Have you ever thought of something you wanted, searched for it online, and purchased it, all in the same ten minutes? Haven’t we all? With technology growing and simplifying everything for us, we have gotten used to having anything we want at our fingertips, in a matter of seconds. This “I want it, and I want it now” mindset is called “instant gratification,” meaning the quick attainability of happiness or of contentedness, and can be a very powerful tool when advertising online.
According to a study done by BigCommerce in 2017, 96% of Americans shop online, and E-commerce is growing 23% every year. With numbers like that, businesses would be missing out on a very large market by not advertising their products online.
In order to advertise in a culture of instant gratifiers, it’s important to make the shopping for your product as easy and straight-forward as possible. Consumers want to be able to access a page quickly, find what they’re looking for, and move on to the next thing. Websites like Amazon have been great for fulfilling the needs of consumers, because they have an abundance of products listed from all brands you could think of, they have reviews for consumers to see what others have thought of those products, and they offer same-day and two-day delivery options for the very impatient shopper in all of us. The proof is in the pudding: Amazon net sales for the fourth quarter are projected to reach $56.0-$60.5 billion U.S. dollars, per CNBC.com; that’s a huge jump from fourth quarter sales of $43.74 billion in 2016, and $35.75 billion in 2015 recorded by Statista.com. Revenue is only growing for online sales, and it’s essential to get on the bandwagon early.
So, when running your ad campaigns and creating your websites, it’s crucial to remember that instant gratification is not only preferred by online shoppers, but expected. Have specific keywords that lead to your products, ensuring that consumers are looking for what you’re selling. Make the buying process as simple as possible with product info, reviews, and clear steps to purchase. And provide quick delivery options so that customers can feel satisfied knowing their purchase is on the way. Shopping made simple – no delay.
One of the most interesting and engaging things about paid search is that there is always something more to do. No account build is ever perfect. Even when your campaigns are giving you everything you need to be profitable, there are always small changes to make. These optimizations we call the ‘tip of the arrow,’ tactics that can squeeze the last drops of performance out of a campaign that is already successful.
One of these high-level changes is bid adjustments. A bid adjustment is a modification on PPC campaigns or ad groups that edits your max CPC by a chosen percentage when a certain condition is met. There are many conditions you can tell your campaigns to bid up or down on, depending on what type of default bidding your campaign is set to (some automated bidding settings will do bid adjustments themselves). Bid adjustments are available on both Google AdWords and Bing Ads.
- Time of Day Bid Adjustments: Your default bids can be adjusted based on the time of day your keywords are searched for. If you know your industry tends to be active in the morning hours, you can bid up at those times. Likewise, if you know your campaign isn’t going to convert sales as well during the evening hours and “prime time”, you have the option to automatically lower your bids based on that (this is especially useful for B2B campaigns, as it is less likely your campaign will convert after conventional business hours). However, be careful with time-of-day bid adjustments. Just because your campaign may not convert as well during a certain time, doesn’t mean clicks on your ad during that time are more or less likely to convert later. Using time-of-day bid adjustments requires an extreme level of knowledge about your campaigns and your consumers’ spending habits given by the campaign data.
- Day of Week Bid Adjustments: Similar to Time of Day Adjustments, Day of Week Adjustments will edit your bids based on the day of the week your ads are searched. These adjustments can be useful, especially for B2B products, however they can run into the same issues as Time of Day adjustments, where people who could convert may not click your ad due to a lowered bid. Again, this requires a high level of knowledge about your consumer, and like Time of Day adjustments, should not be used lightly.
- Device Type Bid Adjustments: Your bids can also be adjusted based on the type of device that is being searched on. If your campaign data shows that you perform particularly well on mobile, you can raise your bids for people who are searching for your product on their phone. Similarly, if you find that tablets don’t convert as efficiently as other devices, you can lower or even stop your bids on tablets using this tool.
