There is new information for Google Ads users and PPC experts running Google Ads campaigns. If you haven’t noted, there is an innovative Optimization Score that is now viewable in the Recommendations tab of your accounts. Google first announced plans for including an Optimization Score feature in the new AdWords at the Google Marketing Live event this July.
Your optimization score and recommendations help you prioritize the most impactful actions to improve performance in your account. Advertisers who increased their account-level optimization score by 10 points saw a 10% increase in conversions, on average. Google optimization recently expanded the count to include Shopping campaigns. They are an addition to Search campaigns. The aim is to provide more, real-time recommendations for improving overall account performance.
We are going to have a look at what the new Optimization Score means for your Google Ads accounts and how much you should read into it.
It’s a Score Based on Google’s Recommendations
Your Optimization Score is an estimate of your performance based on Google’s recommendations. The scores range between 0% and 100% for PPC marketing agency. They entirely depend on your implementation of these suggestions. Google’s optimization support page notes that the score gets calculated in real-time and based on several different factors. Considerations in the optimization score include:
Statistics, settings, and the status of your account and campaigns
Relevant impact of available recommendations
Recent recommendations history
Trends in the ad’s ecosystem
Google looks at each category and then weighs recommendations believed to improve the performance of your Google Ads campaigns.
Implementing recommendations increases your optimization score
Your score comes alongside with a list of recommendations from Google, with each proposal displaying how much it can increase your count. According to Google’ssupport page, applying or dismissing these recommendations changes the overall optimization score of your account. You can find the optimization score available at the Campaign, Account, and Manager Account levels. It’s also worth to note that the Optimization Score is still in beta and only displays for Search campaigns.
Clicking each recommendation reveals more details
Each proposal displays additional information, such as changing bidding strategies, implementing specific ad units, using extensions, among others. Google also shows the estimated impact of each recommendation if executed. Besides, it also displays the reasoning behind the suggestion initalic text. It’s a new, somewhat elementary analysis of what can get improved from Google’s perspective.
Senior Paid Search Manager at CPC Strategy, Erick Smith notes that for now, optimization recommendations will only display for Target CPA. It is likely because the majority of Google’s conversion data comes from lead-gen conversions. They may roll out suggestions for Target ROAS in the future.
Treat Optimization Recommendations with Scrutiny
The Optimization Score is a novel addition to the new suite of AdWords features. However, search specialists note that the recommendations aren’t always necessary. That’s why it’s best to evaluate your suggestions on a case-by-case basis.
This feature can be useful to a PPC expert company, but you should treat it with heavy scrutiny. Some suggestions make sense while others may not, like placing specific keywords into an ad group that already includes them. It also got noted by Erick Smith, Senior Paid Search Manager at CPC Strategy
What will happen if you don’t implement the recommendations
You don’t have to enforce any of the proposals, as there is an option to dismiss them. If you choose to reject a suggestion, it will still count toward your Optimization Score. The Senior Retail Search Manager at CPC Strategy Chris Pezolli said that Dismissing any of the recommendations will again increase the overall Optimization Score. They will, however, show up as a grayed-out portion in the bar.
The Two Levers of Growing Ad Revenue with Google Shopping
The two factors of Google Shopping success have been repeatedly to influence campaign performance.
The quality score is pivotal to Google’s decision of where your products rank. When a search query triggers a product, the highest bid does not automatically win. Google wants ads that are relevant, useful, and safe for the user. It does this by calculating a quality score. Stores with a high bid, but a low-quality score may not win the auction. How your products rank is a combination of quality and effort.
The quality score for shopping ads is vaguer than search ads. Google has kept the formula of quality score for shopping ads a secret. They often refer to it in their support documentation as “product history” or “feed quality.” One possible reason is to counter its competitors like Bing from duplicating their advertising system. The more likely reason it seems is to protect their network from marketers in the same way their algorithms for organic search are blurred. However, like SEO best practices, Google educates its users so we can improve a store’s presence on the channel. It boils down to how you can better serve the person Googling.
There are more instant ways and best practices to improve your quality score. Review all attributes of your feed to see how they can get promoted. The most influential include title, description, product category, unique product identifiers, and images.
The second major element of shopping campaign success is bidding. Pay too much for a click to gobble up your PPC solutions profits. Pay too little, and your ad will fall short of the impressions or clicks required to get sales.
The goal is to apply the right bid to the right products at the right time. Segmentation of ad groups and product groups lets you use the correct offer to products. It is where you need to see what products get the impressions and clicks then appropriately segment your product groups so you can apply the right bids. Bid adjustments then let you use the correct proposal for people at the right time. The four major bid adjustments for shopping campaigns are devices, locations, ad schedule, and audience lists.
An astounding 98% of people in China experience the internet through their mobile phone, which instantly makes over 800 million users a formidable cohort for marketers to tap into. When combined with the steady growth of the Chinese middle-class, it is clear to see business opportunities in what is now the world’s biggest retail market.
While the market is ripe for marketers, a unique set of technological and cultural factors has led the internet to develop differently from the West. Having a large population, being awash with cash from a booming economy, and excellent mobile coverage roll out means the mobile app ecosystem is leaning towards innovative uses and high-bandwidth applications. Demand for long-distance communications, entertainment and hassle-free payments has propelled instant messaging, fintech apps and live streaming platforms to become a mainstay of the internet east of the Himalayas.
The Most Popular Form Of Online Entertainment
Live streaming has noticeably become a cultural mass phenomenon that is arguably the most popular form of online entertainment. Sitting between the crossroads of a modern-day QVC and communal socializing, platforms such as Kuaishou, Douyu, Meipai, Inke, and Momo are offering wide-spectrum appeal in any niche with seamless shopping and gifting options for fans.
The context for these live shows is often thematic and involves a presenter documenting their life and thoughts to an audience from tens of people to even millions. While intimate, some often weave product reviews and demonstrations during their shows to drive click-throughs to their own mini shops online, generating sales. Others, however, opt for the endorsement route whereby large brands, often luxury or fashion orientated, provide free samples in exchange for ‘air-time’ on their regular shows.
An increasing number of live streamers have pursued a more controversial option of gifting. Viewers buy virtual gifts with real money to effectively ‘tip’ live streamers. During these shows you will often see animated diamond icons, emoticons and sometimes richly animated flying jets and rockets shooting into space for the big spenders to show their ‘boss status’.
This business model has received criticism, as younger viewers may feel pressurized to financially support their online idols, or that the process of patronage does not manifest a physical item. The ephemeral nature of the performance makes it difficult to accurately price the value of gifts; is your favorite online star worth $2 or $200 per stream? A hard question to answer, but the value is sure to increase if the audience enjoys the stream.
