Presented on June 12, 2014
Continuous increases in costs-per-click (CPCs) on many crucial industry segment keywords have made paid media advertising much more difficult. Additionally, while advertising on keywords works well for connecting searchers with the businesses that provide what they are looking for, it can be a struggle to utilize it for little-known products or services.
Is your brand facing these challenges with its paid keyword campaigns? During this webinar, Tad Miller and Amanda Sides of Marketing Mojo will explore the opportunities marketers have outside of keyword advertising – opportunities that can result in improved conversions at less cost.
Kari: Welcome everyone, thank you for coming to today’s webinar, “Is Paid Search Failing You?” We apologize, we were having a few technical difficulties here at the beginning of the webinar, so we’re getting started just a little bit late, but we’ll still be on time and we’ll be delivering some really great information to you today.
I’m Kari Rippetoe, I’m the Content Marketing Manager at Marketing Mojo, and I’ll be serving as your moderator for today’s webinar. Before we get started, I just have a few reminders for you; there will be a Q&A at the end of today’s webinar, so if you have any questions for our presenters, please enter them in the GoToWebinar questions box at the right of your screen. Also, as always, we are recording this webinar and once the full recording is available, you’ll receive a follow-up email by Monday at the latest.
Finally, we encourage you to tweet about to today’s presentation using the hashtag, #Mojowebinar. Plus you can also follow us on Twitter, @marketingmojo.
And now I’d like to introduce you to today’s presenters . . . we have Tad Miller, who’s the Vice President of Accounts at Marketing Mojo, and he works directly with clients to manage and execute the search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and online marketing strategies.
Tad has a broad spectrum of search marketing experience in working with Fortune 500, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, OEM automotive manufacturers, and small startup online businesses, to significantly improve their natural search engine rankings.
Tad has also managed over $35 million search marketing budgets for clients with a proven record in conversion optimization through strategic bid management, budget reallocation, and landing page design and testing.
Amanda Sides is Account Director at Marketing Mojo, managing SEO, pay- per-click, Facebook, and LinkedIn initiatives for clients. She develops strategy and manages tactics for improved performance and manages and accounts team and our Charleston, South Carolina office. Her clients have included Mazda USA, SRI International, Share Our Strength, Taco Bell, and University of Wisconsin.
Amanda graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in marketing. She is also a Google Analytics certified professional, a certified Google AdWords professional, and Bing Ads accredited professional.
Originally founded as Search Mojo in 2005, Marketing Mojo is a full service data-driven digital marketing and demand generation agency helping marketers to achieve their online marketing goals through search marketing, paid media, content marketing, and marketing automation. Marketing Mojo is headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, and we also have an office in Charleston, South Carolina, as I mentioned. We’ve been featured in several marketing publications and blogs, and we also speak at several conferences, including SMX, Marketingprofs B2B Forum, DemandCon, and Pubcon. Our clients include a variety of brands in the B2B, B2C, and nonprofit sectors. And before I hand it over to Tad, we do have a poll for you today.
Our first poll: What challenges are you currently facing with your paid search advertising? Is it too expensive; Not targeted enough; Leads are not high quality; Low conversion rate; or Not currently doing paid search advertising. So I’ll just give you a few seconds to make your choice, and then we’ll take a look at those results.
Okay great, and I’m going to close that poll out now and share those results with you. So it looks like we have a high number of people who have a low conversion rate, and the leads are not high enough quality. But some of you are also finding that it’s too expensive as well. And Tad is now going to begin sharing some of those challenges with you. If you . . . there we go. Bear with us for second. And Tad I’m going to hand it over to you.
Tad: Thanks, Kari. Let’s get started. There are shortcomings in search advertising, but there’s also a lot that’s really great about search advertising, still to this day. You know, P.P.C keyword ads still do work, but you know, you’ve got to realize it’s still Pull Marketing; it’s still pushing out a marketing message that people aren’t really ready to hear.
You know, these are customers that are actively going out there; they’re seeking your products; they’re seeking your services; some of them are ready to buy now. So you know, let’s not completely throw the baby out with the bathwater on search. It’s still doing [inaudible 00:05:35] over at this point would search advertising that we might have not been facing as much as two or three years ago.
Plus, there’s so many other online channels that are really effective right now because they’re focusing on so much the keyword. It’s still way better than billboard advertising and just pushing [inaudible 00:06:00] everyone is really ready to hear and process.
So yeah, it’s good but let’s get into some of the shortcomings. The same keywords [inaudible 00:06:19] and this is what I like to call horizontal relevance. Here’s an example. The search query is “green vacuum”. Well to some people that means a vacuum cleaner that’s colored green, but to others, it’s a vacuum cleaner that’s biodegradable, energy-efficient, possibly even solar powered, with, you know, a battery that’s not going to contaminate water. So different contexts for different people is an issue that search marketers have to face every day.
