PPC – The importance of negative keywords

A PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign is a very effective way to drive traffic to your website. Whereas search engine optimization is a strategy that works over time (months usually) to gradually work key terms up higher in the search engine results pages, PPC can garner a click literally moments after the campaign is activated.
It has to be remembered though that getting clicks is a simplification of the goal. The trick is to get meaningful clicks that create interest and hopefully earn new clients. Getting 1,000 clicks with no follow up is an expensive gamble. To make every dollar count, the PPC campaign should not only be diligently set up, it should be monitored carefully and frequently.

A powerful tool in maximizing your return on investment is negative keywords. They are a virtual superhero, defending the campaign from wasted clicks.

Why is that important?

  • Every click is costing you money
  • Every person who visits your site and doesn’t find what they are looking for may be less likely to click on your site again
  • Your limited budget only goes so far, so each click which is used up by someone looking for something else is one less click presented to a person actively searching for your product or service now
  • Every time your ad is clicked on and the viewer gets a poor landing page experience (indicated by clicking straight out and not engaging with the site), the quality scores for your keywords can be impacted. Lower quality scores result in a higher cost per click (CPC)

negative keywords

What are negative keywords?

Negative keywords are phrases or terms or even single words which, when matched to the search string entered online, will NOT trigger your ad to be shown.

How do you choose your negative keywords?

Right from the campaign kick-off, there may be some obvious keywords you want to enter. Just knowing you have the ability to add negative keywords triggers the thought process about how they can be utilized. Here’s a hypothetical example: Your business is rental cottages on the coast and you are looking to fill blocks in your calendar. Online searches vary depending on what the searcher wants. Search string about coastal cottages may be from the customers you want (those looking for a rental) but they could equally be about buying a holiday home or investment property. Those search strings could be almost identical:

Treasure Island beach cottage for rent (we want these people to see the ad)

Treasure Island beach cottage for sale (we don’t want these people to see the ad)

Treasure Island beach cottage (we don’t know if these people are looking for us but it could be worth a click)

Adding buy as a negative keyword will stop the ad being presented to those people who actively search for the word “buy”, thus reducing the chance of wasting clicks and honing in on the best target audience.

Even better – these negative keywords can be entered at the campaign level (blanketing the entire campaign), or at the adgroup level,  giving flexibility in how they are placed.

Once the campaign is active, click on the Keywords -> Search terms section to see what terms are being matched. If there are terms presented there that offer up new opportunities to fine tune the campaign and add more negative keywords, make a note of when they are added so you can monitor clicks moving forwards. Any changes can be reverted if they have an adverse impact.

 

If your business is looking to implement a PPC campaign, Trulium has the experience to zero in on the right keywords and identify the negative keywords which will maximize your ROI. Contact us today to get started.

 

 

 

 

 

Scheduling Facebook Posts in Advance

It’s important to maintain an active social media feed and Facebook is one of the most widely utilized social media platforms. It offers the ability to schedule posts in advance although just because the capability is there, there are potential downsides as well as benefits. In this blog, we explore the pros and cons of scheduling Facebook posts in advance for a Facebook business account.

The Pros of Scheduling Posts in Advance

  • It’s free
  • No additional social media software interface is required, it’s easy to do within Facebook
  • Marketers can schedule posts at an optimal time in the day – that may be when most viewers are online or it may be influenced by marketing across time zones (for instance, if a theme park in the US is being marketed to Europe then posting early in the day will reach US clients and also those in Europe about 7 hours ahead)
  • You needn’t be awake or available at the time you post (this could mean posting at an unconventional time or being in a meeting, or away on vacation)
  • Less pressure on maintaining a set number of posts per week or month
  • Even when set, they can be edited, rescheduled or deleted if you change your mind

The Cons of Scheduling Posts in Advance

  • It’s easy to forget special dates which you would normally want to mention specifically in your post eg Holidays, promotion end dates
  • News is very unpredictable and there are days when happy, upbeat posts will fall flat
  • It’s easy to get carried away and flood your feed, making viewers bored and less likely to engage
  • Posting to any social media channel is not a ‘set it and forget it’ interaction, even if posts are scheduled, the ongoing monitoring of the campaign and prompt answering of messages is essential

Scheduling Posts in Advance – How?