Despite being relatively new, compared to more established digital trends, Deloitte has estimated the value of the live streaming market to be $4.4 billion in 2018, an 86% increase from 2016.
The attraction for the format, just as with social media, is the convenience it offers to meet like-minded people and share common interests in real time – and for free. For a nation that has witnessed radical demographic change over the last 50 years, much is out of balance. The preference for parents to have boys, has meant that the gender ratio has widened to the degree that there are almost 35 million more men than women, which is more than the population of Malaysia.
The gender disparity in the country is also reflected in the viewing audiences too. In 2016, IResearch found that approximately 63% of viewers were male with 35.5% being female. These platforms are in some cases allowing the socially isolated to instantly be adored with attention and praise from their most preferred online star, who happens to be from the opposite sex.
The Blurring Lines Between Advertiser, Endorser, Advocate And Consumer
The biggest hurdle for brands is how to enter methodically into a fast-moving market without succumbing to social or legal faux-pas. The line between advertiser, endorser, advocate and consumer is increasingly blurred. So much so, there are concerns to whether viewers will be sure they are being marketed to, as per requirements of legalization for online endorsements and sponsorships.
Given The Rise Of Live Streaming In China What Can International Brands Learn From The Market In The East?
New Forms Of Sales Relationships
It is almost unheard of to use pay-per-click (PPC) marketing or pay-per-sale (PPS) as arrangements are almost always a flat rate fee. That said, platforms like Bangtuike are trying to make all live streamers and online influencers advertisers, no matter how small their audience is. The desire to work with micro content providers is seeing greater demand as brands are able to capitalize on a wider audience market.
Being Mindful Of Corporate Social Responsibility
Unlike TV and Radio, regulatory bodies are still catching up to the technology and so there is a legal blind spot in the way brands are able to use the platform. Brands need to step back from their campaign from time to time and assess how the overall impact might be interpreted, rightly or wrongly.
As David Ogilvy once said, if you going to sell to someone it is best to do so in their own language. Localizing content is the key to winning hearts and minds. One way to do this is to use influencers who are not only based in the large metropolises. Knowing that the next 20 cities after Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong still hold a huge retail population, and moving away from a well-beaten path, could reap huge rewards.
This is a marketing strategy that may change everything you know about content marketing and SEO.
The customer feedback loop is an effective way to improve your offerings to your customers and modify what they get based on their feedback. It’s a business strategy that has been in existence for quite some time, but here, it’s refined towards content marketing and SEO.
Surely, there are ways you can make use of one of the most effective business and marketing strategy in human existence. And it’ll improve your content marketing and SEO efforts and help grow your brand. I’ll be taking a deeper look into the feedback loop, how it works in marketing and how you can apply this to your content marketing and SEO efforts.
What is a marketing feedback loop?
Firstly, let’s try to understand what marketing feedback loop is and how it works in the traditional marketing world. Done correctly, and with a well documented and measured process, the marketing feedback loop can improve your content marketing and SEO results.
“A feedback loop is a process in which the outputs of a system are circled back and used as inputs. .. this refers to the process of using customer or employee feedback to create a better product or workplace.”
Marketers will understand that there are gems to be found in the feedback their businesses and products receive online. Both the positive and negative feedback you get, if utilized properly, can significantly transform how customers perceive and interact with your brand.
A marketing feedback loop is created when a business utilizes the responses they attract from a campaign effort or a product on the social web, and this can be later utilized in their marketing efforts. This may also include feedbacks from surveys and research campaigns.
Here, we’ll look at how it can be utilized to improve content marketing and SEO efforts.
How to create opportunities marketing feedback loop
Identifying opportunities for marketing feedback loop is just as important as how to make it work for you. Customers will take to social media to raise concerns or praises about your products and services where potential customers are actively participating in discussions that will determine whether or not to choose you over the competition.
Naturally, you’ll incorporate praises about your services into your testimonial campaigns to promote your business. These content are easily seen. Negative feedback, on the other hand, is where the treasure lies. And you will almost always miss them.
Below, let’s take a look at ways to identify marketing feedback loop and ultimately how you use it to improve your content marketing and SEO efforts.
Necessary tools: The first step to identifying opportunities for feedback loop is to actively monitor mentions about your brand on the web. This includes social media, blogs, and forums. In this case, the right tools, and people are what you need. Some tools to employ may include Mention, Radian6 and setting up Google Alerts for known names/keywords (or phrases) your brand is associated with.
Surveys: What’s better than the opportunity to secure valuable feedback? One that is solicited. Implementing surveys can help you to elicit feedback from your users right before they share it themselves. This will give room for you to identify potential issues and address them before they become problems.
The right person/team: Is someone on your team who determines how customers’ feedback should be responded to and what department gets to see and utilize it. This individual is responsible for its proper documentation as well. Naturally, they should be working very closely with the marketing department.
Interpreting constructive and negative customer feedback: Most times, when emotions run high with customers, constructive criticisms may come off as negative feedback. This may be perceived as an attack on your brand if care is not taken to analyze the issue — leaving you with a missed opportunity to improve on both SEO and content efforts. Instead of making a blanket judgment on the surface and writing of the complainant as a troll, look closely to identify what others may agree within their feedback. There, you’ll find your next content fodder and SEO hack.
How significant are feedback loops to content marketing and SEO?
Customers’ feedback can be looped into the whole brand experience output, which includes user experience(UX), answering the right questions on your website (enabling for richer content experience and broadens keyword opportunities).
Getting content marketing and SEO benefits from implementing feedback loop in your marketing would be a successful effort if done the right way. The following procedures will not only ensure you’re creating a better experience for your users but also gaining SEO advantage in the process.
Using a feedback loop to improve SEO – UX improvements
The most significant drawback to most businesses’ web presence is the user experience, and Google — growing ever-smarter with its constant algorithmic updates — is now effective at scoring a website’s rankings based on overall UX score. The best way for businesses to know how their UX measures up is through direct feedback from those using it. Here, customer feedback can be looped to the design team who can improve upon the website feel and accessibility. The result is a website with better UX and improved search rankings.
A feedback loop can prevent worthless content efforts
Say your content marketing team have been working tirelessly, analyzing trends and interviewing industry experts just to improve visibility and rankings. But the result is slow or abysmal. Here, the marketing team should be tasked to score through the complaints that have been left by your customers and come up with problem-solving content to line up your content calendar. This will not only directly address your users concerns but will help you see improved content marketing efforts.