Horizontal relevance for a search on the word “glory days” could mean, well, I’m looking for a place to eat, or a song by Bruce Springsteen’s–different things for different people.
Here’s one; smartwatches are about to blow up and be the hottest consumer electronics product out there. But we’ve got a client that’s actually got a product called Smartwatch that’s actually related to supply chain monitoring. Different things for different people.
We’ve got a client that wants to advertise in the word “battery testing.” Well most people, when they search for battery testing, it’s a consumer search intent; they’re trying to figure out a way to test their personal cars’ battery. Our client is a B2B kind of company, and their context is, they want to target advertising to battery manufacturers.
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the search intent on that keyword.
Well, what if you’re after that tiny B2B niche? Like, you want to target advertising to electric car battery manufacturers, and you know that there’s still a lot of people in that industry that are going to search for battery testing just as much as they’re search for electric car battery testing.
You’ve got to find a way to niche and not waste money on consumers. So can you prequalify with your keywords? Well, we’ve got a situation; we had a client who develops social media management software. And it was an enterprise-level product– big, huge financial commitment. Twelve months, $100,000 plus per year. So people both searched for social media management software.
One has a band, lives in his parents’ basement, still and has a Facebook page for that band’s page. He needs the software, and the Chief Marketing Officer for Xerox needs the software. Really only wants to focus on the Chief Marketing Office search for Xerox, and there’s no real way to really funnel that out effectively.
Well, you can do a few things with the keywords, but I’m going to show you here you can add the word “enterprise” to your keywords to qualify them a little further, but the reality is it just strings the audience size down, and likely eliminates many, many qualified searchers.
The differences between the people searching monthly on social media software and enterprise social media software, are huge and you’re after the leads in this case.
So here’s the next problem, and this is the problem that’s really getting out of hand for most companies. Sometimes pay- per-click advertising on search keywords is just stupidly expensive. You need to pay $50 a click like you need a solid gold toilet. It’s just not practical at the prices that some of these things sell for. Let’s get into some examples; in the data recovery space, cost-for-click is getting absolutely crazy. There’s $117 cost-for-click keyword; $109; $96 cost-for-click; $60 cost-per-click. These are the average recommended prices that Google recommends that you bid on these keywords right now. It’s out of control and you’re going to have a hard time being profitable if you’re selling those services.
Some of those are one-time only services. There’s no lifetime value in those kind of search queries in those kind of businesses. Here’s one for business phones. Now, as a service or as just buying phones, $203 cost-per-click for business telephone service providers is what Google recommends. VOIP is an expensive kind of keyword sector as well. One hundred and two dollars per click recommended for the word “business phone services”. Out of hand. [Web] hosting cost-per-click a really expensive also. Dedicated hosting, really high keyword, $73 a click. Just the word hosting itself, could mean hosting a cotillion or hosting a website, you don’t know – you’re going to have to pay $27 a click just to try it. It’s just getting a little bit out of control.
People are just escalating their bids on a regular basis just to try and show up on the first page for a lot of these kind of keywords. Insurance is one of the most expensive industries out there in the keyword cost-per-click [inaudible 00:11:49]. Auto insurance quote: $68 per click. Insurance, you don’t even know what kind of insurance, but you’re going to have to pay $20 per click just to find out. Life insurance: $45. Homeowners insurance: $27. It’s really expensive [inaudible 00:12:09] insurance subscriber that’s going to make it worth it with lifetime value.
But the biggest problem is, there’s just bidding madness all around in all of these keyword sectors right now. It’s really competitive, and you’ve just got to stop the bidding madness with some of this because you got to do the math and figure out is it really worth it for me to be paying these very expensive cost-per-click keywords? So I call it Ham-Fisted Bidding.
And ham-fisted bidders are bidding on ego more than they are on the results that the advertising actually brings. They want to be in that top spot and they will pay whatever it takes to be there– damn the consequences and damn the results. So the more expensive the offering, typically, the higher the bid also. If you’re selling $100,000 product, a lot more people are out there trying to compete with you to get that $100,000, and the math is just not working out.
So, competition is getting pretty crazy in the B2B niche segments and the enterprise-level products segments because you’ve got limited audiences and you’ve got to get their attention.
All right, well, it used to be the way around expensive costs-per- clicks was to focus on what they called the keyword long tail. And there’s a popular book out there by a guy named Chris Anderson, he’s the editor of Wired Magazine, and his theory was, and you can apply this to really anything that you can sell, but in this case, keywords, that long tail searches that wind up being one, two, three searches a month, can add up to the equivalent of all the really super popular searches that probably make up 80% of the search, you know . . . the very high degree of the search volume.
The problem is, Google has kind of blown up long tail keyword status. They are in eliminating advertising from a lot of those long tail sectors with exact match or phrase match keywords. And the reason being–they’re a business. They’re trying to make more money, and they can force people to just use the broad match keywords to broadly match to those long tail searches and make more money per click.
