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Paid Search, SEO and Competitive Benchmarking: The Right Steps Towards Finding Success

Competitive benchmarking has proven, time and time again, to be an effective practice that can help improve and perfect your paid search marketing efforts. If you are not currently engaged with a competitive benchmarking campaign, we suggest starting one. The effort is worth the rewards!

Quite simply, competitive benchmarking is the practice of measuring specific elements of your company against your competition. This could be in areas of customer service, design, shipping, pricing and more. In our case, we are going to explore competitive benchmarking applied to paid search and SEO.

Determine Your Benchmarks

It’s vital to determine which benchmarks you will use to measure your efforts against your competitors and establish which areas of your company need to see the greatest improvements. With paid search and SEO a few key performance indicators (KPIs) to pay attention to would be impressions, ad position, and ad frequency.

Establish Your Competition

You can easily purchase reports and data on competition from firms, however, conducting your own extensive paid search competitive analysis will give you far more relevant insight into the competition. Additionally, these data reports can sometimes be costly.

Try choosing the top companies in your industry that provide the highest value at the lowest cost and start creating your own analysis reports on their KPIs. What is their usual ad position? How often do their ads appear? What is there page rank?

These are the types of metrics that you will need to record in order to help influence your campaigns and start implementing tactics that will help improve your own metrics.

Additional metrics to note from your competitors are top keywords, cost- per-click, PPC spend per month, ad copy and types of ads.

Tools of the Trade

Today’s world offers a bevy of tools that can successfully help companies in their efforts to implement a competitive analysis or benchmarking campaign. Below are a few we recommend utilizing.

Google AdWords

Google AdWords is an excellent way to compare your benchmarks with other competitors who are competing in the same auctions that you are. This data can be found in Auction Insights on the AdWords platform.

Additionally, through Google AdWords, you will be able to create a list of competitors for your auctions, gain insight into impressions, ad position, and overlap rate. Make sure to take advantage of the segment reporting as well, it will allow you to break down data by device type and time.

Google Analytics

With Google Analytics, companies can compare their metrics with competitors through the aggregated industry data, but must properly configure the industry settings beforehand.

SEMrush

SEMrush is a great tool that companies can leverage to run reports on competitor organic search metrics, paid search, and display advertising. Additionally, you can discover competitors’ keywords, ad copy, and advertising budgets.

Creating Impact

Implementing a competitive benchmarking campaign can be a very involved task but is well worth the impact it can have on your business and ROI. Please feel free to reach out to JXT Group with any questions or concerns you may have regarding implementation, we are always here to help!

Effective Marketing Budgets – The Top 10 Things to Keep in Mind

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#1 – Planning

Planning is essential to any marketing campaign, and knowing exactly where your dollars are going to be spent helps effectively increase your chances of reaching a successful ROI.

Using the good ol’ Excel spreadsheet can still help you effectively plan your marketing budget, but today a bunch of great tools exist to help you out as well. We suggest trying PlanGuru or Tagetik to get you started.

#2 – Testing

To have an effective marketing budget, it is important to test where the most success for your campaigns will lie. Allocating small amounts of ad spend in various areas will allow you to test where you can best pick up traction.

#3 – Goals

Goals for your budgets are a must. It is important to know what you are working towards with your marketing budgets. This can include your ROI, growth analysis, reach, and response rates.

#4 – Implementation

Creating an action plan will allow your team to know exactly where your budget will be applied to. Whether it is PPC, SEM, Social Media or any other form of marketing, an action plan correctly outlines the strategy for implementation.

#5 – Distribution

Where will you get the best bang for your buck? This is the age-old question. Having at least one solid distribution channel for your business is vital to creating a successful marketing campaign.

#6 – Analytics

Google Analytics, Raven Tools, and Sprout Social all offer great ways to track the performance of your marketing budget. Having eyes on the data that indicates success can help you increase your ROI.

