Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to Optimize Google AdWords to Generate Business

In our last post, we talked about using Facebook Advertisements and how to utilize it to benefit your company. Now, we're going to do the same thing with Google.

Google's advertising has a much different effect for generating business for companies. While Facebook specializes in creating awareness, interest, and relationships, Google is much better at generating actual action and desire for a company's products and services. This is because people on Google are always searching for something. If your advertisement appears, it means that you provide an answer to people's inquiries or problems.

While Facebook can target based on a variety of characteristics and interests, Google targets based on two major things: location (country, state, or city) and keywords searched. Similar to Google, you must have a CPC maximum bid; however, the price of this keyword depends on the popularity of the keywords you are looking for.

An important aspect of Google is the Quality Score. Each of your advertising campaigns will have a score based on the relevance of your advertisement. This is determined by:
  • your clickthrough rate: the number of clicks on your ad divided by the number of times they see the ad
  • the quality of your landing page
  • the relevance of the keyword to the advertisement
The higher your Quality Score, the lower the maximum CPC bid, the better the advertisement position, and the more often your ad will show.

A Google Ad will consist of a headline, body text, a URL, and an optional picture. Here is an example of a successful ad:

There are several things about this ad that make it effective:
  • Headline: focuses on the specific product, rather than the company. This makes consumers more willing to click the link, as it matches the searched keywords.
  • Body Text: mentions the specific products, and clearly states the benefits of buying from that company
  • Destination URL: leads to the landing page that is most relevant for the user, rather than the home page. Also, the URL is clear and has keywords within the domain name.
Here are some quick tips about choosing your keywords:
  • Think about the keywords from your customer's point of view
  • Use relevant variations
  • Don't be too broad: use phrases with 2-3 words
  • Be specific in product variations
  • You can add "negative keywords," or keywords that should prevent your advertisement from appearing because it is irrelevant
Finally, similar to Facebook, Google allows you to track your progress. However, you can go in much more depth in terms of its affect on your website. Google has Google Analytics, which gives you in-depth reports about the performance your website, including web visits from advertisements, purchases, ROI, links to social media websites, and more. Also, Google has a Website Optimizer to test out several versions of your website's content, images, and layout.

Moreover, Google allows you to advertise on Google's search engine, Google's parners (such as Youtube), and Google's Display Networks. You can customize this even further to allow advertisements to appear only on desktops, laptops, smart phones, or allow all options.

Overall, Google and Facebook are both effective ways of generating business, as long as they are used correctly and strategically. Several companies are successful in utilizing and linking both advertising methods together. Generally, Facebook generates awareness and interest, and Google optimizes desire and action.

How to Optimize Facebook Ads to Generate Business

Facebook Advertisements and Google AdWords are both very effective ways of advertising your business. There is no right or wrong with deciding one over the other, as really it depends on your goals as a company and what you are looking for. While they both advertising options have similarities, they have huge underlying differences that must be considered.

In this post, we'll mainly be concentrating on Facebook. Facebook advertisements are best for creating awareness and interest in your company. The biggest asset to Facebook Ads is that you can target your advertisements based on demographics (age, language, gender), location (country, state, city, region), likes and interest, and work and education (including schools, majors, and graduation dates). And here's the best part: Facebook actually tells you how many people your advertisement will reach.

Facebook (and Google) are similar in that you can set your own Cost Per Click (CPC) and a Daily Budget. No matter what, you will never have to pay more than the budget set per day. Your CPC acts as a maximum bid. In order for your advertisements to be shown on Facebook and Google, you must win the "auction" against other advertisements who want to be shown at the same time or place. Both systems will give you recommendations on how much your CPC should be based on when and where you want your advertisements to be placed. Usually, you will not have to pay the maximum bid, unless it is a highly competitive time of the day or target demographic.

One option that Facebook has that Google does not is that you can pay per CPM, or cost for every thousand times your advertisement is shown. This option is better if your company objective is brand awareness.

Additionally, Facebook allows you to be specific in scheduling advertisements. You can target people on their birthdays, show advertisements only at a specific time of the day, or have them run continuously.

Both Facebook allows you to track your progress with tables and graphs. You can view advertising performance, responder demographics and profiles, conversion tracking tools (how many people who view your advertisement actually purchase something from your website), and more.

The general Facebook advertisement can advertise a website, a page, an event, a group, or an application. It is composed of a headline, an image, body text, and social context (whether friends also "like" this page).

Here is an example of a Facebook Ad. Because I am a girl, who lives in Los Angeles, and enjoys fashion as an interest, Facebook determined that I would be an appropriate target for this ad. Here are some recommendations for creating your ad:
  • Headline: Use your company or product's name, a strong call to action, or target an interest.
  • Image: Use attention-grabbing, colorful images that describe your company, product or service. Horizontal pictures are best.
  • Body Text: Clearly describe your product and service, show discounts or benefits from being a Facebook fan, or encourage a strong call to action.
There are great tricks to using Facebook advertising with fan pages. Here is one of the best-kept secrets:
  • First, when you start to have a decent group of "likes" on your Facebook page, target advertising to your fans. This will encourage fans who have gained an interest in your company to actually take an action. For instance, encouraging fans to purchase a product with a 20% discount just for being a Facebook fan.
  • Second, once you strengthen your following from awareness into action or desire, you can start to target Friends of Fans. Facebook Ads has a option that allows you to target only the friends of people who "like" your page. This is a much more effective way of gaining followers, as often the peer pressure of seeing several friends "liking" a page will encourage one to like it as well. Moreover, the average Facebook user has an average of 130 friends, allowing you to multiply your ad reach exponentially. Here is an example of a page who has 120 friends multiplying their reach:

  • While Friends of Fans works superbly for consumer products, events, and targeting in local areas, it is not the best option for B2B businesses. Interest targeting and work targeting work better in these scenarios.
It is a good idea to test out several different advertisements for the various products and services you offer. You'll have a better idea of which targets respond better, which advertisements are more attractive, and be able to optimize your clickthrough rate (number of clicks divided by number of times your ad is viewed).

Remember, while Facebook Ads create decent conversion rates, Facebook generally attracts more awareness and interest of your company, products, and services. As we will talk about next, Google is better for generating desire and action.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

St. Louis Ford Dealers Turn to Flash Point for Mobile Lead Generation

How the Quality Ford Dealers Are Turning Their 2011 Automotive Sponsorships into Lead Generating Machines

Finally, an affordable turnkey mobile solution for Ad Groups and Their Retailers
What do you get when you combine a stadium full of rabid fans and huge prize packages with good marketing and a state-of-the-art mobile platform? Happy fans and happier car dealers.

What’s Different about the Flash Point Mobile Solution?
While most vendors offer a “naked platform” (leaving the hard work, marketing and messaging management up to the Agency), Flash Point delivers a total marketing solution, custom fit for the Ad Group. Marketing, promotion, lead generation, instant lead delivery, monitoring and metrics. All affordably priced and turnkey to the Agency.

What’s in it for the Dealers that make up the Ad Group?
Leads and Leverage. With the Flash Point Solution, Car Dealers not only get the leads instantly (from the Ad Group Promotion), but they have the option to “piggy-back” on the Ad Group’s investment with their own custom keyword campaign. Imagine, now a local car Dealer can offer free tix to the big game in their individual advertising with none of the big ticket sweeps cost. The best part? They get 100% of the leads.

For your free mobile and event evaluation, call Flash Point today. And turn your next event into a lead generating machine.