So this is a warning that you might be seen a lot more often in your Google AdWords; you’ve probably been seen it for the better part of a year and a half or two years. We feel here at Marketing Mojo that it’s an epidemic of low search volume keywords in our accounts. You won’t get an ad to show for a low search volume keyword; it’s just not going to happen until Google suddenly realizes there is enough competition for them to make a sufficient amount of money on it.
So the keyword long tail really only exists now when Google lets it. There’s got to be enough reason for them to use their server space to advertise on a word. They’re more than happy to let you advertise broad match keywords that will broadly match to those long tails, but you’re going to have to pay more per click to do that.
So one of the most economically great things about keyword advertising is really being eliminated very slowly and a lot of people just don’t even realize it. If you do some filtering in your Google AdWords accounts and search for keywords with low search volume, you’re probably going to have a lot more keywords in there with that status than you ever thought. So there are some solutions; search advertising isn’t the only online advertising channel out there. One of them is LinkedIn Advertising.
Kari: Great, and before Tad starts to go into LinkedIn Advertising and we start to talk about some of these solutions, then I have another poll for you today, “Are any of the following tactics a part of your digital marketing strategy?” So he’s going to be talking a little bit about social media advertising, and these are some of the other areas. But do you currently use any of these, or all of them? Feel free to make your choice, I’ll give you just a couple of seconds and then we’ll close that out and shares some of those results. Okay great, thanks everyone. I’m going to close that poll out now and share with you.
So it does look like a lot of you are already using social media advertising, some of you are even using all of these different tactics, and there’s a few of you who aren’t using any of them. So Tad, and then Amanda, will be going through some of these solutions for you–solutions to the paid keyword search conundrum. So Tad, I’ll hand it back over to you.
Tad: Okay, thanks, Kari. Interesting results. Let’s get into talking about LinkedIn Advertising. Okay. LinkedIn is a great advertising channel for B2B advertisers; we’ve had amazing success, particularly when we can try to get content assets downloaded. Things like white papers or webinars have been really successful for a lot of our B2B advertisers.
And let’s get into the reasons why it’s so great. Why is LinkedIn Advertising? It’s got scale; there are over 277 million members worldwide; there are two new members per second on LinkedIn; and 187 million unique visitors on LinkedIn every single day. Okay. LinkedIn is also great because it has LinkedIn Groups. There are over 2.1 million LinkedIn Groups that people are very active in, and we find that targeting to these groups is very effective.
These are people that are active LinkedIn users and are on LinkedIn every day participating in forum questions, but just getting information they need to do their job better. You can also see on this map that there 93 million people in the United States that are on LinkedIn, and that figure’s obviously growing every single day.
So here’s the key to it all that makes LinkedIn work so well for B2B advertising. Most advertising platforms have location targeting as a targeting option, which LinkedIn does, but LinkedIn takes it so much farther. They have company targeting, to where you can target people that only work for the companies that you want to sell to. You can even exclude companies that are your existing customers as well. And job title targeting is really valuable.
One of the biggest complaints about B2B advertisers is they want the ads in front of decision-makers that can actually buy their product, and LinkedIn gives you the ability to target to chief marketing officers, and chief information officers, CEOs, vice presidents of marketing, compliance engineers–you name it. People actively go in and they treat LinkedIn profiles like they’re a resume, so they’re putting all that data in. They’re essentially volunteering to get better advertising, and that’s the way we would look at it.
School targeting is pretty interesting, and skills are very interesting. People want to brag about the skills they have. We can target to get skill set. And groups, as I mentioned before, groups are very valuable because we that these are the most active LinkedIn users.
And age is a target factor as well. Typically the more expensive the product, the less likely we see that 18 to 24-year-olds are going to be the ones making the decision to buy those.
Let’s get into a little case study we have. Our B2B client did server monitoring software for a while, and they only utilized traditional search advertising on P.P.C. and Google AdWords for about 13 months. And they didn’t really have that much to show for it; they were mostly going for “contact us” conversions and they only had 145 form completions in that 13 months of advertising. They were paying over $13 per click, and their cost per lead was well over $600 per lead–not really what they were looking for in their online advertising.
So we changed the approach; we focused on white paper assets and webinar sign-ups with custom-made landing pages. In six weeks of advertising on LinkedIn to the targeted demographics and trying to push those white papers and webinars, we surpassed the lead volume of the previous 13 months of PPC advertising combined for this client. It was extremely effective.
And in four months of LinkedIn Advertising, we delivered 217% more leads than the previous 13 months of pay-per-click advertising produced at all. And we did that for 82% less budget. So it’s delivering more volume at a much, much lower cost per lead.
