Image via Shutterstock.
Google is leaving you clues about how to become a better marketer — and you might not even be seeing them.
The job of every marketer today, whether they work in PPC, SEO, CRO, or content, is to solve people’s problems. Google is taking note of companies that are doing it well, and companies that are leaving people disappointed.
Search engine optimization is changing
With the help of AI, machine learning and years of data, search engines are getting better at predicting what people want.
At the recent Call to Action Conference, Seer Interactive founder Wil Reynolds explained that as search engines become more concerned with solving people’s problems, the old SEO toolset is going to be thrown for a curve:
In other words, the search race is no longer simply about keywords — it’s about being a trusted brand committed to solving people’s problems.
Find clues to solve prospects’ problems
The good news is there are a few places you can start looking to see what your customers want, so you can then deliver.
Here are two places Wil suggests any marketer can look to better solve their customers’ problems and start seeing better results.
Pssst. Go here to watch the full recording of Wil’s talk at the 2017 Call to Action Conference: Breaking the Silo Between CRO and SEO to Make BIG Wins.
Clue #1: Comparison search queries
When your future customers are in the evaluation stage of their journey, they’re likely comparing you with your competitors. They’re typing in things like “best,” “compare” and “reviews.”
These keywords indicate that they’re not necessarily sold on you yet — they’re looking for a comparison. Knowing this, how can you discover exactly what they want so you can serve it up for them?
Examine the top organic results
Looking at the top organic results will give you better insight into what people actually want to see.
In the example Wil provided of a search query for “best CRM software,” all of the top paid results are companies, while the top organic results are comparisons:
Results 1-4 are ads. The two below are organic results. Image via Wil’s CTAConf talk.
The discrepancy in the type of organic content that is being shown versus the type of content in the ads tells us the paid content isn’t directly solving the problem people are searching for.
This gives smart marketers a hint that when people use search terms like “best,” they aren’t ready to be sold to. Instead, they’re looking for content that directly compares vendors or brands and allows them to come to their own conclusion about what “best” really is.
Or as Wil put it:
Now that you know what your customers are actually looking for, what’s next?
Create content that replicates those top organic results
The image below shows what one of the top organic results looked like for “best CRM software”:
HubSpot took inspiration from this PCMag article and recreated their own table comparing their solution with a few of their competitors:
By creating this comparison chart, they’re giving their potential customers the kind of content they’re looking for at this point in their buyer journey.
Notice that HubSpot actually ranked themselves second in the chart. What kind of marketer would say they’re second best? Bold!
We typically see marketers shouting, “We’re #1!” from the rooftops so consumers constantly feel like they’re be sold to. In this case, as Wil points out, HubSpot is taking a risk by not claiming to be #1. But they’re putting the needs of the customer first, which consumers are sure to love — and Google, too.
Answer customers’ questions instead of just shoving them into your funnel. Google will thank you.
Clue #2: “People Also Ask” box
Google’s “People Also Ask” box is a goldmine of information for anticipating what your customers will be searching for next.
The “People Also Ask” feature, introduced in 2015, is an expandable box of search queries related to the original search. Each question can be expanded by clicking on it, which gives the user options to refine their search or dig deeper on the subject:
“People Also Ask” boxes create an infinite source of related questions, in this case all about pizza.
This feature can tell smart marketers several things about how users are searching and creates an opportunity to solve their customer’s problems in more places.
How can you use this clue in your marketing?
Answer more of your users’ questions
Wil explained that when you’re looking for new content ideas, the “People Also Ask” box can be a never-ending source of inspiration.
Start by typing in common search queries for your industry and see what else comes up in the “People Also Ask” box. The suggestions in this box are based on high volume search queries, so they’re a healthy bet for your own content strategy.
The “People Also Ask” box also presents an opportunity to be the leader on any subject. Imagine if you had position 0, position 1, and the “People Also Ask” results? Every user would be led to your content.
Image from Wil’s CTAConf talk.
The results in the “People Also Ask” boxes are usually results that rank in the first page for that particular search term. To knock out your competitors from these positions, you’ll need to focus on creating high-quality, well-structured and informative content for each search query.
Create a better pop-up experience
Now we’re going to take it a step further beyond creating content on related searches and get into creating content that guides your customer through their journey.
In his talk, Wil explained that “People Also Ask” boxes are giving you cues about how your prospects’ brains work:
Because the related questions that come up in the “People Also Ask box” are things that other users actually clicked on, you can make assumptions about the kinds of things your customers want to know next.
For example, Seer found that after reading their SEMRush guide, many customers were also asking about comparing SEMRush to Moz.
Seer took this information and created a guide comparing the two tools. They then added a slide-in pop up to their SEMRush guide article, which you can see in the image below, presenting the reader with the option to read the comparison next.
Now a reader doesn’t have to return to Google to find the information they wanted next, because Seer has already presented it to them.
