Tag Archives: research

Tips on using Pay-Per-Click marketing to sell sell sell!

Today I went to a very informative course conducted by Emarketeers about pay-per-click marketing, or PPC. I learnt new jargon and ways of creating an effective online marketing campaign. We spent some time on Google Adwords. We also had a look at Facebook and how targeted it’s advertising can be. Don’t give too much away on Facebook – that’s probably how Made.com made me buy a sofabed from them because I liked Homes Under the Hammer. Granted, it’s a lovely sofabed.

Yoko sofa bed, Made.com

Sleek and sexy, right?

Anyway, I came away with some tips for Adwords success. Adwords are  those ads you see above and on the right hand side of ‘organic’ search results when you do a search on Google. They enable you to do targeted online advertising at a cost determined by you on a website used by billions!

  • Optimise your landing pages. Use the keywords you have chosen to bid on as much as possible – on your landing page, on the ad, in the headline, possibly in the display URL.
  • Target your audience by country or region.
  • Target your audience by when they’re likely to be surfing and buying your product! For retailers, this would be in the evenings after work. You can also pay attention to the time of the year.
  • Never use the ‘broad matching’ option alone when you’re starting out. Your ad can end up appearing on random search terms and you would potentially waste a lot of money.
  • Make use of display networks when you have a better idea of what you are doing. What are display networks? They are the ads you see on Google Adsense, in a box usually embedded on blogs or websites. They can be text, pretty graphics or Flash. Google sets ‘Display on display networks’ as a default; don’t let them siphon more money from you – turn this option off to begin with!
  • When you feel ready to use display networks, create a different, dedicated campaign for it so you can track it separately.
  • Use broad-matching, broad-match modifiers and and phrase or exact matching wisely.
  • Using Google Adwords keyword tool, work out which search terms won’t make people buy your product/service/information. This will help you compile a negative keyword list. So your ad won’t be triggered say, if the surfer is actually looking for help on a support issue rather than wanting to buy the actual product.
  • Please get rid of underperforming keywords that don’t generate much business or traffic for you – if you don’t, this will reflect badly on your Quality Score, which in turn makes it possible for Google to charge you more for every click.
  • Of course, calculate your cost per acquisition (CPA – a term I learnt today!) so you can gauge how much you can realistically spend on Adwords. No point spending £50 to get someone to spend £25!

The course covered a lot more ground – if PPC and online marketing is of interest to you, then do look up the Pay-Per-Click marketing course by Emarketeers.


Groupsite – social networking platform

Before I go to bed I just would like to share a discovery I made today: Groupsite

It is a ready-made social networking platform like Ning and SocialGo, but with more practical functionality and professional looks. One thing I’ve not seen before is ‘Key Contacts’, where your group members can list useful/important/VIP people they know, and you can get in contact with an important person on the list via the name-dropping fellow group member. The objectives list is pretty cool too. And I can download my member list on an XML or CSV file which is useful for keeping track of users off-platform. However I can’t find the Inbox/Sentbox easily although I’ve sent private msgs to other members. Hmm.

The free version which I’m currently on is sufficient to nose around and get a feel for the platform, but I can see why it may not catch on as much as Ning because it’s fairly restricted – for instance, I can only make 5 groups. OK for a small-timer I guess.

Logic of Life

Just read Tim Harford’s Logic of Life book. It’s interesting and enlightening just like his previous book, Undercover Economist. It would make much much more sense to me if I can read it all in one or two sittings than snatching a bit here and there on tube journeys, because by the time he’s on Chapter 9 and he’s going ‘like we found out in Chapter 3’, and I’m like ‘what happened in Chapter 3?’ – and even if I remembered…

Hmm, my song Whizz Around the Sun  just came on on my Last.fm library radio. My songs are very distracting to me!

… by the time I read the next line I’d forget what the argument was. Haha.

Harford wrote about whether divorce is underrated, why bosses are overpaid, how politics gets skewed to supporting the few, and many more. As for how politics supports the few, it’s not repeating the same old ‘overpaid politicians’ rant, it’s throwing light on on how trade sanctions (e.g local only sugar) and geographical sanctions (e.g green-belt) are a bad idea. These groups have more to lose, so can throw more money at it and try their damnednest to vote for the party that does them the most favours and supports their cause, while the cost to the rest of the population is only 10p or smth; basically an amount not worth squabbling over, or worth getting out of the house to vote. Harford equates this to splitting the bill at the end of a dinner party at a restaurant; everybody tries to order smth more expensive because the cost is going to be absorbed by someone else. That someone else might not bother fighting over the extra £1 to their share. Add it all up… the cost to taxpayers to appease everyone is a hefty bill.

Harford also mentions that more money is going to rural societies just to prop them up, compared to more economically-viable cities. Another point is also that it makes more sense to make cities bigger because city dwellers use less space, have less stuff, use almost exclusively public transport (me, me, me!), therefore being more environmentally friendly than those out in the country. I would definitely drive if I move out of London; I remember lots of lost time, overpriced bus tickets and rude bus drivers, and couldn’t wait for the day I got my driving licence. If London had more space to develop,  it would also probably help London look less like a sh*thole as it would have more space for trees and greenery, with the right planning policies in place. I see more trees in Singapore than London, and it’s a third the size and is the 2nd most densely populated country in the world. It would also bring more homes into the market making property more affordable. (there are loads of empty properties lying around; that’s another story!) Of course, over-extending London/cities could be a bad or a good thing!

Why is the top honcho in a company paid really highly? To make the people below him/her work harder in the hope they’ll get the prize one day, and to reward high stock market returns. Online contact is not a substitute for in-person contact – in fact it only makes them meet up more.

All in all it’s an enlightening read, with some controversial ideas to make you think.

World is ‘getting smaller’ – ditto timelines

It’s super easy to find and enjoy stuff from 100 years ago now. Try saying that in 1980! Of course artifacts, books and photos have been around for much longer, but now we can simply type in whatever takes our fancy and if they’re any good, you can find a film clip or some music, in the comfort of your own home/bed.  Such a broad and rich source of culture. I remember having to physically go to the National Library to ‘research’ anything to put together some primary school scrapbook.

Now you can find 3 centuries’ (hmm, yes “19th, 20th and 21st”) worth of footage from ITN Source, for instance. On youtube/vimeo/etc anything and everything gets airtime – one doesn’t have to be famous. In 60 years’ time you can watch a video of your late grandfather’s teen angst-y video response  on youtube. If youtube still exists then.

World’s oldest film, according to youtube – filmed in Leeds in 1888. Of all places!

People won’t be too happy if youtube or facebook or any major personal repositories dissolve along with years of collective personal history. We now have a situation where most of our info resides not (just) with us but on outside ‘resources’. Like, say your hard drive gets wiped out. But your video is still on Youtube. Your pictures and friends are still on Facebook. And hooray for Google Docs! Oh yes, your mobile contacts are on Mobyko. Phew. You don’t even pay any of them!

But we must be paying somehow. Data – obviously. Advertising revenue – targeted -> privacy issues.  Add carelessness to the mix (yes that includes weak passwords) and it goes one step further, to fraud.

About privacy though, what really do we care about it? That’s a strangely worded question – I mean, maybe people don’t mind others knowing what songs they like, that they went out last night, and have brown hair. Maybe it’ll pave the way for a more honest and open-minded world – or dual identities.

Anyway. We should not take the pervasive force of the internet for granted. I am grateful that I got to experience a pre-internet, pre-mobile life as a pre-adolescent – as there is no going back, and no way of future generations to know what it was like. And I am so glad to also be living in today’s convenient world!