad is leading to revenue, you’ll lose money.

Now, take a look at this screenshot:

What you’re looking at is a screenshot of an ad I ran a long time ago.

I was selling a product for $199 and, as you can see, it cost me $128.99 to get a purchase. Apparently, I was profiting $70 per sale.

The problem is that when calculating my results, I didn’t take into account some expenses—like contribution to overhead and the product cost—so instead of making $70 per sale, I was losing around $21 per purchase.

I was so excited with my “successful” ad that I didn’t notice the leak until I was already $20,000+ down.

I know, I know. It was a DUMB mistake. And it’s not directly related to Facebook Advertising.

But it’s a very common one.

That’s why you need to track everything, especially revenue.

The bottom line is this:

Sales first. Clicks and engagement, second.

If you take this approach, I guarantee you’ll learn faster and save a ton of advertising money.

Tip #3: You Don’t “Create” Successful Facebook Ads, You Build Them

Many people believe that successful campaigns are “created,” but they are not.

I mean, you can’t produce a winner ad out of thin air. No. You need to find the right information about your audience, so that you can build a campaign based on those findings.

And here’s a keyword: “Build.”

If you were to build a building, how would you go about it?

First of all, you’d start with a solid foundation, right? Then, you’d start putting together a series of building blocks to give shape to your building.

Finally, once the entire building is done, you’d start taking care of the less-important details — like painting and decoration.

My point here is, if you skipped the first steps, your building would fall really quickly. And you know what? When it comes to Facebook marketing, you need to take the same approach. You need to build your campaigns exactly as you’d build a building. Step by step, you’re collecting and putting together key data points that, eventually, will give shape to your winner ad.

These key data points are the foundation of your campaign. But, how can you find these data points? The answer is very simple, of course. You find them through testing and optimization.

Now, optimization is a simple (yet often over-complicated) concept. According to Neil Pateloptimization boils down to two things:

  • Do more of what works.
  • Quit doing what doesn’t work.

That’s all there is to it.

And it’s the key to building a successful campaign.

Now, here are some tips that will help you start off on the right foot:

1. Split your ad into different categories

You need to categorize the elements of an ad to simplify the testing process. Breaking down your ads into elements will help you visualize the different things you can test and optimize.

Here are the different elements you can test:

Ad Design

  • Image
  • Text
  • Headline
  • Call to action
  • Value proposition

Targeting

  • Country
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Age
  • Custom Audiences
  • Relationship Status
  • Purchase Behaviors
  • Education Level

Miscellaneous

  • Landing Page/Product Page
  • Ad Placement
  • Campaign Objective
  • Ad Type

If you’d like to learn more about targeting and categorization, Content Harmony produced an excellent guide to Facebook Ad Targeting options that is worth reading.

2. Optimize every element of your ad creative

Naturally, your ad creative will have a direct impact on your conversions. Here is where your main idea (value proposition) is expressed, and you need to take the time to optimize every element that supports that idea.

It’s surprising how many advertisers neglect this step and design an ad that simply doesn’t harmonize with the market.

Below you’ll find a simple cheat sheet that breaks down the different elements of a Facebook ad, and gives you some tips on how to optimize them for higher conversions. Now, if you want to dig deeper into ad creative optimization, marketing writer Brad Smith has put together a comprehensive guide that will show you everything you need to know about the topic. Make sure to read it.

3. Avoid the “spaghetti-against-the-wall” approach

If you throw a bunch of spaghetti against a wall, some of it will stick.

When it comes to Facebook Ads Optimization, you can’t take the same approach.

Of course, testing is crucial for your success, but it doesn’t mean that you should create a ton of different ads just to see which of them work.

Instead, you need a strategy.

But, how can you find this strategy?

Well, you can start by reading this guide from Social Media Examiner. You’ll learn 15 optimization strategies you can apply to your business right now. Also, BigCommerce produced an excellent roundup of Facebook Ads tips focused on ecommerce and conversions. These two posts will help you find the right angle for your business and industry.

4. Assume nothing, test everything

Take a look at the image below:

Let’s say you’re about to run the ads above.

How could you know which ad will perform best?

Some of you would say that comparing the emotional angles of each ad is the best method.

Others would say that you need to analyze the correlation between the offer and the imagery.

And another small group of smart folks would say that you only need to “Google it” (just kidding…bad joke.)

Anyways, these are insightful answers, don’t you think?

But none of them are right.

The truth is that you couldn’t possibly know which ad will give you better results until you test them.

When Adespresso ran those ads, they thought the first ad would outperform the second one. But the results were surprising:

The moral of the story?

When it comes to testing, your opinion doesn’t matter.

So remember, assume nothing. Test everything.

Tip #4: LTV Is More Important Than You Think

I love this quote from Peter Thiel, Facebook’s first outside investor:

“Long-term planning is often undervalued by our indefinite short-term world.”

How does this apply to Facebook marketing?

The answer is simple: In a bid to make a quick buck, many advertisers are missing on the tremendous opportunity that long-term planning can bring to their businesses.

Let me explain:

Assume you’re selling a $50 product, and it costs you $80 to acquire a new customer. At first glance, this doesn’t seem correct. If you’re spending $80 for every new customer, and you’re only making $50, it’s clear that you’re losing money, right?

Well, it depends…

Let’s also assume that you discovered that your LTV (Customer Lifetime Value) is $700. In this case, $80 per acquisition is not only acceptable, but utterly fantastic. You can afford to lose $30 per customer on the “front-end” of the relationship because you know that you’ll make far more money in the long run.

One of the primary reasons people fail at Facebook advertising is they don’t consider LTV when planning their strategy. They just focus on the quick sale. And the truth is until you calculate LTV and build your campaigns around it, you won’t take full advantage of your Facebook advertising.

Now, in case you’re wondering how to calculate LTV, this infographic  by Neil Patel will guide you step by step through the entire process.

Tip #5: Set Clear Goals

This last one will sound kind of repetitive or dull. I was even tempted to exclude it from this guide. However, setting goals is crucial, and with so many people overlooking this step, I decided to talk a bit about it.

From an advertising standpoint, setting goals is vital because it helps you measure results and discover whether or not your ads and campaigns are following the right direction. Without a clear path to follow, you’ll never get tangible results.

Sure, chances are you already know all that. But how do you set the right goals?

Well, you need to start at the end…

Let’s say you want to increase your sales this year. How would you go about it? If I guess right, you’d set a goal like “40,000 units sold within 12 months” or “30,000 product sales by 2018.”

Now, setting “end” goals like these is advisable. They help you visualize the big picture and follow a clear path. The problem starts when you only set this type of goals. I mean, “40,000” can be a really discouraging number when you’ve never made that amount of sales before.

