PPC Advertising isn’t a walk in the park. Even when you have all the right ingredients, it is still difficult to maintain. You are required to put in countless hours optimizing your ads, bidding, looking for new opportunities, optimizing landing pages and websites and many other things.
Inevitably, every marketer or business owner comes at a point where they ask themselves if there is any easier way to do the job that they are currently doing.
Our short answer to this million dollar question is, “Yes.”
As like everything else in life, there’s always someone or some company you can pay to handle something which you do not want to do yourself.
Now as much as we’d love to answer this by saying ‘Hire SproutPPC’, we also know that hiring us might not always be the most ideal move for any business. For some businesses, hiring someone internally might be the right decision. For some other businesses which might be smaller, hiring a freelancer to keep an eye out on a few campaigns might be the most viable option.
However, for most businesses, the best solution would be to hire a PPC agency like Sprout PPC.
But how do you decide which options you as a business owner should go for ? Let’s take a look at a few critical reasons you should take into consideration when deciding.
1) Are You Profitable Already ?
But To be completely honest, a PPC agency won’t always save your business. PPC Agencies such as Sprout PPC are awesome at optimization. If you’re about to hire a PPC agency because you have an idea and want to make it work, you might be disappointed.
Whilst account managers at Sprout PPC have years of experience and tons of tricks, most of these tricks will work well for already established businesses.
This doesn’t mean that we would not be able to help a start-up or a new business, but an honest PPC agency would not be able to guarantee you any numbers. If a company is already doing PPC and has some historical data to look at, then we would be at a much better place to know if we can take the client on or not.
Hiring a PPC agency to manage an unproven business model is sometimes risky as it might be expensive. If you’re already spending thousands a month profitably, then we should be on a call together.
If for some reason you have profitable PPC campaigns and they might be taking too much of your time or you think there’s much more potential to be exploited, hiring a good PPC agency is a good idea.
So, if you’re thinking about hiring a PPC agency, you need to ask yourself this question.
- What benefit am I expecting from this PPC agency ?
If the reason is, “I can’t make this work so I’m going to hire an agency to try it for me.” Then you might be preparing for disappointment. If your reason is “I’m already making money from the PPC campaigns and I just want someone to optimize my campaigns and get me better results without me having to spend hours on it.” That reason is when you should hire a PPC campaign such as Sprout PPC.
2) Lacking ideas ?
When you are trying to market the same business on a daily basis, it can be very easy to get stuck in a rut. To make this even worse, since your experience is limited, you might not know of the options and different routes you can take.
This is where an awesome PPC agency shines!
PPC Agencies like Sprout PPC are full of marketers who are excellent at their craft and have years of experience working with different advertising platforms, strategies and business goals. They know what is working today, what was working yesterday and how they can achieve the best for your business.
In addition, their creative side can work on new solutions that you and your team couldn’t manage to come up with.
They can also bounce off ideas between a creative team without even having to get up from their desk.
So, even if you have a fairly adequate set of skills, if you feel like there is room for improvement or need things looked at from a different perspective, it might be a good idea to speak to a PPC agency.
In this article we’ve covered what we believe are the most important aspects when deciding whether to hire a PPC agency or not.
To be completely honest with you, if you are currently running profitable PPC campaigns you might want to talk with an agency like Sprout PPC. The years of experience, trials and errors, successes and failures have taught us many little factors that the usual marketer will not know. If this sounds someone like you, just get in touch with us and we can set up a free strategy session where we can share some ideas together. The best scenario would be to end up working together. Worst case scenario ? You end up going back with a few new ideas on how you can improve your business.
With that being said, if your business model is not proven yet and you do not know if it will work, hiring a PPC agency might not work and you can end up disappointed. We’re not saying things couldn’t work out, but the likelihood is that you end up wishing you’d invested your money elsewhere.
Those who have been working as real estate agents from years ago noticed a major change in these last 10 years. Clients buy property in a different way then they did a few years back.
Nowadays, a potential prospect search begins with an online search. For huge realtors, digital marketing is the biggest weapon today. From generating new leads to successfully closing deals, the real estate industry now relies on digital marketing.