By anticipating what their customers will ask for, Seer is able to keep readers on their site, answer more of their questions and become an even more trustworthy source.
Place ads on trusted sites
We’ve seen that the results in the “People Also Ask” boxes are typically high-quality, informative content that Google already ranks on page 1. This means these sites are highly trusted by Google and they’re showing up for these search queries, so there is a high chance that your customers will visit these websites at some point in their search.
This creates a new opportunity to target your customers with display ads on the sites that you anticipate they will be visiting.
To do this, Wil explained, dig into the “People Also Ask” results to find what sites are coming up as the top answers for all of the queries related to your keyword.
Once you have a list of sites, use Google’s Display planner tool to find those sites and get an idea of how many impressions you’ll get. Then create display ads on the sites that come up most.
Google likes problem solvers
As Google gets better and better at understanding what people want, marketers will need to take an approach that puts solving their customers problems first.
Luckily, Google is already starting to leave clues about what your customers really want to see from your company.
Using these suggestions to start taking action and showing up for your customers at every step of their journey will put you ahead of the curve.
Greetings….from the beaches of Bali! Yeah, a few mai thais, beach naps, and healthy meals. Living and traveling abroad is one of the beautiful benefits of building an Amazon business. It still amazes me that I’m building a business and selling on Amazon UK while living thousands of miles away in Asia, and I will never touch a Jungle Slumber sleeping bag while selling these on Amazon UK! I am even connecting with my new BFF in China, Helen, while in Bali. Nice to be on a relatively similar time zone! So here’s an update on where we are now: Deposit paid: We put 50% for the down payment, and 50% due with shipment We paid on Sept 29th, but they were on a week of vacation Expected Date of Completion: Goods expected to be finished the first week of November Method of Payment: Paid with a bank transfer (T/T) using Alibaba trade assurance. A nice bonus here is that we got a free inspection by using Alibaba Trade Assurance, due to a short-term promotion that they were running. So we will have the goods completed in the middle of November, right before the holiday rush! And as the UK ... Read More
There are multiple approaches and strategies to organizing Shopping campaigns for PPC. All of these will vary greatly depending on the brand, the number of products, the price of products, the type of products, feed organization, and the list keeps going. However, I have narrowed account-wide Shopping structures down to two options. Again, these aren’t the only two options, but in my opinion, they promote a universal adaptability while still offering flexibility (depending on the account’s needs).
In this post, I will be discussing only one of these options for two reasons.
However, if the first option doesn’t fit your paid strategy and/or you’re interested in learning more about the second option, I promise to deliver Part 2 next month, so keep an eye out!
Anyway, the first part of my Shopping structure series, if you will, is centered around organizing through priority tiers. In this case, we will have three tiers that align with the three campaign priority settings for Shopping: High, Medium, and Low.
(Disclaimer: This is not a post about organization within a Shopping campaign. Rather, it is about how you should organize your campaigns to work together within an account.)
Before getting started, it is important to have a good understanding of the backend in Shopping campaigns. Even if you feel confident in your knowledge of Shopping and how your campaigns are set up, at least glance over The Complete Google AdWords Shopping Campaign Settings Breakdown. I will cover some aspects in this post, but that specific post provides a more thorough explanation.
Defining The Tiers
The primary concept of this organization strategy is breaking everything out into tiers based on campaign priority. Again, those priorities are High, Medium, and Low. We will use these to group our campaigns by Top Performers, Product Groups, and All Products.
You can define Top Performers in a variety of ways. However, I typically do so at a product level based on those products that lead in conversions. More often than not, your top-converting products will also be responsible for a higher amount of impressions and spend. If you have a smaller inventory of products, you can have these in one campaign. To do this, simply add them in by their Item ID number when creating the ad group. Then, name your campaign something along the lines of “Google_Shopping_Top Performers”.
However, if you have a larger inventory, you can have multiple Top Performer campaigns. Just be sure to group them with like themes for organizational purposes at the campaign level, with a similar Item ID setup at the ad group level. For example, you could group top performers by product types with naming conventions similar to this.
Or, you could group them by Brand, if that makes more sense with your inventory. For example:
In either case, you should give these a high campaign priority, their own budget, and aggressive bidding.
Product categories are your middle-tier campaigns. In most cases, this tier will have the most campaigns and each must always have a medium campaign priority. In theory, since you’ve now segmented out the Top Performers, these campaigns will allow those middle tier products to receive more traffic. Remember that your Top Performers steal most of the impressions and budget, so this structure allows you to better allocate budgets and ensure a wider variety of your inventory is receiving traffic.
Again, depending on the account, feed, and inventory, these categories will vary. However, I like to have a Product Category campaign present for all categories in my inventory. For example, if I sold sports equipment, my campaigns could look similar to this.