Worse yet, with “big picture” goals like these, it’s hard to measure results in the short run. Instead, you need to break them down into smaller goals. This way, you can analyze data with more speed and modify your strategy along the way, if necessary.

Getting back to the “40,000 units” example, how many sales would you need to make each month to reach your annual goal? The answer is 3,333 sales per month. And how many sales would you need to make each day to reach your monthly goal? Just 111 a day.

In this case, instead of trying to make 40,000 annual sales, you should aim for just 111 per day. By taking this approach, you can evaluate your campaigns on a daily basis, and therefore, pinpoint possible leaks in your strategy much faster.

The bottom line? When setting your advertising goals, remember to start at the end and break down your “big picture” goals into smaller goals.

I know, I know. It’s a simple concept. But it will make your life way easier.

It’s Time to Create Your Best Facebook Ad

Look, I get it.

You’re skeptical.

You’ve spent so much money on different strategies and methods, and you’re afraid of failing again. But the only way to succeed is to move forward and try different things.

And I want to be completely blunt with you. Even if you implement this information, I can’t guarantee you’ll create a profitable ad.

Why? Because there’s way too many factors that can influence your results—like your industry, budget, experience, and even your country. But I can guarantee one thing: this information will put you on the right path to a more profitable, successful campaign.

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Google Ads: 12 Advance Strategies Used by Professional Advertisers

Google Ads is a powerful advertising platform that can help you generate more leads and sales. Many professionals use Google Ads to get their message out there, but not everyone knows what they’re doing. More than likely, your ads will be ineffective unless you know these twelve advanced tactics for Google Ads. In this article, we’ll go over these tactics, so you can start generating more revenue with your ads!

1- Ad Copies and Readability

The first thing you want to do is make sure your ad conveys the right message. If it’s too hard to read, people are going to leave and not look back. Make sure there isn’t anything in your text that can distract readers from what they should be reading – like bold or italics font styles, pictures of products instead of just words, etc. Generally, advertisers only use one ad copy per ad per campaign. It’s essential to use multiple ads for your Google Ads campaign. So, if you have a new product or service geared towards moms and their families with pets in the household, don’t just post one ad targeting those demographics- there are plenty of other search terms used by people looking for this kind of information on the internet! Your best bet is to create three separate advertisements: one about mothers without animals at home, another about pet owners (like my mom), and finally, an ad focused solely on animal lovers who want more info. Ad placement will also be different depending on which demographic you’re trying to target – so vary where these ads appear based on what keywords they look like they’ll resonate most with! Imagine you are in a job interview, and your potential employer has asked the dreaded question, “Tell me about yourself” – How would you answer? You want to make sure it sounds like YOU, so what do you say? When writing ads for Google Ads, there is no one-size-fits-all. Every ad campaign should be customized with multiple copies of an ad using different colors, copywriting styles, callouts, etc., then spread out over time (varying frequency) to see which performs best! Many people try making their voice sound more appealing or authoritative by changing up the tone they use when speaking. However, this may not always work as desired because some voices aren’t naturally strong enough, whereas others might have too much.

2- Quality Score

This is a score Google assigns a keyword based on how many clicks were generated for each keyword by ads within that group. The relevance score is calculated 30 days after the campaign has been started, and it’s essential as it’s what decides whether or not your ad will show up at all in searches related to those keywords! The score is on a scale from one to ten, with the higher scores being better. A high-quality score means you’re more likely to get clicked, so make sure your ad copy resonates with users who are searching for these sorts of things. Consider different formats for each campaign – try using dedicated landing pages if possible too. The benefits of high-quality scores in google ads are two-fold. First, a higher score will lead to better click-through rates and an increase in revenue for your business. Second, you’ll be able to keep the costs down because Google Ads gives preference when determining ad placements by looking at Quality Score first before other factors such as relevance or match type come into play–but this only applies if your mark has already reached 65 points on average overall accounts per month during a given six-month period.

3- Bid Modifier Strategy

Utilizing bid modifiers is a great way to control how much you’re willing to pay for each click. A low bid amount will result in many impressions, clicks, and conversions and mean less revenue per conversion- whereas a higher bid amount means fewer clicks and conversions but more revenue per conversion! Ads that use bid modifiers are proven to be the most successful ads in Google. With these, advertisers can adjust bids based on how they feel their competitors will respond and split up budgets across different keywords. It’s best for those who don’t want to commit all of their money upfronts or waste it by bidding too high when demand is low but need a way to maximize campaign performance from time to time–especially during peak hours of traffic.

4- Custom Branded Search Terms

This is where you choose specific keywords to promote your products or services for more exposure with potential customers! You’ll want to find phrases that show high volume but low competition so people will still click through when they see it. When setting up this campaign type, make sure there’s enough money set aside as these ads run at an increased cost because often fewer conversions happen due to higher bids/competition levels!

5- Keyword Match Modifiers

When you’re adding keywords to your campaign, don’t restrict them just to the words themselves! Google offers a range of negative and positive keyword match types that will help you refine these. An example would be “red shirt” as opposed to “+ red +shirt.”

6- Negative Keywords

The importance of negative keywords in google ads can not be overstated. When added into your campaign targeting and ad group settings, these words will block you from showing up next to irrelevant search results that are useless for potential customers who are interested in what you offer! So if the keyword “recliner” is getting searched 300 times a month, recliners aren’t part of your inventory – add it as a negative word, so those searches don’t count against you during bidding time. Your budget goes much farther this way- mainly because there’s no cost per click or paid impressions on these terms since they’re blocked by default. Not only do negative keywords allow you to exclude undesirable, irrelevant, or unprofitable keyword searches from your campaign, but they also prevent any unwanted ads that contain these words.

7- Ad Extensions

These are extensions that appear to the right of a search engine result page (SERP) on Google. They can be added for free by any advertiser and include location targeting, call tracking numbers, business hours, etc. To take advantage of these features on Google Ads, your business needs to be eligible for each one and meet specific requirements, including having an active AdWords account in good standing.

  1. With Location Extension, advertisers can show different information based on where searchers are located geographically.
  2. Call Extension is designed to help connect businesses with customers who have called their phone number from ads before but can’t find them again via search engine query or by clicking through on RLSA (Remarketing Lists For Search Ads).
  3. Sitelinks allow marketers another opportunity to showcase their services or products with a link to the website. You can also use the Sitelink extension to your ad, which will allow you to include up to five links that point viewers directly from one page on your website and onto another specific location. They’re handy because they help people navigate large websites while also providing more information about different detail   pages. This is particularly helpful if it’s difficult for visitors to find what they need using just the main navigation bar at the top of their browser window.
  4. Callout extensions on Google Ads can be used for various things, from showing your phone number to highlighting a special offer.

