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Tech Buzz at its best

How Often Should You Update a PPC Campaign?

So, you’ve chosen some search keywords, set your bids, written some sizzling ads, and even gotten your targeted landing pages together. Your pay-per-click campaign is all ready to go… so how long should you wait to update it?

This can be a really important question, since most online advertising isn’t as profitable as it could be from the start. In fact, successful marketers have been known to double, or even triple, the results from an effective campaign by tweaking different elements like the wording of their ads, or the placement of a “buy now” button on a landing page.

You can’t know what to test, however, until you’ve seen how your current ad, keyword, and visitor combinations work together. So how do you decide when it’s time to freshen things up?

We think a good rule of thumb for updating your PPC is once a month, or every 10,000 impressions, whichever comes first. That way, you don’t overreact to any temporary blip, and you give developing trends enough time to prove they’re statistically significant.

Like any good rule of thumb, however, this one has a couple of exceptions:

When your PPC campaign is bleeding money. If it seems like you’re blowing through your Internet advertising budget and not seeing any results, or even any kind of activity that looks like it might lead to results later, then you might need to re-envision your campaign from the ground up. Are you sure you’re appealing to the right audience, that you have competitive products and prices, and that your offer stacks up well against the competition?

When you have really low quality scores for important keywords. Having low quality scores means you’re going to pay far, far more than you need to for each and every click. That, in turn, kills the efficiency and profitability of your campaigns. It’s okay to live with low quality scores for the first week or so of your new ads while you build up a bit of account history, but after that, they could be a sign that you need to pause and reassess.

When it’s a brand-new campaign. Brand-new campaigns are a unique challenge. On the one hand, you want to give them time to develop and perform, but you also want to grow them and evolve them as you study search patterns and your competitors. If nothing seems to be going exceptionally wrong, let your new ads run and see what happens; but if you spot an obvious problem or issue, don’t let it fester while you collect analytic data.

Knowing when to tamper with your pay-per-click campaigns is just as important as knowing how. Ignore the advice here and you could find yourself constantly switching from one idea or tactic to another, never really finding out which ones work. Or worse yet, you could keep spending money on a losing campaign month after month. To avoid both problems, it’s important to have a strategy for regular review and testing, so give our rules of thumb a little bit of thought.

How to Make Smarter IT Budgeting Decisions

It’s not unusual for business owners to think of their IT budgets as something akin to a black hole on a balance sheet. It seems like it keeps going in, but they aren’t sure what, if anything, ever escapes out of the other side. They need technology, but aren’t sure whether they are getting good value for the dollars they’re spending.

We can understand. It’s hard enough to make the right IT budgeting decisions when you’re in the industry and know the features and benefits of each product. For an outsider, being bombarded with different ideas and buzzwords, they can easily become overwhelming.

That doesn’t mean you have to simply give up and accept that some of your technology budget is going to be wasted, though. We have a few simple pieces of advice you can follow to make the most of every expenditure…

Don’t Pay Hourly

While we love working with our clients, we hate sending them invoices for hourly IT work. That’s because nearly every business would be better served by opting for a managed services agreement, which lets us handle their technology proactively for monthly fee, rather than simply responding to emergency calls as needed. Those last-minute technology disasters come unexpectedly, and they can cost you dearly when you’re paying for time instead of expertise. Do yourself a favor, and sign up for a monthly rate.

Opt for Subscriptions When You Can

Speaking of monthly rates versus unexpected charges, most businesses are better served by renting equipment and paying for software on a subscription basis than they are replacing expensive hardware and applications on an irregular basis. With subscriptions, you get the latest and greatest technology, a predictable cash flow, and the luxury of stopping your service when something isn’t working. Shell out big money for an upgrade or version improvement, though, and there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself doing it again in the near future.

Get Good Technology, But Not the Newest Gadgets

Technology sales professionals can be great at helping you identify opportunities for efficiency and functionality, but they can also be guilty of selling you the latest and greatest gadgets when you don’t really need them. When you buy a piece of tech that’s fresh off the shelves, you’re probably paying top dollar for it. Why not wait months until it’s cheaper and all of the bugs have been worked out? A lot of salespeople won’t tell you, but that’s the “sweet spot” in the technology market where the biggest bargains can be found.

