Google Ads is the new name for Google AdWords.

Introduced way back in 2000, Google AdWords was quite a revelation at the time. All we had before it came about were pages upon pages of organic results. Then Google announced that people could PAY to get their keywords above all the search results. And below them. And to the side too. (more…)

Saving money on AdWords is something we genuinely enjoy doing for our clients here at Clever Marketing. We get a lot of enquiries for assistance with PPC campaigns and many of them are from businesses who’ve not been looked after properly. Priding ourselves on great service, we love taking on these new clients and showing them real savings, return on investment and performance on their digital marketing campaigns.

For example, last week we had a call that went something like this:

“Hello, you’re a web design company in Surrey, can you help us please? We’re getting no enquiries!”

We looked at their website and, in a word, it was shocking. We found the following glaring issues:

The main website they showed us was a .co.uk but, as we crawled the site, we noticed that some of the pages switched to a .com domain. It looked like the designers or previous “SEO experts” had been trying to cross-link the domains, possibly trying to rank for two domains rather than one.

Then we spotted that simple problem of some URLs being www, others not, a typical “schoolboy error” that we see so often.

There were also URL redirects, mystery redirects, doorway pages, broken links, missing robots.txt files, no XML sitemap, oh, the list goes on.

So there was a lot of potential “black hat” SEO going on by the look of things. Getting enquiries at the expense of best practice is something we don’t do here at our Surrey marketing agency. We do things by the book and stick to “white hat SEO”, making sure our work is ethical as well as innovative.

But it was the PPC account that we had a quick look at that gave us kittens.

The client had spent over £1,000 on Google AdWords in the first three weeks of this month and said they’d not seen a single bit of business come through in those few weeks. So we took a look and in 5 minutes we spotted the following…

1. We saw that the client’s ads were running 7 days a week. Looking at when they got the few conversions that they had, it wasn’t on Saturday or Sunday. So we set the ad schedule from Monday to Friday. That alone would save a couple of hundred pounds per month.

2. The next point of contention was that the ads were being shown 24 hours a day. Now some products sell 24/7 but again we checked the time of the conversions and none were before 09:00 and the latest was 13:00. So we took a judgement call on this, worked out when we believed the client’s customers were active and decided to allow the ads to be shown between 08:00 and 18:00 in the evening. Again, this should also save at least £100 in the 3 weeks the ads had been running so that will amount to greater savings over the course of a month.

3. Then we reviewed the geographical targeting of the campaigns. There were a number of campaigns that seemed to be geographically restricted, according to their naming conventions. But on further inspection of the settings we noticed that they were being shown across the world! Luckily the number of clicks were relatively low but even so we fixed these geographical issues and saved roughly £100 a month for the client.

Adding up the savings we believe that the very quick analysis of the PPC account will save the client around £500 a month. That’s half of what they were spending previously and, if the conversion rates continue at the current rate, the Cost Per Click (CPC) will have halved as well.

However, this week we need to really dive into their account and see what we can do to give them genuine value for money. They need ROI so we’re here to achieve that for them. We may have to pause the campaigns and start again from scratch. But whatever we do as a digital marketing agency we need to perform for our clients.

So, saving money on AdWords is something we could do for you too…

Clever Marketing - Surrey Digital AgencyIf you’ve got an AdWords account and you need to get the most out of it, please do give us a call. We’re on 020 3146 4341 or you can fill in our easy contact form.

We’ll do your keyword research, build your ads, adjust your landing pages and increase your CTR and conversions but drive down Cost Per Click.

With Pay Per Click advertising being all about buying visits for your website, rather than gaining visitors organically, it’s essential you have a good PPC Manager or digital marketing agency partner. After all, everyone wants to be rewarded by search engines for devising great PPC campaigns that are relevant, targeted and effective.

To ensure you generate the desired levels of leads it’s fundamental you have a good PPC Manager but what kind of traits should you be looking for? (more…)

Blogs are an essential element of the digital marketing mix as each post drives traffic to your website. It’s relatively easy to set a blog up and build a following but it takes time to ensure it receives regular traffic.

Successful blogs deliver quality content on a regular basis, which means they’re crawled more often by Google with the opportunity to generate potential leads higher. We take a look at what you can do to maximise your visibility and drive more traffic to your blog.

Write useful content your target audience will share

Your target audience can make a huge difference to the popularity of your posts. So do consider what kind of content is relevant to them and how you can make your posts more shareable. Evergreen content like “how to” guides, tips or education based posts are often popular choices although they’re not for everyone.

Content should be a key part of any digital marketing strategy. Having an editorial plan in place will result in greater consistency, whether posts are focused on a specific theme, topic or style for example. Google Analytics is, of course, essential to finding out where your visitors are from, their demographic profile and what kind of content is most popular among other things.

Make your content SEO friendly

There are a number of ways you can ensure your blog is SEO friendly starting with how it’s structured, what headings you use and which signal words are included. You should always optimise the length of your posts so they’re over 300 words and make sure you link to previous content where relevant.

Your featured keyword, which will help people find you, should appear in your post heading, title, URL, content and meta description. Consider what terms and phrases your target audience might type into Google when looking for the information they require. This will help you identify the best keywords to use. Research can also be conducted using tools like the Adwords Keyword Planner.

Reference your own content regularly

Readers appreciate blog posts with useful links so you should reference relevant content where appropriate, whether it’s a post of your own or someone else’s.  Links to relevant content are well received if they’re in context and provide value. They should never link to top-level web pages and any anchor text must be natural.

It might be worth creating a list of internal content for the purpose of blogging. If you haven’t already catalogued your own site’s content, consider an SEO audit or a website audit where a crawl will identify all your assets.

Let us know if you need a full website crawl, we can offer this as a standalone service or as part of a free website audit including performance, security, SEO and mobile-friendliness

Use social media to share posts and boost traffic

Leveraging your most effective social media channels is a fundamental way to boost traffic to your blog. Curating others’ content is great for encouraging people to share your content and interact. As well as the major social networking sites, consider social community sites such as StumbleUpon, Reddit or Pinterest as well. You will need to add value to these sites to get the return but the same applies to any social network. You get out what you put in.

Find influencers and join the conversation

Do you know who your influencers are? If not, you can easily create a Twitter list for example with the most relevant so you can start to build relationships. Joining relevant communities and Twitter chats is a great way to find new topics for discussion too. You should also research which hashtags are most appropriate to your industry. Including relevant @mentions in social media posts will also help increase your reach and visibility.

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about how you can drive traffic to your blog. For further information, contact our Digital Marketing Manager, Paul Mackenzie Ross, at Woking’s Design Agency Clever Marketing on 020 3146 4341.

Google replaced standard text ads with expanded text ads (ETAs) last month. This change has been regarded as their largest since AdWords launched with expanded text ads visible across all devices. (more…)

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