Whether you’re the most novice paid advertiser or a seasoned vet, the question “what do I do now” has likely come up numerous times. Maybe you feel that you’ve done all you can do and are stuck. Maybe you’ve been so busy driving strategy that daily/weekly account maintenance has fallen by the wayside. Maybe you’re working through the learning curves of managing your first PPC account. Either way, it is good to have a checklist of initiatives that you should be at least thinking about on a regular basis.
In this post, I have provided a quick list of the things I try and always think about. Each account manager and account will be very different. So, my list is broken down into more of a general scale with a few specific examples. Again, whether you are brand new to PPC or a paid advertising pro at a crossroads, this list should hopefully help organize your thoughts and get those PPC optimization gears turning.
The first on my list is search query reports. SQRs are among the most basic PPC optimizations, but they are still important. You can run these account-wide (but beware of an excel crash if your account is somewhat large). However, I prefer to break them down to the campaign-type level. More specifically, I find SQRs for DSA and Shopping campaigns to be the most beneficial. Obviously, they can help you arrive at negative keywords. However, on the other side, they are great for account expansion. DSA and Shopping SQRs can help advertisers uncover themes in their account that they would have never thought of. Here’s a tip on how to excel your search query reports.
Next is Shopping. Since we’ve already discussed SQRs, I’ll move right to bids. Depending on the size of your product line and how campaigns are organized, this could be a very tedious process. So, if you don’t have any sort of automated bidding in place (see “Bidding” section), consider a couple of things. If a product group/product is high-spending and non-converting, lower the bid or exclude it. On the other side, if you aren’t getting satisfactory traffic, make sure you’re bidding high enough to get your desired impression share.
Also, if a Shopping campaign has a large number of conversions, dive in and see what’s driving them. Often times you’ll find that a single product, or even product group, is driving the majority of conversions for a campaign that has multiple product groups. In this case, I will give that high-converting product group its own campaign and budget with a higher priority. Then, I will exclude it from its old campaign. This will allow greater emphasis on the higher performing product group and free up some budget for other products in the older campaign. If you have any further questions on Shopping, here is the complete Google AdWords Shopping campaign settings breakdown.
A popular item for search ads is split-testing, but I’ll refrain from regurgitating the same old A/B split, repeat. Instead, here are some other tips for ad optimization. For one, you can try setting up automated rules. They can be anything from emailing you when an ad has received 50 clicks, but not converted to pausing an ad that has over 100 impressions with no clicks. I’m not the biggest fan of fully automating, but their customizable nature can tailor to just about any account’s needs (even beyond ads). The second ad optimization you could consider trying is testing a different ad rotation. I haven’t fully bought into the “optimize for conversions” option, but it’s definitely worth a shot if your campaign is struggling.
There is a little less you can do with Display campaigns from a quick optimization or maintenance perspective. This is of course excluding audiences and targeting options, as that could be a post on its own. However, two things come to mind when I want to find quick wins in my display efforts. One is to cycle in new ad creative. Obviously, if it’s performing well there’s no need to update; but if conversions have dropped, try some fresh creative. The second is excluding placements. While we would like to think our targeting is always spot on, it is unrealistic to think we have complete control over where our target users go and furthermore, where our ads follow them. So, be sure to regularly keep a pulse on the high-spending/non-converting sites.
Ad extensions are probably forgotten the most often when it comes to optimizations, especially when schedules get busy. So first and foremost, ensure that all of your search campaigns are hitting as many extension types as possible (obviously within the realm of keeping them relevant). From there, just be sure to periodically check them and cycle in new extensions for those that aren’t performing as well. Finally, don’t forget that extensions can be a part of your promotion strategy. Sitelinks can be great for highlighting promotions, however, you can utilize the promotion extensions specifically for it as well.
Similar to SQRs, what kind of PPC checklist would this be if I didn’t include something on bidding? Similar to search ads, I have automated rules in place that help throw a flag on situations concerning impression share, average position, conversions, spend, etc. That essentially streamlines how I arrive at bidding decisions and I optimize from there. However, if you prefer more of an all-encompassing automation, with a little bit of research you can find numerous third party platforms or bid templates that automate nearly everything based on your goals.
