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Your Prospect: A Cross Between Scotty and Scarlett

Posted on October 1st, 2010 in the Ad Creation,Keywords,PPC Category

Keywords can also tell us important things about our searchers, if we understand how to decompress them back into their original concept-desire states, and how to respond to them. To explain what I mean, let’s go to the movies.

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Google Adwords for Local Business

Posted on November 5th, 2009 in the Local Marketing Category

The AdWords – Landing Page Connection

Posted on October 8th, 2009 in the PPC Category

A reader wonders:

What’s the relationship between AdWords and the landing page? How should keywords  be used on the web site to achieve consistant quality rankings? Google gives me low quality scores because it says my landing page quality is “Poor.” What can I do?

My reply:

Your landing page has two customers: Google, and the visitor. If you don’t please Google (as represented by a “No Problems” designation), then the visitor doesn’t matter. They won’t ever see your landing page.

So let’s start with Google.

Google-Pleasing Landing Pages

Google grades landing pages on a pass-fail basis. It’s either a problem, or no problem. There’s no middle ground. Like pregnancy. As much as I find duality to be an illusion of consciousness, it’s really in play here.

So when your landing page triggers a “Poor” score (see screen shot below for how you can tell), you have to fix the problem right away.

Most landing page problems fall into two categories: bad or missing content.

Bad Content

Bad content means, as Perry Marshall wrote last month, that some Google rep is responding negatively to the question, “Would I send my grandmother to this site?”

Maybe you sell questionable stuff, in Google’s eyes. Maybe you are (or appear to be) a zero-value-adding reseller (ie affiliate). Maybe you promise something in your ad (free tarot reading) and offer something completely different ($4 tarot reading).

Here’s what Google says (click here for the source):

Website Types to Avoid

The following website types will be penalized with low landing page quality scores. If we receive complaints about ads for websites of this kind, they will not be allowed to continue running.

* Data collection sites that offer free items, etc., in order to collect private information
* Arbitrage sites that are designed for the purpose of showing ads
* Malware sites that knowingly or unknowingly install software on a visitor’s computer

Website Types to Advertise with Caution

The following website types will sometimes merit low landing page quality scores and may be difficult to advertise affordably. If you choose to advertise one of these website types, be particularly careful to adhere to our landing page quality guidelines – especially the rule about offering unique content.

* eBook sites
* ‘Get rich quick’ sites
* Comparison shopping sites
* Travel aggregators
* Affiliates

Missing Content

Google is quite explicit about what it wants to see on your landing page: relevance, originality, transparency, and navigability.

Your landing page must be about the same thing as your keyword and ad. It must not be an exact or close-to-exact copy of information found on some other website (Brad Geddes reassured me that duplicate content penalties don’t occur when identical content lives on the same website – so you can split test within a single domain to your heart’s delight).

You must share information about your business, your privacy policy, and your shipping and refund policies, if applicable. Your site can’t mess around with their computer, installing programs, resizing windows, or making you want to punch your screen (actually, I made that last one up). If you show ads, make sure visitors can tell the difference between the ads and the editorial content.

You must make it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for. Here’s Google’s advice:

  • Provide a short and easy path for users to purchase or receive the product or offer in your ad.
  • Avoid excessive use of pop-ups, pop-unders, and other obtrusive elements throughout your site.
  • Make sure that your landing page loads quickly.

Visitor-Friendly Landing Pages

Actually, just follow Google’s advice for the most part, and your pages will be, at the very least, acceptable to your visitors. But if the Google bar is low, the Conversion bar is quite high. Just “not sucking” is good enough for Google, but it won’t make you sales.

Here’s the best landing page advice I can give:

Your landing page fulfills the promise of your ad.

Every ad is a promise. It goes like this: “Click me (and ignore everything else on this page) and you’ll get…”

The “…” is the reason they click your ad. Either you promise it explicitly (”Free download” or “Canon PowerShot SD780 $279 Free Shipping” or “Complete Guide to Garlic-Scented Candles”) or the promise is implicit and must be assumed by the searcher (”Landing Page optimization system. Achieve maximum CTR with science. www.sitespect.com”).

