5 Things to Look For When Scaling Up SEO Efforts

You’ve more than likely found particular SEO tactics that work better than others, but you want to build your strategy book and have a comprehensive plan for scaling your efforts. Scaling is wonderful because it means you are really starting to see the fruits of your SEO labor.

Before you spend a lot of time and money, it is vital to create a clear plan that lays out the SEO strategies that you will implement. The time when things in your business are going well is the perfect time to scale your SEO because of the resources you have available to obtain more leads and customers for your business.

How to scale up your SEO efforts

Let’s discuss some of the most essential things you can do when scaling up your SEO efforts. Here are 5 elements to focus on and why they matter.

1. Use evergreen SEO tactics

When scaling your SEO, the best thing you can do for yourself and your business is to use evergreen SEO tactics. These evergreen tactics are the actions you take with your website optimization that will always remain a priority, no matter what changes in the world of SEO. When a trending SEO strategy becomes useless, it is the evergreen tactics that will allow you to stay afloat.

Some evergreen SEO tactics include:

  • Great Site Architecture with keyword targeting dialed into your pages
  • Writing content that’s valuable for many years to come, if not forever.
  • Keeping all your content relevant to your business and ideal customer
  • Tracking changes in SEO to quickly adapt to new practices, for example, the updates Google has made around AI and Machine Learning

2. Focus your optimization efforts on your clients

Keeping a focus on your clients and the people who visit your site will always be a winning strategy. One of the more recent signals in SEO is keeping your visitors on your site for a longer period of time and browsing more content. This shows search engines your content is relatable and matches the intent of people visiting your site while also providing them real value.

When you continue to focus your optimization efforts on your clients, you will be rewarded with happy visitors that bring new people to your website through sharing of that content. Here are some ways to focus on your clients:

  • Make sure the content your creating matches intent people are seeking.
  • Ensure your website is easy to navigate so visitors can browse more content, find more related products, etc.
  • Provide lots of additional resources and pages your users are interested in.
  • Use internal linking to keep clients on your site longer, which in turn will allow search engines to crawl and index content faster, more frequently, and deeper.

3. Don’t forget about keyword research

Every business is unique and has different goals and visions for what growth looks like to them. Some businesses are focused on generating leads, others are focused on having people browse as much content as possible, where e-commerce is all about generating sales and revenue. When you think about your customer or visitor and what their end goal is, you can leverage seo keyword research to match intent.

“Winning keywords” will be different for each business, depending on their goals. Here are some ways to verify winning keywords for your unique scenario:

  1. Expand on your highest-searched content: Your analytics platform should tell you what people are searching for when they find pages on your site. Find the content that people searched a keyword and got to your page and add more relevant content to that page. Because search engines already find this page relevant and useful, adding additional keywords and content to your pages can add more keywords matching the intent of what people are looking for.
  2. Add related content based on your highest-searched content: Besides adding more keywords and content to an already-popular page, you can add new pages that are related to your highest-searched content. Find your most popular page and write more pages that relate to that central topic. Then, use internal links in your popular page to link to your new pages. This will both organically pass along visitors to more relevant content and will help search engines find your new content more easily.
  3. Find and use keywords that help a user take action: Find keywords that help a user take the action you want them to take. Think about the keywords you use when searching for information about a general topic compared to the keywords you use when searching for something to buy. If you want more customers, add more buying-related keywords.

For instance, let’s say you are selling a service that helps small businesses create promotional flyers. Writing content with the keyword phrase “different types of flyers for small businesses” won’t get a lot of visitors looking to purchase your service. However, using the keyword phrase “how to create a flyer for your small business that gets more customers” will be targeting people who are trying to solve a problem in which your service is the solution.

4. Maintain a solid site architecture that keeps people on your site

Site architecture is crucial when scaling your SEO efforts for many reasons. Primarily, this means search engines will be able to crawl and index that content more efficiently, as mentioned above. In my opinion the technical seo factors around crawling and indexing are vastly underrated in their performance effects.

Building your site architecture with the user in mind helps to keep people on your site for more extended periods. Search engines can see how long users spend on your website after finding your content through their search engine, and this tracking helps search engines find out how popular your content is.

Here are four things to think about when building a solid site architecture:

  1. Have a primary navigation that allows users to easily find other areas of your site.
  2. Include contextual in-content links that bring users to relevant pages.
  3. Include “related pages” at the end of each page in case users are looking for more.
  4. Include breadcrumb navigation that allows users to go back to where they just were.

5. Keep up SEO efforts that have been working

Don’t discount what has already been working. While it is nice to expand your SEO efforts to new strategies and tactics, keep a large part of your focus on what has already been working. For many years on end, I’ve been focused on a lot of the efforts mentioned previously and our team and I are completely in sync about this.

Both users and search engines will have already told you what has been working on your site based on their actions and what they say. You don’t need to change your entire SEO strategy based on what worked for someone else. Every website or business will require a different approach based on their individual scenario.

If high-quality backlinking has been working, keep it up. If focusing on social sharing has been working, keep it up. Continuing your current SEO efforts will help your consistency, even when you begin to expand and scale your SEO.

Create your SEO scaling plan

Before you jump into your new SEO scaling strategy, create a plan. Make sure you understand the time, money, and effort that you will need to put into your plan. Not everything will work right away and in many cases, there are many factors that will go into your site not ranking for a very long time. I’ve seen cases at larger organizations that I’ve worked at (e.g. Yahoo!) where our efforts didn’t work for up to 16 months.

