More Information Regarding Google Ads Credits Released

In March, Google announced it would be supporting small and medium-sized businesses with more than $300 million in ad credits. This week, they announced additional information regarding eligibility and other common questions around the program.

Some of the questions answered include:

  • Who can qualify for the ad credit?
    Any small and medium-sized business with ad spend through Google in 10 out of the past 12 months AND in January and/or February of 2020 will be eligible.
  • How can I use the ad credit?
    Ad credits can be applied to future Google Ads spend in 2020. Ad credits cannot be applied to billed or past invoices, nor can it be applied to current spend. Ad credits can be used on any Google Ads platform including Search, Display, and YouTube.
  • When can I expect to see my ad credit?
    Ad credits will be rolled out in phases beginning in late May of 2020. Ad credits will be applied directly to the Google Ad account at which time eligible customers will be notified. 
  • How much credit can I expect?
    The amount of ad credit will vary by customer based on past Google Ads spend, the country of origin, and the currency where the business is established.
  • How long do I have to use my credit?
    Ad credits will expire on December 31, 2020. Any unused credits will be removed from the Google Ads account at that time.

You can find additional information on the Google Ad Credits here.

The Real Benefits of a Paid Search Engine Marketing Strategy

With such a wide array of digital advertising options out there to try, you may not know where to begin when it comes to formulating a digital marketing strategy that makes sense for your business and budget. Paid search engine marketing is one often-overlooked route that can help you reach your target audience and boost your marketing ROI.

Read on to learn about some of the benefits that come along with this dynamic marketing technique.

Why Try Paid Search?

One of the biggest players in paid search, and the one you’ve surely heard of, is Google with their easy-to-use Google Ads platform. However, there are plenty of others to look into, including Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, and LinkedIn Ads. YouTube, Yahoo, and Bing also offer their own paid search channels.

If you’re not already using paid search advertising, also known as pay-per-click (PPC), you may be missing out on both traffic and revenue. Here are just a few of the benefits of giving PPC a go:

You’ll Reach the Right Customers

With paid search, improving your market saturation is simple. These ads increase brand recognition, as they place your business in front of high-quality leads in a natural manner. Most importantly, you get to decide who sees your ads and when this exposure occurs. 

It’s also possible to target a specific geographic area so that your ads are most relevant. While many traditional marketing strategies waste time struggling to capture the attention of a large audience in hopes of landing a handful of leads, paid search eliminates wasted effort by ensuring you only reach out to a specific group of people.

You’ll Bolster Your Image

Some of the biggest companies in the world make use of paid search, meaning viewers recognize these ads as being used by credible brands. This type of advertising can help underscore your brand’s credibility and convey the right message to potential customers.

You’ll Take Advantage of a Great ROI

Of the full spectrum of digital marketing methods, paid search has one of the strongest ROI when implemented correctly. Of course, in order to take advantage of this benefit, you’ll need to spend some time optimizing your campaign for keyword relevancy, engaging copy, and precise demographic targeting.

You Can Combine It with Other Marketing Channels

PPC works especially well with SEO, meaning you’ll find that your SEO efforts are reinforced by your decision to invest in paid search. After all, the two digital marketing strategies both target people who are using a search engine to discover products and services. Plus, data from PPC regarding conversions, clicks, and impressions can provide you with valuable insight on what keywords to prioritize through SEO.

You’ll Have Access to a Range of Targeting Options

PPC enables you to take a multifaceted approach to digital marketing. You can try a mix of text ads, remarketing, and pinpointing specific audience demographics to ensure you’re getting the full benefit of this tool and the optimal number of impressions for your efforts.

How to Manage Your Paid Search Campaign

While setting up a paid search campaign is easy, it does require a little maintenance in order to run effectively. It’s important to take stock of the results of the campaign on a regular basis and to make adjustments to your marketing tactics based on these measurements. Without these check-ins, you simply can’t expect to realize the full potential of your paid search strategy.

