The Rise of Social Media in Super Bowl Advertising

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in PPC News, Search, Social | 9 Comments
The Rise of Social Media in Super Bowl Advertising

Sahil Jain, CEO and Co-Founder of AdStage, circled up with CGTN America this week to talk Super Bowl advertising hits and misses, and the role of digital marketing in live television today.

Q: How important are Super Bowl TV and online ads today vs a decade ago?

SJ: Studies show that say 87% of people have a second screen in front of them while they’re watching these games/events or just television in general. 64% are using social media while they’re watching TV. This year, you’re going to start seeing, for the first time ever, digital advertising eclipse TV advertising. But, it’s not doom and gloom for television advertising. In fact, it’s the opposite. Its that digital advertising, television – all these different mediums – are more effective when you use them together – when there’s a holistic strategy in place. You really saw this with Airbnb’s Super Bowl ad where they had the #weaccept hashtag at the end. They knew the Super Bowl audience was going to be on their phones.

Q: Super Bowl ads are no small investment – in fact, they hit 5 million dollars this year. So with so many other ways to attract consumers, is it still worth the investment?

SJ: The name of the game is really elevation across all fronts. Studies are starting to say that television ads will lead to larger social engagement. So if you show a television ad, you’ll see increased engagement on facebook, twitter, etc.

You’re starting to see some more well-funded tech companies taking out Super Bowl ads – you saw Google, you saw Amazon – the two artificial intelligence battlers, and you saw newcomers like Airbnb. That’s just a testament to this medium being alive and well, regardless of the price tag.

Q: Any Super Bowl advertising surprises this year? Big hits and misses?

SJ: You saw for the first time, in a really strong way, these brands using their voice and power to bring attention to things happening currently in the political climate. In the end, brands are still looking for greater sales and bigger purchases, but we can’t forget what Coca Cola did with the Share a Coke campaign – teaching us that there’s some sort of altruistic behavior that you can marry with your business goals. You saw this with Anheuser Busch – it was really beautifully done – almost like a movie or a television show we were watching on Netflix.

Check out the full interview below!

7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Automation, Search, Social | One Comment
7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017

As PPC professionals, we’re always looking for ways to increase productivity and campaign performance. In 2017, automating PPC ads is going to be our top tactic for getting the most out of our ads with the least time spent (we don’t just sell PPC automation tools – we practice what we preach). We know a lot of people have questions when it comes to PPC automation, so in this post, we’ll be covering the top seven reasons everyone should be automating campaign optimization this year.

1. Automated Bidding

Google AdWords and Facebook Ads both have a number of bidding options. And, if you haven’t tried them yet, you’re missing out. Managing your bids manually is not only time-consuming, but may not be in your best interest based on your campaign goals.

Within Google AdWords, we recommend using the CPA bidding option. This will help maximize your conversions, unlike CPC or CPM bidding, which optimizes for clicks or impressions, respectively. Because search queries and impressions occur in real-time, it’s unrealistic for a human campaign manager to continuously monitor and update bids around the clock. You can select your bid strategy at the campaign level and the ad group level within AdWords, but the ad group setting will supersede the campaign settings.

7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017 via blog.adstage.io

Facebook is slightly different since the campaigns you build on the social network are objective-based. Based on your campaign objective, Facebook will automatically optimize bids for the end goal if you select automatic bidding. Unlike a one-time bid update, Facebook’s automatic bidding algorithms are constantly optimizing and iterating your bids 24/7 to deliver the maximum number of results. Automatic bidding is set at the Facebook ad set level within your Ads Manager.

7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017 via blog.adstage.io

2. Campaign Scheduling / Dayparting

If you managed a retail shoe store, and you knew more shoppers came on the weekends, you would schedule more onsite team members on those days, right? Likewise, if you’re a restaurant owner and you know when the popular meal times are, you’re going to have more cooks and waiters on the schedule. You can think of campaign scheduling the same way.

If you’re tracking your conversions through Google Analytics (which I hope you are!), you already know which days of the week and even which hours of the day are going to yield the most conversions. Alleviate the need to manually pause and start campaigns by scheduling your ad delivery times and days. Campaign scheduling optimizes your budget, stretching it to drive more conversions during the most competitive hours of the day.

