Daily Search Forum Recap: April 29, 2016

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Note: This post was scheduled to be published today and was written on April 28th.


Source: SEroundTable

Maximizing your mobile impact

Whenever people talk about mobile search, one of the first things that always comes to mind is location, location, location. Since mobile phones are… well, mobile, these devices open up opportunities to target consumers who may otherwise have been hard to reach.

Proximity

According to a Consumer Barometer Survey, 82 percent of smartphone users utilize search engines to look for a local business. This is evidenced by the growing number of searches containing “near me,” as shown in the graph below. According to Google’s internal data, 88 percent of “near me” searches happen on a mobile phone.

Because of this, there’s an opportunity to leverage mobile phones to bring people in-store. Consider setting up campaigns with a hyper-targeted radius around brick-and-mortar locations and bidding up the mobile modifiers.

You can also use a lot of different lists to be more specific about exactly who you might want to bid on (e.g., email subscribers, previous purchasers) or just to bid higher on those people, even if still bidding on a broader group. (For more tips on bringing customers in store, check out this article.)

Moreover, mobile phones offer a unique opportunity to engage consumers in-store. According to a different study, “Consumers in the Micro-Moment,” by Google and Ipsos, once in store, 82 percent of smartphone users consult their phones while deciding what to buy. Keep that in mind as you build mobile content — ensure that the content is helpful and that in-store offers are present, in addition to online offers.

Micro-conversions

I am a big proponent of micro-conversions — and not just on mobile. The ultimate goal (the primary conversion point) should always be the priority, but if you can’t get that, get something. It is a common misconception that any on-page actions outside of the primary goal will detract from the overall conversion rate.

The primary conversion point should still be prioritized within the layout with a noticeable call to action. If a consumer isn’t ready to purchase, though, or if they would prefer not to complete the process on a phone, then it is good to have secondary give-and-take opportunities.

These opportunities should offer the consumer a chance to learn more about the product and be valuable enough to build interest in the advertiser’s brand while still giving the advertiser an opportunity to get something in return, such as an email address (even if without additional contact information).

If nothing else, getting the consumer into a remarketing list based upon the action that they took (like watching a video or signing up for an email newsletter) is better than nothing at all.

Facilitate conversions

This piece can’t be emphasized enough: Often, converting on a mobile phone is cumbersome. It is highly likely that dev work put toward facilitating mobile conversions will have a positive ROI — if the traffic is there.

One of the best tips that I’ve heard regarding landing page optimization is to watch one of the least savvy people you know try to convert. This is especially good advice on mobile, where people are notoriously less patient. Be mindful of the number of pages that need to load, where the calls to action are and how easy it is to use buttons and navigation without accidentally clicking nearby links or buttons.

Take special care with mobile forms. Optimizing mobile forms goes well beyond the placement on the page and the number of fields in use. Optimization also includes the logistics of filling out the form, such as which keypad (numbers vs. letters) appears for different fields and ensuring that the fields are easily visible when typing.

There is hardly anything more frustrating than attempting to fill out a form on a mobile phone while the keyboard covers the field, making it hard (or impossible) to see what you are typing. As part of a greater mobile guide, Google put together some great tips for making forms easier to use on mobile phones.

Understanding customer preferences

As you work to facilitate conversions, it is important to learn which conversions customers seem to prefer. Monitor how consumers use your site. Which actions are they performing most frequently? Do your primary conversion points have suffering conversion rates? If so, is this a typical part of the consideration phase, or is it a result of a misalignment between customer preferences and available options?

To be fair, business implications make it impossible to offer certain conversion types — or handle them well. If your company isn’t able to handle high call volumes, then it wouldn’t be a smart move to try to push people to the phone.

However, if your consumers seem to be much more willing to call instead of filling out the form, then it might be worthwhile to identify opportunities for your company to become better equipped at handling calls, potentially by partnering with an external resource or by setting up an IVR (interactive voice response system).

Sometimes, we get a little hung up on pushing customers down the path that is most convenient for the business without considering the potential ROI improvement that could come with making an internal shift to better align with customer preferences and expectations.

Tracking mobile consumers

According to a Google/IAB study titled Our Mobile Planet, 40 percent of consumers who do research on a smartphone will later go on to make a purchase on a desktop. Not only does this place an emphasis on showing up — being there to grab consumers as they enter the funnel — it also underscores the importance of tracking consumer engagements that happen elsewhere.