Cost per conversion (CPC) is an especially significant number that you’ll want to pay attention to as you find the sweet spot for your digital marketing campaign. This number signifies how much it costs to convert a viewer through PPC. By comparing the conversion rate of a few different ads, you can make educated decisions to reduce the CPC and ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

It’s also crucial to remember that click-through rates aren’t the only signifiers of the success of your ads. If people arrive on your homepage but don’t stick around, then you have some work to do. Establishing a solid landing page with engaging content and a compelling call-to-action is just as important for boosting conversion rates.

How Online Reviews Impact Your PPC Campaigns

Pay Per Click (PPC) is one of the most reliable channels that multi-location and franchise brands use to generate more leads, build local awareness, and increase quality site traffic.

While it can be a powerful tool, one of the most important and often over looked channels that can affect the performance of your PPC efforts is online reviews and reputation management. In this post, we’ll discuss how reviews affect PPC conversions, why they have such a big impact on PPC campaigns, and what you can do to improve your online reputation.

Studies Link Online Reviews to PPC Conversion Rates

Reviews play a significant role in online purchase decisions. According to Google, 90% of its users express high levels of trust in online reviews. And in surveys, similar numbers show consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.

Most businesses understand the importance of online reviews. But many of them don’t realize how reviews can impact other aspects of digital marketing, including PPC.

Yet studies have shown that online reviews do influence PPC conversion rates. According to these studies, even a minor fluctuation in reviews can have a dramatic impact on PPC campaigns.

One study tracked the conversion rates of Google Ads compared against brands’ Google My Business ratings. Brands with ratings below 3.5 stars saw average conversion rates around 10.5%. But for brands with ratings around 4.5 stars, conversion rates were nearly 14%!

And it’s not just ratings that affect PPC conversions. The same study found that increasing your reply rate to online reviews can sway conversion rates. Brands that replied frequently to reviews saw conversion rates 30% higher than less responsive brands.

Why Reputation Management Matters on PPC Campaigns

The impact of online reviews on PPC can be surprising to some business owners. After all, if a user clicks on a PPC ad, they’re directed to a landing page. If a brand has weak reviews, they can leave their rating off of their landing page. That means the customer doesn’t see the rating, right?

Unfortunately, no. Many users will perform brand research before making any kind of purchase decision. Even when they make an impulse purchase, they’ll take a minute or two to conduct basic research. And that’s all the time they need to find out about your online reputation.

Let’s say a user clicks on one of your ads. They like what they see, and they’re thinking about making a purchase. But before they commit, they want to check your online reviews. All they need to do is open a new tab and Google your business name. As soon as that happens, they’ll see your Google My Business profile, which includes your Google Reviews.

And if a user decides to perform more detailed research, they’ll start looking at other businesses. That means they’ll be comparing your online reviews against the competition. As a business owner, you need to ask yourself: If my online reviews are compared side-by-side with one of my top competitors, is my business the winner or the loser of that comparison?

How to Boost Your Online Reputation and PPC Performance

If you’re serious about improving your online reviews — and boosting your PPC performance in the process — you’ll need a reputation management game plan. Here’s a snapshot view of what that game plan should include:

Encouraging Positive Reviews

A positive online reputation depends on lots of positive online reviews. So, you’ll need to find ways to encourage more positive reviews from satisfied customers. But you’ll need to make sure you don’t break rules about soliciting reviews.

Volume of Reviews

As a business, it’s easy to fixate on your average review rating. But if you do that, you might overlook your number of reviews. But customers pay close attention to this figure. The lower this number is, the less likely they are to choose your business.

Recency of Reviews

When customers look at your online reviews, they expect to find recent feedback. Newer reviews are perceived as more accurate, and they demonstrate that your business is still relevant.

Consistency of Reviews

An easy mistake to make is generating tons of reviews all at once, then throttling back on reputation management. If most of your reviews fall in a very narrow timeframe, that’s going to look suspicious. Reviews need to be generated sustainably, over a longer period of time.

Responding to Negative Reviews

Every business will eventually generate negative reviews. The important thing is how you respond to these reviews. Developing an effective system for responding to bad reviews can go a long way toward improving your online reputation.

