10 Amazing Ways to Harness the Power of PPC Remarketing Campaigns

My Post - 2019-04-18T160632.081.jpgRemarketing is one of the strongest conversion tactics in digital marketing today.

By using artificial intelligence technology, search engines such as Google and Bing allow companies to serve display advertising or standard text ads to previous visitors of their websites.

This form of digital advertising is in a way personalized to each user and is more targeted than even a display ad that targets certain search terms.

The key word in digital remarketing advertising is relevance.

Ads for a company’s products are extremely relevant to a person who has visited that company’s website or browsed that company’s products in the past.

Remarketing is more akin to an ad-filtering program that people may use when they browse the web. It serves the user ads that are relevant to him or her based on his or her past browsing habits.

PPC remarketing is a way to re-engage potential customers who have already demonstrated an interest in a company or product.

It helps you remind these customers of the product, and to entice them to follow through and make the purchase they didn’t make the first time they visited your site.

By using the most advanced forms of digital analytics, remarketing can help companies target customers who, for example, added a product to the online shopping cart but never ended up going through with the purchase.

While digital remarketing generally won’t result in the same click-through rates as standard pay-per-click campaigns, it is a way to reinforce your brand to potential customers who have already expressed an interest in your company.

And since users spend a majority of their time online away from search engines, it’s important to take advantage of Google and Bing’s powerful display ad network that serve ads on sites across the web.

Both Google and Bing offer a plethora of options when it comes to digital remarketing. Here are 10 types of remarketing you can do on their networks. – Read more

Will Paid Search Ads Ruin Voice Search?

My Post - 2019-04-16T155536.778.jpgMarketers continue to await the arrival of paid search ads to voice assistants like Google Home and Amazon Alexa with bated breath.

Salivating like a dog being taunted with a treat held just out of its reach, we wonder what voice ads will sound like, how well they will work, and what acronym we will use for them. I say PVAs, for paid voice ads. Okay, maybe I need to work on that a little. As hotly anticipated voice search ads are in the marketing set, consumers—a.k.a., you when you get home—await its arrival with equal measures of dread.

Voice search responses are blissfully ad-free today. It’s virtually the only medium you can use to look for something and not see or hear an ad while you do it. Even if you opened a phone book for a non-kindling related reason, you’d see ads. So why hasn’t this panacea been opened to advertisers? Despite over 1 billion voice-enabled devices having been sold (that includes phones), Google, Amazon, and Apple are still trying to establish trust with users and achieve the greatest market penetration possible before they attempt to monetize voice search. Being Google, Amazon, and Apple, they also don’t exactly need the revenue from voice search, especially at the risk of losing market share and alienating customers.

Consumers Aren’t Ready for Voice Search Ads

So, will people hate hearing ads on Alexa? It looks like that might be the case. A recent survey shows that 62% of consumers would reject voice search ads. That’s not a great sign. On the other hand, just under 40% said they would be open to ads from their voice-commanded helpers if they were “relevant.” There are a few problems with this data, however. First, this survey did not delineate results between devices. People might hate a voice ad on the Echo, but not mind it so much on a mobile device. Second, it all depends on individual interpretations of relevance.

On the first point, yes, getting an ad instead of an organic search result on a screenless smart assistant would achieve a new level of annoying, and poorly targeted ads could dump over the holy grail of relevance. On the other hand, the “organic” results you get now are often the result of marketers fine-tuning content to return the top (and only) result for a screen-free search query. Is that really any different than an ad? To you or me, not really. But to a consumer who would likely be told “you’re about to hear an ad,” it’s probably enough to make them say “Hey Google, have fun at the bottom of the pool.” – Read more

A Complete Guide to PPC Ad Formats

My Post - 2019-04-12T153822.490.jpgPPC ads come in many shapes and sizes.

They also change frequently, which means it’s nearly impossible to provide a truly comprehensive guide for every ad format available.

What follows is an overview of the major PPC ad formats that are available across Google Ads. Most of the basic text and shopping formats are also available across Bing Ads.

On the SERP

Text Ads

Ah, the bread and butter of PPC! Our dear text ads – with two headlines and one 90-character description.

Google and Bing both did away with the old version of standard text ads recently, and now we’re seeing larger text ads with a more varied alignment of extensions than we’d seen in years past.

Ads usually fire with the two headlines side by side, with a description line and ad extensions below.

Sometimes ads will serve with a third “headline,” most often comprised of the URL itself. The URL in the headline can read a bit weird, so you have the option to disable if you wish.

However, we know how Google loves to experiment: we’re starting to see ads smoosh together with ads to form one mega-ad. Sometimes the combinations are coherent, sometimes not, but it’s the new normal and something advertisers will have to get used to!

Responsive Text Ads (public beta)

These aren’t so much a variation on text ads, but more an automated method of powering them.

Aesthetically, they share the same appearance as “normal” text ads – there’ve been rumors that the ads are capable of showing three headlines; while possible, it’s highly unlikely to happen more than a fraction of the time.

Advertisers upload a variety of headlines and description lines, and Google will shuffle them based on best-expected performance.