- Location-Based Bid Adjustments: You can change your bids based on the location of the device that is searching for your ad, provided you have that location as a targeted location in your campaign. This can be done with campaigns targeted in any area. If a certain region doesn’t perform well for your national campaign, you can bid down on that region. Likewise, if a certain neighborhood gives a local business campaign a particularly good return, that area’s max CPC can be increased. However, this is tricky to use locally, as the same consumer may move from one area with a certain adjustment to another area with a different or no adjustment.
- Demographic Bid Adjustments: There are other bid adjustments that can be made based on the demographic data of your consumers. Did you know you can bid higher or lower based on the gender or age of the person that your ad is shown to? You can even look at how your campaign performs based on these same segments. These are the “safest” adjustments to use, as they are static conditions that won’t change drastically in a short time, and therefore can’t cause problems like the other types of adjustments. However, these adjustments only affect the ~60% of accounts that include demographic information, meaning bidding up on women only works with female consumers who have their gender information filled out in their accounts. Essentially, this is a small adjustment that should generally be added when your campaign has adequate sample size, but won’t drastically change the campaign’s performance.
You would think these optimizations should be common for campaign management, but many optimizations are double-edged swords that may be more risk than their worth. Furthermore, too many bid adjustments can multiply with one another and create significantly larger or smaller bids than your default max CPC. This can even start to affect when and if you hit your daily budget. Bid adjustments can definitely hurt a campaign in the wrong place, especially bidding down on certain conditions.
Talk to the experts at JumpFly about any optimizations you think are right for your campaigns!
In late 2017, Google announced they would be making changes to their Google AdWords Grant policy effective January 1, 2018. So what are these changes, and how do they affect you? We want to highlight three of the major changes so you can adjust your accounts accordingly.
1. Account Structure
The way you organize your account according to your goals is very important and up to you, but everyone must follow Google’s new Grant guidelines to ensure you do not have your account potentially cancelled.
Under the new guidelines, campaigns must be structured to the following specs:
- Minimum of two active ad groups per campaign
- Minimum of two active ads
- Minimum of two Sitelinks extensions
- Must have location targeting setup in relevant locations to your nonprofit
This is not something to be afraid of at all. Google wants to make sure your accounts are structured to get you the best performance and make sure you are up to date with their best practices. Updating your accounts now to meet these guidelines means less work for you later if any other changes occur.
2. Maintain a 5% Click-Through Rate Each Month
Now that we know how our accounts must be structured, let’s shift our focus to performance. The new policy states our campaigns must maintain at least a 5% CTR. If this is not met for two consecutive months, your account will be cancelled. Google will not cancel your account without notifying you first about the potential of this happening, this way you have time to make the necessary changes before this is met.
If your account is cancelled, you can update your account and submit a request to have your account reinstated by Google. There are many different factors that do play into your CTR for a given month – seasonality, account not structured correctly, competition, bid amount, etc. As long as you have your account set up appropriately, you give yourself the best opportunity to perform and not have your account cancelled.
3. $2 Bid Max. Bid Limit has Been Lifted (under Maximize Conversions bid strategy)
In the past, Google has capped the max bid limit to $2 per click. Under the new policy, you have the option to set your campaigns to the ‘Maximize Conversions’ bid strategy. For those not familiar with this strategy, this is an automated bid strategy where Google will set your bids for you. As long as you have conversion tracking setup (having past history helps), your bids will be automatically set and can exceed the $2 limit!
While the $2.00 max bid limit still does exist for other bid strategies, we now at least have a way to exceed this and improve our campaigns performance. For example, since we have the potential to bid more than $2 per click, this then gives us the potential to show at a better position and drive more conversions and CTR (aiming for that 5% CTR).
Here at JumpFly, we work to get our clients accounts updated to Google’s best practice and new policies at all times. If you need help with your account, reach out and we are happy to see what we can do for you!