Google Ads Retires Average Position: What This Means for PPC

Earlier this year, Google announced that it would retire the “average position” metric from Google Ads. The news was both surprising and unsurprising for PPC marketers. On the one hand, this metric has been used for 15+ years, and it feels like a part of Google Ads’ DNA. On the other hand, it has become steadily less reliable and useful in recent years, both as a measurement of where ads appear on page and as a tool for bidding on ad slots.

Despite average position’s shortcomings, it remained popular with brands and marketers. With Google’s announcement, many wondered how they would manage without this metric.

Thankfully, Google introduced new metrics in late 2018 that can be used in place of average position. In most cases, these metrics will offer a more accurate sense of where ads appear in search results.

Wondering how this change will affect your business? Let’s find out…

Why Is Google Getting Rid of Average Position?

In the early days of Google AdWords, average position was one of its most important metrics and tools. But over time, its accuracy and utility have steadily decreased.

Originally, average position was a reliable measure of where your ad was located on the page. Based on the average position metric, you had a strong sense of where your ads appeared in search results. But as Google made changes to ad layouts and ad formats, that started to change.

Today, a #1 position can have you at the top of the page for certain search results. On others, it will appear near the bottom. But that change in ad location isn’t reflected by the average position metric.

What’s more, there’s a much bigger gap today between top-of-page and bottom-of-page ads. When Google removed ads from the right column of search results, it eliminated valuable real estate for mid-ranked ads.

Now, the question isn’t: “What’s your ad position?”

Instead, it’s: “Does your ad appear at the top of the page?”

What’s Replacing the Average Position Metric?

Google didn’t want to get rid of average position without replacing it. So in late 2018, it introduced a set of new metrics, including:

  • Absolute Top Position Rate: The percentage of your ads that appear at the absolute top of a given page.
  • Top Position Rate: The percentage of your ads that appear within the top section of ads on a given page.
  • Absolute Top Impression Share: The number of impressions you’ve received in the absolute top position divided by the estimated number of top position impressions that you were eligible to receive.
  • Top Impression Share: The number of impressions you’ve received in top-of-page positions divided by the estimated number of absolute top position impressions that you were eligible to receive.

These metrics give you a much more accurate sense of where your ads are actually appearing in search results. So if your goal is to measure the placement of your ads or maximize the number of impressions your ads receive, these new metrics will be a welcome change from average position.

How Will Brands & Marketers Adapt?

In the vast majority of cases, the retirement of average position will have a neutral or positive effect on Google Ads campaigns. Brands and marketers will have a more accurate sense of ad placement, and it will be easier to target top-of-page positions.

The important thing is that you’re proactive. If rely on average position until it disappears, you’ll have a rocky transition to the new metrics. But if you familiarize yourself with the new metrics ahead of time, you’ll make the switch much more easily.

PPC-Part of the Band-Not a Solo Performance

In digital marketing, it’s easy to get excited about pay-per-click ads (PPC).

Thanks to Google Ads, PPC is one of the most reliable channels for digital marketers. It also offers the kind of analytics that marketers love, with clear and immediate data on what works and what doesn’t.

This can lead some brands and businesses to over-invest in PPC, with marketers pouring more and more dollars into PPC campaigns. Meanwhile, they ignore channels that are harder to track or take longer to develop.

But PPC should never be a solo performance. Focusing too heavily on paid search ads can make you invisible to most of your target audience, impeding your ability to generate awareness. It can also put your brand at risk by taking an all-eggs-in-one-basket approach.

By making PPC part of a group effort, you’ll avoid these problems. In fact, several case studies have shown that PPC campaigns benefit from a coordinated and holistic approach to digital marketing.

The Risks of PPC as a Solo Performance

Overinvesting in PPC ads carries a number of risks for brands and businesses.

These include…

RISK #1: Missed Funnel Stages

When users are already interested in a product, service, or brand, PPC ads can capture this interest and translate it into conversions. But PPC doesn’t work as well for generating that awareness and interest in the first place. Other digital channels, like social media and programmatic, do a better job with up-funnel prospects.