And the cost per lead during that four months was 94% lower than pay- per-click advertising was. There were a lot of factors involved with this. You know, the cost-per-click on Google AdWords was really prohibited, but the best thing about it was that we could target the exact buyers of this product that we knew from all their customer demographics.
So the cost per lead was $35 overall on some campaigns, and it was even $20 per lead on our best ones. And that compared so much more favorably than the $600 plus cost per lead that AdWords had produced in the previous 13 months. The conversion rate was 1500% better than pay-per-click advertising was. So advertising on pay-per-click has its merits, but there are other channels that can work just as well, if not better, for advertising what you’re trying to sell. All right, now we’re going to talk about Facebook Advertising with Amanda Sides.
Amanda: Thanks, Tad. All right. So as Tad mentioned, there are some other solutions other than just search advertising, and in addition to LinkedIn, another solution is Facebook Advertising, which some of you may be already using since it looks like a lot of you are either doing all of those things in the poll or just social ads, so that’s great. You may be familiar with it a little bit already.
So most of you are probably already familiar with the layout of a typical Facebook newsfeed view, but here you can see the different types of ads that are visible to users just for placement purposes. So why would you want to advertise on Facebook? It’s kind of like LinkedIn. It’s got a lot going for it.
It’s always growing continually, as everyone probably knows already; it’s the largest social network in the world. There are over 5 or now I think it’s even 600 million active Facebook users, 50% which login every single day. The average user is also connected to 80 community pages, groups or events; and every single day, 35 million users update their status; and 55 million status update total, are made each day.
So that really boils down to a lot of people constantly providing lots of new information and data that you can take advantage of to really nail down and find your ideal target audience.
Since there’s all of this great data available, Facebook increasingly offers a more and more targeting option, which is great for you, which allows you to continually narrow down your target audience even further. And narrowing down that target audience helps you reduce wasted funds, allowing you to more efficiently spend your money and get you lower cost per lead, which is really the ultimate goal in any situation.
And while they still have a long way to go, the reporting options are coming a long way and are constantly improving on Facebook. So between the Facebook ads interface and analytics combined, there are many reporting options to help figure out how things are going, and really figuring out which areas are working best for you.
So instead of just casting a really wide net and hoping you catch the right audience numbers, Facebook gives you the opportunity to really home in on your specific audience, as I just mentioned, with really specific targeting options. There are things you might already expect to be there, like age, gender, location, other demographic targeting options.
But then you can also target ads to show to people who have things like certain levels of education, they went to certain schools, and even what kind of jobs they currently have. Targeting options like these really help you weed out a lot of the people that would normally clutter up a lot of your efforts, which can save you money since you’re targeting the most relevant audience possible – which is what everybody wants.
And if you’re trying to increase visibility and actually cast a wider net and not be quite so narrow, there are definitely newer targeting options that can help you out in that area. You can target users based on whether they are connected to your company page; target custom audiences, which could include things like internal email lists that you might have or your company; and retargeting, which allows you to show ads to people who have previously visited your website, so you really know that they’re already interested in what you have to offer.
As I’ve showed an example of this earlier, but Facebook offers two locations that you can display your ads; in the right-hand column, and also directly within the newsfeed. Those are a little bit newer. They’ve been around for a few months now, which is great, getting more data around those, but it’s definitely an option you should consider.
Testing is your best bet to figure out which option would work best for you, but we’ve seen really good returns with the newsfeed ads lately. Most likely due to the fact that that’s already where the user’s attention is and they’re already focused in the newsfeed rather than on the sidebar, and they’re probably going to pay more attention to those ads because of that. Or they just may simply not realize that they’re ads just yet since they are pretty new.
They also provide an opportunity, the newsfeed ads, to add a call to action button, as you can see here. This one is Shop Now, so it just kind of reiterates what the ad is already trying to get you to do. But it’s right within the ad, it helps you further persuade the user to click through and ultimately get them to convert.
And even if you discover one spot tends to work best for you over another, you should always test your ad copy. You want to test the image, the messaging, the borders, the call to action, anything you can so you can constantly work to improve that performance.
And to go through a quick example of how Facebook Advertising has proven to be an effective medium for us, one of our B2C clients here at Marketing Mojo who consistently advertised on AdWords, LinkedIn, and Facebook, ultimately reported results with the best cost per lead on Facebook. This was consistently over time, and as you can see here, AdWords and LinkedIn reporting showed 71% and 78% higher cost per lead than Facebook, respectively.
So why is that? Well it definitely varied depending on a few different things. If your business model comes, whether you’re B2B or B2C, as Tad kind of mentioned, B2B really works [inaudible 00:28:22] LinkedIn really works really well for B2B and B2C. A lot of times Facebook may work better, but it just depends. You should always test and it really depends on what your goals are, what your chosen conversion actions are, and what your overall strategies are.
When deciding on which ad channels you should utilize, you should first think of your target audience. So in the case if you’re trying to target, for instance, potential or current college students, which was the case here, Facebook is the natural route that you would want to try out.
