Digital marketing is not just a profitable but an essential aspect of any business’ marketing in current times. Digital marketing allows your business to reach a wider audience, target more effectively, and use your budget more efficiently, increasing your return on investment. But often the ins and outs of digital marketing can feel overwhelming, with all its terms and processes.
Here are the basic platforms and important terms of digital marketing, so you can start to understand it better and leverage it for your business’ growth.
Google Adwords is a digital marketing platform that shows ads to search engine users, either on a search engine results page or on a website they’re browsing. You can pay to be in the ads at the top of Google search results for search terms (keywords) that your customers are using — this way, they see you first, click through to your website, and hopefully, make a purchase.
Google Adwords works like an auction. You create an ad for a specific keyword and then bid on that keyword, hoping to have a good enough keyword and a high enough bid that Google chooses you. There are usually several ads at the top of Google’s results, so you have a few chances.
Your campaign manager will know not just how to create a high quality ad, but also how much to bid and when. These two factors together determine whether your ad makes it in. Google Adwords can be very profitable because:
- you can see results on a small ad spend budget;
- users are already looking for the products you’re offering;
- and most importantly, you can track your ROI closely and make adjustments to maximize it.
Facebook Ads is a digital marketing platform that runs ads exclusively on Facebook. They are known for their very specific targeting, which allows you to reach the perfect audience for your business or product. They also have dynamic video and photo ads that can capture your audience’s attention. You can choose from many different types of ads depending on your needs.
Pay-per-click, abbreviated PPC, refers to any kind of digital ad where you pay the platform every time someone clicks on your ad. Though normally associated with Google Adwords, it’s just a type of ad, not a platform; some Facebook ads are technically also PPC ads.
Cost-per-click, which you’ll often see abbreviated to CPC, is the price you’ll be charged by Google or another platform for each click you get on your ad. CPC varies depending on the industry you’re in, the type of ad you’re running, the amount of competition your chosen keyword has, and more.
Calculating what your CPC might be can help you create a budget: you should find the average CPC for your keyword on tools like Keyword Planner, then multiply that by the amount of clicks per month you are aiming for. This will be your monthly budget. Your PPC campaign manager can help you understand what a reasonable budget might be for you.
Cost-per-lead or CPL is your budget divided by how many leads you actually get from the campaign. Not every click will turn into a lead, because a user may reach your page through your ad but then simply click away. CPL is where a focus on ROI is crucial. If you only look at CPC, and not CPL, you may think you’re getting more business than you actually are. Focusing on real leads, not just clicks, will help you see how your investment is being used and what the results are.
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
Cost per acquisition, or CPA, goes one step further, and is also very important for ROI. Cost per acquisition is how much it cost you to get a paying customer. Of all the leads you get, only some will actually buy from you. Again, understanding your CPA will help you see how your marketing budget is being used and what the results are.
Once you know your CPA, you can calculate how much you made from each acquisition (how much did they buy minus the cost of acquiring them).
Click-through-rate, or CTR, describes the percentage of users who are actually clicking on your ad when they see it. Platforms can tell you what your reach or impressions are (i.e. how many people saw your ad), and when you compare this number to how many actually clicked on it, you get your CTR.
CTR is important because if your impressions are high and your clicks are low, you can adjust your ad to make it more enticing to users. Often, changing ad copy, images, or call to actions (see below) can boost your CTR. Your campaign manager can work with you to suggest changes and test them.
A quality score is a score given to your ad specifically on Google Adwords. It’s calculated using:
- Your click-through rate (CTR)
- Your landing page: is it a good quality page, and is it relevant to your ad?
- Your keyword’s relevance to its ad group
- Your ad copy: is it relevant to the keyword?
- Your Google Ads account performance: how have your ads done in the past?
The public doesn’t know exactly how Google’s algorithm calculates the score, but this score is then multiplied by your bid amount and that determines where your ad ranks. Basically, if you have a good ad and a good landing page, you will rank higher — it’s not just about the bid.
