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Google Lead Form Extensions Vs. LinkedIn Lead Ads

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Lead generation advertisers face many challenges including balancing quality leads vs. quantity of leads, abandoned lead forms, and optimizing campaigns to find quality leads. When it comes to PPC, there are multiple types of lead form ads that you can utilize in lead generation campaigns to help with these challenges.
Today, I’m going to compare just two of those: Google Lead Form extensions and LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms.

Google Lead Ad Extensions

Google lead extensions help solve the previously mentioned lead gen challenges by enabling seamless, intent-based connections between the marketer and the prospective customers. Lead form extensions enable businesses to connect with high-intent users that are searching for their company, product or services offered. Google lead ad extensions also help reduce abandoned forms by leveraging pre-filled user information instead of relying on website or mobile forms.

Getting started with lead form extensions is easy. You create the extension as you would any other in the Google UI and set up to receive the leads. You can either download leads in a CSV or add a webhook URL for CRM integration. You also have the choice to use Zapier or Leadbridge to upload leads directly to the CRM. Once you have that setup, you can customize your lead form. You are able to choose from multiple calls-to-action and can include compelling and relevant extension text to engage the user.

Google Ad Form Extension Screenshot

Once the extension is created, you will personalize the user-facing lead form. You are allowed a headline (30 characters), description (200 characters), and will submit your business name and a background image. You get to choose what information will be submitted by the user from their name, phone number, email, and zip code.

Google Ad Form Lead Form Categories

Lastly, you will create a personalized submission message once the form has been submitted. You can set a headline (25 characters), description, and choose from 3 pre-set calls-to-action.

Since this is an ad extension of your current search campaigns, you are able to define your specific demographics, audiences, and any other detailed targeting options you would normally have within a search campaign.

LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

Per LinkedIn, Lead Gen Forms are “a solution that helps you drive even more high-quality leads from your Sponsored Content campaigns by removing the main barrier to mobile conversion: making someone complete a clunky contact form on a smartphone.” Lead Gen Forms are pre-filled with the users’ LinkedIn profile data, such as their name, contact info, company name, seniority, job title, and location, which provides more accurate work contact information.

To get started, you would create the personalized Lead Gen Form under your Account Assets. You can customize the form details with a headline (60 characters) and offer details or a description (160 characters). Next, you choose what detailed information you would like to collect from your user and add any custom questions to the form.

LinkedIn Lead Gen Form Lead Details and Custom Questions

Lastly, you will create your confirmation message (300 characters) and choose from 4 pre-set calls-to-action. You are able to download your leads directly from Campaign Manager or pass your leads to the CRM or marketing automation platform of your choice.

You are able to use these types of forms with both Sponsored content and Message Ad campaigns as long as the objective is Lead generation. You will have the same targeting options as with any other sponsored content or message ad.

The Differences Between Google Lead Ad Extensions And LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

The two types of forms above help engage high-intent users for your business, services, or products. As similar as each form is, they do have their differences.

Overall, the Google Lead Form Extensions are more limited in terms of collecting data. Google Lead Form Extensions can be placed on any Google Search campaign you have created in your account. However, if you have multiple ad extensions within one Search campaign, you are not able to choose which ad extension shows.
In addition to that limitation, the amount of customization on the form itself is standard with the information you can normally collect from the user (name, phone, email, zip).

In turn, the amount of customization on the LinkedIn Lead Gen forms is much more robust.  You have the following categories to choose what information you would like to receive from the user:

  • Contact
  • Work
  • Company
  • Education
  • Demographic

Within each of those categories, you are able to get even more granular in the user info that’s submitted. For example, the name, size, or industry of the company or the degree, field of study, University/School, start date, or graduation date of someone’s education. You are also able to submit custom questions for the user to answer on the form itself. Since these types of forms are able to be used on both Sponsored and Message ads you are able to have a separate message before the user even engages with the form. This allows you to provide even more relevant information to the user to engage them.

Conclusion

In conclusion, both of these forms eliminate common lead generation challenges like website and mobile form abandonment. Both forms also leverage users’ pre-filled demographic information.
That being said, in my experience with both types of lead gen forms, LinkedIn lead gen forms were more successful because of their ability to capture more user data.

LinkedIn can leverage an array of professional data that’s mostly up-to-date.  The upkeep of the profile by most members ensures that the lead data captured is accurate (much less likely to be fake), creating better informed, easier-to-convert sales opportunities. LinkedIn lead form ads’ robust targeting and customization allows you to pinpoint your exact target audience. Also, the form is visible each time your ad is shown to a user, which provides a higher completion percentage. This is not the case for Google’s lead form ad extensions.

