Category Archives: PPC

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The More Things Change…

Posted on February 25, 2013 in Blogging, PPC, SEM, SMO, Website Design and Maintenance by cmblogger

The More Things Change…

Captain Marketing has grown enormously in recent years, with a variety of new products we’re really excited about. Nevertheless, our mission remains the same: to serve the small to midsize business with extraordinary online marketing services to get them more customers, and make them more sales with unique, cutting edge techniques that have up until now only been available to Fortune 500 companies. In creating these new offerings, we’re always thinking about how we can maximize traffic and conversions for our clients, without costing them a fortune in the process. Delivering access to the highest quality marketing talent and the most sophisticated techniques to our customers is our privilege and our passion…and we look forward to helping you make the most of this exciting, lucrative new playing field we call the web. Give us a call…and let’s get started!

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PPC Weirdness…It Happens

Posted on February 15, 2013 in PPC by cmblogger

There’s a lot of data associated with a PPC campaign, and occasionally, the indicators can appear, anyway, to reveal conflicting things about the success of your Adwords program. Let’s take a look at a few examples of this confusing occurrence…and what they could mean.

Situation 1: Impressions Go Up, Clicks Go Down.
This can leave many a seasoned PPC pro scratching their head, but it can happen for a variety of good reasons. First, are you using new keywords in your campaign? They may be too general, making for more impressions, but keeping clicks either at the same level or lower. Secondly, do you have new match types? You may have new keywords with loose match types, or new match types of your older optimized search terms. Check to see if either kind have been newly inserted. Third-is there a secondary distribution channel that’s just been launched (e..g a new search partner or display network)? Finally, it could be ad rank fluctuation. Check by running a comparison ranking report as well as a top/side comparison to see if this has occurred.

Situation 2: Click-Through Rate Goes Up, Conversions Go Down.
Check out your ad copy vs. your landing pages. Are they saying different things? Are the consumers clicking on your website expecting one thing, but finding another on your website? Have you recently adjusted your call to action, moved around your phone number or contact information, or changed up your marketing message? You may want to rethink what’s happening on your website, or your ad copy. Other reasons for the high click-through/low conversions could relate to a tracking error on a landing page, or new search queries. Try running a search query report to verify.

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NRA Fights Back With Increased Adwords Spending

Posted on February 14, 2013 in PPC by cmblogger

The National Rifle Association is focusing on a new Adwords campaign to increase their membership and reinforce support for 2nd Amendment rights. Political discussions aside, from strictly a marketing standpoint, their strategy points to the key role PPC plays in effective national advertising and swaying public opinion. As we discussed in an earlier blog post, the Obama campaign also outspent the Romney camp significantly in PPC-and the results were obvious on election day. Looking specifically at the recent NRA campaign, it’s instructive to consider how they’re spending for pointers on how to run a smart Adwords program of your own. According to analysts at Spyfu.com, they’re expanding the number of keywords they’re using, from less than 22 in May 2011 to almost 60 today. Their domain budget has more than doubled as well, and their text ads demonstrate effective use of sitelinks, with multiple calls to action, and proactive reputation management, all in a few short phrases.

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Google Analytics: New Features

Posted on February 1, 2013 in PPC, SEM by cmblogger

Performance auditing is a key part of any successful online marketing strategy-not just for PPC. With two new Google Analytics features to peruse, it’s easier than ever to track your progress towards the goals you’ve set for your small to midsize business in 2013. Are you using these features yet?

1.) Google’s Traffic Sources allow you to check where your traffic is coming from, including the number of searches that led users to your site,  the number of direct visits, the number of site visits directed from another URL, and any other inbound links. Look at your data month to month-and compare it with your SEO and PPC goals. The results will help you determine where you need to be for the future, both short and long term.

2.) Google In-Page Analytics lets you see how your site visitors are connecting with you. According to Google, this feature will help you look at the data around the following questions:

  • Is the layout optimal for what I want users to accomplish on the page?
  • Are my users seeing the content I want them to see?
  • Are my users finding what they’re looking for on the page?
  • Are my calls to action motivating or visible enough?
  • What links are users clicking?

