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5 Tactics to Maximize Conversion Rate

For search marketers, conversion rate is an important metric used to judge success and a big factor in advocating for a fair share of a business’s overall marketing budget. As such, search marketers spend countless hours studying, optimizing and seeking advice on improving this vital metric; read on to discover 5 unique tips to improve your campaign conversion rate.

1 – Analyze Search Terms

Phrase and broad match types are excellent for driving conversion volume for terms that aren’t captured by your exact match types, but they inherently have a lower conversion rate. To get the most out of your campaigns, use phrase and broad to drive impression and click volume, then review your search term report and avoid these 2 common mistakes:

1. Matching to a search term is not the same as bidding on that search term as an actual keyword. Unless you add a search term as an explicit keyword, you have not indicated that you want traffic from that specific search term and your quality score and ad rank for that search term will be subpar. Review your search term report to find converting search terms and make sure to add them as explicit keywords in your bidded set.

2. Search marketers often become frustrated with broad matches, but fail to realize that A) broad match is simply a representation of matches to a collection of individual search terms, and B) a handful of bad apple search terms can spoil what is otherwise a healthy broad match keyword. Review your search term report to find low converting, bad apple search terms, and add them as negative keywords. Once you discover a keyword or phrase you would like to exclude, add it as a negative keyword at the ad group, campaign or account (shared campaign negatives) level; but be careful to specify a match type, as mistakenly adding a phrase rather than exact match negative keyword can be disastrous.

2 – Conversions via Ad Extensions

Ad extensions can help drive conversions that aren’t traditional (e.g. buy a product, download a whitepaper, fill out a form), but just as beneficial and often do lead to a traditional conversion. Enable and consider the actions that searchers can take via ad extensions in conversion rate analysis; for example, facilitate calls to your business with call extensions, direct people to your brick and mortar store with location extensions and drive app downloads with app extensions (coming soon).

3 – Remove Funnel Bottlenecks

One mistake that many search marketers make is to focus entirely on their search marketing campaigns and ignore what happens between the click and conversion. If your searcher clicks an ad for designer jeans, lands on your page and is prevented from purchasing a pair of True Religion jeans because you are out of stock, you’ve just unwittingly lowered your conversion rate. Similarly, if your landing page buries the answer to the searcher’s question, your funnel requires them to go through more steps than are truly necessary or your website is non mobile-responsive, your conversion rate may suffer and leave you scratching your head, trying to figure out why your clicks are not turning into sales.

4 – Target Segments

The more control you have over how your ads show to each of your customer segments, the more you can influence your conversion rate. Showing Spanish ads to Spanish searchers, French ads to French searchers and Chinese ads to Chinese speakers will produce better results than targeting an English ad to all customers. Using incremental bidding to show ads in better positions during Mondays between the hours of 8AM and 5 PM can raise your conversion rate by ensuring your ads are most likely to be clicked when your most likely customers are searching will raise your conversion rate. Using remarketing (more below) to create custom audience segments and adapting the way you market to those custom segments will improve your conversion rate. Take a moment to draw out your customer segments and then make sure your search campaigns are appropriately optimized for each segment.

5 – Leverage Macro Data

There are many resources available to help search marketers with account planning, such as the Bing Ads Blog’s Insights Section, which will help you better understand and market to your target market.

Utilize the Bing Ads Campaign Planner to discover which verticals, sub-verticals and products have low CPCs and create product ads for those products types that have low CPCs and high margins.

Create reminders well before public holidays to optimize your campaigns and capitalize on higher holiday conversion rates and sales volume.

Additionally, Bing Ads recently released a new method of tracking conversion, revenue, and page engagement (including custom events!) called Universal Event Tracking (UET). If you’re still using the old campaign analytics code, make the switch to UET by browsing to the shared library, and clicking into goals and conversions. Beyond enabling you to track your conversion rates with more accuracy (across devices, across your site and across accounts), UET will enable you to run re-marketing in search (coming soon), which is a great way to re-engage “almost customers” that you paid to acquire but never converted, and thus decrease the CPA of your campaigns by raising conversion rates.

Thanks for following along! Feel free to comment with questions or additional thoughts, and happy optimizing!

