5 Things You Don’t Know About Google AdWords But Should

Google’s AdWords platform is a great way to advertise online. It allows you to pay to show up on the first page of Google for search terms that your targeted audience might use to look for products or services online. You can choose which geographical area you want your ads to show up in and you choose how much or how little (there is no minimum) you would like to spend. It’s a great way to generate leads and to drive sales and your campaigns are highly measurable (especially if you link to Google Analytics).

At Out-Smarts we’ve been running AdWords campaigns for clients for over a decade. Over the years we’ve learned a few things that are key to PPC success. Here are 5 Things You Don’t Know About Google AdWords But Should to make the most of your AdWords investment.

The Landing Page is Key To AdWords Success

AdWords does a great job of driving traffic to your website but that’s only half the story. For your Ads to convert, the page people land on your website has to:

  • Have a relevant headline that relates to the words you used in your ads and the keywords in your AdWords campaigns
  • It should have short, sweet, original text that tells visitors about the benefits of your product or service (from their perspective, not yours!) and how it solves their problem or makes their lives/jobs better.
  • It should have a clear call to action telling visitors what to do next i.e. order now, request a free quote

The content on your page is key – if the content doesn’t line up with the context of your ads your Quality Score will be impacted and your ads are less likely to show up. You can even risk having your account being suspended, your ads won’t run.

Be particularly careful with landing pages that have a before and after image or that link to testimonials – in fact you are probably best to avoid using these.

 

Take Advantage of Free Google AdWords

Did you know that you can enjoy Google AdWords free of charge? This option is only available to non-profit organisations. It allows these groups to access initially $10,000 U5 Things You Don’t Know About Google AdWords But ShouldS n free advertising and if you outgrow that you can sign up for the Grantspro Program which raises this to $40,000 USD per month. To take advantage of this you have to register and meet certain criteria. It’s available in most countries around the world and you must have a valid charity status. To begin this process sign up for Google for Non Profits. This means registering with TechSoup (Canada) or in the US.

 

There are Two Flavors of AdWords.

There’s full blown Google Adwords and Google Express. They are both really similar but Adwords Express is designed to make it easy for you to set up your ads. Managing your ads easy is because you don’t have to – it’s all automated.

If you don’t have a website then Google Adwords Express is the way to go as it allows you to advertise your Google+ page on Google and Google Maps. It might also be the right solution if you have a small budget, want to spread a wide and targeted net and you don’t have a clue about (or don’t want to learn how) to manage your bids. But beware, with Express Google decides the keywords your ads show up for and you have no insight into how much bids cost.

Compare AdWords and AdWords Express

 

Ad Extensions will Help your Ads Convert

AdWords give you capabilities beyond the basic Extended Text Ads and you should use them where appropriate as they help increase your Click Through rate to make your ads way more effective.

Ad extensions add extra information to your ads. This is information your business or offering. Such as:

 

Sitelink Extensions – shows links to specific pages on your site below the ad

Callout Extensions – gives more detailed info about your business as part of your ad

Structured Snippet Extensions – describe features of a specific product in your add

Call Extensions – add phone numbers to your ads, when people click they initiate a call to your company (particularly good if you have a towing company or similar!)

Message Extensions – similar to call extensions, in this case when people click it initiates a text message

Location Extensions – shows location and address information in your ads

Affiliate Extensions – shows the retail chains where people can buy your products in your ads (UK and US only)

Price Extensions  – shows prices for different products or services

App Extentions – links to mobile apps

Review Extensions – showcase rave reviews of your product in your ads

 

Spend Time In Analytics to Improve Your AdWords Success

Google Analytics is key to AdWords success. We find that we spend almost as much time in Analytics measuring Ad performance as we do in AdWords. It is really important to link your AdWords and Analytics account right after you set up your ads but before you launch your campaigns. Next, head over to your Analytics Admin Panel and set up your goals. Your goals will reflect what it is you want people to do on the landing page once they have clicked through on your ad. These can include:

  • Destination URLs (i.e. thank you for your order),
  • Duration goals (when people spend a certain amount of time on your site).
  • Events – When an event on your site is triggered i.e. someone watches a video or clicks to share your content on social media
  • Pages Per Session – When a visitor visits a specified number of pages

Once these are set up you can then determine if your AdWords traffic is converting once it reaches your site. You will also be able to see which of your Campaigns, AdGroups and Keywords are converting as well as understanding the actual search queries people are using that result in click throughs.

