The Buyer’s Journey: Digital Marketing & Online Behavior

The Buyer’s Journey: Digital Marketing & Online Behavior

A few weeks ago, I asked work colleagues to share their own experiences on how they interact with a brand and convert on the web. The exercise was to screen capture the process and tell their story on the path of the buyer’s journey. Amazingly, we were able to find some common trends, as well as few unique instances. [Read more…]

What Is New In Google Adwords and Analytics?

On Tuesday, May 24, Google made some exciting new announcements for Advertisers using AdWords and Analytics products.  Three years ago, Google saw a shift to mobile in the search landscape and started to incorporate enhanced campaigns into their AdWords platform, which allowed for mobile bid adjustments. Today, continuing on with its mobile first approach, Google wants mobile bids to be more than just adjustments.  Soon advertisers in Adwords will have more flexibility and options across all devices. There will be an anchor bid for a device and then adjustments for all the other devices (mobile, tablet, and desktop). Google talked about brands, their mobile experiences, and the testing they embarked on to help those brands capture the “moments”  when people need to make decision or complete a task. These are the “I want to know, go, do, or buy” – moments. [Read more…]

Rich Snippets and Product Listing Ads

Rich Snippets and Product Listing Ads are ideas which can enhance the search experience for users shopping online. When someone types a query for a product, Google has enabled features both organic and paid which can highlight your product details, give more attention to your listings and ads and set your brand apart from other advertisers.
Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets are the few lines of text that appear under every search result in Google. They are designed to give users a sense for what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to their query. If Google understands the content on your pages, it can create these rich snippets, which provide detailed information intended to help users with specific queries. For example, the snippet for a restaurant might show the average review and price range; the snippet for a recipe page might show the total preparation time, a photo, and the recipe’s review rating; and the snippet for a music album could list songs along with a link to play each song. For the product advertiser, the goal of a product rich snippet is to provide users with additional information about a specific product, such as the product’s price, availability (whether product is in stock), and reviewer(s) ratings and commentary.These rich snippets help users recognize when your site is relevant to their search, and may result in more clicks to your pages.

You can optimize your product specific pages so they are more likely to appear with rich snippets by marking up your content with particular product and offer properties and description tags, preferable using the microdata format. Specifics can be found here.

Product Listing Ads or “PLA’s” are search ads that include richer product information, such as product image, price, and merchant name, without requiring additional keywords or ad text. Whenever a user enters a search query relevant to an item in your Google Merchant Center account, Google will automatically show the most relevant products along with the associated image, price and product name.

PLA

Product Listing Ads require a Google Merchant Center account and a feed set up with all of the products intended to be advertised. You then link the merchant and adwords accounts together from both tools to have access to the feed within Adwords. “PLA’s” do not use keywords and you can set offers or “promotions”, or test with none at all. You need to link in products from the feed using product attributes, for which Google provides a testing tool to make sure the product is being found in the feed. For some advertisers the competition to show as a “PLA” will be very high and you can increase the likelihood by using very specific product attributes to link from the merchant feed such as product ID.

Rich snippets and product listing ads require a bit more forethought and effort, however provide additional avenues to market products using organic and paid search. To gain a competitive edge with e-commerce, sometimes using every specifically designed tool can return extra benefits and be very rewarding.

Making Paid Search Marketing Pay Off Part 2 – Setting Goals

In part one of this blog series “Making Paid Search Marketing Pay Off”, I discussed the power of targeting and how Google AdWords can be used as a lead generation tool. In part two, I’m going to take you through the key items to consider when developing your Paid Search Marketing Strategy including setting goals and optimizing the campaign.

Setting goals, as in every aspect of marketing, is critical to creating a successful Google AdWords campaign. Some typical goals used for a Google campaign include:

•You want your ad to increase traffic to your website (Better Offers)
•You want more leads (Better Landing Page)
•You want a low cost per click (Better Segmentation)
•You want your ad to show up at the top of the search results (Better Metrics)

Here are 4 ways that give you the biggest bang for your buck with Paid Search Marketing.

Offer
One of the most important elements of any AdWords campaign strategy is the offer. In my experience, the most effective ads are the ones with a specific call to action. A “20% off” offer or a strong white paper offer is going to deliver a higher click-through-rate than a self-focused ad about your company or the benefits of your products.

If you have multiple offers, segment each of the offers by keyword to make each offer more relevant to the searcher. The more relevant the offer, the higher the click-through rate and the less money you spend.

Landing Page
Once your offer has been developed, the next key step is to create lead generating landing pages. A good landing page will fulfill the goal of the searcher quickly. When someone clicks on an ad, they expect to be led to a page where they can complete a form. Many marketers make the mistake of leading traffic back to their site’s homepage, which may not be relevant to the keyword or offer that got them clicking in the first place. A landing page also prevents distracting navigation options leading away from the goal of a conversion. Of course don’t just take my word for it, see for yourself just how effective landing pages are.

Segmentation
AdWords makes it easy to segment your campaign in order to meet each of these goals, including campaigns, ad groups and keywords. These segments can be changed and optimized as your campaign progresses, giving you the chance to capitalize on what’s working, without wasting time or money on what’s not. You can also use the campaign management tools to target the campaign geographically or by time of day, to make it more likely to attract the segments you are focused on,

Metrics
Once you’ve created a Google AdWords campaign that has well designed offers, landing pages, and keywords, the work is really just beginning. It is imperative that your campaign is monitored closely at all times to ensure optimal results. For example, shutting down ad campaigns that aren’t working will help you save money and increase your ad positioning. While anAdWords campaign will produce a lot of data, it’s important to monitor the most important pieces of this data. Determining Key Performance Indicators (KPI) like number of conversions and cost per conversion will ensure your campaign is in line.

An effective Paid Search marketing campaign can deliver affordable and immediate results only with a good offer, a smart strategy and an effective landing page. A smart marketer will use all of these tips in their AdWords campaign to drive the best results possible. Of course we’re more than happy to do this work for you, it’s what we do best.

To learn more, please download our free white paper How to Make Paid Search Pay Off.