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!
AdWords ad extensions are a great way to add character to your ads, as well as taking up more real estate. There are a lot of them now, and it helps to know what some of the best practices are when it comes to those extensions.
- Site Link Extensions: these are added content that helps bring a visitor further into your website. There are two styles of links, one that’s just the headline and one that also has a description, or what’s called Extended Site Links. If I had to pick, I’d go with Extended Site Links, as long as I had something of added value beyond what’s already in your ad copy, and that can sometimes be hard. You should have at least four site links. You can include things like your contact page, your quote form, information about your company, or if you are an ecommerce client, add links to categories or sub-categories of your website. You can do account, campaign or ad group level site links; campaign will trump account, and ad group will trump campaign. I would caution you on doing account level, unless you know that they apply to all your campaigns.
- Callout Extensions: these allow you to add detailed text to your ads that add value. These should be viewed as bullet points (they are 25 characters max), not sentences. If you are an ecom company and your ad copy is about a product, you can use callouts to highlight benefits of your company (free shipping, free returns, satisfaction guarantee). If you are a B-to-B company or service company like plumbers or lawyers, use it for accreditations, hours, etc. You should create at least three callouts but five or six is better. Google will rotate them for you. Callouts are not clickable. You can do account/campaign/ad group level site links. I would caution you on doing account level, unless you know that they apply to all your campaigns.
- Structured Snippets: these show in the form of a header, then a list of values, like Services: Massage, Facial, Pedicure, Manicure. There’s a number of Headers like Brands, Courses, Destinations, Styles, Types, Models, and more are being added all the time. Structured Snippets are not clickable. You can do account/campaign/ad group level. I would caution you on doing account level and sometimes even on the campaign level, unless you know that they apply universally to all.
Quick Tip! Make sure you aren’t duplicating what you put in Site Links, Callouts and Structured Snippets – all this content should be different so that if more than one is shown at once, you’re not redundant.
- Call Extensions: this is the approved way to get your phone number to show in ads. You can use a Google number which will count towards conversions, or your own number. You can do account/campaign/ad group level.
- Message Extensions: great for those who want to communicate quickly with people on mobile devices; people can click your message extension to send a text to your company. You have the ability to set up an automated reply. You can do account/campaign/ad group level.
- Location Extensions: these show your address, directions and/or distance to your location when a person is in close proximity to your address. These are tied to your Google My Business account, which is how you add them. These can be used on both search and display campaigns, and you can do account/campaign/ad group level.
- Price Extensions: showcase your products with their prices (or a “from” price), and allow people to click to that product or category directly. You can do account/campaign/ad group level. I would caution you on doing account level and even on the campaign level, unless you know that they apply universally to all.
- Review Extensions: you may see these in your account, but they are being discontinued as of January 2018, and all data will be deleted in February 2018.
Google recommends that you do as many extensions that make sense for your company, as extensions can help your quality scores.
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!
One of Google’s newest pushes is for the adoption of responsive ads in display networks. The standard text ads formerly available are being phased out, so technically, this is a forced change. However, this change shouldn’t be thought of as scary, as responsive ads hold greater potential to capture people’s attention thus gaining brand awareness and more traffic to your website. But, how, and, what are they?
Responsive ads are a combination of image, text, and native ads. These ads are aptly named as they automatically adjust their size, appearance, and format to fit inside the available ad space in which they appear across the Google Display Network.
The ads are comprised of the following assets and associated limitations:
- Short Headline – (25 characters or fewer) – appears in tight ad spaces where the long headline doesn’t fit
- Long Headline – (90 characters or fewer) – appears instead of the short headline, and may appear with or without your description
- Description – 90 characters or fewer
- Business Name
- Final URL – where people will be taken on your site when they click your ad
Additionally, you are able to add two images (landscape and square) and a logo (optional). You can either flex your creative muscle and upload your own images, allow Google to scan your website for images, or search through Google’s free library of stock images. If you choose to upload your own images, you must adhere to the below limitations:
- Landscape Image – Ratio of 1.91:1 and greater than 600 x 314. Recommended file size is 1200 x 628 and maximum file size limit is 1 MB.
- Square Image – Ratio of 1:1 and greater than 300 x 300. Recommended file size is 1200 x 1200 and maximum file size limit is 1MB.
- Square Logo (optional) – Ratio of 1:1 and should be 128 x 128 or greater. Recommended file size is 1200 x 1200 and maximum file size is 1MB.