Geo targeting, also called local PPC, is showing an ad to somebody based on their location. Geo targeting is not only important but also extremely effective, as many users are searching for services and businesses near them, and you can capitalize on those searches. You should not only include the areas you service, but also exclude the ones you don’t, so you don’t waste ad spend or time on those locations.
A lookalike audience is a type of target audience you create on Facebook Ads by pulling info from your current customers and followers. Using information from your site and your Facebook page, Facebook analyzes the “profile” of your ideal customer and creates an audience that looks just like it. This way, you can find new customers that are likely to buy from you.
Remarketing, on the other hand, is all about bringing back people who have interacted with you, but never purchased from you. Whether they like your Facebook page, visited your website and never bought anything, or they clicked on an ad and then clicked away, you can create a remarketing ad to show them your ads and hopefully draw them back in.
Pixels are snippets of code that you put on your website and in your ads; these allow you to track users’ behavior on your site and use this information to improve your marketing. You’ll be able to see information from your pixel on your ad platform.
Two common types of pixels are retargeting pixels, used for remarketing purposes, and conversion pixels, which track the sales you’re getting from your ad campaigns. Conversion pixels are especially important, since they will speak to your ROI and your campaign’s success.
Hyvemark Helps You Go Digital
Hyvemark’s digital marketing experts can guide you as we create PPC campaigns, Facebook campaigns, and more. We’ll design successful campaigns that focus on ROI, keeping you in the loop every step of the way.
COVID-19 impacted businesses in almost every industry and of every size this year, leading to budget cuts, layoffs, and more. One study found that most businesses only had enough savings to last for 2 months, and the pandemic was predicted to last longer. Many small businesses that were not prepared for a crisis had to close — others remain afloat, but are struggling — only 47% of businesses expected to be open in December.
When making cuts to your budget, marketing is often the first thing to go. But eliminating your entire marketing budget may not be the answer. However, if your business is among those struggling, or if you’re hoping to make a comeback, marketing can actually help you recover — specifically, digital marketing.
Advertising in a crisis or recession is always a good investment.
This Forbes article became quite popular this year; written in 2019, it predicted a recession in the near future and discussed how advertising during recessions has actually proven to be a good investment, instead of a waste.
There are a few reasons why marketing during an economic downturn is smart:
Firstly, many businesses will stop marketing as much or altogether, either because they don’t think it’s a smart move or because they simply can’t afford to. This eliminates a lot of the competition, allowing you to increase your brand awareness in this time.
Secondly, the cost of marketing actually goes down, making it a much more affordable venture. This was true this year, where the average cost-per-click for Google Ads and Facebook Ads decreased across many industries. For example, for lawyers, who traditionally have very high CPCs, these have fallen, making their keyword less competitive.
With a change in messaging, continuing to advertise even during a recession can mean huge things for brands.
More and more customers have moved online.
One of the ways COVID-19 has affected consumer behavior is by changing the way (and the place) we buy. Customers are not visiting physical stores due to social distancing, and instead look online for products and services. In response, nearly every industry has found a way to sell online, whether through social media stores or an e-commerce website.
E-commerce, coupled with digital marketing campaigns, can increase your sales revenue, offering safe buying options to your loyal customers as well as attracting new ones who didn’t know your brand before. Online shopping also opens up your customer base geographically: selling online means you can sell to more people than those who can visit your physical store.
Experts say that new buying habits will endure, so moving your business online with a quality e-commerce site and online campaigns is a long-term investment as well as a short-term one. Meeting your customers where they are will help your sales and your brand.
Digital marketing is more trackable and measurable.
Digital marketing is your best option for advertising during and after COVID-19 because unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing is easy to measure. Even though you should be advertising your business, you do still have a budget, and you need to maximize it. Keeping track of your dollars (and your revenue) is key to recovery.
In PPC and Facebook Ads campaigns, you can set a limited budget for each month. Although you and your campaign manager should decide on a reasonable budget that will get you enough clicks to turn into leads, you don’t have to worry about overspending.
