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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Maps Advertising is Here & Why You Shouldn’t Be Surprised

Source: SocialSEO
maps
Google has been slow to roll out its changes to Google Maps and AdWords. And this is with Google reason. Since Maps launched in 2005, they have struggled to make a monetizable maps listing. The concern was, if you give the advertisers too much control, the maps listings would become irrelevant to the searchers.
In 2008, Google took the first step to creating maps advertising with the launch of “Google My Business”. And again in 2011 with the re-branding of “Google My Business” as “Google Plus”. Google had successfully incentivized millions of business owners to sign up for a free listing with “Google My Business”. This information was then used to make relevant maps listings and social media profiles.
Now Google has the largest business directory in the world, but the question remained; how do they monetize this newly created audience without watering down the relevancy of the maps and directions search results? The answer is to take the advertising placement out of the hands of marketers and into the control of Google. By using a tried and true metric, quality score; Google has been able to make a grand compromise.
Advertisers can choose to participate in maps listings, but cannot choose when and where the advertisements display. Eliminating the possibility of off the charts directions or irrelevant search results. The Maps Advertisements will display, if the advertisements quality score is high and the location is relevant to the searcher's location.
Additionally, this is a great way for Google to improve paid search as a whole. As Pay Per Click managers rush to join the Map Advertising bandwagon, the less-than-quality advertisers will find their quality score to be a road block. Forcing them to reevaluate the campaign and to improve its relevancy.
For PPC Managers that feel this would be too much of a burden, consider this. If you begin maps advertising, you and your clients can now track “Free Clicks”. These clicks have technically always been free, but we now have the ability to collect data on how often people engage with maps features like:
  • Saved Locations
  • Shared Locations
  • Navigation Clicks
(some not free, but trackable clicks include; phone clicks, location detail clicks, and sitelink clicks)
maps 2
With this change, a lot of people are concerned that their free listings will go away. Fortunately, that isn’t the case; with maps advertising you are paying for additional space and ad-content within your existing listing. This is not paying for higher (or irrelevant) placements within the maps search results.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can begin Maps advertising, please reach out to our pay per click team; here at SocialSEO.

Written By: Josh Martin
Source: SocialSEO

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Great & Free Online HTML Editor

I found a great online HTML editor called QuackIt. I practically never endorse anything; other than Google Adwords. In this case, I have not be incentivised or paid to do so.

This editor is ideal for tweaking tables, adding videos, and images to already existing sites with an established CSS and CMS. To operate the editor you need basic Microsoft Word Skills, but you can also edit the source HTML directly. Meaning you can copy and paste into and out of this editor with ease.

I have a client who needs to change a landing page on their site weekly, but can not afford a developer. With a brief training session, I was able to teach them to make the code and export it to their site. this saved time and money, but also keeps "too many cooks from getting into the kitchen".

Additionally QuackIt has many editors and a wealth of tutorials. Enjoy!


HTML Editor: 
http://www.quackit.com/html/online-html-editor/

Friday, May 29, 2015

Pre Roll Ads Are More Effective - Video Blog


A new study conducted by AOL shows that video pre roll ads are more effective on short form videos than on longer video content. The study, which was released as an infographic, shows that viewers are 42% more likely to make a purchase from a brand whose ad they viewed before watching short form video content. Brand recall and affinity also go up for video pre roll ads in front of short form content when compared to long form content. An article published at VentureBeat explains that, “The findings contradict the traditional logic that the standard 30-second TV commercial is the most effective in swaying an audience.”

The study also shows that “viewers are adopting traditional avoidance behaviors during ads within long-form videos.” Instead of viewing the ads on long form content, they’re using their phones, opening other websites or even walking away – in short, the same behaviors they’d use when watching television without DVR.
Here are a few more interesting points from the study:
  • Ads in short-form videos are more effective than ads in long-form content. More specifically, short-form video produced a 25 percent higher brand recall and a 42 percent higher purchase intent for the featured product or service.
  • Viewers are adopting traditional avoidance behaviors during ads within long-form videos. Respondents found the ads to be too frequent and interruptive; as a result, they chose to avoid them altogether (by walking away, going to other sites, multitasking with their phone). This is the same “annoyance” behavior that is demonstrated when viewing television without the use of a DVR.
  • Consumers want more targeted and humorous ads in both formats. In fact, 67 percent of respondents would be willing to be answer a question to make their ads more personalized and enjoyable.
  • Consumers understand the exchange of free content for advertising, but they want to make sure their time tradeoff of watching ads also benefits them. They found coupons, contests and links as the most positive forms of engagement.

