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.

Local Marketing for Millennials: 7 Do’s and 3 Don’ts

When it comes to marketing to millennials, many brands struggle to find the right approach to engagement. Outdated models and an inability to tailor messaging to reach this audience continues to infringe upon building awareness for future customers.

Right now, there’s no generation more important to local marketing than millennials. That comes as no surprise when you take a look at the stats for this audience.

  • There are 80 million millennials in the U.S., roughly ¼ of the total population
  • American millennials spend more than $200 billion annually
  • Today, millennials offer the strongest lifetime value to brands of any generation

Despite the value offered by millennial consumers, many local businesses struggle to reach this generation. Strategies that worked for Gen-X and the Baby Boomers seem to fall flat with millennial consumers.

If you want to connect with millennials, you simply can’t afford to use outdated models. Instead, you’ll need to tailor your local marketing efforts to millennials’ habits, personalities, and preferences.

For local marketing via digital media, you’ll want to follow these do’s and don’ts when targeting millennials.

7 Local Marketing Do’s for Millennials

#1. DO Keep Things Short

Attention spans today aren’t what they used to be. This is particularly true among millennials who’ve grown up on digital technologies. Marketing to millennials requires short and to-the-point messaging. You’ve only got a few seconds to capture their attention, so make those seconds count. 

#2. DO Offer Convenience

The instant gratification of digital media has put a premium on convenience. For proof, look no further than the impact that free one-day shipping has had on Amazon, or the explosive growth of food delivery apps. Millennials want convenience, and they’ll reward brands that provide it.

#3. DO Focus on Mobile

Today, “mobile first” is a maxim of digital marketing, especially for local businesses. But it’s even more important for brands targeting millennials. In fact, they’re the only generation with smartphone ownership rates above 90%, and they spend far more time on mobile devices than desktop computers.

#4. DO Stay Socially Active

In addition to high rates of mobile usage, millennials use social media more than any other generation. Brands that want to engage with millennial consumers need to be active on social media, especially on major platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

#5. DO Promote Your Reviews

Millennial consumers trust online reviews almost as much as personal recommendations. In fact, many millennials put more stock in online reviews than the recommendations of friends. To reach millennials, local businesses should focus on generating and promoting positive reviews.

#6. DO Make Positive Change

More other age groups, millennials spend their money on socially conscious products and businesses. By advocating and fundraising for charitable causes — especially local causes within your community — you can build a stronger rapport with this generation.

#7. DO Be Authentic & Considerate

Millennials gravitate toward authenticity, and they’re quick to detect inauthentic messaging. So don’t try to make your business into something it’s not. Instead, focus on what makes you great. Showcase what makes you the best at what you do and make that the core of your local marketing strategy.

3 Local Marketing Don’ts for Millennials

#1. DON’T Misunderstand Who They Are

When brands talk about millennials, they talk about students and younger adults. But today, the oldest millennials are nearly 40 years old, and the youngest are already in their mid-20s. If you focus your marketing efforts on the just-out-of-college crowd, you’re missing the mark on millennials.

#2. DON’T Treat Them as a Monolith

Millennial consumers share a number of traits that can be useful for local marketing. But it’s a mistake to treat millennials as a monolith. Among millennials, there’s an almost limitless array of micro-markets. An effective local marketing strategy won’t simply target “millennials.” Instead, it will target niche markets within this generation.

#3. DON’T Ignore Their Input

One of the easiest and smartest ways to develop a local marketing strategy for millennials is to get input from, well, actual millennials. Yet many local businesses fail to make millennials a part of these efforts. Others seek input from millennial consumers and employees, but they don’t make millennials a part of the decision-making process. Their feedback is downplayed or minimized, and the resulting campaigns fail to connect.

Generating Franchise Leads with Digital Marketing

When you’re developing a franchise brand, your survival depends on your ability to generate leads. Your brand can’t grow without qualified franchisees — even if you’ve created a strong franchise offering. To succeed, you need an equally strong system for generating franchise leads.

Digital marketing will play a central role in this system. To attract, nurture, and convert the right franchise leads, you’ll need a comprehensive and multi-channel strategy, one that covers multiple digital touchpoints.

Let’s take a closer look at how to make this happen.

Why Digital for Franchise Lead Generation?

At this point, almost every major franchisor depends on digital marketing for leads. This change is reflective of a broader, global trend toward digital marketing. But in the world of franchising, the shift toward digital marketing is especially noteworthy.