-Gabe

About the Author: 

Gabriel Kwakyi is a search advertising account manager who works for Microsoft Bing Ads in New York, NY. By helping clients from many different industries, sizes and business models develop search advertising strategies and fine-tune their campaign performance, Gabriel has gained a strong collection of PPC best practices and optimization insight, which he enjoys sharing with his clients, team and the broader digital marketing industry.

JXT Group Hosts Google Partners Connect Event

According to statistics shared by Google, 97% of consumers go online to look for local products, but only 2 out of 5 (37%) of US small businesses have a website.  The main purpose of this event was to understand the value of digital marketing and how you can expand your online presence through smarter insights to grow your business.

The speakers included Tom Rowe, the Managing Director of Global Channel Sales, who discussed how small businesses can differentiate themselves from their competitors through digital marketing, and AdWords Evangelist Fred Valleys, who covered how small businesses can navigate the web and expand their online presence through smarter insights.

At the conclusion of the live stream, we held a discussion where guests asked questions about the presentation, as well as how the topics discussed could be applied to grow their business. Our team was able to answer these questions, as well as discuss our own personal experiences with using Google for online marketing and advertising.

This event was a huge success, and we at JXT Group would like to thank Google for giving us this opportunity to learn more about the value of digital marketing and to engage with future clients! If you were unable to attend the live stream, you can watch the video below, or by clicking on this link.

Dimensional Weight & Google Shopping: How Does It Affect You?

UPS and FedEx have just both adjusted their shipping fees to work off of Dimensional Weight. Previously, they were just charging you based on the weight of the package. With the new change in effect, you’ll be paying for weight and volume.

inf_dim_weight_txt_2

How does this affect me?

This change sounds like it won’t affect you outside of shipping fees, however it will affect any online retailers that sells on Google Shopping and uses the Merchant Center “Carrier-Calculated” shipping options.

Google just sent out a notice regarding Dimensional Weight in Merchant Center, the full email is printed below.

In a nutshell, if you’re using Carrier-Calculated shipping rates in Merchant Center, you’re left with several options once it goes into effect on April 6th 2015.

  1. Add three new columns to the datafeed for package length, width and height
  2. Switch to a new shipping structure on your site that doesn’t use Carrier Calculated rates (i.e. Flat Rate, Percentage of Order Total etc…)
  3. Do nothing and hope the account is not suspended

Thankfully, there is time to implement these changes, but you’ll want to make sure you figure out the best solution before the deadline.

Important: You May Need to Add Shipping Package Size to Your Google Shopping Product Data

Hello,

We’re reaching out today to let you know about changes to the carrier-calculated shipping feature in Google Merchant Center.

In the US, major shipping carriers recently began calculating many of their shipping rates based on the dimensional weight of a package rather than just the actual weight. These dimensional weight rates take into account the weight, height, length, and width of a package.

Today, we’re introducing support for dimensional weight shipping rates for carrier-calculated shipping methods in Google Merchant Center. This update lets you define the dimensions of your packages used for shipping taking into account the length, width, and height of a package — in addition to the weight you already provide. We’ve created three new attributes that merchants can add to their product data to provide the dimensions of shipping packages for an item: ‘shipping length’, ‘shipping width’, and ‘shipping height’.

In a recent review of your Google Merchant Center account (Account ID XXXXXXXXX), we have determined that you have specified one or more carrier-calculated shipping methods in your account. Merchants who have active carrier-calculated methods for the US may need to provide these three additional attributes in their product data in order to allow accurate shipping rate calculations based on dimensional weight. If you’re unsure if your carrier is using a new dimensional weight rate model, or whether your shipments will be impacted, please verify directly with your shipping carrier.

If your carrier has changed the way they calculate shipping rates, you will need to add the following three attributes for items utilizing carrier-calculated shipping rates based on dimensional weight:

‘shipping length’ – Length of the item for shipping.

‘shipping width’ – Width of the item for shipping.

‘shipping height’ – Height of the item for shipping.