#7 – Create Effective Messages

More direct messages in your creative will allow you to attract more relevant customers. This helps raise your conversion rates and increase sales to the right people.

#8 – Doubling Down

If you see an area that is working, double down! Putting more ad spend behind a marketing dimension that is seeing growth and market response is a great way to get the most out of your budget.

#9 – Repurpose Content

If you are spending money on good content you should repurpose it and share it multiple times online. Get the most mileage out of it and use it to engage users.

#10 – Pivot or Cut Your Losses

Don’t be afraid to pivot or change direction if a marketing tactic is not working. Also, retiring ads or cutting funding to a certain area is something every business must do, don’t grow too attached to something if it is not working out!

The Results Are In: Google Shopping Finishes Strong for the Holidays

It’s no surprise that a Google was the shining star for holiday shopping in 2016 and all signs point to Google Shopping for the success. What may surprise some is that Google Shopping is nothing new, it has been on the scene for over 10 years!

Originally named Google Base, back when dial-up was a thing, this was a free shopping search engine where businesses provided product information to Google and Google included these products in shopping searches. However, the Google Shopping we all know and love today is a completely different beast.

What is Google Shopping?

For the Advertiser or Business

In 2012, Google Base changed names and switched to a pay only program. Now Google Shopping will only list your products in Google Shopping when you have a paid Google Adwords account as well as submitting properly formatted product information to Google using Google Merchant Center.

Revenue comes directly from Google Shopping’s Product Listing Ads or PLAs. PLAs are online ads that contain an image and text description on the search results page. PLAs are also referred to as Shopping Ads.

Users can find these ads:

  • At the top of search results
  • At the right of search results

In Google Shopping itself where a comparison is provided Google Shopping did well immediately, and with the timing of their launch being in the holiday quarter, the ads yielded an excellent growth rate for the company.

The increase in Google Shopping’s growth since 2012 has been amazing. Adobe’s Digital Index reported that advertisers spent 47% more on Google Shopping than they did in previous years.

Interestingly, Shopping Ads only represent 20% of paid search clicks, so it’s safe to say more growth is expected. Throughout the holiday shopping season shopping ad impressions increased among all device types, however, mobile devices saw the biggest jump.

Best Practices with Google Shopping

  • Accurate descriptions, inventory, and products Use keywords describing
  • Use keywords describing the product, style, color, and size, etc.
  • Use descriptions with 70 words as that is what users will see
  • Use very clear images
  • Offer promotions to stand out among competitors
  • Have a game plan for your campaigns based on industry
  • Make your site mobile friendly. This is not negotiable with the market trend
  • Use geographic bid modifiers when selling locally

The time is now to get involved with Google Shopping. Your focus should be on watching trends and devouring up-to- date information on Google’s constantly changing algorithms and tools. Otherwise, your business is going to find itself way behind. Consider working with a reputable firm to help you navigate through Google Shopping Ads.

For more information on how to successfully build an AdWords or Google Shopping Campaign, contact us at info@jxtgroup.com!

AdWords Quality Score – What Does it Mean for Your Business

At the heart of it, the internet is meant to serve its users and whether it be on social media perusing the trends of the day, searching for products or providing valuable information during a user’s micro-moments, businesses can take advantage of its benefits.

In the case of Google AdWords, it’s important for businesses to take full advantage of optimizing their ad scores. Each ad that a business creates receives a quality score. The benefits of AdWords are truly seen when ads are rewarded with a high-ranking quality score.

This quality score allows for Google to determine what priority to give to competing advertisers. If you are a business who is using or planning to use AdWords, you must implement a solid plan that helps improve your Google Ad Score. The Ad Score is comprised of our major contributing factors. Let’s take a look at them and how they are interconnected with each other.

Ad Copy and PPC

To the advertiser, the CTR or click-through rate is a key metric to pay attention to. This determines how many users who conducted a search click on your ad. A high CTR can tell Google’s algorithm that you are producing relevant, useful, and helpful ads for users.