So Facebook performed best in this instance because of who you’re targeting exactly. It varied across multiple campaigns, but for the most part we can pinpoint ideal users by their location, the amount of education they have completed already, and things like specific categories of interests that they had to kind of point it out, either directly or indirectly, that related to each educational program. So it really helped us hone in on those audience numbers.
Instead of spinning your wheels trying to determine if the ad viewer actually fell into a target audience are not, like we have to do with search ads on Google, in this instance, we were already really sure that they did fall into that category, and it saved the client fightable time and money, which is fantastic.
And another example for you for Facebook; seasonal B2C client who’s been running initiatives every year for the past couple of years on Facebook and AdWords, both, has also consistently shown major strides in the Facebook arena.
Not only have we helped them improve conversion performance with each passing season, since we’ve kind of learned things from the past performances, continually narrowing our targeting as well as doing a lot of ad and landing page testing, we’ve also proven that Facebook is the best avenue to reach their ideal audience.
Here you can see the 2014 performance thus far, Facebook has reported an average conversion rate almost 100% higher than that of AdWords and average cost per conversion, 82% lower than AdWords, which is pretty significant.
So what is it that Facebook outperforming AdWords in this instance? Well, while we can target sites about baking and narrow down by demographic to a point with the Google Display Network, we can simply hone in better with the ideal audience on Facebook in this instance. And they tend to be a little bit more engaged there as well, this audience in particular.
For this client, we promote bake sale registrations and Facebook gives us the ability to specifically target moms that have small children, and the moms that are within certain age groups, and that are interested in baking. So all of those things combined. We were also able to target users who already are connected to the client’s Facebook page, which tells us they’ve already showing interest on their own and have an affinity for the client’s brand already.
So that’s it for Facebook, but another solution we want to get into is remarketing. Remarketing, for those of you who may not know, it looks like from the poll that some people are participating in remarketing, which is fantastic. It’s an advertising method that shows ads to users who previously visited your website, and you can show ads to them as they browse across the Web.
It’s really a great way to stay engaged with your customers and continue to be at the top of their minds as they’re browsing. Just kind of triggering them to . . . and gives the potential for further returns. It triggers them to come back to your site and hopefully convert.
So here’s an example of a few companies that have been remarketing me, just for some examples. I was visiting the Life & Style Weekly online website the other day, and Zazzle was showing me an ad for stamps, and Motherhood Maternity was showing me an ad for their new summer maternity line. Being that I’m pregnant and was recently on Zazzle looking for stamps for my baby shower Thank You notes, and on Motherhood Maternity looking for tank tops recently. It’s pretty obvious that they’re retargeting me and these ads are not relevant to the content on this page.
So why would you want to consider remarketing is one of your options? It really allows you to target those people who’ve already shown interest in your site, in your company. You know they know about you already and have visited your site, so showing them and ad may trigger them to come back and convert.
AdWords remarketing, in particular, allows you to create lists where you can narrow down your audience based on certain sections of your site. So like product or category pages as an example, which allows you to target those [users] even further.
The list can also take traffic from certain social advertising platforms into consideration, which is really nice. You can essentially show customized ads to each category of users based on the information that they have provided those social networks. I’ll go into that a little bit more in just a minute.
And the more information you have on these remarketing audience members, which you can get from things like where they’ve gone on your website already; what information they provided on social networks, the more customized you can make your messaging, both in your ad copy as well as on your landing pages, which makes these efforts as relevant as possible to each user. And the more relevancy do have naturally, the better chance you have at bringing in that conversion.
With all the customization and specific targeting that is available through your marketing, this advertising option really does allow for the most efficient use of your ad budget because everything is just so highly targeted. So to talk a little bit more about marketing and social networks how they kind of can work together; LinkedIn, in particular, is a great companion for remarketing.
An example, you can tag your URLs for your LinkedIn ads so the ads that you’re advertising on in LinkedIn, you tag those, which you should technically be doing anyhow analytics purposes. But this will help you identify and categorize these audiences in your remarketing list within Google, and since these people have provided all of this information to LinkedIn anyway, it just gives you an abundance of information you can use, like Location, Place of Work and even Job Title. So it’s basically taking your remarketing lists, getting all of that information you already have about where they went on your website, but you also know they came from LinkedIn, and kind of what information they provided LinkedIn.
But to tag your URLs, you can either do that manually or use the URL builder that Google has available. And I have a link here in case anybody wants to access that and look into it a little bit later. And you can use this for various options, so if you want to use Facebook to do this as well, you can. It’s the same concept.
So what are some things to consider when using remarketing? Member Duration: you want to set your member duration to the longest length possible in most cases, especially in your main list. This will allow you to keep a long-standing list of members, which you can always create subsequent lists from later, which you will end up doing pretty often. It’s better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them at your disposal.
