Is There Such a Thing As “Set It, and Forget It” PPC?

“Set it, and forget it!” is a phrase that has been made infamous by infomercial guru, Ron Popeil. This phrases has been ingrained into marketing as well as our popular culture. The idea is fantastic – having something do a task and be so convenient that you can just forget about it as it’s working. It’s not uncommon for a business owner to have this type of mentality when it comes to something like a pay per click campaign. An effective paid search campaign typically shouldn’t be set up once and let to run on auto-pilot.

set-forget-pay-per-click

Why You Need to Be Involved

Here are a few reasons why automatic pay per click campaigns aren’t helpful and why it’s useful to have an experienced PPC manager oversee your account:

1) Keep in line with long-term goals – Sometimes, paid ads are a short-term solution for a business that wants to see immediate results. If you don’t play an active role in your own PPC campaign, it might cause you to lose sight of what’s best for your business in the long run. Being aware of your PPC doesn’t mean that you need to personally monitor it hour-by-hour or day-to-day. But depending on your budget, it just might be helpful to have someone you can trust keep an eye on things as often as possible.

2) Optimize the right keywords – Another reason for using paid ads is that your site might not be ranking as high (or at all) for certain desired terms. The purpose in this case is to use PPC ads to give your site a boost where you need it. In the event that organic rankings do kick in, your paid ads might not be so effective if you’re already ranking high organically. You might spend that budget more effectively on other terms and growing your business. But this isn’t something you would know if you’re not regularly up to date with paid ad or organic search positions.

Keywords, optimization

3) Adapt to trends and seasonal changes – Different times of the year may be extremely volatile for businesses. If you’re handling your own PPC account by having it running automatically, it can be easy to forget about these occasions and make certain changes when needed. In hindsight, you may also see extreme changes that won’t make sense or be helpful as that holiday rush period is already over.

4) Keep an eye on effectiveness and efficiency – Effective PPC ads should be about more than hitting your budget of a certain dollar amount a day. If you’re hitting that mark but not seeing any increase in conversions (calls, contact forms, emails), you have to sit down and ask yourself if PPC is really doing what it’s supposed to for your business. Paid ad spend shouldn’t be exactly the same everyday, so why should you run in automatically as if it did?

Paying attention to your PPC campaign means focusing on what works and figuring out what doesn’t so that you can work to improve it or budget your resources into something that will work better.

5) Make PPC work for you, not the other way around – Paid ads can give your business an immediate boost during a dry period. For others, it’s really the lifeblood of the business. Pay per click is a tool that should make online marketing easier and more efficient for a business. If you like the idea of PPC but don’t have the time or skills to run it the right way, it won’t help to start doing it on your own. The idea is to work smarter, not harder!

Find Out More

The idea of setting and forgetting DOES exist. But you should be careful if you choose to go that route. PPC campaigns that are automatically run can be beneficial in certain cases, but not for all businesses. For more information on PPC management, click here and call us at (323) 340-4010 for a free consultation.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

What to Showcase On Your Home Page

Hot on the trail of this popular blog post about home page content, it’s time to think about your own home page. One thing is for sure, with the changing search algorithms, the “old” format of home pages will need to be transformed.

What to Showcase On Your Home Page, window

Think of your home page as a window to the rest of your website or “home”. 

What type of window is it: stained glass, decorative, bay, tinted, mirrored? What do you want people to see?

Thinking about a home page in these terms will help you think about what should be featured on an effective home page. 

Compelling Header

At first glance, a home page header says everything about your business. This is the space you want to take charge of your branding and send a strong message. This can usually be achieved with a high-quality picture paired with a strong statement or call to action.

While big headers were thought to be something to avoid in the past, they are a hot commodity nowadays. The only thing to keep in mind is the load time of the image and space you use “above the fold”. People are used to scrolling through a home page, on desktop, tablet and mobile. You just have to give them the right reason to.

Navigation to Other Relevant Parts of Your Website

The new golden rule for a home page ISN’T to keyword stuff and feature everything all on one page. Instead, it’s more helpful to show visitors different areas of your website and make it easy to navigate to that area.

A home page shouldn’t be so cluttered that all different pages and keywords are working against each other. Just think about it, as every page on your website isn’t a landing page or equal in importance, your home page forces you to focus and choose exactly what you want to showcase on one important page. Make a good first impression!

Keyword Focus

Keywords, homepage

The home page is no longer a place to throw around all different keywords. It was common practice to include terms and phrases that you aren’t even optimizing for on that exact page. Instead, focus on the general term/idea and make it a point to brand yourself as a reliable, trustworthy and authoritative business.

Q&A Content

Gone are the days of home pages with blocks and blocks of content. No one wants to sift through a load of content on a home page. This is where you break things up and feature FAQs in bullet points or sections, that could lead to other relevant sections. The point here is to make your content short, sweet and straight to the point. Not only will this appease reader appetite, but it’s exactly what Google Hummingbird is looking for.

CTA and Contact Information

call to action, showcasing website

There are 3 major options when it comes to contact on a home page. You can either
1) Prominently showcase a phone number or email
2) Push visitors to fill out a contact form
3) Both
Either way, it’s most likely the most important thing to add a phone number somewhere that’s big and high up on the page. A real, number with a local area code will help give visitors a sense of location and also send a good signal to Google about your local business.

In many ways, some of these pieces of a home page are self-explanatory and straightforward. There are just a few new concepts that we have to keep in mind, such as scrolling on the home page and big headers. Check out our portfolio and give us a call at (323) 340-4010 for an analysis of your home page.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Optimization for a Lower Bounce Rate

bounce rate How high is your website’s bounce rate? Obviously, a lower bounce rate is desirable. But depending on your industry, the “norm” can greatly vary.

If you take a look inside your Google Analytics account, it’s important to remember to look not only at the OVERALL bounce rate, but the bounce rate of individual landing pages. This applies whether you’re reorganizing your website or setting up new pay per click landing pages. Let’s say that your overall average is around 40%, but if you take a look at your home page, you find that the bounce rate is 80%! This means that 80% of customers aren’t finding what they need and leaving very quickly.

As a starting point, here are a few things you can look at:

Page load time: Let’s face it, who likes sitting around waiting for a page to load? If your site is slow, you can make it more effective by optimizing photos, your layout and cutting down on unnecessary content.
Design – Do you have a search engine friendly web design? Sometimes, a more complex design might sound appealing to make your site stand out while squeezing in all the information you want customers to find. But this won’t help your website unless it’s something that your customers are responding to, and not what you’re personally partial to! Take a step back and do some testing between some more simpler designs to find out for sure.
Relevancy – Here’s one more reason not to use broad keyword terms all over your website. Although you may want to rank for a variety of different keywords, your customers will want to find exactly what they’re looking for. If a certain keyword brings them to your site and they find that it’s irrelevant, your site is not useful. The last thing you want to do is to mislead potential customers. The best solution is to optimize per page/section and use specific keywords that describe exactly what they can expect to find on that page.

In the end, remember that a bounce rate is only one of many factors you can use to gauge your progress. But it is an important one as optimizing for a lower bounce rate can also improve your content focus, site design and even SEO.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.