Pulling Levers Blog
Archive for the ‘Search Engine Marketing’ Category
How to Incrementally Grow PPC Transactions through Tablet Targeting
If you own a Smartphone, it may come as no surprise that 79% of consumers use Smartphones to help with shopping (source: Google). Whether or not you have actually made a purchase using your Smartphone, chances are at one point or another you have either browsed through product catalogs, comparison shopped or even searched for brick-and-mortar locations. With the growing popularity of tablets however, a new phase of online shopping has been brought to the forefront. According to a study done through Google, 41% of people say that their sole purpose for buying a tablet is for shopping. With the ability to accommodate full browsers, a consumer’s shopping experience is arguably enhanced over mobile browsing and still offers the same convenience.
With Google now offering the capability to target tablets exclusively through AdWords and not just grouping them into mobile targeting like in the past (see image below), it is important to understand the impact of targeting tablets in their own campaign vs. grouping them in with desktop and/or mobile.
In looking at Google Analytics for one of our retail clients, we found 81% of the cost generated from our mobile campaigns (which targeted both mobile and tablet devices) was driven by traffic from mobile devices. Based on this data, we had concern that mobile device traffic was monopolizing the daily campaign budgets and tablets were not getting a fair share of the traffic. So, we removed tablet targeting from the mobile campaigns and broke out tablet-only.
Let’s take a look at the impact this had on the campaigns.
Prior to Tablet-Targeted Campaigns:
- Tablets were targeted in mobile-only campaigns (targeting included high-end mobile devices and tablets)
- Conversion rate of mobile-only campaigns: 0.13%
After Tablet-Targeted Campaigns:
- Tablets were targeted in tablet-only campaigns and mobile devices were targeted in mobile-only campaigns
- Conversion rate of mobile-only campaigns: 0.38%
- 192% increase in conversion rate
- Conversion rate of tablet-only campaigns: 0.82%
- Mobile transactions increased 66% and tablet conversions increased 350%
By breaking out tablets into their own campaigns, we were able to allocate more traffic and spend to tablet devices which in turn produced incremental transactions. Recognizing the importance of the growing usage of tablets and capitalizing on the opportunity to target highly-qualified, ready-to-buy consumers, will directly impact your bottom line.
How to Create a Successful B2B PPC Campaign
According to a recent poll, 95% of B2B marketers are focusing their efforts on SEO, while only 35% are involved in paid search advertising. Based on these findings, it seems like a great time to get a jump on the competition and start building out some B2B-optimized PPC campaigns if you haven’t already.
Creating a successful B2B PPC campaign poses many hurdles for companies. For one, you only have 95 total characters in each ad, which isn’t always enough space to clearly describe your business or product. Also, if your product has a closely-related B2C version, you have to make sure you aren’t attracting the wrong customer. Below are some best practices to consider when creating B2B PPC campaigns and ad copy.
1. Know your competition
Before creating your campaign, do research on your competitors. See what type of messaging they’re using in their ads, and find out what keywords they’re bidding on. In addition to performing your own searches on Google, you can also utilize competitive research tools, including Spyfu and Compete.
Once you know what your competition is doing, start identifying unique qualities about your product or business that you can emphasize in your ad copy. For example, if you offer the lowest price in your industry, make sure to point that out.
2. Know your customers
When putting together a keyword list, consider all of the possible ways your potential customer would search for your product. Think about phrases and key terms that people may use to find your product if they’re not exactly sure what they’re looking for. This will increase your ad exposure and help you capture the most search traffic.
When crafting your ads, make sure to include features that address your customers’ needs. You only have 95 characters to get your message across, so it’s important to emphasize product attributes that your customers will find appealing. Also, when writing ad copy, use only familiar acronyms and short-hand, and avoid abbreviating words just to save space. Here is an example of an ad that addresses a customer’s need – boosting employee loyalty and retention.
3. Load up campaigns with negative keywords
If your product or service has any overlap with a similar B2C product or service, you’ll need to regularly pull search query reports from Google and Bing to identify potential negative keywords. For example, if your company sells high-end laser engravers for industrial use, you’ll want to add several negatives, such as “jewelry”, “photos”, “personalized” and any others that you know don’t apply to your product. This way you can eliminate a lot of unqualified clicks right off the bat, saving hundreds to thousands of dollars in advertising costs.
