Optimize Your PPC Campaigns With These Tips

With the right approach, pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns are one of the most effective channels for digital marketing. In fact, the largest PPC platform right now, Google Ads, is so popular with marketers that it rakes in more than $100 billion each year. What’s more, returns are so strong that 78% of marketers increased their Google Ads budgets in 2019.

Despite the strong returns on Google Ads, few brands take full advantage of its tools and capabilities. Rather than eye-popping ROIs, their campaigns generate middling returns. This is usually a case of poor optimization. If you skimp on important investments (like keyword research and split-testing) or skip over powerful features (like ad extensions and RLSAs), your campaigns will suffer.

But if you optimize your PPC campaigns using the 7 tips below, you’ll see much stronger returns from Google Ads.

7 Tips for Better PPC Campaigns

1. Keyword Research

Keywords are the foundation of any successful Google Ads campaign. If you target the right keywords, Google will serve your ads to the right users at the right times. That means higher click-through and conversion rates, stronger Quality Scores, and lower Costs per Click.

Unfortunately, many brands fail to invest the kind of time and effort required for effective keyword research. This typically results in a list of broad, generic keywords, which tend to be more expensive, more competitive, and less conversion-friendly.

2. Negative Keywords

One of the best ways to target a broader range of keywords is to use Google Ads’ broad match or phrase match feature. However, these features can result in mismatches. For example, if one of your keywords is “men’s jeans,” broad match could serve your ad to someone searching for “men’s khakis.” That’s not very helpful if you only sell jeans.

To avoid theses mismatches, you can use negative keywords. Google will not serve your ad to searchers whose queries contain these keywords. So if you’re only selling jeans, you can add “khakis” as a negative keyword. This way, your ad will never appear in searches for “khakis.”

3. Location Targeting

If you operate a hair salon in Pittsburgh, you don’t want to serve ads to users searching for “hair salon” from a device in Houston, Salt Lake City, or Portland. In fact, you probably don’t want to serve ads to anyone who’s more than a few miles from your business.

With location targeting, you can narrowly target searchers within a certain radius or a defined geographic area. This way, your local business can serve ads exclusively to local consumers. You can even create different campaigns for different geographic settings.

4. Remarketing Audiences

If you’re not already using remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA), you’re missing out on one of Google Ads most effective features. RLSAs allow you to target visitors who’ve previously visited your site. These users are already more likely to click on your ads and convert. Plus, you’ll be able to tailor a set of ads to this group.

Once you’ve started using RLSAs, you can also take advantage of Google Ads’ similar audiences feature. This feature automatically finds users with similar characteristics and search behaviors to the users on your RLSA lists. This gives you an entirely new group of users to target with similarly strong conversion rates.

5. Ad Extensions

Google Ads aren’t nearly as visible as other ad formats, relying largely on compelling headlines and copy. To make your ads more visible and more compelling, we recommend using ad extensions. Ad extensions allow you to include additional information, which can make your ads more compelling to users. At the same time, they increase the visibility of your ads, giving you a new way to grab users’ attention.

Some of the most popular and effective ad extensions include:

  • Call Extensions. Allow mobile users to call your business by pressing a button.
  • Callout Extensions. Add short blurbs to your ad, like “free delivery.”
  • Location Extensions. Include business information for your local business.
  • Message Extensions. Allow mobile users to send text messages to your business.
  • Sitelink Extensions. Add links to specific pages on your website.

6. Split-Testing

Split-testing has been a cornerstone of paid search campaigns from the outset. Yet many brands only perform limited A/B testing on their ads. After testing an initial set of ads at the start of a campaign, they fall into a groove. Rather than continually testing and refining ads, they allow them to stagnate.

Today, this kind of approach simply isn’t feasible. Consumer behaviors are evolving at a breakneck pace, and other advertisers are evolving just as quickly. If you’re not continually testing and refining your ads, they’ll fossilize before your eyes.

7. Conversion Tracking

Advertisers are charged for PPC ads on a click by click basis. What’s more, Google determines the cost of each click based on a Quality Score, which is determined by each ad’s click-through rate (CTR). This has made CTR the leading metric for measuring PPC ads and campaigns.

