Should I use AMP to Improve My Google Ranking?

AMP Pages to Improve Google Ranking

If you aren’t keeping up with mobile optimization trends, you won’t rank as well in search engines or ad platforms. You’ve likely heard by now that Google penalizes site designs that aren’t responsive to mobile. As a result, many companies have adapted their websites in the last few years to become mobile responsive. But what many companies don’t realize is a mobile-first experience has come to mean more than, “does it work on mobile?”. What mobile first really means is, “does your site work better on mobile?”. In an attempt to stay ahead of the mobile movement, some companies have gone as far as restructuring their site to prioritize mobile page speeds above all else. What are these companies doing to beat out their competition? “AMP”ing their landing pages. What is AMP? How is it giving companies a competitive advantage? Should my company be using it? Don’t worry, we cover the answers to these questions and more in this article.

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Is mobile usage killing the internet cookie?

With the rapid increase of mobile device usage, there is quickly becoming a shift in how digital advertising is being conducted. Digital advertising has been strongly reliant on “internet cookies” in the past, but the future seems to hold a different path for the industry.

History of the Internet Cookie

Going back before the inception of digital advertising, a Netscape programmer named Lou Montulli created the “internet cookie” as a way to track user selections in a virtual shopping cart. Since 1994, these cookies have evolved to become an intricate and crucial system for advertisers to track users’ desktop browsing activity.

Current State of Internet Cookies

With the average American now spending roughly 4.7 hours per day on a mobile device, there is a looming threat that cookies’ long reign over the internet is coming to an end. A recent marketing survey revealed that 60% of marketers expect that they will not rely on third-party tracking cookies in the next two years.

What’s Wrong with Cookies?

Until recently, internet cookies have been the industry-leading way of tracking user’s overall web activity. However, cookies are becoming less effective as they track browsers, not people. This used to work in the old state of the internet as people all logged in on the single-family desktop to do their browsing. Things are quite different these days as most people switch back and forth between multiple connected devices, ultimately making cookies ineffective.

Another issue with the internet cookie is the fact that they do not work within mobile apps – which is where the majority of mobile traffic happens. In addition to not working with mobile apps, cookies are now on the defensive against browsers, like Apple’s Safari, who have essentially banned third-party cookies from their platforms altogether.

The New Direction for Digital Advertising

The constant changes regarding how consumers obtain their information has forced the hands of digital advertisers everywhere into finding new ways to identify and track their traffic. This comes in the form of “identity-based” tracking. For example, Facebook lets their users utilize their Facebook credentials to log onto other sites and apps. This allows them to track user mobile sessions across multiple platforms and serve up personalized ads accordingly.

Another example of this new style of tracking can be found on Apple devices. Apple assigns a unique identifier for advertisers, or IDFA, to every iOS user. After this identifier is applied, it allows Apple to attribute activity to a single person across the entire Apple community.

We’ve gone beyond the cookie with our Defined Audience Targeting. Rather than focus just on cookies, we match offline data sources with someone’s mobile ID and online persona. We are able to filter down to the IP address of the person’s house and target them without the use of cookies.

While it’s true the cookie is dying, it’s not going away anytime soon. And new tactics are being developed to make sure we can still get your message in front of the customers you want to reach most.

All of this information goes to show that as long as there are products to sell, advertisers will find a way to track and attribute the traffic.


4 Ways Small Businesses Can Be Competitive Using Google Shopping

Google Shopping AdsDo you use Google Shopping to sell your products or do you think your business is too small to compete with larger businesses that have bigger budgets? With careful planning and execution, using Product Listing Ads within Google Shopping can be a very effective digital advertising platform. Here are four strategies for your smaller e-commerce business to find success.

  1. Focus on your niche

What makes you unique? Why would someone buy from you? Your uniqueness adds value and will make your ads stand out to online shoppers. Focus your campaigns on new, niche, or unknown brands – different products that aren’t sold by big box retailers or Amazon. This exclusivity helps separate you from your competition. Selling unique products means there’s less competition to appear in Google Shopping for relevant searches.

  1. Segment your campaigns

Segmenting your campaigns correctly will help you deliver ads to the most relevant, ready-to-buy audiences. Focus on capturing high-converting traffic by making sure your ads appear to high-conversion queries. By segmenting your campaigns into the type of queries that receive high, medium and low conversion rates you can set bid amounts that correlate to the user’s intent. Bid more for high-converting queries and less for generic searches.