Where have feedback loops improved SEO efforts?
In 2018, I and my partner at Effective Inbound Marketing, Ayodeji Onibalusi conducted a survey asking people to go visit our website and give feedback about what should be improved on. Majority of the responders wanted us to improve navigation and some others wanted us to produce more marketing content on the blog.
We incorporated the feedback loop by upgrading our content output and introduced breadcrumbs that’ll show the users how they navigated our website. These improvements saw our Alexa ranking move from 850,000 in December of 2018 to 272,000 as of today (August 2019) and our navigation improvement saw our users spend more time on site, dropping bounce rate by 50% and also increasing the number of pages visited per user. This has trickled down to our rankings, with terms like “Amazon” and “Russian Marketing” now driving users to our website.
Three takeaways from this
The smallest feedback loop implemented can have a significant impact on SEO
When implementing feedback loops, consider users satisfaction first
A feedback loop can be equally effective if solicited from users
The right way to use a marketing feedback loop to improve SEO
Getting marketing feedback loop right shouldn’t be tricky if you follow best practices. The core purpose of a marketing feedback loop is to use constructive complaints from your customers to improve your content marketing and SEO efforts. This can be accomplished by identifying their pain-points and incorporating this into your content and SEO campaigns.
Successful marketing feedback loop must follow these rules to positively have an impact on content marketing and SEO.
Customers feedback should be looped to the right department as quickly as possible. Ideally, the customer should already get a response within the first hour, on the same channel. If it’s worth incorporating into a content, your content marketing team should already have a well-thought-out long-form content that addresses critical factors and answers questions such as:
– Was the complaint legitimate?
– Would other customers face this same issue?
– Was there a solution in place before?
– How did the company help the customer resolve the complaint?
– What did the company do prevent future customers from experiencing the same?
The medium of feedback should remain the same
Marketers should not make the mistake of addressing issues on different channels from where feedback originated from. Instead of providing a solution to a problem, this may escalate situations as the customer may assume you’re being defensive and trying to manipulate the situation.
If complaints are generated on social media, the complaints should be acknowledged on the same medium. Then support can take it up from there either through DMs or tickets. After which marketing feedback loop should be implemented once there is satisfaction, and then a campaign can be created out of it.
Must address concerns generated through implemented changes
For example, if users complain about the inability to access your products due to lack of breadcrumbs and poor navigation features — like the absence of a search tool, a short term solution may be to point them to categories or help them identify tags. But going further to introduce the features that’ll create a better experience would serve a longer-term purpose.
Changes implemented may be the focus of marketing feedback loop campaign
If the above approach is implemented, then a content marketing campaign around the customer’s feedback and the success achieved would be a welcome step. This would not only help attract more users through content marketing but would also show your brand as a listening one.
Getting content marketing and SEO right is critical to the success of your business if you’re competing online. Then the goal is to discover strategies that’ll keep your efforts successful and help you serve your users better. Marketing feedback loop helps you get this done.
Have you tried using a marketing feedback loop to optimize your SEO efforts? What results did you get?
Femi Haastrup is Founder and CEO of Femtrup LLC. He can be found on Twitter @Femihaastrup.
In this online-consumer age, it can make or break growth and survival.
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Let’s face it: We live in a technology-driven world, and digital marketing has in many ways surpassed traditional channels. With consumers now turning to the internet for every question they have, it’s easy to understand why thoughtful digital marketing can make or break a business. Without it, any company is as good as dead in the water.
This necessitates not only the implementation of savvy tactics, but a knowledge of what pitfalls to avoid ahead of time. Here’s how to avoid the kinds of digital marketing mistakes that can derail your brand faster than a mouse click.
You’ll Never Reach Your Goals You Don’t Set
This might seem obvious, but it’s amazing how many brands out there look at digital marketing as something to just dip their toes into. Setting up a bunch of social media accounts and throwing a few hashtags out there with the hopes they’ll catch fire won’t provide much benefit if there’s not a clearly defined goal behind it.
Maybe that goal is increased traffic to the brand’s website or generating more potential leads through mobile. Whatever the case may be, measurable goals will help to establish a common connection with your audience and drive all future strategy.
It goes without saying that your customers are the lifeblood of your business, so failing to understand what they want will make any digital marketing efforts pointless. Even the most well-thought out and catchy campaign will fall flat if it doesn’t resonate with the intended consumer, or worse, misses the target audience altogether. Everything from use of language in content to assessing how the hypothetical customer uses digital media should factor into your brand’s marketing approach. Take the time to dig into your audience analysis and find out what motivates them.
Churn Out Content With a Purpose
Internet users are constantly eating up content, but the content that gets shared and earns rankings love from Google has a real identity. Search-engine algorithms are constantly evolving, and it’s imperative that content be distinctive if it’s going to benefit a brand’s digital marketing efforts. Well-crafted content should say something that touches on your goals and offers something valuable to your intended audience.
Staying on top of trends and the competition is equally vital. Ask yourself, “Is now the right time to use this tactic to connect with my audience?” The answer may not always be yes. Keeping all this in mind as you craft content will result in more lead conversions, rather than it falling flat.
What your digital marketing ROI looks like is going to be different from other brands. What all businesses have in common, though, is the need to track their efforts to maximize yield. Refining your SEO approach and using utilizing an AdWords strategy similar to PPC Pro may translate to actual leads, but understanding the data is key to maintaining that success.
What you don’t want to do is apply a “set it and forget it” approach to your digital campaigns. This doesn’t mean that everything must be checked and monitored every hour of the day, but regular observation and maintenance is necessary. There’s no shortage of analytics tools out their to help, so don’t be scared to try different ones and determine what helps your business accrue maximum ROI.
OTTAWA—Liberal strategists gathered at a downtown Ottawa hotel in mid-July, the inner circle who will steer the party’s re-election hopes.
Among the 50 or so present were veterans of the party’s dramatic win in 2015 — “getting the band back together,” quipped one participant — as well as new faces.
The group, which included regional representatives, talked about the current state of politics, the mood on the ground, digital strategies and how they saw the campaign playing out.
Jeremy Broadhurst, the party’s campaign director, describes the discussion as “let’s all talk about some of these challenges, the difference of 2015 to 2019, the advances in the art and science of campaigning.
“It was a good chance to challenge some of our assumptions — let’s challenge our common wisdom,” he said in an interview.
Justin Trudeau spoke to the assembled crowd, touting the government’s accomplishments but underscoring that the job is not done, themes he would touch on when he spoke to Liberal candidates who gathered in Ottawa several weeks later.
