Instagram Advertising is Now Available

Looking for new and better ways to reach a younger market? On September 30th, Instagram announced that it has opened its platform to all marketers. Instagram has over 400 million users and half of them use the website daily. The number of young users alone is one of the many reasons to dive into advertising on this social network. In addition to that, new advertising channels are often more cost effective, as it takes time for agencies and marketers to “catch on”. According to Pew Research Center, “56% of online adults ages 18-29 use Instagram.”

If you’re trying to get in front of a younger market, Instagram advertising would make for a great test. If you are thinking about advertising on Instagram, consider the three different ad formats available: image, video, and carousel. Each platform has its own advantages and if used correctly and creatively, this media builds your brand and in the case of an immediate interest or need, your website is just a click away. With Instagram’s video advertising, you can show a 30 second video of your product or service. Carousel marketing enables users to swipe through multiple pictures, which is particularly useful for marketing products where images are important.

What interactive marketing effort would be complete without good click through performance? Up until recently, Instagram only had the option for the user to “Like” and “Comment” on a post. Along with these new advertising options, Instagram has enabled “call to action” buttons which when clicked, send users to your website.

Instagram has come up to speed with other social media networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn who also offer paid advertising with profile-based targeting. Instagram offers advertisers the ability to target based on information in user profiles including: connections, interests, gender, age and location. If your target consumer is a 20-year-old male in Connecticut who likes sports, you can utilize Instagram targeting to reach those users with an ad. Overall, Instagram’s new ad features give your business the ability to reach hundreds of consumers in a very specific way. As with any new campaign, make sure to use analytics to test performance by instagram channel and campaign and refine your results accordingly to increase performance and cost-effectiveness over time.

AdWords Re-Defines Conversions

You may or may not have heard, but in mid-October, Adwords will be changing what it defines as a conversion. This will affect the appearance of your columns as well as your reporting. If you see a change or a drop in your conversions, don’t fret. It’s not you, it’s Google.

And luckily for you, AdEdge is ready to help you adapt to the upcoming change.

Perhaps you’d like to know how conversions used to be set up?

In most cases, each conversion added to AdWords could be set to either “on” or “off”. This determined if it should count when optimizing for conversions, or not. Regardless of their setting, the conversions appeared in the conversion column and reports.

For example, filling in a contact form could be set to “off” while a download was set to “on.” Google would have considered both of these actions to be conversions. They would both show up in the conversions column and reports.

So what’s changing, you ask?

Well, from now on:

  • Only conversions set to “on” will appear in the conversion column and the reporting.
  • In Adwords, Estimated Total Conversions will change to Total Conversions, and Conv (opt.) will change to Conversions.
  • The old Conversions section will be gone. Old conversions will no longer count in conversion reports.

In time, this change will trickle down and could affect your conversion rate. But with the right modifications, your conversion reporting will not change. You will be able to keep your conversion rate high.

If you want any help with this, get in touch – AdEdge is here to take your AdWords success to the next level.

AdWords Launches Google Play App Install Ads

Google Alert! AdEdge here, with the latest and greatest Google news you need to know!

Do you make or sell apps?! If so, you’ll love that you can now place search ads on the Google Play store. Google started testing the ads in February, and have just released them. They are now available to all AdWords Advertisers. Are you already wondering how to access the program? It’s available to any advertisers currently using Adwords’ Search App Install ad campaigns. Check it out!

Keyword searches determine which ads show. For example, if someone is searching for a game app, then a sponsored game app ad will appear in their results. Can you think of any better way to increase your app installation rates?

What’s more, they’ve added an improved and easy-to-use conversion tracking solution for Android devices! According to Google, “In addition to providing app conversion tracking across Search, Display and YouTube, this new solution also allows developers to better align the conversion volume they see in AdWords with the data they see in a third-party measurement solution.”

This program works with Google’s Universal App Campaign. It’s easy to advertise your app on a multitude of Google properties, like Youtube, Search and Display Network.

If this new service sounds like what you’ve been looking for – and you have an app you need to advertise – then you should contact AdEdge today!

Google’s New Review Ratings Features

Google Alert: Google’s adding new review ratings features! If you want to make a splash this summer, use this powerful new feature to increase your click-through-rates and search performance. Your ratings appear as part of the ad, next to the location data. Although you’ll need at least 30 reviews from the past year in order to use this feature, they can come from a wide variety of sources – Facebook, Yelp, City Search and other sites like those!

Reviews can be the difference between a customer that browses and a customer that buys from your business. A half star can be all that separates you from your closest competitor. Think about how many times you’ve used your smartphone to search for a local business! As the trend to mobile continues to skyrocket, review ratings will become crucial to improving your click-through-rate and enticing customers to pick your business.