Browse The Site
My final item on the checklist is better served in situations where you find yourself blanking on ideas, or in the rarer case when you are ahead on account initiatives. The actual site for the account you manage can be a great place to mine for new ideas and help drive strategy. By browsing the site, you could arrive at items like discovering certain new products/categories, new verbiage for ads, ad extension opportunity, discontinued products that are still showing ads, new keyword ideas, new audience ideas, and many others. Again, this is more general and less straightforward, but still an important element of any PPC checklist.
In closing, I realize this list is a little sporadic and generalized. However, as I previously mentioned, every advertiser and account will vary. So, my primary goal was to provide more of a high-level checklist that could serve as a foundation or starting point. From there, it can be customized to the specific situation. Feel free to follow-up if you have specific questions on any of the aspects of this checklist!
Easy to get to but hard to leave, London is a uniquely diverse city with some of the world’s best sites. Whether you are looking to take in the iconic skyline from the London Eye or immerse yourself in culture at the British Museum, London has something for everyone. Which is why it’s been so easy to make the decision to bring Hero Conf back to the UK capital, again and again.
We think London is the perfect reflection of the PPC industry – bold, dynamic, and thriving! With plenty to do and history around every corner, it’s the ideal backdrop for an event that grows and changes each and every year.
While we’ll provide plenty to keep you busy over our three days in this stunning city on the River Thames, we encourage those from near and far to truly take some time to explore what makes London special:
We’re excited to return to London for our third annual event. As our audience continues to grow, so does our love for the city that so warmly hosts us, year after year.
Come explore London, and Hero Conf with us. Seats are selling out quickly!
A few weeks ago, on #marketochat, we discussed How to Increase Your B2B Social Media Engagement with Social Media Influencer, Neal Shaffer. Today, having social media presence is a necessity for any B2B organization. So how can organizations not only participate in social media but succeed and drive social media engagement? In this blog, we’ll cover Neal Shaffer’s answers to five critical questions on how brands can increase social engagement across the variety of social media channels.
What Are the Core Elements in Any Good Social Engagement Strategy?
People like to be heard and want to know that their thoughts and opinions matter. This is the case with social media as well, it is critical that you listen to your audience and understand what they are looking for in order to achieve greater engagement.
When looking at interactions with your audience on Twitter, it is more important to care about the quality of the engagement rather than the quantity especially since the different types of engagement do different things for your business.
Are There Certain Social Channels You Recommend B2B Marketers Focus on More Than Others? If So, Why or Why Not?
First and foremost, it is important to be where your customers are. With so many different social media channels, customers are everywhere and you have to determine which channels receive the most engagement and interaction from your targeted audience. It is essential to spend the time and do the research about each channel. Before you determine if it’s right for your audience you should learn the lay of the land, including the rules of engagement—because each channel has its own language.
What Tips Can You Give B2B Marketers Trying to Build Their Twitter Following?
The best way to represent your own brand is through your own content or by curating content. This gives your audience a sense of where your company stands within a particular industry and what type of followers you are trying to reach.
It is also important to remember to engage with others you want to follow. Twitter magic can work, but only after you engage and make those connections to form relationships. These relationships that you establish can also be beneficial in the sharing of content and ideas.
In addition, hosting weekly or monthly tweet chats are a great way to interact with your audience. It gives you an opportunity to connect with your followers or new users who are joining into your chat for the first time. Through chats, you can find out what your audience is interested in and what topics they engage with more.
What Are the Most Effective Ways for B2B Marketers to Increase Facebook Engagement?
Paid social, groups, videos, and Livestream are the most effective ways to increase Facebook engagement. Facebook has so many different ways for you to target very specific groups of people with paid advertisements. This allows you to more effectively target leads, as you can focus your paid advertisements on the people who will likely respond and interact with it.
How Can B2B Marketers Leverage LinkedIn for Engagement?