The answers to these can really help you ascertain whether your content marketing and web design strategies are on target, especially when compared month to month.

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Vocabulary for Your Marketing Campaign

Posted on February 1, 2013 in Blogging, PPC, SEM, SEO, SMO, Website Design and Maintenance by cmblogger

The year is still young…and with these winter months come new clients, people representing small to midsize businesses who have never before considered it possible to make a significant “splash” on the web, but with today’s market conditions, now see it as an imperative. It is for these folks that this blog is addressed, to fill you in on some valuable lingo to use as you develop an effective online marketing strategy.

*Landing page: This refers to the page your customer “lands” on after clicking one of your ads, your web address on list of  search engine results, or a link on your website (a contact us page, for example). This landing page should feature all the keywords and well written content the rest of your website has, as well as a call to action and a way for customers to get in touch with  you (phone number or email, or a click here now! button).

*Average CPC: This refers to “cost per click”, or the price you pay every time someone clicks your PPC ad. Very important in terms of budget-some terms will cost far more than others. Your PPC project manager can explain more.

*SERP pages: This is shorthand for the organic Search Engine Results Pages-what comes up when you type in a search term (say, “socks,” for example) into a search engine. You want to appear on page one if at all possible.

*Organic search vs Paid Ads: Google itself sums up the definition of these terms best when it describes them as the following:

  • Organic: List of websites that match someone’s search phrase. No one can pay to have their website show up in these results.
  • Ads: List of ads that match someone’s search phrase. Advertisers can pay to have their ads show based on the keywords and targeting methods they’ve chosen and the ads they’ve created.

*PM: project manager. Every campaign at Captain Marketing has a dedicated, onshore project manager assigned to your account. This means you have a live person, articulate, courteous and knowledgeable, at your disposal throughout business hours to contact by email or telephone to answer questions, explain strategy, or discuss a concern.

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Web Freedom: Where Your PPC Campaign Won’t Reach

Posted on January 31, 2013 in PPC by cmblogger

Given the way we live and do business today, it’s hard to believe the World Wide Web was created by Tim Berners-Lee fairly recently, in 1989. How the world has changed since then-for most of us! When Berners-Lee developed it, his idea was to allow for the free exchange of information, or as he described his intentions in a short personal history, “the dream behind the Web is of a common information space in which we communicate by sharing information.” It’s interesting to note which few countries in today’s world don’t participate in this global exchange. Here are just a few of the twenty or so countries who restrict or forbid access entirely to the World Wide Web:

1.) Pakistan. This nation began official censorship of the web in 2000, with content labeled “anti-Islamic” slated for removal. In time, censorship has increased to include not only material labeled pornography, but Wikipedia and most international newspapers as well.

2.) Burma/Myanmar. Internet connections in country are prohibitively expensive for most citizens, as they all must go through the Myanmar Posts and Telecom company for an exorbitant fee. All ISPs are filtered, and citizens that do have a web connection are blocked from accessing most independent news sites around the world. Email is also monitored by government authorities and use of certain keywords can result in arrest, if not prison for the writer.

3.) China. Much has been written lately about the “Great Firewall of China,” the sophisticated censorship in place throughout the country that prevents citizens from accessing international news sites like the BBC and Voice of America. With 220 million Chinese citizens on the World Wide Web, however, government censorship officials have their work cut out for them. With a censorship division estimated to employ over 30,000 people and one of the largest network of servers in the world, the Chinese government carefully monitors all blogging, searches, news sites, and even Internet cafe activity throughout the country.

4.) North Korea: It may be surprising to learn that there are, in fact, any citizens at all who have access to the World Wide Web in North Korea, but  the nation does have a small group of  professionals devoted to maintaining foreign language “news” sites about the small country and even a Twitter account. Some government officials also have access via satellite to German ISP servers, though there are no servers at located in the country itself.  For the rest of the nation, however, the World Wide Web is just another aspect of modern life denied to them for political reasons.

