Posted in: Search Engine Optimization SEO releases with 0 comments on 07/18/2016
I am very pleased to have Dan Rudy of Leading Edge Digital as a guest blogger this month. His extensive knowledge of Google and SEO are so valuable. I am lucky to consider him a great business acquaintance and friend.
In case you missed it, May 24th 2016 was an historic day in Google’s history, when they introduced the biggest changes in adwords since the founding of the company.
Adwords is the sponsored (paid) section of the Google search engine, which along with the organic (unpaid) and the local map section (unpaid) sections, forms the results when you search for a term on google.com. Adwords also includes their YouTube video network as well as the Google Display Network (GDN) – display banner ads. Adwords constitutes a powerful, trackable and optimizable system for advertising a product or service. Google indicated that they will be rolling out these new Adwords changes in the months to come.
Search Engine Marketing
During their recent webinar, Google stated that they receive “trillions” of searches per year. This means that every day, they receive more than 5.4 billion searches, or on average, nearly one per day, for every inhabitant on the planet and possibly more. They also indicated that commercial searches on mobile now surpass those on desktop.
Mobile now accounts for 30% of e-commerce purchases, meaning direct on-line buying. Apparently, some people still cling to their desktop or laptop when purchasing on-line, since the percent of mobile searches is higher, over 50%. Even more amazing is that the value of mobile searches that resulted in a person later visiting a shop and buying there, exceeds the direct e-commerce value resulting from mobile search. So judging the power of mobile based just on e-commerce output alone, is a gross underestimate.
Google has announced that they are enabling their mobile ads to have headlines (the first line of the text search ad) of 80 characters, up from the previous limit of 25. This is in recognition of the demonstrated importance of the ad headline.
Advertisers such as us, will now be able to bias their ads on mobile by 900%, whereas previously, we had to avail ourselves of a mere 300% bid adjustment. We can now also choose “tablet” as a device display option as well as “desktop” or “mobile” (smart phones), whereas previously “tablet” was lumped in with “mobile”. The bottom line is that skilled marketers can now target their ads much more effectively, by device.
Google Generated Display Ads
If you provide google with an image, a description, and a URL, they will create beautiful display ads across the GDN and these can also be used for remarketing. With remarketing, those who have visited your website will be served up your banner ads when they visit other websites.
For the one billion users of Google Maps, local shopkeepers will be able to display promoted pins on these maps.
In-Store Conversion Tracking
This dream is now a reality, but Google tells me it’s currently only available to large retailers. When someone does a search and later walks into a store, that can now be counted as a conversion, along with phone call, form fill and e-commerce conversions, which have been available for some time. Why is this important? Let’s say you want to optimize your ads either by location, time of day, demographics etc. A skilled marketer can see which clicks converted into store visits and serve up more of those ads, while minimizing the lower performers. Better yet, the Adwords expert can unleash the Target CPA (formerly Google Conversion Optimizer) which uses an algorithm to maximize conversions. The algorithm can find new clients, but the human marketer does not know how it does it and probably does not care since the bottom line is they’re getting more business. At LeadingEdgeDigital.com, we unleash the Target CPA frequently, with devastating results.
Google says its store tracking beacon, presumably based on your mobile phone location, is 99% accurate. What’s also cool is that the search does not have to originate with your mobile phone. The Israeli company Crosswire and others, have developed some very cool technology, which link your devices such as desktop, tablet, and phone.
Similar Audiences for Search (SAFS)
This is a great tool for those who remarket (this should probably be nearly every business). With SAFS, higher bids are enabled for search ads for those who have demographics similar to those who have visited your website. A word of caution….we think SAFS works better for B to C than B to B. Think about it, a businessperson shows interest in your company by visiting your website. It’s unlikely that a businessperson with similar demographics will be much more interested in your company than other businesspersons, who click on your search ad, simply because they have similar demographics. But, you’d be paying a premium for them. However, with B to C, similar demographics should correlate nicely with the probability of searchers becoming a customer, so SAFS is usually worth it, with B to C.
Lots of cool new features have been added to analytics such as voice commands, in which you can ask questions such as “Who were my top ten clients in June?” There’s also better seamless integration between Adwords and analytics, with tools such as Google Data Studio which is free & enables collaboration between as many as five people.
Changes In Badged Premier Google Partners Program
More recently, Google introduced five sub-specialties into their Badged Partner program. Badged Google Premier Partners are the few digital agencies that Google says delivers top performance for Adwords users. BTW, this includes us, LeadingEdgeDigital.com. The new sub-specialties include Search, Mobile, Display, YouTube and Shopping. Although this means more work, we intend to maintain badges in all five sub-specialties.
These changes represent only the latest and greatest in Google updates. As one of my digital marketing colleagues recently opined, “If Google keeps changing so rapidly, I’m going to have a heart attack.”
Dan Rudy is a digital marketer, engineer, and entrepreneur and along with Brad Kane, is a co-founder of the digital marketing agency Leading Edge Digital.
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