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Nov

23

2016

Google AdWords Expanded Text Ads: Best Practices For The New Format

Expanded Text Ads (ETAs), announced in July of 2016, are considered by most industry observers to be the biggest change to Google Adwords in 16 years.

Google’s new ETAs provide for an increase of 50 percent more ad space. Plus, ETAs pack in a few other exciting features as well.

Numerous strategies and best practices have been developed over the years for the standard text ad format, but unfortunately, most of these don’t translate to expanded text ads. And, businesses are now having to scramble to update their ads before Google stops supporting the old format in January.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to best handle expanded text ads, let’s get to know them a bit better.

Dissecting the Expanded Text Ad

Below is a comparison between the expanded text ad format and the standard text ad format.

unnamed-3.png

Source

The components of the expanded text ad are as follows:

Two Headlines (Shown in lavender in the left side of the image above)

As opposed to standard text ads, ETAs have two headlines — a main headline and a secondary headline. Each headline can use up to 30 characters, as compared to the prior format of one headline with 25 characters.

Display URL and Path Fields (Shown in Green)

When creating ETAs, the final URL has to be entered first (above the headlines) and the display URL is created automatically based on that. There are two optional path fields available to extend the display URL by up to 15 characters each.

Description (Shown in Gray)

ETAs have one long description field with a maximum length of 80 characters. This compares to two fields of 35 characters each with standard text ads.

Now that we’ve gone over the guts of what makes ETAs, let’s get started on some best practices in order to take full advantage of them.

1) Use Keywords and Convincing Copy in Your Headlines

The main headline is the section that most people will see first and pay attention to. Put your most vital information here and make sure to include the main keyword you are targeting in the associated ad group. If you have a long keyword term, then just put your entire keyword in the main headline.

The secondary headline is best for supporting information. This is where you’ll reference the main benefit or USP of your product or service, or stress the urgency of your offer.

Keep in mind that your secondary headline may not always be shown in full. This is because, while you’re allowed up to 30 characters, Google determines ad display based on pixel-count. For example, wider characters such as “W” take up more space. So, if your two headlines go over the allowed number of pixels, Google may trim down your secondary headline. In most cases, your ad preview will show how your ad will look but it is a good idea to allow some breathing room. 

headline-eta.png

Unlike standard text ads, you can now do so much more after adding your keywords. You have some creative freedom to craft a headline that demands attention. Use language that will appeal to your target audience to convince them to interact with your ad. This combination is sure to increase your click-through rates considerably.

Below is an example of an expanded text ad that has been very successful. It blends in keywords (DDoS Protection and Stop DDoS) very well with urgency and value-add.

Screen_Shot_2016-09-29_at_12.25.07_PM.png

Here is another example of a compelling ETA. It combines keywords (User Behavior Analytics) effectively with an attractive offer (Free Guide) and the target audience (CISO).

Screen_Shot_2016-09-29_at_12.28.27_PM.png

2) Utilize the Description to Differentiate Your Product or Service

After grabbing attention with your headline, use the description to provide supplementary information to convince searchers to click through to your page. The best way to utilize this section is to include an additional benefit, a feature, and a call-to-action (CTA) or offer. A CTA such as “Start Free Trial,” “Shop Now” or “Download Free Guide” will let users know exactly what to expect on your landing page and will boost conversions.

Remember, the description is the final attempt to get a searcher to click-through to your site instead of others—so use your extra description space wisely. Be sure to differentiate your product or service from the competition and make sure that users know why your brand is their best option.

3) Make the Best of the New Display URL

The two new display URL path fields are optional, but you will almost always want to use these. They are excellent places for adding your keywords. If you have a long keyword, you can break it up and use both path fields for your keyword. Otherwise use one field for the keyword and use the other for a call-to-action, especially if you were not able to do this in the description field.

url-paths.png

If you are creating an ad for a keyword containing a competitor name or a trademarked term, you are not allowed to use this keyword in the headlines or the description. But Google does allow you to use such a keyword in the URL path fields. This is the only way that you can get a competitor or trademarked term in your ad copy.

4) Mobile Ad Guidelines

Given that a large chunk of your audience will be using mobile devices to view your ads, you need to make sure that your ad works well on mobile.

With standard text ads, Adwords allowed you to create separate mobile ads. However, ETAs don’t differentiate between devices, which means that the same ad and the same copy will be displayed to searchers across all devices. ETAs viewed from a mobile device may have headlines broken up into two lines if they’re too long. Because of this, it is important to format your ads in a way that will work effectively both on desktop and mobile devices.

The mobile preview feature in the ad editor will show you how your mobile ad will likely look and you can adjust your copy based on that.

mobile-ad-eta.png

5) A/B Test Your New and Old Format Ads

While ETAs may show up for all the keywords in your ad group, they won’t necessarily attract more clicks than your standard text ads. In fact, it’s possible that you may even see a decline in your click through rate (CTR).

Instead of dropping your old ads right away, try adding ETAs to the same ad groups with old ads that have served you well in the past. Compare the performance of the two, and alter and evolve your ETAs until they match or surpass your standard text ads.

In most of our tests though, the expanded text ads have performed significantly better than standard ads. Below are some A/B tests that we have run.

A/B Test 1: The 2 ETAs below had a combined CTR of 10.9% – an improvement of 26% over the already excellent 8.62% CTR of the old standard text ad during the same timeframe.

Screen_Shot_2016-09-29_at_7.16.47_PM.png
A/B Test 2: The ETA below had a CTR of 5.49% – an improvement of 54% over the standard text ad.

Screen_Shot_2016-09-29_at_12.41.50_PM.png
A/B Test 3: The ETA below had a CTR of 3.36% – an improvement of 167% over the standard text ad.

Screen_Shot_2016-09-29_at_12.53.17_PM.png

6) Increasing Quality Score with ETAs

Having a good quality score for your keywords and ads is an absolute must for success with AdWords. In order to achieve high quality scores, you have to ensure that your ads are as relevant as possible to user search queries. It is also important to achieve a high click through rate for your ads, as this provides a direct signal to Google that users are finding your ad useful. There are a few key things to take into account when creating ETAs which will help your quality score.

You should always include keywords in your headline as well as the display URL path fields. If you are bidding on a competitor name or trademarked term, and do not use it anywhere in your ad copy, you will get a very low quality score. So it is crucial to add these in the path fields of the display URL as we noted in the last section.

You should also use as many ad extensions as possible with your ads. When combined with ETAs, this greatly increases the amount of screen space that you can claim with your ad, leading to high CTRs and high quality scores.

Use ad extensions to further elaborate on the features, benefits, attributes and offers related to your products and services. Since you likely had to shorten these in your main ad, you can use extensions to fill in the gaps. Also add reviews, ratings, location and call information if you have these available, and they are relevant for your business.

For example, consider the ad below that combines an ETA with call, callout, review, and sitelinks (with 2 line descriptions) ad extensions. That’s a significant chunk of Google’s search results page!

sealskin_car_cover_ad.png

7) Changing Old Ads to the New Format

If you have a lot of standard text ads in your account, changing them all over to expanded text ads may seem a bit daunting. You can make your job a little easier by adding new ads in bulk.

You can download your current ads to a CSV file, make all your changes, and then upload them back to your Adwords account. Using this approach will add new expanded text ads in the same ad groups and campaigns as your current ads. It will not remove any of your current ads. Here’s how you do it.

Export Your Current Ads

Step 1: In your AdWords account, click the Campaigns menu, then click on the Ads tab

Step 2: Make sure the “All Enabled Ads” option is selected

Step 3: Click Edit > Download Spreadsheet

download-spreadsheet.png

Step 4: Choose Excel .CSV format

Step 5: Click “Advanced editing” and uncheck all boxes except “All Editable Columns”. Then click Download and save the file on your machine. 

Enabled-Ads.png

Make Changes

Step 1: Open the CSV file in Excel

Step 2: For each ad that you want to create an expanded text ad for, add values in the Headline 1, Headline 2, Description, Path 1 and Path 2 columns. You can use values in the Ad, Description line 1 and Description line 2 columns (in the same row) as a guide since these represent your current ad.

ETA-Edit.png

Step 3: Delete the Ad, Description line 1, Description line 2 and Display URL values from the same row.

Step 4: Go to the Ad Type column and change “Text ad” to “Expanded text ad”

change-ad-type.png

Step 5: Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 for each expanded text ad you want to create. NOTE: If you are new to this process, it will be best if you try and add only one expanded text ad the first time. In this case, you should just delete all rows other than the row you just edited.

Step 6: Save the file as a CSV

Import Your New Ads

Step 1: In your AdWords account, click the Campaigns menu, then click on the Ads tab

Step 2: Click Edit > Upload Spreadsheet

Step 3: Choose the file you saved and click Upload and Preview

Screen_Shot_2016-09-30_at_5.11.52_PM.png

Step 4: Google will now show you the number of ads that will be added. This should be the no. of new expanded text ads that you added in step 2 of the Make Changes section above. If there are any problems with the data you added, it will be shown in this box.

Screen_Shot_2016-09-30_at_5.16.24_PM.png

Step 5: Click on Preview changes. Even if you had any errors in step 4 above, you should do this to determine exactly where the problems are.

Step 6: Verify that each expanded text ad is shown correctly in the preview

preview-ad.png

Step 7: If everything looks good, click Approve changes to add your new ads. If you see any problems here, click Reject changes. Go back to your CSV file in Excel, fix the problems and then try again. 

Conclusion

Now that you’ve got a better grasp on expanded text ads and how to use them, you can get started on your own ads. Remember, you don’t want to pause your standard ads just yet—these new processes are going to take a bit of practice before you become an expert.

The clock is quickly running out; Google’s last day of standard text ad support is January 31, at which time we’ll all be forced to adopt the new expanded text ad format. Rather than scrambling at the last minute, it’s best to get started now. Work out the kinks and find out the best ad copy that works for you. 

New Call-to-action

Nov

23

2016

Google AdWords Expanded Text Ads: Best Practices For The New Format

Expanded Text Ads (ETAs), announced in July of 2016, are considered by most industry observers to be the biggest change to Google Adwords in 16 years.

Google’s new ETAs provide for an increase of 50 percent more ad space. Plus, ETAs pack in a few other exciting features as well.

Numerous strategies and best practices have been developed over the years for the standard text ad format, but unfortunately, most of these don’t translate to expanded text ads. And, businesses are now having to scramble to update their ads before Google stops supporting the old format in January.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to best handle expanded text ads, let’s get to know them a bit better.

Dissecting the Expanded Text Ad

Below is a comparison between the expanded text ad format and the standard text ad format.

unnamed-3.png

Source

The components of the expanded text ad are as follows:

Two Headlines (Shown in lavender in the left side of the image above)

As opposed to standard text ads, ETAs have two headlines — a main headline and a secondary headline. Each headline can use up to 30 characters, as compared to the prior format of one headline with 25 characters.

Display URL and Path Fields (Shown in Green)

When creating ETAs, the final URL has to be entered first (above the headlines) and the display URL is created automatically based on that. There are two optional path fields available to extend the display URL by up to 15 characters each.

Description (Shown in Gray)

ETAs have one long description field with a maximum length of 80 characters. This compares to two fields of 35 characters each with standard text ads.

Now that we’ve gone over the guts of what makes ETAs, let’s get started on some best practices in order to take full advantage of them.

1) Use Keywords and Convincing Copy in Your Headlines

The main headline is the section that most people will see first and pay attention to. Put your most vital information here and make sure to include the main keyword you are targeting in the associated ad group. If you have a long keyword term, then just put your entire keyword in the main headline.

The secondary headline is best for supporting information. This is where you’ll reference the main benefit or USP of your product or service, or stress the urgency of your offer.

Keep in mind that your secondary headline may not always be shown in full. This is because, while you’re allowed up to 30 characters, Google determines ad display based on pixel-count. For example, wider characters such as “W” take up more space. So, if your two headlines go over the allowed number of pixels, Google may trim down your secondary headline. In most cases, your ad preview will show how your ad will look but it is a good idea to allow some breathing room. 

headline-eta.png

Unlike standard text ads, you can now do so much more after adding your keywords. You have some creative freedom to craft a headline that demands attention. Use language that will appeal to your target audience to convince them to interact with your ad. This combination is sure to increase your click-through rates considerably.

Below is an example of an expanded text ad that has been very successful. It blends in keywords (DDoS Protection and Stop DDoS) very well with urgency and value-add.

Screen_Shot_2016-09-29_at_12.25.07_PM.png

Here is another example of a compelling ETA. It combines keywords (User Behavior Analytics) effectively with an attractive offer (Free Guide) and the target audience (CISO).