Here are five of the biggest reasons why this is the case:

  • Digital marketing gives you access to the widest possible pool of franchise leads, across the widest possible geographic area.
  • Programmatic, dynamic, and retargeted digital ads provide a cost-effective way to target your most qualified leads.
  • Franchisees conduct extensive self-directed research before purchasing a franchise. The majority of this research is conducted online.
  • Digital analytics offer powerful, proven methods for tracking, measuring, and fine-tuning online lead generation campaigns.
  • A multi-touchpoint digital marketing strategy will anticipate questions, concerns, and needs, creating a near-frictionless sales funnel.

Digital Marketing Strategies for Franchise Leads

A franchise location is a major purchasing decision. Given the weight of this decision, the purchase journey for franchise leads is an exceptionally long process.

As a franchisor, you need to stay with your leads at every step of this process. To do so, you’ll need to cover a wide range of digital touchpoints. What’s more, you’ll need a comprehensive overall strategy for lead generation. This strategy will need to connect from touchpoint to touchpoint, creating a coordinated journey for your leads.

Here’s a look at how a range of digital marketing channels can help you generate franchise leads.

  • Website Design. Before purchasing a franchise business, most entrepreneurs go through an extensive, self-directed research process. This process typically involves several hours spent reviewing franchisor websites. In light of this, your website could be the most important weapon in your lead generation arsenal. The perfect website will be attractive, fast, and intuitive, and it will have resources for every stage (or nearly every stage) of your sales funnel.
  • SEO. When creating your brand’s website, you’ll want to invest in search engine optimized content. SEO is a particularly cost-effective strategy for franchise lead generation. Search volumes for industry-specific franchise keywords are relatively low, so there’s less competition for these keywords. At the same time, those search volumes include a significant share of qualified buyers.
  • PPC Advertising. As with SEO, paid advertising is another great way to target high-quality leads. Through keyword research, you can identify which search terms are most closely associated with the different stages of the sales funnel. You can then tailor your ads to mirror the purchase journey of your prospects, keeping friction to an absolute minimum.
  • Programmatic. Programmatic advertising can help you target leads with extraordinary precision. Programmatic ads target users based on their search behavior, browsing history, location, and other factors. This way, you can micro-target your highest-quality prospects. Even better, you can reconnect with leads at later stages of your funnel, providing content tailored to their needs and preferences.
  • Social Media. In the world of franchising, social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are the most powerful lead generation tools available. No other social networks compare in terms of quantity or quality of leads. Take the time to polish your personal and corporate profiles, target high-quality prospects with ads, connect with interested prospects via direct message, and qualify leads with paid ads that drive prospects to your website.

Each of these channels can be powerful tools for franchise lead generation. But that’s only true if they support and reinforce one another. To generate, cultivate, and convert high-quality leads, you’ll need to create a seamless journey: from point A to B to C.

To learn more about how Qiigo can help you achieve your Franchise Development goals through digital marketing, fill out the form below to  connect with one of our digital experts.

7 Digital Marketing Best Practices for Multi-Location Brands

Digital marketing can be a thorny issue for multi-location brands. On the corporate level, you’re engaged in broad, national campaigns that promote your brand as a whole. On the location level, you (or your franchisees) need to worry about local marketing efforts. That means taking a hybrid approach to your digital marketing strategy.

 

Yet, when you look online for digital marketing best practices, there’s little information on how to balance brand-level and location-level marketing. Most of the advice you’ll find is focused on one or the other. There’s little information on how to coordinate corporate campaigns and local marketing to complement one another.

 

At Qiigo, we specialize in digital marketing campaigns for national brands, so we know a thing or two about the best ways to market your multi-location brand online. If you’re in the process of rethinking your digital marketing strategy, here are seven important areas that you’ll want to focus on.

 

What Multi-Location Brands Need for Digital Marketing

 

