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6 Remarketing Campaign Mistakes You Must Avoid

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6 Remarketing Campaign Mistakes You Must Avoid

Alongside any PPC effort, it is worth setting up a companion remarketing campaign.

Too often, campaigns target all users with the same ads and the same bids – users who are seeing your ads for the first time and those who have seen them before, or those who have already visited your site through another channel.

However, segmenting an effort into net new users and a remarketing audience will drive better results through a more granular approach.

Improve your PPC campaign performance and boost your conversion rates through remarketing efforts such as RLSA .

However, as you do so, be mindful of these six considerations to avoid common pitfalls.

1. Seek Scale

Don’t assume that there is a large retargetable audience.

Use your site analytics data from other channels to gauge how many monthly repeat visitors exist overall and by business unit or product to allow forecasting available remarketable traffic by your paid search campaigns.

As with any marketing initiative, scale is key.

In some cases, you may find that remarketing volume is actually small.

Thus, if within the typical 30-day window the audience size is small, consider going further out to 60 or even 90 days.

While 1,000 users have been the minimum list size in Google Ads, based on your typical click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate (CVR) you may need a higher threshold.

For example, if you typically see a 5% CTR and a 2% CVR, 1,000 impressions will, unfortunately, produce just 0.5 conversions.

A million impressions are needed for this situation to gather 10 conversions, a level when things still aren’t that impactful but can get interesting.

2. Don’t Just Sell – Cross-Sell & Upsell

A common assumption is that someone who did not transact may need an extra incentive in the form of repeated and/or more compelling messaging. That may be so.

However, in many cases, they really did gather all the details and decided they did not need what they thought they did.

Many users in their discovery phase are not only researching potential solutions but also reconfirming that the problem they are looking to solve is indeed the right problem to be solving.

When setting up remarketing, test both a sell message and a cross-sell or upsell message.

Give users more reasons to keep you in mind, particularly if your site offers products that are common supplements or complements.

The sell message entails saying the same thing users heard before in a different way: with a more direct call to action and/or an exclusive, one-time offer.

A cross-sell would promote related offerings, while upsell can encourage users to consider a more elaborate offering. They may not end up purchasing this higher-end alternative, but the latter can indirectly highlight the value of the initial option that was considered.

3. Think To Exclude

Sounds obvious? Users who just purchased your product or service would not want to do so again right away. Then again, we have all seen companies retarget us with something we just bought.

Generally, for most B2C campaigns, converters from the last seven to 14 days can be safely excluded from all campaigns except for those with cross-sell goals.

For the best experience, consider the consumption time of your service. The delay before transacting again will vary by product category.

Aspects like seasonality, location of the target, and target ROI will further affect desired frequency for targeting repeat users.

For example, someone booking a summer vacation may not purchase again from you until many months later. One could argue that a person’s planning and consideration will begin sooner.

However, media bought too early on may result in lots of incremental costs reducing your target ROI.

With that, if aiming to motivate past converters to buy more of the same from you, it often makes sense to wait a while before retargeting them.

Cross-selling, on the other hand, can be done immediately after a transaction is made, but also needs careful management to not go on for too long.

Establish a cut-off threshold particularly when a product’s usage makes add-ons irrelevant.

For instance, upselling a traveler on a car rental or room upgrade makes little sense after a vacation has begun. A month or so into a cell phone plan purchase, a converter is unlikely to want upgrades to more extensive plans.

4. Go Long

Remarketing is often thought of as a short-term tactic for shopping cart abandoners or recent site visitors.

However, it is possible to remarket to users who have last visited the site as long as a year ago.

In the drive for new customer acquisition, loyalty nurturing is often overlooked.

Consider consumption patterns and seasonality as you do that.

If someone booked a spring break getaway with you, when is the next time they will start planning one? What is the renewal cycle of the software you provide?

5. Synergies With Other Channels

Remarketing on search, by default, will remarket all users who have been to your site.

In other words, you will target people who have been to your site through other channels – after seeing display ads, interacting on social media, coming from email blasts, etc. – as well as organic search and direct visits.

Consider what messages people have seen and build on them.

If you are feeling particularly advanced (and scale supports it), create remarketing campaigns by channel or sets of channels.

6. Extra Budget Not Required

This will make many CMOs happy. At the start, you won’t need an extra budget for remarketing.

Remember, this is all about targeting people already captured by your current campaigns. Just isolating those repeat searchers and creating new experiences for them.

However, these are the same users you have already been targeting.

Of course, you would want to seek out these users more aggressively and send bid modifiers for these audiences.

That said, unless your remarketing audiences are large and/or you expect CTR to substantially grow, the budget should not need to jump.

An extra budget for remarketing is nice, but in the short run, it is not a requirement. Definitely not to set up some initial tests.

Takeaway

With the looming cookie deprecation, there has been a growing emphasis on first-party data, and remarketing efforts align well with this new direction.

Remarketing solutions align well with supporting first-party data initiatives.

