Google Officially Launches Gallery Ads in Beta

My Post - 2019-08-08T130119.041.pngGoogle’s new gallery ads, first introduced this past May, are now rolling out to advertisers in beta.

Gallery ads were announced at the Google Marketing Live conference, with the company saying the ad units will be launching later this year.

Well that time has come and gallery ads are now available in select languages.

Those languages include: English, German, Japanese, French, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Swedish, and Polish.

Gallery ads are a swipeable, image-based ad unit that appear at the top of search results.

They’re designed to help businesses showcase their brand visually with the ability to include up to 8 images.

Each image can have a unique caption, and advertisers can utilize a call-to-action button at the end of the gallery. – Read more

Google Analytics Tutorial for Right-Brained Marketers: 4 Hacks You Didn’t Know

My Post - 2019-08-06T180359.633.pngOver 27 million websites across the world use Google Analytics, yet marketers aren’t sure about its full functionalities or potential to drive creative marketing campaigns.

In this Google Analytics tutorial, we look at:

  • 4 exciting features that you didn’t know Google Analytics comes with
  • Actionable steps on making these capabilities work for you
  • Why Google Analytics makes perfect sense for the creatively inclined “right-brained” marketer

As a marketer, you’ve probably used Google Analytics at some point in your career. It’s the go-to platform for websites around the world, and it’s estimated that over 27 million live websites use Google Analytics.

However, Google Analytics has earned a reputation for being complicated and hard to navigate. If you’re a right-brained marketer, with a penchant for the creative side of things, there’s a chance that you’re losing out on the full functionalities of the feature-rich, Google Analytics.

There are plenty of Google Analytics tutorials out there that tell you how to measure traffic and find patterns in website interactions. But is that enough? What do you do with these metrics if you can’t convert them into actionable insights? We compiled this quick Google Analytics tutorial uncovering hidden tips & tricks to make them work in your marketing campaigns. – Read more

Costly Mistake You Must Avoid in Google Ads

My Post - 2019-08-06T170902.127.pngAds on Google is a blessing to online marketers.

What makes it more attractive and best is that the advertisement is paid only after the dormant customers have seen the ad. In other words, the investment return from the online marketing campaign solely depends on how the marketers select the Adwords. There are a few common mistakes in Google Ads that one must avoid like the

  • Choosing incorrect keywords 

 This is the most common mistake one makes while using Google ads for the first time. One must use relevant, specific and targeted words when using for the online campaign. Useless and broad keywords usually bolt the budget and don’t welcome any conversions. With the help of Adwords Keyword Planner, this problem can be solved when selecting the right keywords.

  • Selecting the right match type 

Apart from choosing the right and relevant keyword, the keyword match should also be appropriate and should match and rhythm with the online campaign. Three kinds of keyword matches have been offered by Google Ads. – Read more

Google Ads Close Variants to Include Words With the Same Meaning

My Post - 2019-08-02T180514.919.png

Google Ads is expanding close variants to include words that have the same meaning as the original keyword.

This change, rolling out in the coming weeks, will impact broad match modifier and phrase match keywords.

Previously, close variants would only match for queries that included at least some variations of the original keywords.

For example, the keywords “lawn,” “mowing,” and “service” would match for “services to mow my lawn.”

Now, close variants can match for queries that do not contain the chosen keywords at all. As long as they share the same meaning.

So those same keywords could match for a query like “grass cutting and gardening services.”

Google Ads Close Variants to Include Words With the Same Meaning

The same changes will apply to phrase match keywords as well. – Read more

Demystifying visibility metrics in Google Ads

My Post - 2019-08-02T175545.317.pngHere are six metrics to help advertisers determine how often – and where in the SERPs – ads are showing up to help identify maximize growth opportunities.

Metrics to assist you in achieving growth in the Google Ads interface are constantly evolving and this can cause issues for even the most experienced of search marketers. Among the most complicated to sort out and understand are the “share” metrics. While they are excellent for identifying growth opportunities and identifying visibility gaps, figuring out which metrics to use when can be frustrating.

Let’s take a look at six of these metrics and how we can use them to identify growth opportunities within the search campaigns.

The competitive metrics

The first four metrics are competitive metrics, meaning that they represent an indicator of where your account is in relation to other accounts that you are competing against within the ad auction. This is an important distinction from the majority of metrics in your Google Ad account.

1. Search impression share

Search impression share is an old favorite. It represents the number of impressions you have received divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive. This gives you a percentage that indicates how well your ads are performing in an ad auction. For example, a search impression share of 68% indicates that 68 times out of 100, your ad is showing on the search engine results page, also known as the SERP.

2. Search top impression share

This metric is similar to search impression share, but instead of indicating the percentage of time you are receiving any impression on the SERP, it indicates the percentage of time your ad is showing in one of the top positions, above the organic search results. The calculation for this metric is the number of times your ad is showing in the top positions versus the number of times you were eligible to receive an impression in the top position.

3. Search absolute top impression share

Following the same pattern as the above two, search absolute top impression share is the percentage of your impressions that are shown in the very first paid position. It’s calculated by taking the absolute top impressions divided by the number of times you were eligible to receive an impression in the absolute top position. – Read more

10 Tips to Win at Local PPC

My Post - 2019-08-02T171336.949Local PPC is near and dear to my heart: helping members of the community profit by contributing to their communities is both satisfying and scalable.

From SMBs driving leads to their owner-operated shop to a national brand channeling the trends of an individual location, and everything in between, there are decidedly right and wrong ways to leverage a PPC budget.

