Top 5 PPC Management Sales Scams

ppc management sales scams

Managing PPC campaigns that are budget-friendly and high-converting can be a challenging endeavor. This is especially true for business and individuals who don’t have a PPC advertising background or a dedicated marketing team. For many small businesses looking to take advantage of the benefits that PPC campaigns can bring, opting to work with a PPC management firm is an effective way to harness the power of PPC advertising without having to take the reigns for themselves.

However, choosing the wrong PPC management company won’t just leave you at square one — it can actually harm your business’ reputation and cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in wasted advertising spend. Want to make sure your PPC manager is the real deal? Here are the top five PPC management sales scams to watch out for to make sure that your campaigns are in the hands of experts, not scammers.

1.They Guarantee You #1 Placement

By now you probably know that the first ad position generally has a much higher CTR than subsequent positions, so that top spot can seem like a great target for your campaigns. Some PPC managers will promise their clients nothing but #1 ad placement. However, a company who claims they’ll keep your ads on top is likely trying to scam you. While getting top ad placement can seem like a great idea, sometimes it can cost more than it’s worth to maintain. A good PPC manager will encourage clients to adopt a solid PPC strategy that leverages lower positions (as well as #1!) to garner solid results — without costing a fortune.

Additionally, great PPC managers know that CTR isn’t the only metric that matters to your campaigns. Look for PPC companies who will work with you to set realistic goals that will make a positive impact on your business, including conversion rate and cost per conversion. When a PPC manager understands your business goals, they’ll be able to craft campaigns that get you there.

2. They Don’t Keep You in the Loop

If you ask a PPC manager exactly what they’re doing to deliver the best possible results for your campaigns, they should give you a concrete (and detailed) answer. They will be able to explain why they’re allocating your ad spend the way they are, and how they developed your campaign strategy. And they should never keep your campaign status and performance a secret. PPC “experts” who keep their clients in the dark about how their campaigns are performing often aren’t experts at all.

Another important quality to look for in a good PPC campaign manager is a collaborative attitude. A good company will ask you for input on the keywords ideas. You’re the expert in your own industry, and PPC experts know that insider knowledge is critical for successful campaigns. If your PPC manager doesn’t seem interested in both keeping you informed and keeping you involved in your own PPC campaigns, you probably aren’t going to get great results from them.

3.    They Don’t Talk about PPC Campaign Goals and ROI

A well-planned PPC campaign should have concrete goals from the start. But just as scammers often promise too-good-to-be-true ad placement, they also tend to avoid setting realistic campaign goals because they know they won’t be able to deliver. A good PPC company will always ask you about your advertising goals. If a PPC manager is chomping at the bit to get your campaigns up and running without discussing your short and long-term goals, they might not have your best interests in mind.

Another telltale sign of a PPC scammer is a failure to focus on budget. PPC experts know that advertising budgets can vary greatly from one client to the next. They also know that a successful PPC campaign doesn’t have to be an outrageously expensive one. PPC companies should be willing to work with their clients to set realistic budgeting goals to ensure that their campaigns yield the best ROI possible, without breaking the bank. PPC managers who don’t ask you about your budget up front might be trying to scam you.

4.   They Don’t Give Suggestions to Improve Landing Pages

Experts know that PPC campaigns don’t exist in a vacuum of bids and keywords; successful PPC campaigns depend on considering every step in a prospective customer’s journey towards conversion. A good PPC company will always suggest some improvements to your campaigns beyond your keyword strategy. They’ll look at your landing pages and your ad copy, and give suggestions on how to improve those assets. PPC experts often have a wealth of advertising experience to draw from for every aspect of a digital ad campaign. If your PPC company is not open to advising you on how to improve your prospects’ experience from start to finish, they might not be the experts they claim to be.

PPC managers should be able to see the big picture of your business and your advertising goals to help you make the best decisions possible. Don’t let PPC scammers convince you that fiddling with your bidding strategy and suggesting a few fresh keywords is enough to revamp your PPC campaigns. A good PPC manager will bring a holistic, strategic mentality to your campaigns to help give your advertising strategy an all-over facelift.