Click here to view a great infographic or download the PDF

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Digital Video Ad Effectiveness Case Study 2008 - Time Flys?




Here is a little something I found today, what a trip down memory lane. Can you imagine a time where we questioned the usefulness of video pre-roll? Read on if you dare:


Despite the rapid growth of digital video advertising, marketers are still learning how to use the medium most effectively.  The IAB Research Council undertook a study of a video advertising campaign for a major national retailer brand. This research sought to provide insights into which combinations of lengths and placements of digital video advertising are most effective. The IAB commissioned Millward Brown and Dynamic Logic to undertake this research, which serves as a case study on digital video ad effectiveness. The findings of the study include the following:

15 seconds appears to be an optimal length for digital video creative in the pre-roll position. 5-second spots had trouble conveying a message; while 30-second spots risked turning off a viewer waiting to watch something else.

30-second spots do well at conveying a complex or emotionally resonant message, but work best in user-initiated placements (where the user must take an action, like clicking on an ad or rolling over an in-text link, to begin playing the ad) where viewers display more patience for long messages.
Pre-roll, in-text, and in-banner video ad placements can all contribute to achieving the goals of a campaign; however, different placements may perform optimally with different creative lengths.
As a single campaign case study, the findings here do not represent definitive conclusions. However, they do offer useful guidance for the industry, and point in productive directions for further research in the area of digital video creative length and placement.

Download the complete case study by clicking here

Monday, May 25, 2015

History Of Memorial Day - Video Blog





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Memorial Day is a US federal holiday wherein the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered. The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.
Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in some rural areas of the American South, notably in the mountains. In cases involving a family graveyard where remote ancestors as well as those who were deceased more recently are buried, this may take on the character of an extended family reunion to which some people travel hundreds of miles. People gather on the designated day and put flowers on graves and renew contacts with kinfolk and others. There often is a religious service and a "dinner on the ground," the traditional term for a potluck meal in which people used to spread the dishes out on sheets or tablecloths on the grass. It is believed that this practice began before the American Civil War and thus may reflect the real origin of the "memorial day" idea.
Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

History of the holiday

flags-in-memorial-day-2004-photo-012The practice of decorating soldiers' graves with flowers is an ancient custom Soldiers' graves were decorated in the U.S. before and during the American Civil War. A claim was made in 1906 that the first Civil War soldier's grave ever decorated was in Warrenton, Virginia, on June 3, 1861, implying the first Memorial Day occurred there. Though not for Union soldiers, there is authentic documentation that women in Savannah, Georgia, decorated Confederate soldiers' graves in 1862. In 1863, the cemetery dedication at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was a ceremony of commemoration at the graves of dead soldiers. Local historians in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, claim that ladies there decorated soldiers' graves on July 4, 1864. As a result, Boalsburg promotes itself as the birthplace of Memorial Day. Following President Abraham Lincoln's assassination in April 1865, there were a variety of events of commemoration. The sheer number of soldiers of both sides who died in the Civil War, more than 600,000, meant that burial and memorialization took on new cultural significance. Under the leadership of women during the war, an increasingly formal practice of decorating graves had taken shape. In 1865, the federal government began creating national military cemeteries for the Union war dead. The first widely publicized observance of a Memorial Day-type observance after the Civil War was in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 1, 1865. During the war, Union soldiers who were prisoners of war had been held at the Charleston Race Course; at least 257 Union prisoners died there and were hastily buried in unmarked graves. Together with teachers and missionaries, black residents of Charleston organized a May Day ceremony in 1865, which was covered by the New York Tribune and other national papers. The freedmen cleaned up and landscaped the burial ground, building an enclosure and an arch labeled, "Martyrs of the Race Course." Nearly ten thousand people, mostly freedmen, gathered on May 1 to commemorate the war dead. Involved were about 3,000 school children newly enrolled in freedmen's schools, mutual aid societies, Union troops, black ministers, and white northern missionaries. Most brought flowers to lay on the burial field. Today the site is used as Hampton Park. Years later, the celebration would come to be called the "First Decoration Day" in the North. David W. Blight described the day:
"This was the first Memorial Day. African Americans invented Memorial Day in Charleston, South Carolina. What you have there is black Americans recently freed from slavery announcing to the world with their flowers, their feet, and their songs what the war had been about. What they basically were creating was the Independence Day of a Second American Revolution.”
However, Blight stated he "has no evidence" that this event in Charleston inspired the establishment of Memorial Day across the country. On May 26, 1966, President Johnson signed a presidential proclamation naming Waterloo, New York, as the birthplace of Memorial Day. Earlier, the 89th Congress adopted House Concurrent Resolution 587, which officially recognized that the patriotic tradition of observing Memorial Day began one hundred years prior in Waterloo, New York. According to legend, in the summer of 1865 a local druggist Henry Welles, while talking to friends, suggested that it might be good to remember those soldiers who did not make it home from the Civil War. Not much came of it until he mentioned it to General John B. Murray, a Civil War hero, who gathered support from other surviving veterans. On May 5, 1866, they marched to the three local cemeteries and decorated the graves of fallen soldiers. It is believed that Murray, who knew General Logan, told Logan about the observance and that led to Logan issuing Logan's Order in 1868 calling for a national observance