Here are my top 10 ways to win at local PPC.

1. Claim Your Local Listings!

Google My Business (GMB) has evolved a lot over the years.

Leaving your brand’s local listing open for a malcontent to wreak havoc on your brand is not only is bad branding, but it also deprives you of a powerful SEO/PPC marketing channel.

GMB allows you to:

  • Monitor and respond to reviews about your business.
  • Share promotions.
  • Unlock placements on the search engine result page (SERP).

The data from GMB helps inform ad placements, as well as provide reviews.

Google my business (GMB)

Unfortunately, GMBs do require a physical address (no P.O. boxes) – some businesses opt to use their home address or main office, while others forgo GMB.

Claiming your location requires requesting a post-card with a unique code (usually arrives in 10-15 days).

It’s worth noting that Microsoft Advertising does not require a claimed listing to include location extensions.

2. Set Campaigns Up by Location vs. Service

There are pros and cons to each, but the structural choice ultimately boils down to the following:

  • Are all of your service areas the same?
  • Are there distinct market indicators that require more budget allocation control?

If different locations you serve represent drastically different market opportunity (due to affluence, demand, and other factors), you’ll want to make the campaigns oriented around your local market, and the ad groups as your services.

location specific campaigns

If the services you offer represent drastically different margins, volume, and other factors that influence your ability to service your customers, you’ll want to make campaigns service focused.

The ad groups will be the different ways those services can be sought after/allow you to layer on audiences for ad copy. In this scenario, all locations would be lumped into one campaign.

service specific campaigns

A major deciding factor is whether you have your GMB claimed for each location (and if it’s possible to have one per location).

As mentioned earlier, GMB opens up additional ad placements, extensions, and ways to engage with your audience.

You can’t tell Google which location to serve, so ideally you’ll only have one GMB listing per campaign. – Read more

Google tests carousel local pack with ads included

My Post - 2019-08-02T164352.696.pngIn this new design, Google is not showing as many local results by default.

Google has been testing a new design for the “local pack,” the local results box in the search results. This new design shows the local results in a scrollable carousel format and now also includes an ad spot at the top.

What it looks like. Mike Blumenthal posted about this new design on his blog, he has been covering these scrollable local packs for the past couple months now. Here is a screen shot not just showing the carousel format, but also the static, non-scrollable, ad spot above the carousel for organic local listings. – Read more


Simplifying Google Analytics configuration with Google Tag Manager

My Post - 2019-07-30T175728.422Using analytics through GTM allows you to simplify the code in place on your site and quickly set up advanced features like cross-domain tracking.

Google Analytics is a crucial part of any online marketer’s toolbox. Getting analytics data starts with a proper installation of the tracking code. Thankfully, Google Tag Manager makes this process simple, even when modifications to the Analytics code are required.

Google Tag Manager (GTM) allows you to deploy Google Analytics tracking without adding any further code to your website. Extensive configuration options allow you to tweak the setup based on your needs.

In this article, I’ll cover how to set up Google Analytics through GTM, along with some tips for customization based on your needs.

Installing a global Google Analytics tag

Navigate to your desired GTM account and container. From the Overview screen, select “Add a new tag.” – Read more

Small-budget guide to testing ad copy, landing pages, and more

My Post - 2019-07-30T170947.246When you have a smaller digital marketing budget, you might think that testing should take a backseat to efficiency and driving conversions – but that would be short-sighted.

In order to stay competitive, continue to take up more market share, and keep up with the changing digital space it’s important to always be testing.

That said, you can test almost anything, but don’t get bogged down with your options. With a small budget, it’s important to focus on one or two tests at a time to make sure that you can reach statistical significance relatively quickly.

In this post, we’ll focus on some of the most important tests you can run:

1. Ad copy testing

2. Landing page testing

3. Testing new engines and ad formats

Ad copy testing 

Ad copy testing can do more than lead to more efficient ads. It can be a very effective tool for testing messaging that you can apply to other marketing efforts like your website, emails, and other digital marketing collaterals. Testing different messages can also help to understand your customer base and the ways they engage with your ads. Is there something that is getting a strong CTR but not converting down-funnel? Maybe you aren’t qualifying the user. My recommendation is to run at least two versions of your ads at all times, with particular attention paid to calls-to-action, pre-qualifiers, and value propositions.

In the image below, a bunch of hotel aggregators shows different value propositions – discounts, price comparisons, and selection:

ad copy testing examples

If you’re a hotel aggregator trying to draw eyes and clicks, consider those main value props and how to stand out from the crowd. If you have a unique selling proposition, for example, exclusive access to boutique hotels, use it and see how users react. – Read more

Five ways to target ads on Google that don’t involve keywords

My Post - 2019-07-30T163733.278.pngGoogle is synonymous with search, but there are many different ad types available to Google advertisers that don’t require keyword targeting at all.

In fact, Google Ads can be a particularly powerful tool for marketers who want to test different digital ad types without the complexity of managing multiple publishers. While Google isn’t quite a one-stop-shop for all digital advertising, it comes close.

So, if you want to expand your digital advertising strategy beyond keyword targeting, but aren’t ready to venture beyond Google, here are some tactics you can test from within your Google Ads account.

Display ads

Google’s display network (GDN) is comprised of over two million websites and reaches 90% of global internet users. Display ads come in a variety of flavors, but for the purpose of categorization, when I refer to display ads, I mean banners and text ads (as opposed to video ads) which run on websites such as blogs, YouTube and within apps.