Whether it is using emails to build an audience or using forms to capture user details on the landing page at the start of the conversion journey, structure your remarketing efforts to win twice: First, strive to improve your conversion, then drive synergy with efforts to capture first-party data.


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Why Now’s The Time To Adopt Schema Markup

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Why Now's The Time To Adopt Schema Markup

There is no better time for organizations to prioritize Schema Markup.

Why is that so, you might ask?

First of all, Schema Markup (aka structured data) is not new.

Google has been awarding sites that implement structured data with rich results. If you haven’t taken advantage of rich results in search, it’s time to gain a higher click-through rate from these visual features in search.

Secondly, now that search is primarily driven by AI, helping search engines understand your content is more important than ever.

Schema Markup allows your organization to clearly articulate what your content means and how it relates to other things on your website.

The final reason to adopt Schema Markup is that, when done correctly, you can build a content knowledge graph, which is a critical enabler in the age of generative AI. Let’s dig in.

Schema Markup For Rich Results

Schema.org has been around since 2011. Back then, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex worked together to create the standardized Schema.org vocabulary to enable website owners to translate their content to be understood by search engines.

Since then, Google has incentivized websites to implement Schema Markup by awarding rich results to websites with certain types of markup and eligible content.

Websites that achieve these rich results tend to see higher click-through rates from the search engine results page.

In fact, Schema Markup is one of the most well-documented SEO tactics that Google tells you to do. With so many things in SEO that are backward-engineered, this one is straightforward and highly recommended.

You might have delayed implementing Schema Markup due to the lack of applicable rich results for your website. That might have been true at one point, but I’ve been doing Schema Markup since 2013, and the number of rich results available is growing.

Even though Google deprecated how-to rich results and changed the eligibility of FAQ rich results in August 2023, it introduced six new rich results in the months following – the most new rich results introduced in a year!

These rich results include vehicle listing, course info, profile page, discussion forum, organization, vacation rental, and product variants.

There are now 35 rich results that you can use to stand out in search, and they apply to a wide range of industries such as healthcare, finance, and tech.

Here are some widely applicable rich results you should consider utilizing:

  • Breadcrumb.
  • Product.
  • Reviews.
  • JobPosting.
  • Video.
  • Profile Page.
  • Organization.

With so many opportunities to take control of how you appear in search, it’s surprising that more websites haven’t adopted it.

A statistic from Web Data Commons’ October 2023 Extractions Report showed that only 50% of pages had structured data.

Of the pages with JSON-LD markup, these were the top types of entities found.

  • http://schema.org/ListItem (2,341,592,788 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/ImageObject (1,429,942,067 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/Organization (907,701,098 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/BreadcrumbList (817,464,472 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/WebSite (712,198,821 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/WebPage (691,208,528 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/Offer (623,956,111 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/SearchAction (614,892,152 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/Person (582,460,344 Entities)
  • http://schema.org/EntryPoint (502,883,892 Entities)

(Source: October 2023 Web Data Commons Report)

Most of the types on the list are related to the rich results mentioned above.

For example, ListItem and BreadcrumbList are required for the Breadcrumb Rich Result, SearchAction is required for Sitelink Search Box, and Offer is required for the Product Rich Result.

This tells us that most websites are using Schema Markup for rich results.

Even though these Schema.org types can help your site achieve rich results and stand out in search, they don’t necessarily tell search engines what each page is about in detail and help your site be more semantic.

Help AI Search Engines Understand Your Content

Have you ever seen your competitor’s sites using specific Schema.org Types that are not found in Google’s structured data documentation (i.e. MedicalClinic, IndividualPhysician, Service, etc)?

The Schema.org vocabulary has over 800 types and properties to help websites explain what the page is about. However, Google’s structured data features only require a small subset of these properties for websites to be eligible for a rich result.

Many websites that solely implement Schema Markup to get rich results tend to be less descriptive with their Schema Markup.

AI search engines now look at the meaning and intent behind your content to provide users with more relevant search results.

Therefore, organizations that want to stay ahead should use more specific Schema.org types and leverage appropriate properties to help search engines better understand and contextualize their content. You can be descriptive with your content while still achieving rich results.

For example, each type (e.g. Article, Person, etc.) in the Schema.org vocabulary has 40 or more properties to describe the entity.

The properties are there to help you fully describe what the page is about and how it relates to other things on your website and the web. In essence, it’s asking you to describe the entity or topic of the page semantically.

The word ‘semantic’ is about understanding the meaning of language.

Note that the word “understanding” is part of the definition. Funny enough, in October 2023, John Mueller at Google released a Search Update video. In this six-minute video, he leads with an update on Schema Markup.

For the first time, Mueller described Schema Markup as “a code you can add to your web pages, which search engines can use to better understand the content. ”

While Mueller has historically spoken a lot about Schema Markup, he typically talked about it in the context of rich result eligibility. So, why the change?

This shift in thinking about Schema Markup for enhanced search engine understanding makes sense. With AI’s growing role and influence in search, we need to make it easy for search engines to consume and understand the content.