Ask a few friends who don’t know anything about your business to read your ad and tell you what they think they’re being promised.

That’s your landing page.

Start at the Top

Actually, that’s the top of your landing page.

You see, you don’t always have to fulfill the promise on the landing page. Nobody thinks they’re going to read SiteSpect’s landing page and instantly achieve maximum CTR (that’s click through rate, for you AdWords newbies).

But they have to believe they’re in the right place, on the right trail. Ben Hunt talks about the scent trail of search. Like a bloodhound searching for the owner of the sweaty sock, your visitor is also in pursuit of a goal, and will naturally take the path that appears to be the quickest route to that goal.

Most landing pages fail in the first 7 seconds. Something about the header graphic, the headline (or more commonly, lack thereof), and overall design just screams “It ain’t me, Babe, No no no, it ain’t me, Babe, it ain’t me you’re looking for, Babe.”

(If you want to watch a youtube video of me performing this song, leave a comment to that effect. If I get 10 comments, by golly, I’ll do it. 15 comments, I’ll add the harmonica. Of course, you’re also free to beg me not to.)

Mugurdy – a Visual Search Engine

Recently I met Mugurdy, a visual search engine that, instead of showing links, shows actual landing page snapshots side by side. While it currently runs off the Yahoo API, it’s still a fascinating and valuable tool for anyone looking to improve their landing page design and top messaging.

Let’s say you’re advertising for the keyword tarot reading.  Here’s what your user would see if they searched on Yahoo:

Take a minute and pretend you’re looking for a tarot reading – which listing do you choose?

Using Mugurdy, the user decides based on the look of the landing page. So here’s their results for tarot reading:

Now, based on those images, which site would you visit? (I personally lean toward the seventh one, the Tarot Course page with the yellow sidebar. It looks like the one where I’ll learn the most, and I like the look of the page. If I landed on one of the black-background pages, I’d probably bounce back to Yahoo within seconds. But that’s just me.)

Chances are, the winner in visual search won’t be the same as the ad text winner. And if that’s the case, then somebody’s landing page is sub-optimized for this traffic.

Mugurdy hasn’t yet created a visual search engine for AdWords listings, but you can use it to get an instant snapshot of a bunch of competitors’ sites. And you’ll learn a lot about how to make a landing page instantly attractive, based on the promise of the ad.

Traffic Surge

If you want to create landing pages that totally fulfill the promise of the ad, while leading to sales, not just happy browsers, check out the Traffic Surge course that begins October 8, 2009.

Graduates of the last Traffic Surge course have been raving about it (that’s why I’m offering it again). They feel like they’ve unlocked the mystery of AdWords, and can now research and succeed in any market they want.

See their comments here.

There are still a couple of seats left that include a free live Checkmate workshop in Durham in early December ($2000 value). Act quickly to reserve your seat.

Go to the Original Article: askHowie.com – AdWords Help, Advice and Tools

When There Are No Ads

Posted on October 8th, 2009 in the PPC Category

A reader asks:

I just finished going through your book Google Adwords for Dummies.

In plunking around in Google search (now that I know what those results down the right side mean), I’ve noticed that some search terms result in zero Google Adword ads on the result page.

Would that indicate that firms who would likely use Google Adwords see no value in Google Adwords for their businesses?

My reply:

When there are no ads for a given keyword, it’s either because it has a huge search volume that no one has figured out how to monetize, or because it has such a low search volume that it’s not worth the effort of writing ads for.

Here’s an example of a very popular keyword that doesn’t attract advertising:

bridges

This keyword gets about 2 million searches per month. Take a look at the Google SERP (search engine results page) for bridges:

Picture 2

As you can see, no ads.

In the examples that you gave me (which I’m not sharing publicly), I see very long tail, specialized keywords that Google may not know what to do with. If the search volume is very low, Google will disallow the keyword. This forces you to bid on more general keywords with higher search volume. This makes Google happy by aggregating auctions and keeping bid prices high.