It’s recommended to include at least three headline variations and two description variations, but you’re able to include up to 15 headlines and four descriptions.

Make sure the variables you use will make sense no matter the order they serve in. – Read more

A Complete Guide to PPC Ad Targeting Options

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In the world of PPC advertising, there are many different targeting options available, each designed to create a unique way for advertisers to reach their target audience.

Through PPC ad platforms like Google Ads, Bing Ads, Yahoo Gemini, and others, we’re able to serve targeted messages to users based on their search behavior, content they’re viewing, behaviors they’ve exhibited, and more.

In this chapter, we’ll go through each of the targeting options for search, display, and remarketing campaigns and how they can be used to engage with our potential customers.

Search Targeting

This is the most common type of targeting.

Search campaigns are a powerful strategy for marketers, allowing you to reach users when they are actively searching for information.

By showing an ad on a search engine results page (SERP), you’re in a position to answer the user’s query and potentially influence them to make a purchase.

So how do you show up on these SERPs?

By bidding on keywords. – Read more

Ad Group Best Practices: How to Create & Structure Your Ad Groups

My Post - 2019-03-28T120521.545.jpgAccount structure is a critical element for ensuring paid search success. It ensures that keywords, ad message, and landing pages are prioritized in alignment with the business’s objectives.

However, it is equally important for structure to be as functional as possible for most effective reporting and optimization. One should think beyond the initial set up and create a nimble structure that will allow for efficient ongoing maintenance.

While some engine features vary, particularly across those in non-English speaking markets, most have the same common elements.

The below best practices focus on how to set up campaigns and ad groups. As you will see, an effective structure is deeply connected to your marketing strategy and business needs.

Campaign Setup Best Practices

When deciding what and how many campaigns to have, as a guide, use campaign settings and consider what searches you will want to have maximum coverage. Targeting and budget are the most critical ones.

For cleanest reporting, it is recommended to set up a new campaign for each combination of targeting and budget needs. This will allow to easily track how much is spent and what performance you derive from all areas.

In terms of coverage, it is a best practice to fully fund your own brand terms followed by supplier brand terms and anything that is likely to drive a high ROI. – Read more

What Are Keywords & How They Work in PPC

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Keywords are the foundation for everything in PPC. Keywords are what you use to define where your ads should appear.

Without a solid understanding of what keywords are and how to use them effectively, you’ll never be successful with PPC.

Before getting started, it’s important to understand some of the terminologies in this guide.

  • Search Term: The word or words a user types into Google when performing a search.
  • Keyword: A word, or a set of words, that you add to your Google Ads campaigns.
  • Keyword Match Type: A setting for your keywords that will determine the keyword’s reach.

Types of Keywords

When you think of keywords, it’s useful to understand what buckets the different keywords are in and how this sets them apart.

The types of keywords include:

  • Branded keywords include company names (e.g., Amazon, Target).
  • Generic keywords typically cover ambiguous keywords, and can also be referred to as short tail keywords (e.g., “running shoes,” “plumbing,” “towing”). The gist of a generic keyword is that we don’t understand their intent yet. There is nothing in the search that shows us whether this person is looking to buy a pair of shoes, or if they are just searching for different kinds of shoes.
  • Transactional keywords are keywords that have both a strong and weak purchase intent. As long as there is some purchase intent, then you can label a keyword a commercial keyword. This is everything from “Nike running shoes” to “plumbing services.”
  • Locational keywords cover everything that’s related to a location and are very powerful for location-based companies. Often these are your typical home services. It can be a city name (e.g., “towing company San Francisco”) or an actual request to show ads that have companies “near me” (e.g., “towing company near me”).
  • Long-tail keywords cover keywords that consist of more than 3-4 words (e.g., “Nike running shoes for marathon”). They are typically highly transactional meaning they have higher conversion rates than the other keyword types.
  • Informational keywords cover keywords where people are simply looking for information. This can be anything from “Sears store directions” to “how to get rid of a wart.” You would rarely use info-keywords for Google Ads.

Quick note: The buckets above are not either or. Just because a keyword is “long” doesn’t mean it can’t also be a branded or an info-keyword. – Read more

How to Improve Your Landing Page Conversion Rate

My Post - 2019-03-28T111029.831.jpgUse these 10 strategies to turn website visitors into buyers.

1. Streamline to the Essential
According to Oli Gardner, a digital marketing expert who co-founded Unbounce, landing pages should ideally have an “attention ratio” of 1:1. Attention ratio is the ratio of the number of things a visitor can do on a given page to the number of things the visitor should do. The more things visitors can potentially do on a page that distract them from the one thing a marketer wants them to do, the more confusing it gets for the prospect and the less likely they are to take the desired action, the reasoning goes. With that in mind, shear each landing page to its essentials – a paring down that many marketing experts say should include removing links, social share buttons and navigation menus. Yuppiechef, a South African company selling premium kitchen tools, doubled the conversion rate on a landing page by removing a navigation bar – an action that helped take the attention ratio from 15:1 to 3:1.