RISK #2: Eggs in One Basket

When you over-invest in PPC marketing, your marketing strategy becomes more and more risky. Variations in consumer preferences, increased competition for keywords, or changes to the Google Ads platform itself could tank your PPC efforts. Without a diversified strategy, your web presence may be at risk.

RISK #3: Narrow Web Presence

While Google is one of the world’s most powerful and popular websites, users only spend a fraction of their time on Google properties. When they’re on social media networks like Facebook, or when they’re browsing content on their favorite websites, your PPC ads aren’t there. To maintain a broader web presence, you need a broader strategy.

RISK #4: Shallow Pool of Data

Marketers love PPC for its rich data and the strength of its analytics. But if you’re not pulling data from other sources, you’ll miss out on key insights about your audience. You’ll also lack data sources that can power your PPC campaigns, like remarketing lists that allow you to target past visitors to your website.

How to Make PPC a Part of the Group

It’s one thing to say that PPC needs to be a part of a larger group. It’s another thing to put that into practice.

To get you started, here’s a look at how to coordinate PPC with other digital channels…

PPC + Social Media

While PPC is great at capturing down-funnel prospects, social media thrives at capturing an up-funnel audience. It’s also great for sustaining interest in your brand and moving users down your sales funnel. When they’re getting closer to a purchase decision and start conducting Google searches, your PPC ads will be ready.

At the same time, social media gives you valuable audience data that can be used for PPC campaigns. Audience insights on social media can provide you with new PPC keywords, identify new target audience segments, and help you tailor your ads to your audience. And if you can direct social media followers to your website, you can retarget these users with PPC ads.

PPC + Organic Search

In the area of search engine marketing, PPC should only be one part of your overall strategy. You should also be targeting organic search results, targeting national or local rankings, depending on your business.

A strong organic search presence takes longer to build. But with routine site maintenance, it can be maintained for years and years. At the same time, it can help boost your PPC campaigns, as users are more likely to trust your ads if they see organic results for your business on the same page.

Organic search is also more effective than PPC at capturing up-funnel prospects. Once on your website, these prospects can be added to your remarketing lists, allowing you to serve them with uniquely tailored PPC ads.

PPC + Programmatic

PPC ads work great at capturing search traffic. But users spend less than 5% of their time on search engines. But with programmatic ads on the Google Display Network and the Facebook Audience Network, you can serve ads to users across millions of websites, social media networks, and apps.

Both the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network are controlled via Google Ads. This allows you to create coordinated campaigns where you target users with PPC ads after interacting with programmatic ads and vice versa. And if you coordinate your messaging across PPC and programmatic ads, you can increase your click-through and conversion rates on both types of campaigns.

Optimize Your PPC Campaigns With These Tips

With the right approach, pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns are one of the most effective channels for digital marketing. In fact, the largest PPC platform right now, Google Ads, is so popular with marketers that it rakes in more than $100 billion each year. What’s more, returns are so strong that 78% of marketers increased their Google Ads budgets in 2019.

Despite the strong returns on Google Ads, few brands take full advantage of its tools and capabilities. Rather than eye-popping ROIs, their campaigns generate middling returns. This is usually a case of poor optimization. If you skimp on important investments (like keyword research and split-testing) or skip over powerful features (like ad extensions and RLSAs), your campaigns will suffer.

But if you optimize your PPC campaigns using the 7 tips below, you’ll see much stronger returns from Google Ads.

7 Tips for Better PPC Campaigns

1. Keyword Research

Keywords are the foundation of any successful Google Ads campaign. If you target the right keywords, Google will serve your ads to the right users at the right times. That means higher click-through and conversion rates, stronger Quality Scores, and lower Costs per Click.

Unfortunately, many brands fail to invest the kind of time and effort required for effective keyword research. This typically results in a list of broad, generic keywords, which tend to be more expensive, more competitive, and less conversion-friendly.

