Tag Archives for " ppc "

November 27, 2018

Two ingredients for PPC success in 2019

The most successful pay per click projects I’ve ever worked on have all involved two things: micro-targeting and diversity.

Micro-targeting means writing ads to specific groups of people, rather than broad audiences. Eventually, micro-targeting may go away as a thing. Google has more data points than you do. They know an eerie amount about your online history, location and browsing habits. Based on all this, Google should be able to show exactly the right ad to someone, based on more data points than you’ll ever have access to.

To do that though, they need diversity.

Diverse systems are always more robust than non-diverse ones. Diversity can mean diversity of ads. It could mean diversity of offers. Diversity of domain names (you can now test different domains in AdWords by using the ‘drafts and experiments’ feature). Diversity of ‘hooks’ or appeals. Diversity of images. Higher diversity gives you more robustness.

There’s a reason why Google’s new responsive ad format invites you to enter up to five ad headlines and descriptions. They need a diversity of copy resources to match the right ad to the right person. At the moment they also need a lot of data – more data than you can afford to give them – which which is why you’re best not letting them too far off the leash. They’ll spend your money like there’s no tomorrow given half a chance.

This is one of my Google Ads predictions for 2019. I’ve written up my other 6 into a guide, which will be available only until the end of the year. You can grab a copy here.

My role here is to help you increase the diversity of your marketing.

If you’re making plans for 2019 and would like a chat, you can book a 30 minute call using the link at the end of the report.

November 5, 2018

Ad writing for 2019 and on…

I’m back from two days in Chicago at Perry Marshall’s Paradigm Shift workshop. I’m going to write up my full notes from the workshop in this month’s Story Selling Insider newsletter. But today I’d like to give you a quick preview…

There are perhaps 50 places to advertise your business, and probably more. Social media – the way most people do it – is exhausting. The better approach is to pick four or five strategies that straddle audio, visual and written, and tie them together with remarketing.

The key is to test a huge range of different ads and offers using warm traffic, and quickly eliminate ads with poor click through rate. You might kill some ads before they even get any clicks.

Sure, so some ads you cull may turn out to have a low click through rate and high conversion rate. But that doesn’t matter – we’re trying to find the small number of ads that have high click through rates AND high conversion rates.

Using stories in your ads is a good idea, especially content that comes from real prospects and customers. The process we worked through with Perry is a way to produce thousands of ad ideas, harnessing the creative input of multiple people. Most advertisers test different variations of a control ad over and over. You can’t A/B split test your way to success.

This process HAS to be done with warm traffic. Cold traffic is brutally expensive to test with. Testing with remarketing is like placing your boat on a river, rather than the open ocean. This applies to your search ads too; not just display.

To limit your risk you want to prioritise the most recent traffic. Recent buyers, recent optins, recent site visitors, recent Facebook page engagement, recent video views. Uploading your best customers (not all customers) to Google and Facebook is a smart move. As is creating lookalike / similar audiences based on these lists.

YouTube is generally under-used or used badly; very few advertisers understand the remarketing applications.

A good question to ask with lead magnets is: can you invest more of the money you would have spent with Google or Facebook into the lead magnet itself? Perry had examples from Gary Bencivenga and Howard Gossage; somebody I’ve been talking about for a number of years now.

You won’t find an agency who will adopt this approach, unless perhaps you seek out someone who was in the room last week. (I can recommend a few serious agency people who were there).

That’s just a tiny snippet of my notes. I’ll publish the rest in Story Selling Insider later this month. If you’re not a subscriber, I’ll send you an invite later this week.

All modesty aside, if you follow along with my work this will be essential reading.


P.S. Some other ‘observations’…

1. I’m not even 5% happy enough to be a flight attendant. Those people are troopers.

2. I never realised quite how many billboards there are in America, displaying an endless stream of dross. To paraphrase Howard Gossage: if advertising were worth saving, billboards certainly wouldn’t be.

