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7 PPC Community & Google Team Insights

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7 PPC Community & Google Team Insights

Google has added many automated tools over the past years including Smart Bidding, Responsive Search Ads, and close variant keywords.

Performance Max campaigns are the latest addition to this increasing list of automated PPC tools.

And it might be the most revolutionary campaign type so far in Google Ads.

Performance Max campaigns let advertisers promote their products & services across all of Google’s advertising channels – YouTube, Display, Search, Discovery, Gmail, and Maps from a single campaign.

Traditionally, to run ads on all of Google’s networks, you needed different campaigns and creatives for each channel.

But Performance Max rolls all of that into one campaign, simplifying the effort to reach customers.

It’s a fairly new campaign type, so best practices are still evolving.

To help build more knowledge around this topic, I recently spoke to product team members at Google who built Performance Max. (You can watch the full PPC Town Hall episode below.)

From early best practices to their roadmap, they shared a great deal and even answered several questions I had collected from the PPC community.

Here are some takeaways about Performance Max campaigns.

1. Performance Max Takes Priority Over Other Shopping Campaign Types

If you’re running a Performance Max campaign alongside a shopping or a smart shopping campaign for the same product (or groups of products), the Performance Max campaign takes precedence.

That means the Performance Max campaign ads will show to users instead of the ads from the Smart Shopping Campaign.

This is similar to how Smart Shopping campaigns are prioritized over Standard Shopping campaigns when running simultaneously.

When Smart Shopping campaigns upgrade to Performance Max by the end of Q3 in 2022, they will continue to be given priority over standard shopping campaigns.

When you upgrade a smart shopping campaign to Performance Max, your ads will serve on other channels such as Search, Display, Discover, YouTube, and Gmail by default.

So when making the transition, you should definitely revisit and review your creative assets to make sure they are all set up correctly.

2. Upgrading Smart Shopping To Performance Max Doesn’t Mean You Have To Advertise On All Channels

If you’ve loved the convenience of Smart Shopping campaigns and don’t like the prospect of your ads serving in more places, you’re not required to add all assets to a Performance Max campaign.

If you connect your merchant feed but don’t provide any other assets such as a video, images, and text, your Performance Max campaign will only serve shopping ads.

Ginny Marvin, Google’s Ads Liaison said,

“For shopping, when you link a GMC feed to a Performance Max campaign, but add no other assets, the campaign will be eligible to serve Shopping formats across Search, Display, YouTube, and Gmail.”

This points to a broader tip: While there is no way to select which channels you want ads from Performance Max to appear on, you can achieve this to some extent by being selective about which assets you add to the campaign.

3. Keywords From Search Campaigns Take Priority Over Performance Max Targeting

While Performance Max cannibalizes traffic from shopping campaign types, it is intended to run alongside your existing search, display, and YouTube campaigns. They are designed to be less cannibalistic in those scenarios.

When running a search campaign alongside Performance Max, Google will first try to show ads from the search campaigns.

Ginny Marvin said,

“​If the keyword is identical to the query (or spell corrected), Search will be prioritized. Otherwise, prioritization is based on Ad Rank. The keyword must be eligible.”

The key here is about “eligibility.”

If an advertiser has tried a keyword without success and removed it or added it as a negative keyword in their search campaign, the Performance Max campaign may still decide to show an ad for it.

The search campaign wasn’t eligible to show an ad, so the Performance Max campaign filled in with incremental traffic.

Whether it decides to step in depends on whether it believes the incremental impressions can lead to the advertiser reaching their stated goal at the specified target.

And that leads to our next learning.

4. Reporting Accurate Conversion Data To Performance Max Yields Higher Quality Conversions

Google says that Performance Max is primarily a performance-driven campaign type with conversion goals as its target. Like all automation, it makes decisions informed by conversion data you feed into the system.

So when you set up a Performance Max campaign, make sure to report the kind of conversions that matter for your business.

