It may take making more category pages than you planned so that you can have both generic category pages and brand category pages. Then once the target page has been identified you can use your keyword as consistently as possible on that page.
I think there are other divisions just as big as content vs. search that should be separated out in an AdWords strategy. First, the device that you are targeting will cause a big difference in the results of your campaign. The motives behind a person using a mobile phone is very different from a person using a desktop computer. Targeting tablets separately will also allow for better targeting and results.
On top of network and device there are the different search engines and different methods of advertising – brand keywords, non-brand keywords, product listing ads, display, retargeting etc. None of the data from any of these different methods should be lumped together in the same report either.
These differences are enough to cause very complicated reporting. Each Engine/Network/Device/Method requires its own analysis if you want to look at each segment in context and be able to make changes that positively affect one without damaging another. Below is a stab at visualising what this looks like when each engine/network/device/method is separated out with its own macro conversions, micro conversions and targets.
The cost of doing #1 is coming down thanks to inexpensive, professional level DSLR cameras and cheap editing software like Final Cut Pro. Sure, the real expense is hiring the talent to use these tools effectively, but as the tools become less scarce the ability to tell the difference between pro and amateur work is getting harder and harder. The cost of #2 is also coming down if you consider how inexpensive online advertising is. It will still cost a fortune to run a commercial on TV or run a full page ad in Opera Magazine, but those are no longer the only options (and arguably the worst ones). Free can get you pretty far online via YouTube and social media if you have something that is unique and worth sharing. If you want to pay for exposure you can also get pretty far on a limited budget.
So if #1 and #2 are cheaper than ever before is #3 getting cheaper too? It doesn’t look like it, but it should be.
I agree with Seth Godin that when execution gets cheaper, so should planning (and therefore the cost of working with an agency should drop), “The cost of building digital items is plummeting, but our habit is to plan anyway (because failure bothers us, and we focus on the feeling of failure, not the cost).”
If you’re building an online marketing campaign, spend less money on the meetings, sign-offs and planning and invest that money into learning and optimizing. Instead of paying to figure out which idea is best before picking the final winner, invest that money into running them all and optimizing the ones that work best. I think you should publish it all and then let the best filter to the top, more content is worth more than perfect content.
This mindset, carried over from buying print and TV, when buying media online is that the placement of the ad is very important because its “borrowing brand equity” from the placement. With limited information on who is looking at the ad, this is a good way to go – its seems obvious that you wouldn’t put a diaper ad in Sports Illustrated. Publishers make a fortune convincing advertisers that their online placements are worth more than others placements because of this “equity” that they also give the advertiser. I disagree. Placements don’t matter online. What matters is the user.
The internet provides data about the mindset and behavior of the user that is impossible to know with print and TV media buying. If you know that the user is male, has a household income above $100K, recently visited sites about shaving, and did a search on Google for razors, than who cares if your ad for razors is shown to the user on a site selling diapers? It might even be more impactful because the ad is very different than the content on the page.
Stop buying placements, start buying individuals. This is possible online with demand-side platforms that bid in real-time for placement across multiple ad exchanges. Along with algorithmic and dynamic bidding that goes beyond rules-based tools to leverage data in a way that’s unique and evolves with consumers, you can focus on who sees your ads rather than where your ads are seen.
Affiliate marketing doesn’t really work with the typical publisher who writes about any variety of topics because commissions erode trust and the payout isn’t worth it. Ideally publishers with engaged audiences recommend products to their readers anyway, and might as well make a little cut if their audience happens to buy. Getting people to recommend products online is a big deal (the entire premise of Facebook’s business strategy) so why not incentivize them? The problem is that commissions erode trust. The most important asset to the publisher is their audience, they know this and thats why they aren’t part of affiliate networks. Pumping out links to products is a fast way to kill their audience and the small amount of money gained isn’t worth it. Publishers who don’t want to be coupon sites but still make money stand a better chance at monetizing their work through marketing their own products, consulting, speeches and any of the other modes of indirect revenues.
Coupon code sites on the other hand are very upfront. They aren’t providing thoughtful analysis, unbiased recommendations or helping people discover something new. All they do is help the shopper find a code before hitting the checkout button in their cart. At that stage the shopper is ready to purchase the product regardless of whether or not they find a code that would give them 10% off or free delivery, so is it really fair for an affiliate to get rewarded for that sale?
