Generating a constant stream of website enquiries can be a difficult task, which is why dedicated campaign landing pages should be a core part of your lead generation efforts. There are a number of different elements that need to be well executed in order to create a campaign landing page that will boost the number of website enquiries.

Link Campaign Landing Pages with Your PPC Campaigns

Campaign pages alone won’t do much to boost website enquiries if no one is landing on the page. The winning strategy is to use dedicated landing pages as part of your PPC campaign, this way you can ensure that you are targeting the right users at the right time by using an AdWords campaign to promote the page for the relevant keywords.

Having a well-built landing page also ensures that your PPC campaigns are driving results because campaign pages are often the most common drop-off point in the user journey. By using a dedicated campaign landing page as part of your PPC strategy, you can generate leads using paid search in a way that will be effective and yield high-quality website enquiries.

Have a Clear Goal

The beauty of creating campaign landing pages is that you can have as many as you want (ok, there is such a thing as too many so try not to go overboard) and each one should have a singular goal. Unlike a generic page on your website, you campaign landing pages should have no distractions in the form of multiple call-to-actions, buttons, and links. It should have a clear and simple end goal – in this case: enquiries. The design of the page, copy, and call-to-action need to all work cohesively to reinforce the goal of the page. 

Write Persuasive Copy

Unlike your blogs, outreach, and even your social media content, your landing page copy isn’t here to add value for a user or encourage repeat visits, it’s here to convert. Your copy should be concise and emotive – remember people make decisions emotionally, not logically.

“Content is king” is a phrase you’ll often hear used in marketing, and with good reason. Well-crafted copy not only adds to the overall look of the page but is ultimately what will prompt a user to take action. An often missed detail when it comes to landing page content is that it should tie in with your ad copy. You want to make it clear right from the start what your offer is, so the user won’t feel mislead once they land on the page. How often have you clicked a display ad or a banner, only to be taken to a landing page that doesn’t quite match up? Mismatched copy doesn’t inspire action, and you’ll find that most users exit the page as quickly as they landed on it.

campaign landing page example

Take a look at the example above. There are a number of missed opportunities when it comes to content. The goal of your landing page is to drive enquiries, and instead of taking up the entire space above the fold with a large image, you should utilise this space by adding some enticing copy and moving the form further up the page. What you should take away from this example is that your campaign landing page needs to be fit for purpose. It’s good to have a clean design and remove any distractions, but you still need your landing page copy to persuade users to make an enquiry.

Create Compelling Call-to-Actions

I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to continually keep reinforcing the same messaging on your campaign landing pages. To persuade users to trigger a certain action your call-to-action (CTA) needs to be written and presented in a compelling manner, all the while reinforcing the same messaging as the initial ad that led the user to the page, and the page copy itself.

Optimise for Mobile

It goes without saying that your entire website design should be fast, responsive and optimised for mobile, but if you can’t quite commit to a full overhaul, you should make the optimisation of campaign landing pages your first priority. Slow-loading pages and graphics that don’t display properly are just two of the many reasons that cause mobile users to drop off before taking action, something you can easily avoid with a mobile first design. If you’ve got the resources, you should consider making a separate campaign landing page altogether for mobile devices, to ensure a good user experience that will translate into a higher number of enquiries.

mobile landing page

Optimising your campaign landing page for mobile devices isn’t just limited to the design elements. The average mobile session duration is 72 seconds so you’ll need to trim your copy to fit that timeframe. If you take a look at the example above from Human, you can see that the copy is is clear and concise, and the CTAs are specifically designed for a mobile platform. To generate enquiries, you could easily replace the two buttons with a click-to-call button and one linking to an email or an enquiry form.

Add Trust Factors and Remove Fear Factors

Campaign landing pages offer you the perfect opportunity to add trusts factors and remove perceived fear factors that might be obstacles to triggering a user action.

The most important trust factors your campaign landing page needs to include in order to boost enquiries are safety certificates, customer testimonials and a few lines about how the provided information will be used – along with a link to your privacy policy.

Perceived risk is the doubt a customer has when purchasing something – usually a high ticket item – and in this context that risk is usually how their information will be used. By adding the trust factors mentioned above, you can minimise users’ perceived risk factors, resulting in a higher number of enquiries.

Continuously Optimise

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is forgetting all about your landing pages once they’re live, then wondering why the number of website enquiries they’re generating isn’t as high as you would like. You should always treat landing pages as works in progress, continuously optimising them, and even introducing A/B testing if your budget allows.

