PPC can really boost traffic to your site

All businesses need to attract new customers and most will these days, have a website to promote themselves. Virtually all websites will use SEO to get listed on the search engines but it takes time, effort and patience to get there. Pay per click or PPC, is a form of advertising that when used carefully can bring in a lot of new business. It can be measured so that you can see what is working, what is not and what your return on investment is. So, what is PPC and how does it work?

PPC is a form of online advertising that is used specifically to drive traffic to a website. Adverts are created which contain relevant keywords or key phrases pertaining to what the business is offering. These adverts are then loaded onto the search engine along with a bid or maximum price the business owner is prepared to pay for each click. For some niches this can be hideously expensive however, if you have completed a thorough keyword research project, you will have many options open to you and you may be able to choose searched for keywords that are not so expensive. You only pay when your advert is clicked and you can set a daily budget so that you don’t end up with a huge bill.

The adverts have a title, heading, description and web address. Once the advert has been written and you are happy with it, you need to set the bid price. You will be bidding for the keyword and as I’ve already said, some niches are very competitive. The more competitive the niche, the higher the costs however, this should not put you off using PPC completely. When your ad has been approved by the search engine, it will run in accordance with how you have set it up. This will include things like the frequency, bids and budget.

PPC has been used very successfully to kick off an SEO campaign and get a website noticed. It might take around 6 months for a site to rank on the search engines however, using PPC, your site can be generating traffic within one day. The thing is, although pay per click is fast, you can easily get carried away and spend rather a lot of money before you even realise it, so be aware of what you are spending and set sensible budgets that you can afford. It is also important to review your PPC from time to time so that you keep everything current and that your campaign is still offering good value for money.

 

 

A lot of money could potentially be wasted if a PPC campaign is not set up and managed correctly, but when done right they can be extremely lucrative.

Here are 9 ways to work out whether or not PPC is working for your business:

1. Impressions and clicks

Firstly one way to see if your campaigns are working at all is to see if they are getting impressions and clicks, and a good level of impressions and clicks.

Obviously budget is going to have some bearing on the amount of clicks and impressions your ads can receive but if you are not seeing the levels that you would want for your chosen budget, ie. you are spending a lot less than you wanted to, then there could be scope to add additional keywords and increase traffic levels and customers to your site.

2. CTR

It is also important to have a good ratio of clicks to impressions, or click through rate (CTR). This is something Google looks at to determine the quality score of your keywords so it’s important to get this as high as possible.

Depending on the type of campaign, display or search, a ‘good’ CTR will vary, but anything over 0.5% for a display campaign and around 3-5% for a search campaign is something to aim for.

3. Average position

To get your ads noticed in the search results they really need to be appearing in the top 3 positions on the page, otherwise they are at risk of getting lost within the noise of the rest of the page.

If your ads have a low CTR then it may be due to the average position so consider increasing bids where appropriate to achieve those top of page slots and you should hopefully see your CTR improve.

4. Conversion rate

The main reason most businesses use Google AdWords is to get more customers, so achieving a high conversion rate is important.

You can use Google’s conversion code to track things like sales or completions of an on-site enquiry form to relate those conversions back to keywords and ads to see which ones are working and which ones are not. You should be aiming for as high a conversion rate as possible, because that means that a high proportion of people coming to your site are carrying out your desired action whilst they’re there.

Conversions can be softer than actual s

5. Sales / leads

It should all boil down to getting more sales and leads! If you own an ecommerce website and your ads are not generating sales then there’s something wrong with your campaigns and/or site.

You also need to factor in ROI. If sales are coming in, are enough coming through to ensure you are seeing a return on your investment?

6. Bounce rate

Another softer metric you can look at to try and establish the quality of traffic coming from PPC ads is bounce rate. This can be done in AdWords itself or within Google Analytics.

ales or leads. You could set up a conversion for an email sign up or pull in engagement goals from Analytics to gauge the quality of the traffic coming via PPC.

Read more http://www.browsermedia.co.uk/2015/01/19/9-ways-determine-whether-not-ppc-campaigns-working/

Further reading

Site speed & PPC performance

Why You Should Not Ignore Linking Strategy

I’m sure we all know about how the search engines use their algorithms to decide whether a website is worthy of being included and ranked. These algorithms have always relied upon links and Google has used this concept of linking to indicate value. Website owners then started using a variety of methods to artificially increase the number of links that pointed to their sites. This led to the likes of Google developing a specific algorithm that targets poor quality links.

