5 Innovative PPC Tactics to Try Today

My Post - 2019-11-14T153454.990.pngManaging pay-per-click campaigns (be they search, social, or display based) usually becomes a series of habitual tasks.

While this allows for stability and scalability, sometimes it causes blind-spots in legacy accounts (working together more than a year).

Here are my favorite tactics to break the mold.

Tactic 1: A Single Long-Tail Broad Match Keyword, with Every Other Word Added As Negatives

If there’s one universal truth to PPC managers, it’s that we value control over everything.

Broad match is the antithesis of that control.

Broad match keywords become grounded in the actual syntax of the keyword chosen when they have at least 5 words.

Additionally, broad match opens up access to keyword concepts that would be too expensive to actively invest in.

Broad match keyword leading to useful queries

When you adopt this strategy it’s crucial you take the following steps:

  • Every keyword you’re actively targeting gets added as an exact match negative. This will ensure your broad match keyword can focus on new query ideas/one off searches, while your core campaigns can deliver leads/sales via proven keyword concepts.
  • If an applicable in-market audience exists, layer it on the broad ad group/campaign so you can prequalify the data acquisition.
  • Audit your queries regularly, and be open to swapping keyword concepts you’re actively targeting for ideas your broad match keyword secures (provided there’s enough volume/the business case is there).
  • Campaigns should only have one broad match keyword (sequestered away in its own ad group). Any more than that, and the data acquisition will turn into waste.

Tactic 2: Lead with Display, Remarket with Search

Not every business hast the budget for Google search as the first touch with a prospect.

Display is here to bring the curated audience worth investing in.

The beauty of custom intent, custom affinity, and in-market audiences is that they represent prequalified leads another brand paid for.

data on in-market audiences

Layering these audiences on a display campaign (where the cost-per-click are dramatically cheaper) allows your brand to curate a list of ideal prospects – ripe for the picking by branded search and/or RLSA.

All ad types should be aligned with the target audience, and display is no exception.

Display creative needs to be attention-grabbing, and can lean on image, text, or a hybrid approach.

Hybrid creative can look like this:

display ad leaning on text

This ad achieves the following:

  • Grabs the user’s attention with a bold statement with focusing images.
  • Highlights the product with a strong call to action.
  • Subtlety engages the user to think about their subscription model as opposed to a one-off purchase.

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Ads Remarketing [+ Expert Strategies]

My Post - 2019-11-08T161953.092.pngOne of the most critical campaign types for your eCommerce marketing strategy is Google Ads remarketing.

Google remarketing takes the search power of Google and enables you to reach your target shoppers – those who are already familiar with your brand and products – well after they have left your store.

Google Ads remarketing campaigns statistically result in lower CPCs, but that’s not their top benefit. Because there is already brand awareness, there is a big chance that remarketing CTRs will be higher, which in turn means more conversion potential. Who wouldn’t want more clicks and conversions for less spend?

In this post, we look at everything eCommerce sellers need to know about Google Ads remarketing: from beginners’ set up to expert retargeting strategies and top optimization tips, so that you can capitalize on this powerful marketing tool to drive sales.

How Do Google Ads Remarketing Campaigns Work?

By using browser cookies generated by a Google remarketing tag placed on your website, categories and pages, Google allows advertisers to retarget previous site visitors based on their behavior while browsing your store. This enables you to show ads to potential shoppers who already know your brand while they are browsing Google or partner sites, by using remarketing lists.

Newbie Tip: How to Set Up Remarketing Codes

Step 1: Make sure you have had at least 1,000 active visitors or users within the last 30 days for Search remarketing, or 100 active visitors or users within the last 30 days.

Step 2: Add your global site tag and the optional event snippet.

Alternatively, this can be done with a Google Analytics tracking code – but more on that later!

Google Ads Remarketing Options for eCommerce

Google Ads remarketing options include standard remarketing, remarketing lists for Google Shopping, dynamic remarketing, remarketing lists for Search ads, video remarketing and customer list remarketing. Let’s take a look at each.

