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Showing posts from March 24, 2016
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Brand bidding & PPC optimization: Reducing your competition (Part 5 of 8)

Welcome to Part 5 of an eight-part series on PPC brand bidding, where I answer the biggest question facing PPC advertisers in 2016: How do I get meaningful growth numbers out of a crowded and competitive PPC market?Let’s get you caught up: Part 1 reviewed how gains in PPC evolved over the years and why top line revenue is so hard to come by today. Part 2 used data to explain the value of brand bidding. Part 3 discussed best practices of implementing brand bidding campaigns. And Part 4 dove deep into working with partners and affiliates.This article shows you exactly how to address your competition when managing brand bidding PPC campaigns.Competition is inevitableIf you have a brand worth protecting, competitors are already bidding on your brand name. Some bid directly on your name, while others will bid on obvious derivatives, such as when Marketo bids on phrases like “Pardot drip marketing” (and vice versa). Many large brands have competitors bidding to every available ad position f…

New benchmarks: Google AdWords cost per acquisition across 20 industries [study]

Are you getting the biggest bang for your AdWords buck?It’s hard to gauge if you’re only looking at your own performance and competing against yourself. In the live auction, you’re competing against thousands of other advertisers in your industry — so how do you know where you stand?One of your major KPIs is going to be your cost per action, or cost per acquisition (CPA), which is related to both your cost per click (CPC) and conversion rates (CVRs) for those clicks. The range on cost per action rates varies greatly, with the top 10 percent of advertisers boasting CPAs up to 5x better than the average.You know what we call those advertisers? They’re the magical, amazing unicorns you want to be. And I’m sorry, friends, but there are only two types of advertisers: those special, magical unicorns and the donkeys who pay too much, don’t get the impressions and generally suck at PPC.You don’t want to be a donkey.Let’s see where you stand and how you can avoid that.Average AdWords CPAs for …

Facebook video metrics add richer day-by-day data

Facebook is improving upon its video metrics feature it rolled out last month. In February, Facebook enhanced its video metric view with information on minutes viewed, 10 second views, whether videos were watched with sound on (or off), unique viewers, views, average % completion, audience retention, average view duration, and organic vs. paid views.Today, even more detail is being added to video metrics, inclusive of day-by-day performance.Minutes ViewedFacebook will now provide data that empowers publishers to learn the number of time spent on a video on a particular day.ViewsFacebook will share daily insights on the total amount of video views per day, giving marketers insights on which days perform better.10-second ViewsVideo publishers and brands will now learn how many times a video was viewed up to 10 seconds on a regular day. For shorter videos that are less than 10 seconds, Facebook will display the number of times the video was viewed at least 97% of the time.All video metri…

Apple Pay moving to the mobile web, could give big boost to m-commerce

According to a report yesterday, fingerprint-enabled Apple Pay is coming to mobile websites. One popular angle on this news is that the move will potentially cut into PayPal’s leadership position; however the more important potential impact is the acceleration of mobile commerce more broadly.Re/code reported that Apple Pay for mobile sites will be available later this year, before holiday 2016:The service will be available to shoppers using the Safari browser on models of iPhones and iPads that possess Apple’s TouchID fingerprint technology, these people said. Apple has also considered making the service available on Apple laptops and desktops, too, though it’s not clear if the company will launch that capability.One of the big reasons that mobile commerce significantly lags mobile traffic is payment friction. According to GfK research, mobile devices account for only 3 percent of transactions in the US, though 7 percent from younger mobile users.A 2015 US Federal Reserve study on mob…

The essential metrics to analyze for keyword research success

Brainstorming keyword ideas is great, but you won’t get very far if you’re not looking at the right metrics. After all, it’s the metrics — the objective criteria we use to make the data-driven decisions — that make search such an effective marketing channel.But which keyword research metrics should I be considering? Isn’t search volume sufficient? Let’s explore.Search volumeAverage monthly search volume is the one metric that is universally used for keyword research. This metric is derived from Google’s Keyword Planner, a free tool intended for use with AdWords, and it forms a foundation for the popularity of a given search query.Typically, one chooses the exact match type for a more precise representation of search volume for a keyword. If your business is regionally locked, make sure to specify a geography to get regional search volume.Recently, Russ Jones wrote an excellent article on Moz discussing some of the issues with relying on Keyword Planner search volume. Jones found that …

