Jay Revels hears all types of myths and theories on search engine marketing that are simply not correct. In this post he breaks the back of fives myths to help you improve financial performance, save time, and make better decisions around search.
Search marketing myth #1: Measuring lift from bidding is an easy task that can be done accurately at any point in time.
Generally, measuring lift should take place during the first one or two weeks you implement a bidding strategy, and ideally, against some sort of control in order to give a good proxy for overall lift. For best results, search marketers should schedule measurement over the first few days the bidding is launched. Following this measurement should occur on a weekly basis to track whether targets are being met and bids are being placed correctly.
Measuring within the first one to two weeks is a good way to ascertain whether you are setting the right goals, whether you need to change something and whether you’re reaching your objectives. If left longer, it becomes a lot more difficult to find out what’s working as other market metrics may come into play.
Further to this, it is also important to keep things such as cyclical trends in mind. These trends are typically observed as day-of-week or time-of-day fluctuations in performance and can last for time periods shorter or longer than a calendar year (as opposed to seasonal). An example of this is an increase in mobile conversion rate during afternoons and evenings, or a decrease in desktop CPC during weekends. Analysing campaign performance across multiple weeks will help your account for cyclical trends when measuring lift.
Search marketing myth #2: Dynamic keyword insertion in AdWords automatically makes ads more relevant and boosts quality score.
While dynamic keyword insertion can help boost your click-through rate and therefore boost your keyword’s ad performance and quality score, it doesn’t affect Google’s perceived relevancy of the ad.
The advantage of dynamic keyword insertion is that it allows search marketers to create ads that contain text more closely related to what the user is likely to search. Dynamic keyword insertion is powerful in this sense because people will most likely opt for the headline that most closely reflects what they typed in.
Google’s official position is that AdWord users should have ad groups centred around a specific set of related keywords, but they do not consider dynamic keyword Insertion as a substitute for this. To maximise results and increase the ad’s relevancy, make sure you closely theme your ad groups taking all the different text options related to your ad into consideration. Concentrate your ads on the most powerful set of AdWords and tighten your theme as much as possible.
Search marketing myth #3: All my tracking tools should all have the exact same conversion numbers.
There are a lot of different factors that contribute to the discrepancy between different tracking solutions – cookie length/type, attribution logic, one-per-click versus many-per-click, date of click versus date of conversion.
When it comes to streamlining the tracking process, it is important a company agrees on the use of one analytic platform that they trust and that is easy to use. Choosing a professional tracking tool that measures conversions accurately is critical.
Search marketing myth #4: Your company’s Facebook page should exist as a call-to-action, resembling your website as much as possible.
Facebook encourages a company to look quite a bit different from its typical game face. It exists as a space for real-time engagement and for two-way conversation, not sales pitches or directives.
At the risk of stating the obvious, Facebook content should be posted regularly to maintain audience interest, initiate discussion and to keep a brand top of mind. People go on websites to find out more about a company and its products and/or services and while this rings true for Facebook, generally people become followers to receive regular updates, interesting news and announcements, discounts, and to be involved in discussions and competitions.
It comes as no surprise that companies who utilise Facebook best are those who talk to their customers. Thanking customers for their business, responding to customer complaints, and taking part in discussions are simple yet effective ways for companies to engage their audience and build a community of supporters.
Search marketing myth #5: As long as your landing page appears at the top in organic results, you are reaching your maximum conversion potential.
Studies have shown that companies who show up in the top organic and paid results obtain more than twice as many conversions than they would if they only focused on SEO. In this case, one plus one does not equal two.
SEO is a crucial part of a digital strategy however at the same time paid ads play an important part in maximising conversions. For highest conversion rates, search marketers should focus on both SEO and paid search equally. A combination of both along with a good website with strong to call to actions that drive conversations is key.
Jay Revels is managing director of Marin Software APAC.