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Why Not Put Your Dormant Little Website to Work, Part II

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google adwordsLast week we talked about the possibilities of utilizing AdWords to get some leads flowing to your sites – without going broke.

First, let me say that there are definitely lots of ways to obtain leads while going broke! For example, you could pay up for the primary keywords (KWs) in your neck of the woods, like “Atlanta Real Estate,” and “Atlanta Homes,” and other such high volume competitive keywords.

Let’s say you use brute force (cash) and set up a very basic AdWords campaign to put you in the top three positions for these primary KWs, and you passed these clicks to your home page. For the terms above, this will cost you $3 per click through (CT) and will mow through a $200 monthly budget in 66 CTs. This will take about 1-4 hours and get 66 unfocused-curious-tire-kicking-gomers to your home page. This will in effect, net you a $200 donation to Google, thank you very little. By the time you land a client, you could of paid cash and just bought someone a house and given it to them. Still not a sale.

So AdWords is indeed lame then, right? It can be, that’s for sure! But let’s look at how to set up a really effictive AdWord campaign.

Here’s what you do: you set up an AdWords account consisting of many campaigns. Each individual campaign using as many as possible, very specific long-tail KWs. Each group of KWs points to their own matching Ad, and each Ad points to its own matching landing page.

Note: forget the content network, turn it off, people searching for paint are not looking to buy a house. Some may be but this is called untargeted traffic and we’re not interested.

Again, you create a campaign consisting of, lets say 100 long tail KWs, one AD and one landing page. Then you build 50 of these. If you were selling products, this could be 50 products. For real estate, I chose neighborhoods.

By the way, this scenario will also net you an account with a very good Quality Score and will enable you to compete with the brute force advertisers for pennies per CT. Because while AdWords is an auction with Ad placement going to the highest bidder, it’s also graded on a curve called Quality Score.

Design your entire AdWords campaign for Quality Score

According to Google, here’s the definition of Quality Score:
The AdWords system calculates a ‘Quality Score’ for each of your keywords. It looks at a variety of factors to measure how relevant your keyword is to your ad text and to a user’s search query. A keyword’s Quality Score updates frequently and is closely related to its performance. In general, a high Quality Score means that your keyword will trigger ads in a higher position and at a lower cost-per-click (CPC

This means that the higher your Quality Score, the less it costs you to compete to display your Ad. For example, if you have a Quality Score of ten and your competition has a Quality Score of  two, then “Atlanta Real Estate” costs you $0.16 per CT and costs your competition $3 per CT. Pretty cool, eh? For now, we are still ignoring those primary KWs, but this is a nice side effect. Instead, we are after all the traffic generated from the hundreds of long tail KWs. This traffic is Super Targeted.

Let’s take a deeper look using my site as an example, since it’s working and it utilizes all of the above. Take a look at my site: Atlanta Real Estate Info. Look at that column of neighborhoods down the right side. Guess what those are….landing pages. Click one, check its URL, its Title Tag, the Text on the page; they are all matching or closely related.

list

Now you can’t immediately see this, but there are 50 unique AdWords Ads that point to each of these 50 landing pages. The text on each Ad also matches the respective landing page text. And finally, driving each Ad is a list of 20-100 long tail KWs that also have similar and matching KWs and phrases.

links

So Google looks at this and says, the KWs match the Ads, which matches the URLs, which matches the Title Tags, which matches the on-page content. Quality Score HIGH.

Besides all this matching content, the other big factor that goes into Quality Score is the predictability of your business to Google. Google wants the performance of Adword campaigns to be predictable for them. So if you have 2000 long tail KWs spread across 50 campaigns, it’s much better than just one KW in one campaign. Think of it like this, as a manufacturer would you rather do business with one reseller carrying just one of your products, or would you rather do business with 50 vendors carrying all your products?

How does this work in the real world?

Let’s analyze one of my specific campaigns.

  • Campaign: Chattahoochee River Club
  • 37 Keywords used in this campaign: Chattahoochee River Club, Chattahoochee River Club Homes, Chattahoochee River Club Georgia, etc.,etc.
  • Keyword match set to broad match, Content Network OFF.
  • Google Ad reads: See All Homes in Chattahoochee River Club, (see picture of Ad)
  • Landing page Title: Atlanta Real Estate | Chattahoochee River Club
  • Landing Page URL: www.AtlantaRealEstateInfo/ChattahoocheeRiverClub.php
  • Text on Landing Page: follows the theme, take a look- Chattahoochee River Club.

If a Google searcher makes it all the way to this landing page, there’s a high probability they are wanting to search homes, so they click the big button in the middle.

Now, you repeat this entire scenario for as many neighborhoods, counties, or towns as you want to, the more the better.

Here are some metrics from my account in the last thirty days:

  • Average CPC $0.20
  • Clicks 541     (541 highly targeted visitors)
  • Registered Leads 121
  • Impressions 83,377
  • Click Through Rate (CTR) 0.65%
  • Total Cost $110
  • I sometimes get some of the big primary KWs for $0.18 per CT

In the future, I would like to double my Registered Leads and I have some ideas about that. I would also like my CTR to roughly double as well and this comes down to writing more effective/compelling Ads.