But if you’re measuring PPC campaigns by CTR alone, you’re missing the big picture. The real measure of a campaign’s success is in its conversions.

In Google Ads, you can solve this problem by adding conversion tracking to your campaigns. Conversion tracking uses HTML codes to track which users convert after clicking on PPC ads. It can be integrated with Google Analytics to track conversions through your website, and it allows you to measure important data like cost per conversion, conversion rate, and value per conversion.

Make sure you’re asking your digital marketing partner about these PPC tactics to ensure you’re getting most out of your campaigns. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get real results from your Pay Per Click marketing.

Generating Franchise Leads with Digital Marketing

When you’re developing a franchise brand, your survival depends on your ability to generate leads. Your brand can’t grow without qualified franchisees — even if you’ve created a strong franchise offering. To succeed, you need an equally strong system for generating franchise leads.

Digital marketing will play a central role in this system. To attract, nurture, and convert the right franchise leads, you’ll need a comprehensive and multi-channel strategy, one that covers multiple digital touchpoints.

Let’s take a closer look at how to make this happen.

Why Digital for Franchise Lead Generation?

At this point, almost every major franchisor depends on digital marketing for leads. This change is reflective of a broader, global trend toward digital marketing. But in the world of franchising, the shift toward digital marketing is especially noteworthy.

Here are five of the biggest reasons why this is the case:

  • Digital marketing gives you access to the widest possible pool of franchise leads, across the widest possible geographic area.
  • Programmatic, dynamic, and retargeted digital ads provide a cost-effective way to target your most qualified leads.
  • Franchisees conduct extensive self-directed research before purchasing a franchise. The majority of this research is conducted online.
  • Digital analytics offer powerful, proven methods for tracking, measuring, and fine-tuning online lead generation campaigns.
  • A multi-touchpoint digital marketing strategy will anticipate questions, concerns, and needs, creating a near-frictionless sales funnel.

Digital Marketing Strategies for Franchise Leads

A franchise location is a major purchasing decision. Given the weight of this decision, the purchase journey for franchise leads is an exceptionally long process.

As a franchisor, you need to stay with your leads at every step of this process. To do so, you’ll need to cover a wide range of digital touchpoints. What’s more, you’ll need a comprehensive overall strategy for lead generation. This strategy will need to connect from touchpoint to touchpoint, creating a coordinated journey for your leads.

Here’s a look at how a range of digital marketing channels can help you generate franchise leads.

  • Website Design. Before purchasing a franchise business, most entrepreneurs go through an extensive, self-directed research process. This process typically involves several hours spent reviewing franchisor websites. In light of this, your website could be the most important weapon in your lead generation arsenal. The perfect website will be attractive, fast, and intuitive, and it will have resources for every stage (or nearly every stage) of your sales funnel.
  • SEO. When creating your brand’s website, you’ll want to invest in search engine optimized content. SEO is a particularly cost-effective strategy for franchise lead generation. Search volumes for industry-specific franchise keywords are relatively low, so there’s less competition for these keywords. At the same time, those search volumes include a significant share of qualified buyers.
  • PPC Advertising. As with SEO, paid advertising is another great way to target high-quality leads. Through keyword research, you can identify which search terms are most closely associated with the different stages of the sales funnel. You can then tailor your ads to mirror the purchase journey of your prospects, keeping friction to an absolute minimum.
  • Programmatic. Programmatic advertising can help you target leads with extraordinary precision. Programmatic ads target users based on their search behavior, browsing history, location, and other factors. This way, you can micro-target your highest-quality prospects. Even better, you can reconnect with leads at later stages of your funnel, providing content tailored to their needs and preferences.
  • Social Media. In the world of franchising, social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are the most powerful lead generation tools available. No other social networks compare in terms of quantity or quality of leads. Take the time to polish your personal and corporate profiles, target high-quality prospects with ads, connect with interested prospects via direct message, and qualify leads with paid ads that drive prospects to your website.

Each of these channels can be powerful tools for franchise lead generation. But that’s only true if they support and reinforce one another. To generate, cultivate, and convert high-quality leads, you’ll need to create a seamless journey: from point A to B to C.

