PPC Remains as Relevant as Ever!

PPC Remains as Relevant as Ever!

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising continues to be an effective digital marketing channel for brands and agencies, according to Hanapin Marketing’s latest State of PPC report. The findings are based on a survey of more than 500 marketing professionals across a variety of industries, 74 per cent of whom called PPC “a huge driver of their business.”

The most popular PPC channel was search, with 65 per cent of brand respondents and 74 per cent of agency respondents calling it their most effective approach, compared to just 16 per cent and five per cent, respectively, who called it their least effective. Social media, remarketing, display, shopping, native, programmatic, and podcast ads also attracted advertiser dollars.

Google is overwhelmingly the most popular platform for PPC advertisers. Ninety-six per cent of respondents pay for Google placements (43 per cent also advertise on YouTube), followed by Facebook at 81 per cent (53 per cent also advertise on Instagram) and Microsoft at 59 per cent. Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram also top the list of platforms that marketers will spend more on over the next 12 months.

Areas for growth in PPC advertising – and digital marketing in general – include video ads through YouTube, Amazon Ads, and ads linked to podcasts. According to the report, only 4 per cent of marketers are advertising via podcasts, despite the fact that more than half of the population listens to them.

“The channel is a great way to share information and keep users engaged with your content,” the report reads. “Though tracking is weak and it is a more passive form of advertising, the benefits of reaching your audience in a new way can be impactful.”

For more information about PPC advertising and our other digital marketing services, don’t hesitate to contact GrowthEngine Media today. As a Google Premier Partner with valuable insights into Google’s preferred practices, our team can provide guidance and advice on the best way to reach your customers.

Internet Users Believe They’re Better Off Without Ads

Internet Users Believe They’re Better Off Without Ads

Most internet users find online advertising annoying, according to a new survey from eMarketer. The data and research company asked a panel of ‘US digital buyers’ – people who make purchases online – what sort of ads they found useful, and what kind they could live without. There was some enthusiasm for static banner ads, sponsored social media posts, and paid search results, but the majority (58 per cent) said that no online ads were ever useful. These results might sound grim for digital marketing agencies, but in reality they shed light on opportunities to stand out.

Internet users and advertisers both consider online advertising a necessary evil. It can be annoying or intrusive to users, but it also helps fund the platforms and content they love. Advertisers, meanwhile, understand that the internet is the best possible place to reach customers, but risk pushing them away with overzealous campaigns.

The solution is to deliver thoughtful messaging to targeted customers at the moments they are most receptive to it – in other words to reach the right people with the right message at the right time. Additional research shows, for example, that more than half of consumers want companies to deliver messaging via email. More than half were also motivated to make purchases by ads for discounts. Sixty-three per cent said they willingly sat through ads when it paid for the content they were watching. Customers are less annoyed at digital marketing in general as they are at bad digital marketing.

That’s why GrowthEngine Media combines sophisticated targeting with relevant, engaging creative to reach customers with agreeable brand messaging. As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media can help you develop an online strategy that draws consumers in rather than push them away. Contact us today to discuss our approach.

What Trends Will Shape SEO in the Next Three Years?

What Trends Will Shape SEO in the Next Three Years?

A recent survey asked more than 1,500 SEO agency professionals and in-house SEOs to rank industry trends on a scale of zero to four, a rank of zero meaning the trend would have no impact on SEO in the next three years, a rank of four meaning it would have a huge impact.

The trend SEOs most expected to affect their business was Google entering new verticals and competing directly with niche publishers. Google already has a history of entering and dominating certain sectors of the internet, search and video, via YouTube, being the two best examples. Now, it is making inroads in the travel-planning business through platforms like Google Flights and Google Hotels.

Respondents were lukewarm on most new technologies. Few expected visual search to significantly alter the SEO landscape, and voice search wasn’t ranked much higher. The impact of AI and machine-learning on Google’s ranking algorithm, on the other hand, was considered quite consequential. In particular, respondents believe more sophisticated AI will shift focus away from technical on-site SEO – keyword research, meta tags, etc. – to content quality.

