At the end of 2014 I sat down with Meghan Li Agency Development Manager at Google to discuss various topics relevant to today’s digital marketer and other Google product related best practices. This Google Hangout is now available on the Elite SEM YouTube channel and we are happy to share it with you.
Our hangout starts off with an overview of Elite SEM and a discussion about the most important things to look for when picking a digital marketing agency. From there we jump right into the main focus of our Google Hangout mobile and shopping best practices.
Mobile and shopping campaigns are two of the quickest moving campaign types in digital marketing. I mean that not only in terms of how quickly the traffic from these campaigns continues to grow; but also in terms of how the often managing and optimizing these campaigns has been changing.
Both mobile and shopping campaigns have gotten completely overhauled in recent history so effectively managing these channels are becoming more difficult for advertisers not completely dedicated to staying ahead of the curve and current best practices.
Now that you have a better understanding of the general topics of the hangout we invite you to watch it in its entirety or skip to a section using the informative time stamps and topic outline below.
Tips for picking a search engine marketing agency (2:36)
Picking a digital marketing agency is a tough ask. Not only are there many options to choose from (over 80,000 digital marketing agencies in the US last time I googled it when Elite was voted the best Search Engine marketing company in 2013), but how can you really tell if an agency is going to be able to deliver on the results you are looking for?
Elite SEM’s experts-only approach (3:19)
At Elite SEM we feel it’s important to work with experts who specialize the marketing campaigns important to your business. You could let the company who does your web and creative design manage your digital ad spend but that doesn’t necessarily make them experts; and that may leave you wishing you got more out of your digital marketing ad dollars. At Elite SEM the team that manages the services we provide actually specialize particularly in those services and that’s what they do 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year.
In 2015 you have the choice to work with vendors you are a perfect ten out of ten in the services they offer. If they don’t perform find another vendor that will. We feel like you shouldn’t have to settle with a six out of ten in terms of satisfaction from one service because a that vendor is a ten out of ten in another service they offer.
Elite SEM’s disruptive agency model (4:22)
At Elite SEM we position and value our employees and account management teams more than the traditional digital marketing agency.
Your account manager and day to day contact is the most important person at our company for your business and success. Because of that we directly incentivize our employees more than the industry average and in a way that aligns our employee’s goals with their client’s goals.
Short term contracts and contract flexibility (5:54)
Anyone who works with Elite SEM to manage their paid digital campaign spend or SEM has a 48 hour out clause. That means if for any reason whatsoever any of the clients who engage with us for paid search want to take their business elsewhere whether that be in house or with another agency they have the ability to with no questions asked. We feel very confident in our people and the service and expertise we offer, we feel like you should work with a company that is equally as confident and gives you freedom with no long term contracts.
In addition to have a flexible short term contract all of Elite SEM’s clients own all the work that we provide. So, in terms of their accounts and campaigns they are the sole owner of everything in terms of the setup of their digital marketing structure that we create for them based on our industry expertise and refined best practices.
Final takeaway on choosing the right digital marketing agency
At Elite SEM believe all of the above are vitally important when choosing the right digital marketing agency for your brand and it is what these core elements that makes Elite SEM who we are as an agency.
Top Tips for optimizing Mobile search campaigns (6:47)
We hear about it all the time and from everybody.
Mobile search volume, mobile site traffic volume is growing, mobile digital ad revenue is growing, etc., etc., etc. Mobile is getting bigger and more important by the minute!
So what are we really talking about in terms of growth and more importantly how can advertisers effectively tap into this growth in an ROI positive way?
Well to give you a small sense of some changes In mobile traffic. For the period after launched Google Enhanced Campaigns we saw mobile and table traffic jump up to 30% of all campaign spend from 22% in the previous pre Enhanced Campaign period. That’s not one in every three dollars our clients spend through Elite SEM on Google that’s going towards mobile advertising.
Understanding and adjusting to Google’s Enhanced Campaigns (8:30)
So we’ve mentioned the term Google Enhanced campaigns a few times, what exactly is that?