Google AdWords is one of the best ways to drive targeted traffic to your website. It offers a robust platform with lots of options to help you hone your campaigns. Optimizing your landing page for conversions, taking advantage of Google Grants, using Analytics and adding ad extensions are just of few of the tactics you can use to make the most of your pay per click campaigns.

Out-Smarts provides AdWords set up and maintenance services. If you are considering your pay per click options we would love to hear from you.

Related articles:

Google Analytics Set Up

Reasons to Use Google Analytics

 

 

Mastering Social Media to Grow Your Small Business at Small Business BC

Join Mhairi at Small Business BC or from the comfort of your office and learn about the basics of social media as we share our tips and tactics for success.

Seminar Date

Thursday,  June 15th 24th, 2017 – 1:00pm to 4.30pm

Mastering Social Media to Grow Your Small Business

Just because you know what social media is, does not mean that you necessarily understand how to use it to grow and develop your business. This workshop focuses on understanding social media, what is it and how it’s connecting people.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how/if social media should be an important part of your marketing strategy.
  • Understand what opportunities are available for you to leverage social media for business growth and prospecting.

This seminar is hosted at Small Business BC in Vancouver and delivered to other locations via live webinar. All webinar participants will also receive access to a recording for seven days after the live session.

Register to attend at:

SMALL BUSINESS BC

BY WEBINAR – YOUR HOME OR OFFICE

How Does Facebook Pixel Work – Getting Set Up

Advertising on Facebook is becoming more and more sophisticated to the point that you now have many different options to help you build your audience, get followers attention and drive traffic to your website.

If your goal from advertising on Facebook is to drive website traffic and conversions, then installing and taking advantage of Facebook Pixel is a must.

What is Facebook Pixel

The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you install on your website. It allows you to more effectively measure the performance of your ad campaigns and it helps you determine exactly who sees your ads.

The features and benefits of Facebook Pixel include:

  • Ability to track customers across devices
  • More effective targeting
  • Create custom audiences for retargeting
  • Uncover niche segments that are similar to your current ones
  • Dynamic remarketing of ads – people who visit your site will see your ads on Facebook
  • Audience insights

Getting started with Facebook Pixel

To install Facebook Pixel, go to the link below to create your Facebook Pixel.

https://www.facebook.com/ads/manager/pixel/facebook_pixel

Facebook Pixel Set Up

There are 2 types of code you have to install on your site to complete this process.

  • The first is the pixel base code that goes on all of your pages.
  • The second is the event code which you place on certain pages that you want to track specifically.

Creating Your Facebook Pixel

Facebook is going to step you through a process to set up your pixel and to get the codes for your site.

Facebook Pixel SetUp

Installing Facebook Base Pixel on Your Website

The next step is to choose which method you want to use to install the Pixel on your site:

1. Using a tag manager
2. Copy and paste the code

In order for your Pixel to work, you must copy and paste the code into your website. This cookie allows your site to send information back to Facebook and measures visits and where people go on your site.

We prefer to copy and paste the code into the website rather than using a tag manager because that way you have more control over things that can go wrong but if you are not familiar with the code of your site you might want to go with the first option. There are also several WordPress plugins that facilitate this.

Facebook Pixel Code

Facebook generates a handy dandy Facebook Pixel ID and instructions to send to your webmaster. The code has to go on every page of your site for it to work properly. The best way to do this is to install it in your header file somewhere between the <header> and </header> and before the <body> tag.