Starting April 6th, 2015, we’ll begin verifying that merchants using carrier-calculated rates are providing accurate rates by including these new attributes when the shipping rate is calculated based on dimensional weight. If merchants do not add these new attributes, we’ll continue to calculate the shipping rate based on weight only, which could lead to inaccurate shipping rate calculations. Accounts with inaccurate shipping rates will be suspended from Google Shopping. [Emphasis Added]

To learn more about using the new dimensional shipping attributes, please visit the Products Feed Specification at https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/188494 and select ‘United States’ at the top.

It’s worth mentioning that if your website will still lookup rates by weight only, you should be safe doing the same on Google Shopping without getting suspended.

How To: Setup eCommerce Conversion Tracking In Bing Ads (Universal Event Tracking)

Bing-Ads

Bing Ads recently unveiled a new version of their conversion tracking pixel. While the new Universal Event Tracking (UET) gives you more flexibility, it is also slightly clunky. Below is a quick run-down of how to install the eCommerce Revenue tracking using the new UET.

NOTE: The old tracking system can be found under: Tools —> Campaign Analytics, that has be deprecated and can no longer be used.

Get the Universal Event Tracking Code

Start by logging into your Bing Ads account and then navigating to:
Campaigns —> Shared Library —> Goals and Conversions —> Create Tag

You’ll get to this form, you can fill it out like my example below. Don’t forget to turn on “Goal Value,” this is needed to send Bing Ads the revenue on completed transactions.

Bing Ads Universal Event Tracking

Install the Universal Event Tracking Code

Once you save the above form, you’ll be taken back to the Goals and Conversions page. Now click the checkbox next to your code and select “View Tag.” Here’s where Bing Ads makes it more complex than it needs to be, so just note your Tag ID and follow along.

Bing Ads will now display a pop-up with two tags: JavaScript and No Script. In addition, it will not provide you with the eCommerce Revenue Tracking portion of the code.

Below is a complete example of the code you need. Paste this code on the order confirmation page and replace the following two variables:

  • TAG_ID = Replace this with the Tag ID in two places
  • ORDER_TOTAL = Replace this with the order total in two places
<script>(function(w,d,t,r,u){var f,n,i;w[u]=w[u]||[],f=function(){var o={ti:"TAG_ID"};o.q=w[u],w[u]=new UET(o),w[u].push("pageLoad")},n=d.createElement(t),n.src=r,n.async=1,n.onload=n.onreadystatechange=function(){var s=this.readyState;s&&s!=="loaded"&&s!=="complete"||(f(),n.onload=n.onreadystatechange=null)},i=d.getElementsByTagName(t)[0],i.parentNode.insertBefore(n,i)})(window,document,"script","//bat.bing.com/bat.js","uetq");</script>
<script> var uetq = uetq || [];  uetq.push({ 'gv': ORDER_TOTAL });</script>
<noscript><img src="//bat.bing.com/action/0?ti=TAG_ID&Ver=2&gv=ORDER_TOTAL" height="0" width="0" style="display:none; visibility:hidden;" /></noscript>

You should be all set. Questions? Leave a comment.

How To: Setup The Google Trusted Stores Badge

Google Trusted Stores

Google just announced on the Inside AdWords blog that they have simplified the requirements for joining the Google Trusted Stores program.

Applying to become a Trusted Store is now simpler than ever. You only need to create an account and add two snippets of code to your website. You no longer need to submit shipment and cancellations feeds.

Here’s a quick tutorial on the integration process. If you have any questions, please post them in the comments.

Step1

First you’ll need to setup a Google Trusted Stores account. You can start by clicking on the”Become a Google Trusted Store” button on the top right of the page and logging into an existing Google account.

Then you will want to select your country under “Create a new Trusted Stores account” and click “Start account setup” and go through the six steps of the form.

Google says it will take you 30 minutes, you’ll be done in 10. On to the next step, Technical Integration.

Step2

After completing the Application and Account Setup, click on the “Go” button by Store Integration. You’ll be provided with two sets of code that need to be added to your website.