Well we’re glad you asked because it’s a vital piece of the mobile marketing puzzle. You must understand the structure of how you can target mobile to really understand how best we can optimize campaigns targeting mobile devices. So let’s do that…
I do my very best to give you an in depth explanation and overview of all the changes that came with Google’s launch of Enhanced Campaigns (8:39).
It’s a little less than a 2 minute explanation to cover all the basic topics such as changes to bidding, budgeting, and an introduction to bid modifiers.
Understanding the full value of mobile traffic (10:27)
How do we optimize mobile when people are on the go?
The first two things I argue you need to know what it comes to understanding mobile
- Understanding the full value of mobile
- Mobile micro conversions are a big part about mobile SEM.
- Do you understand how they impact your customer journey and how each touch point adds to the value you are receiving from mobile traffic?
- Mobile micro conversions are a big part about mobile SEM.
- Understanding how to view and pull your mobile performance data
- A very important and sometimes overlooked piece of the mobile puzzle
- Are you up to date on exactly how and where to pull mobile performance data and then use that data tweak and optimize your campaigns to get more or less mobile traffic based on your performance and goals?
Understanding the top mobile goals and priorities (12:15)
Goal: Rank in the top position above the fold on mobile devices
- Our first steps in optimizing mobile for SEM is ensuring we’re above the fold and in position 1 or 2
- Having our ads any lower than that and most likely we’re not spending too much and not really getting the mobile traffic we need to analyze mobile performance data
Priority: Be careful to not cannibalize your desktop budget and traffic with mobile traffic of (12:35)
- Since budgets are shared you need to be careful to not limit your normal flow of desktop traffic by opting into mobile traffic
- If you find this is happening to you
Goal: Identify and measure micro conversions
- Identify all the different types of mobile “micro-conversions” and make sure you’re capturing and reporting on the ones that are most relevant to your business
- If you know that your consumers are very likely to pick up the phone and contact your business directly when getting to your site on their mobile device ensure that you’re tracking phone calls and tying that data back to your marketing efforts.
Priority: Get into a rhythm of pulling mobile reporting, analyzing the data, and adjusting your mobile modifiers accordingly
- Search is competitive and the search auction changes every single time a
Goal: Get into the mobile game
- If you’ve never tried targeting users on mobile there’s no better time than the present to give it a shot and check your ROI
- Start off conservatively with a -50% modifier or even more of a negative multiplier if your desktop bids are highly competitive (over $10)
Priority: Beware accidental overspend with multiple bid multipliers
- If you bid more or less aggressively for mobile but then also for geography, time of day, day of week, demographic or any other areas where you can modify your bid things can get out of hand pretty quickly.
- Bid modifiers are multiplicative so try to limit your testing to individual modifications and not go overboard with too many tests run at once.
Final thoughts on mobile optimization
Analyze and balance your rank, the pacing of desktop traffic, and mobile ROI when optimizing your mobile campaigns.
A discussion on why you should work with a mobile marketing specialist (17:32)
With the rise of mobile apps and the growing importance of mobile apps in not only just the mobile ecosystem but the digital marketing ecosystem as a whole an expertise in mobile marketing has become a new essential expertise.
YouTube, click to install search ads, Facebook, Twitter, 3rd party networks, and in app advertising are all growing segments in the mobile space. Elite SEM now has a mobile team that specifically works on these types of campaigns and other mobile vendors on a daily basis.
Familiar with the best practices and guidelines for implementing SDKs (software development kits) for the Google Play or iTunes store tracking? Our mobile team is! Because that’s what they work on day in and day out. As with our other vertical teams at Elite the mobile marketing reinforces our experts-only mentality on a continuous basis with the great performance they drive for our clients.
The mobile marketing shift from app-install to post app install engagement (19:55)
Since the beginning of mobile app advertising application installs, install rates, and cost per install were the metrics most heavily weighted and generally what mobile app campaigns goals were based off of.
While install metrics are still very important to today’s mobile marketer, mobile app analytics and post-engagement metrics have grown leaps and bounds in terms of importance and value.
We can now look at now only what channels are driving what volume of installs and at what cost; but now we can also look at how after installation those users are engaging and converting with the app by channel and campaign type clearly separating high quality installs and customers versus less valuable installs and customers.
