Tips for the DIY Google AdWords SEO Guy

These tips will save your pocketbook some serious agony for the  Google AdWords SEO DIY’r

Instead of aimlessly throwing money into the dark money pit that is Google Adwords, here are some great tips you can implement yourself to help tweak your marketing budget out.

Google Adwords SEO photography melbourne

Google Adwords

“Where’s the best place to hide a dead body? The second page of Google Search Results.”(I couldn’t resist throwing a little SEO humour in).

It’s too true. When was the last time you took a look down past even the page fold? With Top and Side Page Ads dominating your search, and organically high ranked websites, and location listings dominating your page, why would you ever go past page one? Everyone wants to be there – and Google is counting on it. They are also counting on the fact that MANY of you have NO idea your first few trips around Keyword Searches and AdWord Campaigns that you will have any idea what you are doing.

Pay attention here…this is about to get really serious.

Google Adwords: Keyword Matching to laser target your SEO Campaigns

Making sure you are using your keywords properly. This alone will save you a world of pain. This is the #1 Reason you will toss away those “fittydollabillz”. This is the honing phase. Because I’m assuming that you’ve already done your keyword planning (if not go here) While you are using the keyword planner and deciding on groupings (which you want to keep VERY narrow) you will need to use these standards. Use everything but Broad search terms. Broad will leave you twisting in the wind.

Here are the punctuatation examples that you should be using for every term in your Keyword Groups:

[EXACT] (Square parenthesis on either side of terms)
This means you will only show up with this exact word(s) ONLY are used in your search terms. And they must be in order. Example. If some typed in Photographer Melbourne, the search words would have to be used EXACTLY like this in this order, for you to show up. Saves you $$ when the same guy is also using SYDNEY Photographer PPC situations. You don’t want to be competing on a location you’re not in.

“PHRASE” (quotation marks on either side of word or phrase)
Same as above but will show up if additional words used on either side of that phrase

-NEGATIVE (-) in front of your keyword)
You do not appear when this term is used (great for broad search terms but used in conjunction with locations. You want to ADD –NEGATIVE Keywords to your phrases and strings. If someone searches for this more than anything helps drive local more accurate, qualified traffic to your site versus the general broad terms.

BROAD (no format) WARNING WARNING WARNING! DO NOT USE!
This means – well – that it’s a broad term. This is generally where the highest price PPC’s come into play. And your budget is gone in one click. This is not targeted traffic, its general. Words should always be paired with something else like location. Nike is paying for the broad term SHOES. Can you compete with their budget (if yes then please stop reading this and go directly here. What you DO want to do is micro target – try “Professional Headshots Melbourne”.

**Make sure you select do not ‘include close variants’** 
This in essence allows Google to chose for YOU what terms is deems close. Those plurals and apostrophes could make a massive difference when you are dealing with something rather grammatical in your search terms.

Some other ideas that will help you analyse and track your performance:

Use and Tracking conversion code that you place onto your ECommerce landing page to track exactly what is coming in to your website, with what words. You can then track any campaigns that you run

Use A/B split testing or Google Content Experiments on your adds and calls to actions. If you have a WordPress website then try a plugin like AB Press Optimizer

After a few weeks of your campaign you’ll start to get some data from Google Analytics (PLEEEZE make sure you are signed up and tracking). Now is the time to tweak your Adwords & Adword Groupings. You want to see what the top performers were for volume versus conversions to your Ecommerce, call to action page etc. Find the under-performers (no traffic) and start those off your keyword group. Pause any search terms that aren’t producing leads and conversions for you. On the higher end, trim out any terms that we’re exceedingly high cost. Do you want to be paying $50 click for something that doesn’t have the ROI.

So go have a peek at your campaign. Get your fingers dirty in the Google sandbox. Tweak Tweak Tweak! Figure out what’s working. Ask your customers what they searched for. Set up some Content Experimenting so you can analyze your Call to Actions, Adwords and FB offers/campaigns. It’s worth the time to learn how to do this on your own. Small businesses have small budgets.

Analyse & Maximize your Adwords spending and put those gold coins back into your own pocket!

Want to get the BEST bang out of your BUCK with Social Media?

