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How to Use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool

The assortment of tools provided by Google for improving a website is astounding. Whether you’re optimizing for search, writing code, or sharing content, the company always seems to have something useful up its sleeve. The Google Keyword Tool has long been a favorite of webmasters and advertisers for generating ideas for key phrases to target, and to learn more about search volume. This post will give you some tips on how to use the Google AdWords keyword tool for SEO and AdWords.

Tread with Caution When Using The Google Keyword Tool

A while back, SEOMoz put out a post covering a brief study they conducted on the keyword tool. They found some compelling evidence that the tool could not really be trusted in terms of the search volume that it suggested for certain key terms. The post gives a lot of detail on why that is. Another factor that users of the tool should keep in mind is that it is designed for advertisers who are using AdWords. Data from the tool is not representative of searches on all search engines.

You may also see different data depending on whether you are using the tool logged in as a Google account holder, or using the tool as a visitor. The tool may also not return all possible phrases and terms that people might use to find your site. Also, not all columns of data associated with keyword ideas will be available. The lists below compare the data you will be able to see based on whether you are logged in or not. In a nutshell, you can get good data, but you should learn how to use the Google AdWords keyword tool before relying on its information. You should also try to verify data with an outside source before making decisions with it.

 

Not Logged in:

  • Competition
  • Local monthly searches
  • Global monthly searches
  • Extracted from web page (must enter a URL for this to work)

Logged in:

  • All of the above data columns
  • Ad share
  • Google search network
  • Search share
  • Approximate cost per click (CPC)
  • Local search trends

 

How to Use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool for SEO

If your purposes for the tool are not AdWords-related, you can still get some benefit out of it. For example, you can use it to get ideas for other words that you may want to target for your SEO campaigns. You can also use the ad group tool to come up with similar keywords to optimize a single page for. Another convenient feature is the ability to search terms right from the tool so that you can look at other data in SERPs while doing keyword research.

How to Use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool for AdWords

Google’s tool is most effective when applied to an AdWords campaign. One of the best features for advertisers has been the introduction of the ad group ideas. Before this, advertisers had to sort through long lists of keywords to make the best selections for their campaigns. Novice users were really at a disadvantage because they had no idea how to structure their campaigns and ad groups in the first place. The ad group ideas tab allows users to select groups of like keywords to include with their campaigns. It also saves experienced users the time it takes to sort through hundreds of keyword ideas trying to find the right ones for their ad groups.

Advertisers can also see the number of global and monthly searches that occur on Google’s search network. Note that this only includes Google’s main search as well as partner networks but no other search engine traffic. Local search trends allow advertisers to see how popular a particular phrase or term is over a period of time. The competition column gives a general idea of how competitive a particular keyword is and the approximate CPC helps guide advertisers on how much they can expect to spend per click on keywords they are thinking of targeting.

Using Google Keywords Generated from Advanced Filters

You can certainly find keyword ideas using default settings; however, you can also apply advanced filters to get more focused data on keywords. For instance, you can select specific locations and languages for keyword data. By default, Google will show you data for both desktop and mobile devices. However, you can also opt to have it show you only data for mobile devices or mobile devices with full Internet browsers. You also have the ability to search for keywords using specific match types, URLs and multiple keywords at once.

Advanced filter screenshot

 

 

How to Use AdWords Keyword Tool Match Types

Broad Match:  If you type words into the tool as you would normally, the default setting is “broad match.” This means Google will show you data that is broader in nature. You may get terms that have nothing to do with your original phrase.

Exact Match:  The [exact match] modifier shows the exact phase as well as close variations for ideas. In terms of AdWords showing your ads with this modifier, it typically only displays ads when there are searches very close to what your exact match term is. In the Google Keyword Tool, you may still see some terms that don’t match your phrase exactly, but you will get more focused results that only include your terms.

Phrase Match: This match type will show you many of the same types of results that exact match will in the keyword tool. You may notice much different results for global and monthly search volumes when using phrase match and exact match. That’s because the list of results is far more targeted when using these operators.

Keyword Research Tool Ad Group Ideas

A relatively new feature of the keyword tool is the ad group ideas. It used to be that typing terms and phrases into the tool would simply give you other variations or even different terms that may be somewhat related to the originals. This is good; however, it did not give advertisers any guidance on what words to choose from the sometimes more than 800 different choices offered by the tool.

 

adgroup ideas screenshot

 

Ad group ideas beta was rolled out in April of 2012, and it groups similarly themed keywords into ad groups for you. This means that a primary keyword and its variants were already segmented nicely for you. The idea is that you can take the group right from the tool and plug it into a campaign. The cool part about this feature is that it can also be used for optimizing pages.

Pages (like ad groups in AdWords) should be highly targeted. For example, each page on a website should be optimized for one keyword and its variants. Ad group ideas in the keyword tool works great for finding words that can be optimized on the same page of a website.

Keyword Columns

Here we’ll talk in a little bit more detail about the columns associated with the keywords that the tool returns. Keep in mind that this data should be used as a guide and not necessarily end-all, be-all information. These statistics do not include data from other search engines, and are largely representative of activity related to AdWords as opposed to search in general. Other data are Google’s best estimates such as cost-per-click or search volume. You should always do more research outside the tool to get a clearer picture of the keywords you are targeting.

Keyword Column screenshot

 

 

Local and global search volume:  This column shows you search volume based on the locations you have selected in the tool as well as for everywhere in the world. It is based on a 12-month average of searches, and it relates only to Google’s search network and the devices you have selected.

Competition:  This refers to the competitiveness of the keywords you have chosen. It reflects the number of advertisers across the entire globe bidding on keywords. The rating is very general with a low, medium and high status. Keep in mind that Google is showing you how competitive a key term is based on location and language settings. For example, you aren’t competing for bids on a keyword that someone may be using in a different language in a different part of the world unless you are also targeting that same keyword and language.