To learn more about how Qiigo can help you achieve your Franchise Development goals through digital marketing, fill out the form below to  connect with one of our digital experts.

What You Should Know About Local SEO vs. Organic SEO

Understanding the difference between Local SEO vs. Organic SEO is important for national brands, local businesses, and pretty much anyone else that wants to market themselves online. But unless you’re already familiar with SEO, it can be tough to understand this distinction and why it’s so important.

 

At Qiigo, our work with national brands and local businesses has given us a unique understanding of both organic and local search. Below, we’ll examine the difference between these two services, along with how they can be used to support one another.

 

Local SEO: Putting Your Business on the Map

When you enter a search query into Google, one of the first things its algorithm checks is whether or not the search has “local intent.” This is another way of saying that someone’s looking for search results that are relevant for their local area.

 

An easy example of this is when a person adds “near me” to the end of a search query. If you’re based in Atlanta and you search for “hairdresser near me,” you expect Google to send you information about hairdressers in Atlanta. If someone in Seattle (or Denver, or Boston) makes the same search, they will also expect search results tailored to their local area.

 

Google has a number of ways to determine whether or not a search has local intent. A few quick examples include:

  • The query contains a city name, a state name, or a phrase like “near me.”
  • Google recognizes the query as one that typically has local intent (e.g., “pizza delivery”).
  • Your recent search history indicates that you’re looking for local results.

 

When Google identifies local intent, it will adjust its search results based on whether or not they have local relevance. Many times, it will also display a “Local Pack” with its top local search results from Google Maps.

 

Local SEO involves optimizing your website for these types of search results. If you run a local business, you want to market yourself to local customers. If your hair salon is located in Castleberry Hill, local SEO will help you rank better in search results for users in Atlanta.

 

For brick-and-mortar businesses and individual brand locations, SEO should focus on local optimization. Customers from Seattle (or Denver, or Boston) aren’t flying hundreds of miles for a haircut, so you don’t need to worry about appearing in their search results. Instead, you can focus your efforts (and money) on reaching as many local users as possible.

 

Organic SEO: The “World” in Worldwide Web

“Organic SEO” is a tricky term, since the vast majority of SEO — including local SEO — can be considered organic. But typically, when people say “organic SEO,” they’re referring to traditional search engine optimization.

 

To understand the difference between local and organic SEO, let’s take another look at Google. When you search “best laptop for windows,” Google’s algorithm won’t detect local intent. So instead of providing you with customized search results for your location, it will show you the same search results that it would show another searcher in a completely different city.

 

Because of this, organic SEO tends to be much more competitive. With local SEO, you’re only competing for searchers within your geographic area. With organic SEO, you need to compete for searchers across the U.S., as well as in other English-language countries.

 

Needless to say, most local businesses stay away from organic SEO. The level of competition makes it far too expensive. What’s more, the vast majority of traffic will be from searchers 100+ miles (or 1000+ miles) away. In place of local businesses, the competition for organic search results tends to come from national publications, e-commerce stores, and larger brands with a nationwide footprint.

 

Coordinating Organic & Local SEO for National Brands

 

At Qiigo, our work with national brands leaves a lot of room for crossover between organic and local SEO. On a brand level, we employ organic SEO strategies to boost awareness and drive traffic to brands’ national websites. On a location level, we use local SEO to target queries with local intent and drive customer traffic directly to brick-and-mortar locations.

 

National brands can benefit from using a single digital marketing partner for brand-level organic SEO as well as location-level local SEO. The simple reason is that organic and local SEO efforts have a symbiotic effect.

 

If your brand has a strong organic search presence, that will give a boost to local search rankings for individual locations. If your brick-and-mortar locations start achieving high rankings in local search results, this will often boost organic search rankings for your brand as a whole.

 

While it’s important to know the difference between organic and local SEO, national brands should avoid an “either/or” mindset. Instead, embrace a “both/and” SEO strategy, one in which the brand and its locations are supporting and strengthening one another.