7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017 via blog.adstage.io

3. Account & Campaign Budget Monitoring

To combat over or under-pacing, you should monitor your spend trends. However, this attention to detail is often very manual and time consuming. By implementing rules through an automated monitoring system, you can receive alerts when the system is noticing changes in performance and then reallocate budgets automatically.

7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017 via blog.adstage.io

4. Standardize, Automate, and Schedule Your Reporting

Reporting is inevitable. Especially when you’re spending thousands, if not millions of dollars across multiple traffic sources. The more sources you test, the more cumbersome reporting gets, so find a system that helps you automate elements of the PPC reporting process. Here’s an example from AdStage Report:

Create a standardized template for your report by adding interactive elements, custom views, and branding.

7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017 via blog.adstage.io

From there, you can refresh and send yourself and your team the report on your desired cadence.

7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017 via blog.adstage.io

5. Automatically Pause Underperforming Creative

Automated rules that are unbiased and impact your cost per conversion can go a long way in making sure that your are putting your best creatives forward. For example, PPC automation allows you to pause ads that have high impressions and clicks, but no historic conversions, or pause ads that have significant historical data, but high CPAs.

6. Receive Alerts for Performance Trends You Care About

Rather than manually having to check your campaign performance every day or every week, automate this task with an alert. This means you will get a message pointing out any campaigns or targeting settings that are jeopardizing performance. For example, get notified when your campaigns, ad groups or ad sets have a low CTRs or high CPAs.

7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017 via blog.adstage.io

7. Automate A/B Testing

Creative testing has a scientific element to it that is prone to human error or biases. There are rarely any marketers conducting purely manual A/B tests. When using an automated system to A/B test your ad creatives, you can set up the parameters and let an algorithm decide the true winner. It will tell you which ad creative is winning based on the performance metrics you care about the most and you can swap in a new ad for ongoing A/B tests and incremental boosts in performance over time.


Obviously, we’re biased when it comes to PPC automation – we love it so much we’ve made a whole product for it. If you have questions about how AdStage Automate might work for you, start a 14-Day Free Trial or request a demo.

7 Reasons You Need to Automate Your Ads in 2017 via blog.adstage.io

 

What every PPC professional should do to prepare for 2017

Posted by on Jan 7, 2017 in PPC News, Search, Social | 5 Comments
What every PPC professional should do to prepare for 2017

We started off 2017 with some expert predictions about what the new year will have in store for PPC. But all the buzz about trends and innovations can be pretty overwhelming without actionable steps to not just prepare for 2017, but stay ahead of the PPC curve.

In their webinar on PPC predictions for 2017, our very own Mike McEuen teamed up with JD Prater and Matt Umbro of Hanapin Marketing to talk about what’s coming down the pipeline for Search, Social, and Ad Tech and what you can do to stay ahead. We pulled out their most actionable tips, so you can get to work (after all, 2017 is already rolling right along…):

Search

1. Take full advantage of ad extensions for more real estate and organic-looking results. The more opportunities you can find to get users to interact with your ad, the better! Check out this example of a ski boot search to see what we’re talking about:What Every PPC Professional Should do to Prepare for 2017 via blog.adstage.io
2. Explore creating dynamic Google Display Network ads and native ads. The tools available to create responsive ads continue to reduce the barrier to entry for marketers. All you need is a short headline, description, and some images to upload and you’re off to the races. Google will take care of resizing your ad to fit the page on which it will be served.

3. Test audience targeting in Search, for instance bidding higher for a specific age range or gender that might be best served by your product. Matt Umbro encourages PPC professionals to think past keywords and to really think holistically about audiences to stay ahead of the game.

Social

1. Social community managers need to learn how to sponsor their best content against the right audience. This means getting a really good handle on the paid side of their networks, which not all community managers have necessarily needed to do until now. There are lots of great training resources out there, so if you’re not a paid social expert, take some time this year to get up to speed.What Every PPC Professional Should do to Prepare for 2017 via blog.adstage.io
2. Invest in social listening, monitoring, and analytics tools to increase and prove social ROI. 61% of social marketers see measuring ROI as a challenge, and if you can’t measure how your social investments are doing, you’ll be stuck in that challenging spot for another long year.What Every PPC Professional Should do to Prepare for 2017 via blog.adstage.io
3. Experiment with new mediums such as bots and live video. Doing so now will allow you to take advantage of the lower competition costs, greater reach, and higher engagement rates than standard ad units.