2. Negative Keywords

One of the best ways to target a broader range of keywords is to use Google Ads’ broad match or phrase match feature. However, these features can result in mismatches. For example, if one of your keywords is “men’s jeans,” broad match could serve your ad to someone searching for “men’s khakis.” That’s not very helpful if you only sell jeans.

To avoid theses mismatches, you can use negative keywords. Google will not serve your ad to searchers whose queries contain these keywords. So if you’re only selling jeans, you can add “khakis” as a negative keyword. This way, your ad will never appear in searches for “khakis.”

3. Location Targeting

If you operate a hair salon in Pittsburgh, you don’t want to serve ads to users searching for “hair salon” from a device in Houston, Salt Lake City, or Portland. In fact, you probably don’t want to serve ads to anyone who’s more than a few miles from your business.

With location targeting, you can narrowly target searchers within a certain radius or a defined geographic area. This way, your local business can serve ads exclusively to local consumers. You can even create different campaigns for different geographic settings.

4. Remarketing Audiences

If you’re not already using remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA), you’re missing out on one of Google Ads most effective features. RLSAs allow you to target visitors who’ve previously visited your site. These users are already more likely to click on your ads and convert. Plus, you’ll be able to tailor a set of ads to this group.

Once you’ve started using RLSAs, you can also take advantage of Google Ads’ similar audiences feature. This feature automatically finds users with similar characteristics and search behaviors to the users on your RLSA lists. This gives you an entirely new group of users to target with similarly strong conversion rates.

5. Ad Extensions

Google Ads aren’t nearly as visible as other ad formats, relying largely on compelling headlines and copy. To make your ads more visible and more compelling, we recommend using ad extensions. Ad extensions allow you to include additional information, which can make your ads more compelling to users. At the same time, they increase the visibility of your ads, giving you a new way to grab users’ attention.

Some of the most popular and effective ad extensions include:

  • Call Extensions. Allow mobile users to call your business by pressing a button.
  • Callout Extensions. Add short blurbs to your ad, like “free delivery.”
  • Location Extensions. Include business information for your local business.
  • Message Extensions. Allow mobile users to send text messages to your business.
  • Sitelink Extensions. Add links to specific pages on your website.

6. Split-Testing

Split-testing has been a cornerstone of paid search campaigns from the outset. Yet many brands only perform limited A/B testing on their ads. After testing an initial set of ads at the start of a campaign, they fall into a groove. Rather than continually testing and refining ads, they allow them to stagnate.

Today, this kind of approach simply isn’t feasible. Consumer behaviors are evolving at a breakneck pace, and other advertisers are evolving just as quickly. If you’re not continually testing and refining your ads, they’ll fossilize before your eyes.

7. Conversion Tracking

Advertisers are charged for PPC ads on a click by click basis. What’s more, Google determines the cost of each click based on a Quality Score, which is determined by each ad’s click-through rate (CTR). This has made CTR the leading metric for measuring PPC ads and campaigns.

But if you’re measuring PPC campaigns by CTR alone, you’re missing the big picture. The real measure of a campaign’s success is in its conversions.

In Google Ads, you can solve this problem by adding conversion tracking to your campaigns. Conversion tracking uses HTML codes to track which users convert after clicking on PPC ads. It can be integrated with Google Analytics to track conversions through your website, and it allows you to measure important data like cost per conversion, conversion rate, and value per conversion.

Make sure you’re asking your digital marketing partner about these PPC tactics to ensure you’re getting most out of your campaigns. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get real results from your Pay Per Click marketing.

Getting Them To Click

Google Ads remains one of the most popular and cost-effective channels for digital marketers, boasting strong and easily measured ROI. Yet for some brands, paid search delivers middling results. Despite spending a good chunk of time and money on pay-per-click, these brands struggle to translate their investment into clicks.

A low click-through rate is the bane of any Google Ads campaign. But in many cases, it’s an easily remedied problem. With a strong understanding of why users click on paid search ads (and why they don’t), you can adjust your PPC strategy to capture clicks at a higher rate.