3. The highlight of the trip was probably going on a double decker train. Or maybe having deep dish pizza. Or sleeping for 11 hours when I arrived. I’m easily pleased…

4. The lowlight of the trip was paying $5.21 for a bottle of water in the airport. Thieving Bastards.

5. Nobody understands me in America. I ought to stick to writing, or come with subtitles.

October 26, 2018

Time to update your Google Ads

I started my entrepreneurial career as a Google AdWords consultant. Although Google is a huge potential source of leads, it’s deceptively easy to burn tons of money.

I’ve been watching developments over the last few years, and think the situation is getting worse. The settings are more confusing than ever. The default settings are a built in disaster. The automation tools mostly benefit Google more than you. Sometimes it feels like you’re playing a casino game rigged in Google’s favour.

Many AdWords agencies don’t make it any easier. The very fact that you have to approach an ‘AdWords agency’ to get help implies there’s a vested interest in you using the AdWords platform. Me? I prefer to be a generalist. I don’t give two hoots whether you spend money with Google or not.

I’m sure some agencies do great work, but I find many over-complicate things, or focus too heavily on branded keywords. Almost all fall short on ad creative and landing page copy. It isn’t enough just to know the AdWords platform – you need to know how to write great ads too.

So, I’m doing two things…

I’m updating my AdWords training with Perry Marshall and Mike Rhodes. Even though the principles of AdWords don’t change, the rules of thumb do. Especially when you expand into remarketing, the display network and Youtube. Mike runs Australia’s biggest AdWords agency, is very sharp, and has a lot of data.

I’m also going over to Chicago next week to work directly with Perry on his Paradigm Shift workshop, which is about ad writing. Most advertisers only ever test different variations of the same ad, and Perry has a very different approach based on his Swiss Army Knife method.

If you’re spending money with Google right now, I’d like to offer you an exchange…

On your part, I’d like to know:

1. Which parts of the Google Ads machine are you using?

  • Google search
  • Google display
  • Shopping
  • Youtube ads
  • Gmail ads
  • Remarketing
  • Remarketing for search

2. Roughly how much do you typically spend per month (on ad spend, not including agency costs / support)?

3. Are you clear on conversion tracking and ROI?

4. Are you managing things yourself, or getting external help?

5. What’s your biggest question or frustration?

6. How long have you been struggling with that frustration?

7. Do you write ads in a planned way, or do you write ads as an after-thought?

8. How frequently do you log into your AdWords account?

9. Would you be interested in working together?

Just hit reply and let me know. I’ll send you my top insights from Perry’s workshop just for your feedback.

October 25, 2018

How to understand the ROI on AdWords better

Last week I asked what you most wanted to hear about. One of the replies was: “To understand the ROI on adwords better.”

Hahaha,” I thought in my head, “this could take a while…”

To give you a complete answer would take more words than you possibly have the inclination to read right now. But the bare bones are as follows.

The key idea is that tracking ROI on ad spend is best understood in relative terms, not absolute. It’s often difficult to pinpoint where revenue has come from, because somebody who buys may do multiple searches and click on multiple ads in the build up to a sale. Or may click on both Google and Facebook ads, to really screw things up.

This is more common than you might think, especially if you’re using retargeting.

To make matters worse, different tools report on conversions in different ways (this is called ‘attribution’). AdWords has historically used last click attribution, where the credit for the sale is given fully to the last keyword the customer searched for. Google Analytics lets you switch between attribution models.

Both measure conversions and results in slightly different ways. The key thing is that your AdWords data and your Analytics data will never fully match up.

And honestly, it doesn’t matter. I’ve had AdWords clients in the past who drove both them and me to distraction by trying to figure out exactly where every single dollar came from in giant spreadsheets. (I hate giant spreadsheets).

If you know that your profit from Ad A was around $30, and your profit from Ad B was around $70 does it matter if the exact numbers are slightly out? It’s enough to make a decision. I’d actually argue that if both ads are profitable, you should probably still run both because different people will respond to different ads.