Screen_Shot_2016-09-29_at_12.28.27_PM.png

2) Utilize the Description to Differentiate Your Product or Service

After grabbing attention with your headline, use the description to provide supplementary information to convince searchers to click through to your page. The best way to utilize this section is to include an additional benefit, a feature, and a call-to-action (CTA) or offer. A CTA such as “Start Free Trial,” “Shop Now” or “Download Free Guide” will let users know exactly what to expect on your landing page and will boost conversions.

Remember, the description is the final attempt to get a searcher to click-through to your site instead of others—so use your extra description space wisely. Be sure to differentiate your product or service from the competition and make sure that users know why your brand is their best option.

3) Make the Best of the New Display URL

The two new display URL path fields are optional, but you will almost always want to use these. They are excellent places for adding your keywords. If you have a long keyword, you can break it up and use both path fields for your keyword. Otherwise use one field for the keyword and use the other for a call-to-action, especially if you were not able to do this in the description field.

url-paths.png

If you are creating an ad for a keyword containing a competitor name or a trademarked term, you are not allowed to use this keyword in the headlines or the description. But Google does allow you to use such a keyword in the URL path fields. This is the only way that you can get a competitor or trademarked term in your ad copy.

4) Mobile Ad Guidelines

Given that a large chunk of your audience will be using mobile devices to view your ads, you need to make sure that your ad works well on mobile.

With standard text ads, Adwords allowed you to create separate mobile ads. However, ETAs don’t differentiate between devices, which means that the same ad and the same copy will be displayed to searchers across all devices. ETAs viewed from a mobile device may have headlines broken up into two lines if they’re too long. Because of this, it is important to format your ads in a way that will work effectively both on desktop and mobile devices.

The mobile preview feature in the ad editor will show you how your mobile ad will likely look and you can adjust your copy based on that.

mobile-ad-eta.png

5) A/B Test Your New and Old Format Ads

While ETAs may show up for all the keywords in your ad group, they won’t necessarily attract more clicks than your standard text ads. In fact, it’s possible that you may even see a decline in your click through rate (CTR).

Instead of dropping your old ads right away, try adding ETAs to the same ad groups with old ads that have served you well in the past. Compare the performance of the two, and alter and evolve your ETAs until they match or surpass your standard text ads.

In most of our tests though, the expanded text ads have performed significantly better than standard ads. Below are some A/B tests that we have run.

A/B Test 1: The 2 ETAs below had a combined CTR of 10.9% – an improvement of 26% over the already excellent 8.62% CTR of the old standard text ad during the same timeframe.

Screen_Shot_2016-09-29_at_7.16.47_PM.png
A/B Test 2: The ETA below had a CTR of 5.49% – an improvement of 54% over the standard text ad.

Screen_Shot_2016-09-29_at_12.41.50_PM.png
A/B Test 3: The ETA below had a CTR of 3.36% – an improvement of 167% over the standard text ad.

Screen_Shot_2016-09-29_at_12.53.17_PM.png

6) Increasing Quality Score with ETAs

Having a good quality score for your keywords and ads is an absolute must for success with AdWords. In order to achieve high quality scores, you have to ensure that your ads are as relevant as possible to user search queries. It is also important to achieve a high click through rate for your ads, as this provides a direct signal to Google that users are finding your ad useful. There are a few key things to take into account when creating ETAs which will help your quality score.

You should always include keywords in your headline as well as the display URL path fields. If you are bidding on a competitor name or trademarked term, and do not use it anywhere in your ad copy, you will get a very low quality score. So it is crucial to add these in the path fields of the display URL as we noted in the last section.

You should also use as many ad extensions as possible with your ads. When combined with ETAs, this greatly increases the amount of screen space that you can claim with your ad, leading to high CTRs and high quality scores.

Use ad extensions to further elaborate on the features, benefits, attributes and offers related to your products and services. Since you likely had to shorten these in your main ad, you can use extensions to fill in the gaps. Also add reviews, ratings, location and call information if you have these available, and they are relevant for your business.

For example, consider the ad below that combines an ETA with call, callout, review, and sitelinks (with 2 line descriptions) ad extensions. That’s a significant chunk of Google’s search results page!

sealskin_car_cover_ad.png

7) Changing Old Ads to the New Format

If you have a lot of standard text ads in your account, changing them all over to expanded text ads may seem a bit daunting. You can make your job a little easier by adding new ads in bulk.

You can download your current ads to a CSV file, make all your changes, and then upload them back to your Adwords account. Using this approach will add new expanded text ads in the same ad groups and campaigns as your current ads. It will not remove any of your current ads. Here’s how you do it.

Export Your Current Ads

Step 1: In your AdWords account, click the Campaigns menu, then click on the Ads tab

Step 2: Make sure the “All Enabled Ads” option is selected

Step 3: Click Edit > Download Spreadsheet

download-spreadsheet.png

Step 4: Choose Excel .CSV format

Step 5: Click “Advanced editing” and uncheck all boxes except “All Editable Columns”. Then click Download and save the file on your machine. 

Enabled-Ads.png

Make Changes

Step 1: Open the CSV file in Excel

Step 2: For each ad that you want to create an expanded text ad for, add values in the Headline 1, Headline 2, Description, Path 1 and Path 2 columns. You can use values in the Ad, Description line 1 and Description line 2 columns (in the same row) as a guide since these represent your current ad.

ETA-Edit.png

Step 3: Delete the Ad, Description line 1, Description line 2 and Display URL values from the same row.

Step 4: Go to the Ad Type column and change “Text ad” to “Expanded text ad”

change-ad-type.png

Step 5: Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 for each expanded text ad you want to create. NOTE: If you are new to this process, it will be best if you try and add only one expanded text ad the first time. In this case, you should just delete all rows other than the row you just edited.

Step 6: Save the file as a CSV

Import Your New Ads

Step 1: In your AdWords account, click the Campaigns menu, then click on the Ads tab

Step 2: Click Edit > Upload Spreadsheet

Step 3: Choose the file you saved and click Upload and Preview

Screen_Shot_2016-09-30_at_5.11.52_PM.png

Step 4: Google will now show you the number of ads that will be added. This should be the no. of new expanded text ads that you added in step 2 of the Make Changes section above. If there are any problems with the data you added, it will be shown in this box.

Screen_Shot_2016-09-30_at_5.16.24_PM.png

Step 5: Click on Preview changes. Even if you had any errors in step 4 above, you should do this to determine exactly where the problems are.

Step 6: Verify that each expanded text ad is shown correctly in the preview

preview-ad.png

Step 7: If everything looks good, click Approve changes to add your new ads. If you see any problems here, click Reject changes. Go back to your CSV file in Excel, fix the problems and then try again. 

Conclusion

Now that you’ve got a better grasp on expanded text ads and how to use them, you can get started on your own ads. Remember, you don’t want to pause your standard ads just yet—these new processes are going to take a bit of practice before you become an expert.

The clock is quickly running out; Google’s last day of standard text ad support is January 31, at which time we’ll all be forced to adopt the new expanded text ad format. Rather than scrambling at the last minute, it’s best to get started now. Work out the kinks and find out the best ad copy that works for you. 

New Call-to-action

Sep

23

2016

Voice Search Strategy: What Marketers Need to Know Now

Using_Voice_Search.jpg

When you wear white, do you inevitably spill something all over yourself? 

I do. So when I had sushi at work last week, it wasn’t long before I was frantically yelling, “Siri, how can I get soy sauce out of white pants?”

Thank goodness for voice search, am I right?

Although, here’s the thing about voice search: According to the 2016 State of Inbound report, a huge number of marketers are making SEO their #1 priority. That’s great. But how does voice search fit into that strategy? Are marketers even thinking about it yet?

While it’s certainly gaining popularity — the search engine Bing, for example, says that 25% of its queries are voice searches — it’s clear that this technology is still a work in progress. But that doesn’t make it any less important. To learn more about the challenges marketers face today, download the free  2016 State of Inbound report here.

As people use voice search differently, the way they search in general is evolving. So how should marketers be thinking about it — especially when information and research are still limited? Let’s figure out how we got here, and where we are now.

A Very Brief History of Voice Search

Voice search, as we today know it, dates back to the early 2000s, when Google first began to tinker with how voice recognition could be applied to their products. A patent was filed by Google in 2001 for a “voice interface for a search engine” — and in 2004, the search engine rolled out what the New York Times called a “half-finished experiment.” That was a primitive version of voice search in which users called a phone number provided by Google, asked a question, then opened their desktop browsers to reveal the results.

Luckily — and obviously — that technology progressed, seeing many modifications that led to what is now Google’s Voice Search. And until 2013, that technology powered Apple’s Siri.

And although Siri is strongly associated with Apple iOS, it actually began as its own independent app. It was operated by a startup — also aptly named Siri — that was eventually acquired by Apple. In 2011, the technology was built into the iPhone 4s.

But in 2013, that all changed, when Apple began using Bing’s search engine technology to power Siri. It was a predecessor to Cortana, which launched in 2014 as Microsoft’s — which owns Bing — “voice-activated assistant.” (Fun fact: Bing also powers search engine results that are requested through Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service, or AVS.) Cortana is largely marketed as a full-service virtual assistance platform, which some say is what differentiates it from competitors in the voice recognition space.

So, today, we have four major pillars of voice search:

Pillars_of_Voice_Search.png

The Dawn of Voice Search: What To Know Now

How Has It Changed Over the Years?

As we saw from the story about the earliest version of Google Voice Search, speech recognition technology is improving. And because it’s getting better, more people are adopting voice search.

Google_Voice_Search_Increase.png

Source: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers 2016 Internet Trends Report

Google Voice Search queries have seen a 3400% increase since 2008. And of the current user population, the second-highest reason for using voice search is to get a faster result.

Those numbers, says my colleague Matt Barby, show how voice search “is changing the way people find information.” A main point of voice search is to get an answer immediately, without actively searching for it. And Victor Pan, HubSpot’s SEO senior marketing manager, echoes that trend, noting that there’s a “higher intent” behind voice searches than conventional ones.

That makes sense — just look at my soy sauce tale of woe. When it comes to voice searches, people are trying to do something, and they want to do it quickly. Those are things like layering appropriately for the weather, getting somewhere, or removing a stain from their clothes.

But that made us wonder: What else are people looking for when they use voice search?

Luckily, an app called Hound has been paying attention to what its users are doing. To shed some light on what people are using the app’s voice search features to uncover, check out this chart:

What Are People Searching For?

Hound_Voice_Search_Categories.png

Source: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers 2016 Internet Trends Report

In its analysis of these categories, Search Engine Land broke down the different searches that took place within each of them:

  • Personal Assistant: Reminders, shopping and to-do lists
  • Fun and Entertainment: Searching for and playing music and video, social media interactions, sports and TV schedules
  • General Information: Miscellaneous web searches for things like recipes, news, banking and travel
  • Local Information: Local business listings (like restaurants and shops), food delivery, weather and traffic

It’s that last one — local information — that really set the stage for vocal search as it was first pioneered. And when it comes to SEO, that category might have the greatest implications.

What Does This Mean for Marketers?

First, let’s make one thing clear: At present, “there isn’t really a way to plan and rank for voice search,” Barby says.

The only exceptions to that are businesses that offer localized services. Figuring out what’s nearby is one of the chief reasons people are using voice search. But it also shows the way vocal search queries differ from conventional ones, Barby says. When you use voice search, you might ask, “Where is the best sushi in Cambridge?” That contrasts from a conventional search, where you might type something like “Best sushi Cambridge,”  (P.S. It’s Thelonious Monkfish. Just saying.)

That’s an opportunity for local businesses to optimize for voice search. As we covered, that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with SEO, but it does have to do with how these businesses package themselves elsewhere. Business aggregator sites are linked to different voice search platforms — for local searches, for example, Amazon’s Echo uses Yelp listings. So it’s important, writes Search Engine Land’s Wesley Young, for businesses to make sure their listings on those sites are “comprehensive, accurate and optimized to be referenced” within a third party site.

But let’s go back to how we phrase these queries. Voice searches for local businesses reveal how much we’ve strayed from the way we were originally trained to search. Before this technology was available, Pan says, “we were trained to search by piecing different phrases together.” Think:

  • soy sauce stain
  • remove soy sauce stain
  • soy sauce stain removal

“Voice search changes that,” he explains. “It becomes a conversation.”

Read: “How can I get soy sauce out of white pants?”

But there’s a bit of a problem. At the moment, there aren’t very many tools available to see what people are searching for via voice. While voice queries are definitely becoming more popular — Google is reporting that 20% of searches performed through its mobile app are vocal — voice-specific metrics and analytics aren’t currently provided by most platforms.