It happens and you have to remember, SEO is not a sure thing. But, if you’re seeing things moving directionally well, keep at it. And, remember that it’s not only about rankings of one or a handful of terms, it’s about the overall growth of traffic, revenue, and don’t underestimate the power of long-tail traffic growth.

The 5 tips discussed above are good places to start and helpful things to think about before you start any new SEO strategy. Remember, each website is unique and will require different approaches to reach success.

If you need additional help creating an SEO Program for your business, take a look at our SEO approach and the key to our SEO success here. We keep it simple, but it has worked time and time again.

Technical SEO Importance tied to Crawling and Indexing

Every digital marketer or business shares the common goal of getting their online business found, viewed and engaged with. While creating valuable content is a great way to give people what they want, those people will never see it if they can’t find it. This can be solved with good use of technical SEO.

Search engines have technical ways of finding your content, so it’s important to use technical optimization strategies to show the search engines where your content is and what it’s about.

How search engines find your content

Search engines find your content with two technical functions:

  1. Crawling: Crawling is the process that search engines use to search for and find content. Similar to how we use a search engine to search for and discover content, search engines must first find this content to be able to display it.
  2. Indexing: Indexing is the process that search engines use to store the content it finds in the crawling process. The search engine will use an algorithm to determine what your content is about and how to best organize it in their database. It will use every technical aspect of the page to rank it accordingly in their search results.

The importance of technical SEO

There are three types of search engine optimization techniques that you can use to increase the chances of your content being found:

  1. On-page SEO: how you optimize your content to rank better in search engines
  2. Off-page SEO: how you promote your website on other sites and pages
  3. Technical SEO: how you ensure your content is crawled and indexed properly

Search engines take all three of these factors into consideration when ranking your website and pages. To have a fully optimized website, it is critical to focus on all three of them. Many companies and marketers understand at least a few techniques for optimizing the content on their sites (ex: keyword optimization and fast loading pages). Many also understand at least a few ways to promote their business using off-page SEO (ex: advertising and backlinks).

One aspect of SEO that many companies still fail to fully understand is technical SEO. Before a search engine can rank your pages based on your on-page and off-page optimization, it uses your technical optimization to perform its crawling and indexing functions. Put simply, your content will be easier to find by your target audience if you make it easier for search engines to locate and understand it, and that is achieved with technical SEO.

How to help search engines crawl and index your site with technical SEO

There are a variety of technical optimization fixes we implement for our clients to ensure their websites can be easily found and better organized by search engines. With business and brands who have already established an online presence, these technical items alone have dramatically improved the crawlability and indexability of their sites.

To give you an idea, here are some overviews of the technical strategies you can use as a digital marketer to help search engines crawl and index your site.


To help search engines find your business online, placing links on other websites that navigate users to your website is an excellent way to do this.

The higher the rank this external website holds, the easier it is for search engines to find your link and follow it to your site. Here are two essential pages to link to:

  • Home page: Linking to your home page allows search engines to start their crawl at your primary page. With a solid site architecture, a search engine should be able to crawl your entire site from your home page.
  • Pillar pages: Linking to your pillar pages show the search engines what your most important content is, and your pillar pages will have numerous links to related content, which helps a search engine understand how your pages relate to each other. For e-commerce companies, your pillar pages will be the front page or category page that link to your product pages.

Internal linking

Once the crawler gets to your website, having a clear internal linking strategy helps the crawler navigate around your site, which ensures that all your pages are indexed.

Here are a few internal linking strategies that help a search engine crawler navigate your site:

  • Primary navigation bar: Having a primary navigation bar that shows up on every page allows a search engine to navigate to all the pages in your navigation.
  • Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumb links leave a trail of links that shows how a user browsed your site. These breadcrumbs show a search engine crawler how your content is structured, helping the search engine navigate your site easier. For an e-commerce business, when a visitor is on a product page, they will see a breadcrumb link structure at the top of the page that shows the sub-category, category, main section, and front page of the online store. This helps both user navigation and search engine crawling and indexing.
  • Related links: Adding links to other relevant pages of your site gives another opportunity for search engine crawlers to find all of your pages. A blog would display related posts, while an e-commerce business would display similar products.

Site architecture

The internal linking strategies explained above are all examples of how you can help search engines navigate your site easier. This is part of the process of creating a robust site architecture.

To have a good site architecture, you must make your site easy to navigate. Users shouldn’t have trouble getting around your site and should be able to find any page of your website within a few clicks.

From your home page, think about the path you must take to get to a specific page of your site. Making this navigation clear and straightforward is the act of building a strong site architecture.

XML sitemap

Besides using internal linking and building a strong site architecture, an additional technique you can use is creating a sitemap for search engine robots to find.

Your sitemap is an XML file that you submit to a search engine like Google that contains a list of every single URL on your site. Search engines will use this file to crawl and find your pages.

Besides submitting your XML sitemap to Google, it is vital to create a good site architecture and make it easy for search engines to crawl your site. When you add additional pages to your site like new products or blog posts, you can’t rely on your dated sitemap or expect to submit a new sitemap for every new page you create. You will have to rely on solid site architecture and an extensive internal linking strategy.


Technical SEO creates a foundation for your online business to succeed. Digital marketers who use technical SEO will have an easier time with optimizing their online business because search engines reward solid technicals.

If you need help with your SEO performance for your business, take a look at our SEO and consulting services here.

These 6 Tips Could Improve Your CTRs And Conversion Rates

Very often PPC ads are the first contact potential customers have with your site. They do a (Google) search for something related to your business or product, and your ad shows up in the results. Other than relevancy,  the determining factor of whether searchers click on your ad and get to you site or moves passed it, largely depends on how powerful and enticing your message is.

