Don’t Underestimate the Power of Mobile

December 9th, 2014 by Stephanie Shaw

BLOG-power-of-mobileThere’s no doubt that mobile advertising is here to stay and its growth has been staggering. Recent research by Nielsen reveals that smartphone penetration in the US has reached 70% with Americans spending seven more hours each month on their phones than in 2013. What is astounding is that while people are spending more than 38 hours on their phones per month, mobile only comprises about 4% of total ad spend. The good news is, with such little saturation in the market, that means less competition, cheaper clicks and more sales for PPC advertisers keen enough to enter this space.

Prepare for Mobile Advertising

So you know you want cheaper clicks and more sales, but where do you start? It’s not as simple as just throwing up some mobile ads if you really want to reach the mobile market and see converting visits. Businesses need to not only deliver a mobile-optimized ad, but deliver a great experience on mobile devices after the click. This is incredibly important. Not only does it affect your Quality Score, ad position, cost and sales, but it affects your customer loyalty and organic visibility too. The most essential step a business must make before entering the mobile ad space is optimizing their website for mobile devices. If you jump in feet first without a mobile website, it can actually have adverse effects on your business.

Mobile Optimized Websites

According to a research study by Google, 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a site’s product or service. I’m sure the majority of you have experienced the frustration of trying to navigate an outdated website with miniscule text and infinite scrolling. It just doesn’t work. The majority of mobile users will just leave and go to a different website they can easily navigate.

It’s not just about losing business. When you send mobile users to a website that is not optimized for their device, it can actually damage your brand’s reputation. According to Google, 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company and 48% said that if a site didn’t work well on their smartphones, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business. This means that not only will users leave your website and go to a competitor, but you could be hurting relationships with your current customers. Make mobile work for you, not against you, and get started on a mobile website

The Endgame

So, we’ve convinced you to mobile optimize your website; what next? This is where the real fun can begin. Let’s make some money! Get in touch with your web designer and kick start your mobile initiative with a mobile responsive website. After that, it’s time to optimize your PPC accounts for mobile devices and begin analyzing this wonderfully new flood of data. When you start delivering a truly great mobile experience to consumers, you’ll not only see an increase in conversion rates, but you’ll also start to see mobile contributing to conversions on other devices. Having a great mobile site isn’t just about making more sales, it’s an essential part of building your brand and creating long lasting customer relationships.

 


Pay-Per-Click Advertising is Still Advertising

November 12th, 2014 by Spencer Daniels

BLOG-ppcstilladvertisingPay-per-click (PPC) Advertising generates massive amounts of trackable data that can be analyzed to find areas of weakness, strength, loss and growth opportunities for online marketing campaigns. Being able to translate this data into strategic PPC management decisions that improve account performance is what fuels search engine marketing. The diversity of this data is one of the major luxuries of advertising in a digital world. It allows you to prove the value of your PPC with concrete numbers, but it can also cause you to lose focus on the big picture; pay-per-click advertising is still advertising.

Pay-per-click Advertising, like the majority of advertising avenues, cannot always be quantified to determine its effectiveness. It can appear that the reach of a PPC accounts is tracked, but the data doesn’t always portray true value. In one of my past blog posts I evaluated the validity of view-through conversions and the impact an un-clicked image ad has on end sales. It was interesting to find that although the image ad wasn’t clicked, it did positively influence end sales, meaning that the ads contribute to more than just the number of clicks it receives. Ads have an emotional impact on our customers, and that’s incredibly hard to quantify. TV commercials have been trying to find a trackable solution to this problem since the first commercial aired in 1941.

Cross-device tracking is another area that doesn’t accurately represent what PPC brings to the table. I myself have seven different devices in which I can access the internet. I also have an unknown number of different email addresses and logins I use (I think there’s still a MySpace page floating around from my awkward teen years.) It would be really hard to determine my path to purchase based on all the different routes I can take to get there. I know that there’s a large effort to help improve cross-device reporting, but for now, it doesn’t come close to representing what’s actually occurring.

Why is it that TV commercials, radio advertising and highway billboards are not dissected by hard-nosed reporting? Why are there not reports determining the cost effectiveness of these ads and the exact number of sales each platform is responsible for? It is universally understood that these forms of advertising provide additional value beyond the few customers who might mention the ad for a discount. PPC is viewed exactly the opposite. The worth of an account is often weighted too heavily on the numbers that a PPC campaign reports. It’s often denied the opulence of acknowledgement for the additional persuasion it delivers. We need to understand that PPC is more than the by-the-numbers stigma it is often granted. It’s a form of advertising, which by definition, is to “draw attention to (a product, service, or event).” PPC advertising is not a cold, unemotional math equation that always has a right or wrong answer; it’s still just advertising.


Callout Extensions: A Great Way to Enhance Your Ads

October 20th, 2014 by Charlotte Catsadimas

BLOG-calloutsLast month Google announced callout extensions, a new type of ad extension in AdWords. The callout ad extension allows advertisers to include additional text that provides details about their website, before potential customers even click an ad. Businesses can draw attention to specific products and services they offer, such as free shipping, price matching or anything else that might make them stand out from competitors. Callouts appear below text ads and can also be shown with other ad extensions.

Google requires a minimum of two callout extensions per account, campaign or ad group. However, they do suggest creating four callouts per level to ensure as many callouts as possible are available to show with the ad.

With a little PPC management, callout extensions are updated very easily. For example, you can keep your special offers and sales current without having to create or edit text ads. And unlike text ads, if you edit callouts, you won’t reset any of the performance statistics!

Comprehensive reports allow you to see the number of clicks on your ad when the callouts appeared at the campaign, ad group or ad levels. They can also be scheduled, allowing you to select the day or time callouts show. The reporting and scheduling features are available from the Ad extensions tab.

There are some best practices to keep in mind. Google has discovered that ads using sentence capitalization perform better than those with title capitalization. For example: “Free shipping” vs. “Free Shipping”. In addition, callouts may have a maximum of 25 characters, but Google recommends keeping text short, using a maximum of 12-15 characters. Callouts should be like a bullet point, using specific details to help customers decide whether or not your website is the one they are looking for.

Callouts started rolling out September 3rd, and should now be available to all AdWords accounts. Take advantage of this valuable, additional ad real estate.