1. Display Remarketing

Google Display Network (GDN) remarketing ads allow you to show ads to previous store visitors while they browse other sites and apps. Some advantages of Display Network remarketing include:

  • Ability to create highly-targeted, segmented campaigns that improve campaign messaging that ups your chance of results
  • Keeping your brand front and center in the minds of your potential shoppers, AKA consistent brand exposure
  • Lower CPCs and better budget control
  • A broad reach, with access to more than 2 million websites and 90% of internet users

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6 tips to help you create content that will impress humans and Google

My Post - 2019-11-08T153107.332In partnership with the UK Domain, we explain how to create content that is pleasing to humans as well as Google and other search engines.

Quality content is central to a successful marketing strategy.

But what is ‘quality content’? Unfortunately, much of the answer lies in personal taste. The upside is that there are things you can do to impress both human and robot.

So, it isn’t merely a case of just writing something and shoving it out. The content creation requires some finesse.

We’ll share some tips to help you write posts that will rank high on Google and be a valuable resource for your readers.

Content for humans or for Google: which is more important?

SEO specialists will tell you to write for the human first. Though search engines scan your content for essential assets, it’ll be people that are relying on it for information that’s both informative and entertaining.

Google’s main priority is ensuring your content meets the searcher’s purpose. This flows on to the second tier of expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.

‘Google’s main priority is ensuring your content meets the searcher’s purpose’

One thing you must do is include information about who is responsible for the content with a byline or a link to the creator’s bio or website. Articles with generic ‘staff’ or ‘team’ credits will be down-ranked by Google.

Finding trending topics

The quickest way to find topics is to look at what’s in the news and on Twitter’s own trending topics. It can give you a hook for a more detailed explainer or feature.

For longer term pieces you need to know what questions people are asking around the topic which either aren’t being answered, or at least not from the angle of the demographic you’re looking to target.

Answering reader questions and pinning down keywords

As time becomes increasingly scarce for readers, they’ll want answers to their questions – fast. A lot of browsing time is spent asking questions in search engines, giving you the opportunity to drive traffic if you know what they’re looking for.

Search engines work in a simple way: people ask questions, the search engine finds webpages it thinks will answer the questions. If a reader clicks on your page and clicks straight off that generally means that you haven’t answered their question.

Google Trends will, of course, tell you what’s trending on Google in different parts of the world. You should also try websites like answerthepublic.com and Keyword Sheeter. They generate keywords and commonly asked questions around a topic of your choosing. If you want detailed results, use paid-for platforms like SEMrush and ahrefs which are more sophisticated.

Look for searches that are higher in volume and lower in competition. They’ll be more obscure, so it helps to know exactly who your target reader is to maximise the reach of your posts. – Read more

Google Ads New Lead Form Extensions Beta

My Post - 2019-11-07T163020.232.pngGoogle announced, ten days after it launched, a new beta called lead form extensions.

This gives customers who click on your ads a faster way to give you their information, so you can follow up with them later with more details.

Lead form extensions capture interest when potential customers are searching for your company, products, or services on Google. A fast, mobile-optimized experience makes form submission easy and eliminates the extra step of navigating to your mobile site lead form.

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What to Do When Google Is Ranking the Wrong Page for Your Keywords

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It’s typically a good thing when you find out your website is ranking for a keyword you’ve been targeting, right?

But what happens when, upon further investigation, you learn that the page you wanted to rank for a particular keyword isn’t the page that Google wanted to rank? (And that it’s another page on your site altogether?)

Whether the page is irrelevant or just not the best fit in your eyes, means that all the traffic that’s visiting your site from this newfound keyword isn’t going where you want. This might result in less conversions or a higher bounce rate than previously anticipated.

But don’t worry – this problem is more common than you might think, and it is fixable. Here’s how.

How to Improve a Page’s Ranking Signals for a Specific Keyword

Step 1: Evaluate the User Intent of Your Focus Keyword

User intent is essentially defined as the goal a person has when they type in a search term into Google.

Over the past year or two, ensuring the page you want to rank for a query matches the user intent has become vital.

  • Is the goal to buy something? (Transactional)
  • Is the goal to find a particular website or page? (Navigational)
  • Is the goal to find helpful information to further answer a question you have? (Informational)

Tailoring your content to the intent is crucial.

