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Google Analytics Recaps London Hackathon Event

Posted by on 7:42 pm in Google Analytics | 0 comments

The Google Analytics team recently hosted a “Google Analytics Hackathon” event in London.  This type of event is becoming quite popular as it gives major companies the chance to interact with many of the biggest ‘up and coming’ individuals in the tech industry, as well as many others.  The point of these types of events is to help encourage ‘outside the box’ thinking and come up with new and innovative ideas on how to benefit companies, products and customers. The specific goal of this event was to “help agencies innovate and think outside of the box about how to use Google Analytics Measurement Protocol with to collect valuable data from other sources than just websites and apps.” The event broke participants up into groups and provided them with a ‘kit’ that included Raspberry Pis, motion detectors, Google Glass, smart watches, cameras, barcode scanners, Smart Things home automation sets, beacons, basic python scripts, credit card readers, documentations and an Android controlled helicopter. The teams could build whatever they want and use the items in their kit in any way they would like.  Teams came up with things like a helicopter enthusiast racetrack, which allowed hobby pilots to swipe cards, which would log them into a system.  They would then fly the helicopters around a track, and Google Analytics would measure lap times and associate them with the pilot ID. Another team made a burglar alarm that detected suspicious activity in real time using events in Google Analytics, which gathered data through the camera and motion detector. There were, of course, many other innovative uses of the items throughout the competition.  What they all show is that Google Analytics is one of the most powerful information gathering and tracking tools around, and companies would do well to try to think of additional ways to use the data to benefit the...

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AdWords Editor gets Upgraded Features

Posted by on 7:54 pm in AdWords | 0 comments

Google AdWords has just released the latest version of their AdWords Editor, and it has some of the most significant changes since last year’s version 11 update came out.  This update is currently available to all AdWords users around the world. In addition to the normal small updates there are a few major changes.  These changes cover labels, upgraded URLs, call-only ads and ads in mobile apps. Update to Labels The first change is regarding the full support for labels within the editor.  These labels will help advertisers organize objects within their accounts.  You can, for example, group campaigns and keywords with labels such as ‘sale items’ or ‘spring clothes’ or anything you can imagine.  Each business can come up with their own list of labels that they want to use and begin taking advantage of this increased organization right away. Creating, editing and deleting labels is done under the Shared Library within the AdWords Editor.  You can then add or remove the labels from the actual campaigns at any time.   Of course, these labels can be used to sort ads, filter them or perform a number of other actions to help you to find the data you need, when you need it.  You can see an example of how these labels can be used here: Upgraded URLs The upgraded URLs is a big move forward to the feature which was introduced last year.  These upgraded URLs offer improved tracking and makes it so google doesn’t have to crawl your website nearly as often to get the data it needs.   With this update you can upgrade all the destination URLs within the AdWords Editor and manage URLs as well as tracking templates quickly and easily. Added Call-Only Ads For customers who want to make it faster and easier for customers to actually call them on the phone, the new call-only ads are an ideal solution.  These ads are set up for mobile customers to be able to simply tap the ad and have it trigger a phone call rather than going to a set web page like traditional ads would do.  This type of advertising has been shown to be very effective and will undoubtedly be very popular for many types of businesses. Mobile App Ads Apps on mobile phones and tablets have become extremely popular in the past few years.  Having the opportunity to display ads within these apps is becoming almost as important as being able to display ads on people’s websites.  AdWords is making it much easier to create ads for use within apps, and sort them the way that makes sense for you. And More! Google also added in some feature improvements and additional options for parental status and things like this.  These changes are fairly minor and many of them won’t even be noticed.  Overall, however, this was a very important update and users of Google AdWords will want to start using the new options to get as much out of the program as...

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Bing Providing Free Insights from Market Data

Posted by on 2:09 pm in Bing Ads | 0 comments

Bing has gathered extensive amounts of data about customers, their behavior, marketers and much more over the years.  This has allowed them to spot trends and identify areas where marketers are often missing major opportunities.  With that in mind, they have put together some important tips and insights that can be very valuable. These tips are available throughout their blog. One of the most important areas of this blog is a section of the website that is dedicated to providing information specifically about the topics that are most relevant to each industry.  They call this Industry Insights, and they can be very helpful. As you can see from this image provided by Bing, you can go through a number of different industries and get the most helpful information Bing has to offer, customized for that type of business.  This makes it far faster and easier than ever to get the information you need to make the important marketing decisions. Even if you aren’t in one of the exact industries listed, you can easily see which ones will most closely apply to you, and start any research you are doing there.  This is a quick and easy way to learn more about marketing your business, especially with digital ads, to help ensure your...