For illustration, Google shared the graph below, which comes from their own internal data (from 2015), which highlights the increase in conversions when cross-device attribution is in place.

Tracking indicators such as store locates, getting directions and reviewing business hours can provide some context around intent. Coupon downloads and redemptions can also be a great way to connect online and offline sales.

Tracking in-store visits through software and beacons is also a valuable option for retailers that drive a significant volume of traffic through stores. The topic of beacons warrants much more coverage than can be provided in this article, and in fact, there was a great SMX session about beacons. If you didn’t get a chance to attend, you can check out the recap here.

Last, but certainly not least, one of the best methods of tracking site visitors (mobile or not) is to get them into your CRM. As I mentioned in previous sections, if you can help to facilitate conversions in a manner that makes engagement convenient for the consumer, that’s the ideal situation.

Realistically, that might not always result in an immediate sale, but if you can capture information that will allow you to track that person via email address or another unique identifier, you can get a better understanding for how different touch points impact the bottom line.

The bottom line is that mobile advertisers need to be able to connect the dots and think outside the box as it applies to mobile’s role in the purchase path. Leaning too heavily on immediate sales isn’t always the best means of measurement.

Don’t forget the apps

Mobile provides a unique opportunity to connect with customers on a deeper level: through apps! There are many, many unique ways to leverage apps to help build brand loyalty and engage existing loyalists, such as providing useful content, promoting offers, storing logins, facilitating e-commerce and allowing consumers to access purchase history, wish lists and favorite items.

If your company has an app, take advantage of app-install ads and app extensions to get it in front of your customers. Moreover, understanding the value of your app as it pertains to customer loyalty and lifetime value will help you to establish and increase ROAS based upon installs.

The post Maximizing your mobile impact appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source: SEland

Callout and Review extensions now available in Bing Ads

bing callout and review extensions

Bing Ads rolled out callout and review extensions last week. The new ad extensions are available in all Bing Ads markets, with the exceptions of Hong Kong and Taiwan. The ad shown above features both of these new extensions.

Callout extensions

Advertisers can add up to 20 callouts in their campaigns and ad groups and must have a minimum of two callout extensions for them to display.

One thing to note: Bing says the format in which callouts show can vary. In the ad above, there are actually two lines of callout extensions showing — one with dot separators (starts with “Free Cancellation”) and one with dash separators (starts with “The 20 best hotels in Chicago, IL”).

Review extensions

Reviews for review extensions must come from “reliable, well-established and trusted sources.” The review must appear on the review landing page — and advertisers are not charged for clicks on those links. The reviews can be paraphrased, but they must accurately represent the original review.

The ad above — with two lines of callouts and extended sitelinks — has a review extension enabled with a review from the World Travel Awards.

You can set up both of these from the ad extensions tab in the Bing Ads UI.

The post Callout and Review extensions now available in Bing Ads appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source: SEland

Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Search Console, Community Power & AdWords Extended Ads

Truth is, I recorded this video yesterday because I am completely offline today. First up, Google added an unsubscribe feature to the Google Search Console. Google said having an active and vibrate community can help with rankings. Google said keep redirects for as long as you can but after they index the redirect, it is safe to remove it. Google brought back in-depth articles after it being broken for weeks. Google is testing expanded text ads in AdWords. Google Merchant Center added Feed Rules to manage your data feeds. Google AdWords is also testing purple ad labels, in addition to green labels. Google AdSense now has Page-Level Ads for anchor and vignette ads. Google is asking desktop users for their home and work addresses. If you have inside street view images, it isnât easy to remove them. Google is testing different shades of blue for their links in the search results. That was this past week in search at the Search Engine Roundtable.

Make sure to subscribe to our video feed or subscribe directly on iTunes to be notified of these updates and download the video in the background. Here is the YouTube version of the feed:

For the original iTunes version, click here.

Search Topics of Discussion:

Please do subscribe via iTunes or on your favorite RSS reader. Don’t forget to comment below with the right answer and good luck!

Note: This post was scheduled to be published today and was written on April 28th.


Source: SEroundTable

Google Fixed Muffled Voice On iOS Google Search App

Google released an update for the iOS search app that resolves the issue with a muffled and low-volume voice prompt. Version 14.1 of the app says “fixed a bug causing low audio volume for some users.”