Regardless of which form you choose to test, I would always recommend checking the quality of the leads you receive before determining the success of your test.

Additional Resources

Google Ads: Lead Form Extensions

LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms: An easy way to collect quality leads for your business

LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

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Google to pay $391.5 million settlement over location tracking, state AGs say

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Google to pay $391.5 million settlement over location tracking, state AGs say

Google has agreed to pay a $391.5 million settlement to 40 states to resolve accusations that it tracked people’s locations in violation of state laws, including snooping on consumers’ whereabouts even after they told the tech behemoth to bug off.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said it is time for Big Tech to recognize state laws that limit data collection efforts.

“I have been ringing the alarm bell on big tech for years, and this is why,” Mr. Landry, a Republican, said in a statement Monday. “Citizens must be able to make informed decisions about what information they release to big tech.”

The attorneys general said the investigation resulted in the largest-ever multistate privacy settlement. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, a Democrat, said Google’s penalty is a “historic win for consumers.”

“Location data is among the most sensitive and valuable personal information Google collects, and there are so many reasons why a consumer may opt out of tracking,” Mr. Tong said. “Our investigation found that Google continued to collect this personal information even after consumers told them not to. That is an unacceptable invasion of consumer privacy, and a violation of state law.”

Location tracking can help tech companies sell digital ads to marketers looking to connect with consumers within their vicinity. It’s another tool in a data-gathering toolkit that generates more than $200 billion in annual ad revenue for Google, accounting for most of the profits pouring into the coffers of its corporate parent, Alphabet, which has a market value of $1.2 trillion.

The settlement is part of a series of legal challenges to Big Tech in the U.S. and around the world, which include consumer protection and antitrust lawsuits.

Though Google, based in Mountain View, California, said it fixed the problems several years ago, the company’s critics remained skeptical. State attorneys general who also have tussled with Google have questioned whether the tech company will follow through on its commitments.

The states aren’t dialing back their scrutiny of Google’s empire.

Last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he was filing a lawsuit over reports that Google unlawfully collected millions of Texans’ biometric data such as “voiceprints and records of face geometry.”

The states began investigating Google’s location tracking after The Associated Press reported in 2018 that Android devices and iPhones were storing location data despite the activation of privacy settings intended to prevent the company from following along.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich went after the company in May 2020. The state’s lawsuit charged that the company had defrauded its users by misleading them into believing they could keep their whereabouts private by turning off location tracking in the settings of their software.

Arizona settled its case with Google for $85 million last month. By then, attorneys general in several other states and the District of Columbia had pounced with their own lawsuits seeking to hold Google accountable.

Along with the hefty penalty, the state attorneys general said, Google must not hide key information about location tracking, must give users detailed information about the types of location tracking information Google collects, and must show additional information to people when users turn location-related account settings to “off.”

States will receive differing sums from the settlement. Mr. Landry’s office said Louisiana would receive more than $12.7 million, and Mr. Tong’s office said Connecticut would collect more than $6.5 million.

The financial penalty will not cripple Google’s business. The company raked in $69 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2022, according to reports, yielding about $13.9 billion in profit.

Google downplayed its location-tracking tools Monday and said it changed the products at issue long ago.

“Consistent with improvements we’ve made in recent years, we have settled this investigation which was based on outdated product policies that we changed years ago,” Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said in a statement.

Google product managers Marlo McGriff and David Monsees defended their company’s Search and Maps products’ usage of location information.

“Location information lets us offer you a more helpful experience when you use our products,” the two men wrote on Google’s blog. “From Google Maps’ driving directions that show you how to avoid traffic to Google Search surfacing local restaurants and letting you know how busy they are, location information helps connect experiences across Google to what’s most relevant and useful.”

The blog post touted transparency tools and auto-delete controls that Google has developed in recent years and said the private browsing Incognito mode prevents Google Maps from saving an account’s search history.

Mr. McGriff and Mr. Monsees said Google would make changes to its products as part of the settlement. The changes include simplifying the process for deleting location data, updating the method to set up an account and revamping information hubs.

“We’ll provide a new control that allows users to easily turn off their Location History and Web & App Activity settings and delete their past data in one simple flow,” Mr. McGriff and Mr. Monsees wrote. “We’ll also continue deleting Location History data for users who have not recently contributed new Location History data to their account.”

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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5 Tips to Boost Your Holiday Search Strategy

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Student writing on computer

With the global economic downturn, inflation, ongoing supply chain challenges, and uncertainty due to the Ukraine war, this year’s holiday shopping season promises to be very challenging. Will people be in the mood to spend despite the gloom? Or will they rein in their enthusiasm and save for the year ahead?