  1. Create Unique, Localized SEO Content. If your brand uses boilerplate content for each location’s sub-site, these pages will likely be excluded from search results. Google expects every page on your website to have unique content. When it detects duplicate content, it removes these pages from search results. Effective local SEO for multi-location brands therefore requires the creation and implementation of unique, localized content for each location’s website.
  2. Centralize Your Pay-Per-Click Campaigns. One of the advantages of modern PPC is the ability to carefully segment your PPC campaigns. This has made it much easier, cheaper, and effective for multi-location brands to centralize their PPC efforts. Centralized campaigns benefit from the cost-efficiencies of scale, the accuracy of larger data sets, and the cohesion of a unified message. Meanwhile, it’s now easy to customize ads based on users’ locations, or to create a market through which franchisees can increase or decrease ad spending in their market.
  3. Engage in Two-Tier Reputation Management. Reputation management for multi-location brands naturally occurs on two levels: the reputation of your brand, and the reputations of individual locations. While some companies prefer to focus their corporate efforts purely on their brand-level reputation, it’s often smarter to assist individual locations with reputation management. This can be done by identifying locations with low review counts or middling ratings, then providing them with tools and resources to strengthen their review profiles.
  4. Local Listings Monitoring & Management. It can be costly and inefficient for individual franchise locations to manage their own local listings. By handling local listings management at the corporate level, multi-location brands can eliminate redundancies and lower the cost of these services. Centralized management also carries other benefits. For example, it ensures business data is consistently structured from one location to the other. And if problems with one location’s data are causing problems for another location, it is much easier to correct his issue.
  5. Help Locations Win Fans on Social Media. Social media is one area where it can pay to give franchisees control over digital marketing. Franchisees can put a human face on their business and use social media to build a strong community presence. With that said, there’s a lot that brands can do to aid franchisees on social media. For example, brands can provide franchisees with content to augment their social media feeds, creating a mix of corporate and local content. Brands can also use their corporate accounts to signal boost franchisees’ posts and profiles.
  6. Target Locally with Programmatic Ads. Programmatic ads — which show users ads based on certain types of user data — are an excellent tool for local marketing. Multi-location brands have an advantage in this field, since they can build and/or acquire large data sets for programmatic targeting. This data can then be used to run centralized campaigns that include localized targeting and customization. Alternatively, it can be provided to franchisees who wish to run independent programmatic campaigns.
  7. Mobile-Friendly Website Design. Nearly two-thirds of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices, and studies show that most local searches occur on mobile devices. In light of this, it’s crucial that multi-location brands have mobile-friendly websites on both the corporate level and local levels. In particular, it’s important that you have a mobile-friendly store finder — a feature that often has problems on mobile devices.

 

Trick or Treat: Is Bad Data ‘Ghosting’ your local marketing efforts?

When national brands engage in local marketing online, their location data can play Trick-or-Treat with the results. If data is well-managed, brands are rewarded with an effective campaign. However, if location data is inaccurate, inconsistent, or incomplete, these campaigns can suffer serious problems.

 

In the worst cases, local marketing efforts can be “ghosted” by bad data. You run a locally targeted PPC campaign, yet your ads never appear the in right market. You invest in local SEO, yet your locations are nowhere to be found in search results.

 

While any business can suffer from problems with location data, larger brands tend to have the most trouble managing this data. So if you operate a brand with several locations, or you’re running a smaller brand with big plans for expansion, it’s important that you invest in effective location data management.

How Mismanaged Location Data “Ghosts” Ads & Search Results

In the world of digital marketing, there is nothing more frustrating than a “ghosted” ad or search result. You invest time and money in a marketing campaign. You think you’ve followed all the right steps. And yet, when you try to find your ads or search for your page, the results never appear (or, in some cases, they never appear where they’re supposed to).

 

When this happens to national brands with multiple locations, mismanaged location data is often the culprit.

 

If location data is managed at the corporate level, mistakes in your database can migrate into your local marketing campaigns. This can happen:

 

  • If franchisees enter their data incorrectly
  • If a mistake is made when transposing data from one database to another
  • If location data isn’t properly updated

 

While corporate-level management tends to be more accurate, the sheer volume of data can make it difficult to identify and correct mistakes.

 

If location data is managed at the franchise level, there is a very high risk of inconsistent data management from one franchise to the next. Franchisees end up using different systems and different practices for managing their data. This makes it extremely difficult to coordinate brand-wide campaigns that rely on location data. To make matters even more difficult, this data is often managed by employees or the franchisee: i.e., someone without a background in digital marketing.

 

Inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistent data can end up neutralizing an otherwise flawless local marketing campaign. Here are three examples of how this can happen:

 

  • PPC Advertising. A lot of brick-and-mortar businesses run PPC campaigns with a geographic footprint tied to their physical location. This requires accurate longitude and latitude figures. If either of these figures is entered inaccurately, your campaign could end up targeting an entirely different location.

 

  • Local SEO. Google and other search engines tailor their results according to users’ locations. So, if your website is feeding faulty location data to users, your site might disappear from local search results. Another issue: incorrect or inconsistent data can reduce your site’s quality score, resulting in lower SEO rankings.

