Paid Search is the Fastest Growing Ad Format in Retail

My Post - 2019-08-21T114706.960.pngA new report on retail digital ad spending in 2019 reveals that paid search is the fastest growing ad format.

In total, retail advertisers in the US will spend $13.12 billion on search in 2019, which is up 22.5% from last year.

In 2020, spending is projected to grow to $15.65 billion.

It’s stated in the report that retail benefits more than other sectors when it comes to Google integrating the search functions of its various products.

For example, Google search ads can be shown in Google Maps, which helps drive traffic into stores and show local stock of specific products.

Searches for products and services in other sectors don’t have that same level of integration.

eMarketer forecasts that 46.3% of retail digital ad dollars will be spent on search ads, which is higher than the industry average of 41.5%.

In 2020, eMarketer estimates that search will account for 47.3% of total retail digital ad spending. – Read more

How Google Ads’ new keyword selection preferences work

My Post - 2019-08-20T184810.784.pngA look at the potential impact of same-meaning close variants for exact match, phrase match and broad match modifier on your keyword matching.

With last week’s announcement that it will extend same-meaning close variants to phrase match and broad match modifier, Google said it would be changing keyword selection preferences to help prevent keywords from competing against each other. This doesn’t mean there still aren’t times when keywords compete with each other on Ad Rank. To clarify how Google Ads’ keyword selection preferences are designed to work with same meaning keywords, we’ve mapped out several scenarios.

Existing preferences trump new same-meaning matching. In the initial announcement, Google said of the changes to keyword selection preferences: “If a query currently matches to an exact, phrase, or broad match modifier keyword that exists in your account, we’ll prevent that query from matching to a different phrase or broad match modifier keyword that’s now eligible for the same auction as a result of this update.”

In other words, Google won’t suddenly pick a different phrase or BMM keyword deemed to have the same meaning as a keyword that’s already triggering on a query. This is how the preferences already work for exact match same-meaning close variants.

The example Google gives is that the query lawn mowing service near me will continue matching to the phrase match keyword “lawn mowing service” even though another keyword in your account, “grass cutting service,” could also now match to that query based on same-meaning matching. – Read more

Search marketing is moving back toward more human interaction

My Post - 2019-08-13T170718.729.pngPPC expert Mark Irvine shared his insights during SMX London on what lies beyond the data to manage walled gardens with new opportunities in mind.

At SMX London in May, I attended two presentations with PPC expert Mark Irvine. He was recently crowned the number one PPC Expert by PPCHero in their annual list.

Irvine works as a data scientist for Wordstream, a Google Ads and Microsoft Ads management and optimization platform. Examining data and explaining what it means is his expertise and I interviewed him for my 2019 Search Trends report.

Social trends predict search trends

Some of the data from his analyses goes beyond search to the trends his data is showing across multiple platforms.

This slide from Irvine’s presentation at SMX examines how an hour of trending on Twitter affects searches. In this case it doubled on Google and within six hours, the searches increased fivefold. There is a good case for real-time marketing and this view of the data is something we rarely see in digital marketing because of the channel specialization and the difficulty with access to cross-channel data. – Read more

How to Improve Your Keyword Rankings in Google

My Post - 2019-08-13T165848.427.pngImproving your keyword rankings in search isn’t as straightforward as it once was.

With all of the recent Google algorithm changes we have seen, traditional tactics like keyword research and targeting, page tagging optimization, and on-page content updates don’t have the impact that they used to.

More importantly, every website is unique. This means that using a certain tactic doesn’t guarantee a specific result for your website.

The same change could impact websites differently, which is why it’s important to make continuous improvements, test new strategies, monitor performance, and adjust as needed.

In today’s evolving search landscape, we need to think beyond traditional keyword ranking factors and look at the big picture.

This involves focusing on the overall experience of a website, optimizing content for both users and search engines, building inbound links the right way, and much more.

Here are several ways to improve your keyword rankings in Google by looking at your site more holistically.

1. Measure Your Rankings

The first, and probably the most obvious, place to start is measuring your rankings.

Without having a solid understanding of your baseline keyword performance, you won’t know how far you’ve come and how much you’ve improved.

