Posted by: Rachel Mepham On Thursday, December 6th, 2012 - Pay Per Click
Top Tips on making your Pay Per Click campaigns more effective.
Pay Per Click can be expensive if you are not applying the best strategies. However it can also be one of the most cost effective and transparent platforms of marketing if you manage it correctly.
This blog piece hopefully gives some quick tips on how to make your PPC campaigns more efficient and how to make sure every penny you are spending is making a return.
Know what you are doing
It sounds simple, but make sure you know how PPC works and what you are spending your money on. The search engines have evolved over the years and have new tools and functions to help target and control your accounts. If you have set up an account which is just ticking over every week, it is very likely you are wasting a lot of money.
It is easy to allocate a budget to a group of keywords and ads but are you optimising the efficiency to make sure every penny counts? Therefore research and learn about PPC, or get an expert or agency to help if you don’t have the time. Things change all the time in this market so it is important to be aware of how the different search engines work and how they can be the most effective for your campaigns.
Check your settings
All too often clients we work with who have an account already running have set up their campaigns to target all devices and all networks for all hours of the day. In some cases we have reviewed accounts who only do business in the UK, targeting globally just because they haven’t checked the settings of their campaigns.
It is surprising how much daily budget can be saved by pausing the campaign for even an hour per day when most prospect customers are in bed asleep. So check your Day Part Targeting (DPT) settings.
The major tip is making sure you are not just targeting all devices on all networks (PC/Tablet, mobile, display and search). These are completely different platforms and should be recognised as separate entities, with different strategies and ad copy.
We have found by correctly optimising the networks and devices, this can make a client’s account 30% more efficient. (This is based on a monthly snapshot taken from a retail client before and after we applied our device and network optimisation changes).
Track your Results
Hopefully all of you reading this blog will have your campaigns set up with some kind of tracking, but if not this is probably the most important step to increasing the performance of your account. By knowing which keywords and ads are actually driving the results, or by correctly attributing sales/enquiries in the right way you can get a real understanding of your customers behaviour. This data can then be used to optimise performance by improving high converting keywords and reducing or removing under performing search terms.
Match to the right search
Match types, negative keywords, and search queries are the name of the game. Search engines deliver your ads based on the structure of your account. It will decipher which ad is displayed based on keyword and metrics of that keyword. Make sure the right keywords are delivering the right ads. If you don’t, you can be misleading customers by delivering them to the wrong page, or displaying them the wrong message. They will still click, but will more than likely bounce straight off the site and this wastes you money.
CPC’s and ROI
There is a fine balance between CPC and ROI, and often this can be overlooked. Although ROI may be the main focus, the CPC’s are important as they directly correlate to cost and CPA. CPC’s should be optimised based on results by keyword. By doing a full analysis or using a 3rd party optimisation tool you can often optimise the efficiency of your account much more successfully. It is a daunting task to review the CPC’s of every keyword in your account and optimise the CPC, position, quality score and in turn the ROI. But this can be one of the most instant ways of improving the performance of your PPC account.
New competitors, market changes, seasonality, and search engine upgrades and developments all influence your account performance in regards to clicks, CPC and overall cost. Product pricing, delivery costs, offers and sales and stock levels can all influence your conversion rate, CPA and ROI. It is important to monitor and manage all of these elements to ensure you are meeting your goals in the most cost effective way and reducing any wastage.
Pay Per Click is one of the most measurable and manageable platforms of marketing but it needs a lot of tender loving care, it won’t manage itself.
Digital Clarity offer a Free initial review of your account to help identify areas of improvement to see if you could benefit from our services. We offer training and consultancy as well as full management services. If you are interested in making your marketing more efficient why not give one of our PPC team a call 0845 388 4071 or drop us an email email@example.com
Posted by: Rachel Mepham On Thursday, November 22nd, 2012 - Pay Per Click
The first question to ask is what you are looking to grow? Sales, revenue, average order value, ROI? Each answer requires a slightly different approach.
Once this is established you can identify what possibilities there are.
Top Tips for increasing your PPC performance
1. Are you maxing out daily budgets?
If you already have an efficient pay per click campaign which is meeting ROI and targets but you simply want more revenue and sales then it is important to check if you are maxing out your daily budgets.
