Which Marketing Channel Will Give You the Best Results? [Infographic]

This is a very interesting study performed by Conductor.  We often here people, even other marketers, touting that, “SEO is dead” or “Email is dead.” According to this study they are both alive and kicking!

The study examined four areas:

  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Paid ads (Paid Search and Paid Social Ads)
  • SEO

They also looked at metrics such as:

  • Which marketing channel gets the most visitors?
  • Which brings in the greatest amount of qualified leads?
  • Which channel gets the most customers?
  • Which sparks the best engagement?
  • Are there different effects on B2B and B2C companies?
  • Which channel has the highest ROI (Return On Investment)?

The results may not be the same for every industry or company, but you may be surprised at what was discovered.  View the results in the infographic below.

Best marketing channels in 2014Want to use the infographic for your blog? Get the original here: [Infographic] Which Marketing Channel Gets You the Most Bang for Your Click?

Google Partners is Getting Into the Spirit of World Cup Brazil

Google allstars world cup 2014

Google is getting into the World Cup spirit. We received our Google Partners package today!

The package includes a mini World Cup Brazil soccer ball and three Caxirola – The official musical instrument of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The best part our clients and potential clients get gifts too!

During the AllStar promotion if you sign up for a new Google AdWords account and a Paid Search Management plan with Blackbird e-Solutions, you’ll receive a free $100 to spend on your Google AdWords!

The promotion runs until July 13, 3104

Click on the image below to get started!

 

Google Adwords offer Get $100

Close The Loop on Marketing and Sales With Marketing Automation

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” –John Wanamaker

Nearly half a century ago John Wanamaker made this comment. Sadly many businesses still feel this way. However with today’s technology including Marketing Automation and visitor tracking, online marketers have the tools to “close the loop” so they can effectively tie every lead and sale back to the dollar amount to the marketing initiative that produced them.

closed loop marketingAs I often say, “Your website should be the central hub of your online universe.” All your online marketing efforts should be driving traffic to your website: social media, search engine traffic, paid advertising, even your offline campaigns should send visitors to your site. You can see this in an our Online Marketing Flowchart. Once someone has come to your website you can give them a cookie which will track their activity on your site.

As each visitor browses your website you’ll be able to see from which avenue they came. You can see where they entered the site, what pages they viewed as well as where they exited the site. With this knowledge you can begin to shape visitor’s experience on your website, including taking actions to keep visitors engaged with your site.

The next step is to turn visitors into leads and start to close the loop. This is where you begin to monetize website traffic and send qualified leads to your sales team. One way to do this is to drive traffic to landing pages where you make an exchange. An exchange that can be in the form of a piece of your knowledge (a whitepaper, a case study or some other form of information) for more insights about the visitor (name, contact information, company, etc.).

So, not only will you know where your visitors are coming from and what they are doing on your site, but you’ll be able to tie this to actual people. Plus, you’ll be able to contact them!

The last step of the process is to track these leads to see who becomes a customer and how much they purchase. This will give you the ability to tie your sales all the way back to the individual marketing efforts. So now you’ll be able to determine which marketing channels contributed the most sales, which brought in the least and then make informed decisions for where to put your marketing dollars.

AdWords Vouchers: Get $100 for Free!

We just received a bunch of Google AdWords Vouchers in a Pizza Box, and we’d like share them with you!

AdWords Voucher in a Pizza box

Get Your Free $100
When You Sign Up for a Paid Search Plan

Get $100 free when you sign up for Paid Search with us. Paid Search is a great way to get qualified visitors to your website fast. We’ll help you set up a new Google AdWords account so you can start using the power of paid search to gain new customers right away!

Fill out our contact form for more details and to get you slice.

AdWords Tip: Adwords Account Limitations

We often have clients ask what the limits are to AdWords. It usually happens with larger companies or e-commerce sites that have lot’s of products. They start adding keyword, campaigns, adgoup or ads and they start to google adwords worry they will run out of space. The truth is, most advertisers will never even come close to maxing out the limits on their account.