In the session, which stretched over a couple of days, there was a recognition that it wasn’t enough to simply replicate the formula from four years ago. The political rivals are different. The domestic and international scenes are different. And critically, the Liberals are no longer the third-place party. They’ve been in government in four years, with a record, good and bad.
The Star has talked with more than a dozen Liberal strategists about the coming campaign. They paint a picture of a party that is optimistic, that had been getting the wind back in its sails after a bruising start to the year.
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They are cognizant of polls that indicate a close race with the Conservatives. They remain wary about several factors: economic anxiety, populist politics and shifting moods. Yet they saw the potential for gains, notably in Quebec, perhaps Ontario.
And then Mario Dion lobbed a grenade. In an August report, the ethics commissioner concluded that Trudeau broke ethics rules last year when he applied political pressure on then-attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to intervene in the criminal prosecution against SNC-Lavalin.
It’s a serious blow for the Liberals and adds a wild card to the coming campaign, just as they get ready to go back to voters and ask for their support.
The Liberal election machine pulled off a near-miracle in 2015.
The party started the campaign in third place with fewer than 40 seats, the result of two poor election showings under leaders Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff.
Enter Justin Trudeau, the oldest son of Pierre Trudeau. The son embarked on his own political career in 2008 when he was elected MP for the Montreal riding of Papineau. He was elected Liberal leader in 2013.
Because of his political pedigree and his time as MP, Trudeau was no stranger to the public eye. Still, the Conservatives called the 2015 election early, betting that a marathon campaign would give the rookie Liberal leader more chances to stumble.
After all, Trudeau was up against Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a veteran campaigner going into his fifth federal election as party leader, and the New Democrats, led by Thomas Mulcair, who were up in the polls and seemed to have a shot at governing.
Harper’s gamble failed. The more voters saw of Trudeau, the more they liked. True to his “sunny ways” slogan, Trudeau was optimistic on the campaign trail, vowing to help middle-class Canadians through measures like the child benefit and an income-tax cut. In his final week, the Liberal leader drew overflow crowds.
When the ballots were counted, the Liberals had a majority, with 184 seats.
This election, the Liberals intend to draw on familiar themes and backroom personalities in hopes of a repeat.
Broadhurst will lead the Liberal campaign. The veteran Liberal was the party’s national director in 2015 served as chief of staff to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland. He has been with Liberal leaders dating back to Bill Graham, many of those when the party was in the political wilderness. He is credited with rebuilding key parts of the party apparatus that helped lay the foundation for victory in 2015.
Olivier Duchesneau, another longtime Liberal, is the deputy national campaign director. Duchesneau was until recently chief of staff to Jean Yves Duclos, the minister of families, children and social development. He had previously served in the Prime Minister’s Office and party headquarters.
Kate Purchase, who until recently was executive director of communications and planning in Trudeau’s office, is the “chief content strategist.” The role essentially encompasses all of the content of the campaign — policy, communications, issues management and advertising. Purchase moved to this role in mid-August.
Brian Clow, a senior strategist in the PMO, will steer the party’s rapid responses day to day, including the reactions to opposition policy announcements. It’s similar to his role in the last campaign. Clow is a Queen’s Park veteran who worked as an adviser to then Premier Kathleen Wynne. He came to Ottawa after the 2015 election.
Tom Pitfield, a long-time Trudeau friend, will oversee the party’s digital strategy, reprising a role he played in the federal election campaign. He is the founder and CEO of Data Sciences. He is also the chairman and co-founder of Canada 2020, a progressive think tank.
The Liberals credited their evolving data prowess with helping them win in 2015, saying the information helped shape decisions on advertising, even last-minute shifts in Trudeau’s schedule.
Today, the data tracks what Liberal candidates are doing and hearing at the doorstep, Broadhurst said.
“A national campaign has to serve a really simple purpose. It’s to help 338 local campaigns. You do that in a lot of different ways. But how can you help those campaigns if you don’t know what’s going on in these campaigns,” Broadhurst said.
“There’s a flow of communication up. We’re hearing what’s going on at the doorstep and we will adjust accordingly … The most important feedback is what is worrying people, what’s on their minds,” he said.
“It’s helping us pierce through our own bubble.”
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Nothing beats a volunteer talking at the door or on the phone, Broadhurst said. But “digital door-knocking” is important and will be integral to the strategy. “More and more people live their lives on their phone and digital spaces so you want to have the conversations there as well.”
Matt Stickney, former chief of staff to Carla Qualtrough, minister of public services and procurement, is responsible for pulling together the national field team, expanding a role he had in 2015 working in British Columbia.
The Liberals take pride in the strength of their field organization. It was built up before the 2015 vote to help offset the Conservatives’ fundraising advantage. “In a dollar-for-dollar battle, we were going to lose,” one organizer said.
There’s a question mark hanging over the role of one prominent personality: Gerald Butts. Butts, a Trudeau friend and confidant, served as principal secretary until his resignation in February as the SNC-Lavalin controversy swirled. But the party said he had been acting as a “senior” adviser in the Liberal campaign this summer, a role that will continue for the campaign.
Party staff of about 100 will be bolstered by another 60 or so at campaign headquarters, including some now working for various cabinet ministers, who will take leave from their day jobs to work on the campaign. Just weeks before the expected campaign launch, the party has nominated 259 candidates, 79 short of a full slate.
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Several Liberals sketched out the strategy Canadians can expect. The first priority is to remind voters of their record. They’ll talk up the economy — the steady growth and low unemployment. They’ll highlight Liberal measures to put a price on pollution to combat climate change.
They will remind voters about “significant measures” such as the Canada child benefit and an income tax cut, measures done early in the mandate that may have faded from memories.
“That’s real money … but life still feels hard,” said one strategist. “There are new challenges all the time.
“We need to approach this as a fresh election and have a vision that is good for 2019,” the strategist said.
That’s where the second part of the strategy comes — the rollout of new offerings in a campaign platform. That could include an announcement on pharmacare and health-care measures, along with skills training and other proposals to address economic anxiety.
“There’s a lot of anxiety, especially around the digital transformation, changes in technology, what does automation mean?” said Navdeep Bains, the MP for Mississauga-Malton and minister of innovation, science and economic development.
“But we also acknowledge that more needs to be done. And that’s the case we will be making,” said Bains, a co-chair of the party’s national campaign committee.
The job of crafting that case fell in large part to Liberal MPs Mona Fortier and Ralph Goodale, co-chairs of the national platform committee. Last September, they began assembling ideas for the 2019 platform, an effort that involved consulting caucus members, citizens and outside experts. They came up with some 200 ideas that touched on the economy, social justice and the environment.