To find out how we can help your business, take a look at our range of PPC services or get in touch with us today.

Ask any business with an online presence what their business objectives are and lead generation is sure to appear somewhere on the list – usually near the top for B2B businesses and those selling high-ticket items because their potential customers require more nurturing to convert. Whatever the nature of your business is, with Google announcing its rebranding of AdWords to make it more user-friendly, now is the perfect time to learn how you can use paid search for lead generation when looking to attract new business.

To get you started, we’ve broken down how you can use 5 different platforms to generate high-quality leads for your business.

AdWords

Officially known as Google Ads from 24 July, Google AdWords is the top dog of paid search and has been for quite some time now. When a business starts exploring PPC options, AdWords is where they’ll start. With a majority of users not being able to distinguish Google’s ads from organic search results, it remains one of the best ways to drive new business through your lead generation methods.

The reason why AdWords works so well for lead generation is that it allows you to target users at the exact moment they are searching for something. Reaching a user this early on in the conversion funnel allows you to then nurture them into a customer through display advertising and remarketing further down the line. A key thing to keep in mind is to not forget about optimising your AdWords campaigns for mobile – thanks to Google’s ‘click to call’ feature you can now add a phone number to your ad copy, encouraging users to contact you directly.

Display Advertising

Display advertising is where you can start getting more creative with your lead generation efforts. Available in a range of formats including, image, video, flash, and audio, display marketing offers a more budget-friendly alternative because you aren’t bidding on specific keywords. More experienced users can take advantage of the platform by using a layered targeting approach and setting custom affinity audiences, while display advertising novices can make use of Google Display Network’s “Smart Display” function. The highly-automated nature of smart display campaigns allows you to set up a campaign with automated bids, targeting, and creatives, to maximise your lead generation efforts.

The advert below is a perfect example of how much creative freedom display advertising gives you and a reminder that you have to think outside of the box to grab your audience’s attention:

display advertising

If you’re a new business or find that the search volume for your products isn’t high enough to warrant an AdWords campaign, display advertising can help you generate leads by targeting relevant users as they browse certain websites or by serving them ads after they watch specific videos. Ideally, if your budget permits, you would be using a mix of paid search techniques for lead generation purposes, but display advertising is a good place to start and works especially well if you can identify where your potential customers are likely to be found online.

Google Shopping

google shopping

Google Shopping might not be the first platform that comes to mind when you think of a lead generation campaign utilising paid search, but if you’re savvy you can use it to generate some high-quality leads. With Google Shopping, you can include product images in your ad and they are usually displayed higher up in SERPs, increasing the likelihood of a user clicking on your advert and putting your products in front of customers from when they begin their search. Although the primary aim of using Google Shopping is to generate sales, even if a user clicks on your advert but doesn’t make a purchase, you can use the data to inform your remarketing efforts…which nicely brings us onto our next way to generate leads.

Remarketing

It’s all well and good generating leads, but for them to have any value for your business, they need to be high-quality leads that will eventually turn into a purchase. By using remarketing, you can target users that have already visited your website and customise your ads more efficiently based on their browsing habits. When you’re using remarketing to fuel your lead generation efforts, it’s important that you offer users something of value, rather than trying to sell them something. By focusing your remarketing on a content offer, you will generate leads that are more likely to be interested in what your business has to offer and make a purchase in the future.

Let’s be honest, remarketing is basically cyberstalking – which is why it’s a good idea to add a frequency cap to your campaign if you’re going to use it for lead generation. You don’t want to drive users away by serving them the same ad 20 times a day so make sure you set an appropriate frequency cap. There’s no rule of thumb when it comes to frequency caps so we recommend looking at your historical ad frequency data to determine what the optimal cap will be for you. To ensure that your remarketing efforts are generating high-quality leads, make sure that you segment your audience in order to filter out junk leads (users who aren’t likely to ever be interested in the service or product you’re selling). Your remarketing ads should always tie back to the experience the user had with your website or the product they were interested in, in order to nurture them as a lead.

Lead Generation PPC Landing Pages

Targeted landing pages are an excellent way of generating leads, especially when combined with display advertising and remarketing. The first step to creating a landing page that will help you successfully generate leads is to establish what action you want users to take. Common call-to-actions for lead generation include newsletter signups, registration forms, free trials, and contact forms. Your CTA will be determined by the action you’re aiming to trigger and the information you’re looking to gather from users. A well-designed landing page will also support your other paid search lead generation efforts, as lengthy forms and a lack of trust are often the reason why users don’t take an action once they land on a page.

