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Author: John Bracamontes

Google released a paid search update recently.  It is a second line of structured snippets that can be inserted into PPC ads.

This new update gives ads more space in the search engine results pages and allows companies to callout different things about their business. Below, a shutter company, uses the headers “Styles” and “Services,” to highlight unique product offerings.

 

updated_snippet_imageThis new ad format looks great, but what it will do to help your marketing and ultimately your business?

Below are a few tips, benefits and structured snippets tests across PPC & SEO channels to highlight how this update will help drive more qualified conversions to save your business time & marketing spend.

Utilize categories to show unique product offerings

While PPC experts like us were initially loving the news of new structured snippets, our smiles began to fade as we read the fine print. There are a limited number of headers you can choose from for your snippets and there are only a few industries. The following headers are available:

  • Amenities
  • Brands
  • Courses
  • Degree programs
  • Destinations
  • Featured hotels
  • Insurance coverage
  • Neighborhoods
  • Service catalog
  • Shows
  • Styles
  • Types

Industries that really benefit from this category extension are those that have a high cost per click. Insurance keywords are responsible for 24% of Google advertising revenue, which is most likely why “Insurance Coverage” was added as a distinct header. On the same note, 4 out of the 12 headers are related to travel, which also have historically high CPCs.

 

better_image

In the future Google will expand the number of header options, but until then, advertisers have to get creative on ways we can utilize them. For instance, financial institutions could use the “Types” structured snippet for No-Fee Savings, High Interest Savings or list out the types of certificate of deposits they offer (3 month, 6 month, 12 month, etc).

Raise awareness for additional service lines

Your business may have one very well known product or service, but it’s struggling to get the word out about the additional items it offers. By adding structured snippets into your PPC ad account, you can use the new headers to bring attention to the business’ additional offerings.

An example of this is Drexel Online. Many people know that they offer online bachelor’s programs, but everyone may not know that they also offer master’s programs and certificates. By utilizing structured snippets, Drexel can inform searchers about other aspects of their business.

Create more effective call to actions

PPC continuously has the ability to test call to actions within search ads. With the new snippet feature, PPC ads can test more specific styles and service lines to hone in on the language and format that best connects with consumers. From these tests, your marketing team can vet the call to actions that convert the most, to identify what phrases and styles to use within SEO content, such as meta descriptions, headers, and call-to-action buttons.

Google may still choose to create their own meta description based on the search term, but in many cases your well crafted meta description will now show up with an even better chance to convert due to the PPC tests.

Save money & avoid a negative brand experience

This extra PPC snippet will enable searchers to be better at self-qualifying themselves for your business. Let’s say you own a wedding dress company. If customers are looking for a specific type of wedding dress, for example, A-Line, Mermaid, Ballgown, Trumpet, etc. and it’s not listed in your snippet, they know not to visit your website. Great! One less unqualified person potentially filling out a contact form asking your team about it.

There’s also a big cost-saving here. By having better pre-qualified leads coming to your site, it saves the call center or whomever reads submission forms time. If the call center charges per minute, every call – whether it’s profitable or not, costs your business money. However, if more incoming calls were qualified, the more profit you could get out of those calls.

In addition, setting the expectation of what your site contains before the person clicks, will help ensure that customers never have a jaded customer experience. As structured snippets give you more room to discuss your business’ offering, it could prevent shoppers from leaving a poor/mediocre review because your site doesn’t have what they’re looking for.

For example, when conducting a quick search on reseller.com ratings for “limited selection,” “small selection,” and “didn’t have,” we found time and time again that customers left mediocre reviews because the store did not carry the products that they had expected.

updated_review_ss


By using structured snippets, www.reseller.com could have set better expectations up front about what they do, and do not, carry, to avoid these negative ratings.

Learn & test for organic SEO

From Google’s past PPC tests, we predict that Google will measure the success of the new category PPC snippets, before rolling out additional rich snippets to organic SEO category pages. Currently, as the example shows below, Google indicates only the following for organic product specific pages:

  • Ratings by star
  • Number of people who rated
  • Price
  • In-Stock
  • Number of stores nearby

rollout_for_organic_

Before I click on the product in the SERPs, I already know if it’s in stock, within my price range, how many people loved or hated it, and if a store is located nearby.

In organic results, Google also has sitelinks, although these don’t show up for everyone and don’t include all styles:

 

updated_moto._

Right now, these sitelinks indicate some categories, but do not touch upon all of business’ product offerings. It would be great to see a Style snippet in the SERPs before I click, indicating that RevZilla offers Motorcycle Touring, Half, Hi-viz neon, or race helmets as well as the categories pulled in through sitelinks.

In the future, as Google aims to improve user experience, it seems very likely that Google will roll out a style snippet for organic results. If it does, you’ll already have PPC data to work with to know which Types or Styles convert the best for users interested in your products.

Increase your paid search real estate

While there are pros for both PPC and SEO with the new structured snippets, there is one aspect that makes organic SEO practitioners not so happy. With this additional line of structured snippets, paid search gains a new way to obtain more real estate in the SERPs, while simultaneously pushing organic results farther down the page.

Contact us Today if you want to get your Paid Search up to date in 2016.  Fill out the form on this page or give us a call!

Make 2016 The Year of Marketing Intelligence.
Understand what your marketing dollars are producing for you, identify waste & optimize your marketing efforts!

Here John Bracamontes discusses what Acumen Studio does and how we can help you generate greater visibility online, generate new customers and more revenue.

Digital Marketing
Digital Strategy
Content Marketing
Content Strategy
SEO / Search Engine Optimization / Organic Search
PPC / Pay Per Click / Paid Search
Social Media
Email Marketing
Analytics, Analysis and Inisghts

We at Acumen Studio want to wish you a Happy New Year!

2016 is going to be a big year.
We cannot express how grateful we are to our present and past clients.
And are looking forward to working with new businesses in the future.

Whether you are working for a company now, building your own business or growing your existing business Go Big this new year and beat your goals!

No “Resolutions”, only Actions.

From your St. Louis Digital Marketing Partner – Acumen Studio

The Marketers Guide to Instagram Ads

Instagram has been growing in popularity for years, but its potential as a powerful revenue driver for digital advertisers has only just begun.

Since Instagram first opened its doors to advertisers by unlocking programmatic access to its ad solutions, marketers have been eager to master the visually based platform. Why? With an audience of 400 million monthly active users that has doubled in size since 2014, Instagram is one of the world’s largest mobile advertising platforms, second only to its parent company, Facebook.

What’s in this Article

  • Demographics: Who’s on Instagram
  • The direct response advertising opportunity
  • Ad types and specifications
  • Creative best practices
  • Keep it fresh: Creative iteration

Download the PDF here: http://acumenstudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/The-Marketers-Guide-to-Instagram-Ads-Acumen-Studio.pdf

How Can I Tell if My Marketing is Working

Yeah, we know.
When it comes to marketing this is one of the most commonly asked questions by businesses.
And it is one of the most avoided questions by agencies and marketers.

Why?
Because it isn’t easy for most people to figure out what works, what doesn’t and why.

Many of the large fortune 1000 companies and high tech businesses have sophisticated media mix models and attribution models they apply to figure out how all of their marketing efforts affected sales, but for the smaller organizations this type of data analysis and insight development is not affordable and hard to get to.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

There are so many tools available for measurement, analysis, attribution, prediction and recommendation that anyone can have a level of marketing intelligene that rivals any of the BIG organizations.
Tools like Google Analytics, Alteryx, Tableau and statistcal applications like “R” can be used an applied to generate massive insights into marketing performance and what to do next.

We have developed a very streamlined way to get to this data and these insights that makes being Smarter about marketing and understanding what resulted from those efforts really easy.

If you are interested in learning more please contact us through our form on the site or give us a call directly!

On April 21, 2015 Google will be rolling out their mobile update.
What this means for you, your business & your website is:
If your website is not mobile friendly it will suffer in the mobile search results on Google.

  • Google will assess your websites mobile friendliness on a page by page basis
  • Your site will need to either be:
    • Responsive – adjusting to the size of the browser window / viewport efficiently
    • Mobile Site or Pages – having specific pages only for mobile (m.domain.com)
    • Dynamically Serving – serves the correct code once the device type is identified
  • Google will significantly weigh image load time
  • You should not be using small text or flash

You can find out if your site is Mobile Friendly by using this tool provided by Google: Google Mobile Friendly Test

Check out the infographic below that visually explains what you will need to do to win in the mobile search results.

Google Mobile Update April 21 2015

Recent findings show that the use of Display Ads in Digital Marketing for Insurance Companies is nine times more effective at generating awareness than television, print or radio.

Display Ads for Insurance Companies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The reason for this is that many insurance companies are under utilizing display as a channel to generate awareness and direct conversion. This means a less saturated marketing landscape.  (*check out these display ads from Geico)
Another large reason that Display Advertising is so effective for insurance companies can be attributed to the ability to micro target and personalize.

These more relevant and personalized approaches for display ads increase their visibility as well as drive action from those who are viewing successfully placed creative and messaging.

Display Ad Success for Insurance Companies

  • Personalization
  • Segmentation
  • Placement
  • Attribution
  • and Measurement

To learn more about how we can drive greater awareness and new business for your insurance company, please call, email or fill out our online form.

The fundamentals and core attributes of marketing apply to Certified Public Accountants just as they do any other industry, but with accounting firms, both large and small there are tactics that can generate massive success.

Be Personal
One of those tactics is showing genuine personal attention to your clients. Sounds simple enough, but personal can be defined differently by most so we want to clarify what some of those effective personal touches are.

Many CPA firms will send out direct mail to their clients that uses their name on the piece, that is great, but not the personal we’re talking about. Try sending out mail with handwritten notes that mention family or events. You can also make sure to send out anniversary cards, holiday cards, birthday cards with a dollar inside (or five) all with handwritten notes.

cpa marketing

 

The Certified Public Accountant needs to be marketing themselves 100% of the time. Something that can be overlooked is the expectation of a client that they are important (which they are) and the CPA needs to make them feel that way. Being enthusiastic when meeting with clients or on the phone, making eye contact and looking genuinely happy to see your client is critical to creating that personal relationship which can ensure that they are a customer for life.

Digital Marketing & Traditional Marketing
This type of personal attention can be showcased in marketing collateral, events and on digital channels. Use written and video testimonials, hold and highlight customer appreciation events such as galas, picnics or sports outings or hold contests that keep your clients engaged. All of these things can easily be communicated in newsletters, social networks, display ads, brochures, direct mail, television, radio, SEO, PPC and more.

If you want to learn more about CPA (certified public accountant)  Marketing contact us using the form to the right or giving us a call.

Learn more about how we can help you with Digital Marketing specifically for Certified Public Accountants.