Zero-click searches are another important trend, according to SEO agency pros. Websites are generating less traffic as more searchers find information directly on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). The shift to zero-click results means SEOs must change the way they optimize content and spend more time on Google channels like My Business. It may also change the way performance metrics like site traffic are considered.

The digital marketing industry changes with the rise and fall of every new social media platform, every Google algorithm update, and every piece of legislation affecting user data privacy. As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency, GrowthEngine Media is constantly adapting client strategies to respond to shifts in the marketing landscape. Contact us today to learn how we can get your website found by target customers.

Google Flirts with Local Search Monetization

Google Flirts with Local Search Monetization

How would you feel about competitors’ ads running in your local listings? Late last month, agencies specializing in local search marketing noticed just that: paid ads in their clients’ carefully maintained local business profiles on Google.

Search Engine Land reports that the ads are part of ‘Local Campaigns,’ which, according to Google, make it “easy to promote your stores across Google’s largest properties including the Google Search Network, Maps, YouTube, and the Google Display Network.”

The ads aren’t common (yet) but their presence may make it more difficult for businesses to stand out via organic local search marketing strategies. This will sound familiar to anyone with experience in the SEO industry: as Google’s paid search business has grown, it has become more and more difficult for websites to maintain organic visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). Google has increased not only the number of paid text ads that appear toward the top of each page, but also claimed more real estate for itself in the form of featured snippets, local pack results, Google Shopping displays, and more.

The ads’ appearance is a reminder that businesses do not own their local search presence, as Search Engine Land points out: “It’s Google’s property, just as Facebook owns and controls local Facebook Pages. This is something that businesses should be sober about. However, Google must also be mindful of too-aggressive monetization of local.”

As a Google Premier Partner local search marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media can help you identify opportunities to reach new customers via local search. However, as more businesses begin to prioritize this important digital marketing stream, expect Google to ramp up competition for local search real estate. Paid search ads in competitors’ local business profiles may be the first in a long line of monetization experiments from Google in coming years.

 

Image credit: KMR Photography/Flickr

Will Facebook’s Clear History Option Affect Your Business?

Will Facebook’s Clear History Option Affect Your Business?

Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other controversies, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced an upcoming privacy feature called “Clear History.” The announcement caught the attention of social media marketing experts.

“In your web browser, you have a simple way to clear your cookies and history,” Zuckerberg wrote in a 2018 Facebook post. “The idea is a lot of sites need cookies to work, but you should still be able to flush your history whenever you want. We’re building a version of this for Facebook too. It will be a simple control to clear your browsing history on Facebook – what you’ve clicked on, websites you’ve visited, and so on.”

The feature would allow users to see and clear any information about them that has been shared with Facebook by third-party apps and websites.

In August, roughly 18 months after Zuckerberg’s announcement, the feature finally rolled out in Ireland, South Korea, and Spain, with other countries to follow. The question for social media marketing businesses is: how will this affect my clients?

The new privacy controls could impact the effectiveness of Facebook’s targeting options. However, the scope of the impact will depend on how aggressively Facebook promotes the feature and how many users adopt it.

“The big question is how many people will use the tool,” said eMarketer principal analyst Nicole Perrin in a recent article. “Uptake of these types of capabilities tends to be low – but with Facebook’s data-sharing practices regularly making headlines for well over a year, more people might check this out. Still, I doubt it will put much of a crimp in most of Facebook’s targeting options.”

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with years of experience in search, display, and social media marketing, GrowthEngine Media is hopeful that Facebook’s new privacy controls will improve user protection without hampering important targeting capabilities. For more information about how the upcoming changes could affect your Facebook campaigns, feel free to reach out today.

 

Image credit: Anthony Quintano/Wikimedia Commons