Why Users Click (or Don’t Click) on PPC Ads

On Google Ads, the average click-through is roughly 2%. However, this number can fluctuate in different circumstances.

For example, the average click-through rate for Google Ads on Google Search is roughly 3.15%. Yet on the Google Display Network, ads enjoy an average click-through rate of around 0.45%.

Click-through rates also vary from one sector to another. In one recent analysis, the industries with the highest click-through rates included Dating & Personals, Travel & Hospitality, and Automotive Sales. The industries with the lowest rates included Technology, B2B Vendors, and Employment Services.

But what about when you control for these factors? Why is it that some ads outperform others, even when they’re advertising the same product and targeting the same keywords?

According to a recent survey of users who clicked on paid ads, here are five of the top reasons why some ads enjoy higher click-through rates:

  1. The ad is a close or exact match for the user’s search intent.
  2. The user considers the ad the best answer to their search query.
  3. The ad is ranked above other ads and search results.
  4. The ad’s content is uniquely compelling to the user.
  5. The user recognizes and trusts the brand or product being advertised.

Based on this information, here are some quick tips and best practices to help you boost clicks on paid search ads.

How to Boost Your Click-Through Rate

Tailor Your Ads to Search Intent

The more closely your ad matches a user’s search intent, the more likely it is that the user will click on your ad. Unfortunately, many paid search ads do a poor job of answering users’ queries.

One of the best ways to get a sense of search intent for a given keyword is to look at Google’s top organic search results. These are the pages that Google believes are the best match for the users’ search query, so they’re an excellent guidepost for what kinds of ad content users will find relevant.

Effective Keyword Targeting

Low click-through rates often result from ineffective keyword targeting. Sometimes, brands over-rely on Google Ads’ “exact match” function, which can exclude valuable longtail keywords. Other times, brands use the “broad match” or “phrase match” functions, which tend to generate a mix of strong and weak keywords.

So, how can you capture longtail traffic while avoiding weak keywords? The best way to do this at the outset is to use “broad match” or “phrase match” combined with the “negative keywords” function. This will allow you to filter out keywords that contain words or phrases you don’t want to target. Over time, this will allow you to identify the keywords where you perform best.

Bid for Higher Ad Positions

If you consistently miss out on top ad positions, your click-through rate will inevitably take a hit. Ads in the #1 position on Google attract roughly six times as many clicks as ads in position #5 or lower.

So if you’re consistently ranking outside of the top two or three positions, your click-through rate will suffer. Consider experimenting with a new bid strategy to see if you can’t capture stronger ROI with larger bids.

Create Compelling Ads

Crafting compelling paid search ads is part art, part science, and well-worth the investment.

First, make sure that you’re leveraging the capabilities that Google Ads provides, like Expanded Test Ads and ad extensions. These features can increase the prominence and visibility of your ads while also adding new information to encourage clicks.

Second, take the time to craft content that resonates with users. Try to answer the user’s search query as clearly and directly as possible, use headlines to grab users’ attention, and include emotional triggers in your ad descriptions.

Target High-Value Users

Click-through rates soar when paid search ads are served to customers already familiar with a brand or product. If you’re not retargeting past visitors and existing customers, doing so could boost the performance of your paid search campaigns.

Retargeting will also give you the chance to leverage the “Similar Audience” feature on Google Ads. This feature allows you to target users with similar interests, search histories, and browsing behaviors as your retargeted audience. Similar audiences are a cost-effective way to drive clicks on paid search, since their click-through rates are comparable to the original audience.

Learn more about Qiigo’s Pay Per Click services here or speak to one of our digital experts by filling out the form.

Getting Your Paid Search Strategy Ready for 2019

It’s been more than eighteen years since the launch of Google AdWords. Nearly two decades later, AdWords remains the largest paid search platform on the internet. But a lot has changed in that time.

 

In the early years, AdWords was typically treated as an isolated platform. Marketers didn’t have the means to coordinate and measure their paid search campaigns with other channels. Now they do. As a result, paid search platforms like AdWords — which is now rivaled by Facebook Ads — have become part of a larger, multi-touchpoint sales funnel.

