Paid search ideas to increase your conversions and extend your marketing budget

Google AdWords
Google AdWords can augment a mobile marketing strategy as well as a desktop marketing strategy

Fall can be a great time to review marketing campaigns over the past year and make adjustments, particular with the holiday sales season around the corner.  But any time of the year is a good time to review results from paid and organic search.  Not checking on how your site attracts customers can lead to no conversions –which means no online sales or downloads related to lead generation.

There are a few ideas can help your small business renew the focus of campaigns that lead to increased conversions.

Set analytics reports dedicated to monitoring changed contributions to website goals

Analytics reports can show which campaigns are effectively contributing to goals, as well as reviewing time on site and pageviews per visit to confirm that your ads are driving engaged visits to your site. Consider also specialty reports such as Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnel to compare the value paid search contributed to site goals and how it changed from one period to another. This can reveal how to approach adjustment to keywords between paid and organic search.

Ensure campaign ad categories are easily distinguishable

You should create specific categories for paid search that can be reflected in the campaign and ad groups. Doing so makes campaign tagging simple to apply and permits better attribution of the ads that contributed to site goals.

Verify the budget allocated against the traffic created

Import your organic and paid search data into a spreadsheet and compare the amount of traffic against the percentage of ad budget allocated for the segment. Does it make sense for a keyword contributing 10% of traffic to receive 40% of a PPC budget? Creating a comparison table will answer this question.

Consider paid search as an augment for keywords targeted in organic search.

Some small businesses emphasize search in lieu of a PPC campaign, but many digital marketing research firms are discovering that a combined paid and organic search results for a given keyword can have a higher conversion rate than that for organic search results alone. Apply organic and paid search for your top terms that need more exposure. The lift in conversion rates overall should be higher than any slight cannibalization of search traffic from having an ad appearing alongside an organic search query result.

Use long tails keywords that could draw visits while achieving a lower spend on clicks

Conversion lift opportunities can sometimes lie in long tail keyword terms, attracting more relevant traffic with a lower spend than many highly volume terms. Long tail keywords are words with lower search volume than a head keyword – typically a branded term in some cases. But three and four phrase keyword terms related to your industry, product, or service can yield a better combination of relevant traffic.

Use Contextual Marketing to make ad spend more effective

To better ensure that the ads appear when customers are considering your services, consider networks that display ads in a more relevant setting to your targeted audience.  For example, an ad offering DJs services can be displayed in a network that includes content for weddings – an event in which these services are needed. AdWords offers contextual marketing option by running ads on partner sites of the Google Display Network. Facebook Ads operate in a similar manner – The keywords in Facebook Ads are matched to profile activity rather than search queries. So an ad for an auto parts store would show for profiles containing an interest in automobiles. The end result is an audience being more receptive to an ad because the queries are occurring in a more specific online community or environment.

Create ads for specific events

If an ad budget is extremely tight for your small business, you should create ads for specific happenings. Seasonal events, such as a holiday sale, can be effective. Another approach is setting an ad for specific geographic region where your business serves but may not be receiving visitors.

Place ads on ads networks related to your referral traffic

Referral traffic from other sites may be complimented with ad exposure to gain better response leading to conversion. Sites like Linked In and offer ad networks specific for a business audience, while Yelp and may be helpful for sales offers. There are also publishers such as Adsmoke, a platform that display ads at the beginning of a YouTube video, which can provide opportunities to match your ad to the context in which it appears.

Scan your site for overlooked keyword ideas with CPC opportunities.

Site content can change over the year, especially if a blog is hosted as a site subdirectory and a high volume of posts are created.  You can use tools to scan your site for additional keyword ideas. The results can lead to more affordable relevant words to use in an ad. Both Google Adwords Manager and Microsoft AdCenter can your website and generate a keyword list. You can compare the generated list with a keyword density list, to determine if a preferred keyword does not appear frequently in your site – thus a potential candidate for use in an ad to attract audience.

Gaining conversion takes time and investment. But evaluating campaigns with web analytics and segmentation brings an improved focus of your business’ marketing. Your ads will then tempt more potential customers, because they are being served to the customers you want for your products and services.


Polymer.js example

How Semantic Search Relates Online Content to Customers

Polymer.js example
This HTML mark up is a technical example of how semantic search works. It calls out specific parts in the code, like this callout designed to address a version of JavaScript called Polymer.  Although JavaScript case like this is not an influence on SEO, most semantic search is meant to address highlighting specialty HTML elements in a search query.

Search engines have subtly changed their methodologies over the past few years. One methodology that has yet to see widespread adoption has already experienced its most significant change yet.