As Google Premier Partners, we’re experts in creating paid strategies that will support your business goals, fuel lead generation, and help you maximise your digital marketing efforts. To find out how we can help your business, take a look at our range of PPC services or get in touch with us today.

Google AdWords and DoubleClick… It feels like they have been around for a lifetime but well over 15 years later we are finally saying goodbye – Well, maybe not entirely… What we are seeing is a serious rebranding campaign from AdWords to Google Ads, along with a combination of services by Google to help you as the user to effectively utilise these platforms.

Google AdWords set to become Google Ads

Lets begin with some of the more simplistic changes. The less convoluted adjustments are to Google AdWords or as it will be soon known as, Google Ads. That’s right, Google AdWords will cease to be and instead Google Ads will be standing in its place. The name change seems like the logical decision to make as not all Google ads campaigns focus on words. By calling the platform “AdWords” it may be putting off potential users who assume that this is a word-based platform.

google ads

Looking back about 15 years, Google AdWords did focus on word-based ads but if you look at it today you may be surprised to see the range of ads it now supports. This includes ads such as Videos, apps, Search, YouTube and many more types of ads. Knowing this shows that it may be time to make a change to the name, which is what Google has now decided to do with the emergence of Google Ads.

You may be wondering about some of the recent changes to AdWords and if they are related to the rebranding campaign to Google Ads. To answer your question, it seems unlikely. These changes include a big change to the User Interface (UI), but the changes seem to have been because they were needed by the platform instead of being part of the rebranding process. For anyone who is wondering what a user Interface is, a user-interface is the point where the Computer meets the user (You). In short, it is essentially what you are seeing on the screen.


Hello Google Marketing Platform

Now while changing the name of Google AdWords to Google Ads may not be the huge change you were expecting, I think you will agree that the changes to DoubleClick are on a much larger scale.

google ads

What Google has planned is to strip down DoubleClick Digital Marketing into sections and then add these sections to the Google Marketing Platform. The DoubleClick services are also being merged with Analytics 360 to form something more. When visiting the Google Marketing Platform, you can expect to see some new options such as “Display & Video 360”, this service is a combination of both DoubleClick and Analytics 360.

google ads

Combining these services together and grouping them under the Google Marketing Platform will give users such as yourself, a better experience as well as helping to make good use of all the services on offer.

The Birth of Google Ads Manager

google ads

We still have one final big change to explore and this change is the creation of Google Ad Manager. It’s been over 10 years that Google successfully acquired DoubleClick, beating companies such as Microsoft in doing so. For the past 3 years of this time, Google has been trying the unify parts of the DoubleClick services and it looks like they may have succeeded. The new unified platform, Google Ads Manager combines DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) and DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) into one.


In our recent blog, Ditch What You Know, And Open Your Mind To Multi-Channel Search, we discussed the many ways in which you can go beyond SEO and PPC to improve your digital footprint, but let’s not leave the staples behind just yet. Today, we’ll discuss how by combining the two you can greatly benefit your business’ online presence and success.

The Partnership     

SEO and PPC are integral parts of any digital marketing strategy, yet many businesses choose to focus solely on one while ignoring the other completely. While certain strategies are best suited for certain situations, e.g. small start-up companies choosing the cheaper, slower SEO over the more expensive, instant reward PPC; it is generally better for most to combine the two to gain the most success. Even some companies that offer these services themselves mainly treat them separately with little communication, when in fact their goal is the same: ‘to achieve the most effective results, as efficiently as possible’.

Double the Data

Double the Data - SEO

The main point to bring up first, in support of a combined SEO and PPC strategy, is that they provide a large amount of similar data that you can funnel into your digital marketing strategy such as:

  • Click through rate (CTA)
  • Bounce, entrance and exit rates
  • Visitor time and sessions
  • Conversion rate

Using this data, you can focus specific keywords that are gaining the most results and are rewarding you the most, enabling you to make smarter and quicker decisions to get the most out of it.

Tip: Double the strategies, double the data to work with. 

SEO Vs. PPC? Or, SEO and PPC?

Google conducted over 400 studies in 2011 on whether search ads cannibalise their organic traffic, if search ads were paused, would clicks on organic search results increase, and make up for the loss in paid traffic?

As revealed in the collection of all the data,

The percentage of paid clicks that are not made up for by organic clicks when search ads are paused. The results were surprising. On average, the incremental ad clicks percentage across verticals is 89%. This means that a full 89% of the traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic clicks when ads are paused. This number was consistently high across verticals.”