4. Incorporate business-focused messaging
This is another way to prevent customers looking for B2C versions of your product from clicking on your ads. Including clear, business-focused messaging may result in lower click-through rates, which in turn may lower your quality scores a bit, but the slightly higher CPCs you’ll pay will be much cheaper than spending money on completely unqualified clicks.
Below is an example of a B2B ad for a general, broad match keyword Mobile Advertising. The ad clearly states this is an agency providing services and not a mobile phone provider. It also lists a variety of types of services it provides to capture the correct business audience. This term brings in valuable leads but also finds consumers looking for mobile phones. In the end, you will have a much higher conversion rate by eliminating irrelevant clicks from B2C consumers.
5. Use a clear call-to-action
Including a strong, clear call-to-action is important in both B2B and B2C paid search campaigns. However, you can differentiate your ads even further by including call-to-actions that will resonate best with your potential B2B customer and deter clicks from those looking for a B2C version of your product. For instance, if you sell a high-end product that cannot be purchased online and are mainly concerned about generating leads, you can avoid using call-to-actions like “Shop Now” and “Visit Our Online Store” and focus on phrases like “Request a Price Quote” or “Download More Information”. This will help hone in on the most qualified clicks and contribute to higher conversion rates.
Common B2B Call-To-Actions:
• Request More Info
• Request a Price Quote
• Request a Free Demo
• Download More Info
• Download Product Catalog
• Learn More About…
• Browse Our Products
6. Optimize landing pages and lead forms
If your goal is to generate leads, you’ll want to make sure your landing page includes your lead form or clear ways to navigate to the form. Also make sure the lead form contains enough fields to make it clear that you are selling a B2B product, but not too many to deter potential customers from filling it out. It may also be helpful to display messaging prominently on the landing page or even directly within the lead form that reiterates the fact that your product or service is for business consumers.
Below is an example of a lead form for a company that offers employee recognition programs to businesses. They often have people looking to redeem awards fill out their lead forms, so to prevent this, they’ve added a separate link for them to click on rather than submitting the actual form.
There is a lot of opportunity to generate valuable leads and new business customers from B2B paid search campaigns. Use these tips and other best practices to get optimal results and don’t shy away from search advertising just because you are a B2B business!
2012 Super Bowl Television Ads: Online Integration & Brand Engagement
In recent years, it is obvious that the $3 million price tag of a 30-second Super Bowl spot can bring more benefits than the viewers watching the game. The pre- and post-game online buzz of the best and worst ads brings an extended shelf life and larger audience for the top ads each year.
So, are companies using that high dollar time to capitalize on extended brand engagement through online marketing?
In 2011, TopRank marketing blog gave Super Bowl advertisers a failing grade when it came to integrations into online interaction and social media. Was there any improvement in 2012?
What companies had the best online integration of their Super Bowl spot?
Online Video Views (Car Companies Ruled):*
- Jerry Seinfeld’s Acura NSX commercial – 17.7 million views. A big hit among the male crowd, the guys I watched the game with oohed and ahhed over the car when this spot came on.
- M&M’s “Sexy and I Know It” Commercial – 17 million views. The only non-car brand in the top five, and the only top five video uploaded by a channel other than the brand.
- Honda’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off commercial has 14.5 million views. With my circle of friends, this was the most pre-game buzzed about commercial, and maybe it is due to my age group being the generation for Ferris Bueller. But I had numerous friends share this video on Facebook the week prior to the game.
- The Bar Side: Volkswagen commercial – 14.5 million views. With probably the most successful 2011 commercial, Volkswagen continued the momentum with a few popular ads this year.
- The Dog Strikes Back: Volkswagen: 10.8 million views
*Numbers based on YouTube.com views as of Feb. 13. Results from general search “2012 super bowl commercial” and only based on 1 video, not a combination of multiple uploads.
- According to Brand Bowl 2012, a Boston.com and Mullen advertising agency report using Radian6, Doritos generated the most Twitter buzz during the game. Out of 400,000 tweets monitored by Brand Bowl, The Doritos “Man’s Best Friend” ad (showed early on in the game) was designated most effective brand based on volume and positive/negative chatter. M&M’s had the most positive sentiment tweets.
