Turning the Tables on YouTube Audiences

Posted by on Jan 8, 2018 in Advertising, Search
Turning the Tables on YouTube Audiences

Audiences were all the rage for advertisers and marketers in 2017. No longer just a tool for social media or display network marketing, audience targets became a major focus in paid search as well. From Customer Match to Similar Audiences, In-Market and Custom Intent, the focus for SEM has already begun to shift away from the “what” of your product or service to the “who” of your prospective clients and consumers.

YouTube Viewer Audiences for Search

Amid the flurry of audience targeting options being released and expanded nearly every month last year, one unique type of audience targeting in AdWords slipped in under the radar: YouTube Viewer Audiences for Search. This new targeting enables YouTube remarketing audiences for RLSA to retarget video viewers in search.

In this post, we’ll dig into this audience type in hopes of revealing why every paid search specialist ought to be taking advantage where possible.

To guide our exploration, we’ll draw upon the words of Brian Halligan, CEO at HubSpot:

“To be successful and grow your business and revenues, you must match the way you market your products with the way your prospects learn about and shop for your products” (emphasis added).

Why YouTube Advertising and/or Content Promotion is Worthwhile

As digital marketers, we tend to be very excited about the first part, and very ambitious about the second. Unfortunately, it’s not enough just to connect to the users who are already shopping for our product or service. The goal is to be smart and cohesive in accomplishing the task of marketing both in the “learn about” and “shop for” stages. So let’s first spend a moment on why YouTube advertising and/or content promotion is worthwhile in its own right.

According to eMarketer in 2017, monthly digital video viewership in the U.S. averaged more than 221 million individuals (81.2% of U.S. internet users). Internationally, Western Europe contributed another 219 million viewers of digital video monthly (68.2% of Western European internet users).

monthly digital video viewership in the U.S.

Think about YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Vine…you name it. It’s not hard to believe that so many of us are voluntarily consuming digital video at least once a month.

On the other hand, eMarketer’s projections for the next 3-5 years also show that viewership growth in the near future will be consistent but marginal.

Essentially, we are seeing that the market for digital video is nearing saturation in terms of consumption. Of course, this means that the market for video advertising is only going to grow more competitive as we all begin to compete for the same placements: to get in front of these valuable, attentive eyes and ears.

Using Video to Directly Populate Audiences

It’s time to turn the tables, think outside the box, and stay ahead of the game.We shouldn’t just value digital video as an ad format for retargeting website visitors or driving new website traffic for subsequent remarketing and direct ROI.

We don’t even need to argue for YouTube’s potential to “lift Branded search traffic” anymore. Video can now be used to directly populate viewer audiences for targeting on both Search and Display.

digital video as an ad format for retargeting website visitors

As Lee Odden (CEO at TopRank Online Marketing) once stated: “Content is the reason Search began in the first place.”

This is where we connect how people learn about and shop for our products or service. If vast digital video consumption is doing the “teaching,” then our Search remarketing must be ready to capture subsequent “shopping” moments for those users.

Making the Case for YouTube Advertising

Before a YouTube Viewer Audience strategy can successfully be executed, we first need to have some kind of presence on YouTube to generate views. This requires some kind of content strategy, video content production, and of course, some level of financial investment and buy-in from company decision-makers (which may or may not fall into your job description).

To help out those who need to justify an investment in YouTube advertising, we’ve compiled a group of statistics relating to the reach, device use, geographic locations, demographics, and user behavior associated with YouTube advertising.

Beyond the stats, though, the real need for video advertising comes from the reality that we no longer live in a world of easily defined, two-dimensional sales funnels. Buyer journeys are now a web of touchpoints from multiple devices and media, each as unique as the associated prospect. Skilled marketers must be prepared to address and nurture each of these users, at all times and on all platforms.

Data suggest that users consult YouTube for help with products and services before, during and after the decision-making process. Thus, YouTube can be an active player in all stages of the conversion funnel or buyer journey.

Video Content Strategy

So, to stay competitive and create the best buyer experience for every customer, a video content strategy is truly necessary. Without it, all that potential revenue and engagement is wasted. Not to mention missing the opportunity to capitalize on YouTube Viewer Audiences.

If the above stats aren’t enough to convince your company heads, you can always ask them to consider a new perspective for YouTube advertising: a low-risk channel for feedback that cooperatively assists more traditional video marketing efforts. You can also utilize earned actions KPIs and YouTube Viewer audience behavior to show that YouTube ads are successful.

Identifying and Building YouTube Viewer Audiences

For the purposes of this discussion, we won’t dive into the step-by-step of how to link a YouTube channel to Adwords or how to create a remarketing list. Rather, presented below is a framework for approaching your YouTube Viewer audiences by building personas associated with each. There are three foundational audiences that I believe every AdWords account will benefit from building, applying, and observing: “Website Strangers,” “Acquainted Visitors,” and “Non-Converting Fans.”

1. Website Strangers

These are users who have viewed at least one video from your channel (you can decide which videos to include/exclude based on your channel content). This means they have some familiarity with your brand. They have not, however, visited your website or completed any kind of conversion action. Thus, visiting your website is a clear next step to take in their customer journey.

Target these individuals with a Website Visit invitation. This might be in the form of a Text Ad on Search, or an Image or Responsive Ad on the Display network. Depending on your typical sales funnel, a website visit might lead directly to a conversion action, or it may transition the individual from a “Website Stranger” to an “Acquainted Visitor.”

2. Acquainted Visitors

These are slightly lower-funnel than “Website Strangers,” because they have engaged more directly with your brand. These are users who have visited your website once or more, or who have engaged more deeply with your content than simply viewing a video or ad. It may be that they liked or commented on your video, or even visited your channel page.

