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How To Launch Your First Google Ads Remarketing Campaign

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How To Launch Your First Google Ads Remarketing Campaign

Remarketing is an essential part of any Google Ads strategy.

It’s no longer a question of if you should run remarketing campaigns; it’s how you should run remarketing campaigns.

With more devices in households than ever, remarketing is imperative to recapture and engage your audience for a second (or third or fourth) chance at their attention.

To launch an effective Google Ads remarketing campaign, it’s crucial you master the setup.

This guide will help you cover not only the basics of setting up a remarketing campaign but also advanced tips and tricks to get the most out of your marketing dollars.

1. Ensure Proper Tagging Is In Place

For remarketing to serve impressions, it is vital that the proper tracking is on a website.

Most websites will use either Google Analytics or Google Ads tracking, I recommend having both sources as options.

Google Ads Tag

If your Google Ads account starts from scratch, a Google Tag must be implemented.

To find this specific to your account, navigate to Tools & Settings > Setup > Google tag.

Screenshot from Google Ads, August 2022
Ensure Proper Tagging Is In PlaceScreenshot from Google Ads, August 2022

If you’re used to the “Global Site Tag” name, it is now named the Google tag.

Google now offers installation configuration with any of these website builders:

  • Drupal.
  • Duda.
  • MonsterInsights.
  • Typo3.
  • Wix.

If you are manually installing the tag, it must be placed immediately after the <head> tag of every page of your website.

Lastly, if you have Google Tag Manager, you can install the necessary code in your website container.

Google Analytics Tag

Google Analytics tracking is required before being able to create any remarketing list within the platform.

To find the tracking code, navigate to Admin > Property View > Tracking Info > Tracking Code.

Google Analytics tracking is required before being able to create any remarketing list within the platform.Screenshot from Google Analytics, August 2022

Checking For Tag Implementation

The easiest way to check if tags have been implemented properly is to download the “Tag Assistant for Conversions” beta extension in a Chrome browser.

Navigate to your website and run the Tag Assistant. If implemented correctly, the results should look similar to this.

The green check mark means that there are no issues identified with the tag setup.

How To Launch Your First Google Ads Remarketing Campaign

2. Create Intentional Remarketing Lists

Once you have ensured tracking is in place, it’s time to create intentional remarketing lists.

The intention is extremely important when crafting remarketing audiences.

If you simply targeted “All Visitors” to your website, you’re missing out on so many opportunities.

Google Analytics and Google Ads provide many options to segment your site viewers as granularly as you want.

Keep in mind that a list that is too narrow will have difficulty serving.

The key is to find a balance between audience size and their intent.

Google Analytics Lists

I prefer to create remarketing ads in Google Analytics (or GA4 if you’re already using it).

Because there is onsite behavior data to layer onto lists, it gives more options to qualify that audience.

To create an audience in Google Analytics 4, navigate to Configure > Audience Definitions.

Note: This is assuming that a user has already linked the proper Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts for data sharing.

Google Analytics ListsScreenshot from Google Analytics, August 2022

Now, it’s time to get creative.

The key is to create multiple remarketing lists based on the categorization of your website.

A few starter ideas to consider when creating a remarketing list portfolio:

  • Category page viewers.
  • Purchasers/Leads (to exclude in campaigns).
  • All Qualified site traffic (determined by time on site, whatever amount is considered above average for your business).
  • Quality Blog Viewers (determined by time on site, whatever amount is considered above average for your business).
  • Cart Viewers.

In this example, I want to create a remarketing list of anyone who visited a specific landing page and watched at least 50% of the video on that page.

The two key pieces of information to input would be “page” AND “video percent” (not “OR”).

The two key pieces of information to input would be “page” AND “video percent” (not “OR”).Screenshot from Google Analytics, August 2022

Once completed, don’t forget to choose your audience destinations.

Always be sure to choose the Google Ads account for the list to import.

By doing so, the list can be used for Remarketing campaign purposes.

Google Ads Lists

To create lists in Google Ads, navigate to Tools & Settings > Audience Manager > Segments.

Google Ads ListsScreenshot from Google Ads, August 2022

There are five different types of remarketing lists available to create:

  • Website Visitors.
  • App users.
  • YouTube users.
  • Customer list.
  • Custom combinations.

This article gives a more in-depth breakdown of how to create effective YouTube remarketing lists.

Depending on the goal, create your necessary remarketing lists and choose a list duration. The maximum duration a user can stay in a list is 540 days.

