Every experienced builder knows that the foundation they lay is critical to the overall structural integrity of said building. When developing a marketing strategy, your growth and success rely on building up your knowledge of who your audience is. Approaches to understanding your audience can range anywhere from intuitive to statistician level complex. This article contains five strategies to help you build a rock-solid understanding of who your target audience is.Continue reading…
Are you getting the most out of your search engine marketing campaign? Compare the following concepts to what you are currently practicing to see if you are maximizing your budget.
Specific Landing Pages
It is important to build specific landing pages for your campaigns and ad groups instead of pointing traffic to just your homepage. A custom landing page is crucial to a successful engagement with your consumers. If your landing page has a clear call to action, you can lead consumers to a specific action. Landing pages can also provide other opportunities on your website that they might have missed if they were directed to a generalized page.
Focused Keyword Lists
Sustaining a focused and relevant keyword list will provide more value to your search marketing efforts than a list with many generalized keywords will: a bigger list of keywords is not necessarily better. With so many campaigns and ad groups, a generalized keyword list can become difficult to keep track of in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. If your keyword list is too large, it can become difficult to gather valuable insight on specific keywords.
When you first start an SEM campaign, you will typically spend hours researching the best relevant keywords for your product or service. If you want to get the most out of your campaign, you should also be using negative keywords. Negative keywords will prevent your ads from showing if they are searched/triggered. Managing these negative keywords can help reduce costs on irrelevant traffic and ensure that you are only reaching your intended consumer.
High clicks and low CPC’s are great, unless the traffic coming through isn’t worthwhile. Conversion tracking allows you to identify which keywords and ads are performing best in your campaign. Conversion tracking focuses on the quality of traffic coming to your website and the specific actions that they are taking. Conversion tracking is a must for any campaign.
Trial and Error
With the constant shift in the way consumers are searching for services and products, you have to be willing to adapt your campaigns to adhere to the masses. A trial and error method allows you to constantly evaluate your results and refine your strategy to improve on what is and isn’t working. This will enable you to have the best possible campaign, while reaching customers in a way that is proven to work.
Creating an emotional connection with your visitors and creating a strong feeling of want or need can be a powerful tool. People first decide based on their emotions and then consider logical factors that confirm their decision. Here are five ways you can tap into emotion to drive conversions on your site.
Reinforce Feelings of Confidence
Website visitors dislike complicated web pages as soon as they see them. A complex website influences a person’s perceived confidence in their ability to make an educated decision in a negative way. The more assured your visitors are that they can accomplish a task on your site with ease, the more likely they are to follow through with that action. Design an easy to navigate site that builds a visitors confidence.
Generate Positive Feelings
Positive behaviors can be reinforced and encouraged with rewards or incentives. When people are rewarded, it activates pleasure centers in the brain. Try giving away some concessions or discounts that can instantly incentivize the consumer to follow through with their action. The initial appeal to buy will be roused by the concession, and the savings from the discount acts as the reward for the desired behavior.
Meeting Visitors’ Needs
Offering a product or service of interest is only half the battle as you attempt to connect with consumers. Create messages that convince visitors that you understand what drives them and you know how to improve their lives. To bond with visitors at a deeper level, learn their initial motivation.
Recognizing Changing Needs
People change over time in response to changes in their lives. By knowing which stage of purchasing your target customers are in, you gain insight into their interests and perspectives, allowing you to personalize web experiences and create more enticing offers to resonate with your target market.
Conditions of Attachment
Companies that have managed to build an extremely loyal customer base develop the conditions for attachment: consistency, responsiveness, and trustworthiness. To establish an emotional connection with your visitors, you must earn their trust, ensure that you are helping to fulfill an important need and provide stress-free, enjoyable experiences.
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.
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.
Facebook is always working towards creating the best online shopping experience for its users. Facebook’s newly-launched Collection ads create a shopping experience within the news feed, that encourages product discovery and sales. Collection ads allow buyers to see multiple products that you’re selling and spend some time browsing before they make the next step in the purchase journey.
What are Collection ads?
Collection ads link eye-catching images and videos with your real-time product catalog. A Collection ad will appear in a user’s news feed highlighted by a large image or video above four catalog-style product photos sourced from your real-time inventory lists. You can select the four products to feature or leave it up to Facebook, which will decide based on which products in your list are most popular or that it thinks will appeal to the individual seeing the ad.
How do they work?
Clicking on the Collection ad from the news feed will open a catalog of up to 50 items that Facebook will pull from your uploaded list featuring popular products that a person is most likely to buy. Facebook will feature a photo and description for each item appearing in the catalog. After opening up the product catalog, people can click on an individual item in the Facebook-hosted catalog to pull up its corresponding product page on your site. One click on the Collection will not take the user to the advertiser’s website since the inventory is housed within Facebook. It’s only if a user then clicks on an individual product that they’ll click through to your site.
What are the benefits?
Increased exposure: When a user clicks on a Collection ad and opens your product catalog, your exposure increases. Users have instant access to your inventory and will inevitably look at multiple ads at one time in one place. Buyers can browse, looking at all you have to offer before deciding to buy.
Increased conversions: Due to a better user experience which provides more information and generates greater brand recall, these shoppable ads create a better chance at increasing conversions.
Detailed metrics: When a user opens a Collection there are two opportunities to click. The first is the initial click on the news feed ad that opens the catalog and the second click takes users to the specific product page on your site. Facebook combines these click counts when reporting to advertisers which makes it difficult for brands to gauge how successful these ads are at converting searchers into customers. Facebook will test separating those clicks into their respective categories. You’ll know how many users are just browsing your product catalog and how many click-through to your website.
Do 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
Pay-per-click (PPC) ads allow you to create highly targeted advertising campaigns in an effort to reach your most valuable customers online. These paid search ads get your message in front of the right customers at the very top of search engine results pages.
When a potential customer enters a search query and your ad appears, it may be the first time they see or hear about your brand. Make a great first impression by crafting ad copy that introduces your offer to a customer, but also compels them to visit your website. Capturing their attention, enticing them with your offer, and providing them with the necessary steps to convert all begins with your ad copy. By following these six tried-and-true tactics, you can write great copy that compels your audience to click:
- Be Relevant: Relevancy begins with an optimized campaign that delivers your message to the right audience. However, your ad copy is also critical in gaining relevance with potential customers. Your ad should match the keyword theme in its corresponding ad group and the copy you’re using should match the landing page users are directed to after clicking an ad. The more your ad matches the searcher’s intent, the more likely they are to click through to your website.
- Keep it concise: With character limits in ad headlines and descriptions, you don’t have much room for wordy messaging. Be concise and to the point. Stick to your message and don’t try to cover too much information in one ad.
- Share Your Unique Value: After grabbing the searcher’s attention with the headline, share something that makes you stand out from the competition. Why should the potential customer buy your product or use your service? Include promotions, exclusive offers, or other competitive differentiators to encourage users to click.
- Guide with a call-to-action:Tell the user what you want them to do after getting to your site with a call-to-action that drives click-through and conversion rates. Using phrases like, “buy now” or “contact us” will help guide your visitors to complete the action you want after getting to your site.
- Enable Ad Extensions: Your headlines are the most important part of your text ads. Ad extensions complement the headlines and improve overall click-through rate. Extensions like sitelinks, call or location extensions, and user reviews/ratings provide relevant messaging that gives searchers more information about your business.
- Test and Refine: Writing great ad copy that resonates with your audience doesn’t always happen on your first try. Implement ad tests so you can see what works and what doesn’t with your customers. Continue to test to discover what motivates searchers to act.
Relevant, 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
When 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.
As 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.