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How to Capture the Moment Seekers with AdWords

Posted by on 1:40 pm in AdWords | 0 comments

Google is used by billions of people around the world who are looking for information to help them take some sort of action in their life.  As Google put it in a recent post, they are searching for “I want-to-know, I want-to-go, I want-to-buy” and other similar things.  For some of the top countries around the world, including the US, a majority of these types of searches are being done by people on their smart phones. To help capture these searches and give the proper results, Google has made a lot of great improvements over the past year.  They have updated and improved their app promotion tools and pushing innovative new options such as the ‘ads in the Play Store’ feature.  They have also improved cross-device conversions, which help marketers to keep their message in front of people whether they are on the PC, Smart Phone or Tablet.  They have even helped retail stores to market to customers in their physical stores. There is a lot more that can be done, however, and Google is looking to stay on the front lines of it all.  With that in mind, they have given some insight into what will be coming from the AdWords platform in the coming months: Car Shopping – People who are shopping for a new car today spend an average of 15 hours looking for information online. About half of the searches for cars today provide results with images, which is why Google has introduced a new type of ad format called ‘Automobile Ads.’  These ads will show multiple images of the exact vehicle that people are searching for with specs like MPG and horse power.  It will also have a Dealers Link to take them to a dealership with that vehicle in stock. Hotel Shopping – Hotels are another major industry that is searched for regularly. Google is launching ‘Hotel Ads’ which will provide customers with quick information about the rates, availability, location, reviews and more for each hotel.  It will also give photos and Google Street View results.  They can even select ‘Book’ to set up a new reservation on the partners’ sites. Mortgages – Not surprisingly, people also use the web to look into getting a new mortgage. This could be when shopping for a home, or when looking to refinance.  Google is adding a mortgage feature to the existing Google Compare platform.  This will allow consumers to find great rates from a variety of mortgage providers quickly and easily.  They will also be able to speak with an adviser for more information, all right from the Google Ad. Improved Automation On top of the new ad formats, Google is looking to make it easier than ever for marketers to capture these types of moments.  They are improving their automated bidding options for many types of ads with the introduction of a new ‘reporting dashboard’ to increase transparency.  They will also allow greater control of the entire ad experience. In addition, they are enhancing the dynamic search ads to include more recommended category targets based on the actual content on your website.  This will include things like recommended cost per click for each category and greater visibility on where your ad will be displayed. Measuring Your Moments Of course, none of this would be...

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Bing Ads Offering Insight to Increase Phone Calls to Your Business

Posted by on 1:44 pm in Bing Ads | 0 comments

Getting people to call your business has long been an extremely effective marketing strategy.  Even though many people are trying to move away from that option and encouraging people to make purchases online to save the cost of hiring customer service professionals, it is still an important option.  People often want to be able to speak directly to a person to get questions answered quickly and easily. Combining your digital marketing strategies with an easy to use phone system is a great way to increase conversions and make your customers appreciate your business more than ever before.  With this in mind, Bing Ads has provided a number of great tips to increase the number of phone calls to your business, and help those phone calls to turn into paying customers. Clickable Phone Numbers – Whenever you display a phone number, make sure it is clickable. A growing number of people are using Voice Over IP (VoIP) phones, which allow them to make a phone call right from their computer.  Even those who use Skype for their phone service can benefit from this. Call to Action – Instruct people to make a phone call on certain pages. If, for example, you find that there are certain areas of your site where people abandon the page, perhaps encourage people to call you with questions.  It could be that customers are getting confused about something, so they don’t know what to do.  Giving them the option to call you will add an alternative to just browsing away. Increase Ads During Business Hours – If you’re running ads on Bing, Google, Facebook or other sites, make sure you run the ones with your phone number during business hours. This way if people call, they are going to get a live person rather than a message. Get People to the Right Area – If your business has a lot of different departments or options, try not to have them go through a call tree. People hate call trees and it can give them a bad impression of your business.  Adding an 800 number for each department can allow you to give customers a direct line to the right area so they don’t have to go through excessive call options. Take these tips, and analyze the data you get from your digital platform and call stats and see what is working best.  In many cases you will be able to track trends and improve the overall customer experience.  Anything you can do to make your customers more comfortable on your site will help to improve your conversion...