“We want to offer Canadians what we’ve been doing for the last four years,” Fortier said. “But we know the political environment has changed. The world we know has changed.”
On climate change, she says the party “has done a lot. But we don’t have a choice. We have to do more.”
The committee’s work is largely done and the party has been whittling down that list of ideas into the core proposals that will make up the platform.
The final piece of the election strategy will be to motivate progressives to vote for the Liberal brand and woo them away from the New Democrats and Green party. That is not a small challenge.
If sunny ways won the day in 2015, the forecast is decidedly more mixed this time. Four years of governing have saddled the Liberals with baggage. Some is the inevitable result of governing, but some wounds have been self-inflicted.
The Liberal government broke some prominent election vows on balancing the budget — the 2019 budget forecast a $16.8 billion deficit for the current fiscal year — and sweeping electoral reform. (Trudeau declared it was no longer a priority for Canadians.)
The fallout from Trudeau’s star-crossed trip to India in 2018 — with criticisms about a light agenda, and images of the Trudeau family in traditional Indian dress — lingers on. An ill-considered family vacation to the Aga Khan’s island earned Trudeau his first rebuke from the ethics commissioner.
The revival of the SNC-Lavalin controversy could cause disgruntled progressives to stay home or vote for another party.
Pollster Frank Graves said the success of the Liberals in 2015 rested largely on the support of progressive voters keen to end the Conservatives’ 10 years in power.
Four years later, the coming election landscape looks “very different,” Graves said in an interview. For starters, a government that hasn’t faced a vote-killing issue like a recession or national unity crisis finds itself in a “tenuous” position,” he said.
“A government that frankly should be sipping beer as it kind of cruises to a next majority is finding itself in a much tougher position than you would have expected,” he said.
“The Liberals have shed a lot of votes,” Graves said, citing an erosion of support among men, college-educated voters and working-class voters.
Trudeau is a good campaigner and debater, with skills honed in his town-hall sessions, Graves said. But he’ll have to work to shore up his credentials with working-class Canadians, he said.
Still, several factors work in the Liberals’ favour, Graves said. They include sagging support for the NDP and the potential impact of the People’s Party of Canada, led by former Conservative MP Maxime Bernier. While the PPC is polling in the single digits, Graves thinks the party’s support is being understated, which could eat into Conservative votes.
Finally, Graves says the “biggest asset” for the Liberals is the Doug Ford government at Queen’s Park and its unpopular budget cuts that continue to make headlines.
The federal Liberals waste no opportunity to draw attention to the Ford cuts and imply that a similar situation would play out in Ottawa if the Conservatives got elected.
The Liberals know they are not likely to win any support from the rock-solid base of Conservative supporters — relatively stable at between 5.2 million and 5.8 million votes in recent elections.
They have to draw their support from centre-to-left voters, who may also consider the NDP or Greens. Support for Green Leader Elizabeth May could hurt the Liberals.
It’s in the Conservatives’ interests to persuade Liberal votes to stay home or vote for another party. The task for the Liberals is to counter that. They have to motivate voters to cast a ballot for the Liberal candidate.
“A huge element of this campaign is going to be voter turnout,” Broadhurst said. “We want to build up a broad coalition of voters that we were able to bring together in 2015, we want to grow it even beyond that,” he said.
“The goal of the Conservatives is to dismantle that group of voters who came together, largely through discouraging them voting and participating at all,” Broadhurst said. “We need to get people engaged, excited and feeling that it’s something that matters to their country, to their own household.”
OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday formally launched a six-week campaign for re-election in which he and his rivals will crisscross the country in planes and on buses to try to win over voters.
“Canadians will head to the polls on Oct. 21,” Trudeau told reporters after Governor General Julie Payette, the acting head of state, agreed to dissolve parliament.
Trudeau and his main opponent, Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer, are in a dead heat according to national polls, but smaller parties on the right and left could also play key roles as spoilers or kingmakers on election day.
Canada’s official campaign period has often been fraught with unexpected turns that can lead to unforeseen outcomes. The ruling Liberals were in third place when the 2015 campaign started, but pulled off an outright victory.
“The formal campaign absolutely has a history of dramatically changing outcomes,” said Paul Adams, a professor at Carleton University in Ottawa and a former political reporter.
The five upcoming leaders’ debates are important, too, Adams said, with the first scheduled for Thursday, though without Trudeau, who declined an invitation. Trudeau will do only three of the five debates.
All the candidates had planned appearances at battleground ridings, or districts, to talk about climate change, the economy, and other hotbutton issues.
But before Trudeau could start his campaign in Vancouver, British Colombia (B.C.) on Wednesday evening, he had to deal with a barrage of questions regarding a long-running scandal involving allegations he tried to influence his former justice minister’s handling of a corporate corruption case.
On the tarmac before flying to his first rally of the day in Quebec, Scheer said Trudeau “has lost the moral authority to govern”.
Then Scheer’s plane took off only to be diverted by fog, forcing everyone to jump on buses for more than an hour in order to reach his first campaign event on the banks of the St. Lawrence River.
Trudeau and Scheer both have campaign jets with their names emblazoned on the fuselage. Only Scheer, however, has an original campaign tune penned by Jim Vallance, the songwriter who helped Canadian rock star Bryan Adams pen “Summer of ’69.”
The electric guitar-driven song is called “Get Ahead” and riffs off of Scheer’s “It’s time for you to get ahead” campaign slogan.
The left-wing New Democrat Party (NDP) packed both staff and journalists onto one bus. The party, which led the pack at the start of the 2015 campaign but ended up coming in third place, is dipping in the polls and struggling to raise money this year.
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh kicked off his campaign in London, Ontario, with 85 nominations still to make in order to field a candidate in each of Canada’s 338 ridings.
“We’ve had some challenges but are ready to solve that and we will absolutely have candidates in every riding,” Singh said.
Finally, a satirical political group that calls itself the Rhinoceros Party – but which is recognised by Canada’s federal election regulator as a registered party – said it plans to field a candidate to run against Maxime Bernier, the leader of the right-wing People’s Party of Canada (PPC).
The Rhinoceros Party says it wants challenge the PPC leader in his own riding with their own candidate, also named Maxime Bernier.
The Rhinoceros Party’s Bernier has made a mandatory vasectomy for men 16 years of age or older one of his campaign promises so that “Canada will be a world leader in the fight against climate change”, according to the website.
The PPC’s Bernier, on the other hand, does not believe climate change is caused by human activity.