Ad share:  This column’s data refers to data from ads you have running and the keywords you have associated with them. You will notice that there is no data for most of the keyword ideas. That’s because it will only show data if you have a campaign with history and are using the keywords generated by the tool. Ad share shows you how often your ads are showing, and is specific to your target location.

Search Share:  Conversely, this column shows data similar to ad share; however, it is based on organic search.

Approximate CPC:  The approximate cost-per-click column gives you a ball-park figure of how much you can expect to spend on a click on your ad for that specific keyword.

Local search trends:  An overview of the activity of a keyword in search over a 12 month period.

Extracted from webpage:  When you plug in a URL to the tool, Google will show you a link to a relevant landing page for corresponding key terms. This is typically the URL used in the tool, but it can also be other pages on the domain.

The Google Keyword tool is a valuable resource for advertisers and SEOs who want to know more about the terms they want to target and the searchers using them. While it can provide valuable insights, you should always use a secondary form of research to get a clearer picture of your target market and how they behave in search.

 

How do you use the Google Keyword Tool? Have you found it to be useful in your web marketing activities?




Learn About AdWords

Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC, is one of the fastest and most effective ways to drive traffic to a web property online. PPC can include any website that already has a significant amount of traffic that sells ad space on its property. PPC was nothing new when Google came along; however, they are one of the first companies to have such wild success with monetizing a free service, which is its ubiquitous search engine. Google’s networks feature text and display ads triggered by the keyword queries of its users. For those who are not familiar or who have limited knowledge of the AdWords platform, we will show you how to set up and optimize your first campaign.

Setting up a Google Account

In order to use AdWords, you must have a Google account. If you already have a Google account that you are planning to use, you can skip ahead to the next section. If you don’t have a Google account, follow these steps to set one up.

  •  Visit adwords.google.com
  • Click on the start now button

Learn About Adwords by Setting up an account

  • You will be prompted to choose whether you want to use an existing Google account or say that you don’t use any other Google services (meaning you either don’t have a Google account, or you want to set up AdWords using a new account).

Learn AdWords by Setting up An account

If you have login credentials for Youtube, Google Analytics, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Play, Adsense or any other service owned and/or operated by Google, you already have an account. You do not need to use these credentials, but if you want to and you use these other services, you already have an account.

  • If you choose to use an existing account, you have the option of creating new login credentials just for AdWords.

learning adwords with your existing google account

If you are certain that your AdWords account will always be for personal use or that you will always be the only administrator, you can opt to use the same login credentials as your other Google services. This will eliminate the need for you to keep logging into the account when you are already logged into your other Google services. If you are setting up an AdWords account for a business, or there is a possibility that there may need to be more than one person as an administrator on the account, you should set things up with separate login credentials. If you are setting up an account for a client, you should either use the client’s Google account or create a new Google account for the client. This is a best practice because the account is essentially property of the client, and if they want to work with others down the road, they will not be able to do so properly if the account is set up using your personal Google account.

  • If you choose to keep your login credentials the same, simply sign in to create your AdWords account.
  • If you are setting up a new account, enter an email that you would like to use and a password. The email does not have to be a Gmail one, but you must have access to the inbox in order to verify the account.
  • Check the email account that you provided in order to verify your account.

Learning about AdWords: Setting up Your Campaign

Log into your account and click the “create a new campaign” button. A drop-down menu will prompt you to select a campaign for the search network, the display network or both. There is also an option for a video campaign; however, we won’t be covering that here. One of the best ways to learn about AdWords is to dive in and start working with an account. The following is what each option entails:

  • Search network: By selecting this, you will be setting up a campaign to display ads on Google’s search engine results pages. These are three-line text ads that appear at the very top of results and to the right.

 

  • Display network:  By selecting this, you will be setting up a campaign on Google’s network of partner advertising websites that are participating in Adsense. These ads are image ads and are a more traditional type of advertising online. Ads are displayed on websites relevant to the product or service that you are marketing.

 

  • Both:  This option lets you set up a campaign for both the display and search networks at the same time.

Since this is an introductory guide for learning about AdWords, we will only be covering the search network at this point. If you are interested in learning more about the other networks and advertising options through Google, there are a lot of great resources here.

Select the search network, and on the subsequent page you will begin entering your campaign information.

  • Name your campaign:  This can be whatever you want; however, you should make it something that is easy to differentiate from other campaigns that you have running or may run in the future. For instance, if you leave multiple campaigns as the Google default “campaign 1,2,…,” things can get a little confusing.

 

  • Campaign configuration: Select the ad configuration you want for your account. At the time of this writing, the choices include standard, all features, product listing ads and dynamic search ads. The chart below allows you to compare these configurations in detail. If this is your first time with AdWords, you may want to choose the standard setting unless you have a specific need that can be fulfilled by one of the other settings.

How to learn adwords ad configuration

  • Select your network:  This will be set depending on your choice in the previous step. For the standard configuration, the network will be the search network along with partner search networks like AOL.

 

  • Device targeting:  In the next step, you can choose which devices you want to target with your campaign. By default, your account will be set to enhanced campaign settings. With these settings, your campaign will target mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers. If you want to choose which devices your campaign targets, click “switch to legacy settings.” When you are first learning AdWords, it is best to use general settings until you are comfortable.

 

  • Location settings:  You have the ability to customize where your ads show with AdWords. You can target a single city, an entire state, a whole country or multiple countries. Location targeting allows you to extend your ad’s reach, but it also allows you to control who sees your ads so you aren’t wasting resources. If you are advertising to a local market, you can set a radius for your ads to show to people only within a certain distance of your business. You can do this by clicking “Let me choose…” in legacy settings and then “advanced search.” A dialogue box will appear allowing you to choose a radius.