This shows that using both PPC and SEO has a huge effect on the results generated. Conclusively, it is only when they work together on the same page that they provide the results you are looking for in these campaigns.

Visibility

One of the most important results of combining SEO and PPC would be the extra visibility it provides. A solid strategy for both would provide added results on search engine result pages (SERPs) enabling your business to appear twice on the same page and double the clicks, which could potentially lead to doubling your revenue.

Visibility - PR

Since Google removed the ads in the sidebar to the right of search results, it has increased the value of paid for ads and drove up competition of organic search. With less room on page one for organic search, it becomes vital that you ensure every avenue is explored to elevate your business ahead of your competitors.

Along with this, providing high quality content enables information to appear about your business on the sidebar, increasing your visibility by a large margin. This further stresses the need for a multi-channel digital marketing approach starting with the combination of PPC and SEO.

Some business owners may cancel their PPC ad campaign once they have organically reached top 3, but don’t be too hasty. What’s better? A paid ad at the top of Google and top 3 organically, or one organic link that’s top 3? The choice is easy.

 

Negative PR

A combination of SEO and PPC can help in regards to bad reviews either left maliciously or genuinely. It is almost unavoidable in most industries and you must be prepared for when it does, or at least have strategies in place to dampen the effect. You can greatly control the conversions by controlling a certain term in regards to the negative PR.

Negative PR - PPC

A real-world example of this would be the BP Gulf Oil Spill in 2010, for a while after the event, BP paid for PPC ads to be linked to the keyword ‘oil spill’. This way, anyone searching for details on the oil spill would be shown a page about BP’s clean-up efforts at the top of the list, where a large majority of people would choose the first link shown. Similar strategies like this and a mix of SEO would go a long way to ensure your brand is protected from negative reviews.

Conclusion

In summary, when businesses merge SEO and PPC they gain excellent results from their digital marketing campaigns at an exponential rate. Reducing or completely shutting off one side of this partnership greatly reduces the results. Depending on your situation, this could be a great way to give your company the boost it deserves.

Get in touch with our Digital Next SEO and PPC teams today to see how they can help you get the results you’re striving for!

Have you heard, we are living in the Digital Age? No? Well, neither has my dad to whom I attempted to explain all about the digital age. He replied simply with “It is all like blah blah blah and tweet tweet tweet right?” To be fair, some may argue that he is correct, but with 3 billion people now using the internet every day, it is time for those that are afraid or confused about the digital age to embrace it.

What is the digital age?

what is the digital age

Starting in the late 1970’s the digital age introduced us to personal computers, the free flow of information and the ever advancing world of technology. After the birth of the internet, it was only a matter of time before businesses wanted to get involved. Companies knew they needed to harness the power of quick and free flowing information to improve their prospects.

What does this mean for businesses?

For many, the digital age meant they had to create their own websites, establish an online brand and enter the world of emails all to keep their business ticking over. For some, the digital age had overtaken them completely. Digital marketing, SEO, PPC, Web Content and other key aspects of having a business online merely sounded like terms from a sci-fi film that no one actually knew anything about. If that sounds just like you then it might be time for you to get educated. To help you here are a few key definitions:

Digital Marketing:

The promotion of products or services (marketing) using digital channels (the internet/digital) to reach the consumers. The main objective of this is to promote your brand/company through every possible digital media forum and therefore reach as many consumers as possible.

SEO:

Simply Search Engine Optimisation. This means using techniques and strategies to ultimately increase the amount of visitors to your website by obtaining a high-ranking placement on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and many others.

PPC:

Pay-per-click or cost-per-click. This is a digital advertising model used to direct traffic to your websites. This happens when an advertiser pays a publisher (a website owner) every time an ad is clicked on.

Web Content:

Every website, advert and digital marketing campaign needs great content. Content is simply the words on the page, the tag lines, the blog posts and everything else that your consumers are reading when they visit your site. Without it, search engines such as Google can disregard your website because it has poor or repeated content.

Different Devices

Mobile Friendly

The digital age has progressed dramatically from its birth in the late 1970’s. Now, within the 21st century, more and more consumers are using their mobile devices to view websites, make orders and email people. They have said goodbye to huge computer monitors and are utilising their time on the move by browsing and purchasing on their mobile devices. These I Want to Know, I Want to Go, I Want to Do and I Want to Buy moments mean it is extremely important for your website to be mobile friendly. So try this simple test; see if your site is mobile friendly using this link.

