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Ecommerce Blog - Fortune3

Pros and Cons of Various Keyword Match Types

fortune3-ppc-keyword-phrase-match-imageMost SMB owners that take care of their own PPC campaigns don’t go far beyond the “broad match” option.

Don’t get down on yourself – you only have so much time.

But remember, Google makes a lot of money off those ads. So they don’t do a ton to help you reduce your costs.

That means it’s up to you to choose the most appropriate type, and to monitor your costs carefully.

Learn more about the most common match types:

1. Broad Match

So let’s start with the crux of most PPC campaigns.

Pro: About 20% of Google searches are completely new, never done before. Broad match gives you the best exposure to them.

Con: Because it can match the keywords you want in any way, including for synonyms of those terms, you can appear for many completely irrelevant searches, driving your costs up and out of control.

2. Modified Broad Match

How it works: Add a (+) in front of one or more keywords. You then only appear for searches that explicitly include the keywords that have that (+) sign in front of them.

Pro: Much more precise targeting and more efficient ad costs.

Con: You might miss out on some new opportunities. But then again, maybe you don’t care about that at this point.

3. Phrase Match

How it works: You want to appear for certain key phrases that specifically match a set order you determine. You can also come up for words and phrases that appear before or after your specifically set phrase.

Pro: More precision targeting and marketing than modified broad match, which leads to more efficient marketing costs.

Con: Again, you may push out some relevant keyword searches that could earn you sales.

4. Exact Match

How it works: Just like it sounds. Your ads appear for searches that exactly match what you set.

Pro: You’ll get good conversion rates…if you’ve chosen the most relevant keywords.

Con: You’ll close out all other opportunities. So you better pick the right keywords that will convert.

You Have to Try All 4 Approaches to See What Works Best

…That is unless you get obvious keyword types like “buy diamond rings online” because you know what people are looking for when they type that in.

Sometimes, though, you’ll be surprised. Others, you won’t have any real clue until you test and try.

But, PPC is one of the few sources of accurate and reliable data in online marketing. So once you figure out what works, you’ll be in great shape.

Posted in Ecommerce Essentials & Tips, Pay-Per-Click

How to Make Facebook Ads Work for Your Company

Who can benefit from Facebook ads?

Every company can.

But, it’s not easy to do. Facebook’s a publicly traded company now, so they have to find ways to maximize revenues.

So, they’ve made it more difficult for business pages to get any kind of traction without spending.

When Should You Use Facebook Ads?

They work great in several situations:

1. When you try to grow your Facebook page from scratch

2. If you have a special promotion

3. To promote an event

4. To allow customers to claim an offer on your page

How Do You Use Facebook Ads?

What’s cool about Facebook ads is their targeting. You can target your audience with greater precision than any other online ad network.

That includes Google.

Once you’ve got a few hundred likes on your Facebook page, you have a community ready to be built and sold to.

Out of all the elements on your Facebook page, targeting is the most important. It’s the step you have to do right first to get your message in front of people who care.

If you shoot for the moon and go for as many people as possible, you’ll get lower conversion rates because people who care nothing for the message see it.

If you’re a local business, you can even target people by zip code!

Other tips for getting the most from Facebook ads:

1. Use An Image that Stands Out

Facebook lets you choose images for free from Shutterstock to use in your ads. Now, the thing is most of these are the same old boring stock photos.

And if you choose one of those, you won’t get the best results possible. You’ll notice colorful, vibrant images with people in more dramatic poses. You want images along those lines because they’re going to stand out when people see them in their feeds.

Your image carries the most weight in determining your ad’s overall success.

2. Use Engaging Ad Copy

What keeps your target customer/client up at night? Your ad headline and the copy must speak directly to that problem. That’s how you get and keep interest.

Your headline can be 25 characters long, and the body length 90 characters. However, if you scour the web, you’ll find people who’ve learned how to break these limits.

3. Customize Your Creative for Each Market Segment 

There’s no better way to get a response than by creating ads for each product you have and targeting them to a specific audience. You’ll get the most sales that way.

Focus on the long-term. You’ll get some sales immediately. But it takes months to fine-tune your campaign. You’ll also want to engage the community you build up organically on your page…but that’s a conversation for another time.

Until then, hope you have amazing success!

Posted in Online Marketing Strategies, Pay-Per-Click, Social Media For eCommerce

How to Make Your First Sales

fortune3-e-commerce-selling-footwearGetting sales momentum going is the difficult part in e-commerce, isn’t it?

How do you do it? What should you do?

There’s about a million different things you can do – so where’s your time best spent?