The most important piece to the Product Category breakouts is excluding those Top Performer IDs from their respective Product Category campaigns. For example, if a certain Nike Basketball is a Top Performer, that ID should not be in the Product Categories_Basketball campaign. However, it isn’t the end of the world if you forget this step (often times you may intentionally ignore this step, in fact). If you were to keep the item ID in both, that certain Nike Basketball would not show in the Product Categories campaign until the Top Performer campaign ran out of budget. Again, Google will show an ad for that basketball in the campaign with the highest priority (even if the bid is lower). But, if that high priority campaign is out of budget, it will default to the next lowest available. So, it really comes down to advertiser preference. However, I like to exclude them in the Product Category campaigns for two reasons.
All Products make up the final tier in this type of account structure for Shopping. Typically, you will only need one campaign for this. It will be set on a low campaign priority with a much lower bid than your Top Products and Product Categories. It really serves two primary purposes in this type of structure.
In other words, one of the purposes of this campaign is to show for those Top Products on a secondary level, whereas the Product Category campaigns are supposed to show for other products.
For this type of campaign, you can simply target “Everything else in All Products” at one low bid. There is no need to break down by Item IDs or Product Types. Also, this is the only campaign where you should ever be targeting “Everything else in All Products”. It should be excluded in all other campaigns.
There are two final notes for the All Products campaign.
Putting It All Together
Since we have determined what each tier consists of, here is a visual to help put everything into perspective.
In summary, this structure allows you to pull out Top Performers and put them into their own campaign. This helps you be more competitive with bidding since the return is there. Plus, it helps you keep a more accurate pulse of those products. Then, by pulling out those Top Performers, you can now drive more traffic to the middle tier of your inventory with the Product Categories campaigns. Since the Top Performers aren’t completely stealing all of the traffic and budget, other products now have the chance to get a higher quantity of traffic. Finally, the All Products campaign will act as a catch-all. Again, it should have a low priority and a much lower bid than the other campaigns. It will cover both untargeted products and act as a secondary option for when other campaigns run out of budget.
Aside from the normal bid changes, search query reports, audience layering, bid adjustments, etc., this type of structure also allows you to have an ongoing cyclical maintenance. In other words, you should be moving item IDs and product groups around based on performance. Here is a visual of this ongoing optimization strategy.
Lower Than ROAS Goal
This type of structure won’t always be perfect. So, when you see certain Top Performers fall below your desired return goal (to the point that slightly lowering the bid won’t fix it), you need to move it back to its respective Product Category campaign. This allows more budget to go to other Top Performers and allows the product you bumped to the middle tier to still show at a lower bid.
Then, if that same item ID/product continues to be below ROAS goal (or even the product group for that matter), you must then exclude it from the middle tier as well. At this point, you are still showing for those products, but at a much lower bid. This allows you to still show for that part of your inventory while making better use of the Shopping budget in other areas where there is a higher return.
Above ROAS Goal
On the other end of the spectrum, you can also you use this cyclical optimization pattern on high performing products or categories. For example, if you pull a report that shows 75% of the conversions in your All Products campaign are coming from one product or a group of products, make sure you are showing them in higher-tiered campaigns. If you are already showing them, maybe it’s time to adjust budgets, bids, and targeting. If you aren’t, then you will obviously want to add them in. You can follow this same strategy when analyzing both All Products and Product Category data. Just remember to exclude products as necessary, as previously discussed.
Again, this isn’t the only way to organize the Shopping campaigns in your account or even one of only two ways. However, it is a great strategy for allocating budgets, competitive bidding, mitigating cross-pollination, and continually optimizing your PLAs. In my post next month, I will discuss another Shopping structure I like to use that focuses on segmenting between branded and non-branded PLA targeting. So, if your account battles other vendors bidding (and using) your own brand in their PLAs, be sure to check it out!
One of the most stressful moments in a marketer’s career is when traffic starts to slow or decline. You generated a lot of leads and revenue with creative emails, in-depth content, and shareable social posts, but new ideas are falling flat, and you’re suffering from a severe case of marketer’s block.
One source of new ideas that may come as a surprise is SEO website analytics. Reviewing web analytics reports can help marketers find new uses for underperforming content, discover new audiences to engage and educate, and identify gaps in coverage that need to be filled.
Even if you’re a Google Analytics beginner, it’s simple to navigate the system and populate advanced reports that will help fill a content calendar. In this blog, I’ll show you how to take a deep dive into your website analytics and use what you discover to find exciting new ways to stimulate success.
1. Gather Detailed Demographics Insights to Address the Right Audience(s)
Audience reports in Google Analytics provide an incredible amount of site visitor data: age, gender, location, browser type, device type, and even interests. This data can be used to build new buyer personas or refine existing personas.
In order to access this data, enable demographics and interest reports:
With audience tracking enabled, many in-depth reports will become available:
Where audience reports really get interesting, though, is with secondary metrics. Under either the age or gender report, add a secondary metric for any of the three interest categories.
Pull a variety of reports for age and gender for each interest category to learn a lot about the people who visit your website most often. That information can be used to build or expand buyer personas.