Because these users have an even greater familiarity with your brand, they can be directly targeted with a low-risk conversion invitation. That may mean signing up for an email newsletter or promo code, creating an account for later conversion, downloading a whitepaper, submitting a request for more information, or something else specific to your industry.

3. Non-Converting Fans

Lastly, it’s important to address individuals who engage more deeply with your content, whether by subscribing to your video channel or becoming a brand ambassador by sharing your content with others. They have already engaged with your website but just haven’t taken the step to convert.

These are users ideal to target with Discount or Promotional conversion offers. You might take advantage of Countdown ads in Search to increase urgency, apply a percent-off discount to your headline, or highlight some other offer to help close that deal.

3 types of youtube viewer audiences

Looking at these three foundational audiences, you can see that each is quite easy to compose. There is a lot of power in data collection and targeting capabilities for not a lot of effort on your part. A few sub-audiences built into a combination audience and you can quickly set yourself up for success.

Time to Put it All Together

Once your audiences are created, you can start applying them to your established Search campaigns for observation (or “bid only,” if you refuse to switch over to the new Adwords UI). This allows you to see how your Viewers are engaging with your current keywords and ad copy.

Utilizing AdWords ad customizers, you can also implement audience-specific messaging with IF-functions in your ad copy. As you monitor and quantify your audience behavior, you can then make informed decisions about bid modifiers or campaign structure to best address these YouTube viewers and nurture them in their decision-making process.

In addition to Search campaign application, do not forget the potential to utilize YouTube Viewer Audiences with Display campaigns. You might run a YouTube Viewer retargeting campaign for your Acquainted Visitors or Non-Converting Fans.

The Display network can also be a channel for inviting Website Strangers to your landing page. By breaking down your audiences to consider YouTube engagement as well as website behavior, you have the power to show much more tailored creative to these subsets of your prospect list.

And of course, once you have your audience lists established and your retargeting strategies in place, be sure to stop back here and share your thoughts. We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

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How to Use Ad Extensions to Boost Conversion During the Holiday Season

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Search
How to Use Ad Extensions to Boost Conversion During the Holiday Season

Amid the flurry of holiday ads, achieving a high ad rank in AdWords almost seems like a miracle. The competition is tough! Many retailers launched their PPC campaigns very early this year to capture the growing number of online shoppers (up 18.3% YoY, as TechCrunch reported).

As a PPC advertiser, how do you stand out? Most importantly, how do you make sure you’re getting only the right people to click on your ads?

Your holiday promotions will likely be seen by very broad audiences. To maximize your budget, use extensions to expand your ad with more relevant details.

In this article, I’ll show you several ads from retail brands that dominated SERP on Cyber Monday, with suggestions and tips to apply in your next AdWords campaign.

Ad Extensions to Drive Relevant Holiday Traffic

adwords extensions example

For holiday campaigns, AdWords extensions are especially useful for a few reasons:

  • Win higher ad rank for relevant searches
  • Boost conversion and lower CPA by creating very specific callout extensions at a campaign or ad group level
  • Improve customer experience by pointing people to relevant product categories on your website with sitelinks
  • Decrease time to conversion by using call extensions to get the customer on the phone in one click
  • Improve relevance by scheduling time-sensitive sitelinks for holiday or flash sales
  • Decrease CPC by excluding comparison shoppers with price extensions

Below are a few examples of using AdWords extensions to maximize conversion and click-through rate during the holiday season.

Schedule Time-Sensitive Sitelinks

To highlight limited-time offers, you can use sitelinks and specify the dates and times you want them to show. In the example below, J.C. Penney adds a time-sensitive link to feature the additional Cyber Monday discounts.

adwords extensions cyber monday

To increase click-through rate on a flash sale promotion, you can create urgency by showing how many hours are left or announce specific product categories going on sale.

When you create new campaign-level sitelink extensions, you have the option to select start date and end date and add a schedule of when you want your ad extensions will be available to show.

how to schedule sitelinks in adwords

For example, you can add a time-sensitive sitelink to announce a flash sale or schedule call extensions to show during your business hours.

Show Unique Selling Points With Callouts

Callout extensions look like sitelinks, but don’t actually contain the links. In the first example below, it’s “Pro Tips From our Experts” and “Scorecard Earns Points.” You can use callouts to show unique selling points or provide reassurance about shopping experience (for example, “Free shipping,” “Easy store pickup,” “Free returns”).

callouts in adwords cyber monday example

adwords callouts ecommerce

In the example above, Dick’s uses callouts to highlight its in-store services where certified technicians help customers customize or repair gear (“Pro tips from our experts,” “The Pros,” “Gear Service”). In the second example, Walmart uses callouts as a reminder of the brand’s promise of high-value, low-cost merchandise with its “Save money. Live Better” tagline.

While you can certainly add generic callouts at the account level, it can be effective to create them at the campaign or ad group level to narrow targeting. For example, for a campaign targeting people who shop for shoes, callouts could feature relevant shoe brands.

zappos adwords ad cyber monday

Don’t Overdo It

It’s tempting to stuff as many keywords as you can in your expanded text ads (especially if the keyword is “Cyber Monday”). But just like an overstuffed turkey can mean either undercooked stuffing or an overcooked bird, too many keywords in your ad means less room for copy that features how your offering is different.

In the ad below, that likely isn’t an issue, because the ad is for a deal aggregator. For a retail brand though, it’s wise to use the limited number of characters to highlight additional features instead.

adwords cyber monday ads example extensions

Relevance is Key

For e-commerce brands that want to stand out in search during the holiday season, relevance is key to success, whether it’s time, location, or advanced behavioral segmentation in Google Analytics.

How are you using ad extensions in your holiday campaigns? Let us know in the comments.