Read these tips and find out:

1. PPC’s a Good Starting Place

All your product pages should be set up like landing pages anyway. Start driving PPC traffic to your website immediately.

On each of your product pages, the number of actions your users can take should be kept to a minimum. They should be able to read a little about the product, click buy, and maybe subscribe to your e-mail list.

2. Grow Your E-mail List Rapidly 

You can start growing your e-mail list immediately on Twitter with a lead generation card.

If you don’t know how to write great content to offer from around the web, then share other people’s content.

No, it doesn’t necessarily cost you business. In fact, it makes you look more credible because you’re sharing stuff that’s not your own.

To your users, it looks like you really do place their best interests in mind.

You should view your e-mail list like marketing gold. This is where your best leads come from. And e-mail marketing is so cheap, you get some of the best ROI from it.

3. Tell Friends & Family 

The key here is to make it no-pressure. Don’t try to twist your mother’s or grandmother’s arm into buying from you if they have no interest.

Just let them know what’s going on and ask them to spread the word to people who might like your products and services.

4. Don’t Cut Your Prices!¬†

This is easy to do when you’re desperate. And it’s okay to do from time-to-time. But, especially in the beginning, you don’t want to compete on price.

That kills your margins. Then, you can’t hire the best employees, buy the best tools, or do anything at all to the best of your ability. That becomes obvious to your customers, and then you either:

1) Attract the wrong kind of customer

2) Scare good customers away

5. Create a Link Roundup on Your Website

This works marvelously. Basically, what you do is compile all the best pieces of content on the web on some subject of use to your customers.

Make sure many of the pieces of content are from websites with large, active social communities.

Run your link roundup and let the owners of the sites you mentioned know about it.

They’ll give you links and social shares…great organic growth!

Those are some easy, and in many cases no-cost, ways to make your first sales.

Do any intrigue you?

Posted in Ecommerce Essentials & Tips, How To, Pay-Per-Click

6 PPC Hacks for New E-Commerce Startups

fortune3-ppc-hacks-imageYou’ve got to get business, and you have to get it now. Wait a minute, doesn’t SEO take 12-18 months before you even see beginning results?

Do you really have that long to wait before you can even begin to see profits? How many business owners have that much money sitting inside their bank accounts?

1. Target Keywords with Model Numbers, UPC Codes, Part Names, And So On…

Why on earth would you ever do this? Well, people who type these things into Google know what the heck they’re looking for.

Not only will you get a good conversion rate, but the ads are cheaper to create in the first place because there’s so much less competition for them (no one knows about them).

This keeps your cost per acquisition to a minimum too.

2. Think about Putting Your Pricing in Your Ads

It’s a great way to qualify leads so you only get the very best customers willing to spend what you want them to pay. You spend a whole heck of a lot less on people who are more likely to buy and be happy to pay your price.

3. Do You Use “Dayparting?”¬†

You probably haven’t even heard of this. But, what it means is that you bid higher for clicks at certain times of the day. For example, if you have B2B clients, you’d want to pay more for ads at the beginning and end of the work day.

That’s when B2B clients search for your keywords. It makes no sense to bid on keywords from 9 PM to 6 AM when they won’t look for your products and services.

4. For Mobile Users, Let them Click-to-Call

Somewhere around 50% of all internet searches are done on mobile devices (maybe the real number is slightly less than that). Just make sure that, since mobile users can most easily see the top 3 ads, you get your ad in that position for them to easily notice.

5. Aim for a “Unicorn Ad”

This type of ad is ¬†in the top 1% of all ads on the web. It has a 6 times higher CTR than Google’s expectation. Your ads must be highly emotional with powerful words in them to crack this elite status.

Keep testing until you hit this magic plateau!

6. Don’t Listen to What Google Says about Quality Score

Believe it or not, Quality Score has a significant impact on CPC. Why would Google say this is not the case? Well, if you don’t try to optimize your Quality Score, they make more money (That’s a bit of a conflict of interest, isn’t it?)

Ignore what Google says, and do everything you can to maximize it!

If you follow these tips, you’ll race ahead of the competition before they even realize what’s happening.

Posted in Ecommerce Essentials & Tips, Online Marketing Strategies, Pay-Per-Click

6 Copywriting Keywords That Sell (Plus a Special Bonus)

fortune3-copywriting-keywords-image.jpgYou know how you have keywords for Google, right?

They’re very important, as they determine how customers find you (or if they find you at all)!

Just like those keywords, there are “keywords” that make your customers more eager to buy.

And they’re not the natural words that come to mind, either.

