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Google’s Shiny New Object: Performance Max

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Google's Shiny New Object: Performance Max


Source: Outshine

Furthering its ever-increasing bid for automation and ease, Google unveiled a new advertising beta last spring, that, in essence, combines all previous automated betas into one. The new campaign type is called Performance Max, and has elements of its predecessors, Smart Campaigns and Discovery, but is the first of its kind to also include Google’s marquee function—Search.

Seizing the opportunity to test a newly-unveiled Google product, Outshine started rolling out pilot campaigns to several clients — with modest budgets and select markets — to see how the shiny new object fared against other acquisition channels. Despite the good (i.e. algorithmic automation) and the bad (opaque reporting), this new beta *can* live up to its name.

  • PRO: The automated delivery of this ad format is a benefit, in that the engine is able to optimize more effectively than other ad formats since there are more channels to choose from (Search, Display, YouTube, Gmail, or Discovery). And what we’re learning time and time again in the ever-changing world of digital marketing, is that despite one’s desire to cling to control and segmentation, more often than not, when the reins are loosened and more control is passed onto the machine, we see stronger results. When it comes to digital campaigns, it’s more apparent now than ever that our work exists in algorithm management, rather than individual ad management. The challenge for marketers is to understand and feed the machine the best information possible, to yield the best results.

Source: Google Dashboard

  • CON: Despite its ability to drive results, however, a major downside to this ad format is that the reporting dashboard is opaque. Advertisers cannot see where ads are shown (i.e. how many were served to Search versus Gmail, etc.) or where display ads appeared (sites, placements, etc.). Performance Max also has a very limited view into conversion and reporting data in general — with only one dashboard catch-all view that provides surface-level insights.

Despite its opacity and ultra-automated engine, Performance Max has benefits and is worth testing with a modest investment to gauge down-funnel impact.

With one client, this ad format was piloted for an entire month (in one market only, with five percent of the month’s total Demand Gen budget allocated to it), and it yielded very strong results.

This format generated three Sales Accepted Leads (SALs), and a 100% SAL-to-opportunity conversion rate – versus Generic Search’s 50% SAL-to-opportunity conversion rate, and Brand Search’s 33% SAL-to-opportunity conversion rate.

In addition to this strong, er—max—performance, the deal value brought in by those three opportunities was nearly exactly what Generic Search brought in, meaning the companies coming through these ads were just as high-value as those coming from Generic Search.

So —should you use it?

That depends. If you need to know where your ads are showing, this is not the channel for you.

If automated (but efficient and high-intent) performance (with few levers of control) sits well with you, it’s certainly something worthy of investment. As with any beta or alpha product, Google still has a few bugs to work out with this new format, but early indicators of strong success are definitely there.

Check out my session at HeroConf London to learn more on how to best implement this channel into your client’s media mix, and what to be wary of when you do.





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How to Maximize Website Conversion Rates Through Mobile Optimization Strategy

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How to Maximize Website Conversion Rates Through Mobile Optimization Strategy


If you’re struggling for conversions, it’s tempting to throw money at the problem in search of a quick fix. Resist that temptation, though – because the key to a better conversion rate isn’t always to be found by pumping money into your ad campaigns, or a flashy new marketing drive.

Nope – the solution’s much more simple. Mobile optimization!

Starting with your site’s mobile experience makes sense. After all, 46% of Americans spend between five and six hours on their phones, every day. When they come across your website, it’s likely to be via their phones. Meaning your site needs to be ready.

Below, we’ll walk you through our top 4 mobile optimization tips. Follow them, and you’ll end up with a clean, compelling, and customer-centric site – that’s ready to convert.

What is Mobile Optimization Strategy?

First things first – what is mobile optimization, exactly?

Mobile optimization is the process of tailoring your website to users accessing it on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet (as opposed to on a desktop computer.)

It involves ensuring that your website’s layout, structure, and content are customized to mobile devices. So why is that important?