Instead of calling a lead a conversion, consider only reporting a conversion when a lead is qualified or when it turns into a sale.

In the case of ecommerce, consider not just reporting sales but also using conversion adjustments to account for returns and repeat purchases that may affect the lifetime value of a new customer.

Google has recently introduced Enhanced Conversions for Leads which makes reporting high-quality conversion data easier than ever.

5. You Cannot Allocate Specific Budgets To Channels

In a Performance Max campaign, you cannot allocate budgets to specific channels yourself.

But Google’s machine learning takes care of that dynamically in real-time across all channels. It tries to optimize for your stated goal and prioritizes the channels that best help it achieve that goal.

According to Google, manually allocating budgets constrains Google’s ability to use its machine learning powers.

If you set monthly budgets manually across specific channels, you’re basically returning to regular search, display, and other campaigns that may be already running in your account.

But remember the trick about selectively submitting assets to a Performance Max campaign to control which channels it can show ads. This, along with running multiple Performance Max campaigns, can restore some control.

Ultimately, ask yourself why you want that control, though.

Andrew Lolk said in another PPC Town Hall episode that when advertisers demand control, they often really mean they want actionable insight.

Advertisers are happy when automation drives good results but get frustrated when they can’t explain those results to clients and offer strategic advice.

Google promises to build more insights for Performance Max campaigns.

6. You Can Optimize For Getting New Customers Using The New Customer Acquisition Feature

One complaint of another automated campaign type, Smart Shopping, was that it would sometimes prioritize remarketing and take credit for conversion from someone already in your pipeline, perhaps due to a non-PPC effort like SEO.

In these cases, the automated campaign may be overstating its own utility and do a poor job of growing a business with new customers.

You can avoid this by telling Google to focus on new customers and by sharing your first-party data about who your existing customers are.

And to help you with that, Google released a New Customer Acquisition goal beta through which you can optimize for new customer acquisition and maximize performance from that audience segment.

To get access now, you can reach out to your Google Ads representative or wait for the impending public launch of this new capability.

7. Account Level Negative Targeting Is Supported

While Google doesn’t want advertisers to micromanage targeting, Performance Max campaigns will respect account-level negative keywords and negative placements.

Some advertisers have said it can be beneficial to exclude undesirable geo locations or, at the very least, think very carefully about settings like whether you target physical locations or locations of interest.

Automation can make many guesses to find new pockets of conversions but waste a lot of money in the process.

When you have already tried certain keywords, placements, or geo targets and haven’t found them to work, use the exclusion capabilities to forbid the automation from testing these things again at your expense.

Conclusion

Performance Max campaigns show a lot of potential for advertisers, but they are radically different from the other campaign types we’re more familiar with in Google Ads.

A whole new set of best practices will evolve as more advertisers try this new campaign type.

But until then, we’re learning all we can by asking Google questions and listening to digital marketers who’ve already tried their hand at Performance Max.

Watch the full April 13, 2022, episode of PPC Town Hall for more:

More resources:


Featured Image: Sammby/Shutterstock

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8 Facebook Marketing Tips To Revitalize A Boring Page

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8 Facebook Marketing Tips To Revitalize A Boring Page

TikTok and Instagram may be taking their moment to shine, but Facebook is a social media platform your business simply can’t ignore.

Facebook’s monthly active users have continued to rise since its inception, with nearly 3 billion (2.96) monthly active users as of the third quarter of 2022.

It was also the most popular social network worldwide as of January 2022 when ranked by the number of monthly active users.

Knowing a substantial portion of your target audience likely uses Facebook regularly, it’s crucial as social media marketers to keep up with the Facebook marketing tips that can help you grow your business.

Your business is probably already leveraging Facebook to reach your target audience – and if you’re not, you’re missing out on valuable lead and conversion opportunities.

You’ve likely set up a Facebook Page to communicate with current and potential customers, share current updates, and build social proof.

