As Search Shrinks, Social Grows

Man having an idea!
Mobile has shaken the world of search.

As a void is created in search by the changes that the mobile web has brought about, social media is filling the gap by becoming the “go to” location for reviews and personal recommendation.

Is Search (As We Know It) Dying” is an excellent point of view and a great read for today.  As the author notes, social media icons like Facebook are deep into development for the next generation of search and mobile use. One of the biggest pushes are for artificial intelligence and personalized assistants; keeping users tied in and connected.

Take into account activity on social networks, where queries like “I am visiting London, England next week, what have you done or loved that I should make sure to put on my to do list?” are commonplace and readily answered by friends, family and acquaintances.

Although users have loved, then hated, and now appear to love again social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, I am seeing more businesses and consultants feel that it is now time to get serious about establishing and keeping a presence on these social media sites.

Courtney Danyel (the author of the aforementioned article) puts it all succinctly in this ending comment, “In the long run, brands and businesses focusing the majority of their energy on optimizing for search will face the inevitability of stunted reach and growth.” I could not agree more.

Share

Mobile Spells the Death of Google

Nancy McCord
Nancy McCord – Point of View for Today.

I read an article with interest this last week that laid out a very compelling case for the death of search engines.  You can read the full article called “Is Search, As We Know It, Dying?”

The key takeaway that I have seen on my own is that the increased used of mobile devices is turning the regular world of search upside down. Consider on Google AdWords – activity in mobile means increased website traffic, more clicks, but does not translate into more conversions.

As mobile activity has increased in Google AdWords, computer activity has decreased and with it conversions, time on page, and the bounce rate has increased.

Google and Bing continue to scramble to make search meaningful for smartphone users by introducing interactive maps with ads but users are looking for other resources via apps to get the information they want.

Just consider how searches for hotels, venues, and restaurants has changed. Trip Advisor is a great example of how a mobile app is replacing traditional search for smartphone users.

Just yesterday I needed a round tablecloth, I did not search on Google, but rather started my search directly on Amazon.com.

With Google and Bing getting pressure to keep their search audience and websites like Amazon and mobile apps like Trip Advisor stepping in to provide targeted quality search results, we may be seeing the demise of traditional search engines in the next three to five years and maybe even sooner.

For more about me, Nancy McCord, and McCord Web Services, please visit our website at www.McCordWeb.com.

 

Share

Google Shopping Best Practices

Use Google Shopping with Keyword Targeted AdWords.
Use Google Shopping with Keyword Targeted AdWords.

If you have an online store, you’ll want to be using Google AdWords Google Shopping ads because Google shows pictures of your products mixed in with the organic search results. Does that mean if you are using Google Shopping you should not be using regular AdWords – no absolutely not!

For best performance you should use Google AdWords Shopping Ads PLUS regular Google AdWords.

Here’s why:

    1. Google Shopping ads will show for very specific search queries and in some instances, but not as frequently as you might wish, on related search queries.
    2. What if an end user does not know the brand or model number of your products? A regular Google AdWords PPC program, with remarketing, and even a dynamic search ad program will complete online coverage for you. This gives you the best of all worlds and allows for greatest ad visibility.
    3. Cost per click (keyword targeted AdWords) may actually cost less than costs in Google Shopping. If you see your cost per click continuing to escalate in Google Shopping try adding a keyword specific campaign to your advertising mix to expand cost effective opportunities and ramp back your cost per click settings in Google Shopping.
    4. Even if you don’t want to move into regular AdWords pay per click advertising on keywords, make sure you are at the minimum using remarketing and dynamic search ads in conjunction with your Google Shopping program. This will give you greater market penetration.

    Get started out right in Google AdWords with professional set up that includes the first four weeks of account management.

    Share

Insights Into Mobile Lead Generation in Google AdWords

Mobile exposure in AdWords is key.
Mobile exposure in AdWords is key.

I manage many AdWords accounts across a diverse selection of verticals and wanted to share with you an insight that I am finding out appears to be true for many of our clients.

Mobile is a very important part of the lead generation equation; even if you are not seeing strong lead generation coming directly from mobile do not discount its importance.