I’d highly suggest exporting all of this valuable keyword data and keeping it on file to reference in the future.

Some of us may have learned the hard way, but you never know when things will change in any given tool – whether it’s how the data is reported, what information we have access to, etc. – Read more

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

My Post - 2019-08-13T165033.954.pngIf one thing matters more than anything to Google, it’s your content’s relevance to the reader.

(Is it useful? Does it serve a purpose for them connected to their search intent?)

This fact came into focus once again in the first episode of Google’s YouTube series, SEO Myth Busters.

In particular, a Search Engine Journal post by Roger Montti outlines insights from this episode we can apply right now.

The #1 SEO factor mentioned: user-relevant content that serves a purpose.

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

We see this sentiment about the importance of user relevance echoed in other Google sources, too, like the Webmaster Guidelines:

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

And the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (for example, pages without a beneficial purpose get the lowest page quality rating): – Read more

Google Ads’ new account map makes it easier to visualize manager accounts

My Post - 2019-08-13T163435.411.pngThe tool is now available in all manager accounts.

If you’re managing multiple accounts and sub-accounts in a Google Ads manager account, there’s a new tool to help you visualize and navigate.

Why we should care

It shows a map of all the accounts and sub-accounts under your manager account and makes it easy to see connections and navigate to accounts.

The account map also shows performance metrics such as clicks, impressions, cost and conversions as well as owned and shared labels, conversion tracking parents, remarketing pools and external managers on the accounts. – Read more

Do These 3 Things Before Google Changes How Keyword Match Types Work

My Post - 2019-08-13T162239.073.pngGoogle announced another round of updates to how close variants will work.

Queries with the same meaning could already trigger ads for exact match keywords as of September 2018. But now, close variants with the same meaning may also affect phrase and broad match modified keywords.

Google expects advertisers to see around a 3 to 4% lift in clicks and impressions on the affected keywords with 85% of those being incremental for the account.

Because advertisers’ ads may now trigger for a broader variety of queries, I recommend three actions to ensure your account is well-positioned to take advantage of the incremental leads while reducing exposure to risks from less relevant queries.

1. Automate Bidding so Low-Quality Close Variants Won’t Overspend
When your ad starts appearing for new close variants of your keywords, don’t pay more than you should for this new traffic.

Close variants introduce a new layer of complexity to bid management so it’s a good reason to evaluate whether your bidding strategy is still the best one.

I’ve made the case before and I’ll say it again: nobody should be managing bids manually.

This is another nail in the coffin for manual bid management.

Simply put, with the level of complexity involved with targeting and bidding, it’s near-impossible for a person to manage bids manually and do it as well as an automated system.

The current round of changes to close variants may not require you to change how you manage accounts. However, it may amplify the potential downside if you aren’t already carefully managing queries.

There is no longer a match type that allows total control over the exact words that must be in the query for an ad to show. So keyword bids now apply to potentially tens or hundreds of variations of that keyword.

Regardless of how closely the query is related to the keyword, the manual bid is taken from the keyword, and a highly relevant query will get the same bid as a much less relevant one.

This is bad if you care about conversions, CPA, ROAS, and profitability.

What advertisers need to achieve the best results is the tightest level of control possible. In this case, the ability to factor in each unique query in every auction to determine the correct bid.

But only Google can set auction-time bids, meaning they are the only ones who can factor in the specific circumstances of a search, including the query, at the time they match an advertiser’s ad to the query.

This means that only Google can appropriately increase or decrease the bid to help the advertiser reach their CPA or ROAS goal based on the expected conversion rate and conversion value that their machine learning system predicts for the auction.

Because auction-time bidding is the exclusive domain of ‘Smart Bidding, which includes the Target CPA and Target ROAS automated bid strategies from Google, the only way to set the right bids for close variants is to use these tools.

My company, Optmyzr, recently created a handy table showing all the various bid automations from Google and how they interact with bid adjustments. – Read more

Don’t Get Entangled in These PPC Snags!

My Post - 2019-08-13T161502.082.pngYour campaigns might be running along perfectly fine right now.

But someday soon, you might suddenly find yourself entangled in something you didn’t anticipate.

