Posts about paid search, display and other online ads.

Why Your Site Needs More Than an Instant Audit

This blog post was written by social media intern Ali Flowers. Ali is a Senior at the University of Texas at Austin, where she studies Public Relations. Ali enjoys good food, good friends, and spending time with her family.


So you’ve decided your company needs to invest in digital marketing. Great! Every business or organization can benefit from actively promoting themselves online. You are on Google and you search for ‘digital marketing near me’. You’ll likely be served thousands of results and several top-of-the-page advertisements about digital marketers in your area. Regardless of what link or ad you click on, you will probably be offered an instant audit.

What’s an Instant Audit?

With an instant audit, a marketer (or marketing automation software) analyzes various aspects of your business or organization’s online presence so that they can then advise you on the efforts you should take to promote yourself online. Some agencies claim they can audit your site in minutes or even seconds.

This might leave you thinking: Great! I can get all of that information at the click of a button? Who knew! Well, yes, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Why are Instant Audits Risky?

Digital marketing is a huge investment in both time and money.  It ranges from things like search engine optimization to paid search and even social media, all of which can work together to increase your sales, and none of which are free. Would you really feel safe making such a big move for your company based off of such a quick assessment of your site? That would be kind of like buying a house immediately after seeing a few pictures of its exterior online.

So What Should You Do?

You do need an audit–but one that is done thoroughly. You need trained professionals to look at your previous marketing efforts and your competitors’ marketing efforts, find your strengths, identify your weaknesses, and then give you a full overview of your company’s situation. Your marketing agency should conduct interviews and create a report of your company’s digital marketing history so that you can identify specific areas for improvement. A real, fully-developed audit takes time, and you shouldn’t just settle for one that was given to you at the click of a button.

If you are ready to move your company into digital marketing, find a company that will provide you with a thorough audit. Look for a marketing partner who can accurately tell you where to invest and how to push your business forward. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your audit shouldn’t be either.


Check out our methodology page to learn about the in-depth analysis Leverage Marketing performs for prospective clients. If you’re ready to have us review your digital marketing opportunities, schedule a call.

6 Advantages of Working with a Google Partner [UPDATED]

It’s no secret that Leverage Marketing has earned the Premier Google Partner badge. Our Partner badge, which signifies that we have multiple employees certified in Google AdWords, is in the footer of every one of our pages (and in this post), and we link the badge directly to our Partner page. But what does it mean to be a badged Google Partner and why is working with a Google Partner better?

Why a Premier Partner Badge Matters

Google recently made a Premier Google Partner badge available to advertisers who have passed the criteria to become a Google Partner and have also met higher spending and performance requirements. Leverage has earned this badge by having multiple employees certified in AdWords, managing a large ad spend every 90 days, and continuously meeting Google’s standards to maintain partner status.

We have also earned specializations in Search and Mobile advertising. This means we have team members certified in these specific product areas and are well-versed in helping clients create and optimize ads for both desktop and mobile.

As Google Partners, we are well-versed in all things AdWords and are devoted to paid search marketing for a variety of clients. Being a Google Partner means that we deliver quality customer service, offer a competitive advantage to clients, and have received training to help grow businesses online. Below are 7 specific advantages of working with a Google Partner such as ourselves.

  1. Work with Certified Analysts and Account Managers— Any company that achieves Google Partner status has employees with Google Adwords certifications managing their clients’ accounts. Google ensures that these certifications are current and that the company or agency meets Google’s standards for account management best practices.
  1. Have Access to Masters of AdWords Features — Google Partners must be well-versed in all the features of AdWords and use them in a way that is profitable to the client. Our analysts are required to master the use of negative keywords, site links inside of ads, ad extensions, phrase match keywords, split testing with AdWords, broad match modified keywords, ad scheduling, and more.
  1. Get a Leg up on the Competition with Beta Features– Companies that have earned a Google Partner badge have access to Google’s beta features. This means that after Google has developed a new feature or application, its partners can test and use this feature up to a year or more before it is available to the general public. Imagine the advantages to be gained by using Google marketing features before your competition even has access to it!
  1. Avoid Waiting in Line – Google Partners with a large ad spend have their own Google Agency Team that they can contact without waiting in line any time a client has an issue. Let’s say your site has a problem with malware and your AdWords campaigns are shut down. You continue to lose money until those campaigns are reactivated. It can sometimes take days to address this matter, but if you or your agency has access to a Google Agency Team, the problem can be addressed immediately.
  1. Keep up with PPC Best Practices – In order to maintain Google Partner status, agency team members must take certification exams in AdWords Fundamentals, Search, Display, Shopping, Video, and Mobile Advertising. Partners are also able to attend free training sessions to keep up with the latest PPC practices, so you’ll know that your agency is keeping up with PPC strategies as they evolve.
  1. Testing & Innovation – Google Adwords Partners are required to show they are employing best practices. This may include actively doing split testing on ads to attract the greatest volume of customers to a client’s site and ensuring that there are multiple ads per campaign group with different keywords and messaging. Google encourages ongoing experimentation by targeting the various demographics that fall into a client’s target market.

