1509, 2016

Pay-Per-Click Tips for Beginners

Advertising, Instructions, Sales and Marketing|Comments Off on Pay-Per-Click Tips for Beginners

Ever thought about advertising on Google? Pay-per-click (PPC) ads offer an opportunity to pay only for each time your ad is clicked, essentially buying visits to your site. This article on Pay-Per-Click Tips for Beginners offers great ways to get the most out of your campaigns.

ppc-pay-per-click2-ss-1920

Starting to manage PPC isn’t easy. You make your first campaign, get some traffic, maybe even get your first conversion. Then you realize just how much there still is to learn!

Following are three recommendations for every PPC beginner to try.

1. Make use of the Search terms report

One of the biggest mistakes a new PPC practitioner can make is a lack of strong keyword targeting. If you’re bringing in the wrong traffic, it simply doesn’t matter how much time you put into your ad copy, landing pages and offers.

The Search terms report shows search queries that triggered one of your ads, along with data about clicks, impressions and cost. You can use this data to refine and inform your keyword strategy. If a search term is performing well, you can add it to your keyword list and further optimize your ads to capture additional targeted traffic; if a search term is bringing in irrelevant traffic, you can add it as a negative keyword to prevent your ads from triggering for this term.

Failing to identify negative keywords is a surefire way to waste ad spend, and failing to identify potential superstar search queries is going to limit your growth. This is why it’s important to make good use of the Search terms report.

So you’ve never looked at the Search terms report? You’ll get there by clicking on the “Search terms” box from the Keyword tab in the AdWords interface. Search terms have been covered up below, but this is the essence of what you’ll see:

AdWords Search terms report

If a search term you haven’t added as a keyword is generating conversions in your campaign, that means it is being attributed to a Broad or Phrase match keyword that has triggered one of your ads; everything here that has generated a conversion needs to be added as a keyword. That’s the simple version.

Secondary indicators of success that you should be looking at when there aren’t a lot of conversions showing up here are (conversely to what you might think) low click-through rates. If a search term here is relevant, but people aren’t clicking on it, you need to add it as an exact match keyword and put a higher bid on it.

Your general strategy with bidding should be to bid low on broad match keywords and higher on phrase/exact match; what this does is tie relevance to ad spend. With broad match keywords, there is a lot of variance in the searches your keywords could be triggered by; use the Search terms report to find new, highly specific searches where your money will be better spent.

2. Create a Gmail Ad campaign

Do you have competitors? Do your customers use a certain set of tools or solutions that make them a good fit for your product? I’m here to tell you that running Gmail Ads might just be the most effective branding campaign you run.

It can be confusing to start, since most how-tos simply tell you that domain targeting is possible, but let’s try to go step-by-step here.

  1. Create a new Display Network Campaign.
  2. Decide what kind of domain targeting you want to try (e.g.,competitors, partners, adjacent products/services).
  3. Enter domains as keywords; for example, for a new product tailored to people who work in startups, we might enter: angel.co, venturebeat.com, techcrunch.com or entrepreneur.com.
  4. Skip ad creation.
  5. From the ad group screen, click +Ad.
  6. Select Ad gallery.
  7. Select Gmail Ads.
Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 9.14.45 AM

Now that we’ve discussed the how, let’s take a look at why we would do this. Previously, if you wanted to reach users who were interested in these sites, you might try to enter them as managed placements, use display keywords about startups, or reach them via Facebook Ads by targeting users interested in these sites.

Using Gmail Ads now allows us to take a more direct approach to reaching this audience while also maintaining very low cost per click. One of the weaknesses with using a more standard targeting method (like keywords or interests) is that we are relying on metrics that can be very vague. Getting right to people who are actively engaged with a brand simplifies the process.

3. Focus on keywords with low organic rank

In Google Analytics, if you have Search Console connected (and you absolutely should), you are able to see organic queries, along with Clicks, Impressions, CTR and organic rank. If you have a limited budget and are looking for the biggest return possible, this data can be incredibly useful.