Marketers can publish posts to gain credibility and a position as an expert in your industry. You can do this through sharing your own content as well as relevant articles to your industry and what you are interested in.
It is also a great place for employee advocacy opportunities as you can have your employees share the content you are creating to reach even greater audiences.
What Metrics Do You Think Are Most Relevant for B2B Marketers to Track?
When looking at engagement, you should look at the ratio of engagement and followers. This will allow you to figure out if you are reaching a broader audience outside of your followers or see if you are potentially only reaching your follower base. It is important to know this information so that you can change your social media strategy according to your needs whether that is a need to focus on reaching more people outside your following or trying to maintain your current follower base.
You can also look at click through rates to determine, which content your audience engages with compared to the content they do not. This will give you insight into the type of content you should create more of and what content you should revise to appeal more to your audience.
No matter what your end objective is, whether it is to achieve more engagement or learn how to use a different channel to better fit the needs of your customers, the first step is to research that channel and become familiar with the language used. After acquainting yourself with the channel, develop a strategy for curating and sharing content. Once you start receiving engagement and build a following, pay attention to what posts work and don’t work because the more your content is shared the more potential you have to reach new audiences and maybe go viral.
Interested in learning more from thought leaders? Be sure to join us on Periscope and Facebook Live Thursday, August 10 at 1 pm PST for Best Practices for Building and Maintaining a Marketing and Sales Partnership with guest Hally Pinaud, Principal Product Marketing Manager for Marketo.
So, you got an account to audit. Where do you begin? There are a lot of details to research and discover in an Adwords account alone that you need to dive into to help the client reach their goals. But how do we get to the point where we have our laundry list of suggestions?
Step 1: Ask the current manager of the account the right questions
Current Manager of Account: Can you audit my account for me?
Your Team: Sure, can you give us some insights & details on what you need?
Current Manager of Account: You’re the expert, you should tell me what I need.
Well, she/he could have been nicer about it, but they aren’t wrong. You’re in charge of bringing the ideas to the table, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask questions going in. At the very least the following should be relayed your way before starting the audit:
These are just a select few of the questions that can be answered very easily by a person who has been in the account – and it can save you time in terms of next steps off of these questions.
Step 2: Develop the team for the Audit
Once you have all your questions answered up front – develop the team based on that information for the audit. Things to consider when developing the team include:
Step 3: Decide What Reports Will Be Needed
Diving into an account with a mission in mind is much easier than diving in without a clear goal. This is why the upfront questions are extremely important. From there – you’re able to decide what reports would be most useful based on the account needs. Below shows a shorter example of what this might look like in terms of alignment:
The details behind what reports we would run come from some of the answers we received in Step 1 as seen here:
The point here is to connect the dots from each step – and assure that the work being put in on the audit is not only quality work, but usable work as we move onto the fourth and final stage.
Step 4: Complete Analysis & Suggestions
The final step in the process is to take the reports pulled, along with other account findings performed based on the account details given – and create a deck that provides guidelines and next steps based on the findings.
Aligning the data from the reports to what is currently in place in the account compared to what the data shows should be in the account is where everything comes together.
The perfect, simple example of how the process works on a small scale:
Seems simple enough, yeah? These 4 steps are crucial for audits to go smoothly and assure:
As we ramp up for Unbounce’s upcoming PPC week, we thought we’d revisit some of our favorite PPC posts from the archives. This post was originally published in May 2015 but is as relevant as ever. Dig in!
If you’re anything like me, you’ve participated in a couple of DIY home improvement projects. At the beginning of these projects, with YouTube training videos as my sidekick, I have an irrational sense of confidence in my handyman abilities.
When I’m tracking down my supplies at the local hardware store, I often find the products priced and displayed as “good,” “better” and “best.”
The frugal side of me tries to argue that “good” is good enough, but is there something about the “best” product that will secure my DIY victory?
With PPC advertising, we often face the same dilemma; we need to decide which metrics are “best” to measure the success of our campaigns. There’s a wealth of content and opinions on how to measure PPC success, which can get confusing.
This post will help you understand how different metrics can paint very different pictures of PPC campaign performance.