In early October, Google quietly announced they changed the way they allocate your daily ad spend. Unless you happened to see the blurb in your AdWords account on October 4th or saw the @adwords tweet that day, you probably didn’t know it happened. Here are some of the nuts and bolts…
Previously, Google reserved the right to exceed your daily budget by 20%. Now that number is increasing to a full 100%. Scary, huh? Well, not necessarily… While you’ll likely see fluctuations in your DAILY spend, Google still has to stay under the campaign’s “Monthly Charge Limit” (your daily budget x 30.4 days). If a campaign IS charged more than the monthly budget limit in any calendar month, Google has pledged to credit the over-delivery amount at the end of that month.
There actually is a method to the madness. Google’s thought process here is to serve your ads to as many customers as possible by “over-delivering” your ads on high traffic days and less during low traffic. While these high traffic days may cause your account to spend double its daily budget, these costs will be offset by less ad serving on lower traffic days throughout the same month.
Google has framed this change as a way to “help you hit your advertising goals,” and we’re anticipating that will actually pan out. The biggest overall impact to your AdWords spend will likely be that you no longer have unspent budget at the end of any given month. And while this change may feel jarring at first, the over-delivery initiative will likely lead to more traffic and more conversions for you and your business. Now that’s a change we can get behind.
As always, reach out to your JumpFly account manager with any questions or concerns!
When does it make sense to bid on your brand? Search marketers argue about this all the time—but they never give you a definitive answer. Do you always bid? Should you rely on your organic rankings?
BrandVerity, a brand protection and monitoring company, recently reached out to Nikki Kuhlman, a seasoned PPC veteran, to ask if she would be willing to share insights from 15 years of paid search management in a joint webinar, and Nikki jumped at the chance. The webinar aired on November 7th. Nikki was joined by Preston Holland, BrandVerity’s Director of Business Development and moderated by Ulla Saleh, BrandVerity’s Content Marketing Manager. Nikki and Preston gave concrete reasons why comapneis should absolutely protect their brand, and gave examples of what happens when you don’t.
Topics that Preston and Nikki covered included:
- Which branded keywords should you always bid on
- What branded keywords should you avoid
- When to bid on others’ brand names
- Why trademark bidders target your brand terms
- How to protect your brand
Preston and Nikki share real world examples of companies protecting their brand, as well as those who haven’t and why it’s a problem. At the end of the webinar, participants were able to send in their questions for Nikki and Preston.
50 minute run time
Did you know that according to a new study from DoubleClick by Google the average load time for mobile sites is 19 seconds on 3G connections and that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than three seconds to load?
With mobile traffic increasing more and more every year, it is now critically important to make sure that your landing pages are mobile friendly so that you do not miss out on potential customers. How can you make sure that your landing pages are optimized for the best mobile user experience? You can now find this information using the new “Landing Pages” tab in the Google AdWords UI. This new feature, rolling out over the next few weeks to all accounts, can be found only in the new Google AdWords experience. By using this new tool, you can now see the percentage of times someone on a mobile device clicked on your ad and was taken to a mobile friendly landing page.
If that percentage is not 100%, you may have lost out on potential clients. Clicking on the percentage will allow you to run a test on that landing page and find out what potential issues are making your landing page non-mobile friendly and you can then optimize it accordingly; hopefully turning more of your mobile clicks into sales. Currently the “Mobile-friendly Click Rate” is only available for Search but will be expanding to include other data in the future. Again, this feature is rolling out over the next few weeks – if it’s not available for you yet, you’ll see the the message “You don’t have any landing page data yet.” Keep checking back.
Today, it seems like everyone has a smartphone. It has become our new normal – we are constantly connected, communicating and searching for information.
Having a mobile website has become a crucial component of having an online presence. If your website is not mobile-friendly, it’s time to rethink your online marketing strategy. The majority of searchers coming to your site are using a mobile device and this number just keeps growing. Statistics show that the path to a conversion will most likely start with a mobile search. The actual purchase may end up on desktop or tablet, but it is critical to optimize your site and your marketing efforts for mobile. This is the first impression you are giving the user – it has to be fast, relevant and user friendly.
