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Posts Tagged ‘best practices’

AdWords Sitelinks Setup and Best Practices

August 27th, 2014 by Kathryn Drake

According to Google AdWords data, sitelinks have been shown to increase the average click-through rate (CTR) on ads by as much as 20%. We have also seen a jump in CTR when we have implemented them in our clients’ accounts and recommend it for all pay per click campaigns.

Below, you will find step-by-step instructions for adding sitelinks to your AdWords account as well as a few best practices to use in order to improve the effectiveness of this feature.

Sitelinks Setup

1. Log in to AdWords and go to either a campaign or an ad group (depending on the level of sitelinks you are adding).

2. Click on the “Ad Extensions” tab.

Sitelinks Setup Step 2

3. If you are not sent to the Sitelinks Extensions page, select the dropdown with the various extension types and select “Sitelinks Extensions”.

Sitelinks Setup Step 3

4. You will then see any sitelinks that are currently being used.

5. To add new sitelinks, click on the “+ Extension” Button. To add new sitelinks to a campaign or ad group that already has them, scroll down to the “Edit sitelink extension” box and click on “New Sitelink”.

Sitelinks Setup Step 5

Sitelinks Setup Step 5

6. A box will pop up where you can add each of the fields.

Sitelinks Setup Step 6

7. Once you have created the sitelink, select the arrow next to it to add it to the campaign or ad group. Repeat this process for each sitelink and click the “Save” button.

Sitelinks Setup Step 7

Now that you know how to set up sitelinks, here are a few best practices to follow to get the most out of this feature:

1. Be Targeted

When sitelinks were first introduced, the only option was to create a set that applied to an entire campaign. However, AdWords recently introduced the ability to set up separate sets for each ad group. Much like it is a best practice to create multiple targeted ad groups containing related keywords, creating sitelinks that are as targeted as possible will help to grab searchers’ attention (and clicks).

2. Add Details

In addition to a headline, Google also allows advertisers to include a short description that can appear in search results. Since one of the advantages of sitelinks is the fact that they take up more real estate on the search result page, adding descriptions for each sitelink will only help since these descriptions extend the amount of space the ad takes up on the page.

Sitelinks DetailsPhoto via Inside AdWords Blog

By following these best practices, you can increase the effectiveness of your sitelinks and give your account a further boost. Have you used sitelinks in your AdWords accounts? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.

Need help with your pay-per-click campaign optimization? Contact us today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing best practice

Bill of RightsEngaging with a marketing firm is a large investment and can often be nerve-wracking. How can you be sure that you are engaging with the best firm? There are rights you have as a client that any potential firms you are vetting should respect and follow. We interviewed marketing executives at companies such as Dell, BazaarVoice and Austin Ventures to better understand what they believe these rights to be. Here are five of them:

1. The Right to be Heard.

When evaluating marketing firms, you should be the one doing most of the talking. Instead of being told the capabilities of the firm, the firm should instead be taking that time to learn more about your company and your marketing needs. This shows that they will be valuable partners during your engagement.

2. The Right to Transparency.

You have the right to meet with the team that you will actually be working with on the engagement and not just an executive team, since they will be the ones you will be interacting with the most.

3. The Right to Immediate Value.

After engaging with a marketing firm, you should see results quickly as well as be able to hand-off projects and have the firm execute them to completion with little or no intervention needed on your part.

4. The Right to Proactive Counsel.

A marketing firm should go above and beyond what is asked of them. As subject matter experts, they should be looked at to provide ideas and recommendations for campaign optimization.

5. The Right to Be Number One.

No matter what, you should be treated like you are a firm’s only client. Your questions should be answered promptly, your point of contact should be responsive and you should feel valued.

Read our article A Client’s Bill of Rights for all ten rights that you are entitled to as a marketing firm client.

Content Marketing ROII recently attended the “Content Marketing for Demand Generation ROI: Create, Track, and Optimize Your Content Strategy,” webcast presented by Dayna Rothman, Director of Content Marketing at Captora. Dayna shared some great ideas for marketers looking to improve their content marketing. If you weren’t able to attend, below is a recap of Dayna’s presentation on creating, tracking and optimizing your content strategy:

Today’s Shifting Buyers

Sales used to be the first contact with a buyer, but in today’s world it’s the marketer that starts the relationship. Additionally, buyers now live in a multi-device, multi-channel world with an endless supply of information at their fingertips and a finite amount of attention.