The benefit of Google Ads remarketing lists is that they give the option of pre-populating the list with users in the past 30 days. Google Analytics does not offer retroactive audience filling.

3. Determine Proper Assets

The most popular remarketing campaign type is within the Google Display Network (GDN). However, there are Remarketing Search campaigns as well.

Before creating the proper assets, ask these questions first:

  • What is the user being asked to do?
  • What should the message consist of?
  • Does the landing page experience match the ad messaging?

There are key components to consider when creating remarketing assets. Below are some of them:

  • Static image formats
  • Responsive image formats
  • Headlines and descriptions (if using responsive format)
  • Landing page experience

The full list of uploaded display ad specifications for Google Ads can be found here.

It is important to note that if using the Responsive Ad format, images must be ratio based and are not the same as static image requirements.

4. Create A Remarketing Campaign

Remarketing campaigns can be built in either the Google Ads interface or Google Ads Editor.

Start with the campaign name, budget, and settings. If you’re creating multiple remarketing campaigns, keep track by putting the audience name in the campaign.

The campaign settings can make or break performance. When they are not properly managed or maintained, expect some volatility in performance. These include:

  • “Observation vs. Target” setting.
  • Bid Strategy setting.
  • Targeting Expansion setting.
  • Location setting.
  • Frequency Cap setting.

When adding audiences to a remarketing campaign, choose the “Targeting” setting instead of “Observation.”

By keeping it in “Observation” mode, audience targeting is not narrowed at all.

By keeping it in Screenshot from Google Ads, August 2022

When selecting a bid strategy, be sure to select one based on your goals.

For example, if you are to use “Target CPA” and set the bid too low, Google will throttle impressions, and the campaign will be at risk to serve.

Lastly, be competitive with bids because the targeted audiences have already been introduced to your brand.

The next setting, “Optimized targeting,” is one that Google has conveniently hidden within the Ad Group settings.

Always keep this off in a remarketing campaign.

If you went through the trouble of creating a targeted list, why on earth would Google want us to expand to lookalike users in the same campaign?

Always keep this off in a remarketing campaign.Screenshot from Google Ads, August 2022

The default setting is “People in, or who show interest, in your targeted locations.”

While this is the recommended setting according to Google, I recommend changing it to “in or regularly in targeted location.”

By changing it to the middle selection below, it allows for narrower targeting.

By changing it to the middle selection below, it allows for narrower targeting.Screenshot from Google Ads, August 2022

Lastly, frequency cap settings are still important because seeing the same ad multiple times daily creates a bad user experience.

Be sure to set frequency caps at a moderate level per user.

5. Analyze, Refine & Optimize

You’ve officially launched your first remarketing campaign!

That’s all there is, right?

Wrong.

It is important to keep a pulse on campaign performance early on. Some of the key items to watch for in the early days include:

  • Ensure audience size is large enough to show impressions.
  • Placements (where ads are showing).

After a few weeks of data (give or take, depending on the audience size), there should be enough information to start making optimizations based on performance.

The goal is to continually refine.

Remarketing campaigns are not a “set and forget” strategy.

Pulling It All Together

A remarketing strategy involves more than just targeting a group of users. It intertwines technology, audiences, messaging, and more.

Without even one of these areas, a remarketing campaign may not truly live up to its potential.

Follow the tips above to ensure your next Google Ads remarketing campaign is set up for success (and don’t forget to monitor performance!)

More Resources:


Featured Image: Chinnapong/Shutterstock

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Microsoft Announces ChatGPT Capabilities Coming To Bing

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Microsoft Announces ChatGPT Capabilities Coming To Bing

Microsoft announced today that it is bringing cutting-edge AI capabilities to its Bing search engine, with the addition of a new ChatGPT-like feature.

Microsoft revealed its plans for integrating ChatGPT at a private event held at its Redmond headquarters today, which centered around its partnership with OpenAI.

Unlike recent virtual events, this particular press conference was held in person and not broadcast online.

During the event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella highlighted the significance of this new feature and how it will revolutionize the way people interact with search engines.

“I think this technology is going to reshape pretty much every software category,” says Nadella.

Nadella proclaimed, “The race starts today,” and Microsoft is going to “move and move fast.”

The event attendees were given a sneak peek at the latest search experience, which Microsoft refers to as “your AI-powered copilot for the web.”

This new experience combines the all-new Bing search engine and Edge web browser, which are designed to complement each other.

Nadella explained that the new Bing would provide direct answers to questions and encourage users to be more creative.

He also stated that the current search experience is not working as efficiently as it should be, as 40% of the time, people click on search links and then immediately click back.