It is? Great! that is a good start and its time to see how a digital agency can improve your SEO.

It’s not? Do not fear! It is time to contact a digital agency, make your website mobile friendly and see just how much your consumers will appreciate it.

What Can a Digital Agency do for you?

With all this new found knowledge about the digital age, it is time for you to consider what’s next. You have heard about the digital age, you know that it is all around you and yet your company isn’t reaping any of the benefits. Instead of losing out to the digital age, it is time for you to hire a digital agency.
No, dad, they don’t just change your website’s colours, no dad, they don’t just take all your money and tweet everyone. It takes a little more work than that. In my opinion, digital agencies are doing exactly what needs to be done to optimise businesses and make sure that they don’t get left behind. If you want to dominate search engines (make sure your businesses website is right at the top of the pack when searched for on Google), grow your business, and have all your digital marketing (marketing now online) done under one roof, then it is a digital agency you are after.

Look Towards the Future, Choose Digital Next

The digital age doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, with new technologies comes more connections and with that, better business relationships no matter where you are in the world.
Digital Next are dedicated to taking your business to the next level. Looking towards the future you can contact one of our team and discuss what you want and what you need for you to succeed. You may be looking for a new website, to improve your SEO, an online marketing campaign or even all of them put together. Get your product out there, make your company’s services visible to anyone that needs them and help your business stand out no matter which device people are viewing you on. For more information about us, digital agencies and our processes then visit Digital Next.

Google has announced to make significant changes with AdWords and Analytics in the recently held GPS summit. The emphasis has been on Mobiles and even though there were many cosmetic changes over the past 2 years, the recent changes that are going to be rolled out in this year are quite significant. As PPC specialists, here is our view on the good and the bad of these updates.

Extended Text Ads

The Extended text ads are optimised for the mobile-first world and they are designed to maximise the Ad presence on search results. With nearly 50% greater ad copy, this format features a more prominent headline and extra room to highlight your products and services.

Google AdWords Updates

Apparently the beta tests have proven a boost of 20% increase in the CTR which is pretty good. This also means before this update is rolled out, it’s quite important to plan to re-write the ads. The new character charter counts also has changed as below.

Google AdWords Updates

Good: This is a great feature to have more space for Ads. Its gives more room and space to communicate the value proposition to the users and I’m sure this will help to increase the CTR.

Bad: However, it could take up a lot of space which means the organic results could be pushed a little more down. It will be interesting to see the evolution of Ad space in Google Search engine.

Bidding

After the announcements of Enhanced campaigns in 2013, Google removed the luxury of having Mobile only campaigns and device specific bidding model. However, Google has decided to implement the device specific bidding model which basically means you can alter the bids according to the specific device namely Desktops, Tablets and Mobiles.

This will massively help advertisers to choose the right bids on right devices. Even though the Cost per click on the mobile devices have gone higher in the last 2 years as a result of enhanced campaigns, it will be still better for advertisers to have a good device specific strategy.

Good: It will be brilliant to have a specific bid strategy for each device. This will give autonomy to the advertisers to modulate their bidding and messaging on various devices at various times of the day.

Bad: The CPC’s on Tablets will be a new area to explore however the bids on Mobile and Tablets will continue to increase. The bids on the mobile devices have already increased drastically after the enhanced campaigns were rolled out. This feature could push it even higher.

Local Search Ads to Appear on Google Maps

This has been a major move in terms of including Google Maps for local search ads. This will pretty good for the business which has a brick and mortar store to improve the footfall. Ideally this will benefit all Health clubs, Gyms, Restaurants, garages, or any physical store.

Google AdWords UpdatesGoogle AdWords Updates

Google states – Advertisers using location extensions will be able to prominently showcase their business locations when consumers search for things like “shoe store” or “car repair near me.” The Promoted pins is a brilliant way to attract more footfall to the store. Also the Maps users may start to see promoted pins for nearby coffee shops, gas stations or lunch spots along their driving route as many people use Google maps for Navigation. The data collected using Google maps/locations is massive and Google has found a way to monetise the same. There are about 1 million users worldwide who use Google Maps.

Good: New Inventory for advertisers to tap in. It will a great feature for any physical store/location to drive more footfall to the store. This will benefit small business/Local campaigns massively.

Bad: The ad will show up at the bottom of the screen with a button could distract a user who is actually driving. The Mobile screen could be cluttered with ads which more likely will only lead to a paid version without ads.

