Tag Archives: google-advertising-professional

SEM or Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing is one of the things we do best here at Windy City Strategies.  But sometimes, people don’t exactly know what that is.  So this blog post is to help explain it to our clients who may not know for sure.

A search engine is something going to www.google.com and putting in a search term like “Chinese Food” in the search bar, or searching for something on the web on Yahoo, or Bing.  Google is the most popular search engine, so we will use this as our example.

According to Google:  “The primary objective of any search engine is to help users find the information, products or services they’re looking for online, quickly and accurately. When the user types a word or phrase, called a query, into the search engine, a set of results that are relevant to the query is displayed.”

So- if you wanted to find a law firm in Crystal Lake- you might type in the search field “Law Firm, Crystal Lake”.

Windy City Strategies provides consultation and services in all areas of Search Engine Marketing-

The shaded area at the top of the page is called Pay-Per-Click advertising- this is a paid section, where your advertising will be posted to the top of the search engine.

The paid results are in the pink area, and the organic  (or Google selected) results are in the green area.  You will notice that there are local listings first in this green area.  That is the location portion of Google’s results- which displays local results from where your computer is searching from.

Windy City Strategies will help your business soar in the ultra-competitive web marketplace through our proven Internet marketing campaigns. We manage Google, Yahoo, and Bing accounts and we offer pay per click campaign management services as well as search engine optimization, website development, and internet marketing consultation. Please contact us for a free proposal and analysis.

Make Managing Your AdWords Account Easier

Google AdWords are defined as an effective advertising service provided by Google for businesses that wish to display their ads on Google. With an AdWords program, businesses to set a budget for advertising and only pay when people click on the their ads.

Managing an AdWords account can be difficult, so it is imperative to keep the following tips in mind in order to make managing your AdWords account easier:

Make sure your keywords are relevant. Google will search keywords in your ad, helping your ad stand out from the others.

Make group ads smaller. Instead of having a huge list of keywords, make ad groups, sorting each list out. This will help make things stand out from the others.

Start your bid high. The way of bidding high is when Google’s ad system determines placements by big and CTR (which stands for click through rate). When you earn high CTR, you have to generate clicks, which means bidding high will help your ad to be seen in the search results. Once you earn those high clicks through rates, lower your bids.

Set a daily budget. Setting a budget too low can cause your ad to be displayed intermittently, which is not what you want. Ensure your ad is shown every time someone types in your ad’s keywords.

Do not get involved in a bidding war. Expand your keyword list to include all specific keywords that have a low search result. It is a waste of time and money bidding high in bidding wars. Instead, expand your keywords list to include more specific keywords.

Use negative keywords. Nothing will be posted if something is a negative keyword. Add more of them at a regular intervals, and your list will grow. If you sell products or services at a premium, include the words free, cheap, discount.

Have a relevant landing page. Most searchers don’t point to the home page, instead they choose a landing page for your site. These pages often include keywords from the search and in some cases makes it worth creating custom pages.

For more information, or for help managing your Google AdWords campaign, contact Windy City Strategies today.

Is Pay Per Click Right For My Business?

What Is Pay Per Click?

Pay per click (PPC) marketing has rapidly become one of the most popular forms of online marketing. What is pay per click, you might ask?

Pay per click ad campaigns are paid keyword search campaigns in which users can click on your business’ ad, directing them to your business’ website, only charging you, the advertiser, a fee each time the ad is clicked.

In order for your campaign to be effective and prevent the loss of potential traffic to your site, it is critical to ensure that you are using valid keywords for your specific business. It is also for this reason that an effective pay per click campaign cannot be done only one time. It will take time, thought, and effort in order to ensure the most success.

Is Pay Per Click Right For My Business?

Here is how you can help drive more traffic to your site with your PPC marketing campaign:

  • Change and improve your campaign ads
  • Expand your keyword lists
  • Organize your keywords and ad groups
  • Analyze the data, improving your actions based on these results
  • Filter unwanted keywords, create a negative keywords list to refrain from using these again
  • Continually monitor your campaign’s progress

It may be essential to hire a PPC and Internet marketing firm, like Windy City Strategies, in order to effectively manage your AdWords account for you. Contact Windy City Strategies, Chicagoland’s leader in Internet marketing and web design.

Should Search Ads Be Locally Relevant?

When you are searching for a restaurant or a specific store, what is the likeliness you will want your search ads to be locally relevant?

Earlier last month, Google shared some research that they had commissioned from Ipsos MediaCT and Purchased. Over 5,000 people were surveyed, in which they either through an online survey, or by logging their smartphone search and in-store activities into a mobile diary.

According to this research, 4 out 5 consumers said that they want search ads customized to their city, zip code, or their immediate surroundings. In addition, 76% of the surveys participants said that they search for local information from their computer or tablet from home, as well as 24% said that they do from work, and 18% from hotels. When it came to using their smartphones for searching locally, 53% say they search from home, 51% search on the go, and 41% search from the store or at the mall.

