Entries from Category Google
Last Tuesday, Three Deep had the honor of hosting a Google Engage Connect Event. Three Deep was one of just a small selection of agencies asked to host this event for small businesses to improve their online marketing initiatives. We were fortunate to have a few of our friends join us despite the snowy weather, both in the office, and online.
Couldn’t make the event? Check out our Storify story, or take a look at our summary below.
Lisa Gevelber – Keeping Up With the Evolving Digital Landscape
Up first was Lisa Gevelber, Director of Marketing for Google. Lisa referenced research that suggests that users of the web can often be using up to four devices at any moment (their computer, television, tablet, smartphone, etc.). As a business, how can you make sure that your message is the one that stands out? She then showed an initiative with Google AdMob that paired traditional ads from leading brands such as Coca-Cola and Volvo and asked the creatives behind them how they’d adapt the tactics to online. The Coca-Cola campaign was featured, based on the 70s ad “Give the World a Coke”.
Featuring both mobile and desktop advertising, users could send a Coca-Cola to an unsuspecting person across the globe and could send translated messages. The recipient’s reaction was captured via video cam and was sent to the sender, along with any messages they sent back.
Lisa stressed the importance of how a brand should strive to establish an emotional connection with their consumers. Google does this in the following three ways:
Focus on one user
With the example of Daniel Lee, a father who chronicled his daughter’s childhood through touching messages on Gmail, Google Chrome demonstrated how it can “be there” for all the major milestones. Whether it be integrating Google Maps into an email, or attaching the latest YouTube video, Google Chrome ensures that these all work flawlessly together.
Google also demonstrated how it helps customers achieve their goals by giving businesses a free website via the GXBO initiative. They used Vermont staple, King Arthur Flour to show how a small business can make the most of online with the right website and advertising.
Take Risks, Say YES!
Finally up, was Frank’s Restaurant, a story of a married couple that struggled to get their business moving, and how pairing with Google Reviews helped catapult their business to profits, and popularity.
Lisa stressed that if you’ve ever wanted to get your marketing initiatives off the ground, to start today. You know your customers, try something new that you haven’t done before!
John Nicoletti – The Zero Moment of Truth
After Lisa’s presentation, John Nicoletti spoke about Google’s research on the Zero Moment of Truth, which addresses how the internet has changed traditional decision-making. Whether it’s checking a smartphone for the latest coupon to buy a mascara, or discovering a review about a new restaurant, being aware of the Zero Moment of Truth is helpful for businesses of all sizes.
John informed the viewers that 83% of people consult reviews, and 58% of these people say that reviews do affect their purchase decision significantly. Additionally, 84% of smartphone users perform in-store research while shopping. The need for businesses to be accessible via reviews and mobile experiences has never been greater.
How to win the ZMOT
John says the best way to win the Zero Moment of Truth is to do the following:
- Put Someone in Charge
- Find your Moments
- Answer the Questions People are Asking
- Optimize for Mobile
- Win with Video
- and be Fast!
John encouraged viewers to map their moments of truth for their business and then to download the ZMOT Handbook.
Bickey Russell – Working with a Winning Agency
After John’s presentation, Bickey Russell helped to close things by addressing the importance of working with an agency, and how Google is equipping agencies to help small businesses succeed.
At the end of the presentation, our Vice President, Jeff Sauer told attendees that no matter the business, the principles that Google shared can be applied to any industry, and Three Deep is excited to help businesses discover how to better reach their audience. If you are curious how we can assist your business in leveraging these tactics or want a copy of the full recording, we encourage you to contact us today!
Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns
Last week Google Announced major changes to their AdWords platform by rolling out an “Upgrade” to AdWords called Enhanced Campaigns. This is one of the largest changes to the AdWords system in years and has been discussed quite frequently by search marketers across the globe.
While this may be an actual enhancement for some, we view it as mostly marketing speak by Google to put a positive spin on a fairly unpopular set of changes among search marketers.