Using the reports above, we know one target persona is a male of Millennial age who’s made or expressed interest in purchases related to business software, productivity software, employment, and dating.
2. Examine Visitor Behavior to Identify Landing Pages that Need Improvement
The Google Analytics Users Flow report allows marketers to view the most common site entry pages, where users navigate most often from those entry pages and the most common drop-off point. This provides helpful information that can be used to identify spots where funneling is ineffective, or landing pages are uninspiring.
Navigate to Google Analytics, click the “Audience” tab, and click “Users Flow.”
This report displays a hierarchy of site entry pages, and the path users follow until they leave the site.
Find a page in the list that is designed to funnel visitors through the purchasing journey—it could be a home page, product landing page, or any other important content.
Analyze the user flow report to look for places where drop-offs are higher than expected, or where users are navigating to unexpected pages.
Pages with high drop-off rates may need to have content updated to better match user intent, or CTAs updated to point to more relevant content given the user’s position in the buying journey.
3. Review Search Reports to Discover Topic Ideas and Gaps in Coverage
If you or your team is suffering from a severe case of writer’s block, reviewing site search analytics can provide a plethora of new content ideas.
In Google Analytics, click the “Behavior” tab, expand “Site Search,” and click “Search Terms.”
To identify content gaps, look for:
Review site search reports generate ideas for new pieces of content to write and rest assured that the content will perform well because users are already looking for it.
4. Identify New Opportunities for Driving Visitors Deeper into the Purchasing Funnel
Are you taking advantage of every opportunity to keep visitors engaged and move them through the buying journey? In all likelihood, some pages drive high amounts of traffic but visits end after a single page view. To keep visitors engaged, identify important entry pages, and update those pages with content that entices visitors to stay a while.
The Google Analytics landing page report will provide a list of all site entry pages and the bounce rates and pages per session for each.
Navigate to Google Analytics, click the “Behavior” tab, expand “Site Content,” and click “Landing Pages.”
Look for pages with high traffic volumes that currently have no links to related content, newsletter signup forms, or links to downloadable gated content.
Adding one or more of those CTAs to the content of that page could significantly decrease bounce rates for that page and significantly increase the number of pages per session, newsletter signups, overall page views, and/or leads from gated content requests.
5. Analyze Content Reports to Find (and Improve) Failing Content
Some pieces of content receive thousands of social shares, rank high in Google search, and continue to drive traffic long after they’re published. Others get a couple of page views and a few shares before they’re completely forgotten.
But just because a piece of content failed the first time it was published doesn’t mean it has to be a failure forever. Content takes a lot of time, effort, and money to produce. When it fails, it should be revised and given another chance—not abandoned to become an outdated tax on site crawl rate.
If content rarely sees a set of eyeballs, unpublish it. Use the content somewhere else to do something different—create an infographic, webinar, or video. Use it as a chapter in an ebook. Transform the effort put into creating the content into something valuable.
Use the Google Analytics “Content Drilldown” report to find low-performing content. When the report loads, click the arrow in the “Pageviews” column to sort the content by least-to-most pageviews.
Content with very few pageviews over the last year—particularly if the content also has low average time on page, high bounce rate, and high exit percentage values—probably needs to be reviewed and either revised or repurposed.
3 Tools That Provide Unique SEO Website Analysis Opportunities
While Google Analytics is an amazing website analytics platform—because it’s free and it has a lot of valuable features—it doesn’t do everything that marketers may need from an SEO website analytics platform.
These other analytics tools have capabilities that aren’t available in Google Analytics but provide more exciting, data-driven opportunities for marketers to explore:
Google Analytics also has a premium version of its platform—Analytics 360—that offers features not available on the free platform, but the additional features come with a hefty price tag.
SEO Website Analytics Aren’t Just for SEOs and Google Analytics Experts
At a glance, Google Analytics can seem incredibly daunting, confusing, and user-unfriendly, but it just takes a little getting used to. It’s worth it for marketers to spend time getting to know GA because the reports it provides can save the day when idea wells run dry and traffic numbers are bordering on stagnant.
A great introduction to SEO analytics for beginners is the Google Analytics Content Drilldown report. Use it to find failed content, transform it into high-impact content, and grow traffic, while also recovering the time and effort that was previously lost to a piece of content with no promise.
What beginner-friendly tips do you have when it comes to Google Analytics and SEO? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
We’re ready to welcome more than 300 PPC pros to Hero Conf. And we’d love to add your name to the attendee list at London’s Only All-PPC Event. Packed with 41 all-new sessions on the most pressing issues facing digital marketers today, it’s an event you simply can’t miss.
Beyond the content, we’ve got exciting opportunities to meet and network with people who understand the work you do everyday. Join us for:
Check out some of our most exciting moments from London 2016:
But don’t delay. Only 10 days remain until our biggest and best London event yet!
“Why is PPC performance so different from August to September?”