Typically though, if for some reason your account is getting close to one of the limitations. Google will send you a notification to let you know that you are about to hit a limit. The most common is the number of keywords limit.So, the number of keywords in an adgroup.

Below you’ll see the list of limitations published by Google:

AdWords account limits

These are the limits for an AdWords account:

  • 10,000 campaigns (includes active and paused campaigns)
  • 20,000 ad groups per campaign
  • 10,000 keywords per ad group
  • 300 display ads per ad group (includes image ads)
  • 4 million active or paused ads per account
  • 5 million keywords per account
  • 10,000 location targets (targeted and excluded) per campaign, including up to 500 proximity targets per campaign
  • 100,000 active ad extensions per account
  • 1.3 million references to ad extensions per account

 

Google Trends Not Reporting Data for Wyoming

Here’s a strange tidbit of information. It doesn’t appear that Google Trends is reporting an data from the US State of Wyoming. I noticed it today when I was doing keyword research for an SEO project that I’m working on for a client. I even tested the keyword “dog. ”  This still showed no searches for Wyoming. Is there an error in the Google algorithm or is there some sort of law against showing search data from the state?

keyword research google trends - no wyoming

Full Screen Ads? Bad, Bad Idea!

We work with our clients to help them get found online. That often means using paid search or media to get their message out. These avenues work very well and are great way to track who’s seeing your ads and the ROI (return on investment).

We’ve seen many different ways that advertising platforms have tried to grab people’s attention online:

  • Text ads,
  • Banner ads,
  • Banners that slide down to take up more space,
  • Videos that auto start when you hit a page.
There are also many other variations of these out there too. But this relatively new form has to be the most obnoxious. 

What happens is when a site loads a layover slides across the screen and covers the entire screen. You can even buy a video version. If you were about to click on something as it slides out, you’ll end up clicking on the ad. I get that websites owners want to try and monetize their site, but every time I’m forced to view one of these ads I simply want to leave the site. It definitely DOES NOT make me want to buy the product in the ad. 

undertone-full-screen-ad

So far I’ve only seen ads like this from Undertone, but their may be other companies offering such ads. This was seen on weather.com.

My advice to site owners as well as companies looking to market their products, don’t use this format.

For advertisers: I would guess there that these ads end up with a lot of clicks from people that really didn’t want to click on the ad. Plus it is highly likely that you will just be annoying your prospective customers more than anything else.

For site owners: You only have something like 3 seconds for someone to decide if they like your website before they leave. Do you really want that 3 seconds to be controlled by an annoying ad?  

It may be creating a “Standout Brand Experience,” but that doesn’t mean it’s a good experience…

How to Use Google Analytics to Maximize Effectiveness in AdWords

Often times clients fall for the expectation that use AdWords can be set up and forgotten and the dollars will roll in with very minimal engagement on their part. If you’ve spent any time running an AdWords campaign, you probably understand that this is typically not the case.

In many cases bidding for the 1st position ad could bankrupt a company.  Here are some questions to ask yourself. Does the number 1 position produce the most cost effective option? Can I bid for a lower position and get more bang for my buck?

So, after you ask these questions you might start pouring over data in AdWords; Exporting, pivoting, creating tables etc. This could consume hours of your time.

But not to worry there is help in the form of Google Analytics!

google analytics

Keep reading to find a quick way to measure the best position for you keywords by analyzing the visits, bounce rate, conversions and more.

  • First log into your Google analytics account
  • Next, in the sidebar menu click on “Advertising”
  • Then “AdWords”
  • And then at the bottom of the “AdWords” menu, click “Keyword Positions”
analytics keyword positions

Here you can see the number of visits the keywords in AdWords are receiving and the corresponding site metrics. You can see how long visitors are staying on the site, the bounce rate and if you are tracking revenue in analytics, even if you aren’t using Analytics to track revenue this can be extremely useful.

google analytics keyword positions smudged

Average time on site: You can see here that the best position is actually #2.

google analytics keyword positions TOS

In terms of “Bounce Rate” the #2 and #3 positions have better rates then the #1 position.

google analytics keyword positions bounce rate

After looking at the various metrics, you can determine the target position where you get the best results. In this case it’s position 2 or 3. If you are tracking the value of your conversions you can show the average value for each position.  In this case the only position that converted was the third.

google analytics keyword positions ecommerce avg revenue

This makes it quite simple to decide where to target.

