Posted by: Stacey Cosens

Posted on: April 25, 2013 4:42 pm

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It wasn’t too long ago that AdWords introduced Enhanced Campaigns, allowing marketers to target their campaigns more accordingly. Their aim? For advertisers to be able to target people based on the time of the day, location and device they’re using.

Now they’ve introduced an upgrade centre alongside to make upgrading easier for marketers with lots of campaigns to manage. Users will be able to upgrade several campaigns at a time, or merge campaigns in a few steps.

The new centre will allow marketers two options for using the upgrade centre.

Google explains:

“1. Bulk upgrade

This option provides a fast way to upgrade multiple campaigns that don’t need to be merged. Rather than upgrade campaigns one at a time, you can select several campaigns, choose a mobile bid adjustment, view traffic estimates, and upgrade with fewer clicks.

2. Merge and upgrade

If you have search-only or search+display campaigns that have similar keywords and location targets, the upgrade center automatically identifies them as candidates to merge. You’ll then be able to preview and adjust the proposed campaign settings, ad groups, and extensions for the merged campaign. By default, ad groups and budgets will be combined. Other campaign level settings and extensions in the Primary campaign will override those in the Secondary campaign.”

The introduction should hopefully make managing campaigns far easier for PPC managers and mean that PPC campaigns can be far more easily managed and targeted to the right people – meaning that money and time invested in PPC campaigns will be more worthwhile than ever.

Posted by: Lewis Austin

Posted on: April 2, 2013 1:46 pm

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As a continuation from a post just a few weeks ago, “Google’s Ads Aren’t Numbered”, Google has taken a step further with the use of phone numbers. As of 2 weeks ago, AdWords users were no longer permitted to submit ad text that contained a phone number as this would be disapproved.

This morning, I was welcomed into one of our clients’ accounts with this lovely message:

The learn more link forwards you to this page: http://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/176098?hl=en-GB&rd=1 .

However, the section that we should really be interested in is this:Phone numbers and vanity phone numbers can’t be used anywhere in ad text or in a sitelinks extension because doing so is confusing to users who might be expecting to be led to a call session as opposed to a website. To let customers call you directly from your ad, use call extensions instead.”

So we have been warned and we have just a few weeks to implement the required changes, or we must feel the wrath of Google. Understandably, the use of a number in the ad text as well as using a call extension can seem a little pointless, especially from Google’s perspective. Despite the fact that we marketers think it is a brilliant strategy and really emphasises the user to make a call, this is Google’s own way of ensuring quality listings.

Instead of complaining, it’s important to develop a strategy quickly to prepare for another change in the AdWords horizon. The easiest thing to do would be to use the AdWords editor and replace the phone number with “us now” or “today”. Doing this doesn’t really add much to the ad so maybe it could be worth using dynamic keyword insertion to make the ad more relevant in terms of quality score and directly to the user. For arguments sake, let’s say you are a florist in Manchester. Your ad might now say: “Call Now for Manchester Florists”. In my opinion this looks very compelling and relevant, certainly more so than just “Call Us Now”.

We will be preparing for the new implementations by keeping our ads that have a phone number and introducing are newly revised ads, running them side by side. This will allow us to gather data and compare the two different ad formats, along with what substitution performs the best. Then when Google decides to implement these changes we will be fully prepared and won’t have to make any changes to the account.

 

Posted by: Lewis Austin

Posted on: March 27, 2013 4:28 pm

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Today a couple of members of our PPC Team, more specifically: Evaldas Balcius and Lewis Austin set off to London to attend the Google Engage for Agencies event. All in all it was a really insightful meeting that helped to outline the importance of Google’s latest and greatest developments.

Enhanced Campaigns

A major focus and point of interest for the agencies was the infamous enhanced campaigns. The main benefit of enhanced campaigns was driven by context. This means that a difference in context will result in a difference in behaviour, so to make the most of these moments, we need to be able to provide content that will encourage the user to convert.

Taking the example of Niamh Mahon; if I have a pizza restaurant and someone is searching for “pizza”, on a mobile device whilst in a 1 mile radius of my store at 7PM. It is a pretty safe bet to assume that the searcher is going home and would like to grab a pizza on the way back. This context means that the searcher is very interested in making a purchase as soon as possible. As a business, it is these moments in time that are invaluable to my business and to making a sale. Based on these behaviours, I can use enhanced campaigns to set bid adjustments for: mobile devices, location and even time of day.

YouTube

We were then brought up to speed with YouTube, not so much the stats as we all know that YouTube is the giant in video sharing networks. More so about the advertising opportunities that YouTube can offer. One interesting feature available is road blocking, this is similar to sponsoring a channel, so your ad will show for the majority of a selected channels’ videos. By doing this, you can display your message to an audience who you deem to have an interest in your product. Another good point to remember is that you won’t be charged for your ad if a viewer clicks the skip button on your ad, which will save you a lot of money and, give you 5 seconds of free exposure.