Since PPC text ads present this “first touch point”, it’s important to get them right, and send out the right message. Some of the most important, and most obvious benefits of well-written PPC ads are:

  • Improved click-through-rate
  • Lower CPA (Cost Per Action).

An important update that came out in July of 2016 was Google AdWords rolling out ETAs (Extended Text Ads) and new character limits that change the way in which text ads display content. The old character count consisted of one 25-character headline, two 35-character description lines and a manually entered display URL. As of that update, it changed to two 30-character headlines, one consolidated 80-character description line and a domain automatically extracted from your final URL.   

The simplest version of a PPC ad consists of a headline, display URL, and two lines of description text, this hasn’t changed. But if we take into account the new ad structure and break it down into ad component, ideally it would be structured like this:

Headline 1 (30-characters): contains the relevant keyword or phrase at least once, attracts attention and is RELEVANT

Headline 2 (30-characters): communicates a unique value proposition and call to action that generates interest and makes your offer USEFUL

Description line (80-characters): write a clear precise description of your product/service that clearly communicates its benefits and confirms the VALUE

So now that you have a vast landscape of 45 additional characters you need to think about what to fill it with. There’s extra space in the description, yes, but the biggest advantage is that extra space in the headlines, which means you need to find a way to get the most of them. After all, big blue headlines are more noticeable than description text.

Let’s explore a few tips and tactics that will help you create better ads with more enticing headlines and more precise descriptions to help you reap out the benefits!

  1. Reflect your visitor’s end goal – your headlines should clearly state that you have the solution to what the user wants to accomplish, and that solution should be depicted in your product/service.
  2. Use a countdown timer to trigger fear of missing out – people more are motivated by fear of losing out than the idea of gaining something so create a sense of urgency when creating ads by setting Google’s simple countdown timer within your text ad.
  3. Keep the ads current – recent happenings get more attention and interest than events from the past three months. Try using time identifiers such as “this week”, “in March”, or referencing holidays and events to emphasize you are talking about current offers and situations.  
  4. Be super-specific – number driver ads may greatly improve performance because people tend to consider them to be more accurate and credible, especially when you use specific numbers like 1,489 rather than round numbers like 1,500.
  5. Make ads appear more personal – the ad should be about your customer, so instead of words like “we”, “us, “me”, use power words that focus on the customer’s need, like “you” and “your” to create a sense of personalization and enhance ad performance.
  6. Make ads hyper-local –whether you sell in one location or world wide, it is important to target customers based on their location. That is why geo-specific ads with call extensions specific to that area show users you are right around the corner have better CTR.

Another important change added by AdWords that rolled out recently is the IF functions which is used to add another layer of ad customization. This means that advertisers can create two different ad messages, and which would be shown, depends on the user’s device. For example, if a user is searching from a mobile device, the message can say “Buy from your phone”, and if a user is searching from desktop the message will be changed to “Choose from our selection”. This allows you to write mobile-friendly ads without using ad customizers or creating a separate mobile-only campaign, making your AdWords campaigns friendlier to your budget. It’s up to you to decide whether you need to use it.

Whatever trick or tactic you choose, it is very important to test your ads. Don’t just add a second headline to your existing ads. Start from the beginning and rethink your entire ad creative. Use the extra space to provide consumers with relevant information and insight into your offering. When your ad is relevant to the searcher, you will receive higher CRTs. Even Google suggest you out emphasis on headline testing since the headline makes a huge difference to performance. And constructive testing will also help you determine where to place your CTA – in the first or second headline, or leave it on the body.

If after reading our guide on writing better PPC ads you still have difficulties getting the most out of your PPC campaigns, you can always contact us and let us help you. We’ve created many highly profitable campaigns for other companies just like yours!

6 Easy Steps to Correctly Install the Facebook Pixel

With more than 79% of US internet users on Facebook, and a staggering 70% of all Facebook users returning to the site at least once a day, it’s clear there is a huge advertising opportunity on this platform. With a single ad click costing on average $0.27, and a thousand impressions setting you back $7.19, it pays to know what you’re getting in return for your money spent.

That’s where the Facebook Pixel comes in. The Facebook Pixel was created to pair a KPI with ad performance, helping advertisers to track Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). Here are 6 easy steps to get the pixel up and running as quickly as possible:

Step 1: Launch Facebook Business Manager

Open up the Facebook Ads Manager, and then click on the menu button at the top of the screen. If you can’t see it, it’s 3 horizontal lines in the top left corner.

Next you’ll see the assets column second from the right, from which you want to select ‘Pixels’ from the list of options.

This will take you to a page where you want to click ‘Create a Pixel’ to get things moving.

Step 2: Name Your Pixel

Before you can install your Pixel, you’ll be asked to name it. The best thing to do is choose something memorable that you’ll easily be able to recall later on. It doesn’t need to match the user name for any of your websites or Facebook accounts. Once you add the Pixel name and website URL, click “create” and the pop-up box will take you to the “Install Pixel” step.

There are 3 options for how to place your Pixel onto your site’s backend:

–    If you have a web developer and don’t feel confident, then ask them to take control at this point

–    Manually copy and paste the code if you’re happy to proceed yourself

–    Use a Tag Manager Plugin if your site supports these kinds of tools

As this is a guide about doing it yourself, we’re going to press ahead along the manual copy and paste route.