  1. Leverage location-based targeting

Target location to make sure your ads are reaching shoppers who are most likely to purchase your products. Are consumers in certain areas more likely to be interested in what you are selling? Depending on what your goals are, you can bid higher for your ads to show in very specific areas. If you sell gas fireplaces with all the bells and whistles, you may decide to bid more for ads shown in high-income areas with colder climates where buyers have a budget for your custom fireplaces.

  1. Use RLSA lists

Most consumers who click on a Product Listing Ad are usually close to making a purchase decision. Pairing your ads with RLSA (remarketing lists for search ads) allows you to bid more for ads that will be shown to people who have already visited your site or made a previous purchase. Consumers who have existing knowledge of your business are more likely to make a purchase.

The key to making a sale is delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. We can help you create and execute a multi-faceted advertising campaign that puts your products in front of interested buyers. Contact us today!

 


How Can Data Drive Local Campaigns?

Data Driven MarketingRelevant, effective digital ad campaigns are data-driven. Implementing a data-first strategy is key to ensuring return on investment on local campaigns. A recent report by SweetIQ shared the importance of using data to learn about who your consumers are, how they found you, and the products they’re interested in. What sort of data should you gather from different platforms including Google My Business, Facebook, Foursquare, and Bing to successfully execute your marketing strategy?

Google My Business: Google handles about 3.5 billion searches per day. With so much search activity, Google provides a wealth of information. You can discover how consumers are finding your business (local listings, paid, or organic search) and what location-specific action or conversions consumers are completing. Knowing insights on a per-location basis allows you to develop highly targeted marketing campaigns.

 

Data to gather and analyze: conversion clicks against in-store visits to assess which stores are drawing customers in, which listings are gaining the most views

Facebook: Facebook users spend an average of 40 minutes on Facebook per day, making it a prime place to advertise. Your Facebook ads need to be engaging, relevant, and accurately targeted to reach your audience. Facebook’s competitive landscape makes evaluating your analytics even more important. Understanding demographics and ad engagement are critical for successful local marketing.

Data to gather and analyze: audience demographics, post reach, shares, visits to page, and audience response.

Bing: Google may garner the most attention, but don’t neglect this search engine. Bing captures over 30 percent of the US search market and its users are ready to spend money (stat: ). Your competitors may be discounting the value of this platform, which means you can occupy a greater space for less ad spend.

Data to gather and analyze: user demographics, volume of impressions

Foursquare: Foursquare has 50+ million active monthly users and over 2 million businesses are listed on the app. You can gather insight into local search behavior and capture traffic of users who are looking for something quick and local. Leverage data to launch location-based campaigns and market to nearby consumers with special incentives and offers.

Data to gather and analyze: total and average check-ins per each location, number of new vs returning visitors, busiest hours, and demographics


Want to Improve Your Local Search Ranking? Focus on Mobile.

Mobile SearchWhen consumers search for local options on mobile, they usually have an immediate need and want quick answers, close to where they are. Optimizing for local search is important, but if you aren’t optimizing for mobile, you may miss out on your best source of local traffic. Many of those local searches come with a high purchase intent, making local mobile searches an incredibly important opportunity for your business. How can you structure your paid search campaigns to make sure your ads are appearing for local shoppers who want what you’re selling?

Use shorter phrases and keywords

Mobile users use short phrases and fewer keywords than desktop users. Go after short, concise phrases and keywords that your audience will be typing into their phones. For paid search ads, you can find mobile-specific keyword information by checking the Search Terms report in Google AdWords. This list will give you the searches people entered that triggered your ads.

Keep it local

Local searchers will be more likely to respond to ads from businesses that appear to be close to them. Clearly, state your city in your title and content to confirm that you are a local business. Break out your paid search campaigns according to the location to ensure that the location a potential customer is searching for shows up in your content. When searchers know you’re just down the street, your ad will be much more relevant to their query.

Use mobile ad extensions

Ad extensions can boost your ads by providing additional information to searchers. Experiment with different extensions and see which ones are the most effective. For mobile search, consider the following extensions:

  • Location extensions: Location extensions shows your address and lets searchers know just how local you are.
  • Call Extensions: If people often contact your business before they come in, you can eliminate a step for them by making the click on your ad lead to a call or text.
  • Sitelinks: Sitelink extensions let you focus on some of your site specifics that make your business stand out, like driving directions, special promotions, or a “contact us” page.

Test Local Search Ads on Google Maps

Local Search Ads or Promoted Pins increase the accessibility and visibility of your business for local searches by putting your ad right on Google’s Map. You can use this ad to feature promotions, incentives, and allow potential customers to search your real-time inventory before they head to your store.

Implement the right mix

Successful mobile advertising needs to be the right combination of keywords to fit Google’s algorithm paired with a great user experience to engage customers. When you create the right mix of keywords and relevant content, your message will reach your ready-to-buy audience. If you’re interested in learning more about mobile advertising contact us today. 