I’ll show how traffic-focused metrics can be a good starting point, how conversion-focused metrics are even better and how ROI-focused metrics provide the most complete picture for making meaningful changes to your campaigns.
Let’s dig in.
Good PPC metrics are traffic-focused
Many advertisers will default to looking at the click-through rate or cost per click when determining the success of a campaign. AdWords provides a lot of traffic-focused metrics that are incredibly useful, including underused gems like device segmentation and impression share.
And while those are definitely a good start, it’s important not to get so distracted that you lose sight of your basic business goals: generating a profit.
My agency has serviced or audited over 1,000 AdWords accounts. Believe it or not, almost half of them had not set up conversion tracking.
Conversion tracking allows you to measure conversion actions like a purchase or a lead submission in your ad platform, usually by placing a code snippet on a thank you or order confirmation page.
Without that piece of code, the only metrics you can measure are related to traffic, such as search impressions, clicks and click-through rates. Let’s look at an example to see why this is problematic.
What traffic-focused metrics tell you
Imagine you’re a mortgage company and each new paying customer is worth on average $3,500 in revenue with 50% in gross margin.
If you haven’t set up conversion tracking, you’ll mostly end up looking at reports like this:
If we’re only looking at traffic-focused metrics, our top campaign seems to be Campaign 5, which has the most clicks, the best click-through rate and the lowest cost per click.
Meanwhile, Campaign 4 has expensive clicks – which looks like a red flag!
But the truth is this data alone can’t really tell us whether the campaigns are successful to a company’s bottom line. For our mortgage company, we need to know whether the clicks are actually translating into useful leads.
Better PPC metrics are conversion-focused
If you’re already using conversion tracking, pat yourself on the back: you’re better off than much of the competition.
If you’re not, then get conversion tracking set up immediately. It’s easy to set up on most platforms like Google AdWords and Bing Ads (and if you’re using Unbounce you can put the tracking code right on a built-in thank you page).
Think beyond web conversions
Conversion tracking is more than just web leads and sales: among new accounts I’ve audited or onboarded, I’ve found that approximately 75% of advertisers who take phone leads don’t track them as conversions.
For many industries, phone calls are the main source of leads, so it’s critical to include calls in your conversion tracking! Many call tracking platforms have built-in ways of setting this up, and Google has a solution for AdWords advertisers here.
Call leads are more valuable for some businesses than for others, so you’ll want to keep in mind that not all types of conversions are necessarily equal – but the first step is making sure everything is tracked and measured.
What conversion-focused metrics tell you
Let’s say our mortgage company joins the big leagues and sets up conversion and call tracking. Here’s how that report looks:
Now we can track how many people are actually signing up for the service, not just clicking our ads.
Now we can start identifying our top-performing campaigns using cost per lead data (cost per conversion in Google AdWords). You’ll notice that Campaign 5 has the best cost per conversion, so it still looks like our top performer. Campaign 4 still looks like trouble.
But while conversions are great, at the end of the day what really matters is whether leads became paying customers.
Conversions tell us how many leads our company got, but not how many actually signed up to refinance their homes or how much revenue they brought in.
Your PPC campaigns aren’t just about clicks. Don’t lose sight of what matters: generating a profit.
The best PPC metrics are ROI-focused
For marketers who want to use the most meaningful data, let’s move to the golden metric: actual ROI!
That means tracking leads from click to close and measuring revenue on a per-lead basis. When you understand which campaigns, ads and keywords are actually generating revenue, you’ll be way ahead of competitors who have no idea where they’re making or losing money.
What ROI-focused metrics tell you
Let’s say our mortgage company decides to figure out exactly which leads are earning revenue. We can track specific leads in our CRM back to each campaign, set up separate phone numbers for each campaign and record which calls led to sales.
Using our customer value numbers from above, we can calculate the following report:
We calculated revenue by having our CRM capture the Campaign ID in Google Analytics, then created unique phone numbers for every campaign so we could track every sale back to its source. Then we calculated the revenue value of every customer attributed to a PPC campaign.