Google’s budget tool does not always alert you when your budgets are being met on a daily basis, so it is best to double check yourself. If you are, then by simply increasing your daily cap, this can lead to more impressions and potentially more clicks and sales. Google also offer reports which can help you identify what percentage of impressions your campaigns are achieving on the current CPC’s and keyword match types. This can help identify growth opportunities.
2. Can you increase impressions by bidding more?
From your budget review you may discover your account is unable to spend any more on a daily basis, however this will only be based on current positions, CPC’s and keywords. By increasing your CPC’s, this will in turn increase positions and the likely exposure your ads receive. From here you may be required to increase the daily budget to maintain the impression share.
There can be a large increase in traffic increase from improving your position from 3 to 2 and even more so from position 2 to 1. Be cautious with these changes as they will more than likely effect your cost per sale price, but at the same time increase sales volumes.
3. What other possible keywords are there?
The way people search is changing. Just taking a few examples Google instant, mobile search, personalised search, each of these are developments in the users search experience.
- Google instant - prompt what people are looking for based on each letter they type into the search box.
- Mobile search – with more smart phones and faster, easier mobile internet access more people are searching on mobile devices and tablets. Due to the smaller screens on these devices the way people search is different to those searching on a PC.
- Personalised Search – there will always be developments with all the search engines in the way they deliver personalised and targeted results to a user. This will constantly evolve and influence how users search to find exactly what they want.
Due to these factors it is more important than ever that you are building up your keywords within your account. The Search Query report is a great way to see what people are actually typing in rather than what keywords they are matching to. The more keywords, the more exposure and the more growth you are likely to see.
4. Review your Return On Investment %
You may have been working to the same strategy for years because that was how things were when you were there, or these were the targets 3 years ago. Maybe it is time to evaluate these targets and identify what are the priorities and how can you achieve them. For example;
If you are looking to increase revenue volume, you may need to be a little more flexible on overall profit margins. Equally if you are looking to maximise profit, maybe focus on the areas of the campaign driving the most cost effective sales and reduce spend on higher converters which have a high cost per acquisition (CPA).
For more information on budget strategies, impression share analysis and tips on how to maximise and grow your own PPC account, please call the Digital Clarity PPC team on 0845 388 4071 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by: Rachel Mepham On Monday, November 12th, 2012 - Advertising
| Pay Per Click
We are all aware of the big changes this year in regards to Google’s natural search but now it seems they are tightening the policies on AdWords. Google have been getting more strict on low quality inbound links and rolled out many algorithm changes and warnings for websites suspected of using spurious bulk link building techniques. The main reason behind this was to have more control over sites trying to manipulate the algorithm and SEO optimisers finding loop holes to get their site ranked higher.
So now we see Google getting more strict with PPC relevance. They have released some new policy changes with a view to improve quality scores and in turn relevance and quality of search results.
These changes are not ground-breaking, Google are just tightening the rules a little to prevent advertisers slipping through the net or bending the rules.
In order for Google to maintain their position as the leading UK search engine based on delivering their users the most relevant content they need to constantly refine and improve the results. This reinforcement of rules is just that. This year, they have already rolled out more than 30 updates to their policies, and now they are focussing on AdWords policies for Software Principles, Arbitrage, Advertiser Claims, and Relevance, Clarity and Accuracy.
Any Agency worth they weight should have already been following most of these rules but there are a few to look out for.
What policy changes are Google actually making?
Websites which focus on promoting software downloads or downloads of any application are being watched closely. The main focus here is that ads and websites should not be misleading or deceptive in regards to the nature of the download content. They should also be made clear about the installation choices prior to the download of software to their PC. For example any sites which are designed to force harmful or disruptive downloads on to users machines will not be allowed.