We’ve narrowed down the 5 most important factors to take in consideration when trying to sell a property using online digital solutions.
1) Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
PPC is one of the most powerful methods one can use when it comes to selling property.
We have talked about PPC in previous articles and we explained to you that a PPC search is performed either on Google Search Ads or Bing Ads and when someone is performing a search on certain keywords, it means that they are looking to buy.
person who searched for “buy apartment in yorkshire” means that
that client is a HUGE potential client and if you are a realtor who
is selling property in that area, you don’t want to lose him.
If a person is being that direct, it means that he is currently in stage 3 or 4 of the sales process and all you might need is your business to show up.
2) Email Campaigns
It doesn’t matter the industry that you are currently in, an email campaign is always useful. You can find debates online discussing whether email marketing is still effective or not, but a well-made email marketing campaign is still super effective in 2019.
It’s an amazingly valuable tool to connect with new leads, past leads and staying relevant with the connections you have made.
to Smart Insights, the average open-rate of emails for the real
estate niche is around 28% with a click through rate (CTR) of
This doesn’t mean yours won’t be better or worse, but you can get an idea of the average industry rate. The more relevant and precise your content and your subject lines are, the more interested your audience is going to be and the higher the chances of them reading your content.
It doesn’t matter if they have already bought the house or the apartment they were looking for. If they are still reading your content, they might refer you to someone else. They might know someone who is currently looking to purchase and you email them with a similar listing.
What’s happening here, is you staying relevant. If you have an audience of a 1000 people who’s constantly receiving your listings and information about real estate, new laws, and help whilst another real estate agent is not doing any of this. Who do you think they’re going to call when their need arises ? When they are transitioning from a ‘prospect’ to a ‘potential prospect’ ?
3) User-Friendly & Responsive Websites
Having a poorly executed website which isn’t user friendly and not mobile responsive is the beginning of the end for every real estate agent.
How many times have you clicked on a website link and you end up waiting more than 5 seconds for it to open up, and you’re already trying to close it down.
Site-speed is critical when it comes to any business not just the real estate industry. We’ve helped businesses increase their conversion rate by just speeding up their site load speed. Although this might sound crazy, it is super effective. Having a site not load within the first 2-3 seconds might drive a potential client to close the page and you will end up losing him forever.
Think of it like this. You’re walking down a street and notice something you like in a store front. You try to walk in the store only to find out that the door is not opening. There’s a huge chance that you’re not going to wait to see what the problem is, you’re just going to get on with your day.
Real estate agents usually put up a lot of content on their website such as videos, images and information about the property. I mean, this is obvious.. They’re selling a property so they need to showcase it. However, not having the images compressed to the right image size can heavily impact your site-speed.
The other issue we usually come across is websites which are not mobile responsive. Today, more than 75% of internet searches are performed through mobile devices, and if your website is not responsive, you are set for failure.
4) Live Chat
Another addition, you can have on your website is a live chat feature. Your real-estate business isn’t something straight forward and a potential client is going to have questions. Period.
a property isn’t like buying something off a store, people are
going to ask questions over and over again. Therefore, why not use
tools such as Manychat where the user can automatically get in touch
with you through Messenger if he’s on your website with questions ?
Not having a live chat feature might drive him away as he might be busy to call or text, but everyone’s got time to send one message on messenger. It also allows him to message you at any time of the day/night without coming off as inappropriate.
5) Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO remains one of the most over-looked features when it comes to digital marketing. It is a critical technique that drives leads to your website.
When done correctly, your website or pages will show up on a higher rank on Google and other search engines for relevant keywords.
With Google and other popular search engines constantly changing their algorithms it is critical for real estate agency owners and real estate agents to focus on SEO.
To include keywords in your SEO strategy, make sure that you are including high-ranking and converting keywords throughout your website, blog and social media pages.
There are other factors to consider when running SEO which we will go in more detail in future articles such as
- Online Directories
- Social Media Pages & Content
- Meta Titles & Descriptions
I’m sure you’ve heard this before but content is king. Google will only acknowledge you if you provide content which they deem to be important, that is how he puts you higher up in searches so that the users will find you.
