tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/ppc Latest PPC content from Econsultancy 2016-08-25T14:06:46+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68200 2016-08-25T14:06:46+01:00 2016-08-25T14:06:46+01:00 Four ways PPC has evolved beyond simply targeting keywords on desktop searches Lauren Evans <p>The latest <a href="http://www.kenshoo.co.uk/digital-marketing-snapshot/">quarterly data</a> from Kenshoo indicates that 62% of clicks and 60% of impressions from search ads now come from ad types other those that involve bidding on keywords entered into desktop searches. </p> <p>So what makes up these other clicks and impressions and why? </p> <h3>1. Phone and tablet ads</h3> <p>No prizes for guessing that mobile ads are now one of the biggest areas of search advertising, and smartphones lead the way.</p> <p>In fact, in the second quarter of this year, spend directed at search ads on smartphones grew 63% year-on-year, and made up 41% of clicks and 30% of spend in the quarter.</p> <p>If tablets are added to the mix, those percentages jump to 54% and 44%, respectively.</p> <p>The influence of mobile is likely to grow and Google is introducing changes to support it, such as the <a href="https://adwords.googleblog.com/2016/07/three-ad-innovations-for-mobile-first-world.html">announcement</a> of a new expanded format for text ads.</p> <p>The new format is optimised for mobile, being visually larger (taking up two lines for the heading). </p> <p>It also allows an extra 35 characters of text in the ad copy which lets advertisers provide more detailed information.</p> <p>At the same time, Google has announced support for <a href="https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2732132?hl=en-GB">bid modifiers</a> for a wider range of device categories. </p> <p>This provides greater control and flexibility for advertisers, allowing them to more precisely control bids on ads shown on smartphone and tablet devices.</p> <p>Bids on one device can then be adjusted by +/- 900% for the other two, so a mobile bid can be modified for desktop and tablet, for example.</p> <p>Previously, this was +/-300% and was always in reference to the desktop bid. More importantly, this change empowers advertisers to plan for mobile first, and not just as an alteration of desktop strategy.</p> <p> <img src="http://kenshoo.com/digitalmarketingtechnology/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/CHART-for-econsultancy.png" alt="" width="645" height="630"></p> <h3>2. Product Listing Ads</h3> <p>Budgets directed to <a href="https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2454022?hl=en-GB">Product Listing Ads</a> (PLAs) climbed 71% in Q2 this year, with total clicks on PLAs more than doubling (going up 2.21x) since the same quarter last year.</p> <p>PLAs are not linked to an advertiser’s keyword bids.</p> <p>To appear in PLAs, online retailers need to upload their product information, including images and prices (and details of any special promotions) directly into their merchant accounts and Google uses this to generate PLAs. </p> <p>It decides when to display these ads based on the product or product category and the cost per click bid.</p> <p>If you are an online retailer, PLAs are an attractive option because the ad images stand out on the search results page and attract more clicks.</p> <p>Also because they do not involve keyword bids, they are relatively easy to manage.</p> <h3>3. Mobile App Install Ads</h3> <p>As the name suggests, Google’s <a href="https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6309936?hl=en-GB">mobile app install ads</a> are used by app owners to promote their mobile apps and drive app installs via search results.</p> <p>If you are an app owner, Google will automatically generate ads for you based on the app icon and reviews of the app in the Google Play or Apple App store, allowing you to set the keywords and budget.</p> <p>For Android apps in Google Play, Google automatically tracks installs as conversions, so the default bid strategy is cost-per-action (CPA).</p> <p>As well as search, Google allows app owners to run mobile app install ads on the Google Play Store, YouTube, and its Display Network (a collection of websites, apps, videos and blogs where you can place AdWords ads).</p> <h3>4. Dynamic Search Ads</h3> <p><a href="https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/products/dynamic-search-ads.html">Dynamic Search Ads</a> are search ads that Google generates automatically, based on the content of your website, selecting the keyword searches against which your ads will be displayed. </p> <p>For example if you are a retailer, Google will keep an up-to-date index of the product content appearing on your pages using its organic web crawling technology.</p> <p>When a relevant search occurs, it generates an ad with a headline based on the query, and the text generated from the most relevant product or landing page.</p> <p>It has been suggested that around “16% of the searches that occur are ones that Google has never seen before”.</p> <p>Dynamic Search Ads allow you to target these new searches, which might uncover demand for your offerings that you are not aware of.</p> <p>So there you have it. Search advertising is constantly evolving, across devices and functionality, leading to a growing number of options for advertisers.