You should ideally aim to get a minimum of 150 clicks to your website every month — less probably won’t get you enough leads to justify your spending. The way to calculate your budget for pay-per-click campaigns is to multiply the average cost-per-click for your target keyword in your location by 150. This will be your minimum budget.
The goal is to get leads (and sales) from your campaigns. Focusing on return on investment ensures that your marketing gives you real results and is not a waste. Digital marketing easily allows you to track how many leads you’re getting, and which ones are turning into sales. E-commerce makes it especially easy to see the ROI on your sales.
In such uncertain times, tracking and measuring is vital to your business’ recovery and survival, so digital marketing is your safest but also most profitable option.
Digital marketing has many advantages: advertising online is cost-effective, campaigns are trackable and full of useful data, and your brand can increase its awareness online and compete with larger businesses. Best of all, you can see a huge return on investment if you do it right.
With traditional marketing, it’s sometimes difficult to see whether your efforts had a direct impact on your goals, but digital marketing can give you your return on investment in real time. So how do you take advantage of this and set achievable (and profitable) goals for your business’ digital marketing?
How do you set a goal in digital marketing?
In digital marketing, you can track many results, including:
- How many people view your ads?
- How many clicks does your ad get?
- How many people visit your website (traffic)?
- Where does my website rank on Google?
These are valuable and useful results to track, but your goal should be to maximize your ROI. And maximizing your ROI is all about sales, i.e. converting a customer.
Why conversions are the ideal goal
You may be tempted to track something like the number of likes on your Facebook posts or even your clickthrough rate on an ad and call it a win when these numbers are high. However, these are not smart goals for your digital marketing campaigns. At the end of the day, what matters most is how much you’re making from your campaigns.
Conversions track not just likes and followers or even clicks (which we call vanity metrics), but real results. Did you manage to turn a follower into a buyer, or a click/visit into a sale? That is a goal that’s not just trackable but worth something to your business.
Types of conversions
Conversions can be a few different things, and they’re defined as a customer completing a desired action, usually on your website. This can be:
An online purchase. This is the most obvious one, and with good reason. If someone clicks on your ad or finds you organically, visits your website, and then buys from your business online, you have turned that click into money (ROI).
A booked appointment. Appointments are similar to a purchase, since the customer has agreed to pay for your service at a specific day and time. Your proactiveness as a business can often be key to converting a customer this way, because if someone calls you based on your ad but your business doesn’t answer, you lose that lead. It’s a good idea to use an online booking system so this doesn’t happen, and to follow up with that appointment as well.
A sign-up. Depending on your business, you may be looking to get people signed up for an event or even an email list.
An online lead. Often a business’ goal isn’t to sell someone online, but to find leads that they can follow up with and turn into paying customers. Lawyers are a good example of this.
A download. If you sell software, music, or something similar, your goal may be to get downloads (free or otherwise) from your site. Sometimes businesses also offer free downloads of content that could lead someone to become a customer in the future.
Setting goals based on conversion type
When setting goals for your digital campaigns, you should ask yourself two questions:
- Is it profitable?
- Is it achievable?
To set a goal for your digital marketing campaigns, you have to first decide what type of conversion makes the most sense for your business. As we said before, a lawyer is likely looking for online leads that they can speak to more directly about their case. A business with an e-commerce website is looking for online sales. A beauty spa would target booked appointments for their various services.
Next, you should look at your budget and decide what makes sense to spend. PPC has two costs: management and the actual ad spend, or how much you spend on clicks. Average cost-per-click in your industry is key to determining your budget for PPC campaigns, as these vary widely. Wordstream is an excellent resource for these numbers, and can tell you how you’ll need to spend to see good results.
The lawyer, for example, will spend much more on a PPC campaign than the beauty spa owner. This is because clicks on lawyer-related keywords are in high competition and very expensive (around $100 per click). However, a lawyer will profit thousands of dollars from just one client if they can convert them, so the expense makes sense — It’s profitable.
Knowing the average click through rate for your industry can also be a huge asset to set realistic goals for your campaigns. This will tell you not just the cost of your clicks, but how many you can reasonably expect. This tells you whether your goal is achievable.
