Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
It happens to every AdWords practitioner at some point. We launch our campaigns, split out exact match and broad match, mine for queries, work on expansions, test different initiatives, run betas, etc. – and then we hit a wall.
What do we do next? How do we continue to push forward and scale our paid search accounts to capitalize on intent?
Below are a few strategies to break through the SEM wall and grow your account in an effective yet efficient manner.
Use Dynamic Search Ads for query mining
This is an obvious one, but many folks forget or tend to not use DSAs as they fear them going rogue and eating up spend without performing. First off, what are DSAs?
DSAs are a campaign type in Google that allows Google to crawl your site, matches ads in real time to shoppers, and directs them to the landing page most relevant to their query. (I have written in more detail about DSAs and the various targeting types in a previous article, ‘Capitalize on volume and long tail in Q4 with Dynamic Search Ads‘.)
Essentially, the goal I would recommend with DSAs is not to have that campaign as a volume driver but to leverage it for query mining. Cast a wide net, see what matches up and performs, then graduate those to keywords in your other campaigns where you can have more control over optimization, ad copy, and performance.
Use RLSA to expand keyword options
As you know, RLSA leverages your remarketing audiences for search ads. The great thing about RLSA is the fact that users who have visited your site are already familiar with you, your brand, and your overall offering.
With this in mind, you can create a campaign leveraging more broad, upper-funnel terms that you would normally deem to risky or wouldn’t expect to convert.
In addition, you can even include terms that you feel are somewhat relevant but may have been tested and paused for poor performance. Layering on RLSA audiences makes the same keywords less risky given that the audiences are already familiar with your brand – the goal is to get back in front of them, convince them to come back to your site, and convert.
A couple of additional tips on how to be more strategic with this strategy as you begin to test and expand:
- Segment different audience types based on their interaction with your website to see how each performs (e.g. researchers, high intent, add to carts, etc.). By segmenting these audiences and layering in RLSA, you can bid more aggressively for segments performing well.
- If you get significant traffic on your site and have fairly large audience list segments, you may actually want to create separate broad RLSA campaigns per audience segment. That allows you to customize your ads to each audience segment, along with customizing the LPs you would want to send them to – and of course you’ll have better control over budgets, so you can invest more of your dollars into the top-performing segments.
Pair a token analysis with broad match expansion
We’re all familiar with doing keyword expansions, whether that involves poring over search query reports to find converting terms or leveraging competitor keyword tools. However, it’s important to take a step back and look at your account at a high level. What are the core tokens that are not only driving volume but also performance?
A note on tokens if you’re not familiar with them: Tokens are basically the different stems in the keyword (essentially, you break up the keyword into its individual words).
For example, ‘Photography ecommerce website’ contains the tokens: photography, ecommerce, website.
Download your last 3-6 months of performance data across your keywords. Break down your keywords to their various tokens, and aggregate the data for each token. (You’ll want to look at Impressions, Clicks, Conversions, CPA, or Revenue/ROI.)
Once you’ve identified your top-performing tokens, you’ll want to build out long tail keywords and bid on them in broad match.
Note: it’s important to use broad match because the volume of long tail keywords is already fairly limited.
A bonus to the token analysis is that it can also help with efficiency efforts; if you notice bleeding or poor-performing tokens, add them to your negative keyword list and free up budget better spent elsewhere.
These three strategies should help you push past the SEM wall – but you don’t necessarily need to wait for a performance plateau to use them. Good luck!
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
Through AdWords, Google has given advertisers a lot of control over when their ads are shown, by means of the different match types and using remarketing lists for search ads.
Until recently, however, you were unable to target users based on demographic – a function that has been available for a while now on both Facebook and Bing.
The new feature allows advertisers using Adwords to target users based on:
- Parental status
This feature will be particularly useful where user intent varies considerably based on these variables. For example if you were selling high-end investments or watches, it is unlikely that young people under the age of 25 would have the necessary capital to purchase them.
However when using this feature, it is important to make sure that your conclusions are based on data as opposed to your gut feelings. A study by Google has shown that some of our preconceived ideas about which demographics purchase which items may result in us missing out on a considerable proportion of buyers.
For example if you were running a campaign selling home improvement products and excluded women on mobile devices, you could lose 45% of your traffic.
One thing to bear in mind is that your customer might not always be your customer. For instance, the study by Google showed that 40% of baby products are purchased by households that do not contain parents.
Here you can see that a considerable proportion of some markets are not the consumers themselves, but people purchasing on behalf of consumers.
How to set up demographic targeting in AdWords
The demographic targeting options can be found within the audiences tab alongside your remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) data. To add bid modifiers take the following steps:
STEP 1. Go to the “audiences” tab and then to the “demographics” sub-tab as shown below.
STEP 2. You can switch between demographic data for “age” and “gender” using the two sub-tabs that are located under the graph.
STEP 3. Bid modifiers can be set within the “bid adjustment” column by clicking on the dashed line.