In summary, design your next AdWord campaign with the sole purpose of achieving a high Quality Score. This will cause you to do everything right and you will wake your site up and start getting some leads!

Thoughts?

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Keith Lutz

    September 30, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    This was a really great article. I learned alot. I also like that that mortgage page, and how the graphic changes, really cool. Is that yours?

  2. Atlanta Real Estate

    September 30, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Thanks Keith. It’s tough to boil something like this down to a few paragraphs and be able to convey to a wide audience.

    Glad it was helpful,

    RM

  3. stephanie crawford

    October 3, 2009 at 1:52 am

    This is great. This is stuff I’d expect to pay for.
    I’ve been using AdWords for years, but the recent influx of competitors has driven the cost per click way up. I’ve changed my strategy and started shooting for long-tails. My clicks and visits have gone done, but you’ve given me some great ideas.

    I’ve recently launched a brand new website so my rankings have fallen off the map. I’m going to use this slow part of the year to start building new landing pages and campaigns.

    I’d love to hear your thought on Facebook advertising.

  4. Barbara Bradley

    October 3, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Rob McCance @agentgenius Great step-by-step directions for improving website effectiveness! I will give it a try and see what develops. Thank you for sharing. I will be following you and hoping to learn more.

  5. Rob McCance

    October 3, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Stephanie:

    Good job identifying the issues and deciding to attack them.

    I can’t imagine a much more competitive landscape than here in Atlanta, except maybe LA, or San Diego, or some other huge metropolis. So don’t be discouraged in NashVegas.

    I’m getting serious AdWord traffic here for $0.20 or less per click. So I KNOW you can do it there!

    Your transition to long tail KWs is a great start. I never chase the large $6/CT terms here – too expensive and actually not very targeted.

    People search “Atlanta Real Estate” for lots of reasons.

    People search “new homes in Windermere Cumming GA” for basically ONE reason!

    I recommend you design your new AdWords campaign exactly like I did mine.

    Start by identifying 20-50 large or popular neighborhoods in your area. Build landing pages for each one. Make sure everything correlates within each page: the URL/Title Tag/H1/Text on the page.

    Building these will be laborious and take time. Took me maybe a week.

    After they are all done, you have some great landing pages to start building your Adwords campaign and ad groups and that is also some work, but much quicker and easier. Will take maybe a day.

    Then, sit back and rock!!

    Lastly, I apologize but I’m not currently into social networking. I’ve picked my battles and lead capture via my web site is the method I’m working on 24/7 these days.

    Thanks!

    Rob

  6. Atlanta Real Estate

    October 3, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Barbara:

    Thanks and let me know if you have any Qs.

    Are you currently using AdWords?

    Rob

  7. Nick Nymark

    July 31, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Learned something new. Great Article!

  8. Keith Lutz

    July 31, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    You Wrote:

    “In the future, I would like to double my Registered Leads and I have some ideas about that.”

    Any more on this? Much appreciated.

  9. Rob McCance

    July 31, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Nick – thanks.

    Nice to see this old article getting some play. All the info is still curent.

    Keith – I still have the same ideas, but they involve a tremendous amount of work. I want to add irresistable content to each of my 50+ landing pages. Things like:

    –detailed community reports
    –video tours of each community
    –interviews with residents
    –etc

    All of these obtainable in exchange for a valid registration, of course.

    Massive work. Could maybe do one a week, max, and that’s a year right there!

    RM

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Social Media

Instagram announces 3 home feed options, including chronological order

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Instagram is allowing users to choose how their home feed appears so they can tailor their own experience… and chronological is back!

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Instagram home feed options

Break out the bottle of champagne, because they are bringing back the chronological order in Instagram!

About time, right? Well, that’s not all. Per Protocol, Instagram has announced that they are rolling out three feed options in the first half of 2022. What?! Yes, you read that right.

3 New Feed View Options

  1. Home: This feed view should feel familiar because it’s the algorithm you already use. No changes to this view.
  1. Favorites: This feed view option presents a nice and tidy way to view creators, friends, and family of your choosing.
  1. Following: Last, but not least, is my favorite re-boot, the chronological view of every account that you follow.

Per Protocol, recent legal allegations have been made that Instagram and Facebook have been prioritizing content viewed as harmful in the algorithm and specifically in Instagram. Instagram is widely believed to be harmful to teens. Per the American Psychological Association, “Studies have linked Instagram to depression, body image concerns, self-esteem issues, social anxiety, and other problems”.  They have been under scrutiny by lawmakers and in response are posing the chronological feed as a solution.