Responsive ads for display

The Display Ad builder has gone through changes over the last few years, however Google is changing the way to make responsive ads by providing simply providing the headlines, a description, an image, and a URL. We need to wait and see these new ads.

Google AdWords Updates

Good: Saves a lot of time in creating the right ads.

Bad: Most of the time, there are problems while saving the Ads created using the display ad builder. Hopefully that does not happen with this new feature. Also the designs will be the standard and the advertiser has limited control to change as it will be template driven. There will be no individuality.

Demographics for Search Ads

Although this has been beta tested a while back, Google did not release this beta all this while. Now is the time, and the roll out is expected in Q3. This will massively boost personalised ads which is the future. The ad will be served more intelligently depending on the location and the demographics which will be very interesting.

Good: It will benefit more Fashion retailers, gender specific product retailers or any business which understand it client base.

Bad: The information regarding the gender, age group, parental status may not always be accurate. This only could limit the campaign reach. Also it does not give the luxury to target users according to their disposable income as in the US which could have been more beneficial. If multiple users could use a same Tablet/Laptop, the targeting might not be precise.

Similar audience for Search Ads

Just like the similar audience for Display, Google is creating a similar audience which is could be more beneficial for prospecting. This is a key area where Google has been really weak. However, over the last 2 years Google has got better in understanding the audience and their intent signals.

Good: This will be great for advertisers who has maxed their impression share on search and looking to prospect. This look like model could help them to reach more users.

Bad: Profiling users based on their search terms may not reflect the intent of the users completely if multiple users have access to the same Tablet/PC. Also depending on the length of the purchase cycle, this list could be more meaningful or pretty useless.

This week has brought with it a variety of alterations to Google’s layout, with these minor changes having a snowball effect that has accumulated into big changes for a lot of businesses.

One of these minor changes, revealed by the Wall Street Journal this week, has been that from February 23 the company have started decreasing the availability of the Google Compare product in its US and UK market ahead of actually terminating the service on March 23.

While people have regularly turned to Google when searching for financial services information or the best deals, their comparison service hasn’t lived up to expectations when compared to others in the over-crowded market. Instead the company are going to focus more intently on their AdWords service along with other innovations.

As we’ve discovered with Google, the only constant appears to be change, and this shift hints at a larger refocusing. All of this information appears to go hand in hand with the recent changes to the right side-bar ads on search results, with up to four text ads appearing above organic search results and Product Listing Ads (PLA) being shifted to the right space. With the inclusion of this additional fourth advert on certain commercial queries, it’s no stretch to assume that this will generate more revenue than the comparison service was doing.

google-compare-serp

This is interesting as it is expected that all costings for AdWords will be affected by the changes, with those on a tight budget feeling the pinch due to available ad space being reduced and the demand for places growing as a result. On top of this it’s expected that the number of keywords advertisers are using will be reduced as the costs increase.

While Google Compare won’t be a massive loss due to the fact it wasn’t rolled out globally, the changes its termination hints at perhaps give a peak into a larger change for Google and their SERP layout in the coming year.

How do you ensure your best deals remain relevant in Google results without having the novelty of a comparison tool to back you up? We believe clients should look toward investing more and more in PLA as part of their AdWords strategy to ensure their service remains prominent on the page and at the tip of everyone’s fingers. However for those on a tight budget, now might be the time to look to focusing more time and energy into alternatives such as Bing which will provide more bang for your buck.

Google’s announcement regarding the removal of the right hand sidebar ads is quite interesting and shocking as well. So, let me walk you through the good, bad and ugly stuff associated with this update and provide you with some food for thought.

The Good

removal of right hand side bar google

The ad space at the top of the search results is more prominent and – with the removal of the right hand sidebar ads – there is now room for another ad to appear on the top. Seeing as how the number of ads featured on the top of organic results has now been increased to 4, this means more visibility and the click through rate (CTR) will naturally be higher. As such, it is of paramount importance to use the Ad Extensions, as it provides greater visibility and control over the landing pages used.

google shopping right hand side bar

The Google Shopping ads have been allocated more space on the side bar, which makes it much less cluttered. It is also believed that Google is experimenting with additional space for another set of 8 Product Listing Ads (PLAs), which means more space for Google Shopping. On a normal screen resolution, all the ads are above the fold and hence it is an added advantage that will positively impact the CTR. The results on the desktop are more aligned to mobile page, which delivers a better user experience.

