Google Ads Simplified – Introducing AdWords Express

Google AdWords can be a very powerful tool in the marketing arsenal of a small business.

AdWords is now time-tested. Its proven methods have been in use since October 2000. These methods are utilized by more than a million advertisers. It’s one of three online advertising tools, along with programmatic and Facebook, that every business should consider.

By point of comparison, at its peak in 2000, total newspaper advertising revenues were $67 billion. Last year that dropped to $16.4 billion as Google’s revenues — almost entirely from AdWords — hit $89 billion. A blog post for another day, but Facebook’s revenues last year hit $27.6 billion, passing the entire newspaper industry.

Needless to say, we’ve noticed and it’s a strategy we implement for our clients, often with the help of Infogroup, an Elite Premier Partner. If anyone ever tells you they’re a Google partner, that just means they manage at least $10,000 in Adwords spending every 3 months. Infogroup manages quite a bit more than that and they have good team overseeing it. For budgets under $500/month, we often recommend a simple AdWords Express account.

When used correctly, Google AdWords can really round out a small business marketing strategy. Interestingly enough, while AdWords have become a fundamental strategy for typical “yellow page” advertisers – think service categories like home improvement or legal – over 70% of small and mid-sized business (SMBs) report not having spent much on AdWords, according to Borrell’s annual study.

There’s still opportunity out there.

AdWords Introduced

Google serves answers (mostly in the form of links to websites, but that’s changing) to the questions it’s asked. It’s no coincidence those ads on your Google search results match what you’re looking for. While all those ads together represent less than 10% of clicks, on average, it’s the only way to appear on page 1 quickly. The organic results, the other 90%+ of the clicks on a search page, takes a lot of time and hard work.

For example, if a user types “auto shop” into a Google search, ads appear for nearby auto shops that use AdWords advertising. The obvious benefit is that the ad messages are targeted to the search, delivering pertinent details to users who actually look for them.

There is an intent established on the part of the searcher that isn’t there in most forms of advertising. The traditional media most impacted by this are the role phone books and yellow pages used to dominate.

The AdWords interface has expanded to include display advertising and video ads, but we’re going to focus on the text-based ads seen in a typical search.

How AdWords Works

Google sells its advertising in a very fluid, very fast marketplace, allowing advertisers to “bid” on their advertising based on clicks, which go where the advertiser directs them (almost always your website and preferably an optimized landing page). It’s possible to have Google prominently display your message (impressions) at no cost until an Internet user clicks on the ad.

But bids are only one part (albeit the most important) in the equation. Google considers bids based on another metric – Quality Score. Based on how the ad performs (does it get clicks, do Internet users not bounce immediately after clicking), Google will score each ad’s relevance and click-through rate, with some consideration for the historical performance of your account.

All of these factors together determine which ads are served and in what order.

Getting started with AdWords Express

Small businesses commonly start with Google AdWords Express. This version will offer a suggested range of 3 bid limits and their estimated clicks, making it quick and easy to set up. You can enter your own amounts as well.

  1. Sign up to get started.
  2. Provide information on your business.
  3. Create your ad with the help of Google’s tutorial.
  4. Set up a billing profile and your Google AdWords campaign begins.

A full tutorial on how to set up Google AdWords Express is available from HubSpot.

Google AdWords isn’t complicated, nor is it terribly expensive. Yet kit’s one method of advertising that will complement the marketing campaign of any small business.

If you’d like to explore Google AdWords more and have questions, we can certainly help you.

Google Local Guide Drowns, other GMB Updates, Google CTRs by Ranking Position and more

Google Level 5 Local Guide Dies of Caffeine Poisoning While Reviewing Thousands of Starbucks Last Week

GOOGLE SPAM HALL OF SHAME: We’re not sure he died, but he did leave thousands of reviews for Starbucks the first week in June, 2 weeks after reviewing Chick-fil-A’s from California to New York. He and a few other fake review personas are covering franchises everywhere (and reposting old TripAdvisor reviews). [Blumenthals]

Why Did Google Remove Some of My Reviews?

Joy Hawkins tries to explain that algrorithmic filter that misses a lot of spam and can catch real reviews. [Whitespark]

The Ultimate Blueprint for Creating a Super Persuasive Testimonial

Use images, include specifics, make traceable and don’t be afraid to go long. [Quicksprout]

Google Click-Through Rates in 2017 by Ranking Position

The top spot is taking even more click-throughs, but even the last spot on the first page gets twice the clicks of the best Adwords. [Ignite Visibility]

The Best [BLEEP]in’ Local Link Questionnaire

Where do you donate time and money, what do you care about and how would all your employees answer those two questions? [Local Visibility System]

Exceptional Customer Care, and How It Changes Everything

Creating the brand experience titans like Apple and Tesla use to create brand evangelists. [Convince and Convert]

The Key to Programmatic Advertising – Internet Cookies

Cookies Aren’t the Monster

Cookies are delicious, but Internet cookies can cause concern for computer users who don’t necessarily understand what they are or what they do. It’s a common misconception that Internet cookies can cause viruses (they don’t) or can place malware on computers (they can’t).