Ignore those “fancy” words on other websites that you see often. Words like “maximize, unparalleled, best-in-class, market-leader” – they sound great but mean nothing to your buyer.

Instead, whenever you write any kind of copy (blog post headlines, PPC ads, product pages…whatever), use these words where they make sense. And while it is possible to distort the truth with them rather easily, use them only in a 100% honest, ethical way.

Here are some of the words to use:

1. Proven

This builds so much credibility in your product. If you use it, make sure you back it up with some sort of facts or statistics from legitimate sources.

2. Breakthrough/Groundbreaking

These words are huge. Use them wherever you can. People love the new and exciting. Just make sure the product, in  your eyes anyway, is in fact a true breakthrough.

If it’s not, your customers will be disappointed after purchasing. That hurts your reputation and long-term sales.

3. Easy

Humans always aim to take the path of least resistance wherever possible. Make your product sound easy to use, and use the word explicitly a couple times in your copy.

4. Limited Time

If you want to sell, copy the way infomercials work and the language they use. How many times have you heard, “For a limited time only!”

This adds to urgency for your customers, making them more likely to buy now.

However, don’t just say the phrase. Specify the time period that your offer is limited to so customers know how long they have to act.

5. You

For copywriters, this is a pretty basic word to use. However, on websites, you often see the words “we” or “company name” moreso than anything else.

That, however, puts the focus on the company.

And customers only care about your company insofar as what it can do for them.

By saying,”You,” as often as possible, you build a connection with your customers, making it more likely they’ll buy.

6. Save/FREE

What customer doesn’t want to hear these words? FREE is the more powerful of the two, but make sure you use them both where you can.

7. Bonus Keyword: Bonus

This implies “FREE” and heck, who doesn’t want a bonus? Just make sure your bonus is a good one. Otherwise, people get angry and irritated with you when they find out it’s kind of a crummy bonus.

Anyway, if you use the keywords in appropriate places in your copy, you’ll definitely notice an increase in sales.

Posted in Ecommerce Essentials & Tips, Online Marketing Strategies, Pay-Per-Click

What’s the Latest on Google Quality Score?

fortune3-google-quality-score-imageHow hard have you been working on optimizing your Quality Score?

You have been doing this haven’t you?

According to ThinkWithGoogle.com:

Your Quality Score is like a warning light in a car’s engine that shows how healthy your ads and keywords are. It’s not meant to be a detailed metric that is the focus of account management.

I’m sure you’ve read a number of detailed posts that tell you how to change every last bit of the PPC process to maximize your Quality Score.

But according to what Google just said, you shouldn’t be doing that anymore.

Instead, you should just look at it as a general guide.

So what should you be doing these days instead of micromanaging every little detail?

Follow this list:

1. Use Tight Keyword Groupings

In other words, they should all be roughly the same, or a very slight, variation of the primary keyword. If you try to stretch out your ads to include a wide variation of keywords, you get bad CTR rates because the copy isn’t relevant to the searcher.

2. Great Landing Page Experience

What is “great?” It always starts with speed. Now if you think you need a longer landing page, its okay if it loads slower (greater than 2 seconds) as long as visitors can see the initial text long enough.

In general, your landing pages should load in 2 seconds or less on a standard bandwidth internet connection. They also have to be clean, and the call-to-action button has to stand out and be above the fold.

That makes it easy for the user to take your desired action now.

3. Fine-Tune Your Copy Constantly

As your business evolves, you’ll learn what sells to your customers and what doesn’t. Communicate what does in your copy. Hint: very few businesses continue to fine-tune their copy over time (like less than 1%).

In fact, most use the generic copy you get from the manufacturer. In your copy, discuss benefits (solutions to problems) to overcome objections. Use active voice verbs – ones that happen in the now (not the past or future).

If your headline says, “Discount Blinds,” that’s a disinteresting headline to your readers. Use, “Need Discount Blinds?” and your conversions will increase because that’s an emotional headline that piques curiosity.

You could also say, “Discount Blinds – FREE Shipping!” or “Save Money with Discount Blinds.” You never know which approach converts the best, but you can find out through testing.

So that’s the latest on Google Quality score. Do these things, and you’ll be just fine regardless of what Google decides to do.

Posted in Ecommerce Essentials & Tips, Pay-Per-Click

Top 6 PPC Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)

fortune3-ppc-mistakes-imageJust a small mistake in PPC can cost you thousands in advertising in the weeks and months ahead! So, the best strategy is to always do everything you can to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Google can’t be nice when it comes to their PPC tool – it’s their biggest revenue generator by far!