#MarTech Conference: Vendor roundtable on the future of martech

As the MarTech Conference headed down the final stretch earlier this week, conference chair Scott Brinker moderated a panel called “A Vendor Roundtable On The Future Of MarTech” with members of the so-called “Big Martech” crowd.Panelists addressed a range of questions on the role and impact that marketing technology has for organizations and customers. The panel included:Steve Krause, Group Vice President of Product Management at Oracle;Adam Blitzer, SVP & GM of Salesforce, Pardot;Suzanne Mumford, Head of Marketing, Google Analytics 360 Suite; andMatthew Zilli, Senior Director, Product & Segment Marketing at Marketo.Here is a recap of some of the key discussion points.On the growth of the marketing technology landscapeThere is no doubt that the martech industry is growing rapidly. Zilli explained that in just two years, Marketo’s partner ecosystem had grown from just five partners to now more than 500.Blitzer said the Pardot/Salesforce Marketing Cloud has grown 31 percent year…

How your web presence can become the undisputed champion against big brand Goliaths

Small and growing businesses unfortunately don’t have the advantage that comes with having brand-name recognition: no built-in audience and no automatic website authority. Big brands don’t have to work as hard at being remarkable online because they’ve already built a name and a following offline.But fortunately for these small and growing businesses, there is a way to compete against the Big Brand Goliaths.I’m not going to lie to you. They have big budgets and seemingly endless manpower. These are the champions you’re competing against. But every champion has a weakness.Even today, many of these Goliaths suck at building their online presence. Like David, you can hit them in their weak spots and go from no-name business to brand name champion. Here’s how.Make your site findable
You will never win the online war if no one can find your website. So step number one is to ensure searchers, social media users and web surfers can find your site to begin with.Website architectureJust becaus…

Everything you need to know for successful email A/B testing

A/B testing is a familiar tactic to most marketers, and for good reason. Testing every aspect of your email, from the subject line to the body copy to the visuals, will go a long way toward helping you get the best fit for your subscribers.These days, using data to make business decisions is not simply a useful asset — rather, it is essential if you want to keep up with competitors. Email marketing is no different.Using gut instinct as the primary factor in decisions will only get you so far, while monitoring click-through rates and using the results to improve your methods will help you see genuine results.However, implementing a testing program can be confusing if you’re just getting started. Below, I try to clarify some of the common unknowns that surround email A/B testing.What should my sample size be?Sample size is the first thing that you must consider when A/B testing. If you’re doing an A/B test on your website or on a landing page, you can sit and wait until enough people vi…

IAB releases a calculator to show how much ad spend goes to programmatic ad tech fees

How much of that ad buy went to ad tech vendors and how much ended up funneling to the publisher? That’s long been a thorny question in programmatic ad buying as technology solutions have multiplied, with each vendor in the supply chain taking a cut for its services along the way. To help bring transparency to the fees involved in programmatic, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released a Programmatic Fee Transparency calculator for media buyers and publishers to add up the fees involved in executing ad buys.“Some refer to the misunderstood fees associated with services as the ‘ad tech tax’,” said Jason White, General Manager and Vice President, Programmatic Revenue, CBS Interactive, and Co-Chair of the IAB Programmatic Council in a statement. “It’s time we cut through the confusion, dispel the misnomer of ‘ad tech tax,’ and help practitioners on both sides of the fence manage and appreciate these valuable assets. As a result, this should improve trust and increase liquidity in…

#MarTech Conference: 10 myths martech vendors tell

Why do vendors dislike marketing technology analyst firm Real Story Group? According to Theresa Regli, Principal Analyst & Managing Partner at the company, it’s because the analysts tell real stories and debunk false promises.As she opened her session at the MarTech Conference this week, Regli told the audience she’s been questioning the stories we tell all her life. She talked about being educated by nuns in a Catholic school environment and questioning the stories she heard.What did that get her? Detention. For weeks.This experience didn’t sway her from constantly questioning situations and stories told. In her work with the Real Story Group, Regli says she’s constantly questioning the promises and premises that martech vendors make to potential customers and buyers.In the late morning session, “10 Myths Martech Vendors Tell,” Regli outlined 10 myths martech vendors communicate to potential buyers, and explained what these buyers need to consider when they hear them.Regli’s 10 m…

