Tag Archives: adwords marketing

Should I Speak with a Google Rep
Google Adwords - Paid Search Marketing

I’m From Google, and I’m Here to Help

“You Could Benefit from a Free Consultation with a Google Representative”

If you use Adwords you may have seen or heard something like this by now. Either an alert in your account advising how you can beat your competition by reviewing your account with a Google rep, or maybe you had one call you directly offering to help. Either way, what sounds like a fantastic opportunity to get some truth right from the source isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

That isn’t to say it won’t be helpful. Reviewing your account with someone trained in all the system’s capabilities may provide insights into using the various tools at your disposal. You might even learn a new way to use features already deployed in your campaigns. Which can certainly be considered a positive thing. At the end of the day, I’d recommend that you do it, but…

So What’s the Problem?

First let me set the stage by letting you know that since I manage multiple client accounts I’ve fielded many of the calls with Google representatives. And since they rotate out every six months I receive a minimum of 2 calls a year, multiplied by all the accounts I manage, every year.

Now, you can say Google’s efforts are well intentioned, or you can say that it is Google’s job to get you to spend more money and this is one way of doing it. Both views could be correct. But that isn’t the primary issue at hand.

“I’m from Google, and I’m Here to Help”

Words that are supposed to fill you with a sense of confidence should make you stop and think for a moment. Who, exactly, are you speaking with at Google? And what, precisely, is their experience in running profitable Adwords programs?

Are they a new employee just out of training? Have they served in an advisory capacity for years? I recommend asking these questions before you get into any serious discussion about your programs. Yes, these employees are trained in the various tools of the Adwords system. But that is where their experience usually ends. The sad truth is that I have yet to speak with a representative that has run a real world paid search marketing program profitably. Not one yet. Period. Full stop.

In addition to that, they have zero idea of why you might be deploying certain settings or tools in any given campaign. They have been told that using X setting/tool/method will make you more successful, because Google told them so. So it must be true!

They may not understand you’ve made a choice to forego call extensions because you prefer to have more tractability even if it might result in a slightly lower conversion rate. Or that you want to receive leads only during business hours because your live contact rate increase results in more sales. Or you are using manual bid strategies to muscle your ads into the top 3 to see how you perform against the top competition.

Context is incredibly important when discussing something as complex as Adwords. Combine that with the fact they rotate every six months so even if you did manage to educate one representative you find yourself starting all over again, twice per year.

In my experience these Google reps have zero real world experience running active campaigns with their job on the line if it isn’t profitable. They are trained in the tools of Adwords and their job is to call clients and get them to use tools that will increase the amount of money Google extracts from your wallet, without any idea of if they will truly work or how to best deploy them visit our website.

A great example of this is the enhanced CPC that focus on conversions. Things may have changed, and every client is different, but so far everywhere I’ve tested this setting it has resulted in higher cost per conversions and lower conversion rates. The exact opposite of what they tell you will happen. Interesting, no?

What Should I Do?

As mentioned above, I would schedule the call and review your account with the representative. However, do not change anything in real time. Take good notes, then have some deep internal discussions about the pros and cons of each recommendation to make sure anything you implement matches your ability, tracking and goals.

Then, should you decide to implement a recommendation, be sure to do it in a way that you can test and track to an outcome. If the outcome is positive, you now have a new tool in your tool box to deploy throughout your program. If the outcome is negative, you can quickly revert back to your previous state.

The golden rule of using Google Adwords is first, do no harm. Implementing too many changes that negatively effect your performance is a recipe for disaster. So be smart and skeptical in your interactions with Google. And always remember, they have Google’s best interest at heart, not yours.

If you have experienced a call with a Google rep, we want to hear the good, the bad and and the ugly in the comments below!

 

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Google Adwords Ad Extensions
Bing Ad Center - Google Adwords - Paid Search Marketing

This is Why You Need to Use Google Adwords Ad Extensions

 

 

If you’ve been advertising using Google Adwords for even brief time you’ve probably heard of Ad Extensions and why they are important. In the event you haven’t, ad extensions are additional information and links you can use to enhance your messaging, provide more direct web page links, click to call capability, social proof like reviews and more. They will display with your ad at times when you hit the top of page positions. (note: many of the same ad extensions are available in Bing AdCenter as well)

They are important for a variety of reasons, most notably because they take more visual real estate, offer more messaging opportunities and have been shown to result in higher click through rates. But today, we have another reason why you want to be using ad extensions; Mobile.