With these issues in mind, here are five considerations to support your search engine optimization strategy this holiday shopping season:

1. Start early.

Rising prices are likely to mean shoppers will start researching their holiday spending earlier than ever to nab the best bargains. Therefore, retailers must roll out their holiday product and category pages — and launch any promotions — sooner to ensure their pages get crawled and indexed by search engines in good time.

Some e-commerce stores manage to get their pages ranking early by updating and reusing the same section of the website for holiday content and promotions, rotating between content for Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine gifts, Fourth of July sales, etc. This approach can help you retain the momentum, links and authority you build up with Google and get your holiday pages visible and ranking quickly.

2. Make research an even bigger priority.

With all the uncertainty this year, it’s vital to use SEO research to identify the trending seasonal keywords and search phrases in your retail vertical — and then optimize content accordingly.

With tools such as Google Trends you can extract helpful insights based on the types of searches people are making. For example, with many fashion retailers now charging for product returns, will prioritizing keywords such as “free returns” get more search traction? And with money being tighter, will consumers stick with brands they trust rather than anything new — meaning brand searches might be higher?

3. Make greater use of Google Shopping.

To get the most out of their holiday spending, consumers are more likely to turn to online marketplaces such as Google Shopping as they make it easier to compare products, features and prices, as well as to identify the best deals both online and in nearby stores.

Therefore, take a combined approach which includes listing in Google Shopping and at the same time optimizing product detail pages on your e-commerce site to ensure they’re unique and provide more value than competitors’ pages. Be precise with product names on Google Shopping (e.g., do the names contain the words people are searching for?); ensure you provide all the must-have information Google requires; and set a price that’s not too far from the competition. 

4. Give other search sources the attention they deserve.

Earlier this year Google itself acknowledged that consumers — especially younger consumers — are starting to use TikTok, Instagram and other social media sites for search. In fact, research suggests 11 percent of product searches now start on TikTok and 15 percent on Instagram. Younger consumers in particular are more engaged by visual content, which may explain why they’re embracing visually focused social sites for search. So, as part of your search strategy, create and share content on popular social media sites that your target customers visit.

Similarly, with people starting their shopping searches on marketplaces such as Amazon.com, optimizing any listings you have on the site should be part of your strategy. And thankfully, the better optimized your product detail pages are for Amazon (with unique, useful content), the better they will rank on Google as well!

5. Hold paid budget for late opportunities.

The greater uncertainty and volatility this holiday season mean you must keep a close eye on shopper behavior and be ready to embrace opportunities that emerge later on. Getting high organic rankings for late promotions is always more challenging, so hold some paid search budget back to help drive traffic to those pages — via Google Ads, for example. Important keywords to include in late season search ad campaigns include “delivery before Christmas” and “same-day-delivery.” For locally targeted search ads, consider “pick up any time before Christmas.”

The prospect of a tough, unpredictable holiday shopping season means search teams must roll out seasonal SEO plans early, closely track shoppers’ behavior, and be ready to adapt as things change.

Marcus Pentzek is chief SEO consultant at Searchmetrics, the global provider of search data, software and consulting solutions.

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Google Home App Gets an Overhaul, Rolling Out Soon

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Google Home app

Google refreshes its Home app with a slew of new features after launching a new Nest gear. This makes it faster and easier to pair smart devices with Matter, adds customization and personalization options, an enhanced Nest camera experience, and better intercommunication between devices.

This revamped Home app utilizes Google’s Matter smart home standard – launching later this year – especially the Fast Pair functionality. On an Android phone, it will instantly recognize a Matter device and allow you to easily set it up, bypassing the current procedure that is often slow and difficult. Google is also updating its Nest speakers, displays, and routers – to control Matter devices better.

Google Home App New Features

  • Spaces: This feature allows you to control multiple devices in different rooms. Google has listed a few things by room: kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc., although it’s pretty limited right now. Spaces let you organize devices how you see fit. For instance, you can set up a baby monitor in one room and set a different room’s camera to focus on an area the baby often plays. With Spaces, you can categorize these two devices into one Space category called ‘Baby.’

Google Home app Spaces

  • Favorites: This one is pretty self-explanatory. It allows you to make certain gears as a favorite that you frequently use. Doing so will bring those devices into the limelight within the Google Home app for easier access. 

Google Home app

  • Media: Google adds a new media widget at the bottom of your Home feed. This will automatically determine what media is playing in your home and provide you with the appropriate controls as and when needed. There will be song controls if you listen to music on your speakers. There will be television remote controls if you’re watching TV. 

Google probably won’t roll out this Home app makeover anytime soon. But you can try it for yourself in the coming week by enrolling in the public preview, available in select areas.

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