- Google networks can be tricky when deciding which ones are best for your goals and budget
- Three tips that will help you to utilize the networks strategically
- You first need to understand the difference before selecting a network
- Clean data is key when analyzing performance, so it is best to keep network targeting separately
- Where a user is at in the conversion funnel will tell you if the network brings conversions
- By having two different campaigns that are network specific, you will be able to properly target your audience with clear messaging while being able to access key data points quickly and accurately
There are two networks within Google AdWords – display and search. When you set up a campaign for the first time, you may notice an option to add either one of these within the settings.
The search network ads appear on Google’s search results page, and the display network ads appear on sites, videos, and apps. But what looks like a good idea to get more visibility, may not help you in the end when measuring performance.
To reap the benefits of both search and display, you need to be strategic about how you are targeting users on these platforms. Here are three tips for utilizing the networks within Google AdWords:
Tip #1: Know the difference
Display select versus display network are different even though the listing of display network in your settings can be a little misleading. The display select is a hybrid campaign model. While you can take your search network ads to the next level by adding them to display, it is not ideal for tight budgets.
By nature, the display network expands its reach to a broader audience. When you add this option, you are releasing control over to Google. By keeping everything in search, you are targeting an active user who wants to find something relative to the keywords within the campaign.
The display network will boost visibility, but it is not as targeted and should not be used by those with a smaller budget. When users are on even display select, they may not be ready to buy. In fact, these users are far out in the conversion funnel. Accomplishing clicks is not easy in this network with an ad-driven by copy.
For those who need to increase awareness, then display is for you. Ad space on the network is great, so you can reach and broaden your audience.
Tip #2: Make sure data is clean
If you are using a search network with display select, then your data may not be as clean. The search network has a higher click-through rate (CTR) than the display. So, if you are looking at the overall data of the campaign, you may not be able to get a quick and accurate look at performance.
The impressions and clicks generated by the display network are not applied to the keywords within your campaign. The reason for this is because those impressions and clicks are not actually “search”. Therefore, to truly evaluate performance, you need to take a deeper look.
To measure, you need to go to each individual ad group in Google AdWords and look at how the display select and the search network are each performing. Users are in different places within the conversion funnel, so it is important to understand the industry benchmarks for each network when measuring data. Therefore, it is recommended to divide the campaigns when using both of Google AdWords’ networks.
Tip #3: Understand the conversion funnel
The conversion funnel is made up of different stages, such as awareness, consideration, and decision. When a user is on the display network, they are most likely in the awareness stage. When a user is in the search network, they are at the bottom of the funnel. These users know they want to buy a product or service, but they are evaluating where to buy it.
The reason you need to understand the funnel is not only from a data perspective, but it is also for creating quality ad copy. Your messages should be appropriate for where that user is in the conversion funnel. You would never ask someone to buy from you if you just met them at a networking event. It is important to meet the user where they are at by creating ad copy that is relevant.
A dual-network strategy is not for everyone. So, before diving into both, determine your goals and evaluate if both will help you to meet them. By having two different campaigns that are network-specific, you will be able to properly target your audience with clear messaging while being able to access key data points quickly and accurately.
Ashley G. Schweigert is Owner at Marcom Content by Ashley, LLC.
The post How to best utilize the networks within Google AdWords appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
Q4 is the most competitive time period for ecommerce businesses, deals and promotions offered to capitalize on holiday season traffic bring hordes of potential purchasers to your site.
One of the most valuable groups of users that comes out of the holiday season is net-new users, who could have found out about the product from an ad, friend, influencer, or some other referral. These users are more expensive to acquire because they have no knowledge of the brand, so they need more touchpoints when compared to your current customers.
Whether or not you convert those new users into customers in Q4, convincing them to be long-term customers should be an important part of your Q1 strategy. In this post, I will walk through the value of some of these different holiday audiences and how to engage with them in Q1 to turn them into paying customers.
Often, the largest and best-converting Q4 audiences are current customers who are loyal to the brand and looking for some type of discount during major holiday times like Cyber Monday and Black Friday. These audiences are highly valuable, and you don’t have to pay much to bring them back to your site, but there are other audiences you should consider to help you reach your goals in Q1. These pointers will help you figure out how you can engage them.