Facebook Pixel Set Up

Pixel Events Code

The Facebook Pixel events code tracks specific actions on your pages. The first thing you need to think about is your website’s call to action – what is it that you want people to do on your site? There are 3 options in the setup process.
  • Basic – lets you track events and optimize for conversions based on people who take action on your site.
  • Recommended – includes all of the above along with basic parameters providing additional data and measurement parameters.
  • Advanced – adds an extra layer to include product level granularity (i.e product type, style).
Here are the standard Facebook Pixel options:
  • View content
  • Search
  • Add to basket
  • Add to wishlist
  • Initiate checkout
  • Add payment info
    Make purchase
  • Lead
  • Complete registration
Choose the most appropriate of these depending on your goals for website traffic, conversions and what it is you want to track.
Facebook Pixel Events

Once these pieces of code have been installed on your site you will get a Facebook notification.

Facebook Pixel Notification

You can check to see if your Pixel is working by going to your Facebook Ads Manager. There you will notice a new Pixel tab.


Click on it to see your Pixel Fires (total amount of pixel activity in the date range).

Facebook Pixel Chart

 

To troubleshoot or validate your Pixel set up, there’s a useful Chrome add-on called Facebook Pixel Helper.

Facebook Pixel - Helper

Facebook Pixel Next Steps

Now that you’re all set up with Pixel, it’s time to create audiences and track conversions.

Create Audience

This allows you to target your Facebook ads to audiences of people who have visited your website and lets you remarket to them.

From your Facebook Ads Manager click on Pixel then on the ‘Create Audience’ button. Audience options include:Facebook Pixel - Audience

• Anyone who visits your site
• People who visit specific pages
• People who visit specific pages but not others
• People who have visited in a certain amount of time
• Or, you can create your own custom combo.

Decide which option best fits your needs, name your audience and that’s it. You are ready to create your first remarketing ad on Facebook but first, you have to wait till your custom audience is big enough.

Create Conversion

From your Facebook Ads Manager, click on Pixel then again on the ‘Create Conversion’ button.

This time you have 2 options:

  1. Track conversions with standard events – use this if you simply want to track and optimize conversions and build your audience.
  2. Track custom conversions – use this if you can’t use standard events on your site or if you want to split conversions on your site.

Facebook Pixel Conversions

Related articles and resources on Facebook Pixel:

Learn about Facebook Ads

Facebook Pixel Implementation Guide

 

 

Mastering Social Media to Grow Your Small Business at Small Business BC

Join Mhairi at Small Business BC or from the comfort of your office and learn about the basics of social media as we share our tips and tactics for success.

Seminar Date

Friday,  February 3rd, 2017 – 1:00pm to 4.30pm

Mastering Social Media to Grow Your Small Business

Just because you know what social media is, does not mean that you necessarily understand how to use it to grow and develop your business. This workshop focuses on understanding social media, what is it and how it’s connecting people.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how/if social media should be an important part of your marketing strategy.
  • Understand what opportunities are available for you to leverage social media for business growth and prospecting.

This seminar is hosted at Small Business BC in Vancouver and delivered to other locations via live webinar. All webinar participants will also receive access to a recording for seven days after the live session.

Register to attend at:

SMALL BUSINESS BC

BY WEBINAR – YOUR HOME OR OFFICE

How to Advertise on Facebook – Updated

Okay, so you’ve developed a presence on Facebook for your business and want to start using Facebook Ads, but where do you start? How do you advertise on Facebook? When you start delving into Facebook’s advert guides, it can all feel a bit confusing, but don’t fret! We are here to help guide you through the process. Since our last post about how to advertise on Facebook, their Adverts are still a very strong tool, but now with more options. Follow these tips and you will be up and be advertising on Facebook in no time.

Facebook Reach / Audience

Before we begin, let’s take a look at Facebook’s stats, which are quite impressive. Back in April of 2012, Facebook bought Instagram and as a result, it has opened up your reach to a wider audience. This means you can link your business’ Instagram page to your Facebook Advert account and your ad will automatically show up on both platforms. Together Facebook and Instagram have almost 2 billion users visiting their sites each month. Even with competitors like Twitter, LinkedIn and Snapchat, Facebook is still number one when it comes to the number of users and potential consumers.