Fantastic review ratings, coupled with great Paid Search and local SEO strategies, will heat your business up this summer and melt your competition.

If you are looking for a way to generate tons of positive reviews fast, AdEdge offers a Reputation Builder service that is effective, affordable and 100% ethical.  Contact Us to learn more.

Behind the Scenes Look at Google’s New In-Store Conversion Meter

As we all know, the buying process is often more complicated than simply visiting a store, picking something out and skipping over to the register. Take shoes for example. Websites make it possible to virtually “wear” the shoes. Customers can see shoes in various sizes, colors and materials. They can read reviews, compare prices …just about anything but smell the leather (certainly, Google is working on this.) Shoes can and are bought online but some customers need to see shoes on their feet, feel their toes wiggle around and smell that brand spanking new leather. Too bad you can’t track a customer’s behavior once they leave the comfort of their screen and visit the store. Right?

Wrong! With Google Adwords, in addition to tracking all of website metrics that you should be tracking such as time on site, pages viewed, leads generated and sales conversions made, you can now track customer in-store visits. Yes, you heard that right, we’re talking visits to the ol’ bricks n’ morter.

Can you venture a guess as to how the world Google is doing this? Here’s where the geeks at AdEdge jump in and we’ll give you a hint. Smart Phones. Google knows exactly where your customers are. And we’re no longer just talking about a city, a street or even an address. Since Google has been mapping out the size and structure of many stores in Google Maps, they can now tell when a paid search customer visits your store, how long they are there and even in some cases, what parts of the store they visit. Google uses GPS location and WIFI signals overlayed on top of Google Maps to figure all of this out.

They can even tell if your customers are window shopping. A quick glance in the store or window shopping outside the store is not considered an in-store visit in Google’s metrics. Google AdWords takes into consideration the length of the visit. Employees who spend long hours in the store are not considered visitors in Google’s metrics.

The in-store conversion meter is just one more way to track the relative success of campaigns, groups, ads and keywords within a paid search campaign. If you’re going to track in-store visits, don’t forget to generate in-store visits by using two powerful AdWords targeting features: Location Extensions and Location Targeting. A geographically relevant paid search effort is more relevant, more memorable to your customer, more cost-effective and will always improve in-store visits. The Internet may be “the next best thing to being there” but nothing beats a customer visiting your store.

Google’s Summer Clean-Up of Unused AdWords Entities

Google has started a new “cleaning house” policy of removing AdWords ads, campaigns, and ad groups that have been un-used. This new policy started in the week of May 23, 2015 when Google began deleting ads that had not received any impressions and had not been used within 100 days. Part 2 of Google’s clean-up plan is happening this summer.

Starting this month, Google will no longer allow AdWords campaigns or ad groups that have been deleted from your account to be restored or re-activated. Campaigns and ad groups that have been deleted (paid search and display) will be permanently gone. This is already the case for ads and Google is extending this policy to campaigns and ad groups.

In order to keep your account data, there are two simple solutions. Either keep up-to-date with your AdWords account or pause your account. If an ad is not performing well, brainstorm ways to improve the ad so that it will receive more impressions. A small change such as making it “phrase match” to “broad match” could be the answer. Even campaigns that are running a very low budget such as $1 day will be saved.  If you run a seasonal business such as swimming pool maintenance or painting, simply pause your campaigns rather than turning daily budget down to zero.  This will insure that your campaign is ready to go when the busy season hits.

 

‘Buy button’ to be added to Google search results

Do you love Amazon for shopping?  Then get ready to love Google.  Google has recently confirmed that it is adding a new buy button to its search results. The buy button allows for Google search engine users to easily purchase an item without having to visit a separate website. “The Company’s chief business officer, Omid Kordestani, said he wanted to reduce “friction” for users so they buy more things online.” The buy button will be a new and super convenient way to make purchases on Google that are tied to consumers searches for products and services.

The obvious goal here is to move consumers straight from an ad to a purchase.  And the impact should be huge. The amount of location-based searches to help users find the perfect item in a close proximity to their locations has doubled since last year.

Google believes the buy button is a step in the right direction for the mobile future. According to Google, “With Google Buy set to only be available on mobile devices and the search giant recently changing its algorithm to favor mobile optimized sites, it’s clear Google believes that smartphones and tablets are the way forward for e-commerce,” said Kevin Dallas from Worldplay eCommerce.