AdTech

1. Think of organizing your campaign and ad sets into campaigns by objective, across networks, as opposed to taking a network-centric approach to optimization. Find a true multi-channel tool that will allow you to create this kind of management structure, and valuable, high-level view of your PPC activity.

2. Align your re-marketing campaigns into sequences with different ad creative triggered by last visit, conversion step, or lead status. Check out this handy graphic for some examples:What Every PPC Professional Should do to Prepare for 2017 via blog.adstage.io

3. Either through scripts or 3rd party solutions, PPC marketers should automate their most mundane tasks — such as budget pacing, pausing underperforming keywords/ads/ad groups/sets — instead focusing their time on budget allocation, campaign strategy, audience targeting, and copy testing. We’re biased here, but with Automate, our 2700+ users saved over 144 weeks of full-time man hours in 2016! Think of what you and your team could do with that kind of freed up time.

4. For B2B organizations, standing up an attribution model is key to determining if ad performance at the network, campaign, and ad level are having an impact on actual revenue. It’s time to optimize past cost per conversions (lead) and instead make optimization decisions based on return on ad spend (ROAS). Platforms like Bizible, and ad tech companies who are opening their APIs are great places to turn to get this going.


Want to go even deeper? View the full webinar recording or click through the SlideShare below to get the full presentation!


 

Need another set of eyes on your PPC account? Hanapin has a building full of experts who are happy to help. Click here to see if you qualify for a free account analysis.

[The PPC Show] Episode 36: Luke Alley, Director of PPC at Avalaunch Media

[The PPC Show] Episode 36: Luke Alley, Director of PPC at Avalaunch Media

Luke Alley: The Rising Star in PPC Marketing

Luke Alley, Director of PPC at Avalaunch Media talks with us about lead gen, tracking, and optimizing for quality leads.

Named one of the rising stars in PPC Marketing by Search Engine Land, Luke has started and grown the PPC division for two companies from a handful of small clients to several million dollars managed annually. His focus has been on client acquisition, client retention, PPC management, process development, hiring and training, and being active in the PPC community through speaking, blogging, and #PPCChat. Follow him at @LukeAlley.

Enjoy the episode!

 

 

[The PPC Show] Episode 34: Khalid Saleh, CEO of Invesp

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 in Search, Social, The PPC Show [Podcast] | No Comments
[The PPC Show] Episode 34: Khalid Saleh, CEO of Invesp

Khalid Saleh talks A/B testing best practices to drive growth and profit

In this episode of The PPC Show, we chat A/B testing and conversion rate optimization (CRO) best practices with best-selling author and CEO of Invesp, Khalid Saleh.

Invesp is a leading provider of conversion optimization software and services. Khalid is at the helm, having written his Amazon.com best-selling book, “Conversion Optimization: The Art and Science of Converting Prospects into Customers.” In his book, Khalid offers a sound method to capture more customers through a fully integrated marketing strategy.  He demonstrates how the six marketing principles: customer persona, trust and confidence, buying stages, engagement, fears/uncertainties/doubts (FUDs), and incentives define the success of all types of marketing initiatives, from websites to policy strategies.

As a frequent guest on media outlets like CNN, BBC, SKY, France 24, MSNBC, New York Times, National Public Radio, and in-demand keynote conference speaker, Khalid inspires audiences to rethink their approach to marketing in terms of exponential growth and profit.

We hope he does the same for you in this podcast. Enjoy!

 

 

P.S. Like what you heard in this episode? Follow Khalid on Twitter to keep the conversation going! 👉@khalidh

KlientBoost’s Client Retention Magnets: How to Secure Your Bottom Line

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Agency, Reporting, Search, Social | No Comments
KlientBoost’s Client Retention Magnets: How to Secure Your Bottom Line

EDITOR’S NOTE: This client retention marketing infographic is part of KlientBoost’s 25-part series. We’re super excited to partner with them so you can enjoy a new gifographic once a day in your inbox. You should subscribe here.