</p> <p><em>To learn more about PPC, check out Econsultancy’s reports and training courses:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/"><em>Paid Search Marketing (PPC) Best Practice Guide</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/ppc-training/"><em>PPC Training</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2016-08-24T09:35:00+01:00 2016-08-24T09:35:00+01:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to a B2B report) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet, statistics and online market research with data, facts, charts and figures.The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need, to help make your pitch or internal report up to date.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Those looking for B2B-specific data should consult our <a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B Internet Statistics Compendium</a>.</strong></p> <p> <strong>Regions covered in each document (where available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68180 2016-08-17T15:24:00+01:00 2016-08-17T15:24:00+01:00 Are payday lenders prepared for Google’s paid search ban? James Perrott <p>Further to this, Google is also banning ads for loans with an APR of 36% or higher in the US only. Ads sending you through to products where repayment is due within 60 days of the date of issue are also banned. </p> <p><em>(UPDATE: As of the beginning of August 2016, the payday loan ban has still not been implemented by Google. There has been no official word as to why.)</em></p> <p>This ban was introduced as research showed to Google that these loans can result in ‘unaffordable payment and high default rates’, which results in users entering a dangerous spiral of unrepayable debt. </p> <p>So, what does this mean for websites and brands that are relying solely on paid ads to acquire business in this space?</p> <p>This niche has been one of the most fiercely fought SERPs in recent years, historically dominated by black hat SEOs.</p> <p>Because of this and the ‘spammy nature’ of queries, payday loans also saw the introduction of its own algorithm in 2013 to help improve the results provided by Google.</p> <p>To analyse the paid space, we have a proprietary tool called Market Defender which assesses current bidding strategy based on positions/impression share and outputs your ‘digital market share’ based on total volume of available impressions from the keyword/s positions.</p> <p>Below shows the share of voice within the paid payday loan space:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/img1.png" alt="share of voice" width="976" height="686"></p> <p>By directly comparing this against the best-performing websites in the payday loan organic search niche, we’re able to then begin our analysis.</p> <p>To do this analysis, we’ve compiled 508 of the most competitive keywords within the space that has an estimated return of 403,857 visits if you were to rank first for each individual term.</p> <p>We have removed all aggregator websites such as uSwitch to focus purely on the lenders themselves.</p> <p>The chart below shows who these websites are:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/img2.png" alt="competitive landscape" width="997" height="351"></p> <p>Broken down, we can see how each of the top performing websites in organic search is doing:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/img3.png" alt="organic search ranking table" width="940" height="382"> </p> <p>Now by overlaying the top performing websites in paid with organic, we’re able to identify how the best performing paid websites do in both channels:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8138/Screen_Shot_2016-08-17_at_11.27.28.png" alt="" width="469" height="371"></p> <p>You can quickly identify that 11 of the 20 websites do not have over 100 visibility in organic search.</p> <p>This has to be a huge concern for these websites once Google's new policy eventually comes into place.  </p> <p>Looking at two important organic metrics - domain authority and number of referring domains - we can dive a little deeper into how these websites stand up to one another.</p> <p>The top 10 paid websites’ authority and number of referring domains can be seen below:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/img4.png" alt="da and linking domains" width="1060" height="191"></p> <p>From this research it’s clear that quickquid.co.uk has had both paid and organic sewn up.</p> <p>In organic, the site doesn't have the highest authority, but does have the highest number of referring domains.</p> <p>QuickQuid is close to being the market leader in paid and is the clear market leader in organic search, so let’s look at which bits it's doing well.</p> <h3>Analysis of QuickQuid's performance</h3> <p>QuickQuid's link acquisition strategy is working well with links from websites such as inhabitant.com, lifehacker.com, lifehack.org, buzzfeed.com etc.</p> <p>It's generally assumed that distributing content about payday loans is difficult, but with the right strategy it can be simple.</p> <p>QuickQuid isn't limiting itself to payday lending, but day-to-day facts people are interested in, which is shareable and, most importantly, linkable!</p> <p>The method QuickQuid has most often utilised is infographic creation on topics that have huge human interest; lifestyle and the environment.