Websites whose sole purpose is to display ads will be completely banned from advertising on Google AdWords. For example arbitrage sites, who buy low CPC traffic from Google but earn money from the advertising it displays on the site. Google’s policies have been implemented to prevent the following:
- Sites whose sole purpose is showing ads
- Interstitial ads – unexpected pages or popups
- Scraped Content – content lifted from other sites
- Gibberish content – content that makes no sense or looks like it has been generated by a robot or automated tool
- Templated or pre-generated websites – Delivery of duplicated content to users
- Deceptive navigation – taking users to a website where they are unable to find the product they were expecting from the ad copy
- Indistinguishable ads – where the ads are disguised to look like content, hence the user is unclear they are clicking on an ad
- Malicious or frustrating websites – where any click on the website results in a click onto an ad
- Unrelated keywords – the keywords are unrelated to the topic or business of the website
- Unrelated Ads – the ads are unrelated to the topic or business of the website
This policy sector is probably the most straight forward and is down to common sense. Do not claim something which is untrue or misleading and make sure your product deals and pricing are accurate in your ads to the landing pages on the website.
- Advertisers must be truthful, accurate and up to date with what they are advertising
- All claims must be fully supported on the website
- Content, offers, pricing and deals must be up to date and not misleading
- The website must deliver the advertised products within at least 2 clicks from the landing page or a basic search
- The website must enable the call to action within 2 clicks from the landing page
Relevance and Quality
- Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) must include grammatically correct text and therefore the keywords which are dynamically inserted must make grammatical sense
- A classic example of where this is already important is where misspellings are being used. You should not have DKI ad copy for campaigns with misspells as they will be automatically inserted into the ads, therefore displaying a misspelled ad
- Nearly as important as making sure your DKI ads are relevant is to make sure you don’t use DKI when it is irrelevant
- Landing page content must be clearly reflected in the ad text and keywords – Any agency not already adhering to this policy is not likely to be doing a very good job of managing your account. This is one of the fundamentals of running a successful PPC account
- ‘Click here’ and ‘Click +1’ will not be allowed in the ad text along with any other call to action which is just trying to entice you to click regardless of what the content is
- The use of phone numbers in the ad extensions will not be allowed (unless on mobile call extensions obviously)
- Ads should not simulate an email inbox notification
- Ads cannot continue into the display URL
- Missing text, bad grammar or missing lines of text are not allowed
Overall, Google are trying to improve the relevance for the user and prevent sites which are simply out to mislead the user. This in turn should improve the overall Google search experience as well as quality scores for advertisers if they follow the guidance on new enforced policies.
For more information or insights into how this may impact your PPC campaigns contact one of our PPC experts email@example.com or sign up for a Free PPC Audit.
Posted by: Rachel Mepham On Thursday, November 1st, 2012 - Analytics
| Web Design
Pay per click, search engine optimisation, display advertising, SMS, social media, local, the list goes on. Advertisers are spending more money than ever on driving consumers to their website and stores and even ensuring that the drive of that traffic is as cost effective as possible, however isn’t something being forgotten?
It is all very well driving users to the website but what if they are not converting effectively? It is easy to play the numbers game and recognise that the more traffic, the more likely it is to get conversions but what if you could increase your conversion rate by even just 1%. This would mean that ALL the traffic visiting your site, whether it arrives via search, social or direct etc… becomes more effective and therefore directly increases conversions without increasing cost of traffic.
‘For every $92 spent acquiring visitors, only $1 is spent on converting them’ (Source – econsultancy 2012)
The logic is fairly simple:
If you have 100,000 visitors per month via all sources of traffic and on average they are converting at a rate of 3% you should receive 3,000 conversions per month @ average order value of £40 = £120,000
By increasing the conversion rate to 4% you achieve 1,000 more conversions from the same volume of traffic @ £40 AOV = £40,000 additional revenue
So what exactly is Conversion Rate Optimisation?
There are many thought processes around CRO and different websites require different strategies but here are the basics:
- A/B testing – the process of testing two variations of a page to see which performs best
- Usability testing – getting a bank of people to test the usability of the site
- Customer feedback – asking your audience about their experience of the website and usability
- Website analytics – analysing the customer journey, drop off points, conversion funnels
- Competitor benchmarking – how do you compare to the competition traffic, conversion and revenue wise?
- Multivariate testing – running a variety of A/B testing on multiple pages, or multiple elements on one page
- Online survey and feedback – requesting reviews of the site via surveys to understand what improvement can be made
- Expert Reviews – 3rd party review and analysis of usability, performance and conversion process
Some of the challenges of CRO
Playing it safe – Most tend to start with A/B testing based on being an easy entry level to get started. You need a decent amount of traffic to the site and the pages you are testing however it doesn’t require engaging with customers, experts or other external sources, neither does it require huge volumes of traffic to the site. Although this is a great starting point often that is all it continues to be. The more challenging strategies are often more valuable so if you are looking for the most effective results it is important to look at all approaches and identify what is achievable within your budget, time constraints and resources.