There are a whole heck of a lot of marketing optimization posts out there to read, but just a tiny amount of client retention posts that are dedicated to marketing agencies.

If you run an agency like I do at KlientBoost, or even work at one, then you know how crucial client retention is to the growth of your business.

With a crappy retention rate, you feel like you’re treading water.

But instead of water, you’re treading in quick sand and slowly being poked by a million small toothpicks, while elephant poop is being dumped on your head.

Client Retention via blog.adstage.io
Couldn’t find one GIF that had all three – GIF source

But joking aside, client retention is a serious thing. You’ve worked so hard to obtain a client, so why not set some things in place to keep them around longer?

That’s why we partnered with AdStage to bring you our biggest client retention lessons that we’ve learned in the two years of significant growth we’ve had (to almost $250k in monthly recurring revenue) all in one fun gifographic (with no elephant poop. Promise).

Client Retention Magnet via blog.adstage.io

Where’s The Money?

Being an agency owner, there’s a good chance that you’ve spoken with other owners about the painful things they endure.

But one of questions I often get revolves around client reporting and the amount of time it takes.

The only issue is that reporting outside of the bottom line isn’t that important. Too many agencies get caught up in reporting in metrics like CTR, impression shares, or quality scores without talking about the most important thing:

Money being made

It wasn’t until recently that we started requiring all account managers to ask that very important question to their client, which could either give a dreaded response or an exciting answer:

“Are you making more money?”

It’s too easy to get caught going through the motions or adjusting a few things here and there that have no real business impact.

Once you know that a client isn’t making more money (and you ask the question early enough), then you have enough time to make any pivots needed to get them in the right direction.

Fail to ask that question, and you’re hoping that your client is honest enough to tell you they’re not happy before they randomly stop working with you.

Just by having that one question up our sleeves, we’ve been able to catch fires way before they happen, and that has helped our retention in a very positive way.

The Four Client Phases

Once you know that a client is or isn’t making any money, the next step is to have a game plan for how to get them to make more money, again.

We decided to create four phases that all clients go through, and once they’ve graduated from one phase, the next phase has a new set of tasks we need to take care of before they move on to the next.

Here are the client phases we use at KlientBoost to identify client progress:

#1 Traffic: Nothing starts without traffic. If your client isn’t getting enough traffic, then any CRO tests you try to run are most likely going to fall on their face.

This means that the goal isn’t to try to run display campaigns to get cheaper CPCs to get more clicks. Instead, ask the client for more budget so that some quicker wins become a reality.

This is where you shouldn’t focus on the landing page.

This phase should take no more than a week.

#2 Conversion: Now that you have traffic, the next step is to generate conversions. And after that, you need to make sure that the client is able to make money off those conversions.

This is where you focus on the landing page side, and not so much on traffic side.

This phase can take one to two months depending on how many different CTAs you have to test.

#3 Profitability: Once a client has traffic and conversions, the next thing to know is whether or not they’re profitable. With ad spend and agency fees in mind, is the client able to achieve a higher ROI?

If not, then you need to figure out why and adjust. Going multiple weeks with the same traffic and same landing pages most likely won’t turn a corner fast enough.

This phase can take one to two months as well.

#4 Scaling: This is the final phase and the one that’s the most fun to get to. Once you have traffic, conversions, and profitability, the next step is to start growing the account.

Here, you’re able to start testing new PPC channels to grow the entry points of your clients funnel.

This phase can last forever and never plateau.

By knowing which phase your client is in, your account managers can easily decide which tasks to focus on for the week.

If a client is in Phase #3 and the account manager is still spending most of their time adjusting bids and testing ads, then there’s a good chance that client will never graduate to the next phase.

And if that happens, then your retention rate suffers, too.

Deep Deep Communication

If there’s a thing I’m obsessed with when it comes to working with clients, then it’s having a pulse on them.

Are they happy, sad, not confident, or excited?

But a pulse is much more than knowing how they feel about your services – it’s more about honesty and having the client feel like they can tell you anything to help both of you out.

So many clients are afraid of hurting feelings and they would rather not share what irks them. The biggest downside of this lack of communication is that you feel blindsided and shocked when they decide to stop working with you.