Another is Frequency Capping; this is just really a courtesy to users since you’re following them around as they’re browsing and they’re not really seeking you out.
You don’t want completely bombard them with ads. I’m sure you have been bombarded by companies in the past and you may get a little frustrated with it, so this frequency capping can’t help you not do that to others. And we typically like to recommend capping your impressions as just a few per user per day.
Past Converters is something else you’ll want to think about; depending on your goals you may want to exclude people who have already converted, so sometimes you can use that information to upsell them on something else. But a lot of times, if you just keep trying to do something that they’ve already done in the past, it will end up having a negative impact.
Another one is Cart Abandonment; in some cases, even though you want to exclude past converters in some cases, other times you may want to create [lists] based on people who have actually added items to their shopping cart and then abandoning. So it could very well trigger them to head back and finish that purpose and remind them that they thought about it at one point–maybe they’re ready to purchase now.
There’s one thing I don’t think that added to the slide that I just thought about. View-through Conversions; AdWords will actually, instead of just reporting on how many conversions were coming through when somebody clicks on an ad and then converts, they will also report on view-through conversions, which are conversions that happen if somebody sees your ad but doesn’t click through. And they end up going back to your site in another, say, either directly to your site if they have it bookmarked, typing it in the browser bar, or going through another source, like, organic or something, and end up doing a conversion. So while it’s not a direct conversion based on that ad click, it is kind of giving you more information of how those ads are impacting your conversions, which is fantastic.
An example of a time when remarketing really worked for us was with a farm store retailer client of ours. We established in long-term remarketing list, kind of like I was just talking about, so that we had members ready with specific products went on sale in the future. We ended up with many, many lists based on different product pages people visited, and we ended up just accumulating members in those lists for months, and had them just sitting there ready to go when the time for each sale rolled round.
So even though you don’t need it right away, you want to try to get as many people in various lists and especially in your main list because you can always chop it up later and to separate lists. We ended up having our designer work on some product specific ads, like the one you see here for fence energizers, and brand them to show to those people who viewed those product pages in the past, for the duration of the sale period, which what lasts from anywhere from 5 to 21 days some cases.
And all in all, the results reported that the remarketing ads were 238% more likely to convert than the non-branded search keywords. They also had a cost per conversion 45% lower than search ads, which is crazy. The method was so successful that we even decided not to run search for a little while, focusing all of our efforts solely on remarketing. So that shows you how well it was working for this client, in particular.
And as with anything, you definitely want to test to see what works best with each initiative that you’re working on ’cause search may work better for one product line and not another, and remarketing may work better for that one instead. So it’s definitely worth testing and adding remarketing to your arsenal and you may end up being pleasantly surprised. Now I’ll hand it back over to Tad.
Tad: Thanks, Amanda. Let’s talk about some display advertising. Display is not the display of two years ago, and specifically on Google AdWords. Display ads actually work. Yes, they really do. And let’s get into why they work now. Oh, the caveat to all this; don’t just buy impressions.
When people think of display advertising, they think about buying tens of thousands of impressions for an ad at the time. That’s not really the focus you need to be taking if you want results from these ads. Yes, it can build brand awareness, but that’s really a pretty soft conversion type. We’re more after the hard sells or the hard leads. So you can use a good Google Display Network and pay by the click. You don’t have to pay by the thousand impression mark at all.
And we totally recommend this for two reasons. One; you have a lot more control over it; and two, you’re still going to get thousands and thousands and thousands of eyeballs on your ads by paying with cost-per-click. So our equation is that cost-per- click definitely out weighs cost per impression by terms of the results deliver. You know, and that’s the thing. Most cost per impression advertising never manages . . . you know, they never managed to the result on your site and what it does per conversion. They’re really only advertising to get eyeballs on the ads and build awareness. So that’s not really an effective measurement and that’s not the approach that we take it all. We really want results for the ads and the whole advertising medium.
So we’ve talked pretty extensively about how search keywords, cost- per-clicks in a lot of sectors can be really, really high. If that’s the case, then display ads for a same advertiser, almost always universally much, much lower than search advertising is. So you can save a lot just on the cost-per-click just by utilizing display over search, or in combination with.
So the math you really need to do; we have a client that’s a Cloud storage provider, and they have to pay over $10 a click for all their non-branding keywords on the search network. Pretty expensive sector. That same advertiser’s display cost-per-click is only $1.82-a huge savings. And you know, that’s 69% lower than search.
So do the math. I mean, cost-per-click basis, $10 minus $1.82; that’s a heck of a lot that you’re saving just on a per click basis. So one, it’s cheaper. It’s a lot cheaper in many, many cases. But okay. The math is kind of counterintuitive sometimes too. If you have a display ad in the cost-per-click that’s 80% cheaper than search, you are going to get significantly more clicks than your search campaign’s ever got.
