016 is set to be an exciting year for AdWords Professionals with a few big changes to AdWords coming up in the near future. Mobile first has been a focus over the last few years the number of clicks on mobile ads have now well overtaken the number of clicks on desktop ads.
Announced at the Google Performance Summit in San Francisco, Google are soon to utilise Google Maps for the first time with paid ads. This will be partnered with other updates to Adwords such as an increase title character counts (considerably!) and the ability to place responsive Mobile display ads, and more. So let’s take a look at what this all means.
Currently Google Maps is extremely underutilised from an AdWords point of view. Most people use Google maps to find out how to get from point A to point B, making it a significant source of traffic. Google wants to allow advertisers to show targeted ads to these users through branded pins and in-store promotions.
Google Maps Branded Pins appear within the map itself. You can imagine a company logo being in place where your current Google local name appears in the form of a pin. This will be supported by instore promotions.
Initial thoughts are that this will greatly benefit ecommerce stores and consumer services with a local presence. If the user has recently searched a brand or product, then uses Google Maps, they will be presented with the branded pins.
Google mobile searches are now more likely to be local related searches as opposed to going to a website and converting there. For instance, Google shows an example from a Nissan UK dealership which claims “six percent of mobile ad clicks result in a trip to a dealership, delivering an estimated 25x return on investment.” That’s a huge return on investment and shows the power of local mobile searches.
90% of Google mobile ad searches turn into physical in-store conversions. So the new conversion concept is to measure how many searches on mobile turn into these in-store conversions. The data collected from this will be gold – if Nissan never found a way to match up Google ad clicks with their increase in foot traffic (and return on investment) they could have seen mobile ads as a waste of ad budget and stopped doing them.
Google is releasing a way of counting how many mobile searchers turn into physical store conversions – in other words, who sees an ad and then visits the closest store. They have visited 1 billion stores over the last 2 years to test their new conversion tracking and are boasting a 99% accuracy from over a billion different search examples.
Because of this change, Adwords users can now also create bids dedicated only for mobile, or only for tablet, or only for desktop. This means that bids can be separated and managed for each device type providing much more control for the advertiser.
Adwords is expanding to allow ad text to be 50% bigger. This takes up significantly more room on the search engine result page, showing more information to the user. Two 30 character headlines and an 80-character description line is going to increase click through rates at the expense of other ads and search results on the page. Not great news for SEO result, perhaps, as they get further shafted down the page.
To create display ads, advertisers have had to create sometimes 10+ versions of each ad to fit different ad sizes. This has always been a chore as designers would need to readjust ads each time a new campaign is set up or needs updating. Google is now only going to require a few versions of the ad from the advertiser as responsive displays ads to be deployed.
These tools and updates will be out in the next months and if you and your Adwords account manager can utilise these updates, and your competition may be a little slow to do so, you will be sure to have a competitive edge.
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In order to promote your business and reach consumers that spend an entire 24 hours a week online, you need to make sure that you have a viable social media strategy in place.
By posting unique and interesting content on your social media platforms, and by actively engaging with followers, you can start to turn this into a funnel for generating leads.
In order to stay on top of your social media strategy, it’s important to have some form of social media management software to do some of the heavy lifting. Software such as this is imperative for scheduling, tracking and monitoring social media content.
At its best, social media management software can help you not only plan your content months in advance, but also remain reactive by letting you tune into ongoing news stories or trending topics.
There are a whole bunch of social media management companies out there and all of them offer roughly the same sort of package but Hootsuite is the only one that offers an actually free service (as opposed to just a free trial period).
They do try to hide it on their website though so make sure you follow this link in order to get to the right page.
The free version of this software lets you:
Of course, there’s also a number of paid-for packages that you can buy from Hootsuite that give you access to a great number of services including higher ad spend budgets, automated post scheduling and custom analytics.
But if you’re a small business looking to get started, the free version of the software should be comprehensive enough to allow you to get your social media strategy in motion.
We’ve said before that the secret to a successful lead generation strategy is to keep analysing and refining your methods. Well, website tracking software is the best way to conduct this analysis.
By digging into the analytics of your visitors’ actions, you can start to gain a better picture of why people come to your site, what they want from it, what they dislike about it and how you can improve upon their experience next time.
There are a wide variety of services that can fall into the category of website tracking software, including heatmaps, funnels, user polls, surveys, visitor recordings and more.
Basically, any kind of software that collects data about the ways in which your visitors interact with your site can be considered website tracking software.
Whereas there are a multitude of smaller software companies that focus in on just one website tracking service, Hotjar offers an array of useful tools.
Hotjar tools include:
Hotjar’s free service is able to collect data from 2000 page views a day and will give you access to up to 300 visitor recordings and 3 heatmaps, forms, funnels, polls and surveys. Unlimited users can be added to your account and Hotjar will also store your data for a full year.
While we’d normally recommend free services when possible, it’s probably worth paying for Hotjar’s Plus plan to begin with.
For just under £25 a month you can collect data from 10,000 page views a day and have unlimited services and reports. Plus there’s even a 15-day free trial for you to test out whether you like their software or not.
Lead generation doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour.
What’s important is that you put real effort into all of your interactions with potential leads - whether that’s through educational and informative blog posts, social media interactions or even just a chat on the phone.
If you believe in your business’ ability to help its customers then all you have to do is let that shine through.
Ultimately, these tools are just there to help you meet potential leads on their level. The rest is up to you.
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