However, this won’t fix everything. Even if the algorithm isn’t prioritizing harmful posts, those posts will still exist and if that account is followed it can still be seen. The other issue with this solution is the knowledge that unless Instagram lets you choose your default feed view, they could still cause the algorithm view to be the automatic view. Facebook doesn’t allow you to make the chronological feed your default view. This means you would need to choose that view every time. This bit of friction means there will be times it is overlooked and some may not even know the functionality exists. Knowing this information about Facebook, prepares us for what’s to come with Instagram. After all, Facebook, or Meta, owns both.

While as an entrepreneur, the chronological view excites me, I know the reality of it being used is questionable. I would love to know others can see the products and services I offer instead of hoping that Instagram finds my content worthy to share in the algorithm.

As a human being with a moral conscience, I have to scream, “C’mon Instagram, you CAN do better!” We all deserve better than having a computer pick what’s shown to us. Hopefully, lawmakers will recognize this band-aid quick fix for what it truly is and continue with making real changes to benefit us all.

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Facebook’s targeting options for advertising are changing this month

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Do you market your business on Facebook? You need to know that their targeting options for ads are changing and what to do about it.

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Laptop on lap open to Facebook page representing ad targeting.

Meta is transforming Facebook’s ad campaigns beginning January 19th. Facebook, which has been infamously battling criticism regarding election ads on their platform, is revising its limited targeting ad campaigns. Per this Facebook blog post, these changes eliminate the ability to target users based on interactions with content related to health (e.g., “Lung cancer awareness”, “World Diabetes Day”), race and ethnicity, political affiliation, religious practices (e.g., “Catholic Church” and “Jewish holidays”) and sexual orientation (e.g., “same-sex marriage” and “LGBT culture”).

These changes go into effect on January 19, 2022. Facebook will no longer allow new ads to use these targeting tools after that date. By March 17, 2022, any existing ads using those targeting tools will no longer be allowed.

The VP of Ads and Business Product Marketing at Facebook, Graham Mudd, expressed the belief that personalized ad experiences are the best, but followed up by stating:

“[W]e want to better match people’s evolving expectations of how advertisers may reach them on our platform and address feedback from civil rights experts, policymakers, and other stakeholders on the importance of preventing advertisers from abusing the targeting options we make available.”

To help soften the blow, Facebook is offering tips and examples for small businesses, non-profits, and advocacy groups to continue to reach their audiences that go beyond the broad targeting of gender and age.

These tips include creating different types of targeting such as Engagement Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences, Website Custom Audiences, Location Targeting, and Customer Lists from a Custom Audience.

Here’s the lowdown on how it will happen.

Per the Search Engine Journal, changes can be made to budget amounts or campaign names without impacting the targeting until March 17th. However, if you go to change the ad set level that will then cause changes at the audience level.

If you need to keep that particular ad to reuse, it may be best to edit the detailed targeting settings before March 17th in order to ensure you can make changes to it in the future.

I believe it was Heraclitus that declared change is constant. Knowing this, we can conclude other social platforms may follow suit and possibly adjust their targeting in the future as well.

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Hate speech seemingly spewing on your Facebook? You’re not wrong

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook (now Meta) employees estimate its AI tools only clean up 3%-5% of hate speech on the platform. Surprise, Surprise *eye roll*

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Facebook being crossed out by a stylus on a mobile device for hate speech.

As Facebook moves further toward Zuckerberg’s Metaverse, concerns about the efficiency with which the company addresses hate speech still remain, with employees recently estimating that only around 2% of offending materials are removed by Facebook’s AI screening tools.

According to Wall Street Journal, internal documents from Facebook show an alarming inability to detect hate speech, violent threats, depictions of graphic content, and other “sensitive” issues via their AI screening. This directly contradicts predictions made by the company in the past.

A “senior engineer” also admitted that, in addition to removing only around 2% of inappropriate material, the odds of that number reaching even a numerical majority is extremely unlikely: “Recent estimates suggest that unless there is a major change in strategy, it will be very difficult to improve this beyond 10-20% in the short-medium term.”

The reported efficacy of the AI in question would be laughable were the situation less dire. Reports ranging from AI confusing cockfights and car crashes to inaccurately identifying a car wash video as a first-person shooting are referenced in the internal documents, while far more sobering imagery–live-streamed shootings, viscerally graphic car wrecks, and open threats of violence against transgender children–went entirely unflagged.

Even the system in which the AI works is a source of doubt for employees. “When Facebook’s algorithms aren’t certain enough that content violates the rules to delete it, the platform shows that material to users less often—but the accounts that posted the material go unpunished,” reports Wall Street Journal.

AI has repeatedly been shown to struggle with bias as well. Large Language Models (LLMs)–machine-learning algorithms that inform things like search engine results and predictive text–have defaulted to racist or xenophobic rhetoric when subjected to search terms like “Muslim”, leading to ethical concerns about whether or not these tools are actually capable of resolving things like hate speech.

As a whole, Facebook employees’ doubts about the actual usefulness of AI in removing inappropriate material (and keeping underage users off of the platform) paint a grim portrait of the future of social media, especially as the Metaverse marches steadily forward in mainstream consumption.

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