 

 

7 Digital Marketing Best Practices for Multi-Location Brands

Digital marketing can be a thorny issue for multi-location brands. On the corporate level, you’re engaged in broad, national campaigns that promote your brand as a whole. On the location level, you (or your franchisees) need to worry about local marketing efforts. That means taking a hybrid approach to your digital marketing strategy.

 

Yet, when you look online for digital marketing best practices, there’s little information on how to balance brand-level and location-level marketing. Most of the advice you’ll find is focused on one or the other. There’s little information on how to coordinate corporate campaigns and local marketing to complement one another.

 

At Qiigo, we specialize in digital marketing campaigns for national brands, so we know a thing or two about the best ways to market your multi-location brand online. If you’re in the process of rethinking your digital marketing strategy, here are seven important areas that you’ll want to focus on.

 

What Multi-Location Brands Need for Digital Marketing

 

  1. Create Unique, Localized SEO Content. If your brand uses boilerplate content for each location’s sub-site, these pages will likely be excluded from search results. Google expects every page on your website to have unique content. When it detects duplicate content, it removes these pages from search results. Effective local SEO for multi-location brands therefore requires the creation and implementation of unique, localized content for each location’s website.
  2. Centralize Your Pay-Per-Click Campaigns. One of the advantages of modern PPC is the ability to carefully segment your PPC campaigns. This has made it much easier, cheaper, and effective for multi-location brands to centralize their PPC efforts. Centralized campaigns benefit from the cost-efficiencies of scale, the accuracy of larger data sets, and the cohesion of a unified message. Meanwhile, it’s now easy to customize ads based on users’ locations, or to create a market through which franchisees can increase or decrease ad spending in their market.
  3. Engage in Two-Tier Reputation Management. Reputation management for multi-location brands naturally occurs on two levels: the reputation of your brand, and the reputations of individual locations. While some companies prefer to focus their corporate efforts purely on their brand-level reputation, it’s often smarter to assist individual locations with reputation management. This can be done by identifying locations with low review counts or middling ratings, then providing them with tools and resources to strengthen their review profiles.
  4. Local Listings Monitoring & Management. It can be costly and inefficient for individual franchise locations to manage their own local listings. By handling local listings management at the corporate level, multi-location brands can eliminate redundancies and lower the cost of these services. Centralized management also carries other benefits. For example, it ensures business data is consistently structured from one location to the other. And if problems with one location’s data are causing problems for another location, it is much easier to correct his issue.
  5. Help Locations Win Fans on Social Media. Social media is one area where it can pay to give franchisees control over digital marketing. Franchisees can put a human face on their business and use social media to build a strong community presence. With that said, there’s a lot that brands can do to aid franchisees on social media. For example, brands can provide franchisees with content to augment their social media feeds, creating a mix of corporate and local content. Brands can also use their corporate accounts to signal boost franchisees’ posts and profiles.
  6. Target Locally with Programmatic Ads. Programmatic ads — which show users ads based on certain types of user data — are an excellent tool for local marketing. Multi-location brands have an advantage in this field, since they can build and/or acquire large data sets for programmatic targeting. This data can then be used to run centralized campaigns that include localized targeting and customization. Alternatively, it can be provided to franchisees who wish to run independent programmatic campaigns.
  7. Mobile-Friendly Website Design. Nearly two-thirds of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices, and studies show that most local searches occur on mobile devices. In light of this, it’s crucial that multi-location brands have mobile-friendly websites on both the corporate level and local levels. In particular, it’s important that you have a mobile-friendly store finder — a feature that often has problems on mobile devices.

 

Getting Your Holiday Marketing Strategy In Place

 

Right now, most of the world is recovering from the back-to-school transition or getting ready for Halloween. But for national brands and digital marketers, now is the time to plan ahead for the holiday season.

 

1 in 5 retail sales occurs during the holiday season, and according to a 2017 survey by Deloitte, more than 50% of holiday spending now occurs online. An effective digital marketing plan could make the holidays your most profitable time of the year. But without a proper game plan in place, consumers could leave nothing but coal in your stocking.

 

As you develop your digital marketing strategy for the 2018 holidays, we’ve compiled four tips to help you plan ahead for the season.