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5 Reasons to Write Different Ad Copy for Facebook & AdWords

Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Search, Social
5 Reasons to Write Different Ad Copy for Facebook & AdWords

You adjust copy when you’re running ad testing. You change social media copy based on the platform it’s running on. And I’m guessing you switch up the copy for various customer profiles when you’re running a new nurture campaign. But are you writing different ad copy for AdWords and Facebook?

The goals of each platform are very different. We’ll take a deep dive into those differences below, but here’s a high level overview (for the skimmers among us). Ads on Google are meant to target those with strong intent to purchase, while, more often than not, the goal of Facebook ads is to bring about awareness, rather than a concrete purchase.

Still not convinced it’s worth the extra time? Allow me to persuade you …

1. Intent

With AdWords, you’re reaching people who have exhibited a strong intent to purchase. This means you’re a little more inside their head. It also means your copy can and should be more direct. Don’t introduce the pain point that your product or service solves for. Your audience already knows what their pain points are because they’re searching for a solution. All you need to do is tell them how you can solve that problem for them.

Intent Ideo AdWords

Facebook ads, on the other hand, should be viewed as a way to raise awareness for your brand. While the goal of an ad on AdWords is to trigger a specific action you know your consumer is ready to make, Facebook ads may be the first introduction a consumer has to your brand or the pain point your brand solves for.

Intent Ideo Facebook

Most consumers aren’t heading to Facebook to search. So the key here becomes targeting the right audience on Facebook. Putting the right message in front of them. And doing it all at the right time.

2. Engagement

Your goals for engagement on each of these platforms will be different as well. AdWords engagement goals are generally measured in clicks, impressions, and CTR while Facebook ads have variety of engagement metrics that have nothing to do with the number of click throughs or conversions a single ad receives. For AdWords, you’ll want to communicate your message as quickly and meaningfully as you can with the limited character count your alloted. Communicate your solution or offer in a way that entices qualified clicks, and hopefully, conversions.

Datorama AdWords Ad

As previously mentioned, however, the customer seeing your Facebook ad may not have known you existed five minutes ago, so a brisk call to purchase (or even click your ad) may not be realistic or appropriate. This means how you measure engagement will be different for these ads.

Datorama Facebook

Instead of “buy now,” your CTA may shift to “like if you agree,” “share with a friend,” or “click to learn more.” Your engagement goal may just be to hear from your audience on the ad. Asking them a question, interacting with them, or asking for their feedback is something you would never do on AdWords, but it’s a great way to build trust and value with a new audience, and lay a foundation for a purchase later on.

3. Images

Your AdWords mantra? “Tell, don’t show.” Ad copy in AdWords deserves the bulk of your brainpower. You don’t have images or every marketer’s new best friend, video, to set your brand apart from the crowd. Offer a clear, targeted solution and lead with your strongest tagline as your headline.

While AdWords may be black and white, everything’s technicolor over on Facebook. This doesn’t give you a hall pass to write lackluster copy, but you should let your image do the heavy lifting. Swap your mantra to “show, don’t tell” and let your copy act as a complement to strong imagery.

pipedrive facebook

While stock photos are better than no photos, try producing or sourcing imagery that tells a story to your customer. Images can say just as much as copy, so make sure they say the right thing, and fill in the gaps with your words.

4. Targeting

Facebook ads allow you to create copy for specific audience behaviors and interests that align with your business or campaign goals. This means that you can get equally as targeted with your ad copy.

Would users interested in PowerPoint also be interested in what your company has to offer? Write ads that call out that interest and tell your audience how well your software pairs with Adobe Creative Cloud.

x.ai Facebook

AdWords offers you a more specific type of targeting, keywords. We’ve already outlined that this audience is more ready to make a purchase, so this makes things a little easier for you. You’re audience is already pretty targeted, so your copy should also be targeted towards a specific action, instead of an interest.

x.ai adwords ad

If you know that people searching for this particular keyword are ready to buy, put ad copy in front of them that pushes them to purchase. If your keyword indicates early-stage research, pull out your most persuasive argument in 30 characters or less.

5. Keywords

Ah, the magic keyword. It rules supreme in the world of AdWords and needs to feature prominently in your ad copy while maintaining a conversational tone. Write copy that meets the pain points of your target audience and you’ll set your ad apart from other brands targeting the same keyword or using dynamic keyword insertion.

The Economist AdWords AdFacebook is free from the shackles of the keyword, but your ad copy should still be focused on one goal or a main point that acts as a kind of keyword. Identify this word or phrase before writing your ad to ensure that your message remains clear, concise, and valuable to your audience.

Economist Facebook Ad

The Key Takeaway Here? Don’t Be Lazy

Yes, writing two versions of copy means more time, but the payoff will be worth the extra effort. Like ads themselves, the more targeted you can get with your message, the better the results. In a marketing landscape where competition has never been so fierce, it’s crucial to give your customer the best experience possible, and that starts by tailoring your copy to every stage of the buyer journey on every platform.

6 Advanced Techniques to Boost Your AdWords Performance

Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Advertising, Search
6 Advanced Techniques to Boost Your AdWords Performance

In some cases, PPC doesn’t pay off from the very beginning! Don’t just give up without giving it another try. Follow these simple yet powerful tips to improve your AdWords performance.

1. Use Conditional Keywords

Are you using carefully selected keywords but they are not performing well? You need to switch your keywords strategy right away. Sometimes even targeted keywords don’t convert (for multiple reasons). For example, information seekers search the same keywords and buyers, but are not ready to buy.

Let’s suppose you are a house removal company in New York and targeting the following keywords…

  • house removals
  • house movers
  • moving companies
  • removals company

They are your main targeted keywords and are eating your most of the budget.  Pause them! Instead use conditional keywords where the user is looking exactly for the service you are offering but with a solid and well defined condition. For example:

  • international removals
  • interstate moving companies
  • furniture removalists
  • nationwide moving companies
  • apartment movers
  • office relocation
  • local moving services

In my experience, these types of users are most likely to convert at higher conversion rates. It will lift up your conversions and decrease your costs.