 

Google Ad Extensions to Supercharge Your Clickthrough Rate

Ad extensions boost clickthrough rates — these extra links and lines of copy make your ads more visible and more relevant at the same time. And when you improve your visibility and relevance, you increase your clickthrough rate (CTR). Here are four of the extensions available and how to make the best use of them:

Ad Extension No. 1: Sitelinks. If your ad is showing in one of the top three premium spots, you can show sitelink extensions. These appear as additional links underneath your main ad. They don’t cost any extra, they offer more specific and relevant options for your prospect to click on, and they let you take visitors directly to the most relevant page. Best of all, they take up more space on the Google results page, pushing your competitors and the organic search listings further down and out of the way. Let’s say your website sells a particular brand of men’s shirts. You bid on the brand name as a keyword and write an ad that specifically offers a deal on long-sleeve crewnecks. With sitelinks, you can also add in three or four additional links in your ad that take visitors to offers for turtlenecks, short sleeve shirts or even hoodies, all from the same brand. Or you can highlight other information that may be of particular interest to the searcher, such as your “About Us” page, or your “Shipping and Returns Policy” page.

Ad Extension No. 2: Call Extensions. In late 2013, Google adjusted their editorial guidelines so you can no longer include a phone number in the headline or text of your ad. That’s actually a good thing, because the phone number option is now available through the call extensions feature instead. Activate this, and the phone number of your choice will appear underneath your ad as an additional free line. That buys you extra space for ad copy and allows your ad to catch more eyeballs by taking up more space on the results page. Call extensions are especially powerful when they show on mobile phones: You can set it so users click on your phone number and connect to you directly from your ad. That’s particularly handy if you have a site that doesn’t display well on mobile devices; better still, if the primary call-to-action on your landing page is to call your phone number. Your contact number will show at the top of your ad in place of your headline, highlighted in blue to indicate that it’s clickable.

Ad Extension No. 3: Location. This is similar to call extensions except that, instead of showing your contact phone number, Google will show your physical location. This is an excellent feature for local brick-and-mortar businesses that want to increase foot traffic to their location.

Ad Extension No. 4: Reviews. This specifically refers to reviews, not by individual buyers, but by reputable media outlets or blogs. This is another extension that’s tricky to set up. To qualify for this, you’ll need the URL of the webpage that contains your review, then either select a direct quote or write a paraphrased version of no more than 67 characters, including the source name. You then need to provide Google with the URL of the third-party site on which the review can be found. And you’ll need to post the same quote on your landing page. If you’re willing to do the dance, once you activate it, this extension will display the review quote as an extra line below your ad.

Google recently released its new algorithm

Google recently released its new algorithm, Mobilegeddon. According to Google, “In fact, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.” More people are viewing websites on their mobile devices, and in order to take advantage of this mobile trend, your business website needs to be user-friendly.

The key to a great mobile website is a great user experience. It must be easy to navigate, have a call to action, display well on different sized smart phone screens, present compatible content and easy-to-read text. If you have a great mobile website, people will view your company in a positive light, and it will also result in additional time spent and interaction on your website. If your mobile website is hard to read and not finger friendly, your prospect will hit the “back” button and move onto the next result in the list – most likely, a direct competitor.

While a mobile-friendly website is likely to improve your rank in Google’s search engine, it does not guarantee a top position in natural search. In fact, there are fewer opportunities to show up naturally on a mobile device than a laptop or desktop. If your business is in a competitive industry, showing up on page one of the natural results may be a real challenge. Thankfully, there is a solution – an alternative to SEO.

Paid search and mobile banner advertising can eliminate the mobile SEO challenge. Paid search for your mobile website and mobile banner advertising are still relatively new digital marketing technologies. The competition for advertising in this new space is still light and as a result, costs for ad impressions and clicks are still quite reasonable. In many cases, paid search and banner advertising for mobile is more affordable than desktop marketing.

Attack mobile from multiple fronts. Start with a great mobile website that improves both your mobile and desktop natural rank and fill in the gaps with a paid search and banner advertising campaign. Prospective clients are more likely to find you resulting in 1) positive branding and awareness for your company, 2) an increase in website traffic and 3) more leads and sales!

Google AdWords Launches Website Call Conversions

There’s old news and new news here. The old news is, you can put a FREE 800 number on your paid search ads using Google Ad Extensions. There are three benefits to doing this: 1) Propsects who call from your ad rather than click save you the cost of a click. No cost leads are a good thing. 2) If your competitors aren’t doing this, your phone number will stick out and your ad will attract those who prefer to call. 3) Calls to your 800 number can be tracked along with clicks. Google’s call conversion tool is new!

The 800 number on your ad will show on your website for up to 90 days to prospects who clicked on your ad. If you’re worried about brand, fear not; the phone number can be made to match your website style with the correct color, font and size. Google calls this “a powerful way to identify and measure calls from a website that occur after an ad click” …and we agree. According to Google, approximately 70 percent of mobile searches result in a call made directly from an ad. With this new tool, marketers are now able to get a better read on which keywords and ads are driving the most leads, whether they come from clicks or calls.