5.  They Don’t Share Past Successes with You

Scammers lie about who their clients are. They will proudly name big companies like Nokia, Nike, Disney and an array of Fortune 500 companies, but if you ask them to put you in touch with satisfied customers, they’ll always come up dry. Good PPC managers are proud of the work they do, and maintain a degree of honesty and professionalism so that even former clients should be happy to provide positive feedback on their work.

A PPC manager might not be able to hand out every client’s contact information to anyone who requests it, but they should be able to offer concrete case studies and customer stories that illustrate how they approach building and maintaining PPC campaigns. It shouldn’t be challenging for a high-quality PPC manager to provide proof of successful campaigns they’ve worked on in the past.

Getting the Real PPC Deal with Webrageous

At Webrageous, we strive to provide the best possible PPC campaign results to all our clients, whether they’re new to PPC or more experienced advertisers looking to take their campaigns to the next level. We work with our clients to create customized PPC campaigns that help them achieve their unique business goals more effectively. Contact Webrageous today for a PPC consultation and we’ll walk you through our PPC management process from end to end.

10 Common Misconceptions About PPC

PPC misconceptions

There’s no question that PPC advertising is a lucrative space right now; the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported that search ads accounted for over $9 billion in revenue in the first half of 2014– that’s almost 40% of total Internet-based revenue. Unfortunately, many would-be advertisers hold misconceptions that don’t just prevent them from reaching their PPC potential, but can actually cause them to lose money on their PPC campaigns. Before you dive headfirst into PPC advertising, here are 10 common misconceptions about PPC that need to be cleared up.

1.      Anyone Can Run and Manage a PPC Campaign Easily

Getting started with PPC is deceptively simple — setting up an AdWords account and getting your campaigns up and running can seem like it’s just a few clicks away, and bids start at just a few cents per click. But just because it’s easy to get started doesn’t mean that it’s easy to manage PPC campaigns. Adwords and other PPC platforms have a huge array of features, functionality and settings that can make or break your campaigns if they’re not properly calibrated, and launching into PPC when you don’t know what you’re doing can leave you with wasted time, lost budget and a lot of frustration. PPC is about more than just launching campaigns and using tools — great results require strategic thinking and the ability to think about PPC as one channel within your advertising strategy as a whole.

2.      If You Ads Aren’t in the First Position, They’re Worthless

It’s true that CTR drops significantly for ads in positions below number one. But you don’t have to break your budget to push your ads to the top of results every single time. In many competitive industries, especially the legal and insurance industries, highly sought-after keywords carry CPCs of over $100. In fact, in these cases, advertisers can actually maximize their ROI by aiming for the top three ad positions, rather than focusing solely on #1. Adjusting your ad position strategy to maximize profit can be a much wiser move than simply racing to the top of the page.

3.   High Bids = High Ranks

While high bids are one way to increase the visibility of your ads, simply increasing your bids and your budget isn’t a scalable way to improve your PPC results. Your bid isn’t the only factor Adwords uses to determine how and where your ads will be served. Your Quality Score, which is how Google determines how relevant your ads are to the keywords to which they’re matched, plays a significant role in determining the position of ads for any given search. In many cases, a high Quality Score can give your ads a bump in position more effectively than raising your bids will do. By focusing on increasing your Quality Score, you can help keep your ad spend manageable while enjoying higher positions for your ads.

4.      PPC Takes Too Long to Produce Results

Getting a PPC campaign from zero to full-speed doesn’t happen overnight, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll have to wait weeks or months to see any results for your efforts. While realizing the full potential ROI of your campaigns usually takes at least a few months, you’ll still benefit from increased visibility and brand awareness soon after you turn on your first campaign.

5.      You Don’t Need PPC if You Have Good Organic Rankings

SEO and PPC are two distinct ways of driving online traffic, and it can be tempting to think that good SEO is enough. However, their respective costs and benefits mean that you shouldn’t neglect one for the other. Google’s SEO algorithms change frequently, which can mean that a site with great organic rankings one day can plummet the next. If your business depends on web traffic to thrive, relying solely on SEO ranking is an inconsistent, unreliable way to ensure traffic. Additionally, having good organic rankings makes your site a great candidate for PPC, as SEO contributes to your Quality Score and can help you get better ad rankings for your ad spend.

