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Magic Textiles SEO and PPC Case Study

Magic Textiles are a bespoke, custom Textiles Printer, based in Leek, Staffordshire. The company specialises in finished products such as tea towels, aprons, bags, cushions, flags and banners. They also work with fashion companies to produce custom printed coat and jacket linings – for Paul Smith and Barbour amongst others. I undertook Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) work on the Magic Textiles website, and I also manage a successful Google Ads PPC Campaign for them on an on-going basis.

SEO and Google Ads PPC

Magic Textiles currently spend £1K per month on the Google Ads PPC Campaign, spread across 8 different Campaigns within the Account. This has grown steadily as the PPC Campaign activity has been successful. Strong Return on Investment (ROI) and Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) is proven. Since I started running the PPC Campaign in early 2018, the number of website visitors and sales has increased markedly and consistently.

This has allowed Magic Textiles to grow as a company, as demonstrated by their increased capacity and turnover, their having invested in new machinery to increase production and diversify their product and service offerings, as well as take on additional members of staff and further develop and expand their factory space. Business is booming!

Prior to my commencing setting up and managing the PPC Campaign back in January 2018, Magic Textiles were getting around 7,000 hits on their website per month at best. In February of 2018, they got 7,712 hits (page views). In May 2019, they got 41,764 page views! Of those, 17,967 came from Paid Traffic – i.e. the Google Ads PPC Campaign – approaching one half of all page visits. This increased to a peak of 82,000 page views in October 2019, with many of those website visits generated by Google Ad clicks.

Enquiries to Magic Textiles, both via email and the telephone, have all markedly increased too. Chris Shaw from Magic Textiles has affirmed that these enquiries are all highly relevant product and service enquiries leading to sales.

Chris Shaw Magic Textiles PPC testimonial

What Is PPC?

PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee every time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically.

Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC. It allows advertisers to bid for ad placement in a search engine’s sponsored links when someone searches on a keyword that is related to their business offering. For example, if we bid on the keyword “custom textile printers” our ad might show up in the very top spot on the Google results page, depending on a number of contributory factors.

How it works and why you should PPC advertise

Every time your ad is clicked, sending a visitor to your website, you will pay Google a small fee. This is why it is called Pay Per Click. When PPC is working correctly, the fee is trivial, because the visit is worth more than what you pay for it. In other words, if you pay £1.50 for a click, but the click results in a £150 product sale, or a company takes up your services, then you’ve made a hefty profit and ROAS.

A lot goes into building a winning PPC campaign: from researching and selecting the right keywords, to organizing those keywords into well-organized campaigns and ad groups, to setting up PPC landing pages that are optimized for conversions. Search engines reward advertisers who can create relevant, intelligently targeted pay-per-click campaigns by charging them less for ad clicks. If your ads and landing pages are useful and satisfying to users, Google charges you less per click, leading to higher profits for your business.

Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) is the single most popular PPC advertising system in the world. The Ads platform enables businesses to create ads that appear on Google’s search engine and other Google properties.

The pay-per-click model

Google Ads operates on a pay-per-click model, in which users bid on keywords and pay for each click on their advertisements. Every time a search is initiated, Google digs into the pool of Ads advertisers and chooses a set of winners to appear in the valuable ad space on its search results page. The “winners” are chosen based on a combination of factors, including the quality and relevance of their keywords and ad campaigns, as well as the size of their keyword bids.

More specifically, who gets to appear on the page is based on and advertiser’s Ad Rank. This metric is calculated by multiplying two key factors. They are:

  1. CPC Bid (the highest amount an advertiser is willing to spend), and
  2. Quality Score (a value that takes into account your click-through rate, relevance, and landing page quality)

This system allows winning advertisers to reach potential customers at a cost that fits their budget. It’s essentially a kind of auction.