Compiled By: Josh Martin

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

8 Sure Ways to Increase AdWords Click Through Rate (CTR)

There are times you just want to increase your click-through rates. You might need to raise it to help Quality Scores, increase traffic, or gain visibility for a new product.

Often by just raising click-through rates, you might not be raising your conversion rate. You can even decrease your conversion rates with ads. However, we’re going to focus on raising click-through rates regardless of how it affects other metrics.

As always, you should be testing this for yourself to see what helps your overall account’s goals.

Adding An Extension
One of the easiest ways to increase click-through rate that also helps conversion rate is to use ad extensions. Ad extensions will help you take up more real estate on the page and show additional information with your ads. You can add extensions for local, social, products, and there is even a beta contact and subscription extension.

If you have yet not added extensions, do so now.

Add Sitelinks
Sitelinks are a type of extension so this could be grouped with adding an extension except there is one big difference between all the other extensions and sitelinks.

With the other extensions, only one extension will show with an ad. You can have sitelinks show with another extension. This is another no-brainer to add. With sitelinks, you can add additional benefits or navigation into your site directly from the ad copy.

Extended Headlines
The absolute easiest way to increase click-through rates if your ads are shown above the organic results is to end your description line 1 with a punctuation mark. When you do so, the description line 1 is added to the headline and really makes the ads stand out.

Take a look at these three ads:





The first two ads have very long headlines. The third ad does not. All the third ad has to do to have a longer headline is to add a period after ‘Low Fare Guaranteed On All Flights’. That’s it. As soon as that change was made, the ad would have an extended headline.

Consider The Display URL As Marketing Copy
Your display URL does not have to be an actual URL. As long as your root domain in the ad and site are the same, you can consider the rest of the URL as marketing copy. The display URL can be 35 characters long – don’t waste the space.

You can add a product name, feature, benefit, or other aspects to the display URL to make the ad copy more attractive. To learn more about display URLs, please see the article: Everything You Need To Know About AdWords Display URLs.

Seasonal Headlines
There is always some holiday or event on the horizon. In just the United States, there are more than 40 holidays at the national level. When you starting adding regional events such as the Boston Marathon, DC Cherry Blossom Festival, state fairs, parades, and much more; the list of events becomes endless.

When you add or reference events in headlines, your ads look very timely and relevant and can often have positive impacts on click-through rates.

Use Trademarks
Many consumers are brand conscious. When someone searches for a brand, they want to see that brand in the ad copy. You do have to be careful of the legalities around trademarks; however, adding those well-recognized words to the ad can make a large difference to your CTRs.

Remove Price; Ad Discounts
A price in an ad copy reminds the searcher they need to spend money. Often removing the price can help CTRs. It is also useful when you’re not the cheapest ad on the page.

While we don’t like to always spend money, everyone likes a good deal. Instead of putting your price in the ad, switch your offer to a discount. Instead of spending $50, someone is going to save $10. What would you rather do, spend $50 or save $10?

In many countries, people do not get the concept “just because it’s on sale does not mean it’s free.” Discounts often outperform prices in ads.

Give Something Away for Free
Who doesn’t want something for free? Put something in your ad that’s free. A free consultation, free gift, buy one get one free, a free whitepaper. It doesn’t matter – it’s free.

Test For Yourself
While these 8 methods often work – they don’t always.

I recently saw an account where when the word ‘free’ appeared in an ad, their ads had a lower CTR than if they focused on experience or value. Removing all instances of free from the ad copies and switching the value proposition to experience raised both their CTRs and their conversion rates.

The next day, I was working on account in a very similar industry and when the word ‘free’ appeared in the ad, their ads had a much higher CTR and the same conversion rates as the other ad types.

If you need to raise your click-through rates, these ideas can help you gain a solid starting place. However, always test for yourself. Only you can truly know what happens to your account’s profits as you change your ads to bring more visitors to your site

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