 

  • Local Listings. If your internal database contains inaccurate location data, these mistakes are likely replicated in external listings. Inaccurate or inconsistent local listings can lead to major headaches for brick-and-mortar businesses. Google could display the wrong address or phone number for your locations, confuse two of your locations for one another, or remove some of your locations from search results entirely.

Solutions to Local Data Mismanagement

All of this leads to an obvious question: If your brand has problems with location data, what should you do about it? We suggest two important steps…

 

First, re-evaluate your current location data management practices. If you don’t have a proper central database for this information, establish one. If you do, perform a detailed audit to eliminate errors, fix inconsistencies, and fill in missing data.

 

Second, establish a set of brand standards for entering new data or updating existing information. Make sure these standards are compatible with digital marketing best practices. It may be helpful to hire a digital marketing consultant for help establishing these standards.

 

Third, partner with a digital marketing company that specializes in local marketing for national brands. These companies are familiar with the pitfalls of inaccurate location data. They have systems in place to keep location data consistent, and they can troubleshoot multi-location campaigns much more quickly and effectively than other digital marketing companies.

 

Nailing Your Franchise Development Marketing Strategy

We’ve all heard the saying, “You can catch more bees with honey than vinegar,” right? How does that apply to franchise marketing?

 

To put it simply, we must strategically place those jars in the right locations to attract the exact types of bees we want – ones seriously interested in the honey, your franchise opportunity.

 

 

 

The Search for Potential Franchisees

Finding a potential franchisee takes skill, determination, and well-planned, yet agile, marketing strategy. Keeping this in mind you need a defined budget, prospect profile to better target your market (know your audience), lead strategy (how are you going to keep them interested in the honey jar), and the all-important factor of timing.

 

Timing and budget are factors with finite parameters, franchisors know them. It’s the audience and development giving franchisors a run for their money so to speak. Let’s start with audience.

 

Audience

Without going into detail, you know what you want your ideal franchisee looks like, right? If not, now is the time to do your research, explore who is interested in selling your products or services, and put together a profile of your top franchisee prospects.

 

While your profile may not be perfect, and can certainly evolve, if it’s not clearly defined, your marketing strategy will stumble. You can use Google Analytics to help you refine your audience.  Using Analytics, you’ll be able to see where users are coming from and to explore how they are using your site. The new Audiences function allows you to examine the demographics and interests of visitors to your site.

 

After your audience is defined, so you can focus your ads to sites those users frequent, thereby getting your ads for the franchise opportunity in front of the right eyes. Using this type of analytics can help you to put your ad budget dollars to work in the right place. And with so many options these days, it’s a good idea to do a little research to find the one best suited for your budget and needs.

 

Marketing Development Strategy

You need an army to do all the things you need to do, but if you do one thing to improve your marketing development strategy, use SEO and paid AdWords campaigns (PPC) in tandem for the best results.

 

It is imperative to have an ongoing SEO plan to ensure your franchise opportunities remain fresh and in front of the eyes of entrepreneurs. Without this important piece of the puzzle you could be trying to sell your Cactus Nursery franchise to people in Siberia.   

 

Liane Caruso, Qiigo’s Director of Professional Services and in-house Franchise Development strategist says,

 

At Qiigo, we recognize that our franchise development campaigns are most successful with a fully integrated campaign that involves long-term and short-term campaign goals. While SEO efforts may not immediately offer up candidates or associate a number of conversions to dollars spent, the long-term gain is being found in organic search.

‘Franchise opportunity’ is a highly competitive and expensive marketplace, and those who can be easily found will win in the end. 

 

 

In the end, it’s all about resources and budget. Whether you have the budget to outsource this part of your franchise marketing development strategy, or if you do the work in-house, putting in the ground work will help drive more prospective franchisees to your site.

 

When it comes to the success of both the franchisor and franchisee it’s about the marketing and location. Where are you going to start?

 

 

The New Rules of Customer Touchpoints

Some may remember the, ‘Rule of 7’. In the past, businesses relied on roughly 7 touchpoints to drive customers and prospects down the sales funnel. In today’s marketing landscape, it takes anywhere from 13 to 20 touchpoints to convert those prospects and customers, depending on your business/industry.

 

When interacting with your customer they become the recipient of an experience involving a moment of truth. This moment of truth is filled with touchpoints and other factors involving their decision whether to return, to recommend your business to a friend or colleague, or to turn their back on your business, product, and/or website. Improving the customer experience and value of touchpoints can help your business grow.