But there’s a hack …

And that, Pan says, is paid search.

That can be used, Pan explained, to create something called a “broad match modifier,” in which an ad is only triggered when a certain set of words — dictated by the marketer who creates the ad — appear in a query.

From there, you can analyze the impressions and metrics of the paid search campaign, and filter those results down to see which queries were mobile. And while there’s currently no way to isolate which of those were voice queries, you can examine the way they were phrased, and make an educated guess on which ones may have been vocal.

Paid search is really its own beast, though — luckily, we’ve covered it before. Check out our beginner’s guide to pay-per-click, or our catalogue of blogs about it.

But until there’s an official tool or analytics platform to measure these things, Pan says, marketers have to create hacks like these to find the data they want.

“Until these numbers become official, we don’t have exact numbers, and therefore, we don’t have exact tools,” he continued. “And without exact tools, we don’t have an exact methodology on how to tackle this.”

Planning Ahead

Here’s the thing: According to ComScore, at least half of all searches will be made via voice query by 2020. That’s not so far away. And it doesn’t mean that we should ignore traditional SEO, either.

But it does make us think that, as adoption rates of voice search continue to rise and the technology continues to improve, search engine analytics will have no choice but to start providing the tools that aren’t currently missing. Google, for example, is certainly no stranger to algorithmic changes that improve the user experience. And with data indicating that more users are turning to voice query, that experience will have be optimized, too. With those changes, we hope, will also come more precise data available to marketers on these usage rates and voice-specific queries.

In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to think about what you might do to start preparing. In addition to what we’ve covered thus far, Moz’s Rand Fishkin put together a helpful guide to the types of keywords he predicts will be in a “safe” versus “danger” zone for voice search — have a look here.

What do you see for the future of voice search? Let us know in the comments.

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Jul

28

2016

7 AdWords Features You Didn’t Know Existed

AdWords2.jpg

Over the years Google AdWords has evolved into a marketing tool that helps businesses drive leads and outrank their competitors. But what if I told you that the majority of business owners, marketers, and strategists weren’t taking full advantage of all AdWords has to offer? Queue the motivation for this article. Check out these 7n AdWords features you didn’t know existed to help elevate your campaigns to the next level.

1) Call-only campaigns

Google has cited that 70% of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results. Because of this proven consumer behavior, in February 2015, Google AdWords introduced Call-Only Campaigns. These campaigns are for businesses who place more value on a phone call than a website visit conversion.

Call only campaigns are only for mobile devices and feature a large clickable number with a few short lines for text. In theory, every click you pay for is a phone call to your company. This type of conversion allows you to create a bidding strategy based on how much value your company places on a phone call.

Call_only_campaign.png

2) Ad Extensions

Have you ever noticed that some ads appear to be “bulkier” or have extra features than others? That’s because they are using ad extensions! These extensions allow you to get a higher click-through rate (CTR), increased visibility, and better user experience. To give you an idea of what each manual extension is used for, here is a brief synopsis:

  • Sitelink extensions – Allows you to add links from your website to help people find what they are searching for.
  • Call extensions – Allows searchers the ability to click a number to call your business.
  • Callout extensions – Allows you to add extra ad copy so you can tell searchers what sets you apart from the competition.
  • Location extensions – Allows searchers nearby to find your location or give you a call (map pin, navigation assistance, or call option).
  • Review extensions – Allows you to showcase reviews from reputable sources.
  • App extensions – Allows searchers to click a link that sends them to the app store to download your app.
  • Structured Snippets – Allows you to add descriptive text to learn more about a product/ service.

Below is an example of an ad with callout, sitelinks, & location extensions:

ad_extensions.png

*For a more in depth look at ad extensions, check out this blog “7 AdWords Extensions You Should Utilize to Improve PPC Conversion Rate”.

3) Customer Match

If you follow inbound marketing best practices then you probably have a few email lists built up from your efforts. Lucky for you, AdWords has a way of retargeting those users in their Google search engine with customer match!

You can now upload a list of email addresses to AdWords and show those prospects ads when they are signed into Google Search, YouTube, or Gmail. This will allow you to show them new products or promotions to re-engage them back into your sales funnel.

4) Ad Customizers

Ad customizers enable you to change the text in your ads based on what someone’s search query is. For example, if you have several products in the same category (like different HP printer ink cartridges) you can set your AdWords ad up so the displayed text will match the specific product a searcher is looking for: “HP printer ink 564” vs. “HP ink”.

Ad_Customizer_1_.png

Ad_Customizer_2.png

This is also especially helpful when you have an offer or sale that is only for a limited time. Before ad customizers, you had to change your ad text everyday to reflect the countdown, but now you can set a new dynamic ad parameter that automatically changes the ad text to a new number each day.

Countdown.png

5) Interest Targeting

Gone are the days where the only way to target searchers was through keywords alone. Nowadays, Google’s Display Network offers a few different ways you can target audiences by interest to increase the chances your ad will be shown to people who are most likely interested in your product/service.

In-market Audiences

To reach an audience who is actively searching and comparing your product or service, use in-market audiences. How does this work? Google looks at browser history (via cookie tracking) to find out what market segment a person is researching, and temporarily categorizes them in that market. Thus tailoring ads related to the theme that person is searching.

Affinity Audiences

Compared to in-market audiences, custom affinity audiences are analyzed based on overall interests and identity. Google will analyze online patterns in order to find possible matches to an interest category. This means that although they may not be actively searching within that category, they still have a connection that makes it likely they would be interested in a product/service.

6) Promote App Downloads Directly

For companies that have their own app, Google now has App Promotion Ads. Simply put, these ads have buttons that allow searchers to click and download the app straight from the app store on their mobile phones.

This helps eliminate any extra steps the user has to take in order to convert (like visit your website to download, only to be taken to the app store from there).

Promote_App_Download.png

7) AdWords Editor

To round out our list of features you didn’t know existed, this last feature will help you manage and stay on top of your campaigns. The AdWords Editor is a free desktop app where you can download and manage multiple accounts for offline editing. The benefits? This editor allows you to do more things in less time than using the web-based interface.

Features include the ability to:

  • View different parts of your account at the same time
  • Edit items side by side
  • Use keyboard shortcuts to jump around account
  • Easily undo/ redo changes
  • Bulk edit to make multiple changes

Next Steps

Are you taking advantage of all 7 of these AdWords features? If not, I would encourage you to explore all of the tools AdWords has to offer to assist in the success of your campaigns and alleviate some of the burden of maintaining your account. If you haven’t yet made the plunge into incorporating AdWords into your marketing strategy, be sure to download this free ebook “Why Google AdWords Should Be Part of Your Inbound Marketing Strategy”:

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Jun

8

2016

9 Strategies for Improving Lead Quality From B2B PPC Campaigns

Laptop-with-adwords-screenshot.jpg

You’ve poured thousands of dollars into your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) search campaigns and have managed to generate a substantial number of leads. You’re rocking your conversion rates and your cost per lead is great.

So what’s the problem?

It’s only when you start analyzing your results and dig a little deeper that you realize an overwhelming majority of these leads are in essence “junk leads”. Very few are turning into opportunities, let alone customers. The bottom line is, you’re just not seeing a healthy ROI.

In this post, we provide nine proven strategies that you can use to generate better quality, bottom of the funnel leads from your B2B PPC campaigns. Let’s dive in.

1) Set Up Proper Tracking

In order to accurately measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, you need to make sure that you are able to track other important elements besides conversions. This data will allow you to determine which campaign and site a lead came from, the keyword they searched for, the device they were on, and so on.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is to use UTM Parameters and ValueTrack Parameters. These tags are data that you append to the end of your landing page URLs, and you’ve probably seen them when you clicked a link or ad. They look something like this

 http://www.yourlandingpage.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc

As a best practice, you should use the naming convention specified below and use at least these 6 parameters in your URLs:

utm_table.png

In Google AdWords, the most efficient way to set up tracking parameters is in the “Campaign URL options (advanced)” section under campaign settings. Here, you can enter your parameters after “{lpurl}?” as shown below. The {lpurl} portion will be automatically replaced with the landing page URL that you have set up for each ad within your campaign.

utm_tracking.png 

2) Implement Opportunity Attribution

Once you have your tracking parameters, you need to capture them on your landing pages and store them—along with with other lead details—into the contacts database of your marketing platform. This is usually done by creating hidden fields in your landing page form. You will need one field for each UTM parameter that you have passed to your landing page:

hubspot_form.png

You may first need to create custom fields or properties in your contacts database before you map them to the new hidden fields in your form.

Next, you need to make sure that your contacts or leads data is synced with your CRM and that you are able to view all opportunity data for your leads.

At a minimum, you should be able to view lead status or stage—whether they are a sales qualified lead, marketing qualified lead, opportunity, customer etc.—and the opportunity size or deal amount. If you have lead scoring data associated with each contact, this will be extremely beneficial as well.

Once you have all of the available data, you should create reports to isolate and segment your data. The most important data you want to extract are the number of opportunities, opportunity amount and customers won for each source, campaign, keyword and device, and the name, email, company, lead status/stage, lead score, opportunity amount, source, campaign, keyword and device for each lead.

You will now be able to determine which opportunities are being generated from a particular platform (Google, Bing etc.), campaign, device and keyword. When you combine this with the spend data from your ad platform, you will be able to get your true ROI. 

Opportunities-and-Customers-Screenshot.png 

Next, isolate poor quality leads. If you use lead scoring, look at the leads with the lowest scores. Otherwise look for leads that have provided invalid or junk data in the name, email and company fields. Then check to see what campaigns, devices or keywords these leads have in common.

 

3) Segment Your Campaigns

Many companies make the mistake of setting up campaigns or ad groups for each product or service they have. They don’t dig deeper into the many different ways in which their target audience is searching for the solutions they offer.

You can address this by carefully planning your campaigns in order to segment your offer into as many groups as possible. You can segment by each main feature, benefit, sub category, target industry or geographic location relevant to your product or service.

For example, let’s say you provide web design and development services. You can segment your campaigns as follows:

  • Sub category: Ecommerce Website Design, Custom Website Design, Responsive Web Design, etc.
  • Feature: WordPress Web Design, Magento Development, PHP Development, etc.
  • Benefit: High End Web Design, Agile Web Development, Enterprise Web Development, etc.
  • Target industry: Real Estate Website Design, Restaurant Web Design, Healthcare Website Design, etc.
  • Geographic location: San Francisco Web Design, California Web Design, New York Web Design, etc.

Once you identify the segments you want to go after, you can set up each campaign with the necessary assets: 

  • Keywords: All keywords related to the associated segment
  • Ads: Ad copy customized to that segment
  • Landing Pages: Customized landing page that has content only about that segment

Setting up campaigns in this way allows you to focus your efforts, and will result in better quality leads and increased conversion rates.

4) Target Relevant Keywords

Keywords are at the heart of every paid search campaign, and you need to go wide and deep to identify the best ones for your business. 

The first step is identifying the most focused and relevant keywords. Segment your campaigns as described in the previous section and then search for keyword ideas within each segment. There are a lot of excellent keyword research tools that you can use to find the best keywords.

To attract the best quality leads at the bottom of the funnel, you have to target keywords with searcher intent in mind. For example, when someone searches for “WordPress Website Design Services” you know that they are looking for a company that provides WordPress services.

However, when someone just types in “WordPress Website Design”, you can’t be certain about their intent. They could be looking for services or they could just be looking for a how-to design guide. Location-based searches also convey searcher intent adequately. For example, “San Francisco Web Design” indicates that the searcher is looking for a web design company in San Francisco.

Based on the volume of searches, you can also decide to further segment your campaigns to get even more focused. The more tailored your campaigns are—including keywords, ads and landing pages—the better your leads will be. For example, you could create a new campaign that combines two of the segments we just discussed titled “San Francisco WordPress Website Design”. Some of the keywords in this campaign could be:

Wordpress_keywords.png

Another way to get more focused with the keywords you’re targeting is to find long-tail keywords—those that consist of four or more words. Searchers who type in these longer search terms have typically done their research and honed in on exactly what they are looking for, making them quality prospects.

A good tool to find long-tail keywords is Übersuggest, but you can also source them directly from Google. After conducting a search, simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and look in the section “Searches related to…”. A search for “Ecommerce Design Services”, for example, shows the following suggestions:

Google_suggest.png 

5) Filter Out Irrelevant Keywords

Targeting the kinds of keywords we discussed in the previous section, will go a long way in attracting high quality leads to your ads, but there are also steps you can take to proactively ward off less desirable clicks.

Look over your Search Terms Report to determine whether you are getting any irrelevant clicks to your ads. If you find any such clicks (or impressions), add those keywords to your negative keywords list—this tells Google or Bing not to show your ads for any of these keywords.