2. Use Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are another great way to optimize your AdWords account performance. Don’t confuse them with ‘conditional keywords’.

As I said earlier, conditional keywords have clear and solid condition attached to the search query, whereas long tail keywords don’t necessarily need to have one.

For example, for removal companies, long tail keywords might be:

  • best house removal companies
  • cheap house movers in new york
  • where can I find moving companies

To get even better results, use long tail conditional keywords which in this case could be:

  • long distance interstate moving companies
  • discount interstate moving companies
  • best interstate moving companies nyc
  • moving companies for interstate moves
  • full service interstate moving companies
  • interstate moving companies near me

One conditional keyword will have several long tail keywords so there is a solid chance that you get good conversions from such keywords.

3. Create “Near Me” Campaign

This is, perhaps, the most neglected technique for getting more conversions and improving account performance. People are getting more localized day by day in this mobile world.

More than 50% of traffic is already on mobile and they are well aware of the fact that Google knows their location already. I know if I type “near me” next to my search query, this will bring up much more localized service providers.

But there is a catch. In this scenario, you are targeting entire New York and in such big cities, not everyone is close enough to visit your business. Even if they see your ad, they are least likely to convert. You need to target those who are physically close to your business location when make a search online.

Here is how you do it—create a separate campaign for “Near Me” searchers. Let’s suppose you are based in Long Island. Go to you campaign’s setting tab and then location. Click on “Add Location” and then select “Near Me” campaign. Search for “Long Island” and add it.

long island

Now you are targeting people physically located in Long Island (add as many nearby areas as you want). Add all relevant keywords. Few examples are below…

  • house movers near me
  • house removals nearby
  • closest house movers
  • local house removal companies

If, in some cases, you don’t find your area in the AdWords location targeting interface, try your zip code instead, and if doesn’t work either, target by “Radius”.

You can even target generic and broad keywords in this campaign with even less fear of losing money. Here are a few more tips to consider:

  • Add localized messaging in your ad copy
  • Use the location extension
  • Enable the phone calls extension

There is another way to target visitors near your location. You must have your business registered with Google My Business. The next step is to link your “My Business” location with AdWords account. Read this Google guide for further instructions on how to link it.

After it’s done, heads toward the advanced location targeting window and click on “location groups” tab and select My Locations from the dropdown as shown in the image below. Select the radius you want to target, let’s say 2 miles and click on Add.

location groups

This is a convenient way to target users near your business location especially when you have multiple business locations. This targeting technique will apply to all business locations you have in your Google My Business account.

That’s how your ad will look like on mobile.

local ad

(Image courtesy of Google)

At this point you may want to add multiple radius targets to single campaign to find the best radius that works for you. Let’s suppose you targeted 2 miles initially. Now repeat the whole process again and target 4 miles, then 7 and 10 (or what makes sense to you). In this way, you can learn about the impact of distance from your business location and later set your bids accordingly.

You should also check the ‘distance report’ more frequently to see how far the customer was when she saw your ad. This can be found under the “Dimension” tab. Choose ‘Distance’ from the ‘View’ drop down.

multiple location groups

(Image courtesy of Google)

 

If a user happens to be in the area close to your multiple business locations, he will see all of them in the ad and can  choose one which suits him best.

local ad multi locations

(Image courtesy of Google)

 

Tip: Schedule your “Near Me” campaign to run during your operating hours.

Note: This technique is applicable to all other campaigns in your account as well and works perfectly fine for the visitors physically close to your location. 

4. Enable Mobile Click-to-Call

This is most important and least used feature by AdWords advertisers in this mobile world. Please note that I am not talking about the “phone calls extension,” I am not even talking about the “calls from website.” I am specifically talking about “phone number click” on your mobile site.

There are 3 types of call conversions you can track from within AdWords interface. If you have a phone number displayed on your website and are not tracking all three of them, your stats are not accurate (especially when you have to report to client about AdWords performance).

call conversions adwords

i) Call Extension

Majority of the advertisers are well aware of this feature known as “Call Extensions”. Visitors see “call” button next to your ads on mobiles or your “phone number” on desktop devices.

call extension

(Image courtesy of Google)

 

ii) Calls from website

In this type of conversion, Google displays a dynamically-generated forwarding number when someone visits your website after clicking your ad. Your own phone number will be replaced by this forwarding number, so you can measure how many people called you after landing on your website either on mobile or desktop.

calls from website

 (Image courtesy of Google)

Fewer AdWords advertisers are taking advantage of this feature as compare to call extensions. 

iii) Phone click on mobile site

This is perhaps the most important call tracking source. It will turn your dead phone number on your mobile site into live clickable phone number. Here is how Google describes it…

“When someone visits your mobile website after clicking one of your AdWords ads, conversion tracking can help you identify clicks on your phone number. Unlike website call conversions, this feature only tracks clicks on your phone number, not actual phone calls. You’ll see click data instead of call data (such as call length) in your conversion reports.You can measure clicks on a text link, image, or button.”

mobile click to call

(Image courtesy of Google)

You can read more about adding this tracking to your mobile site on this Google support link. Check out this guide if you’re interested in tracking conversions with Google Analytics.

When visitors land on your mobile website after clicking your ad and decide to call instead of signup, they have to manually dial your number. Giving them the option to click to call will definitely increase your conversion rate.