8- Responsive Ads

It’s a good idea to use responsive ad copies that automatically change to fit the device in which they’re being viewed. For example, if a searcher is viewing your ad on their mobile phone, then you can tailor your message and offer something more suitable for the smaller screen (e.g., “Check out our newest arrivals!” rather than “Visit Our Store”). Google does a phenomenal job in optimizing ad copies and serves them to the user depending on the device the user is using and the performance of a specific composition.

9- Notations

Maintaining data can be tricky in Google Ads when you have a high count of moving parts, including external influences that affect how an account is performing. It’s challenging to try and analyze numbers when you have multiple people managing an account over its lifespan. Logging your success and failures with Google Adwords can help you find what kinds of ads work best for your situation.

10- Targeting by Device Type

As you start running Google Ads, you’ll see that you can set the campaign to target people using specific devices. Google will then serve ads based on which type of device a person has, such as desktop or mobile phone, or tablet. It is not recommended to use device targeting if you are starting fresh. This is applicable once you have run your campaigns for some time and you have some data to analyze how your ads are performing on different devices. Basis your performance, you can prioritize your ads on devices that are performing better compared to others.

11- Audience Segmentation

Understanding the importance of audience segmentation in google ads is crucial for small businesses looking to reach their target market. You can take advantage of several ways, and know-how split up your campaigns by niche, gender differences, geography, language spoken, or anything else necessary to your business’s strategy will allow you an edge against competitors without having too much overlap between audiences. Understanding this concept as early on as possible will help tremendously with future marketing endeavors. There are three different kinds of the audience that you can target. Affinity Audience, In-Market audience, and Custom Audience.

  1. Affinity Audience. An affinity audience might be a group that shares interests or beliefs with you on Social platform. This could include certain hairstyles, religions, etc., but doesn’t have any bearing upon who they are as people–only how we want them to think about our product/service based on those shared attributes (e.g., if I’m selling curly-haired wigs). With this targeting strategy at hand, advertisers will know more than just age and gender; rather also knowing the types of things someone likes outside social media. A good affinity audience will have certain things in common such as gender, age range, interests, and behaviors that you want your ad to reach. This is important because searching for an appropriate customer can be time-consuming enough without wading through irrelevant profiles or spending too much money targeting people who don’t interest you at all – not only does it cost more, but they’re less likely to engage with your content when shown ads of a product-related their preferences!
  2. In-Market Audience: You have many options when it comes to where you place your ads on Google, but if you want the best chances for success, we would recommend using an in-market audience. This is because this demographic has already shown interest in what we’re selling and is actively looking to search for things that can help them with their problem areas. With an In-Market audience, you can be more precise with your targeting and use a more significant amount of data points, which will make your campaign reach people more precisely than ever before. Google AdWords also gives you additional filters like income level or language spoken that come in handy for advertisers.
  3. Custom Audience: Custom audiences allow advertisers to create audience lists and upload them into their Google Ads account. Custom audiences are created by uploading a list of one or more customer email addresses, phone numbers, Facebook user IDs/names with associated demographic information (such as age range), or any other contact info you have on your prospects, not publicly available. These custom-generated ads will only be shown to those customers who fit the target profile for each advertiser. This allows advertisers more control over how they want their ads offered without influencing general population behavior, which may not be very accurate because we’re all different.

12- Remarketing with Custom Lists

Remarketing is a powerful tool that can be used to bring people back and convert them. It’s one of the more underutilized tools in Google Ads. One of the best things about remarketing is that it offers a chance to show your ads again, even if someone has already visited and left without buying anything or signing up for email updates. You can target those people with more specific ad copy tailored just for them, which will help you get in front of their eyes one more time before they leave forever (or until their next visit). Remarketed campaigns are not as expensive per click because Google knows this segment is more likely to convert than others who may have shown interest but never converted. Let’s take the example of an air conditioning company that had just finished installing new units into ten homes over the past month. They can create a highly targeted list using these customers and make sure they stay top-of-mind by showing them customized offers during each browsing session online or searching for AC products and services locally on Google Search, Maps, YouTube, etc., across devices—everything from smartphones to desktops! Not only do you get more significant ROI through increased conversions, but your customer won’t feel like their being stalked as well.

Conclusion

It’s time to take your Google Ads strategy seriously. If you want more sales, it will require much work and research into the best ways to use this platform for maximum effectiveness. We can help! With twelve advanced tactics that have been proven successful by our team at Website Pandas, we know how to improve your ROI with Google ads in 2021 and beyond. Whether you need guidance on setting up remarketing campaigns or running an effective campaign from scratch, we are here for you! Reach out today if any of these strategies sound like they would be helpful for your business goals, and feel free to ask us questions about what else might be worth considering as well. Let’s get started optimizing those profitable impressions together.

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Google AdWords: The 10-Step Guide to Create a Profitable Campaign

Launching a new Google AdWords search campaign is an exhilarating process. Excitement, anxiety, fear, and hope are emotions that come to mind when I’m about to click the Enable button on a new campaign.

If you are just getting started, you might be afraid of messing it up. I get it. The steps I’ll walk you through will ensure you’re depositing more money into your own bank account, rather than just funding Google’s empire.

When set up and managed properly, Google Ads (previously Google Adwords) is one of the best sources for new customers.

Over the years, I have helped businesses grow from $0 to $1,000,000+ on the back of hardworking AdWords campaigns. But, I’ve also watched tens of thousands of dollars get flushed down the AdWords drain due to mismanaged campaigns.

So let’s get down to it. Tie on your AdWords apron, grab a pen to write down the key steps of a successful Google Ads Campaign, and follow along as I walk you through how to create a profitable Google AdWords campaign from scratch.

Google Adwords Step #1: Is There Customer Demand?

If your customers are not searching for your product or service in Google, then obviously, AdWords search advertising is not going to work for you.

So, before you get too excited about creating your first campaign, you need to verify there is, in fact, search volume for what you’re going to offer.

I suggest using UberSuggest, which is a free keyword research tool. The keyword tool acts much like a thesaurus. You enter in phrases you think your prospects are searching, and it will tell you other similar, relevant phrases.

Ubersuggest will tell you how often people search these phrases, how competitive the keywords, and how much it’ll cost to advertise on each keyword. All of this information will help you determine which keywords you want to use in your first campaign.

I also recommend you use the keyword “Suggestions” provided under the main chart. This will give you an idea of related keywords and how much search volume those keywords have.

You can also use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to help you find the best keywords to target. It will provide you with bid estimates and total searches, so you can make a plan.