Step 3: Find Your Website’s Header Tags

This is the part where you need to turn to your web host for a little help if you’re not sure what to do. Find the <head> </head> tags in your webpage code, or locate the header template in your CMS or web platform.

<!– Example –>

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html lang=”en”>





The pixel that you will need to enter is generated automatically for you in Facebook. Copy the entire pixel code and paste the pixel code at the bottom of the header section, just above the </head> tag. The Facebook pixel code can be added above or below existing tracking tags (such as Google Analytics) in your site header.

Step 4: Activate the Advanced Matching Options

At the bottom of the ‘Install Pixel ’ pop-up box, you’ll see a greyed out button to turn on “Turn on Automatic Advanced Matching”.

These options aren’t necessary for everyone, but if you’re focusing on generating leads that can be repurposed to build an eCommerce campaign, click the button.

This will allow you to gather information such as the users’ location, phone number, and first name. All useful things to know if you want to use Pixel to drive information into your email campaign.

Step 5: Install Your Pixel’s Event Code

Once you click next, you’ll see a dropdown of event categories to choose from, along with a list of how you’d like to track them (i.e. view content, search, add to cart, etc.). Once you select the event type, you’ll be shown a small piece of code that you can now install on any pages of your website you choose. It will allow you to track and record the actions users take on said pages, and thereby learn significantly more about their browsing habits than you otherwise would be able to.

There are a variety of different event codes that you can make use of; with the choices you make being dependent on what you want to achieve.

Complete Registration is one of the most commonly used codes. If placed on a registration form on your site, it will allow you to track how and when that user was converted. There are options for you to add the value of that individual conversion, and you’ll also be able to see where the user went next.

Step 6: Check Your Pixel’s Status

This step can take up to approximately half an hour, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself waiting a little while.

Open Ads Manager and click on ‘Pixels’. Next to the name of your new Pixel you will see the status. Nothing will happen in terms of data collection until it shows as active. If it remains inactive for more than 1 hour then retrace your steps above, before contacting Facebook for help.

Also, you can install the Facebook Pixel Helper Plugin for chrome to verify the pixel is working.

Final Thoughts

Facebook Pixel allows you to target your ads and get the highest return on your per click investment. Take the time to work through each of the steps above, and you’ll be able to see how much money you’re making with real-time analytics. By making sure the pixel is installed you can optimize your Facebook Ads to generate the best return possible for your company.

You can now capture leads on Google with Ad Extensions

Remember when the only option available used to be landing pages to capture leads?

We all know digital marketing is about testing and trying to find what works for your target audience. You need to run a couple of tests, with a couple of options, different creatives and then decide on what and where to spend your limited marketing budget.

The A/B test for landing pages is facilitated by many DIY landing page builders that appeared on the market in recent years however this was not enough. The process was not simple enough for a marketer to create a successful campaign and measure the ROI.

Fortunately, the social media giants understood well the problem and introduced social media Lead Generation forms. First, was Facebook with their simple and customizable Lead Ads and then LinkedIn followed the trend and added the same functionality using InMail.

Ultimately, generating leads has gotten easier with these tactics, but you have to ask yourself if you’re sacrificing quality? Only you and your company can answer that question. The lead gen forms now give you an opportunity to get a larger volume of leads and it’s up to you to solve the problem around the quality of those leads and how to manage that.

Just yesterday, Google confirmed it is rolling out Lead Form Extensions in Google Ads. Now, you’re able to capture leads with your text Ad campaigns through a new lead form extension. Extensions in text ads have opened up a new world allowing us to add more data, now we can use those extensions to capture leads, a la Facebook Lead Ads.

How lead extensions will work

The lead gen ads will look just like a promotion extension and will be displayed in a call-out box with an icon. First, you select the campaign then you choose the call to action button, write the text that can take up to 30 characters and create a lead form. The form can include a headline, business name and description. The character limitation for the form is 200.

Here is how to attach a lead form extension to a search ad:

  1. Login to Google Ads
  2. In the page menu, find Ads and Extensions, click on the field and then on the top of the page find Extensions and click again.
  3. Now, you can add the Lead form extension by clicking on the plus button.
  4. After doing that you will need to accept the terms of service and then create the lead form extension.
  5. Next, you can select on which campaigns you would like to attach your lead form extension, and you are done.
Source: Search Engine Journal

You can select the type of fields you will use or what type of information you will collect with your form. Currently, the fields are limited to name, email, phone, and postal code.

Compared to Facebook, this is a limited set of fields. On Facebook, you can add personal questions, demographic questions, work information you can even add the national ID number for some countries. Some of these fields can be pre-filled with the data available on a public profile, therefore the process of collecting data can be simplified. Pre-filling the data on Google is not available, thus the limited fields on the form.

Facebook Lead Gen Fields

Other than that, the rest of the process is similar. On the lead ads, you can add a header image and you need to include a link to your privacy policy. In the end, you must also agree with Google’s terms of service. After completing the form you will be redirected to a completion page where you will have a chance to redirect people to “visit website” or “download”.

Customization on the completion page is allowed on the summary text and the call to action button. The delivery of the data is possible via webhook to your customer data management or directly to your CRM where you can receive your data in real-time.

Why Lead Extensions are important

Lead Extensions are important because Digital Marketers now have the opportunity to capture more leads (in terms of volume) via Search Ads directly. This should be a much easier process overall and give marketers the ability to increase volume while working on improving the quality over time.

In the past, Google tried a couple of times to capture lead data from search ads. Unfortunately, all of the attempts were unsuccessful. Back in 2010, Google introduced contact form extensions, where leads were delivered via email, but this idea never came out of beta. Google had another attempt in 2011 with cost per lead ads, allowing users to submit their data from the ad, however that never came out of beta either.