So here they are in no particular order:

1. Bidding on Broad, Generic Keywords

Only the very big companies (think Amazon big) can afford to do this. Broad keywords are ones with 2 phrases in them or less. They bring in people who have just become aware of your product and who want to learn more about it.

If you’re a small business, think of the long-tail phrases, ones with 3 words in them or more. They convert faster and better.

2. Getting the #1 PPC Position at the Top of the Page

How could this possibly be bad? Unfortunately it is. Most PPC experts will tell you that position 3-4 works best. The top position doesn’t work so well because people are just beginning their research at this point.

Once they know more about prices and the companies selling products, they’re ready to buy.

3. Making a Typo in Your Budget Per Day

You can set this limit precisely, but don’t set it too high by accident! There are countless stories of people who wanted to spend $500 per day, but typed in $5000.

It’s a simple fix – have a second set of eyes check your campaign settings before it goes live.

4. Forgetting to Stay Relevant on Your Landing Page

Whatever you say in your PPC ad itself, repeat it in the headline of your landing page. So, if you have FREE shipping, make that clear right away on your landing page.

If you make people dig down to the right, left, or bottom of the page, you’ll lose a lot of sales because most are not patient enough to stay on your site that long.

5. Using Your Phone Number in Your Ad

People don’t even know your company, products, or services yet! Why would they call? Test have been done which show placing your phone number in your PPC ad is really just a waste of space.

Don’t do it.

6. Not Running Holiday Specials 

Get some more holiday-specific ads running at key times throughout the year. You might have to be clever, but something like a “summer blowout” is enough to make your ad stand out from the competition’s.

Whew, well, when you calculate the total of all these mistakes, the net swing could be from a loss numbering in the thousands to a profit of thousands!

What could your business do with the new-found profits?

Posted in Pay-Per-Click

6 Slick Tips for Minimizing PPC Costs

Enter an extra “0” somewhere in Adwords, and you could be in for a big surprise when you see your ad spend at the end of the month!

That’s tip number one, and even experienced PPC professionals have made it.

Besides monitoring for typos, you can also do the following to keep your PPC costs down (which can skyrocket out of control if left unchecked):

1. Shoot for Long-Tail Keywords

There’s arguments as to which keywords are in fact “long-tail,” but generally they start with key phrases that have 3 words or more. If you target terms with less words than that, the competition stiffens immensely, and your cost-per-click and ROI take a huge negative impact.

Aim for terms like “buy men’s basketball shoes online,” rather than “mens shoes.”

2. Keep It Simple, Stupid

You don’t need a massive number of keywords to generate a healthy amount of business. For starters, choose 5 keywords, and also target some of their variations. Once you have mastered PPC for a small number of terms, expand your business as much as you want.

3. Create a Custom Landing Page for Each Keyword

If you send everyone to a generic home page, you leak conversions like crazy. If the home page is fully optimized for a certain term, then by all means drive people to it. Otherwise, create a unique page for each keyword.

Don’t do something like copying and pasting the content and switching the keyword – that harms the user experience as people browse your website. You can, however, drive similarly-related terms to a single page targeted at the primary keyword.

4. Track Your Data Carefully

And you should do this especially so if you’re running your first campaign. Using a combination of Google Analytics and Adwords, you can precisely track how many clicks you’ve gotten, and the sales you’ve generated for each product.

Check things every day for the first week, weekly for the first 3 months, and then monthly thereafter.

5. Keep Quality Score High

Your click-through rate, bounce rate, and the relevancy of your landing page make up your quality score. And what Google charges you per click is based on that.

The better you can meet your visitor’s expectations with your landing page, the lower your PPC costs.

6. Use Negative Keywords

These keywords are ones you do not want to have your ad display for at all. When you first run it, Google will display it for a number of different searches, and some of those will be completely irrelevant to your keyword.

So, review that information within Adwords and add negative keywords so people who are searching for your product can actually find it.

If you do that when running your PPC campaign, you’ll do just fine. It’ll never be perfect from the start, so be prepared for some money to be used for learning what doesn’t work.

Posted in Online Marketing Strategies, Pay-Per-Click

4 Techniques to Skyrocket Your Sales from PPC Ads

fortune3-ppc-conversion-image.jpgYes, all PPC ads are not created equal.  In fact, writing PPC ads is something you should take just as seriously as writing an infomercial.  It is its own science.

But, let’s say you don’t have a ton of experience writing ads that convert well. ¬†That’s cool – this guide will give you a few quick tips that will get you going on the right track from the start.