Once you have done this you should see a popup like the one below where you can enter your bid modifier.
STEP 4. To calculate your bid modifier you should use the following formula: divide the age conversion rate by the ad group conversion rate, subtract one, and multiply by 100.
So for example if the conversion rate for people aged 25 – 34 is 3.52% and your conversion rate for the ad group overall is 2.76%, then your bid modifier would be 28%. Note that you need to round up your modifier to the nearest whole number.
When you are faced with “Unknown” data where Google is unable to match the user to their data, you will in most cases not want to exclude this audience.
In some cases we have found that Google can’t match data to a large chunk of your traffic, which can be frustrating, but if you exclude this you are likely to miss out on a considerable portion of your traffic.
Overall, demographic targeting for the search network gives advertisers another dimension with which to narrow down their audience to target the most relevant people.
Google’s example of baby products being bought by households that do not contain any parents is a perfect example of why it is necessary to follow the data as opposed to your gut feeling when using this feature. Otherwise you run the risk of losing a considerable portion of your audience.
Finally, when you are faced with the dreaded unknown column, think twice before excluding this data. In the vast majority of cases this will account for a considerable chunk of your traffic so it is best not to exclude it.
Sean Dolan of PushFire joins Kelsey Jones to discuss the basics of remarketing, how it can be used in campaigns, what to test, and how to ensure its success.
The post Why Aren’t You Using Remarketing Yet? [PODCAST] by @rinadianewrites appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
We all know that Facebook is a viable source of huge amounts of mobile traffic with relatively cheap CPCs (cost per click).
It’s too good an opportunity to ignore in today’s digital landscape – even if your mobile landing-page experience isn’t up to snuff. Maybe you’ve got a completely new mobile experience in the works, but you don’t want to pass up a few months of good traffic while development and launch is underway.
So how do you continue to scale and drive incremental conversions? You use Facebook mobile ads as an “interest indicator”.
What this means is that you’ll want to still create ad sets targeting your audience on mobile. However, the purpose of these ad sets is to have clear-cut creative and copy so users know what your service/product is and, if interested, click on your ad to get on your site.
It is crucial that our ads are as transparent as possible in what our product/service is about, so we essentially pre-qualify the user. The following is a good example:
Now with these being mobile ads, they may not convert as well due to your less-than-optimal mobile experience, but you now know the exact users who are interested in your offering.
The next thing to do here is create a remarketing ad set on the desktop News Feed and serve your ads to users who have specifically clicked on your ad via mobile. So how do you set this up?
- When building out your mobile ad sets to prospect for mobile users, add an extra parameter to your URL. For example: device=mobile. This will help in identifying users coming in from your mobile ads.
- In the Facebook audience section, create a Facebook remarketing audience based off of the URL parameter:
- Next, create your ad sets remarketing to that mobile-specific remarketing list and select the desktop News Feed to ensure that you are only pulling them into your site via desktop.
Let’s use an ecommerce scenario as an example.
Users love to browse around on their mobile devices, but actual transactions are clunky for multiple reasons – shopping experiences are poor, there’s a lot of information to enter on a mobile device, people on mobile devices are in public places and squeamish about typing credit card info, etc.
The goal shouldn’t be to get them to convert; it should be to get them to come back on a desktop device, where they’re much more likely to buy.
In this scenario, we’d retarget users with Facebook’s dynamic product ads, which feature products someone has viewed on your site. Create a separate ad set to leverage Dynamic product ads on the Desktop News Feed that exclusively targets users who have come through on your mobile acquisition campaigns.
In short, even if your mobile experience is sub-par, you can bring mobile users into your funnel and convert them on desktop. (Note that this is a good tactic even if you DO have a good mobile experience.)
Don’t let weeks or months of mobile opportunity slip past; get ahead of your developers, use the customer journey to your advantage, and keep the conversions coming.
Everyone knows that remarketing is an efficient method of bringing back users to get them to convert.
But are you being smart about your remarketing efforts? It’s not a one-size-fits-all endeavor; segmentation is a huge part of the picture.
In other words, don’t just dump everyone who has visited your site and remarket to them; think about how you can segment visitors into groups of identifiable characteristics that can allow you to create a more tailored (and ROI-positive) experience. In this post, we’ll explore three simple segmentation types that can drive huge results for your remarketing dollar.
1) Audience segmentation based on website interaction
This allows us to understand and speak to a user’s intent. For example, compare someone who has visited the home page and bounced with someone who has gotten to a signup page/lead form/add-to-cart page and bounced; we know the latter person has higher intent. At the very minimum, you should be segmenting your audiences by “researchers” vs “high intent”. “
Researchers” should include audiences who have visited more high-level pages such as the home page, about page, blog, etc. “High Intent” would consist of audiences that got lower in the funnel – product page, services page, lead form, etc. For each of these audiences, you should tailor ads specifically, supplying the right customized messaging and creative to push them further down the funnel.