Hopefully this time we see a wider adoption and Google will finally help us with the lead generation process by catching Search Ads up to the Social Ads space in terms of lead generation.

If you need help with Google Ads and Pay Per Click or Facebook Ads Management to increase lead generation, contact us today!

5 Ways to Make Your Facebook Ad Convert

As advertisers or business owners alike, we all have the same goal when advertising on Facebook – to generate conversions. So how do we get our audience to convert? Currently, the average Click Through Rate (CTR) for a Facebook ad ranges from 0.5% to 1.6% on average. Check out our top 5 best practices to create a Facebook ad that converts:

Tip 1: Don’t Be a Salesperson (At Least, Not Obviously)

People aren’t on Facebook to be sold to. What may work for an AdWords campaign won’t necessarily work in the more social world of Facebook. Rather than pushing a hard sell, approach your audience  from a completely different angle and embrace the art of the soft sell. Your ads will appear in the newsfeed of the users you target – users that are utilizing the platform to virtually socialize – so it’s important that your ads look and feel social. Know your audience, and have a conversation with them. A bold sales pitch won’t help you convert here.

Tip 2:  Be Concise… and Odd?

Nobody wants to see an ad that reads like a paragraph out of a textbook when scrolling through their feed. Make sure you use a more succinct style that’s in-keeping with the rest of the content you post. Research shows that ad  text of 120-139 characters will be as much as 13% more engaging than if it’s 140-159 characters. And more so, 40 character posts have 86% higher CTRs than all other lengths of posts. Keep. It. Short.

To help shorten your copy, use the actual number value (i.e. “3”) versus writing out the text (i.e. “three”). Further, wherever you can, utilize the Rule of Odds. That is, start your headline with an odd number. By adding any number to the beginning of the title copy, CTR increases by 36%. Further, if this number is an odd number, CTR increases by an additional 20%.

For example:

  • Original: The Six Best Sweaters to Stay Warm This Winter Season While Still Being On-Trend
  • Updated: 5 Trendy Sweaters To Keep You Warm
  • Updated: 51% Off All Winter Sweaters

Tip 3: Make Your Audience Read Past the Headline

You spend hours after hours customizing the perfect copy for your advertisement so that it sits just right with your target audience. Well, the painful truth here is, only 1 in 5 people will actually make it past your headline. However, to help get your audience to read your perfectly crafted body text:

1)  Do you want your audience to convert? Ask a question in your headline to garner interest.

2)  😝👋🎉 Emojis have been shown to increase CTRs by as much as 13% — make sure to use them.

3)  Go! Be sure to use an action verb to incentivize the viewer to keep reading.

Tip 4: Make Use of the Detailed Targeting Options

The beauty of Facebook is the sheer amount of data that it has on its users. This allows you to select a whole host of categories and interests that you want to target. For example, let’s say you own a bridal boutique and want to move into online sales. A good way to start reach your optimal audience is to go to  ‘Life Events’ under the targeting options tab and your ad will preferentially be sent to users who are planning a wedding.

From here, go a step further and hone in on gender, age, and location that match that of your ideal audience. Next you can start to define the actions that you want recipients of your ads to take. By selecting an objective from Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion you can have your ads circle back and reappear to the people who have a history of taking the action that you’re seeking.

Tip 5: Remarket with the Facebook Pixel

Now we’re starting to get to the really powerful side of Facebook ads — remarketing. By being able to target users who weren’t converted the first time you’ll be able to view where every recipient of your ads is in relation to your overall sales funnel. Not only that, but retargeted customers are up to 10 times more likely to be converted than first time entrants to your sales funnel. Proof that remarketing is the secret weapon every campaign needs.

The secret is to not change the voice of your ads drastically just because they didn’t convert the first time. Stay consistent and think of a different angle, perhaps something that speaks more directly to the individual. Just don’t fall into the trap of suddenly offering huge discounts purely to increase the traffic to your site. What we’re aiming for here is organic and sustainable growth. Not a short-lived spike in traffic that makes you little or no money.

Final Thoughts

Creating a Facebook ad that converts starts with recognizing why people are on the platform in the first place. Stay social, conversational, and engaging with your audience. From there you can put the analytical power of Facebook to work by narrowing in on your ideal audience with the power of Facebook’s detailed targeting options. Focus on the analytics and use these to craft your next ad. Creating ad campaigns that convert is an ongoing process – so keep these best practices in mind while you create.

The Future Is Now: New Types of Facebook Interactive Mobile Ads

In the past two years, AI and VR have been amongst the top trending technologies and topics on the Internet. We as marketers and consumers have had a chance to see how the marketing future will look like. AI and VR technology will revolutionize everything because as human beings, we love interaction and dynamic content. And, given everything we know about the attention spans of the millennial audience we have the right amount of dynamic content that will help our brain stay entertained.

Under the influence of the technology trends are all of the social media networks too. Of course, the leader among Social Media networks will be the first to introduce changes that will follow the latest trends. Facebook recently introduced new types of interactive Mobile Ads.

In a blog post, they said “People want to be included in your next big idea, and they are using new innovative ways to do it—fewer words, more GIFs, Facebook Live videos, Reactions, emojis, face filters and stickers. In turn, brands and people are becoming more intertwined, and it’s changing digital advertising from a one-way push communication to an ongoing dialogue powered by creativity.”

The three new interactive solutions by Facebook are: Video Poll Ads, Augmented Reality Ads and Playable Ads. Back in March 2019, Instagram introduced poll sticker for Instagram Stories Ads and Facebook followed the trend by adding Video Poll Ads for mobile News Feed too. 

The social media network tested the Ads before introducing it to the world and found that with Video Poll Ads companies can expect a 1.6x increase of brand awareness. The research was done by the cable network E!.

“E! Continually seeks deeper ways to connect with viewers. The launch of Facebook Poll Ads was an exciting opportunity for us to use media in a fun and interactive way ahead of the Season 4 premiere of Total Bellas. Allowing fans to engage with the show helped us create meaningful interactions that drove success throughout the season.” said Eric Eckstein, Senior Director, Digital Marketing, E! Entertainment

This is how the Ads will look. You can watch the full interactive experience here.

Credit: Facebook

The new interactive experience will give brands all over the world a chance to better represent their products and services online. With the AR Ads, people will be able to see and test the product directly from their devices. This is a highly engaging marketing tactic that will provide benefits to both consumers and brands.

The AR Ads were tested by WeMakeUp. The brand created Ads that allow their target audience to try on the makeup directly on their face before buying it. As a result, the brand was able to get 27.6-point increase in purchases and people were interacting with the ad approximately 38 seconds.

Credit: Facebook

Beta version of the AR Ads will be available all around the world this fall.

Last year in August Facebook also presented playable Ads as a way of video games and applications to enable their target audience to try out the game before they decide to press the download button. This playable ad format is now available to users globally. From now on, companies will be able to create simple games that will be shown as Ads to the target audience. This level of interactivity will provide better engagement metrics and conversion rates.

A great example of using this playful format is Vans. With the help of Facebook Creative Shop, they managed to build a game for Christmas that drove 4.4-point lift in ad recall and a 2.4-point lift in favorability. Other companies tried the Playable Ads too. Uber India used this format to promote and spread awareness about the Cricket World Cup. The performance of the Ads was impressive. Playable Ads got them 10% higher CTR then other brand awareness campaigns activated for the same promotion.

Credit: Facebook

We are living in an era where marketers need to work twice as hard to capture consumer’s attention online. This is truly no longer the “Banner Advertising Age,”

As marketers, we’re always looking for the next shiny new object we can implement and use. Over the last couple years we’ve seen video ads, stories (on both Instagram and Facebook), Snapchat Ads, animated gifs, among other ad formats and types available to us. The technology around advertising is iterating and moving faster than we have seen in years. Saying you have to stay on top of the latest ad formats and trends is an understatement.

Facebook finally took us a few steps closer to the future.

We even had a small visual glimpse about how the new generation Ads will look like in the movies “Ghost in a Shell” and “Blade Runner”. The directors of these movies gave us a good idea of how the Ads of the future will look like.

Augmented Reality technology from the Blade Runner 2049 movie trailer. Credit: Columbia Pictures

Is Facebook making the first step towards the future? Possibly, yes. We will see more improvements in this area and completely new consumer behavior on the market. Even if we are far away from the AR Ads like in the movie “Blade Runner”, we are not so far from AR marketing solutions. The changes are already happening and will soon affect every social media network available on the market.

Mark D’Arcy – Facebook’s vice president of global business marketing and chief creative officer in the latest blog post said, “Advertising needs to work harder than ever to be more relevant and rewarding for the people we’re making it for. Creativity, as always, is the key, and our new polling, AR and playable Ads are great examples of more interactive and playful ways to surprise, delight, inform and connect with the audiences and communities we all serve.”

How to Effectively Use Facebook’s Dynamic Product Listing Ads

We know how it goes. As an advertiser, you dedicate a large portion of the overall budget to driving customers to your website. This website features carefully curated content and products in your online store, and is designed to encourage conversions. Regardless of your store setup or the items within it, there will always be a set of visitors that don’t complete a purchase while on your website. To identify and repurpose this “lost” audience, Facebook offers the Dynamic Product Listing Ads – one of the most effective ways to retarget your customers.

Facebook Retargeting and Why You Should Use it

Facebook retargeting is a form of digital advertising that aims to target website visitors that didn’t convert, or left without making a purchase. It is an effective approach since this group of consumers is already aware of and engaged with the brand, and has a higher likelihood of re-engagement. The same group has also left a digital data trail, which advertisers can leverage in order to entice visitors back to your online store and generate a completed purchase.

As an e-commerce advertiser, you can use this powerful type of advertising to reach the right audience at the right time, and serve them relevant ads, increasing the likelihood of a conversion. Facebook’s Dynamic Product Listing ads provide advertisers with digital ad automation benefits, such as greater relevance and better timing, which in turn will result in higher click-through rates, increased revenue, and lowered costs.

How to effectively use Facebook Dynamic Product Listing Ads

In order to generate maximum results from the Facebook Dynamic Product Listing ads, we recommend strategically optimizing your campaign. Based on our extensive experience with Facebook Ads, we developed the top 5 optimizations that we find most effective:  

1. Define the Audience’s Stage in the Buying Cycle

Facebook offers an extensive array of targeting options. Rather than using Dynamic Product Listing ads to solely target previous website visitors, we recommend prospecting new customers, as well.  Do this by separating your target audiences into three main groups: existing customers, warm leads, and cold audience (new prospects). Then, you can further refine your targeting and tailor the ads according to your audiences’ stage in the buying process.

