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Are You Wasting PPC Budget?

Posted by Thomas Haynes in Digital Marketing, PPC

The Problem

“The average small business wastes 25% of their AdWords PPC budget” - WordStream research

Many businesses don’t spend the necessary time optimising their accounts or don’t keep up-to-date with the latest developments. If any of the below apply to your business then you’re probably wasting at least some of your AdWords spend:

  • You haven’t logged in to your account for over a month.
  • You’ve never heard of “Ad Extensions”.
  • The person in charge of your PPC account hasn’t had the necessary training.

If these apply to you then it is worth checking your AdWords account to make sure you are using the correct settings and everything is running well. Below are 7 things you can easily check and which could help you to make your account more efficient so that you can drive better results from your current level of spend.

If someone is running your account on your behalf they should have implemented (or at least have tested) these settings/actions. You can see what has been tested by looking under Tools > Change History in AdWords or just ask! These are basic things which you could reasonably expect to have been setup or at least to be in your agency/freelancer’s plan.

1. Negative Keywords

Using broad match or phrase match Keywords increases the risk that your Ad will show up for unrelated search terms. To prevent this use tighter Keyword targeting such as Exact Match or add negative keywords.

If you tick the box next to a keyword and click on ‘Search Terms’ then ‘Selected’ under ‘Details’ you’ll be able to see which search terms actually triggered your Ad.

Selected-Search-Terms-AdWords

 

2. Mobile

Google AdWords Campaigns are now shown on all devices by default. If you’re sending mobile users to a non mobile friendly page chances are they’ll leave your site pretty quickly.

You can bid down on Mobile devices by up to 100% with bid adjustments. If you do have a mobile friendly site look at your stats and see if mobile users convert or not.

AdWords-Mobile-Bid-Adjustment

 

3. Ad Extensions

Ad Extensions make your Ads more eye catching and result in a higher Ad Rank in AdWords. This helps you to rank higher for a lower Cost Per Click.

Add as many Ad Extensions as you can. Sitelinks and Call Extensions are particularly useful.

AdWords-Ad-Extensions

 

4. Geographic Targeting

With AdWords you can easily geographically target areas as large as the UK or as small as a 1 mile radius. If your business operates in a small area then there is probably no reason for you to show Ads outside of that area.

Exclude areas in your Campaign settings or if you’re feeling particularly advanced bid up or down on geographic areas.

AdWords-Location-Bid-Adjustment

 

5. Ad Schedule

With AdWords’ Ad Schedule settings you can set when you want your Ads to be shown either by day or by hour. For example, if you operate in a B2B industry you may decide that you’re best of only showing your Ads during the working day.

AdWords-Ad-Schedule

 

6. Landing Pages

It’s important that you send users to a relevant Landing Page with a clear call-to-action or next step. If you’re not doing this you’re paying to send people to your site and they might just leave straight away.

A good first step is to review the Bounce Rate of PPC visitors by Landing Page – this shows you what percentage of users land on a page and then leave again without continuing to browse the site.

Landing-Page-Bounce-Rate

 

7. Account Structure

The best AdWords accounts use a careful structure with clearly defined Campaigns and Ad Groups arranged around defined topics. If you throw all of your Ads and Keywords into one Ad Group you won’t be able to properly optimise or achieve a high Quality Score.

Avoid wasted spend by splitting out your account structure with as much granularity as you can and using separate budgets for different Campaigns.

AdWords-Campaign-Budgets

 

About Us

We’re proud to be official Google Partners – as an agency we are recognized by Google for the quality of the Search and Display Advertising we run on behalf of our clients. In the words of Google “The Google Partner badge shows the world that Google trusts your company and that potential clients can too.” If you would like to know more about what we offer please get in touch.

View and download this checklist in Slideshow format or as a pdf file.

Follow me on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn.

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Is Your Website Ready For Google’s Big Mobile Update?

Posted by Lisa in Digital Marketing, Mobile Marketing

Usually when Google announces an update it comes with little, if any, warning at all. However, Google recently announced, “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” Whilst Google have been telling Webmaster’s for years to prepare for Mobile, this is the most significant mobile-related announcement they have released to date, and it’s clear that this time, Google mean business.