These are the kinds of questions, that left unchecked, can send me into a bit of PPC whirlwind.
My instinct is to jump to the “what”. What we will do to fix the problem. That feels easier than sifting through columns of data, trying to piece together a story. So, if you, like me, are unsure of where to start, keep reading for four places to go when troubleshooting PPC performance.
Start With The Question
Although, all of my instincts are screaming at me to fix the problem, and fix it right now, the original question began with, “why”. So, when a client’s question throws you off balance, slow down. Slow down and give yourself space to digest the question being asked. Is the client asking for a solution or are they asking for the “why” behind performance? In this instance, the client was asking for the why.
Before jumping into Analytics, check your change history in Adwords. Change History is a nifty way to remind yourself of any tests or changes that were made to the account during the time period in question. With various filtering options, you can sort through the tangle of changes and drill down to what is relevant.
Usually a decline has taken place because of changes made to bids, keywords, ads, or a setting change. But not always.
It would be great to be the only ad vying for a click; however, this will never be the case. Competitors are real, they are savvy, and they are worth considering when performance shifts. If a competitor has recently entered the market or recently become more aggressive in their advertising, this will impact your client. Jeff Allen wrote a great blog about using auction insights to tell the business story.
Google Analytics has hundreds of ways to splice, dice and analyze data. With so many reports at your PPC fingertips, where do you start?
Brand vs. Non-Brand
When PPC performance has gone a little wonky, check Brand performance. Brand traffic are customers who are familiar with the business and are lower in the sales funnel. They know the business name and they are interested enough to search for the Brand specifically.
To view this data, you can use the All Campaigns report and sort by “Brand”.
In this specific instance, we were focused on specific date ranges. So, the first step was to look at the first two weeks of August compared to the first two weeks of September. By looking at this graph we can already see that brand traffic saw a sharp decrease in September.
Taking a closer look at which specific brand campaigns saw a decline in sessions, we saw that all but one campaign had fewer sessions than in August.
Not only had Branded campaigns decreased in sessions, but they had decreased in conversions as well.
Why does it matter that Brand is down? Because people who are already familiar with your brand are not as reliant on PPC ads. When your branded campaigns are down and you have not made any significant changes in the account, it is a good idea to start looking at all sources. This may be an issue outside of PPC.
PPC is part of a bigger marketing picture. If Branded sessions and conversions are down, next step would be to check all sources performance. There could be forces outside of PPC that are impacting performance.
You can find this view in the Source/Medium report in Google Analytics. Here are some helpful ways to look at this data.
When looking at sessions broken down by Medium, we can see that across the board sessions are down.
This is telling us that there is something amiss beyond just PPC. Looking at goal completions in Analytics, we saw the following.
Again, we see that all sources saw a drop in Goal Completions when comparing August to September.
The Source/Medium Report gives us a peek into what is going on outside of PPC. It’s a *hint, hint, nudge, nudge* when all traffic and conversions are trending down. Even though PPC is a powerful lever to pull, the small changes made in a PPC account are not solely to blame for Organic, Direct, and Referral goal completions dipping so significantly.
For this client, locations are incredibly important. In fact, PPC is structured around five very specific locations. In Analytics, the Location Report helps determine if there were any external forces, outside of our control, that were having an impact on the client’s business.
Texas is responsible for 62% of the overall sessions for the account.
Taking a deep dive into Texas we saw the following.
This gave us insight into bigger happenings in the world. Drilling down to a city level we were able to infer that there were factors beyond PPC that had caused performance shifts from August to September.
Continue to optimize PPC, but remember that PPC is part of a bigger, more complex marketing picture. So, when a client throws an unnerving question at you, breathe. Keep these four steps in mind and you will be on your way to becoming a PPC troubleshooting pro!
Nearly 3 out of 4 online shopping carts are abandoned. There are a myriad of reasons why customers abandon their carts, from sticker shock about shipping rates to lack of trust in your data privacy policies. Whatever the reasons are behind this astronomical number, the fact remains that marketers need to address this unavoidable issue. Cart abandonment emails are one of the leading cart recovery methods you can employ. According to Ometria, around 44.1% of all cart abandonment emails are opened, 11.6% of all cart abandonment emails are clicked and 29.9% of clicks lead to a recovered purchase back on site.
In this blog, I’ll show you 5 ways to make cart abandonment emails work for you and your business.
Relevant, Engaging Subject Lines
The first thing a customer sees in their inbox is who an email is from. The second thing is the subject line. A subject line can make or break you. In fact, 33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone and it’s one of the easiest, most impactful elements of any email you can test.
Some simple tests you could perform to boost open rates with your subject line would be to test including action words like “exclusive,” “hurry,” “don’t miss out,” etc.
Personalization is another great way to grab attention and boost open rates. The most obvious way is to include the customer’s first name in the subject line. Campaigns with personalized subject lines generate higher opens rates than non-personalized campaigns.