2. Limit the Retargeting Period

Although there is no strict rule on how long you should target an audience, we recommend creating a definitive deadline. Buying urges are typically stronger at the beginning of the buying process. Additionally, if an extended period of time passes between a visitor viewing the website and being retarged with an ad, the product will become less relevant to that potential customer. We recommend retargeting visitors within 30 days from the time they visited your online store.

3. Optimize Ad Frequencies

When setting up a retargeting campaign, it is important to monitor and control the frequency of the ads being shown to a particular user. While serving a specific ad often to the same user could potentially assist with brand lift,  a user seeing the same ad repeatedly will more likely result in audience fatigue. Check the frequency settings on the campaign, and aim to serve no more than seven impressions per week (1x per day).

4. Rewrite Ad Copy

When creating copy for the retargeting ads, make sure to use words and phrases that evoke excitement and emotion. For example, if a user recently viewed a sweater on your website, highlight the limited stock of the product to play to the user’s fear of missing out on the opportunity to buy. In addition, if click volume is low, update and refresh the ad copy weekly. Your audience will still be served with the same creative, but they will see new copy.

5. Don’t Manipulate Retargeting Manually

The best way to manage this type of targeting varies from campaign to campaign. However, for the most part, we recommend avoiding manual manipulation. The main purpose of this type of targeting is to drive customers back to your online store. When the system automatically optimizes the campaign, these ads tend to produce better ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) and conversion rates.

Putting it All Together

Whether this is your first touch point with Facebook Dynamic Product Listing Ads or you have experience using these ads, we recommend continuing to experiment with different targeting options and optimizations, and continually follow results to make adjustments as you go.

Dynamic Product Listing ads are always working on the back-end – and you should be, too. It is possible to set them once and let them run, but if you want your campaigns to be truly effective, we recommend keeping an eye on what works best for your business and make optimizations.

Eliminate Inaccuracies in Google Ads Testing and Tracking

Launching a successful Google AdWords campaign requires a lot of testing and tracking. Testing is very often overlooked and considered unnecessary, when in fact it’s what makes all the difference, and allows you to move forward and get results.

Many how-to guides and ebooks can give you guidance on how to create the best performing PPC campaigns, but remember that beyond general tips, no one can actually give you a magic formula for creating ads that work, every company and challenge is different. You have to test and track results to see the real performance of your PPC campaigns. While doing so, you need to know what to track, what your goals are, and how to identify and track the results, otherwise all this testing will lead you astray.

1. Use Significant Split Tests That Give Realistic Results

Let’s be honest, we all know you need to achieve statistical significance in order to make a decision, and it takes time to gather a significant amount of data  in order to make an informed decision. But, many times, we all rush into a split test without really identifying the goals and/or we’re eager to choose a winner without actually achieving statistical significance.

This extremely short and rushed testing will not only give inconclusive results, but may lead you down the wrong path and making a decision by choosing an ad as a “better performer”, that really isn’t.

Instead of questioning your decision or rushing to a decision, take the right steps and make an informed decision based on data that really matters. In order to make smart decisions, give each ad a fair amount of time to run and really  analyze your test so you can realistically evaluate which ad truly performs better.

2. Don’t Let Google Optimize Your Ads

If you are serious about testing on Google Ads, you should focus on beating your best performing ad’s CTR, conversion rate, and CPA/ROAS on an ongoing basis. Unfortunately, by default Google will display the ads with highest monitored CTR, but in order to achieve your goal and properly test all ads, you need to give them the same amount of exposure.

You can easily change Google’s default setting, and instead of allowing it to “Optimize”, you will change your campaign settings to “Rotate: show ads more evenly”. Simple as that.

3. Separate Display Network Traffic And Google Search Network Traffic

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to advertise on Google Search results as well as the Display Network. But, make sure you are doing these in in separate campaigns for each network, especially when performing tests. Mainly, because clicks from each network are treated as different traffic sources, and second, because people are in a different state of mind and different stage of the buying process depending on where they were (Search/Display) when they saw your ad and clicked on it.

If you group Search Network traffic and Display Network into one campaign and show them identical ads, you risk getting distorted data which will make it a harder to determine which ads are more profitable. Keep the networks separate in order to measure things accurately. Depending on your preference, Search/Display Network, choose the correct settings and only one network per campaign.

4. Are your clicks and conversions actually generating revenue?

Another thing to keep an eye on is tracking the revenue your conversions are generating. Nothing can be worse than generating a bunch of empty clicks that aren’t turning into customers, or would never lead to a conversion. Many times, you can get into a trap of focusing on generating as many clicks as possible or seeing a high CTR (Click-Through Rate), which, kudos to you, means your copy and creative is top notch. The thing to think about is, are you actually guiding people to a path of conversion or just clicks eating away at your budget.

Along with that, it might mean the advertising is doing a killer job, and we find this a lot where our CTRs are going up as a function of our ads are actually more compelling than the previous ones. But, if the site is not setup in an optimized way for conversion, you’re going to be bleeding money because people won’t convert. We find this a lot,

What you should be tracking is ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) OR CPA. Focusing on what those ad dollars are returning for you is ever more important than how many clicks you can generate. Thinking about the entire customer journey and funnel is just as important as the ads you’re running.

Making sure you’re targeting the right people with the right intent, who will actually convert into a purchase is really how you should be thinking about it. Once you do this, you’re definitely on the right track.

These important aspects of Google Ads testing can greatly help you eliminate inaccuracies and improve your PPC campaigns. Making sure you track all necessary parameters and make smart decisions when choosing your ads. Always remember that just because an ad performs better than the other in A/B testing in terms of CTR, it doesn’t mean it’s more profitable. Don’t skip testing to save time and don’t make assumptions, because they might lead to making crucial mistakes and eat away at your budget, without a return. On the other hand, really think through the customer journey and the overall funnel and how you can test, iterate and optimize in your campaigns to generate the most return possible.

