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SEMrush Toolbox: Traffic Jet




Craig: Hi guys and welcome to today's SEMrush Webinar and I'm joined by Mr. David.  We are going to be talking about the Traffic Jet tool on SEMrush. And as usual, with the toolbox, I'm going to give you a brief overview of how to use the tool as such, how to put in your details, and then we're going to talk to David about more in-depth stuff, and David's got a presentation for us. 

David, how are things in Amsterdam? I know we were just talking off-air there, things are slightly different than what I'm suffering from in Scotland, we're super strict on it, but how are you coping and surviving with the lockdown?

David: Here it's fairly chilled. The government's taken a very hands-off approach, so we're ordering burgers, they're going to get here about an hour and 15 minutes, so takeaways and stuff are open. I mean, I think the Dutch are fairly good at keeping a social distance. We went out to the park today for a picnic, and you can see there were people keeping their distance.

Traffic Jet Paid Traffic Tool: Overview

Craig: I'm going to just dive in and start sharing my screen and I'll just give you a brief overview. This is not going to take a huge amount of time, because the tool is an automated way of doing your paid advertising, so a lot of it is automated. I'll show you all the different options just by sharing my screen just now.

Can you guys see the screen okay? Something worth noting is that the Traffic Jet tool is available to free or paid subscribers. Even if you don't have a SEMrush account, you can still take advantage of the Traffic Jet tool, if you do sign up for a free account, make sure that you are aware of that. Traffic Jet; I'm just going to click on it, that's where you'll find it at the top navigation bar.

How do you choose the right cost-per-click and monthly budget? SEMrush have given you a monthly guide, depending on your niche, what you're going to have to spend. Anything between $500 and $1,000 is always a good start if you're going to play around with it.

What type of ads do we run on here, and how can you check these? You can use the ad creators that you provide, or you can have SEMrush, (and this is the best part of this tool if you're lazy like me), you can get this tool or the engine to generate the ads for you. That's what I like, so I had a try of it and allowed the system to do it for me, and it worked out well. 

When will your traffic start to grow? When you start a campaign, it does have an approval time, which is normally 24-48 hours, and then they will start getting you more traffic using this. 

Now, people are always going to be curious as to the quality of this traffic, what's the quality like? It's a fully automated system, and the engine is collecting data to find the best marketing channel for your website. 

SEMrush has access to tons and tons of data, and because of the sheer volume of data they've got, they're able to use that data to optimize and give you the best, most targeted ads.  SEMrush can see tons of paid campaigns and what channels are working best, and everything else. 

What is the difference between a click and a visit? I think we all understand the difference between those. Some other stuff, how many locations can you target? You can target up to four different locations, but you can create different campaigns for different countries, that's what they recommend. What websites can you promote? You can pretty much promote everything other than the usual adult content and inappropriate gambling, political content and whatnot. 

What are the sizes of the banners? You can look at all that stuff there, how do I link my Google Analytics? Should be fairly easy, how do you suspend a campaign? Are there any requirements for UTNs? You can track all that kind of stuff, where can you see your conversions? There's a whole bunch of stuff in here, and that will answer all your questions here in terms of the basics of what the tool does and doesn't do. 

But to go in and set up a campaign is very simple and very easy. You've got your nice, very simple dashboard here. There's only really one button, here, Create Campaign. You've got to give your campaign name, call it whatever you want, "Test 1". Landing page URL, SEMrush.com, just as an example. 

Now, UTN, you can basically put a UTN in here if you want to. You don't have to do that, and then below here you can put in awareness: what is the objective of the campaign, is it to raise awareness, or try to sell a product or get conversions? You select the one that suits you.

You can put on the campaign period, it's up to yourself what you want to do. Obviously SEMrush are recommending that you use it for a month, and that is what I would suggest that you would do as well, because trying it over a day or two, with what I had, I tried it with $100, and it wasn't enough money to see what worked and what didn't. You have to do it over a prolonged period of time.