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/img5.png" alt="top referring content" width="940" height="476"></p> <p>An infographic on ‘Could the entire world really run on solar power’ appears to have done very well – its placement on inhabitant.com acquired 9,900 Likes alone on Facebook, as well as 31 referring domains into the placement, which in turn links through to QuickQuid. </p> <p>Another infographic on ‘How to create a spa day at home’ was included in a Buzzfeed article on making yourself a happier person.</p> <p>Lastly, there’s an infographic on ‘How many calories can you burn in 10 minutes’, which has been placed on lifehack.org and attracted 273 shares.</p> <p>Looking through the ‘<a href="https://www.quickquid.co.uk/quid-corner/">Quid Corner</a>’ blog, you’re able to quickly see that this is the company's main method of content creation and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67491-how-to-do-successful-link-building-on-a-startup-budget/">link acquisition</a>. </p> <p>This method is working in an impressive manner and is helping lift QuickQuid's website in a difficult niche. </p> <p>Following on from what is clearly working for QuickQuid, I ran a mini ideation session to better understand how the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/digital-content-strategy/">content strategy</a> might work for QuickQuid. </p> <p>This is a rundown of our ideation:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/img6.png" alt="our ideation process" width="621" height="369"></p> <h3><strong>Content ideas</strong></h3> <p>Instead of veering too left field, we’ve tried keeping our ideas related to finance in some capacity.</p> <p>Below are the ideas, as well as content types we created.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8168/ideation.png" alt="" width="635" height="643"></p> <h3><strong>Content campaign plan</strong></h3> <p>Below shows a potential content distribution plan that would take place over three months. It shows the different teams required to make it happen, as well as ensuring good content flow is achieved. </p> <p>Constantly posting infographics may become tiring for your audience, so it's important to mix up the content formats. This varies from short form blogs to quizzes. </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/img7.png" alt="campaign timeline" width="1028" height="566"></p> <h3>In summary...</h3> <p>The analysis shows that 12 of the 20 websites are going to massively struggle once the ban is in place due to having next to zero visibility in organic search.</p> <p>If it was a quick method of making money via paid acquisition, that’s fine, but if these websites want longevity, they’re going to have to begin looking at an organic strategy, and <em>fast</em>.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68190 2016-08-16T15:10:27+01:00 2016-08-16T15:10:27+01:00 Apple to launch iOS App Store Ads: An interview with Doubledown's Brett Patterson Evan Dunn <h3 dir="ltr">How will Apple’s iOS App Store Ads work? How will they fit into the bigger picture of app marketing?</h3> <p dir="ltr">These will function much like Google’s promotional ads in Google Play: advertisers can pay for their apps to rank at the top of search results.</p> <p dir="ltr">Users search for ads, and advertisers pay to show up at the top of specific keyword searches.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Google Play search ad</em></p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8075/Goole_Play_search_ad.png" alt="" width="448" height="459"></p> <p dir="ltr">This is going to be a game-changer for apps that bring in revenue with iOS devices. This new inventory of ads will be extremely low funnel for advertisers and highly relevant to consumers.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">How will Apple’s platform differ from advertising in Google Play?</h3> <p dir="ltr">I imagine the look and feel of iOS App Store Ads will be similar to Google Play, but the big advantage for advertisers will be direct access to App Store inventory, no strings attached.</p> <p dir="ltr">With Google, advertisers must bid on Google Search inventory to be able to bid on Google Play inventory.</p> <p dir="ltr">Google does not provide a way to separate out inventory or provide analytics to show how much of your paid search traffic came from either source.</p> <p>The no-strings-attached nature of iOS App Store Ads gives advertisers new levels of freedom in their app promotion strategy.</p> <h3>This could mean big things for the startup world. Who do you see will benefit the most iOS App Store Ads?</h3> <p dir="ltr">Apps that seek new customers via iOS traffic will benefit most. Big brands - and brands with media budgets in general - will get the quick wins because they have the budget to cover more search keywords.</p> <p dir="ltr">Brands like these should be able to quickly figure out what keywords are going to bring returns, and then can push out smaller competition with market saturation.</p> <p dir="ltr">If you are a search marketer, the skills you’ve used in other <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">paid search</a> environments should translate well.</p> <p dir="ltr">Apple’s move into app store ads is representative of the growing number of search-based paid media marketplaces (like Pinterest Ads for example).