Suddenly Campaign 4, which looked so bad before, is now our hero! Not only does it have the best ROI, it brings in the most revenue and the most sales — and that’s with the fewest conversions and second-fewest clicks.
Now we know something much more useful than cost per conversion — we know how valuable a conversion is. We know where to focus our marketing efforts to maximize revenue, and where we can make improvements that impact the bottom line.
We could then respond by allocating more budget to Campaigns 4 and 5.
Meanwhile, Campaign 3 gets a lot of traffic and conversions but has a poor ROI, so we can get to work at rewriting ads and landing pages to better qualify those leads.
Those are the kinds of changes that have meaningful results!
3 simple ways to track and measure your PPC ROI
The example above mirrors what we often see in the lead generation space: more expensive leads can often be the most qualified and produce the most revenue. But without breaking down campaign ROI you never know.
Costly PPC leads are often most qualified. Break down campaign ROI before you do anything drastic.
So how do you move beyond conversions and start focusing on ROI?
Here are a few simple ways to get started:
Every metric matters
PPC marketing leaders know that all the metrics we’ve discussed are valuable – they work to improve the three categories over time, while focusing most of their efforts on ROI to move their profitability in the right direction.
Traffic data like impressions, clicks and cost per click tell you how much search demand there is for your service and how many people are responding to your ads.
Better metrics like conversion data tell you how effective your ads and landing pages are at generating leads, as well as how much your leads cost.
But nothing tops actual ROI data: how much conversions are worth to your company’s bottom line. As we’ve seen, that kinda of data lets you focus on making changes where you can make the biggest difference!
At the end of the day, the key is to look at the right metrics for the right situations and use that data to make the most meaningful changes to your campaigns.
Whether you are brand new or a seasoned professional in pay per click marketing, there is always more to learn and changes to be aware of as platforms update their dashboards and continuously roll out new features. This paper will clarify the many uses and choices you can make as you maintain peak PPC campaign performance.
In the guide, we focus mainly on Google AdWords, the largest PPC platform. By the end, we hope you feel comfortable with common terminology and concepts, display features, remarketing campaign setup, click and conversion tracking, reports, automated rules and more!
Buyers aren’t what they once were. Remember the days of buying a car before the internet? You would go to the dealership, gather information from the sales person in the form of a brochure, go home to study the brochure to understand the different models and features, and then return to the dealership a week later ready to purchase the vehicle. But in today’s information-rich, digital environment, buyers have all the information they need to make an informed decision, making the salesperson’s role less educational and more transactional.
So where does that put today’s marketer? Well, we are now the stewards of the buyer’s journey. We are responsible for walking each prospective customer through their own personalized and relevant content journey, making sure that they get all their questions answered on the road to making a purchase. Now, more than ever, we need to understand our buyers down to their behaviors, core demographics, wants, and needs. That’s where lead nurturing comes in.
Lead nurturing is the process of building effective relationships with potential customers throughout the buying journey. Now before we dive into lead nurturing best practices and tips, let’s set the record straight that there is a difference between drip marketing and lead nurturing. A drip marketing program sends (drips) communications at a specific cadence set by the marketer, but it does not consider who that lead is, what their behaviors are, or what segmentations they might meet. Lead nurturing is adaptive, segmented, based on activities (or inactivities), and is extremely personalized for each lead. Think of it like a conversation. Drip marketing is like a monologue whereas lead nurturing is having a 1-1 conversation.
So how do you create hyper-relevant email marketing conversations through lead nurturing? What are the important ground-rules for building a nurture program that scales? Here are 5 tips for making your lead nurturing emails stand out in the inbox.
Tip #1: Write Subject Lines That Beg to be Opened
Since the subject line is the first thing a recipient sees, it would be silly not to discuss techniques that work. After all, your email doesn’t matter if no one opens it! Not every subject line needs to be a literary achievement, but there is power in a subject line that is magnetic. At Marketo, we use The Four U’s of Subject Lines, a very helpful acronym that we picked up from Copyblogger to help determine if our subject lines are ready:
To take it one step further, here are 5 subject line techniques that really work:
Tip #2: Choose the Right Sender
Lead nurturing is all about trust. You want buyers to trust communications from you or else they won’t always be willing to open them. In addition to the subject line, one way to create and reinforce trust is with the sender name—or the From Name. If you think about it, would you open an email from someone you didn’t know? The From Name can make all the difference and can influence opens, clicks, and even spam complaints.