2) Segmentation by time
One thing you want to avoid is being that annoying company that follows people around, showing them the same ad over and over again. By segmenting audiences by how long ago they visited your site, you can avoid this scenario.
For example, let’s segment audiences by week. In week 1 since they have visited the site, you should them a specific ad (with tailored creative and messaging). In week 2, you experiment with a different message, creative, etc. And in week 3, if they still haven’t come back to convert, perhaps you can get more aggressive and offer an incentive/discount/promo.
3) Segmentation by Google Analytics data
If you have a decent amount of traffic visiting your site, multiple pages with great content, etc. – you’re well positioned to leverage all of the advanced capabilities of Google Analytics to create remarketing audiences.
Some great ways to segment out audiences include time on site, number of pages viewed, and Google Smart Lists – which leverage Google’s machine-learning capabilities to identify users most likely to convert in subsequent sessions and dynamically manages the audiences to focus on those users.
I haven’t talked about bidding yet, but the success of all of these segmentation types will also rely on bidding nuances – e.g. bidding more for higher-intent users than for researchers. Bucketing more valuable users will allow you to be more aggressive when warranted while keeping bids conservative for users you’re trying to simply re-engage.
With the right mix of segments and tailored bids and ads, you’ll be well on your way to remarketing success.
Sana Ansari is General Manager of 3Q Accelerate, the high-growth division of 3Q Digital, and a contributor to Search Engine Watch.
Remarketing and retargeting are extremely similar, but there are slight differences that can make a difference if you're a small business. Learn more here.
The post What’s the Difference Between Remarketing and Retargeting? by @ADiSilvestro appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Bing Ads has introduced the ability to exclude irrelevant audiences from remarketing advertising campaigns.
The post Exclude Irrelevant Audiences from Bing Ads Remarketing Campaigns by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
In digital marketing, we’re always trying to keep up with the hottest new thing – advertising methods, ad types, targeting types, etc. – being pitched heavily within the industry in general.
Whether it be the “year of mobile” to the “year of RLSA,” there is always another trend to consider investing heavily in.
Over the last year-plus, video has been most frequently cited as the new digital frontier. Whether it’s important to a comprehensive marketing campaign isn’t the question, though. The question is, how do we best make use of it?
In this post, we’ll talk about when – and how – to put video in play for your marketing campaigns.
First, you need to determine if video will even be beneficial for your company.
Videos are best used as an educational/informational tool to help relay info to your audience. If you have a business that requires some explanation of the service or product, or have a variety of advanced features that need to be showcased, or even need to establish credibility and trust for the user to move forward, video can be key for your growth.
If you’ve determined that your business would indeed benefit from adding or expanding on video, how should you leverage it in your advertising efforts? What are some strategies to do so?
Well, below are some tips to make the most out of Facebook and YouTube video for direct-response/performance-driven efforts:
Start with Facebook
Facebook is probably the best platform to leverage video from the direct response perspective. You can get extremely granular with its targeting capabilities and ensure that you are reaching highly relevant audiences to whom you can introduce your brand and explain its value proposition.
As a reminder, the best practice is to keep video length less than 30 secs; that’s about as long as you can plan to keep a user’s attention.
Initially, you’ll want to use Facebook videos in your prospecting efforts. These videos will serve as a first touch to audiences who haven’t heard of you or don’t know you well.
The goal of these video ads is twofold: educate the user and also determine which users are actually interested in what you have to offer.
How do you determine that? Well, Facebook creates audience lists based off how much of the video users have viewed. If someone has completed your full video, they likely have a relatively high level of interest in your product or service.
Once you’ve identified this group, take that audience list of users who have completed the video and begin serving remarketing ads towards them to drive them onto your site and get them to convert.
Now perhaps someone came to our site from another method – paid search, organic, etc. You can also leverage Facebook video ads to help further convince users who haven’t converted why we are right for them.
One powerful ad type within Facebook is Carousel Ads, which let you show 3-5 images, concepts, and messages to help get your point across, deliver value props, and get people to convert.
What many people don’t realize is that you can actually incorporate video into one of your carousel cards. This becomes extremely effective with remarketing as it allows you to relay numerous different messages while also providing the user an educational video to further convince them.
Use YouTube for remarketing
We all know about YouTube and its huge traffic numbers. Of course you should consider advertising here, but note that YouTube is often seen more as a branding play than a direct-response. The one way to really make YouTube effective with DR in mind is to leverage for remarketing.
My recommendation is to develop and segment audience lists of users who visit your site but do not convert based on their interaction with the website (for example, people who get to a sign-up page have shown higher intent than someone who has only gotten to the home page).
Then test various different audiences using different video assets. Essentially, you should aim to further educate these audiences via YouTube and test which videos tend to work better with higher-intent audiences vs. those in research mode.
Videos can be an impactful format when trying to reach your audience and scale your business – but not before you determine when to use it, what channels to leverage it on, and how to strategize to invest your budget wisely.