It also makes life easier for many advertisers who can’t be bothered to brainstorm lots of keyword variations.

For example, if I wanted to sell off my collection of Three Mile Island paperweights (of course, I never would), I might bid on the keyword Three Mile Island Unit II Dedication Acrylic Paperweight.

And if you typed in that exact search term, you would hope and expect to see my ad. But in fact, all you’d see are a few ads for paperweights:

paperweight serp

If I wanted my ad to show up when you search for the long tail keyword, I need to bid on the broad match for acrylic paperweight and hope that Google  finds it a good match. Annoying, but that’s the way things are in 2009.

Google wants to show ads for every search (ads is how they make their money). So if you see zero ads for a search, it’s because nobody has figured out how to make money from that keyword.

For your specialized, long tail keywords, you need to find the more general keywords and bid on those in broad match.

But for some B2B markets, you may find that so few of your prospects exist in the world (let’s say, Directors of HR at Fortune 1oo companies, or purchasing managers at injection molding factories) that AdWords is an impractical way of reaching them. In that case, focus on SEO for the long tails (easy to rank high) and take out ads in print and online journals and go for PR.

Anybody else out there confused about keywords? If so, please check out the Traffic Surge course that begins October 8, 2009. My guarantee is that you’ll go from beginner to Market Master in 8 weeks.

Or, if you’re just interested in fine paperweights, I’m entertaining offers:

Go to the Original Article: askHowie.com – AdWords Help, Advice and Tools

To Increase AdWords Profits, Send People Away

Posted on October 8th, 2009 in the PPC Category

Here’s a sweet sign, from a goth/punk clothing store in Dresden, Germany:

nodogs.jpg

In Germany, people bring their dogs everywhere. Stores, restaurants, you name it – Fido (or Augustus Sterk, as a Dresden dog might be called 😉 is as welcome as their owner’s wallet.

But not here, in the punk section.

Isn’t This Store Losing a Lot of Business?

Possibly. A lot of dog owners might not only be discouraged by the sign, but actually offended by the image of the handgun with a finger on the trigger.

But in this neighborhood in Dresden, it seems that some percentage of residents might prefer to shop in a store that caters solely to two-leggeds, who don’t shed (much) or hump (indiscriminately).

So the “Go Away” sign for dog owners functions as a “Come In” sign for dog haters (or at least, dog-averse shoppers). It flags their attention by singling out another group for exclusion.

Are Your Ads For Everyone?

If you’re advertising to appeal to every single searcher on your keyword, you’re probably wasting a lot of money. First, by attracting non-ideal-prospects to your site. Folks who are unlikely to buy.

Second, by not attracting the group you don’t want to exclude.

The goth shop probably does a great business selling to disaffected, anti-establishment, unemployed youth who still live at home and can’t afford a dog. A group likely to smile at the gruesome image of Fido about to get wasted, and likely to buy the studded bracelets and obscene black t-shirts and thick-soled black boots on offer inside.

If you want to attract singles to your site, then announce, Not For Married People.

If you sell software to advanced users, let your searchers know that it’s not for beginners.

And so on.

Do You Know Your Ideal Customer?

This process of disqualification not only brings you fewer non-buyers and more buyers, but it does something even more subtle, basic and powerful:

It helps you identify and target your ideal customer.

Once you know who you’re selling to (and you’ve given up the fantasy notion that you can sell to everyone), everything about your marketing gets easier.

Discover how to use the web and a few minutes of smart research to discover your ideal customer in the upcoming Traffic Surge course. Starts October 7, 2009.

If you aren’t getting enough qualified traffic to your site (i.e., not enough impressions or clicks, or the wrong impressions and clicks), then Traffic Surge will turn your fortunes around in eight weeks. Guaranteed.

Learn more about Traffic Surge and sign up here.

Go to the Original Article: askHowie.com – AdWords Help, Advice and Tools

Are you lazier than McDonalds?