 

Examine Every Touchpoint for Consumers

 

When planning your digital marketing strategy for the holidays, it’s important to keep in mind that people don’t just spend more at this time of the year — they also spend differently.

 

Here are three key points to keep in mind for the holiday season:

  • Consumers are hunting for great deals and discounts during the holiday season, especially in the time around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  • Many purchases at this time of year are gift purchases for other people, which changes the way purchasers evaluate services and products.
  • Shoppers are bombarded by ads and offers during the holidays, making it harder to capture and hold consumer attention at this time of year.

 

 

Spread Cheer (and Deals!) Through Social Media

 

Social media is a great way to build brand awareness and generate sales during the holiday season. So if you don’t already have a November and December content calendar in place, now’s the time to get started.

 

In terms of paid posts, social media is a great avenue for programmatic marketing during the holidays. (We’ll touch on programmatic ads in a moment.)

 

Meanwhile, your organic social media efforts over the holidays should include a mix of engagement-friendly seasonal posts, plus offers on seasonal deals and discounts. Healthy engagement metrics are important on platforms like Facebook, so try to post at least two engagement-focused posts for every promotional one.

 

 

Harness the Power of Programmatic Marketing


Programmatic marketing is a highly targeted method of digital marketing, and it’s one that’s ideally suited to holiday season.

 

These campaigns take user-specific data — pages they’ve visited, searches they’ve made, geographic and demographic signals — and then use this data to show users the most relevant ads possible. For example, if a user searched for “winter boots on sale” within the past hour, a programmatic ad campaign can show them an ad for your BOGO offer on snow boots.

 

Programmatic ads have impressive engagement and conversion rates all year long, but they’re especially effective during the holidays. Consumers are more inclined to make impulse purchases at this time of year, which these types of ads encourage. Programmatic ads are also a great way to recapture users whose purchasing journeys were interrupted partway through — a common issue for holiday shoppers.

 

 

Create a Holiday-Focused PPC Strategy

 

PPC advertising is most effective when consumers are in a purchasing mindset. So, it should come as no surprise that November and December are some of the best (and most competitive) months for PPC marketing.

 

One of the easiest ways to optimize your PPC campaigns for the holidays is to take existing keywords and add seasonal modifiers. Holiday shoppers will often search for deals and discounts using search terms like “holiday discounts on ________” or “Christmas sale for ________.” When tied to an appropriate seasonal promotion, these types of keywords can be dynamite for holiday retailers.

 

When planning for holiday PPC campaigns, keep in mind that competition ramps up at this time of year. Keyword bids are higher, and PPC budgets need to be adjusted to accommodate this competition.

 

Nailing Your Franchise Development Marketing Strategy

We’ve all heard the saying, “You can catch more bees with honey than vinegar,” right? How does that apply to franchise marketing?

 

To put it simply, we must strategically place those jars in the right locations to attract the exact types of bees we want – ones seriously interested in the honey, your franchise opportunity.

 

 

 

The Search for Potential Franchisees

Finding a potential franchisee takes skill, determination, and well-planned, yet agile, marketing strategy. Keeping this in mind you need a defined budget, prospect profile to better target your market (know your audience), lead strategy (how are you going to keep them interested in the honey jar), and the all-important factor of timing.

 

Timing and budget are factors with finite parameters, franchisors know them. It’s the audience and development giving franchisors a run for their money so to speak. Let’s start with audience.

 

Audience

Without going into detail, you know what you want your ideal franchisee looks like, right? If not, now is the time to do your research, explore who is interested in selling your products or services, and put together a profile of your top franchisee prospects.

 

While your profile may not be perfect, and can certainly evolve, if it’s not clearly defined, your marketing strategy will stumble. You can use Google Analytics to help you refine your audience.  Using Analytics, you’ll be able to see where users are coming from and to explore how they are using your site. The new Audiences function allows you to examine the demographics and interests of visitors to your site.

 

After your audience is defined, so you can focus your ads to sites those users frequent, thereby getting your ads for the franchise opportunity in front of the right eyes. Using this type of analytics can help you to put your ad budget dollars to work in the right place. And with so many options these days, it’s a good idea to do a little research to find the one best suited for your budget and needs.

