Articles in The 'Search Engine Marketing' Tag

December 10 2013

Trying to Stretch Your Holiday Ad Dollar? Don’t Forget Dayparting!

by Lauren Owens

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.

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November 4 2013

Ecommerce Holiday Checklist: A Comprehensive Holiday Marketing Guide

by Lauren Owens

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.

Consider Remarketing

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.

October 28 2013

3 Common Paid Search Landing Page Mistakes

by Tony Fazzini

A common practice for businesses that are utilizing paid search is to create landing pages specific for the content they are trying to engage searchers for. This is beneficial because it allows a business to focus on conversions instead of just having an information page.

Here are 3 common mistakes that businesses make when creating landing pages:

  1. Hidden or unclear call to action: When creating a landing page, it is very important for the searcher to understand why you would want them to click on the ad to land on your page. Once on that page, the action mentioned within the ad copy should be a prominent focus of that page in order to entice the searcher to continue through the funnel and convert. If the user is confused on the next step, they will typically leave the page immediately and select another result from the search engine results page.
  2. Most important information below the fold: When someone is searching the web for something specific, they have a very small attention span. If they do land on your website, they will typically make a decision to stay or leave within 3 seconds. Knowing this, it is crucial to put your best foot forward and have the most compelling information on the top of the page. If the searcher must scroll in order to get to the heart of what the page is about, you will lose them more often than not.
  3. Form/Conversion process too long: This step is probably the most common issue of them all. For ecommerce businesses, you want to make sure you don’t have a long tedious shopping process in order to check out with a product. If the user feels that steps are unnecessary, they are likely to move on to another site that is less arduous. For lead generation websites, the conversion process needs to be clear and easy to navigate through. You want to get enough information to understand what a searcher is interested in so someone from your team can follow up with the appropriate response.

The three mistakes mentioned above are just a few of many common errors. When creating a landing page, a great idea would be to show the page to someone unfamiliar with the website (or business) and see if they are able to navigate and understand what the page content is about. As they work with the website, see if they are able to identify what next steps they should take. This is helpful to see how others will view your site and give you a good indication prior to launch. Once you’ve launched a new landing page, it’s important to track the results of the page and test different variations in order to improve conversion rates.

By implementing these steps, you should be able to run a much more successful paid search campaign using landing pages.

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