6.      PPC is Too Expensive

While enterprise-level corporations can funnel millions into their PPC campaigns each month, that doesn’t mean that PPC is prohibitively expensive for smaller companies. The average CPC for keywords on Adwords is between $1 to $2, and many keywords cost only a few cents per click. Since Adwords allows advertisers to control their daily budget for various campaigns and keywords on a granular level, PPC advertisers enjoy a great deal of flexibility when it comes how much, when and where they spend their advertising dollar.

7.      Never Use Broad Match Keywords

Broad match keywords get a bad reputation — they tend to be expensive, and because they’re so broad they carry the risk that the traffic they’ll bring won’t be a great fit for your business’ needs. But savvy advertisers know that using broad match keywords can be a powerful tool in your advertising arsenal. Analyzing data from broad match keywords can help you identify more specific keywords that might be a better fit for your campaigns, and they can often bring good-quality traffic as well. We often recommend using broad match modifier, which lets you get some of the benefits of casting a wide PPC net, with a little more focus.

8.    Bid Only on Long Tail Keywords

As an extension of refusing to use broad match keywords, some novice PPC advertisers maintain that long tail keywords are the only way to go. Because they’re so pinpointed and often have very low CPCs, long tail keywords can have great CTRs and great conversion rates for a low cost. But by the same turn, if you rely solely on long tail keywords, you’ll miss out on a lot of high-quality traffic that can come from broader keyword strategies. Long tail keywords can be a cost-effective means to capture great leads, but to build PPC campaigns that are scalable and sustainable, you’ll need to diversify your keyword strategy to include a variety of keyword matching techniques.

9.      The More Keywords You Target, the More Traffic You’ll Get

More keywords means more matches, and more traffic — right? It’s important to keep in mind the fact that quality of keywords is far more important than quantity of keywords. While you can use up to 20,000 targeting items (including keywords) in a given ad group, Google reports that most advertisers find that having between five and 20 keywords per ad group is the most manageable and effective range. Using too many keywords, or using keywords that don’t fit well with your business, will only drive up your advertising costs without giving you high-quality leads.

10.      PPC is Click Fraud and Brings Irrelevant Traffic

Click fraud, which involves people or automated scripts clicking ads to drive up advertisers’ costs, is a common fear among advertisers. Fortunately, Google takes fraudulent and malicious clicking behaviors seriously, and has a series of safeguards, from automated anti-fraud algorithms to dedicated investigation teams, in place to prevent advertisers from becoming victims of click fraud. When executed correctly, PPC campaigns are one of the most transparent forms of advertising; advertisers can review and analyze their conversion rate and the ROI of their campaigns at a much more granular level than with offline advertising channels.

Building Smarter PPC Campaigns with Webrageous

There’s a wealth of advice about PPC practices on the web, but wading through the sea of information and finding the knowledge you need to run better campaigns can be daunting. By working with Webrageous to develop and manage your PPC campaigns, you’ll gain access to years of hands-on PPC management experience and knowledge. Whether you’re just getting started with your first campaign or are looking to revitalize existing ones, Webrageous can help you optimize your PPC campaigns and maximize your ROI. Contact us today for a free PPC consultation.

 

How to Track Call Conversions from Websites with AdWords

call conversions

For many businesses, PPC campaigns are designed to drive not just web traffic, but generate calls. Seventy percent of mobile browsers have called a business directly from an ad. When done correctly, taking advantage of this high-converting market segment can have a huge impact on the success of your PPC campaigns.

However, capturing information about these callers can be tricky. Many organizations advertise their business’ phone number in multiple locations. Perhaps the same number that you use for PPC ads also appears on your business cards, on your web page, or in print ads. If you were to simply put your business’ phone number into your ads, your ability to track conversions from your PPC campaigns would be somewhat limited. You wouldn’t be able to differentiate between callers who convert from your PPC ads and those who convert other sources.