(Additional reporting by David Ljunggren, Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Paul Simao)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
4 Ways Marketing Blog Content Can Grow a Law Practice
Content marketing has been aggressively adopted in nearly every industry as a cost-effective way to increase brand awareness and develop new clientele. As is often the case with the legal industry, however, many firms have been hesitant to hop on board the content marketing train.
It’s no surprise that many law firms have been slow to adopt it – after all, it wasn’t until around 40 years ago that law firms were allowed to advertise at all.
“While legal content marketing does present its share of challenges, these challenges are nothing that can’t be addressed by a team of professional legal content writers who understand the law and the ethical issues that can arise,” said David Arato, JD, of Lexicon Legal Content, a content agency for law firms.
For this reason, more and more firms have been turning to content marketing as a cost-effective way to connect with new clients and grow their businesses.
1. Good Content Can Establish You as a Leader in Your Area of Practice
Content marketing involves the publication of informative blogs, practice area pages, white papers, and other formats of content that are valuable to your potential clients. For this reason, a consistent and professionally managed campaign can establish your firm as an authority in your area of practice, whether that’s personal injury, criminal defense, medical malpractice, consumer protection, bankruptcy, family law, business law, or anything else. A useful article on this subject Infographic Design Tips Every Marketer Should Know
As an attorney who has focused on a particular area of law, the public (and other lawyers) look to you as an expert in your field – even if your state bar prohibits you from explicitly calling yourself an “expert.” In this way, high-quality, compelling, and informative content can help bring in new clients and referral sources.
2. Carefully Created Content Can Increase Your Rankings in the SERPs
Google has made it clear that it rewards websites that are regularly updated with fresh content in the search engine results pages (SERPs). As a result, engaging in on-site content marketing can have a positive impact on your site’s SEO and ranking for the keywords your potential clients are searching for.
There are several tools you can use to determine keywords and keyword phrases you can target, including AnswerThePublic, Ahrefs, Google Ads, and Keyword Tool. Once you’ve identified some keywords you’d like to target, generate content incorporating those keywords – but be sure the keywords are integrated as natural language.
Google’s algorithm is getting smarter every day, and the company has explicitly identified “keyword stuffing” to be in violation of its quality guidelines.
3. Content Can Create Connections with Potential Clients
When people are looking for a lawyer, they typically have an issue that needs to be resolved. In fact, in some cases, legal consumers are in crisis and are dealing with some of the most stressful and difficult situations they will ever face.
Create content that directly answers the questions that your clients may be asking and that addresses their specific needs. It’s critical to remember that legal content marketing is not about talking to other lawyers or judges; it’s about connecting with the people who are looking to you for help.
Take mental inventory of the questions you have heard over and over in your law practice and generate content that answers those questions directly. Not only is this a good practice for search engine optimization (SEO), it also can create an instant connection with the people who are looking for the services you offer.
While the possibilities are endless, some examples of questions you may want to answer in the content you create include:
Do I need a lawyer for a first DUI?
Will my husband get the kids?
Is bankruptcy right for me?
Can I sue after a car accident?
4. Sharable Content Can Expand Your Reach
Creating a beautiful website, blogging, adding videos, and setting up professional social media accounts are all well and good, but it’s critical that you get people to visit your site and call your firm. Otherwise, you may as well have the best-looking billboard along the loneliest stretch of highway in the country.
Engaging in SEO, adding content, using PPC, and engaging on social media are all great ways of getting traffic to your site, but where content marketing really shines is when you get your network to share your content for you – for free! If you create compelling, shareable content that people find useful, there’s a good chance that they will share it with their connections, putting your firm’s brand in front of thousands of potential clients.
Now That You Understand the Benefits of Content Marketing for Law Firms, How Do You Get Started?
The information above should make it fairly clear that any law practice can benefit tremendously from a comprehensive content marketing campaign. Creating and implementing such a campaign can present significant challenges, particularly if you are an attorney who is busy practicing law.
Fortunately, there are legal content professionals out there who are qualified to help your firm get started and start reaping the benefits immediately. Here are seven content marketing tips for law firms to help you get started:
Take time to really figure out what your clients want and what they are worried about. Doing this will make sure your content marketing efforts are targeting the right people.
Focus on creating content that provides value to your potential clients.
Document your strategy. Make lists of the keywords you are targeting, potential content titles/topics, and a publishing calendar.
Commit to publishing quality content on a regular basis, and focus on creating evergreen content that will continue to drive traffic to your site over time.
Do not limit yourself to a particular content format. While blogging is certainly an easy way to get started, remember to consider creating white-papers, additional practice area pages, and videos. In addition, be aware of the fact that you can repurpose existing content across various formats – for example, a well-performing blog post can provide material for an infographic, video, or another additional piece of content.
Be certain to publish all of the content you create on your website and your social media accounts.
Set realistic expectations as to how much time you can spend on content creation. Many lawyers quickly realize that outsourcing their content marketing makes sense, especially considering the long-term return on their initial investment.
Now that you’re aware of how content marketing can benefit law firms and how to get started, don’t delay! As an attorney, you’re in a great position to share what you know, educate the public, and grow your law practice.
Whether your brand has been around for decades or is a new start-up, it’s important to continually build brand awareness. Even if you are a demonstrated industry leader like Cisco or Microsoft, brand awareness is critical to the success of your business.
Why Brand Awareness Matters
The contacts at your existing clients may be leaving or taking new roles, your market may be experiencing an uptick in new business ventures, your existing clients may not be aware of all your capabilities, or you may be targeting multiple departments in an organization that has silos. These are just a few reasons why brand awareness matters for B2B marketing.
Strategies to Build Brand Awareness
Below are 7 successful ways B2B marketers can build brand awareness:
Build a Polished, Optimized B2B Website
Launch a Targeted PPC Campaign
Run Sponsored Updates on LinkedIn + Social Media
Create Thought Leadership Content with Partners
Approach Industry Publications with Guest Article Pitches
Connect & Share Content from Industry Influencers
Craft Retargeting Strategies for Website Visitors
Now, let’s break each of these down a little bit further.
Build a Polished, Optimized B2B Website
We’ve mentioned before that simply having a website isn’t acceptable anymore. Whether your target market is 80 years old, 20 years old, or in between, the expectation is that you will have a professional website that looks current, functions properly, and provides the necessary information on your company’s products or services.
As such, to increase brand awareness, you need an optimized, polished B2B web design for your organization. The design needs to be customized, professional, interactive, and quick to load for the user. Additionally, it must be optimized for search engines and the user experience. Search engine optimization is now an essential step in creating and maintaining a digital brand presence.