There are three questions you’re going to ask to determine whether or not to advertise on a particular keyword:

  1. Is the keyword searched in Google? If there is no search volume, then that tells you no one is typing that phrase into Google. There is no point in advertising on keywords no one is searching.
  2. Is the person searching this keyword likely to buy my product or service? Or is the person more likely just doing research with no intention of making a purchase? In other words, what is the intent of the keyword? When starting out, you’ll want to advertise on what I call “buying intent” keywords where the person is clearly looking to buy.
  3. Can I afford to advertise on the keyword? This question is important, but it requires a bit of math to calculate. So let’s take a look at that now.

Google Adwords Step #2: Can You Afford to Advertise on Top Keywords?

Before finalizing your keyword list, you must make sure it makes sense to target that term. This will prevent you from going after keywords where there’s no chance of them being profitable. It’s better to run these numbers now before you’ve sunk time and money into a campaign destined to fail.

To answer the question “Can I afford to advertise on this keyword?” you need to calculate your maximum cost per click (Max CPC). You’ll compare your business’s Max CPC to the estimated keyword CPC in the Keyword Tool to see if you can afford to advertise.

For example, if your Max CPC is $5 and the estimated CPC is $4, then you know there’s a good chance you can profitably advertise on that particular keyword.

Your Max CPC is determined by your website’s conversion rate, profit per customer, and target advertising profit margin. If you don’t know these numbers, you’ll need to guesstimate or set up tracking to calculate them more accurately.

Use the formula below to calculate your Max CPC and then compare to the estimated CPC you found above:

Max CPC = (profit per customer) x (1 – profit margin) x (website conversion rate)

For example, let’s say your average profit per customer is $500, and out of 1,000 website visitors, you convert 10 into customers. That means you have a 1 percent website conversion rate.

If you are comfortable with a 30 percent profit margin, then here’s how you would calculate your Max CPC:

Max CPC = $500 x (1 – 0.30) x 1% = $3.50

Again, your Max CPC must be in the neighborhood of the estimated CPC in Google’s Keyword Planner tool, or else you’re in trouble.

Suppose your Max CPC is $3.50 and the estimated CPC for a keyword is $10. In that case, you’ll need to first increase either your profit per customer or your conversion rate before you can profitably advertise on that particular keyword.

Google Adwords Step #3: Perform Competitor Analysis

At this point, you now have a list of “buying intent” keywords that you’re confident you can afford. The next step is to reduce your risk by leveraging competitor intelligence.

In most industries, you’ll find competitors who already have tested and optimized their AdWords campaigns. That means they have figured out which keywords, ads, and landing pages work and do not work in your market.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just hack into your competitor’s AdWords accounts and steal that information?

Before you get too far along on your illegal hacking plot, I should let you know about a very cool competitive intelligence tool called KeywordSpy. KeywordSpy collects, organizes, and provides easy access to all of your competitors’ historical advertising information.

Think of it like your own Delorean time machine!

To set up your account, go to www.KeywordSpy.com and click on the free trial button.

Once you’re signed up and logged in, then copy one of your competitor domains into the search bar and select the Domains option as shown below.

(To find your competitors, simply type your keywords into Google and then copy the advertiser domains.)

When the search is complete, click on the PPC Keywords tab to see all of the keywords your competitor is advertising on.

In this example, the competitor is advertising on 50 keywords and you can see the date when they first started to advertise on each keyword. The longer an advertiser has been advertising, the better because that implies the keyword is generating sales.

If the keyword was not profitable, then a smart advertiser would pause the keyword.

(Important Note: Not all advertisers are smart, so don’t blindly use this rule of thumb.)

Next, you can either manually search through the list, or you can export them all, remove irrelevant keywords, and then add them to the list of keywords you already found in Ubersuggest or Google’s Keyword Planner tool.

When you’re done reviewing keywords, click on the Ads tab to review your competitor’s ad copy.

Again, you can see the date when the ad was tested, which indicates whether or not the ad is performing well.

You can also use other competitive analysis tools to find out more about what works for your competitors.

I recommend reviewing several competitors’ ads to see what types of offers resonate with your target market. While you’re reviewing the ads, look for a way to differentiate your business from all of your competitors.

Differentiation is critical to AdWords’ success, which brings us to step four.

Google Adwords Step #4: Leverage a Powerful USP

Your USP, or unique selling proposition, is what differentiates your business from your competitors and gives your prospects a compelling reason to choose you.

In other words, your USP answers the question, “Why should I, your prospect, choose to do business with you, versus any and every other option, including doing nothing?”

When it comes to AdWords, there are three important reasons to create a powerful USP:

  1. A strong USP generates more traffic from qualified prospects (encourage clicks on your ads) and repels unwanted leads (prevent clicks on your ads).
  2. A strong USP will skyrocket your sales conversion rates. So, not only will you generate more traffic because you’ll get more clicks on your ads, you’ll also convert more of your traffic into paying customers.
  3. A strong USP can eliminate price comparison shopping. This can be a game-changer because you’re no longer seen as a commodity. If you give your prospects a compelling reason to do business with you versus your competition, then price becomes a secondary issue.

OK, a USP is a key ingredient. Makes sense, but how do you create one?

Well, first, you focus on your core strengths. What are you better at than your competitors?

Second, talk to your customers, and more importantly, listen to them. A great USP is built on customer insight, so ask your customers why they do business with you. Also, ask questions to determine what your customers dislike about your industry and what your customers wish you could provide in addition to your core products or services.

Third, analyze your competitors, and look for an opening. The most important word in unique selling proposition is unique.

To create a really strong USP, you need to study your competitors’ ads, websites, and marketing materials, and find your opportunity to stand out. I recommend you use a spreadsheet to organize all of your competitors’ ads and websites, so you can more easily find the commonalities. As you’re doing this, look for an opening to say something unique and superior.

To get you started, here’s a powerful USP I’m sure you’ll recognize: “Fresh hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.

Where have you heard that line before? That’s Domino’s Pizza’s USP, and they used it to build a billion-dollar empire.

They don’t claim to be all things to everybody. In fact, they don’t even mention quality ingredients, price, or taste. They focused their entire business on the one thing their customers care about most – fast, on-time delivery.

Picture some college students late Saturday night with the munchies, and you’re looking at Domino’s Pizza’s ideal customer profile!

Google Adwords Step #5: Have an Irresistible Offer

What can you offer in your AdWords campaign that is so compelling your prospect would be a fool to not take action? How can you stand out from all the other ads your prospect will see in the search results?