 

The new rules of customer touchpoints are not your products or services, but how you create an experience for customers and prospects as they interact with your brand. Think about how you attract your customers through ANY interaction, such as your website, social media, newspaper ad, blog, etc. No matter how small, add it to a list.

 

Identify your business goals and cross-reference the parallels your touchpoints have with the customer’s lifecycle. Keep in mind all of the earned and paid opportunities you have. Content is King and if you have that in your back pocket, it will be easy to identify how best to engage with customers and prospects and on what platforms.

 

What many forget about the customer journey is how important it is to have a strong online presence. If you’re not integrating with things like Local Listings, Pay Per Click, SEO, etc., odds are your competitors are and you’ll be missing out on valuable touchpoints that have the potential to push your customers to their front door instead of yours.

 

Every customer interaction is important, but some are more critical than others. The goal here is to identify those touchpoints that are most important to both customer and the company. Once you’ve identified the weak spots in your customer experience, you’ll have a better grasp on what needs to be done to create a more positive user experience which should in turn impact customer retention, referrals, and reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Tips for Creating High-Converting Landing Pages

Conversions are the end goal of any successful pay-per-click campaign. And while there are many important steps to creating a great PPC campaign, such as choosing the right keywords and designing an eye-catching ad, the landing page can be the most critical element.

 

Landing pages are specifically designed to drive conversions. They give you an opportunity to speak directly to your audience without restrictions, making them a great tool for generating enthusiasm for your offer and driving your customer to action.

 

But there can be a flip side. A bad landing page can hurt your conversion rate and lead an enthusiastic customer to leave your page with negative opinions about your product. And with the average landing page converting only between 2 and 5 out of every 100 visitors, bad landing pages are a grim reality for many PPC campaigns.

 

So how can you create a highly effective landing page that will engage and excite customers while driving them to action? Here are six key components to highly effective landing pages:

 

Use Dynamic Images
Images on your landing page provide more than just visual appeal. They also break up heavy text and can provide a visual example of how your product works, or what your location looks like. If your landing page is short on images and reads more like a textbook than persuasive copy, there are a few things you can do:

 

  1. Break up dense copy with images for more visual appeal.
  2. Provide a visual example of your product or service in action.
  3. If you have a retail location, provide images of your business or showroom so people can get a feel for your company.
  4. If you’re targeting a specific demographic, such as teens, families with young children, or retirees, try using images that represent that demographic.
  5. If you have testimonials on your landing page, add a profile pic for each one. This can help reinforce the fact that they are real customers.

 

Have a Great Headline
The headline of your landing page is the first thing customers will see, so you want to make a great first impression. Your headline should be simple, concise, and should contain the following information:

 

  1. What your product or service is.
  2. What your product or service does.
  3. Why your product or service is valuable.

 

Use Simple Forms that are Easy to Understand
We’ve all ended up on a landing page with a frustrating form that requested endless information or was difficult to understand. While detailed forms many be necessary for some offers, customers hate filling out long forms, and will often click the back button when they see them, killing your conversion rate. Use these techniques to improve your completion rate and avoid conversion optimization bottlenecks:

 

  1. Make the form easy to understand with examples. If you need a phone number, give an example of the correct format. If the customer needs to enter an address, make it clear where to put the street number, name, or zip code.
  2. Simplify wherever possible. If there’s any information you would like to have that isn’t 100% necessary, don’t ask for it, especially if the information is difficult for a customer to input. The shorter the form, the more likely it is that a customer will fill it out.
  3. Split up a long form. If lots of information is necessary, split the form into several pages and add a progress bar so customers know where they are in the process.  

 

Include Your Value Proposition
An essential part of any landing page, a value proposition lists key benefits to your product or service, explains why it’s useful, lists important features, and communicates why your product or service is the right choice. While it has a similar message to the headline, a value proposition often isn’t a single item. Instead, it’s typically a theme throughout the landing page that’s weaved through the copy, images, videos, subheadings, and customer testimonials.


If you feel that your landing page has all the essentials, but it’s still not delivering the conversions you’d like, circle back to your value proposition. Make sure it’s clearly communicated throughout your page, and consider strengthening it by offering things your competitors don’t, such as free estimates, free trials, money-back guarantees, and shorter contract periods.  