Don’t abandon ship – Strategies must be followed, it is all too often that a test starts and the results are not immediately clear so budgets are cut and CRO cannot continue.
Managing Expectations – Big changes normally mean big improvements, smaller changes mean small improvements. Again expectations must be managed to ensure that tests are not abandoned mid-way due to the lack of clear results.
Time – As with any kind of testing, you need enough data to analyse before being able to decipher any kind of conclusion. This collection of data takes time, dependant on the volume of visitors to the site and the number of tests you are running at one time. It may be that the tests take several months before anything conclusive can be drawn from the analysis.
Control and responsibility – It is often a good idea to have an internal individual in control of the CRO project and where relevant incentivise them or the agency working on the project. This shows support and also gives targets and reward to make the project work.
Implementation – Set up and page optimisation will need to be implemented by the web master so it is important to schedule time to do this. If the changes are unable to be made when required this can have a knock on effect on the whole test process.
Bad Experience – If there is no buy in and commitment from the website owner then often conversion rate optimisation doesn’t work. It may be that fingers have been burnt in the past or previous tests fell down due to any of the challenges above. It is important that everyone is aware of the process, estimated time frames and expectation of results, this way there should be full support all the way along and hopefully conversion rate optimisation should generate the positive results you hope to see.
In Summary, the top tip for running any conversion rate optimisation project is to follow a process and instruct a project manager to oversee and communicate with all parties to make this project a success. As with any other marketing strategy, research, plan, execute, monitor, analyse. If you follow the same strategy for CRO you should end up with a success story and more importantly, more conversions for your money.
Posted by: Rachel Mepham On Friday, August 3rd, 2012 - Google
So everyone is talking about Google Penguin and Panda, the dramatic changes that Google have made over the course of the last 12 months. The changes have impacted how websites are ranked in natural search listings in order to increase relevance for the user but also to prevent so called ‘unethical’ SEO strategies from being implemented. This would all be very well if the listings were becoming more relevant but being a digital agency our job is to monitor these changes and be aware of the impact on the market and our clients. We have seen that some of Google’s recent changes have not necessarily had the most positive results on relevant listings so surely they will have to amend, review and release more changes to rectify this. It has been mentioned that an update of penguin is close.
So why do Google keep moving the goal posts?
There are a number of reasons for Google’s changes and as mentioned above ‘relevance’ has to be at the forefront of Google’s strategy. Without relevance Google would lose many of their 300 million global users regularly returning to use the search engine. However, alongside this we need to be aware that PPC is responsible for the majority of Google’s revenue and therefore Google need to protect that. By making it more challenging to implement ‘SEO’ techniques, it means there are less ways for agencies or advertisers to manipulate the rankings and influence where their websites appear on the natural listings. This in turn makes PPC a more viable platform for many businesses.
What is the future for PPC?
So if PPC is becoming more viable for advertisers, then more advertisers will start competing for the same keywords and CPC’s are likely to increase. Let’s put this into perspective
- The keyword ‘car insurance’ can cost anywhere from £6 – 20 per click.
- In the UK the estimated clicks for the last 30 days (July 2012) is approximately 8,000 clicks per advertiser per day.
- Therefore if we take an average of £13 CPC for 8,000 clicks per day the daily spend would be £104,000 for that one advertiser.
- By increasing the CPC by just £0.01 this increases the daily spend per advertiser by approximately £80 per day, an estimated £2,400 per month in Google’s pocket
The challenge for advertisers is that they may have lost much of their traffic on organic search and now they are being penalised further by having to pay more per click on PPC. But what are the alternatives? Bing? Yahoo? Ask? Unfortunately not. Google know they hold the cards and advertisers are reliant on the traffic and conversions delivered from advertising on AdWords.
Is SEO endangered?