</p> <p dir="ltr">Brands will look more to search marketing experts, as your bidding and keyword expertise is much more relevant than the skills of your display counterpart. </p> <h3 dir="ltr">But not everyone’s going to be happy, I imagine…</h3> <p dir="ltr">No, you’re right. All search vendors (Google, Bing and Yahoo) will feel the pinch as portions of budgets are redirected to the iOS App Store, which will be more direct-to-consumer.</p> <p dir="ltr">Bing and Yahoo risk losing traction more than others. They don’t have a direct source to an app marketplace, so they lack critical mobile acquisition features like “click-to-install”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Apple will probably take a significant share of app advertisers’ budgets from these two search engines.</p> <p dir="ltr">Incentivized Display Vendors - such as Tapjoy &amp; NativeX, for example - might feel a sting as well.</p> <p dir="ltr">IDVs used to drive iOS App Store rankings because advertisers will no longer feel pressure to send cheap traffic to their iOS store pages in order to game organic search rankings.</p> <p dir="ltr">Taking advantage of iOS App Store Ads will likely have the same effect, but with more measurement and opportunities for optimization. </p> <p dir="ltr">Advertisers with small budgets won’t be able to compete with the budgets of their larger competitors.</p> <p dir="ltr">If they don’t play the game early and with some clever keyword selection and bidding strategy, their apps will most likely get pushed farther and farther down the rankings.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">What response should app advertisers have towards these ads?</h3> <p dir="ltr">If you are a buyer, you should take advantage of Apple’s creation of a new source of premium inventory. You are going to love it.</p> <p dir="ltr">The introduction of the ads feature should lead to a wave of premium installs and conversions.</p> <p dir="ltr">You’ll be able to control this inventory with the same precision you get with Adwords, but the value for apps will be much higher than a typical Google search ad.</p> <p dir="ltr">This is going to be one of the best sources of iOS traffic (if not the best) out there and you need to assign the resources to pivot quickly once Apple launches the function.</p> <p dir="ltr">Apple has stated that this should be rolling out in Q3/Q4 with some sort of Beta. I imagine it will invite the folks with deeper pockets first, so small brands won’t even get a crack until early 2017.</p> <p dir="ltr">If you are not planning incorporate iOS App Store Ads into your media strategy, you should be.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3065 2016-08-15T17:15:37+01:00 2016-08-15T17:15:37+01:00 SEO, PPC and Conversion: International Strategy <p>The opportunities to reach an international market through digital marketing and SEO have never been greater, but with it come the challenges around identifying, approaching and engaging across such diverse markets.</p> <p>Drive your online traffic and sales on a global level by learning how to identify opportunities and implement authentic multilingual and international SEO, PPC and social media campaigns</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3063 2016-08-15T17:13:31+01:00 2016-08-15T17:13:31+01:00 SEO, PPC and Conversion: International Strategy <p>The opportunities to reach an international market through digital marketing and SEO have never been greater, but with it come the challenges around identifying, approaching and engaging across such diverse markets.</p> <p>Drive your online traffic and sales on a global level by learning how to identify opportunities and implement authentic multilingual and international SEO, PPC and social media campaigns</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68118 2016-08-01T09:59:39+01:00 2016-08-01T09:59:39+01:00 Six vital steps to optimising investment in Google's new PPC ad real estate Sean Philip <h3>The updates</h3> <p>During the first half of 2016 Google announced two fundamental changes to its Adwords real estate.</p> <p>It launched ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67882-what-do-google-s-expanded-text-local-search-ads-mean-for-marketers/">Expanded text ads</a>’, with both ad headline and description lines increasing in length and it <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67569-google-kills-right-hand-ppc-ads-how-should-marketers-respond/">removed the familiar ‘sidebar’ paid search ads</a> (on the right of the results page), introducing an additional spot for paid search listings above the organic results.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2293/buy_ram_-_Google_Search_2016-02-24_09-47-25.png" alt="rhs ppc ads?" width="500"></p> <p>These updates have undoubtedly had a profound effect on both the performance and costs of the ads themselves and on organic search rankings as they get pushed down the results pages. With a greater proportion of traffic going through PPC, brands will of course need additional budget to invest here.</p> <p>An increase in competition for those high-traffic top ad positions was inevitable and we have already seen an increase in cost per click (CPC). Indeed, our research shows that for some highly competitive search queries, we’ve seen the average CPC increase by up to 17%.