The answer is your irresistible offer, which consists of the following four components:

1. Valuable

Your product or service must be more valuable than the price. That’s marketing 101. This doesn’t mean your offer has to be cheap. You just need to clearly define all of the value your product or service provides to your customer and make sure it outweighs your price tag.

2. Believable

When you make an offer that appears to be too good to be true, then your prospect may be a little skeptical. So you must provide a believable reason for your offer.

For example, if you’re running a special sale, you need to explain why you’re offering such a steep discount. The reason could be anything: clearing out inventory, end-of-the-year sale, celebrating an anniversary, opening a new store, your birthday, and so on.

3. Reduce or Reverse Risk

Everyone is scared of getting ripped off online. One of the best tactics to minimize the risk to your customer is with a money-back guarantee. A money-back guarantee puts all the risk on your business to deliver excellent service, or else you’ll have to give all the money back to the customer.

Whenever possible, I always recommend you include some kind of guarantee in your offer. It will improve your response rates, and it’s a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

4. Call to Action

One of my elementary school art teachers once gave me fantastic advice when he was teaching a class. He told me to always “Use the KISS method… Keep it simple, stupid.” I didn’t realize at the time, but those truly are words to live by, especially when you’re creating an irresistible offer.

If you want your prospect to pick up the phone and call you, then make it crystal clear and simple to call you. Don’t expect your prospect to connect the dots or search around your website to figure out the next step. Use a strong call to action and keep it simple.

At this point, you’re probably wondering if you’ll ever actually create your AdWords campaign. We’re already halfway through the steps, and you don’t have any ads to show for it!

Trust me, the first five steps are absolutely critical, and you’ll thank me later once you’re ads are live and you’re generating profit, instead of loss.

But since you asked for it, let’s dive in and talk about creating your ads.

Google Adwords Step #6: Create Compelling Ads

With AdWords search advertising, you pay only when people click on your ads. Therefore, your ads have two very important jobs:

  1. Attract qualified prospects so they click on your ad instead of competitors’ ads.
  2. Repel unqualified prospects so they do not click and waste your ad budget.

That means more traffic, more sales, and less wasted money on unqualified traffic, which all leads to higher profits for you.

There’s one more important job for your ads. Compelling ads with a high click-through rate (CTR) will boost your Quality Score, which in turn will lower the cost per click of your keywords.

So your ads will directly affect how much you pay per click for each of your keywords. Great ads will lower your costs, while lousy ads will raise your costs.

Do you see why step #6 is so important? This is also why all of the previous steps are required, because we’ll use them all to make the ads more compelling.

There are four key components to your AdWords text ads:

  1. Headline
  2. Description line 1
  3. Description line 2
  4. Display URL

Headline

The headline is the most critical component because it’s the first thing your prospect will read. Try to include your keyword in your ads’ headline because Google will bold the text, which makes it stand out from other ads.

This also is the easiest way to ensure your ad is 100 percent relevant for the prospect searching.

Another great strategy is to ask a question in the headline. For example, if the keyword is “new york city dentist” then a compelling headline is “Need a New York Dentist?”

Not only is part of the keyword in the headline, but the question will get the prospect nodding her head yes. As all great salespeople know, just one yes is sometimes all it takes to start a chain reaction leading to the sale.

Google AdWords allows 30 characters for your headline so make every letter count and use abbreviations whenever possible.

Description Line 1 and 2

In your two description lines, reiterate the benefits of your service, state your USP, provide social proof, and/or describe your offer. And, of course, include your call to action. You only have 35 characters for each description line so, again, use abbreviations to fit more of your message.

Display URL

The display URL is an easily overlooked area of your ads. Don’t just copy and paste your domain name. Instead use your Display URL to include your offer, your call to action, your USP, or anything else that will make your ads stand out.

Here are three examples for a dentist to give you an idea of what you can do:

  • www.domain.com/Whiter_Smile
  • www.domain.com/NYC_Dentist
  • www.domain.com/Free_Whitening

Before we move on, I want to show you an example of a good ad and a bad ad, so you can see the difference.

Example of a Good Ad for the Keyword “appliance repair”:

Same Day Sub-Zero Repair
24 Hour Service… Within 1 Hour
$25 Off Coupon. Call Us Now.

As you can see, the advertiser is clearly targeting a specific niche – people with Sub Zero appliances. They offer compelling benefits, including same-day 24-hour service within one hour. They have an offer of a $25-off coupon. And they have a clear call to action to call now.

Note that I would try to improve this ad by including the keyword in the title to make it more relevant to the search phrase.

Example of a Weak Ad for the Keyword “appliance repair”:

[Name of Company]
family owned since 1939 for all
your appliance needs call now

The headline of this ad was the name of the company, which is not relevant to the keyword “appliance repair.” Unless you’re a big-name brand, no one will recognize or even care about your name. It’s not compelling and there’s no congruence from keyword to the ad.

Also, “family owned since 1939” is not a specific benefit. There’s implied benefit if the prospect puts two and two together and believes longevity equals good service. However, that’s a lot to ask and clearly does not follow the KISS principle. Stick to explicit benefits rather than implied benefits in your ads.

Finally, the phrase “for all your appliance needs” is as vague as you could possibly be. This is an example of trying to be all things to all people, rather than solving a very specific problem for a very specific target customer.

Google Adwords Step #7: Use Relevant Landing Pages

At this point, your prospect has searched for your product or service. They found your ad to be compelling versus all of the other options, clicked to learn more, and landed on your website.

Now what?

Well, if you’re like a lot of first-time advertisers, then your prospect is now on your homepage scratching their head trying to figure out what just happened. The ad made a promise the homepage couldn’t keep.

That’s because your homepage is not an advertising landing page!

Homepages explain everything your business does, all of your products and services, and all of the different customers you serve. In other words, your homepage is not 100 percent relevant to the keyword searched and the ad clicked. Do not make this mistake.

Instead, create a dedicated landing page that matches the keyword and the ad. The goal is to make the entire sales process congruent so your prospect is continually reassured she’s going down the right path.

The most important component on your landing page is your headline, which is the first thing your prospect will read. Your headline must grab attention, reiterate the offer made in the ad, and compel your prospect to keep reading the rest of the page.

The copy of high-converting landing pages should again be relevant to the keyword searched and the ad clicked on. Include your USP, benefits of your product or service, details about your irresistible offer, social proof, credibility that you’re a legitimate business, and a strong call to action.

Google AdWords Step #8: Conversion Tracking

We’re almost ready to set up your campaign in AdWords, but there is one final ingredient: Conversion tracking.

If you skip this step, you’ll never know which keywords and ads generate sales and which are just losing money. In other words, you will not be able to optimize your campaign once it’s up and running.