There are a few options that you can experiment with, and examples of each:
Tip #3: Build a Strong Email Body
Okay, so you’ve got a subscriber to open your email. Now what? Like any landing page, you want your email to be compelling, clear, actionable, and answer the what’s in it for me? question. To check if your email delivers this experience, run it by the 30-second summary rule. Can you get through the email in 30 seconds and know the value it provides? This test will help make sure that your call-to-action is clear and the value proposition is obvious.
Now that you have the subscriber’s attention on the email body, there are a few more things to consider:
Tip #4: It’s (Past) Time to Go Mobile
I know it probably feels like we’re beating a dead horse here, but over 50% of emails are opened on a mobile device. If your emails aren’t mobile friendly, you’re missing out on engagement. If you don’t believe me, think about the last time you clicked on a poorly formatted email on your phone. Could you think of one? Me either.
According to The Radicati Group’s Mobile Statistics Report, “by the end of 2018, worldwide mobile email users are expected to total over 2.2 billion…by this time, we expect 80% of email users will access email via a mobile device.” As you develop a successful lead nurturing program, be sure that you build this capability into your emails as it will only become more important over time.
There are a few different ways to build a mobile-friendly email:
Tip #5: Don’t Forget Segmentation
Segmenting your audience, the act of dividing your leads into definable and actionable parts, is essential to your marketing success—particularly with lead nurturing. The more you segment, the more relevant your lead nurture programs will be. If you are not relevant, your audience simply won’t pay attention. Segmentation means higher engagement. An executive requires a different piece of content than someone in an intern role. What resonates with one audience won’t resonate with another.
Additionally, as it pertains to email, studies have consistently shown that segmented email sends yield higher results. In a Marketo Benchmark Email Marketing Study, we found segmentation to be the highest ROI tactic used by email marketers. In fact, according to our proprietary Engagement Score (which tracks how engaging an email is in Marketo), 23% of how engaging an email is can be explained by segmentation. Smaller, more segmented sends in your lead nurturing yield better results.
I hope this has helped frame the necessary steps to building out a strong foundation for email lead nurturing. For more resources on developing a strong lead nurturing strategy, be sure to download our Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing! And as always, comments or other ideas are encouraged below.
The post 5 Ways to Make Your Lead Nurturing Emails Stand Out appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog - Best Practices and Thought Leadership.
When it comes to creating campaigns and ads in Facebook we’re always looking to be faster and more efficient with our time. While the default Ads Manager does a great job of walking you through the creation process, it’s tutorial-oriented approach can slow you down.
Trying to launch campaigns and ads at any kind of scale can be very tedious when only using the Ads Manager. Though it is great to learn on and make small tweaks to existing campaigns.
Where does one go to be more efficient when creating large amounts of ads and campaigns?
Enter the Power Editor.
Created as a tool that removes much of the hand holding present in Ads Manager, it improves workflow around bulk editing that can drastically speed up your work in Facebook. If you’re familiar with the Adwords Editor, then you’ll understand the concept behind the Power Editor.
Where is the Power Editor?
It can be found in the main menu under the “create & manage” heading.
Click on that and you will be taken into a new screen that resembles the Ads Manager, but offers a lot more bulk editing functionality. Unlike the Adword’s Editor, the Power Editor is located only online. There is no download option.
For the remainder of this article we’ll dive into the find and replace and duplicate tools that are some of the best improvements to your workflow.
A Few Important Editor Tools
The duplicate function is one of the most powerful tools in the Power Editor. Used the right way it can save a ton of time in how you build out new campaigns, ad sets, and ads in Facebook. Much like other types of editors, it’s the ability to duplicate everything in bulk that makes it powerful.