The basic premise of Enhanced Campaigns is that Google wants search marketers to stop thinking about their campaigns as Mobile vs. Desktop searches and start looking at campaigns as one. This can cut down on management time needed to work on campaigns, but also upsets most smart search marketers who are used to creating and managing separate Desktop and Mobile campaigns in order to control for bid and user experience disparities.
Why the Backlash?
The main reason for a backlash and negativity toward these changes are that mobile traffic does not always convert as well as desktop traffic for certain industries and objectives. For example, an e-commerce website may have a much lower conversion rate from mobile visitors than desktop visitors. With an “enhanced” campaign, it will be more difficult to weed out poor performing traffic. While you can reduce your bids on mobile by a % of traffic, the concern is that reports will no longer be transparent about which clicks are desktop and which are mobile. This can very easily drive up costs for many programs without delivering incremental results.
Here is a summary of the changes that come along with enhanced campaigns:
1) Mobile and Desktop Campaigns Merging
Dislike. While some of the features of enhanced campaigns may be ultimately beneficial, we dislike the fact that this is a forced change. Google has not had a great history of forcing changes with search marketers and taking away their ability to optimize accounts. For example, last year when Google forced ad rotation changes, it was such an unpopular move that they were forced to repeal their change and allow indefinite, even ad rotation.
I have a feeling that the forced merging of Mobile and Desktop campaigns may also be repealed in the future.
2) Sitelinks Reporting for Individual Links
Like. This will be a very positive addition to optimization of AdWords. The ability to analyze effectiveness of individual sitelinks in PPC will result in more conversions and potential cost savings. A win-win for marketers and Google.
3) Phone Calls over 60 Seconds Counted as Conversions
Like. Three Deep has been using a 60 second methodology to help determine if a call is a legitimate sales opportunity for years. It is good to see Google also adopt this policy. Why 60 seconds? Because it is long enough to ensure that the call is not wrong number, misdial or other low quality calls. This is not saying that all calls over 60 seconds are legitimate sales leads, but it does indicate that the call was at least connected.
4) User Context Optimization
Mixed. User context optimization is the ability to adjust your bids by a number of factors. Do you want to reduce your mobile bids by 70% at night? This can easily be done with user context optimization. While this sounds good and is great marketing sizzle, I don’t see how it will really play out to make things more simple. It seems as if this type of targeting just makes everything a lot more complex for people managing campaigns and has a lot of opportunity to do more harm than good.
5) Bid Adjustments Based on Several New Metrics
Like. I love any change that gives marketers more power to increase response from customers and lower overall costs. While this may make things more complex to manage, savvy agencies will use this to the advantage of their clients.
Overall Thoughts on Recent Google Announcements
We like most changes outside of the Enhanced Campaigns, but enhanced campaigns is such a large change that it makes the positive developments bittersweet for many marketers. While we remain hopeful that the merging of mobile and desktop will have minimal impact on rising costs, that still remains to be seen. The other changes to the platform are mostly quite positive and will help marketers get more bang for their buck!
What do you think of the new Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns? Feel free to leave a comment whether you agree or disagree!
If you search on Google for a famous person, you may see something that looks like this:
This box, located in the right hand corner of a search results page, is what Google calls a Knowledge Graph, and is an attempt to answer common questions without needing to leave the search results page. In most cases, the Google Knowledge Graph trumps any ads from displaying on that page, making their search results a purely organic experience.
As a daily Google searcher, from almost its inception, I am so accustomed to seeing the old format that I am still surprised each time the Knowledge Graph pops up. Even though it’s not a major change to the way search works, I’m left scratching my head pondering the question “is this bad, or just different?”
The design snob in me can appreciate the way that Google stays on brand with a consistently uniform results page across multiple platforms (mobile, desktop and tablet results are consistent across devices).
But aside from the aesthetics, what is really going on here? Why is there so much space left below the Knowledge Graph? As a digital marketer I’m wondering why Google is going about this going completely ad free for these results pages? Only time will tell.