But, is your Facebook Page optimized to engage your target audience? Have you invested ample time into ensuring you’re leveraging every form and field possible?

The good news is, starting from scratch is the most challenging part of getting your Facebook Page off the ground.

Since you’ve already done this, revitalizing your page is the easy part – and we’re here to help streamline the process even further.

This deep dive guide will succinctly outline what it takes to transform your Facebook Page from vapid to vivacious with the following eight marketing tips.

Read on to ensure you maximize the world’s most visited social media platform to your advantage.

1. Beyond The Facebook Page Basics

Your business can be found in many places online, from your Google Business Profile (GBP) to review sites and social platforms.

Potential customers should be able to find accurate information about your business anywhere they can find you. This includes your current physical address, website link, phone number, and more.

In fact, 20% of consumers are unlikely to visit a business with incorrect or missing listing information.

Ensuring all information on your Facebook page is up-to-date is a good place to start.

Next, it’s time for optimizations that go beyond the basics to help your Facebook Page stand out from your competition.

2. Leverage Facebook Pages’ Templates

Facebook offers numerous templates designed to enhance your Page and help customers find what they’re looking for.

There’s a standard template that you’ll most often see when visiting other businesses’ Facebook Pages.

But there are also templates that cater to different types of businesses, such as nonprofit organizations, restaurants, services, retailers, and more.

To find the template most applicable to your brand, once you’re on your Facebook Page, click on the More drop-down menu and select Edit Tabs.

In the template section, click the Edit button.

You’ll then see a list of available templates. Select the template that is most relevant to your business category.

Screenshot from Facebook, December 2022Facebook Page template example

For example, if you’re a service business and you select the service template, you’re able to clearly showcase the services you offer to customers, along with reviews and offers.

3. Use An Attractive Cover Photo

Visual content has the power to capture attention and increase conversions.

According to Google, businesses that add photos to their Business Profiles receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.

Your cover photo is the first element that will draw people’s attention. It can be the make-or-break point, helping people decide to scroll down to learn more about your business.

Pick a photo that aligns with your branding but captures your audience’s attention.

Use a real photo or an illustration that showcases your brand’s style in terms of colors, mission statement, and values – and be sure to avoid stock imagery.

Stock photos fail to convey a visual representation of your brand and, in turn, can make your brand feel less authentic.

When selecting your cover image, Facebook recommends it:

  • Left aligns with a full bleed and a 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • Must be at least 400 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall.
  • Loads fastest as an sRGB JPG file that’s 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall, and less than 100 kilobytes.

4. Choose A Professional Profile Picture

Your profile picture, while not as prominent as your cover photo, appears prominently at the top of your Facebook Page.

It also appears as your avatar on all posts and photos you publish on Facebook (on your page and others).

This photo should represent your brand effectively any time someone sees it.

For most businesses, using your company logo is typically common practice, as customers may already be familiar with it, and associate it with your business.

8 Facebook Marketing Tips To Revitalize A Boring PageScreenshot from Facebook, December 20228 Facebook Marketing Tips To Revitalize A Boring Page

It should be easy for someone to discern which brand they’re engaging with when they see your Facebook Page.

Your profile image displays at 176×176 pixels on your Facebook Page on computers, 196×196 pixels on smartphones, and 36×36 pixels on most feature phones.

Ensure your profile image is clear by following the aforementioned sizing guidelines and using a high-resolution image.

5. Create Content That Resonates With Your Target Audience

Your Facebook Page should be a one-stop shop for your audience.

It’s an opportunity to learn more about your business, read reviews from loyal customers, and consume relevant content.

So, create quality content that resonates with your wider audience.

You may also want to incorporate a mixture of different types of posts – such as video posts when you have impactful customer testimonials to share, or high-quality photos when you’re launching a new product.

No matter the type of content you choose to share, make sure that it is relevant and impactful to your readers. For example, if your wider audience is Gen Z, video content may be the way to go.