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Google to Help Small Businesses Reach Customers Better than Ever

Posted by on 3:19 pm in AdWords | 0 comments

One of the most difficult things for a small business to do is get their brand in front of customers.  Even in local communities, many people aren’t even aware of many of the small businesses that are there, so it is difficult to support them.  Google has long been an effective option for marketing with their Google AdWords program, but they are hoping to take that to a whole new level with their Google Shopping improvements. Of course, Google Shopping allows small businesses to access the power of customer intent to get their products in front of people who may be interested in them.  With the new feature, called Google for Retail, it is easier than ever for small businesses to learn about how Google’s services can really help them take their companies to the next level. To show just how effective this solution can be, they recently ran a story about two local businesses that have greatly benefited from this feature. PUBLIC Bikes PUBLIC Bikes is a multi-channel retailer that sells colorful, trendy city bikes.  The idea is to help customers want to ride bikes more, especially in urban settings.  Getting people to turn in the car keys, at least for certain trips, and take a bike is a great option, but it isn’t always as easy as the company would have hoped. PUBLIC Bikes is now using Google Shopping to help get their service directly in front of customers who would have otherwise never heard of them.  Using this service, they are enjoying twice the ROI that they get on other online channels, which is quite effective.  You can see more about how they use this service in this video, provided by Google: Paper Culture Paper Culture is a modern stationery company that uses environmentally-conscious stationery for all their products.  They have long been using Google AdWords to get their company in front of customers, and it has been very effective.  To compliment that service, however, they began using the Google Shopping as well, and it has helped their company grow significantly.  They report that they saw a 50% decrease in their cost per lead and a 3x improved ROI compared to other online options.  Learn more in this video from...

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Google Improving Digital Interaction with TV Ads

Posted by on 11:59 am in Google Analytics | 0 comments

People often think about advertising as several different silos that don’t interact with each other.  For example, you have digital advertising, which is what most people use for online marketing.  Then you have television ads, which are very popular.  You also have a variety of other options such as radio, billboards and more.  Google is introducing a new feature that is designed to help close the gap between digital ads and television ads. They first announced this last year with their new feature called “Adometry TV Attribution” that was designed to help measure the digital impact of offline channels.  It was primarily for television ads, but could also be used for radio.  They are now taking that to the next level by integrating Google Search query data and Rentrack airings data together. This will help advertisers and marketers to better understand just how a television commercial, for example, will impact what people are searching for. The most obvious example of this will be when a brand runs a commercial on the Super Bowl.  Of course, the initial interaction between the ad and the viewer will be immediate.  In many cases, however, the commercial will instruct people to go to a website of some sort.  People often type in a web search to get to that website.  The new feature will link up when the commercial aired, and see how many people begin searching for it in the dime during and shortly after the airing. Google hopes that this will give a better overall look at how consumers behave when exposed to certain types of media.  The examples provided by Google are: Accessing Immediate Influence – This will help you to see which messages are being held in the minds of consumers. This can help you to improve television ads as well as improve your SEO efforts. Evaluate the Awareness – Using this data you can see how well your commercials are building brand awareness. Look at Competitiveness – Learn about which generic keywords are driving the most interest in your category for the industry. Does a specific television ad increase the number of searches for a keyword you might not have expected?  If so, you can adjust your ad or search strategies to compensate. Working with Rentrak To make this program a success Google needed to be aware of when commercials were running.  For this, they teamed up with Rentrak, which is a leading source for TV airing information.  This partnership helps to get all the data that is needed as well as get it at speeds which would have otherwise been impossible for Google to get on their own without massive investments into the television analytics field. Overall this is going to be a significant improvement for anyone who is using both television and digital advertising.  It will help to bridge the gap between the two and get improved ROI for the advertising...

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Planning a Successful PPC and SEM Campaign with Bing Ads

Posted by on 12:50 pm in Bing Ads | 0 comments

When using paid advertising of any type it is important to really think the whole process through.  Since you’re spending your hard earned money on the ads, you do have some risk that if it doesn’t convert well that you’ll end up losing a significant amount of money.  What is nice about PPC (Pay Per Click) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) ad campaigns compared to most other options, however, is that you will have a lot more variables that you can use to improve the outcome of the campaign.  This, however, does require some additional planning up front.  Bing Ads has provided some great tips and strategies that can help to improve your overall ROI with your campaign. Targeting Lifetime Customers One of the first mistakes marketers make when running any type of PPC ad campaign is that they are looking to make their next sale.  While sales are obviously a good thing, they are not (or should not be) the number one goal of the campaign.  Your primary goal is to find your next lifetime customer.  This means not only tweaking your campaign to find people who may be interested in making a purchase, but optimizing it in such a way that you get your product or service in front of people who can truly benefit from it. Sustainable Marketing Another thing that you should be thinking about when planning a PPC campaign is how you can reduce the need for a PPC campaign over time.  Of course, you will likely always want to run PPC campaigns to grow your business, but when you optimize your overall marketing strategy, PPC can help build brand recognition and loyalty.  This will, over time, lead to a larger amount of organic traffic.  This organic traffic is likely to convert better, and of course it will be free. The following web analytics channels chart provided by Bing helps to illustrate how you can start moving a certain percentage of your traffic from PPC to organic: Taking Measurements While businesses do need to look for quick returns on investment sometimes, they also need to be planning for the future.  One of the most important things you can do to improve your results long term is to track your progress today.  This means having analytics and other data gathering strategies in place.  Measuring your progress over time will help give you the information you need to know what is going to work, and what isn’t.  This will also let you tweak your strategies along the way to get better returns. Of course, all the information in the world is useless if you don’t know how to interpret it.  Look at the following image from Bing Ads that shows some key points to understand in your analytics: With proper planning and implementation, PPC and SEM can provide both immediate results and significant long term growth opportunities.  If you don’t take the time up front to get them set up properly, however, they can be a source of constant frustration and even loss of capital.  Learning to run these types of marketing can be difficult at first, but it will pay off in the long...