They are, however, one of the key pieces that make cookie-based programmatic advertising possible, so it’s worth knowing a little bit more about them.

What are internet (web browser) cookies?

Cookies (named after a Unix program called Fortune Cookie, according to Indiana University) are small files placed on computers after a user visits a website. Typically, the cookie remembers information that makes it easier to access the website quicker in subsequent visits.

When you visit a vendor online and the website remembers the last item you almost bought and keeps it in your virtual shopping cart, that’s cookies at work. When a website remembers your viewing preferences from previous visits, that’s also cookies. In this respect, cookies can be helpful, allowing websites to load faster and remember information from previous visits for a personalized experience.

Tracking cookies allow information to be accessed by advertisers, potentially across multiple sites. The advertisers embed the cookies in an ad message on one website, so when the user clicks on another ad from the same advertiser on another website, the cookie recognizes the user and may store this information within the advertiser’s database.

Multiple cookies compiled together can give advertisers valuable insight into the preferences of Internet users. This is how most programmatic advertising works. Data Management Platforms (DMPs) aggregate the information from these cookies to help model and target by behavior, content, and interest, to name a few.

The Federal Trade Commission classifies cookies by two categories:

  • Single-session cookies: These are used to provide a faster website experience and are erased once the browser is closed.
  • Multi-session cookies: These may or may not collect data and must be manually deleted from a computer’s hard drive.

Cookies are not viruses or malware

Cookies do not place viruses or malware on computers – they don’t have the capability. Nor can cookies pull sensitive information out of the files of your computer – they can only remember information you supply on a website.

Cookies cannot “hide” from a computer user, particularly when the user sets his or her browser preferences to not allow cookies from websites. Seeing and deleting cookies is relatively simple, depending upon the Internet browser used (here are detailed directions based on browser).

Fingerprinting – The New Cookie?

Cookies continue to alarm Internet users who may not fully understand the technology. Fingerprinting is the upcoming technology that may replace (or augment) the work of cookies to help advertisers better understand online consumers. Fingerprinting allows a website to “study” a user’s computer, gaining information including software installed or even the size of the screen, says Forbes. This technology persists even if users delete their cookies.

The technology that allows advertisers to better understand their potential clients is ever-evolving. Advertisers must be careful to use this technology in a way that does not leave users feeling as though their privacy has been invaded.

Google Insight Accuracy, the State of Inbound, Shifting Future of SEO and more

How Accurate is Google My Business Insights?

A lot better since the new dashboard in 2014, when Blumenthal started sharing with his clients. Today, he finds it quite good. [Blumenthals]

7 Unannounced Updates to Google My Business in 2017

From permanently closed being removed in maps and Google Plus classic disappearing, to GMB insights running 18 months and snack pack ads. [Search Engine Land]

How Long Can a Google My Business Name Be?

100 characters according to Blumenthals’ relentless testing in his Google Spam Hall of Fame research. [Blumenthals]

Google Testing Highlights in GMB Knowledge Panels

This is so new (and still being tested) it didn’t make the unannounced update list. [Search Engine Land]

What You Need to Know About Duplicate GMB Listings

With Mapmaker dead, here’s some best practices for dealing with duplicate GMB pages. [Moz]

Why Moz Local Doesn’t Work for SABs

Moz’s Miriam posts that since Google’s Places API doesn’t support services area businesses (SABs), Moz Local won’t be accurate. [Local Search Forum]

State of Inbound 2017

Hubspot’s annual research report details key trends in the customer’s increasing control of the business relationship thanks to that pesky world wide web. [Hubspot]

4 Tips to Prepare You for the Future of Search & SEO

Psychology and technology should shape strategy, site structure around topics, beyond Google and flexible measurement. [Search Engine Journal]

5 Massive SEO and Content Shifts You Need to Master Right Now

The convergence of SEO and content, mobile first, hyperlocal, text to voice and machine learning. [Search Engine Land]

June 2017 Content Marketing Newsletter

June 2017

From the Edge of the Great Plains

Dear PioneerMedia Content Marketers:

In this month’s Content Marketing Newsletter, Publisher John Heaston and I propose a smorgasbord of seven online posts we think will increase your effectiveness as a Content Marketer.

