The Expert Interview: Jade Wicks, Doeth Marketing
Jade cut her teeth in the marketing industry working for a series of agencies with brands including Jaguar, Gamble Aware and the RHS. She founded Doeth Marketing in 2016, and now runs paid search and paid social advertising campaigns for her clients, who range from startups to well established companies turning over £3 million. She has qualifications from the CIM and IDM, on top of the law degree she completed before deciding marketing was a much more creative and interesting career choice.
What’s the difference between SEO and PPC?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of improving your website so that it can be found organically in search engines like Google or Bing. So when a prospective customer uses specific keywords or phrases that you want your site to be optimised for, they find you. PPC (Pay Per Click) is a paid for way of getting to the top of search engine results.
There’s also paid social which is using paid advertising on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. You can also pay for these on a pay per click basis, which is what confuses people, or it can be pay per impression, so you’re paying a defined amount for every 1000 people that see the ad even if they don’t click through. Pay per impression is typically used for brand awareness campaigns.
And finally you’ve got display advertising - another Google Adwords function - which is great for brand awareness and retargeting campaigns. A good use of Google Display ads is to retarget (aka remarket) to people who have already visited your website to encourage them to convert. It’s a great way of increasing the number of conversions because these prospects have already expressed an interest in your brand and are therefore much more likely to convert. These visitors see your ads on other sites that are part of the Google Display Network (GDN).
How do you choose which search terms to include in your website content?
You need to do your research. I would start with Google Keyword Planner, which is free, and see what people are actually searching for. This might be quite different from what you as a business owner think they're searching for. Google Keyword Planner will then give you lots of derivatives, which are alternatives for the terms you’re researching. So if you think people are searching for ‘IT support Bristol’, Keyword Planner will give you suggestions about synonyms - people might actually be searching for ‘IT services’ or ‘computer support’. But before you do any of that you need to understand your business, what services you offer and what people are coming to you for.
Don’t keywords just make content sound clunky and repetitive?
For organic SEO, Google is getting better at thinking about what people’s intentions are, so you don’t just need to use one specific phrase over and over again. That’s where semantic search terms come in. Google is looking as much for synonyms as it is for specific search terms because of the focus on user intent. From an Adwords perspective, as of March 2017 Google started to include ‘close variants’ which reduces the need to bid on every iteration of a search term or phrase. For example, Google automatically includes spelling mistakes and plurals.
Exceptional user experience remains a priority, therefore it’s important to invest the time in hidden text like metadata and alt tags for images, because in addition to assisting with search, they are important from an accessibility perspective - something Google values highly. Inbound links which carry high domain authority also continue to be an important ranking factor. So it’s not just about what’s written on the page.
With paid options, how do you choose which one is best for your business?
It really depends on your objectives - is it brand awareness, reach, getting people to your website, lead generation, making more sales, or app installs? And where is your target audience? If you’re a completely new business and you haven’t tried anything, then there’s always an element of testing. But even as a new business, you should have an idea of who your target audience is at the very least, and where they’re spending their time. There’s no use doing loads of LinkedIn advertising if your potential clients are all chatting over on Facebook.
What kind of budget do you realistically need to put behind a paid campaign?
Again, it completely depends. But you can do your research before hand and, based on your target audience, you can see how many clicks and conversions you’re likely to get for your budget. So say you’re aiming at people between 25 and 45 on Facebook, who shared a common interest - they all like the ‘Moonpig’ Facebook page and are geo-located within a 5 mile radius of Bristol - Facebook will give you a prediction of how many clicks or impressions you’re likely to get for that budget. Same with Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Adwords. You put in your target audience and it will give you a recommended bid. So let’s say it’s £4.50 to get one conversion - if you spend £45 you’re likely to get 10 conversions.
How important are the words you use in your ad?
Crucial! They’re everything. With Google PPC campaigns - so paid search - your message has to resonate with that target audience. If I’m searching ‘IT support Bristol’, the headline of the ad would need to be ‘IT support Bristol’ and then the landing page H1 headline would also need to be the same. For paid social, people aren’t generally actively searching for your product so you need to come up with a specific message and call to action that resonates with your target audience. That would be more solution focused - selling the benefits of a product that is solving a specific problem for your target audience.
What makes a good call to action (CTA)?
Something that’s concise and that has immediacy - buy now, book now. Just be as clear as possible about what they’re going to get. If it’s a report then ‘download now’. You’ll have set up that call to action through the copy, you’ll have sold the benefits, you’ll have convinced them they want something, now you’re just getting them to act now. Sometimes those more personality driven calls to action do work, like ‘I need this in my life!’ but it completely depends on the brand.
Also, it’s worth considering that you might actually be restrained within the ad itself. For an ad in Facebook, for example, you have a choice of predefined CTA buttons. So although you can add another call to action in the copy, the actual button is predefined with certain options. It’s almost like Facebook have already figured out what works and what doesn’t!