 

Marketing Development Strategy

You need an army to do all the things you need to do, but if you do one thing to improve your marketing development strategy, use SEO and paid AdWords campaigns (PPC) in tandem for the best results.

 

It is imperative to have an ongoing SEO plan to ensure your franchise opportunities remain fresh and in front of the eyes of entrepreneurs. Without this important piece of the puzzle you could be trying to sell your Cactus Nursery franchise to people in Siberia.   

 

Liane Caruso, Qiigo’s Director of Professional Services and in-house Franchise Development strategist says,

 

At Qiigo, we recognize that our franchise development campaigns are most successful with a fully integrated campaign that involves long-term and short-term campaign goals. While SEO efforts may not immediately offer up candidates or associate a number of conversions to dollars spent, the long-term gain is being found in organic search.

‘Franchise opportunity’ is a highly competitive and expensive marketplace, and those who can be easily found will win in the end. 

 

 

In the end, it’s all about resources and budget. Whether you have the budget to outsource this part of your franchise marketing development strategy, or if you do the work in-house, putting in the ground work will help drive more prospective franchisees to your site.

 

When it comes to the success of both the franchisor and franchisee it’s about the marketing and location. Where are you going to start?

 

 

Digital Marketing for Restaurant Franchise Brands

One of the best things about being part of a restaurant franchise is the brand name recognition that individual locations receive. The franchisor leads the overall marketing initiatives, to which franchisees contribute, thereby relieving the stress and time it would take for them to go it alone.

But, don’t forget you will need to pepper in a little local flavor that speaks directly to each location’s community of foodies! This local approach along with the support of corporate marketing efforts will help locations to generate new and repeat business.

 

A Six Course Meal

For multi-location restaurant brands, having the right pairing of digital marketing tools is vital to building a strong localized online presence. With current and potential customers all searching in different ways, it can be an ongoing challenge to stay top of mind and visible to your audience. Ensuring that your digital marketing efforts are driving more hungry consumers to your front door requires a comprehensive strategy that includes:

 

Pay Per Click

SEO

Social Media

Local Listings and Reviews Management

Website

Programmatic

Seasoning with SEO for Multi-Locations

There is a lot to unpack in the six course meal so today we’ll focus on a couple of the most important elements, SEO and Local Listings.

 

For multi-location businesses, challenges with localized SEO often arise at the corporate level. A common strategy is to list all their locations’ information on one master landing page. This is not really the best idea for effective SEO. It is recommended to create separate, optimized pages for each restaurant location because, let’s face it, the favorite appetizer in New York City may not be the same in Phoenix.

 

Your franchisees’ individual location page is a sort of microsite giving them a community brand that can be used to create relevant content to entice the locals to come in for a taste! So, keeping that in mind you want to include location specific information on each location page including:

 

  • Location information, directions, and a Google map
  • Food specialties
  • Local testimonials – people want to be heard
  • Social media connections (be sure to include local listings such as Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Big Places, Apple Maps, and City Grid)
  • Restaurant affiliated or sponsored events at the local level

 

You’ll also want to focus on adding localized content on a regular schedule. Any content should be focused on keywords and geographies that are relevant to each location. If day to day operations keep your franchisees too busy to develop content, you can hire a professional writer. Many digital marketing agencies, including Qiigo, offer professional writing services as part of their SEO package.

 

Confirm Listing Information for Full Flavor Results

After location pages have been optimized, there are some additionals things that should not be overlooked. Directory site listings for each location should be claimed and all information should be verified. Look for the following points:

 

    • Verify each location’s information (Name, address, phone number) and ensure it matches across all directories
    • Confirm operation hours
    • Respond to reviews (Flattering or not, reviews can be your benchmark between “good” and “great” customer satisfaction)
    • Current photos. Take photos of a “full” restaurant with people enjoying themselves.

 

In the End – Digital Marketing Is a Delicious Dessert

You now have an excellent foundation to get your restaurant’s locations noticed. Be sure to continue to link to other businesses, local and community events, and most importantly update your content often! Nothing turns off foodies like the sale old, same old.