</p> <p>So what should brands be doing to maximise their ROI from Google’s updated ad real estate?</p> <p>Here are our six top tips:</p> <h3>1. Integrate PPC and SEO now</h3> <p>In terms of 2016 search programmes, there is a real risk that it will cost brands more to get the same from search.</p> <p>So, if it is not happening already, brands must now align their targets and activity across paid and natural search and take an integrated approach to manage ROI and help make gains in efficiency and reach.</p> <p>Brands and advertisers must move away from viewing PPC and SEO in isolation and focus instead on one objective for a ‘Total Search’ approach.</p> <p>Paid search and natural search should work together to increase search conversions as a whole across a wide portfolio of shared keywords. Competing for the same keywords across both search channels only serves to drive up costs for brands.</p> <h3>2. Test and learn with new ad copy </h3> <p>An immediate first step that all advertisers should take is to generate ad copy variants taking advantage of the new Expanded text ad limits.</p> <p>From here it is vital to be testing and establishing new best practice approaches. But don’t see this as a chore - task your copywriters with being as creative as possible!</p> <p>Brands and advertisers that are doing this well are using the larger copy limit to pack in more detail about offers, promotions and product USPs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5345/expanded_text_ads_on_mobile.gif" alt="expanded text ads" width="426" height="200"></p> <h3>3. Keep an even closer eye on your performance</h3> <p>The most important thing to do is to monitor your account performance very closely for significant changes to key account metrics.</p> <p>Monitor Adwords alerts and if you have the technology, create your own custom alerts to notify of any pivotal positional changes that may require urgent attention.</p> <p>Unsure what you need to bid in order to stay visible? Use top of page bid estimates for clarity.</p> <h3>4. Plan for potential bumps in the road</h3> <p>Formulate some potential scenarios and consider the best way to respond to them so you can prepare for all eventualities.</p> <p>When competition pushes up CPCs there can be a tendency to doubledown on more efficient brand terms to mitigate against losses to ROI. Don’t be fooled by this false economy – plan ahead to ensure you have a better thought through contingency.</p> <p>Sometimes shifting budget from brand across to strategically important generics is a better long term approach to continue to grow new customers.</p> <h3>5. Embrace Retargeting Lists for Search Ads (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63386-a-step-by-step-guide-to-rlsa-and-dynamic-remarketing">RLSAs</a>)</h3> <p>With the same (or in some cases an increased) volume of advertisers competing for a smaller number of ad placements, there is little doubt that the role of RLSAs will become ever more important.</p> <p>A more sophisticated approach to strategic retargeting can soften the blow of potential CPC increases and keep ROI stable.</p> <p>Advertisers should consider using RLSAs to prevent ads from showing to returning visitors on core brands terms, and use a combination of search path analysis and RLSAs to better understand, and maximise, the value of non-brand keyword visibility to returning customers. </p> <h3>6. Make the most of ad extensions</h3> <p>Positions one to three have always had the advantage of being capable of displaying the widest variety of ad extensions – links to specific pages on your site.</p> <p>With these positions now being your paramount target for Adwords visibility, making the most of ad extensions becomes even more important to your click-through rate. The best advice on extensions is the more the merrier – give Google more of a reason to favour your ads over less dynamic competitors.</p> <p><em>For more on the six topics discussed above and many more best practice tips, subscribers can download the Econsultancy <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">Paid Search Best Practice Guide</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68102 2016-07-27T14:02:00+01:00 2016-07-27T14:02:00+01:00 Why there should be more plaudits for digital audits Chris Bishop <p>Those at the top of organisations don’t feel they have the strategic sweep to justify the time and effort required to commission them.</p> <p>Audits are viewed at times as a little “too tactical” or only done once every blue moon by agencies aiming to impress for your business, only to then collect dust on top of Econsultancy buyers guides print outs or even your old New Media Age magazines (<strong>Ed</strong>: We let this lie, but only to show we have a sense of humour).</p> <p>For the in-house Head of Ecommerce, requesting a digital audit might sound dangerously like a turkey voting for Christmas. </p> <h3>Are we selling audits wrongly?</h3> <p>Or is it the slightly cheesy marketing of website or marketing auditors themselves that is putting people off?</p> <p>All that tired ‘digital health check’ stuff might be the kind of foot in the door tactic that make brands feel suspicious of then giving access to their precious AdWords account, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67171-what-is-affiliate-marketing-why-do-you-need-it/">affiliate network</a> or analytics suite.