For decision making purposes I’d calculate profit as gross rather than net (i.e. revenue minus spend). You could try to take off your product delivery costs, but most of the time on AdWords you’re buying customers, not individual sales. You just have to ask whether the cost to acquire a customer is acceptable.

If you really want to measure ROI, you need to be tracking click information in your Customer Relationship Management system (join me on Monday’s webinar for more on this). If possible I would also store the last referring traffic source (campaign / keyword / ad creative etc) on the contact record in your CRM system, so you can measure which campaigns drive the most long-term revenue, rather than the most initial sales. This becomes more relevant if you nurture potential customers over a number of years.

Even then, the only number you can really trust is money that passes through your merchant account. Everything else is best used as a relative indicator of performance.

If you’re spending good money on Google (or plan to), and what I’ve said above has made your brain hurt, we probably need to talk.

June 28, 2018

Can you tell stories in your AdWords ads?

Linzi and I were talking the other day about our friend’s occupations, and how little we know about them.

A few are doctors, but mostly they specialise in a particular area of medicine. Paediatrics, teaching, anaestetics… it gets beyond my scope of comprehension pretty quickly.

Another friend sells credit card merchant accounts. (Not Worldpay, lucky him.)

Another works in recruitment.

Another is an electrical engineer. He’s worked in the same role for 12 years, and I still only have a vague idea what he does.

On the flip side, nobody knows what I do. Including me some of the time.

I kind of think this is the norm now. Unless you have a clearly defined trade, you probably second guess yourself when people ask what you do for a living.

If that’s the case, the linear approach to marketing – where you lead with offers and benefits – probably won’t work too well. To get to a sale you have to take a less direct route, involving narrative and story.

I’m holding a webinar tonight where we’ll look at how this applies to Google AdWords.

AdWords is a fairly direct advertising medium. It’s sensible a lot of the time to lead with offers and benefits. But there’s a problem with this…

The risk is you end up sounding like every other advertiser on the search results page. You get into an expensive bidding war, where Google is the real winner.

Tonight’s webinar is about writing less direct AdWords ads. Ads that introduce an element of story or emotion. I’ll explain the thought process behind these ads, and how to create them.

I’m only making this webinar available to Story Selling Insider subscribers. There will be a recording if you can’t join live.

Read more and join here

The registration link is in the Story Selling Insider member’s area.

June 27, 2018

How to deal with rising click prices

I distinctly remember the first Google AdWords campaign I ever created. The year was 2007. I was working in a full time marketing role for a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) company. I had just read Perry Marshall’s Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, when went to my boss…

“We should advertise on Google,” I told him.

“Why would we pay for clicks,” he responded curtly, “when we can rank organically for free?”

“Because,” I would have said, with the benefit of hindsight” in eleven years the clicks will be ten times as expensive!

I can’t remember what I really said, but I did manage to solicit a small monthly AdWords budget. We were bidding on terms like ‘CRM system’, ‘CRM solution’. Which at the time cost around £2 per click. Today, you’re looking at between £22 and £36 per click, according to Google Keyword Planner.

Looking back, I didn’t know how to structure or organise the campaign. I had too many loosely-related keywords in each ad group. I didn’t write enough different ads.

You could get away with this then, because keyword bids generally were less expensive. There was wiggle room for error. These days there is none, especially if you’re bidding on magically expensive words like ‘insurance’ or ‘cloud’.

One of the ways to give yourself an advantage is to write ads that:

1. Sound like you, rather than sound like an ad.

2. Say something relevant that nobody else is saying.

3. Pull on emotions in a way nobody else is doing. Often the emotion that works best on Google is guilt.

I’ll be talking more about ad writing on a webinar tomorrow evening. It’s only open to Story Selling Insider subscribers – read more here. The cost could be the same as two or three clicks, depending on your keywords.