Is this the end for SEO? Well, not really but it is changing its form. The old school strategies of SEO included a variety of weird and wonderful ways to try to get your website ranked over others, many of which have evolved and been phased out. This is exactly what is happening here, the problem being that the reliance that advertisers now have on the traffic from Google isso high, that organic listings has been a fundamental part of the marketing mix. Rather than manipulating where Google ranks your site, Google are trying to put steps in place that mean the best and most relevant sites get listed. So with this, it refocuses the strategies SEO agencies should be applying.
What SEO strategies are important?
Onsite SEO, as it always has been, is important. This is what Google initially reviews to deem if the website is relevant to the keywords. Links to the website are also still important but the quality of those links is more than ever a fundamental part of the strategy. In essence SEO is evolving into a service which incorporates traditional onsite strategies, inbound marketing, quality content distribution and online PR, as well as social media. Google will always change the rules of how their algorithm ranks websites on natural search and what we call ‘SEO’ today is not necessarily becoming extinct, but the strategies needed to enhance digital marketing and social media will in turn need to evolve. If you are looking for strategies to combat increasing CPC’s on Google AdWords, or to learn more about how SEO is evolving contact us on 0845 388 4071.
Posted by: Rachel Mepham On Monday, July 23rd, 2012 - Local
So as we near the start of the London Olympics 2012, Guildford was the last place to see the Olympic torch travel up the high street before it was dramatically flown via helicopter to London.
Friday 20th July saw the streets of Guildford lined with rows of people waving flags, blowing whistles and generally cheering in the sunshine. Earlier weather reports had suggested rain may fall however the sunshine stayed strong into the early evening. Companies, shops and restaurants were viewing out of High Street windows as well as families watching from their balconies above the shops. The buzz was great and very exciting, everyone felt proud to be part of a once in a lifetime event.
Stoke Park, Guildford, then hosted a party where the helicopter picked up the flame to transport it to London for the final leg in the run up to the Olympics.
With only 4 days till the opening event, we hope the weather will stay fine and sunny so we can show the rest of the world the UK hosting a great Olympics.
Posted by: Rachel Mepham On Thursday, July 19th, 2012 - Google
| Pay Per Click
| Search Engines
With increasing competition on Google AdWords and CPC’s becoming more expensive it is important for advertisers to use strategies which ensure they are getting the most value for their budget.
One way of doing this is by ensuring the relevance of your keywords, ads and landing pages is as consistent as possible. The higher the relevance, the higher your quality scores, potentially the lower your CPC.
CTR can be one of the most influential metrics when looking to increase your quality score, so let’s explore the things that you can do as an advertiser in order to increase your Google AdWords CTR.
It is also important to know what level of CTR’s you should be aiming for. As we all know the more generic the keyword the lower potential CTR will be achieved. See ‘What is a good CTR on Google Adwords’ for further ideas on what you should expect.
Although you may immediately look at the ads for inspiration to improve CTR, the keywords can be playing a part in low CTR’s. Make sure you have the right negative keywords and match type settings. This will help you to target the most relevant searches that people are typing in. The next step is to attract the right people with the most engaging message which is relevant to your business, products and services.
The main focus for improving CTR’s will be ensuring the ad copy is encouraging the right people to click through. This can be a challenge especially on generic keywords as your business offering may overlap with other products and services.
Take the keyword ‘Property in London’ this could refer to properties for sale or properties to rent; it could also mean commercial or residential property.
If you are selling residential property in London and someone types in ‘Property in London’ they may actually be looking for commercial property to lease. This means you don’t want them to click through, however if they are looking to purchase residential you do want them to click through. This would mean that you don’t always want a high CTR, as part of the job of the ad copy is to prevent the wrong people clicking through.
In this case you want to make sure that you clearly label the ad copy to reflect the product and services.
With more specific keywords you can be bolder. You want everyone searching on those keywords to click through. Therefore you need to create strong ad copy to do so.
Specific Keyword – ‘2 bedroom flat for sale in Greenwich’
Ideal ad copy to include the keyword and enticing description –
Site Extensions allow you to add additional links to your website and highlight other products, services or offers you want to advertise. They can come in a variety of formats including; location, call, product, social, mobile app and sitelinks extensions. You can look to improve CTR by about an average of 15-30%+ with the addition of site links.
Keyword insertion can also be used to make sure that where possible the keyword appears within the ad copy. There are several options with keyword insertion and you need to make sure the default is still relevant to all your keywords. If your keyword is over 25 characters your default will be used. The benefit of keyword insertion is that it matches to the keyword someone has searched for, hence making it highly relevant to what they are looking for. Using keyword insertions within ad text tends to see a higher CTR than ads without it.