It’s important to note that not all conversions are necessarily profitable — a sign-up or free download won’t bring in any direct sales. However, at Hyvemark we’re always thinking about how those conversions can turn a visitor into a paying customer down the road for you, and we set up your campaigns for that. If you want to see real ROI from your campaigns, choosing a sales-oriented conversion goal is best.
Every business wants to rank higher on Google, but how is it actually done? We explain just a few of the ways you can make changes to your site and your strategy to help push your brand to the top of Google’s search results.
Why Does Ranking Matter?
The purpose of having a business website isn’t just so people can find you online when they look for your brand, but also so they can find you when they’re looking for products or services you offer. 49% of Google users say they utilize Google to find new products, and when they do, 37% will click on the first result.
This means that to get more customers online, you need to rank in the top search results that Google provides its users for your products and services. To do this, you need to do SEO and improve your “organic” or natural ranking over time, as Google uses certain factors to determine which websites rank higher.
Here are a few ways to improve your organic ranking on Google.
Optimize your meta data.
Meta data for a website is the information that shows up on search engine results, i.e. the title, description, and url that Google shows to users. Meta data can not only influence a user to click or not, but also affect Google’s ranking of that page.
Some web builders don’t allow you to edit metadata, which will set back your SEO, but if your website is built on WordPress, you can easily edit your meta data for each page with an SEO plugin. You can find one here.
- For meta titles, include the keyword and the name of your business, and make sure it doesn’t go over 60 characters, including spaces.
For example, the meta title of this blog post is: How To Rank Better On Google | Hyvemark
- For meta descriptions, stick to 154-157 characters. Your description should say what the page is about, and should always include a call to action at the end, such as “Learn more,” “Call us,” or “Make an appointment.”
Example: Ranking at the top of Google results is key to your business’ success. Learn a few practical ways you can boost your search engine rankings from Hyvemark.
- For urls, make them fairly short and clean, using hyphens to separate words, and always include the keyword you’re targeting.
Write content for people first.
Even though you’re creating and improving a website so that Google “likes” it more, you should first and foremost write your website copy and your blogs so that the average person understands it and gains something from it. If your copy is Google-approved but it doesn’t engage your customer, you’re doing it wrong.
The truth is that Google actually wants content that’s very human and very unique. The best way to get that is to write for humans, and for your customers, instead of writing content by asking “what does Google want?” This way, you avoid pitfalls like keyword stuffing.
Improve your page loading speeds.
The slower a page loads, the lower Google will rank it — plus, a user will click out of a page if it takes more than 2 seconds to load. To avoid both of these, you can speed up your website’s loading times through several methods, here are some:
One great way is by improving your videos and images. Larger photos and videos make pages load much more slowly. To solve this, you can:
- Compress your images with a tool like Imagify.
- Host your videos on Vimeo.
- Use JPG for your images.
- Resize your images so they’re the right balance of quality and size.
Another way to improve your page’s loading time is to optimize your code. There are often extra characters, unused code, and more that are slowing your site down significantly. There are a few tools that can help you clean up your code.
You can evaluate and keep an eye on your website’s loading time with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
Add internal links.
Are the pages in your site linked to each other? Linking pages within your site can help Google understand the content and structure of your site better, and pinpoint which pages are more valuable. This in turn helps your SEO.
Adding internal links is easy to do yourself. Your homepage is a great place to include links to your service pages, your About Us page, and your Contact page. Your service pages could also link to other pages related to that service, or to a blog post, and vice versa.
Every time you create a new page, also make sure to link other pages from your site inside of the page. For example, on this blog post, we can link to Hyvemark’s services page.
This process of linking as you go will ensure that your internal linking strategy is happening consistently.
Create new content.
Google loves fresh content, so new content is often ranked higher. A great way to stay on top of rankings for your keywords is to constantly put out new content about it, or to update old content with new and more relevant information.
Starting a blog is an easy way to do this. Set yourself the goal to write a weekly or bi-weekly blog post about topics related to your product or service, and publish them regularly. (And of course, make sure to add optimized meta data to your post.)