Posted on October 8th, 2009 in the PPC Category

Walking down the avenue in Cologne, Germany last week, I was stopped in my tracks by the unusually international specials available at McDonalds:

McDonalds-Germany.jpg

Thai Veggie? Gulasch Gourmet?

What’s going on?

What happened to Two All Beef Patties etc? Large fries and a shake? Apple Pie?

McDonalds, the world’s best-known restaurant chain, is peeling and sticking.

Huh?

The Importance of Tight Targeting

When I first started using AdWords, I had no idea what I was doing. (Sound familiar? 😉

My first teacher, Perry Marshall, hired me to work on some AdWords campaigns for a client of his. (Apparently, in the early years, there weren’t a lot of us to choose from.) I diligently researched the market, using the Overture Inventory Tool (R.I.P., but in its day it was amazing!) and came up with about 2000 promising keywords.

I dumped them all into a single ad group, wrote two ads (I knew enough to split test, at least), and sent a proud email to Perry informing him that I had done my job.

Perry wrote back, “Yeah, let’s get on the phone and talk about this.”

Oh.

Perry gently explained to me that maybe 2000 keywords in a single ad group was not such a good idea. Because the people searching for all those keywords weren’t all going to be attracted to the same ad.

I needed to separate the keywords into buckets, Perry said. All the keywords related to Topic A should go into one ad group. Then I could write an ad specifically about Topic A. And so on for all the themes contained in the giant keyword list.

That took a heck of a lot of time. Lots of iterations. Many printer cartridges, and several highlighters. And probably a few gray hairs.

But that was what it took to generate hundreds of inexpensive, valuable leads for the client.

And that’s what it took to get me on the road to AdWords mastery.

Even Big Global Brands Benefit From Tight Targeting

McDonalds would be much more efficient, I’m sure, if their menu was the same everywhere in the world.

Yet they offer regional specialties based on market research and testing in different countries and regions around the world. And they don’t automatically apply the results of a test conducted in Duluth, Minnesota to Berlin, Germany. They understand that while humans have certain things in common (among them, apparently, a deep love for fat and sugar), significant differences exist among groups. And ignoring those differences, in advertising, architecture, and product selection, would sub-optimize their profitability.

So if you are sending all your keywords to the same ad group, showing the same ad or ad rotation, and (heaven forbid) sending all your traffic to the same landing page (gasp – possibly even your home page?), you need to stop what you’re doing, hop on a plane, and walk down Schwertnergasse, near the Dom Cathedral. And check out what Ronald McDonald is doing.

Or, you can stay at home and attend my upcoming Traffic Surge telecourse. From online beginner to being able to choose a market and enter it effectively in 8 weeks. Discover how to set up your AdWords campaigns the right way. Avoid paying the Google Lazy Tax.

This is the last time I’m teaching this course live. Don’t miss out – get your online marketing on the right track, and start making the breakthrough online profits you deserve.

Read the reviews from the last class here:

Traffic Surge – course description and reviews.

And in case you’re wondering, no. You can’t get fries with that.

Go to the Original Article: askHowie.com – AdWords Help, Advice and Tools

Why They Hate My Book (and Why You Should Rejoice)

Posted on October 8th, 2009 in the PPC Category

I just read a scathing review of the new edition of Google AdWords For Dummies on amazon. Here’s how it begins:

In case your browser cuts off the end of the sentence, it says, “Only about 1/3 of this book is about google adwords. The other 2/3 is about landing pages & customer followups!”

Now, I don’t want to give the impression that everyone feels this way. My mother doesn’t. Neither do my kids. And neither do most of the 80+ reviewers who have give the two editions an average rating of five stars. But since this reviewer makes a point that, on its surface, seems valid, I thought I’d offer a comment.

Here’s the comment:

“Are you out of your freaking mind?”

There, that feels better.

AdWords and Slot Machines

If you came to me to learn how to beat the house in Vegas and I gave you a lesson in how to put coins into a slot machine and pull the lever, I dare say you’d be disappointed.

Yet the ability to set up and run AdWords campaigns, by itself, is about as useful as popping quarters into 1-armed bandits.