We’ve recapped the fact that the mobile revolution is here. So it’s not so much that more prospects are using mobile devices to search for products and services. That is a given. But it is about a change in the way that Google displays ad extensions on mobile search listings. Here is an example of a search I performed today.

 

Paid Search Marketing Adwords Ad Extensions

 

Direct your attention to the blocks below the main advertisement. These are ad extensions, specifically site links. Notice how Google not only gives these the same height as the ad. What you may not have noticed is that you can scroll horizontally to display more of the site links and therefore your marketing messages. Users can click any of these to load up a specific page. In this case, if they want a quote or to get right to applying for financing.

Next, move to the call block below that. That’s right, what you are seeing is a big fat click-to-call button a prospect can use to get you right on the phone. Boom, Instant contact from a prospect conversion right to your sales team.

These are huge click through rate and conversion drivers that also provide an enormous presence that can’t be missed when you are the top of page listing in mobile.First analyse whats new in digital marketing? and then analyse what are the necessary extensions to promote your ad. Deploy the ad extensions that make sense for your company and watch your mobile performance improve!

 

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Mobile Paid Search Marketing
Bing Ad Center - Google Adwords - Paid Search Marketing

5 Things You Should Know About How Mobile has Changed the Way Prospects Use Search Engine Results Pages in 2017

Longest title for a blog post ever. Nailed it. Anyway, moving on to the important topic of the day…

2016 brought many changes in the search engine landscape. We recapped a lot of them, including the arrival of mobile as the dominant search device and the 5 big changes Google brought to mobile search in 2016.

With a new year comes new changes to the search marketing landscape. Today we are going to focus on the search result pages themselves, and how mobile search is changing the ways your prospects interact with them.

Without further delay, here are the 5 things you should know about how your prospects are using search engine results pages!

#5) Mobile Devices are Reconditioning Users

I’ve been around digital marketing long enough to remember the time when making a user scroll in any direction was just bad design. My how things have changed. The advent of Facebook style feeds and the increasing adoption of mobile devices has resulted in a significant alteration in user interaction. So much so that Google removed the right side ads from desktop search results pages last year to mimic its mobile design. In fact, I know people whose entire online experience is driven primarily through their mobile phones and applications.

As you might have guessed, this means fierce competition for the top spot on search engine results pages, both mobile and desktop.

But, it also means that businesses positioned lower on the SERPs, especially around spots 2 to 4, are seeing more click activity than several years ago. This makes it critical for you to be testing and measuring performance at each position. With solid keyword quality scores and a second or third position bid you may reduce your cost per click and cost per lead while increasing your click through rates.

Just be sure not to be listed too far down the page. As the study also found that 7.4% of clicks were below the 4th organic listing on mobile versus 16% on a desktop. And only 62.9% of the mobile searches even resulted in a scroll-down at all. (source: Moz.com)

#4) People Are Viewing More Search Results Listing During a Single Session, but Spend Less Time Viewing Each One

Another side effect of the mobile experience, social media and mobile applications is a shortening attention span of users. As if that weren’t already a problem, it seems these are turning us into a society of attention deficit disorder sufferers. If you haven’t heard the reports on mobile and digital addiction like drug addiction (florida woman brings drugs to jury duty arrested for bringing drugs to jury duty) and its effects on people, you soon will.

In short, paid search is more important than ever. Why? The Moz.com study, when looking at mobile SERPs that included paid listings, local listings and a knowledge graph found the following:

  • 5% of test subjects looked at the top organic listing, versus 99% on the organic only pages. A 20.7% reduction.
  • 2% of SERP clicks were to the top organic listings, versus 40% on the organic only pages. A 17% reduction.
  • 57% of SERP clicks went to the top 4 organic listings, versus 75% on the organic only pages. A 24% reduction.

(source: Moz.com)

They didn’t specify exactly where the clicks went when the results page had organic listings, paid listings and knowledge graph but the implication here is clear. Using paid search to be present into the top 3 paid listings will siphon users away from the organic listings on mobile devices.  

This is incredible to note because…

#3) Sponsored Results Earn About Twice as Many Clicks as Organic Results…

…for keywords with high commercial intent, an important distinction. In fact, according to the WordStream study for keywords with high commercial intent (meaning the prospect is looking to make a purchase) paid ads received 64.6% of clicks. Meaning in these cases the click is much more likely to go to the paid ad versus an organic listing.