Here are the big things to watch:

1. ¬†What’s your value proposition? ¬†This is what differentiates you in the market from all other businesses who offer the same products. ¬†It takes a ton of research to find it, or at least extensive industry experience. ¬†Do you offer the best price, free shipping, or the biggest product of its kind?

Whatever you do or your products offer better than anyone else must be communicated in your ads.

2.  Headline Р35 Characters

Your headline is the most important part of your ad because that’s what people notice first. ¬†Make sure ¬†your top keyword gets in the headline. ¬†Then, you have to include your value proposition too.

If you don’t put these important benefits in the headline and instead bury them later on in the description, most people never even read them.

3.  Description Р70 Characters

In here, you want to talk about the additional benefits your product offers.  Benefits always speak to feelings.  They could be things like reduced cooking time, less energy used, or even cooking.

It’s hard to identify the difference between features and benefits. ¬†Features are properties of a product like the color, size, shape, age. ¬†Benefits are what it does for you. ¬†For a med spa, for example, you might say your products “Rejuvenate Your Mind, Body, and Soul.”

Consumers want the benefits, and the features are nice to have.

You’ll also want a call-to-action word to use like “Get, shop, buy, or save” to make the ad seem more urgent.

4.  Display URL Р35 Characters

This URL should contain your primary keyword. ¬†That way, people know that if they click your ad, they’re going to be sent to the right place.

5. ¬†Research Your Competitor’s Ads¬†

If you don’t have any idea where to start, search your keywords and look at the competition’s ads. ¬†For small businesses, they often don’t have any professional copywriting on their ads at all. ¬†But, if you know you’re looking at a larger company’s ads, they’ve probably worked on and refined their ads to perfection. ¬†I’m talking about very big companies here, with $100 million+ in revenue.

If you can target keywords that other SMBs use, you can get more clicks because they don’t use professional copywriting. ¬†That’s quite a huge competitive advantage for you!

And a better CTR means lower advertising costs too.

Enjoy this new secret trick, and the resulting sales you get from it!

Posted in Ecommerce Essentials & Tips, How To, Online Marketing Strategies, Pay-Per-Click

How to Write PPC Ads that Convert

fortune3-ecommerce-ppc-ads-imageThere’s more to writing a good PPC ad than just getting the keyword in – much more. ¬†That’s just the SEO part of things.

More importantly, you need to do these things:

1. ¬†Appeal to Your Audience’s Core Problem

What are they really looking for when they’re searching for Kid’s Shoes? ¬†Do you have a recognizable brand name in their space? ¬†Make sure you mention that. ¬†Do they want affordable, unique, or big brand-name shoes? ¬†Make sure you talk about that in your PPC ad.

2.  Use Emotion

It sells over logic, every time.  Health, safety, security, greed, envy, fear, curiosity, and novelty are just a few of the emotions that motivate purchasing.  Appeal to at least one of these, or others, to get your market to take action.

3.  Ask a Question

This is a great way to get attention from web searchers. ¬†Write something like, “Need Unique Kids’ Shoes?” That peaks curiosity and gets people interested – then give them a reason to click in your description.

4.  Make Sure the Landing Page Answers the Problem

Once you send people to the landing page, make sure it quickly and concisely answers the PPC ad’s problem. ¬†If people are being sent to buy a product, have a picture of the product and an attractive headline, plus a killer product description (hint: ¬†don’t use the manufacturer’s description). ¬†The better ¬†you know your market, the more effective you can make your landing page.

5.  Test Different Ad Versions

Because so much of your ad’s success depends on hitting your target market’s primary problem (and it’s hard to find out what that is) test out different versions of your PPC ads.

6.  Capitalize the First Letter of Every Word

This makes your ad more noticeable to the eye, without making it obnoxious.

7. ¬†Use “You” to form a Connection

Online consumers today want a personal connection in their advertising. ¬†Make sure the word “you” appears somewhere in your PPC ad.

Check Out an Example

So, if you’re selling something like iPads, this would be an example of an effective PPC ad:

Buy iPads – JohnsProducts.com

FREE shipping on orders over $100.  10% discount when  you order in the next 24 hours.

Now that will get people moving. ¬†Everyone wants the recognizable brand name, so that’s a good thing. ¬†And the description contains 2 benefits:

  • 1) ¬†Free shipping
  • 2) ¬†10% discount

Plus the discount has a strong sense of urgency Рyou have to act soon in order to get it.  That always increases response.

If you follow these techniques and test everything regularly, your PPC campaign will have success.

 

Posted in How To, Online Marketing Strategies, Pay-Per-Click