Ensuring that you can track your calls as conversions is an important part of managing any campaign for which phone calls are a potential conversion action. Fortunately, Google has call conversions tracking tools at the ready to help you track the performance of your ads with call extensions and call-only campaigns

How Call Conversion Tracking Works

The mechanism behind call conversions tracking is fairly simple. Advertisers place a snippet of code in their ads, which inserts a Google forwarding number into the ad. This unique number ensures that whether the person viewing the ad clicks on the ad from their mobile device, or copies the number onto their phone, advertisers will be able to trace it back to a specific ad location. While setting up and using these forwarding numbers is free, you’ll be charged your normal CPC rate when someone clicks or calls the number.

This can be an especially powerful tool for advertisers running multiple campaigns. Since you can create multiple forwarding numbers with Google, you’ll be able to easily differentiate between calls coming from different sources, whether those are discrete landing pages or different campaigns. When used in conjunction with target CPA and target ROI flexible bid strategies, you can track the efficacy of various keywords in driving call conversions.

What You Need to Know Before You Start

Before you dive into call conversions tracking, there are a few things you’ll need to know about the limitations of this powerful AdWords feature. While these caveats shouldn’t discourage you from tracking call conversions, they are important to take into consideration from the start.

Call Forwarding Won’t Work Everywhere

One major caveat is that that Google does not support call forwarding numbers in all countries. For most businesses in the United States, Canada and Europe this isn’t necessarily problematic. However, if your business is located outside of North America or Europe, or if you frequently use PPC ads to drive international traffic, your ability to leverage Google forwarding numbers may be limited. Want to learn more? You can find a complete list of supported countries here.

Forwarding Numbers Expire

The unique forwarding numbers created by Google for ad campaigns will expire after 90 days. As a result, any instance where that number has been used must be changed or updated after the numbers expire (fortunately, this can be done dynamically on web pages). Google does not recommend using your call forwarding numbers outside of PPC campaign materials to ensure that they perform effectively.

No Support for No Caller ID

Additionally, Google does not currently support caller ID, so advertisers aren’t able to track or record who calls are coming from automatically. However, AdWords does record the area code of incoming calls, so advertisers won’t be left entirely in the dark as to where their calls are coming from. Another significantly missing feature is call recording, which must be supplemented by a third party provider.

Tips on Optimizing Call Conversions Tracking Performance

Format Phone Numbers Correctly

Putting your forwarding number on a landing page or website? Make sure the number is in HTML text form — rather than as part of a static image — so it can be changed dynamically. Since your forwarding numbers will expire after 90 days, it’s important to format your web pages so that the phone numbers you list can be changed dynamically. Additionally, make sure that your number is formatted exactly the same way across the page if it appears in multiple locations.

Want a deeper look at how you can optimize your page for call conversions tracking? SearchEngineLand has an excellent article on formatting pages that drive call conversions, which is a good starting point for any advertiser just getting into this space.

Test, Test, Test!

Above all else key to getting the most out of your call conversions tracking lies in ensuring that it’s actually working. Make sure that you test out your call forwarding number — both by clicking through from a mobile browser and by typing it into your phone’s keypad. Since call conversions often require tracking prospects across multiple devices or formats, testing the flow of their interaction is a critical step in ensuring that your call-only and call extension-based campaigns perform correctly.

Better AdWords Insights in Webrageous

Whether you’re tracking calls or measuring CTR, leveraging analytics information from AdWords helps advertisers run data-driven PPC campaigns. By relying on data to make decisions about how you should adjust and maintain your ad campaigns, you’ll be able to stretch your ad spend further and gain better results from your ads.

The PPC campaign managers at Webrageous have a wealth of knowledge understanding and interpreting AdWords data and applying it to successful campaigns. We can share our expertise to boost your PPC performance and help you get the most out of your digital ads. Contact Webrageous today for more information about how we can optimize your advertising campaigns and improve your conversion rate.

 

Yahoo Gemini Isn’t a PPC Gamechanger. Here’s Why.

yahoo-gemini

In February 2014, Yahoo launched Gemini, a marketplace for mobile and native advertising on the Yahoo network. But while Yahoo has been a big name in tech for years, since its launch two years ago Gemini hasn’t exactly been making waves in the digital advertising industry. Here’s why Yahoo Gemini hasn’t been a game changer to PPC space, and what you should know if you’re considering launching ad campaigns via Gemini.

Yahoo Gemini: What is It?