- According to Google, the most searched terms during the game included: Madonna (which I admittedly searched to look up her age due to a debate among party goers), Halftime show, Patriots, Tom Brady and the Giants. The most popular commercial related searches were for:
- The Avengers movie trailer
- Chrysler’s Clint Eastwood spot
- Also according to Google, top YouTube searches during the Game were:
- Bud light platinum commercial
- OKGo needing getting
- M&M commercial
- Doritos superbowl commercial
- David Beckham superbowl commercial
- Lastly, another look at what drove Twitter conversations during the game, Simply Measured reports:
- David Beckham, Seinfeld/Leno and John Stamos as the top celebrity ads
- Doritos was the top brand mention (matches Brand Bowl’s report above)
- Automotive was the biggest buzzed industry, with Acura and Chevy leading the pack
- Coke just beat out Pepsi by about 4,000 tweets
Online searches, Tweets and video views are all great, but most of these winning brands had little to do with their online success beyond making commercials worth talking about. So, which brands took their ads a step further and actually integrated them into online marketing efforts?
- Google Paid Search- Car Companies are a step ahead. After searching about a dozen of the top brands that ran spots during the game, car companies were the only ones running ads for their commercial searches on Google to capture traffic away from blogs and video sites. Stand outs were Chrysler with ads to both their website and YouTube page, Acura with a dedicated landing page and honorable mention to Samsung and Century 21 for running ads on YouTube. Granted, this is a week after the game, so some paid search campaigns may have ended.
- Mobile Interaction – Chevy Game Time mobile app and an Anheuser-Busch Budweiser app were the only non-sports brand driven apps I found from popular advertisers.
One new area of mobile integration, however, that stood out across a number of ads was the use of Shazam to bring you to mobile content without having to type anything into a browser.
- Call-to-Action– Many companies fell short of strong online call-to-actions by simply posting a Twitter hashtag and hoping for discussion. Although I think this is the largest area for improvement, there are an increasing number of companies compelling people to visit their site or social account.
- GoDaddy.com continues their sex-appeal teaser approach. However, their ads are not very popular across all audiences, and I needed to explain to people at the party what GoDaddy.com was after years of their ads running.
- Bud Light, on the other end of the spectrum, had a more morally driven call-to-action to their Facebook page for The Animal Rescue Foundation.
- Website Integration – Probably the biggest area of improvement in my opinion. Some brands worth mentioning, although there are others that can be added to the list:
- Chevy Sonic’s Letsdothis.com interactive site
- Best Buy’s new mobile site bestbuyon.com
- The movie Battleship collected email and phone number for future engagement through a Fandango.com sweepstakes
- Coca-Cola had a Polar Bowl site (the company exceeded goals for engagement) that led to the issue of the site being down throughout parts of the game due to the high volume of visitors. Unfortunately the site is no longer live for post-game engagement.
Overall, based on the blogs and articles I reviewed, online marketers like to criticize brands for their lack of integration of Super Bowl ads with the internet. But I think each year we have seen improvements, companies learning from mistakes and growing goals of engagement and interaction that goes beyond the 30 seconds their ad runs.
What were some of your favorite online-integrated Super Bowl ads?
Hyper Geo-Targeting in AdWords Campaigns: How to Drive Store Traffic to Nationwide Locations
When a well-known, furniture retailer and manufacturer contracted Lever Interactive to manage their paid search campaign, they had several goals they wanted to achieve. Besides the most common goal we hear from all of our clients (please make our campaigns more efficient!), they wanted to make sure they were spending money in the right locations. Their unique challenge is that they are in 26 different DMAs across the United States with over 100 corporate store locations, and their goal is driving foot traffic to a store; not an online purchase or lead.
Previous to contracting Lever, this furniture retailer was working with another agency that targeted all 26 DMAs within each Google AdWords campaign. While it is great that they were targeting each of the markets, there were several problems we isolated right out of the gate.
1) With all DMAs combined, the retailer had limited insight into which markets where driving conversions or cost.