  1. Trusted Store Badge
  2. Order Confirmation Module

The first snippet of code goes on the footer of all pages, the best place to add it is right before the closing <body> tag. You will need to replace the following variables with the correct information:

  1. GOOGLE_TRUSTED_STORE_ID: Your Google Trusted Store ID which can be found on the top right of this page.
  2. BOTTOM_RIGHT: You can choose BOTTOM_RIGHT or BOTTOM_LEFT depending on where you’d like the badge to display.
  3. PAGE_LANGUAGE: en_US, en_GB, en_AU etc…
  4. ITEM_GOOGLE_SHOPPING_ID: The value must equal the Product ID from your Google Shopping feed. This line is not required for Category/Brand pages.
  5. ITEM_GOOGLE_SHOPPING_ACCOUNT_ID: Your Google Merchant Center Account ID which can be found on top of this page.
  6. ITEM_GOOGLE_SHOPPING_COUNTRY: Your country code: US, GB, EU etc…
  7. ITEM_GOOGLE_SHOPPING_LANGUAGE: Your language code: en, fr, de etc…
<!-- BEGIN: Google Trusted Stores -->
<script type="text/javascript">
  var gts = gts || [];

  gts.push(["id", "GOOGLE_TRUSTED_STORE_ID"]);
  gts.push(["badge_position", "BOTTOM_RIGHT"]);
  gts.push(["locale", "PAGE_LANGUAGE"]);
  gts.push(["google_base_offer_id", "ITEM_GOOGLE_SHOPPING_ID"]);
  gts.push(["google_base_subaccount_id", "ITEM_GOOGLE_SHOPPING_ACCOUNT_ID"]);
  gts.push(["google_base_country", "ITEM_GOOGLE_SHOPPING_COUNTRY"]);
  gts.push(["google_base_language", "ITEM_GOOGLE_SHOPPING_LANGUAGE"]);

  (function() {
    var gts = document.createElement("script");
    gts.type = "text/javascript";
    gts.async = true;
    gts.src = "https://www.googlecommerce.com/trustedstores/api/js";
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0];
    s.parentNode.insertBefore(gts, s);
  })();
</script>
<!-- END: Google Trusted Stores -->

Once the code is implement on your website, you need to install the Order Confirmation module. Add the following code to the order confirmation page.

The first half of the code is displayed once, the second half needs to be repeated once for each item in the order. Follow this link for an explanation of what is required in each field.

<!-- START Google Trusted Stores Order -->
<div id="gts-order" style="display:none;" translate="no">

  <!-- start order and merchant information -->
  <span id="gts-o-id">MERCHANT_ORDER_ID</span>
  <span id="gts-o-domain">MERCHANT_ORDER_DOMAIN</span>
  <span id="gts-o-email">CUSTOMER_EMAIL</span>
  <span id="gts-o-country">CUSTOMER_COUNTRY</span>
  <span id="gts-o-currency">CURRENCY</span>
  <span id="gts-o-total">ORDER_TOTAL</span>
  <span id="gts-o-discounts">ORDER_DISCOUNTS</span>
  <span id="gts-o-shipping-total">ORDER_SHIPPING</span>
  <span id="gts-o-tax-total">ORDER_TAX</span>
  <span id="gts-o-est-ship-date">ORDER_EST_SHIP_DATE</span>
  <span id="gts-o-est-delivery-date">ORDER_EST_DELIVERY_DATE</span>
  <span id="gts-o-has-preorder">HAS_BACKORDER_PREORDER</span>
  <span id="gts-o-has-digital">HAS_DIGITAL_GOODS</span>
  <!-- end order and merchant information -->

  <!-- start repeated item specific information -->
  <!-- item example: this area repeated for each item in the order -->
  <span class="gts-item">
    <span class="gts-i-name">ITEM_NAME</span>
    <span class="gts-i-price">ITEM_PRICE</span>
    <span class="gts-i-quantity">ITEM_QUANTITY</span>
    <span class="gts-i-prodsearch-id">ITEM_GOOGLE_SHOPPING_ID</span>
    <span class="gts-i-prodsearch-store-id">ITEM_GOOGLE_SHOPPING_ACCOUNT_ID</span>
    <span class="gts-i-prodsearch-country">ITEM_GOOGLE_SHOPPING_COUNTRY</span>
    <span class="gts-i-prodsearch-language">ITEM_GOOGLE_SHOPPING_LANGUAGE</span>
  </span>
  <!-- end item 1 example -->
  <!-- end repeated item specific information -->

</div>
<!-- END Google Trusted Stores Order -->

Step3

You’re done the easy part once both snippets of code are in place. Now you just wait 30 days for Google to monitor the performance of your store… Good luck!