Strong Headlines and Concise Copy
Your headline should grab attention and lead the recipient directly into the meat of your content, and ultimately, your call to action. Personalization can be used in the headline as well to draw the eyes and the copy should lean towards minimal to bring the reader to the CTA as soon as possible. Here’s a nice example from Ghurka:
In this email, Ghurka references the shopper by name in the headline, creates urgency in one paragraph of brand-appropriate copy, and uses a strong call to action. They even include what looks to be a personalized customer service angle to finish the email.
Remind Them What They Left Behind
One of the common reasons shoppers abandon their carts is simply human nature: they get distracted and leave the site. Remind your shoppers about what they left behind with as many specifics as you can from the data you collect in your marketing stack. Include an image of the product, a brief description, color options, size selections, patterns, pricing—again, any data point you feel can be brought in. If the items in the cart are top-selling items include cart expiration dates or in-stock/out-of-stock alerts.
In the Nordstrom example below, you’ll see an example of cart items being incorporated. They feature a fast-selling item at the top and the other items separately.
Cross-Sell Where You Can
While I always recommend keeping cart abandonment emails as simple as possible, cross-selling related or popular items can drive additional revenue as well. Personalizing “Recommended Items” or items “You Might Also Like” can drive a 28% increase in average order values.
This email from Kate Spade brings in similar products to cross-sell:
Don’t Forget About Mobile
Optimizing your templates for mobile is crucial to any email’s success. According to Statista, 34.5% of sales are completed on a mobile phone, with an expected rise over the next three years. Your cart abandonment emails need to not only look good on mobile but also enable your customers to complete the actions from the phone as well (so don’t forget your mobile website, either).
Tips for B2B
When talking about cart abandonment strategy, it’s natural to think of B2C ecommerce sites as the primary places where abandonment occurs. While this is true (certainly by percentages), B2B ecommerce and their requisite cart abandonment issues should not be overlooked.
The definition of an abandoned “cart” would change depending on the product or service being offered. If you’re selling products to businesses, cart abandonment content and strategy might mirror that of the B2C processes we’ve identified above. If your offering involves a subscription service or a free trial period, your process might be geared more towards activation of the trial or subscription.
The important thing to realize with B2B websites and an abandonment process is there are likely to be more reasons why people would visit the website beyond buying products. Some of these reasons include order status and tracking, product availability and contract pricing, invoicing and payment, etc. Given these potential variables, the smart decision would be to determine what counts as an abandoned cart in terms of customer behavior rather than employing a one-size-fits-all cart abandonment program.
Let’s recap what a good cart abandonment email will have:
What this specifically means for your business can obviously vary in terms of exact execution.
Zachys Wine & Liquor
A third-generation family-owned wine merchant, mostly focused on offline retail, Zachys Wine & Liquor started to shift to e-commerce in 2013. They started with a three-email cart abandonment series and were able to grow their e-commerce sales by 53% by reclaiming cart, browse, and search abandoners.
This e-commerce site reduced its checkout abandonment by 40% with emails targeted at abandoners. The first email achieved an open rate of 38.01%, a click-through rate of 24.71% and a 40% conversion rate.
This southwestern outfitter created a three-stage cart abandonment program that resulted in a 12% lift in captured revenue. The first email, seen below, was sent 20 minutes after abandonment and generated a 46.04% open rate.
Now that you’re armed with information to craft cart abandonment emails that work for your brand and your customers. A lot of revenue is lost when shoppers abandon their carts. Start small with one email, utilize as much data as you can to bring in elements of the cart, and turn those abandoners into customers.
How have you incorporated cart abandonment emails into your marketing plan? Tell us about how you’ve done so in the comments.
The post Crafting Cart Abandonment Emails that Work appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog - Best Practices and Thought Leadership.
A typical day in the life of a content marketer is somewhat like this: get into work, log in, grab a cup of coffee and, on a good day, get straight down to business to create top trending content that grabs thousands of eyeballs. On a bad day, you’ll often find us tearing out our hair, trying to figure out what makes for content that people actually want to read. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The trick is to take off your marketing hat and think like a consumer while brainstorming for relevant content. This seems counter-intuitive, but if you take a step back, you’ll see that people really want to read about things they care about or more often than not: top trending topics. That is the (not so) secret behind creating content that converts.
Then there’s the small matter of finding content that’s relevant to your industry—and the near-constant influx of content on every social channel doesn’t always help matters. So, what do you do? More importantly, how do you ride the wave of a top trending topic before it starts trending? We all know serious content production can’t really happen overnight. In this blog, I’ll share three easy steps to identify trending content.
Step 1: Use Your Audience
The first step is to find out where your audience hangs out. Is it Reddit? Is it Twitter? Imgur? While looking for top trending content, it’s essential to bring all the knowledge you have about your audience to the table and use every bit of it. That’s what Asos did for their Winter 2012 campaign which won them a —one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon advertisers and marketers—and additionally, a cool £5m in sales. They were well aware that the process of “getting ready” was a big deal for their target audience and they harnessed this fact to draft a highly successful campaign.