It’s Time For Action…

If you don’t already have a Mobile-Friendly website then you need to get the ball-rolling, and quickly. You have probably heard the terms “Responsive Site” and “Mobile Site” repeatedly across the web, so we are going to start by briefly defining what each of these mean.

Responsive Site – A Responsive Site takes a standard website and instructs it to fit the display size that it is being viewed on. This allows your website to fit precisely on any device in any resolution.

An example of a Responsive Site is the Porsche website http://www.porsche.com/uk/. You can see the change in website size if you slowly drag the bottom right hand corner of your browser inward to make it smaller.

Mobile Site – This is a completely separate site that has been designed and built purely for mobile users. It may sit on a sub domain such as m.domain.com.

An example of a Mobile-Specific Site is the BBC Sports website http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/. You can see the difference by bringing up the website on a mobile and desktop device and comparing the two.

Responsive vs. Mobile Sites – What Is Better?

Mobile Sites:

The Pros

  • Better mobile experience for users (may lead to higher conversions)
  • Cheaper upfront costs

The Cons

  • Recurring maintenance
  • High costs for updating multiple websites
  • May need to be upgraded in future to work on new browsers
  • Issues with optimal display on different resolutions

 

Responsive Site:

The Pros

  • One website works on multiple devices
  • Only needs to be updated once as only one site
  • Recommended by Google
  • Better ROI in the long term as it won’t need much maintenance to work on future browsers

The Cons

  • More expensive upfront

 

A Quick Note On Search Engine Optimisation…
If Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) forms a core part of your business then this must also be taken into consideration at this point. When it comes to link building and spending time optimising a site, you need to consider the fact that updating multiple sites will be far more costly and time consuming, than updating and building links to just the one Responsive Site.

In Summary
The bottom line is you need to think about why you are creating the site and what functionality you need it to have. Either way, a mobile website is a MUST if you want to stay within Google’s guidelines and within the same playing field as your competitors.

If you need to discuss your website in more detail please give us a call on 01392 667766, where one of the team will be more than happy to help!

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Working and Living in Devon by Optix Solutions

Posted by Optix Solutions in News

From tranquil views to a wealth of British culture, Devon has been a favourite with holiday makers seeking traditional family vacations for decades, but who knew that Devon would become a hub for striving businesses and a county full of commercial potential.

With the introduction to the Invest Devon scheme which includes Work Hubs, business support and networking opportunities, Devon has never been more ‘on the map’. Plans from Devon County Council to improve Devon’s infrastructure, double the number of new jobs and increase the rate of house building by 50%, have made the county even more desirable. As Devon County Council’s newest Business Ambassadors, Optix Solutions has a look at the benefits and perks of living and working in the (nearly) deep south.

Devon has never really been viewed as a place with great opportunity for jet setters and go getters by the rest of the country, however recent statistics tell us that Devon is the place to be if you are looking for work or wanting to start up a business. The business survival rate is over 5% above the national average, as well as employment rates being 76.8% versus the UK average of 71.1%. Devon’s Exeter University is ranked 8th in the UK, which also has a number of enterprises and research hubs including an Innovation Centre which is home to over 53 knowledge based organisations carrying out essential research and development.

Having been named as the best county in England in 2009 by Country Life magazine and with 450miles of coastline the quality of life is known for being better than that of the rest of the country. There is always loads to do including lots of free and family orientated days out as well as the renowned Jurassic Coast which takes you on a breath taking journey through England’s first Natural World Heritage Site. Of course we must not forget the usual popular attractions Devon has to offer; zoos, aquariums, farms, theme parks, botanical gardens, and an excess of outdoor adventure activities to suit both the dare devils and the safety conscious. Excellent public transport links provide affordable travel for non-drivers.

For those night owls, Exeter and Plymouth offer a buzzing nightlife with clubs and bars with a range of different music and themes and for the more laid back party-goer there is the famous Topsham 10 to conquer as well as loads of great local brewery’s and vineyards to try out.

Restaurants are in abundance in Devon with a significance on supporting local produce. From fresh fish caught off the coast of Exmouth to locally reared Dartmoor beef and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s own veg you are never far from fantastic home-grown food.

Low crime rates and little noise and air pollution, Devon is the place to be, business owner or employee, life has never been so fruitful.

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