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Bing Ads Now Offers App Extensions

Posted by on 11:16 am in Bing Ads | 0 comments

It seems like every day now we hear more and more about how mobile browsing is taking over the Internet.  Fewer people are using their PCs to surf the web, and that means people spending more time on their smart phones and tablets using their apps.   With so many apps published on the various marketplaces, it can be hard to get yours found.   Bing Ads is launching a new solution that is designed to help app owners get people to find and install their app on their various mobile devices. The solution is called App Extensions. Effective immediately, App Extensions are available for Windows, iOS and Android devices.  These extensions are set up to make it so you can promote your apps, which will increase the number of downloads.  The extensions use a smart algorithm to determine which OS and device type is in use so they will only be displayed to customers who can actually download and install the app.  The ads themselves will look like this: Advantages of App Extensions These new extensions will help marketers in a variety of great ways.  For example, you will be able to enjoy an increased level of engagement with the customers.  Since you can use the call-to-action to help get people to install apps they will know exactly what they should be doing.  The extensions are also going to come with detailed reporting to help marketers track the app installs as well as the clicks that don’t end up leading to installs. These app installs are able to be used at either the campaign or the ad group level, which will give you added flexibility and the ability to quickly make changes when they are needed.  This helps to ensure the most effective, and easiest, use of these ads possible.  As mentioned earlier, the app extensions also use the ‘smart detection’ technology to automatically link the users to the proper app stores and the proper versions of apps based on device type and operating system...

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Understanding ROI For Your AdWords Campaign

Posted by on 2:44 pm in AdWords | 0 comments

A positive Return On Investment (ROI) is critical for any business. Businesses require profit to be able to survive and flourish. The beautiful thing about online advertising is that it is much easier to calculate advertising ROI than conventional marketing because most of it can be tracked using web analytics services like Google Analytics. In this article, we’re going to dive into how you can calculate ROI for your e-commerce AdWords campaigns. Profit margins vary considerably and knowing that your campaign is generating revenue and more importantly, generating a profit is crucial to your ability to grow and reinvest back into the business and advertising budget. Tracking Revenue The ability to track revenue from different online sources is crucial to understanding your online marketing efforts. If you are only looking at revenue within your shopping cart, you are losing out on valuable insights. A favorite tracking tool is Google Analytics. It integrates excellently with AdWords and is quite powerful. Check out AdWords Conversion Tracking For E-commerce after reading this article to see how you can track revenue from AdWords. Calculating ROI Calculating ROI for online marketing is not that straightforward because of all of the different factors we need to consider. Last Click/Direct Conversions is important to consider, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Assisted Conversions and AdWords tracking gives us a much better understanding of the impact the campaign is having. ROI ROI = ( revenue – cost ) / cost. The “cost” in this equation is the cost of your AdWords campaign. For example your campaign generated $1000 and cost $200 in AdWords, the ROI is calculated like this 1000 – 200 = 800 800 / 200 = 4 4 x 100 = 400% Multiplying by 100 makes it into a percentage. In this scenario, your ROI would be 400%. True ROI The above equation doesn’t take into consideration the cost of the goods. If your profit margin is 20%, the above example would have given you an ROI of 0%. (I state “True ROI”, but one needs to consider other costs too, like if you offer free shipping. For the example of true ROI, we’re only going to consider the cost of goods). To calculate the true ROI you have to take into account the cost of the goods. This is key because if you have no profit from the campaign, what’s the point? Worse, would be if you’re losing money and you don’t even know it. True ROI = (revenue – cost of good sold – AdWords cost) / AdWords cost. Another way to calculate it is  (revenue x profit margin – AdWords cost) / AdWords cost. Using the above numbers, let’s calculate the true ROI 1000 – 800 – 200 = 0 0 / 200= 0 0 x 100 = 0% Considering the cost of goods, we can see that the campaign needs some work before it becomes profitable. Running on 20% margins is very thin. Let’s use an example where the margins are 50%. 1000 – 500 – 200 = 300 300 / 200 = 1.5 1.5 x 100 = 150% Profit generated = $100. ROI percentage = 150% Which Revenue Data to Use? Using data from either the AdWords conversion tracking or Assisted Conversions will provide you the “truer” picture that your AdWords campaign is having on...

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