Gemini is Yahoo’s mobile and search advertising marketplace. It allows advertisers to put brand-sponsored content in front of viewers in a way that’s optimized for mobile devices. Gemini’s focus is on native mobile advertising. Gemini display ads in a format that is more or less seamless with the look and feel of the site the ads appear on. As a result, Gemini isn’t quite a direct competitor with AdWords. Yahoo Gemini doesn’t replicate all of AdWords’ functionality. Instead, it realizes Yahoo’s new mobile-first strategy.

With around 550 million monthly users, Yahoo is an often overlooked advertising platform for reaching prospective customers. And since Yahoo’s advertising partnership with Microsoft (via Bing Ads) has been faltering in the past few years, it would seem that this segment of online traffic is wide open for advertisers. So why hasn’t Yahoo Gemini changed the digital advertising game?

Gemini is Not Integrated with Other Yahoo Advertising Products

While Tumblr and Flurry are somewhat integrated with Gemini, not all of Yahoo’s advertising offerings are accessible through Gemini.  As a result, Gemini doesn’t provide a strong, centralized portal for accessing Yahoo’s overall user base in a variety of formats. This decentralization can pose a problem for smaller businesses with more limited resources for digital ad management, since it requires them to manage ads on the Yahoo network from multiple places. For business owners and smaller companies who don’t have dedicated PPC managers, dedicating extra time to managing multiple advertising channels — especially less sure-fire ones like Gemini — can be a dealbreaker.

Yahoo Has Less Traffic Than Google

At the end of 2014, Google had a whopping 67% of all US web traffic, while Yahoo garnered only about 10%. Lower overall traffic means that Yahoo simply has a smaller audience to offer advertisers. Oftentimes, PPC advertising ends up being a numbers game; serve your ads to a large enough relevant audience, and you’re sure to get a few bites. Unfortunately for Yahoo, their lower traffic translates to a less lucrative advertising space. However, for those advertisers who do end up running ad campaigns on Gemini, the less-competitive space can lead to lower CPCs as well.

Want to Give Gemini a Try Anyway?

Still want to give Yahoo Gemini a shot? We recommend copying existing ad campaign details from an existing AdWords campaign, instead of building them out from scratch in Gemini. You’ll also want to adjust your bids for Gemini, as the platform tends to have a lower average CPC than AdWords. Ultimately, giving Gemini a test drive won’t do any harm, but if you’re working with a tight budget, the biggest risk will be in taking away critical resources from AdWords campaigns that are likely to perform much better.

Diversify Your PPC Campaigns with Webrageous

When all else is said and done, experimenting with different platforms such as Gemini and Bing Ads can be a good way to find untapped audiences and diversify your advertising strategy. But since there’s no centralized ad management platform or service to help you manage all your digital ads from one place, adding a new ad service like Gemini to the mix can be a time-consuming endeavor without a guaranteed payoff. For many companies, the potential for the small bump in business that might be gained from managing Gemini campaigns is likely not worth the effort, especially if they’re managing their own PPC campaigns.

Webrageous has the dedicated resources and the experience needed to run campaigns across multiple advertising platforms. We can run PPC campaigns more efficiently than any individual business could on their own. As a result, we can manage campaigns across multiple outlets for you to ensure that you’re getting the optimal results from your PPC campaigns. With Webrageous, you can explore and experiment with innovative and potentially lucrative PPC channels without feeling like you’re wasting your time. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you optimize your PPC campaigns now.

Conversion Optimizer: Weighing the Pros and Cons

pros-and-cons-conversion-optimizer

 

With all the data you can track with Google AdWords, it can be easy to get sidetracked by relatively short-term metrics, such as CPC and CTR. But for most businesses, the ultimate goal of PPC campaigns is leveraging that data to give your ads a high conversion rate. Google’s Conversion Optimizer feature is designed to help advertisers hone in on the metrics that matter in order to optimize the conversion rates of their campaigns, and it can be a very effective tool for improving the performance of your PPC campaigns.

But the Conversion Optimizer isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution that will make all your lead flow woes disappear overnight. Before you put all your faith in this powerful feature, it’s important to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of Conversion Optimizer. Here are some of the pros and cons of using Conversion Optimizer to help you decide what role it might play in your PPC campaigns.