 

So, what is a poor quality link? Well, it could be a site that does not have unique content or has thin or very poor quality content that is of no value whatsoever to anyone. There are guidelines that make recommendations for what should be included on websites. What makes a site unique is fairly simple to understand, it is one which has content that is one of a kind, it does not have content shared with any other site and the search engines can identify what is unique and what is not. This is because it has records of all content crawled and by comparing all this content, it knows what is unique and what is duplicated.

 

Another indication of a low quality site, is having lots of adverts at the top of the page which link with other low quality sites. Overuse of keywords and key phrases are another indicator of poor quality. There are a whole host of ways in which the search engines use and correlate data when ranking websites. If you have any broken or obsolete links on your site, remove or repair them. This is a job that needs to be done on a regular basis so that you know what’s working and what is not.

 

It should also be mentioned that your site should only link to others within your niche and not with random sites that have nothing whatsoever to do with your niche. This is why you should avoid at all costs, using link farms and actually, some directories can be detrimental to your site. Local business directories are usually a safe bet but carefully consider whether or not a particular business directory is going to help or hinder your site.

 

Linking needs to be natural, any artificial or unnatural linking patterns will be spotted and you can expect consequences. Obtaining links is hard work, there is no easy solution but it is worth all the effort because you will have links that are high quality and relevant to your niche.

 

 

As Google begins to penalize every known link-building technique, it is going to extremely tough going forward for small businesses with an online channel to build a. high-quality linking strategy. So the success of your business’ SEO is going to depend on how creative you can get.

I asked a few successful SEO agencies and small businesses on the strategies they used to get links for their websites. Here are some of their tips:

1. Build helpful tools for your industry

Every industry has a need for unique tools that will make life easier. While a lot of these tools can be packaged and sold as a product, there are several other smaller tools that are useful but may not actually be turned into a business.

According to Dave Davis, the managing director of RedFlyMarketing, free tools for SEO purposes has been so successful for his company that they now have a dedicated budget to build such tools that their peers and competition can use.

2. Target your journalists on Facebook

Press releases are bland, and they don’t really work in getting the word out to the journalists any more.

According to photographer and writer Annalise Kaylor, spending hundreds of dollars in getting these releases syndicated across PR distribution companies is a futile exercise. Instead, she recommends using Facebook ads to specifically target the journalists you want to reach out to. She recommends aggregating a list of journalists you want to reach out to. Once done, search for their names on Facebook and dig out their profile IDs. Finally, create Facebook ads promoting your blog post and target them at these specific Facebook profiles. Here is a short tutorial of the process. This technique is not only effective but costs you pennies to reach out.

3. Local sponsorships

If you are a small business catering to a specific geography, then backlinks from organizations in your town or neighborhood offer a great deal of SEO impact.

According to Jared Carrizales, the founder at Heroic Search, one way to do this would be to sponsor events. He typically does this by first performing a backlink analysis of competition and identifying links got through sponsorships –digital and local. Once the right events are identified, it is simply a matter of allocating the appropriate budget. Jared says this is a great way to build links from colleges, local events and industry conferences.

4. Create something fun for linking

You don’t always have to create ultra-useful tools and resources to earn links. Sometimes doing something fun will bring links too.

This is exactly what Blue Fountain Media did to earn nearly 50 additional links. Austin Paley, the company’s corporate communications manager, explains that the team decided to implement a playable version of Pac-Man on the website’s 404 page. This took the visitors who landed there by surprise — so much so that a lot of people ended up hyperlinking to the site.

5. Identifying dead businesses

While new businesses are created every day, a lot of existing businesses die.

Brian Dean, the founder of SEO training company, Backlinko says he regularly identifies websites in his industry that have shut shop. Analyzing their backlink profiles will help you identify a number of links from high authority websites that are linking to the now-dead website. Brian says he has been able to get a lot of these websites to replace their outdated links with new resources on his website by just emailing them.

6. Turning copyright violations to linking opportunities

Businesses that own their content (like photographers, event organizers, etc.) are vulnerable to copyright violations where photos and videos they own are shared on other websites, often without permission.

Read more http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241409

More information

7 proactive ways to get backlinks that actually boost traffic