See, it’s easy to have your clients think you’re too busy and have no time for them, and that’s actually one of the biggest reasons they choose to leave.

Not lack of performance.

Client Retention via blog.adstage.io

Surprising, right? – image source

What I’ve also found is that clients are more than happy to give you time and are patient enough wait until you figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Once they know that you have their best interest in mind, they’ll give you more time before they cancel, because they like you.

I’ve sat in on a lot of client calls as a fly on the wall, and I keep seeing that a lot of client and account manager communication is super shallow and filled with pointless small talk.

Being honest with your clients and letting them know that you agree things aren’t doing well will help them be honest with you.

This strategy has oddly helped us have clients who canceled with us, refer people they know to work with us.

That doesn’t happen very often.

Speed, Pivots, Feedback, & Audits

There’s nothing that I value more than execution and speed. And I know it’s the same for our clients.

Having your client know that you have a sense of urgency is one of the best feelings you can give them.

Here are the four things we’ve found help our speed and retention rates as well:

Speed: The faster we can move from one campaign or landing page to the next, the faster we’re able to move a client from one phase to the next.

Pivots: This means that you need to be able to see if a campaign won’t work early enough for you to do something about it. It’s common for us to pivot once a week for a client until we’ve gained traction.

Feedback: Having regular feedback calls with a client has done very well for us. During the first month and second month mark, we have another team member (other than the account manager) call the client to get insight on what we can do better.

The most important part of this is doing it early enough in the relationship so you have time to salvage it.

Audits: This point is for the owner of the agency.

We’re coming up on our two year anniversary as an agency and the amount of changes we’ve made to our processes has been astounding.

By auditing our processes, we’ve been able to identify things like:

  • What skills do certain account managers lack so we can train them to be stronger?
  • Grouping one CRO designer with two account managers for better education transfer between all.
  • Giving every team member a topic ownership to teach all other team members about. They’re now the resident experts on LinkedIn Advertising, Google Tag Manager, or CRO tools.

Sometimes your best bet is to attempt something and then adjust. Most of what we’ve learned has come from pure trial and error.

Back To You…

The best part about running an agency and priming it for growth, is that you can split test your own company, just like you split test things for your clients.

By neglecting change, you’re not only going to continue to suffer, but you’ll eventually burn out and throw in the white flag.

Agency life is tough, but so is anything that’s worth pursuing.

I hope some of these insights can help you spark change and get your retention rate up and to the right. 🙂

[The PPC Show] Episode 33: Andrew Goodman, Founder of Page Zero

[The PPC Show] Episode 33: Andrew Goodman, Founder of Page Zero

The Latest and Greatest in Adwords News

In this episode, we were excited to talk about the latest and greatest in Adwords news with the author of one of the very first e-books on the subject, Andrew Goodman. AdStage’s Director of Product, Paul Wicker, sat down with him to talk Adwords bid adjustments, expanded text ads, the new Facebook for business teams, and Twitter’s almost acquisition.

Andrew founded Page Zero Media in 2000 in order to create an SEM firm that earnestly listened to clients and offered better services than existing offerings. After a few years of general research for a book on online marketing, Andrew honed in on Google Adwords and released the world’s first “how-to” on AdWords – “21 Ways to Maximize ROI on Google AdWords Select,” in April, 2002. And then, in 2005, Andrew published Winning Results with Google AdWords (McGraw-Hill; 2nd ed. 2008), considered the leading resource in the field. If his name sounds familiar, it may be because he’s spoken at 44+ North American SES Conferences and writes a regular column for ClickZ.com.

To hear Andrew the Adwords expert’s take on current trends in the paid advertising world, listen to the entire podcast below. Enjoy!

 

 

P.S. if you’re not following Andrew on Twitter… you should be! You can find him tweeting all things AdWords here 👉@andrew_goodman

What’s New with AdStage in October

Posted by on Oct 6, 2016 in Product Updates, Search, Social | No Comments
What’s New with AdStage in October

September was a big month in AdStage and we’re excited to share all the network specific releases that will help you get the most out of your paid advertising efforts. After collaborating with our customers and network partners, we’ve added a wealth of newly supported features and data types.