A company that doesn’t continue to maintain Google’s standards for partner status can have their badge removed. This ensures that a high standard of service is maintained no matter the date that Partner Status was achieved. When you work with Leverage Marketing, you get an agency that is qualified by Google—and an agency that offers its own guarantee of high-quality service.

 

Being a Google Partner Also Has Some Perks

 

4 Ways to Track Conversions When Your URL Does Not Change

If you perform Internet marketing functions for enough clients, you’re bound to run across this problem at one point or another.  What do you do when you are trying to track a goal or conversion but the URL does not change after action is taken?  This happens most often when people submit lead forms–you hit “Submit” and the form posts but the entire page does not refresh.  Far too many people just end up giving up, and then, are unable to track their campaign performance.  Others will set that form page as a goal / conversion so anyone who sees the lead form counts as a win whether they complete the form or not. There has to be a better way, right?  Well there is, or actually, there are.  Below are several ways to track these conversions along with examples.  I’ll do my best to break this down for the novice developer but some basic HTML / Javascript skills are required.


Call to action text in case your image doesn't load.

For Analytics-based tracking, these tips are for Universal Analytics and calls to analytics.js.  If your implementation still calls ga.js, we will provide links to Google’s Developer resources for legacy implementations (though you should strongly consider upgrading your implementation to analytics.js)

1. Analytics Event Tracking

Event Tracking is a fairly powerful and very underutilized function in Google Analytics that allows you to track things like button clicks, video plays, or file downloads.  Event tracking makes a call to ga.js in order to notate non-pageview items on your website.  The results will show up in the “Events” reports under the “Content” section of Google Analytics.  You can also define an event as a goal.  For our purposes, we want to track people who press the “Submit” button on the lead form.

In this example, we only need to focus on the “Submit” button in the code.  Below is a generic example of such a button.

<input type=”button” id=”subbtn” value=”Submit;” />

To add event tracking to this button, we’ll need a minimum of 3 basic elements:

  • Call the ga() function to send an event
  • An event category (a grouping that you determine for the event, i.e. “lead forms”)
  • An event action (what the user is doing to trigger the event, i.e. “submit”)

Labels (additional information you want to provide about the event) and values (similar to a goal value) can also be added but are not required.  We’ll omit them for simplicity.

After adding that information, here is how our new code should look:

<input type=”button” id=”subbtn” value=”Submit” onClick=”ga(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘Form’, ‘Submit’);” />

Click here to visit the Google Developer resources for ga.js implementations.

Please note that this is not a perfect solution.  If a user clicks the “Submit” button more than once, the event may be duplicated.  Also, if somebody does not fill out the form in its entirety and receives an error upon submitting, it will still track as an event even if they do not go back and complete the form.  If you have some sort of form validation in place, you can modify the code to only run if the submission was successful but that will vary by the type of form you’re using.

2. Analytics On-Click Virtual Pageviews

The _trackPageview function is another call to ga.js that allows you to artificially generate a pageview when an actual pageview does not take place.  This is quite useful for many of the same reasons as Event Tracking, and has the added benefit of showing up as a pageview in your content reports.  For example, if you have an AJAX shopping cart, you can use this function to tell which step of the checkout a user abandons.  This is also common if you have PDFs on your site for sales info, forms, restaurant menus, etc. Virtual pageviews can also be turned into goals, just like a standard pageview goal.

