• In PPC

    Creating the perfect PPC Ad

    With over 3.5 billion searches every day on Google alone, it’s vitally important for all businesses to have a strong PPC presence.

    Recently, we reached out to PPC guru, Co-Founder of Adalysis, and author of Advanced Google AdWords, Brad Geddes for some tips on how you can craft the perfect PPC ads that attract and convert searchers.

    Researching and planning your ads

    According to Brad, “a lot of thought needs to go into your ad copy.” Remember, this is often the first time many of your prospective customers will have discovered your brand and it’s important to stand out.

    Your ads need to be relevant and highly reflective of the user’s search intent and characteristics of your product or service.

    Brad suggests following a two-step process to ensure your ads are search relevant and stand out from the crowd:

    1. Think about the top benefits of your product or service and write them down.
    2. Look at the ads of your competitors and do a ‘gap analysis’ of what is missing from their ads.
      1. If your top benefits aren’t listed by others – that’s a great place to test first.
      2. If your top benefits are listed by others, think about ways to be more relatable to the customer.

    Depending on the nature of your product or service, it may be possible to differentiate your ads through more specific demographic targeting. This can include ads for different genders, ages, or locations.

    “For instance, if you are a plumbing company that serves an entire metro area,” explains Brad, “instead of using the metro in your ad; go down a level to the city or neighborhood level to connect with searchers at a more personal level.”

    For more advanced users, your CRM can also be used to write ads for your current customers that are different to those for prospective customers.

    With your key benefits and/or relatable messaging defined, it’s important to test. Brad advises that ad groups should have 2-3 ads, or if you have a large account using multi-ad group testing.

    Creating your ad

    An AdWords search ad comprises of four editable sections; headline 1, headline 2 (combined are often referred to as simply the “headline”), description, and display path.

    Perfecting each section is important for crafting an effective ad, and ultimately, one that gets relevant clicks from genuine prospective customers.

    Headlines

    AdWords’ two headlines give a total of 60 characters to catch the eye of searcher and convince them to read further.

    For Brad, the two headlines have very different roles:

    • Headline 1 – This line is what initially draws someone attention to your ad. It should be related to the ad group and might contain the keywords and then some way to show off those words such as the geography, discounts, etc.
    • Headline 2 – Your testing playground. This is where you can really be creative with your gap analysis and benefit statements to see what will draw users to your site.

    “If you are only trying to draw a segment of searchers to your site; such as a B2B accounting firm that only wants businesses to click on the ad; this is also a good place to add qualifiers to your ads. This weeds out those who you can’t help, and focuses on those you can turn into customers.”

    Description lines

    You’ve caught their attention, now it’s time to convince them to click.

    “The description line should be more detailed information about how your company helps a user with their search query,” explained Brad. “If the query is product based, you can focus on the product benefits, shipping, price, selection, return policies, and then finish with a call to action.”

    Brad’s tips for the perfect description:

    • – Stick to talking about one product or service within your description
    • – Don’t try to make too many points, just the key highlights
    • – Keep the description in focus with the rest of the ad so there is an overall message

    Final and display URLs

    “Both the URLs and the paths matter,” said Brad. And again, providing the searcher with relevant information and building trust is vitally important for both what’s displayed, and where the click takes them.

    • Final URL – is where a user goes after clicking on your ad. This should be a page of the site that shows a user relevant information about what they searched.
    • Display path – marketing messages letting the user know the type of page or additional information about the page and site in question.

    “If you think about a site like IBM.com, they have millions of pages,” explained Brad. “So seeing a URL of IBM.com doesn’t tell the user anything. If the user searched for Blade Servers; then the paths could be BladeServer and showing the user that they will see the type of information they are seeking.”

    Don’t set and forget

    “Test, test, test,” emphasized Brad, “testing is an essential component of PPC.

    Don’t only test your individual ads but also complete a gap analysis on a regular basis to make sure your ads stand out from the crowd.

    “You might craft a gorgeous ad that you’re proud of and is different than anything else on the page. But you have no idea which will do best – even though you probably hope it’s the ad you’re proud to have written.  Too many times advertiser’s never test their ads to see which does best.

    “In the end, standing out is being more relevant to the searcher than the other advertisers.  You want to be the answer to their search. By testing ads and thinking about your customer, you can always have highly relevant ads that attract new customers.”

    Better understand the psychology behind your customer’s search

    Join Brad for a 13-minute sample lesson, PPC psychology of searchto take a deep dive into how and why people search, and how you can craft your PPC ads to take advantage. Simply enter your details to immediately begin the obligation-free lesson.