 

While multi-channel campaigns are far more effective than single-channel efforts, they are also much more complicated. After all, it’s easier to juggle one ball than five, ten, or fifteen at a time. Given this, it’s little surprise that many brands have failed to optimize paid search for multi-channel marketing.

 

If you’re one of these brands, it’s better late than never to implement these changes. So let’s take a look at how you can tweak your paid search campaigns for a multi-channel marketing landscape.

 

Build Multi-Channel Infrastructure

Multi-channel marketing depends on personalization. Rather than building a one-size-fits-all sales funnel, multi-channel marketers create dynamic funnels that respond to users’ behaviors. By adapting your approach to each users’ goals and preferences, you reduce friction points in the sales process, while helping users find products/services that best suit their needs.

 

To do this, you’ll need to structure paid campaigns in an easy-to-segment way. Stop relying on built-in segmentation tools found in platforms like Google AdWords and Analytics. Instead, make increased use of UTM tags to segment clicks on paid ads according to user demographics, behaviors, and preferences.

 

Segment Your Segments!

A lot of brands will segment their users at the top of the funnel and call it a day. But true segmentation involves breaking down those initial segments into smaller micro-audiences.

 

Let’s say you manage a network of auto repair centers. You run a paid search campaign targeting users searching for a local repair shop. Now you have a pool of users who you know are looking for auto maintenance or repairs. That doesn’t give you much to go on in terms of personalization.

 

But let’s say you create further micro-segments based on which service pages they look at on your website. Now you have individual buckets of users with interests like “brake repair,” “oil change,” and “transmission rebuild.” Instead of retargeting these users with generic “auto repair center” ads, you can serve them dynamic ads that are tailored to their preferences.

 

Personalize the Sales Journey

As you segment users into further micro-segments, you’ll be able to personalize the messaging and sale journey for different users and different touchpoints. Here are a few different strategies that you can employ to do so:

 

  • Tailor your CTAs according to where users are in the sales funnel. “Buy Now!” might be your most effective CTA overall, but for early-funnel users, you might have more success with something like “Learn More!” or “Browse Our Products!”
  • Target users in the right places, at the right times. It’s not enough to simply re-target users with paid search. It’s important that you target them at the right time of day, on the right devices, and in spaces where they’re open to re-connecting with your brand.
  • Take advantage of programmatic and dynamic technologies. Programmatic and dynamic ads automate a significant chunk of the personalization process. This is a much more time-effective and cost-effective way to personalize paid search and multi-channel campaigns.
  • Integrate paid search with other digital channels. Paid search is one of the most cost-effective digital marketing channels, and it can be used to hit multiple sales funnel touchpoints. But it’s only so effective on its own. Complement and enhance your paid search campaigns by hitting other touchpoints via other channels and strategies, like SEO and social media.

 

Finally, remember that paid search campaigns are a trial and error process. In many cases, initial results are underwhelming, causing brands to abandon their multi-channel efforts prematurely. You must give yourself time to test, measure, and refine these campaigns for them to be effective.

 

 

Bridging the Gap between PPC and SEO

With digital marketing playing a larger role that ever, SEO and PPC must work closer together…yes we said together. In the past, old-fashioned tactics kept many digital marketers from truly integrating these two efforts.

 

Some have viewed SEO as a threat to revenue generated by PPC. Some have even chosen to divide these efforts. However, this tends to lead to miscommunication or worse yet mixed messages being disseminated to consumers.

 

We recommend integrating PPC and SEO efforts to strengthen results and improve brand awareness and sales. How? Let’s start by looking at the basics. What’s the difference between SEO and PPC?

 

SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing your site, so it can be ranked higher on search engine results pages (SERP). This is done by targeting specific keywords or phrases. Keywords or phrases should be determined based on those that may be entered most often in the search by a specific audience. A consistent and long-term SEO strategy will build your website’s value.

