Contest promoter Phil Davis says, “The contest is valuable even to authors who don’t win one of our five top prizes. It’s much easier to promote a book by asking people to ‘vote’ for it instead of ‘buying’ it.” Many of the authors who participated in last year’s contest found the experience to be invaluable because of the way the voting structure was organized. Voters must leave feedback on the book cover, title and book excerpt in order to cast their ballot.
Kurt Behm won last year’s contest with his book The Death of the Playground. Like other authors, he found the feedback from voters to be the most valuable. “People took the time to leave several paragraphs of comments or even email me personally. I thought if people read the review I had a pretty good chance of them buying the book. I can’t tell you how many responses I got where people said they had just called and ordered the book from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. I heard that over and over again,” said Behm. The contest began a soft launch in mid-January and will conclude on March 31, 2010. Winners of this year’s contest will be announced in early April.
Twice this week I was called into consult with clients by my SEM partners who only sell paid search.
They needed to know why their campaigns weren’t working. A successful SEM campaign has three components:
2. A compelling ad
3. A compelling landing page.
Today I’m going to discuss the three components of a killer Google ad campaign. You’ve already done the keyword research, so now it’s time to write that ad.
Google ads are tricky because you’ve got 75 characters to capture the reader’s attention, build trust, make an offer and get them to click through to your landing page. That’s about half a tweet!
Here’s how you do it.
1. Capture attention by using capital letters at the beginning of each word. You can’t use all caps. You can also use punctuation like a ? or !, but not bunched together.
2. Build trust by repeating the search term in your ad title. Google automates this for you. Use it.
3. Make an offer that capitalizes on the why of your business. You’ve got two to four words to explain. Be brief.
4. Specific call to action. Do you want your visitor to click through to your landing page or call you? Let them know!
Here’s an ad I just found:
801 Phone Finder
Search Free Any 801 Number
Cell, Landline, Unpublished & More.
Does it meet the criteria I mentioned?
It repeated my search term which included 801.
It gave the “why” or unique selling proposition – cell phones, unpublished, etc.
It gave a call to action – search free.
I would have changed the link at the bottom to make the URL simple, but that’s just me.
There you have the easy and effective way to write pay-per-click (PPC) ads for Google!
Writing ads is trial and error, so multiple testing has to be put in place. What kind of ads are your customers going to click on? I don’t know! Let’s test. Google makes it easy and shows the best performing ads more frequently. Be sure to write multiple ads and let your customer tell you which ones work the best.
However, we’ve reached a level of marketing saturation that has made those methods that used to work obsolete.
To be really successful in today’s highly competitive marketplace, we need to start answering a different question in our advertising…”why.”
Consider the fast food hamburger as an example. There are a lot of different foods competing for our dollars when we’re in a rush. The super easy choice is a hamburger. The big three are McDonalds, Burger King and Carl’s Jr. They all make and sell hamburgers. They all cost about the same. So how can they gain market share? By answering the why. Of the three places, I admit I eat at McDonalds and Burger King more than Carl’s. Of those two, I like Burger King the best. Why? Because of the flame broiled burger. I think BK makes the best mass-produced hamburger in the country, if not the world.
I drive by a tune up place in Murray fairly frequently that has a message on its marquee saying, “Follow us on Twitter.” Every time I think “why?” I can’t think of a reason. Maybe they’ve got one. They probably wouldn’t go to the trouble if they didn’t, but it’s not being communicated. A better message would be “Follow us on Twitter because you can get a free tune up.”
I tell people to read my blog because they’ll learn how to use Twitter and Facebook and blog in a profitable manner. More importantly other people say the same thing.
The key to answering the “why” question is to include the word “because.” I got this idea from Copyblogger, but I’ve heard it from other sources too. Your because can be anything, just use the word because it answers the question “why.” I like Burger King burgers because they’re flame broiled. The question of “what” is answered by the product and the question of “how much” doesn’t matter because it’s the best tasting burger out there and the price differential between my other burger choices is nominal.
Answering the question “why” removes the price question altogether so long as consumers are clear on what your product or service is. Your “why” should be your competitive advantage or unique selling proposition. Price doesn’t have to, nor should it enter into your advertising, if you answer the question why.
Last year I had the opportunity to test drive a Bentley. I always wondered why someone would spend over $200,000 for a car when a perfectly good BMW or Mercedes costs a fraction of that price. Once I drove the car, I understood why. Other than the fact I couldn’t afford it, price didn’t come into play at all. From the massaging seats to the powerful engine to the hand stitched interior that looked so well put together it could never fall apart, I learned the “why.” I would have bought the car on the spot if I had the money.
We’re not all out there selling Bentleys, but if we answer the question of “why” in our advertising, we’ll never have to answer “how much.”
What is my “why?” I make websites successful.
The other day I wrote about a challenge I was facing with a client of mine who was using a WordPress site.
Their web designer had possibly nefariously tagged the entire site to be invisible to the search engines…like a vampire unable to see its own reflection.
While I worked for a while on unravelling this mystery by looking into the deepest, darkest corners of the code and then the web that encased it, I found no solutions. I tried a work around that failed, even though sucking the blood out of other methods succeeded. Ultimately, getting my hands dirty in the cobwebs of WordPress found success.
As I suspected, the culprit was a simple checkbox with a universal application. Unfortunately I didn’t know where to look. The WordPress gurus I consulted had no idea. To be fair, I fired off questions. Channa is awesome. I was looking for answers, not explorations.
While setting up a new WordPress site last night, I discovered the answer to my question. I’ll save the screenshot for another time.
Settings-Privacy-I would like my blog to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Sphere, Technorati) and archivers.
If you have this checked, your website is golden. If not, your website is dying an anonymous death. Like a rare disease, nobody but the experts knows why your site is dying from a dearth of traffic. I do. Let’s fix it.