2) They were unable to control budget by DMA; one of the client’s ultimate goals.
DMAs are different shapes and sizes depending on the area. We discovered the previous agency was targeting DMAs without consideration of store locations. In one market, for example, they were targeting a huge metropolis but their store location was actually on the very outskirts of the DMA. The DMA spanned over 100 miles from one end to the other…which is a long way to drive to see furniture!
So, after digging into their historical data and identifying their “pain points” and objectives, we started outlining our process for restructuring the account with the following goals in mind:
1) The retailer needed comprehensive, DMA level performance data so they could make better informed decisions on where to allocate their media spend based on in-store and web traffic.
2) They needed to know that the users they were targeting geographically were qualified, and most likely to translate into store traffic. (Conversions were tracked based on visits to the store locator page).
In the end, Lever decided to restructure the account based on DMA, with a new account for each DMA, all housed under one MCC. This extensive campaign restructuring, that focused on store specific campaigns and included geo-targeting adjustments, help achieve our client’s goals. In just a few months, we were able to:
- Decrease CPAs between 15-30% month over month since the account restructure.
- Allocate budget amongst all 26 DMAs with budget goals that are dependent on in-store traffic. For example, if one market has been having slow foot traffic, then DMA budget is readjusted so that market can drive more web traffic in an effort to increase in-store traffic.
- Reduce spend 44% month over month in their most troubled DMA that was producing unqualified traffic. This also reduced the DMA’s CPA by 54%.
Case Study: Building Strong Non-Brand PPC Campaigns
An Online Marketing Case Study
A large, private university with multiple campuses across the United States.
Lever Interactive was hired to manage a university’s existing online advertising pay-per-click (PPC) program to generate prospective student leads. The main goal of the program was to increase the overall number of leads, with a concentration on growing lead counts and efficiency from non-branded keywords.
Often organizations rely on the efficiency and ease of brand keywords in PPC campaigns to off-set under-performing non-branded campaigns. However, it is vital for any successful PPC campaign to maintain and grow efficient non-branded campaigns because this is where more volume and untapped audiences exist.
Lever Interactive took over the existing campaigns and performed an audit of the account’s keywords, ads, landing pages, bids and budgets. Using custom reports that provided keyword level trending data, Lever quickly identified over- and under-performing areas of the account. After a full analysis, Lever began testing new bidding strategies, landing page designs and ad extensions.
- Optimization of existing Google search and display network advertising and Bing/Yahoo search advertising, including but not limited to:
- Paused inefficient non-brand keywords
- Increased bidding to better compete with the industry and run ads in higher positions. Higher bids were facilitated with increased budgets following tests that proved the effectiveness of this approach
- Increased use of ad extensions, including sitelinks and call extensions
- Tested landing pages to improve conversion rates
- Launched Facebook and LinkedIn PPC advertising
- Launched direct display buys from reputable websites in the campus’ markets
Two months after taking over management of the PPC program, Lever Interactive was able to generate significant lead growth in non-brand campaigns, as well as incremental growth in brand leads. Overall efficiency of the campaigns also improved simultaneous with the lead growth.
In the first 5 months of Lever’s management:
- Overall number of leads increased 222%
- Non-brand leads increased 512%
- Brand leads increased 133%
- Cost-per-lead (brand and non-brand) decreased 44%
2012 Online Marketing Wish List, A Look Forward
As a follow-up to yesterday’s blog post on Lever’s favorite new online marketing tools and features from 2011, we’ve now compiled a wish list for new features and capabilities in 2012.
Below is a list of the 5 advancements Lever’s staff would like to see in popular online marketing tools this year. In no particular order…
- More insights into Google AdWords’ Ad Extensions. Currently the reporting interface only gives you the more basic metrics (impressions, clicks, cost, and average position). However, it does not provide any data on if the ad extension was clicked itself (vs. the ad), which ad extension link was clicked (i.e. across sitelinks) or if the user converted after clicking through the ad extension. While the information currently provided is helpful (and there are ways to track more details through web analytics tools), expanded reporting would be a great addition in 2012 as ad extensions become more and more a general best practice for advertisers. – Danyl H.
- Improved ad scheduling capabilities in Microsoft AdCenter.