Boost Your Post Holiday Sales for a Happier New Year

The holidays are over, but that doesn’t mean that the extra revenue they brought has to be boxed up along with the decorations. This new infographic from Wiser helps online retailers make the new year a bit happier with profit and revenue boosting tips. Check it out below to learn the top 5 ways maximize sales in Q1.

Why Consumers Prefer Online Shopping

With the arrival of a new year, number of shoppers making purchases online is anticipated to steadily grow. What is motivating consumers to shop online rather than making their purchases at a typical brick and mortar store? Check out the infographic below to learn more about the reasons behind this growing trend.

Via Nextopia

Post Holiday Checklist: Things You Can Do to Make 2015 a Success

You made it through Christmas. Whew. Pat yourself on the back. But now it’s time to get back to work.

Here are some things you can do to capitalize on your holiday success as well as put yourself in a good position for 2015.

Counter drop in revenue with lead capture form

In Q1, conversion rate and site traffic drop significantly. This means it’s imperative to maximize results from your traffic. One way to do this is by adding a lead/email capture form to your site. You’ve seen these before—it’s the lightbox/window that greets you upon arrival to a store. The retailer asks for your email address, and in return, you get a discount. When configuring the form, set it to first time visitors only; incentivize those new shoppers to become customers.

Lead capture forms work. We’ve seen retailers capture anywhere between 3% – 20% of their traffic. That’s instant, incremental revenue. You can’t afford to not add a lead capture form. In addition, you’ll build your email list. You can nurture these new customers and get them primed for your next busy season.

Segment Your Email List

Personalization is more important than ever. Shoppers expect you to cater specifically to them as individuals, not as part of a group. So segment your lists to get as personal as possible. One approach is to use RFM analysis for segmenting lists. R (recency), F (frequency) and M (monetary) allow you to put customers in buckets. You can quickly identify your best customers, those which are most likely to churn, and those who haven’t purchased from you in a long time. Then cater your email messaging to each bucket.

Also, if you sell consumable products (ink & toner, for example), put those customers into a specific list. Determine the average reorder period for that product, then set up specific automated email campaigns to drip out along a specified timeline. Sometimes reminding a customer is all it takes to get them to re-order.

Customer feedback

You want to learn what you did well over the holidays. But more importantly, you need to understand shortcomings so you can get better.

A customer with an okay-to-good experience doesn’t refer you to friends and family. A customer with a great experience does. The easiest way to collect feedback is through a survey. Sure, only a fraction of customers will fill it out, but you’ll find nuggets of information that never occurred to you. You can use the insights to make improvements to your store, as well as…

A/B test new messaging

Launching a new shipping program in 2015? Don’t like the performance of your paid search ads? Whatever the reason, Q1 is the perfect time to test new messaging across both paid and non-paid channels. You’re pitching a smaller, tougher audience, so if you can convert well this time of year, imagine your results for the rest of the year. Get your messaging tight now, and it will pay dividends down the road.

Create new content

Ugh, content. For an eCommerce company, content is hard to write. And it’s easy to put off creating content. But now is the time to double down on content creation. It’s a slow time of the year, so you should be able to put more time and resources toward content projects. Make your content unique and interesting. Every store has a personality. Put yours into everything you do on your site.

Not only will interesting content help your online casino conversion rate, it can help with SEO. Compelling content that improves user experience can only help you in the search engine rankings. In addition to the basics such as product descriptions, work on helpful items such as product guides and articles. When you give shoppers more information, two things happen: 1, they stay on the site longer, and 2, they will reward you for helping them.

 

About the Author:
Sean Godier is head of marketing for Spring Metrics and eCommerce consultant. Spring Metrics is a SaaS company which helps internet retailers drive more revenue, capture email addresses and expand their social presence. Sean is a 15+ year eCommerce veteran, heading up eCommerce for companies such as Yahoo! and Business Supply (acquired by Staples).

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