Adwords Learning about location settings

  • Bidding and budget:  At this step in the process for setting up a standard search network campaign, you must decide what your daily budget and bidding configuration will be.
    • Bidding:  There are basic and advanced options in this step for bidding. For the purposes of this guide, we will only be covering configuration of basic options. You can select to set your bids manually or let AdWords choose your bid amounts in order to maximize clicks in your account. It is strongly suggested that you choose the option to let AdWords select your bids if you are not familiar with manual bidding. By doing this, AdWords will choose the appropriate maximum bid amount for each keyword based on your budget. By choosing manual bidding, you set your maximum cost per click on your own. Best Practice Tip:  When setting your bids manually, it is not an effective strategy to choose a low bid amount. While bidding is not the only factor that determines which ad shows up first on the first page of Google, it plays a large role. All else being equal, if you set your max bid too low, you will be placed after other ads in line that may have higher bids.
    • Budget:  Your daily budget is simply whatever you want to spend per month on advertising divided by 30. For example if you wanted to spend $300 per month on AdWords, your daily budget would be 30 dollars per day. Setting your budget can be tricky if you have more to spend on advertising. You must take into account the average cost per click of keywords that you have chosen as well as the demand for what you are advertising online. Tools like Google’s Keyword tool and Traffic estimator can guide you on how high you should set your budget.
  • Ad Extensions: The last step in setting up a standard search network campaign is ad extensions. Ad extensions are not necessary but are useful if you are targeting a local market. Ad extensions allow you to associate ads with your Google Plus social profile, add a phone number, add site links or add location information. These extras are not for everyone, but they are great if you have a conversion process that does not lend itself well to online conversions. For example, some sales cycles require more education for consumers or that there be contact over the phone. Ad extensions work great for these scenarios. If you decide not to use ad extensions, simply click “save and continue.”

 

Choosing Keywords for AdWords

After you click “save and continue” on the initial campaign settings page, you will see the step to start writing your ad copy. If you want to do this step first, that’s fine, but I have always felt like choosing keywords makes more sense to do first. Keywords are the foundation of your account because these are the things that trigger your ads. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you will see the spot to add your keywords to the campaign.

When adding keywords, it is a best practice to make your campaigns very targeted. When setting up your first campaign, it is tempting to create a lot of ads and insert a lot of keywords. Keep in mind that any keyword that is included with your ad group has the potential to trigger an ad that you have associated with it. If that keyword is not relevant to your ad, users won’t click on it and your campaign will eventually perform poorly.

With this in mind, pick a tightly themed group of keywords to include in your campaign. Remember that if you want to target other themes or keywords, you should create a separate ad group for them and even a different landing page. The following example will help illustrate this concept.

Lets say you want to advertise a set of wooden toy blocks. Choose a target key phrase that represents your product (wooden blocks), and then use that phrase and its variants in your ad group. Here is a sample list of keywords:

adwords keyword learning tips

 

And here are a couple of ads that go with these keywords,

Learning to write an adwords ad

 

and

adwords ad

 

Notice that in our list of keywords, all of the phrases are similar in terms of theme. They all have to do with wooden blocks for kids. Our ads contain the key phrases exactly as they are in the list or variations of those phrases. If we were to have one phrase in our list that was not relevant to the others, it would be more difficult to create ads for the group of keywords. Further, if there were an unrelated phrase, it would still trigger one of the ads. That means there is also the potential for the unrelated phrase to trigger an unrelated ad, and for a user to not click it because it doesn’t have anything to do with his or her query.

Say, for example, you also had the key phrase “wooden blocks” tied to a brand name as one of your keywords. Users searching for a specific brand name are less likely to click on our ads that do not contain any brand names, but generic phrases for children’s wooden blocks. The best way to set this up would be to create a different ad group with keywords that contain specific (and consistent) brand names with the words “wooden blocks.”

Learn AdWords Match Types

Match types are another factor to consider when including keywords. Match types are simply different ways of configuring your keywords so that ads are triggered only when you want them to be. There are a handful of different match types to choose from.

 

 

Learning to Write AdWords Copy

Keywords are important to have in your ads but don’t forget that you are advertising to customers and not search engines. You must make sure that your ads are compelling enough for users to click on them. There are a few basic rules to follow when configuring your ads.

  • Headline:  Your primary keywords should go in the first line of your ad. Capitalize all the first letters of the words in your headline to help it stand out.

 

  • Body:  In the middle line of your ad, you should have your value proposition or, in other words, whatever it is that you are promising users that they will get when they click your ad. This is your chance to convey what it is that you offer of value to users.

 

  • Call to Action:  The last text line of your ad should have your call to action. A call to action is a series of words that encourage a person to act. Common calls to action are “Act Now,” “Call Now” or “Visit Us Today.”

 

You should now have your AdWords account setup to start performing well.  Even though there are best practices to follow, you should always revisit your campaign(s) about once every few days to make sure they are performing well. Over time — once you learn about AdWords and have optimized your campaigns — they will begin to mature, but in the beginning, you should check your account frequently to make sure things are doing well. If you want more information on how to optimize your AdWords campaign, there are tons of great resources online to help. The following are examples of such resources:

What tips do you have for first timers using AdWords? Do you have a story that would help a new advertiser learn what not to do with an account?




Content Marketing Strategy

Develop A Content Marketing Strategy That Packs A Punch

You might want to rethink your approach if your entire content marketing strategy depends on the outsourcing of a 500-word article for $1 every few days. In fact, if you’re outsourcing any content for a dollar or less, STOP. Yes, we all like a bargain, but if it comes at the price of your ethics and integrity, you’re being ripped off.

Before we talk strategy, let’s take a quick look at what content marketing is, and how you can use it to meet your business objectives.