The Bad & Ugly

The impression share will start to reduce as the inventory gets limited. This is because, when compared to 9 + ad positions in page 1, there will now be 7 positions which means greater competition for the ad space (as shown in the below image). This will impact all accounts and – if the same is being rolled out for search partners network – it will make a larger impact. However, reduction in the inventory on page 1 will affect the impression share, especially in really competitive industries.

paid search ad positions

Secondly, after the enhanced campaigns roll out, this is the major update that impacts the cost per click. The CPC will start to increase steadily over Q2 and it will definitely be more visible in Q3. The mobile bids have gone up drastically after the enhanced campaigns and it is set to increase further with this update. Also, this update makes SEO even more competitive, as more space in the page is taken up by ads. The number of results that appear organically is expected to reduce slightly, however it’s still ambiguous at this early stage.

Who Will Be Affected?

All AdWords accounts will be affected, but the budget conscious advertisers will be the worst affected. Since the inventory on the first page is reduced and for commercial queries, Google has its own comparison site as the first ad meaning that the available ad space is further reduced to 6 so – as the demand is naturally higher – the budget conscious advertisers will suffer the worst. Just as soon as today, Google have reported they are going to close down their comparison site as of 23rd March is believed to be a response of this update.

flights google compare

There might be a slight dip in conversions and the CPA is expected to go higher. The number of keywords used in the account will start to reduce as the costs are going higher and most advertisers will be fixated on converting keywords, so naturally the exact match keywords prices will increase. However, some experts say the CPCs could reduce for the bottom ads but that is very unlikely.

Summary

To summarise, though there are some benefits and drawbacks that will impact all AdWords campaigns, it appears that competition for ad space will increase significantly. However, here are our main take aways from this announcement:

  • No more right hand sidebar ads
  • Need to push more budgets in PLA – Google Shopping campaigns
  • Expand on various channels such as Bing, Facebook etc.
  • CPCs/CPA could go up in the next couple of months
  • Decrease in Impression share

Although innovators and big spenders when it comes to Pay Per Click advertising and websites that excel in lead generation – especially for solicitors with a heavy focus on accident claims such as National Accident Helpline – the potential of digital marketing has never been fully tapped into by the majority of the legal sector.

As the industry is stuck in a cycle of case handling and bringing large volumes of claims in, solicitors can be forgiven for having a narrow and archaic approach to lead generation which has historically seen them rely on billboards, expensive TV advertisements, incentives and gimmick marketing characters while only skimming the surface of digital marketing’s potential.

Not Mobile Responsive

Look, for example, at how many regional solicitors’ practices still don’t have mobile responsive websites. In August, Ofcom reported that a third of all online access is now via smartphones, due in part to the increased availability of 4G. Ofcom’s 2015 Communications Data Report also shows this growth has led to a decrease in the use of laptop computers.

By having a non-responsive website, solicitors are effectively alienating a large percentage of potential clients who could be actively browsing for someone to make a claim with and get fed-up of navigating their site. This is a lucrative lead lost purely because they’ve ignored trend changes in how people search for assistance in 2015, and neglected the variety of ways their website can be viewed.
injured man on smartphone
Similarly, they’re shooting themselves in the foot in regard to organic search rankings as, by not having a mobile-friendly website, it will be affecting them adversely and seriously impacting traffic numbers. This is due in large part to Google launching a new algorithm in April that saw mobile-friendly sites gain more prominence in search results over those without.

SEO – The Final Frontier

While we have mentioned how solicitors lead the way in regard to Pay Per Click advertising, it seems to be at the expense of the more cost-effective alternative. SEO can achieve a lot for solicitors at a fraction of the cost of PPC, giving regional solicitors that don’t have large marketing budgets the opportunity to go head to head with the big firms such as First4Lawyers and NAHL. With a well thought out and creative SEO strategy, any solicitor in the UK has the potential to shoot up the rankings, compete online, and gain national coverage.

In 2014 the legal sector in the UK was valued at £29bn, and only the surface has been scratched in regards to solicitors using digital marketing to its full potential and increasing this GDP.
SEO is the foundation which Digital Next was built on, and using our nuanced eye and industry leading expertise we ensure you’ll receive more traffic and generate more leads due to increased visibility.

Make 2016 your time to shine with Digital Next.

Happy New Year to all of our clients, friends, and readers. We welcome in the New Year with exciting updates from the world of paid search.