 

Local SEO for multiple locations can be a lot of work to set up and maintain, but the payoff is worth it. There are lots of tools out there to help you manage your efforts and a qualified digital marketing partner can help you to refine your strategy.

 

Bon appétit!

 

Learn more about digital marketing solutions for Franchise Restaurant Brands and schedule your free demo.

 

The 5 Things Every Marketer Must Know About Facebook Advertising

Facebook Ads are quickly becoming an integral part of every marketer’s social media strategy, and it’s easy to see why. With over 2 billion Facebook users monthly, Facebook has become the world’s most popular social media platform.

While everyone jumps on the Facebook advertising bandwagon, many marketers aren’t seeing the results they expected when they started experimenting with the platform. Typically, there are two scenarios to blame for this: a low cost-per-click (CPC) that isn’t leading to conversions, or a CPC that is too high. So what’s a marketer to do?

 

Understanding Social Search

 

When it comes to running Facebook ads, many marketers employ the same strategies they use when managing Google AdWords. This is a problem, because with Google, prospective clients and customers are looking for you, your services, or a business like yours. They already know what they’re looking for, and they’re actively interested. This is much different than Facebook, where users are viewing a variety of information from photos to news stories and there’s lots of competition for their attention. Facebook ads need to be immediately engaging in order to garner consumers’ attention and drive leads.

 

So how do you achieve the best results with Facebook Ads? Here are 5 things Facebook advertising pros do to elevate their social media marketing:
 

1. Carefully Choose Ad Placement

 

While Facebook offers quite a few ad placements on their platform, there are three locations that are most commonly used: Desktop News Feed, Desktop Right Column, and Mobile News Feed. They each have their own benefits and drawbacks, but if you master them, you’ll be able to deploy your ads more strategically.

 

Desktop News Feed – This priority placement tends to result in higher conversion rates, but because it’s the top option for most marketing campaigns, ad placement here is the most competitive and expensive.

 

Desktop Right Column – This ad space is not nearly as in-your-face as ads in News Feed, and works well for retargeting, but is not ideal when targeting initial engagement.

 

Mobile News Feed – Consumers are accessing Facebook from mobile devices much more often than from a desktop, and right now, initial engagement and brand discovery can often be attained at a much cheaper rate on mobile. This makes Mobile News Feed ads the best bang for your buck.

 

2. Carefully Choose Who Sees The Ads


When it comes to optimizing Facebook Ads, choosing the right audience can be more important than the ad creative. Equally important is keeping in mind the conversion you’re ultimately aiming for and defining your audience around your advertising goal. There are three ways to define your audience within Facebook Ads Manager and how you use them can impact your marketing efforts:

Core Audience – This allows you to choose your audience based on multiple characteristics, such as location, age, behaviors, and interests.

 

Custom Audiences – This gives you the ability to upload a list of contacts you’d like to target. There are many data categories here, but the most often used are phone numbers and email addresses.

 

Lookalike Audiences – This allows you to find people who share similar characteristics to your customers.

 

3. Choose The Call To Action Carefully


Your call to action (CTA) is just as important as knowing who and where you’re targeting, so every ad you run should have a CTA that clearly directs the action users should take. After deciding on your marketing objective, choose the CTA that best supports your marketing objective:

 

Website Conversions or Clicks to Websites – This is the most common CTA, and drives traffic to your website. Just be sure that your landing page is optimized for the best user experience. For mobile ads, this means making sure your landing page is tailored for a mobile experience.

 

‘Call Now’ Buttons – With so many Facebook users already on their mobile phones, phone-call CTAs are an easy way to encourage engagement. Try Local Awareness Ads, they help you reach people who are near one of your business locations, and allow customers to call you right from their Facebook News Feed. Learn more about Local Awareness Ads here.

 

‘Send Message’ CTA – This is a new CTA for Local Awareness Ads, and gives customers a convenient way to get in touch with your business quickly, which in turn can lead to more sales for your business. One caveat – if you use this conversion method, be sure you’re prepared to respond to customer inquiries in a timely manner.