Back in 2013, an ontology library site, Good Relations, announced an alignment of its markup structure definitions with those used on, a metatag library. The end result is increased consistency of definition usage among businesses, and a wider shared usage of structure markup among web developers and search engine optimization practitioners.

This merger occurred thanks to increasing search discovery needs for digital media. From music to webinar presentations, businesses have added numerous content to appear when potential customers research product and service information online.

The content has led marketing managers to give a refreshed look at their optimization strategies through apply semantic search. Semantic search involves organizing keywords and content with website element protocols and structure markup language. The organization makes the pages and site content more visible to nuanced search engine queries.

Good Relations and support separate protocols for semantic search. contains metadata meant for HTML5, an update of the venerable website structure code language positioned for future website development. Good Relations contains RDF – resources description framework that has proven utility for current retailers and E-commerce sites.

One strategic benefit for managers is learning enhanced ways to translate potential client language to its digital properties. If businesses within a given industry agreed to ontology for services and needs, those businesses can adjust their content tags to position its content to potential query results from those businesses. Imagine a video on better financing for construction projects – With a metadata protocol, now imagine that video section appearing in a search query run by a construction firm.

That exact example lies at the heart of HTML5. HTML5 added video- and music-related tag elements, developed to increase media exposure to relevant search engine queries. Other tagging protocols can help search engines recognized a group of authors – an aid to marketing teams leveraging personal brands of its members online (You can learn about what Google accepts in structured markup here – Bing also has a structured markup guide). The fundamentals of digital marketing is increasingly shifting toward strategic data ownership, which is supported through content marketing and semantic search.

With the – Good Relations alliance, digital marketers and website developers can optimize metadata and RDF information across varied content. The success of such an effort will create a true application of semantic search’s definition – the science of actual customer’s language.

What is the right number of visits to begin using analytics? – A brief answer

from the Zimana Instagram account:

What is the right number of visits or sessions needed to begin using analytics reports?

2? 33,483?  Maybe over 120,000?

The answer is none!

Your analytics really begins when planning website and app content alongside the digital marketing media used to build awareness.  In fact, the current trend of customer experience means planning on content and understanding users – not just achieving numbers just to gain numbers.

In fact the biggest mistake small business owners make is delaying their analytics until AFTER a website is launched.   Doing so overlooks maximizing the benefits from the metrics and taking action that can benefit a business for the long haul.

When starting with analytics, concentrate on identifying trends in the data first rather seeking hard numbers.  Those trends can highlight where marketing and operational resources in your business should be directed.

Social Media Tips: A look back at Waffle House, The World Cup, And How To Grow Engagement

On July 1st, 2014 Waffle House set Twitter abuzz with a “war” against Belgian waffles. On its Twitter account Waffle House noted that its declaration is in support of the US team during its game against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup Series.

This instance of joining a discussion in Twitter is savvy. The message was short, did not require a lot of media content to support it, and really provided a way for Waffle House to imbed into the discussion at the moment, a global sport.

Here are three quick lessons that small businesses can learn from Waffle House.

1. Verify the social media usage regarding the event.

In short, marketers should understand what volume are being generated on a social media platform, and if possible what demographics are being shared. For the World Cup Series, almost 389,000 tweets were generated in the minute after Chile made a penalty shot that allowed it to avoid an early exit from the terminal for the first time since 1950. The Superbowl generated 25 million tweets, which is more than the 16 million total during Saturday’s round of 16. However given that the World Cup is played over 2 weeks the consistency of exposure for a social media platform can sustain interest around a given subject. It means a lot of exposure for business who can blend a message.

2. Pick a subject that is tangential to your target event and to your product.

Belgian waffles are harmless yet they incorporate the Belgian team Anna food products served by Waffle House competitors. Waffle House does not serve Belgian waffles and his stores. This makes a playful bet that is fun for people to comment and tweet on. Check out the comments that were leveled within 24 hours of the announcement of this war.

3. Be responsive yet allow for mistakes.

In one tweet Waffle House use the word Belgium instead of Belgian – a spelling error. But that did not take away from the spirit of the campaign. Twitter is meant for casual light conversation and the best users make the most of it by responding consistently while posting content, even if the content is posted via a scheduler like Hootsuite. The takeaway is to manage the conversation, not let it get away from the main ideas being shared.

How To Break Into Marketing – Discussion feat. Pierre DeBois and John Anhalt of SpotHub – @GAChicago

General Assembly invited Zimana founder Pierre DeBois and Joe Anhalt, Marketing Manager at Spothub to discuss the current state of digital marketing. The talk with budding students and young marketers took place in Space, an office incubator in Chicago.

Watch these three video to gain tips on what goes on during a typical marketer’s day, what is takes to develop the skills of digital marketing, and what are the latest trends impacting digital marketing today.