Ad Groups –
It sounds strange but the structure of your account can be responsible for low CTR’s. By grouping your keywords to the most relevant categories this will really help to achieve a good structure and help you to make the ads relevant to the keywords. It is also important to group any misspellings into their own group if you are using keyword insertion, you don’t want misspells of keywords used in your ads as your CTR will drop. Ideally the more specific you break your groups down the more relevant the ad copy will be to your keywords. Within the travel, property and recruitment markets there can be many adgroups due to the number of variations of keywords.
2 bed Greenwich flats
2 bed Greenwich apartment
3 bed Greenwich apartment
2 bed South East London apartment
Each ad group would have keywords within it relevant to the group, e.g.
‘2 bed Greenwich flats’ may contain:
2 bed Greenwich flat
2 bed Greenwich flats
2 bedroom Greenwich flat
2 bedroom Greenwich flats
Greenwich flat 2 bed
2 bed flat for sale Greenwich
This insight gives just a snap shot of how to plan and think about improving your Google AdWords CTR’s. It does take time and effort to structure your account effectively from the start as well as testing and improving based on the results you see.
The main goal to remember, the higher your CTR the more likely Google will reward you with a high quality score meaning you can achieve higher positions for a lower CPC. Plus your audience should be able to find what they are looking for much more easily.*Photograph: Boris Roessler/EPA
Posted by: Rachel Mepham On Friday, March 30th, 2012 - Display Advertising
| Pay Per Click
| Search Engines
I was invited to attend the Home & Garden Display Workshop on 28th March at Googles new offices on St Giles High Street.
The colourful building was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano and the new office interior is fantastic. Each room encompassed a new environment with different textures, seating, carpet and colours which created a very modern yet eclectic design.
The workshop consisted of attendees from both clients direct and agencies all focussed within the Home and Garden retail industries. The purpose of the event was to gather feedback from the participants on Google’s display network and build on this to inform us of the up and coming products and new functionality which could help us to enhance and improve the performance of our advertising on this particular platform.
The workshop kicked off with lunch which was nice and the opportunity to speak to some of the other attendees. Steve Fitton, Industry Manager –Media Solutions, then took us through the first presentation. He discussed the benefits of analysing the attribution of sales across all online activity via Google’s Multi-Channel Funnels. This is an important strategy we use for our clients to identify which platforms are influencing sales whether that be on a first, middle or last click. This type of analysis and the use of attribution modelling is becoming crucial to understand where and how to manage advertising budgets. Often brand keywords via search and direct traffic takes all the credit for the legwork which the non-brand terms and display advertising has actually created. This is just one of the tools that can be used to improve performance on the display network.
He also discussed other areas of display including remarketing and similar users which everyone seemed to be seeing positive results from but the main subject to create some hostility was the contextual targeting. Many advertisers were finding their advertising appearing on sites which bared no relevance to which they had tried blocking and opting out of. The manual process to maintain this was taking its toll and many had thrown the towel in as they just were not seeing the results. It was explained that the display network should be reviewed separately to search but even when they weren’t compared the volume of sales were unable to justify the work or budget being invested. It was disappointing that Google didn’t really address this issue or go into any depth on best practice management or areas we could test to improve performance and therefore the issues raised were not really put to
bed in any way.
The Growth of Mobile
The second presentation (which should have been the first but was delayed) was from Peter Fitzgerald who gave us some obscure analogies, however presented very well and had everyone’s attention. He explained how important mobile was becoming and using an example of Kiddicare’s mobile landing pages demonstrated why separate mobile strategies must be targeted to mobile devices in order to generate ROI. He discussed some statistics on digital trends within the retail sector and then put a Q&A to the group to discuss.
Peter Giles, YouTube and Display Sale Manager then took the stand after a brief coffee break. He looked at some case studies and examples of how the display network has worked successfully for clients such as Groupon and ShoeDazzel, however for a UK workshop it would have been nice to see some UK company case studies!