In terms of targeting options, you can target people based on devices, so you can select or deselect the devices I'm pretty sure for most businesses you will have users who are primarily on all of these devices, but if you feel that people don't buy a lot on desktop or whatever? You can eliminate that.

Targeted locations. Each campaign can have up to four locations: United Kingdom, United States, you could have India, and you could type in somewhere, Germany. Or Munich, Bavaria, you can go into that level of targeting.

Cost-per-click, you can leave this to be fully automated, and SEMrush will automate that process. You can go in and do it manually, but again if you're going to use an automated AI-based advertising campaign than you probably want to keep the campaign on auto, that's just my opinion anyway.

Now Special Instructions, if you read here it'll say, "You can have any special notes that you would want to pass onto your Account Manager." If you've got any kind of customization requests, or anything else that you feel is really important for the campaign, put it in the comments section here, and that will be looked into by the account people.

Down at the bottom, purple button, just click Next Step...and I'll just put a random start date in. There's three steps to setting this up. First one is really easy as you've just seen, Step Two is the creatives. Automatic generation of creatives is only available for English language sites. For non-English sites, you'd need to upload the creatives manually, so you can select that you want to upload your own, and it will give you the sizes and you can put in your headline and everything else down there at the bottom as you can see.

You can connect your analytics and your Facebook to the campaign as well. And the more data and the more connections to these things, the better. Then down at the bottom, you simply click Start Campaign. That will be submitted to SEMrush and as they said, it takes 24-48 hours to approve the campaign, and then the system starts to work.

What I'm now going to do is allow David to come in and do his presentation, and after that we will have questions and answers, and you can ask us about the tool, you can ask us about paid advertising, you can ask us about whatever you want, and we will do that probably for the last 15, 20 minutes of the webinar. But for now, I'm going to pass you over to Mr. David, and he is going to give us some juicy information and go a bit more in-depth on paid advertising.

Traffic Jet Deep Dive

David: Hello, hello everyone. What I'm going to try and do is explain some of the things in much more detail, and give you some of my experience on particular steps to things to try and get a bit more out of your campaign.

I've been doing research for around about 13 years, across various verticals. I've been doing paid advertising, I've been doing Facebook Ads, link-building, content marketing, analytics, I've kind of done it all. I've got a fairly good idea in terms of what's possible, but also where companies often fail.

Who does Traffic Jet suit best? I think the key thing around Traffic Jet, it's not going to be suitable for everyone, but again what Craig covered, if you're very busy, or you're time-poor, or you don't have the experience internally, it's a great tool for this type of business to basically allow you to run digital marketing without needing an expensive agency, or huge overheads. It's a way to simply target traffic to your website, without having to worry about too much of the other stuff.

But again, if you're very comfortable running Google Ads, it may not be the platform which is suitable for you, because you don't have the same control functionale within Google Ads. Again, Traffic Jet is great if you just want to get a campaign up and running.

At a later stage when you start to learn more about it, then you can look at starting running some of the direct campaigns, whether directly with Facebook or Google Ads, but the thing about, as Craig showed you, you can get a campaign in Traffic Jet up and running in a couple of minutes. 

What Craig's already gone through, and again it's important to make sure that you don't skip any steps...you can often overlook a couple of points. The first thing is obviously when you're naming your campaign, make sure it's something that's detailed and you can understand what it's about.

When you try and decide what should be on the landing page URL, I would typically advise to make sure it's a deeper part of your site that's much more relevant to your visitors, and much more likely they can actually perform an action, such as contacting or purchasing.

You get two types of objective: Awareness is basically buying traffic for your site, get as many clicks as possible, versus conversion, which is basically it relies on the Google Analytics integration, so not all websites can have a conversion-based campaign. 