You know, we’ve had situations where we shifted budget from search to display, and we increased that client’s clicks 400% in one month. So as a result, we’ve got more clicks than they’d ever had before, and it kind of slashed the conversion rate in half.
The great result out of this, though, was we had incremental conversion growth; we got way more chances to convert even though the rate of that conversion dropped so significantly, and our costs for conversion were cut in half. And this has happened in multiple occasions for multiple clients with us.
You know, the conversion rate looks bad, but in this case, well, yeah, the number lies. The asterisk on this says, “Yes.” You had to pay so much less per click and you got so many more clicks and it destroyed your conversion rate, but all the other metrics that you really care about are performing at record rates.
So numbers never lie, I guess, except when they do a little bit. And this is a situation with display advertising and the cheaper cost-per-click that, yeah, that conversion rate number isn’t quite right.
So it’s not just that display is cheaper. It’s also effective. And it’s a lot more effective than it used to be because there are a lot more options than there have ever been for the Google Display Network right now. It’s so much different than it was even two years ago, and it’s so much more customer focused than it ever has been.
You can target ads by gender on the Display Network now, and you can change your bids or even exclude genders altogether. If you find out that men are not buying your products at all, you can exclude men from all of your advertising. If you find that women are worth exponentially more on all their ad clicks, you can do a bid modifier on your display advertising to bid more aggressively on women.
Great, exciting feature right now. You could also target and bid your ads based on age demographics. If you find out that 18 to 24- year-olds just aren’t your customers, you can exclude them or you can do a bit adjustment as a negative bid adjustment and bid much less aggressively on them. And vice versa is true; if you find out that 65 and older is your target demographic and they are the most productive customers for you, you can do a bid modifier up 21% if you want.
This one is particularly powerful and really underrated right now. You can target to a searcher’s interests in the last 30 days on Google. A lot of people have no idea this exists as a targeting option, but if you’re searching for corn on the cob seed or sweet corn seed in the last 30 days, Google lets advertisers target them specifically. You can see some selected audiences that I have here for gardening and landscaping and crops and seed.
You can customize these search interests to what you’re selling, and there are well over 1600 search interests available for advertisers on Google to use and they’re amazingly effective. By the way, if you’re ever interested in seeing who Google things you are as a searcher and what your search interests are, you can just search on Google for Google ad preferences while you’re logged in, and they’ll show you, and it’s usually pretty effective in terms of your gender, your age, and what you’ve been searching for.
Topic Targeting’s been around for a little while; you can target your display ads to sites that match a certain topic and they overlap almost exactly with the search interests in the last 30 days. They’re pretty much mirror images of each other. So you if you are a car advertiser and you want to only advertise on sites about cars, you can select that Auto and Vehicle topic there, and your ads will only show on those type of sites.
And Contextual Ads have really been with Google Display Network since the very start. Same concept it’s always been; but the keyword exists on the page of a Google AdSense advertiser or publisher, you can contextually trigger ads from showing. And you can see here, you know, Marketing Mojo trigger the Marketing Mojo word.
If you ever have a new product that’s out and there’s going to be a new press write-up about it, it’s obviously in your interest to get some advertising by those write-ups, especially if that are really positive reviews.
But here’s the best way to do your Google Display Advertising right now: filter your audiences and layer the targeting. You can see in this example, we’ve layered, Display Keywords, Search Interest, Gender, and Age, altogether, and it’s a very, very tiny audience, but it’s a super targeted audience.
And we say bid high and bid big on these type of campaigns. Yes, it’s tiny, yes, it might not give many clicks per day, but these are your customers and Google has found them for you on the Google Display Network. So it’s worth it. It really is very protect.
So let’s wrap things up a little bit here. You’ve got to find the right online marketing mix; if you’re just doing search advertising, you’re just doing the straight shot of one form of advertising available. There are multiple forms of advertising out there; some social media geared; some are search geared; some are display geared, but the right mix is out there and it’s out there for you. And you can have a much lower cost per conversion, a much better conversion rate, and a much more productive online advertising mix.
We kind of do things by what I like to call, the Tactic Funnel. Everybody that knows about the Marketing Funnel. The Tactic Funnel’s a little bit different. But you can kind of see how this breaks down; we give the highest bid and budget priority to the things at the bottom of the funnel.
Advertising on brand names; now, don’t take this as gospel of how you should be structuring your budget spending. This just how it worked out for one particular client. What advertising in a brand name, usually always the most productive form of advertising, and that’s search advertising still to this day.
Remarketing is very effective, and demographically targeted display ads are very effective. So we try and get the highest impression share possible with those forms of advertising for this particular advertiser. But the thing is, you’ve got to realize that it’s not a one-size-fits-all type of situation. Every advertiser’s different. So find that makes of tactics that produces the best results, and you’ve got to go for it and strive for maximum impression share where you’re going to get the most results.