There were several complaints about this in the Google Web Search Help forums over the past couple weeks.

One user described it as a “muffled” sound coming out of the app, making it hard to understand the voice response from the app.

AJ from Google responded Thursday saying:

Thanks everyone for your reports here! Sharing the good news that we’ve rolled out a fix in a dot release (14.1), which you should start seeing it in the App Store shortly. If you don’t have auto-update on, please manually update your Google app version for the fix.

If you continue to experience any issues with low volume on the iOS Google app after updating to 14.1, please report back on this thread for us to investigate. Thanks!

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

Note: This post was scheduled to be published today and was written on April 28th.


Source: SEroundTable

Now Control Google Maps With Your Keyboard

Google announced on Google+ that you can now control and navigate around Google Maps with your keyboard. You can pan and zoom as well as find and learn more about specific places like neighborhoods, transit stations and shops and restaurants.

Here’s how it works:

  • On your keyboard, press Tab to focus the map. An area of the map will be highlighted with a square.
  • Below the square, there will be a numbered list of places in that area.
  • To move around the map, use the arrow keys. To move the map by one square, hold down Shift while using the arrow keys.
  • To zoom in or out of the map, press + or –
  • To learn more about a place, press the number associated with the place. 

click for full size

Forum discussion at Google+.

Note: This post was scheduled to be published today and was written on April 28th.


Source: SEroundTable

WebmasterRadio.fm Acquired By Cranberry & Rebrands As Cranberry.fm

Cranberry.fm

News this week broke that Cranberry, a content marketing, and amplification platform founded by PRWebâs founder David McInnis, has acquired WebmasterRadio.FM. With that, WebmasterRadio.FM is now known as Cranberry.fm.

WebmasterRadio.FM was founded by a husband and wife team, Brandy and Daron Babin. They have been in the SEO industry from the early early days and I’ve known them for over a dozen years now. They have thrown some amazing parties at the search conferences over the years.

One fact, my weekly SEO video recap started as the Search Pulse back in 2006. It was a ton of fun but I decided at one point just to do it as a podcast myself for time management purposes.

In any event, it is nice to see Brandy and Daron Babin at this point and to work with a friend going forward. Congrats!

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Note: This post was scheduled to be published today and was written on April 28th.


Source: SEroundTable

Daily Search Forum Recap: April 28, 2016

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Forum Threads:


Source: SEroundTable

How to help your sales team close more paid search leads

team-boss-stress-ss-1920

For many companies, the goal of their paid search campaigns is to generate leads. As marketers, we work hard to get qualified leads to our sales team for the lowest cost possible.

But the problem is, a successful paid search campaign doesn’t just produce cheap leads — it produces economical sales.

The trouble with sales

Recently, I was approached by a client who had decided that paid search simply didn’t work for their business. They had made enough money off of their paid search leads to cover their ad spend, but they weren’t really making any profit.

To be honest, this conclusion came as a surprise.

We had worked in this industry before and knew we were killing it for them. Their paid search campaigns were — by every metric we had available — performing admirably well. In fact, we were driving hundreds of high-intent leads to their sales team.

Based on our previous experience in this industry, we knew that approximately ten percent of those leads should have been turning into sales.

However, this client was only closing one percent of their leads.

shocked-look

No wonder paid search wasn’t making sense for their business!

Baffled, I started asking questions. Were the leads a bad fit for their business? Were we bidding on the wrong keywords? Was there something wrong with our advertising approach?

The answer was both frank and insightful:

“Jake, the problem isn’t the leads. The leads are great. My sales team just doesn’t know how to close these leads.”

It was a problem I’d seen many times before. Without the right sales processes in place, even the best paid search marketing will never produce a profit.

Why sales teams struggle (and how to fix it)

Paid search is a great way to get high-intent, highly qualified leads in the door. But paid search leads are different from many other kinds of leads.

What makes paid search leads different?

As marketers, we understand the psychology of paid search.

Paid search leads start by searching for something specific online. As part of that search, they find an ad and think, “This looks like what I want.” They click the ad, check out the landing page and decide, “Yes, I’m interested.” From there, they fill out a form or call in for more information.

Simple, right?

As straightforward as this process is, it’s important to note that these leads are actively looking for solutions. They reached out because they have a problem they want to solve now.

i-want-it-now

This is very different from other lead generation approaches like cold calling, TV advertisements, or even social media ads. In each of these cases, the lead is reacting to your content.