Do You Have a Facebook Business Page?

Before you start, make sure you have a Facebook Business Page as you cannot create ads via your personal Facebook page. While there are a number of ways to access Facebook ads, we recommend signing up for “Business Manager” and creating an “Adverts Manager” account to design and manage your ads. One of the benefits of doing it this way is that it allows businesses to give access to multiple people working together on an advert campaign and to easily see who is working on what. You can even assign your employees specific role-based access to adverts in order to control what they can see on your account. Once you’ve signed up for an Adverts Manager account it will walk you through each step.

Determine Your Marketing Objective

Every campaign starts with an objective so determine what yours is. Not sure? Facebook helps you determine your marketing objective by defining each type of objective they offer to help guide you to the outcome you want for your campaign. When you are setting up your ad campaign, you will see a list of all the possible objectives (see image below). You can click on each objective for its definition to help you decide which one is best for you and your business goals.

For more detailed information, read Facebook’s “Advertising Objectives” article in their help section.

Some of these options offer what Facebook calls a “split test” which is also known as A/B Testing. It allows you to create two adverts to test and compare which one does better. Speaking of testing, it’s always a good idea to test two adverts at the same time. They should only have one to two different variables such as different images. Run them for 1-2 days and see which one does better.

Define Your Audience & Advert Placements

After you have identified your objective, the next step is to identify your target audience. Facebook makes it easy and steps you through the process. This is where you will spend most of your time defining whom it is you want to reach with your ads.

Facebook Audiences

You choose your audience based on demographics, their behaviours, interests, and/or their contact information. There is a handy-dandy Audience definition (graph) to the right-hand side of the audience page (see the image below for an example). Use it to gauge how well you’ve defined your target audience. It will tell you the difference between how many people you are actually reaching versus how many people you could be reaching. To reach more of your targeted audience, increase your bids and budget.

Facebook Audience SelectionYou can also choose where your adverts will be placed or you can let Facebook automatically select this for you. We recommend that you select “Automatic Placements” when you first start out. The available placements are:

  • Facebook feeds (mobile and desktop)
  • Facebook right-hand column
  • Instagram
  • Audience Network

Know Your Ad Budget

It’s important to know your budget before you start creating your advert campaign. Facebook has an ad for every budget making it affordable for everyone. It’s also important to know that there are two different types of budgets: Daily Budgets and Lifetime Budgets.

A Daily Budget is what you’re willing to pay for an ad per day. What you spend on the first and last days are prorated depending on the run time for those days. Meaning what time did the ad start on day one and what time did it end on the last day. Those two times may be different which is why the cost is prorated. The default minimum cost per day is still $1.00 for Daily Budgets. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll be charged $1.00 every day your campaign runs. For example, one day it might be $1.50 and another day $0.50 to maintain an average daily budget of $1.00. You can increase your daily budget to improve your ad’s exposure and reach. Remember, Facebook will always let you know the maximum amount you’ll spend during your campaign, so you don’t have to worry about going over budget.

A Lifetime Budget is what you’re willing to pay over the duration (lifetime) of an ad. Facebook tries to apply your budget evenly over the length of time the ad runs. The default minimum cost for Lifetime Budgets is $30.00, and like the Daily Budget, you can increase it to any amount you want which will improve your ad’s exposure and reach. Whether your ad runs for a week or a month, the cost will be at what you set it.

If you are just starting out, using the default Daily Budget option of $1.00 or even increasing it to $5.00 is more than enough to test the waters and see what works and what doesn’t. You can always change your budget once you’ve figured out which ad campaigns have worked the best for you.

Schedule Your Ad

Don’t forget to choose a schedule. There are two options:

  1. Run my advert set continuously starting today.
  2. Set a start and end date.

It’s up to you which option you choose, but if you’re someone who is a tad forgetful, then choose a specific time range. You can always stop the ad whenever you want. Remember the length of time your ad runs, also affects your budget. The longer it runs, the higher the cost. We recommend that you run an ad for no more than 3 weeks as Facebook ads tend to get stale by that point. You can always replace it with a new ad campaign with fresh images and text.