And less profitable.

The Only AdWords Metric That Matters

AdWords is a data junkie’s dream. You can run reports with hundreds of thousands of cells. You can calculate average CPC, average ad position by keyword, and hundreds of other metrics.

Novices often ask me to help them navigate the sea of data, to identify the most important metrics to monitor.

The most important AdWords metric is not cost per click, or click through rate, or even cost per conversion.  Those are important, sure, but only as throughputs. They aren’t where the money’s at.

The whole goal of AdWords is to maximize the difference between what you pay for a customer and what that customer is worth to your bottom line.

Whoever can generate the biggest margin between cost per conversion and value per conversion wins.

And dominates their market.

That contest is not decided at the first sale.

Expect to Break Even on the First Sale

In every mature market, the cost of customer acquisition trends toward break-even. As the web matures, there are fewer “Wild West” opportunities to make a fortune with no serious competition in sight. Fewer “secret keywords” that no other advertiser has thought of.

Since AdWords consists of a keyword auction, the bid prices inevitably rise toward break-even. As long as they can make a penny in profit, your competitors have incentive to keep paying for that traffic.

The Art of Follow Up

AdWords is not won or lost in the AdWords campaign management console, since that console consists of getting new impressions, new leads and new customers.

You win by selling more and more stuff to the same customer over time.  By staying in touch. By building a relationship. By offering consistent value on your site, in your emails, on your blog, in your customer service, and in your product and service delivery.

AdWords For Dummies: A Case Study

AdWords For Dummies retails for $24.95, and you can get it on amazon for under $17. And it includes a $25 gift card that you can spend on a new AdWords account, so you could argue that a basic value proposition of the book is, “Get this book and $8 for free.”

It’s not hard to get people to buy the book, if they have any intention of getting into AdWords.

– Even if they’ve never heard of me.

– Even if they know nothing of my credentials.

– Even if they think “Howie” is a stupid name.

But how many of those book buyers would buy a $497 home study course from me?

Or take a live $999 telecourse on mastering your market in 8 weeks?

Or fly to Durham for a 3-day advanced AdWords workshop for $3995?

Yet lots of book readers eventually find their way to those higher level purchases (yea!).

And every one of them moves from $20 to hundreds and thousands of dollars because of what I do after generating the lead.

So when you read a negative review of Google AdWords For Dummies that complains about the irrelevance of the chapters on landing pages, web strategy, web page testing, and email followup, say a silent prayer that the reviewer is one of your competitors.

Or shout out loud, “Are you out of your freaking mind?” 😉

About the Author (and What He’s Giving Away This Week)

Howie Jacobson, PhD, is the author of Google AdWords For Dummies. He is teaching an 8-part course, AdWords Ball, for online business owners who are making sales via AdWords, but not enough. If you’re not using AdWords Ball methods, you’re guaranteed to be wasting hundreds or thousands of dollars each month on underperforming AdWords campaigns. And that doesn’t include the profits you’re missing out on.

Find out more about AdWords Ball, and the zero-risk guarantee, at http://askhowie.com/adwordsball.

Watch an AdWords Ball introductory web clinic here: http://askhowie.com/adwords-ball-video.

If you aren’t making sales, then AdWords Ball is not for you yet. Instead, check out Traffic Surge, for folks who need more traffic to their sites, or who haven’t found their online market yet. In Traffic Surge, you learn how to use free tools for quick and dirty online research (including the crucial question of whether a market is worth entering in the first place!), and how to apply that research to send qualified traffic to your site.

The first class is available online, at http://askhowie.com/traffic-surge-video. Howie hopes that you find it so valuable, you register for the rest of the series (starts in early October). The sales letter is below the video, for your convenience 😉

Go to the Original Article: askHowie.com – AdWords Help, Advice and Tools

A HOT Hosting Company

Posted on October 8th, 2009 in the PPC Category

Most web sites fail to convey the “big idea” of a company. Instead, they delve into details, processes, features, pseudo-benefits, and all sorts of “supporting cast” rather than have a big star of a concept.