About 92% of all young adults ages 18 to 29 and over 80% of 30 to 49 year-olds have a smartphone. The fastest-growing group is Americans from 50 to 64. A whopping three-quarters of them are now smartphone owners. As these numbers continue to grow, there are more potential buyers looking for your product or service. Give them a great user experience to keep them interested and engaged!
Picture this – a user sees your online ad and is intrigued enough to click for more information. When they land on your page, they have difficulty viewing your site and reading the content. They have to pinch and zoom and squint to try and see anything. Your purchase process may be confusing or hard to find. This leads to immediate irritation and frustration. Know what happens next? They are gone in the blink of an eye! They have abandoned your site and are on to the next one.
Nobody has the time to waste on a bad user experience. They want information and they want it right now. If you don’t instantly give them what they’re looking for, you are not going to be a contender in the online marketplace.
The world of internet marketing is constantly changing and growing, but one thing we can be absolutely sure of – mobile is here to stay! Making the investment now will surely pay off in the long run.
Once your website is fully optimized for mobile, JumpFly is here to help with your PPC management. Our professional account managers have years of PPC experience. They bring customer service to a whole new level by taking the time to understand you, your business and your goals. Contact us today for more information.
Measuring campaign success is generally of the utmost importance to online advertisers. Tracking conversions and other meaningful actions on a website provides actionable insight. Not having useful tracking in place is much like flying blind, and never recommended. Ensuring the successfulness of a campaign, making informed decisions, and doing everything possible to increase the return on investment in an account is something that really can’t be done without implementing proper tracking.
Managing and maintaining various tracking codes from each and every advertising platforms is a daunting task, or can at least be respected as such. Most major advertising platforms have at least one tracking code, but more modernly make use of multiple tracking codes. Facebook, for example, has a site-wide Pixel tag, and numerous other event code snippets for tracking specific actions. It’s not uncommon to have five or more snippets of Facebook code installed for tracking a purchase conversion funnel.
The traditional method of implementing conversion tracking requires a website owner or developer to install each and every tracking code snippet in various locations within the source code of a site. Some codes are required to be placed site-wide, while others on a specific “thank you” page, a product page, fired as part of an Ajax response, etc… The point is that the code placement typically isn’t documented well, if at all. Much of the time it’s hard to even pinpoint each one of the installed tracking codes on a site. Tracking code can also age out as we’ve seen historically with Google and Microsoft. Microsoft over the past couple years phased out their antiquated Campaign Analytics solution in favor of Universal Event Tracking (UET). Microsoft’s Campaign Analytics conversion tracking code has ceased to function as of writing this. Not taking the time to upgrade to UET would have caused a lapse in conversion data as the old code ceased to function.
The solution to all of these conversion tracking, and code implementation woes? Three words: Google Tag Manager.
Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free tool that offers centralized tracking code management. All tracking code that was previously installed on a website gets moved into GTM. The only code now left installed on the website is the GTM code block. You’ll never be left guessing which codes are installed on the website because they’re all conveniently and centrally stored in what Google calls a “Container.” GTM natively supports a vast number of predefined tags such as AdWords Conversion Tracking, AdWords Remarketing, Google Analytics, AdRoll Smart Pixel, Hotjar, LinkedIn Insight, Marin Software, Bing Ads Universal Event Tracking, and too many others to name here. For those tags that aren’t predefined, GTM gives the ability to create “Custom HTML” tags. Taking advantage of Google Tag Manager, and the almost limitless tracking capabilities it affords, is something every advertiser should seriously consider. It provides a fully streamlined approach to tracking code management in a friendly, easy-to-use web interface.
As an agency, JumpFly has widely adopted Google Tag Manager as our preferred tracking code management solution. It’s helped us streamline code deployment for our clients, and save precious time.