If I was going to recommend campaigns, I would say try to make sure you're running a conversion-based campaign, because the advantage of that is: one, is you get a better return on investment, but also this information's fed back into the SEMrush machine-learning platform, and it can optimize for clicks that are much more like the generator conversion, which makes you money. 

It's a very important thing when you're running these types of marketing campaigns, you want the best return on investment as possible. If you can, make sure you set up a conversion-based campaign, but you will need to integrate with Analytics, and you will need to make sure goals are set up within your Google Analytics account.

Targeting options. If the majority of visitors are basically mobile users, you might have a better return on investment chance running a mobile ad. If your website's not great for mobile experience, consider just running desktop advertising. But where possible, try to do city level targeting. You're going to get much better results if you're doing targeting based on the particular area where you service, or where you make most of your money, rather than trying to capture everything. 

 I would say, when you're running a Traffic Jet campaign, the best is to start with just search, and then once you get data, once you get comfortable, once you start getting good return on investment, then start up a second campaign focused purely on Google Display Network only. 

Start very simple, keyword only, text-based ads, then when you're comfortable return on investment, you're making money, then move on, set up a new campaign to focus purely on the Google Display Network.

I do say when you're running ads, aim for at least 2-3 variations. Typically if you run too many variations, you're probably not going to get the results to make a decision, but yeah definitely look at running 2-3 variations of any ads within your site. And make sure they're different enough that you can actually easily identify as a consumer. 

It typically takes their machine-learning platform around two weeks to start to build a good traffic profile of what keywords and websites work best for you. Make sure you've got enough budget in your account to make sure they can build a decent amount of data, to make sure the campaign can continually improve.

Again, the boring things, but they're the things which most people are interested about: the campaign reporting. The great thing about SEMrush is it's very simple. If you look within Google Ads, I think there's about 300 or 400 different data points you can report on. Most of these we don't really care about. They (SEMrush) provide the top-level stuff: visits, pages visited, visit duration. 

We get information on the bounce rate, page views, time on site, and if you've got any goals set up. You can also look at information such as which particular cities perform best for you, and you can feed this back to your account manager.

Again, boring things, the billing, again is very simplified but there is all this information broken down into your Traffic Jet account. That's a bit more of an overview of sort of what Craig went through. If you don't have the time or resources to run in Google Ads or Facebook Ads, I think Traffic Jet is an interesting thing to play with. Bigger budgets help. 

Craig: Wise words, wise words. Make sure if you've got questions, we start asking them now in the live chat. It can be related to Traffic Jet, it can be related to paid ads, it can be related to whatever you want to talk about because we've got 25 minutes left.

The Importance of Analytics Data for Refining Paid Campaigns

David: Craig, I'm just looking at some of the analytics data here. And this is where I think it's important when you're running a campaign, to make sure you are looking at your analytics properly. Because you can start to identify particular cities in the UK, which actually are much more engaged. 

Whenever you're running a campaign, no matter what it is, you need to be drilling to your analytics, you need to be working out, what's working, what's failing, and change it. Because I think that's probably ...where people fail; where you watch a marketing campaign, digital obviously and you're like, "We're not really happy with the results." Whereas you should be constantly tweaking and improving things. 

If you identify particular countries or cities aren't performing, just cut them. It's not a competition to feel liked; you want to run the best possible campaign for the best return on investment possible. And if you're not making money from people from London, cut them from your campaign.

How to Promote Alcohol or Gambling Websites

Craig: Yeah. Makes total sense. But onto the questions, "What is the best tool or channel to promote alcohol or gambling websites? Or best platform to promote those?" Obviously you're not allowed to use those on Traffic Jet, but what would you suggest if you were forced to enter that niche, David?

David: I mean, email. I think if you are doing eCommerce, it can be a bit easier, in some networks, to run those types of ads. But if you're just purely trying to say, "Drink Bundaberg Rum", you may get those ads flagged. If you're trying to actually sell Bundaberg Rum, I think sometimes the eCommerce ads can work. I would say probably email, or this crazy thing: SEO.