What is customer retention? A beginner’s guide to increasing CLV

Customer retention has often been overlooked in favour of acquisition, but it’s something no business should be ignoring. The best strategy is to find a balance between acquisition and retention. It’s all very well acquiring new customers, but the real value is in keeping them over time.Which brings us to…Customer lifetime value (CLV)This is a metric all companies should be paying attention to. In a nutshell, it’s the total worth of a customer to a company over the course of their relationship.It isn’t always easy to measure, as customers move between channels, login under different email addresses, and so on. However, if you have a clear view of CLV then this should inform future business strategy so you can find the right balance between acquisition and retention.The key to increasing customer lifetime value is to focus on customer retention, as a happy customer is more likely to be a loyal customer.Customer retention: the statsThere are millions of stats on customer retention and r…

7 ways your video content is missing the mark

When it comes to creating engaging video content and optimizing the connection with your target demographic, brands need to have a clear video marketing strategy in place from the get-go.Goals must be defined, and your audience needs to be identified. Key performance indicators (KPIs) should be clarified beforehand, with a call to action front and center.But there’s more to successful video marketing than just these basic guidelines. There are also moving parts at play that can greatly affect your video’s ability to deliver for your brand.Here are seven common pitfalls for marketers developing their video content — and how to sidestep them:Mistake #1: Setting your sights on a viral hitProducing a viral mega-hit can obviously do wonders for your brand, but it shouldn’t be the centerpiece of your digital strategy. Why? Virality is an organic process, and it doesn’t come with a neat formula. It also represents a very small piece of the content pie.The key is to shift your thinking to sus…

Impersonated on Facebook? The social network is testing an alert feature

It’s quite often that we hear of some sort of social network impersonation: your profile photo used on a newly opened account by someone who isn’t you, or worse, a blatant reproduction of your bio, name and profile for the purposes of simply accruing new friends and spamming or harassing them in the future.Facebook’s had enough of it, to the point that they’re working on a new tool to prevent the harassment and impersonation that plagues likely thousands of its users. Mashable reports that the tool will notify you about any type of impersonated account and give you a chance to identify the profile.The process is wholly automated but impersonated accounts will be flagged manually first by Facebook employees. According to Facebook’s Head of Global Safety, Antigone Davis, this feature has been available since November of last year and is live in 75% of the world. The concern, Davis said, stemmed specifically from women; in some cultures especially, the impersonation could have social ram…

Are rising follower numbers devaluing your social audiences?

If you remember the early days of social media marketing, then you’ll also remember all those talks where you’d be told that if you could just harness 1% of Facebook’s total audience, you’d have a huge number of potential customers.In the end, it didn’t quite work out like that, but as user numbers have grown, you’d think that the law of averages would provide you with some new followers along the way.And according to new research from Trackmaven, that is broadly true. More platforms and more active users (hello millennials) means more brand followers. But (there’s always a but) just how valuable are those new followers?It’s a complicated question that largely depends on your business. In some cases impressions are enough to support a business model, but I’d wager that in most cases you’d rather have followers who… you know… actually cared about what you had to say.So some of us are at least attempting to grow better audiences, but for brands a failure hit (and surpass) industry bench…

MarTech Today: Agile Marketing, social media’s revolutionary changes & Internet in 3-D in outer space

Here’s our daily recap of what happened in marketing technology, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:#MarTech Conference: Marketers are going Agile to keep up with customers
Mar 22, 2016 by Barry Levine
Agile Marketing emerged in several panels and presentations at the MarTech conference as an increasingly popular work process for a fast-changing environment.Snapchat Discover’s caption button makes videos audio-agnostic
Mar 23, 2016 by Tim Peterson
Snapchat has added a closed-captioning button to its Discover section so that publishers can make their videos audio-optional.5 major changes that could revolutionize social media this year
Mar 23, 2016 by Timothy Carter
How will social media evolve in 2016? Contributor Timothy Carter discusses how several big tech trends might impact the social media space in the near future.Google developing keyboard for iPhone in hopes of boosting search volumes [report]
Mar 23, 2016 by Greg Sterling
Keyboard…

Are search engines ‘semantic’?