If Google promotes bad content to pages higher up, it means that he is going to send traffic to unwanted content meaning that they will be ruining user experience. Therefore, relevant content with great selection of keywords are rewarded.
This is highly important for real estate businesses who are servicing particular locations as in a few months your real estate agency will be showing up whenever people are looking to buy property in your desired location.
80% of businesses come at a point in their lifetime where they think...Hey, I need to run PPC campaigns or some kind of paid advertising. For some businesses, this is in the back of their head before they open their doors. For others, it might be a long time after they open their business.
At a point or another, this is a decision that every business makes in the era we are living. However, they must choose carefully which Advertising Platform to choose when advertising their business. Investing money has to be made wisely, if not, prepare to lose money.
There’s plenty of options to consider when choosing an advertising platform. First of all, you need to check which platform does your target audience use mainly. One most also consider his advertising budget as campaigns on all the platforms will vary in cost. Let’s take a closer look at the 5 most cost-effective yet powerful ad types in 2019 and their best practices.
1) Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads + Instagram Ads remain two of the most powerful and sales-effective advertising platforms today. They allow businesses to reach audiences with certain interests and showcase their brand visually whilst introducing it to cold audiences.
Facebook also allows the user to push a person through a sales funnel. This means that if user X has interacted with an advert from you by such as liking your post, visiting your website, leaving a comment or just simply by watching your video, Facebook gives the business owner an option to retarget you with other adverts and push you down the funnel.
PROS & CONS
The Pros of Facebook Ads:
1. You don’t need to wait for people to look for your product. You can showcase your brand and introduce yourself whenever you want
2. Retargeting! How many times are we going to mention this ? Retargeting is where the money is at!
3. Behaviour and interest-based targeting
4. Bid caps. A limit to how much you can spend. Always useful!
2) Google Search Ads
When it comes to popularity, Google Search Ads are up there with Facebook Ads, but the way they work is entirely different. On Google, your advert will only show when users search for a related search term and your ad will show up at the beginning of the results.
This gives your business major visibility when people are looking for a business or a service such as yours. The fact that they are already looking for your desired product or service makes them in a position where they are in the lower end of the funnel meaning they could turn into customers at a quicker rate.
Google Search Ads costs is different for every keyword you target. Some keywords are more expensive than others, so ultimately it’s up to you to decide if the keyword is cost-effective enough for you to run adverts to.
PROS & CONS
The Pro’s of Google Search Ads
1. Reach users during decision-making periods when they are researching your product or service. Even if they are not ready to buy yet, you want to be on their radar.
2. You can organize specific keywords in different groups and show them a dedicated advert using also negative keywords which can help you weed out the unwanted traffic of people not interested to buy yet.
3. You can use plenty of bidding and budget options to ensure you do not maximize your budget.
4. Location & Radius targeting is key when servicing local services. You do not want to be targeting the whole of the United Kingdom when you are catering only for a town with a population of 50,000 people.
Our take on Google Search Ads is that it can be expensive than other platforms, but with the right set-up you can be targeting a pool of people ready to buy unlike Facebook.
3) Google Display Ads
Google Display Ads are another sales-effective pat of the Google Ad System. You can control what sites you want your advert to appear on, whether it’s a general category or from Google’s list of specific publishers.
Display Ads give you the option to visualize the ads and create a demand rather than finding users with a need, much like Facebook Ads.
PROS & CONS
The Pro’s of Google Display Ads
1. Reach users even when they are not looking for you or similar services
2. Google Display Ads also offer Retargeting. Although it might not be as powerful as Facebook, they can still generate revenue and awareness.
3. The reach is gigantic. Google Display Ads reach is more than 85% of people who use the internet.
The Con’s of Google Display Ads
Some Display Ads are blocked within ad blockers and because of that users will not be able to interact with your advert.
4) LinkedIN Ads
LinkedIN remains one of the most over-looked platforms when it comes to advertising. LinkedIN is integral for businesses who participate in B2B. They offer a variety of different ad types which a user can make use of. The way they work is very much similar to Facebook as they give you the option to narrow down by interests and industries.