Affiliate marketing is a very efficient way for discounting retailers to find discount shoppers. But are discount shoppers what you want?
Take any existing campaign that is targeted to both desktop and tablets, change it to just desktops, duplicate the campaign and target the new campaign to just tablets. This will allow you more control to bid for higher positions on tablets that you might not want to do on desktop. It will also allow for easier reporting for tablet performance.
Flurry points out a few reasons why mobile is so under-invested in, including the fact that agencies and brands have yet to adjust to the unprecedented speed of adoption of apps by consumers and the lack of systems in place to buy inventory in volume.
The part that confuses me is why so much money is spent on print, when the amount of time consumers spend with print is the lowest of all mediums. Besides the reasons Flurry notes above, I think the answer is because the people making the buying decisions have a strong interest in keeping their jobs and when it comes to allocating the marketing spend, its much safer to do it like you’ve always done.
The thing that’s scary about online or mobile advertising is that its much more measurable. And once its measurable you can be blamed. They like to be creative, tell stories and take the time to craft the right font, color scheme and images. But when technology puts control into the hands of the consumer, they can choose to skip and ignore your story, and you’ll see how bad your well-crafted idea crashed and burned in real time.
Also, advertisers want to be the ones to decide what ad creative will be shown, they don’t want data to decide for them. If the data decides which image or tagline works best than how do they justify their big salaries?
Print also lends itself well to an advertiser’s desire to have brand consistency, which is easy when one ad campaign is seen by thousands of people in a magazine all at once. As soon as you are marketing to a mass of niches, you have to start tailoring it to those niches which causes it to loose that brand consistency. You can’t treat people like they are all the same anymore, that’s why taking a print ad and pasting it onto the web doesn’t work either.
The columns in my diagram show the amount of revenue you can expect from each segment. Head terms are the most profitable because these people are already educated about your brand, know what they are looking for and where they are going to buy it from. The Mid-Tail keywords have the least amount of sales because these people are not sure what they want or where to buy from. They are in browsing mode. The Tail has less over all traffic from each keyword but in aggregate it is a very profitable.
Before trying to tackle Mid-Tail keywords, first focus on maximizing impression share of your brand keywords in the head segment. With all other non-brand keywords, build Tail campaigns with tightly themed ad groups and relevant text ads first. If you try to go after the Mid-Tail section of non-brand keywords before working on Head and Tail, you will end up with high CPAs and low conversion rate. You’ll be doing a good job of educating potential new customers down the road with Mid-tail, but based on their search query you can tell they just aren’t in buying mode.
Advances in technology are creating very innovative, and I’ll admit very cool, ways to get promotions, sales, deals and offers into the hands of customers. Consumers are now being alerted to, using, reusing and sharing offers and deals in never ending ways. I get the feeling that some brands think that since their discount is delivered via a cutting edge method it won’t have the same negative affects that normal discounts have. Discounts on top of exciting new mediums are still just discounts and still have the same negative addictive effect on brands.
The trend of sophisticated discounting is only gaining momentum, moving towards localization, personalization and real time deals that will be triggered by ever more curated and more targeted offers to consumers based on known profiles and preferences. These offers will ‘find consumers’, not the other way around. Any product that can be compared to others on price will be and those companies that compete with discounts will continue to loose loyalty until becoming irrelevant.
The brands that invest in loyalty rather than discounting will be the ones the succeed in the future. They are the ones built on purpose and that are of such high quality, so unique, so authentic or so personalized that consumers don’t even want to look for reviews, price comparisons, discounts or deals.
Create a report that segments devices and Top vs Other to see what the difference in click-through-rate is for tablets and smartphones when your ad isn’t in the top spot.
You’ll probably find that click through rate drops below 1% when your ad isn’t in the top position for tablets and smartphones, so by having mobile-only and tablet-only campaigns, you can better optimize bids for those device specific positions.
Another reason to make mobile-only and tablet-only campaigns different from desktop targeted campaigns is to write adtext tailored to the devices, something like “…Shop Now From Your Tablet!” or “…Find A Store Near You On Your Phone.”
Google has ad extensions for mobile phones like location extensions and call extensions that boost click through rates and make mobile search ads very effective at driving in store traffic. Optimizing and reporting is easier when you have a mobile-only campaign.