Get Local: 5 Tips to Reach Your Nearby Audience

Local Reputation ManagementAs mobile usage continues to grow, consumers are conducting more searches with local intent. In the past two years, Google saw a 2x increase in “near me” and “nearby” searches, with 80 percent of those searches occurring on mobile devices. Google refers to these geographic-specific searches as “I-Want-to-Go moments.” Google wants to better serve users by personalizing their results and delivering relevant information based on their exact location.

 

Hyperlocal targeting, or advertising to customers based upon their location, has the potential to connect your business with active buyers. How you optimize your content can make the difference between showing up at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) or getting lost in the mix. Incorporate these five tips in your online strategy to establish your brand within the local market and drive traffic to your business.

 

  1. Adopt a mobile-first mindset

Make sure your business has a mobile-first mindset, including a mobile-friendly site design. Prominently feature contact information and include click-to-call or text buttons. The easier you make it for the mobile user to gather information, the more traffic you’ll generate.

 

  1. Complete your Google My Business profile

Every element added into your Google My Business page can provide important signals to assist with local ranking. Fill out every field relevant to your business and include high-quality images and other indicators that show a user a glimpse of your business.

 

  1. Get More Reviews

One of the biggest indicators of a successful business is positive reviews. Businesses with great ratings will always beat out those with mediocre or average reviews. Not sure where you stand on local performance? Take a look at our free local business listing snapshot report. We pull in all the data from our reviews and local listings and tell you where you’re doing great, and where you need some help.

 

  1. Include any schema data markup on your pages

Provide Google with as much information as possible about your business by incorporating schema data markup (for each location) on your applicable website pages. Using schema data markup, you can precisely define various business attributes, including business type, hours, address, phone number and more. By clearly telling Google what information is being presented on your page, you make it easier for your business to appear for relevant search queries.

 

  1. Monitor progress

Once you begin to optimize your content for hyperlocal targeting, track your keyword rankings at the local level. The closer you can get to your exact business location, the more accurate your information will be. Use this kind of data to gain insight to guide your strategy as you plan for the future.


Dealership Sees Increased Sales After Going Digital

Digital AdvertisingDoes your dealership still rely heavily on traditional advertising methods to reach potential car buyers? TV, print, and radio ads may have been effective in the past, but now digital advertising is where it’s at. If you haven’t taken the plunge, consider going all-in with a digital campaign.

Google recently profiled a small-town Canadian car dealership that experienced huge results after abandoning their traditional marketing plans and launching a digital strategy. Recognizing that car buyers were spending more and more time online, the dealership decided to go all digital in 2014. Since then, they have experienced:

  • 50% increase in new car sales
  • 79% increase in website visitors
  • 67% increase in the dealership’s website page views

By advertising to an online audience, the dealership was able to deliver highly-relevant ads to a targeted market. In addition to increasing sales and online traffic, a digital campaign can deliver these three benefits:

Multiple tools: Digital advertising allows you to develop a proactive strategy with the flexibility to adjust as needed. Here are a few tactics that we implement to drive traffic to your dealership.

  • Paid search ads: By using targeted keyword lists that focus on purchase intent, our paid search campaigns put an ad for your business at the top of the search results pages, giving you increased visibility to local searchers.
  • Dynamic Facebook ads: After identifying the best audience and determining purchase intent, we serve the most relevant ad to that potential buyer. The ad pulls real-time inventory from your website’s data feed. We optimize the bid to bring the most potential traffic back to your site, generating the maximum amount of VDP views. Dealerships using our highly-targeted dynamic ads are achieving record sales. Compared to standard Facebook ads, dealerships experience increased time on website, increased page views per session, and improved vehicle search conversion rate.
  • YouTube video ads: Video gives you the opportunity to personalize your dealership and creatively advertise your current promotions and deals.

Increased Engagement Opportunities: Digital advertising offers multiple platforms to boost engagement, build brand awareness, and foster relationships. Through social media, email marketing campaigns, and your website, you can reward buyers with valuable information they need to make an informed decision.

Measurable results: It can be difficult to pinpoint the effectiveness of a TV or radio promotion. With digital, you can track many metrics such as emails, site visits, calls, and car sales. By being able to instantly measure your results, you can spend your ad budget on tactics that deliver the best ROI.

 

We specialize in digital auto ad campaigns. We have the expertise and experience to create a plan for your dealership that will deliver results. Contact us today to get started.