PROS & CONS
The Pro’s of LinkedIN Ads
1. 21Super powerful when you are trying to get in touch with other businesses decision-making people, such as Directors, Founders etc who might not use other social media platforms.
2. Their Sponsored inbox ad format is super powerful which captures the attention of a user since you will be basically sending them a message in their inbox.
3. It’s an ever-growing platform with strong targeting features , including specific targeting such as Job Titles, Industry and many more.
The Con’s of LinkedIN Ads
1. It can get expensive to reach your desired audience and the return won’t be that fast since it requires time and patience.
2. It requires more time and dedication to set advertising up and one must be careful as he would be interacting with a lot of important people.
5) Bing Ads
Bing Ads work just like Google Search Ads. They have pretty much the same or similar features that Google Search Ads offer, however on a smaller scale. Reason being that more people use Google rather than Bing.
There’s still 1/3 of all internet searches being performed through Bing so there is still plenty of room for potential and a platform you can utilize.
PROS & CONS
The Pro’s of Bing Ads
1. Since there is less people and advertisers using this platform, keyword searches for most of the keywords are significantly cheaper than Google.
2. Same capability to capture users attention for people who are looking for a brand or product similar as yours. The Con’s of Bing Ads
1. Bing Ads cannot be your only advertising platform when running ads as their is a smaller pool of people which might not be enough for you to turn out a profit.
2. Bing’s algorithm isn’t as good as Google’s and might skew up a few results from the get-go.
Advertising Platforms are a superb way to drive sales and establish brand awareness to any business you are in, but one must be careful that the benefits outweigh the cost.
We have encountered countless of businesses who have the wrong impression on Digital Advertising where they tell us, “It doesn’t work” OR “We tried it and lost money instead”. Like every other thing, digital advertising is an art and it requires skill to be able to create, tweak and optimize for best results and that is why professional marketing agencies exist.
Knowing each platform’s strengths and weaknesses allows you to build a strategic approach for your business. This obviously increases the likelihood of success and more profit for you.
Do you think you need help on deciding which advertising platform your business should run ads on ? Drop us a message below and we’ll let you know!
Local SEO: How important is it ?
Unless your business is entirely online, the location plays a very important role in your business’s successes. The people located closest to your business are the most likely to turn into customers.
One of the ways that these people can find you online is through SEO. Local SEO needs to be a part of your marketing strategy, period.
UNDERSTANDING LOCAL SEO
When we talk about “Local SEO” we refer to the optimization that shows your business when someone searches for a certain term in a specific area.
Let’s say, you own a restaurant and you would like it to appear for searches such as “places to eat in Sliema” or “best restaurant near me”. An effective local SEO system can see an increase in your revenue as your business will start showing to the people looking for you.
OPTIMIZING LOCAL SEO
When it comes to optimizing Local SEO, there are several steps one should take. If you follow the guidelines we’re going to walk you through below you will be on your way to start ranking your business.
There are lots of business-related tools where you need to list down your company in order for it to pop up at the right places. Google my Business remains one of the most effective one. Listing your business in Apple Maps or Bing Places could also be effective.
In order to be able to optimize your keywords you need to know which exact keywords people are using when looking for a business or service similar to yours.
Let’s say your business sells flowers. Your potential customer may search “florists near me”. They might be also looking for your company directly. Maybe they need the opening hours, or a contact number to ask a question. There are plenty of tools you can use to identify which keywords similar businesses use to rank such as the Google Keyword Planner.
Like a lot of other aspects of Digital Marketing, local SEO isn’t a set and forget kind of thing. Regular activity is much needed if you intend on keeping your ranking. You have to be consistent in doing the following
- Update your website’s content with related information.
- Use Google Posts to add updates and promotions to your listings.
- Read the reviews you receive and courteously answer them.
By staying on top of your SEO game, you are ensuring that your business will maintain a strong position and continue to pop up when people are looking for similar businesses or services.
In a nutshell, if your business has a physical location, there’s no reason in the world why you shouldn’t focus on Local SEO. It’s affordable, easy and can provide an enormous help when it comes to reaching your audience.