Content marketing is a way to get your buyer’s attention in a way that is not pushy or “salesy”. Content should be the king and queen of all your marketing programs and “the fire that fuels all of your demand gen programs”.

Scaling Your Content Production Efforts

To be successful with content marketing, you have to generate enough content to break through the clutter which can be overwhelming to marketers. The first step in this process is creating a content team, which could potentially include a chief content officer, managing editor, content specialist as well as an outsourced team.

Once you have your team, you are ready to ramp up your content production. A great way to do this is by repurposing existing content and generating new content types from the original piece (i.e. repurposing a series of blog posts to create an eBook).

Content Promotion for Lead Generation

There are a series of steps to follow in order to successfully promote content. To start, you can leverage your website homepage to feature your latest content piece behind a form as well as a content resources section. Another recommendation is to create a blog post to promote new content as a “teaser” encouraging readers to download the piece. It’s also important to remember the valuable social media real estate you have at your disposal, such as your Facebook cover photo or Twitter profile.

Email marketing can also be very useful for content promotion. Consider sending an email to your database for large content pieces and/or a content newsletter that regularly highlights new pieces. Sponsored emails purchased from a vendor with a relevant subscriber database can also be used successfully. Finally, lead generation doesn’t stop at acquisition – set up nurture tracks to keep your company top-of-mind with prospective customers by continuously introducing them to new content.

Content Marketing Return On Investment

Now that you have produced and promoted your content, how can you prove ROI? This has been a struggle for many content marketers and has been seen as a “Bigfoot” that is elusive and difficult to capture.

The first step in determining ROI is to define your goals and metrics and establish benchmarks. The first metric you should be tracking is the number of content downloads via forms or a marketing automation tool. Another metric to include is cost-per-lead to see which pieces are giving you the most “bang for your buck”. Also, first touch and multi-touch attribution is key to determining revenue and pipeline generated by content. This will let you know the first piece that brought someone into your program, as well as all of the pieces that were touched throughout a lead’s journey to conversion. You can then use this information along with the investment amount to determine the ROI of a particular piece.

As you can see, it is possible to track the ROI content marketing, and with the right promotion strategy you can make an impact in your bottom line. You can view the deck from this webinar here and let us know your feedback on the presentation by commenting below.

Photo via lendingmemo

Red vs. Blue Ocean Strategies

August 7th, 2014 by Hayley Gruwer

Red vs. Blue Ocean StrategiesIt can be difficult to succeed with the cutthroat competition in the business environment today. Luckily, there are many strategies you can use in order to gain an edge on your competition. Two of these are red ocean and blue ocean strategies, which were introduced by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne in 2005.

Red Ocean Strategies

A red ocean strategy involves competing in industries that are currently in existence. This often requires overcoming an intense level of competition and can often involve the commoditization of the industry where companies are competing mainly on price. For this strategy, the key goals are to beat the competition and exploit existing demand.

One industry in which a red ocean strategy would be necessary is the soft drink industry. This industry has been in existence for a long time, and there are many barriers to entry. There are industry leaders in place such as Coke and Pepsi, and there are also many smaller companies also in competition for market share. There’s also limited shelf space and vending spots, well-established brand recognition of popular, current brands, and many other factors that affect new competition. This causes the soft drink industry to be very competitive to enter and succeed in.

Blue Ocean Strategies

A blue ocean strategy is based on creating demand that is not currently in existence, rather than fighting over it with other companies. You must keep in mind that there is a deeper potential of the marketplace that hasn’t been explored yet. Most blue oceans are created from within red oceans by expanding existing industry boundaries. The key to a successful blue ocean strategy is finding the right market opportunity and making the competition irrelevant.

An example of a successful execution of a blue ocean strategy is the iPod. When the iPod was introduced in 2001, Steve Jobs said that “with [the] iPod, Apple has invented a whole new category of digital music player that lets you put your entire music collection in your pocket and listen to it wherever you go.” Apple looked beyond what was in the market at that time and introduced a product that created a new industry in and of itself. Apple looked beyond what customers were asking for and created a successful product.

The Winning Strategic Approach

While the authors of Blue Ocean Strategy suggest using the latter approach, no matter which you select, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, it is important to remember that value creation and innovation are critical success factors. Also, remain aware of the industry that you are competing against as well as new introductions to the market that may disrupt any market share that you have attained.

Learn more about red and blue ocean strategies from the authors of the book on their website.