2. Get Creative With Your Offer
In a study of high-conversion landing pages, the online advertising/marketing experts at WordStream found an impressive range of creative and differentiated offers. In its own case, WordStream discovered that offering a free trial of its software – a common carrot, so to speak – wasn’t generating desired conversion. WordStream mixed things up and devised an offer of a free AdWords Grader, which provided prospects with recommendations to improve their Google AdWords strategy. “Prospects loved it and conversions went through the roof,” founder Larry Kim (https://mobilemonkey.com) wrote in a blog. – Read more

How to Do PPC Keyword Research in 2019

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If you’re looking for the latest strategies in PPC keyword research, there’s something you should know: Google was never designed to be about keywords.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin said:

“My vision when we started Google… was that eventually you wouldn’t have to have a search query at all – the information would just come to you as you needed it.”

Google’s getting closer to that mission, and in 2018 it rebranded AdWords as Google Ads, dropping the “words” entirely. Many older keyword building methods are now outdated or defunct.

Today, there’s a new and easier way to handle PPC keywords, and it starts with a focus on users. To understand this new strategy and why it works better, it will help to know what’s different about the current search landscape.

Google’s Giving Less Weight to Keywords

Once upon a time, many algorithm updates ago, Google’s best chance of serving up relevant results was to match a user’s search terms with keywords on a page (or, in the case of paid ads, keywords in a list). A lot has changed.

Natural Language Processing Advancements

Last week, I did a Google search for a podcast episode. I couldn’t recall the episode number or name. But I remembered the gist of it, and Google knew what I meant. – Read more

7 Powerful Benefits of Using PPC Advertising

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There are many compelling benefits of PPC advertising.

Whether you’re trying to convince your boss or a client about the value of Google Ads, there’s a powerful case to be made.

For starters, PPC:

  • Offers quick entry.
  • Results are easy to measurable and track.
  • Works well with other marketing channels.
  • Provides a wealth of useful data

PPC can have a major – and positive – impact on most businesses and brands. If you aren’t doing any PPC marketing, you’re likely losing out on valuable traffic and revenue.

Need to make the case for PPC advertising? Here are just seven powerful benefits of using PPC.

1. PPC Contributes to Business Goals

This is often the most compelling reason to use PPC advertising. PPC can help you achieve a vast number of business and marketing goals. These goals range from high-level brand exposure and thought leadership to a hot lead submission or e-commerce sale.

Nearly any type of conversion goal can be tracked. PPC is a powerful tool for aligning website traffic drivers to end-goals.

In the era of content marketing and thought leadership, PPC can foster the middle ground of nurturing and serving the middle of the funnel through advertising content downloads, seeking newsletter signups, contest entries, and pushing for app downloads.

PPC can support many parts of the sales funnel and the path that your prospects take from awareness to becoming a customer. Regardless of the set of identified goals, PPC campaigns can be set up effectively.

2. PPC Is Measurable & Trackable

A major benefit of PPC advertising run through Google Ads is that it’s easy to measure and track. Simply use the Google Ads tool in combination with Google Analytics.

You’ll see high-level performance details including impressions, clicks, and conversions (based on the defined business goals).

There’s no mystery to your PPC performance. Stats are readily available and show how your campaigns are performing and what kind of traffic and results they are driving for your budget.

In other advertising and marketing channels, the picture isn’t as clear for attribution of the budget to direct results.

When you send your PPC traffic to dedicated landing pages and track it all the way to conversion using Google Analytics, you’re able to clearly see what you spent and what it drove in terms of your end goals. No billboard or magazine ad can attribute to sales like that.

3. Quick Entry

Even if you’re a decade behind your competitors on jumping into PPC marketing, you can get up and running quickly with a little bit of optimization. This is often a big contrast to starting up SEO efforts, which often take a lot of time and attention to get the same type of positioning and traffic that Google Ads offers within minutes of launch.

When compared to other channels like email and organic social, you have the advantage of targeting people outside of those who are already aware of your brand, and you aren’t limited to your existing followers or customer lists.

PPC lets you quickly cast a wide net to find new prospects and customers.

Plus, most of the work is done within the PPC advertising platform — from the research to campaign build out, to writing ads. You can get up and running quickly with minimal involvement of your development teams, aside from help setting up conversion tracking and any desired landing pages. – Read more

 

Back to Basics: A beginners guide to voice search and digital assistants in 2019

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Here’s a roundup of the various digital assistants on the market today with some beginner tips on how to optimize for voice search.

Voice search isn’t only here to stay, it’s on the rise. Is your website optimized for spoken queries? If not, then you could lose market share to competitors whose websites are optimized for voice search. Good news, though, that’s a problem you can start fixing today.

In this article, I’ll explain the various types of digital assistants and what to do to get your site ready for voice search. If you want to learn more, I’ll be talking about voice search in more detail at SMX Advanced in Seattle on June 5.

Voice search is the new mobile
Many webmasters were caught off-guard when the mobile revolution arrived (almost overnight). They thought their “old school” websites would rank just fine in response to a query on a smartphone. Then they learned the hard way that wasn’t the case and started optimizing their sites for mobile platforms. – Read more