Google Ads search marketing

Conducting search marketing through Google Ads PPC is particularly effective for promoting your business, and selling your products and services. Google is the most popular search engine. Google gets massive amounts of traffic and delivers the most impressions and clicks to your ads. This sends valuable traffic to your website, and your enquiries, leads and sales will increase.

The keywords and search terms and match types in an Ad Group determine how often your PPC ads appear. Relevant searches typed into Google trigger your ad, and generate Impressions and Clicks.

A number of factors determine how successful your PPC advertising campaign will be. You will achieve a lot by focusing on:

  • Keyword Relevance – Crafting relevant PPC keyword lists, tight keyword groups, and proper ad text.
  • Landing Page Quality – Creating optimized landing pages with persuasive, relevant content and a clear call-to-action, tailored to specific search queries.
  • Quality Score – Quality Score is Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of your keywords, landing pages, and PPC campaigns. Advertisers with better Quality Scores get more ad clicks at lower costs.

Managing Your Google Ads Campaigns

When I’ve created your new PPC campaign I will manage and optimise it regularly. This is to make sure that it continues to be effective. In fact, regular account activity, at least one session every week, is one of the best predictors of account success. Continuously analysing the performance of your account and making the following adjustments to optimise your campaigns ensures the best results:

  • Add PPC Keywords: Expand the reach of your PPC campaigns by adding keywords that are relevant to your business.
  • Add Negative Keywords: Add non-converting terms as negative keywords to improve campaign relevancy and reduce wasted spend/improve ROAS.
  • Split Ad Groups: Improve click-through rate (CTR) and Quality Score by splitting up your Ad Groups into smaller, more relevant ones. Concentrate batches of relevant keywords into individual Ad Groups by theme. This helps you create more targeted ad text and landing pages.
  • Review Costly PPC Keywords: Review expensive, under-performing keywords and shut them off if necessary.
  • Refine Landing Pages: Modify the content and calls-to-action (CTAs) of your landing pages to align with individual search queries. This will boost conversion rates. Don’t send all your traffic to the same page.

Work with me

Google Ads Search Certified, I set up and run Google Ads PPC Campaigns. The service I provide includes ad hoc and monthly reporting on visitor numbers, conversions and ROAS.

In addition to PPC Campaign Management, I also run my client’s Social Media Marketing. This includes Social Media Account Management, and reporting and analytics (Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter; Sprout Social/Hoot Suite). Plus, Social Media Advertising Campaigns (Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter). Find out more about my digital marketing services, and contact me.

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Have a cow, man

have a cow man
Have a cow, man

I’ve been fielding (pun intended) a lot of questions recently about why cows feature so much in my Tweets and visual identity. People seem genuinely baffled by it, until I refer them to my surname, which is Metcalfe. You know, Met -CALF-e? See what I did there? This blog post is a musing on visual identity and whether you can be too subtle, plus the origins of my surname.

In my previous blog post, Twop Twitter Twips for Tweeps, I said that:

Everyone needs a “gimmick” to stand out from the Twitter crowd (or should that be herd). My gimmick is the cow theme that runs through my Twitter and other social media channels, both visually and through puns and emojis. My surname is Metcalfe. Geddit?

Whilst this might not be to everyone’s taste, feedback given so far has been positive, and it gives another dimension to my Tweets and acts as a visual shorthand for brand recognition.

Whilst it seems obvious to me why I have cows as my visual identity – my logo is a stylised, minimalistic, almost tribal, cow graphic (which would make a cracking tattoo):

Giles Metcalfe Digital Cow Logo
Giles Metcalfe Digital Cow Logo

and I pepper my Tweets with pictures of and visual references to cows – the number of people who’ve asked me why recently has led me to think on.

Am I being too subtle with it? Am I being too obvious? Am I overdoing the cow references? Does it help or hinder my business? Do people like it or hate it? Is it me, or them?

Being prone to excoriating self-analysis, this sort of thing keeps me awake at night.