Social Media on a Budget

Let’s face it. You could spend a TON of money on social media, Google AdWords, CPC’s trying to get unqualified leads to turn over to your camp all the while begging for the conversions and leads. It doesn’t need to be this way. AND you do have to put some time and energy into this to find some cheaper (read: YOU) labor to get your campaigns running full tilt as well as pinching your pennies and minutes as a small business owner (I say this from experience).

I have some ideas for you that you can work on during your weekends and evenings so that your days stay free to help your clients and customers and help pinch a few pennies. SEO Social Media guys are running rampant these days. Everyone wants a guru on their team and little do they want to pay the going rate for these media magicians. NEWSFLASH!! You can do most of this yourself! If you have the inclination, and there aren’t THAT many of you out there that ENJOY this like me (lest I blog on more…) so lets start with some pretty easy ideas that you can implement over the next month.

social media cloud image

Twitter

Did you know that you can pay to promote your Tweets? Ya. That was a bit of a jaw dropped recently for me. Here’s how it works: Pay for tweets when you want the added exposure. Again. Be careful about what you are paying for. You want to make sure that you have amazing content that someone is going to want to engage with and share and drive more traffic to your website, have coupons, offerings and have sales and giveaway campaigns. Pick your promotions carefully because your tweets WILL show up clearly as a PROMOTED Tweet, but they can be engaged with, shared, favourite and retweeted just as any other ordinary tweet.

So make it stand OUT…we need to go beyond the ordinary on this one! If want to work on brand recognition, you can use this method for your blog, content marketing (YES!), partner marketing, events and even more brilliant to connect with key influencers in your marketplace.

Use your hashtags, your tinyurls, @’s, .’s Here are some best practices for your tweets

Facebook Campaigns

We all know that Facebook is a great place to be. Its free to join, free to post, free this and free that. This has been fabulous up until the past 6 months where your posts are getting buried faster and more furious as the lifespan of posts is shortened dramatically.

The reason? Facebook WANTS you to spend money with them on campaigns, to get higher visibility, for more impressions and oh ya lay your wallet out for all the ads. Of course it’s a money making adventure. Mark Zuckerberg aint no dummy and either are its stock holders, so prepare to pay dearly these days to run a well seen campaign either for your branding recognition or campaign offers. AND…there are some less expensive options for the world’s largest Social Media site. Just a few dollars a week and some GREAT CONTENT will really engage people, get them talking, conversating…staying…and pushing that LIKE button for you. The more they engage, the more your posts stay up top, the better your Edgerank, and the circle perpetuates.

So pick perhaps 2 posts a week that you want to get some traction on and throw a couple of dollars at it. IT WORKS as long as you are asking great questions, and providing excellent content.

**Make an offer for a check in like a little chocolate heart this week in honour of Valentines Day?

Blogging

There are hundreds of reasons why you should be blogging, but in the interest of keeping this readable on the train or in between coffee breaks, Ill keep this short and to the point. Blogs help you spread, your content, ideas, help far and wide. They establish your authority, you can use them to post across all your social media to bring in new followers and its GREAT for your SEO and SERP (Web ranking). Find a plugin like Squirrley SEO (my personal fave) that will help you optimize your articles for content and SEO and get posting!

 

YouTube

Did you know that YouTube is now the worlds largest search engine? Google aint no dummies here. Chew on this Jim:

• More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month

• We have more than a million advertisers using Google ad platforms, the majority of which are small businesses (http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html)

Paying even a few dollars for your videos can return awesome results. But you have to optimise your YouTube videos. James Wedmore is a personal guru of mine and if you follow his simple steps, you will be the king of your niche in a very short time.

Instagram

“MarketingProfs reports that 67% of top brands are now using Instagram, reaching more than 100 million active monthly users on the network. That’s a 500% increase in users since last year, according to research from Simply Measured. “   – Cursive Content

Do your research and find people of influence in your niche and tag them. Find some great partners to work with and tag back and forth to encourage and cross promotion traffic FOR FREE!

“Include captions that show your humour & wit, or to add some context to your photo.” – Independent Fashion

Pick your hashtags in your niche and really stick with them. Pick 3-4 and all your images should be relevant to those standard hashtags. Be unique. Use your images to show your behind the scenes, your clients, your experience. People want to see something artsy and gorgeous.

Link up your social media to Instagram so it automatically reposts for you.

Use images that tell a story.

