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The Art and Science of PPC Account Structures

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The Art and Science of PPC Account Structures


With the rise of machine learning and the relentless march toward large-scale automation, digital marketers are now finding themselves in the middle of a perfect storm where they have less control over their campaigns, higher costs, and lousy results. 

To state the obvious, Google’s goals are not your goals.  

Source: Google

Over the last few years, Google introduced and pushed PPC automation while also removing many of the controls marketers typically used to prevent wasted spend. 

Here’s just a small list of what they’ve done:

  1. They killed off match types – As a result, keywords are no longer granular enough and Google’s understanding of “close” variants and “similar” intent fluctuates between terrible and horrific.
  2. They Added Audiences – Google has made significant efforts over the past few years to replace keywords as the primary PPC control lever; audiences (+ the derivatives thereof) have been the most successful of these so far.
  3. They introduced and pushed “smart” features – Google’s “optimization score” and “smart shopping campaigns” were the first major efforts; now, we have Performance MAX, the end of ETAs, and much more on the horizon. 
  4. They introduced auto-applied campaign changes – because who doesn’t want a Roomba running their account?
  5. They removed the majority of search term data – of course, the claim was that this was for “privacy”…but does anyone believe that? 

As a result, CPCs and CACs are spiking across the board and we’re left with the perfect recipe to waste a LOT of money.

The pace of change has left many PPCers wondering how to adapt to this brave new world, with a few approaches becoming more and more pervasive: 

  1. Lean Into The Automation – give the machines what they want – control and volume! Consolidate everything into a couple of campaigns, turn on Broad Match, and away we go. 
  2. Old School – focus on keeping granular control with a rigid, EM-based structure and negatives everywhere. 
  3. Shanty Town – some weird fusion of the two – where there are some EM campaigns, some full broad, maybe some audiences or DSAs sprinkled in…, and a heaping helping of confusion. 

Unfortunately, the automation approach will have you wasting money, the old school approach will have you going crazy trying to maintain control in the face of RSAs, bidding strategy, and match type changes, and the Shanty Town delivers the worst of both worlds. 

The only thing that HAS stayed the same is the desire to find the right account structure that balances scale with control, spending with results, and predictability with discovery. Too much to ask for? No! 

Source: Google

Six Things to Keep in Mind When Setting Up PPC Campaigns

Automation is here to stay. The increasing role of automation will have an impact on PPC account structures, and this isn’t good or bad – it just is. Our job as marketers is to set the machines up for success and defend against their flaws.

The structure is about people. Campaign structure is the “how” you connect your organization’s marketing to the people you want to target. Keep your audience in mind when you structure your PPC campaign and put yourself in the mind of the audience.

Better Data = Higher Probability of Good Outcomes. Don’t focus only on conversion data.  Make sure that each platform you use (not just Google, Microsoft, and Facebook) has the business and financial data it needs to maximize your chances of a good outcome. In short, efficiently leverage your data and help the machines be smarter!

Exclusions are more important than inclusions. Be liberal in your campaign exclusions to ensure machines focus on what you want (and don’t make bad inferences that blow your budget).

Be Machine Learning-friendly. Resist the urge to hyper-segment everything. Build a structure that is ML-friendly while still being sufficiently refined. You might end up with fewer ad groups, but that’s ok! 

Be brilliant at the basics. Do the little things extremely well – align your ads to the intent of the user, deliver a relevant message and have a delightful on-page experience. 

Want to learn more? I’ll be speaking at HeroConf London on July 18 at 10:15 am on the Main Stage. During my session, “The Art and Science of PPC Structures,” I’ll dive deep into the essential account and targeting structures and how they can be used to prevent automation from running wild.





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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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