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7503/healthcheck.jpeg" alt="health check" width="275" height="183"></p> <h3>How important are digital audits anyway?</h3> <p>In reality, though, digital audits are absolutely vital. And third party objective auditing ensures that you’re not marking your own home work or ignoring long term problems.</p> <p>Proper auditing, UX testing and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67473-seven-conversion-rate-optimization-trends-to-take-advantage-of-in-2016/">CRO analysis</a> means you can elongate the lifetime and effectiveness of your website and digital media activity, in a way that can be done on any budget.</p> <p>Your digital real estate is often an expensive investment - you’ve got to maintain it properly to get results.</p> <h3>Regular servicing is vital</h3> <p>Think of that shiny new website you’ve just spent months developing as a new car you’ve just acquired.</p> <p>To start off with, it’s the envy of everyone who sees it. After-sales support is pretty good and you can see years of trouble free motoring ahead of you. Before you know it, though, your warranty is up and you’re on your own.</p> <p>As the car ages, small problems become big problems. It performs less effectively. You’re paying for petrol, but it’s becoming less and less economical to run. There are so many things going wrong with it you don’t know where to start. Eventually the car's value is so diminished you might as well scrap it and buy a new one.</p> <p>It’s the same with websites and digital marketing campaigns. They can’t be left to look after themselves – and even the mechanic themselves might need some fine tuning or training themselves.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/7504/service-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="car service" width="380"></p> <h3>What a digital audit can do for you </h3> <p>Audits can show you how to balance your budget more effectively through action and prioritisation. They can identify common issues like plateaus in activity and drop offs in acquisition; all the elements that reduce profitability. </p> <h3>The Lessons of the Audit</h3> <p>Constantly learn, constantly improve, constantly trade! A timely and constructive audit will help you:</p> <ul> <li>Keep up to date with the latest channel trends - Google changes, new publishers in affiliate, new platform or techniques for social. </li> <li>Use competitor analysis to keep your enemies close! It’s crucial to analyse and understand market share/spend and its consequences for your brand. </li> <li>Help you (re)define your goals.</li> <li>Confirm your objectives or KPIs so you can measure success.</li> <li>Understand new opportunities.</li> <li>Benchmark improvements or conversely measure areas of decline.</li> <li>Ensure corporate compliance – its best practice to have someone external “rubber stamp” your activity.</li> <li>Encourage serendipity – the uncovering of that nugget of information that transforms your understanding and makes the commercial difference.</li> </ul> <h3>Should you take the plunge?</h3> <p>Regular and skilled digital auditing is a detailed and never ending task.  It can transform the effectiveness of your digital advertising, website and budget.  </p> <p>Is it sexy? It’s showing your website a lot of love and attention. It’s optimizing and maximizing your marketing profitability and performance. Sounds pretty sexy to me.</p> <p><em>More on auditing:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68031-answering-the-key-question-of-content-auditing-where-do-i-start/">Answering the key question of content auditing - where do I start?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68040 2016-07-19T13:40:00+01:00 2016-07-19T13:40:00+01:00 Five digital strategy tips for mono-brands that wholesale and sell direct to consumer Ben Potter <p>For many businesses, the wholesale route allows the brand to build awareness via retail partners, such as department stores, but at the expense of margin and the ability to form a direct relationship with the end customer.</p> <p>At some stage, the brand will decide the time is nigh to create a direct proposition. However, this presents a number of challenges in the digital marketing space that are often not understood or properly considered from the outset.</p> <p>Having worked with a number of mono-brands over the years, here are a few things we’ve observed and helped them overcome:</p> <h3>1. You must give people a compelling reason to buy direct</h3> <p>By the time a typical mono-brand goes direct, they are likely to have a number of well-known, trusted stockists selling their wares online (normally with much deeper pockets).</p> <p>This means that the mono-brand is, in effect, competing against themselves online, via those stockists. The customer is therefore presented with choice as to where they buy that brand.</p> <p>Last year, we <a href="http://www.leapfrogg.co.uk/froggblog/2015/07/insight-edit-consumers-favour-multi-brand-retailers-over-single-brands/" target="_blank">questioned our consumer panel</a> on this very topic - <strong>89% of respondents stated they favoured buying from multi-brand retailers over single-brand sites.