Going back to our earlier example of web design services, some negative keywords you would likely want to add are: cheap, free, themes, school, jobs etc. This will make sure you don’t waste your money on clicks from users searching for keywords like “San Francisco Web Design Jobs” or “WordPress Website Design Theme”.

If you followed our guidelines for tracking and opportunity attribution described in sections 1 and 2, you will now have the ability to determine which keywords are leading to poor quality leads and which keywords are producing opportunities.

If you find that certain keywords are predominantly producing poor leads, you can add them to your negative keywords list to stop receiving traffic from these types of searches.

On the other hand, you will now have a list of keywords that have produced opportunities (and customers) for your business.

Keyword_opportunities_highlighted.png

You can double down on these keywords in three ways:

  • Increase their bids so your ads rank at the top of search results.
  • Segment these keywords into a new group or campaign so you can have more customized ads and landing pages for them.
  • Find other related keywords you may have missed the first time.

6) Use Ad Copy to Pre-Qualify Visitors

Writing ad copy that focuses solely on increasing click-through rates is a mistake. You should write ads that pre-qualify visitors, so that the traffic you do get will be a lot more relevant and targeted to your business. Some of the best ways of doing this, are by adding the following elements to your ad copy.

Business size

If you target businesses of a certain size, reflect that in your ad copy. For example, if you want to target larger businesses, you can add “Enterprise” to your ads and create copy such as “Enterprise Class WordPress Design”.

Industry

If you work with specific verticals, you can make that clear in your ads. For example, your ad could read: “WordPress Design for Healthcare”. This usually works best with segmented campaigns and keywords (see sections 3 and 4).

Pricing

Many companies are uncomfortable adding pricing to their ad copy, but this is a good way to weed out prospects who may not have the budget for your solution. You can do this by adding text such as “Starting at $499/month” or “Packages Starting at $10K”.

Target persona

Including your target persona in your ad copy is another excellent way of pre-qualifying your ad traffic and even personalizing your ads. You can do this with text such as “For Small Business Owners” or “For Discriminating Marketing Execs”.

It is also important to consistently A/B test your ads to optimize their performance. As a general guideline, you should always have two ads running for each ad group in your campaigns. You can then decide which ad is performing better by looking at the number of conversions and opportunities generated from each, in addition to the click-through rates.

7) Develop Tailored Landing Pages

Once a visitor gets to one of your landing pages you have already paid for the click. This means that measures such as adding extra form fields or validating for a business email address in an effort to reduce the no. of poor quality leads, are misguided. Instead, you should focus on maximizing the conversion rates of your landing pages by optimizing the elements below.

Customize landing pages to your ad groups

Tailor your landing pages to the needs, wants, and challenges of your ad groups, with particular focus on the content you have above the fold. While it is ideal to create unique landing pages for each ad group, sometimes this is not feasible—especially if you are working with dozens of different ad groups. Should this be the case, you can use dynamic headlines and subheadings on your pages. This will let you alter the content of your landing pages by passing in headlines and sub headings as parameters of your landing page URL.

Determine which offers drive the most results

Test multiple offers to see which get you the most traction. Make sure you look beyond conversions to see which offers are producing the most opportunities. Some offers to test include: Free Trial, Schedule Demo, Free Evaluation, Request Consultation, Request Proposal, Free Assessment, etc.

Test, test, test!

A/B test your landing pages to determine which variants are driving the most conversions, opportunities, customers and ROI:

AB_testing.png

Always A/B test a single element at a time to isolate the effect of that element on performance. Also, test only two variants of the page at a time. The most important elements you should run tests on are above the fold, and include: 

  • Headline: Test different versions of your main selling point, benefit or offer.
  • Call-to-Action (CTA): Try out different CTA copy, colors, sizes and placements.
  • Hero Shot or Background: Test different images or videos for your hero shot or background
  • Form: Test different lengths and placements for your lead generation form. You might display your form in the hero area, at the­­ bottom of your page or as a popup.

8) Make Adjustments Based on Mobile Performance

If you implemented device tracking as described in sections 1 and 2, you will now be able to determine which devices (computer, tablet or smartphone) are driving opportunities. If you find that mobile leads are not converting into opportunities, you can stop running your campaigns on mobile devices or reduce bids so that computers and tablets receive the bulk of your traffic.

9) Create an Ad Schedule

Even if you are running your ads 24/7, you should set up an ad schedule for your campaigns. You can add days of the week or break your schedule down further by adding hourly segments for each day of the week. Once this is done, you will be able to track performance for each day or hourly segment that you define:

ad_schedule.png

Once you combine your opportunity data and your ad schedule, you will be able to determine which days or hours produce the most opportunities. From there, you can adjust your bids for each segment or stop running your campaign for those segments.

You should typically look at this data over a longer period of time—at least one quarter. If you find that you are not generating any opportunities on weeknights or weekends, and can stop running most of your campaigns during those times and move your budget over to regular business hours.

Conclusion

PPC campaigns are an effective way to attract B2B leads. However, many companies struggle at generating opportunities and driving a positive ROI from their campaigns. These nine strategies will help you create targeted campaigns optimized for high quality lead conversions, and boost your bottom line.

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Jun

8

2016

9 Strategies for Improving Lead Quality From B2B PPC Campaigns

Laptop-with-adwords-screenshot.jpg

You’ve poured thousands of dollars into your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) search campaigns and have managed to generate a substantial number of leads. You’re rocking your conversion rates and your cost per lead is great.

So what’s the problem?

It’s only when you start analyzing your results and dig a little deeper that you realize an overwhelming majority of these leads are in essence “junk leads”. Very few are turning into opportunities, let alone customers. The bottom line is, you’re just not seeing a healthy ROI.

In this post, we provide nine proven strategies that you can use to generate better quality, bottom of the funnel leads from your B2B PPC campaigns. Let’s dive in.

1) Set Up Proper Tracking

In order to accurately measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, you need to make sure that you are able to track other important elements besides conversions. This data will allow you to determine which campaign and site a lead came from, the keyword they searched for, the device they were on, and so on.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is to use UTM Parameters and ValueTrack Parameters. These tags are data that you append to the end of your landing page URLs, and you’ve probably seen them when you clicked a link or ad. They look something like this

 http://www.yourlandingpage.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc

As a best practice, you should use the naming convention specified below and use at least these 6 parameters in your URLs:

utm_table.png

In Google AdWords, the most efficient way to set up tracking parameters is in the “Campaign URL options (advanced)” section under campaign settings. Here, you can enter your parameters after “{lpurl}?” as shown below. The {lpurl} portion will be automatically replaced with the landing page URL that you have set up for each ad within your campaign.

utm_tracking.png 

2) Implement Opportunity Attribution

Once you have your tracking parameters, you need to capture them on your landing pages and store them—along with with other lead details—into the contacts database of your marketing platform. This is usually done by creating hidden fields in your landing page form. You will need one field for each UTM parameter that you have passed to your landing page:

hubspot_form.png

You may first need to create custom fields or properties in your contacts database before you map them to the new hidden fields in your form.

Next, you need to make sure that your contacts or leads data is synced with your CRM and that you are able to view all opportunity data for your leads.

At a minimum, you should be able to view lead status or stage—whether they are a sales qualified lead, marketing qualified lead, opportunity, customer etc.—and the opportunity size or deal amount. If you have lead scoring data associated with each contact, this will be extremely beneficial as well.

Once you have all of the available data, you should create reports to isolate and segment your data. The most important data you want to extract are the number of opportunities, opportunity amount and customers won for each source, campaign, keyword and device, and the name, email, company, lead status/stage, lead score, opportunity amount, source, campaign, keyword and device for each lead.

You will now be able to determine which opportunities are being generated from a particular platform (Google, Bing etc.), campaign, device and keyword. When you combine this with the spend data from your ad platform, you will be able to get your true ROI. 

Opportunities-and-Customers-Screenshot.png 

Next, isolate poor quality leads. If you use lead scoring, look at the leads with the lowest scores. Otherwise look for leads that have provided invalid or junk data in the name, email and company fields. Then check to see what campaigns, devices or keywords these leads have in common.

 

3) Segment Your Campaigns

Many companies make the mistake of setting up campaigns or ad groups for each product or service they have. They don’t dig deeper into the many different ways in which their target audience is searching for the solutions they offer.

You can address this by carefully planning your campaigns in order to segment your offer into as many groups as possible. You can segment by each main feature, benefit, sub category, target industry or geographic location relevant to your product or service.

For example, let’s say you provide web design and development services. You can segment your campaigns as follows:

  • Sub category: Ecommerce Website Design, Custom Website Design, Responsive Web Design, etc.
  • Feature: WordPress Web Design, Magento Development, PHP Development, etc.
  • Benefit: High End Web Design, Agile Web Development, Enterprise Web Development, etc.
  • Target industry: Real Estate Website Design, Restaurant Web Design, Healthcare Website Design, etc.
  • Geographic location: San Francisco Web Design, California Web Design, New York Web Design, etc.

Once you identify the segments you want to go after, you can set up each campaign with the necessary assets: 

  • Keywords: All keywords related to the associated segment
  • Ads: Ad copy customized to that segment
  • Landing Pages: Customized landing page that has content only about that segment

Setting up campaigns in this way allows you to focus your efforts, and will result in better quality leads and increased conversion rates.

4) Target Relevant Keywords

Keywords are at the heart of every paid search campaign, and you need to go wide and deep to identify the best ones for your business. 

The first step is identifying the most focused and relevant keywords. Segment your campaigns as described in the previous section and then search for keyword ideas within each segment. There are a lot of excellent keyword research tools that you can use to find the best keywords.

To attract the best quality leads at the bottom of the funnel, you have to target keywords with searcher intent in mind. For example, when someone searches for “WordPress Website Design Services” you know that they are looking for a company that provides WordPress services.

However, when someone just types in “WordPress Website Design”, you can’t be certain about their intent. They could be looking for services or they could just be looking for a how-to design guide. Location-based searches also convey searcher intent adequately. For example, “San Francisco Web Design” indicates that the searcher is looking for a web design company in San Francisco.

Based on the volume of searches, you can also decide to further segment your campaigns to get even more focused. The more tailored your campaigns are—including keywords, ads and landing pages—the better your leads will be. For example, you could create a new campaign that combines two of the segments we just discussed titled “San Francisco WordPress Website Design”. Some of the keywords in this campaign could be:

Wordpress_keywords.png

Another way to get more focused with the keywords you’re targeting is to find long-tail keywords—those that consist of four or more words. Searchers who type in these longer search terms have typically done their research and honed in on exactly what they are looking for, making them quality prospects.

A good tool to find long-tail keywords is Übersuggest, but you can also source them directly from Google. After conducting a search, simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and look in the section “Searches related to…”. A search for “Ecommerce Design Services”, for example, shows the following suggestions:

Google_suggest.png 

5) Filter Out Irrelevant Keywords

Targeting the kinds of keywords we discussed in the previous section, will go a long way in attracting high quality leads to your ads, but there are also steps you can take to proactively ward off less desirable clicks.

Look over your Search Terms Report to determine whether you are getting any irrelevant clicks to your ads. If you find any such clicks (or impressions), add those keywords to your negative keywords list—this tells Google or Bing not to show your ads for any of these keywords.

Going back to our earlier example of web design services, some negative keywords you would likely want to add are: cheap, free, themes, school, jobs etc. This will make sure you don’t waste your money on clicks from users searching for keywords like “San Francisco Web Design Jobs” or “WordPress Website Design Theme”.

If you followed our guidelines for tracking and opportunity attribution described in sections 1 and 2, you will now have the ability to determine which keywords are leading to poor quality leads and which keywords are producing opportunities.

If you find that certain keywords are predominantly producing poor leads, you can add them to your negative keywords list to stop receiving traffic from these types of searches.

On the other hand, you will now have a list of keywords that have produced opportunities (and customers) for your business.

Keyword_opportunities_highlighted.png

You can double down on these keywords in three ways:

  • Increase their bids so your ads rank at the top of search results.
  • Segment these keywords into a new group or campaign so you can have more customized ads and landing pages for them.
  • Find other related keywords you may have missed the first time.

6) Use Ad Copy to Pre-Qualify Visitors

Writing ad copy that focuses solely on increasing click-through rates is a mistake. You should write ads that pre-qualify visitors, so that the traffic you do get will be a lot more relevant and targeted to your business. Some of the best ways of doing this, are by adding the following elements to your ad copy.

Business size

If you target businesses of a certain size, reflect that in your ad copy. For example, if you want to target larger businesses, you can add “Enterprise” to your ads and create copy such as “Enterprise Class WordPress Design”.