Adding search console to google analytics

Did you link Search Console and GA? Perfect.

keywords-low-rank-low-ctr

Here is where we can start to really make some ground in establishing healthy ROI for our paid campaigns. Of all the keywords above, only #9 (and maybe #1) has a low CTR and poor Average Position; these are the keywords we want to aggressively seek out and add into paid campaigns until they begin to rank better organically. Go deep into your search queries and find the hidden gems.

Your best move may be to export your query data into a CSV and sort by average position. After doing this, simply highlight and pull any keywords with an organic position worse than 5; if this is a huge list, you can narrow down by keywords with a CTR under one percent or impressions over x.

If you’re a small business owner, or if you’re working on a lean paid campaign that is trying to create growth, you should absolutely be doing this. The ROAS of focusing your spend where it absolutely cannot cannibalize any organic traffic should be easily noticeable when you only spend $500 a month.

tj-miller-silicon

The trap you may fall into here is that depending on the size of this new keyword list, you cannot let your performance go unchecked for long periods after doing this. Any time you are adding large buckets of new keywords into your ad campaigns, the volatility that may come in spend and performance means you need to be actively managing your campaigns.

Conversely, if you do have a larger budget, there is evidence that just because you rank well for something organically, it doesn’t mean you should avoid advertising for it. Bing Ads’ John Gagnon, at MN Summit 2015, showed data Bing had analyzed that showed results for organic and paid traffic when running simultaneously or only having organic traffic. Of the increase in traffic that occurred when running ads, roughly half of the increase was in organic traffic. Google conducted a similar study that found PPC traffic doesn’t always cannibalize your organic traffic and was reported onhere.

Go forth and get clicks!

Congrats, beginner! You’re ready to move on to bigger things. Use these tactics and monitor your results for impact. They won’t work for everyone, but they could make a huge impact on your ROI.

-- Article published on searchengineland.com by  on August 24, 2016.
2010, 2015

Money saving tips for small businesses

Instructions, Other, Small Business Advice|Comments Off on Money saving tips for small businesses

Money saving tips for small businesses

On a shoestring budget (and what entrepreneur isn't?), it really pays to scrimp and save. Just in case you've forgotten the value of a hard-earned penny, we've come up with a slew of money-saving ideas to boost your business's bottom line-from cutting your legal bills to inexpensive ways to draw in customers. Though some tips will save you more money than others, the end result of your overall spendthrift strategy could add up to a bundle.

piggy Penny-Pinching Promotions

1. Piggyback your advertising.

Including advertising material in other mailings, such as in invoices, saves postage and other costs, says J. Donald Weinrauch, co-author of The Frugal Marketer. Likewise, make the most of your point-of-purchase opportunities by tucking coupons, newsletters or other promotional fliers in the bag with customers' purchases.

2. Be a good neighbor.

Split advertising and promotion costs with neighboring businesses. Jointly promote a sidewalk sale, or take your marketing alliance further by sharing mailing lists, distribution channels and suppliers with businesses that sell complementary goods or services.

3. Ask the people you know for help.

The kind of support you'd most like to get from your contacts is referrals-the names of specific individuals who need your products and services. So go ahead and ask! Your contacts can also give prospects your name and number. As the number of referrals you receive increases, so does your potential for increasing the percentage of your business generated through referrals.

4. Got a happy customer?

By telling others what they've gained from using your products or services in presentations or informal conversations, your sources can encourage others to use your products or services.

5. Make a special TV appearance.

Local cable TV stations often have very reasonable advertising rates at time slots throughout the day and night. Though you won't necessarily reach prime-time viewers, you will make an impression where it counts-in the comfort of potential customers' homes.

6. Offer expert advice.

Teaching a class, speaking at a community meeting, or writing an article for a local paper not only makes you look like an expert but garners low-cost attention for your business.

Office Overhead

7. Buy recycled printer cartridges.

Check Google or your Yellow Pages for a local recycled printer cartridge supplier. Or if you want to mix your charitable instincts with your printing needs, visitwww.lasermonks.com , a remanufactured printing supply company run by a group of monks in Wisconsin who, after business expenses are paid, donate their profits.

8. Fill it out for free.

Instead of buying forms at your local office supply store or spending time creating them yourself, you can find tons of free forms online that you can download, customize and print.

