Search engine marketing is still the “bread and butter” of many digital marketing strategies. Learn about platform features and practices that will make your cost-per-click campaigns successful through their lifecycles – from impression, to click, to conversion. Our experts explore keyword strategy, ad copy, campaign structure & organization, bid strategy and more on our blog.
Ad Rank, a value that Google AdWords uses to determine an ad’s position in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) officially changed a few months ago. As a result, Google appears to be placing more importance on ad extensions.
As Google puts it, “if two competing ads have the same bid and quality, then the ad with the more positive expected impact from extensions will generally appear in a higher position than the other.” In other words, ad extensions have gone from just another AdWords feature to a “must-do” for anyone running paid search campaigns – especially when the competition is fierce.
By now you should know how your holiday ads are performing. You may have even tweaked an ad here or there, based on which keyword groups and landing pages are working, and which are not. If you want to stretch your ad dollar even further, there’s a time-honored trick you can use: Ad Scheduling (also known as Dayparting).
By using Dayparting, you can schedule your ads to run when your key audience is likely to be online. For holiday shoppers, this might be around lunchtime and in the evenings. Before you do any “dayparting” though, it’s important to know for sure.
The holiday shopping season presents a huge opportunity for online retailers. But there are pitfalls everywhere. Overzealous bidding, unoptimized landing pages, and inaccurate tracking mean wasted money and missed opportunities. Because Black Friday is just around the corner, there’s no better time to tighten your campaigns, optimize your landing pages, and make the most of every click and impression.
First Thing’s First – Make Sure Your Basic Marketing Strategy is Sound
During the holiday season, it’s more important than ever that your online campaigns are optimized for your core audience. This includes creating tightly-themed ad groups, employing negative match, and using day-parting to make sure your ads are running only when your audience is likely to see them.
Optimize Your Landing Pages
Your landing pages should be simple, elegant and include obvious calls to action. They should offer users a way to get the information and products they’re looking for – as quickly and easily as possible. For more information, check out this post on landing page best practices.
Make Sure You’re Using Mobile Landing Pages
Yes, the time to “mobilize” your eCommerce marketing campaigns has come and gone, but if you still have landing pages without mobile versions – the time to mobilize is now.
Make Sure There are No Issues with Checkout
If it’s been a while since you’ve tried to buy a product from yourself, go ahead and give it a whirl. You might find that you run into usability issues that lead to shopping cart abandonment. This includes too many pages to click through, too many fields to enter, and transparency issues like not knowing the final price.
Keep Your Shipping Charges In Line with Competitors
Shipping charges can make or break an online sale. While you don’t have to lose your shirt on shipping, you should monitor your competitors to make sure they’re not undercutting you on shipping.
Some shopping carts get abandoned due to distraction and cold feet. But you can use remarketing to remind customers what they were shopping for. As the holiday season continues, and their shopping list lingers, your ads could become more and more enticing.
Consider Running Ads in Social Media
Social advertising is a great way to target users while keeping a keen eye on ROI. Just keep in mind that social channels are distracting and users are busy, so make sure your messaging and checkout process are streamlined and user-friendly.
Spruce Up Your Social Media Pages
Inviting users to your profile pages is akin to inviting them to your “home” on the web. During the holidays, don’t forget to make sure your pages are merry and bright. If your banners contain campaign-focused calls to action – all the better.
And Of Course… Don’t forget the PLAs
Google’s Product Listing Ads are widely popular for a reason – they’re visual, efficient and user-friendly. Your competitors will be using them this year. Make sure you’re there too.
Keep the Coupon Sites in the “Know”
Running a coupon code, or other discount? Make sure coupon sites like Retail Me Not are in the “know.”
Then, Track, Track, Track
See where you’re money’s going, and learn valuable, real-time lessons. Make sure your web analytics software is set up to track all of your marketing efforts through the funnel.