You’ll have to struggle to free yourself before you lose sight of your goals – or your results sink.

Snags can happen anytime in your PPC programs.

You’re most susceptible to these snags when you’re new to paid search advertising.

When you know where the snags are hiding, you can take proactive steps to avoid them.

This article will help clear the PPC waters for you.

1. When a Daily Campaign Budget Really Isn’t a Daily Campaign Budget

Google Ads allow you to set a maximum daily campaign budget amount.

A reasonable person would take that to mean once you’ve spent your max budget for the day, no more would be spent.

But a reasonable person would be wrong.

In October 2017, Google Ads changed its rules so that your campaigns can spend up to twice your average daily budget.

The “max daily budget” is now something that is calculated and applied over the course of a month, not day by day.

In other words, Google calculates your monthly charging limit, which is the average number of days in a month multiplied by your average daily budget. And then they promise to not go over that over the course of a month.

Let’s illustrate with a few screenshots.

We’ve set a $50 budget in the example below: – Read more

13 Landing Page Best Practices to Help You Make a Mark on the Internet

My Post - 2019-08-13T155348.702.pngThe internet is a constant force. A never-ending, all-consuming, stimulating space of new and old information that is updating every millisecond.

And as creators, our job is to make our mark on it.

That can feel a little (okay, REALLY) overwhelming.

But the daunting nature of the internet is the very thing that also makes it our greatest asset. It’s a never-ending, all-consuming, stimulating space where we can share our brand, every millisecond.

A recent study found that U.S. adults spend nearly half a day interacting with media- 11 hours and 6 minutes to be exact. And while the reality of that is a little astonishing, I see it as a major opportunity, and you should too!

Want to know why? Because we are creators.

And as creators who are determined to leverage the full force of the internet in our favor, we have to create content as though our lives depend on it. Because, well, they do.

If you’re wondering how to start leveraging the full force of the internet in your favor, you need to know two words: Landing Pages.

What are landing pages?

Landing pages are hosted web pages where new visitors and existing members of your audience can learn what your brand offers. With landing pages, visitors have the chance to subscribe to your content and/or product in exchange for an email address.

Why are landing pages important for your business?

Easily accessible and hyper-focused with your branded pitch, landing pages serve as a superior lead generating machine for your business.

Think about your own recent Google search- you enter your keywords into the search bar and in seconds, you’re shown thousands of pages that Google deems relevant to your search.

Overwhelm inevitably sinks in as you begin sifting through the pages wondering, “Is this the best answer to my question?” As a consumer, you’re looking for a relevant and quick solution.

Observing your own consumer habits is a great way to anticipate prospective needs. Since you know the journey of a consumer, you know exactly what they need, and you know what they don’t need. – Read more

How to Do Technical SEO for Ecommerce Websites

My Post - 2019-08-09T170524.451.pngEcommerce is one of the fastest growing sectors and is often perceived to be dominated by the likes of Amazon and Walmart.

However, with appropriate marketing strategies, small ecommerce websites can also get their fair share of customers.

That’s where technical SEO comes in. It is crucial for improving your online store’s searchability.

Here are 12 technical SEO tips that will help increase your web traffic and generate more sales.

1. Don’t Miss Out on Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords may not attract more traffic, but they do have higher conversion rates as they allow you to understand the consumer intent correctly.

For example, a keyword such as “maternity yoga pants” rather than simply “pants” clearly shows what a consumer wants.

You have plenty of opportunities to use long-tail keywords in titles, meta descriptions, and product description.

Think about the various search phrases people may use to find a specific product. They will help identify the best suitable long-tail keywords.

You can use tools such as Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Google Trends for this.

2. Use Unique Title & Meta Descriptions

Create unique titles and meta descriptions for each product page. Try to include the relevant long-tail keyword in both the title and the meta description.

Make your meta descriptions as attractive as possible to encourage users to check out the product page.

For example, “Maternity Yoga Pants – best deals, big discounts, and free shipping on all orders. Order Now!” would be a fitting meta description for a maternity yoga pants page.

Ask your developer to insert such unique titles and meta descriptions dynamically into every page. – Read More