“Here’s what we learned,” states Bao Lam, Performance Ads Product Marketing Manager at Google. “People expect search ads to be relevant to their context and location. If they search for ‘car rental’ or ‘Mexican restaurant,’ they prefer ads that are customized to where they happen to be and that help them take the next steps in their shopping journey.”

Lam goes on to state, “More than 60% of consumers say they’ve used ads with location information like address, directions, phone number or a click-to-call button, and, more than 70% of consumers who have used location information in ads say that information is important. Consumers choose stores close to where they happen to be. 72% of consumers who searched for local information on their smartphone visited a store within 5 miles.”

With all things considered, it seems that search ads are playing an effective role in ensuring your customers can find you, especially when they are searching locally.

For help with advertising your business, as well as increasing your business’s presence online, contact Windy City Strategies.

By Stephanie Brown

AdWords Updates Conversion Tracking: Adds ‘Flexible Conversion Counting’

Google announced a new feature that they added to their AdWords campaigns called flexible conversion counting. This new feature will allow for advertisers to count the conversions that really matter to their business.

What Is Google AdWords?

Adwords is an advertising system in which the advertisers can bid on keywords, which will allow for their clickable ad to appear in Google’s search results. AdWords campaigns can be effective for businesses big or small, but does depend on using quality ads and bidding on the right keywords.

How Will Flexible Conversion Counting Help Your AdWords Campaign?

This feature will act as a measurement tool to better understand the value of each click that turns into results. In addition, flexible conversion counting will replace the current one-per-click column, as well as the many-per-click column, with a converted clicks column and a conversions column, enabling the advertiser to separate sales and leads and allowing them to understand the total number of conversions as well.

Google had recently introduced a line of conversion tracking features to AdWords, such as its cross-device conversions and its cross-account conversion tracking.

“We’ve been working hard on building products and features that help you better understand the value you’re getting from AdWords,” according to product manager Vishal Goenka. “With estimated cross-device conversions and cross-account conversion tracking, you’re able to more accurately measure conversions in AdWords and better understand the complex path to purchase.”

Google AdWords campaigns may not be for every business, but it is important to consult with a professional Internet marketing firm who has the knowledge and expertise to correctly and effectively do so. Contact Windy City Strategies, Chicagoland’s leader in Internet marketing and web design services.

By Stephanie Brown

Understanding Product Listing Ads And Its Benefits

For many small businesses just getting started, it can be a difficult and daunting task trying to sell your product. Luckily, Google has a solution for you…Google Product Listing Ads. The advantages to Product Listing Ads are definitely worth looking into not only to increase your visibility, but your conversion as well.

How It Works

In order to have your product listed on Google, you must have a Google Merchant Center account, as well as a Google AdWords account. By linking these two accounts together, you will be able to market your product two ways, through Product Listing Ads and Product Extensions.

What is A Product Listing Ad

Product Listing Ads are search ads that will include your product’s information, including an image, price, and merchant name. These Product Listing Ads are displayed when a user searches for a relevant item in the Google Merchant Center; the results will then display the relevant ads to the user’s query.

What Are The Benefits

Perhaps the biggest benefit Google Product Listing Ads can have for your business is the traffic they will drive to your product page, as well as to your website. Since users are more inclined to click on a picture, over plain text, they will be more likely to click on your Product Listing Ad. When a user chooses to click on your Product Ad, you can guarantee this is not only a potential customer, but also your intended target audience for your business, increasing your chances of converting them and the likeliness they will visit your site again. Another benefit is that your Product Ad will appear in all relevant searches, matching it to other related terms, in turn, increasing your product’s visibility.

Product Listing Ads can benefit any business, big or small. For help or questions with your Google Merchant Center or Google AdWords accounts, or for more information on starting your own Product Listing Ad, contact our professional team at Windy City Strategies today.

By Stephanie Brown

Ways to Implement Your Internet Marketing Strategy

An effective marketing strategy is essential in any business plan. Much like traditional marketing, Internet marketing can help to build customer relationships and create brand awareness. However, implementing an online marketing plan is not as easy as a traditional one. It is best to seek professional Internet marketers, like ours at Windy City Strategies, to ensure your strategy is not only effective, but is designed to your specific needs. Here are some types of strategies you may consider for your business:

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)- A good SEO campaign can drive results and traffic to your site, but this happens over time. SEO works to make popular search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo recognized your website so that your organic search results will rank higher on search results pages.

2. Pay-Per-Click (PPC)- With PPC, you can be provided with almost immediate results. The main difference with PPC is that you essentially pay per click on your ad. This is a very cost-effective way to market your business since you can set a budgeted limit on clicks.

3. Content Marketing- Usually this method is used in combination with a good search engine marketing plan. By producing relevant content you can attract current and potential customers with information that they are looking for. Additionally, content is also effective when attractive images and videos are added to your site as well.

4. Social Media- Nothing is more important these days than being social media ready. By establishing a positive presence on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, you not only are able to promote your brand, but target a specific audience for your business.

5. Blogging- Another way to add more credibility with the search engines, increasing your rankings, is by creating a blog. When blogging about relevant information, your business will be looked to as a go-to professional, further developing long-lasting relationships with your customers.