Mobile Devices

The last presentation was an eye opener of how we as consumers use different devices and methods to search. It was interesting to see that you can use Google accounts to have all of your browsing data accessible across all of your devices. This means that if I was in a shop and saw a pair of sneakers that I really liked, but wasn’t 100% about the price, I could run a search using the barcode and compare online prices to what is in store. If I feel that the high tops are a little cheaper online, I could go home and open up my laptop, load up chrome and continue where I left off on my mobile.

I think that we can take a lot away from Google Engage this year, in terms of future developments and how our target market is predicted to evolve technologically in years to come.

Before you all run off to research more about enhanced campaigns; here is a quick snapshot of Google Engage for Agencies this year, our Evaldas Balcius is in there somewhere, can you see him?

Posted by: Lewis Austin

Posted on: March 13, 2013 12:51 pm

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On the fateful day of March 11th , Google released an article about the up and coming access update to Google Analytics. This means that now you can grant access based on property level, as well as the previous situation of profile and account level. Also there are now three different three different levels of account access: view, edit and manage users.

This update is definitely one that will be welcomed with open arms. From an agency point of view, Analytics is about to become a lot more convenient. Previously it was often the case where a client would grant access to the whole account and sometimes clients will have multiple domains which are irrelevant to the services you are providing. This means that your profile list in GA becomes colossal; hopefully this update will help to tidy things up. With regards to the access levels, it looks like some of the inspiration for this has been taken from AdWords. This is a useful feature because now agencies can replicate account access structure into their Analytics.

Businesses will also find benefit from these updates. Data can be a very important thing and a lot of people are not so enthusiastic about simply handing over this information. Now businesses have more control over their data and who can access it.

Google has said that the update will be rolled out over the next few weeks, so some people will be getting this sooner rather than later. However, there is no need to panic about account access levels as if you are currently an admin, you will be upgraded to have full rights.

Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: March 7, 2013 10:12 am

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Since its launch in 2000, AdWords has made a big impression and proven to be one of the most effective advertising tools on the internet. Google’s revenue for 2012 from AdWords alone was $42.5 billion American dollars, an indication of how popular the device is. The short text based adverts consisting of one headline of 25 characters and two additional text lines of 35 characters each are said to reach at least 81 percent of users on search results. Findings like this prove just how important PPC is and how significant it is to get it right. In light of this a new software has been launched which allows PPC to be determined by the weather.

The new WeatherFIT is a cloud based software program that controls your adverts so that they are displayed depending on the weather. The unique platform delivers AdWords adverts based on real time localised climate conditions. The program allows users to set up various campaigns based on various weather conditions. For instance if it is raining in Liverpool, you could have your campaign running for an umbrella company, however, if it is sunny in London your campaign would not run in the Capital. The software is programmed so that adverts will only show if they meet the weather criteria you have set.

Furthermore weather sensitivity analysis by the Met Office allows you to see first- hand the impact of weather on your sales in the past. It is possible to use this knowledge on a real time basis for your PPC strategy giving you the highest amount of potential customers at any relevant time and as a result makes your campaign as cost effective as possible.

Posted by: Lewis Austin

Posted on: March 6, 2013 5:38 pm

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Enhanced campaigns are a fairly new update, about a month old, for Google AdWords. There are some great new features available once you upgrade such as: location targeting and sitelinks. But to get all these great features, you must upgrade to enhanced campaigns.

So how do you go about upgrading? Well, the first step would be to identify whether or not you need to upgrade. If you go into your campaign, you should have a pop up box telling you to get started.

Once you click through you get a lovely new pop up box that explains all of the new features waiting for you in enhanced campaigns.

The next page you’re taken to will ask you to select your mobile bid adjustment. Bear in mind that the “recommended” percentage is based on what other people in your industry have done, so unless you have historical data to base your adjustment on, it is probably safer to stick with the recommended amount.

Just like that, you’ve upgraded.to enhanced. There are loads of great new features available, but we will be releasing a sequel to this tutorial that will outlines the new features and how you can make the most of them.

Posted by: Stacey Cosens

Posted on: November 28, 2012 3:24 pm

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Those that are aware of the growing importance of content marketing will be aware that investing in a blog for your business is one of the easiest ways to achieve this and provide fresh exciting quality content to benefit your search marketing.

But figuring out how to best use your blog can be a challenge as well as coming up with new topics to write about to ensure it is kept regularly updated. Here are my top tips for coming up with new blog topics and keeping it fresh and interesting:

  • Invite guest bloggers to contribute – this will add some variation and fresh insight to your blog. A guest blogger will be able to provide varied views on issues relating to your industry and could even cover a topic that never even crossed your mind. You could even invite well known industry experts to contribute or offer exclusive comments and advice.
  • Relate your blog to current events and topics to remain as relevant as possible. If something is of the moment it is more likely to picked up people searching for that particular term and will help drive more attention and traffic to your website. Read through news websites and Google News key words relating to your industry.
  • Write a profile or special feature on one particular topic so you leave other areas to cover in future blogs. If you’re a retail industry, focus on one particular product per week or find a common theme for a range of products. You could even compile lists based on their suitability for certain people or projects. If you offer a service, think of a certain area you could concentrate on and go into detail.