Your job, if you have a web site, is to focus the first-time visitor on the HOT – the Honking Obvious Thing that clearly and instantly signals why they should pay attention to you.

Here’s an example that I’m about to gush over: my web hosting provider, LiquidWeb.com.

First, their home page:

Now, this page can certainly be improved – most notable, the headline “Step Inside” and the blah blah description, “LW is a leading provider or Fully Managed Web Hosting.” I mean, have you ever heard someone describe their business as a “trailing provider”?

The HOT: Heroic Support

What gets my attention is the cartoon superhero with a toll-free number on his shirt. And the tag line “Heroic Support.”

The claim is supported by a Heroic Support button below, touting “24×7×365 access to level 3 engineers within seconds. And by the Excellent Service button, laying out the guarantee of 100% uptime and 30 minute response time.

I immediately get the HOT here: Heroic Support. We will respond to you within 30 minutes, no matter when you contact us. And you can call us toll-free.

Everything about the company orients around Heroic Support. The wholly owned data centers with Liquid Web engineers on-site. The way employees view themselves and how they act.

The HOT in action: Not just about marketing

Heroic Support is what Dan and Chip Heath call a “generative metaphor.” By casting their support staff as superheros, they’re generating a set of guidelines for the staff to follow. In any situation, a support technician or engineer can figure out what to do by asking, “Am I providing Heroic Support?”

So this morning, I screwed up my entire site while trying to create a simple redirect to my Facebook Fan page. askHowie.com went away completely, replaced by a nasty 500 Internal Server Error.

Since it was 5am EDT (I just returned from Germany and I’m still jetlagged), I couldn’t exactly get Steve Goyette on the line and beg him to fix what I’d broken.

So I opened a support ticket at 5:23am. By 5:36am the site was back up, and I had received a detailed description of the problem and how it had been solved:

Here’s a company that walks their talk!

I don’t know anything about the management and internal structure of Liquid Web, but observing from the outside as a thrilled and amazed customer, I see the power of their HOT. Not only to get me to become a customer in the first place. But also to guide their own culture of service, so the words don’t just become an empty marketing slogan. And to make me, their customer, appreciate the value of their service even when nothing goes wrong.

So the next thing I did was sign up for Liquid Web’s affiliate program, and then write this post.

If you aren’t thrilled with the support and responsiveness you get from your web host, and your business will suffer if your site is down for hours at a time, then I heartily recommend you give a shout to Liquid Web.

If you want to send a few affiliate bucks my way, use this link: http://askhowie.com/liquidweb.

And if not: www.liquidweb.com.

Your Homework

Here’s the most important thing you can do for your own business: ask a few acquaintances who aren’t familiar with your site to look at it and find the HOT – the Honking Obvious Thing that explains what you do, how you’re different, and why prospects should care.

Go to the Original Article: askHowie.com – AdWords Help, Advice and Tools

Porcelain Addiction, Burning Mirrors, and Your Online Business

Posted on October 8th, 2009 in the PPC Category

The Race for Porcelain

In 17th century Europe, Porcelain vases, pots, table settings, sculptures and other chatchkes (Chinese for “knick-knacks” 😉 were all the rage.  Monarchs, churchmen and nobles postured for status and power in part by showing off the quality and quantity of bling they could buy, barter, or steal.

And porcelain, a hard, smooth, lustrous, non-staining earthenware product, was near the top of the “Look what I’ve got” heap. Europeans, for all their artistry and technological achievements, had no idea how to make the stuff. Every cup, bowl, and plate had to be imported from the Far East. And Portugal (and later the Dutch East India company) monopolized the trade routes, raising the prices even higher than they otherwise would have been.

Augustus the Strong, ruler of Saxony and a self-proclaimed porcelain addict, once traded 600 mercenary soldiers (“dragoons”) for 151 large vases, known ever after as the Dragoon Vases.

With everyone wanting porcelain and it being so difficult to come by in Saxony, it was only natural that lots of rich and powerful people invested in efforts by artisans, scientists, philosophers, alchemists and spies to discover the secret formula by which it was made.