Windy City Strategies will work with you to create an individualized marketing plan that fits your business needs. Contact us to speak with our team of professional marketers, writers, and designers to find out how we can help your business grow online and stand out amongst your competitors.

By Bjorn Torling

The Advantages of Pay Per Click Advertising

When developing your digital marketing plan, it is important that you stay informed and make decisions based on your business’ needs. When it comes to ensuring you can be found on the search engines, there are limited options to provide you with results. While paid searches, like search engine optimization, takes time to deliver results, using pay per click, or PPC, can help you get the results you need almost immediately.

While every business has different needs, pay per click advertising may not be for everyone, or just a stepping-stone for their future. Here are a few other reasons why you may want to consider using a PPC campaign:

Affordability- Since PPC campaigns are not only tailored to your budget, but you essentially pay per click on your ad.

Faster Results- Unlike organic search engine methods, PPC campaigns show almost immediate results since your ad will automatically receive top placement.

Real-time Tracking- With your PPC campaign, constant monitoring of your campaign will be performed. We will track things like the keywords that are, and are not, working, conversion rates, and which ads are driving the most traffic.

Exposure- Since your ad will be placed on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, your ad will be visible on well-known and reliable search engines, which reaches the vast majority of Internet users.

Target Your Customers- By placing a specific and eye-catching ad, you can directly target your customers and draw in only qualified and relevant traffic to your site.

Pay per click advertising is one of the fastest growing marketing techniques used today. Unfortunately, building and maintaining a successful pay per click advertising campaign can be a difficult task, especially when you don’t understand how to manage these services. By hiring an experienced Internet marketing firm, such as Windy City Strategies, you can rest assured that your PPC campaign is not only managed, but provides your website with your optimal results.

By Bjorn Torling

5 Internet Marketing Trends for 2014

With another year in the history books, it is time to reflect upon the past year and look ahead to see what we can expect for 2014. The last year seemed to have had many hot trends like social media growth, an increase in use of mobile devices and tablets, and the increased importance of relevant content on a website. While I don’t expect to see any of those trends to go anywhere over the next year, I do expect to see content continue it’s reign as king.

Here are a few other web marketing trends to look out for:

1. Mobile is a must. Since the use of mobile devices is on the rise, it is essential for businesses, especially small businesses, to consider responsive web design. By ensuring your website is mobile-friendly, you are able to stay competitive and increase the potential to be found and seen by mobile users.

2. Niche sites are growing. Due to media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, websites will have a harder time being found organically. For this reason, niche sites are going to become more in demand, especially for smaller businesses looking to get connected to a more specific audience.

3. Write a blog. Blogging is a prime example of the use of relevant content and is an effective way to market your brand. Since blogging is becoming more popular, especially amongst smaller businesses, I think it is safe to say most businesses will have developed a blog by the end of 2014.

4. Get a Google+ account. Since the use of social media giant Facebook appears to be on the decline, other social media networks will be looking to take over. Google+ is a rapidly growing network that has added benefits, such as the search benefits that comes from using Google, that all businesses need to be taking advantage of.

5. Include videos on your website. In order to create a more meaningful relationship with your users, the use of educational videos is on the rise. By providing informational snippets, the consumer can better understand what you have to offer.

The way you market your brand is essential to your business. By hiring a professional Internet marketing firm, you can ensure that your users know your value all the while increasing your business’ profitability. Our team of Internet marketing professionals at Windy City Strategies will work with you to develop an individualized business plan that fits your needs, whether it be from search engine optimization to web design, we can help.

The Benefits of Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pay-Per-Click advertising, or paid search advertising, is a rapidly growing Internet marketing technique where sponsored links are purchased on search engine results pages (SERP), websites, content sites, or blogs. With pay-per-click, or PPC, a business will pay a fee depending on the amounts of clicks or views of their ads, which are displayed on search engine page results when a user types in a specific keyword or phrase into the search engine. There are many benefits to running a PPC campaign. Windy City Strategies specializes in PPC management and will work with you to determine if this advertising method fits your business’ needs.

Cost effective- Since you only pay when a user clicks on your ad, this method can easier to manage costs. Businesses can also determine a maximum daily allowance to help control costs as well.

Faster Results- Since PPC is not an organic search engine, although beneficial when used in conjunction, the ads can be launched at a much quicker pace, allowing for immediate results.

Custom Reporting and Tools- Since there is real-time tracking, will you receive custom monthly reports. A benefit of this report will allow you to see how paid search traffic is contributing to your online sales and leads. Additional tools, like Google Analytics, will also allow you to keep track of your conversions.

Targeting Your Audience- With PPC, businesses can target a particular audience or area. You can keep it local or go global, it’s your call.

Testing Capability- Not only will the current ad campaign be monitored to measure for keyword effectiveness, but new marketing opportunities will be tested as well.

With many pay-per-click options like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, Windy City Strategies can help to find the right option for your business’ needs. At Windy City Strategies, our objective is to increase your web traffic, page views, and the time spent on each page all the while increasing the return on your investment. Contact us to have our team of professional Internet marketers customize your search engine optimization or pay-per-click campaigns today.