AdCenter made a number of advancements in 2011 to bring its management capabilities closer to par with AdWords, but there is still a wish list for many advertisers who use the tool. One for Lever includes better ad scheduling (or day parting) capabilities. Instead of being able to specify the exact times of day you would like ads to turn on and off, AdCenter currently only provide six different time span options. If your strategy does not fit within those time windows, you are unable to customize further. – Brad B.
- Facebook integrated conversion tracking.
Facebook previously tested tracking conversions within their advertising platform, but then removed the feature, leaving advertisers to rely only on outside web analytics tools to track ROI of the advertising. Ideally in 2012, we’ll see lead data return to Facebook and be able to view it at the various demographic and interest target levels. This would help align Facebook more closely with major search engine capabilities. – Jamie W.
- Affordable SEO link campaign tools. There are several SEO tools that boast an “unlimited” number of backlinking opportunities and insights with “heavy competitive analysis”. But they all come with a hefty price. This may be a great opportunity for enterprise companies or agencies, but for the more typical SEO agency, the costs and “unlimited” capabilities are unnecessary. My 2012 SEO wish list includes finding a more affordable, pared down, all-in-one linking tool to help prospect potential linking partners, guest blogging opportunities and comment opportunities that are simple, clean and scalable. – Mike H.
- AdWords apps for tablets and smart phones.
Although I primarily use my iPad and smart phone for personal use, the ability to access and update Google AdWords accounts on my tablet or phone is near the top of my 2012 wish list. Currently the AdWords website usually causes iPad browsers to crash, forcing me to rely on a desktop or laptop computer (which I now rarely turn on at home thanks to the iPad). Plus, the ability to make a campaign change on my phone or tablet while on the go will allow for easier campaign management. With the growing popularity of tablets within business (I see more and more marketers bring them to meetings) I imagine Google is working on this capability. Whether it will arrive in 2012 is yet to be seen. -Eileen B.
Those are just a few of the many possible online marketing wish list items for 2012. What advancements, big or small, do you hope to see in 2012?
2011 Online Marketing Advancements, A Look Back
As we ring in the New Year at Lever Interactive, our online marketing teams have come together to share some of their favorite advancements of online marketing tools in 2011.
The online marketing world is constantly evolving (as you know) and 2011 was no different for new technologies, features and advancements in website management, PPC advertising and SEO. Some of our teams have compiled their favorite new features to engines, technologies and online marketing management tools in 2011.
Google’s free online analytics tool made numerous updates and additions in 2011, including the roll out of a paid package, Google Premium. One 2011 update Lever’s team highlighted as especially useful was the real-time dashboard.
The Real-Time section displays top referrals, top keywords, top active pages and top locations all in real time. For a more in-depth overview, check out Jen’s blog post from October.
“The top locations data is the reason why this made my list because it has been very helpful with one of my retail clients. With the client’s continued international expansion, determining new countries to target is key to the success of our campaigns. Also, our campaigns are very sale based and rely on critical time frames. We can instantly see if during a sale the targeted countries are trending in traffic.” – Danyl H.
For more additions to Analytics in 2011 (including mobile and social reporting, multi-channel funnels and the new Google Analytics v5 roll-out) check out Jen Davis’ 2011 Google Analytics blog posts in our archives!
For many Lever staff members, a large portion of their day is spent within Google AdWords managing PPC campaigns of all shapes and sizes. Any additions to the AdWords online or desktop tool that makes our job easier or campaigns run smoother, generates excitement in the office. One favorite in 2011 was the Google AdWords Dimensions tab.
“The dimensions tab provides an easy way to pull a variety of reports, including geographic, demographic, daily and hourly reports. It’s much quicker than having to run these reports separately in the old reporting interface.” – Jamie W.
What’s your favorite dimension to pivot your AdWords data by? I most often use the Geographic and Hour of Day dimensions. For more info on dimensions, Jeremy Decker over at Search Engine Journal recently posted a thorough review of the dimension tab to increase conversion rate.
Some other AdWords 2011 additions receiving staff mentions- Social Extensions and Google Display Network targeting by interest categories (previously in beta).