Here’s one test I did recently…

I moved a client totally out of mobile using a -100% bid as their Google Analytics traffic stated that only 3.0% of their visitors were coming in from a mobile device. This client runs a Yahoo store and is using one of Yahoo’s generated mobile websites.

Immediately we saw a 12% drop in overall conversions, a 33.87% drop in cost, a 35.38% drop in clicks, and 27.17% increase in cost per conversion.

What I am finding out is that for many clients mobile activity, when stopped completely, causes a drop in even desktop conversions.

So although mobile is valuable for your overall lead generation strategy controlling the bid is very important.

Google recommends using this formula to assign the correct bid for mobile to achieve the best return on ad spend.

(Mobile conversion rate divided by the desktop conversion rate) – 1.  This give you the percentage to be up or down in your bid.

I personally review all accounts every 30 days and when I am in the account on a weekly basis review the setting based on an upward or downward trend in mobile conversions to tweak the bid.

Mobile bidding is certainly not a set and forget setting. Your success or lack of success in this important segment will impact your overall program’s conversions.

To get us to manage your AdWords account, it starts with a phone call. You can reach our office after today’s holiday at 540-693-0385.

Share

If Your Desired Metric is Increased Impressions Use AdWords DSK

How to Jump Your Impression and Clicks in AdWords.
How to Jump Your Impression and Clicks in AdWords.

If you want branding activity or a large number of impressions and strong click activity in your AdWords account without strong conversion activity AdWords Display Select Keywords is the advertising protocol for you.

With DSK, your AdWords ads will show in on Google.com, on search partner search pages, and also on Google selected sites within their premium display network. The numbers can be big and the quality of sites very good. But, only use DSK if you are not overly concerned about conversions.

I’ve found that for new clients that are transitioning out of Reach Local or other platforms that starting out with DSK advertising gives them the comfort factor as they compare numerical results.

Over time, we want to wean these clients out of the comingled display and search programs and move them into campaigns that target search and separate campaigns that target the display network. This way dollars are funding the location where conversions  happen.

I have found that although DSK can give great numbers for clicks and impressions, typically very few conversions will happen there but as part of a marketing mix for certain clients, exposure can give a good balance of visibility and especially for low budget accounts where Google has not been spending the full daily budget.

If you need help with your AdWords program, make sure to check out our AdWords references and then call at 540-693-0385 to see how we can help optimize your AdWords account today.

Share

AdWords – The Disconnect Between Traffic and Conversions

Google Partner Badge
McCord Web Services is a Google Partner.

In early 2015 Google AdWords started to boost mobile activity for advertisers. But, in October things really ramped up. Many account owners are now seeing 50 to 66% of their AdWords traffic be served to mobile devices.

Although traffic is strong in the mobile space, there is a clear disconnect between increase traffic on mobile and increased mobile conversion. In fact what I have found is that there is about a 20% gap in performance.  There are fewer leads than sales.

So how do you adjust for this increase in activity but drop in overall conversions?

  1. Assure that your website and store are mobile friendly. If not, the differential you will see this year will continue to be a greater and greater gap.
  2. Review your mobile bid. Use the formula of mobile conversion rate percentage divided by the desktop conversion rate and then take that product and subtract one. Turn that into a percent and drop or increase your bid for mobile by that percentage.
  3. Don’t push too far down on mobile bidding. I’ve found that if you push down too far, your desktop conversion numbers will drop too.
  4. Monitor weekly and more frequently if you are able. Check to  see if you are bleeding cash in mobile and stem the flow before you lose your month.
  5. Mobile is important for lead generation, but will not convert as the same numbers as the traffic that is generated for nearly all (but not every advertiser). Make sure you are evaluating each account and business uniquely.

Mobile advertising is big business for Google and buyers are flocking to mobile to shop and buy, but don’t lose your shirt by not watching your statistics carefully for mobile as well as your cost per click and aggregate ad spend in the mobile space.

If you need a savvy Google AdWords account manager who’s service level is ranked by Google as being in the top 6% of all firms, contact me, Nancy McCord, at McCord Web Services.

Share