Not only does this give your website a boost in ranking, but it answers your new and potential customers’ questions about your products. In fact, this is a great way to build your brand’s reputation and trustworthiness in your customers’ eyes.
Use Search Console to submit new content and disavow bad content.
Google Search Console is maybe your most essential tool for SEO. There are many actions you can use it for, and one is to submit new content to Google — and also let Google know to ignore other pages.
On Search Console, you can review which pages Google has been ranking, and either allow Google to continue this process on its own, or give it some help.
Submitting new content
You can submit new content that you want Google to rank by creating a list of urls called a sitemap, and submitting it through Search Console. Make sure to include new content and pages that Google will probably not be ranking on its own yet.
Excluding bad content
You can also exclude pages that you don’t want Google to rank. On WordPress, you can use the Yoast plugin to make pages private.
You might want to exclude pages that have repetitive URLs or page errors, fake links, and pages that are just images. These types of pages can hurt your SEO, so excluding them will keep your SEO strategy running smoothly.
Doing an annual content audit will also help you stay on top of bad content and decide whether to delete, consolidate, or update any content.
These are only a few of the actions you can take to improve your website’s SEO. Ultimately, a strategic and long-term approach to your site is the best way to improve rankings on Google and keep them.
Many small business owners hesitate when it comes to investing in marketing, and doubt if dedicating a significant budget to marketing is the right choice. It might seem like another reason for cash to be leaving the company, but this is a common misconception.
Marketing has a cost, but it can determine business success and bring money back to you, when done correctly. Here are a few reasons why investing in marketing is worth it, and why you shouldn’t overlook the benefits of branding, digital marketing campaigns, and strategy.
It Puts You On The Map
Marketing is like introducing yourself to your customers, and the first step to building long-lasting relationships. It’s not just a visual first impression; it’s finding your customers and interacting with them in the right way. Marketing is a long-term investment, a cohesive interplay of different strategies that give you long-term results.
Today’s competitive landscape, online and offline, makes it undeniable that without marketing, it will be very difficult for anyone to know about your business. Marketing accomplishes this through a variety of complementary strategies, from design to targeted ads, that work together to help you reach your company’s goals.
It Gets You Through Crises
Marketing can weather many storms, even when production goes down, technology adapts, or other changes happen. Although marketing budgets are often the first thing to go in a crisis, studies show advertising can actually help in this time more than ever.
Marketing during a recession, when others are not, means less competition and more visibility for you. This has a huge positive effect on your business, not just to survive a recession, but to thrive even more afterwards. The key denominator here is making sure strategies maximize your return on investment and cumulatively work together to achieve the same goals across all marketing channels.
Any action that can help your business not just get through a crisis, but grow in one, is something to invest in.
You’re Already Doing It
To start any business, you have to do some level of marketing, even if you don’t realize it. The moment you name your business, create a logo, start an Instagram page, ask your friends to talk about your business, or choose packaging for your product, you’re marketing your business. You can’t do business without marketing on some basic level, which is why investing since the beginning is crucial to a consistent and successful marketing strategy.
What’s the difference when you invest in marketing instead of doing it passively? You give it the importance, time, and budget it deserves. Inadvertently, we all recognize that branding matters, and that advertising a business matters — we are just hesitant to put in the time or money it may take to make it great.
But that time and money will take the work you’re already doing to a new level, and actually make it profitable. You want people to hear about your business, and this should be achieved with trackable and measurable online ads and organic search strategies, functional designs, and consistent branding efforts.
You Are In Control
When a marketing budget surpases a business’s revenue it is clear why business owners and stakeholders are often dismissive of marketing and see it as a wasted investment. But an investment in marketing doesn’t have to cost a fortune to bring in real and beneficial results. Creating a realistic budget can help you reach your goals without overspending.
You decide how much you want to spend on marketing services and for how long you want to spend it. Since you can target a specific audience with your strategies, you can spend on specific platforms that can increase your return on investment and minimize wasted efforts.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, businesses should spend 5-7% of their sales revenue on marketing — and new companies should spend even more. A budgeted and careful investment can bring in revenue strategically.