LinkedIn Conversion Tracking

We’re honored to team up with LinkedIn Marketing Solutions to pilot the highly anticipated Conversion Tracking for Sponsored Content and Text Ads campaigns. Followed by a wave of excitement from B2B marketers, Conversion Tracking is available to all LinkedIn advertisers. Read the official release notes here.

LinkedIn Conversion Tracking allows advertisers to understand which audience, message, and landing page are driving the best return on ad spend for a desired outcome (such as a form fill).

Our product team elicited the help of some of our most active customers to pilot the support of LinkedIn Conversion Tracking within AdStage. We’re excited to reveal that AdStage users can both create, and import existing conversion tracking within the platform.

Want to learn more about this offering? Check out our comprehensive guide, “Everything You Need to Know About LinkedIn Conversion Tracking”.

LinkedIn Conversion Tracking in AdStage

Facebook Relevance Score

For years search advertisers relied on insights from Google AdWords and Bing Ads Quality Score to identify ad and keyword relevance and popularity for a specific target audience. For social advertisers, how Facebook served their creative was often a black box. With the release of ad relevance score, advertisers can now glean valuable information on how Facebook distributes and calculates the cost of their creative.

What is Facebook’s Ad Relevance Score?

“Relevance score is calculated based on the positive and negative feedback an expected ad will receive from its target audience. The more positive interactions the an ad is expected to receive, the higher the ad’s relevance score will be. The more times an ad is expected to be hid or reported, the lower its score will be.

Ads receive a relevance score between 1 and 10, with 10 being the highest. The score is updated as people interact and provide feedback on the ad.”

(source: Facebook for Business blog)

The product team is thrilled to announce relevance score is available across all three of our major product lines: management, automation, and reporting. Your ad relevance score is updated with every new account import and accessible in several views across the platform suite.

Manage

Add Relevance Score to any Facebook ad table view by selecting the “Latest Relevance Score” metric from the Select Columns drop down.

Facebook Relevance Score Support in AdStage

Automate

Create new email alerts or optimization rules based on relevance score triggers easily. Simply select “Latest Relevance Score” as an available metric in the conditions section and set your threshold.

Facebook Relevance Score in AdStage Automate

Report

Add Relevance Score as an available selected metric for any ad table reporting view. Perfect your table by using the easy drag and drop column ordering option. Finally, save it as a template for one-click future access, or schedule it as a recurring report sent to your email.

FB Relevance Score support in AdStage Report

Google Enhanced Ads Support

Google AdWords expanded the text character limits for search ads from the 25-35-35 format to a 30-30-80 format. The updated limits allow for a lot more legroom for copy, and showcased in a different format. Learn all about this update in our comprehensive post, “Everything You Need to Know About Google Enhanced Ads

AdStage users can now fully create and import any of campaigns with Enhanced Text Ads.

Google Enhanced Text Ads support in AdStage

Deep Campaign Linking in Automate

Sometimes it’s the little refinements that enhance the whole product experience. We love when our customers help us build better products (thank you to all the customers for your feedback, we built this just for you!).  Now users can easily jump right into campaign management from the Automate summary tables.

Example Use Case:

Want to understand the impact of an automated optimization rule on an individual campaign? Simply click on the campaign name in the log and an adjacent tab will take you right to that campaign view you care about in ad management.

AdStage Automate Deep Linking


New to AdStage?

Sign-up for a free 14-day trial and gain instant access to these great new features!

Free 14-day Trial to AdStage

How to Use Long-Tail Keywords that Convert

Posted by on Sep 27, 2016 in Advertising, Search | 4 Comments
How to Use Long-Tail Keywords that Convert

Google Is Going Through a Ton of Changes: The Opportunity for Long-Tail Keywords

Google has been rolling out a lot of big changes with huge implications for pay-per-click marketing. Just this year, we have expanded text ads, third-party reviews in the local pack, and new keyword data restrictions.

Google’s decision to restrict keyword data in their keyword planner tool from exact numbers to ranges created a lot of buzz in the PPC community. Marketers were outraged Google would change their own data, but is that really a huge deal? I think it’s a good thing. I believe it simplify how we analyze our data and force us to start focusing on what truly matters…business KPI’s.