If you’re wondering how Facebook determines the cost of their ads, well it’s a bit complex and it doesn’t help that Facebook is constantly adjusting their formula. The exact cost associated with your advert being shown to someone is determined in Facebook’s Advert Auction. To learn more about it, read “Understanding how bidding and our ads auction work.”

Choose a Facebook Advert Format

Facebook adverts offer more format options than ever before. There are five to choose from: Carousel, single image, single video, slideshow, or Canvas. While most of these formats are self-explanatory, Carousel and Canvas are not.

Carousel lets you show up to 10 images and/or videos in a single ad. When people view your ad, they can scroll through the carousel cards. One of the benefits of Carousel is that it lets businesses tell a story through carousel cards or to showcase one long image that is divided between the carousel cards.

Canvas is Facebook’s newest format and it allows you to combine both images and video. You can tell a more in-depth story about your products and/or services. It is customizable and there is no one way to create a Canvas ad. If you choose to design a Canvas ad, it’s best to plan in advance what type of experience you want to create for the viewer and to have all your media materials ready in advance.

Facebook Advert Formats

Your ad will appear on desktop, mobile news feed, feature phone, and Instagram, so it’s important to follow Facebook’s guidelines when designing your ad. You want to ensure it looks good everywhere it appears whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram or your mobile phone. Listed below are the recommended design guidelines to ensure your ad displays the way you want it to:

  • Recommended image size: 1,200 x 628 pixels
  • Image ratio: 1.9:1
  • Text: 90 characters
  • Headline: 25 characters
  • Link description: 30 characters
  • Your images should have minimal amounts of text. Facebook adverts that contain images with little to no text tend to cost less and have better delivery than adverts with image text. So, what count’s as text in your advert image? Logos, watermarks, and numbers.

For a comprehensive list of design guidelines for each marketing objective, read Facebook’s “Adverts Guide.”

It’s easy to use your own images. Just remember to size them properly beforehand otherwise, they won’t upload or they will be cropped. Don’t have any of your own photos? You can use the free stock images provided by Shutterstock via Facebook.

There are three areas on your advert to add text: Text, Headline, and Link Description. You don’t have to use all of them. What text you include is up to you, but it’s always a good idea to have a call to action. You can even use Facebook’s “Call to Action” button which offers a number of options such as contact us, learn more, download, signup, and etc.

You now have the option to add a Facebook Pixel to your ad campaigns. The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you install on your website. It allows you to more effectively measure the performance of your ad campaigns and it helps you determine exactly who sees your ads. Learn more about it in our blog post, “How do Facebook Pixels Work – Getting Set Up.”

While designing your ad, there is an advert preview pane to the right that updates every time you make a change. There is also a drop down menu that shows you what your ad looks like on other platforms or you can use the arrow buttons to scroll through. You can experiment with your ad’s format, images, videos and text until you are satisfied with the results. You can make your advert as fancy or simple as you like.

Tracking The Results of Your Facebook Ads

Okay, so you’ve created your ad, hit the “Place Your Order” button and it has been reviewed and accepted by Facebook. What’s next? Track and measure the performance of your advert campaign using Facebook’s adverts analytics tools. Information is presented in easy and simple visual reports. Your report includes topics such as reach, actions taken, details on the audience that you reached and more. Reports are also tailored based on which marketing objective you chose. Use these analytic tools to determine if your campaign was a success and met your objectives and goals. The data can also inform your future campaigns.

Are you ready to get started? Need help? Just let us know. Facebook ad creation and management is just one of the many services we provide.

About the writer: Gloria Botelho is a practicum student from the Digital & Mobile Marketing program at Simon Fraser University. Gloria lives in East Van and is obsessed with cats, flowers, street art and all things Portuguese. You can follow her on Twitter @glorbot and on Instagram @gloria_boria.

Related Articles: How to Advertise on Facebook

Related Articles: Facebook Ads – Don’t Get Dinged