Launch a Targeted PPC Campaign
Pay-per-click campaigns run on search engines like Google and Bing are a terrific way to get your brand in front of prospects searching for your products or websites. You don’t need to allocate hundreds of thousands of dollars each month to PPC campaigns if they are set up and continually monitored. In the hands of an experienced expert who understands your target market’s buying intent, your PPC campaigns can be streamlined and an efficient use of your advertising budget.
Run Sponsored Updates on LinkedIn + Social Media
The awesome thing about running paid ads or sponsored updates on social media is the level of targeting available. If your ideal prospect is a software engineer at a SaaS company that has between 500 – 5,000 employees, you can run campaigns that target those specific users on a platform like LinkedIn.
These sponsored updates and ads enable you to pay to promote your company’s thought leadership content, webinars, customer success stories, and white papers or guides to potential prospects that may not be familiar with your company or the products or services you provide. These prospects may not be in a buying stage yet, but by building brand awareness early on, when they are ready to start the buying process, your firm will be a recognized partner.
Create Thought Leadership Content with Partners
For B2B marketing, building awareness can be all in who you know sometimes. A wonderful way to leverage who you know in the industry is to create thought leadership content with a strategic partner. Collaborating with a strategic partner enables you to both contribute your expertise to a high-value piece of content. This can be a webinar, white paper, case study, interview, article, guide, podcast, or video.
Once you have crafted the content, you and your strategic partner will benefit from exposure to each other’s audience. You share and promote the content piece to your audience and your strategic partner does the same. This gives your brand and their brand double the exposure.
Approach Industry Publications with Guest Article Pitches
Looking to get more recognition among logistics professionals? Draft a thought leadership piece that will resonate with logistics professionals and pitch it to a publication with that specific readership. Similar to creating a content piece with a strategic partner, this type of content creation can be labor-intensive. However, the payoff can be significant.
We’ve seen our clients get contacted for interviews in other publications and by prospects who read their article. These are just added bonuses to increased brand awareness.
Connect & Share Content from Industry Influencers
When done properly and strategically, connecting with industry influencers is another great way to build brand awareness. However, when done without tact or understanding, it can have a negative impact on your brand’s reputation. For this reason, it’s important to handle with finesse and diplomacy.
For this B2B marketing strategy for building brand awareness, the first step is identifying potential influencers in your industry. These are not people with the most social followers. They are thought leaders. People that professionals in your industry really listen to.
Once you have identified the influencers, engage with the content they are creating and sharing. This includes attending their webinars, downloading their content, commenting on their posts, sharing their content on your company’s social media, etc. In most cases, they will notice if you are doing it consistently. If you have a content piece that could use their insight or advice, ask them for it, feature them, and link to their website and social media. It doesn’t need to be a shameless plug for them, but can be a natural way to feature a thought leader.
Don’t forget that you may have clients who are industry influencers!
Craft Retargeting Strategies for Website Visitors
Many marketers spend a ton of time, effort, and budget to get visitors to their B2B website but don’t put any effort into staying in front of a website visitor once they leave the website. A well-thought-out retargeting strategy for website visitors is the easiest way to continue to build brand awareness.
Remember that many visitors to your website are in the very beginning stages of the sales process. They may just be looking around to see who provides the products and services, what types of products and services are available, or even learning whether they need these products or services. An ad retargeting strategy enables you to continue to show ads to website visitors who have left your website for the next 60 – 90 days. Even if the visitor has been to your B2B website only once, they will continue to see your brand.
Building Brand Awareness & Passive Lead Nurturing
When it comes to B2B sales, 89% of B2B buyers do online research and are 70% of the way through the decision-making process before they make contact with a company’s sales team (Source: Forbes).
If your marketing team isn’t committed to building brand awareness, then you are likely losing out to your competition. If a prospect is 70% of the way through the decision-making process before they talk to your sales team, it’s simple to think of building brand awareness as a passive lead nurturing tool.
Your campaign is limited by budget — what does this mean?
We’ve all seen the alert before:
Some see it as a bad thing, some see it as an opportunity, and some just want that ugly red text to go away. When a campaign is limited by budget, here’s what’s happening:
You’re missing out on traffic: Google is only able to enter you into a certain number of auctions based on your daily budget. If that budget is too low compared to your keywords’ search volume and average CPCs, your delivery will be limited, meaning fewer impressions and clicks.
You’re missing out on conversions: If your campaign is budget capped, you’re leaving conversions on the table! If you’re missing out on impressions and clicks, you’re definitely missing out on conversions.
You’re letting competitors get a leg up:If you’re not showing up for a search, your competitor probably is. Whenever you’re limited by budget and not entering into as many auctions, your Brand name isn’t showing on the SERP as often for relevant queries.
What can you do to fix it?
Raise your budget
The easiest way to fix this problem and get rid of the alert is by raising your budget. Google wants you to do this (more $ for them), so they make it pretty easy for you to see the impact of an extra $100 or $1,000 in spend.
In this example, Google is suggesting that we raise our daily budget to $7,500 to capture an additional 123 conversions per week at a comparable CPA. While these recommendations are usually pretty sound, it’s still good to check on performance and actual spend after making the change.
You can also calculate maximum potential spend manually if you’re looking for a more exact number. To do this, use a campaign’s Search IS Lost (Budget) to calculate total available impressions, then use CTR, CPC, and CVR/CPA to project potential spend and conversions if you increase spend. Here’s how that looks:
In this example, we’re missing out on 5% of IS due to budget, so the campaign could technically be bringing in around 274,000 impressions for this time period. Apply average CTR, CPC, and CPA to that impression total and you get the following potential increases:
202 additional clicks (274,416 x 1.47%)
$3,292 additional cost (202 x $16.32)
10 additional conversions ($3,292 x $330 CPA)
Calculating these increases, whether manually or with Google’s help, is super important if you’re pitching for more budget or need stakeholders to sign off on the increases. Nobody wants to approve spend increases without knowing the impact.
💡 Pro Tip: Create CPA increase scenarios when running these kinds of analyses to account for fluctuations in efficiency. While CPA usually stays the same when you increase the budget for a capped campaign, that’s not always the case.
What if you can’t raise your budget?
If you’re strapped for cash and can’t increase your daily budget, don’t worry. Here are some ways to get rid of the alert and improve performance at the same time.
Lower your bids Lowering your bids usually leads to lower CPCs, which can do wonders for a fixed budget.
