Tag Archive | "Display"

Google responsive display ads roll out as new default display format

Advertisers upload their assets and leave the ad creation to Google’s algorithms.



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SearchCap: Responsive display ads roll out on Google, Bing Ads update, register for SMX East & more

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.



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The #1 Reason Paid Ads (On Search, Social, and Display) Fail – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Pouring money into a paid ad campaign that’s destined to fail isn’t a sound growth strategy. Time and again, companies breaking into online ads don’t see success due to the same issue: they aren’t known to their audiences. There’s no trust, no recognition, and so the cost per click remains high and rising.

In this edition of Whiteboard Friday, Rand identifies the cycle many brands get trapped in and outlines a solution to make those paid ad campaigns worth the dollars you put behind them.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re chatting about the number one reason so many paid ad campaigns, especially from new companies and companies with new products or new ventures that they’re going into, new markets and audiences they’re addressing, fail. They just fall apart. I see this scenario play out so many times, especially in the startup and entrepreneurial world but, to be honest, across the marketing landscape.

Here’s how it usually goes. You’ve got your CEO or your CMO or your business owner and they’re like, “Hey, we have this great new product. Let’s spread the word.” So they talk to a marketer. It could be a contractor. It could be an agency. It could be someone in-house.

The marketer is like, “Okay, yeah, I’ll buy some ads online, help us get the word out there and get us some traffic and conversions.”

Then a few months later, you basically get this. “How’s that paid ad campaign going?” “Well, not so good. I have bad news.”

The cycle

Almost always, this is the result of a cycle that looks like this. You have a new company’s campaign. The campaign is to sell something or get exposure for something, to try and drive visits back to a web page or a website, several pages on the site and then get conversions out of it. So you buy Facebook ads, Instagram ads, maybe LinkedIn and Twitter. You probably use the Google Display Network. You’re probably using AdWords. All of these sources are trying to drive traffic to your web page and then get a conversion that turns into money.

Now, what happens is that these get a high cost per click. They start out with a high cost per click because it’s a new campaign. So none of these platforms have experience with your campaign or your company. So you’re naturally going to get a higher-than-normal cost per click until you prove to them that you get high engagement, at which point they bring the cost per click down. But instead of proving to them you get high engagement, you end up getting low engagement, low click-through rate, low conversion rate. People don’t make it here. They don’t make it there. Why is that?

Why does this happen?

Well, before we address that, let’s talk about what happens here. When these are low, when you have a low engagement rate on the platform itself, when no one engages with your Facebook ads, no one engages with your Instagram ads, when no one clicks on your AdWords ad, when no one clicks on your display ads, the cost to show to more people goes up, and, as a result, these campaigns are much harder to make profitable and they’re shown to far fewer people.

So your exposure to the audience you want to reach is smaller and the cost to reach each next person and to drive each next action goes up. This, fundamentally, is because…

  • The audience that you’re trying to reach hasn’t heard of you before. They don’t know who you are.
  • They don’t know, trust, or like you or your company product, they don’t click. They don’t click. They don’t buy. They don’t share. They don’t like.

They don’t do all the engagement things that would drive this high cost per click down, and, because of that, your campaigns suffer and struggle.

I see so many marketers who think like this, who say yes to new company campaigns that start with an advertising-first approach. I want to be clear, there are some exceptions to the rule. I have seen some brand new companies that fit a certain mold do very well with Instagram advertising for certain types of products that appeal to that audience and don’t need a previously existing brand association. I’ve seen some players in the Google AdWords market do okay with this, some local businesses, some folks in areas where people don’t expect to have knowledge and awareness of a brand already in the space where they’re trying to discover them.

So it’s not the case always that this fails, but very often, often enough that I’m calling this the number one reason I see paid ads fail.

The solution

There’s only one solution and it’s not pretty. The solution is…

You have to get known to your audience before you pour money into advertising.

Meaning you need to invest in organic channels — content or SEO or press and PR or sponsorships or events, what have you, anything that can get your brand name and the names of your product out there.

Brand advertising, in fact, can work for this. So television brand advertising, folks have noticed that TV brand advertising often drives the cost per click down and drives engagement and click-through rates up, because people have heard of you and they know who you are. Magazine and offline advertising works like this. Sometimes even display advertising can work this way.

The second option is to…

Advertise primarily or exclusively to an audience that already has experience with you.