This clearly indicates that the search experience needs to be updated and improved. Nadella claims that the search engine user experience hasn’t changed in 20 years, and it’s time for Microsoft to adapt.

Introducing The New Bing

The new Bing is powered by a next-generation language model from OpenAI, which has been specifically customized for search purposes. It’s even more powerful than the ChatGPT model.

Microsoft has implemented a new way of working with OpenAI called the “prometheus model,” which enhances the relevancy of answers, annotates them, keeps them up to date, and more.

The search index has also been improved by applying the AI model to the core search algorithm, which Nadella calls the largest jump in relevance ever.

It runs on a new user experience with an expanded search box that accepts up to 1,000 characters. Examples shared during the event look exactly like recent leaks.

The new Bing includes a chatbot that behaves similarly to ChatGPT, allowing users to interact with Bing in a natural language.

Bing’s new ChatGPT-like feature will take it a step further by allowing users to have an actual conversation with the search engine, with the ability to follow up on previous questions and provide more context for their search.

The new Bing is now available for a limited preview on desktop, and anyone can try it out by visiting Bing.com and performing sample searches.

You can also sign up to be notified when it becomes more widely available.

The preview will be expanded to millions of users in the near future, and a mobile version will be available soon.

The New Edge Browser

The chat interface Microsoft demonstrated in Bing is available as a sidebar feature in Edge, allowing users to access it without navigating to the Bing website. The interface can run alongside any webpage and interact with it.

During a demonstration, the AI assistant in Edge could summarize a 15-page PDF with one click and even translate a code snippet from Stack Overflow into another programming language.

Another benefit of the Edge browser’s “AI co-pilot” is having it complete tasks for you, such as filling out forms and writing emails.

In Summary

Microsoft has made a substantial leap in search engine technology by integrating a ChatGPT-like feature in its Bing search engine.

The new Bing is powered by a next-generation language model from OpenAI, which takes key learnings and advancements from ChatGPT and GPT-3.5.

Bing with the AI co-pilot is now available for a limited preview on desktop, and a mobile version will be available soon.

Additionally, the chat interface will be available as a sidebar feature in the new Edge browser, which has the ability to summarize information, translate code, and even complete tasks.


Source: Microsoft

Featured Image: Poetra.RH/Shutterstock



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From Competitors To Partners: Conductor Acquires Searchmetrics

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From Competitors To Partners: Conductor Acquires Searchmetrics

Conductor, a leading enterprise organic marketing platform, has acquired European-based competitor, Searchmetrics, to accelerate its expansion in the European market.

After acquiring ContentKing in 2022, the acquisition of Searchmetrics continues to strengthen Conductor’s position in the industry.

Seth Besmertnik, Conductor’s CEO and co-founder, said that the acquisition would bring the best of what Searchmetrics does to Conductor and its shared customers:

“Searchmetrics has been a competitor almost since we started Conductor, with a strong data foundation and a powerful presence in the European market. We are excited to bring the best of what Searchmetrics does to Conductor and to our now shared customers. Our goal is for customers to greatly benefit from this acquisition through delivery of more product value on a global scale.”

 

Matt Colebourne, the CEO of Searchmetrics, expressed his excitement for the company to join Conductor, calling it the “definitive global leader”:

“Conductor is indisputably the SEO space market leader. For years, we’ve admired their commitment to innovation for customers and their efforts to foster a dynamic and rewarding workplace culture for employees. By joining Conductor, we bring the best of what we do along with a large European customer base—solidifying Conductor as the definitive global leader. We cannot wait to build more for customers going forward.”

 

Ken Ogenbratt, Searchmetrics’s Chief Financial Officer, said the acquisition is a “pivotal step” for the SEO industry as the two companies move forward as partners with the opportunity to drive even greater value to customers.

With this acquisition, Conductor continues its commitment to creating a single, global platform that integrates all parts of the SEO workflow.

With Searchmetrics’ strong European presence and solid customer base, the acquisition will significantly accelerate Conductor’s growth in Europe.

Conductor has completed its second acquisition in a year with the purchase of Searchmetrics, which follows the company’s significant funding round from Bregal Sagemount in 2021.

This acquisition is seen as a sign of Conductor’s recent growth. It is expected to solidify its position as a leading player in the SEO space by incorporating the strengths of both companies for their shared customers.


Featured Image: dotshock/Shutterstock



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How to Execute the Skyscraper Technique (And Get Results)

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How to Execute the Skyscraper Technique (And Get Results)

In 2015, Brian Dean revealed a brand-new link building strategy. He called it the Skyscraper Technique.