1. Potential customers who visited but didn’t convert
Plan to re-engage potential customers who visited the site but didn’t purchase.
This could be for a variety of reasons:
- They didn’t find the product they were looking for
- Increased competition
- They didn’t think the deal was enticing enough, and others
With this audience, your lowest-hanging fruit is the group of users who added something to their cart or added payment information but didn’t convert. I recommend getting in front of them with special promotions or discounts.
2. First-time purchasers from Q4
First-time purchasers from Q4 will be even more valuable if converted into long-term customers. Consider two segments: those who purchased during Cyber weekend and new customers in general. You can infer that customers that purchased during Cyber weekend are more inclined and driven to purchase when there is a deal, so make sure to target them with ads that speak to this.
All of the audiences above represent retargeting audiences. In order to help reach acquisition goals in Q1, I recommend using data from these audience segments to build acquisition audiences as well – notably, building Facebook lookalike audiences from your segments of highest-life-time value (LTV) and most frequently engaged customers.
Other interesting LAL audience tests for Q1 could include building audiences off of first-time customers and potential customers who visited the site but didn’t convert.
Now that you’ve established the holiday customers to re-engage in Q1, it’s time to develop the messaging and offers to advertise to those users. Since many of these customers converted because of the discounts and sales offered in Q4, messages to consider would be incorporating Q1 holidays into the media plan and offer another discount or sale.
Audiences to target with these ads include
- First-time purchasers
- New users generated from lookalike audiences
- Users who visited the site without converting
For longer-term customers, consider showcasing new products or top products to retarget customers. To see what resonates the best with users test these with a variety of creatives – carousels, videos, and single images that feature these different product groupings.
Another strategy is to showcase complementary products to users who purchased a specific product or product type during the holiday season. For example, if someone purchased an Xbox, retarget them with Xbox games in Q1.
The holiday season brings increases in traffic, new customers, and site revenue. Don’t just celebrate these wins, use the data to keep winning by building strong audience segments and messaging to help push growth in Q1 2020.
Lauren Crain is a Client Services Lead in 3Q Digital’s SMB division, 3Q Incubate.
The post How to utilize holiday season traffic for 2020’s Q1 growth appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
Constantly evolving search results driven by Google’s increasing implementation of AI are challenging SEOs to keep pace. Search is more dynamic, competitive, and faster than ever before.
Where SEOs used to focus almost exclusively on what Google and other search engines were looking for in their site structure, links, and content, digital marketing now revolves solidly around the needs and intent of consumers.
This past year was perhaps the most transformative in SEO, an industry expected to top $ 80 billion in spending by 2020. AI is creating entirely new engagement possibilities across multiple channels and devices. Consumers are choosing to find and interact with information by voice search, or even on connected IoT appliances, and other devices. Brands are being challenged to reimagine the entire customer journey and how they optimize content for search, as a result.
How do you even begin to prioritize when your to-do list and the data available to you are growing at such a rapid pace? The points shared below intend to help you with that.
From analysis to activation, data is key
SEO is becoming less a matter of simply optimizing for search. Today, SEO success hinges on our ability to seize every opportunity. Research from my company’s Future of Marketing and AI Study highlights current opportunities in five important areas.
1. Data cleanliness and structure
As the volume of data consumers are producing in their searches and interactions increases, it’s critically important that SEOs properly tag and structure the information we want search engines to match to those queries. Google offers rich snippets and cards that enable you to expand and enhance your search results, making them more visually appealing but also adding functionality and opportunities to engage.
Google has experimented with a wide variety of rich results, and you can expect them to continue evolving. Therefore, it’s best practice to properly mark up all content so that when a rich search feature becomes available, your content is in place to capitalize on the opportunity.
2. Increasingly automated actionable insights
While Google is using AI to interpret queries and understand results, marketers are deploying AI to analyze data, recognize patterns and deliver insights as output at rates humans simply cannot achieve. AI is helping SEOs in interpreting market trends, analyzing site performance, gathering and understanding competitor performance, and more.
It’s not just that we’re able to get insights faster, though. The insights available to us now may have gone unnoticed, if not for the in-depth analysis we can accomplish with AI.