It’s really easy – instead of clicking Publish when you have prepared a post, click on the drop down arrow next to it, click on Schedule and then select a date and time and click on ‘Schedule’.

 

How to Check which Posts are Scheduled

From your Facebook page, scroll down to underneath the box where you can enter a new post. If posts are scheduled it will appear like this:

Scheduling Facebook Posts in Advance

Click on ‘See Posts’ to see each post listed with their scheduled publish times. (Posts can be edited, rescheduled or deleted from within this section)

How to Know Which Times of the Day are Popular with Viewers

 

Within Facebook, click on the Insights tab and then Posts on the left. A chart will form part of the data with times of the day vs traffic.

Here is an example:

Scheduling Facebook Posts in Advance

Publishing at the least popular time would mean that viewers may not see the post or may have to scroll to the bottom of their daily feed.

A Great Alternative

One way to do some of the work in advance but not commit to a publishing time is to create Drafts in your Facebook Page. This way you can do 95% of the work on your post and it is ready to go whenever you decide to publish it (or indeed, schedule it).

On your page you can save several variations or just keep a stockpile in case inspiration is running low one day.

Scheduling Facebook Posts in Advance

If you’re ready to engage more customers with a social media campaign, Trulium can help, contact us today for more information.

Change Control Principles

We all have to make changes to our websites from time to time. It could be a straightforward change to prices or text, or it could be a relaunch of a whole new site. There are some fundamental principles around how we do those changes which can

  • save time
  • save money
  • reduce stress
  • convey professionalism

Plan Ahead

Change Control PrinciplesPerhaps the most fundamental aspect in making a change is measuring the impact and taking enough time to plan ahead so that wherever possible the change is proactive and not reactive. Making changes ‘on the fly’ may affect other parts of your site or cause confusion with your own personnel or customers.

Document your Changes

Take note of what you do and when you do it. Later, when you are measuring the effectiveness of a change it is easy to confuse dates. This also effectively provides a ‘handover’ to colleagues if you are absent or leave your role.

Don’t make changes too frequently

If you are able to spread out changes, then it will be clear how each change independently impacts your business. This may not be possible if you want to present one ‘set’ of changes so that customers only see one design shift.

Schedule Changes Sensibly

This is certainly the case if your change is going to require some ‘downtime’ in the system or site. If your peak hours are 9-5 Mon-Fri, then try to schedule changes at the weekend or overnight.

Communicate Effectively

Within your own company and particularly to customers. You can promote the updates in advance so that regular visitors to your site will expect a different ‘look’ on your launch date. Effective communication will reduce the stress of getting to know a new process and will reduce the load on customer service afterwards. Use your social media accounts to create a buzz around new features or design. You could even ‘trail’ a sneak peak of the ‘new look’.

Provide Customer Service

change control blog contact details copyWhen making changes, update processes and procedures as well as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). When there is a potential for confusion or new education, ensure a helpline number or email support details are visible and easily accessed.

Break it Down

Change Control PrinciplesComplicated changes may be able to viewed as a series of small revisions. In this instance, even if one component fails, other parts of the change may still be on track. If you hoped to accomplish tasks A, B & C, would A & B alone be enough to move forwards? This analysis should all be a part of the planning process.

Have a backup plan

What happens if your changes don’t work or are not well received? Make sure you know how to either revert back or create a workaround. If personnel are key, ensure you have cover or on-call resources.

Measure Effectiveness

change control blogIf your change was designed to increase traffic to your site or increase calls to your business, measure the success. Take time beforehand to quantify your goal and then review after a reasonable time. You may be able to use analytics to help with this.

Be Flexible

When everything goes as planned, great! It takes experience and confidence to adapt when things go wrong. Bring in your experts, make sure you have done your research up front and then be prepared to improvise.

If you’re looking for help with Change Control Principles and adapting your website, why not contact us today  info@trulium.com