And if you don’t have the budget for the worst converting things, don’t advertise on them. But you’ve got to get yourself out there and you’ve got to try and find what that mix is. So I got to be honest, this is a lot of work. The set up and testing of the mix of channels takes a lot of time to get set up, but it’s worth it. And getting the analytics set up to track the mix of channels can take a lot of time and expertise.
So what we would like you to do is consider broadening out; don’t be such a one trick pony just with search ads. There’s more to life than search advertising and there are, and in a lot of cases, as we’ve mentioned here, much more effective means for finding your customers. You’ve got to branch out, you’ve got to diversify. It’s just like investing. You’ve got to find different tactics that work for you and find the best mix to get the best results. If you do this, you’re going to be an online marketing hero, and you’re going to be riding off into the sunset a very happy advertiser.
Kari: Great, thank you so much, Tad. “Come back Shane,” that’s what that reminds me of whenever I see that. So just to let you know, you can connect with Tad and Amanda. Before we get into some Q&A I’m just going to let you know about this. They’re on both Twitter and Google Plus and so you can feel free to connect with them.
And before we head into some Q&A also want to remind you that you can get in contact with Marketing Mojo and connect with us as well through social media if you’re looking for any help. So if you do have any questions today for Tad or Amanda, feel free to put those into the questions box at the right of your screen. And we will start out with one that we have. So the first one we have, since, Tad, you were talking about, at the very beginning of this presentation, the challenges with paid search, with keyword advertising. But are there actually any situations where it’s still effective?
Tad: Well, I think I’ve brought up on the Tactic Funnel, the brand advertising is just something that every advertiser should do. There are still many, many people out there that think, “I have a number one search result in natural search for my own name. Why do I need to advertise in paid search also?”
Well the answer is, doing both at the same time can increase your click volume on both channels–both natural search and paid search. And if you remove paid search from the equation, Google estimates with a pretty grounded study and good data that you could be losing as much as 80% of the traffic that you would get with the ad. So you’ve got to do that, and I think that’s just a no-brainer. You need to advertise on your product and service names, advertise on your business name, especially.
Non-branded keywords can still work and be very effective for you, but you’ve got to evaluate the competitive situation. If you’re have to pay $60 per click for a keyword, you better be converting it and getting some great lifetime value out of that conversion, otherwise, you’re not going to be profitable with your advertising.
Amanda: Right, and just to elaborate on that. And I know that some people had said that pre- . . . or basically, getting unqualified leads was a problem. What you should test for search network ads, but if you do run into the situation where you’re getting unqualified leads, you want to make sure that, especially if search intent is an issue, kind of like some of the examples Tad gave in the beginning. We don’t really know what people are looking for, so you want to make sure you really think through your ad copy, your text ads, and make sure that you’re trying to prequalify people there. So even if you do have to bid a lot, it may deter people from clicking because they’ll find out really quickly by just looking at the ads that it’s not going to give them what they want. So that’s something else to consider as well.
Kari: Great, thanks, Tad and Amanda. And Amanda, you were talking about . . . you touched on using LinkedIn as sort of a jumping off point for your retargeting, your remarketing efforts. So the question is, though, can you actually retarget through LinkedIn?
Amanda: Unfortunately, no, you cannot. The only thing you can really do is use it to remarket through other means, like [go on] Google. And you can remarket on Facebook, just unfortunately, not like [inaudible 00:55:35] but not yet.
Kari: And unfortunately, LinkedIn is a little bit behind the ball on that, but hopefully, fingers crossed, that’ll be happening soon. So the next question that we have, let me see here. So we’ve got another one having to do with . . . well let’s go back, actually, Tad. Here’s one for you about Contextual Ads that you were talking about. “Do contextual ads,” and those were the ones where the keywords is within the text of an article or some piece of content, “do they actually work?”
Tad: Well, the answer is still yes. They’ve worked pretty effectively, but I think the thing that is taking over with display right now is such a heavy use of remarketing ads right now. Remarketing ads, search interest ads, targeting by topic, and contextual, all compete against each other in the same ad marketplace. So if you’ve got somebody bidding very aggressively on a display remarketing audience, that’s can kind of trump your bid on a keyword ad. So you know, you’ve got to kind of take it all with the context that you’re advertising in and realize that there are multiple different targeting options that you’re out there competing against. But I’ve seen it be very effective for a lot of advertisers.
A lot of advertisers are interested in trying to do search advertising on their competitor’s keywords; we tell them that’s usually a waste of time, but a great way to try and do it especially if that competitor’s got a new product launch, is to advertise against the competitor’s new product or the competitor’s name, during that introductory launch period. So you can kind of trump their buzz that’s generated in the press. That works pretty effectively still to this day. But yeah, we still get great results from it. It’s not as effective as a lot of the remarketing because its context seems to be trumping keyword relevance to what’s on the page at this point in terms of conversion success.