When creating content, ask yourself: will this post add value, or am I trying to reach a quota? If your answer is the latter, you may need to revise your Facebook content marketing strategy.

Consider your post timing, too.

In the past, mid-morning posts drove the most engagement, as people often use the app on their commutes to school or work. However, posting during the early morning hours has now taken the lead.

Post timing also varies by industry, so find the best time to reach your customer base.

6. Create An Incentive For Following Your Facebook Page

Deals and discounts play a significant role in consumers’ purchasing decisions.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Americans say offers are a top factor when deciding where and what to buy online. Deals are so important that 48% of Americans said they will avoid brands that do not provide offers.

Your Facebook Page enables your business to promote offers for free.

These offers can be:

  • Percentage-off.
  • Dollar-off.
  • Free product or service.
  • Free shipping.
  • Custom offer of your choice.

Create an offer that is unique for your Facebook followers. This incentivizes them to follow you and engage with your posts.

These offers can change and vary. We advise that you keep your offers fresh and switch them periodically to encourage your audience to continue to follow your page.

Facebook marketing tips, creating a new Facebook offer exampleScreenshot from Facebook, December 2022Facebook marketing tips, creating a new Facebook offer example

Respond To Customer Feedback

One of the most fundamental Facebook marketing tips (and digital marketing tips in general) is to respond to all customer feedback whenever possible.

This includes any time customers reach out via Facebook Messenger, during a Facebook Live, when they leave a review on your Facebook Page, or when they reply to your Facebook Stories.

Being proactive with your responses, whether the customer leaves negative or positive feedback, shows your brand cares about its customers.

Your response time matters, too.

According to ReviewTrackers, 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week, but 1 in 3 expect a response within 3 days or less.

Ensure you have a reputation management strategy and team in place to triage responses. Set standards and expectations with your team when it comes to reviewing responses.

Creating response templates is a good way to quickly and efficiently respond to customer reviews across multiple platforms.

7. Use Every Character In Your Page’s Description

Your Facebook page allows you 255 characters to describe your business.

Use every character possible to share what you do, what you sell, and why it matters. Use original content relevant to your business when drafting your description.

You’ll also want to add complete information for your:

  • Your business contact details (phone number, address, and email).
  • Business categories.
  • Website.
  • Social media accounts.
  • Hours.
  • Price range.

8. Add A CTA

Allow your customers to quickly perform the call to action (CTA) of your choice.

This button appears beneath your cover image and to the right of your profile image. You can choose from a variety of CTA options, including:

  • Follow.
  • View gift card.
  • Start order.
  • Book now.
  • Call now.
  • Contact us.
  • Send message.
  • Send email.
  • Learn more.
  • And more.

For example, a restaurant brand would benefit from adding a Start order CTA.

This eliminates friction in the consumer’s path to purchase, allowing them to start the order right from your Facebook Page, rather than navigating to your website or a third-party food delivery app.

Keep a pulse on your engagement metrics to see if the CTA you’ve selected is driving measurable results. If it’s not, consider adding a different CTA to see if your audience engages better with alternative messaging.

To find your engagement metrics, click on the Insights button in the menu.

Facebook Insights offer a wealth of information from likes, story reach, actions on the page, post engagement rates, how different types of content are performing, and much more.

Check these insights often to better guide your Facebook marketing strategy.

Facebook CTA exampleScreenshot from Facebook, December 2022Facebook CTA example

Concluding Thoughts

As you can see, updating and optimizing your Facebook Page doesn’t take much effort.

Instead, it requires continuously keeping up with your social media marketing strategy and leveraging the tools and features available to you.

Following these Facebook marketing tips is a good place to start.

To keep up with Facebook’s evolving functionality, do a quick audit every quarter to see what’s new and available to you.

This ensures your business is taking full advantage of your Facebook Page’s capabilities and staying one step ahead of your competition.

More resources: 


Featured Image: Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock

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