Content marketing is a low-cost, effective way to build brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. Any type of content you publish, whether it’s videos, blog posts, or status updates, forms part of your content marketing strategy. You can use content to attract and engage your target, which ultimately helps you increase your conversion rate.

So how do you build a rock solid strategy that defies the limits of a laughable budget and actually works? Believe it or not, it’s doable. While you may decide to incorporate your own methods for generating quality content, these basic steps will help you formulate a content marketing strategy of note.

Keep Your Eye on the Desired Outcome

Image of Content Marketing Success

Content Marketing Success

Mistakenly many business owners take their eye off the ball, buying crappy articles for the sole purpose of creating a backlink. As an online entrepreneur, you should never underestimate the power of your content. When you lose focus, you start to place importance on factors that have little significance in determining your search engine rankings or providing value to your customer.

Understandably, you may feel the pressure to outdo your competitors by producing more, instead of better content. Don’t put your credibility or your business at risk by making that profit crushing error.

Your content has to mean something – every word counts. You’re not just publishing generic text, posting pretty pictures and revolutionary videos, or making bold statements.

You’re saying something about your company, about what you stand for and who you are. Unpalatable content that doesn’t resonate with readers could be your biggest downfall.

In a nutshell, you need content that resonates with current and potential clients, while giving your brand greater visibility in search engines. When you’re able to create a balance between SEO and making a connection, you’ll have traffic flocking to your site in droves. An increase in traffic leads to an increase in conversions, which means higher profits for you.

Get Rid Of the Designer Budget

You want a Ferrari when you can barely afford a bicycle. We get that. Unfortunately, the grand life doesn’t come cheap. It’s time to be realistic and realize that a shiny website with all the bells, whistles, and bling you can afford isn’t going to get you very far without engaging SEO content and plenty of it.

Assess your budget and make sure you’re spending in the areas that matter. If you’re throwing more cash into your website design than your content and SEO budget, make a serious change now, not when it’s too late. It’s time to free yourself from the mental anguish that comes along with expense and see the potential for conversions. In other words, don’t become so disconnected from content creation you lose the plot entirely.

 

6 Steps to a Powerful Content Marketing Strategy

 

Step 1: Find and Research Advantageous and Viable Gaps

 

Before you can create engaging content, you need to figure out which keywords you have a chance to succeed with, or improve on, in search engines. You’ll want to use several tools to evaluate content that’s achieving desirable results, and you’ll want to research keywords and phrases that drive the most traffic. Google Analytics, Yahoo Web Analytics, WordTracker, Google’s Keyword Tool, and similar tools are going to help you tremendously. However, make sure you understand the information they provide. If you don’t, consider hiring or consulting someone who does.

Once you have your keywords, it’s time to brainstorm content ideas. Research your target to find out what they want to hear. Survey customers, surf forums, and explore question and answer sites to see what people are saying. Pinpoint the topics that have the potential to attract visitors and boost conversions.

Tips:

  • Don’t waste time on phrases you’ll probably never rank for, especially when there are phrases you can rank for quickly and almost effortlessly.
  • Think of ways to repurpose content that works.
  • Target the keywords that are doing well, but could do better.
  • Stay informed about developments happening within your industry. You may hit upon a few ideas for content.

 

Step 2: Plan Your Content Creation and Distribution In Advance

 

To keep your audience interested and engaged, you need to deliver a steady stream of quality content, no matter which publishing platform you use. It’s inevitable you’ll be pulled away to deal with more pressing matters, which is when clever scheduling tools come in handy. Schedule several social media status updates throughout your day, but make certain a reasonable amount of time lapses between each one. Don’t overload your audience with information.

Tip:

  • Keep a collection of blog posts on hand for emergencies. You never know when you’ll be away from the computer for a few days.

 

Step 3: Create or Outsource Relevant and Engaging Content

 

If you can’t produce your own content, you need to hire affordable professionals. In today’s erratic global economy, there are millions of writers searching for a supplemental income online. However, it’s best to work through an established, reputable, and affordable content provider like The Content Authority. When you have a structured system in place, there’s less chance of being burned.

Tips:

  • Find freelancers who specialize in your niche. Besides being knowledgeable, they may have a few sharp ideas and will tackle your articles from a fresh perspective. The Content Authority’s direct order system makes finding freelancers who specialize in a particular topic easy.
  • Continue to add talent to your team for a stronger content marketing strategy. Depending on your outsourcing needs, you should always look for writers who are able to add value. You’ll find it helpful when you have a pool of writers you can depend on, instead of one.
  • Readers prefer content that is easily consumed. Most people skim, deciding within seconds whether they’ll stick around. It’s best to break your article into smaller, digestible bits, paying attention to the way you format your content. Use bullets, bolding, and sub headlines, as well as appropriate images to liven up your content and make it visually appealing.
  • Monitor your writers, and the content they produce to ensure you’re getting results. However, take into account you’ll only achieve a desirable result if you are clear about what you want. Provide your writers with clear, detailed guidelines, so you’re not disappointed with the outcome.

 

Step 4: Further Optimize Your Content for Search Engines

 

Part of a smart content marketing strategy is to use every opportunity to make the most of your content. Although writers will provide keyword rich articles, you can further optimize your content by including anchor text that links to relevant pages within your site. These internal links not only provide value to your readers, but you help improve your rankings, since anchor text holds significant weight in the determination of your positioning within search engines.

You should also create backlinks by submitting content to article directories and other websites. Be sure to include your keyword phrase in the resource box, linking it back to your site.

Tips:

  • Don’t use too many internal links. You don’t want to distract your audience, leading them away from the message you’re trying to convey.
  • Search engines will assign greater value to your site when you have more backlinks. Besides using article directories to generate backlinks, consider leaving insightful comments on forums and blogs with a link back to your URL.