So how can this tool be handy?
Say you’re running a campaign in Facebook that targets New York. You now want to roll that campaign out to California, Colorado, and Florida with the targeting and ads the exact same except for state you are targeting.
You could build each one of those new campaigns out one by one making sure to copy each piece of the original New York campaign. Or you could simply use the duplicate tool to duplicate the New York campaign three times and change the geo-target in each to the appropriate state.
You might need to make some adjustments to labeling and tracking parameters, but you have still saved a ton of time.
That in a nutshell is the power of duplicate. Once you understand what it can do you can then apply it to your specific use case. A common way I use it is when building out new ads where we’re simply changing out copy or an image. I can duplicate an ad, swap out the piece I need to change and then set it live.
While duplicate does exist in the Ads Manager, it does a lot more hand holding than the version in Power Editor. The key is that once you feel comfortable in what you’re trying to create, move over to the Power Editor and be more efficient at doing it.
Find and Replace
Another tool that can be really helpful when dealing with multiple campaigns, ad sets, and ads is the find and replace tool. Just like it sounds, it lets you find text and replace it with a different piece of text.
While not used as much as the duplicate tool, this can be really useful when trying to change the names of things in bulk. Mix up the name on a campaign you duplicated five times? Use find and replace to fix the mistake.
Decide to change your naming convention on your ads after you built them out? Use find and replace to help you fix the issue. In tandem with duplicate it becomes a pretty potent tool for mass editing on a large scale.
When you first start trying to build out campaigns and ads in Facebook the default Ads Manager does a great job of explaining each and every action. For learning purposes it’s great, but as you try to be faster and more efficient it can get in the way.
When speed and efficiency are paramount, you’ll need to move beyond that default interface and use the Power Editor. Duplicate and find and replace will be very helpful tools when building at scale and will make your life much easier as a result.
As we ramp up for Unbounce’s upcoming PPC week, we thought we’d revisit some of our favorite PPC posts from the archives. This post was originally published in June 2015 but still rings true. Enjoy!
Have you ever been kicking so much AdWords Search Network butt that it made you raise your chest and gave you instant super powers?
You know, the type of confidence that makes you walk with a pep in your step and hair bouncing around?
Kinda like this mini-horse. Image source.
But sometimes you hit a ceiling with the keywords you’re bidding on, and there’s literally no more Search Network traffic out there (since your impression shares are all around 98%).
You immediately think of using the AdWords Display Network, simply because you know there’s more traffic, cheaper clicks and much more potential ROI just waiting to be grabbed.
Actually, don’t do that. It won’t get you conversions. Image source.
As you may already know, the AdWords Display Network (also known as the Google Display Network/GDN) is the biggest digital ad network in the world. It allows you to advertise on publisher properties like websites, mobile apps, Gmail, YouTube and more.
Compared to the AdWords Search Network, the Display Network also houses the largest viewership of any online platform. YouTube itself has a monthly viewership equivalent to 10 Super Bowls – so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that display advertising is said to capture 34% of all online ad spend and about 10% of all marketing budgets.
But with new channels come different strategies.
What you’re doing on the AdWords Search Network will not perform the same way on the Display Network.
If the Display Network is uncharted territory for you, here’s how you need to adjust your current PPC strategy to get the results you want.
Different user behavior calls for a different strategy
The biggest difference between the AdWords Search Network and Display Network can be seen in the sweet visual I had my designer custom-make below.
In the “Chuck Norris” action cycle above, you can see how the power of keyword intent in the Search Network can put people really close to taking action (AKA converting), but the Display Network typically has visitors who are a few steps behind.
This is because people who are on the Display Network aren’t actively searching for what you offer. As Erin Sagin puts it, they’re rarely in “shopping mode.”
Instead, Display Network visitors are most likely in the research phase when your display ads are hitting them. They’re on forums, blog posts, or watching that YouTube vid trying to gather enough information to make a decision. They don’t know what they need yet, so your job is create awareness.
If you’re selling more of an “emergency” service like being a locksmith or roadside assistance, then you’ll have a hard time using the Display Network to your advantage.
