Posts tagged PPC campaigns

New FTC Regulations Cause a Lot of Head Scratching

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The FTC has targeted native ads with their latest regulations. What does this mean for your business?

As more companies fight the ongoing challenge of ad-blocking software, native ads offer the promise of greater visibility. But with greater visibility comes greater responsibility.

Here’s the short version: The user should be able to recognize your content as an ad before clicking.

“Wait,” you say, “isn’t that the whole point of native advertising? To create ads that fit right in with the user experience?”

Why It’s Not Quite That Simple for the FTC

The FTC is really trying to guard against what it terms “deceptive ads.” However, even in that blanket term is a great variety of options for the marketer because ads are not compared to a single set of guidelines, but are taken in context. That’s why things get muddled when we talk about placing sponsored ads in a native environment. What would normally be an obvious ad, now suddenly becomes part of a news feed.

But is it an attempt to be deceptive or just good marketing not to pull consumers out of their little digital world?

It comes down to the details. Will the ad have to be a different size to stand out? Does it have to be labeled as sponsored content? Is placement of the ad the issue (this would be the biggest concern)?

In some ways, the issue is how much credit are we willing to give to consumers. At the same time, the FTC’s answer seems to be “not much.” That’s why our PPC ads on Google appear first or off to the side with that little yellow box that says “Ad.”

In the meantime, it means some trial and error for advertisers because, in the end, we’re the ones the FTC will hold primarily accountable. Unfortunately, the FTC guidelines also point out that everyone who even has a share in creating the ads will be considered culpable to some degree.

This leaves us with an even bigger question. Is it better to keep getting our ads blocked or to take our chances with the mysterious new FTC guidelines? As with so many things in the marketing world, it seems that only time will tell.

Becoming a Digital Marketeer

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Becoming a Digital Marketer: Things You Must Learn

When you want to break into the field of digital marketing there is a basic foundation that you need to have. Because many in the marketing field don’t have a lot of IT experience, it can be difficult to know what to focus on. In this article, we will consider some useful IT skills that can make becoming a digital marketeer easier.

Let’s start with social media. Marketing campaigns involving social media are becoming more commonplace, because most people are on their mobile devices for that sort of content anyway. It is thus necessary to know how to use various social media sites, what the repercussions are for using them poorly, the benefits of using them well, and the methods of marketing that are available.

Next, you want to have a good understanding of online metrics in order to calculate or estimate ROI for various campaigns. It can be a little tougher to find the ROI of an email campaign than the ROI of a coupon in the Sunday newspaper. You also need to be able to measure conversions to be sure that your campaigns are reaching some of the less financially tangible goals.

The world of web design is ever evolving, and you need to stay up to date. This means understanding search engine optimization and, now, app store optimization for any business applications your company may develop.

Finally, there is the matter of selling your products online. People love to shop from their computers, phones, and tablets. You should be familiar with what goes into a well-designed online shopping cart. The best encourage customers to complete a sale rather than walk away with stuff in their bag (the online equivalent of ditching products while on the checkout line). While you probably won’t have to design this sort of thing yourself, you will want to be knowledgeable enough to have a say on how to keep the interface consumer friendly.

While you won’t need to become a full-fledged IT before becoming a digital marketeer, the more you know about these subjects, the better off you will be.

Pay-Per-Click Strategies

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Pay-Per-Click Strategies: Spring Cleaning for Your Ads, Part 2

In the first part of this series, we examined everything from ad copy to geographic targeting. Now, here are the rest of the pay-per-click strategies you should be looking over in order to ensure that your PPC campaigns are up-to-date and earning you the returns that they should be.

Have you thought about landing pages? Many times, especially when it comes to dealing with massive amounts of URLs, many remnants that should not still be active are. The more keywords used in the URLs, the more clean up there usually is to do.

Ad scheduling, rotation, and delivery. Can be trouble spots as well. Throughout the year you may have made adjustments to your campaigns. Are these changes still valid? Many people when asked do not even know why their ads are scheduled the way they are. Get involved and get informed. Setting your ad delivery system to “accelerated” may turn better results for you.

AdWords has now offered a helpful tool in shared budgets. This can be very advantageous, but make sure to review which ads are sharing which budgets and how much these budgets are allotted.

You may have put in place a seasonal ad extension. You should check to make sure that all of the site links are still good and that the URLs are as well.

Many take a guessing approach to mobile bid modifiers, so now is the time to think about these enhancements and make sure that they are in line with your objectives as you move forward.

A big one to look at is automated bid rules. These automatic adjustments should be checked to make sure that the changes they are making are still valid.

Across all of your ad campaigns, you can also create a list of shared negative keywords. You should check to make sure that these lists are correct and attached to the correct campaigns.

Make sure your audience lists are targeted correctly, not including anyone they shouldn’t and not excluding anyone they shouldn’t. You should also check this in relation to any changes you may have made to the website.

Check to see that any ads you may be running on the Search Partner Network within AdWords are functioning correctly and effectively. Bing offers more control options in regards to this, so be sure you check those out too.

Lastly, take a look at your display network. As you go clean up your Google Display Campaigns, remember that they tend to not work as well on mobile devices, so check those settings carefully. Also examine the “Bid Only” and the “Target and Bid” settings.

It may seem like a lot of little things, but every item on this list is important if you want your PPC campaigns to really pay off for your company in the long run.

Organizing Your PPC Campaigns

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Organizing your PPC Campaigns: Spring Cleaning for Your Ads

The time has come once again to take a good look at your pay-per-click (PPC, or cost-per-click, CPC) campaigns. You may have changed your ad schedule during the high season and now it might be time to make sure your normal settings are put back in place. Now is the right time to check on any changes or modifiers that you made have implemented over the last year. Organizing your PPC campaigns can help you get ready for next season.

A good place to start is with ad copy. To be the most effective, you should be checking your ads constantly. These checks can result in hundreds of changes a year (maybe thousands depending on how many PPC accounts you manage). So, now is a good time to make sure that all the URLs that you have for your ads are correct and that retired messages are not left over.

Another place to look would be at your language targeting. Just automatically choosing English for all your ads is tempting, but you could be missing out on a lot of potential if you do not give it a close look.

Next up are URL parameters and tracking parameters. If you have experience with PPC campaigns then you know from experience that these parameters are very delicate. One wrong key stroke and all of your information is no longer correct. For this reason, it is a good idea to review all of your parameters. This is especially important if you use Bing since they don’t auto-tag.

Possibly one of the most important areas to review is your auto-targeting with AdWords and product listing ads (PLAs). Every aspect of these targets should be reviewed.

In view of all the changes that were implemented with enhanced campaigns, you should also take a look at your geographic targeting. It is smart to take a look at your average order value, or AOV, region by region. Now is the time to make any adjustments that could be helpful.

Reviewing and tidying up all these areas of your ad campaigns will help ensure that you are not wasting your efforts or energy on something that is not thought out and purposeful. Organizing your PPC campaigns in such a way will help maximize profitability.

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