As a blogger it’s quite unlikely that you’ll be thinking of promoting your blog via Google Adwords or other PPC methods. You may already monetize with Adsense, but maybe you should think about paying to promote your site with Google Adwords?
In this post I’m going to make the case for using Adwords to drive more targeted traffic to your site. I believe that for almost every website there is an argument for using paid search, although I’m certainly not recommending spending lots of money. To learn more about PPC and Adwords at Blogging Tips check out these 2 great posts.
Within Adwords you can use a huge variety of advertising methods and there is so much to do that it can be quite bewildering when you log into the interface. You could advertise on keywords in paid search in Google and the search partner network, or you could advertise on the display network from sites such as YouTube or your local news website.
In most cases these are not going to be suitable for you, but there is one type of advertising within Google Adwords which is likely to be incredibly powerful and useful for bloggers. This type of advertising is remarketing by Google. It’s incredibly powerful and in most cases very cheap. I’d go as far as to say that it’s the highest ROI form of online advertising currently available today.
Remarketing (or retargeting as it’s called outside of Google) is the process of marketing to people that have already been to your site before. The theory is very simple, if somebody has already visited your site in the past then they are much more likely to come back again in the future as they’ve already shown enough interest to have already found you previously. Remarketing allows you to show adverts on Google’s display network to (only) people who have previously visited your site.
If they’ve already been on your site and read various blog posts then it would be great if you could cheaply get them to come back at a later date. You will no doubt have various conversion goals for your blog (or at least you should!) and the more relevant visitors you have the greater the chances you’ll have of getting more conversions. It’s likely that the vast majority of traffic you get from search engines will only visit you once. If you can get this traffic to come back regularly then engagement should really increase.
By advertising to only people who you know have read your blog your advertising budget will go a long way as ultimately it will be a relatively small number. We’re not talking here about advertising to anyone and everyone.
It’s far beyond the scope of this post to explain every advanced step in setting it up as this post is about why you should be doing this rather than how. I’ll get you started though with showing how to get the coding element done and how to get a basic campaign running.
To set it up you’re going to need to have the Google remarketing code on every page on your site. Getting the code is pretty easy. So if you haven’t got an Adwords account, go along and create one and then within Adwords you need to click on Shared Library and then Audiences.
Once you are here you Adwords has handily set up a new “main list” for you.
All you need to is to click on tag, and the code that needs to be put on your website will be shown. It needs to be pasted before the closing </body> tag of your website template and you’re done. If you’re using WordPress then there are plenty of plugins available that will do this for you easily.
Cookie length by default is set to 30 days and that should be about right for a blogger. Assuming you publish once a week or more you should now be able to get people back to your site over a 30 day period. You could set the cookie length to more than 30 days but I think that 30 days would be about right. For more help with setting this up visit Google’s Remarketing Help page.
OK so now you have the code on your site you can setup and run a remarketing campaign and bring back some of your blog visitors. Firstly in the campaign view you need to click on new campaign and then display network only as show in the image below.
Next you will need to create the campaign. In the image below you can need to give the campaign a name (just something simple for you to remember it), make sure you select “remarketing”, and give it a budget. It doesn’t have to be a lot, maybe try $3-5 to start with. You can see this in the image below.
The next step you are taken to is to create an AdGroup. If you’ve used adwords before for search you’ll know that adgroups normally contain keywords. In this case you don’t have to use keywords and you just add your remarketing list that you created in the initial steps as shown in the following image. So go ahead and add your remarketing list, name your AdGroup, and set a bid amount.
Finally, all you need to do is write you advert as shown below, and you are done.
If you’ve never used Adwords before then Google often offer free credits to new advertisers. In the UK they’re currently offering £75 free when you deposit £25 and they do pretty much the same in other countries. £100 (~$150) will go a long way as you will be advertising to such a relatively small number of people. If you’re using a PPC management firm then they will have free credit vouchers for you, but they can easily be obtained by anyone simply by calling Google.
Hopefully this short post has made you think that it might be worth spending a very small amount of money with Google for remarketing to the visitors of your blog. It’s laser focused so there is very little wasted ad spend. If you can get visitors back you can hopefully convert one time readers to long time subscribers and that’s going to make a huge difference the success of your blog.
Have you tried Adwords or remarketing specifically? If you have any questions, let me know in your comments!
This post was written by Harvey Pearce, an Adwords Consultant at a digital marketing company in the UK called SEO Derby. He is passionate about all things search and social and enjoys playing snooker in his spare time. You can follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.
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