While Google’s Knowledge Graph may not provide many answers for the time being, they are clearly making plenty of room for it in their design. They are also incorporating knowledge graph in an audible way on certain mobile device searches.
How will all of this affect Google’s main source of revenue (advertising)? Only time will tell, but I for one am looking forward to the day when Google creates a knowledge graph for me.
What have been your experiences with Knowledge graph? All positive or missing the mark? Let us know in the comments.
Three Deep is proud to announce today that they have received a partner certification with Google Tag Manager. Google Tag Manager is a newly launched tool from Google that is free of charge, and consolidates your website tags with a single snippet of code. It also lets you manage everything from a web interface, so you can add and update your own tags, with just a few clicks, whenever you want, giving you greater flexibility, and let your webmasters focus on other important tasks.
With a variety of tags, rules, and macros, marketers now have a wide spectrum of tag options for all of their campaigns, including AdWords, Doubleclick, and remarketing campaigns. As a Google Analytics Certified Partner, Three Deep was among some of the first to try out this product in Beta. We are very excited for the potential that this will bring to new clients and current clients alike. If you’re a current client of Three Deep, we are excited to work with you on this new tool, and look forward to improving your campaigns with this new tool. If you’re interested in learning how Google Tag Manager and Three Deep can work for you, please contact us
! To find out more about Google Tag Manager, we invite you to check out the official blog post from Google.
When I first started working in the home improvement business as a sales representative, my sales manager began my training by saying: “All the leads you will ever run while you work here suck. Now that we’ve established that, we don’t have to talk about it ever again.” The point he was trying to make was that, even though the leads “suck” — if you handle them the right way, a sales representative can make a decent living selling to them. The same thing can be said about internet leads and lead generation services. Contractors that have used these services unsuccessfully, tend to paint “Internet leads” with a broad brush by saying they are poor quality — yet the most successful companies are able to generate a good ROI from them. Why?
Continue Reading Why All Online Home Improvement Lead Generation Services Suck →
This morning, one of our team members pointed out something that she had seen while browsing Google. It appears that when a domain is entered as a search query without the .com, it provides brief intros after the sitelinks for top traffic pages in the results.
This seems to only work for the website domains, so it again makes branded search more apparent on Google, which is no surprise, given Google’s love affair with brands. It is good news for brands and their domains as it helps to drive traffic to your best pages.
So what does this mean for SEO? Our SEO Scientist at Three Deep said that current CTR studies will be rendered invalid as these results change the layout. Now, especially, page titles and meta descriptions are far more important for high traffic pages, as the meta data will have to be shorter. How short? Looks like about 35 characters max, with a cutoff at the previous word before that limit is hit.
What do you think of this layout? Does your brand or domain have these extended sitelinks? We are looking forward to learning more about this and publishing a follow-up article sometime in the near future. Stay tuned!
Last week Three Deep’s Paid Search Team attended the Advanced Adwords Seminar in Minneapolis. Brandon, Jarad and I joined search marketing professionals from around the Twin Cities as seminar leader, Brad Geddes, led discussions around a variety of advanced AdWords topics such as:
- Keyword research
- Creating compelling ad copy
- Best practices for landing pages
- Increasing PPC traffic through dynamic keyword insertion
- Increasing quality score
- Conversion optimization
- Google analytics reporting
Day 1: Advanced Account Optimization
The first day we focused on best practices, tips, and techniques for improving an account’s overall performance.
Brad Geddes welcoming us to the seminar and discussing the day’s topics
Key takeaways from the first day included:
- Don’t perform long-tail keyword research until you know the specific keywords that convert. First, find the keywords that convert, then increase your keyword list by building around those keyword converting themes.
- Depending on which phase of the buying cycle the searcher is in, ad copy should emphasize features and or benefits.