Craig: I entered a niche once and it was the e-cig business, and I just dived in two feet first, didn't realize that you couldn't really do any kind of paid advertising around it, which was a pain in the backside, and PayPal were the only people that were prepared to take payments for it as well.

If you are going to jump into a niche, it's sometimes wise to check those things out. But I think SEO is your best bet, and as David said, good old email marketing. A lot of people think email marketing's dead. I think email's still working very, very efficiently. 

David: This is why I think paid channels are sometimes a delicate creature. Because you could be running them today, and it just takes one account manager to look at your ads in more detail and shut them down. If we're talking about generally across networks, if the network has said you're not allowed to run these ads, and you find a workaround, it's a matter of time before they shut it down. I would say, try and build a list, an audience, create good content, and then market through those channels. 

Maybe even speak to your account manager at SEMrush and say, "Look, we want to build up a list of recipes, so great rum cocktails. And that's basically what we choose to do." It's then at the discretion of SEMrush whether that falls under their terms and conditions or not. I would say, be very open with your account manager, when you put the special comments, and put those in detail, and it's up to them to actually review it in detail. 

If they have said it's not allowed, there's no point kicking and screaming about it, it's just, you have to explore other channels, so use the SEMrush toolkit, identify where there's gaps in content opportunity and build out an SEO play.

How Important is Google My Business for SEO?

Craig: I'll jump onto the next one, "How important do you think Google My Business is to an SEO strategy?"

David: If you're a global consumer company selling yogurt in 100 different countries, it's not as important. If you're a shoe repair shop, it's very important. I think Google My Business is very good, but if you do set up a Google My Business, make sure you put proper referrers in, make sure you respond to reviews. 

It's not a matter of just spinning up a Google My Business page, you need to do something with it. Maybe regularly adding new images, responding to reviews, even adding 360 videos if appropriate. But for a local business, very, very important. It can be a third or I've even seen up to 80% of a business's traffic come from these channels.

SEO Success, Google Display Network Limitations

Craig: "How do you measure SEO success?"

David: Your SEO is successful if you're making money. If SEO is 5, 10% of your website traffic, and you're making money from it, I think that's fine. I think the core metric, is SEO working for you, is it profitable? If it's not profitable then I would say it's not a success.

Craig: Yeah, I think that's the only way. I think other people obsess over different things, and stuff like that. But at the end of the day, we're all here to make money, and as much of it as we possibly can from our businesses, so it's the best metric, is money in my opinion. 

“What other places are you finding you can get good traffic from? People are using Facebook, Quora Ads, and all that kind of stuff, is there any others that you've seen any success with that are maybe not as out there as some of the other ones?”

David: The Google Display Network can be a bit hit and miss. And it's not so much the limitations or issues with how the traffic tool is set up. I think there's so many websites out there set up to scam Google for AdSense revenue.

It gives you reach, so again if you want awareness, you want reach; great. But from a conversion point of view, the Google Display Network has not always been as good. The only way I've found the Google Display Network worked well: I've specified to do it manually through the Google Ads console, where I want to do my placements. 

I didn't allow the machine-learning to do it, I knew I wanted placements on these newspapers, on these particular forums, etc. You can use SEMrush to identify what websites your competitors are visiting, and you can basically say, "I want to make sure I can target people that go onto those websites because I know they're going to my competitors." 

Creating Effective Paid Traffic Ads

Craig: Fair enough, fair enough. In fact, I've got a question here, "Traffic Jet creative, can you speak more about the creative step? I come from a traditional creatives directors background. Is the creative step about actual creative communication development?"

David: When you talk about creative you're talking about the actual images within your campaign. It's something that if you come from a creative background, you know which types of banners are more likely to get a better response, which color schemes are more likely to get noticed? I think that's more around that point, if that adds to the question? It's actually the visuals that the consumers see.