Overall this shift in mobile marketing is for the better as now we can more wisely spend and optimize mobile app campaigns towards success with a clearer picture of return on investment.
Future of mobile (22:05)
I look into my crystal ball and forecast the future of mobile search marketing. In addition to just mobile search I give my thoughts on how both video and local advertising will play a role in continued mobile expansion.
I’ve covered the topic of iBeacon technology recently and personally think we will continue to see its uses and applications with and without advertising components continue to grow. Very cool technology indeed.
Now let’s switch gears and talk about shopping.
Top Tips for optimizing Google Shopping (23:08)
Google just recently made a shift in their shopping campaigns that might have flown under the radar to those who don’t pay close attention to the Adwords platform. On the surface Google changed the name of its product ad campaigns from Product Listing Ads to Google Shopping; but underneath that surface many other changes happened as well.
Similarly to why the increase in mobile traffic makes mobile campaigns important to understand and talk about shopping campaign volume has been increasing at a very rapid pace. Shopping provides a great user experience where users actually see the product they are looking with pricing and can actually land on a specific product page on an advertisers website with just one click.
According to the most recent Elite SEM Whitepaper on Google Shopping campaigns,
spend increased 93% year over year from 2013 versus 2014!
An additional reason that shopping campaigns are interesting in my opinion is that the best practice for the structure of shopping campaign, how to optimize, as well as how to leverage your ecommerce data feed for shopping are not necessarily similar to what we are used to with other digital marketing campaigns. Shopping is its own beast and important enough to spend the time to learn how to get the best performance out of it.
The key changes between Product Listing Ads and Google Shopping (25:24)
Historically with Product Listing Ads the most specific targeting available to advertiser was a “product target”. When optimizing and analyzing the reporting for a specific product target you would see how many clicks, how much cost, how many conversions, and how much revenue your product target reported but there was no specific insight or data to which product or products within that group actually generated the traffic, cost, or conversions.
With Google Shopping campaigns we now have product specific insights to report on and bid specifically down to the product level based on performance. This is a really welcome enhancement and something savvy marketers are able to really take advantage of.
More enhancements with Google Shopping (26:51)
- 5 Custom labels now available to advertisers instead of the previous 2
- Additional customization and segmenting of the product feed for reporting and targeting
- Campaign priority
- Since you’ll often have different campaigns that have some product and targeting overlap (especially with an all products target or campaign) you can now classify and distinguish which campaigns you’d like to show up on the search results page in the case of multiple campaigns and products being eligible for an auction.
- Competitive metrics
- See where you can spend more with impression share metrics, how your product ads compare to your competitors with competitive CTR and some other new metrics.
Why you should work with a data feed management specialist (28:53)
As most people who are familiar with Google Shopping campaigns know, you don’t actually pick the keywords or queries that serve your product ads. The way that Google determines whose ads show up on the search engines is based on what’s in advertiser’s data feeds. Mostly Google uses the text and values found in a product’s title and description to determine if it should be eligible to show or not.
This makes the feed a very important part of the shopping campaign ecosystem and thus makes understanding how to best optimize your data feed a must for companies trying to compete at the highest level. Add that to the fact that different comparison shopping engines and marketplaces want your feed to set up with a specific structure and taxonomy and you start to get a sense of how complex managing a feed correctly can get.
It is for all of these reasons that Elite SEM have a data feed management team to help our clients get the most out of shopping campaigns and other feed based campaign types. Feeds are becoming a bigger part of both ecommerce and non-ecommerce digital marketing and it’s a specialized skill and know how that does not necessarily fall in line with the knowledge and experience an SEM manager is used to.
A special thanks to Meghan and Google for being such great partners of Elite SEM and giving us the platform to discuss all these exciting changes, trends, and best practices in the digital marketing space. I had a great time and look forward to hopefully participating in more Google Hangouts in the future!
Other topics and timestamps
More information about the full suite of services Elite SEM specializes in and offers (0:55)
Elite SEM specializes in Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Display, remarketing, conversion rate optimization, data feed management, and mobile marketing.