- Awareness Stage – Talk about benefits
- Interest Stage – Talk about benefits
- Learning Stage – Talk about features & benefits
- Shopping Stage – Talk about features
- Buying Stage – Talk about benefits
- Studies have shown that people look at the different parts of an ad in this order:
- Display URL
- Line 1
- Line 2
- CTR is the #1 criteria for increasing quality score.
- Only exact match keywords are used to determine quality score.
- Keyword stuffing a landing page will not necessarily help to increase your quality score.
- Ad Group quality score only exists for display network, not on the search network.
Day 2: Advanced Conversion Optimization
The second day we focused on increasing conversions and profits in an account through advanced conversion optimization. Key takeaways from this day include:
- To determine a visitor’s lifetime value, try running a campaign that has a short term negative ROI, but a positive lifetime ROI.
- Test. Test. Test. You can test everything from search conversion rates vs. content conversion rates to conversion rate vs. total sale amount to number of page views by ad copy.
- Examining the search query report is one of the best ways to discover keywords that you’re missing out on.
- It’s important to leverage the power of Google analytics to learn ways to improve your campaign. Google analytics can reveal information such as: ROI by keyword, visitor loyalty, conversions by source, buyer geo-location, and conversion path optimization.
- It is possible to receive traffic that you did not pay for. You don’t necessarily pay for every click to your website.
- When looking to optimize a campaign, keep your eyes open for amount spent on a keyword in a day, amount spent on an ad group in a day, conversion rates by keyword, conversion rates by ad group, time spent on website, and pageviews per visitor.
After two full days of Google Adwords interactive learning and training, Jarad, Brandon and I walked away both eager and excited to implement news ideas, and reinforce some old basics into the paid search accounts we manage at Three Deep. From performing keyword research to writing ad copy to advanced conversion techniques, Brad Geddes had very useful insight and tips on everything Adwords.
Learn more about the Adwords Advanced Seminars and Brad Geddes here:
- Adwords Advanced Seminars
- Brad Geddes’s Blog
I write this while traveling to the east coast to meet with some great clients. During my travels and on-site meetings, the news of Google Instant flooded my Inbox, twitter stream, Google Reader and just about every medium in between.
In between meetings, I was asked to weigh in on the topic by co-workers, peers and clients. Since my response has been the same throughout, I thought it might be worthwhile to share my thoughts (and the general sentiments of Three Deep as well) in this space.
Continue Reading Google Instant Search – My Instant Reaction →
Search Engine Optimization on Google Maps for Small Businesses with retail locations is a passion of mine that I don’t always get to indulge in on a day to day basis. Many of my clients are manufacturers or national service providers who do not have retail locations, so I only get to apply my knowledge in select situations.
That’s why I was very excited when I received the following distress call last week from a pizza place that had some problems with their listing on Google Maps; it allowed me to put my knowledge of the subject into action. I was probably over exhaustive with my response, but I thought it would make a good blog post.
Pizza Hut Hijacked my Google Maps Listing
Definition of the problem:
“My favorite pizza shop has a complaint with a Google search. When you search pizza in Culver City, LaRocco’s name comes up but the number below their name is for Pizza Hut. It also says Pizza Hut but consumers don’t notice that. They end up thinking they called LaRocco’s and show up asking for their pizza and get angry when LaRocco’s doesn’t have the order. I was witness to this a few weeks ago.
Apparently Google said there’s nothing they can do. Does that sound right?”
Continue Reading Help: Pizza Hut Hijacked my Google Maps Listing! →
Last week I had the honor of speaking at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management for a class entitled BA 1905 — “Internet Search Economics, Google, and New Business Opportunities” - a great name for a course covering this relatively new industry, with some truly engaging curriculum around my favorite topic of conversation: Search Engines, Marketing, and creating a business model around increasing visibility on the web.
With a blank canvas to work with and many possibilities for conversation, the professor and I decided that it would be best to do an hour long presentation on Google. The presentation pretty much wrote itself from that point on. Here is the full slide deck: