Do you work in a highly seasonal business where it’s all about the holidays? How about one that has nothing to do with the holidays? Regardless of which bucket you fall into, there is so much you can do to optimize your marketing this exciting time of year.
A such, when my good friends at 3Q Digital offered the opportunity to write a guest post on their amazing blog, I was so excited with their suggestion: How To Optimize Non-Holiday Accounts In Q4. I really had fun with this post and share 7 clever tips on how you can fully embrace the holiday theme even in accounts/businesses that do not typically face holiday seasonality. Please head on over to the 3Q Blog and let me know what you think about my guest post. Wishing you an amazing weekend, everyone!
Image of Optimization © iStockPhoto – alexskopje
I’m a huge fan of PPC landing pages! Landing pages are the “on-page” side of pay per click marketing. In the world of SEO, there have always existed both on-page and off-page strategies. Savvy SEO marketers invest a ton of time, both on-page and off-page. PPC, historically speaking, has been more focused on off-page elements (managing campaigns in Google AdWords and Bing Ads). However, I’m here to challenge the norm! I personally recommend that PPC marketers focus a significant amount of time on on-page optimization (landing page optimization). Following are some of my favorite PPC landing page tips.
- Invest in a landing page platform, such as ion interactive. It’s so much easier to build, test, and manage landing pages with a cutting edge platform like ion. Think about the parallels with SEM bid management platforms and how difficult the bidding process is in Excel versus a cutting edge platform. Same goes for landing pages! An added benefit for agencies: Have your client place a landing page platform on their site. This will give the agency control over both campaigns and customer experience! It’s a huge challenge for agencies to have influence over on-site user experience. Landing page platforms bridge that gap.
- Stay consistent with your company’s brand guidelines. If brand guidelines don’t exist, develop them yourself by interviewing influential members of your organization. I’m a huge fan of consistency. You want to go big and test big, however you want to also stay very true to your company’s overall brand image. The user experience should never be jarring to the consumer. Even though you manage landing pages and your PM team manages your website, it should all flow the same.
- Consider dynamic elements on your landing pages. It’s all about personal customization. Maybe have prices/offers relevant to the geography of the visitor. Perhaps you know a bit about the customer from their past browsing behavior on your site and you present a custom offer/package. Maybe it’s as simple as analyzing the search query in real time and offering up a landing page relevant to that specific search query. The opportunities are endless. A well designed SEM account will always have granular, tightly-themed adgroups. Make sure your landing page strategy follows accordingly.
- Consider going beyond a simple landing page, and create a landing page minisite. SEM landing pages are focused. It’s all about making it easy for the consumer. Minisites are awesome because they allow you to get all of that additional information in there without distracting the core flow.
- Landing pages don’t just have to be one page. In addition to minisites (see last tip), consider taking more of the flow under your control. If your site offers an API or another means of deep integration, consider hosting/managing the first few pages of the flow as part of your landing page experience optimization. The deeper you can go in the funnel, the more opportunity you have to test and improve conversion rate. Important tip: Make sure you work closely with your PM team and are on the same page.
- Building upon the last part of the last tip, share your success stories across your company. Your learnings from PPC landing page optimization have direct impact on other areas of your organization. Offer up your channel as a testing ground. I love digital advertising because you can learn so much so fast. Make sure the landing page part of your program is treated the same, it’s a testing ground for quick learnings across your organization.
- Don’t forget retargeting. Make sure your retargeting pixels are placed on your PPC landing pages (and across your entire website). I’m particularly a fan of retargeting PPC traffic because PPC tends to be one of the highest converting and most valuable sources of traffic.
How are you leveraging landing pages in your digital marketing program?
Image of guy looking at landing pages © iStockPhoto – Silent47
About a month ago, I attended and spoke at Search Insider Summit. At this amazing conference, I had the pleasure of meeting Prashant Puri (CEO & Co-Founder) and Johnny Shami (Director, Business Development) from AdLift. What is AdLift? It’s one of the best SEO Agencies ever! Based in Palo Alto, AdLift is right in the heart of Silicon Valley and manages SEO campaigns for some of the biggest, most savvy brands around.
Today, I had the honor of contributing a guest post to the AdLift blog. Given their SEO expertise, I thought it fitting to write a post about the intersection of SEO and PPC. In particular, I wrote SEO Tips From A PPC Pro. My post highlights 7 SEO tips that leverage intelligence/collaboration with your PPC program. Looking at it from a paid search perspective, this post offers 7 ways in which you can help out your SEO team. There are so many ways in which SEO and PPC teams can collaborate.
Head on over to AdLift today and check out my post. I hope you enjoy! If you are looking for an SEO agency, I highly, highly recommend chatting with AdLift. They are true experts!
Image in this post ©AdLift
Keywords are the most fundamental building block of digital marketing. As the picture on the right implies, they are the key to your success within online advertising. Whether you’re a PPC or SEO professional (or both), there is not a day or minute that goes by when you are not thinking about keywords. I’ve been generating and managing keywords for nearly nine years, so you’d think I have exhausted every trick in the book. Not true! I still find some clever strategies each and every month and wanted to share some of the latest ones that are top-of-mind. You never stop learning in this incredible field. Remember, the best keywords are the trending ones, oes that have not yet become popular, ones that are not in any of the automated tools yet. Today’s tips are all about forecasting the future and beating the competitive rush!
- Attend industry events and become a futurist. Learn about all of the latest trends in your industry. Chat with industry leaders. Attend seminars and ask questions. Become a thought leader yourself. To the extent you can leverage industry events to predict the future, you can start buying those keywords today. You can start building high quality content and engaging user experiences around them now. The only constant in this world is change. Predict the change and act on it now, you will build a competitive moat by doing so!
- Devote some time each week to reading cutting edge literature. You need to go beyond the easy stuff. Blogs are so fun and easy to read, and are a great place to start. However, I also recommend reading technical literature, non-profit studies, academia research, and other dense material. Such studies are not always the easiest to read, but will truly provide cutting edge trends before they hit the mainstream. Digital marketing is not just about being good at our trade, it’s also about becoming a deep expert within your field.
- Sit in on customer phone calls, visit your call center. Customers offer a true wealth of knowledge and inspiration. After all, any business is in business to help their customer. If customers speak to certain pain points, why not address them in your product, paid search, and organic strategy.
- Collaborate with partners via business development calls. Does your company have strategic partnerships? Learn about new and exciting trends through partnerships, as a team. Just make sure that you are giving back as much as you get, all partnership as a two-way street.
- Collaborate with anyone and everyone in your company who will listen. While your call center is a perfect starting point, there are so many other key functions in your company who can provide a wealth of knowledge around new trends. Some of my favorites: Executive leadership, product management, and sales.
- Hire a really, really great SEM Agency. The best agencies, like my friends at Rocket Clicks, truly get to know your business. They are not only masters at PPC, SEO, and UX, but take true pride in becoming vertical leaders/masters within your industry. The beauty of this vertical integration is amazing ideas, such as predictions of where the industry is headed and how to stay ahead of the curve from a holistic marketing perspective!
- Keep testing! New trends often take time to work. There are so many times that I have experienced bad keywords transforming into good ones. Keywords that are negatives today may become positives tomorrow. Past performance is not always an indication of the future. Remember to keep testing new ideas and never lose hope in future trends. While you may lose some money testing, the long term upside is tremendous.
Image of Keyword © iStockPhoto – gunnar3000
I’m a huge believer in the diversification of traffic sources. In the world of digital marketing, there is only so much cost-effective search demand on major search engines. A winning strategy involves diversification across many search engines, ad networks, social networks, and so much more. In diversifying traffic, I recommend reaching out and testing different advertising networks. Today, I am thrilled to share one of my favorites (A PPC Ian Blog Sponsor), AdMedia. In addition to introducing this awesome ad network, I’m also thrilled to share a special promotion they are running with their Free $100 AdMedia Credit. It’s easy: When you open an account and make your initial deposit, AdMedia will match your deposit up to $100!
AdMedia is the Superior Precision Marketing Platform. Their network spans 1,000s of sites across a plethora of verticals, offering a multitude of ways to increase digital advertising traffic and conversions for your business.
I’m particularly impressed with AdMedia for two reasons. First, they have a really great team. You may recall that Francesca from AdMedia wrote this guest post here on PPC Ian just a few months ago. Second, AdMedia’s suite of advertising solutions is truly comprehensive. They’re more than just a contextual network. AdMedia offers solutions that target prospective customers from so many angles. Some examples:
- Contextual targeting based on keywords, subject matter, and the site’s theme.
- Advanced remarketing solutions that make it easy for customers to navigate back to your site.
- Really cool image overlay ads and intextual ads, products that make the overall site experience more interesting for publishers, advertisers, and consumers. Advertise to prospective customers in new and exciting ways outside the standard search and display campaigns.
- Thank you email advertising, 404 Bucks, and Ditto domains products. AdMedia offers a very clever and comprehensive suite of advertising opportunities. Chat with them today and learn new ways of advertising you may have not thought of before!
With their Free $100 AdMedia Credit (they will match your initial deposit up to $100), I highly recommend giving AdMedia a spin. It’s a super way to diversify and expand your digital marketing program.
Image in this post © AdMedia