Conversion tracking measures the sales generated by your AdWords campaign. More specifically, you want to know which keywords and which ads are generating sales.

If some or all of your sales occur online with an e-commerce shopping cart, then conversion tracking is pretty straightforward. Just use the built-in Google AdWords conversion tracking.

The Google Ads conversion tracking code can be found in your Google Ads account under the tool icon, then “Measurements > Conversions.

To create a new conversion, simply click on the [+ Conversion] button and follow the steps to define your conversion. Then add the small snippet of code to your order form thank-you page or receipt page.

This code is similar to Google Analytics code if you have that installed on your website, but it should be on only the final page after a customer completes her order.

Then, when a customer lands on your receipt page or thank you page, Google will track the conversions in your AdWords account automatically. That’s really all there is to it, and there’s no reason not to install this before you turn on your ads.

Google can also track app installs, web conversions, phone calls, and offline conversions.

What if you generate leads online, but you ultimately close the sale “offline” – over the phone or in-person – rather than online? Clearly, you can’t add a conversion code to your cash register, so what can you do?

The three tactics I recommend for tracking offline sales are:

  1. Create a conversion page in your sales process. For example, send all of your customers to a special page to get their receipt, create an account online, or download an important document. Think of a way to get your customers to that webpage and add the AdWords code to that page. Now you can track the sales.
  2. Use unique coupon codes in your ads and landing pages. If you use unique coupon codes in your ads and landing pages, then you can match the codes back to the ad and keyword that generated the sale.
  3. Use tracking phone numbers in your ads and landing pages. If you use unique tracking phone numbers, you can match the calls and subsequent sales to the ads and keywords that generated the sale.

Once conversion tracking is in place, then the time has finally come to log into Google AdWords and set up your first campaign.

The Google AdWords interface makes campaign setup a breeze, but don’t blindly accept the default settings. Some of them can get you into trouble.

Google AdWords Step #9: AdWords Settings for Success

As I mentioned, Google Ads does a great job of making it fairly easy to set up your campaign. Simply click on the blue plus symbol, then the New Campaign button, as shown below, and follow the steps to add in your ads and keywords.

The process is pretty simple; however, many of the default settings are not in your best interest. That’s why step #9 is to use the correct AdWords settings for success.

Here are the most important settings to watch out for:

  • Search vs. Display
  • Device Bids
  • Keyword Match Types
  • Negative Keywords

Search vs. Display

Select Search Network Only for your campaign type, so you’re targeting only the Google Search Network and not the Display Network.

The display network is a completely different animal than search advertising and it requires a different set of keywords, ads, and landing pages. So always set up separate campaigns to target each network.

Keyword Match Types

Many first time advertisers have no idea there are different match types. As a result, they waste money on irrelevant search phrases that are not part of the keywords listed in the account.

There are three main keyword match types:

  • broad
  • phrase
  • exact

Broad match as you now know is the default match type. If you leave your keywords as Broad match, then Google will show your ads to any search phrase Google thinks is relevant to your keyword.

This means your ads will get more impressions, but you’ll likely show ads to irrelevant search phrases that will just waste your budget. So I do not recommend Broad match.

Phrase match keywords will trigger ads when the exact phrase is part of the keyword typed into Google. For example, if your Phrase match keyword is “office space,” then your ad will display for “New York office space” and “office space in New York.” However, your ad would not display for “office in space” because the phrase “office space” is broken up by the word “in.”

Phrase match gives you much more control over your ads than Broad match. To change your keyword to Phrase match, simply add quotes around the keyword (see image below).

Exact match simply tells Google to display your ad only when the exact keyword is typed into Google. You’ll get the most control with Exact match, but you’ll limit your exposure. To set your match type to Exact match, add square brackets around your keywords (see image below).

I recommend starting with Phrase match because you’ll get the best of both worlds with regard to targeting and reach. However, when you use Phrase match, you need to make sure you include negative keywords.

Negative Keywords

Negative keywords give you the ability to block phrases from triggering your ads. For example, if you’re an office space rental company advertising on the Phrase match keyword, “office space,” then you will want to block the keyword “movie.”

That way your ads for an office space rental will not be displayed for folks searching for the Office Space movie.

To add negative keywords, go to the Keywords tab in your account, scroll down, and click on the Negative keyword link (see image below).

Next, click the Add button to add in the keywords you want to block.

Once you’ve completed the setup process, then you’re ready to enable the ads and start optimizing your campaign!

Google Adwords Step #10: Optimization

As soon as you set your bidding, enable your campaign, and Google approves your ads, you can take a nice deep breath. Congratulations, your ads are live!

Unfortunately, you can’t relax yet. Most campaigns are not profitable from the start and they always require continual optimization to stay profitable.

There are three main areas to improve your AdWords campaign performance:

  1. Your keyword bids. I recommend using Smart Bidding to get started, but once you start to generate clicks and sales, you might want to adjust your bids accordingly. If your keywords are generating sales profitably and you’re not ranked #1, then continue to raise your bids. If your keywords are not generating sales profitably, then obviously, you’ll need to lower your bids or pause the keyword entirely.
  2. Your ad click-through rate (CTR). As I mentioned earlier, your ad CTR directly affects your quality score, which in turn determines how much you pay per click. To optimize your CTR, A/B test different ads to see which version gets the most clicks.
  3. Your landing page conversion rate. The final area to optimize is your landing page. There are many tools to help you test different landing page versions, but if you’re just starting out, I recommend you use Google Optimize. It’s easy and free to get started. Create an experiment to test two different versions of your landing page and measure to see which one generates the most conversions.

Conclusion

By now, your Google AdWords campaign should be set up so you’re focused on optimizing keyword bids, ad click-through rates, and landing page conversion rates.

If you follow these ten steps, then you will be well on your way to a profitable Google AdWords campaign. Good luck!

For more informative blogs check out this link.

The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing

Email Marketing may be one of the oldest forms of digital communication, but email still reigns supreme when it comes to usage.

Sure, there are other newer methods of communicating with your audience and customers. Communication methods like social media, live chat, and many others. However, with a user base of over 4 billion people, email is the king of marketing channels.

Additionally, email marketing has an ROI of $38 for every dollar spent, meaning it deserves a place in every marketer’s toolbox. 

It may be one of the oldest forms of digital communication, but email still reigns supreme when it comes to usage.

Sure, there are other newer methods of communicating with your audience and customers. Communication methods like social media, live chat, and many others. However, with a user base of over 4 billion people, email is the king of marketing channels.

Additionally, email marketing has an ROI of $38 for every dollar spent, meaning it deserves a place in every marketer’s toolbox. 