June 25, 2018

Ad writing webinar on Thursday

Have you ever written a Google AdWords ad as an after-thought?

You’ve stepped through the campaign creation guide. You’ve chosen your settings okay. You added your keywords and bids. Then you get to the point where Google asks you to write an ad.

Which is where the wheels fall off.

Writing ads directly into the Google interface is generally a bad idea – unless you create a holding ad and plan to replace it later.

Whatever you search for on Google, you’ll notice that most of the ads say more or less the same thing. This effectively is a very expensive shouting match, of which Google is the main beneficiary. You don’t have to participate in it.

The alternative is to write an ad that looks nothing like what the other advertisers are saying.

At 7PM UK-time on Thursday I’m holding a webinar about story-based AdWords ads. I’ll walk you through my process for creating ads that stand out.

The webinar is free, but only available to Story Selling Insider subscribers. When you join today you’ll also get access to my complete Google Ad creation processes, and this month’s newsletter in the mail.

These bonuses get locked down to existing members at the end of the month.

Read more and join here

I’ll be talking about AdWords on Thursday, but you could apply these principles to any short form ad (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn). You’ll come up with a battery of ad ideas nothing like what your competitors are saying.

June 8, 2018

Grab my Google Ads Creation Guide

If you have no plans to ever run ads on Google, you can skip this message.

If you DO run Google ads, this is a message you’ll want to read closely…

Long time readers will know I was an AdWords consultant before getting involved with Infusionsoft. I originally got into AdWords thinking the market was already saturated with experts, and quickly discovered the opposite was true.

Judging by the handful of questions I get each month asking if I ‘still do AdWords’, I guess that situation hasn’t changed much.

Yes, you can phone Google for help. But they’re utterly unable to write your ads for you, and you definitely don’t want to let them select your keywords…

In my experience there are a handful of key moving parts to a successful AdWords campaign:

  1. Select the right keywords to bid on, and fully understand the advertisers currently bidding on those terms
  2. Test a wide range of ads that stand out from the other advertisers
  3. Send people to a landing page that continues the conversation started by the ad, and asks the visitor to take a low-risk next step
  4. Run remarketing ads to people who click but don’t convert

This month in my membership group Story Selling Insider we’re looking at the second part: writing ads that stand out from other advertisers. Most people write Google ads as an afterthought when setting up a campaign, which is mistake. (Same for Facebook ads actually).

This week I’ve been busy revamping my ad creation process. A sign of a good process is that even if you neglect it for a while, only the screenshots go out of date.

Going through the process I realised I couldn’t share it without also sharing my initial keyword research process, and my market research process. To write an effective ad, you need to know what keyword you’re bidding on, and what the other advertisers are saying.

So this month in Story Selling Insider I’m releasing a Google Ads Creation Guide, which includes three processes:

  1. The initial keyword research process
  2. The market research process
  3. The ad creation process

These are agency-level processes based on years of experience. By the end you’ll have a minimum of six very different ads for each of your main keywords. Three of those ads will include an element of story. You’ll also never run out of ad ideas ever again.

Each process includes a video walkthrough, so you can look over my shoulder as I work through the process.

Ready to check it out?

The Google Ads Creation Guide is free this month to Story Selling Insider Members, and will remain in your member’s area for as long as you stay subscribed.

At the end of the month this becomes a separate product, priced at £397 (about $520 USD).

You can join Story Selling Insider today for just £36, and get immediate access.

What’s the catch? Well nothing really. One of my main goals this year is to grow my Story Selling Insider membership base, and I’m doing that through bribery ;-).

Wait, there’s more!

Because the storytelling aspect of the ad creation process is new, I’m holding a webinar only for Story Selling Insider subscribers, at 7PM UK on Thursday 28th June.

If you go through the process and have questions…

Or if you’d just like to watch me write some ads…

Then the registration link is now in the Story Selling Insider member’s area now (first 100 only).

Get instant access here

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