9. Get free software.

Visit Download.com to try hundreds of software products for free through trial downloads, freeware and limited versions of the full product. Another tip: If you haven't found what you're looking for through Download.com or our software guide, check out the manufacturer's site. Most offer free trial downloads.

10. Buy used equipment.

Save up to 60 percent by buying used computer equipment, copiers and office furniture from stores such as the nationwide Aaron Rents & Sells chain. Auctions and newspaper classifieds are other good sources of used equipment.

309, 2015

How to Write a Press Release

Instructions, Other, Small Business Advice, Tips and Tricks for Bike Shops|Comments Off on How to Write a Press Release

Ever wondered How to Write a Press Release? Follow these easy steps to get started.

1. Start with a Strong Headline

With so much information available online, your first challenge is to create an attention-grabbing headline. Explain the topic and how it benefits readers. Make sure it is brief, clear and to the point. If you can, include a teaser to urge readers to find out more! Feeling stuck? Some writers suggest writing the content for your press release first, then come back and try composing your headline.

2. Keep Content Short and Sweet

Press releases should be brief and to the point (no extra points for giant type and multiple colors). Summarize all important points in the first few sentences, then provide detail in the following paragraphs. Ideas to get you started: list date and city, summarize then expand on the headline, deal with actual facts (who, what, when, where, why and how.) Add a quote to enhance the significance of the news, if possible. Most importantly, include a call to action. What do you want the public to do with the information you are releasing?

3. More Resources

Include your contact information, and give readers a place to learn more by linking to your business website and other sites that provide more information on the topic.

4. Make it timely

Timing is very important. Your news must be relevant and recent, not too old, or too distant. Send it via email, using your headline as the subject of your email, and your content in the main body of the email. Send hard copies on your company letterhead. Tailor specific releases to different media outlets and send them to specific reporters.

Happy writing!

   
2708, 2015

How To Optimize Your Website

Instructions, Other, SEO|Comments Off on How To Optimize Your Website

Ever wondered How To Optimize Your Website? Search engine optimization (SEO) increases your website's ranking on search engines, and increases performance optimization. This is a complicated process, and one that ENews Networks specializes in. I'll walk you through the basics here. Contact us if you would like help optimizing your site. We'd be happy to do a free review and estimate before we get started.

1. Don't ignore Meta Tags, Title Tags and Alt Tags

These tags do not alter the visible information on your site. They exist to help search engines and bots read the information on your site (Google no longer uses Meta tags, but other sites do.) Place meta keywords and title tags on each page to identify the overall content of your document, and include alt tags to describe your images (your images will not be searchable without them!) Make sure these descriptions are unique, specific, and enticing.

2. Find your Keywords

Identify the keywords related to your site's content. These are the popular search words that lead viewers to your site, words related to the overall topics on your site, and the topics of specific pages and posts. Focus on your homepage, header tags, title tags, meta tags, and the URLs of new pages. Keywords should not be limited to your website, be sure to include these keywords in your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, as well as your Email-Newsletters and other offline ads. Note: You may be penalized for overusing keywords on your website. So be careful!

3. Overall performance and content

Good websites keep visitors interested and coming back for more by providing new, fresh content. Creating new content? Identify a theme, keep the text fresh, include titles and descriptions, and limit each page to roughly 250 words. Look at performance. Other things to consider: Is your site slow? Does it function properly? Is it easy to navigate? Look safe? Have a high bounce rate?

4. Links

It is important that you both link to authoritative sites, and that other (quality) sites link to you. Building good incoming back links increases your search engine ranking and website traffic. List your website in local directories and relevant forums and ask websites with similar topics to link to your website.

5. Site maps

Site maps are files that list every URL in your website. These files need to be submitted to Google and other major search engines. You can look online for guides, or ask us for help.

Looking for More?

Basic search engine optimization is fundamental and essential to your website's success. Contact us to help position website to be found at the most critical points in the buying process, or when people need your site.