Find a Proactive IT Partner

Your hardware, software, and devices all cost you the most when they aren’t working. That’s because the minute they fail, you and your team usually stop working, too. From there, the losses (in terms of sales and productivity) just add up one hour after another. To avoid that kind of situation, you should find a good IT vendor who will work proactively to not just fix problems, but ensure you won’t have outages in the first place. That’s the ultimate IT money-saving tip.

When you need a team of committed technology professionals who will get to know your business and help you maximize your bottom line, we are ready to help. Call us to set up a free consultation and learn about the different ways we can make your company stronger.

Why Outsourced IT Means Better Service at Lower Costs

Quick question: which would be the better long-term option for your company, having an in-house IT employee, or working with an outside company?

If you thought keeping a team member on your payroll would be the easiest way to ensure your technology is going to work the way it’s supposed to, then you certainly aren’t alone. We find that a lot of business owners tend to share the same opinion. Unfortunately, it’s not the best answer – and having the wrong notion could end up costing you lots of money.

As it turns out, you don’t just make it easier to balance your budget when you work with an outsourced IT company, but you also get better service at the same time. How can an outside vendor do better work for you than an employee who is in your own office every day? We are glad you asked, because there are a few things you have to know to get to the answer…

Technology Expertise Costs Less When You Outsource it

When it comes to IT expertise, renting is cheaper than buying. Unless you have a very large and complex business, you don’t need a full-time IT employee on staff. And, you certainly don’t need someone to pay salary, benefits, and training costs to every single month.

With outsourced IT, you only pay for what you need, on an hourly or monthly basis. That’s a great way to save cash.

Many Minds Are Greater Than One

Learning about the hardware and software being used in a single business is easy; keeping on top of multiple systems, trends, and programming languages isn’t. That’s why it’s better to work with an outsourced IT team, with many different skills and specialties on staff, than it is a single employee.

No matter how sharp an individual might be, they can’t know about all the technology you’re going to use in your company (and if they tried, that constantly be training and seminars). But with a team of experts, you can have someone who knows your business and the latest technology on call when you need them.

You’ll Get Wider IT Coverage

Another disadvantage to having a single IT employee, or even an in-house team, has to do with time and coverage. It’s impossible for one person to be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And naturally, your technology is likely to fail when the employee you need is on vacation.

By spreading the costs of a large IT team amongst many different clients, your outsourced vendor can ensure there is always someone sitting by the phone when you need them.

You Can Scale Your Service up or Down

Hiring in-house IT employees takes a lot of time, and you’re going to be stuck paying for them for quite a while, even if business conditions aren’t as you expect them to be. And of course, if you grow, you’ll have to bring on even more team members (swelling your payroll at the same time).

With an outsourced IT vendor, you can scale your services up or down as needed. Simply change or plan, or get additional help as you need it, without being tied into years of salary and benefits.

If you want the best in technology care, and don’t want to pay more than you should, then it’s time to find the right IT vendor to work with. Why not place a call to our team today and see how we can help your business become more efficient?

How Do You Know Your Business Web Designer is the Right One?

This is a very relevant question in today's Internet marketing world, given that businesses from around the globe (and even a few template services) are competing for your web design business. Given that nearly all of them can give you a business website that looks good, how do you choose the right one, or have any confidence that the choice you've made is right for you?

The best answer is to completely shift the way you think about business web design as a service. Rather than focusing on the way your next site is going to look for customers, think instead about what it's going to actually do for your company, and whether the team in question can deliver on their promises.

In other words, think about the end results, rather than simply the artistic process. That should lead you to questions like:

  • Is this company able to help me promote my business website in a way that potential customers can find me and I can generate sales opportunities?
  • Do I get the feeling that this designer or creative team will be easy to work with, and responsive to my questions and/or requests?
  • Will ongoing support and Internet marketing be included as part of their proposal, or is it going to be an afterthought for them after the site has been launched?

Once you have these kinds of questions in mind, you should be able to find the answers by looking through old case studies, sitting through consultations, or speaking with past clients. No matter which approach you take, though, make sure you understand what you're likely to get from the website beyond the pages themselves – in the end, that's what actually matters, and how you know you found the right web designer.

Looking for an experienced team of business web design professionals who can help you find a great return on investment for your project? Call or email Kinetik IT today!