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Local AdWords Traffic Pays Off

Posted on January 24, 2013 in PPC by cmblogger

In the rush to take advantage of all your potential customers who are using the search engines to find local products and services, consider a localized PPC campaign to make it happen, fast. While most small businesses can’t afford a large AdWords budget, a few carefully chosen terms scheduled correctly can bring you almost instant results. Start small, and increase your budget as bookings increase. A competent PPC strategy will target just the cities you need, and the consumers you want-as they look for your products and services on the web. With Captain Marketing’s wide range of budget conscious programs, success is built into your marketing plan.

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Vision Is Everything

Posted on January 24, 2013 in Blogging, PPC, SEM, SEO, SMO by cmblogger

With the start of a new year, there are always those resolutions for your business that take…and those that don’t. Well into January, the holiday sparkle that inspired them has long since faded, and spring is yet a few months away. How is everything going?  Has that new hire turned into a superstar employee yet? Are you still struggling with the receipts and seemingly endless paperwork that seemed to clone itself spontaneously on your desk during December? It’s time for a reboot. In the spirit of a fledgling 2013, take a minute to look at the questions below, courtesy of writers Amber Rae at the Daily Muse and Martha Beck, author of the recent bestselling paperback,  Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant To Live. Remember, it’s never too late to take charge of your business, your personal life, and the future for both. Take a sheet of paper (or use the back of one of those year end receipts), and mark for each question below, “rarely”, “occasionally,” “sometimes,” or “often.”  The answers may surprise you-and inspire you to take action, today.

1. I get excited every morning when I get out of bed.
2. I feel accomplished when I fall asleep.
3. I feel overwhelmed with gratitude.
4. I have fun.
5. Things just seem to work out well for me.
6. I do things I love.
7. I feel on top of my game.
8. I get so involved in projects that I lose track of time.
9.  People seem to enjoy being around me.
10.I use my imagination.

How did you do? If you scored “often” for every question, congratulations, you’re on the road to success, if you’re not there already. And if you didn’t? In 2013, consider asking a trusted friend or mentor for advice. Try something new. Try something different. Remember, whether it’s a new marketing program to really get your products seen on the web…or cultivating a more positive attitude towards the people around you, anything is possible. As Debbie Fields, the multi-millionaire chocolate chip cookie magnate once said, “The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is not to try.”

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Critical Clumsy Clicks Corrected

Posted on January 23, 2013 in PPC by cmblogger

Google announced changes to its mobile layouts to prevent “fat finger clicks”, or inadvertent clicks on paid ads by mobile users who tapped on the wrong square. A true lose/lose proposition, the consumer is left frustrated when they’re taken to a site they didn’t want to go to…and the advertiser must pay for a useless click. Without the precision of a mouse, the mobile user has to negotiate a far more difficult mobile interface to move around the web. Google’s new changes will also include a quick, small pop-up within the ad banner that asks for confirmation before transferring the consumer to a new website.

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The Best PPC Ads Address a Need-and Answer with Benefits

Posted on January 16, 2013 in PPC, SEM by cmblogger

Sometimes it’s difficult to get excited about the brief bit of text that accompanies a PPC advertisement-after all, how much can you really say in such a quick burst? And yet, well worded PPC copy gets results. Don’t forget that behind the numbers, your customers are people, after all,  in search of fulfilling the same basic needs the world over. Consider the results of a fascinating study of email marketing techniques a few years ago that revealed the short phrase that was most likely to get an anonymous email opened by the receiver. Ready? The phrase “you are not alone.” was the most successful in reaching people-even those selected at random.  It sounds corny, but it’s true-advertising that appeals to the common values, hopes and dreams we all share makes an impact on consumer, while copy that comes across as “just more words” does not. Before you decide on a particular PPC campaign, or frankly, any content marketing, think about the basic needs your product or service hopes to address. For example, if you sell batteries-you might consider addressing your consumers need for security, safety, and reliability in your marketing campaigns. Designing a better software system for a particular industry might help people understand and master the data in front of them more effectively. If you can tie your product or service with an emotional response-a meeting of a real and important human need-you have an extremely successful PPC advertising campaign.