Machines are helping us analyze different types of media to understand the content and context of millions of images at a time and it goes beyond images and video. With Google Lens, for example, augmented reality will be used to glean query intent from objects rather than expressed words.
Opportunities for SEOs include:
- Greater ability to define opportunity space more precisely in a competitive context. Understand underlying need in a customer journey
- Deploying longer-tail content informed by advanced search insights
- Better content mapping to specific expressions of consumer intent across the buying journey
3. Real-time response and interactions
In a recent “State of Chatbots” report, researchers asked consumers to identify problems with traditional online experiences by posing the question, “What frustrations have you experienced in the past month?”
As you can see, at least seven of the top consumer frustrations listed above can be solved with properly programmed chatbots. It’s no wonder that they also found that 69% of consumers prefer chatbots for quick communication with brands.
Search query and online behavior data can make smart bots so compelling and efficient in delivering on consumer needs that in some cases, the visitor may not even realize it’s an automated tool they’re dealing with. It’s a win for the consumer, who probably isn’t there for a social visit anyway as well as for the brand that seeks to deliver an exceptional experience even while improving operational efficiency.
SEOs have an opportunity to:
- Facilitate more productive online store consumer experiences with smart chatbots.
- Redesign websites to support visual and voice search.
- Deploy deep learning, where possible, to empower machines to make decisions, and respond in real-time.
4. Smart automation
SEOs have been pretty ingenious at automating repetitive, time-consuming tasks such as pulling rankings reports, backlink monitoring, and keyword research. In fact, a lot of quality digital marketing software was born out of SEOs automating their own client work.
Now, AI is enabling us to make automation smarter by moving beyond simple task completion to prioritization, decision-making, and executing new tasks based on those data-backed decisions.
Content marketing is one area where AI can have a massive impact, and marketers are on board. We found that just four percent of respondents felt they were unlikely to use AI/deep learning in their content strategy in 2018, and over 42% had already implemented it.
In content marketing, AI can help us quickly analyze consumer behavior and data, in order to:
- Identify content opportunities
- Build optimized content
- Promote the right content to the most motivated audience segments and individuals
5. Personalizations that drive business results
Personalization was identified as the top trend in marketing at the time of our survey, followed closely by AI (which certainly drives more accurate personalizations). In fact, you could argue that the top four trends namely, personalization, AI, voice search, and mobile optimization are closely connected if not overlapping in places.
Across emails, landing pages, paid advertising campaigns, and more, search insights are being injected into and utilized across multiple channels. These intend to help us better connect content to consumer needs.
Each piece of content produced must be purposeful. It needs to be optimized for discovery, a process that begins in content planning as you identify where consumers are going to find and engage with each piece. Smart content is personalized in such a way that it meets a specific consumer’s need, but it must deliver on the monetary needs of the business, as well.
Check out these 5 steps for making your content smarter from a previous column for more.
How SEOs are uniquely positioned to drive smarter digital marketing forward
As the marketing professionals have one foot in analysis and the other solidly planted in creative, SEOs have a unique opportunity to lead smart utilization and activation of all manners of consumer data.
You understand the critical importance of clean data input (or intelligent systems that can clean and make sense of unstructured data) and differentiating between first and third-party data. You understand economies of scale in SEO and the value in building that scalability into systems from the ground up.
SEOs have long nurtured a deep understanding of how people search for and discover information, and how technology delivers. Make the most of your current opportunities by picking your low-hanging fruit opportunities for quick wins. Focus your efforts on putting the scalable, smart systems in place that will allow you to anticipate consumer needs, react quickly, report SEO appropriately, and convey business results to the stakeholders who will determine budgets in future.
You might like to read these next:
- AI and machine learning: What you do and don’t need to know for SEO
- Using Python to recover SEO site traffic (Part one)
- TechSEO Boost: Machine Learning for SEOs
- Artificial intelligence for marketers
The post Five ways SEOs can utilize data with insights, automation, and personalization appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
By knowing how the different type of keywords work and how to utilize these match types, you will be able to reduce unwanted clicks and wasted spend.
Read more at PPCHero.com
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