Add HouseHold Extensions to your Retargeting

The goal of every retargeting campaign is to convert the most sales for the least amount of money. We offer a variety of tools and techniques to help you achieve this, but we’ve just added a new element to our arsenal: Household Extension.

Household Extension broadens campaign reach while still delivering targeted impressions across multiple devices in one location, such as a home or a small office.

Household Targeting

How can this expanded capability benefit your campaign?

Multi-device retargeting

Household Extension allows you to expand targeting to every device on a user’s IP address. This capability allows you to reach a single user on multiple devices (think laptop, tablet, and mobile) and/or reach other users on the same IP address.

Retargeting expansion

Consider this hypothetical situation. John Smith, age 18, is excitedly looking to purchase his first car. He’s spent hours and hours eagerly researching this major purchase, but ultimately he will rely on the input of his parents before handing over his hard-earned money.

Let’s say you’re a car dealership that stocks a large inventory of used cars. John is diligently looking at what you have for sale in his price range. Wouldn’t it be nice if Mom and Dad were also exposed to the same advertising John was viewing?

Your dealership may come out on top of your competition because the right people (in this case, multiple people within the same family) are seeing your advertisement. Influence decision makers by reaching multiple household members through connected devices.

Additional Prospecting Opportunity

By reaching multiple people on a single IP address, you have the opportunity to capture new users prospecting information within your original retargeting landscape, most likely their circle of influence.

We can help you implement this feature in an existing retargeting campaign or we can start a new one! Reaching more people means increased opportunity for conversions at a reduced cost. Grow your business and prospect list without any additional effort with Household Extension.


Capitalizing On Big Game Buzz

It is NFL playoff season and people are buzzing about football, especially here in Seattle where our Seahawks are Super Bowl bound after an incredible comeback against the Green Bay Packers. Although you may not have the marketing budget to buy air time during the Super Bowl (which is reportedly going for a cool $4 million for a 30-second commercial), you can still capitalize off the excitement and energy generated by the Big Game and use it to positively impact your business.

Make a game plan

You have a set amount of advertising dollars and it’s up to you to spend them how you deem most beneficial. How are you going to drive potential customers to make a purchase? You already have your plans in motion with your retargeting campaign, but consider ramping up your efforts and adding a special promotion or offer related to Super Bowl weekend.

Connect with your 12s

Seattle Seahawks fans are affectionately referred to as the 12th Man (or 12s) and the Seahawks organization masterfully connects with their fans. The 12th Man feels like they are part of the team and you can foster that same connection with your “fans.” Follow the Seahawks’ lead and stay in touch with your customers via social media and an effective marketing campaign. Offering a special incentive or offer can generate business and build brand loyalty.

NFL Conversion Driver

Execute your big play

Go above and beyond your standard offense and execute your big play with your Super Bowl offer. Through email marketing or a custom conversion driver, you can drive fans to your website and capture prospective customer information while providing them with a valuable offer. Use the Seahawks Super Bowl buzz to your advantage.

Outwit your opponent

You are not the only company selling your particular product or service, but you can be the best at selling, far exceeding others in your industry. By continually evaluating and refining your marketing campaign, you can stay 10 yards ahead of your competition. We offer several different tools to energize your online marketing, increasing leads and building your brand so you come out on top.

TOUCHDOWN!

Putting all of the right things in motion at the right time will result in a score for your business. Increase brand awareness, convert website visitors, or reward loyal customers. Get creative and come up with a fun, Super Bowl-sized way to score a touchdown for your business.


Using Purchase Intent to Target Car Shoppers

We all know car shoppers spend the bulk of their buying cycle researching online. They use more than 11 different sources and visit countless websites comparing features, prices and reviews.

So what does this mean for car dealers? If you’re looking to connect with car shoppers, you need to do it online. Luckily we have a tool that lets you do that.

It’s called Pixel Targeting. What we do is measure the intent of car shoppers and deliver ads to them based on what they’re looking for.

So how do we measure intent?

We do it in a few different ways. By analyzing browsing history, search queries and page contexts we can get an accurate picture of what car shoppers are looking for and serve ads appropriately.

Take this shopper’s history for example. From this page we can see that this shopper is looking at buying a new Jeep. They’re looking in the for sale section of AutoTrader and are located in Kirkland, WA.

AutoTrader Intent

Since we know where this person is located and know what kind of vehicle they’re searching for, we can deliver a relevant ad to them.

The power of Pixel Targeting is being able to reach people who are looking for what you have to sell them. You’re not trying to break down barriers and convince these shoppers they should buy a Jeep — they’re already looking for one. You just need to get your ad in front of their eyes and give them a reason to pick you over your competitor.

Interested in Pixel Targeting? Contact us today for more information.