For this tracking function, let’s assume your checkout is all on one page but requires users to click “continue” to reach separate sections.  Below is the existing code example:

<button type=”button” id=”continueCheckout” onclick=”billing.save()”></button>

(user clicks that button, and then, the following div loads)

<div id=”checkout-step-payment”>

With virtual pageviews, we only need to create the call to ga() function to send a pageview and provide the naming convention for the virtual URL.  There are numerous ways to call these actions but we’ll use an onclick event to do so here.  Below is the modified example:

<button type=”button” id=”continueCheckout” onclick=”billing.save(); javascript: ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’, ‘/checkout/payment/’);“></button>

Click here to visit the Google Developer resources for ga.js implementations.

In this example, the semi-colon at the end of the existing onclick event is important so the browser knows to look for additional items when the button is clicked.

3. Conversion Code in a div that Loads after Submission.

In many forms, the user is greeted with a “thank you” message that appears on the page upon hitting submit but the URL does not change.  Generally, this type of response is called by PHP and the specifics of it can vary by the type of form you’re using.  However, if your site is developed in PHP, there’s a good chance your form page will have a section like the one below:

<?php if ( $success ) echo “<p>Thanks for sending your message! We’ll get back to you shortly.</p>” ?>

This is your opportunity to add your AdWords / AdCenter tracking code.  Simply paste the code you get from the PPC channel into the response message and it will appear after a user successfully submits your form.  Even though this is pretty straightforward, I have an example below (please substitute with your own PPC conversion code or this won’t work).

<?php if ( $success ) echo “<p>Thanks for sending your message! We’ll get back to you shortly.  <!– Google Code for Conversion Page –>

<script type=”text/javascript”>

/* <![CDATA[ */

var google_conversion_id = XXXXXXXXX;

var google_conversion_language = “en”;

var google_conversion_format = “3”;

var google_conversion_color = “ffffff”;

var google_conversion_label = “XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”;

var google_conversion_value = 0.00;

var google_conversion_currency = “USD”;

var google_remarketing_only = false;

/* ]]> */

</script>

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”//www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion.js”>

</script>

<noscript>

<div style=”display:inline;”>

<img height=”1″ width=”1″ style=”border-style:none;” alt=”” src=”//www.googleadservices.com/pagead/conversion/XXXXXXXXX/?value=0.00&amp;currency_code=USD&amp;label=XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0″/>

</div>

</noscript>

</p>” ?>


Call to action text in case your image doesn't load.

4. On-Click Conversions with Call Tracking

This fairly new feature of AdWords allows you to track click-to-call actions on your website as conversions.  This is great for mobile traffic or desktop users that have Skype (or a similar VOIP solution) installed.  AdWords will also report conversions for visitors who manually dial the phone number displayed on the web page.  When you create a new conversion in AdWords, you’ll now see an option to track Phone Calls.

The conversion code is below, and has a few key differences from a standard conversion.

<script type=”text/javascript”>

(function(a,e,c,f,g,b,d){var h={ak:”XXXXXXXXX”,cl:”XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”};a[c]=a[c]||function(){(a[c].q=a[c].q||[]).push(arguments)};a[f]||(a[f]=h.ak);b=e.createElement(g);b.async=1;b.src=”//www.gstatic.com/wcm/loader.js”;d=e.getElementsByTagName(g)[0];d.parentNode.insertBefore(b,d);a._googWcmGet=function(b,d,e){a[c](2,b,h,d,null,new Date,e)}})(window,document,”_googWcmImpl”,”_googWcmAk”,”script”);

</script>

For one, it’s all javascript.  Due to the nature of this conversion type, there is no way a script-free pixel can fire so users must have javascript enabled.

Beyond that, you need to have some extra code to make this conversion type work.  The code above goes on any page with your phone number listed.  To activate the conversion, you need to add a second piece of code to call the _googWcmGet() function and replace your phone number with a Google forwarding number when someone visits your site through an AdWords ad.  There are a few different options for implementing this piece, but the most straightforward is to create a “number” class and place your number in appropriate spans.  Here is an example:

<body onload=”_googWcmGet(‘number’,’555-555-1234’)”>

<span class=”number”>555-555-1234</span>

</body>

Now every time an AdWords visitor calls you from your site, a conversion will be triggered in AdWords. You can also define conversions based on the length of the call. It’s quite simple to implement and very valuable for companies that receive a lot of phone leads.

How We Track Marketing Attribution & Revenue

The Real Deal with Bob Kehoe

When it comes to seeing the positive results of your efforts, I think I’m no different than most worker bees.

Like the chef who churns out an evening’s worth of top-of-the-line food for his or her hungry patrons, the sales team who lands that big, sought after client, or the carpenter whose long hours and sweat resulted in that nice new building addition, I am elated when the fruits of Leverage’s labor turns out to be noteworthy growth for our clients.

Recently, my team gave me yet another noteworthy reason to sing their praises.

A short time ago, we assumed the online reins of a specialty computer manufacturer and sales company.  What they’re selling is way above and beyond the high-end laptops being sold at Best Buy (I know all too well about those as of late, having just forked over no small amount of change for one for my college-bound daughter, but that’s another story). This company’s clientele includes major film and television networks, visual effects companies, and big-name engineering and architectural firms. On the low end, their computers start in the $4K ballpark.

The manufacturer’s previous experience with a digital marketing firm was an exercise in futility: after a year with our competitor, they saw little, if any, return on their investment, most notably when it came to tracking any revenue generated from or attributed to their website.

Enter Leverage Marketing. And Bizible.

Recently, Leverage has entered into a partnership with Bizible, who offers, among other things, top-notch programs that allow marketers and their clients to use cross-channel marketing attribution data. Basically, Bizible helps marketers figure out how to assign credit to different touchpoints on the customer journey, such as SEO, PPC ads and landing pages, in order to streamline marketing efforts, as you can see in the image below. Like Leverage, Bizible casts a wide net with the industries their products can serve: real estate, health care, and manufacturers such as our computer client are just the tip of the iceberg.

Bizible-marketing-attribution

After only a couple weeks, our computer client started seeing notable results, thanks to both Leverage’s innovative and meticulously constructed game plan and Bizible’s dynamic software. Or, as one of the client company’s head honchos put it, “we went from working in the dark to having stadium lighting.”

Bizible allows us to track all of our marketing efforts and allows us to properly attribute success to the appropriate channels.

Bizible-revenue-tracking

Despite my penchant for giving props to Leverage and other colleagues whenever possible, there is a part of me that also has a glass-half-empty mindset: basically, if it’s too good, I wonder when the other shoe is going to drop. But with Bizible, that shoe never dropped. The equation is simple: in this case, Leverage’s innovation plus Bizible’s program equals success.

Excuse me now while I rest my arm. It’s admittedly a little sore from all the back-patting I’ve done here. If you’re missing tracking of your marketing efforts, you’re not alone. According to the 2015 State of Digital Marketing Report, one-third of marketers say they don’t know what digital marketing channel makes the biggest impact on revenue.

Give us a call to discuss how we can set up attribution tracking for your business. You should know what marketing channels contribute most to your bottom line. Otherwise, you might as well be playing blackjack with your marketing budget.

7 Ways To Conquer Summer Hospitality Marketing Online

School’s out, leisure travel’s up. If you work in the hospitality industry, summer is probably your busiest season. But are you getting as many visitors as you could from your online marketing efforts? If your online marketing went into hibernation this winter and failed to get a fresh start this spring, it’s especially important to make some changes now.

Here are 7 actionable tips to help travelers find your site when they’re booking their summer trip.

Update your website content to reflect the season.

As a hospitality business, failing to keep your website updated is kind of like leaving your Christmas lights up year round… only worse. Not only does an infrequently updated website look bad, it’s also likely to rank lower in the search engine results pages (SERPs) than sites that regularly add new, original content—and that means visitors are less likely to discover you organically.

Of course, SEO value isn’t the only good reason to add fresh summer content to your site. Chances are, visitors who land on your site are already contemplating a summer getaway, and having visual and written content that aligns with their wants will help convince them to book. Try adding bright outdoor photos taken on or around your property, and consider writing summer guides letting visitors know what there is to do in your area this time of year.

Make sure your site is optimized for mobile.

According to a recent update from Google, mobile searches have outpaced desktop searches in the US and 9 other countries. On top of that, sites that are mobile-friendly (i.e. are easy to read and navigate no matter what size screen they’re on) rank higher in the SERPs than those that are not optimized for mobile.

Even if they convert on a desktop computer, many of your prospective guests will begin their summer travel research on a phone or tablet, so you need to make sure your site utilizes responsive design and looks good on all screen sizes.

Pay attention to the window between booking and traveling.

Many hotels and vacation rental companies are discovering that the window between when a guest books a room and when they arrive has narrowed considerably in the last several years. To figure out when your PPC ads for summer travel will be most effective, you need to figure out the average window for your business. For example, if the 4th of July week is typically your busiest time of year, and you determine that your guests book 30 days out on average, you should start running PPC ads for this holiday weekend in early June.

So how do you find your business’s booking window? Look at historical data from recent summers, as well as emerging trends in your booking system. You should also pay attention to when competitors are increasing their PPC spend.

Spruce up your local SEO.

Location matters, online and off. When most vacation-goers start planning a trip, they search for some combination of a place name and a venue, such as “Las Vegas hotels” or “best restaurants Atlanta”, so you need to make sure your business is ranking for relevant local searches. Here are a few things you should be doing for local SEO to increase the return on your summer hospitality marketing campaigns:

  • Claim your business listing on as many relevant places as you can, including Google, Bing, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and UrbanSpoon (for restaurants)
  • Make sure your Google+ business page is completely filled in
  • Make sure your name, address, and phone number are structured as data on your site so that search engines can easily categorize them
  • Research keywords that have a relatively high volume of traffic but low competition from other area businesses (e.g. “Austin hotels” is a very broad search, while “Austin hotels near South Congress” is a more specific search that will likely have less competition)
  • Try to get your business listed in well-ranked niche and local directories

Target staycationers.

Don’t forget about local web users who aren’t traveling far but still want to take a mini-vacation. According to a 2015 Skift survey, 62% of Americans don’t plan to take a big summer vacation this year because they are too busy or can’t afford it, but 33% of Americans say they will still take short trips on the weekend.

Consider crafting PPC ads that are specifically targeted to people within your city or state. Use your site and social media to promote a special discount rate or package deal for locals. Add content to your blog that gives readers tips on how to be a tourist in their own city. There are great hospitality marketing opportunities for businesses even when travelers are sticking closer to home.

Use retargeting ads with compelling incentives.

Taking a summer vacation is a big decision, and most people don’t commit after just one short perusal of a hotel or vacation rental company’s website. Keep in mind that people who visit your site are likely in the research phase, and be ready to remind them about your accommodations as they move closer to the decision-making phase.

You can stay top of mind by retargeting ads to people who have visited your site without converting—just make sure the ads give them a good reason to choose you. For example, for people who looked at your ‘Rooms’ page, you might create an ad offering a one-week only discount on a standard room.

Invite summer visitors back again.

The end of this vacation season doesn’t have to mean the end of your relationship with your summer guests. Encourage guests to follow you on social media or subscribe to your email newsletter (try offering an incentive, like a special discount for subscribers), and keep sharing engaging content about your facilities and region that will make them want to come back again next year.

It’s impossible to fit a complete guide to online seasonal hospitality marketing into one blog post. Want to learn more? Share your question or comment below, or contact us to start a conversation.

Take the Leverage Digital Marketing Quiz!

Find out if you’re a marketing grandmaster, a novice, or somewhere in between. Take our digital marketing quiz now and see how much you kick ass! (or not…)

 

Get the bragging rights you deserve and challenge your coworkers to beat your score!

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How to Use Retargeting Ads without Coming on Too Strong

Anyone who has been online in the last several years has experienced retargeting, whether they recognize the term or not.

 

Let’s say you’re browsing an outdoor store’s website because you’re interested in buying a new tent. You see one you like and click on the product page, but decide to do some more research and leave the page without purchasing the tent. A couple days later, you see an ad for that outdoor store’s tents while browsing another site.

 

That’s retargeting, and it works like this:

  1. When you visit a web page, a small piece of code (known as a cookie) is stored in your browser.
  2. This cookie stores data related to your site interactions.
  3. As you continue to browse the web, the cookie lets retargeting providers know when to serve certain ads that are relevant to you based on your browsing history.