Craig: Yeah.

David: Make sure there's a proper call to action. A lot of the times, there'll just be a message, and it may be a bit vague. Make sure when you're running your creatives it's not like, "Click Here." It's not going to cut through the noise. Because typically when it comes to the campaigns, if you can get a 1 or 2% click-through rate, it's amazing. Usually, looking at maybe 0.01%. You really want to make sure your creatives resonate with your target audience.

Other Useful SEMrush Traffic Tools

Craig: Zippity, "What is the best way to use SEMrush to understand the biggest impact changes to increase traffic, what are the top priority changes to make, is there a specific screener tool for this?"

David: There is the Market Explorer. If you haven't had a chance to play around with the Market Explorer, it's probably one of the coolest things on there. I'm going to try and see, we'll put Amazon there for a change. 

You will need a paid account to access the Market Explorer. But basically, what it does, it aggregates all of the SEMrush data into one kind of dashboard. You typically had to go to three or four different places, look at which competitor's growing the quickest, which competitor has the biggest reach? It puts them all on a nice, simple dashboard. I would say, the one tool which I have had a fair bit of fun playing with is the Traffic Explorer.

You also get information on what's their breakdown of traffic. You can see what's their strategies, are they getting most of their traffic from direct or referral, and what's that traffic happening over time?

I would say Market Explorer's pretty cool, because you can start to identify in terms of, are they doing a lot of work in paid social, are they doing a lot in referral traffic, are they getting a lot of direct traffic? Are they getting a lot of traffic around search? Definitely play around with Market Explorer, yeah it's probably one of the most used tools that I'm playing with right now.

Craig: I think what a lot of people don't do out there is probably don't use SEMrush to its full potential. There is so much information on there, and I think there's 40+ tools on there to be able to dissect all of this data. 

And loads of people will say, "Oh, I didn't realize that was a tool." Or, "I didn't realize it was there." SEMrush are rolling out constantly different things. Is there anything else that you're currently playing with David, or that would help people, that maybe people are not fully aware of in SEMrush? 

Because I do this toolbox webinar once a month or whatever it is, and it's to obviously highlight some of the better tools on there, or not the better tools maybe the newer tools or whatever. But out with the kind of usual keyword research and all that kind of stuff, what tools are you playing with other than Market Explorer, some of the newer ones?

David: I mean Market Explorer's the one I've been doing a bit more research around. Obviously, the Keyword Magic tool, particularly when you're trying to look around content around coronavirus, it is sometimes hard to find trends and insights, and I've managed to break the tool! 

Yeah, so there's probably a handful of tools I use regularly, I've obviously set up projects where I'm tracking keywords, I'm running regular audits, I'm checking backlinks for link toxicity reports, so obviously using the project reporting as well. 

Craig: Yeah, take full advantage, we all like free stuff. Traffic Analytics is very useful. Traffic Analytics was actually a tool I'd never actually played with. But the level of data that can be gleaned from that is outrageous, so that's a new one that I've started playing with recently, on SEMrush as well. 

Have a look around on the navigation on the left-hand side, there's always new things, new ideas and stuff like that so that you can dissect all of this data in an easy to understand format, they're just laying it out nicer than everything else. It's all going really well with SEMrush, and hopefully, we continue to evolve.

David, if anyone wants to get in touch with you, they like what you're saying, and maybe want to talk to you, have a beer with you or whatever, where is the best place to find you?

David: I think Twitter's probably the best place. Yeah, I'm fairly active on Twitter, and I'm happy to engage with anyone. Reach out on Twitter.

Craig: Thank you very much for taking time out to show us what you're doing, and giving that presentation. And obviously a big thank you to everyone who's watching today, it's been hopefully successful, and we've helped a few people, and we will catch you all on the next webinar. Thank you.

David: Thank you everyone, have a great weekend!

Craig: See you.

Check out other webinars from this series