The way you can do this is through systems like Google’s retargeting and remarketing platforms. You can do the same thing with Facebook, through custom audiences of email addresses that you upload, same thing with Instagram, same thing with Twitter. You can target people who specifically only follow the accounts that you already own and control. Through these, you can get better engagement, better click-through rate, better conversion rate and drive down that cost per click and reach a broader audience.

But if you don’t do these things first, a lot of times these types of investments fall flat on their face, and a lot of marketers, to be honest, and agencies and consultants lose their jobs as a result. I don’t want that to happen to you. So invest in these first or find the niches where advertising can work for a first-time product. You’re going to be a lot happier.

All right, everyone. Look forward to your comments. We’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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The Secret to Driving Facebook and Display Ad ROI

Digital ad spend is now being evaluated and optimized on the basis of online-to-offline impact. And in today’s smartphone world, that means phone calls. Join digital advertising and call conversion experts from Brandmuscle and DialogTech to learn proven strategies that will improve ROI and…



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Yahoo is using display ads to drive search traffic for competitive terms

Ads link directly to search results for terms across a number of competitive verticals.

The post Yahoo is using display ads to drive search traffic for competitive terms appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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Upcoming webcast: How to optimize search, Facebook, and display ads to drive offline sales

How are marketers using online and offline data to understand and optimize the customer journey? And what cross-channel strategies work best to drive offline conversions? Join digital marketing experts from Adobe and DialogTech to understand how marketers are solving the online-to-offline dilemma….



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SPONSOR MESSAGE: The Display Retargeting Planning Guide

Key benchmarks, challenges and best practices for cross-channel retargeting success. Marin Software surveyed digital marketers to produce this definitive retargeting guide. CTR, CPC, budget allocation, and RLSA benchmarks, plus best practices, including the use of search intent data to augment…



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Beyond Search: Unifying PPC and SEO on the Display Network

Posted by anthonycoraggio

PPC and SEO go better together. By playing both sides of the coin, it’s possible to make more connections and achieve greater success in your online marketing than with either alone.

That the data found in search query reporting within AdWords can be a valuable source of information in
keyword research is well known. Managing the interaction effects of sharing the SERPs and capturing reinforcing real estate on the page is of course important. Smart marketers will use paid search to test landing pages and drive traffic to support experiments on the site itself. Harmony between paid and organic search is a defining feature of well executed search engine marketing.

Unfortunately, that’s where the game all too often stops, leaving a world of possibilities for research and synergy waiting beyond the SERPs on the Google Display Network. Today I want to give you a couple techniques to kick your paid/organic collaboration back into gear and get more mileage from combining efforts across the disciplines.

Using the display network

If you’re not familiar with it already, the GDN is essentially the other side of AdSense, offering the ability to run banner, rich media, and even video ads across the network from AdWords or Doubleclick. There are two overarching methods of targeting these ads: by context/content, and by using remarketing lists. Regardless of your chosen method, ads here are about as cheap as you can find (often under a $ 1 CPC), making them a prime tool for exploratory research and supporting actions.

Contextual and content-based targeting offers some simple and intuitive ways to extend existing methods of PPC and SEO interaction. By selecting relevant topics, key phrases, or even particular sites, you can place ads in the wild to test the real world resonance of taglines and imagery with people consuming content relevant to yours.

You can also take a more coordinated approach during a content marketing campaign using the same type of targeting. Enter a unique phrase from any placements you earn on pages using AdSense as a keyword target, and you can back up any article or blog post with a powerful piece of screen real estate and a call to action that is fully under your control. This approach mirrors the
tactic of using paid search ads to better control organic results, and offers a direct route to conversion that usually would not otherwise exist in this environment.

Research with remarketing

Remarketing on AdWords is a powerful tool to drive conversions, but it also produces some very interesting and frequently neglected data in the proces:
Your reports will tell you which other sites and pages your targeted audience visits once your ads display there. You will, of course, be restricted here to sites running AdSense or DoubleClick inventory, but this still adds up to over 2 million potential pages!

If your firm is already running remarketing, you’ll be able to draw some insights from your existing data, but if you have a specific audience in mind, you may want to create a new list anyway. While it is possible to create basic remarketing lists natively in AdWords, I recommend using Google Analytics to take advantage of the advanced segmentation capabilities of the platform. Before beginning, you’ll need to ensure that your AdWords account is linked and your tracking code is updated.