The links we hope you will peruse this month include:

  • 6 Challenges Every Small Business Faces & How to Fix Them
  • Use Social Metrics, SEO and Questions for Content to Drive Inbound Traffic
  • SEO Checklist for Content Marketers: 21 Common Mistakes to Avoid
  • 37+ Tips and Tools for Picture-Perfect Visual Content
  • 10 Content Curation Tools Every Marketer Needs
  • 3 Fundamental Ways to Write More Persuasive Content
  • 6 Secrets of Effective Digital Storytelling

Does anyone else note how often numbers are used in headlines these days? Five of these seven start with numbers. Over-saturation inevitably will have an impact. How much longer do you think such numbering will dominate our headers? Anyone willing to kick $1 into a predictive pool?

Give us your reasons and we’ll share the results with your colleagues. And, who knows, you may add a few bucks to your hard-earned CM wages. Sometime. Soon. When numbers lose their appeal. Yeah, right.

If there’s a topic you want addressed in future editions of this newsletter, let us know. We’ll share the best material we find.

All our best as summer returns.

Thomas Gunning

Content Marketing Editor


6 Challenges Every Small Business Faces & How to Fix Them

In the first few years of business, small companies face many challenges, says Hubspot’s Lindsay Kolowich. And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20 percent fail by the end of their first year. By the end of their fifth year, half go under. By the tenth, that number rises to 80%. But many common business challenges are fixable. These can range from difficulty finding customers and building an email list to hiring the right people and balancing quality and growth. Here are six challenges every small business will face, along with some tactical advice about how to fix them.

Use Social Metrics, SEO & Questions for Content to Drive Inbound Traffic

How do you create great content that captures organic search and social traffic alike? Content marketing delivers results when it addresses what potential customers search for and share on social media. Content marketing delivers great results when it addresses what a large number of customers search for that your competitors don’t cover. So how do you learn exactly what customers look for in search and social and identify potential competitive gaps? Columnist Matthew Barby explains his method for identifying content themes and topics.

SEO Checklist for Content Marketers: 21 Common Mistakes to Avoid

With so much online content being published and promoted, competition for attention has never been more fierce, says Caitlin Burgess of the Top Rank Marketing blog. Also, consumers are increasingly self-directed in their quest for answers. So quality and strategic SEO has never been more important. But SEO has gone through a tremendous evolution since its early days of keyword-focused content. With more than 2 trillion searches on Google each year, today’s SEO must find a balance between user-centric content and an ability to persuade search engine crawlers that your content is supreme.

37+ Tips and Tools for Picture-Perfect Visual Content

Visuals are essential to create content that helps your client’s businesses stand out and draw in an audience, says Jodi Harris, director of editorial content & curation at the Content Marketing Institute. Not only do images make text-centric content more readable, digestible and memorable, they can also craft compelling messages that speak volumes without a single word. Here is a collection of best-practice tips from some of the industry’s most creative and design-minded content experts. They explain how photos, videos and graphics can do the talking for your clients.

10 Content Curation Tools Every Marketer Needs

“Curation” is one of those words that’s always conveyed coolness, says Patrick Armitage, director of marketing at BlogMutt. Take, for example, curating art for a gallery, or curating music for a soundtrack. Cool, right? Content curation is just as fun – and just as important. Content curation finds material relevant to your audience from many sources and shares it strategically through your communication channels. And while very cool, it can be tricky. There are many, many social networks, news feeds, emails and infographics full of such content that demand your time and attention.

3 Fundamental Ways to Write More Persuasive Content

In the 4th century BC, Aristotle’s Rhetoric theorized three fundamental elements of persuasion: ethos, logos and pathos. The first depends on the speaker’s personal character (ethos). The second depends on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind (pathos). The third is based on the proof provided by the words themselves (logos). According to Aristotle, a speaker must have ethos, pathos and logos to effectively persuade their audience. This comparable to how top brands reach their customers, says Jacob Warwick, founder of ThinkWarwick Communications, a strategic marketing company.

6 Secrets of Effective Digital Storytelling

Humans are programmed to look for a story in everything we see. Each word, picture or phrase, no matter how simple, is imbued with deeper meaning, says Peter Minnium, president of Ipsos Connect. This hardwiring helps us understand, contextualize and retain details about the world we face. For that reason alone, good stories can also function as potent strategic business tools — the ways and means to communicate marketing ideas, change perceptions, forge emotional connections and alter behaviors. But in recent years, “storytelling” has become overused and overprescribed by Content Marketers.