There’s a problem—most people don’t know how to do it right. (In fact, you’ve probably seen those people in your email box.)

This post will walk you through tips and strategies for executing impactful email marketing campaigns.

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is the act of sending promotional messages to people in mass quantities. It typically is to generate sales or leads and it may contain advertising.

Remember: You’re a Guest in Their Inbox

People are inundated with interruptions, pitches, and advertisements everywhere they look.

Though you might think your email is special. To the reader, your email is one in a million—and not in a good way.

This is why it’s important to remember where you are and use good manners.

Getting into someone’s inbox is like being invited to their home for dinner. If they ask you to take your shoes off, you respectfully do so.

It’s the same with email marketing, so before we begin I’d simply like to remind you to be on your best behavior at all times and remember… you’re a guest in their inbox.

Now, let’s talk about how to build your email marketing strategy from the ground up.

How Does Email Marketing Work?

Email marketing is one of the top-performing strategies, in no small part because it’s fairly intuitive and often automated.

In its basic form, an effective email marketing campaign requires three essential elements:

1. An Email List

For you to pull off successful email campaigns, you need an active email list. This is a database of email contacts who have expressed interest in receiving marketing communications from your brand.

There are many ways to build an email list. One of the easiest is to create a lead magnet (also called an offer) your target audience is interested in, like a coupon, in exchange for their email addresses.

2. An Email Service Provider

An email service provider (ESP), also known as an email marketing platform, is software that helps manage your email list. It also helps design and execute automated email marketing campaigns.

Using an ESP allows you to automate actions triggered by your target audience’s behaviors. These enable you to personalize each interaction with them, meaning engagement and conversion rates generally improve.

3. Clearly Defined Goals

You can use email marketing to achieve many business goals. For example, you can use email marketing to:

  • drive sales
  • boost brand awareness 
  • generate and nurture leads
  • keep customers engaged
  • increase customer loyalty and lifetime value

To execute an effective email marketing campaign, your email list, ESP, and goals must align. Then, you can get to work.

The first step is to segment your email list according to subscriber demographics or actions.

Next, create an email or series of emails designed to get consumers to do something (your goal).

Finally, use your ESP to send emails and monitor the campaign automatically.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Email Marketing

Just like any other marketing channel, email marketing has pros and cons. Let’s briefly dive into some of the more significant ones:

Advantages :

Email Is Permission-based

When a customer trusts you with their email address, it’s the virtual equivalent of being given the keys to their house. Gaining permission to enter rather than showing up uninvited increases the chances of engagement and conversion.

Affords You Direct Access to Your Audience

You can communicate directly with subscribers on their schedules. In addition, because people check their emails daily, your email is likely to be viewed.

Gives You More Control

With most other marketing platforms, you don’t own the platform. If the platform ceases to exist, all your hard work sinks with it.

With email, you own the relationships you forge with your subscribers.

More Personalization Capabilities

You can use demographic or psychographic data to create personalized and hyper-targeted campaigns. Research shows segmented and personalized campaigns increase revenue by as much as 760 percent.

Measurable

Measuring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign is crucial, and automated email marketing makes measuring your campaign a breeze.

Scalable

Email marketing campaigns can scale without putting a strain on your resources or compromising quality.

Disadvantages :

Tough Competition

Standing out in a cluttered inbox can be quite a challenge. You have to be creative to ensure your emails get noticed and opened.

You Need an Email List

You should already have an email list for your campaigns to be effective.

Tricky Rules and Regulations to Navigate

There are a lot of rules governing the use of email for commercial purposes. Common examples include GDPR, CAN-SPAM, and CCPA. All of these state you can’t send unsolicited emails.

Unfortunately, some subscribers also report your emails as being spam even after they subscribed to the list. As a result, your sender reputation takes a hit.

Delivery and Deliverability Issues

Getting your email to land in receivers’ inboxes is not guaranteed. To run effective email marketing campaigns, you must contend with delivery and deliverability issues.

Email Marketing Examples

Let’s briefly look at a couple of examples for a bit of inspiration.

Teaonic

Teaonic is an e-commerce brand specializing in organic, healthy teas.

Subject line: Getting Low On Wellness?

What does this email get right?

  • Great subject line: The subject line focuses on the target audience’s main pain point, i.e., improving their health.
  • Leverages color psychology: The bright, warm colors trigger feelings of health and happiness.
  • Well-timed: The email is targeted at people who have purchased the product and is sent when the customer’s supply is about to run out.

Bluehost

Well-known for its hosting services, Bluehost decided to try its hand at creating a website builder.

Subject line: Bluehost’s new Website Builder makes building simple.

  • Sells the benefits, not features: Focusing on the benefits makes the copy more compelling.
  • Clean design: The simple design makes the email aesthetically pleasing and easy to read.
  • Excellent targeting: Bluehost knows their audience is mainly made up of small business owners without technical expertise. The email uses language targeted at this demographic.

How to Automate Your Email Marketing

While the automation process varies from one ESP to another, there are some universal steps to automating your email marketing.

Define Your Segments

Effective email marketing campaigns start with list segmentation. Use the data you have about your subscribers to group them. This allows you to create more personalized campaigns.

Design an Efficient Workflow

After segmenting your email list, it’s time to design a workflow. This is the series of emails to fulfill the objective of the campaign.

Determine the Right Triggers

Once you’ve designed your workflow, determine the triggers that will set off the following email in the sequence. Examples of triggers can include customers opening your email, clicking on a link, or not opening it at all within a predetermined time frame.

Best Email Marketing Strategies

To succeed with email marketing, you have to be strategic in the way you design your campaigns. Here are some of the best strategies you can employ.

Use the Right List Building Strategies

The success of your email marketing campaigns depends on the quality of your email list. To build such a list, you must use list-building strategies designed to attract your target audience. For example, a case study promoted on LinkedIn may help a B2B brand build a list of engaged subscribers but flop when used by a B2C brand.

Practice Good Email List Hygiene

Another essential email marketing strategy is practicing good email list hygiene. Cleaning out inactive subscribers and email addresses that are no longer in use will ensure you have a good sender reputation.

Keep Your List Warm

Regularly send emails to your list to keep your subscribers engaged (warm). However, sporadic emailing could result in subscribers forgetting who you are and lead to low conversion rates.

If some of your subscribers go cold, you can run a re-engagement campaign.

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What do you mean by SEO Management?

Writing a captivating and share-worthy blog is only half the battle in creating content that engages and converts consumers. Marketers know you also have to get eyes on your blog. SEO Management is a smart way to do that, organically attracting readers to your blog and boosting your website’s visibility.