 

4. Choose How To Differentiate Ads Carefully


With the who, where, and how covered, it’s time to focus on how to make your ads stand out from the crowd. Instead of focusing on just a logo in your Facebook ads, invest some time in creating product-focused graphics or images that help convey your brand’s accessibility. The most well-rounded campaigns feature multiple ads with relevant and consistent messaging. These ads can then be rotated to avoid ad fatigue.

 

5. Test And Update Ads Regularly


It’s hard to predict what kind of ad designs will work best for your product, or which audience will be most likely to buy your products. That’s why whether you’re a beginner or pro, A/B testing, or split testing, is the key to successful Facebook ads. While the endless opportunities of Facebook testing can make it somewhat cumbersome, the payoff is well worth the trouble.


Facebook is the world’s most popular social media platform and it’s only getting bigger, so a knowledge of Facebook marketing is essential to any marketer’s toolkit. Whatever your comfort level with Facebook advertising, these tips can help keep your Facebook strategy fresh as you continue to experiment with ad types, creative, and audiences.  

 

 

Building a Local Content Marketing Strategy

When consumers are in the market for a product or service, their first stop is usually the web. Consumers search for local businesses using keywords paired with their prefered location.

 

Research shows that these searches overwhelming lead to store visits. In fact, one Google study found that 76% of local searches conducted on a smartphone led to a store visit.

 

This is just one of the reasons why showing up in local search results is such an important factor in your marketing success. Implementing localized content for your website is one of the best ways to improve your local search rankings.

 

Creating Content that Ranks For Local SEO

Local SEO is a strategy within the broader scope of organic search engine optimization. With a Local SEO focus, you’ll be improving your website’s ranking for local searches. Which is critical if your intention is to capture the attention of local prospects right when they are looking for your product or service.


You can improve your local search ranking by focusing on content marketing. Here are a few ways to optimize content for local SEO:

 

  1. Target Locally Relevant Keywords

Choose keywords that are relevant to your products or services. You should also combine your target geography(ies) with your keyword. For example, the keyword “custom framing” is great, but if you want to rank locally, try “custom framing in Roswell”.

 

Tools such as Google Keyword Planner are great keyword finders. You’ll need an AdWords account to use the tool. Once you’re ready, follow these steps to start your research:

  1. Go to the homepage
  2. Click on Tools
  3. Select the Keyword Planner
  4. Search for keywords

Look for keywords that combine high average monthly search with low competition scores. Finally, combine your preferred keywords with your target geographies. It’s best to target only one geography per page of content.

 

 

  1. Write New Localized Content

Writing content can be time consuming but is a valuable tool. Regular blog updates drive traffic and search ranking. Use your target keyword list to create content related to your industry, products, services, promotions, and other topics.

 

Content built around lists or bullet points are easy to read and tend to grab reader attention. Other popular topics include how to posts, hints and tips, new industry developments, and other educational topics. Be wary of too much self promotion. You should provide content that is valuable to the reader, don’t just promote your business.

 

 

  1. Don’t Forget Your Social Media Pages

Once your blogs are written and posted, extend their reach by sharing them on your social media pages. Content can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other sites. Be sure to include images to capture reader attention.

 

You can also share your content in social media groups in your local area. Sharing content in multiple locations helps to drive traffic to your site and establish your business as an thought leader in the industry..

 

 

  1. Get Published on Local Websites

Building on strategy of posting to your website, you can approach other websites about opportunities for guest blogging. Guest blogging allows you to demonstrate your industry knowledge while gathering backlinks that improve SEO rankings. You’ll need to create new content for other sites. Do not re-purpose content already posted to your website.


Not sure where to begin? Start by searching for sites that accept guest blogs. Try this search combination, “[your city or state] + website + write for us/guest post/submit a guest post.” Then, check out the sites that come up, read their guidelines for guest bloggers, and narrow down a list of sites that cater to your target audience.

 

 

5. Stay Active Locally

Many local business owners are active in their local communities. Staying active in local events and groups can provide backlinks to your site from their sponsor or membership pages. Plus you get the added bonus of becoming known in the community and getting word of mouth referrals.