Last month, we saw the biggest change since the release of the popular AdWords tool back in 2006 – AdWords Editor 11.0. So, how are we settling into the update? One of the biggest changes seems to be the user interface. The tabs that were originally located at the top split into; keywords, ads, ad groups, targeting, extensions, and campaigns (shown below) now appear on the left hand side.

AsWords Editor 10.5

AdWords Editor 11

As the number of accounts increase, so does the need to find the things you’re looking for. Google have introduced a new panel for selecting type lists, which removes the need to navigate using tabs, so you can perform common tasks quicker whilst instantly accessing the campaigns, advanced features, and settings.

With so many changes to the layout, how are we adjusting to making large changes to accounts in an efficient manner?

We put our PPC experts to the test, and within a few days we were all comfortable enough.  One of the favoured changes on release was that you are able to make multiple selections i.e. being able to select multiple campaigns and look at all the ads/keywords etc. within them.

Since then, we have also been utilising the helpful keyboard shortcuts. The following are our team’s top 5 most helpful/used shortcuts:

  • Ctrl+O : Open accounts manager
  • Ctrl+B : Change bids of selected items
  • Ctrl+U : Change URLs of selected items
  • Ctrl+Shift+B : Make multiple changes
  • Ctrl+P : Post changes to this account

Big benefits: performing actions in bulk and at scale with 11.0

As described by Google; to simplify your workflow and reduce the time spent on campaign management for AdWords power users, it has been renovated from the ground up with a complete overhaul on the visual aspect. With a speedy interface, AdWords Editor 11.0 is intended for you to manage multiple accounts with ease, whilst still being able to juggle your additional day to day tasks.

This means you can go crazy with January sales campaigns for your e-commerce websites, without the worry that the tool is going to freeze each time you are building the campaigns and doing large quantities of copy and pasting elements of your campaign.

Making large-scale changes in previous versions of the tool has often been a challenge. With the update, it is much easier in AdWords Editor 11.0. Advanced multi-select functionality makes viewing and updating specific parts of your account much easier! You can select any combination of campaigns and ad groups to view their ads or keywords, and paste them into multiple campaigns and ad groups at once.

Get up to speed

It’s that time of year again where holiday shopping is at its highest and with recent updates, we have been benefitting from over the weeks, shopping campaigns are now looking better than ever.

So, what’s new in the industry? Until now, Google has disapproved product listing ads when sellers had variances between price or stock availability amongst their product feed and the microdata on their website.

In order to help keep sellers visible for Google shopping campaign results, they have launched automatic item updates.

When merchants enable automatic item updates, Google will then automatically update the price and inventory availability displayed in shopping campaign ads, rather than disapproving them when there is an inconsistency found.

Please keep in mind however that this is not a sure way that your ads will show 100% of the time, but a way in which can limit the disapprovals!

Holiday campaigns – how to tackle them

With the run up to Christmas, there are several holidays in which retailers go mad for. E-commerce websites are in their element with the Google shopping campaigns around this time of year, but what about ordinary search campaigns targeting the holidays coming up?

adwords shopping calendar

When it comes to pay per click advertising, there are many ways to tackle the holidays. Ensure to plan in advance is always a good starting point. Create new campaigns specifically for the themed products or services, or split them out by individual public holiday.

Both of these methods are a proven effective way of retaining control over budget, cost per click, ad positioning and overall PPC management.

What’s next on the calendar – Halloween

So now that we have understanding of the preparation needed for the seasonal campaigns under way, what’s next on the calendar?

With Halloween fast approaching, you don’t have to be a fancy dress retailer to reap the benefits. Come up with ideas for campaigns and target your keywords to utilise the occasion.

Find offers on your website, or if you are a PPC account manager looking after the account on behalf of your client, liaise with the client to discuss seasonal offers.

Halloween can prove to be an impulsive time for shoppers, as when they are browsing for costumes and sweets, they often come across items which they had not seen but would like to purchase for everyday use.

Tip: use site link extensions to enhance your ads by providing additional pages from the website. This can also set your advert apart from competitors by taking up additional ad space.

Black Friday – Black November

Coming up in all marketers’ calendars has to be what is known as ‘Black Friday.’  Black Friday is the Friday following Thanksgiving over in the states, and is regarded the starting line for Christmas shopping.

Google released in one of their recent blog posts last week that Black Friday is becoming a month-long event. With this in mind, the PPC management strategy should look at running month-long campaigns with offers to make the most out of their search campaigns, shopping campaigns, display, mobile and remarketing campaigns.