In paid search advertising, your leads are initiating contact with your content. In other words, they are seeking you out. That makes them incredibly qualified leads… but it also means you probably aren’t the only solution they are considering.

How to handle paid search leads

With the psychology of paid search advertising in mind, here are five things your sales team needs to know about their paid search leads.

1. Response times matter

Remember, paid search leads are actively searching. That means they are probably looking at your competitors, too.

According to InsideSales.com, 50 percent of buyers choose the vendor that responds first. Since paid search leads are looking for and at your competitors, you are in a race against the clock to be the first to respond.

Plus, new leads are 100x more likely to respond if contacted within five minutes (vs. after 30 minutes), so every passing second increases the chance that your lead will find a more interesting competitor or get distracted by another page.

They are on the internet, after all.

Wherever possible, your sales team should be responding to paid search leads in less than five minutes. Inbound calls from prospects should never go to voicemail or wait on hold for a prolonged period. Your hot paid search leads are simply too expensive to waste.

2. Keep calling

Typically, if you want a 90-percent contact rate, your sales team needs to shoot for a minimum of eight to 12 contact attempts over a ten- to 14-day period. Just to contact 50 percent of your leads, your sales reps will need to average at least six contact attempts.

The problem is, most sales reps attempt to contact leads 1.3 to 2.1 times before giving up. As a result, only about one one in every four internet leads are actually contacted.

Paid search leads typically cost tens, hundreds or thousands of dollars apiece — can your company afford to pay four times that amount per contacted lead?

Plus, these lead are expensive because they are so hot. That means they may be your easiest-to-close leads.

Therefore, it’s in your sales team’s (and your company’s) best interest to make at least eight to 12 contact attempts before giving up.

3. Stop cherry-picking leads

Because paid search provides a steady stream of leads, sales reps sometimes start cherry-picking leads. After all, there are always more leads, right?

The problem is, those wasted leads are expensive.

Often, I’ve seen ambitious sales people take two to three times as many leads as their teammates and simply focus on the leads that are easiest to close.

As a result, they make a lot of sales, but their sale-to-lead ratio is so low that the company actually ends up paying more for wasted leads than they make on the rep’s closed sales.

To address or avoid this problem, it’s a good idea to keep your sales team hungry. If your sales team isn’t asking for more leads, they probably have too many… which leads to cherry-picking.

4. Messaging alignment

Most paid search leads convert because they think your company can solve a very specific problem for them. When your sales team contacts them, they are expecting to have that problem addressed.

If sales tries instead to sell them something different from what your marketing promised, they’ll feel betrayed and lose interest.

On the other hand, if the sales message matches the marketing message, that will confirm to the lead that reaching out was the right move.

So, to make sure that your sales team is meeting the expectations of your paid search leads, the sales team needs to be dialed into the messaging of your paid search ads.

Communicating your paid search strategy to your sales team will take some extra work on your part, but it will make your sales team more effective… which makes your paid search campaigns more profitable.

Plus, the more you communicate with your sales team, the easier it will be to target your messaging to your ideal audience. Your sales team knows which kinds of leads are the best fit for your business, so they can give you the information you need to improve your marketing.

Personally, I’ve seen this sort of marketing-sales crosstalk produce millions in additional revenue from paid search. So, if you aren’t talking to your sales team on a regular basis, your campaigns are probably underperforming.

5. Get them off the market!

Finally, paid search leads are often in a “ready-to-buy” mode. As a result, if you don’t take them off the market, someone else will.

This is particularly important for companies with more expensive products or services. If you aren’t aggressively pursuing your paid search leads, they will often look at your competition and decide to try out a lower-cost option instead, even if that isn’t the best solution for them.

The more quickly you can get to your paid search leads and convince them that they’ve found the right solution, the sooner you will get them off of the market and away from the competition.

Conclusion

Without a sales team that understands how to handle paid search leads, most companies struggle to turn conversions into sales. As a result, they often find it hard to make money off of paid search.

As digital marketers, it’s important to understand why sales teams may have a hard time closing paid search leads and equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to turn those expensive leads into profitable sales.

Overall, creating this sort of marketing-sales alignment will produce fantastic results and allow your company to finally capitalize on the potential of your paid search campaigns.

The post How to help your sales team close more paid search leads appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source: SEland