 

Step 5: Promote Through Social Media

 

You have to get your name out there if you want people to see you. With the rapid growth of social media, you now have thousands of outlets to share your content with the world. Use Twitter, Facebook, Google +, MySpace, LinkedIn, and other popular social networking sites to build your audience and share your content.

Tips:

  • Along with the content title, post a small snippet of the juicy information people can expect to find when they visit your site.
  • Link to relevant, quality content, even if it’s not yours. When you find something your target will love, share it with them. They’ll thank you for it.
  • Search for social bookmarking and sharing widgets that allow you to make your content shareable. Popular options are Tell-a-friend, AddThis, and ShareThis.

 

Step 6: Measure and Tweak

 

You need to know how you’re doing so you can change what’s not working. In addition to assessing the page views, bounce rates, links, and conversions your content garnered, determine how responsive your audience is. You’ll also gain insight into how effective each writer is in creating content that connects with your readers. You’ll find you can quickly pick up different writer’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to allocate projects appropriately in the future.

Document the results so you can easily analyze your progress. Keep going back to the drawing board and look for ways you can strengthen your content marketing strategy. No one ever said marketing was easy, but when you find your groove, you’ll reap the rewards.

Have you developed a content marketing strategy? We’d love to know what works for you and what kind of results you’ve seen. Share your tips with us in the comments section below.

Sales Copy Tips

Learn the ABC’s of a Moneymaking Sales Page

(Part Three)

Sales copy tips designed to increase your conversion rates are not hard to come by now that you have a wealth of information at your fingertips. Depending on the term you type into your trusty search engine, you’ll probably be presented with countless results claiming to offer smoking hot templates and formulas for sales pages that covert like crazy.

It’s best to tread wisely if you choose to use an “instant” template that promises you the ability to whip up a sales page in five minutes. You should still be well aware of each component’s purpose, so you can use it to maximum effect. We’ve already covered seven of these components. We’ll look at another five in this third installment.

 

number 1 icon for sale pagesA Visually Appealing Design

Purpose: A simple, balanced design attracts the right kind of attention and allows for easy reading, or scanning. The layout of your sales page can contribute to your storytelling, show off the benefits, and help sell the offering.

Tip: The overall look of your copy is not an element you should ignore. When the various components are merely slapped together, it looks sloppy and unprofessional. The value of a “first impression ” should never be underestimated, since web users make a judgment within a third of a second according to a study conducted in Canada. Take the time to ensure your design does not form a bad impression.

Your sales page should be easy on the eye and reader friendly. Use appropriate fonts, font sizes, and colors, but not to the point where it becomes overbearing. The focus should be on the offer, not the layout. Also, make use of white space judiciously to avoid a cluttered look.

 

number 2 icon for sales page openingThe Unbeatable Offer

Purpose: The offer breaks down the details, benefits and expected outcomes of your service, or product. Flesh out the specifics to show prospects the solutions they’re looking for and explain why you have something unique to offer them. This is your opportunity to let people know why your solution is better than any of those your competitors offer.

Tip: Use every chance you get to create value. Offer bonuses, discounts, or a limited time deal. Your prospects should feel as if they’re getting a bargain by the time they finish reading your copy. If you write about a feature, then make sure you also write about the benefit of the feature.

 

icon number 3 sales page opening headlineThe Risk-reducing Guarantee

Purpose: Fear often rules the buying decision, which is why it should be eliminated wherever possible within your copy. A strong guarantee can help you achieve that by reducing the risk. Instill trust right from the beginning of your sales copy and reinforce it with an ironclad guarantee. It’ll make your prospects feel a lot safer when handing over their hard-earned cash.

Tip: The terms and conditions of your guarantee should be clear. Returns and refunds should be hassle free, so prospects don’t feel pressure before or after they make a purchase. While you should be fair to your customers, also make certain you protect yourself by stipulating a certain time period for refunds or returns.

 

icon number 4 sales page imagesThe Strong Call to Action

Purpose: The call to action is the response you want your readers to make. It tells them exactly what you want them to do and how you want them to do it. Whether you want them to buy, download, or subscribe to something, you should have a powerful call to action that motivates them to respond.

Tip: This is a good time to remind your prospects of their problem, reinforce the fact you can offer the results they need, and ask them to buy. Be direct to ensure there is no chance they will misinterpret your expectations of a positive response.

 

sales copy tipsAn Effective P.S.

Purpose: The P.S. gives you one last chance to motivate your prospect to take action. You can use it to highlight the most important benefit, introduce a bonus or discount, and let consumers know your offer has a limited time period. It’s also a great way to reinforce any guarantees, tell people the final thing you want them to know, and remind them about important details.

Tip: A powerful P.S. has the potential to increase your sales drastically. In some cases, your P.S. might be the last push your prospect needs to take action. Make sure your P.S. is concise, direct, effective and clear. If you want people to take action, then motivate them and give them direction.

Ultimately, if you want winning sales copy, you need to search for sales copy tips that teach you how to weave these components together seamlessly and practice them. Don’t forget to test the effectiveness of your sales page. Generating a decent conversion rate is often a matter of trial and error. However, as long as you understand the purpose of each component and the way it influences the success of your copy, you’re already on the road to crafting impressive copy.

Check out the first part in this series Sales Page.

Check out the second part in this series Sales Copy.

Sales Copy

Learn the ABC’s of a Moneymaking Sales Page

(Part Two)

In part one, we looked at the purpose of four essential components of high impact sales copy. While mastering those four is certainly a step in the right direction, there are several other elements that contribute to building solid rapport, credibility, and trust. As we continue down the list of components, it’s important to keep in mind that they must work together to bring a consistent message to your public.

 

number 1 icon for sale pagesA Back-Story That Sells

Purpose: An interesting back-story allows you to tell potential buyers why your offer exists. When readers can relate to you in some way, they are likely to become emotionally invested on a more profound level. Building rapport through your story is a vital part of developing the trust you need to close the sale.