We can’t all be Asos, but we definitely know where to look for information that can help us formulate campaigns that do wonders for our business.
There are several free social media monitoring tools online that you can use to find ideas for content such as Google Trends, RiteTag, and TweetDeck. At Talkwalker, we use our very own Free Social Search tool to identify trending topics that have the potential of becoming the next big thing for our target audience.
Let’s take a look at another brand, Anastasia Beverly Hills for example. This makeup brand has an outstanding social authority and a bunch of top trending hashtags for the makeup/cosmetics category. If I’m looking to find the next prominent hashtag or marketing campaign, I can do a quick search on my own hashtag, in this case: #anastasiabeverlyhills.
I can scroll down to related topics and identify a couple of emerging hashtags—in this case, #wakeupandmakeup and #makeupartist—and draft my next marketing campaign based on my findings. I can also target Instagram as my primary marketing channel because 97.5% of my social activity is happening there.
Voila! I have now outsourced my content brainstorming to my audience.
Step 2: Stay Relevant, Stay (Top) Trending
The most important thing to keep in mind when drafting a piece of content is relevance. It’s vital to understand the difference between what customers want to read and what we, as marketers, think they want to read. Lines get blurry after several rounds of editing which in the end produces content that doesn’t add value to the readers’ lives and most definitely doesn’t make it to the top trending category. Most readers really just want to read content that is useful—something they can apply in their daily lives or even better, their Airbnb understood this and used it in their brilliant #livethere campaign from last year. They leveraged the fact that the millennial traveler doesn’t just want to tick things off their bucket lists—they want to experience a place like a local when they visit it.
Thus, Airbnb Experiences was born.
Note that Airbnb didn’t launch Experiences until last year—illustrating that timing (and relevance) really is everything.
Step 3: Keep it Simple
Content should be easily digestible. Period. You want to make sure that people don’t have to re-read sentences and paragraphs to make sense of what you’re trying to say. It works even better if you’re able to present your information in a relatable and humorous manner. You want your readers to be nodding along to your content as they read it because that’s what’s going to ensure that they keep reading till the end, and click on that CTA button you strategically placed. For a good example of this, take a page out of Kissmetrics’ book—not only is their blog content informative, but it’s also easy to understand and is genuinely useful for anyone who wants to learn more about marketing. They leverage the importance of segmenting and targeting your audience. Their content flows like a conversation, and unless you’re very, very sleepy, chances are you won’t stop reading, even though it’s long.
For an example of keeping it simple, that relates back to my first example for Anastasia Beverly Hills, something along the lines of a 2-3 minute #wakeupandmakeup brow challenge for make-up artists would be a good option.
Once you’ve figured out what the next big viral wave and top trending topic(s) could be and have designed your content and campaigns around it, it’s vital that you keep riding it until it dies down. This means outreach and influencer marketing should be added to your strategy as well. After all, content is only as good as the number of eyeballs it grabs, and a little help from influencers combined with lots of tracking and analysis doesn’t hurt.
Ultimately, good content and a high converting blog boil down to just two things: identifying top trending topics that your readers are talking about (or are likely to talk about shortly) and delivering crisp, informative content that resonates with them.
Do you have a formula for identifying trending topics? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
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As PPCer’s, our best asset is being able to drive trackable advertising performance for companies and clients. We learn our industry, adapt to changes, hone our skills and expand our knowledge of the array of tactics to deliver the best results. We learn processes, “hacks” and ways that work for us across a multitude of clients. However, what I have learned over the years is that to go from being a good PPC Manager, to a great one, is spending the time working directly with clients and stakeholders. Today, we are going to outline some of the reasons I believe that everyone in PPC, regardless of position, experience or industry, should experience a client facing role.
Clear Understanding of Goals
Being able to understand the scope of an account, the goals, the history, and the trends are imperative to you and your client’s success. Many agencies, at times, have multiple layers to the account management process. Typically there is a client face account manager, who coordinates, dictates and delegates roles to varying members of their team. If this person, does not have a high understanding of PPC, the information being passed down to the PPC Manager can get lost in translation or misunderstood. By being able to interact directly with a client, you learn over time to ask the right questions, at the right time, that may lead you down a different path that originally anticipated, due to findings in the account that are misaligned to the clients goals.
Understanding Your Client’s Industry and Business
PPC is not a 1 step solution. We do not just push buttons and look at spreadsheets. We analyze, strategize, test, and analyze again. We think strategically about every step we take, in the same fashion, the rest of the marketing department does. By interacting directly with the client, you are able to ask probing questions about their industry, is there seasonality, who is the space should we be most focused on, where is the industry headed. By being able to ask these questions, you set yourself up to be proactive, rather than reactive. You know when to expect drops in performance, what competitors you should be aware of during peak seasons, and how to predictively research how people will eventually interact with brands in your space.