Google is going to recognize the advertiser and give them a hearty pat on the back for having PPC ads that meet the user’s needs. Google rewards the advertiser with ad rankings at a higher position and a lower cost.

What does this translate to:

  • Better ROI for the advertiser
  • Relevant results for the user
  • Quality control for Google

Hence, the positive, fulfilling experience users expect and deserve.Remember, Google’s position has always been that their goal is to provide relevant content to its users while harmoniously connecting them to advertisers waiting to fulfill their needs.

Organic SEO and Landing Pages

Organic SEO and landing pages are two of the key factors that weigh in on the AdWords Quality Score. How heavily? Nobody can say for sure due to the nature of the ever-changing Google algorithms.

So, why is organic ranking important to the AdWords Quality Score? First, we need to understand what the organic rank is. The Organic rank lets users know that a site is trusted, relevant or appropriate for their needs. A well-designed website will fair well with Google and will increase the natural or organic rise in rankings. Such a website would require:

  • Keyword research
  • Keyword organization
  • User relevant content
  • User relevant services or products
  • Inbound and outbound links
  • Landing pages with corresponding content

Properly developed and executed landing pages will always correlate to the PPC ads. Therefore, ad text and landing pages with related content will yield an AdWords Quality Score that is healthy.

While there is no easy, neat, clear or precise answer to raising your Quality Score, it’s our hope that you understand the importance of well researched and organized keywords, ad text that correlates, landing pages that add value and most importantly, relevance. There is a reason the experts all proclaim “Content is king!”

For more information on AdWords Quality Scores, SEO optimization, SEM, and how JXT Group can help, check out our blog or contact us at info@jxtgroup.com

January 2017 Jersey Shore eCommerce & Marketing Meetup

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Our first Marketing Meetup of 2017 had a great turnout! Thanks to everyone who joined us at Stingers Bar & Grill in Long Branch. We had a wonderful time meeting new people who share our passion for online marketing and eCommerce.

Thanks again everyone who came out, we can’t wait for the next one! Join the Jersey Shore Marketing Meetup group!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JerseyShoreMarketingMeetup/

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Jersey Shore Marketing Meetup – Mobile Marketing

Thank you to everyone who came to spend time with us on Wednesday for our monthly Marketing Meetup on the Jersey Shore. We were excited to learn more about your businesses and share our marketing expertise. During the Meetup, we highlighted our knowledge and experiences with Mobile Marketing, giving specific insights on how the mobile-connected platform can reshape your entire business.

You can watch the full video presentation here:

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Thanks again everyone who came out, we can’t wait for the next one! Join the Jersey Shore Marketing Meetup group here!

Shopping on Mobile [Infographic]

If one thing’s for certain, it’s that Americans are more connected to their mobile devices than ever before.

Because of this, the eCommerce industry has begun catering to mobile shoppers and in turn, the mobile commerce (mCommerce) industry has completely revolutionized the way consumers shop.

Our infographic below takes a look at the mobile shopping habits of American consumers and reflects that the future of mCommerce is very bright. If you’re an online retailer who has yet to jump on the mCommerce train, there’s no better time than now.

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Infographic courtesy of Nextopia.

Negative Keywords: A Quick Guide to One of Google AdWords’ Best Tools

When designing a Google AdWords campaign, one of the main focuses should be establishing successful keywords and making sure they are the best choice for directly targeting your audience. It’s very important that your ads are placed in front of the correct demographic of people who are in the right mind to purchase your products or service.

However, if what you are offering can be part of a broader search, your ads could very well show up in front of an uninterested audience. This means you could be paying for clicks that are not going to produce conversions, which we don’t want happening. We want to stretch that ad spend budget as far as we can!

This is where negative keywords come into play. We are going to use negative keywords to defend against searchers who are not relevant and help refine and improve our overall ad performance.

Download the full Negative Keyword list in Excel:


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What are Negative Keywords?

Google is constantly improving and developing its AdWords platform and has developed an onslaught of ways over the years to ensure advertisers are reaching the exact audience they mean to.