1808, 2015

If You’re Not Happy, Stop Complaining and Make a Change

Get Organized, Instructions, Other, Small Business Advice|Comments Off on If You’re Not Happy, Stop Complaining and Make a Change

If You're Not Happy, Stop Complaining and Make a Change. This article in Entrepreneur ran across my feed recently and really spoke to me. The bike industry tends to have busy and slow seasons, like all seasonal marketplaces. It's easy for us to feel down in the middle of winter when business is slow. It's even easy to feel discouraged in the middle of summer when we're so busy we don't remember the last time we were home in time to have dinner with our families. This article offers great advice on creating your own happiness.

--

"How many times have you seen an, “Ugh, I hate Mondays” post on social media? Or how about the classic “FML” status update? F**k your life? Seriously?

Those who are completely happy have put themselves in that position because anything other than happiness just isn’t acceptable. They made sacrifices and worked hard until they reached the level of happiness they were striving for.

It all comes down to identifying what it is that you want, formulating a plan to get there and then working hard until you reach your desired goal. It has nothing to do with luck.

"I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

If you are unhappy, you currently have two options: You can complain about it and hope it magically changes, or you can set out to make a change. For the latter, here is a simple four-step plan to help you achieve happiness. If you are unhappy you owe it to yourself to make a change -- life is too short to delay any longer.

1. Determine why you are unhappy.

There are several reasons why you could be unhappy -- you could be working a job that you don’t truly love, working with people you don’t enjoy being around or doing something you are over-qualified for.

It might not be work related at all -- you might be in a dead end or unhealthy relationship. There could be a million different reasons, and it’s up to you to identify them. Whatever they are, just know that you aren’t going to find true happiness until you first single out what the problem is.

2. Change your attitude.

The first thing I mentioned above was the “FML” and “Ugh, I hate Mondays” social media status updates we all see on a regular basis -- that type of attitude sets the tone. If you are constantly filling your head with a negative outlook, what do you expect will happen?

Negative thoughts breed negativity and unhappiness, while positive thoughts breed positivity and happiness.

When it comes down to it we are all responsible for our own happiness. The only way you will be happy is by changing your attitude and understanding that you are in full control, and fully capable of changing your situation.

3. Create a plan to reach happiness.

When you know why you are unhappy and are armed with a positive attitude, you can start to devise a plan to achieve happiness. This is where many people hit a mental roadblock and self-doubt enters their minds.

“I’m not going to find a better job.”

“I wont find someone else.”

“I’m too old to start a business.”

Excuses are made to justify remaining miserable. If you are serious about truly being happy you need to push all self-doubt out of your mind and commit to developing a plan to become happy. Determine what your ultimate end goal is and reverse engineer the steps you will need to take to reach it.

4. Take action and don’t look back.

With your plan outlined it’s time to move forward and never look back. Simply taking action doesn’t guarantee results -- your journey to happiness could include mistakes, rejection and disappointment. But if you don’t take action there is only one guarantee, and that is your situation will never improve and you will remain unhappy.

Happiness isn’t going to happen overnight -- you have to continue to push forward, regardless of how difficult it may appear.

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." -- Winston Churchill

If you need a little motivation or a support group check out this online community I started. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is key."

--

Republished from Entrepreneur, July 27, 2015

408, 2015

Recovering your Stolen Bike

Advocacy, Instructions|Comments Off on Recovering your Stolen Bike

Recently fallen victim to bike theft? Don't give up! Follow these tips on recovering your stolen bike.

1. File a police report.

First and foremost file a police report. Ask an officer to file a report, or go to the station with your information. You'll need your bike's serial number, make model, and pictures of your bike.

2. Register your bike

Register your stolen bike with Bike Index, and other local registries.

3. Check Craigslist

Check Craigslist for a listing matching your bike's description. Visit flea markets, or other places used bikes might end up. If you think you've found your bike, pass the information onto the police and let them follow up.

4. Online Alerts

Set up Google Alerts and EBay alerts with information mating your bike's description. If your bike turns up for sale online, you'll be alerted.

5. Spread the word!

Use your social networks to spread the news about your bike's disappearance. Post pictures of your bike on Facebook and Twitter and ask your friends to share it.

6. Insurance

Contact your insurance company to see if your bike was insured.

Good luck!