 

Check Your Load Speed
With a reported 40% of users abandoning website pages that take more than three second to load, it’s easy to see why load speed is so critical to conversions. Identify weak points and fix them before launching your campaign with these three tools:

 

  1. Use Google’s PageSpeed Tools to analyze performance.  
  2. Check the compatibility and responsiveness of your landing page with Visual Website Optimizer’s landing page analyzer. It’s a useful tool for checking the quality and usability of your landing page across devices.
  3. And to check that your landing page renders correctly across different hardware and software combinations, use a QA tool such as MyCrowd.

 

Make it easy to modify
One of the greatest aspects of PPC campaigns is their ability to be modified and optimized through the course of the campaign. In order to incorporate optimization strategies and A/B testing, your landing page needs the same flexibility.

 

Creating a dynamic and enticing landing page can be more challenging than it first appears, but high-converting landing pages are well worth the effort.

 

 

Facebook Ads: Spending, Engagement, and CPMs Up; CPCs Down

facebook adsBusinesses that lean heavily on Facebook for advertising will be excited by news out of third quarter social media marketing reports this year. These reports show that spending on Facebook ads not only continues to grow but is also providing higher value for brands that use the network as a social media marketing channel.

Examining Facebook Ad Trends for Q3 2016

Reports on Facebook’s third-quarter figures showed a consensus on trends across the network’s advertising platform. Across available reports, spending, click-through rates, and costs-per-impression have climbed over quarter three of 2015, while costs-per-click have decreased in that time span.

Here are some of the numbers highlighted by this quarter’s social media marketing reports:

  • Spending on Facebook ads increased by 45% between Q3 of 2015 and Q3 of 2016.
  • Over the same period, the average CTR has climbed by 14%.
  • CPMs have climbed by as much as 38% over this period.
  • Meanwhile, CPCs have actually fallen by as much as 25%.

Retargeted Ads, Audience Network Driving Growth

Two specific drivers have been singled out by social media marketing experts as key to the success of Facebook’s ad program: retargeted ads and Facebook’s Audience Network.

Dynamic product ads, Facebook’s name for its retargeted ad program, accounted for 42% of all Facebook ad clicks in 2016’s third quarter. Spending on retargeted ads rose from 8% of all spending in third quarter of 2015 to 21% in this past quarter.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s Audience Network has allowed the social network to significantly boost traffic numbers. Since 2014, Facebook has been growing its Audience Network, a network of partner sites that host Facebook ads off of the site. By expanding the Audience Network, Facebook has been able to generate a significantly higher number of non-native impressions and clicks, all without seriously compromising its native user experience.

Increased Performance Good News for SMBs

One group sure to be smiling about the third quarter numbers will be small and medium business owners. Recent surveys have found that social media marketing has become the number one marketing channel for owners of SMBs — and second place isn’t even close.

According to one September poll, social media marketing is the first choice of SMBs for both increasing brand awareness and generating revenue. More than 40% of respondents selected social media as their primary marketing channel for both of these goals. Print advertising was second, with less than 15% of respondents naming it their primary channel.

Looking to build your brand’s social media marketing presence on Facebook? If so, Qiigo can help. Call us today at (888) 673-1212 to get started.

 

Q3 E-commerce Spending Up Nearly 14%

ecommerceLeading into the ever important holiday shopping season, the U.S. Department of Commerce released U.S. retail e-commerce sales estimates for the third quarter of 2011. The estimated $48.2 billion in total retail e-commerce sales was an increase of 13.7% over the same period in 2010.

Overall retail sales were also up 8.2% over 2010 to $1.1 trillion. 2010 third quarter e-commerce sales accounted for 4.6% of total retail sales. This represented a slight increase over the 4.4% increase seen in the third quarter of 2010. However, according to Andrew Lipsman, senior director of industry analysis at comScore, a digital business analytics company, the 4.6% increase is a soft number as it includes food, gas and automotive purchases. “If you take out food, gas and auto from the calculation, the increase is in the 8% to 9% range now,” he said.

“There was a little bit of relative softness in this quarter given the market volatility,” Lipsman said. “As of now, there seems to be only minor pullback and Q4 is looking pretty strong.”

The Census Bureau e-commerce sales estimates for the third quarter of 2011 are based on approximately 12,500 retail firms whose sales are weighted and benchmarked to represent the complete universe of more than 2 million retail firms, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Are you maximizing your e-commerce efforts? Contact Qiigo today to discuss engagement strategies for e-commerce, Pay Per Click advertising and other Internet Marketing strategies.