Divulging the details of your journey to success is also an excellent way to strengthen your authority. If people believe you know what you’re talking about, they are more inclined to listen to what you have to say. Wield your words wisely, for they have the power to show and prove you are worthy of the time it takes to get to the “BUY” button. With a captivating story, you’ll keep your prospects hooked from beginning to end.

Tip: Never write a story that’s untrue. You’re treading on dangerous ground when you mislead your readers, and the last thing you want is to tarnish your reputation. Make sure you have the facts if you’re writing copy based on the back-story of someone else, instead of your own experiences.

What you write and the way you write it can influence your prospect’s opinion of you. Don’t write anything that could later put a major dent in your credibility.

 

number 2 icon for sales page openingProof That Removes Doubt

Purpose: Although there are several types of proof, one basic, common purpose is to remove doubt from your prospect’s mind. When you provide concrete evidence that your product or service produces the results people desire, you reduce feelings of fear and anxiety – the feelings that stop your prospect from buying.

Providing proof also helps to solidify your authority. It gives you the opportunity to show people you’re the expert, which is exactly how they will perceive you. You’ve been there, done that, and now you can wear the t-shirt of success proudly.

Tip: Without a doubt, you have to establish the validity of your claim in any sales copy you craft. Expect objections, because you’re going to get them by the truck load. You can support your offering with multiple pieces of evidence including customer success stories, case studies, testimonials, data, demonstrations, statistics, test results, pictures, videos, and credentials. It’s crucial to anticipate possible objections and tackle them within your sales copy by providing evidence that puts your customer’s mind at ease.

Show your customers the possibilities. Better yet, show them what the drawbacks are if they decide to forgo your offer. Help them make the only logical conclusion there is; you have the solution to their problem. By the time your prospects get to the end of your pitch, they should be ready to buy with absolute certainty.

 

icon number 3 sales page opening headlineA Video That Strengthens Rapport

Purpose: In essence, videos are an excellent medium for strengthening your connection with potential buyers. Besides speaking to people on a level that’s a little more direct, you have the opportunity to put a face to your message. This encourages a feeling of trust and confidence in you and your offering.

Tip: Put some personality into your video to keep people engaged. If you’re going to use this medium to communicate, then make certain your video is professional, and enhances your written copy.

Although these three components develop rapport, there are several more that help you make a powerful close in your sales copy. In part three, we’ll discuss these components and look at how they affect the outcome of your conversion rates.

Check out the first part in this series Sales Page.

Sales Page

Learn the ABC’s of a Moneymaking Sales Page

(Part One)

Creating an effective sales page requires a perfect blend of components that communicate the right message and persuade the right audience. Not only should you have a deep understanding of your product and prospect, you should also have a thorough understanding of the essential components and their purpose. Consider how each of these elements affects the success of your copy before you put on your writing cap.

number 1 icon for sale pagesAn Irresistible Headline

Purpose: The headline grabs attention, cultivates interest, pre-qualifies your prospect and makes a promise. That’s a lot of pressure for one sales page component, which is why it’s the most important. Honestly, you can’t afford to make a hash of your headline if you want to compel your prospect to read further.

Tip: The perfect headline speaks to the needs, and desires of readers, while promising a result that will meet their objectives. Conduct exhaustive research on your target market and identify the ultimate hook. Practice writing powerful headlines that sell to your target.

number 2 icon for sales page opening An Opening That Tempts

Purpose: Opening paragraphs are designed to entice readers to keep on reading. This is your opportunity to establish a relationship through emotional affinity and trust. Connect with your readers by empathizing with their problem and elaborating on your headline’s promise. Explain that you have the solution; the answer they simply must have.

Tip: Keep your opening paragraphs juicy and intriguing enough, so your prospects want to learn more about your offer. If you make your entire marketing spiel within the first few paragraphs, the chances are you won’t get them to the “buy” button all the way at the bottom of your page.

icon number 3 sales page opening headlineCaptivating and Compelling Sub-headlines

Purpose: Sub-headlines act as bait for scrollers, and they persuade your prospect to continue reading the copy. They are perfect for highlighting key points, breaking up your text, and grabbing attention. Most importantly, they tell your reader about the following portion of copy. A skilled copywriter can write sub-headlines that convey the right message even if a prospect merely skims the page.

Tip: Concentrate on writing sub-headlines that keep your reader hooked. Study successful sales copy and consider how the sub-headlines keep you reading. Determine what makes them work and then apply the same principles when writing your own.

icon number 4 sales page imagesPictures That Speak A Thousand Words

Purpose: Images provide visual proof and help establish credibility, besides breaking up the monotony of the text. Visual representations help strengthen your copy and give you an advantage by proving the business, service, product, or claim exists. If you have images that convey the benefits, or even the quality, you up the stakes further. The reality is consumers are more likely to purchase something they can see. They want to know what the product looks like, so they have an idea of what to expect.

sales page and satisfaction go hand and hand

Importance of Consumer Satisfaction

In addition, adding a professional photograph of yourself allows your prospect to make a connection with you. This goes a long way in establishing credibility and trust. You want your prospect to feel as comfortable as possible about making a purchase, so consider attaching a picture to your name.

Tip: Whether you’re using images of your product, screen shots, or a photograph of yourself, make certain it looks professional and complements the layout of your sales page. Also, make sure the images add value to your copy. Don’t add them simply to fill space; they must communicate something about your offer visually.

While these four components barely touch the tip of the iceberg, they have a huge impact on the success of your sales page. In the next installment, we’ll discuss components that add value to your offer, allow you to strengthen the emotional connection between you and your prospect, and much more. Stay tuned for part two!

