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Why you Should be Using the Google Tag Manager

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Why you Should be Using the Google Tag Manager


This year we will be celebrating ten years since the launch of Google Tag Manager (GTM), a tool that many readers here will be familiar with and have benefited from over the last decade.

I firmly believe that gaining basic, practical knowledge of GTM will make any performance marketer better at their job. If you’re new to the industry or haven’t gotten around to exploring GTM, this article will explain why it should be firmly on your to-do list.

Get Behind Your Numbers

It’s highly likely that working in paid media you are accountable for a specific set of results and figures. 

When inheriting a new account, you do have a couple of choices when it comes to the data; take numbers for what they are or dive into the setup to identify EXACTLY what is firing those numbers and validate what you are seeing.

Clearly, the second option here is going to put you at a major advantage with a deeper understanding of the account you are about to take on.

If you’re diving into a GTM container for the first time, once you’ve looked at the tags (the ‘things’ you are tracking), the next part to get your head around are the triggers (these tell GTM when to fire your tags):

Source: J Quinton

Taking a standard eCommerce Facebook pixel implementation as an example, even a basic understanding of GTM will enable you to see the triggers that fire your pixel events. If you sense the numbers are not tracking correctly, you then have an excellent starting point to diagnose the issue and find the fix.

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See Events Fire With Your Own Eyes

If you’re aiming for a punchy goal, the last thing you will want is to get to the end of your campaign and realize your tracking was missing data. 

To avoid this, going into GTM debug mode (also known as ‘preview mode’) will allow you to walk through the purchase journey, test different routes through the site and see precisely when your conversions fire. This might sound obvious, but seeing your events fire with your own eyes gives you 100% confidence in the data. That’s a good place to be!

Source: J Quinton

As you can see from the screenshot above, debug mode gives you a list of actions that you’ve taken on the website. 

You can then click on those stages and delve into the tags that have fired / not fired, any variables (AKA information being collected in GTM), and the dataLayer at each stage of the journey.

Find New Opportunities

Going through the process above not only allows you to validate your tracking, but the process may also spark new ideas for conversions to track or, data you can collect from your website.

The key to this is the dataLayer. For those that are not aware of the dataLayer, essentially it’s a JavaScript object on a website that passes specific information, making that information available to GTM. 

In the screenshot below, you can see a sample of a dataLayer viewed in the source code of a popular UK eCommerce site:

Source: J Quinton

This particular example was taken from a product detail page, with the portion of dataLayer in the screenshot passing specific product information. 

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If you want to have a snoop around and find out what other websites may or may not be sending in their dataLayer, the dayaslayer plugin is an excellent tool to get a more digestible view.

Taking the same product detail page as per the example above, things become far easier to understand:

Source: J Quinton

Customized Tracking, At Speed

Occasionally you might find yourself running a campaign where a new objective is suddenly thrown into the mix. This means you are going to need some new tracking set up ASAP.

Again, taking Facebook pixel events as an example, setting up custom tracking is super fast to do in GTM. Below you can see a custom event I set up to monitor clicks from our podcast pages off to Spotify:

Source: J Quinton

All I’ve done here is use ‘trackCustom,’ named the event ‘Spotify Click’ and, added the event via a custom html tag. 

I’ve then set the trigger to fire the tag when a link click URL contains open.spotify.com:

Source: J Quinton

Not only is this a simple and fast process, but it’s also immensely satisfying doing it yourself!

It’s Easy

If you’re looking for a low effort, high reward activity then getting going with Google Tag Manager has to be high up on your list.

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You can take things as far as you want to go, but not for a huge time investment you’ll be able to review campaign tracking and debug common issues. It really doesn’t take long to get started and if you’ve got even the slightest of nerd tendencies, the chances are you’ll love it.

Want to know some places to go and learn? My key two recommendations would be the Measure School YouTube Channel and Simo Ahava’s blog.

You can also check out a recent episode of our very own Marketing Freaks podcast where we discuss the ins and outs of getting started with Google Tag Manager:

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Final thoughts

If you’re keen and GTM sounds interesting then check the resources out above and get started! 

You can also learn more about Google Tag Manager and performance marketing in my session at Hero Conf. London next month. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there!

You absolutely will not regret diving into GTM and it will 100% help you within your job as a performance marketer!





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Tips to Boost Your PPC Campaigns in 2022

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Tips to Boost Your PPC Campaigns in 2022


Digital marketing and advertising are always evolving with the new online trends, customer behavior, and industry demands. That means that marketing and advertising strategies should never be set in stone, rather, you should always make sure that your strategies and tactics are evolving as a result.