  • In Career development

    The ultimate guide to digital marketing certifications

    It doesn’t matter whether you’re a rookie digital marketer looking to establish your career, a freelancer wanting to prove your abilities to new clients, or a veteran hoping to upskill in a new discipline, it’s important to get officially certified.

    Becoming certified means you have met the requirements of a particular platform or industry body, and have proven your ability and knowledge in a specific area. So get ready to update your LinkedIn and CV, here is our guide to the must-have certificates for all digital marketing professionals.

    Professional bodies

    Like all industries, digital marketing has a number of professional bodies who accredit members based on their competence and experience.

    Online Marketing Certified Professional

    The Online Marketing Certified Professional (OMCP) certifications verify up-to-date knowledge, education, and experience as determined by experts and research into digital marketing roles. OMCP awards two levels of certification; OMCP Certification for expert digital marketers, and the Online Marketing Certified Associate for those new to the industry.

    Both certifications involve exams and proof of experience, with ongoing professional development required to maintain your certification.

    The Digital Marketing Institute

    The Digital Marketing Institute accredits students through a number of courses at the sub-bachelor and post-graduate levels. Their industry approved courses certify graduates within their profession, however, do not require ongoing accreditation.

    The Internet Marketing Association

    The Internet Marketing Association offers a Certified Internet Marketer (CIM) certification program online for students. Students who complete the required coursework and pass their final exam become certified and a member of the IMA. The body also has free and premium membership options, but these do not include any type of certification.

    Product-specific certification

    Ready to show you’re an expert in a particular marketing or advertising platform? Get certified directly with some of the world’s biggest brands.

    Google AdWords Certified Professional

    Through the Google Partner’s Program, Google offers digital marketers the chance to become certified in all disciplines associated with their AdWords platform. Google AdWords certification shows that an individual has demonstrated proficiency in both basic and advanced aspects of AdWords and that Google recognises them as an expert in online advertising.

    To become an AdWords Certified Professional, you must pass two exams; the AdWords Fundamentals exam and one of the following: Search Advertising, Display Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Video Advertising, or Shopping Advertising. You can also become certified in all or more than one AdWord discipline.

    There is no registration cost for Google AdWords Certification Exams, and accreditation lasts for 12 months from the date of passing your exams.

    Facebook Certified Professional

    Facebook’s advertising learning portal, Facebook Blueprint, offers certification in both the buying and planning of Facebook Ads. Blueprint Certifications are designed for individuals with advanced-level competency in the Facebook Ads platform with badges awarded on completion of exams.

    Blueprint also offers free eLearning courses to help prepare you for exams, as well as practice exams to try before you try the real thing. Facebook Certified Professional exams are free to take and requires ongoing testing to remain certified.

    Google Analytics Individual Qualification

    Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ), demonstrates that an individual has an advanced proficiency in the Google Analytics platform. Like the Google AdWords Certifications, the IQ exam is available on the Google Partner portal and consists of multiple-choice questions that must be answered within 90 minutes.

    The IQ exam is free to take, with certification valid for 18 months. Google’s Analytics Academy also offers free online courses to help prepare you for the IQ exam.

    Twitter Advertising Certification

    Developed in partnership with Simplilearn and Twitter, the Twitter Advertising Certification is available through both Murphy College and Simplilearn. The certification course takes students through Twitter Ads best practice and does not require a final exam or ongoing accreditation.

    Tips for getting certified

    With so many courses and certificates available, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. To help cut through all the noise and get the certificates you need, simply follow these steps.

    Find your niche

    Sometimes it’s better to be a master of one specialty than a jack of all trades or badge collector. By focusing and becoming an expert in one discipline or platform you can really differentiate yourself as a specialist and thought leader.

    Don’t just try to pass exams

    Yes, it’s important to pass exams, but it’s also just as important to learn the theory behind the exams. Use your learning to become an expert, not just rote learn concepts and keywords. And as tempting as it can be, don’t cheat your exams by Googling answers, if you don’t know the answer in the exam, chances are you won’t know it when it comes up in your professional life.

    Take a course

    Every certification has associated courses through the certifying body or private providers. To really take a deep dive into the topic, take all the courses you can and really become an expert. Not only will it help you breeze through the exams, you’ll also find nuggets of knowledge you’ll be able to apply in your work.

    Keep learning

    Just because you pass your exam doesn’t mean the learning is over. Many certifications require reaccreditation or demonstration of professional development, so keep an eye out for courses that might interest you, read digital marketing blogs, listen to podcasts, and watch YouTube channels. Once you’re on the cutting edge of the industry, you don’t want to let your knowledge slip.

    See how you can get certified

    The Digital Marketing Certified Associate course gets you certified as an Online Marketing Certified Associate, as well as with Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter!