5 Pay-Per-Click Hacks From a Tampa PPC Management Expert

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Pay-per-click (PPC) can be one of the fastest ways to grow a business. But if you don’t know what you’re doing it can also be one of the fastest ways to lose a lot of money.

With the help of some tried and tested tips, though, you should be able to create a winning PPC campaign.

Keep reading and I’ll share 5 PPC hacks that’ll help you become a PPC expert. Use what you learn and it won’t be long before PPC is one of the best marketing channels for your business.

1. Define Your Audience to Prevent Wasted Ad Spend

If you direct your PPC campaigns at anyone and everyone, you’re never going to experience any form of PPC success.

Relevance is hugely important. If your campaigns are not relevant, the people being exposed to them will not be interested in them. This will lead to them ignoring your marketing. This, of course, will lead to an incredibly low return on investment (ROI).

PPC marketing works best when you have spent some time defining your ideal audience. You can then use this information to create campaigns that will only be shown to a relevant audience.

We will discuss this in more detail later, but the way you go about defining your target audience is going to depend on the PPC platform you’re using.

In simple terms, there are generally two kinds of PPC platforms – search engine and social media platforms.

If you’re going to run social media campaigns you generally need to think about defining demographic data. You also need to think about the goals and fears of your ideal audience.

If you need help with this, think about using a Persona to help you craft an outline of your target audience. You can then use this information when inputting the targeting settings within your chosen PPC platform.

If you’re going to run search engine campaigns, though, you need to consider the above but also some extra details. This mainly includes the kinds of keywords your target market will type into Google when they’re looking to spend money with your kind of company. In the next section, we will discuss how you can identify the best keywords.

2. Understand How to Select Worthwhile Keywords

If you’re going to run a PPC search campaign, it’s essential you know how to pick the right keywords. For the most part, there are two platforms you can use if you’re going to run a search campaign. AdWords and Bing.

For many, AdWords is best, simply because Google is the more popular search engine. This means that there is generally a wider range of keywords you can target. With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at how you should go about selecting keywords if you’re using AdWords to market your company.

If you want to find keywords for your search ad campaign, you should think about using a tool known as the Google Keyword Planner.

This tool is free to use and gives you the chance to discover a wide range of relevant keywords. It’ll also show you how much it costs to ‘bid’ on a certain keyword.

To get the best results with this tool, consider adding something relatively basic, that is related to your industry. If you own a cleaning company, you might type in ‘cleaning.’

If your business is local, you’ll also want to select the appropriate location. Or, you can include the location when you’re typing in the keyword. For instance, if you provide cleaning services in New York, you’d type in ‘cleaning services New York.’

When you do this, you’ll then be shown a list of keywords. The keywords that are the most expensive often drive traffic that will produce the best return on investment. If this were not the case, other businesses would not be willing to bid so highly.

3. Experiment with Different Ad Platforms

To begin with, you’ll want to focus on just using one ad platform to promote your business. But over time you will want to try other platforms too.

For instance, you may start out only using Search Ads to promote your business. Eventually, you may get to the point where Search Ads are delivering results and your marketing is ROI positive. In a situation like this, it can be a good idea to test the waters with other platforms like YouTube.

You don’t have to stop advertising on Search Ads. You just want to see if you can achieve results on another platform.

The good thing about using other platforms is that it gives you the chance to market your business in different methods. You may find that these other methods are able to deliver better results, without costing you as much money.

For example, YouTube is often less competitive than Search Ads. This means that you may end up paying less per acquisition if you use YouTube Ads. You may even find that your target audience is more receptive to video ads.

4. Don’t Forget About Split Testing

No matter how good you are at PPC advertising, creating a winning campaign is not easy. The best PPC campaigns in the world are often the product of many rounds of split testing. Following this, you shouldn’t expect to create a winning PPC campaign on your first attempt.

There are many aspects of a PPC campaign you can test and what you test will depend on the kind of campaign you’re running.

Mainly you’ll want to think about testing the creative of your ad (otherwise known as the overall design of your ad). This might mean you run creatives that have varying headlines, descriptions, and calls to action.

It is important you only change one thing, per round of testing. In doing so, it will be a lot easier to work out what is driving the downturn or an improvement in results. It also makes it a lot harder to decide what should make it to the next round of testing.

For instance, if you adjust both the headline and descriptions, you won’t know which aspect delivered the change. You, therefore, won’t know what you should improve upon in the next round of tests.

You’ll also want to think about running each variation of an ad, in its own separate ‘ad group.’

This is because ad platforms tend to run their own tests. You’ll find that ad platforms will run all the ads that can be found in a single ad group. Over time, the ad that delivers the best results in the short term will be published the most. This isn’t ideal if you’re running split tests.

5. Take Advantage of New Features

Ad platforms are constantly trying to compete with one another. Due to this, you’ll find that ad platforms are always releasing new features that can help you better reach your target audience. An example of this might include Responsive Search Ads from Google.

Whenever there is a new ad product released, it is important you allocate a part of your budget towards experimenting with it. There’s no telling whether this new ad product will help you achieve better results. You will only know if you use it.

Plus some ad products can help you create campaigns that will help you stand out amongst your competitors. If you were to run a standard Search Ad, you’d only be able to use one headline within your ad.

But if you’re going to run some Responsive Search Ads, you’d be able to use three headlines. This means that your ads are now going to take up a lot more space within the search listings. In a situation like this, you generally don’t have to pay for the extra space, which makes the potential ROI improvements worth the effort.

If you find that a new feature is delivering great results, it’s important that you double down. You never know how things might change as more and more competitors start to make use of the new features.

Can You Call Yourself a PPC Expert?

Achieving results with PPC marketing isn’t simple. But with the right approach, you should be able to get results that’ll make your competitors green with envy.

In this post, we’ve covered 5 PPC hacks you can use to help improve the odds of your PPC campaigns succeeding. You need to think about who your target audience is. You should also spend some time experimenting with different PPC platforms. It also helps to consider how you can any of the new features released by a PPC platform.

Ultimately, though, if you want to be a PPC expert, it’s important you focus on testing. Only then will you be able to find the best PPC methods in the shortest period of time.

This can take a lot of discipline and sometimes a lot of time. Yet if you remain focused and go about things in a consistent manner, your business will soon experience explosive growth, thanks to PPC.

Need some personal branding tips? Check out this post for some helpful advice!

9 Things Every SEO Campaign Needs

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Did you know that majority of digital marketers believe SEO is the most important marketing strategy for 2018?

Effective SEO establishes you as an authority and leader in your profession. It helps companies obtain leads, win over new customers, and keep current ones.

It is part of a soft-sales strategy. Remember, most customers ignore overt marketing tactics. Your content is key to attracting savvy customers.

Blog posts, podcasts, photographs, and videos help tell your brand’s narrative. It advertises your services to visitors while giving a solution to a problem.

These tips will improve your company’s SEO campaign and increase website traffic.

1. Keyword Searches and Popular Topics

Keyword searches are an essential content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) tool. You can identify top words that individuals type into search engines.

This research will help you locate phrases that people use to search for products. Popular keywords can help you get ideas for your next blog and drive traffic to your website.

Your search terms will also help you to learn more about your audience. Start your keyword search off with a seed keyword. These are ideas and topics based around your business that you can build keywords from.

Basically, a seed keyword is your foundation for building long-tail keywords. So if your seed keyword is “weight loss” the long-tail keywords you could build from it include, “weight loss calculator,” “weight loss pills,” “weight loss program,” etc.

This is why you should start with seed keywords–you’re starting with topics that are relevant to your business and building them into keywords.

2. Keyword Generators and Search Engine Tools

You can gather keywords from topics found in online groups and forums related to your services. Jot down each keyword phrase and place them into a spreadsheet or document to refer to later. Once your list is complete, use a keyword tool to search for popular terms.

Two free tools are Google’s Keyword Planner and SEO Book Keywords List Generator. You can also generate keywords by using Google’s Search Bar. Extra search hints will pop up when conducting searches.

You can also search Twitter or Facebook for popular trending topics and write blog posts and show videos related to these hashtags. But be careful to remain professional and stay away from issues that can alienate your audience.

Additionally, Google’s results pages list the most asked questions and related topics–after all, the easiest place to see what people are searching is the search engine itself.

3. Use Quora to Find Blog Topics

Use Quora, the question-and-answer site that launched in 2009, to generate new ideas for blog posts. This popular site features MIT professors, politicians, and Hollywood actors.