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing Can Be Rewarding With Hard Work, Patience And Consistency

Affiliate Marketing is a method of promoting other people’s products and services for a commission. The ideology is simple but not easy to implement. It takes time, patience and consistency to earn a living from the internet. However; success is possible with the right tools and mindset.

Adopt A Realistic Mindset

Successful online marketers start with a plan and follow through relentlessly, day after day. They apply various techniques and methods to attract and entice visitors to perform an action. This process leads to sales and ultimately your commission check. Never assume that you will go from rags to riches in one night, a week or even a
month. Most affiliates will see results within a six month period. Affiliates learn through trial an error. A positive but realistic mindset will ensure success.

Avoid Shiny Objects

The methods involved in affiliate marketing can quickly overcome an individual. There is a wealth of knowledge and info-products floating in cyber-space. Some of the information is necessary and will be an extension to the learning curve. However; some of these products are misleading and useless. Furthermore, it’s almost impossible to
separate the good material from the bad. Purchasing unnecessary products can cripple or hinder your progress. Do not get distracted by shiny objects that promise instant results. Stay focused!

Set A Reasonable Budget

Affiliate marketing does not have to strain your finances. Setting aside a sensible, monthly allowance, is the best way to keep track of your expenses, minimize your losses and maximize your earnings. Keep your purchases to a minimum in the beginning and only buy the essentials like a domain and web hosting. Do not go bankrupt before
you even start. Invest in your business wisely and stick to the plan.

Make It Personal

The more you invest in a promotion or advertising campaign, the more likely you will succeed. Reaching out to your visitors on a personal level will build trust and long-term relationships. This can be daunting to some, but if you persevere, it will pay in the long run. Act as-if this was your own product. Put yourself in the shoes of the
consumer an address their needs and concerns. Customers are more likely to purchase through your link if they trust your opinions and authority.

Consistency Is Key

Consistency is the key to a successful online career. Always start by creating a plan and breaking it into actionable steps. Most beginner affiliates have full time jobs outside of the world wide web and need to use their time efficiently. Furthermore, completing a few tasks every day will give you a feeling of accomplishment. Set aside an at least an hour everyday to complete your tasks and keep all irrelevant windows and tabs closed. This includes your email.

Rinse and Repeat

Once you’ve learned and consistently applied all the methods of affiliate marketing, you need to repeat the process. You can create multiple websites targeting a different niche website. It’s up to you how much or how little money you want to earn. There is no limit on what you can accomplish online. If you keep your plan simple and to the
point, it’s easy to duplicate the process. Just remember to follow through on every new project.

Move On

Duplicating your efforts does not always guarantee success. Some websites fail to produce any income at all. In these instances, it’s best to drop them and move on. There is no point in dwelling over an unsuccessful site. Time is not on your side so you need to keep moving forward.

Successful affiliate marketers are positive yet realistic. They apply a solid methodology that attracts and builds consumer relations over time. They offer unique and helpful content to engage their visitors. They spend their money wisely and invest accordingly. They rinse and repeat the process in a variety of niches. Some markets are successful and others fail miserably. Above all, they are focused and consistent.

Article Marketing

Article marketing is a great way to brand your business and build consumer relations. It is also a fantastic method of building important backlinks to your website. Articles are like rental properties. The more web space you occupy, the greater the exposure of your product or service and the bigger the readership and following.
Article marketing is not difficult but does require time and patience. The more premium content is distributed, the more you are regarded as an authority in your niche.

Every Article Has A Purpose

Article marketing has to serve a purpose. Knowing this objective in advance will determine what kind of information should be relayed to your audience. There are many reasons why individuals choose to market their products and services with articles. Popular motives include backlinking, branding and increased readership.

Backlinking For SEO Strategies

Article distribution is a popular method of gaining backlinks. Link juice can increase the visibility of your website and raise your organic search engine rankings. The higher your pages rank, the more likely searchers will click on your site. Traffic is fundamental to your success. A great product is worth nothing if potential buyers
cannot see or read your offer. Articles used for backlinks should be informative and keyword-optimized. The keywords used to link back to your site should vary from article to article. The Google wonder wheel is an excellent tool that finds similar search phrases.

Become An Authority In Your Niche

Branding is a term used to describe the popularity and authority of a product, service or company. For example, the Nike brand can easily be identified by their infamous logo. This is because the company works hard to position themselves as authority figures in the fitness industry. They have successfully branded their logo and their image. This process applies to all companies big and small, online and offline. Articles used for this purpose should include premium information and multiple search phrases, which target a broader audience. You want to appeal to the masses and build your reputation.

Increase Your Readership With Social Media

Social media is gaining momentum everyday and is the future of online marketing. Tapping into this viral buzz is an important step in gaining a following an increasing readership. Sites like Facebook and SparkPeople have dedicated groups that want to hear and read about your expertise. Contributing to these groups is fundamental in
building trust. Submitting articles or blog posts to these organizations increases your chances of converting hot prospects into long-term customers. Nevertheless, blatantly making a sales pitch without first establishing your authority is not a good idea.

Avoid Content Farms, Aggregators and Scraper Sites

Creating buzz around your product or service should be fun and informative. Never use content farms or aggregators to spread your content. Be diligent when choosing where to host your articles. If your content is posted on another site, make sure you’re getting the most benefits for your writing. If your content is premium quality, it
will naturally spread without any extra effort on your part.

Titles Can Make Or Break The Deal

Titles should be long and descriptive. Never use less than 4 words when labeling your article. The more detail, the more enticing it is for a visitor to click and read. Think about what consumers are looking for and grab their attention by calling out to their desperation, fear or pain. Depending on the purpose of your article, never give
them total satisfaction. Lead them by the hand to take action.

Article marketing is an easy way to interact with the world wide web. When done right, it can brand your product or service, create a huge following of hungry buyers and eventually, money in your pocket.