For example, if your focus keyword was “best laptop computers” and you wanted your product page or category page to rank for this, you probably have no shot.

What to Do When Google Is Ranking the Wrong Page for Your Keywords

In the example above, you can clearly see that all the top ranking websites are from third-party aggregators and review sites where they list a comparison of the best laptops.

In fact, not one manufacturer or retail site is ranking on Page 1 for this so you need to shift focus away from this keyword altogether or understand what you are dealing with to better align.

Step 2: Evaluate the Content on the Page

Once you have ensured your content is matching the intent, you can then move on to ensuring the content on the relevant page is optimized.

Some questions you might want to ask yourself to further analyze are:

  • Is my primary focus keyword in my page title?
  • Do I reference my primary focus keyword in my description?
  • How does the length of my copy compare to that against the Top 10 or Top 20 ranking sites?
  • Do the competitor sites use shared semantic keywords that I need to incorporate into my page?
  • Does my page answer questions a user might have to understand more about this topic?

Two tools that both do an excellent job helping you analyze and answer the questions above are SEMrush Writing Assistant and Clearscope.– Read more

How to Track Offline Conversions from Your Google Ads

My Post - 2019-11-07T141457.261.pngEven if you work strictly as a digital marketer, you know that marketing doesn’t take place solely in an online bubble.

Someone who requests a free trial via an online form may have several conversations with salespeople before buying a service.

A homeowner desperately needing a furnace repaired might find a heating company via paid search but then pick up the phone to schedule an appointment.

A shopper might discover a new energy bar via a banner ad and then drive to their favorite grocery store to purchase it.

For many brands, simply tracking online interactions isn’t enough to provide full attribution.

Thankfully, Google Ads offers a few ways to tie offline interactions to your ad campaigns.

In this article, you’ll learn about three methods to track offline conversions in Google Ads:

  • Conversion import.
  • Call tracking.
  • In-store visit tracking.

Importing Conversion Data

Google Ads allows you to import offline conversion data and associate attribution with your campaigns, as long as you have a way of saving the GCLID (Google Click Identifier) for the conversions.

For instance, you may want to import data for closed sales deals that initially entered your CRM via Google search ads.

Setting Up the Conversion

To start, create a new conversion and select “Import” from the list of conversion types.

You can then choose the source you want to import from.

Import Conversions

If you use Salesforce, they have a direct integration into Google Ads that allows for importing data based on milestones in the platform.

Otherwise, you can import data via a spreadsheet format.

Import Types

For this example, we’ll choose Other data sources or CRMs.

From here, you can choose to import call-based data or click-based data.

We’ll focus on data from clicks and address calls in more detail further on.

On the next screen, name your conversion and choose the category.

You can associate a specific value or choose a dynamic value if revenue will vary per conversion.

Set Up Conversion

Once you’ve defined all parameters, save the conversion, and you’re ready to start importing data. – Read more

5 PPC Trends to Get Ready for in 2020

My Post - 2019-10-31T154955.746Predicting the future is never easy – particularly in the world of PPC.

Even with all the campaign data in the world, you don’t know the latest trends until they hit.

It’s a tough task staying on top of all the updates released by the likes of Google, Bing, and YouTube. It can be even harder to learn new things and quickly adapt to the changes.

On October 23, I moderated a sponsored SEJ webinar presented by Adzooma’s Puneet Vaghela and Sal Mohammed.

They shared the five biggest PPC trends coming up in 2020 and how marketers can increase paid search performance while staying on top of the latest industry changes.

Here’s a recap of the webinar presentation.

We’ve all seen developments happening in the paid search front over the past 18 months from both Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising. Some of the changes involve:

  • Ad copy.
  • Smart bidding.
  • Average position.
  • Audiences.

As innovation in digital marketing continues to grow at an exponential rate, smart PPC pros need to keep up with the market.

Here are five trends you should be looking at in 2020 in order to stay ahead of the game.

1. Audience Segmentation

Audience segmentation is based on taking a group of people who have interacted with you online – either on your website, your CRM database, through a YouTube channel or one of your other social media channels.

These people are then segmented based on:

  • What URLs they’ve visited on your website.
  • How they’ve interacted on your site (i.e., whether they’ve purchased).
  • What videos they’ve watched.