Quora can be a long-term source of traffic for your site. It will also help establish you as an authority, and your business can get noticed by major publications–all by answering questions your customers are asking there.

Community-run sites will also feature popular trending topics related to your business. You’ll also learn which questions are most popular with users.

Once you find a popular topic, write it down. Develop a post on the subject. Other sites you can use are Avvo, Stack Overflow, and Yahoo Answers.

4. Ask Your Employees to Contribute Blog Posts

Another way to generate content is to ask employees to contribute blog posts. Your workers have relevant knowledge about your business–after all, they interact with your customers on a daily basis.

Before you let your employees write blogs for you, lay down ground rules about what is and isn’t acceptable for blog posts. This will prevent employees from writing posts that could get them in trouble. On the flipside, you can provide incentives and rewards for employees that write high-quality blogs so that employees are excited to write them.

You should also create a list of great online blogs to follow so that your employees have a model to work with. Once they post, make sure to share your employee posts via LinkedIn to establish your company’s reputation (and give your employees credit!) You can also use their content to promote conversations with your customers on Twitter and Facebook.

Ask your employees to act as experts on question-and-answer sites. Popular ones include Yahoo Answers, Awo, and Quora. Link their posts back to your Wog on your website to generate more traffic.

5. Run Contests

People love to take part in contests to win free stuff. Not only is it a fun way to generate content, it’s also an easy way to get customer leads. Visitors are willing to provide valid contact information for a chance to win.

You can gain new subscribers by asking individuals to follow your page. Sweepstakes and contests also increase engagement on your site. You should not hold sweepstakes at random periods.

Your contests should always celebrate a recent milestone. For example, a nutrition site can give away a blender when they reach 10,000 Facebook followers.

Your contests should feature calls to action (CTAs). Ask contestants for their contact information or comments to enter the contest. Ask them to follow you on social media follows for extra entries.

6. Ask Basic Questions

Businesses can achieve better SEO by encouraging audience participation. Asking questions is an easy way to increase online engagement.

Most individuals enjoy self-revelation. You can pose general questions unrelated to your business. Don’t be afraid to ask ordinary questions.

These warm-up questions will start conversations and boost engagement.

Here are a few examples:

  • Who is your favorite superhero?
  • Name three famous people you would like to meet?
  • What advice would you give to younger self?

Ask customers meaningful, business-related questions in follow-up posts. Their answers will be useful in your market research.

Find out about your customers’ problems by listening to their answers. Their responses will help you to build quality buyer personas. Always ask open-ended questions designed to get longer responses.

You can also include trending hashtags related to your business. Not everyone likes hashtags, but they increase visibility for your posts.

7. Feature Customer Stories and Testimonials

Businesses should include customer testimonials in their marketing strategy. These critical reviews will boost your company’s local search engine optimization rankings.

Enthusiastic reviews also lend an authenticity to your business’ products and services. Using testimonials is not only great content for posts but they also promote your company.

Consumers rely on internet reviews when purchasing products. Testimonials are not considered self-promotional. Instead, the customer is promoting your products and services.

Good reviews should:

  • Use real customers that represent your target demographic (or buyer persona).
  • Be genuine. A testimonial should not be too stoic or emotional.
  • Show how your services and products are superior to competitors.
  • Demonstrate how your products beneficial. Don’t be afraid to ask customers to promote your products and services.

For SEO posts, you’ll need to be selective. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Identify customers you’d like to feature in a promotional video or post.
  • Testimonials should be professional.
  • Only choose customers that reflect your branding and image.
  • Vet individuals by interviewing them.

Ask yourself: are they warm, authentic, and articulate when speaking about your brand? If so, this is exactly the kind of testimonial you want on your site.

8. Tell Your Business Story

According to Forbes Magazine, customers desire transparency and authenticity from companies they patronize. They would rather conduct business with entrepreneurs that are human and real.

Tell your business brand’s unique story through your posts. Create videos about your company’s origins or show films that highlight behind-the-scenes operations. Post pictures of employees working.

Craft posts about your leadership style, business philosophy, and community contributions.

Talk about your workplace culture or stories that will interest your audience. Submit professional action shots with your posts. Hire a professional photographer if you can’t take great pictures and always choose photos that tell your brand story.

Remember: show your customers your authentic business, a brand journey and personal story they can relate to.