 

PPC, Pay Per Click, drives website traffic in the form of ads. The fees are based on how competitive the keyword you want to rank for is. Since they are paid ads, PPC ads appear above the organic SEO listings on SERP. PPC can be pricey if your marketing is misguided (or the product is new or testing has not been done) and the learning curve requires the analysis of website variables to determine ROI.

 

Working Together for the Greater Good

So, what are the advantages of running SEO and PPC together? SEO and PPC work best when integrated and strategically aligned. With both avenues having strengths and weaknesses, working together often drives response towards more favorable results. Studies have found having a paid ad visible in conjunction with an organic listing improves the brand’s influence.

 

Let’s talk a little about some of the “greater good” we found by putting SEO and PPC in the same room:

 

  • Keyword and conversion data from Pay per Click campaigns can utilized to improve organic search.
  • By targeting clicks with PPC and focusing on high-performing keywords in SEO, you can impact the total volume of site traffic.
  • Expensive keywords, high-volume keywords, and essential keywords that tend to be low for conversions can be moved from PPC to organic search. Be sure to always place your keywords in the title and headline tags, meta descriptions, content, and don’t forget the ever-important image descriptions!
  • Your PPC traffic data can be used to boost your SEO and find your best performing landing pages. Use A/B ad copy testing and landing pages to update and feed your organic listings and landing pages.
  • After an initial consumer touch via organic search, it’s essential to stay top of mind through remarketing or retargeting. You want to be present in as many online entry points as possible, so don’t discount the value of using SEO to boost PPC.
  • Testing your keyword strategy in PPC before investing in a long-term SEO strategy can help you to target users at different stages of the purchasing journey.

 

Sharing a Room Can Work!

 

In the end, we know that when it comes to increasing traffic, whether it’s SEO or PPC everyone has their favorite, but they can (and do) co-exist.  Brands still need to have data for any new product or product line, service, or consumer campaign, so using SEO and PPC data in conjunction with one other along with aligned marketing initiatives and strategies is well worth the effort.

 

 

Understanding Your PPC Campaigns

 

Before jumping into a digital marketing campaign, it’s important to understand how the program works and what you can expect in terms of results. Pay per Click (PPC) is an excellent way of gaining new customers to fill your pipeline, but you’ll need to understand the basics in order to achieve the results you’re looking for.

 

Here are some questions you may want to consider asking yourself or your digital marketing agency to get the best return on your investment from a PPC campaign.

 

Understanding Google

Google and AdWords are complex. Algorithms change regularly meaning you need to maintain an active interest in how Google is currently determining rankings and the rules around PPC ads. PPC is not a “set it and forget it” type of marketing. You need to stay on top of industry changes.

Here are a few areas you’ll want to make sure you keep an eye on and that your digital marketing agency understands.

  • Keyword research. Finding the keywords that will generate the most bang for your buck is an ongoing battle. Google offers a Keyword Planner Tool. There are many other industry tools available.
  • Quality Score. Affected by keywords, ad text, and the landing page, the quality score can affect results.
  • Google Auction. This is the process of determining which ads are displayed.
  • Click Through Rate. The ratio of number of clicks to the number of impressions. Often referred to as CTR.
  • Display Network. Google Display Network places your ad on websites as opposed to in the search results. It is different from the Search Network. Separating ad campaigns between the two networks is often advisable.

 

Understanding Retargeting

Retargeting is the effort put behind showing your ad to those who already visited your website. It’s a valuable way to remind potential customers that your product or service is available. Retargeting is a popular option that opens up another sequence of questions that should be considered. For example, you’ll need to consider if your website is equipped to handle the tracking that retargeting requires.

There are a variety of options in the retargeting universe. You’ll need to consider each type and if it’s beneficial to your brand. These include:

  • Search retargeting
  • Site retargeting
  • Social media retargeting
  • Email retargeting

As with any marketing campaign, you’ll want to be sure you are narrowing your efforts to a target audience.

Getting a handle on PPC and Retargeting can be a big job. Google offers lots of online resource for information, but having a qualified and experienced digital marketing team behind you is often best for a successful campaign.