Let that sink in for a moment. I know many companies that spend a fortune of time and money on SEO efforts. When it comes to searches with commercial intent, they are investing significant resources to keep up, for apparently diminishing returns.

I used to recommend that clients employ a 70% SEO and 30% PPC effort. Due to the changing landscape over the years I’ve completely switched. I now recommend 70% to paid search and 30% to SEO. There is a variety of reasons for the switch, but this is certainly one of them. (source: Wordstream) . For creating Adwords you might need to pay some money, here is a website who provides loans for 10000.

#2) Mobile Users Click the Top 2 Paid Listings More than Desktop Users

I would file this under things that we already “knew” were happening, but are now proven to be true.

The mobile experience brought with it smaller screen sizes that severely limit our ability to include the same amount of information we used for desktop pages. It also meant that there would be no more divided real estate on the page. No more multi column layouts. It is a vertical experience, with users starting at the top and scrolling down, viewing the content in a tighter sequence.  As 3 paid search results become more common at the top of mobile pages, it makes perfect sense that the top two would garner more clicks in our increasingly lazy culture.

So how much more likely are you to get that click in the top 2 positions in mobile, 32.4% more than desktop according to this MOZ study. Capturing that traffic would provide a nice incremental lift to any campaign. (source: Moz.com)

#1) The Top Sponsored Ad is Seen by 91% of Searchers Using a Mobile Device

I saved the best finding of this study for last. Because it is a whopper. Ad Rank, based on your bid and quality scores, has never been more important. The same goes for mobile usability (not to be confused with responsive design).

If you can optimize your way into the top listing in a way that keeps your cost per click reasonable, and you can convert prospects well, you have a chance to reach 91% of your search audience by ranking for the top paid spot on mobile searches.

Ninety. One. Percent.

Remember that statistic the next time someone recommends you focus all efforts on search engine optimization and none on paid search marketing. (source: Moz.com)

Do you have something to share about the changes in SERP use due to the mobile revolution? Share with the group below!

Sources:

  • https://moz.com/blog/eye-tracking-2016-how-searchers-interact-mobile-serps-desktop
  • com “How to Compete in Adwords” eBook
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7 Creative Ways To Track AdWords Conversions As A Retail Business
Google Adwords - Paid Search Marketing

7 Creative Ways To Track AdWords Conversions As A Retail Business

Managing an AdWords account for a retail business can be tricky. When your boss wants to know the ROI of your AdWords account, the last thing you want to start spitting back is the impressive click-through rate of your ads. What he or she really wants to know is how much business these ads are actually generating.

Tracking any retail sale from beginning to end proves to be much more difficult when it starts online. So much happens after that initial ad click! But with some careful planning and strategic account setup, you can really start to paint a much clearer picture of how clicks are translating into actual qualified leads. 

For starters, not all of AdWords conversions can or should be valued the same.

Not all conversions should be treated equal. The key to getting a more accurate understanding of your AdWords ROI is to assign values to each conversion type. A store visit will always be way more valuable for your business than someone who subscribes to your blog; therefore, they shouldn’t each be assigned a conversion value of “1.”

When setting up the conversions in your account, make sure to assign a number to each that indicates the value of that lead, in dollars, for your business. This will allow you to focus less on how many conversions you are getting and more on the overall value of these conversions.

7 Creative Ways To Track AdWords Conversions As A Retail Business

Next, plan out how you want to measure conversions. Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to optimize your current account, check out these seven creative ways to track conversions for any retail business:

1) Store Visits

Historically, retail locations have had a very hard time tracking in-person conversions. But Google is finally tackling this issue with a new conversion metric called store visits. Store visits track people who have clicked on your ads and then later visit your retail location. It helps close the loop and track visitors from first click all the way until the time they step foot into your store. This new technology is one of the best and most effective ways to track conversions for retailers.

This new tracking method is incredible. It uses a combination of signals to measure these store visits including Google Earth, Google Street views, and GPS location signals, just to name a few. The not-so-great news about all of this? It’s brand new and not readily available to every retailer just yet.

Right now, store visit conversions are only available to retailers that meet these qualifications:

  • Have multiple physical store locations in eligible countries.
  • Receive thousands of ad clicks and many store visits.
  • Have a Google My Business account linked to your AdWords account.
  • Create each of your store locations in your Google My Business account.