Blogging should not be underestimated; a study of 1531 businesses by Hubspot found that company websites that had blogs received 55% more visitors than those who didn’t as well as 97% more inbound links.

Posted by: Stacey Cosens

Posted on: November 22, 2012 9:30 am

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A recent survey of 1,300 digital marketing professionals by Econsultancy revealed that only 38% of companies have a content marketing strategy, which means there are 62% of businesses out there who have not tapped into the advantages of content marketing.

Despite this however, 90% believed that content marketing would become more important over the next twelve months and 73% agreed brands are becoming publishers.

So where to begin? How does a business tap into the wonders of content marketing and apply it to their company? What are the options?

  • Start a blog – Write a regular company blog (at least once a week) relating to your business and product. A successful blog should be less formal than a press release but still pay attention to good grammar and spelling and read well. Try and get individual posts to follow a particular theme so they seem structured and are easy to follow. They don’t always need to be a large section of writing; you could also write tip posts or top tens.
  • Write regular press releases- Press releases help get your brand name out on the web and increase your visibility. Talk about any new developments, deals or partnerships. You can also look for news stories that relate to the business you’re in and issue a response, ensuring you remain more visible on the web and to anyone looking in that area.
  • Invest in social media- Social media is one of the best ways to interact with clients and increase your online visibility. Using social media shows your company is modern and relatable. If somebody follows you on social media you’ll remain in their consciousness. But it is important to keep your page regularly updated; once or twice a day is best. Find interesting news stories or pictures that relate to your industry and share with your fans and followers. You could even put together themed albums on Facebook and Pinterest.

Content is far too important to ignore and as Econsultancy’s research shows, its prevalence will only increase in coming months. Stay ahead of the competition and begin investing in content now.

Posted by: Kerry Sheahan

Posted on: November 19, 2012 9:00 am

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With Penguins and Pandas galore, the SEO world can at times resemble a zoo. In order to carry out an effective SEO campaign it is becoming more or less essential to focus on content creation. With everyone following the same advice, and churning out blogs, press release and on-page content like there’s no tomorrow, we need to look towards other avenues. Editorials are one way of impressing your readers as well as considerably boosting your SEO. So what makes them so great?

  • You gain significantly more valuable links. The Penguin update focused on link building practices in particular, and posting an editorial on an authoritative national or regional site is an effective way of building up authoritative links naturally whilst keeping Google happy but adhering to its guidelines.

 

  • You’ll also see that your name appears prominently at the top of the search engines for longer too. Unlike press releases that will gradually move down the SERPs as more content is added, editorials help boost your web awareness for a more sustained period.

 

  • This is turn is great for reputation management. Naturally ranking above all other content under your name, this will push any potentially negative press about you down the SERPs. It should also serve to get rid of any lingering doubts this may have left about your company.

 

  • Aside from the likes of ranking and link authority, editorials are simply a great way of drawing your reader in and demonstrating your expertise on a given subject. Well researched pieces will show your potential customers that not only are you a dominant figure within your industry but that you’re more than well-equipped to handle their requirements. It also shows that you take the web presence of your company seriously.

Posted by: Kerry Sheahan

Posted on: October 29, 2012 10:03 am

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It might seem a little early to be thinking about Father Christmas and figgy pudding, yet thousands of shoppers each year get started on their Christmas purchases as early as October. With so many online providers competing for each sale, it has never been more important to stand apart from your rivals. There is still time however, to make sure your e-commerce site achieves optimum conversion rates over the festive period.

  • Ensure your returns and exchanges policy is displayed as prominently as possible. This is especially important for those planning to extend this over the Christmas season. In the midst of difficult financial times, the reassurance of being able to easily return a gift can have a significantly positive impact on your conversions.

 

  • The same advice goes for delivery. It is just as key to your conversion rates to make sure your delivery policy is clearly visible. Offering free delivery is an excellent way of encouraging uncertain impulse buyers to part with their cash. It is also helpful to customers to include your last order date, especially as the day itself draws closer.

 

  • Create a special Christmas landing page. This themed paged can act as a centre for all your Christmas related products and content, and can help get shoppers in the festive spirit

 

  • It goes without saying, but it really is essential to make sure all webpages you create are accessible and follow good practice. In the run up to Christmas, it can be easy to focus on design and visual optimisation; however your efforts will be worthless if your site is not fully functional and easy to navigate.

 

  • Don’t forget to consider implementing a strong follow up marketing plan. Be sure to target those who bought from you over Christmas when it comes to your January sales. If you’ve followed the above tips then hopefully your customers will have enjoyed a pleasant shopping experience with you and be more than willing to return to your site.
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