On a side note, I checked ten different websites currently running paid campaigns in New York for “house removals” related keywords and found the following worrisome facts…

  • 3 out of 10 companies don’t even have a phone number displayed on their websites
  • 4 out of 10 websites are not even responsive (mobile-friendly)
  • 10 out of 10 are not tracking phone number clicks on mobile devices
  • 9 out of 10 websites aren’t tracking calls from website
  • 8 out of 10 haven’t enabled click to call function for organic users on mobiles
  • 2 out of 10 don’t have Google Analytics installed on the websites
  • 9 out of 10 don’t have AdWords conversion tracking installed on their websites

Let me remind you once again, all these 10 websites are currently running paid campaigns on AdWords.

5. Find & Use a Winning Landing Page

Easier said than done, right? Give me few moments and I’ll show you how easy it is to implement a winning landing page on your website especially for paid campaigns right from the beginning.

The best practice to be always testing your landing pages and ultimately find best performer. But it’s time consuming and can cost you good amount of money if you are running paid campaigns so where should you start?

Start from spying on your competitors, we need to take help from a PPC spying tool here. Let me give you an example of SpyFu which is very useful to look at the ad history of our competitors and for how long they are using the current landing page.

Enter a domain of your well established competitor and look back into history for how long they are using the current landing page, also check their ad copy, call to action, display URL, landing page content and If the competitor is using the same landing page for several weeks or months then you find yourself a winner.

ad history

6. Bid on Competitors

This might be the most effective and cheapest way to get more conversions. Most of the advertisers are aware of this technique and they are bidding on the brand names of their competitors but you know what?

They are bidding on their online competitors, what they are not doing is considering the offline competitors into online landscape.

Every business has offline competitors spending heavily on TV, print, or radio advertisement and you know what the interesting part is? They don’t even have a websites!

This is a huge opportunity for you to bring their customers to your own website.

Let’s suppose you just find out that you need a plumber and at that exact moment, you watch a compelling TV ad about “Acme Plumbing Company,” after the ad is gone, you don’t remember the phone number they shown on TV or the address, what you remember is—the company name.

So what the next thing will you do? You’ll search for them online.

I am getting 400 leads a month for one of my client by using this technique and these 400 leads are coming from a single competitor who is advertising heavily on TV and print but doesn’t have a website. I am just bidding on their brand name and you can imagine the cost/conversions, right? It’s less than 20% of avg. cost/conversion of that account.

Now it’s up to you!

Let me know in comments which technique you are NOT using yet?

 


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

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Agency, Search, Social, The PPC Show [Podcast]
[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

New AdWords Cross-Device Reports: 3 Things You Need to Know

Posted by on Sep 9, 2016 in Advertising, Search
New AdWords Cross-Device Reports: 3 Things You Need to Know

How to Boost ROI with New AdWords Cross-Device Attribution Reports

Over the past decade, the rise of mobile usage has made it extremely difficult to track customers as they switch from one device to another. Even more challenging for today’s digital marketer is analyzing which channels are producing the highest results and how to attribute value to each of the channels a user passed through before converting.

In an effort to help advertisers measure a consumer’s path to conversion, Google released new AdWords cross-device attribution reports. On average, consumers own anywhere from two to five devices, including their mobile phone, desktop, and possible tablet or television. A recent study from March 2016, conducted by Google and Ipsos Connect, showed that 60% of consumers start the purchase process on device and complete it on another. The path to conversion is more complex than ever and anything but linear.

The path to conversion is more complex than ever and anything but linear.

In the past, the traditional marketing funnel was simple and clear: awareness, consideration, purchase. However, with the rapid adoption of mobile tablets and devices, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for marketers and advertisers to measure the impact of their online advertising campaigns. It’s not as simple as a user search, user click, and a user conversion on the same device. The AdWords cross-device attribution reports use device conversion data that now shows device influence throughout conversion paths.

Three New AdWords Cross-Device Attribution Reports

The three AdWords cross-device attribution reports that are now available include:

  • Devices>: showing the cross-device activity happening in your AdWords account
  • Assisting Devices: showing what device types assisted conversions on other devices
  • Device Paths: showing the top conversion paths for customers using more than one device to convert

Each of these reports can be found in AdWords in the Tools tab under Attribution as shown in the below screenshot:

New Adwords Cross-Device Reports

 

For savvy advertisers that are obsessive about ad measurement, these benchmarks come in handy in a few different ways. View AdStage’s Quarterly PPC Benchmarks.

Using Different Attribution Models Other Than Last Click

There are 7 main attribution models that you can use for conversion tracking:

  1. Last Click Attribution Model
  2. First Click Attribution Model
  3. Linear Attribution Model
  4. Time Decay Attribution Model
  5. Position-Based Attribution Model
  6. Last Non-Direct Attribution Model
  7. Custom or Algorithmic Attribution Model

With the new AdWords Devices Report, you’re able to quickly identify how customers use different devices on their conversion path and better serve particular ads to your audience based on the cross-device activity.

For Example:

If you notice a conversion trend across different devices, you may want to use adjust your attribution model to boost a exposure for an ad that was displayed on a mobile, but converted on a tablet.

When choosing a new attribution model be sure to account for cross-device behavior because, unlike the traditional last click attribution model, credit will be assigned across the conversion path.

Quick Note: AdWords Device Report only includes conversions that had multiple device touch points. 

Updating Your Bid Adjustments for Different Devices

The new Assisting Devices report shows the number of last click conversions and click-assisted conversions broken down by each type of device. With the new Assist Ratio metrics, you can see how many conversions were assisted by impressions or clicks on that particular device compared to the number of actual conversions.

For Example:

Let’s say your Mobile Assist Ratio for a campaign is 2.20, this means for every conversion that is reported from a mobile device, 2.20 conversions on other devices were assisted by mobile impressions or clicks.

This information can help inform your mobile bid adjustment strategy. Going with the same example, if you notice mobile is assisting conversions on other devices by 2.2x, and your tablet assist ratio is only assisting conversions on other devices by 0.25x, you may want to lower your tablet bid adjustments and increase your mobile bid adjustments to maximize value from your mobile ad impressions.