One of those improvements is negative keywords, all the words you do not want to show up for in a search that could be used in conjunction with the words you do want to show up for in a search.

For example, if you provide electric work, you would want to show up in a search for “electrician”, but you would not want to show up in a search for “electrician careers”, so one of your negative keywords would be “careers”. By utilizing this negative keyword, your ads will not be visible to users searching for “electrician careers”.

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These terms can improve your clickthrough and conversion rates because you are targeting a more concentrated and interested audience that has a higher probability of continuing to your website and purchasing your product or service.

How Do I Use Negative Keywords?

Great question! It’s fairly simple to add them to your campaign. Under the Keywords tab within your AdWords dashboard, there is a section to enter Negative Keywords. Select the campaign you’d like to add them to, and just like you would regular keywords, enter one term per line in the field. You can also paste into this form from a list.

It’s important to make sure none of your negative keywords overlap with your general terms or your ads won’t show up in relevant searches, and for broad-matched terms, remember to add plurals as well.

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Negative keywords are a useful tool in your AdWords campaign that helps ensure true and defined audience targeting while keeping your budget under control. They allow you to be as specific as you want, and it’s easy to adjust and remove keywords to allow for the most precise campaign possible.

For more information on Google AdWords campaigns, and how JXT Group can help, check out our blog or contact us at info@jxtgroup.com

Download the full Negative Keyword list in Excel:


See the list below for the most popular negative keywords. Feel free to copy and paste these into your campaign to help improve your conversions and ROI!

Negative Keyword List:

Websites

  • craigslist
  • craigs list
  • ebay
  • facebook
  • face book
  • pinterest
  • snapchat
  • instagram
  • twitter
  • youtube
  • utube

Computer

  • app
  • apps
  • burn
  • burner
  • cd
  • code
  • community
  • desktop
  • developer
  • developers
  • disk
  • download
  • downloads
  • dvd
  • error
  • file
  • files
  • forum
  • free
  • freeware
  • game
  • games
  • gnu
  • hack
  • hacks
  • libraries
  • library
  • microsoft
  • open source
  • public domain
  • retail
  • retail
  • retailer
  • retailers
  • shareware
  • shortcut
  • shortcuts
  • soft ware
  • software
  • template
  • templates
  • tip
  • tips
  • torrent
  • torrents
  • video
  • windows
  • windows 10
  • windows 2000
  • windows 7
  • windows 8
  • windows 8.1
  • windows xp
  • wordpress

DIY/Quote

  • craft
  • crafts
  • create
  • creating
  • diy
  • do it yourself
  • hand made
  • handmade
  • home
  • homemade
  • how can
  • how can I
  • how do I
  • how does
  • how to
  • make
  • making
  • price
  • prices
  • pricing
  • quote
  • quotes
  • sample
  • samples

Industrial/Manufacturing

  • antique
  • consumer
  • export
  • exporter
  • exporters
  • hobby
  • import
  • importer
  • importers
  • measurement
  • metrics
  • model
  • models
  • regulations
  • rent
  • rental
  • repair
  • repairs
  • retail
  • retailer
  • retailers
  • rules
  • safety
  • specifications
  • specs
  • standards
  • store
  • toy
  • toys
  • used
  • vintage

Legal

  • act
  • act of
  • compliance
  • law
  • laws
  • legal
  • legislation
  • regulation
  • regulations
  • tax
  • taxes

Job/Career

  • career
  • careers
  • curriculum vitae
  • CV
  • employer
  • employers
  • employment
  • full time
  • hire
  • hiring
  • intern
  • interns
  • internship
  • internships
  • job
  • job opening
  • job openings
  • jobs
  • looking for work
  • new hires
  • occupation
  • occupations
  • opening
  • openings
  • opportunities
  • opportunity
  • part time
  • recruiter
  • recruiters
  • recruiting
  • recruitment
  • resume
  • resumes
  • salaries
  • salary
  • salary
  • work