Constant spend x lower CPCs = more clicks More clicks x constant CVR = more conversions Constant spend more conversions = lower CPA
Look at keyword, geo, and device performance. Are there any areas that aren’t efficient and can be pulled back? Check out hour of day and day of week performance, too. Cut out the fat and focus your spend on your most efficient areas, and you might see something like this:
By lowering bids in less efficient areas for one of our clients, we brought CPCs down significantly over the course of 4 months, which led to CPA and conversion volume improvements with mostly flat spend.
Test out Smart Bidding
Don’t have time for manual bid adjustments? Try an experiment with a Smart Bidding strategy, like Maximize Conversions or Target CPA. Google will likely do the heavy lifting for you, adjusting bids for keywords, devices, audiences, and more to get you the most out of your limited budget.
Here’s what we saw when we switched 5-6 limited budget campaigns over to Smart Bidding when reducing spend after April: By adopting Smart Bidding, Google was able to keep conversion volume fairly flat, if not increase it, as we reduced spend.
💡 Check out more info about Smart Bidding here, and learn how to use campaign experiments when moving to Smart Bidding here.
Break out an RLSA campaign
If you’ve applied remarketing audiences as observations to your campaign, you might be seeing stronger performance from those past site visitors. If this is the case, you can duplicate your original campaign, only target your remarketing audiences, and allocate a certain amount of budget to that campaign. This will guarantee that a certain % of your budget goes to your top performing searchers, which will likely lead to a lower CPA.
You can do this with other audiences as well, like In-Market or Similar Audiences. If a certain group is performing well (or not well), separate them out and shift budget accordingly.
Whether you’re looking to increase your daily budgets, or get more out of a fixed budget, these tips should help you improve performance either way. Looking for more PPC help? Check out our other posts or get in touch!
One of the top questions we get as PPC marketers is, “what are our competitors doing?” It’s an important question, but one that can be difficult to answer.
There is no sneak peek into a competitor’s AdWords account, no unblinded benchmarks, or quick plug-in formulas. However, paid search experts do love a challenge. We like to uncover all the data we can and piece together the clues. We know that researching and discovering your competitors is an essential step in better understanding the industry, the trends, and ultimately shaping your own paid search strategy.
We’ve compiled our tricks, tips, and best practices for uncovering the competitive advantage.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” – Sun Tzu
Know Thine Self
Hidden within your Google and Bing accounts is a plethora of competitive data. Although we can’t see competitor’s account set-ups or exact budgets, search engines share data that show your performance in relation to your competitors.
Located at the campaign, ad group, or keyword level in the Google interface, the auction insights tab is an easy way to see where you stand against advertisers who entered the same auction as you. That’s right, Google gives you names! In addition, Google offers six metrics to dig into: impression share, overlap rate, position above rate, top of page rate, abs. Top of page rate, outranking share. For full descriptions about these metrics, check out this resource, but for now let’s dive into one of our favorites.
Search Impression Share
This KPI shows the performance of your ads in comparison to your competitors. It’s calculated as the number of impressions your ads received, divided by the total number of impressions your ad was eligible to receive, expressed in a percentage.The lower your percentage, the more opportunity you have to compete. We like this one because it can be directly impacted by factors other than increasing budget. Eligibility is factored by your targeting settings, bids, and quality score. There are a ton of optimizations you can make here to increase quality score and your chance of showing for more auctions – writing relevant ad copy, testing the best landing pages, adding customized extensions. Google will reward you for creating the best possible user experience.
Dig in even deeper by segmenting by time and device. Did a competitor suddenly start outranking you in a certain month? Is a competitor eating up mobile impression share over desktop? These types of questions can help determine strategic decisions for your own account. There are also scripts that can help you track this data over time.
What’s a good way to get ideas in improving your customer experience? Put yourself in your target audiences’ shoes and do research to see what your competitors are doing.
Know Thine Enemy
What’s a great way to better understand your competitors? Straight up stalking!
Determine your list of competitors, slip into incognito, and start Googling. Take note of your most valuable key head terms. Who else is showing up? What does their ad copy look like? Click through to the landing page? What do they do well and how does that compare to your own landing pages?
This research is more qualitative, but a picture is worth a thousand words. We’ve been able to get buy-in for testing or movement on much needed projects by simply showing our clients screenshots of competitor ad copy and landing pages. They weren’t interested in our data points or case studies. They could see the eye-catching ad copy or streamlined landing page. It’s an effective starting off point for future initiatives; we highly recommend it.
Set up google alerts for your competitors, sign up for their newsletters, and follow them on social media. It can be a great way to monitor your competitors over time.
There are a ton of tools that share competitive research. We like SEM Rush, SpyFU, and Moat. With these tools you can dig into research like competitor paid keyword lists, organic rankings, display creative, etc. However, no tool is perfect and we’d suggest utilizing this data in a broader sense as we’ve found it can be inaccurate. For instance, use it to see if there are keywords you should be bidding on, but don’t use it to set your advertising budget based on what your competitors are reported as spending.
Know Thine Enemy
Now that we know where we stand and what we’re up against, our more aggressive folks can take it a step further. The real question is to bid or not to bid – on our competitor’s brand keywords that is. Some caveats here, with this strategy you should expect lower quality scores, higher bids, and a hungry budget. This is because Google rewards keywords that are most relevant to the searcher.
Example: Our target audience is searching for Target, and you’re Walmart. Although you sell the same products, a person searching for Target likely wants to go to Target’s website. However, Walmart has an opportunity to get this person’s attention. If Walmart offers a promotion, coupon code, or perhaps shows some visually appealing products, it’s fair game if the person visit’s Walmart’s site vs. their originally intended Target destination.
We don’t always recommend this strategy. You need to consider your priorities, budget, and goals, but we think it’s a worthwhile test. Our test recommendations? Create separate competitor campaigns so you can control budget. Customize your ad copy to call out your unique selling propositions and instill strong brand messaging. Carefully consider your landing page to improve time on site and encourage conversion. Monitor performance very closely.
Don’t forget about upper funnel strategic plays. If your searchers are in the research phase, it’s likely they are learning about your competitors. It can be the ideal time to build brand awareness. Create custom intent audience for Display and YouTube. Learn more here.
Improve paid search performance and push innovation by keeping up with your competitors. In an ever changing SERP landscape you’ll need the edge to fight for space, and in an ever shifting search behavior, you’ll need to keep your target audience’s attention.
We hope we’ve given you ideas to rally up the troops. If you have any questions or feedback, drop us a line! If you’re interested in learning more about the Seer’s competitive battle plans, reach us here.