Take Control Of AI By Shaping Your Data With Schema Markup

Now, if being understood and standing out in search is not a good enough reason to get started, then doing it to help your enterprise take control of your content and prepare it for artificial intelligence is.

In February 2024, Gartner published a report on “30 Emerging Technologies That Will Guide Your Business Decisions,”  highlighting generative AI and knowledge graphs as critical emerging technologies companies should invest in within the next 0-1 years.

Knowledge graphs are collections of relationships between entities defined using a standardized vocabulary that enables new knowledge to be gained by way of inferencing.

Good news! When you implement Schema Markup to define and connect the entities on your site, you are creating a content knowledge graph for your organization.

Thus, your organization gains a critical enabler for generative AI adoption while reaping its SEO benefits.

Learn more about building content knowledge graphs in my article, Extending Your Schema Markup From Rich Results to Knowledge Graphs.

We can also look at other experts in the knowledge graph field to understand the urgency of implementing Schema Markup.

In his LinkedIn post, Tony Seale, Knowledge Graph Architect at UBS in the UK, said,

“AI does not need to happen to you; organizations can shape AI by shaping their data.

It is a choice: We can allow all data to be absorbed into huge ‘data gravity wells’ or we can create a network of networks, each of us connecting and consolidating our data.”

The “networks of networks” Seale refers to is the concept of knowledge graphs – the same knowledge graph that can be built from your web data using semantic Schema Markup.”

The AI revolution has only just begun, and there is no better time than now to shape your data, starting with your web content through the implementation of Schema Markup.

Use Schema Markup As The Catalyst For AI

In today’s digital landscape, organizations must invest in new technology to keep pace with the evolution of AI and search.

Whether your goal is to stand out on the SERP or ensure your content is understood as intended by Google and other search engines, the time to implement Schema Markup is now.

With Schema Markup, SEO pros can become heroes, enabling generative AI adoption through content knowledge graphs while delivering tangible benefits, such as increased click-through rates and improved search visibility.

More resources: 


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Google Quietly Ends Covid-Era Rich Results

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Google Quietly Ends Covid-Era Rich Results

Google removed the Covid-era structured data associated with the Home Activities rich results that allowed online events to be surfaced in search since August 2020, publishing a mention of the removal in the search documentation changelog.

Home Activities Rich Results

The structured data for the Home Activities rich results allowed providers of online livestreams, pre-recorded events and online events to be findable in Google Search.

The original documentation has been completely removed from the Google Search Central webpages and now redirects to a changelog notation that explains that the Home Activity rich results is no longer available for display.

The original purpose was to allow people to discover things to do from home while in quarantine, particularly online classes and events. Google’s rich results surfaced details of how to watch, description of the activities and registration information.

Providers of online events were required to use Event or Video structured data. Publishers and businesses who have this kind of structured data should be aware that this kind of rich result is no longer surfaced but it’s not necessary to remove the structured data if it’s a burden, it’s not going to hurt anything to publish structured data that isn’t used for rich results.

The changelog for Google’s official documentation explains:

“Removing home activity documentation
What: Removed documentation on home activity structured data.

Why: The home activity feature no longer appears in Google Search results.”

Read more about Google’s Home Activities rich results:

Google Announces Home Activities Rich Results

Read the Wayback Machine’s archive of Google’s original announcement from 2020:

Home activities

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Google’s Gary Illyes: Lastmod Signal Is Binary

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Google's Gary Illyes: Lastmod Signal Is Binary

In a recent LinkedIn discussion, Gary Illyes, Analyst at Google, revealed that the search engine takes a binary approach when assessing a website’s lastmod signal from sitemaps.

The revelation came as Illyes encouraged website owners to upgrade to WordPress 6.5, which now natively supports the lastmod element in sitemaps.

When Mark Williams-Cook asked if Google has a “reputation system” to gauge how much to trust a site’s reported lastmod dates, Illyes stated, “It’s binary: we either trust it or we don’t.”

No Shades Of Gray For Lastmod

The lastmod tag indicates the date of the most recent significant update to a webpage, helping search engines prioritize crawling and indexing.

Illyes’ response suggests Google doesn’t factor in a website’s history or gradually build trust in the lastmod values being reported.

Google either accepts the lastmod dates provided in a site’s sitemap as accurate, or it disregards them.

This binary approach reinforces the need to implement the lastmod tag correctly and only specify dates when making meaningful changes.

Illyes commends the WordPress developer community for their work on version 6.5, which automatically populates the lastmod field without extra configuration.

Accurate Lastmod Essential For Crawl Prioritization

While convenient for WordPress users, the native lastmod support is only beneficial if Google trusts you’re using it correctly.

Inaccurate lastmod tags could lead to Google ignoring the signal when scheduling crawls.

With Illyes confirming Google’s stance, it shows there’s no room for error when using this tag.

Why SEJ Cares

Understanding how Google acts on lastmod can help ensure Google displays new publish dates in search results when you update your content.

It’s an all-or-nothing situation – if the dates are deemed untrustworthy, the signal could be disregarded sitewide.

With the information revealed by Illyes, you can ensure your implementation follows best practices to the letter.


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