Education/Groups

  • association
  • associations
  • certification
  • certifications
  • class
  • classes
  • club
  • clubs
  • college
  • colleges
  • conference
  • conferences
  • council
  • councils
  • course
  • courses
  • education
  • exam
  • exams
  • institute
  • institutes
  • instructor
  • instructors
  • program
  • programs
  • school
  • schools
  • seminar
  • seminars
  • teacher
  • teachers
  • textbook
  • textbooks
  • training
  • tutor
  • tutorial
  • tutorials
  • tutors
  • universities
  • university
  • workshop
  • workshops

Material/Fabric

  • aluminum
  • ceramic
  • cotton
  • fabric
  • glass
  • gold
  • iron
  • leather
  • metal
  • paper
  • plastic
  • rubber
  • silver
  • stainless steel
  • steel
  • stone
  • vinyl
  • wood

Travel/Transportation

  • about
  • advisory
  • apartment
  • architecture
  • arena
  • bank
  • blog
  • blogs
  • book
  • books
  • bulletin
  • bulletins
  • channel
  • condo
  • county court
  • festival
  • homes
  • real estate
  • trail

Media

  • film
  • films
  • graphic
  • graphics
  • icon
  • icons
  • image
  • images
  • j-peg
  • j-pegs
  • jpeg
  • jpegs
  • jpg
  • jpg’s
  • logo
  • logos
  • lyric
  • lyrics
  • music
  • music video
  • pdf
  • pdfs
  • photo
  • photograph
  • photographs
  • photos
  • pics
  • picture
  • pictures
  • pix
  • ringtones

Research/Stats

  • about
  • article
  • articles
  • book
  • books
  • calculator
  • case studies
  • case study
  • data
  • define
  • definition
  • diagram
  • example
  • examples
  • forum
  • forums
  • guide
  • guides
  • history
  • journal
  • journals
  • learn about
  • magazine
  • magazines
  • map
  • map
  • maps
  • maps
  • metrics
  • news
  • report
  • reports
  • research
  • resource
  • resources
  • review
  • reviews
  • sample
  • samples
  • statistics
  • stats
  • success stories
  • success story
  • tutorial
  • tutorials
  • what are
  • what i
  • white paper
  • white papers

Cheap/Deals

  • bargain
  • cheap
  • cheapest
  • clearance
  • close out
  • close outs
  • closeout
  • closeouts
  • discount
  • discounted
  • free
  • hack
  • hacks
  • inexpensive
  • liquidation
  • low cost
  • odd lots
  • overstock
  • remainder
  • remainders
  • short cut
  • short cuts
  • shortcut
  • shortcuts

Informational

  • book
  • books
  • diagram
  • FAQ
  • info
  • information
  • library
  • meaning of
  • news
  • newsletter
  • newsletters
  • newspaper
  • newspapers
  • police
  • theories
  • theory
  • weather
  • what are
  • what is
  • when can
  • when i
  • where can
  • wiki
  • wikipedia

Adult

  • anime
  • casual encounters
  • chicks
  • dating
  • kinky
  • naked
  • nude
  • personals
  • porn
  • porno
  • sex
  • x-rated
  • xxx

Our First Jersey Shore Marketing Meetup

 

We hosted our first Jersey Shore Marketing Meetup yesterday evening, and we’re proud to say that it was a huge success!

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Not only did we welcome new members, it was also a pleasure to see familiar faces of local business from along the Jersey Shore.

Aside from our warm introduction, the main focus of last night was an outstanding video presentation which involved many aspects of marketing strategies towards ramping up businesses through the power of online advertising.

We also enjoyed refreshments and food throughout the entire night. Marketing, pizza, and beer seem to be a great combination…

Altogether, our first Meetup was a proud accomplishment for the team at JXT Group and beneficial to everyone! We thank you for joining us in learning more about our passion for online marketing.

Join us at the next Marketing Meetup →

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