 

When used well, retargeting ads help remind people about products they were interested in and makes it easy to purchase those items if they’re still interested. When used poorly, retargeting ads can be kind of creepy and annoying. Let’s talk about how to avoid falling into the latter camp.

 

How to Get Retargeting Wrong

Although I still hear the occasional jokes about how retargeting seems like a form of stalking, the practice has been around long enough now that most people accept it as a normal part of the internet browsing experience.

 

However, it’s still possible for retargeting ads to cross a line into the realm of the obnoxious. Here’s what NOT to do, unless you like turning off potential customers:

 

Serve an ad that links to the wrong landing page. You serve an ad about a shoe sale to users who have browsed your site for boots, but when they click the ad they get sent to a landing page for your fall sweater collection. They’re not looking for sweaters– they just wanted a 25% discount on a pair of boots they’d been eyeing — so they navigate away from the page, and you lose out on a sale.

 

Place incorrect or outdated info in your ad. Let’s say you end that shoe sale after a week…but forget to swap out the copy on your ads, and continue luring people to your site with promises of a discount you no longer offer. No one’s going to be particularly happy if you can’t deliver on the claims in your ad, and you will damage your brand’s integrity.

 

Be obtrusive. I have yet to meet someone who truly enjoys pop up ads flashing onto their screen while they’re trying to browse online.  Sure, you want your ad to stand out, but you don’t want it to distract web users to the point that they have negative associations with your brand.

 

Serve the same ad too many times. Showing a site visitor the same ad over and over again for a product that they showed a vague interest in is the internet equivalent of following someone around a store and out the door saying, “You’re sure you don’t want this? How about now? Or now?” To avoid this, you should set up frequency caps (which I’ll talk more about in the next section).

 

Serve an ad for a product that a customer has already purchased. Your customer just clicked on one of your banner ads and bought your product. They were feeling pretty good about their purchase — until they start seeing more of your retargeted ads for that same product around the web. Not only is this annoying, it also shows that your company doesn’t care enough about its customers to notice when they’ve converted and change the way you communicate with them.

 

4 Retargeting Best Practices

Segment your audience. You don’t necessarily want to serve the same ads to someone who just viewed your homepage as you would to someone who abandoned their shopping cart. Tailor your ads to visitors’ interests by creating different lists based on a visitor’s interaction with your site. Your segmented list should be as specific as possible, but don’t over-segment if your audience is too small. You typically want at least 1000 cookies per list.

 

Set a frequency cap. A frequency cap ensures that a web user stops seeing the same ad after it has been served to them a specified number of times. There’s no magic number — it will depend in large part on your product’s life cycle and advertising standards in your industry. Talk to your retargeting provider to determine the best frequency cap for your ads.

 

Pay attention when visitors convert. It’s easy to avoid following your customers around the web with ads for a product they just purchased from you. All you have to do is add a snippet of code to your transaction confirmation page so that customers are untagged from the segmented list once they convert. You can, of course, still add them to other lists in order to cross-sell to them based on their purchase history. Again, this is something that your retargeting provider will be able to help you with.

 

Keep testing. Don’t get complacent — when people keep seeing the same (or similar-looking) ads from your company over and over again, they may develop ‘banner blindness’ and stop noticing your ads altogether. Just make sure that when you A/B test your ads, you only change one variable at a time in order to pinpoint what works best.

 

Want to talk more about how to use retargeting without scaring shoppers off? Comment below, or contact Leverage Marketing.

Get the Phone Ringing With Google’s Call-Only Ads

Google has just unveiled a new campaign format to help advertisers take advantage of the continued trend of searches going mobile. To help advertisers dip their toes in, AdWords now offers “Call-Only Ads”. Google has re-introduced the ability to get phone calls directly from mobile ads. While you can always enable “Click-to-Call” extensions for your campaign, this doesn’t guarantee that they will appear in every ad auction. In addition, users still have the opportunity to click through to the main website, which is not ideal if your only goal is to drive phone calls. Call-Only ads allow advertisers to bid on mobile searches and serve ads that, as the name suggests, only lead directly to phone calls.