With over 10,000 backlinks since the post was published, it’s fair to say that the Skyscraper Technique took the world by storm in 2015. But what is it exactly, how can you implement it, and can you still get results with this technique in 2023?

Let’s get started.

What is the Skyscraper Technique?

The Skyscraper Technique is a link building strategy where you improve existing popular content and replicate the backlinks. 

Brian named it so because in his words, “It’s human nature to be attracted to the best. And what you’re doing here is finding the tallest ‘skyscraper’ in your space… and slapping 20 stories to the top of it.”

Here’s how the technique works:

Three steps of the Skyscraper Technique

How to implement the Skyscraper Technique

Follow these three steps to execute the Skyscraper Technique.

1. Find relevant content with lots of backlinks

There are three methods to find relevant pages with plenty of links:

Use Site Explorer

Enter a popular site into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer. Next, go to the Best by backlinks report.

Best pages by backlinks report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

This report shows you a list of pages from the site with the highest number of referring domains. If there are content pieces with more than 50 referring domains, they’re likely to be good potential targets.

Sidenote.

Ignore homepages and other irrelevant content when eyeballing this report.

Use Content Explorer

Ahrefs’ Content Explorer is a searchable database of 10 billion pages. You can use it to find mentions of any word or phrase.

Let’s start by entering a broad topic related to your niche into Content Explorer. Next, set a Referring domains filter to a minimum of 50. 

We can also add:

  • Language filter to get only pages in our target language.
  • Exclude homepages to remove homepages from the results.
Ahrefs' Content Explorer search for "gardening," with filters

Eyeball the results to see if there are any potential pieces of content you could beat.

Use Keywords Explorer

Enter a broad keyword into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer. Next, go to the Matching terms report and set a Keyword Difficulty (KD) filter to a minimum of 40.

Matching terms report, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Why filter for KD? 

The reason is due to the method we use at Ahrefs to calculate KD. Our KD score is calculated from a trimmed mean of referring domains (RDs) to the top 10 ranking pages. 

In other words, the top-ranking pages for keywords with high KD scores have lots of backlinks on average.

From here, you’ll want to go through the report to find potential topics you could build a better piece of content around. 

2. Make it better

The core idea (or assumption) behind the Skyscraper Technique is that people want to see the best. 

Once you’ve found the content you want to beat, the next step is to make something even better

According to Brian, there are four aspects worth improving:

  1. Length – If the post has 25 tips, list more.
  2. Freshness – Update any outdated parts of the original article with new images, screenshots, information, stats, etc.
  3. Design – Make it stand out with a custom design. You could even make it interactive.
  4. Depth – Don’t just list things. Fill in the details and make them actionable.

3. Reach out to the right people

The key to successfully executing the Skyscraper Technique is email outreach. But instead of spamming everyone you know, you reach out to those who have already linked to the specific content you have improved. 

The assumption: Since they’ve already linked to a similar article, they’re more likely to link to one that’s better.

You can find these people by pasting the URL of the original piece into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and then going to the Backlinks report.

Backlinks report for ResumeGenius' how to write a resume, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

This report shows all the backlinks to the page. In this case, there are 441 groups of links.

But not all of these links will make good prospects. So you’ll likely need to add some filters to clean them up. For example, you can:

  • Add a Language filter for the language you’re targeting (e.g., English).
  • Switch the tab to Dofollow for equity-passing links.
Backlinks report, with filters, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Does the Skyscraper Technique still work?

It’s been roughly eight years since Brian shared this link building strategy. Honestly speaking, the technique has been oversaturated. Given its widespread use, its effectiveness may even be limited. 

Some SEOs even say they wouldn’t recommend it.

So we asked our Twitter and LinkedIn following this question and received 1,242 votes. Here are the results:

Pie chart showing 61% of respondents feel the Skyscraper Technique still works

Clearly, many SEOs and marketers still believe the technique works.

Sidenote.

According to Aira’s annual State of Link Building report, only 18% of SEOs still use the Skyscraper Technique. It’s not a go-to for many SEOs, as it ranks #20 among the list of tactics. I suspect its popularity has waned because (1) it’s old and SEOs are looking for newer stuff and (2) SEOs believe that content is more important than links these days.

Why the Skyscraper Technique fails and how to improve your chances of success

Fundamentally, it makes sense that the Skyscraper Technique still works. After all, the principles are the same behind (almost) any link building strategy:

  1. Create great content
  2. Reach out to people and promote it

But why do people think it’s no longer effective? There are a few reasons why and knowing them will help you improve your chances of success with the Skyscraper Technique.