9. Re-Use Quotes from Your Blog Posts

Re-purposing blog content helps you to reach new audiences. It helps connect users to older, quality content they may have missed the first time (plus, you already know that they liked the content the first time around).

There are many ways to reuse older content. Here are a few examples:

  • Create YouTube videos based on your best content.
  • Rewrite posts and use them as tutorial guides that your users can download.
  • Use quotes from older interviews and blogs in new posts.
  • Use paragraphs from your articles on Instagram and other sites to generate new posts. Pair them with professional pictures.
  • Create a slideshow or infographic. Use free tools like Piktochart, Canva, or Infogram to create graphs from your content.
  • Construct a weekly tips newsletter using old content, and send the publication to your email subscriber list.

Only re-use your most popular content. You can identify your most popular posts by using analytical tools on Facebook or Google. And don’t forget to link back to the original post to help boost traffic!

Boost Your SEO Campaign

Once you’ve implemented your SEO strategy, make sure to analyze the results and tweak the strategy as needed.

For example, if blog posts featuring interviews with local experts prompt more people to visit your site, it’s a good idea to schedule more of those posts in the future and fewer of posts that just aren’t working.

An SEO campaign offers great opportunities for growing your customer base, and we are seasoned professionals who know how to take advantage of that potential. Please contact us to learn how we can help you.

Blog Opportunities: The Ultimate Guide to Guest Posts

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Your site’s authority, and subsequent ranking on search engines like Google, is tied to the number and quality of links leading back to your website.

Long gone are the days where plugging in a certain keyword enough times would ensure your rank.

Today, small to mid-sized businesses who want to maintain competitiveness on the global market called the internet, must think about the process of link-building to raise their authority.

That’s especially true for those competing in an insulated local market, like Tampa Bay, where who know you often outweighs what you know.

But in this case, we’re going to show you how what you know can give you a boost over the big guys.

This guide to guest posting is all about blog opportunities. That’s what you are going to leave here with, so keep reading.

Benefits of Guest Blogging

Guest posting has a number of benefits that small to mid-sized businesses and ad agencies benefit from.

Among these are the following perks:

  • Builds brand awareness and recall
  • Promotes consumer trust
  • Generates new leads to your business
  • Increases domain authority and SEO

For these reasons, ad agencies and small to mid-sized businesses alike have begun investing time and resources in guest blogging, seeing it as an essential part of any marketing strategy.

Step 1: Set Guest Blogging Goals

When you make the decision to write your first guest blog, you might try to dive right into blog opportunities — looking for resources like this blog, that point you in the right direction.

It’s a good idea to learn all you can. But before you get to work writing your first guest post, you should set guest blogging goals.

To do this you want to think about the benefits mentioned above and align your goals with those.

Examples of a company’s goals may be to increase brand awareness in the Tampa Bay market.

You can make this a measurable goal by conducting surveys before and after running guest posts, using social listening tools and taking note of trends in website traffic and search volume.

Step 2: How to Seek Out Blog Opportunities

Once you’ve set some reasonable goals for your content marketing plan, it’s time to figure out where to post.

One way to do that is to jump down the Google strings rabbit hole. All you need to do is type in search terms like “your keyword” + “guest post” and “your keyword” + “write for us” and see what Google spits out.

The Google suggestions bar that pops up under your search box as you are typing up your search terms may offer new strings for you to try.

The top sites will reflect potential hot potential guest posting spots, so you should be able to get a lot of good leads from Google.

If that’s not enough you can use other avenues, like:

  • A reverse image search of a writer’s headshot, choose someone who writes on the same topics you do
  • Searching “guest post” or “contributor” on Twitter and see what blogs are sharing guest posts
  • Find out where your competitors are getting guests posts
  • Look for blog posts that offer links to blogs accepting writers

Once you’ve done this, you should have a good list of guest post opportunities saved in a spreadsheet or wherever you keep important information.

That doesn’t mean you want to go and submit to each and every one. There are a few ways you can approach strategy for selecting guest post opportunities.

Consider Starting Small

If you’re new to guest posting and you don’t have a ton of credibility built up as a guest poster, it may be a good idea to set your sites on a handful of lower authority sites.

You may ambitiously want to start off as a contributor to Forbes, but that’s much less likely to happen if no one in the blogging world has ever heard of you.