The first approach, of course, was industrial espionage.  Hundreds of Europeans shlepped to the Far East to try to steal the formula for porcelain.

This failed spectacularly, as no Korean or Chinese potter would reveal their secrets to anyone but a trusted apprentice of 20 years, let alone to pale, greedy foreigners with no sense of personal hygiene.  Heck, it took 600 years for the art to spread from China to Korea – what did they expect?

Hundreds of years of experimentation also failed. It was not even known if the missing piece was an ingredient or a step of the recipe.

The Big Breakthrough – Not What You’d Think

Finally, the big breakthrough came to Saxony, not in the form of a flash of inspiration, but rather a speedier way of testing.

Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus invented a large spherical burning mirror, which, when pointed at the sun, could generate a small area of over 1500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Suddenly, would-be porcelain makers could try out dozens of experiments per day, instead of just one in the labor- and time-intensive kiln. They would use tongs to position the would-be porcelain piece in the center of the focused sunlight for a few minutes, put it to the side, and try another piece.

Within a few years, Tschirnhaus  and a colleague, Johann Friedrich Böttger, had solved the riddle. The missing ingredients included high heat and addition of a reduction agent. As much as anything else, it was the ability to split test quickly and inexpensively that led Tschirnhaus and Böttger to their discovery.

Which brings us to AdWords…

And that’s what I want to talk about today – your ability to achieve breakthroughs via speedy testing.  Most businesses never test anything.   That’s incredible, given that even modest tests reveal huge potential for improvement.  Take this example, for example:

See how the difference of just one word (powerful vs. effective) led to a cost per lead reduction of 35%?

Without testing, my career as an online marketing educator would never have gotten off the ground.

AdWords: Your Personal Giant Burning Mirror

Google AdWords is the ultimate source of traffic for testing.

You can test ad messages in a week or two. If your traffic stream is robust, you can tweak your landing pages and get more leads and sales in under a month.   You can pay for 200 clicks, knowing in advance how much they’re going to cost you.

And using AdWords conversion tracking, Google Analytics and Google Website Optimizer (all zero-cost), you can perform scientifically valid and statistically powerful tests that simply wouldn’t have been possible even 7 years ago.

If you’re using AdWords and not testing for continuous improvement, you’re missing out on the very best feature of the whole program.

Here’s the thing: the money you’re losing by not testing (or not testing correctly) could be the difference between making it or not making it online. And it’s so easy to improve, once you get in the habit of always asking, “Can I do better?”

Increasing profits is often hard work – cutting costs, developing new lead sources, developing new product line and service offerings.

Getting your ads to deliver twice the traffic – or four times, or eight (these numbers are not uncommon) – is relatively easy. Especially if you haven’t tested yet: chances are, a lot of improvements are “low hanging fruit.”

And once you catch the testing bug, via ad testing, your next stop is Website Optimizer, the free Google tool that helps you improve the performance of your web pages.

Talk about highly leveraged activities – if you can double your site conversion rate, you’ve doubled your sales. And more than doubled your profits, since you’re not spending a single additional cent on Google traffic.

No giant burning mirror required…

Go to the Original Article: askHowie.com – AdWords Help, Advice and Tools

How to get more pesto (and more sales from AdWords)

Posted on October 8th, 2009 in the PPC Category

Business is more like gardening than you might suspect. If you garden (or farm), you don’t fall for “get rich quick” schemes. Nobody is trying to sell you a magic seed that sprouts overnight. Sure, there are effective techniques and helpful tools, but you still have to put in the time and effort.

And the more you know and love your soil, the more you’ll be able to grow, and the better it will taste and look.

In this short video, I show you how to prune a basil plant that’s going to seed, and relate it to your AdWords account. To learn specific AdWords pruning techniques for free, go here to view a 60-minute web clinic on the AdWords Ball method.

Happy late summer eating!

Go to the Original Article: askHowie.com – AdWords Help, Advice and Tools

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