Creating your remarketing list

First, define who exactly the users you’re interested in are. You’re going to have to operationalize this definition based on the information available in GA/UA, so be concrete about it. We might, for example, want to look after users who have made multiple visits within the past two weeks to peruse our resources without completing any transactions. Where else are they bouncing off to instead of closing the deal with us?

If you’ve never built a remarketing list before, pop into the creation interface in GA through Admin > Remarketing > Audiences. Hit the big red ‘+ Audience’ button to get started. You’re first presented with a selection of list types:

ga-remarketing-list-types.PNG

The first three options are the simplest and least customizable, so they won’t be able to parse out our theoretical non-transactors, but can be handy for this application nonetheless. The
Smart List option is a relatively new and interesting option. Essentially, this will create a list based on Google’s best algorithmic guess at which of your users are most likely to convert upon return to your site. The ‘black box’ element to Smart Lists makes it less precise as a tool here, but it’s simple to test and see what it turns up.

The next three are relatively self explanatory; you can gather all users, all users to a given page, or all that have completed a conversion goal. Where it gets truly interesting is when you create your own list using segments. All the might of GA opens up here for you to apply criteria for demographics, technology/source, behavior, and even advanced conditions and sequences. Very handily, you can also import any existing segments you’ve created for other purposes.

In this figure, we’re simply translating the example from above into some criteria that should fairly accurately pick out the individuals in which we are interested.

Setting up and going live

When you’ve put your list together, simply save it and hop back over to AdWords. Once it counts at least 100 users in its target audience, Google will let you show ads using it as targeting criteria. To set up the ad group, there are a few key considerations to bear in mind:

  1. You can further narrow your sample using AdWords’ other targeting options, which can be very handy. For example, want to know only what sites your users visit within a certain subject category? Plug in topic targeting. I won’t jump down the rabbit hole of possibilities here, but I encourage you to think creatively in using this capability.
  2. You’ll of course need fill the group with some actual ads for it to work. If you can’t get some applicable banner ads, you can create some simple text ads. We might be focusing on the research data to be had in this particular group, but remember that users are still going to see and potentially click these ads, so make sure you use relevant copy and direct them to an appropriate landing page.
  3. To hone down on unique and useful discoveries, consider setting some of the big generic inventory sources like YouTube as negative targets.
  4. Finally, set a reasonable CPC bid to ensure your ads show. $ 0.75 to $ 1.00 should be sufficient; if your ads aren’t turning up many impressions with a decent sized list, push the number up a bit.

To check on the list size and status, you can find it in Shared Library > Audiences or back in GA. Once everything is in place, set your ads live and start pulling in some data!

Getting the data

You won’t get your numbers back overnight, but over time you will collect a list of the websites your remarketed ads show on: all the pages across the vast Google Display Network that your users visit. To find it, enter AdWords and select the ad group you set up. Click the “Display Network” and “Placements” tabs:

placement-data-tabs.PNG

You’ll see a grid showing the domain level placements your remarketing lists have shown on, with the opportunity to customize the columns of data included. You can sift through the data on a more granular level by clicking “see details;” this will provide you with page level data for the listed domains. You’re likely to see a chunk of anonymized visits; there is a
workaround to track down the pages in here, but be advised it will take a fair amount of extra effort.

plaecments-see-details.png

Tada! There you are—a lovely cross section of your target segment’s online activities. Bear in mind you can use this approach with contextual, topic, or interest targeting that produces automatic placements as well.

Depending on your needs, there are of course myriad ways to make use of display advertising tools in sync with organic marketing. Have you come up with any creative methods or intriguing results? Let us know in the comments! 

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Display Advertising: 3 basic questions every marketer should ask themselves about banner ads

Considering low costs and the potential return of driving significant volumes of traffic to your homepages or landing pages, banner ads would seem a safe bet to count as one of the most important elements of a successful marketing strategy. Yet in reality, most banner ads become lost in the afterthoughts of marketing campaign planning. Read on to hear three questions every marketer should ask themselves about their banner ads.
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Official: Google Testing Display Of Click Counts On Paid Search Ads

Intrepid searchers have been spotting click counts displaying under certain AdWords ads on Google.com, and the search giant has confirmed it’s doing a small experiment. Both Vinny O’Hare and Steven Weldler spotted the user interface test, in which a click count was displayed underneath…



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