This is simply because ads on the Display Network are not triggered from a search engine like text ads on the Search Network are. The Search Network works as a demand harvester (your ads are grabbing the intent), while the Display Network works as a demand generator (your ads are creating awareness).
So how do you change your strategy from the Search Network to also make the AdWords Display Network a money making machine?
Create trust and deliver value
As I mentioned, your Display Network ads could be interrupting someone who’s reading the news, reading a blog or watching a video.
Because of that, the level of commitment it takes for someone to stop what they’re doing, click your ad, then call you or fill out your landing page form is high and much more unlikely compared to the Search Network. In other words, you can’t expect to have the same campaign conversion rates on the Display Network as you do on the Search Network.
If you’re offering “Free Quotes” on the search network because people are actively searching for someone who can relieve their problem, it might actually be better for you to lead with valuable educational material (i.e. your content) on the Display Network.
A perfect example of this is my crush of an email marketing company, Emma.
Emma uses the AdWords Search Network to drive sign ups, but they use the Display Network to give you great, fun and actionable value. Here’s what some of their Display Ads look like (click on them to go to the accompanying landing page):
I reached out to Cynthia Price (the Director of Marketing at Emma) and she gave me this golden nugget about how they use the AdWords Display Network:
You already know that content marketing’s core foundation is about adding true value.
Your display ads should be no different.
On the Display Network, your first goal is to establish trust by giving value, and then nurture the visitors down the road to become paying customers.
Revisit your targeting options
Once you have a great piece of content that delivers value and educates your audience, it’s time to figure out how to target it to people who actually want it.
Let’s have a look at the five targeting options that’ve been found to drive the biggest impact on the Display Network.
To illustrate how each one works, let’s pretend you’re a dog walker. Your name is Lori and you live in Huntington Beach, CA. You’ve been advertising on the AdWords search network and this is your landing page:
What are your best targeting options?
Placement targeting allows you to advertise directly on certain publisher sites. This means you could have your ad show up on Forbes or CNN if you’d like.
Best practice advice: Make sure the website or page’s audience is relevant to what you’re offering. Don’t shotgun approach all of CNN – sniper shot individual placements within CNN if you can.
Contextual/Keyword targeting allows you to give Google your keywords and have it automatically find relevant placements for your ads.
Best practice advice: Mix this with placement targeting to be even more laser focused with your targeting.
Topic targeting allows you to go more broad than regular placement targeting.
For this, you could target the topic of Pets & Animals directly and cast a wider net, with the possibility of your ads showing up on FerretLovers.com (yes, that’s a real site).
Best practice advice: See what Topic targeting gives you, then exclude unwanted placements from your campaign once things are running and data is coming in.
Interest targeting is kind of similar to topic targeting, but instead of judging the context of websites, interest targeting tracks behaviors of web users. This targeting method can be even more vague than topic targeting.
Best practice advice: Every industry is different, so always test things out and see the performance. Be quick to pause and exclude irrelevant placements once data comes in.
Combining targeting methods
This is where you’ll have a lot of fun and potentially get better results.
You’re not locked into using just one targeting method with the AdWords Display Network. In fact, Alistair Dent over at Search Engine Watch and many others highly recommend never going with just one targeting option, but combining multiple together.
You can target certain placements with the addition of contextual/keyword targeting to tell Google that you only want your ads to show when a visitor is on CNN and reading an article about dog walking.
Or you can target different interests with contextual/keyword targeting as well.
Create multiple ad groups, each with their own targeting specifications, and see how they perform against each other. Once you’ve hit your stride and conversions are coming in, pause the other ad groups that aren’t working, and make variations of the ad group targetings that are working for you, so that you can squeeze more out of your PPC dollars.
Wow! Quite a bit of info huh?
Now that you clearly know why your Display Network strategy has to be different from your Search Network strategy, what do you have to lose? Get started now. Try different targeting combinations, and never forget to offer true value.
What have you found to be the best driver of conversions on the AdWords Display Network? How different are your strategies compared to the ones we talked about?
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