- Landscape Logo (optional) – Ratio of 4:1 and should be 512 x 128 or greater. Recommended file size is 1200 x 300 and maximum file size is 1MB.
- Avoid Excessive Text – Text may cover no more than 20% of the image.
Your images and ad copy should relate to each other. But keep in mind that there will be times when the responsive ads are still shown in the native format (text only). Make sure you don’t rely too heavily on your images to convey your message, while leaving your ad text too vague. Your text should be able to stand on its own and still successfully get your message across.
So, now that you know what responsive ads are, you’re still wondering how they differ, or even might be better, than standard ads. The main benefit is the time saved in ad creation. Before, you needed to create separate image and text ads or have multiple images to cover every type of ad size. With responsive ads, you create one ad with images and text and Google takes care of the rest, size- and placement-wise, at least. This freedom of time will allow for even more ad creation which will, in turn, account for better testing and ad performance.
You also gain more ground across the vastness that is the Google Display Network. Responsive ads conform to every website in which they are shown meaning these ads will show up more often and in more places than standard image ads, giving them higher odds for increased click through rate, which benefits both Google and you. So be bold, be creative, and get responsive!
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
With so many people scrolling through their Facebook feed every day, how do you make them want to stop? How do your ads stand out from the rest? You NEED eye-catching, relevant creative.
Facebook allows advertisers to be inventive – using videos, carousel ads, slideshows, etc. Advertisers have the ability to really WOW consumers. With that being said, there are more than 5 MILLION businesses advertising on Facebook each month. So, how do you attract the attention you want?
Follow these steps:
- Get Results
Let’s start with Objectives. What do you want to achieve? Whether it’s selling products, providing a service or just trying to get your name out there, you have to figure out what your goals are first.
Next you want to think about your Audience. Who are the people that are important to your business? With Facebook, you can be very precise with your targeting. For example; if your audience is 25-35, male & interested in skateboarding, you can target exactly that! Amazing, right?
After you figure out who you want to cater your ads to, you need to think about your Brand. What sets your business apart from competitors? What makes you special? Identify those qualities and use them. If you sell hand-painted shoes, talk about how unique and artistic they are! If you provide lawn care, why is your lawn care the BEST? Consumers need to know why they want your products or services.
Now you need to find the perfect Story. This is your chance to speak to your audience. What do you want to say? Summarize how wonderful your business is with catchy ad text. Write some things down, read it out loud, play around with different words and phrases – have fun with it! On Facebook you can use ALL CAPS or throw in a fun emoji to get your audience’s attention. Just be careful with colorful language, don’t be a potty mouth.
When you have the perfect text, it’s time to Create. Creative is basically the heartbeat of your entire ad. It has to be eye-catching, relevant and engaging. A great video or beautiful picture will make a Facebook scroller stop in their tracks. Play around with photoshop or create a stunning video and run with it. Facebook gives you plenty of ad format options to drive business results. Find one that works for you – or use ‘em all!
Last, but certainly not least, Get Results! Use the information here, go out and rock those ads!
Don’t feel completely comfortable doing it on your own? Let us help you. Contact JumpFly today and we’ll help you get started!
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.
With the new AdWords Experience, advertisers can now take advantage of another new ad extension. Promotion Extensions give advertisers the ability to call out a special deal, whether it’s dollars off a purchase or a percentage savings. Promotion Extensions make your offer stand out so potential customers can spot great deals and generate new sales for your business. These new extensions also offer some customization opportunities such as device preference and flexible scheduling. Scheduling options include not only start and end dates, but time of day and day of week scheduling as well. There are also options to add promotion details such as minimum order amount or promo code. Like other ad extensions, Promotion Extensions can be added at the account, campaign, or ad group level.
In addition, you can choose from a list of occasions, such as Back to School or Christmas that will incorporate more detail into your extension.
To create a Promotion Extension in the new AdWords interface, go to the ‘Ads & extensions’ page menu and click Extensions along the top. Click “+” and then “Promotion Extension” to create a new one and fill in the appropriate fields.
Additional benefits of Promotion Extensions include the ability to easily update the extensions, as well as the ability to edit extensions without resetting the performance statistics and losing valuable data.
Promotion Extensions are free to add, and as with Sitelinks and Call Extensions, the advertiser is only charged for a click when someone viewing their ad clicks on the Promotion Extension.
Promotion Extensions offer one more way to make your ad stand out, increase visibility, and increase the probability of drawing new customers to your business.
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.