How Much Money Is Your Lousy Website Design Costing You ?
Creating a good website design is work. A pretty looking website design isn’t always the key so just by hiring someone to do it, it doesn’t mean that you’re good to go.
What do most of the people do ? They tend to cut a few corners.
Whilst pushing to get their website up and running, many business owners end up throwing a half-planned website just for the sake of having a website. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this approach, but if you’re in it for the long-term, then there has to be some thinking and planning before even attempting to create a new website.
For most of us, our website is the backbone of our online marketing work. Whether you’re running Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Instagram Ads or any kind of ads where people are ending up on your website, having a poorly executed website can be the make or break. A customer makes his decision within the first few seconds he lands on your website.
Fail to grab his attention ? You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
Your marketing is only as good as the landing page you are sending your customers to. Your website has to make it easy for the person to understand what you are showing them and what actions you need them to take. Otherwise, all your marketing efforts are in vain and you’ll end up losing more money instead of making money.
So, how much exactly is your website design costing you ? After going through hundreds of audits and website optimisations it is safe to say that the cost is much more than one would think.
Why It Matters
Whether your website has been designed by yourself or by an agency, if you haven’t been testing it, you’re leaving money on the table. That’s just a simple marketing fact.
Business change. Trends are ever-changing. User expectations change from time to time. Even if the website was perfect when you built it (5 years ago) it might not be now.
Think of it this way. Let’s say you have a physical store selling furniture, you open the store in 2017 and you leave everything the same since the first day you opened. What’s going to happen ? People are going to come in and think “This is too old-fashioned”.
There might be nothing wrong in your store (Website) but the user expectation there has changed. What you had in 2017 is not what the people are looking for in 2019. That’s just the way the world works and not just your website and the marketing industry.
Having Too Many Distractions & Flashy Content
Now, don’t get us wrong. Having a modern website with good widgets and appealing elements to your website isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, we do dig the occasional widget flying around on your website.
But going back to a point we have previously mentioned, TESTING! Have you tested your website without that widget ? Maybe customers on a mobile device are getting distracted by a certain element ? The only way to find out if the website is performing at optimal performance, is to test. You might be getting good results, but what if you can get spectacular results ?
Sticky Nav Bar - Yay or Nay ?
It’s a thing now where every website we go into, specially eCom stores, have that famous sticky bar. People love ‘em, right ?
You slap an offer onto it and stick it to your audience’s device and you make sure that they are seeing it. What’s not to love, right ?
Well, that logic seems sound on paper but when we tested the sticky bar for one of our clients we have learned that people are converting better on their landing page without it. For some reason, it was distracting the user customer experience and making the website look ‘spammy’.
Missing Form Fields..
You can read any conversion optimization and you will uncover one single truth; Less form fields = Higher conversion rates.
The psychology behind this is that people hate filling out forms, so the shorter the form the better the conversion, right ?
This may be a general rule, but your business is unique. General rules don’t always apply to every niche and industry.
One of our clients is in the roofing industry who get quite a bit of traffic on their website. In order for the potential customer to request a quote on their site, they need to fill out a short form. Three of these fields found on the form seem a bit unnecessary; preferred contact time, preferred method of contacting and how did you hear about us ?
At first glance , one might think that they are unneeded and are only lengthening the process, however a customer might feel that the company actually values the customer and wants them them to contact them in the best and easiest way possible for them. That creates trust, which helps potential customers convert into customers more.
The challenging thing about website design is that you never know whether your site is working at best performance. If you haven’t put much time, thought and planning to create the website design then you are sure as hell leaving money on the table. Also if you’ve followed the ‘best practices’ in creating the website, there is still room for improvement. Testing is another big factor as we mentioned. If you haven’t been playing around and testing different elements then you still could be missing out on more.
We recommend companies to put the desired time and effort into this as your website is the heart of your online presence. It’s not time wasted, it’s time well invested into something that could help you flourish.
If you’re not sure where to start testing your website, why not let us have a look ? The case studies we have mentioned above are a few of our success stories we’ve had with past and current clients who all thought they have it figured out.