Pros of Conversion Optimizer

Focus on Getting New Business

Google AdWords gives advertisers the option to track two kinds of conversions: conversions, which are simply the total number of conversions for the campaign, and converted clicks, which are unique clicks that lead to a conversion within a 30-day period. Being able to track and optimize for the latter can be a very effective campaign optimization technique. By using the Conversion Optimizer feature to focus on increasing “converted clicks,” advertisers can increase the flow of new prospects and leads coming into their funnel. This is especially important for companies where a steady flow of new business is important, such as in the legal industry.

Optimize Budget for Conversions

For advertisers with a limited budget, Conversion Optimizer can be an effective tool for getting the most conversions for your ad spend. The tool allows you to set either a maximum or target CPA (cost per acquisition), ensuring that your lead flow goals and your budget are well-aligned. Compared to manual bid management techniques, Conversion Optimizer can yield much more cost-effective results for your campaigns, without the extensive time commitment to making manual bid adjustments.

“Smart Management” Without the Expertise

The upside of Conversion Optimizer can be boiled down to a simple benefit: it helps advertisers with limited experience or knowledge of PPC improve their campaigns more effectively. Poorly run campaigns can waste advertising dollars and other resources. Conversion Optimizer provides a relatively easy way to capture more leads and waste less of your budget. Additionally, Conversion Optimizer is a free tool, making it a much more budget-friendly alternative to bid management and PPC management services. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that Conversion Optimizer completely replaces the knowledge of a true PPC expert. There’s no substitute for experience.

Cons of Conversion Optimizer

Less Control Over Campaigns

By its nature, Conversion Optimizer gives you less granular control over your bidding strategy. When you use the tool, you’ll only be able to make bids at the ad group level. Because the feature optimizes your bids automatically, you won’t be able to make keyword level adjustments to your bidding strategy. While this isn’t always a problem, it can spell disaster if your ad groups aren’t well organized.

You’ll also have less transparency into why decisions are being made. Conversion Optimizer makes decisions based on a complex algorithm and doesn’t provide an explanation for why it makes changes when it does. Ultimately, using Conversion Optimizer requires advertisers to have complete trust in Google’s management of their campaigns.  

Your Conversion Rate Must Already Be High

Another downside of Conversion Optimizer is that your campaigns already need to be high-performing to use your existing campaigns as a baseline for performance, so you must already be receiving conversions from your campaign for Conversion Optimizer to work. Google recommends at least 15 conversions in the last 30 days to give Conversion Optimizer enough data to work effectively.

Unfortunately, this means that for campaigns with very low existing conversion rates, Conversion Optimizer may not be a viable option until you’ve already invested time and resources in manually improving your conversion rate. Conversion Optimizer won’t magically fix a bad AdWords campaign. If you do plan to use it, try to use it to improve campaigns that are already doing fairly well, but could do better with a little extra push.

Automated Bid Management Won’t Give Innovative Results

One quirk of automated management tools is that they tend to give relatively predictable results. If you use Conversion Optimizer to run your campaigns, AdWords will focus on keywords that seem like a sure thing to make sure that you hit your conversion goals.  While this can be a good thing — taking advantage of “low-hanging fruit” is always a solid strategy — it probably won’t give you any interesting insights into how to manage your campaigns. Once again, it’s important to remember that while Conversion Optimizer is a powerful tool, but when it comes to creative problem solving, it can’t beat a human bid manager.

Optimizing Ad Results with Webrageous

Conversion Optimizer can be a highly effective tool for advertisers who are looking to get better results from lackluster campaigns. But the bottom line is that the performance of any automated PPC tool will only be as good as the work you put into it. In many cases, a combination of sophisticated tools like Conversion Optimizer and a solid foundation of PPC knowledge will be the best way to ensure that you get the best possible results from your campaigns.

The nuances of how AdWords functions, and best practices for running high-converting PPC campaigns, change constantly. Busy advertisers often don’t have time to run their campaigns themselves often turn to automation tools to help them manage their campaigns more effectively. Webrageous’ team of PPC experts can guide your digital advertising strategy and help you transform your campaigns into high-converting lead sources. Contact us today to learn how Webrageous can boost your PPC conversions and help you develop a more competitive bidding strategy.

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