In late 2011, Microsoft adCenter rolled out an upgraded look to their interface along with some new reporting features. It was a refreshing change that reduced some of the more cumbersome elements of the interface and brought it closer to the functionality you may be use to in Google AdWords. For more details on the upgrade, stop by Search Engine Watch and read John Rampton’s November article.
One of the fall updates to adCenter included a staff favorite - exact match negative keywords.
“It is important to have this level of detail when closely managing large client accounts. I was happy to see adCenter take this next step toward increasing functionality and campaign management options in their system. Hopefully it continues to expand in 2012.” – Brad B.
Google Webmaster Tools
Lever Interactive’s SEO team is good at adapting to changes with the continuous updates engines make to their algorithm, so 2011 was no different than years past. With Google’s decision to begin encrypting searches of users signed in through secure connections, various SEO reporting in Google Analytics became more limited.
One feature in the new Google Analytics interface to help overcome this limitation is through synching into Google Webmaster Tools. In the v5 version of Google Analytics, when you click through Traffic Sources > Search Engine Optimization > Queries, you will see this.
Click “Set Up Webmaster Tools data sharing” and follow the steps. In a minute you’ll have your Google Webmaster data in your Google Analytics account and you can report on impressions by landing page, search queries, clicks, click through rate and even average position.
“It takes some getting used to, but it’s accurate data without guessing, and it’s a step forward toward deep keyword analysis after the push backwards. This makes it very easy to analyze and plan your search engine optimization because you can visualize organic behavior from query to conversion (or exit). This makes it a bit easier to plan content creation by page or category based on which queries are dropping visitors off on your various landing pages.” – Mike H.
Website Design & Development
We’re wrapping up our list of favorite 2011 online marketing management advancements with our web design team! Although not a new idea, with the rapid expansion of mobile and tablet websites in 2011, the expanded capabilities and use of responsive website layouts is an exciting area of growth in the industry Lever’s design team looks forward to using in 2012. Responsive layouts, formally called fluid layouts, adjust design and images based on the size of your browser window, to provide improved and more customized experiences for the visitor.
“These elements were great in 2011 for mobile websites because the flexible layout will reposition the content as necessary and the flexible images will resize on the fly without reducing the quality. These features help mobile sites look consistent across many mobile devices.” – Jonathan S.
An example of a responsive layout is http://css-tricks.com – open the page and play around with the size of your browser to see the changes in the site.
What are your favorite additions to online marketing tools last year?
Stay tuned for our blog post tomorrow for our staff’s resolutions and wish lists for online marketing advancements in 2012!
How to Succeed with Paid Search During the Holiday Season
For our retail clients, and probably many of yours, November and December are often the busiest months of year for online advertising. According to comScore, U.S. consumers have already spent upwards of $9.87 billion with online retailers this season, which is 14% more than last year.
This season we’ve seen very profitable days for our clients since the big Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping pushes. As we enter the final pre-holiday shopping stretch, here are some best practices and tips our retail teams put together to help you through the busy season!
- This is definitely not a time to “set it and forget it.” The key to a successful holiday advertising campaign is preparation, planning and flexibility.
- Use sale ad copy to spark interest amongst the tough competition on the search page.
- Compelling and accurate offers will win over the potential buyer
- As always, be sure to pick the most relevant landing page for your ads. This is especially important during the holidays as online shoppers are searching to find what they are looking for fast.
- Include shipping deadlines within your ad copy to create a strong sense of urgency with the buyer. Additionally, make sure that the shipping deadlines pertain to the area in which you’re targeting. For example, don’t serve the same shipping messages to both domestic and international campaigns as those deadlines vary.
- Increase remarketing efforts.
- Be sure to have remarketing pixels in place on your website well before the holiday season to capture a base of non-purchasing site visitors.
- On the Google Display Network, advertisers can target previous purchasers and non-purchasers alike using both banner ads and text ads in an attempt to woo buyers back.
- These folks were interested enough in your product the first time around; remarketing will bring them back when you are presenting your most enticing sales.
- Maintain strong spend and expand keyword coverage.
- Take advantage of bidding on keywords that revolve around “store hours” and “coupons/coupon codes” as these terms are popular during the season.
