Posted: August 11th, 2009 | Author: Thomas Attila Lewis | Filed under: AdWords, Google | Tags: AdWords, Google, Local Business Center, Search Results | No Comments »
Google Local Business Center
After July’s excellent turnout we urge you to register now for the September 30th ‘Web Wednesday’ clinic about using Google Local Business Center to get to the top of local search results.
Google Local Business Center is a free campaign product from Google to help make local searches for businesses and services more relevant. The clinic, which will start at 10am, will explain how to register properly as well as how to tie in a Google AdWords campaign. This will be a much less complex topic than AdWords so we should be able to wrap up the clinic by 11:30am.
We will also be able to answer follow-up questions to July’s ‘Web Wednesday’ on Google AdWords. If there are additional topics you would like to see covered in this or a future clinic, please contact us.
This clinic is FREE – please let your friends know and please register now.
Posted: May 12th, 2009 | Author: Tom Lewis | Filed under: AdWords, Google, SEO | Tags: Advertising, AdWords, Dharmesh Shah, entrepreneurship, HubSpot, marketing, OnStartups, SEO | 1 Comment »
I’m a big fan of Dharmesh Shah’s OnStartups blog, and his company HubSpot, I’ve used their capable and elegant service to improve businesses I’ve worked at and consulted for. I’ve had the privilege to see Dharmesh speak on a couple of occasions as well as talk to him personally. While I can appreciate the founder-focused perspective of OnStartups, I was disappointed to read his latest post which had elements that displayed a far too stereotypical technologist slant against advertising, and therefore marketing.
Technologists (with blinders on) have the view that anything that isn’t contributing to the actual production of their product or service is a negative. They tend to look at money spent on anything other than production salary, equipment, and software as money down the drain. They seek to eliminate all that “wasteful” spending. Obviously they are making a product so good, that is should sell itself. Any adjustment to features should result in the same customer base coming back to the cash register to fork over more money because the product, by its very nature, telepathically communicates to all parties who have either the interest or the potential interest, that this is the product they need right now.
Dharmesh states, “I still don’t like advertising. I really don’t. I can see why it’s important in a lot of industries — but I don’t know that software is one of them.” The irony here is that, a. Dharmesh’s company does advertise using Google AdWords among other tools, and b. that Dharmesh’s company, HubSpot, is 100% dependent upon advertising in order to survive. HubSpot’s platform helps businesses by improving their websites using search engine optimization and keyword strategy under the premise that a company should attract potential customers using these inbound and permission marketing techniques rather than “interruption” and attention exploitation of standard marketing and advertising.
The problem is that all of the search engines, with the partial exception of Microsoft’s, are 100% advertising-driven. Without advertising, there would be no search engines, and therefore no HubSpot. Advertising is what changed the world from agrarian societies to what we have today. While it isn’t perfect, no one has figured out anything better – they’ve only proposed refinements. There are plenty of producers, and particularly software developers, who think that their products need no advertising because they (Dharmesh again) “solv(e) a user’s problem”. The user has a need, the software addresses the need, a sale is made.
Dharmesh, it’s time to read some Paco Underhill. People don’t buy based on “need” – they buy based on “want”. There is also the false notion in B2B sales that you are working to sell to “companies”, “organizations”, and “business entitities” (my quotes). Sorry, those are all manned by people who still buy based on “want” and other emotional reasons. Advertising is a method to communicate to people reasons, attitudes, positioning, and availability in order that they should want to buy your products. Some of this is non-quantifiable (at this time). We don’t have enough data and understanding to make this coldly scientific enough for some technologists to grasp. I tend to think it’s part of the fun of being a human being.
If I may loosely quote Peter Drucker, “successful entrepreneurship is the combination of innovation and marketing” – advertising is a tool that should not be denied the marketer. Inbound marketing is extremely effective but it can’t do everything. Even noted Google AdWord wizard, Perry Marshall, was forced to admit last year in a podcast that it can’t all be done with SEO and AdWords – those are just two of the legs of the stool.