What’s more, the traffic you attract will consist of interested, engaged readers because they’ve found your blog by entering relevant keywords via Google (or other search engines). With effective SEO, you’ve already overcome the hurdle of piquing the reader’s initial interest. If you’ve optimized your content correctly, searchers who end up on your blog will already be eager to consume the content you’ve created.

From there, all you have to do is maintain their interest with thorough research, a well-organized structure, and quality content. This is especially important for bloggers who depend largely on organic traffic to drive leads and generate ad revenue or sales.

Whether you’re a small business owner looking to launch an e-commerce site or an SEO expert, below is an in-depth overview of our top blog SEO tips to help you optimize your next piece of content. More specifically, we’ll explain how great content should:

  • Leverage Topic Clusters to Organize Your Content
  • Utilize Keyword Research
  • Write to Rank for Featured Snippets
  • Incorporate Rich Media Types On-Page
  • Add Internal Links Within Your Content
  • Customize the URL You’re Using
  • Use Tools and Plug-Ins to Make Your Job Easier
  • Monitor Mobile Responsiveness and Experience
  • Simplify Blog SEO With SEMrush

Leverage Topic Clusters to Organize Your Content

In the past, blogging and SEO have focused primarily on optimizing individual posts. While this is important, you can improve your search engine rankings even more by using topic clusters. Following this model, you select a larger “pillar” topic or target keyword you want to rank for and create individual pieces of “cluster” content based on specific keywords related to that topic. This results in greater interconnectedness between individual blogs, enhancing the website’s overall authoritativeness and your audience’s user experience.

This approach also prevents individual pieces of blog content from competing. When you have multiple blog posts about the same topic, you end up with URLs taking attention away from another. An editorial calendar is critical if you want your pillar-cluster model to succeed. You can select your pillar and cluster topics in advance and plan a logical blog SEO strategy for publishing new content.

First, select your pillar topics. Then, compile six to eight subtopics based on specific questions a person might have after reading the pillar page’s content. Say you run a website about at-home fitness, for example. Add the search query “at-home fitness,” and you’ll be provided with a list of ideas for related keywords. 

Utilize Keyword Research

Comprehensive keyword research is critical to a blog’s success. It requires more than thinking to yourself, “Hey, what will people plug into Google?” For instance, the most obvious keyword isn’t necessarily the best choice. Popular keywords with a high search volume are highly competitive, making it harder to rank well in search engine results.

Luckily, there are SEO tools that can help with your keyword research. You can even discover “not provided” keywords via integrating your Google Analytics account, allowing you to cross-reference data to check organic search performance .Focus on one to two long-tail keywords, which will reflect your target audience’s search intent. This is a longer and more focused phrase that a person is more likely to use at a point of purchase or when conducting a voice search. Instead of “long-form article,” for instance, a person might search “how to write a long-form article.” These keywords should be included in your body, organizing header, the page URL, and the meta description and title tag.

Another SEO best practice that doesn’t require you to be a technical SEO expert is to insert thoughtful internal links in your blog content like this one. Linking to other pages encourages readers to further explore your website, keeping them on your platform for longer. It also helps search engines find other relevant authority pages you have to offer. When hyperlinking, don’t use more than five words for your anchor text. To get users to click a link, make it clear where it will take them and what value clicking will provide.

Last but not least, ensure any internal links are logical. Hyperlinking anchor text for the sake of it won’t give readers any added value (which means they won’t click). Above all, Google rankings are focused on the end-users and the value that content provides for them. In general, these blog optimization tips are all geared toward that end.

Customize the URL You’re Using

An important ranking factor is the structure of your URL, so you don’t want to rely on automatically generated URLs for your blog posts. Customized URLs make it easy for search engines to understand what the page is about and allow Google bots to index pages accordingly. For example, a pillar page about content marketing might have the subdirectory “/content-marketing” at the end of the URL structure. A cluster about using blogs for content marketing might conclude with “/content-marketing/how-to-use-blogs-for-content-marketing.”

Customized URLs also make it easier for users to see what a page is about quickly. This can be especially handy when it comes to internal linking. If a user hovers over an anchor text and a URL is displayed that indicates where the user will be redirected, they will be more likely to click on it. Just be aware that if you change URLs, you will have to go back and amend internal links. Additionally, inbound links may no longer work. Get your URLs right the first time.

Another benefit of a custom URL? You can use keywords you are trying to rank for. Just be sure that when using keywords, your URL is SEO-friendly, meaning it’s concise and simple.

Use Tools and Plug-Ins to Make Your Job Easier

Content management system (CMS) plug-ins will streamline your blog SEO efforts. If your chosen CMS is WordPress, for example, you can use Akismet to monitor comments and spam or Workflow Enhancement, which lets you easily alter font size, create tables, and more. If you use Ghost (popular among bloggers), you can integrate plug-ins from Google Analytics, YouTube, Twitter, and Zapier, to name a few.

Plug-ins can save you valuable time when it comes to on-page SEO. Take Yoast, for example, a WordPress SEO plug-in. This is a one-stop-shop for optimization. When you install it, you get a module on each page’s edit post, showing you how your page performs in key SEO criteria. It analyzes everything from content length to inbound links, the meta title, focus keyword placement, and the length of the meta title. Any issues in need of further attention are flagged so that you can make a quick fix.

Monitor Mobile Responsiveness and Experience

Mobile is no longer an after-thought when it comes to web design. Google has now confirmed mobile-first indexing. This means that the search engine giant prioritizes the mobile version of the content (over the desktop version) when indexing and ranking webpages. The mobile-first approach was implemented in July 2019 and is now the default for all new websites.

The first step you can take to check if your site is mobile-friendly is to run it through Google’s mobile-friendly test tool. This will flag some basic issues and how to fix them. In general, ensure that you have a responsive design so that your blog pages have just one URL (instead of two different ones for desktop and mobile). This ensures that backlinks to your blog won’t be divided among two URLs, increasing the power of these inbound links.

There are also simple stylistic steps you can take to make for a more user-friendly mobile experience. The best blog structure for SEO will prioritize readability. Avoid large chunks of text, for example, which are harder to read on mobile devices. Use headers to break up the text and organize it. Other key points that might be flagged by Google’s mobile-friendly test tool include having content wider than the screen, placing clickable elements too close together, and using text that is too small to read.

Simplify Blog SEO With SEMrush

Creating SEO-optimized blog content doesn’t mean you have to know the ins and outs of Google’s algorithm or become an expert in HTML. SEMrush offers a number of features to simplify and streamline the process, saving you time and effort. From domain overview tools to organic keyword research technology and site audit assistance, our suite of resources will help you get a handle on things as you optimize blog SEO. You then have more time to devote to creating compelling content that engages your target audience.

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