Let’s start with:

1. Sending only Brian’s email template

In Brian’s original post, he suggested an email template for his readers to use:

Hey, I found your post: http://post1

<generic compliment>

It links to this post: http://post2

I made something better: http://post3

Please swap out the link for mine.

Unfortunately, many SEOs decided to use this exact template word for word. 

Link building doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If everyone in your niche decides to send this exact template to every possible website, it’ll burn out real fast. And that’s exactly what happened.

Now, if a website owner sees this template, chances are they’ll delete it right away. 

Sidenote.

Judging by my inbox, there are still people using this exact template. And, like everyone else, I delete the email immediately.

I’m not saying this to disparage templated emails. If you’re sending something at scale, templating is necessary. But move away from this template. Write your own, personalize it as much as possible, and follow the outreach principles here.

Even better, ask yourself:

What makes my content unique and link-worthy?”

2. Not segmenting your prospects

People link for different reasons, so you shouldn’t send everyone the same pitch. 

Consider dividing your list of prospects into segments according to the context in which they linked. You can do this by checking the Anchors report in Site Explorer.

Anchors report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

You can clearly see people are linking to different statistics from our SEO statistics post. So, for example, if we were doing outreach for a hypothetical post, we might want to mention to the first group that we have a new statistic for “Over 90% of content gets no traffic from Google.”

Then, to the second group, we’ll mention that we have new statistics for “68% of online experiences.” And so on. 

In fact, that’s exactly what we did when we built links to this post. Check out the case study here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

3. Not reaching out to enough people

Ultimately, link building is still a numbers game. If you don’t reach out to enough people, you won’t get enough links. 

Simply put: You need to curate a larger list of link prospects.

So rather than limiting yourself to only replicating the backlinks of the original content, you should replicate the backlinks from other top-ranking pages covering the same topic too.

To find these pages, enter the target keyword into Keywords Explorer and scroll down to the SERP overview.

SERP overview for "how to write a resume," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

In this example, most top-ranking pages have tons of links, and all of them (after filtering, of course) could be potential link prospects.

Pro tip

Looking for even more prospects? Use Content Explorer.

Search for your keyword, set a Referring domains filter, and you’ll see relevant pages where you can “mine” for more skyscraper prospects.

Referring domains filters selected in Ahrefs' Content Explorer

4. Thinking bigger equals better

Someone creates a list with 15 tools. The next person ups it to 30. Another “skyscrapers” it to 50, and the next increases it to 100.

Not only is it a never-ending arms race, there’s also no value for the reader. 

No one wants to skim through 5,000 words or hundreds of items just to find what they need. Curation is where the value is.

When considering the four aspects mentioned by Brian, don’t improve things for the sake of improving them. Adding 25 mediocre tips to an existing list of 25 doesn’t make it “better.” Likewise for changing the publish date or adding a few low-quality illustrations. 

Example: My colleague, Chris Haines, recently published a post on the best niche site ideas. Even though he only included 10, he has already outperformed the other “skyscraper” articles:

Our blog post ranking #3 for the query, "niche site ideas," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

He differentiated himself through his knowledge and expertise. After all, Chris has 10 years of experience in SEO. 

So when you’re creating your article, always look at any improvement through the lens of value:

Are you giving more value to the reader? 

5. Not considering brand

As Ross Hudgens says, “Better does not occur in a branding vacuum.”

Most of the time, content isn’t judged solely on its quality. It’s also judged by who it comes from. We discovered this ourselves too when we tried to build links to our keyword research guide.

Most of the time, people didn’t read the article. They linked to us because of our brand and reputation—they knew we were publishing great content consistently, and they had confidence that the article we were pitching was great too.

In other words, there are times where no matter how hard you “skyscraper” your content, people just won’t link to it because they don’t know who you are. 

Having your own personal brand is important these days. But think about it: What is a “strong brand” if not a consistent output of high-quality work that people enjoy? One lone skyscraper doesn’t make a city; many of them together do.

What I’m saying is this: Don’t be discouraged if your “skyscraper” article gets no results. And don’t be discouraged just because you don’t have a brand right now—you can work on that over time.

Keep on making great content—skyscraper or not—and results will come if you trust the process.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.” 

Final thoughts

The Skyscraper Technique is a legitimate link building tactic that works. But that can only happen if you:

Any questions or comments? Let me know on Twitter.



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