Then they’re placed into buckets that serve specific ads based on how they interacted with you.

This allows you to increase or decrease bids to make sure you’re more or less prominent to your audiences based on the value that they have on your business.

Although it seems very in-depth, this is still the most basic way to use audiences.

However, as we gather more and more data on our customers and audiences, we can begin to break them up into specific buckets and thereby making our messaging even more personalized and our bidding strategies more informed based on specific data points.

  • What type of user are they? Where did they leave your site? Did they purchase something?
  • What are your audiences interested in?
  • What age and gender are they?
  • What demographic group do they fall under?
  • Where are they searching and browsing for you or your products? What device are they on?
  • Are they coming from other websites? What keywords are they finding you through?
  • Where are they in their life? Are they happy? Are they sad? Are they angry?

The inclusion of specific data sets, as well as inferred emotional data, means that you can make your ads extremely bespoke to the people you want to target.

You can also identify exactly which type of person you should be spending your resources on to grow your business.

Make sure to create audience lists in Google Ads to leverage this opportunity. – Read more

How to Use Google Call Extensions to Maximize Ad Revenue

Four Of The Most Common Attribution Mistakes When Using Google Analytics

My Post - 2019-10-29T141254.359.pngCorrectly implemented, attribution provides us with a window into how our marketing efforts have succeeded or failed.

There are various tools to measure attribution along the customer journey, but the most common attribution tool may be the first line of attribution — Google Analytics.

While the promise of Google Analytics’ insights is great, attribution is only as accurate as your Google Analytics tagging. For Google properties, such as Google Ads, it’s not necessary to manually tag destination URLs because Google automatically tags them. For other platforms, however, tagging is necessary to pass important campaign information from the marketing platform into Google Analytics.

But if the data sent to Google Analytics isn’t accurate, then marketers run the risk of making flawed assumptions based on this data. My team relies on the data we glean from Google Analytics to demonstrate the value of various channels and initiatives. However, we’ve found that nearly every client, from startups to global enterprise companies, has errors with Google Analytics data input, thereby affecting their attribution. These are the four most common errors I encounter that can skew your Google Analytics attribution data.

1. Tag Capitalization Mistakes

Google Analytics tags are case sensitive, meaning that a UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) source of “Forbes” is different than “forbes.” While initially, this may not seem like a major issue, it can cause data segmentation and lead to incorrect assumptions about site traffic.

The fix? First, adopt a tagging nomenclature throughout your organization. Ensuring that everyone is using the same tags will reduce errors in reporting.

If you do find errors in your tagging, you can fix them going forward with search and replace filters. However, filters only work for data collected after they’re set.

2. Improper Tagging Within Your Website

Companies often inadvertently overwrite their valuable source and medium data by resetting the UTM source and medium tags when a visitor interacts with various elements on the website. For example, if a marketing team is measuring clicks on a banner graphic, they might reassign the UTM source and medium tags when a visitor clicks on the banner.

However, UTM source and medium tags weren’t designed for this use. A website is essentially a piece of content — it has no source or medium. The source and medium are the marketing channels that brought the visitor there. By reassigning source and medium tags once a visitor arrives at your website, you lose all the valuable information about how a visitor from a particular channel interacted with your website and possibly completed goals after that reassignment. Generally, I advise avoiding UTM tagging of URLs within the same domain. – Read more

Google Ads Rolls Out 2 New Tools for Responsive Search Ads

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Google is introducing two new tools for responsive search ads, which are now available to all advertisers in all languages.

In addition, responsive search ads can now be set up from Google Ads Editor, the Google Ads API, and the mobile app.

The two new tools include:

  • Performance column: Identify the exact creative assets that are driving results in high volume ad groups. Improve “Low” rated assets, keep “Good” performing assets, and emulate the “Best” performing assets.
  • Ad variations: Google Ads’ ad variations now supports responsive search ads, which lets advertisers run their own ad copy tests.

Google recommends getting started by adding at least one responsive search ad and two expanded text ads per group:

“This has proven to help advertisers reach new customers while delivering great results. For example, Trovit used responsive search ads to drive 44% more incremental site traffic, which resulted in 43% more conversions.”

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