</strong></p> <p>When pressed a little further, of those that preferred buying from single brand sites, 71% stated it was because the brand makes them feel more valued as a customer.</p> <p>Added value is therefore the key to driving conversion on the brand site - the promise that if a customer buys direct, they are buying into more than just the product itself.</p> <p>This is where the brand has an advantage. Getting to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67526-how-retail-marketers-can-ensure-they-deliver-the-right-customer-experience/" target="_blank">know the customer intimately</a>, what it is they value and then delivering on this is something that a multi-brand retailer, such as John Lewis, <strong>cannot replicate, at scale, for each and every brand they stock. </strong>Some get the specialist treatment but even then the breadth of content is fairly limited.</p> <p>For example, despite Levi’s being a ‘featured brand’ on the John Lewis website, content is limited to a brief overview of the brand, a few images and a men’s fit guide (strangely, in the women’s section with a link that didn’t work at the time of writing).</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7209/Capture.jpg" alt="John Lewis Levi's category page" width="526" height="489"></p> <p><br> Ultimately, as THE brand, you need to be able to answer (and act upon) one, fundamental question;</p> <p><strong><em>‘Why would someone buy from our site as opposed to an established multi-brand retailer?’</em> </strong></p> <p>If you can’t, then you need to go back to the drawing board.</p> <h3>2. Make it your mission to ‘own’ organic search results for brand terms</h3> <p>The remit of an ecommerce manager is to grow the direct channel, which of course yields a number of benefits compared to the wholesale model (control, acquiring data, building a relationship with the end customer and so on).</p> <p>Search will be a key part of the strategy. <strong>Occupying as much of the search ‘real estate’ for brand terms, as possible, should be the aim.</strong></p> <p>To what extent you can do so will ultimately depend on how many retailers stock your products and how sophisticated their natural search strategies are. The more stockists you have, the more competitive the search results are likely to be for brand terms.</p> <p>Utilising site links, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64778-what-is-schema-markup-and-why-should-you-be-using-it/">schema mark-up</a>, My Business pages, reviews, social media profiles and optimising rich-media assets, such as images and video, are just some of the means by which you can occupy a greater share of the search results for brand terms, at the expense of stockists, as highlighted by Sony below:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7211/Capture3.png" alt="Sony Google search result" width="532" height="597"></p> <p><br> Please note, there is often a balancing act between aggressively growing the direct channel and keeping stockists on side. Stealing share from stockists is inevitable so needs to be carefully managed.</p> <h3>3. You will almost certainly have to pay for brand PPC traffic</h3> <p>Assuming stockists are present in paid search and bidding on your brand name, you will have to do likewise. There are a million and one articles debating the pros and cons of bidding on your own brand terms so I won’t repeat those arguments.</p> <p>Instead, a slightly different take on the issue, born out of a recent client conversation. Despite the presence of some fairly small but aggressive stockists, the client in question was determined not to bid on their brand terms, due to two questionable assumptions.</p> <p>Firstly, they felt that searchers would, by default, seek out their organic listing. Some no doubt will.</p> <p>However, we demonstrated that other searchers were distracted by a compelling ad from one of their stockists and therefore didn’t even think about scrolling down to find the brands organic listing. Opportunity lost.</p> <p>Secondly, they assumed that if somebody searched for their brand, then that searcher would go onto purchase one of their products (whether direct or via a stockist). However, with some qualitative insight, this was proven not always to be the case.</p> <p>The presence of a multi-brand retailer meant that some were distracted by the greater choice on offer, going onto buy a different brand altogether. Again, opportunity lost.</p> <p><strong>By being present in the paid listings, ideally by being as aggressive as you can to own the number one position, you give yourself the greatest chance of getting the click.</strong></p> <p>This is especially important on mobile where it is common for only ads to appear ‘above the fold’.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7210/capture2.png" alt="Search results on mobile" width="330" height="583"><br> </p> <p>Therefore, paid search is increasingly the only way in which you can guarantee a presence on the devices searchers are most likely to be using and where they are most likely to click. Don’t leave money on the table.</p> <h3>4. Getting the price right is more important than ever</h3> <p>We worked with a brand where you could consistently purchase many of their products from a well-known high street retailer for 30% less than the price on the brand site. But we were tasked with significantly growing direct revenue. Errr…</p> <p>Consumers are savvier than ever. <strong>With the prominence of Google Shopping listings, price information is thrust upon eager searchers without them even having to click.