Ask your customers to take pictures of your business and post them for you with your tags. As an added incentive to them make them an offer for a check in. I like to offer a free print to my clients for any social media check in.

Foursquare

Four square are the leaders in the location based marketing business. The first step is to optimise your profile.Then consider how you can leverage your social media contacts to drive traffic both directions and boost your online marketing efforts. It’s a great way to add value to your neighbourhood, encourage local traffic, and cross promoting with complimentary businesses.

Pinterest

Although there isn’t any way to directly promote your pins, there are some great tools to maximise your scheduling, analytics, and by the way they are all free! Some of them work via Chrome Extensions (love using these) and the rest are stand alone APPS, but all worth investigating for different reasons. ViraltagPinpuff, PinBooster, PiqoraReachli

Here is my last piece of advice. Get yourself a social media manager. HootsuiteSproutSocial – there are MANY of them, for free to trial and paid subscription once you realise how valuable they are to you for saving time. But they will help you time, track, and aggragate your posts. And they will be a lifesaver.

money flying in the air

Think of all the time and money you are going to save!

So there you have it. Some great rather inexpensive ways that you can get some great reach, increase your visibility, gain followers and really start to leverage your social media juju!

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: shutterstock
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: shutterstock

Erin loves to putter away with social media, tinker with SEO, and blog up a storm. Her photography business has helped many small businesses get on their newly branded feet and her love of the internet has her clients playing well with APPS.

Why is that picture of the beach is doing a disservice to your business?

Sitting on a lovely beach gives you some great time to reflect upon your navel and contemplate some of the finer aspects of your business (G&T in hand of course).

ErinPimmPhotography - Cabo San Lucas Beach Business Image
Cabo San Lucas Beach

I love travel photography. And it seems glamorous (until you realise that you are dripping onto your eyepiece and fogging up your lenses) but what I really love is emotionally connected to the places I go. I sit back and absorb it all, and then try to imagine how you would see it, and then start to create the feelings, compositions and elements into the compositions.

This lead me to consider what aspect it is about travel & environmental photography we love, and why it’s use (and misuse as stock imagery by businesses) is so prevalently for websites. It’s a feeling, a desire, an emotion, sentimentality, daydream material, state of being, or a look into the future. When you see that gorgeous white sand beach things that might come up are: romance, relaxation, peace, calm, escape etc. You identify and engage with that image on a creative emotional basis. Why do you think doctors and dentist offices often have tranquil, relaxing images on their walls? It helps to calm you, creating an emotional connection to their business, either overtly or subtly and subconsciously. But saying that – when you are creating images for your business environment, cliché, non-committal and irrelevant images do the exact opposite for your business. It takes the client AWAY from what you are offering. Instead of them seeing the services and environment, they are off dreaming on the beach somewhere and NOT engaging in your offerings.

Businesses often turn to cheaper options of stock imagery for websites and marketing materials. What is stock imagery you might ask? I’m sure you’ve been on shutterstock, istock and the other myriad of websites and paid for generic images to fill the gaps in your website, blog etc. Stock imagery can be REALLY useful in getting a specific message across quickly, easily and cheaply, but if you are truly ready to share your brand, you’ve got to consider the unique creative aspect that will identify your brand – you. These images will be a huge distinction point between you and your competitors, And lets face it. Don’t we want to STAND OUT rather than blend in? These images will complete your brand identity. They are your company.

How to create images that connect without relying on the beach?

Stories, People, Touchstones, Emotions, Life Events.

I love creating images for your business and your personal profile that connect you to your customers – helping you tell your story – creating engagement.

This requires some digging.

How do you personally engage with your clients? How do you create an authentic image that sells you – your values, your demographic, and hit your target audience? How do you create trust, authority, professionalism – in other words, your brand promise.

There are some key elements that go into both personal profile images and business images that are successful in helping you create and convey the feeling and understanding about what your brand is.

Your key words, your brand promise (service, product, understanding of what you are about to receive), values,  confidence, strength, empathy, and sometime even vulnerabilities. All play into who you are and what you deliver.

Head-Hunters Photography Corporate ImageNow. Take a moment to consider what the images you are using for your business are selling – You or the beach?

How you can use strategically created images for emotional connection to your brand?

Consider how you can improve engagement with clients, customers and potential employers.

You are selling YOU.

Create. Engage. Connect. Convert.

You are the brand. We make the images.