Optimizing Your Mobile Strategy

Let’s say you’re analyzing the top conversion path and discover mobile is driving more assists than actual conversions. If that’s the case, you can optimize your mobile campaign strategy to be more educational rather than transactional. Your ad can highlight copy such as ‘Learn More’, as opposed to ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Sign Up Now’.

Additionally, the mobile landing page can be optimized to show the most important benefits of your product at the top, rather than the call-to-action of sign up now. For B2B companies, this may occur quite often, as your prospects may hear about your products or services at a conference, conduct a mobile search while they’re on the go, and convert later when they are back in their office on their laptop.

As with any attribution reporting, it’s important to consider how you want to measure conversions and apply credit to each device and ad channel. You can use the Google Analytics Model Comparison Tool to compare the results of up to three different types of attribution models to ensure that the attribution model you’re using reflects your advertising goals and business models.

Top 5 Ways To Use The New AdWords Device Bidding

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 in Advertising, Search
Top 5 Ways To Use The New AdWords Device Bidding

How to improve your campaigns with Google’s new AdWords device bidding feature

Learn how the new AdWords device bidding tools can help you improve your conversion rate across different devices.

1. Make a base bid

Set a base bid and bid adjustments of -100 percent to +900 percent on one or more devices. You won’t have to make the same bid for multiple devices, which means you’ll have more flexibility over how you target your ads.

2. Launch separate campaigns

Customise your bids to the devices that your customers use the most. For example, if your market spends more time browsing products and services from a tablet device than a desktop or mobile, a tablet-optimised bid campaign will enable you to tap into this market and become more competitive. While a tablet-optimised or mobile-optimised campaign can help increase your ROI from those specific devices, it’s still important to make sure you have separate campaigns that effectively target all of your customers, whatever the device they use to find your products and services.

3. Identify weaknesses in your current campaign

By separating your campaigns to different devices, you’ll be able to identify any weaknesses. Were you expecting more customers to be visiting your website from a desktop? Is your mobile and tablet performance below your competitors? Whatever is working in your current campaign, integrate it into your new campaigns. Make sure you have a high Quality Score, as this will mean your campaigns have been Google-approved and will likely achieve higher rankings within the search results. A good PPC manager will be able to optmise your campaign to acheive these goals.

4. Enjoy greater control of your campaigns

When Google announced its Enhanced Campaigns a few years ago, it restricted the extent to which advertisers could customise their bids, because all desktop and tablet ads had to be grouped. So, for example, if your customers were more likely to find your products and services via a tablet than a desktop, you would have been disadvantaged. That’s because you wouldn’t have been able to optimise your ads to the device that your audience were most likely to use. This is how you create a responsive website – using HTML and CSS to ensure your content is correctly formatted for different devices. Fortunately, with tablet-optimised bidding you’ll be able to bid to an audience that is more likely to use this device. According to Laura Collins, the PPC Team Leader of the UK media agency and Merkle company Periscopix, it is estimated that tablets are more likely to be used for watching television and other entertainment, rather than work

5. Make the most of mobile

People spend more time browsing products and services online via their mobile than any other devices. That’s according to research from Google in 2015, which revealed that in the U.S, Japan and eight other countries, more Google searches were made via a mobile device than a computer. Google did not reveal the name of the other countries at the time, although it would be unsurprising if this included countries with the highest level of smartphone penetration, such as Australia, the U.K and Spain.

Want to learn more about AdWords bid adjustments? Check out their best practices here.

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What are Expanded Text Ads (ETAs)?

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 in Search
What are Expanded Text Ads (ETAs)?

The New Normal: Expanded Text Ads

Google announced a big change to AdWords back in May and in July the official rollout felt like Christmas came early. For years, every digital advertiser lived by the 25-35-35 character mantra and agonized over fitting brand message into those stringent limits when launching AdWords ad campaigns. The next generation of advertisers will eat, sleep, and breathe the 30-30-80 character rule.

One month after Google’s the expanded text ads announcement we’re looking at what these major changes mean, how to get the most bang for your buck, and what advertisers need to know to migrate from standard text ads to expanded text ads. As of October 26, 2016 advertisers will no longer be able to create or upload standard text ads.

Here’s what you need to avoid costly AdWords campaign mistakes and how to leverage this new ad format.

What are Expanded Text Ads (ETAs)?

Expanded text ads offer 47% more space for your ad copy with two 30 character headlines and an 80 character description. Like Standard text ads, ETAs are available on the Google Search Network and Google Display Network. Both automatic and manual ad extensions are fully compatible with the expanded text ad format.

Google designed ETAs to accommodate the seismic shift in how consumers are now interacting with brands across multiple devices. ETAs will display across desktop and mobile devices AND automatically adjust the format according to the user’s screen size.

New AdWords Expanded Text Ads Interface

Out of the trillions of searches happening on Google, over half of those searches are happening on mobile. And, looking at data from millions of websites using Google Analytics today, more than half of all web traffic is from smartphones and tablets.

Advertisers can now better engage their audience by delivering a mobile-first experience to potential buyers in their preferred context.

What will Change from Standard Text Ads to Expanded Text Ads?

Google Expanded Text Ads vs. Standard Ads Comparison via blog.adstage.io

How to Transition to Expanded Text Ads

  1. Make sure you have AdWords Editor version 11.5 or later. If you don’t, don’t worry! You can download it free here.
  1. Launch AdWords Editor, select ‘Ads and Extensions’ tab on the left table.

http://www.reunionmarketing.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/adwords.editor.png

  1. Select all the text featured on the main screen and paste into a spreadsheet.

The most important fields are: Campaign, Ad Group, Keyword, Headline, Description Line 1, Description Line 2, and Device Preference

  1. To update your existing standard text ads to the ETA format, you’ll need to create your new columns. So you can easily see copy changes, put the new columns to the right of their respective previous column.
  1. Insert the =length( function to make sure you don’t go over the character limit for each column.