Naturally I am an introvert. In previous roles, while responsible for crafting and delivering strategy to clients, the day to day interaction was not a big part of my role. Over the years, however, I have had to learn how to explain things on the most basic level, to ensure that the client constantly is aware and understands what we are doing while trusting us to execute a strategy that should help them reach their goals. This is, for many people including myself, the hardest thing to overcome. It has taken me 100’s of calls and meetings to get to a truly comfortable spot. There are still times where I am unclear or I need to reiterate what I just said, but it is a constant evolution as you as an expert in your field. Whether, you stay in the agency side, or transition to an in-house role, developing this skill will help you tremendously as you deliver strategy, performance insights and analysis to whoever the stakeholders are.
PPC Managers at times do not always get the credit we deserve. This is primarily down to not always being in front of the client and showing them what we have done and the strategy behind it. By stepping out of a comfort zone and putting yourself in front of a client will help you broaden your knowledge of PPC and at the same time, create a better rounded you.
All of the recent changes happening in AdWords, from the Interface-lift , to the New Ad Rotation options to the Daily Budget Changes has me feeling like Google is having a mid-life crisis, and I’m wondering “what’s it going to do next, buy a leather jacket?” When you’re faced with these, or any other uncertainties in your accounts, consider running Experiments. The beauty of AdWords Drafts and Experiments is that it provides an eloquent way to run A/B tests in your campaigns and provide meaningful data to your clients without a ton of leg-work on your end.
In case you’re wondering, the “Draft” is the mirror campaign you create with your test elements. You use the draft to run the experiment. For information about how to set up drafts and experiments, read Stephanie’s article, “How To Use AdWords Campaign Drafts and Experiments.”
What makes running Drafts and Experiments through AdWords such a boon? Its ability to incorporate historical creative performance when deciding which ad to run. We know that historical data is a dominant factor in determining which ad Google will serve in auction. For Search Experiments, Google pulls in the historical data of the source campaign and supplants it on the experimental campaign so that it starts with the same quality score. It should be noted that this is different for Display Experiments. When a Display Experiment is created, no creative performance is inherited, which leaves the test open to a clean creative slate.
There are a wealth of opportunities for tests. Below are ones that you can get up and running relatively quickly.
Since Google will be revoking “optimize for conversions” from its creative rotation, now is a great time to test which model to turn to. We keep being told that “Optimize for Clicks” paired with 3-5 ads per adgroup is the best because it allows Google’s algorithm to run efficiently and to serve the ad it thinks will get you closer to your campaign goals. If you’re at all dubious, the best way to figure out what will work for your campaigns is to set up this test. To do this, set up a test using optimize for Clicks vs. Rotate Indefinitely.
There are so many now, right? Find out how your manual bid strategy stacks up against some of Google’s smart bidding strategies. Set up an A/B test to see if your manual strategy is actually more effective than say, Target CPA bidding.
Changing Bid Modifiers
Instead of using your gut instinct, use experiments to uncover how changing your device, geo, or time of day bid modifiers will affect your account and come away with which combinations you can optimize to create more efficiencies in your account.
Two Different Creative Approaches
This one is great because you can move away from testing small copy tweaks to testing much larger creative concepts. This would be an excellent display test to run and you can see what images/copy resonate with your audiences. Go big here, don’t test something minute. If you’re interested in slight copy tweaks, use Google’s Ad Variations.
Before you get rolling on setting up your Experiments, there are a handful of Best Practices and insights I’d like to share with you from my last experiment.
When you have a test running, you will see a dashboard that looks like this:
The symbols next to your metrics indicate where you are on your journey to statistical significance:
Budgeting can look a little funky when an experiment is running. The Experiment will borrow budget from your Control Campaign, but it reports it separately. Be sure to incorporate this into your total spend reports, otherwise you may risk over-spending. You can see it at the bottom of your Campaign Tab:
Finally, if you conclude a test in favor of your experiment and you are attempted to hit “apply” but you’re not sure what will happen here’s the breakdown:
When you hit the “apply” button you we have two options:
If you want the new changes to go into effect without losing any of the data that you’ve accumulated during the experiment, select “Convert to a new campaign.” Be sure to select “apply” from the Draft. If you do this, your Draft will become a new campaign and you will retain all of the historical data from your Experiment and the control campaign will be paused.
If you select “Update Your Original Campaign” your experiment will end and the changes in your experiment will be applied to the original campaign, but they will not carry the historical data of the experiment with them.
It should be noted that there are features and reports that are incompatible with Experiments:
Features and reports that aren’t available for drafts
Experiments generally support the same features as campaigns, with a few exceptions:
Get started with Drafts and Experiments to get deeper insight about what could make your campaigns function at peak performance. Run an experiment every month and see how your KPIs shift. Your clients will love your proactivity, even if your experiments fail.
If Google buys a corvette though, I’m quitting digital marketing. JK I love it!