Entries from Category Paid Search
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I have a feeling that the forced merging of Mobile and Desktop campaigns may also be repealed in the future.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!
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 is part 2 of our two part series on Why Home Improvement Contractors Should Avoid Paid Search Advertising From Yellow Pages Companies. As we learned in part 1, yellow pages companies are trying to take their old business model and move it to the Internet. This is highly ineffective and produces poor results.
Why are results from Yellow Pages PPC programs so bad?
Yellow page representatives sell their programs on a “per click” basis. For $1000 per month you might get 250 guaranteed clicks. For $1500 per month, you’ll get 400 clicks etc. To an unsophisticated client, this pitch sounds enticing. Imagine 250 leads a month for only $1000! The problem with this approach is that, a click really doesn’t mean anything if that click doesn’t convert into an actual prospect.
In fact, the average landing page only converts at about 2% (and that doesn’t factor in when the pages look exactly the same!) What that means, is that for that 250 click package, you might only receive 5 inbound calls out of the $1,000 spent. If only 1-2 of these calls are set into appointments, a contractor is looking at an unsustainable $500 appointment cost — which obviously won’t work in the long run!
In order to convert a click into a prospect (either a phone call or a web form conversion) a site needs to have a strong call to action. None of the landing pages in our previous example (compare this landing page to this one) use a call to action or even an online form to request more information. They are little more than an online version of a traditional yellow page ad. The yellow pages are still stuck in the pre-millenium mode of advertising, where ad impressions define success.
Continue Reading Home Improvement Contractors Should Avoid Yellow Pages PPC – Part 2 →
Three Deep spends a lot of time talking to home improvement business owners at rountables and dealer meetings across the country. When we explain our service offerings to potential new Clients, particularly around Paid Search (PPC) a common response that we hear from contractors is “We tried paid search before with our Yellow Page company and it doesn’t work.”
Continue Reading Home Improvement Contractors Should Avoid Yellow Pages Paid Search Programs →
Welcome to the tenth edition of The Search, a weekly recap of all the interesting posts from the areas we deal with most: paid search, project management, social media, SEO, email, and mobile marketing. Check back each week to stay on top of the latest and greatest techniques in online marketing so that you can improve your skills and better serve your clients. Enjoy!
Welcome to the ninth edition of The Search, a weekly recap of the articles we find most interesting from our service areas: paid search, project management, social media, web analytics, search engine optimization, email, and mobile marketing. Check back each week for the latest edition of The Search to stay on top of the latest and greatest techniques in online marketing so that you can improve your skills and better serve your clients. Enjoy!
This week, no matter if you do paid search for a large client or a small business, these blogs have you covered. Take a look at last week’s top online marketing articles regarding Paid Search.
If you’re going local in your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts, take a look at last week’s article from Coconut Headphones. We at Three Deep also wish to enter the pool of online marketing articles with our discussion on Google’s change to SERPs and what that means for brands.
Looking for how to target your niche or drive facebook traffic to your website? Take a look at these top online marketing articles in the social media sphere for more information.
Our top mobile marketing articles dive deep this week, focusing on customer retention and how to add a human touch to your mobile experiences. Check out the top online marketing articles for mobile marketing today.
Our email articles this week take a look at the holistic approach to email marketing, from initial sign up forms and list building, to the welcome email. Jump in with these top online marketing articles regarding email marketing today!
When you get started as a new project manager on a project, there are a few things to cover, as well as when you are working in resilient projects. Time to take a look at the top online marketing articles for project management!
Are you an avid Google Analytics fan? You will love these articles regarding customer engagement and the definition of a visit change. But, if you’re not such an avid supporter, you will enjoy the article from SEO Book arguing why you may wish to use variety of web analytics tools. Head over to these top online marketing articles surrounding web analytics for more info.
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 →
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:
Here at Three Deep, we are constantly thriving to provide actionable insights for our clients. For those who are unfamiliar with our company, we are a very data-centric organization. The name Three Deep actually refers to our discipline of looking past surface-level data, and digging three levels deep into the data at hand to provide the highest quality feedback possible.
We have recently developed a way to tightly integrate phone conversions with web analytics data to paint a more accurate picture of our clients’ marketing efforts, right down to the ROI.
The idea was sparked when we identified a disconnect between the online and offline conversion data of lead generation clients in our home improvement vertical. Nearly every lead generation website (regardless of industry) includes a phone number as a point of conversion, but we never really had a concrete way to tie this to online metrics.
Continue Reading Integrating Phone Calls with Google Analytics Data →