Industry

If you work with specific verticals, you can make that clear in your ads. For example, your ad could read: “WordPress Design for Healthcare”. This usually works best with segmented campaigns and keywords (see sections 3 and 4).

Pricing

Many companies are uncomfortable adding pricing to their ad copy, but this is a good way to weed out prospects who may not have the budget for your solution. You can do this by adding text such as “Starting at $499/month” or “Packages Starting at $10K”.

Target persona

Including your target persona in your ad copy is another excellent way of pre-qualifying your ad traffic and even personalizing your ads. You can do this with text such as “For Small Business Owners” or “For Discriminating Marketing Execs”.

It is also important to consistently A/B test your ads to optimize their performance. As a general guideline, you should always have two ads running for each ad group in your campaigns. You can then decide which ad is performing better by looking at the number of conversions and opportunities generated from each, in addition to the click-through rates.

7) Develop Tailored Landing Pages

Once a visitor gets to one of your landing pages you have already paid for the click. This means that measures such as adding extra form fields or validating for a business email address in an effort to reduce the no. of poor quality leads, are misguided. Instead, you should focus on maximizing the conversion rates of your landing pages by optimizing the elements below.

Customize landing pages to your ad groups

Tailor your landing pages to the needs, wants, and challenges of your ad groups, with particular focus on the content you have above the fold. While it is ideal to create unique landing pages for each ad group, sometimes this is not feasible—especially if you are working with dozens of different ad groups. Should this be the case, you can use dynamic headlines and subheadings on your pages. This will let you alter the content of your landing pages by passing in headlines and sub headings as parameters of your landing page URL.

Determine which offers drive the most results

Test multiple offers to see which get you the most traction. Make sure you look beyond conversions to see which offers are producing the most opportunities. Some offers to test include: Free Trial, Schedule Demo, Free Evaluation, Request Consultation, Request Proposal, Free Assessment, etc.

Test, test, test!

A/B test your landing pages to determine which variants are driving the most conversions, opportunities, customers and ROI:

AB_testing.png

Always A/B test a single element at a time to isolate the effect of that element on performance. Also, test only two variants of the page at a time. The most important elements you should run tests on are above the fold, and include: 

  • Headline: Test different versions of your main selling point, benefit or offer.
  • Call-to-Action (CTA): Try out different CTA copy, colors, sizes and placements.
  • Hero Shot or Background: Test different images or videos for your hero shot or background
  • Form: Test different lengths and placements for your lead generation form. You might display your form in the hero area, at the­­ bottom of your page or as a popup.

8) Make Adjustments Based on Mobile Performance

If you implemented device tracking as described in sections 1 and 2, you will now be able to determine which devices (computer, tablet or smartphone) are driving opportunities. If you find that mobile leads are not converting into opportunities, you can stop running your campaigns on mobile devices or reduce bids so that computers and tablets receive the bulk of your traffic.

9) Create an Ad Schedule

Even if you are running your ads 24/7, you should set up an ad schedule for your campaigns. You can add days of the week or break your schedule down further by adding hourly segments for each day of the week. Once this is done, you will be able to track performance for each day or hourly segment that you define:

ad_schedule.png

Once you combine your opportunity data and your ad schedule, you will be able to determine which days or hours produce the most opportunities. From there, you can adjust your bids for each segment or stop running your campaign for those segments.

You should typically look at this data over a longer period of time—at least one quarter. If you find that you are not generating any opportunities on weeknights or weekends, and can stop running most of your campaigns during those times and move your budget over to regular business hours.

Conclusion

PPC campaigns are an effective way to attract B2B leads. However, many companies struggle at generating opportunities and driving a positive ROI from their campaigns. These nine strategies will help you create targeted campaigns optimized for high quality lead conversions, and boost your bottom line.

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May

13

2016

How to Upgrade Your B2B Marketing Strategy with AdWords

AdWords2-126374-edited.jpgSmart marketers know Google AdWords is an essential part of a strong B2B marketing strategy. Since Google searchers are actively looking for either pertinent answers or solutions, marketers can quickly capture their attention and convert them to leads with search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns—as long as they take the right approach, of course.

Neatly Organize Your Keywords and Ad Groups

One of the most critical elements of your SEM campaigns is the organization of your keywords. Here are the best practices to create ad groups:

  • Group keywords with similar themes: For example, put all “software” keywords in one ad group, separate from “solutions” or “platform” keywords

  • Divide informational keywords and transactional keywords: For example, “what is customer relationship management” versus “buy crm software”, or “do i need crm” versus “customer relationship management solutions”

Structuring your ad groups like this allows you to tailor both your ad copy and your landing page to best fit the keywords, and makes it easier to detect performance patterns and execute appropriate bid and status adjustments.

By grouping keywords by theme, if a prospect searches “crm platform” and is served two ads—one with the headline “Top CRM Software” and one with the headline “Top CRM Platform”—that prospect is more likely to click on the latter. Relevancy is key in every part of SEM campaigns.

AdWords Ad Compaison

The second recommendation is primarily so you can match your landing page to the searcher’s level of intent. It would be unwise to use a direct-response ad (“Call Us Now”) and a Contact Us landing page with an individual who searched “what is crm.”

Similarly, you may not want to send someone who searched “buy crm software” to a landing page where they’re invited to download an eBook about general customer relationship management advice.

BONUS TIP: It’s all right to have ad groups with only one keyword if there are no similar terms with which that keyword can be grouped. But do not create a “Miscellaneous” ad group to lump together all of the keywords that don’t seem to fit anywhere else. If the keywords in an ad group aren’t related, you won’t be able to create ads relevant to each of them, which will lead to poor click-through rates and low conversion rates. So please, just don’t do it.

Enhance Your Ads with Extensions

AdWords offers many ways to beef up your search ads with extensions, and you should use as many as possible. Here’s why:

  • Your ads will take up more of that precious real estate in search results, pushing your competitors farther down the page

  • Searchers can learn more about your company without clicking your ad

  • You can provide links to additional landing pages

  • Google rewards those who use ad extensions with higher quality scores, which means lower cost per click and, in turn, a lower cost per conversion


The biggest downside of AdWords is the character limit. It’s difficult to give a complete summary of the content you’re offering or the total benefits of your product in only 70 characters.

With ad extensions, marketers can not only include more information about the company (using callout extensions and structured snippets), but they can also include four more links in addition to the main landing page. This means you can offer five different conversion opportunities with one ad.

Also available is the review extension, which allows marketers to append a product review to the ad, helping lend credibility to your business. There is also the call extension, which lets marketers add a phone number to the ad, encouraging high-intent searchers to connect with your company immediately.

SERP_Mock-up.png

Not all of the AdWords extensions will be appropriate for your advertising, but there certainly are no drawbacks to using those that are.

Use the Proper Landing Pages

B2B SEM campaigns traditionally use two types of landing pages: direct-response and content downloads. Both are equally important in paid search marketing.

Many marketers make the critical mistake of not taking advantage of content. They assume the best practice is to cut to the chase and simply tell searchers, “Let’s talk,” regardless of where the searcher is in the buyer’s journey. However, the actual best practice is to use paid search together with content marketing to start the lead nurturing process.

Say a prospect is just beginning his research. He’s heard of CRM software but isn’t sure if his business needs it, so he Googles “what is crm software.” Marketers who recognize the importance of intent (and who have meticulously organized their ad groups) would serve an ad featuring a free download of their eBook, “The 10 Benefits of Using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software.”

The searcher sees this ad, is interested in the download, and submits the request form. The prospect now has a useful guide to help him with his research, and the company has his contact information.

The core principle of content marketing is to start a conversation with prospective customers by offering them helpful eBooks, whitepapers, blogs and industry reports related to their needs, rather than jumping right into a sales pitch.

Content marketing is about demonstrating value to prospects, which is crucial in a consumer-empowered marketplace. Sending a visitor straight to a Contact Us page when he’s in the early stages of the buyer’s journey is kind of like proposing on the first date.

BONUS TIP: Feel free to have multiple conversion opportunities on your PPC landing pages. For instance, include a link to a gated PDF download of an industry report or eBook on a Contact Us page (example below). If a prospective customer arrives on the landing page but doesn’t want to chat right then, they can download the content instead, and you still capture their email address. Win-win!

LP_Example.png

The proper use of content in AdWords campaigns allows marketers to build trust and establish the kind of relationships with prospects that help them feel more comfortable making what is often a hefty financial commitment. And with HubSpot’s Ads Add-On, it’s easy to manage both content and AdWords campaigns in one platform.

AdWords can be a profitable channel, but it’s important to remember that SEM campaigns can take time to show their worth. If you’re patient, follow this advice and use all of the tools at your disposal, you’ll see how much paid search can boost your overall ROI.

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Apr

19

2016

How to Get More Out of Your Google Adwords Campaigns [Infographic]

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As an inbound marketer with only so much budget to spend on pay-per-click advertising, you want to get the most bang for your buck. That’s why many marketers are choosing to spend a portion of that budget on Google AdWords.

With over 2 billion searches every single day, Google is by far the most used search engine on the web — and your customers and prospects are likely using it to search for content related to your business.

How can Google AdWords improve your marketing ROI? Check out the infographic below from SMBclix to learn how Google AdWords can help you get more out of your marketing dollars. (Download this beginner’s guide to using Google AdWords to get started.)



Google_AdWords_Campaign_Infographic.jpg

free guide to using Google AdWords

Mar

11

2016

Google Eliminates Sidebar Ads: Here’s What it Means for Ecommerce

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If you’ve searched Google recently, then you may have notice something different. In the past, searches for products pulled up two or three paid ads in the search results, and then along the right side of the screen, more paid ads were displayed. Those right-side ads? They’re gone now. In their place is an opportunity for ecommerce companies.

Hello Product Placement

The words “product placement” bring to mind characters drinking from a can of Coca-Cola during the most exciting scene in the movie. Well, okay, we can run with that. Only, instead of characters, it’s Google search results. And instead of Coca-Cola, it could be your product. 

The paid ads in the results list haven’t changed, but there on the right side, we now see a grid with products that are relevant to the search. Anyone planning to do a bit of shopping just passed a window with everything they ever wanted on display, right?

Screenshot_1-Sidebar_Ads.png

Proper Placement Protocol

If you look closely at the screenshot above, you’ll see that one of these things is not like the others. This is an issue that ecommerce companies will have to address if they hope to make the most of this new product placement. To understand what went wrong, you have to understand how these products appear in the first place. 

We’ve covered the best practices for product ads before, but some things bear repeating. The keywords you bid on for your paid product ads are important. They tell Google what you’re actually selling. If you use the keyword “navy cardigan” when, in fact, you are selling a red one, then you’ll waste money on every click you receive. How many people will buy a red one when navy is what they’re searching for?

How You Can Benefit

You can take advantage of this change by double checking your current ad practices. Strategy for these ads is imperative if you want your products to appear during searches. The example above is just one way you could fail at promoting your products. Consider the many ways your users might search for the items you’re selling. What words might they use to find those products? 

Let’s say you have a pair of shoes you want to sell. What color are they? If they’re red, make sure that’s one of the search terms you use. A quick search of red shoes provides the following:

Screenshot_2-Search_Results.png

This is a good start, right? But if you’re actually selling a pair of red heels, there’s a good chance your product ad won’t appear. There are too many other types of red shoes competing for space. So, we need to specify red heels, right?

Screenshot_3-Specific_Search_Results.png

This is a little closer. At least images of red high heels are showing up in this search. The styles are still vastly different, so unless you’ve bid quite a bit on your keywords, you might still be fighting for some real estate in the product ad grid. You could make things easier on yourself by adding more keywords to further narrow the search.

Screenshot_4-Specific_Target_Keywords.png

This final search for red patent heels drills right down to the very type of shoe a buyer may be seeking. Sure, if they just need red heels, they won’t bother adding the material. Those who do want a particular shoe, however, are much more likely to find yours. 

The ad space is growing ever smaller, which means companies need to pay more to secure their spot. Whether you’re trying to find space in the new product display grid or with text ads in search results, don’t be surprised if ad prices blow sky high. For paid ads, your only defense (outside of reaching deep into your pockets) is a strong strategy that weeds out the competition. You need to be thinking smarter about PPC and more about diversifying your acquisition strategy

Drive more revenue by acquiring and retaining more high value ecommerce customers with this on demand webinar series.

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Mar

10

2016

The Anatomy of an Optimized Facebook Ad [Infographic]

facebook-ad-anatomy.jpg

When it comes to creating a Facebook ad for your business, there are a lot of different things to consider.

How much text should you include? What dimensions should your images and videos be? What’s the difference between a desktop News Feed ad, a mobile News Feed ad, a right column ad, and an Instagram ad? How does the auction and billing system work?

To be honest, it can get a little confusing. That’s why WebpageFX created the infographic below. It’s a cheat sheet for all things Facebook advertising, from the ideal dimensions of your images and videos to what the most clickable ads look like.

Check it out, and read this blog post for a more detailed, step-by-step guide for creating Facebook ads.

facebook-ad-anatomy-infographic.jpg


  free guide to facebook advertising

Jan

22

2016

How to Build the Best Google AdWords Campaign

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No matter how many free tools crop up for ecommerce companies, a paid ad is sometimes the best bet for driving new traffic to your website. The problem is that other ecommerce and even brick-and-mortar competitors are using the same search terms and keywords you will. Not only do you need to know how to build a campaign through Google’s AdWords product, you also need to know how to stand out from the crowd.

We’ll start with the basics and then throw in some pro tips for good measure. By the time we’re done, you’ll be an expert! Here’s how it’s done.

Get an AdWords Account

Before you can do anything, you’ll need to visit the AdWords site and sign up for an AdWords account. This involves some financial information so that Google can get paid for each click, so be ready with all your banking credentials.

Once you have an account and you’re ready to go, click the Create Your First Campaign button.

Choose Campaign Type

Most would suggest starting with the “Search Network only” option, but you can change this as you learn and grow. Next, you’ll want to give your campaign a name so you can track your results. It’s a good idea to start with a naming system that you’ll keep using so you don’t get confused somewhere down the line.

Designate Geographic Area

Being an online shop does mean you’re less concerned about geographic constraints. It’s still not a bad idea to consider where, exactly, the majority of your audience lives. If you don’t know, then you may want to back up a step and consider your buyer personas first. Why spend money advertising to people in the Midwest if the bulk of your customers live in the Northeast?

You can also reach other countries, if your ecommerce company serves international buyers. Just be sure you’re prepared for any of the buyers who come your way as a result of your ads. You might pay a lot of money for visitors who can’t make a purchase if you’re not careful.

Set Your Budget

This is a pretty important step. You want to include enough money to make a difference, but you really don’t want to break the bank. You can manually set the bids for clicks, which gives you more control. This also means your ads will stop showing once your budget is spent. That means you won’t end up with a shocker of a bill later.

Once you have the hang of everything, you can go back and change your settings to automatic or maybe even apply for a Google credit line. These are best left to experienced users, because it doesn’t take much to completely empty a bank account just for paid clicks.

Write Your Ad

This is the most important aspect of your AdWords education. The copy you use is what will convince potential buyers to click. You want to attract plenty of people, yes, but you also want those people to buy. If they don’t buy, you pay anyway. So start with a great headline that uses search terms that will reach your niche. You only get 25 characters, so make every last one of them count. You might even need to use abbreviations, or you can search for shorter synonyms.

Then you get 35 characters for the second and third lines. Use this space to point on benefits. How will the product solve your buyers’ pain? Then on the third line you can capitalize on a feature. Be ready to change these if you notice your ad isn’t gaining a lot of traction.

Add Your Display URL

It’s important to notice the difference between the URLs you’ll use in your ad. The display URL is the one you want people to remember. It’s the home page to your website, the address people will type in if they visit without finding you through an ad first. This is what you want to display.

Add Your Destination URL

Now, it’s never a good idea to have a PPC ad that leads straight to the home page. You want a landing page that focuses on the products featured in the AdWords ad. If you send people straight to the home page, they’ll have to do another search for the products they want, and they’re not likely to stick around for that. This is why it’s so important to understand the difference between the display URL and the destination URL.

Add Your Keywords

Remember that you’ll be competing against many other companies for the same audience. Take some time to think of the keywords that will reach people who are ready to buy. For instance, instead of using “luxury shoes” in your PPC ad, you can use keywords such as “red leather heels.” Maybe you’ll miss out on people who are looking for shoes of all types, but you’ll snag those who have a particular shoe in mind. They’ll be more likely to make a purchase if your ad leads to a landing page with red leather heels, and that will more than pay for their click.

You can also use negative keywords and save a lot of money on your clicks. These tell AdWords what you don’t want your ad to show up for. In other words, you can use keywords such as red leather heels not stilettos. 

Bid On Your Clicks

Finally, you’ll need to tell Google how much you want to spend on your clicks. Remember that you’re bidding on visibility here. Those willing to pay more for clicks will show up more often in the searches. You really do have to spend money to make money, especially in the pay-per-click game. As long as you’re manually controlling your budget, you can go all out for clicks until your cash runs out and just replenish your budget when you’re ready to go again.

Double Check Your Double Check

It’s always a good idea to check over everything one more time before you set your ad in motion. Is everything spelled correctly? You’ll miss out on keyword searches if you typo one of them. Did you make sure to manually control the budget? You could end up broke tomorrow if you didn’t. When you’re sure you did everything correctly, then take a deep breath and launch.

Beyond setting everything up correctly, you’ll also want to A/B test your results often. Change headlines, introduce new features, focus on different benefits—and then take note of the number of conversions. There is always a way to make your ad perform better.

Learn to grow your ecommerce business with these guides.

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Jan

13

2016

11 Intelligent Examples of Inbound-y Ads in the Real World

Signs

How are your paid ad campaigns? Are you impressed or do you wish you could give them a shot of espresso? If it’s the latter then you should consider making your paid ads inbound-y. Wait, did you ask, what are inbound-y ads? Good question, well let’s start from the beginning.

Traditionally, paid advertising was considered to be incompatible with inbound marketing. As you will have probably experienced, many paid ads can be unhelpful and fail to satisfy the needs of the user conducting the search: 

Bad content

Interruptive, unexpected ads are certainly not inbound-y 

However, it’s possible to create paid ads that satisfy the needs of the user. By creating an ad that incorporates the inbound methodology, you can create an ‘inbound-y’ ad. 

Hold Up, What Exactly is an ‘Inbound-y’ Ad?

When HubSpot realised 53% of their customers were using PPC alongside inbound marketing, they considered if it was possible to create ‘inbound-y’ ads.

PPC + Inbound = Inbound-y Ads!

We’ve determined the following criteria for classifying inbound-y ads:

  • The ad is shown to the right people, at the right time
  • The ad presents a direct solution to a search query
  • The ad moves the searcher further down the Buyer’s Journey

At least two of the above must be true for the ad to be considered ‘inbound-y’. 

So, What Are The Benefits?

Combining the inbound methodology with your paid search strategy allows you to understand your audience and create extremely effective ads that will engage at all stages of the Buyer’s Journey.  Moreover, ads that are inbound-y are smarter and will be more inviting to people searching online rather than traditional interruptive paid searches.  

We’ve scoured the web and collected 11 smart examples so you can see some inbound-centric paid advertisements in action.

1) EA Access

This EA Access ad was seen on the user’s Facebook account after they had preordered the Xbox One game FIFA 16. The buyer had reached the buying stage of the journey by pre-ordering. This ad then retargeted all customers who pre-ordered the game to offer them an exclusive opportunity to upgrade their purchase and gain early access to play before everyone else.

 EA Access

Inbound-y ads such as this one are far more intelligent than the interruptive and un-targeted ads we have been used to in the past. As with this example, they are created to engage with the right audience and offer helpful and timely information that encourages the searcher along the Buyer’s Journey.

2) The Blog Starter

To find this inbound-y ad, the user searched the term ‘blogging’, into Google. Rather than offering opportunities to build their own blog, The Blog Starter ad offered a free step-by-step guide to learn all about blogging. As the user is at the beginning of the buyer’s journey, they just want to know more about it rather than get started themselves, so this ad is attracting visitors with useful information.

 

Blogging

This ad directs the user to a FREE step-by-step beginner’s guide on how to make a blog. This is valuable content that answers many preliminary questions people have before they create a blog. It’s inbound-y because it appears at the right time, to the right people and offers helpful information to educate the searcher.

3) Yext

Yext 

To see this ad, the searcher visited the Yext website and signed up for an online demo. Then through effective retargeting, this ad appeared in their Facebook newsfeed, offering a free gift for the searcher to come back to the website. As the user has visited the website previously, the ad is immediately more relevant which means that the viewer will more likely be interested in this incentive to visit the site again.

This is a great example of bottom of the funnel lead nurturing as this inbound-y ad attempts to close the deal and does so in a relevant format, at the right time.

4) Contently

Contently

As a suggested post, this ad from Contently appeared in the news feed of a user who is interested in content marketing. Rather than bombarding every Facebook user, this ad appears in front of the right audience only. In this case, the user works in content marketing so the topic of this type of ad was certainly relevant.

This sponsored ad is inherently inbound-y as it’s offering useful content about SEO, bringing the reader in at the top of the funnel and moving the searcher further down the buyer’s journey. 

5) AO.com, Currys and others 

 32 inch curved TV

Here, the user knows exactly what they want. They aren’t looking for blogs to help them decide what size or type of television they want, they are looking to buy a TV. The 32” curved TV ads by AO.com, Currys (and the others) are further examples of inbound-y advertisements. They are satisfying the user’s exact need by showing the exact television size rather than trying to catch the searcher’s attention with a different size or type of television.

6) Internet Advertising Bureau UK

IAB

When the user saw this advert on LinkedIn it was a result of visiting Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) website and signing up to their newsletter. This ad retargeted the user and invited them to listen to a webinar discussion about the future of video in marketing. As the user has signed up to IAB, the ad is relevant to them and attracts them to the website with insightful information – making this ad inbound-y.

7) Money Advice Service

how to buy a house

After making a search query about buying a house, this ad offers all the information to questions people will likely have when buying a property. The ad is perfect for visitors at the beginning of the buyer’s journey. At this point in time, they are lacking information and don’t want to be hassled by house sellers, they just want to increase their knowledge.

This inbound-y ad offers all the insightful information first time home buyers would need to attract them to the website.

8) Intercom.io

Intercom.io 

This Facebook ad appeared on the user’s sidebar after they had been searching for more information online on how to improve their business’ marketing strategy. At this stage, the user is still looking for information so this ad by Intercom, a marketing software company, is a perfect example of an inbound-y ad in action. It attracts the user to the site with valuable information and will hopefully guide them onto the next stage of the buyer’s journey. 

9) Michael Hyatt – Virtual Mentor 

Michael Hyatt

This Facebook ad is inbound-y as it appeared in front of relevant people. As the user follows Jeff Goins on Facebook, this invitation to join their FREE online event was a great top of the funnel offer. The ad is being shown to the right people and encourages them along the buyer’s journey as the free session offered insightful and valuable information.

10) Gum Gum

Gum Gum

Another inbound-y advert found on LinkedIn. The user follows GumGum on LinkedIn and has been to their website before. By retargeting the user with paid advertising, GumGum’s inbound-y ad works to attract the user to the site with valuable information in the form of a free guide. After the user downloads the guide they are directed further down the journey.   

11) WordStream

WordStream

After visiting WordStream on multiple occasions, this user saw this inbound-y ad whilst surfing the internet. As the user had visited WordStream before this isn’t a random advert to them, it’s relevant to their interests. This ad is inbound-y because it targets people who have already visited their website and is offering valuable information in the form of a free guide to encourage them to visit the site again and hopefully move them further down the buyer’s journey.

Convinced?

If you’re convinced ads can be inbound-y and want to jump straight in, make sure you read our amazing eBook first. In the eBook you will find 5 simple steps you can take to reduce your PPC investment without sacrificing the success of the campaign. 

Download the FREE eBook:

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Dec

15

2015

Retarget Lost Customers During the Holiday Season to Drive Sales

This holiday season, you’re probably focused on reaching new customers and reeling them in with dazzling specials. Reaching out to holiday shoppers who need your help making good decisions on purchases for others is a great way to boost your bottom line, but what about all those shoppers who went before? What about the buyers you reached out to last holiday season but then never heard from again?

You can only bring in so many brand new buyers with each gift-giving season. If those consumers don’t stick around after the season’s end, how can you keep making money throughout the year? Well, with this holiday season, it’s time to start focusing on the lost customers. Wooing them back might just be easier than you think.

Go After Cart Abandoners

You probably already know that about 70% of your visitors will abandon their carts, at least on the first visit. Of that 70%, three-quarters of those visitors definitely want to come back later and finish the purchase. It’s just that life gets in the way, and suddenly it’s a year later and they never did buy that amazing gift for their special someone. 

Well, now’s the time to bring them back. If you’re not already going after abandoned carts with an aggressive email campaign, start today. If you do already chase down potential customers, great! Now consider going back to last year’s almost-loyal customers and reminding them that they once loved your products, if only for a moment.

Retargeting Ads

These can be a little tricky, especially if you get too creepy with your messaging. Consumers aren’t crazy about feeling like they’re being watched, and you don’t want this holiday season to feel more like Halloween.

There are a few ways to retarget people who might just be interested in buying from you this season. The first would be ads that serve visitors to your site. Next, you want to target those who’ve searched online shops just like yours. Then there are those who engage with shops like yours on social media. Finally, you can target those who’ve seen your ads on other sites, whether or not they clicked those ads.

You can use the information you’ve gathered about this almost-customer to make sure they end up in the right place after clicking, too. If they’ve already searched products on your site, make sure the ad leads back to one of the items they loved. If they spend time searching prices for products like yours, make sure they get information about prices after clicking on your ad.

Again, it’s a difficult balance between delight and downright creepy, so you want to be smooth about it. Adding in a discount or other special offer can go a long way toward smoothing creeped-out feathers, so consider the lengths you’ll go to when convincing a buyer to click an ad. Then add some good copy, a strong CTA, and you’re set to bring back those long-lost customers.

Now you’re ready to reel in those past customers, whether they made a purchase before or not. Once you get them back, make keeping them a major priority. Imagine your bottom line if you could count on past customers, current customers, and new customers to make purchases at the same time. That’s what this holiday season could be for you.

Learn to grow your ecommerce business with these guides.

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Dec

1

2015

The Difference Between Earned, Owned & Paid Media (And Why It Matters for Lead Gen)

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An effective content strategy doesn’t rely on only one tactic.

Generating qualified leads requires you to regularly publish compelling, valuable content, explore guest blogging opportunities, identify co-marketing campaigns, and devise a strategy for promoting said content.

While content is a fairly general term, it’s important to note that there are different types of media that can be leveraged in the process. Knowing the differences between each type of media — earned, owned, and paid — and how to combine them is critical to the success of your lead generation efforts. 

To help you effectively execute on all three, we’ll walk you through the nuances of each below, as well as some suggestions on how to leverage them for your company.

The Difference Between Earned, Owned, and Paid Media

Combining earned, owned, and paid media will help you attract, nurture, and close leads, but what do those terms really mean? And when it comes to your company’s content strategy, how do they fit into the equation?

While all three media efforts are important to your overall goals and should converge in your strategy, there are still distinct differences.

Earned Media

Quite simply, earned media refers to media exposure you’ve earned through word-of-mouth. Whether it was the fantastic content you’ve distributed, the influence of your SEO efforts, the customer experience you’ve delivered, or a combination of all three, earned media refers to the recognition you receive as a result.

You can earn media by getting press mentions, positive reviews, reposts, recommendations, etc. You can also facilitate earned media by helping journalists and content writers author their articles, or contributing your own thought leadership content to industry publications. 

Thanks to the rise in popularity of social media platforms like Twitter and Quora, it has become easier for content writers and journalists to reach out to your business for quotes and insights to mention in their articles. This type of accreditation helps build trust around your expertise.

At Influence & Co., we earn most of our media through press mentions with our partners and our own guest-contributed content. For example, our co-founder, John Hall, has a regular column on Forbes, where his contributed content helps to drive both traffic and leads for our company.

So whether you’re earning mentions on external sites or you’ve earned an opportunity to contribute to them regularly, this type of media helps to fuel the top of your funnel and introduce you to new leads.

Owned Media

Owned media is content you’re in full control of. Think of content for your company website, your blog, and your social media accounts.

While owned media content can take on a variety of forms — blog posts, case studies, whitepapers, etc. — the primary goal of this content is to continue providing value to leads as they move down the funnel. These assets offer a more controlled — but not overly promotional — message about your company.

So if you’re looking to warm up leads that you’ve generated with earned media or win over some more, it’s important that you’re focusing on producing these educational, valuable resources. At the end of the day, this content can help leads determine whether or not working with you is the right choice for them.

Paid Media

While today’s media influx may make it difficult to get your company’s message heard organically, it also brings with it an influx of methods to promote it. Paid media serves as a method for promoting content and driving exposure. And there are variety of paid techniques you can use to amplify your owned media and help you win more earned media. 

For example, social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Pinterest offer advertising options that can be leveraged to boost your exposure. We’ve found that LinkedIn and Twitter are the most effective promotion platform for our audience of B2B marketers, but you can utilize a similar strategy on Facebook or Pinterest. It all depends on where your target audience is the most active and engaged with your brand.

How to Use Paid Media to Amplify Your Owned Media

As I mentioned before, combining these elements can prove to be really powerful in terms of generating and engaging leads. To help illustrate this, let’s dive into two examples of content promotion tactics that my company has successfully utilized to amplify our owned media.

LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

Our marketing team utilizes sponsored updates on LinkedIn to promote our gated content. We set a budget for each campaign; target users based on interest, industry, and job title; and deliver a link to a landing page with a relevant piece of gated content.

Our reasoning behind promoting gated content via sponsored updates verses our blog content goes back to the idea of delivering the right content to your audience, through the right medium, at the right time. We’ve found that when our audience is on LinkedIn, it’s the perfect time to serve up a piece of gated content.

For example, when looking at the performance of our sponsored posts, we found that the offers that linked straight to a landing page converted at a 500% higher visitors-to-leads conversion rate than sponsored posts that link to blog content.

LinkedIn_Post_Influence_and_Co.png

Promoted Tweets

We’ve also recently seen success with promoting tweets that have the most engagement. For instance, we promoted this tweet about our “5 Unexpected Content Marketing Trends from CMI’s 2016 Report” blog post after we saw that it was garnering a lot of initial engagement. It generated an additional 111 clicks to the post with only $50 in ad spend.

Promoted_Tweets_Influence_and_Co.png

Promoting tweets is a great way to boost the reach of your most engaging tweets and get them in front of a new audience. To determine whether a tweet is worthy of promotion, we ask ourselves two questions:

  • Did it perform well? When a post is performing well organically, it will automatically perform better than your other posts when you sponsor them. Our rule of thumb is to only promote the top 1-3% of tweets that have gotten the most engagement recently.
  • Is the content you’re promoting converting well? If we’re considering promoting a tweet, we look at the piece of content it references to determine the conversion rate of that piece. If it didn’t perform well, we try to pick a new tweet that links to a high-performing piece of content or look at how we can optimize the blog post for better conversion before putting dollars behind promoting it on social media.

How does your company leverage earned, owned, and paid media? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

free guide to display advertising in social media

Nov

3

2015

How to Use Google AdWords: A Beginner’s Guide to PPC Advertising [Free Ebook]

Inbound marketing campaigns are made up of a lot of different elements, making it easy to forget a piece of the puzzle if you’re not careful.

Did you send a well-segmented email? Do you have engaging tweets and Facebook posts going out at optimal times? Did you optimize your blog posts and landing pages for search? What about ads? Are you running those?

*Record scratch* … hold the phone. Ads aren’t inbound … are they?

It turns out that if you approach ad creation with an inbound mindset, they can be an extremely effective way to increase leads and customers and enhance your overall inbound marketing campaign.

In fact, when done correctly, businesses generally make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords, according to Google

“It’s the content that matters, not the format or path to it. When ads equal good content or help people find it, they contribute to a well-rounded inbound marketing strategy,” explains HubSpot Co-Founder, Dharmesh Shah.

So to enable you with the tools you need to create successful PPC ads using Google AdWords, we’ve created a comprehensive free guide, How to Use Google AdWords: A Beginner’s Guide to PPC AdvertisingIn this guide, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads as a part of a well-rounded inbound marketing campaign
  • Use the right keywords to create relevant (and highly searchable) ads and landing pages
  • Recognize keyword match types and when to use them
  • Create your Google AdWords account and set budgets
  • Optimize your ad copy to maximize clicks
  • Determine the right goals and metrics for your ads
  • … and more!

So, what are you waiting for? Download How to Use Google AdWords: A Beginner’s Guide to PPC Advertising and start earning $2 for every $1 you put in.

Have you seen success with Google AdWords? Let us know how your ads performed in the comments below.

free guide to using Google AdWords

Oct

5

2015

The Science of Eye-Catching Advertisements [Infographic]

How do our brains react to advertisements?

Well, it depends on the ad. It takes 250 milliseconds for the brain to absorb visual cues, but only 13 milliseconds for images to elicit emotion — even if you aren’t fully absorbing what you’re seeing. So if you want to create more effective advertisements, you should use design and copy that foster an emotional response in your viewers.

That’s just one way that you can use neuroscience to improve your advertising. To learn more, check out the infographic below from Celtra. (And for more inspiration, check out this blog post to see great examples of banner ads and social ads.)

free guide to display advertising in social media

Aug

28

2015

13 Times We Actually Enjoyed Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & Banner Ads

It’s easy to hate on online ads. Most of them are pretty awful. They can be interruptive, distracting, poorly designed, completely untargeted, or any sort of combination of the above. 

But thankfully, not all online ads are bad. In fact, there are some pretty creative ads out there that have not only gotten people to click, but also seek out the ads on their own. 

If you’re buying any sort of advertising, you want your ads to be the creative, memorable type. To do that, you’ll need to make your ads relevant, interesting, and compelling. 

First step to creating awesome ads? See some great examples. So check out the following banner ads, Facebook ads, Twitter ads, and LinkedIn ads, and learn why they’re just so awesome.

13 Times We Actually Enjoyed Online Ads

1) Pringles

Pringles accomplished quite a feat with their “Can Hands” endless banner. They get people to click on it once … and then again and again and again. The banner takes 97 clicks to make it to the end, and all that changes when you click through is the copy on the screen. It’s conversational, it’s funny, it’s intriguing, and best of all, it’s simple. 

 

2) Australian Defense Force

Here’s one for those of you who enjoy a good Easter egg. Australian Defense Force’s banner ad poses a challenge to the reader: Find the rest of the advertisement hidden in the source code. Want to try it yourself? Go to this website and see if you can figure it out.

Hint: If you’re using Chrome, right-click anywhere on that page and choose “Inspect Element.”

Give up? Here’s what the hidden message looks like. Talk about a clever call-to-action for job seekers.

3) Boeing

In an effort to recruit people showing interest in Boeing, the company placed animated infographic-type ads on the sides of its own LinkedIn Company Page. The message was simple: Two compelling statistics about the company followed by a call-to-action to “Go Further” and “Dream Bigger.”

Here’s what the advertisement looked like, broken up by frames:

boeing-infographic-ad

And here’s what it looks like on the LinkedIn page:

By placing this interactive ad right next to their LinkedIn Company Page, Boeing was able to catch the attention of people who would already be interested in joining the team.  

4) Dollar Shave Club

You don’t need a huge budget to run an awesome ad campaign. Dollar Shave Club continues to prove this time and time again with their simple, fun Facebook ads that combine a simple picture or graphic with brief copy.

Check out the image in this one — it looks like someone’s Instagram:

And this one, which the company ran on Facebook in December 2014 leading up to the holidays, features a two-tone graphic with simple, clever copy:

5) Audi

On the other hand, for companies that do work with higher budgets, there’s some pretty crazy cool stuff you can do. Take Audi’s “Curves” ad, created by Almap BBDO, for instance. It lets you drive the car in its ad — and moves all the content in your browser with every turn, as if it’s succumbing to the forces of gravity. (Casual.)

Try it yourself, or take a look at the screenshots below, where you can see how the words and graphics on the screen move left as I turn the wheel right:

6) Marie Callender

A research study by AdKeeper found that 31% of people only want to click ads when they’re in the mood or interested in looking at them. Restaurant and bakery chain Marie Callender captured this market by creating dynamic, programmatic ads for their delicious pot pies that targeted people checking Weather.com when it was raining, snowing, or freezing. Their playful copy and designs put warm pie on the minds of consumers when they might want it the most.

Here’s a screenshot of what two of them looked like:

 

7) Budweiser

What’s one way to delight people with an advertisement? Turn it into a beer voucher, of course. The folks at Anheuser-Busch paired up with agency AKQA to create Facebook ads targeting millennials that would encourage them to try Budweiser products.

The result was their “Bud Light Birthday” and “Buds for Buds” campaigns, both of which allowed Facebook users to send a beer voucher to of-age friends. When a user clicked on the ad, they were taken to an online form where they filled out their friend’s information.

Image Credit: USA Today 

The person receiving the voucher was then targeted with Facebook ads they could click through to redeem the offer. Then, once they went to a bar, all they’d have to do is show their phone with the link pulled up (along with a valid ID), and they’d get a free Budweiser or Bud Light beer.

Image Credit: Mobile Commerce Daily

The campaign was hugely successful, resulting in the receivers of the vouchers spending 3X the value of that one beer on average when redeeming the voucher at their bar, as well as a 7X industry average purchase conversion rate.

8) The Sufferfest

Bold images and concise sentences are one way to get your audience’s attention, especially if your message is meant to instill a sense of urgency. It certainly worked for The Sufferfest, a video training company for dedicated cyclists. They partnered with a local agency One Small Step Collection to create bold, intense graphics for their App Install Twitter Cards.

Using Twitter Cards’ username targeting to reach hardcore cyclists, Sufferfest’s ad has sharp, direct copy, and features extra text on top of the Twitter ads image to hit home its main points.

Image Credit: Twitter

9) Amnesty International

Here’s another fun, interactive banner ad — this time from the folks at Amnesty International. In their effort to recruit writers to their team, they displayed banner ads asking people to play hangman. The resulting phrases were things like “Words Save Lives,” as shown in the example below, followed by a call-to-action to become not just a writer, but a freedom writer. We love their use of a font that looks like handwriting, and the black-and-white design that resembles pencil on paper.

10) Assembly Row

Relevance is critical for an advertisement’s success. After all, you’re spending money when someone views or clicks on your ad. And the folks at Assembly Row, who sell office space close to Boston, sure know how to target a relevant audience.

Using Facebook’s build-in targeting, they designed and launched an advertisement geared entirely toward people who work at HubSpot, encouraging us to join their office space. They cleverly incorporated our company name, logo, and signature orange color into their ad design. Check it out:

11) Extra Life

Here’s a great advertisement that shows how compelling copy can go a long way. Extra Life, an annual game marathon that raises money for hospitals treating children with life-threatening illnesses, created this display ad campaign under the slogan “Everyone is a hero.” The ads themselves had iterations of this copy, like the one below that says, simply, “Be a Hero. Play games to raise money for local kids.” We love how easy-to-understand that call-to-action copy is.

When you click on the logo, it takes you to a form where you can sign up and join a team. Then, it offers the chance for you to post your personal fundraising page to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more. Smart marketing, through and through.

Image Credit: GaymerX

12) Intuit

When it comes to sponsored posts on LinkedIn and Facebook, you can’t just let the image, title, or description speak for itself and expect people to click through. The best updates include a bit of personalized copy in the status itself to accompany the link.

Check out the Sponsored Update from Intuit, which specifically targets professionals at small companies. They made their audience clear from the get-go: “Listen up female entrepreneurs, this one’s for you!” Personalized copy like this helps drive clicks because readers feel like the content’s really catered toward them.

Image Credit: LinkedIn

13) ADIDAS

Last but not least is this clever, interactive sidebar ad from ADIDAS. When you first see the ad, it shows a black pen drawing a line from right to left, followed by a little runner that jogs the length of the line. Then, the pen goes still — until the user realizes he or she can use it to draw more terrain along which the runner can jog. Try it out for yourself and watch buildings, vehicles, and vegetation pop up and add to the scenery.

What are some of your favorite online ads? Share them with us in the comment section.

learn more about INBOUND 2015

Aug

24

2015

The 100 Most Expensive Keywords on Google [Infographic]

Google has many different sources of revenue, but one of their most noticeable is the ads that appear next to search results for specific keywords. How much that keyword costs depends, in part, on how often people search for it — the more people search for a certain keyword, the more expensive it is.

If you’ve ever wondered what the most expensive keywords on Google are, then look no further than the infographic below from WebpageFX. With the help of the folks at SEMrush, WebpageFX figured out which keywords have the highest cost-per-click in Google AdWords.

They found, for example, that 58% of keywords are location-sensitive — like “Austin TX auto insurance” as opposed to just “auto insurance.” They also found that a whopping 78% of the most expensive keywords relate to law firms and legal counsel, while only 1% relate to business services.

Check it out, and click here to read more about how to do keyword research for your own company’s SEO.

learn more about INBOUND 2015

Jan

29

2015

13 Bright Ideas for Running Smarter Retargeting Campaigns

retargetingideas

According to retargeting platform AdRoll, only 2% of shoppers typically convert on their first visit to an online store. That’s a lot of people slipping through the cracks. What’s a marketer to do?

Enter retargeting. Retargeting allows you to zero in on those 98% of visitors, giving them a second (and in some cases third, fourth, and fifth) chance to convert. Here’s how retargeting works: It allows you to show targeted ads to potential customers via search, social media, and other websites. They see them, click back to your website, and then (hopefully) convert. Retargeting helps you stay connected and engaged with your audience, and increase brand recall and conversions — feeding all stages of your marketing funnel.

With so much opportunity with retargeting, it’s hard to decide on which types of campaigns to run. To help, we’ve put together a list of things you should try to maximise the effectiveness of your retargeting strategies. Check them out below.

Pixel-Based Retargeting

Pixel-based retargeting is a way to redisplay your material to any anonymous site visitor. This is the most common form of retargeting, and will be familiar to anyone retargeting through Google’s display network (Note: Google refers to retargeting as ‘remarketing’). Pixel-based retargeting is also available on Facebook and Twitter. It is also more accessible for new inbound marketers, as list-based retargeting (discussed below) really relies on you having a large list of email addresses.

1) Promote your best content.

Traditionally, retargeting ads are used to push products — but that’s not the only thing you can use them for. Why not use retargeting to drive people towards blog content, for example? After all, that’s where many of your leads are likely to originate, right? Larry Kim of Wordstream reported a 50% increase in repeat visitors, a 300% increase in time on site, and a 51% increase in conversion rate by promoting his content using retargeting.

Below is an example of Irish Digital Marketing agency, Wolfgang Digital, using retargeting to promote a new piece of content. They targeted everybody who visited the website and then excluded those who had already read the study. The retargeting ad below was combined with contextual targeting, which meant the ad was only shown to the user when they were reading relevant content. Some of these ads got a clickthrough rate (CTR) of 0.8%, which is double what some industry experts suggest you should aim for.

Contextual_retargeting

But how do you figure out what content should be promoted using retargeting ads? Simple.

Sure, you can use your brand new content in your retargeting, but you should also dig into your analytics and figure out which pieces of content are most popular in terms of social shares and conversion rate. You can then include these in your retargeting ads.

2) Promote specific content based on the types of pages people have visited on your website.

Imagine you’re a clothing retailer. Why not create lists out of your product categories? For example, you could create a retargeting list for those who visit any page within the shoe category and another for any page within the jackets category. You could then deliver ads showing shoes to the first list, and jackets to the other. This ensures you’re always delivering relevant content to the right people — which improves the ROI of your retargeting efforts.

You can also take this a step further. By using services like AdRoll’s Liquid Ads, you can also ensure that past visitors are shown the exact items they were looking for. This can be incredibly effective, especially in ecommerce. Apparel company Cubbies Shorts has seen great results with these kinds of ads, seeing a 10.5X lift in ROI, as well as a 33% lower cost per acquisition (CPA) than industry average. This means that compared to other channels, the cost to get a website visitor to complete a purchase on the site was lower with retargeting. One campaign in particular delivered a 35.5X lift in ROI.

Chubbies LiquidAds 728x90

There are other ways to implement this type of targeting — this is just one way you could do it.

3) Pull people through the funnel.

Imagine this; a person visits your a page on your website that’s about an industry topic, but the person doesn’t convert. These people are still very much at the top of the funnel. Why not set up retargeting ads on Facebook, Twitter and/or Google to drive these people to a blog post on that same topic? If they get there, but still don’t convert, try retargeting to them to drive them to a downloadable ebook on the same topic. If they don’t convert at this stage, drive them to a consultation or a free trial. 

This is a really simplistic way of mapping out a retargeting path, and you can add more steps to it depending on your funnel. Nevertheless, it is a strategic and smart way to use retargeting rather than focusing on just the top or bottom of the funnel.

4) Capitalize on events.

In marketing, time is always of the essence. Online flower retailer, 1-800-Flowers, saw great success capitalising on Mother’s Day using Twitter retargeting ads, seeing a significant drop in cost per acquisition (CPA).

This can also work well for events. Consider HubSpot. We could run a retargeting campaign in the run up to our Inbound15 event. We could retarget people who have visited the Register page but not registered, and offer them a discount. This can work for all types of industries – just think about how you could leverage your products at different times of the year. It can also be a good strategy to keep in mind when retargeting using lists, which is discussed below.

5) Exclude visitors who have spent less than 10 seconds on your site.

People who spend a short amount of time on your site are unlikely to be as interested in what you have to offer as someone who spends a minute on your site. Therefore, by retargeting to them, you could be wasting budget.

Test different time frames here — if you’re going through your budget quickly with poor results, increase the time parameter. You could also exclude people who have bounced from your website, as they — compared to people who haven’t bounced — are more likely to be more interested in what you have to offer.  

To do this, you will need to set up some Google Analytics lists and import them into your Google Analytics account. This takes a little extra work, but you can create some really sophisticated lists using this method. Google has a really good guide on how to do this, which you can read here.

6) Target people who open your emails.

By dropping your retargeting pixel into the HTML template or signature of your email, you can target people who open your emails. This is effective as you are targeting people who were interested in you enough to open your email in the first place. This can be done quite simply using retargeting platforms such as Perfect Audience.

There are also some more advanced ways you can use email retargeting, especially for cart abandonment in e-commerce. Moz has a great post full of case studies on how some businesses have increased conversion rates by up to 200% using email retargeting.

List-Based Retargeting

You can also use lists of your existing contacts for certain types of retargeting ads. The way that works is you upload a list of the email addresses to a retargeting campaign platform (usually on a social network like Facebook or Twitter), and the platform will identify users on that network who have those addresses and serve retargeting ads just to them.

List-based retargeting comes with a caveat, however. It relies on you having the email addresses your prospects use to manage their social media. Much of the time, they’ll use one email address for social media and another for everything else. For this reason, list-based retargeting relies on large email address lists to be effective — the more email addresses you have, the more likely you are to find matches. 

7) Exclude customers, subscribers, and/or people who have already converted.

This is the first thing you should do when you’re setting up a list-based retargeting campaign, but many people don’t even think about doing it. If you are building a lead generation campaign, add your current list of customers, subscribers, and converted contacts as a negative retargeting list. This will ensure that you do not waste budget on an irrelevant audience. 

8) Feature a familiar name and/or face.

If you have a salesperson who has been in contact with lots of people who haven’t converted, you could create a list of these people and target ads at them. Your ads could feature a picture of the sales person with messaging such as “Ian is still here to answer your questions” and a call-to-action (CTA) to request a callback.

FBAd_retargeting

9) Use price sensitivity.

If you have lots of people in your database marked “closed/lost” you know the reason for losing was based on price, and you have the ability to discount products, you can do some really smart retargeting offering a price discount. For the first week, it could be 10%. If they still don’t convert, the following week, the discount could be 20%. (Just don’t forget to exclude converted contacts from your list.)

10) Reward your top customers/brand evangelists.

If you have customers who are very loyal and spend lots of money with you on a regular basis, you could target these people by offering them a repeat purchase or renewal discount via a retargeting ad. Likewise, you may want to reward people who share your content all the time in a similar way.

11) Cross-sell and upsell to customers.

Imagine you are a HR software provider. You have a list of customers who have purchased your recruitment software. You could use their email addresses to create a retargeting list and show them ads driving them towards considering your talent management software.

Or imagine you are a health insurance provider. You offer three plans; gold, silver, and bronze. You could target the silver customers with ads as they come close to their policy renewal to push them towards considering the gold package.

Note: This is just one way of using retargeting to cross-sell and upsell to customers. It is also possible using pixel-based retargeting.

12) Target people who don’t open your emails.

If you have a list of contacts who are not opening your emails, a smart strategy is to retarget those people using Facebook Ads. They may just be missing your emails due to them going into the promotions tab in Gmail, or into their spam folder. Simply upload your contact list to Facebook ads to create a Custom Audience and create your ad. Using Facebook Exchange, it is also simple to target those who open your emails. Jon Loomer has a great guide on how to do this.

13) Target your LinkedIn Connections.

It’s a well-kept secret that you can download a list of your LinkedIn connections and their email addresses. You can then use this list to create a Custom Audience for your Facebook or Twitter ads and drive them towards a landing page on your website.

Do you have any smart retargeting tips? Share them with us in the comments below.

learn how to double your lead flow in 30 days

Oct

9

2014

How to Design Content Remarketing Campaigns That Actually Work

target-audienceYou know content marketing works, so you’ve been plugging away at blog posts, ebooks, and other valuable, educational content for your potential customers.

And people come — they find your content in search results and in their social media feeds. But they may not fill out a form and become a lead right then and there. It’s not always because they’re not interested in your (more…)