- Returns are usually much greater during the holidays for advertisers so don’t be afraid to open up spend to make sure that all of your bases are covered.
- Monitor ad positions and increase keyword bids to combat competition.
- Keywords become more expensive around the holiday season due to increased traffic and competition. Therefore, it is important to routinely monitor your ad position to make sure that ads have not fallen below the desired position.
- Setting up an automated rule through Google will allow you to bid to a desired position. It is a quick and easy way to ensure you are not losing out on traffic to your competitors and affords you more time to focus on other holiday sale initiatives.
- Maximize your mobile presence.
- According to Google, mobile queries have spiked the week before Christmas over the past 2 years. Whether you are an online retailer or brick-and-mortar, make sure that your campaigns are a) targeting mobile devices and b) utilizing ads enhanced for mobile.
- Break out separate campaigns that target mobile devices so that you can gain better insight into reporting and use different ad messages for mobile users. You can even offer exclusive discounts for mobile users.
- Most importantly, make sure your site is mobile friendly!
- Don’t shut down after pre-holiday sales.
- A recent report by Google shows that shoppers usually have 25% of their shopping left to complete by mid-December.
- Shoppers will be looking to take advantage of post-holiday (after December 25th) sales and redeem those gift cards they received in their stockings.
If you plan ahead and use some of these best practices for your holiday PPC campaigns, hopefully it will not only be the busiest time of year, but can also be the most wonderful time of year for your clients!
Google AdWords Adds Ad Position Top vs. Side View
Announced this week, Google AdWords has a quick way to view campaign, ad group or keyword performance by ad slot position, top vs. side. Reports have shown that ads shown above natural search results tend to receive more clicks than ads that show on the right-hand section.
I can certainly understand the rationale behind this, but it led me to more questions than answers. However, let’s first take a look at the report, as well as how to access it:
Accessing the report is easy. In a campaign, ad group or keyword view, select the “Segment” button and select “Top vs. Side.”
As mentioned, the report raised a couple of questions. As an example, I looked at a keyword that reported an average position of 1.8 on top, and 4.7 on the side. It made me wonder, when it appeared on the side, was that position 4.7 like the example below, where the first three ads are at the top and position four starts at the top of the side:
Or is it like this example, where there are no ads in the top area and ads only appear on the side:
There is a significant difference in placement between a position 4, with three other ads on top vs. position 4 when no ads exist at the top.
Another keyword I looked reported an average position of 2 in both the top and side slots. The ad received more clicks when in the top slot vs. the side, even though the ad on the side received more impressions. Again, I have the problem mentioned above, but I also have another issue. How do I get my ad in position 2 at the top? If there is one competitor in position 1 at the top, obviously outbidding them will get me to the top, but what if the one competitor in the top position is also shown on the side? What then? Again I can outbid the competitor, but that does not necessarily get my ad to show at the top of natural search results.
Overall, the report provides an interesting view, but I find it hard to act on it without more data that does not seem to be available.
Google Product Search – New Feed Specifications Coming
This week Google Product Search announced upcoming changes to their feed format and policies. Changes will go into effect on September 22, 2011.
Although there are changes to feed specifications for several countries, we will outline the changes to feeds targeting the United States.
- Availability - This will now be required for all items. There are four acceptable values:
- in stock
- available for order
- out of stock
- Google Product Category – A product category, matching Google’s taxonomy, is now required for items listed in the following categories (it is still highly recommended for other categories):
- Apparel and Accessories
- Images – Items will be required to list an image URL. Images must be at least 250 x 250 pixels but images of 400 x 400 pixels are recommended.
- Apparel – Products within the apparel with multiple variations (i.e. color or size) must have the variations listed in the feed. In addition, gender and age group are also required for these products.
- Data Freshness – Not a change, but a reminder, feeds must be updated every 30 days, and Google will regularly check information for accuracy.
Google Product Search is an effective and FREE channel to market products available on your website. In addition, Google has expanded the use of product feeds through their integration into AdWords with product listing ads, and the plus box listings.
For current clients, Lever Interactive is already optimizing your feeds with this information, as it is part of our best practices. If you have any questions, or would like further information, please contact your Account Strategist for assistance.
If you are not using Google Product Search to market your products, contact us for help today.