Local Search Marketing

How You Benefit From Local Search Marketing

 

As more people reduce the hard copy of their Yellow Pages to the lowly position of a doorstop, the importance of local search marketing continues to increase drastically. These days, people are more inclined to turn to the nearest search engine and let their fingers do the walking across their QWERTY keyboards to find local vendors. The reluctance to spend time and energy searching for local names in a business directory is understandable, especially now that information is so readily and conveniently available in the click of a few buttons.

 

With the majority of individuals using the Internet to find what they’re looking for within their area, you have to ask yourself whether you can afford to forgo the implementation of a local search marketing strategy. Frankly, it’s common sense to target these individuals through this SEO technique instead of targeting them on a global level. If you need further persuasion, then you might consider the following advantages before you decide to give up on keywords that could boost your business visibility and send your current and future sales soaring.

 

Gain a Competitive Advantage

 

Although hard copy directories are still a popular secondary source for some people, there is no denying that their use is declining. In fact, the use of the Internet has surpassed that of most business directories. As a local business owner, you simply can’t ignore that most of your target audience look online first. You need to meet potential customers where they are at, which means creating a web presence, so people can find you quickly and easily.

 

The chances are your competition already uses this SEO method. Do you really want them to gain business that could be walking into your store instead? Think about what this means when you consider that nearly 80% of people who find your business online will follow up their search with a phone call or a visit to your store. The bottom line: when you implement this type of marketing properly, you have the potential to dominate your niche.

 

Reach People Who Are Ready To Buy

 

Having an online base is essential if you own a business, especially when approximately 45% of people using search engines are ready to hand over their hard-earned cash. Many of these people gather product or service information from the Internet and then buy offline. With such a massive variety of communication tools and search engine optimization techniques available, you can easily target your targeted audience to get those sales flowing through your doors.

 

Save Money

 

Local search marketing is a technique with proven results. You should be spending your marketing dollars where they will make the most impact. With this in mind, consider minimizing your Yellow Page listing and using your marketing dollars where they matter, which is in local Internet marketing.

 

Increase ROI by Creating a Solid, Loyal Consumer Base

 

Local search marketing allows you to connect with people in a way that global marketing doesn’t. Many of the individuals finding you online are likely to make purchases from your business offline. The reason is people prefer to buy from people who live and conduct business in the same area. It’s about establishing a trusting, loyal, mutually beneficial relationship. If you look after your customers, they could be of more value to you than you ever expected.

 

For example, when someone searches for Buffalo, NY event planners, and you happen to offer those services in that area, you have a golden opportunity to make a long-lasting connection with someone who could drastically up your revenue now and in the future. Certain local search engine optimization techniques can put you at the top of the search engine listings and help you make that valuable connection. Ultimately, this SEO method connects consumers with their business of choice.

 

Without a doubt, local search marketing offers impressive benefits. Implementing a strategy of this nature will not only yield more targeted results, it’s also not that difficult to set up. For starters, you can improve performance dramatically by geo-targeting your paid search marketing and the content of your website. You can also employ useful tools millions of people use every day, such as Google Maps. In a matter of seconds, your target audience can find your address, contact details, operating hours, and even photos of your business and products. Why wouldn’t you want to give your business this competitive edge?

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is a concept with blurry edges. What some people see as viral, others see as another form of advertising. In reality, though, viral marketing can come in any form. What makes something viral is the way the audience reacts to it, namely they help spread the message as far as it can go.

Some of the best examples of things going viral online have nothing to do with advertisers or spreading a message which is perhaps why they worked so well but the protests of Chris Crocker or the actions of the Jedi kid will live long in the memory of so many across the globe. It’s quite possible that if there was a brand or advertising message attached to either of these their success would have been much more limited. It is, however, possible for a large corporation to have advertising material go viral, but they need to work a lot harder for this to happen.

One of the early innovators of viral marketing was Hotmail. When the e-mail service began, it was one of the few that was free and let you check your messages from anywhere in the world (rather than from one computer). To make sure people heard about this, Hotmail put a footer in every e-mail sent from one of its accounts to tell the recipient about the new, free service. Hotmail soon became the most popular e-mail provider online and many others since have tried to emulate its success with the same tactic.

Viral marketing campaigns often flounder. While some such as Shakira’s YouTube campaign prior to the release of her single She Wolf  simply proved ineffective, other advertising campaigns can backfire significantly on a company. Habitat, the UK furniture retailer, found itself receiving a lot of bad press after a Twitter campaign gone wrong, namely that they were tweeting about their special offers and using unrelated trending hashtags to help get them seen hashtags that, at the time, included a lot about the Iranian election protests. They say that there’s no such thing as bad coverage, so maybe the Habitat campaign was actually hugely successful.

Old Spice got their commercials, and rather odd catchphrases, to go viral simply with humour. The success of their ads and the lead star was seen when they held a question and answer day, allowing fans to get funny video responses to their queries round the clock. The Facebook page has more than a million followers, which isn’t too bad for a deodorant.

T-Mobile garnered interest in a different way. They were one of the first advertisers to make use of a flash mob, taking over a whole railway station with a dance troupe as they filmed from various angles. The novelty and overall appeal of the whole video soon spread round the internet.

The importance of a viral marketing campaign is that people will want to, or have to, spread it to their friends. It doesn’t matter if it’s done in a funny, thought-provoking or just plain entertaining way, so long as people want to share it. If it’s been done before, people are unlikely to be impressed. If it’s intrusive or is too complicated to pass on, they’re unlikely to do so. If there’s nothing actually interesting about what you’re doing to anyone outside your company, it’s not going to spread. Getting the balance right can be a tricky thing as quite often, the closer you get to something that’s likely to go viral, the less corporate and professional it looks. Although many companies these days are trying to be as casual as possible, there are still others who are determined to keep up their straight-edge image.