New Headline 1 = 30 characters; New Headline 2 = 30 characters; New Description = 80 characters.

  1. Now that you have your spreadsheet is setup, you can quickly rewrite your old text ads and transition those into Google’s new expanded text ads format.

Transition_Standard_Text_Ads_to_Expanded_Text_Ads via blog.adstage.io

 

Wrapping Up: A Few Best Practices to Keep In Mind

1. Spend Time on Your Headlines

Headlines are more important than ever. With the extra headline field, use that space to focus on deeper messaging that resonates with your intended audience. While longer headlines increase the clickable space of your ad, your first headline still remains the most important real estate space. Some advertisers have noticed the second headline truncated when viewed on desktop. Be sure to include the most important message (and keywords) in the first headline.

2. Keywords Still Matter, So Use the Path Fields to Match Intent

The ETA format now automatically pulls the domain from your Final URL as your display URL with the option to include two 15 character path fields as an appendage to the display URL. Use these two fields to indicate to your searchers where they can expect to see after the click. More importantly, use this space to include top performing keywords to improve relevance and improve your ad’s overall quality score.

3. Take this Opportunity to Audit Every Aspect of Your Text Ads

Review how your ad, as a complete entity, supports your client’s message. Analyze your historical data and try to come up with new tests to run with your ETAs. This means assessing everything from the ad creative to ad extensions like callouts, reviews, snippets, and more to strategically optimize your ads.

Have you been testing out the new Extended Text Ad formats? Let us know if you’ve found any tips to share in the comment section below.

How to Conduct Quarterly Audit on Your PPC Accounts

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Advertising
How to Conduct Quarterly Audit on Your PPC Accounts

So you created an ad account last quarter and it’s still running ads. You’re still good to go, right? Well, if you’d like to avoid wasting spend and prefer not to lose your sanity in the process… you probably want to revisit those settings to ensure your account is still aligned with current goals.

Unless you’re advertising to a stale audience list with an unchanged product/service (psst… this should actually never be the case), you’ll need to make sure your ad campaigns are evolving with your business goals.

Being able to find and make changes to specific components of your campaigns is the key here and a cleanly organized account is the way to accomplish this.

Of course organization can mean different things to different people, but here are the 7 essential components you need to keep in mind when doing your quarterly ad account clean-up.

Campaign Naming Conventions

Are the accounts themselves sorted into clear campaigns and ad groups? How can you tell? Much like a grocery store groups similar items into the same area, it’s helpful to group the content in the accounts into units that make it easier to find what you’re looking for and name them appropriately.

Ad Naming Convention via Search Engine Land

[Image Source]
To implement a sound naming convention for your account, think about the account’s structure – what separates each campaign from other’s you’ll create in the future.

The more specific you can be with your campaign names, the more manageable your account will be. Choose a naming convention and be consistent with your verbiage between different accounts, campaigns and your general work.

{READ MORE: NAME YOUR CAMPAIGNS LIKE A PRO}

User Permissions: Users vs. Admins

Keep an eye on your user list to be sure only the correct people have access to the account and with the correct permissions. Be sure to remove any old employees who might have retained their account information and add anyone who will be helpful to have on your team.

Users and Admin Ad Account via blog.adstage.io

Campaign Scheduling

Determine the campaign run time using the account or campaign goal as a guide. Are you running an e-commerce limited time only sale? Are you a SaaS company trying to increase in-trial sign ups and demo leads?

Understanding your campaign KPIs will guide how you schedule, budget and optimize for each campaign’s corresponding goal. It also provides clarity into campaign health and quickly highlights immediate changes.

Campaign Schedule for Ad Account via blog.adstage.io

Before you start scheduling all your campaigns away, make sure that you have done your due-diligence and researched the optimal times for target audience engagement. Apply this handy Paid Ad Dashboard by Tom Edmondson to your Google Analytics for a clear view of best conversion times / days, then adjust your schedule accordingly.

For AdStage customers, you can easily schedule your campaigns, ad groups/sets, and ads to automatically turn on/off based on the times and/or day you’d like to show your ads.

Budget Pacing

By far the touchiest part of the process. If you’ve got an unlimited budget then you’re probably all good here… But the chances of that are pretty slim, right?

Most paid advertising companies have an auto-bid function calculating the recommended price per click they, but it’s up to you to determine if that fits within your budget. Again, check your analytics reports and increase or decrease budgets as needed.

Increase or Decrease Budget on Specific Date/Time via blog.adstage.io

The key here is to be aware. You should never hop into your campaigns only to learn you’ve overspent your budget or bids. Know what you have to work with, know which campaign each portion is going to, and monitor it regularly.

If you’re an AdStage customer you can use Automated Rules to perform campaign tasks that trigger based on performance criteria you set. For example, you can easily pause/start campaigns, and even increase/decrease budget or spend, based on metrics like cost-per-click, cost-per-acquisition, click-thru rate and much more.

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Conversion Tracking

What’s the point of watching a baseball game if no one is keeping score or stats? The same could be said for creating an ad campaign without measuring the results. Review the goals of the campaigns and decide what metrics will signify success. Make sure the conversion tracking is properly applied! This is a common mistake that can cost you valuable data.

There are multiple types of conversions you might want to track – do you care about form submissions? Purchases? Engagement? Decide what metrics you want to know and make sure the tracking code is linked to those specific parts. For example, having your conversions tracked on your landing page won’t tell you if a customer completed their transaction.

Conversion Tracking Ad Account via blog.adstage.io

{READ MORE: CONVERSION TRACKING}

Ad Copy

Are all your ads approved to run? Or are there some lingering in the unapproved list that need to be updated and resubmitted? Remember that relevance is fleeting so you’ll probably want to make sure all keywords and ad copy are still applicable to your goals.