The issue with keyword research, before Google’s decision to limit keyword data,  was whenever people talked about keyword research, they first worried about volume, then difficulty, and then finally (if at all), about how effectively the research would convert their audience.

Restricting access to exact data might be the best thing that could have happened to keyword research. The obsession over bidding on only the long-tail keywords with the most volume will come to an end.

Today, we’ll talk about how we can identify and target the long-tail keywords that (actually) convert, shall we?

Identifying Long-Tail Keywords

Identifying the long-tail keywords most likely to convert is not only important for pay-per-click advertising, but for content as well.  Unfortunately, as we mentioned before, these terms are mistakenly seen as less valuable because they have fewer searches.

However, the conversion value they hold is priceless.

Watch the video below as I walk you through exactly what this means.

 

Source: https://gmehrguth.wistia.com/medias/c9mrihwvtp

Key takeaways from the video

  1. Your best long-tail keywords don’t necessarily have the most volume
  2. Tools like Moz, SEMrush and Google keyword planner often don’t have data on long-tail search volume
  3. Use the _ “wildcard” after your primary search term to learn user intent
  4. Optimize around these keywords to take marketshare quickly and drive more conversions

Selecting the Best Long-Tail Keywords

We’ve gone through how to identify your best long-tail keywords, but how do you prioritize them?

The key here is finding a healthy balance between conversion impact, brand impact and search volume. To help you, we even created a tool that can do this for you. Click here to check it out!

Luckily, you do not have to rely on guesstimations for this to work, nor do you have to tirelessly append valuable terms with a _ “wildcard” (although it is recommended). Instead, you can launch broad match modified campaigns around your top performing keywords. Using broad match modifiers in your campaigns allows you to quickly gather data and better understand the impact/ROI of each keyword.

For example, if you created a single keyword ad group (SKAG) around “PPC agency,” you could test which match type converted best:

  • [ppc agency]
  • “ppc agency”
  • +ppc +agency

From here, you can mine your search term report and identify keywords like ppc agency pricing and ppc agency costs. As you start to notice the ROI these terms deliver, you can create unique ad groups for your top performing keywords.

These ad groups should have unique ad copy, extensions, and landing pages. This will improve quality score, decrease CPC, and improve overall return.  

Optimizing for Conversions

Conversions are the quintessential goal of advertising campaigns. “How much will we make if we spend this much money or time?” is the universal question.

The key is to focus far less on the answer to this question, and instead focus on the aspects that drive the actual conversions. I call this “optimizing for inputs” instead of the output. We can’t control output, though we are in complete control of inputs.

Here are my favorite inputs to optimize for in PPC that can make an impact on conversions (organized in no particular order):

Adjust Bid Levels  

  • Optimize for spot number four in Adwords
  • We have found that the decrease in CTR rarely hurts you as much as the decrease in CPC helps your overall return. It’s a fine balance, so monitor carefully.
  • We’ve found this to be helpful across multiple accounts in various industries.

SKAGs (single keyword ad groups)

  • We talked about single keyword ad groups earlier, but SKAGs allow for robust control of what ads show up for each keyword so that each query is optimized.
  • SKAGs allow for the landing pages of each ad group to be optimized to match the intent of that exact keyword.
  • While this approach might seem impractical and take “too much time,” we highly advise testing at least on your most valuable keywords.

Custom Landing Pages

  • Optimizing for long-tail keywords is entirely useless if the landing page you send the ads to:
    • Has bad copy
    • Doesn’t match the searcher’s intent
    • Loads slowly
    • Has more than one external link
    • Isn’t unique to that campaign
    • Has images that couldn’t tell the story without any copy on the page
    • Has higher than expected prices
    • Has no shipping or return info
    • Has no reviews, case studies or testimonials
    • Has the words: “Get/Request/Sign-up for a Demo”
  • To avoid these things, we always try to:
    • Write custom copy
    • Design graphics or take unique photos
    • Avoid blocks of text with more than four lines

Optimize Titles Beyond CTR

  • Prequalify users to save money on bad clicks and increase conversions
  • Show off our pricing and policies
  • Get lots of reviews
  • Use video
  • Use demo video as a CTA for software

Use video

  • If you have a video, one of the best ways to test if it’s working or not is to create a custom segment in your Google Analytics for anyone who’s watched a video.
  • This is easy to do with video marketing tools such as Wistia or Vimeo. Wistia automatically creates an event  if people watch a video. Then, compares the conversion rates of people who watch your video to those who don’t.
  • We’ve found a 200% increase in conversion rates when people watch a video. So how do you optimize for inputs? Make more and better video content.