Don’t meet all these requirements? Right now, you’re out of luck, but keep reading for other suggestions. Meet these requirements? Great! You’re on your way to having a more clear and concise understanding of your AdWords ROI. If you meet these requirements, you’ll have to reach out to Google AdWords rep to get this set up.

2) Appointment or Consultation Requests

Apart from tracking store visits, appointment requests can be one of the strongest indicators of intent to purchase for a retail business. While you don’t have to require appointments to be made, strongly encouraging appointments can be an incredibly helpful way to track your AdWords ROI. Depending on the nature of your business and your sales team’s ability to close, an appointment request can be a powerful tool to closing leads at a high rate.

One retailer that is really doing this right is BHLDN, a bridal boutique created by the popular clothing brand Anthropologie. You can see here that BHLDN leads some of their AdWords visitors right to this appointment page where they can essentially choose their own appointment path. Not only is BHLDN offering a store appointment as a way to capture qualified leads for their business, but they are also encouraging “stylist consultations” that position the appointment as less sale-focused and more education-focused. This gives them two opportunities to track highly qualified leads.

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-5-41-03-pm

3) Quote Requests

Based on your retail business model, a quote request may be another great alternative for tracking AdWords conversions. This works great for salons, mechanics, pawn shops, etc.

To get the best results from this method, test various ad messages in order to find the right hook. You can test subjects like, “Get a free quote today!” or “Instant quotes over the phone!” Generally what I’ve found is that easier and simpler along with instant gratification will entice people to click and convert more.

Get creative! One of the best quote request landing pages I’ve seen is this one below from Cash Co Pawn Shop in City Heights, CA. It’s incredibly personable, and the paper is simple and clear of any other distractions. 

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-5-55-41-pm

4) Calls – 30 Seconds or Longer

Calls can be another significant indicator for your business that someone is ready to buy or at least willing to learn more about your company. Call conversions are even more powerful today than ever before with so few people taking the time to place phone calls. It can be conversion gold!

Make sure to turn on call extensions on all of your ads to make it as easy as possible for a prospective customer to get in touch with your business. Google will help you set up this feature with a Google forwarding phone number.

You’ll also get the opportunity to track calls of a certain length. Consider how long a typical phone call lasts for your business. Quick phone calls less than 30 seconds may not be a great conversion metric, but longer phone calls often indicate stronger interest and curiosity in your business. You can even set up various phone call length conversions and values if you are seeing longer phone calls closing more sales than shorter ones.

5) Blog Subscribers

The next few examples are good ways to track top of the funnel leads, but most likely will have a much lower customer conversion rate than the ones listed above. Blog subscribers are conversions that you’ll probably want to assign with a lower value, but they still may be important for your business.

If you have a blog that allows for people to opt in with their email addresses, this could be a solid business lead for you. You could focus your marketing strategy towards setting up a powerful email nurturing campaign with your top blog posts to help move that person further down the funnel. These leads could also be added to your general marketing database to receive special promotions or announcements in the future. Regardless of what you end up doing with these leads, they can still prove to be valuable depending on the steps you take after they sign-up.

Salon Vason, one of the top salons in Miami, entices visitors with a pop-up when they first arrive to the site, encouraging them to join their database. These leads can and should be nurtured with an email campaign designed to inspire them to take action and make an appointment in the future.

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-5-46-48-pm

6) Newsletter Sign-Ups

Do you have a weekly, monthly or quarterly newsletter that you share with your database? Track conversions through newsletter sign-ups. These may be low quality leads, but they may have some weight on your business in the future if you target them correctly.

7) ebook And Guide Downloads

Writing eBooks and buying guides can be a helpful way to educate your leads and position yourself as a content expert. It’s also a great lead generating tool if your content is strong enough to be gated behind a form (a still highly debated but important topic today). 

Yale Appliance is an example of a local business that does a really great job capturing qualified leads with their content. They have an extensive library of buying guides designed to help consumers purchase expensive and complex appliances. Yale Appliance has strategic AdWords campaigns set up that lead directly to these beautifully optimized landing pages (like the one below).

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-10-27-50-am

Tracking leads from eBooks and guides like the ones from Yale Appliance could be a great way to measure qualified leads for your business, especially when you use these leads strategically in the future. It can be a great indicator of which pain point your customer is trying to solve so you can target your content and lead nurturing efforts more specifically. Get best online payday loans no credit check for spending money on adwords.

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