Well, think about the consequences of a site that isn’t optimized for mobile. Content displays as misshapen or missized. Elements jump around on the page, as if with a life of their own; you find yourself having to zoom madly in and out, simply to read the text on the screen.

It’s not a good user experience (UX). But, more importantly, it’s not good for business. 57% of mobile users won’t recommend a business with poor mobile optimization. 

Sloppy mobile optimization – or total lack of it – means a frustrated user. And frustrated users rarely turn into customers!

How To Maximize Your Conversion Rates Through Mobile Optimization Strategy: 4 Top Tips

Ready to start maximizing your conversion rates – and make your website more mobile-friendly in the process? Here are our 4 top mobile optimization tips:

  1. Provide a simple, clean checkout experience
  2. Add on-page product recommendations
  3. Offer more ways to pay
  4. Strengthen your CTAs – and their visibility

Read on for the full scoop.

1. Provide a Simple, Clean Checkout Experience

The first way of boosting your mobile site’s conversion rates? Optimizing your checkout flow to ensure you’re providing a frictionless experience at the checkout.

How exactly you do this will depend on how you’ve built your website. But a few broad tips include:

One of Website Builder Expert’s tips for improving your conversion rates is to use fewer form fields – which is also an important aspect of your checkout experience.

Image source: Average Website Conversion Rates in 5 Key Industries

2. Add On-Page Product Recommendations

Integrating on-page product recommendations is a low-effort – but potentially high-impact – action for optimizing your mobile site.

The on-page product recommendations you recommend could be products the customer has recently viewed, or ones similar to the products they’re currently looking at. These will appear in the frame as they browse your store on their mobile, meaning they can quickly, and easily navigate to the kinds of products they like.

On-page product recommendations are great for UX. But they’re also good for your conversion rates – as you’re removing one more barrier to your customer making a purchase.

3. Offer More Ways to Pay

These days, offering a diverse range of ways to pay isn’t simply a ‘nice to have.’

It’s a must-have. And, along with choosing the right web hosting provider and building your site with the most suitable platform, it’s one of the biggest website decisions you’ll make.

Consumers are more discerning now than ever. Many distrust the process of paying online; others just want the process to be as slick, seamless, and speedy as possible.

Your job? To ensure your customers can pay with multiple different payment methods, including:

  • Mobile wallets (such as Apple Pay and Google Pay)
  • Credit and debit cards
  • PayPal

Millennials, in particular, are fond of the convenience and ease mobile wallet payments offer. In the US, Gen Y leads the share of consumers making digital or mobile wallet payments (46%), according to Statista.

And, to target Gen Z, you can even offer your customers a ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ (BNPL) service. It’s big with that demographic – in the US, 55.1% of Gen Z consumers 14 years old and over will use a BNPL service at least once this year.

4. Strengthen Your CTAs – And Their Visibility

When it comes to maximizing conversions, compelling call-to-actions are a must.

So take the time to audit the content, placement, and design of your website’s current CTAs. Do they:

  • Start with command verbs that create excitement and engagement.?
  • Cultivate a sense of urgency?
  • Demonstrate the benefit to the customer if they choose to take action?

Remember, you’re optimizing your CTAs here for mobile devices. So think about your user, and how they’re interacting with your site. They’re already on their phone, after all – so how can you tap into that to improve your CTAs?

One tip is to use phone call-based CTAs. Instead of inviting someone to fill out a lengthy contact form, or get in touch via email – both trickier to do from a mobile phone, or while on the go – invite them to call to make an inquiry, instead.

Plus, CTAs aren’t just about the wording – what they say – but about how they look. So make sure they stand out from the rest of the page’s content (you want people to know they’re looking at a CTA, after all!). Harness the powerful simplicity of white space. And, if there’s a button, make sure it’s big, bold, and screams “click me!”

Summary

Mobile optimization won’t just improve the look, feel, and usability of your site. It’ll increase your conversion rates – and help you grow your business online, too.

So good luck, and have fun implementing these tips. Mobile optimization can be tricky and time-consuming. But the results will be worth it in the end – trust us!





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