Conclusion

The key takeaway from this post is to start changing your perspective so that you can improve your approach. From SEO services to PPC management, if you perceive search volume as your most important metric, then you will continuously optimize for the wrong thing.

If you only rely on keyword tools instead of time-consuming SERP (search engine results page) analysis, then you will be missing your best long-tail opportunities. Identify your keywords with the _ “wildcard,” select your keywords based on conversion, brand, and then volume, and lastly, optimize for conversions with tight campaigns and exceptional copy + creative.

AdStage Secures $2 Million in Funding From Verizon Ventures to Double Down on Its MarTech Platform

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Press Releases, Search, Social | 13 Comments
AdStage Secures $2 Million in Funding From Verizon Ventures to Double Down on Its MarTech Platform

AdStage looks to simplify the complex technology needs of marketers with its centralized platform.

SAN FRANCISCO — September 19, 2016 — AdStage Inc., the only cross-channel advertising suite for marketers and agencies who want to create, manage, and optimize search and social campaigns from a single platform, announced it has secured an additional $2 million in funding from Verizon Ventures, the lead investor of their Series A round. AdStage’s customer base currently manages over 18,000 advertising accounts and $100MM in quarterly ad spend through its suite of products.

The latest injection of funding enables AdStage to invest in its vision to connect digital marketers with their disparate systems and workflows by consolidating the process into one platform. This includes developing solutions that allow marketers to easily analyze pay-per-click performance across channels, automate daily campaign tasks, and integrate their existing tools.

“Our vision has always been to unite the various paid channels where the digital marketer or Head of Demand Generation is at the apex of revenue operations,” said Sahil Jain, CEO of AdStage. “As marketing technology evolves, this individual requires the tools that not only unite the paid channels, but collaborates with the complementary business units to drive customer acquisition.”

Aligned with their mission to create a platform that supports the increasing demands of cross-channel campaigns, AdStage bolstered its suite of solutions with the release of two new product lines, Automate and Report. Automate allows marketers to place otherwise tedious campaign tasks on autopilot for continual monitoring and optimization of their ad campaigns. Since its release in late February, the product now supports over 2,000+ daily user-defined optimization rules. Report offers a customizable reporting solution that eliminates the need to prep and pull data from different marketing channels into a spreadsheet. Since its beta debut in July, AdStage customers have used real-time dynamic reporting views to generate over 1,000 reports.

“Constantly testing different marketing channels and messages with a unified dashboard to better compare, understand and monitor how campaigns are performing is crucial for brands to remain relevant and competitive,” said Mark Smith, Executive Director at Verizon Ventures. “AdStage’s platform delivers an easy to use yet comprehensive solution that benefits the digital marketer. We look forward to their continued growth.”

The new funding will be used to accelerate team growth and product development against the connected platform vision, as the technological needs of digital marketers becomes more complex and fragmented.

“The rise of the CMO, demand generation manager and marketing operations have ushered in new tools and technologies to bring business units together,” said Jain. “These solutions now enable organizations to effectively share their data in programmatic ways for sophisticated execution and analysis of campaigns in an omni-channel world.”

Learn more about AdStage at www.adstage.io/

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About AdStage

AdStage is a powerful cross-channel advertising platform that enables digital marketers and agencies to manage, optimize, report and automate across all their paid search and social campaigns from one easy-to-use dashboard. With direct API integrations across AdWords, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, the platform helps advertisers improve ad performance, save time, and make informed decisions on how to optimize for campaign ROAS. AdStage suite powers the marketing campaigns of companies like Moz, New Relic, Universal McCann, and King Content.

Learn more about AdStage at: www.adstage.io.

Contacts

Michael McEuen

Director of Marketing

AdStage, Inc.

michael@adstage.io

(480) 241-9877