One to One
The final session was by far the most useful and successful, one on ones with our Google contact, ours being Rick Jones, Industry Head for Retail. This allowed the opportunity for feedback on the session as well as a deep dive into our account to address any areas where we can improve, enhance or add some display strategies.
Overall the workshop had promise but I still feel I left wanting more detail and more insights over and above what I pretty much knew already. Hopefully the feedback given allows Google to take the next session to the next level.
Posted by: Rachel Mepham On Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 - Advertising
| Conference and Expo
I attended ‘Has the Digital Age Forgotten the Art of Storytelling?’ at the aforementioned, Yahoo Provoke Summit, yesterday 8th November at the Hospital Club. It was held as part of Internet Week Europe and offered some useful insight into how the creative industries were engaging within the digital arena.
The presentation was opened by Krane Jeffery, Head of Yahoo Studio, the new creative solution from Yahoo developed to complement their editorial and advertising service and is said to provide effective brand building campaigns.
Andrew Cracknell author of ‘The Real Mad Men’ followed with some great examples of how story telling over the last 50 years has delivered some persuasive advertising campaigns, which would still stand as commercials today. His argument however was that the cleverness of the web and digital advertising platforms has distracted from the art of storytelling. He went on to say that the key to great creative advertising is persuasion. He explained that creatives need to remember it is not about what ‘they’ want to create but what they ‘need’ to create in order to make sales. A great point that often gets lost in the excitement of new technology developments and new ways of interacting with customers.
The panel consisted of Cracknell and Jeffrey joined by Paul Kemp-Robertson, Co-Founder of Contagious Communications, Richard Morris, Deputy MD of Carat and Anrick Bregma, Interactive Director of unit9.
Each of the panellists were asked to showcase their favourite examples of digital storytelling. During this process, a key argument was raised and directed to the panel, “Where is the storytelling in the examples of digital work presented today? It seems that you are offering free stuff in return for interaction, not storytelling”.
This led to an uncomfortable and awkward response from the panel but Kemp-Robertson tried to address the question. It seemed to me that the question was put forward to address the need to engage with users in the digital age. You need to give the customer what they want and often an incentive fulfils that. However Cracknell’s response clearly stated that there was a fundamental error with the approach here. Advertisers should not be asking what the customer wants – they should be using the art of storytelling and creative advertising to persuade, this is how it has always been and perhaps what is missing in digital. People are trying to be too clever with the tools available rather than meeting the objectives.
On a day to day basis I have to understand how search, social and creativity can work together in harmony so though an interesting debate followed, I felt there was no conclusion. I find it hard not to work to the end result of generating more sales or enquiries as everything is so measured and perhaps this is where the crossover falls. Digital marketing could focus on storytelling and persuasion, but if it isn’t generating results then it is time to try something different.
Posted by: Rachel Mepham On Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 - Google
| Pay Per Click
| Search Engines
Some of the questions often asked by clients and prospects when we propose Search Engine Optimisation or Pay Per Click services are, how do I get to the top of the listings, how long will it take and what results will I get from it?
Each question is extremely difficult for an agency to respond to, because anything could happen.
This video shows an update straight from the horse’s mouth about just some of the changes Google makes to its search results pages and algorithms over the course of a year to help drive more relevant search results for users.
Every year, Google implements over 500 improvements to its search algorithms. That is 500 changes to the ways in which Google will decide which websites rank, in which order and for which search queries. These changes are tested in a variety of ways before launching. They initially use ‘Raters’ who compare results pages to decipher manually which is more relevant. These changes are then tested and monitored in a live environment to learn if the feedback and findings from the ‘Raters’ translates to actual users. If this is the case, the changes are made live for all to use.
This is how Google continues to be a leading force within the search market and why users continuously return to search. However, it does mean that it can be extremely difficult for agencies to guarantee anything. Google could change their rules from one day to the next and this could have a huge impact on your websites positions as well as how and where they are displayed.
So what can agencies guarantee?
A good agency will work alongside the client to ensure that best practices are implemented both on and offsite. They should also be at the forefront of releases of new algorithms and changes to search results and keep you up to date on elements that may impact you and your business. Most importantly, they need to know their onions. This comes from experience and learning. By looking at the results that search engine marketing has generated and reporting on these in a clear, ’non techie’ way you should be able to see clear value from your agency and understand what can be done to further improve your online positioning as a successful business.