Feedback I’ve received so far has been positive though:

  • People like cows
  • People like the fact that I use cow imagery
  • People like me and my business
  • People say keep doing what you’re doing

All good. Validation from people really helps. Everyone needs some encouragement every now and then.

When individuals engage me in face-to-face conversation about it, I explain where the name “Metcalfe” comes from and the cow/calf connection. The story may be apocryphal, but it goes a little something like this. I quote at length from a great article on the legends and traditions of Yorkshire:

Take, for example, the story which explains the meaning of the name of Metcalf*, one of the oldest families of Yorkshire, of whose more ancient members it is recorded that one was High Forester of Wensleydale in the time of Richard I., that another fought at Agincourt, and that a third, when High Sheriff in the time of Queen Mary, met her judges at York with a cavalcade of three hundred attendants of his own name all mounted upon white horses of the Wensleydale breed.

In the Saxon time, when Wensleydale was a large forest, the dales- men of Rydale were thrown into a perfect panic by the hearing of strange sounds in a wood not far off, and the seeing of what seemed to be strange animals in the twilight.

In this emergency, a meeting of dalesmen was held, when the sug- gestion was made that two of their number should proceed to the wood and unravel the mystery. Oswald, an unmarried man of some position, volunteered for the service, and after a little hesitation, Wilfrid, another landowner, consented to join him.

Armed with boar-spears, the two men started on what seemed a perilous mission. By-and-by a sound was heard, which Wilfrid affirmed to be the roar of a lion, and finally an animal was seen moving slowly towards them.

Exclaiming ” It is a lion ! ” Wilfrid threw down his hunting-spear, fled through the wood, and on reaching the village, informed his fellow- dalesmen that he had seen an enormous lion, which was doubtless devouring Oswald by that time.

Oswald, however, proceeded cautiously forward, spear in position. ” e went on—it came on—and he met—what ! a calf ! a black, or, as some authorities say, a red calf !

From that time the courageous Oswald was known as Oswald Met-Calf, and the harmless animal, so boldly met, was given a place upon his armorial shield ; and, in like manner, the cowardly Wilfrid ever after bore about with him the token of his ignominious flight, in the name of Wilfrid Lightfoot.”

It would obviously be a great pity to disturb so delightfully childish a story as this,—to suggest that the name accounts for the story, and not the story for the name.

Indeed so. Always print the legend (you can read the article in full here).

*NB. The “e” at the end of Metcalf is interchangeable, and Medcalf, Medcalfe, Midcalfe, Midcalf and Mitcalf are also variants, depending on the spelling, the mood and the hearing of whoever wrote out the birth certificates.

My family directly descends from those original Yorkshire Metcalfs, and my ancestor is Jack Metcalf – ‘Blind Jack of Knaresborough‘, who was a notable Civil Engineer. He constructed roads all across the North of England, not just in Yorkshire, and was famed for the straightness of them and his mastery of Quantity Surveying, despite being blind.

There is a Barbara Asquith statue of him sitting on a bench in Knaresborough Market Place, across from the Blind Jack pub.

Blind Jack Metcalf statue
Blind Jack Metcalf statue

The aforementioned Metcalf/Metcalfe coat of arms shows three black cows, and – though it’s been enhanced over the years – looks like this.

Metcalfe Coat of Arms
Metcalfe Coat of Arms

There’s even a Metcalfe Society, with a Facebook page.

So there you have it. Still confused as to why I use cows? It really is as simple and basic as the fact that my surname is Metcalfe, I like them, and it makes me stand out. It’s become almost like visual shorthand.

Bart Simpson says “Don’t have a cow, man!” I disagree. I say have as many as you want.

don't have a man, cow
Don’t have a man, cow

Please tweet me at @GilesMDigital with your thoughts on this, and feel free to use the hashtag “#cowarmy”. Hopefully we’ll get it trending. I’d be really interested to get your opinion on the points raised here. Thank you.