To get the most out of these ads, you should create a separate campaign for your Call-Only ads. To do this, create a new “Search Network Only” campaign. On the Campaign Setting page, select the radio button for “Call-only”. After rolling all device targeting together with Enhanced Campaigns over a year ago, Google has given back a bit of control, allowing you to separate your Call-Only mobile ads from other ad types. This is important for segmenting your bidding strategy, since you are likely to have different CPA or ROAS goals for phone calls than for website visitors.  Since you don’t have to worry about sharing the campaign budget with more traditional search ads, you will be able to bid efficiently for phone calls.

The next step will be writing ads that entice users to place a call. The ad format itself is basically the same as a traditional search ad: headline, two description lines, and a display URL. The difference is that the headline will always be your phone number. As with call extensions, when creating your ad, you’ll have the option to use a Google forwarding number for call tracking. You’ll also need to supply a Verification URL, which is a page where the number in your ad is listed. Once you have this all set up, start testing ad copy and get that phone ringing.

5 Digital Marketing Tools to Stay Ahead of the Game

There are a multitude of digital marketing tools out there to choose from. It can be time-consuming and daunting to evaluate all the options, but great tools are necessary to get the job done. The Leverage Marketing team has picked out some of our favorite tools in an effort to help you make the best choice and waste less valuable time when it comes to finding new tools for your company or marketing department. These tools are some of our favorites because they aren’t just passing fads. They’ve stood the test of time and will be around for a good while to help you be more competitive online. Read more

CHEERS TO RETARGETING!

It’s funny how a couple casual cold ones with a friend can turn into fuel for this here blog.

A few Fridays ago, I met up with a pal for a pit stop close to the home front. Being a Friday afternoon, the corner pub was its usual busy self, but on this particular end-of-week stop, all eyes were on a table full of 20-somethings and early 30-somethings who, judging by the rowdy celebration (not to mention quantity of booze consumed), were celebrating landing a big client or account.

Anyone whose livelihood is tied to sales should be able to identify with these guys. The crushing hangover that had to follow that Saturday morning, though, is optional.

The importance pretty much any company puts on new business is immeasurable, from the CFO making sense out of spreadsheets and percentages to the corporate salesperson whose fate lies in those numbers their bosses are looking over. New business is paramount, putting it mildly, to companies of all sizes, shapes and forms.

Leverage is hardly immune to this mindset. Like any business of any size, our annual goal isn’t solely to keep the lights on and our staff paid: we want to prosper and grow, both fiscally and in terms of innovation, at a steady clip. We are also elated when our hard work results in a new client and, on the other side of the coin, have been dealt our fair share of blows in terms of missed opportunities.

Yet to continue to thrive, we at Leverage are just as concerned about maintaining our relationships with the clients who have rewarded us with their business. That means continuous evolution of their online marketing strategies, with the end result being further success – and profit – in their online endeavors as well as continued satisfaction with our work.

For our clients, this means retaining their customers or clients. Once they have established their relationships with their base, continuing and expanding upon those relations is crucial.  While this is a long-term and continuously evolving process for all parties involved, the cost to our clients to retarget their customers is, compared to the cost of establishing the relationship in the beginning, much lower, and the practice is as, if not, more rewarding long-term than bringing them into the fold the first time. We all know how significant the lifetime value of a client is. Retargeting keeps customers in the loop and makes the rewards of customer lifetime value a reality.

Retargeting generally produces between 25%-40% more in sales revenue than targeting new clients

There are many approaches to site retargeting for an online client base, but three proven methods immediately come to mind:

  • Using marketing automation to trigger customized e-mail retargeting based on the browsing and purchasing behavior of customers.
  • Using paid search to retarget current customers with ads based on items they have viewed.
  • Using an e-mail database to trigger ads in social media news feeds based on the clients’ interests.
  • Remarketing solutions generally produces between 25%-40% more sales revenue than targeting new clients.

To me, the ability to be a company that continues to dazzle our clients by retargeting their proven customers with unique and profitable solutions is as satisfying and worth celebrating – be it with a Budweiser, bourbon or Barq’s root beer in hand – as that first success. First time clients are exciting, but repeat customers are what keep you in business. Are you ready to start reaching out to your customers? Contact us today for a FREE evaluation on your digital marketing strategy and learn how retargeting can benefit your business!

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