Now we’re going to automate this, so jump over to your AdWord account. Click on the “Campaign” you want to look at in the left navigation menu. Then click on the “Keywords” tab and search for the keywords you would like to automate. Select the keywords by ticking the box on the left and then select “Change max. CPC bids when…” under the “Automate” dropdown menu.

Here set the bid amount that you would like to use for raising the bid and the position you want to hit. Under requirements choose “Avg. position” and “worse than.”  Then enter the position. You can also adjust the frequency. I typically start with every day and I like first thing in the morning so you can start each new day with the appropriate bid. Don’t forget to “Preview results.”

google adwords change bid

You’ll need to also set an upper limit as well, so that you bids don’t blow up because of the automation. In this case choose; “Decrease bid”, “Avg. position” and “better than” and enter the position you want to hold.

Once you’ve set up both rules don’t forget to monitor your data and the rules carefully to make sure you are still on track. It may take some tweaking to hone in on the best settings.

With this you should be able to automate your AdWords account by using your Google Analytics, but still nothing beats a set of eyes. So, make sure you are checking up on how things are going. 

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Need help with your AdWords accounts or or deciphering the Analytics behind. We can help: Contact us for a free quote.

Microsoft Advertising Takes Aim at AdWords – Adds adCenter Training Hub

Microsoft AdCenter Accredited Professional

Microsoft has taken another step to try to compete with Google Adwords. They’ve added a free training hub where paid search professionals can hone their skills and learn about the latest updates to the Microsoft Search Alliance adCenter. One cool thing about it is if you register and sign in with your Windows Live ID it tracks you progress. So, you can start training videos right where you left off. Then once you are comfortable with the material you can take the Accredited Professional exam. Unlike Google Adwords Certification there is no minimum to how much budget level you need to maintain to take the exam. You just have to be an active adCenter user and pass the exam. Plus, the exam costs just $15.

Once you pass the exam you become an Accredited Professional which lasts for a year. You must then retake the exam each year. There is no longer a company accreditation so individuals can use theirs certification to promote their company as well. Plus, you have the option to be added to Microsoft’s member directory as well as their “Find a Pro” directory.

So what are you waiting for? Get cracking on your accreditation!

adCenter Training Hub

The New Google. Does “Don’t be Evil” Still Apply? – Part 1

In the last few months since Larry Page has taken the helm as CEO at Google he has been making a lot of changes to their services. They’ve been changing the look and feel of their various properties, even changing the functionality of their search pages. Larry has even said the company would

put more wood behind fewer arrows.”

This is the first in a series of post that will discuss some of the changes we feel are import for you to know about.

New Google Search Ad Placement

The first update you may have noticed as you were using Google Search is a redesign of ad placement. Ads that previously appeared on the right side of search results will in some cases be moved to below search results.

Below is an example of how the new search results may look.

New Google Search Ad Placement

 

here’s what Google has to say about the new format:

 In many cases, we have found that displaying ads below search results is better aligned with the way users scan the page from top to bottom. On average, this placement performed better than side ads in terms of click-through rate in our tests.”

If you want to know if your ads are performing better in the top positions as apposed to all other positions, you’re in luck. Google will soon be launching a custom “Top vs. Other” segment. All placements on the side, at the bottom are labeled and other experimental placements will be labeled as “other”.

What troubles me is they lump them together, so you can’t really tell which ads are getting more traffic. I think the real motivation is to gain more real estate in the right column for other things. This is something I’ll talk about later though.