Hyvemark: The Agency Focused On Your Growth
At Hyvemark, our experts will discuss your marketing goals and provide you with strategic recommendations focused on your business’ goals and sustainability. We strive to provide you with services that fit your budget and provide you with quality results by offering ROI-driven marketing that makes your investment in marketing worth every cent.
Facebook can be an excellent tool to market your business and gain a wider audience. If your business has ever posted on Facebook, you’ve probably seen the option to “boost” your post for a small charge. But Facebook also offers Facebook Ads through a separate Ads Manager. So, what’s the difference, and which one should you use for your business?
Let’s take a look at both options, understand what they are, and which one can bring real results and real customers to your business.
What Are Boosted Posts?
A boosted post is any post that you can pay to show up as an Ad on Facebook for your choice of audience. Your post will appear on the selected audience’s News Feed. They’re pretty simple because you can boost any existing post, and there is no need to design a brand new one.
What You Can Customize on Boosted Posts:
- Your Target Audience: In your target audience, you can choose age, gender, location, and interests. Facebook doesn’t propose ideas for interests, however, so you have to know these beforehand.
- You can choose your budget.
- Define the length of your boosted post.
There is not much you can optimize on boosted posts. Some benefits you can experience from these are page likes, shares, comments, and brand awareness. Once you have boosted a post, you’ll have the advantage of audience research, which will let you know what performs best.
What’s a Facebook Ad?
Facebook Ads, created through Facebook Ads manager, offer advanced customization— they’re especially known for their robust targeting capabilities. These can be optimized for website conversions (e.g. appointment requests or purchases), video views, app installations, shop orders, and more. They also offer analytic options, define campaign goals, and track ad engagement. oo
Facebook’s targeting options are one of their biggest draws, and are renowned in the digital marketing world. You can choose three types of audience:
- Core Audience: You have all the targeting options of a boosted post and more, including job, education, behavior, and connections.
- Custom Audience: Target your own database of people who’ve engaged with your business — even if they didn’t do it on Facebook.
- Lookalike Audiences: Target people who have similar interests and profiles to your best customers.
Benefits of Facebook Ads
Specified Ad objectives:
Facebook Ads allow you to choose more specific objectives that boosting simply can’t offer. Some of those objectives include conversions, store traffic, sales, appointments, and more, which directly impact your ROI.
When you establish these specific objectives, you can align your campaign with your business goals, so that your campaign is working with your greater marketing strategy and not just alongside it.
When you create Ads through Facebook Ads Manager, you’ll have creative control over your ads so they can fit your branding. You can add descriptions, have sliding images, include call-to-action buttons, and more. More creative freedom allows you to build a brand and remain consistent in branding while getting more sales.
Another benefit that only Facebook Ads provide you with is ad scheduling. This feature lets your ads appear in a specific timeframe and on a schedule that works best for your business and target audience. This makes sure you spend your budget more wisely, and show your ads when they’re more likely to gain you a new customer.
Facebook Ads give you the opportunity to choose where you want your Ad to appear. You can select placements in Messenger Ads, Audience Network, Facebook News Feed, Instagram stories, and more. Having these options helps you create a stronger and more strategic marketing plan that will yield better results.
Use Facebook Ads for Better ROI
If your goal is to maximize your campaign objectives, obtain better audiences, generate leads, and build a significant following, Facebook Ads will benefit you more in the short and long run. Boosted posts are only helpful building with awareness and engagement. Meanwhile, Facebook Ads allow you to do that and also capture real leads and convert them on your site, for measurable ROI.
Build Your Facebook Ads with Hyvemark
At Hyvemark, it’s our priority to help your business grow. One of our most popular services is building Facebook Ads campaigns. We create ads on social media that will make the most out of your budget through detailed targeting, conversion targeting, and campaign monitoring, to get you appointments and sales.
Contact us directly to start. We provide you with ROI-driven marketing solutions that will help you with long-term growth.