</strong></p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7212/Capture4.png" alt="Nike Internationalist shopping results" width="481" height="231"><br> <br>Whilst some consumers will of course buy from the brand site and be loyal in doing so again in the future, others won’t give two hoots where they purchase. In fact, if I can buy your product at the same time as all the other stuff on my John Lewis ‘wish list’, all the better.</p> <p>Whilst you cannot dictate the prices your stockists choose to sell at, you need to be aware of their pricing strategy and be agile enough to react should you choose to, particularly during sale periods.</p> <p>It was put to me by a brand in the past that “our stockists can have those ‘sale only’ customers”. Fair enough but I’d always prefer to acquire any customer direct, sale only or not, and nurture the relationship.</p> <p>This brings to light an interesting point regarding loyalty. It should not be measured only in monetary terms. We have discovered that some of our clients’ most loyal customers are not necessarily those that spend the most money.</p> <p>Perhaps these customers can only afford to shop with the brand once or twice a year. However, they are the ones that shout the most about their purchase, something that is often not measured or harnessed.</p> <p>You therefore need to look beyond financial data and models, such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64481-finding-your-best-customers-with-the-rfm-matrix/" target="_blank">RFM</a> when it comes to understanding loyalty.</p> <h3>5. Make sure your direct and wholesale teams are talking to one another</h3> <p>I spoke to a premium menswear brand last year looking to grow their direct channel. ‘Super!’ I thought, we can help. However, as we dug a little deeper, we soon realised it was going to be a huge challenge.</p> <p>We discovered that the wholesale team had some pretty aggressive targets of their own, meaning they were selling into an ever-increasing number of retailers. Worse still, many of these retailers were at the lower end of the market, damaging brand perception.</p> <p>The direct team also had some rather juicy numbers to hit for the next financial year. But nobody internally had joined the dots, namely that the direct team would find themselves gradually hamstrung by increased competition in search as stockists optimised their sites and bid on brand terms.</p> <p>This highlights how <strong>the wholesale and direct strategy have to be working in unison.</strong></p> <p>Growing both channels simultaneously is possible but requires careful planning, great communication and an understanding of how the two will play out online, especially in search. </p><p><strong>Have you worked with or for a mono-brand? What challenges did you experience? Please feel free to share below.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/934 2016-06-21T14:00:00+01:00 2016-06-21T14:00:00+01:00 Digital Marketing Template Files Econsultancy <h3>Overview</h3> <p><strong>Digital Marketing Template Files</strong></p> <p><strong>Authors:</strong></p> <ul> <li>James Gurd, Owner and Lead Consultant, <a title="Digital Juggler" href="http://digitaljuggler.com/">Digital Juggler</a> </li> <li>Ben Matthews, Director, <a title="Montfort" href="http://montfort.io/">Montfort</a> </li> <li>Ger Ashby, Head of Creative Services, <a title="Dotmailer" href="https://www.dotmailer.com/">Dotmailer</a> </li> <li><a title="Starcom Mediavest Group" href="http://smvgroup.com/">Starcom Mediavest Group</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Files available:</strong> 10 file bundles, 50+ individual template files<br></p> <p><strong>File titles:</strong> See sample document for full breakdown of section and file information.</p> <h3>About these files</h3> <p>Need help with an area of digital marketing and don't know where to start? This pack of downloadable files contains best practice templates that you can use in your digital marketing activities. Feel free to adapt them to suit your needs.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jxKmQGxspc8?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Contents</h3> <p>In this release we have 10 template bundles containing over 50 individual template files for digital marketing projects.</p> <p><strong>Download separate file bundles below:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Affiliate Marketing</li> <li>Content Marketing</li> <li>Display Advertising *to be published soon*</li> <li>Ecommerce Projects</li> <li>Email Marketing</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: PPC</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: SEO</li> <li>Social Media and Online PR</li> <li>Usability and User Experience</li> <li>Web Analytics</li> </ul> <p><strong>The template files bundle also includes a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/small-business-online-resource-manager/">Small Business Online Resource Manager</a> that </strong><strong>can help you effectively manage and own your online assets.</strong></p> <p><strong>There's a free guide which you can download to find out more about exactly what is included.</strong></p>