Posted: March 6th, 2009 | Author: Thomas Attila Lewis | Filed under: AdWords, Google, Google Analytics, analytics | Tags: Advertising, AdWords, Customer Centric, Entrepreneur, Google, Google Analytics, Lead Generation, Match Type, STCC | 1 Comment »
It seems like a million years ago but back in December I did a presentation about web analytics for members of a local technology collaborative. One of the members of the audience was Diane Sabato, a professor in the business school at Springfield Technical Community College. Diane is also very involved with STCC’s Entrepreneurial Institute and has tailored one of her classes so that groups of students team up to help real businesses establish online lead generation using Google AdWords. This was the first time I went onto the old Springfield Armory part of the campus – what great history and what wonderful architecture, I can’t wait to go back and get a tour.
Knowing from my presentation that, as VP of Marketing, I manage several Google AdWord campaigns for Atalasoft, Diane asked me to speak to her class to give them an overview of the platform so this last Tuesday night I dropped by and ended up spending the evening with her class discussing mainly AdWords but also digressing into web analytics, and even Twitter.
I had prepared an outline (below) that was to cover about an hour of Google AdWords basics, but questions from her class led to us creating an actual campaign from scratch as well as answering business-specific lead generation strategies for their clients. The majority of her students asked questions, some of them asked several. I think the informal tone went well and I saw only a couple heads nodding by the end of the 3 hours that we spent together, and I don’t blame them. I can’t thank Diane and her class enough for their time, their patience, and their incredibly focused questions. [If any of the class reads this post, please feel free to email me with follow-up questions: tomdog "AT" gmail.com]
- What are AdWords? AdWords are for Lead Generation – they aren’t really a part of the Traditional Advertising Mix. Your ads will only be presented to those who are looking for the specific keywords you are targeting. The size and format of the ads prevent any real branding.
- Are there other adwords options? Why go with Google AdWords? Google gets 58.9% of all search queries worldwide, they are distantly followed by Yahoo! at 22% and then MSN at 9%. Take care of the majority of search first – everybody is pressed for time, if you have the bandwidth to take care of these other lead generation venues, their priority is secondary.
- How can you connect AdWords to your business? You will be compiling lists of words that should be core to business. These are terms that shold be integral to the business and its customers.
- We’ve heard the term: Customer Centric. The premise of AdWords is as customer-centric as it gets because it is the customer who is in control, it is the customer who will be typing the words, as they perceive them, about their needs, as they perceive them.
- AdWords force you to think about the customer. Who are these potential customers? Where are they geographically/socially/domographically? How do these prospects talk about themselves, their needs, and the products/services they are interested in? Where do they hang out online? You will have to create customer profiles and customer roles.
- How to get started with Google AdWords:
Don’t be intimidated
You are in control
There is nothing that you can do that is “wrong”
You won’t spend any of your budget until you are ready to
The sooner you open up the interface and start a “fake” campaign, the better
- Start a New Campaign
- Placements vs. Keywords (Content vs. Search) = Do not do placements as a preliminary project
- Start With Keywords
- Choose via language (English I am assuming)
- Choose via location: you will be in better shape if you can do some geo-targetting of your campaign(s)
-Create an Ad:
Headline (25 char)
Description Line 1 (35 char)
Description Line 2 (35 char)
Display URL (35 char)
Destination URL (1024 char)
- Keyword Input (you will need to work closely with your clients to get their keyword list, this is their homework):
Put in your list and pay attention to the “suggested keywords” that appear in the right column
Add the appropriate “suggested keywords”
Pay attention to and review Match Types:
keyword = broad match
“keyword” = match exact phrase
[keyword] = match exact term only
-keyword = don’t match this term
- Hopefully the URL your ad links to will have some kind of action or goal on it: Product/Service Page, Newsletter Sign Up Page – you and your customer/client will need to find some way to measure the success of your ads [As you get more sophisticated, web analytics with conversion measurement should be employed]
- Don’t be intimidated. Just get started. Read as much as you can about the basics. Ask questions.
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