When Should Startups Start Building An SEO Strategy?

I was approached by a startup founder the other day about when to approach SEO? To say I get this question or the question of how to get started often, would be an understatement. I’ve been doing this since 2002, dating myself quite a bit, which is a really really long time. I’ve seen all the iterations from spam to “white hat” to the usability side of it, and I always come back to the same things: build a great product, have great site architecture, and create amazing content…and you’ll easily win!

Okay, I know, that’s easier said than done. Because, of that, not a lot of startup founders have the experience I’ve had when it comes to launching into building an SEO Strategy or Program, no matter the stage.

Also, I have found many of these startups have investors OR advisors telling them they need to start doing SEO right away. (And, while it does Visible Factors an injustice to say that is incorrect advice, we’re not in the business of billing, just to bill.) It’s important to think through the phase the business is in relative to the approach of SEO the company should be taking.

Sometimes just an SEO Audit is a great start

One of the things I always tell people is to get started building SEO into your product from the day you get started. When founding Eventup, it was pretty easy for me to start building in the best practices, infrastructure, and requirements to start owning certain phrases quickly, because of my knowledge and experience. But, if you or your team is not well versed, it’s best to bring someone on with this expertise to build this out for you.

An SEO Audit can be pricey, but, you know what is even pricier? Getting an audit six months later and having to re-architect your site architecture, URL architecture, and page content all over again. You’ll be paying for the audit, plus all the development costs to re-engineer a large part of the site. Plus, add in the time and effort to pert resources from product development to this.

I always recommend at least starting here so you can get the basics implemented and lay the groundwork for future endeavors around SEO.

SEO just might need to wait

Great, so now I am contradicting myself, but, I promise it makes sense. If you’re an e-commerce marketplace or content/media company, it makes total sense to get moving right away because SEO can be a big part of your growth. But, other examples like lets say a B2B company targeting restaurants, yoga studios, etc. should wait on SEO because you’re even sure if there truly is search intent out there and if people will convert based on that intent. Many SMBs are bombarded with people trying to advertise to them and other searches like “how do I get customers” are so generic you might not even generate a conversion.

Where should I start before SEO? 

Usually my recommendation here is, start testing some SEM to understand if people are actually converting. Don’t worry about the conversion rates, don’t worry about optimization of keywords. But, answer three simple questions:

  1. Can I drive people to our website and have them convert into customers or leads?

  2. Is there enough search intent and volume of phrases people are searching for to benefit the endeavor?

  3. Can we afford to invest in this for 6-12 months before seeing a considerable return?

Answering the question about conversion is especially important because it would be a calculated mistake to start driving all this traffic to the site, have a terrible bounce rate and hurt your overall SEO relevance. (Bounce rate is a ranking factor). On top of that, if the traffic now doesn’t convert, and, you haven’t solved for that, you’re going to lose  an opportunity to convert what could be a lifelong customer and your brand will take a hit. People might be averse to clicking on search results if the experience is so bad they remember it and don’t ever want to come back. Maybe less dramatic, every time they enter through search, they might bounce, which negatively impacts your SEO long term. Once the site is optimized for conversions, driving organic search traffic will be able to drive a great return and brings down eCPA.

When it comes down to search intent and search volume, this is mostly focused on primary converting terms. Things like “comfortable women’s sweaters” or “engagement rings” or even “small business website builder.” Which leads me to the last question around can you afford to invest time and energy into an SEO Program knowing filling the top of the funnel with traffic will lead to conversions and revenue.

If you have solved for the above and you know people coming to the site will convert into customers, it’s now time to think about the investment of resources. There are many paths you can veer down in order to build more traffic to fill the top of the funnel and this is where SEO can get fun due to the somewhat “free” nature of the traffic. Building content relevant to the customer profile you have can be a great way to get people familiar with the brand at any point in the customer experience.

Creating a blog with content that answers specific things your customer might be searching for and/or content they might be interested in reading about are great ways to generate traffic even higher up in the journey. Organic search allows you to keep getting the brand in front of the customers, driving impressions and one undervalued thing is the building of customer lists and audience retargeting, thus leading to lower CPA from paid channels, more customers, as well as the benefits from the organic traffic.

Create things like resource centers, help centers, content directories, among many other examples in order to create evergreen organic search traffic that people will always be searching for to answer simple questions they might have. Creating a blog with tips, tricks, DIY ideas, etc. could spark someones interest in something they’ve been looking for. And, those ideas could lead to vitality effects of people sharing that content. Being a resource is a great way to drive brand awareness, conversions, and customer loyalty without even attempting to sell your product or service, and doing this from organic search with no customer acquisition cost associated will help even more.

Just remember to ask yourself if you are truly ready to get started with SEO. It’s not a simple process, it requires a lot of time and energy and dedication by your product, marketing, and technology teams to be done right. You’re going to need to be okay with investing 6-12 months of time without seeing a return because you’re at the mercy of Google’s search engine. SEO is not like CPC traffic that you are paying for clicks via keywords or demographic targeting. SEO is holistic, requiring you to get the right phrases on the pages, with the right architecture allowing search engines to crawl and index your content, and generating authority through links. If you think of it this way, holistically, and have some patience to understand it will take time, you will almost positively see the fruits of your labor with all that juicy sweet organic search traffic that you won’t have to pay for.