And that’s where marketers and business leaders make their first mistake. To craft the perfect PPC marketing plan, you need to keep your plan flexible and scalable. This will help you adapt your approach, expand different elements of your strategy, and boost your results in a competitive industry.

That’s exactly what we are going to talk about today – keyword and landing page expansion and how these tactics can help you boost your PPC campaigns in 2022 and beyond. Here’s what you need to know.

What is Keyword Expansion and Why is it Important?

In the competitive SMB market, companies need to continuously add value to their marketing and advertising efforts to build their competitive edge, and that means adding relevant keywords to your list. Keywords are not just important for your overall marketing efforts – they are instrumental to a proper landing page and PPC optimization.

If you have a plumbing company, for example, then you should know that localized keywords are the basis of marketing for plumbers because they allow you to build your visibility online. What you might not have known is that expanding your keywords can boost your advertising and landing page performance, as well.

The same goes for any local or global business, as adding new keywords will allow you to expand the reach and visibility of your ads, but also the reach and relevance of your landing pages. This brings us to the next important question.

What is Landing Page Expansion?

Landing page expansion is the idea of adding value to your landing pages through better and more relevant keyword implementation, as well as overall landing page optimization in terms of user intent, visual upgrades and performance improvements, mobile optimization, and more.

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Expanding your landing pages is one of the best ways to boost brand visibility and the performance of your ads, which lead to your landing pages. After all, your ad can only be as effective as your landing page.

That’s why you should continuously expand your landing pages to justify the ad spend and to help your PPC campaigns produce positive results over the long term. Now that you know what keyword and landing page expansion is, let’s go over some of the best practices you can use.

Top Ways to Find More Relevant Keywords

Regularly finding new keywords for your PPC ad copy and your landing pages is an essential step toward building long-lasting, fruitful advertising campaigns. After all, keyword research and implementation is not a one-time thing, and it requires constant investment if you want to stay ahead of the competition.

With that in mind, here’s how you can find more relevant keywords:

  • Use the Google Keyword Planner
  • Google new relevant phrases
  • Identify and use keyword synonyms
  • Use dedicated tools like BuzzSumo and Ahrefs
  • Consider YouTube SEO and look for keywords in video titles and descriptions
  • Go through your competitors’ landing pages
  • Go through your competitors’ ad copy
  • Go through your competitors’ blog content
  • Consider leveraging dynamic search ads
  • Go to Quora and forums to find long-tail keywords
  • When in doubt, check Reddit for keyword ideas

These are some of the safest ways to find new keyword ideas to add to your ad copy and landing pages. However, make sure to analyze every new search term you come across and its potential and relevance for your business.

You should also keep misspelled phrases in mind, which we’ll talk about in a moment. 

Optimizing Landing Pages for Better Ad Performance

Landing page optimization should be a continuous process, especially if you want to justify your ad spend and make your PPC campaigns produce a positive ROI. While the ad itself is the first point of contact, it will be the landing page that will engage and convert visitors into paying customers. That said, you also want your landing pages to be visible in search in order to boost brand visibility and reach.

The definition of a landing page is that it is a separate web page created for marketing and advertising purposes, but to generate the desired results, you need to optimize it by:

  • Adding a clear value proposition
  • Adding calls to action throughout
  • Structuring your content
  • Complementing content with visuals
  • Optimizing your above-the-fold content
  • Reducing customer effort
  • Optimizing your headings and subheadings
  • Adding user-generated content

And of course, you need to optimize your landing pages by adding new keywords, removing underperforming ones, and monitoring their performance.

Implementing Misspelled Keywords

One of the best ways to improve your advertising efforts and add relevant search terms to your list is to add misspelled keywords. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but there is no denying that people tend to misspell the terms they’re searching for – terms you want to use to boost your ad and landing page visibility.

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People tend to misspell concepts and phrases they don’t understand well. For example, people don’t understand the metaverse, or concepts like the metaverse VR, metaverse real estate, and so on. But that goes for all new, high-tech terms, which tend to produce a lot of misspelled keyword phrases.

The second reason that misspelling occurs is that people tend to be bad at brand retention. If people are misspelling your brand slightly, then you can use those keywords to help Google rank you higher for that term.

Don’t go overboard, however, and only use misspelled search terms as a way to expand your keywords and landing pages.

Wrapping Up

Keyword and landing page expansion, when done correctly, can help you scale your PPC campaigns, adapt to new trends, and reel in more customers. Through meticulous landing page optimization and the implementation of new keywords, you’re able to save your marketing and advertising dollars, which will allow you to better allocate your resources to other complementary campaigns.





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