Let’s get to the crux of the matter.It never fails to make me smile when people misuse the term ‘semantic search’, so really… what is semantic web search?A simple definition of semantic searchWe often talk of semantic search as if it’s something new. Semantic search goes back years, even centuries. Here is a simple definition of semantic search…Let’s take a village. Mark and Claire have a seven year old son, James, and a baby who is six months’ old and who has asthma, Olivia. Mark and Claire want to go to a dinner party next Thursday, alone. They need a babysitter. Not just any babysitter but one who will keep James away from video games after 7pm and someone who has experience minding new-born children and experience with asthma management.If Mark and Claire were to go to a search engine they might type something like:[babysitter no video games] or [experience of new born asthma babysitter] or a combination of them both, a semantic query, [babysitter no video games and new born asthm…

Google reveals its three most important ranking signals

We’ve already heard that RankBrain, Google’s artificial intelligence system, is the “third most important signal contributing to the result of a search query” and it seems like we may have confirmation on the top two factors as well.During a live Q&A from WebPromo with Andrey Lipattsev, the Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland, SEO expert Ammon Johns suggested to Lipattsev that, knowing what we know about RankBrain, it would surely be beneficial to everyone if we also knew what the other two signals were.And surprisingly, Andrey Lipattsev, obliges…“It’s content and links pointing to your site.”There you go.I think what’s most surprising about this reply is Lipattsev’s candour. It’s a straight answer with little hesitation, that has an air of “look, you know this already” about it. And to be honest, we did. It’s just nice to have the confirmation.Ammon Johns follows up with, “In that order?” To which Liplattsev replies, “There is no order.”And although we believed Ran…

Square integrates Facebook Ads into expanding “Customer Engagement” suite

Local commerce platform Square announced this afternoon that it was integrating Facebook advertising into its growing CRM suite that it calls “Customer Engagement.” Facebook Ads now join email marketing as part of an expanding toolset layered on top of Square’s core payments and POS services for local businesses.One of the features of the Facebook integration is that Square can match online ad targeting and in-store sales (and vice versa) so there’s a completely closed loop — at least hypothetically:[W]e’re launching Facebook Ad Integration to help you target customers on Facebook, get new customers in the door, and increase sales effectively at an affordable cost. Now your Facebook Ads results and Square sales data are integrated, so you can connect your Facebook marketing budget to actual sales and understand exactly what your customers respond to. We will also be adding support for other social channels in the coming weeks.Note also that the company says that it will be “adding sup…

Score deeper savings for SMX Advanced by coming as a team

Search Engine Land’s SMX Advanced is designed to deliver leading-edge tactics in SEO, SEM, mobile, analytics and much more. Sign up as a team and score the deepest discounts available.At SMX Advanced, your team will:Get actionable tips and strategies from expert-level search marketing veterans. See the agenda.Make career-defining connections with other fellow hard core professionals.Discover tools and services that will improve performance.Roll up your sleeves with hands-on workshops in local search, SEO, advanced AdWords, international search and in-house SEO.Check out the pre-conference workshop schedule now.Save in bulk with team discountsTake advantage of the highest group savings with super early bird rates:Sending a group of three saves 10%.Have a team of six? You get 15% off.Want to send a dozen or more? That’s 20% off!Lock in the lowest rates available with our handy team registration form. Then email it to registration@searchmarketingexpo.com or call (877) 242-5242 Monday-Fri…

Marketing Day: Snapchat Discover update, Facebook launches Delivery Insights & more

Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:Snapchat Discover’s caption button makes videos audio-agnostic
Mar 23, 2016 by Tim Peterson
Snapchat has added a closed-captioning button to its Discover section so that publishers can make their videos audio-optional.Facebook launches Delivery Insights to help advertisers make better ads
Mar 23, 2016 by Ginny Marvin
New tool in Ads Manager spotlights underperforming ads and offers suggestions for improvement.Link building is a human endeavor
Mar 23, 2016 by Andrew Dennis
The secret to getting valuable, high-quality links? According to columnist Andrew Dennis, it’s one-on-one interaction with another person.Evangelizing organic search success: 5 steps to elevate performance
Mar 23, 2016 by Jim Yu
As an SEO professional, how can you improve your standing within an organization to achieve better results? The answer, according to columnist Jim Yu,…