Check that each ad has consistent copy across your headlines and landing pages – also don’t forget to include edited a prominent CTA.

Placement/Targeting

As daunting as it can be to jump into someone else’s frame of mind and organizational structure, taking over an account usually has some benefits – the leg work is done and the waters have been tested. Once again, refer back to your data. Is your targeting on point? Are you seeing a more specific audience converting? Tailor your ads and targeting to reflect that.

Placement_Targeting Ad Account via blog.adstage.io

Quick Recap

To easily do a quarterly cleaning, check these 7 things in your ad account:

  1. Campaign Naming Conventions
  2. User Permissions
  3. Campaign Scheduling
  4. Budget Pacing
  5. Conversion Tracking
  6. Ad Copy
  7. Placement and Targeting

After you’ve performed all these audits try to document the changes you made if the original campaign owner will be returning. If the campaign is all yours now… Relax!

Everything is organized and should run itself with minimal oversight, just don’t forget to revisit these items every so often to keep things relevant and organized.

The 5 Best AdWords Automated Rules

Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 in Automation, The PPC Show [Podcast]
The 5 Best AdWords Automated Rules

Managing ad campaigns can be pretty tedious, especially when your time is spent making the same campaign changes on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Luckily, AdWords and Bing Ads offer a way to automate your tedious campaign tasks using rules to automatically make optimizations for you.

In this week’s #PPCPodcast (now The PPC Show), we chatted with Stephanie White, Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing, about automating PPC account management.

Before White was PPC master at Hanapin Marketing, she was an entrepreneur starting her own jewelry business back in 1999. In 2004, instead of hiring a marketing specialist, White took it upon herself to learn profitable online marketing. These self-taught skills, ranging from web design to email marketing to PPC advertising, led her down a fruitful career working with talented marketers from ReachLocal, John Eagle Dealerships, and now Hanapin Marketing.

Check out Stephanie’s 5 best AdWords Automated Rules for every PPC account. Read on to learn how she uses automated rules to save time, money, and sanity.

5 Best AdWords Automated Rules

  1. Increase or Decrease Budget on Specific Date/Time
  2. Schedule Promotions to Run During a Set Time Period
  3. Reduce Bids for Keywords with a High Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
  4. Increase Bids for Converting Keywords Below First-Page Bids
  5. Set Up Email Alerts for Drastic Changes in Your Campaigns

 

What the Heck are Automated Rules?

Automated Rules are a series of actions you can choose to automatically perform across your ppc campaigns. To run these Automated Rules, you’ll need to define what conditions must be met for the rule to fire and apply these automatic changes to your account. Use rules to make changes to your ad statuses, budgets, bids, keywords and more.

PPC managers are under a lot of pressure to deliver results…quickly; clients’ increasing demand for deeper campaign performance analysis and insights combined with growing paid search and social platforms. The ability to automatically perform routine tasks, means you spend less time manually monitoring each campaign’s metrics and more time focusing on ppc strategy and optimizing growth opportunities.

Learn How Inflow Used Automated Rules to Grow Client Revenue by 23% and Saw 31% Decrease in Cost Per Acquisition

The 5 Best Automated Rules for Every PPC Account

1. Increase or Decrease Budget on Specific Date/Time

Use this rule if you either have additional budget you need to spend by a particular date OR if you want to automate increases or decreases to your budget on the first of the month.

Increase or Decrease Budget on Specific Date/Time via blog.adstage.io

2. Schedule Promotions to Run During a Set Time Period

Create an automated rule to adjust CPC bids for a particular ad group. This will come in handy when you build promotional campaigns for the holiday season.

In your ad group, you want to include keyword combinations for your product and any holiday terms. For example: Black Friday car deals, New Years car sales, Happy Honda Days, Christmas car deals, etc. Use a rule to automatically enable this ad group 2 weeks before the sale and end 1 week after.

For B2B clients: Be wary of the times you choose to schedule your ad campaigns

  • B2Bs should schedule campaigns to run only during business hours. But if there is a weekend event your target audience will be attending, schedule your ad campaigns to run during the event’s timeframe.
  • If you need to spend budget quickly, consider creating a rule to increase budget and schedule your campaign to run constantly for a short burst of time. Analyze the data and see what happens

Schedule Promotions to Run During a Set Time Period via blog.adstage.io

3. Reduce Bids for Keywords with a High Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

Save time manually adjusting bids with a rule that will automatically reduce bids for keywords with extremely high CPA, but have zero conversions.

Reduce Bids for Keywords with a High Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) via blog.adstage.io

4. Increase Bids for Converting Keywords Below First-Page Bids

This is a great rule to have in your time-saver toolbox.

Let’s say you have a keyword with high conversions, but just dropped below first-page bid. You can create a rule to automatically apply a 10% bid increase to all keywords that have over 10 conversions with more than 50 impressions and quality score greater than 5.

Increase Bids for Converting Keywords Below First-Page Bids via blog.adstage.io

5. Set Up Email Alerts for Drastic Changes in Your Campaigns

Avoid ppc account surprises with performance-based email alerts that fire based on your most valuable KPIs. You can stay ahead of the curve with email alerts that notify you of any drastic changes to your account, campaigns, ad groups, ads, or keywords.

Set Up Email Alerts for Drastic Changes in Your Campaigns via blog.adstage.io

Final Thoughts

Hopefully you’re now able to set up, test, and iterate on these automated rules to save you time and money.

These rules are intended to make your ppc life easier because you won’t have to spend so much time doing the manual ppc account tasks, your time can be better spent thinking about your overarching ppc account strategy and how to optimize campaign performance.

For more PPC automation tips, listen to the entire PPC Podcast episode below!