Starting with a blog who’s domain authority is in or around the twenties according to your Moz bar, will lead you to the most high-quality, low hanging fruit for new contributors.

Once you start getting a few blog opportunities under your belt, you can move up the ranks until you are eventually posting on the big names in your niche.

Link Build with Sites That Have Authority

We just told you to start small, but that doesn’t mean compromise on domain authority. Set a threshold like only posting on sites that have a domain authority of 20+.

This means these sites will have an authoritative link profile, and that’s exactly what you are looking for when building links back to your site. That’s also what Google web crawlers look for when ranking your site.

A good strategy would be to eliminate low-ranking sites then work your way up the ranks starting from the bottom.

Scan the Content for a Good Fit

You should be familiar with the content that is posted on the sites you want to write for.

Only submit work if you feel like the content selected is quality content and it matches your niche.

Write for Site’s Where You Engage with Content

If there are any blog sites out there that you love, where you frequently engage with the content via social shares and blog comments — those should be at the top of your list if they meet the domain authority threshold.

That’s because those are sites where it’s more likely the blogger or editors already know who you are.

When it comes to blogging, every blog that’s any blog is paying attention to who their fans are on social media and in comments.

If there’s a blog site within which you are an active reader, give them a shout with your pitch.

Step 3: Decide What to Write About

When you decide what you’re going to write about, that’s otherwise known as topic research.

You can use a tool like BuzzSumo to see what’s been trending in your niche over the past 24 hours, week or month. The fresher the better.

That’s the best way to approach content, but if you don’t have a paid account for finding trending content you can use some workarounds:

  • Use free hashtag and keyword tools to make a list of themes trending in your niche
  • Type a keyword into Google, select to search ‘New’ and limit it to the most recent selections
  • Look at what your competitors are writing about and do a fresh take on an interesting topic

You should compile all of your ideas into a spreadsheet, database or other repository and knock them out one by one. But don’t forget that some things are timely and need to be executed on quickly.

Always prioritize breaking news and things that require timely context.

Step 4: Submit a Guest Post

Now that you’ve figured out what blogs to submit to, and put together a-rockin’ post on your niche topic. It’s time to ship it to the editors at your chosen publication.

I say ‘publication’ not ‘publications’ because each post should be submitted to only one publication at a time. You have to give your chosen website time to review and accept your work before pitching it somewhere else.

The amount of time needed varies and is usually outlined in the form of guidelines at each publication. Some require up to thirty days to review.

Review Submission Guidelines

In addition to how much time is needed for review, the guidelines will provide information that will help you decide if your blog is a good fit for the publication before you submit it.

This includes things like niche, word count, whether or not backlinks will be published and if those links are do-follow or no-follow.

Getting familiar with submission guidelines before you make a pitch is a good idea.

These rules will also tell you how to pitch and who to pitch to.

Make a Pitch

Once you’ve reviewed the guidelines and determined your blog is up to spec, it’s time to pitch it.

Sometimes, this means just logging into a portal and sending your blog into the abyss of “In Review”.

This is especially true of bigger sites, like PopSugar, who have a portal called Voices for all of their contributing writers to use a hub for submissions and transparency throughout the process.

For other sites, pitching may mean reaching out to editors directly via email, either with a full story or a story idea and see if they are interested in publishing you.

For most publications, editor email addresses are relatively easy to find because they are published somewhere on the site.

If you have to make a pitch via email remember to provide a brief introduction, that may include other publications that have published you and why you are interested in being published, a 30-second snapshot of your idea and a salutation.

It’s good to know the name of the person you are pitching to if possible.

Guest Blogging 101

No matter if you are a small business, a slightly larger business or ad agencies competing in a saturated market for all the business, you have your work cut out for you with guest blogging.

While it may seem like no easy feat to accomplish your goals, we promise the journey is well worth it.

On the plus side, for bloggers who become savvy contributors, this can generate some passive income beyond actively driving conversions. This occurs via:

  • Being paid for contributor posts: believe it or not, this does happen from time to time
  • Selling backlinks and affiliate marketing: the more your name gets out the more people are going to want to partner with you

So while you may not plan to make a career out of being a professional contributor, as a business owner getting your name out there makes financial sense.

Now that you have the tools you need, happy hunting for blog opportunities!

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