November has been full of exciting and potentially industry changing news across a number of digital platforms. From mega LinkedIn updates to new metrics in Google Ads, we’ve picked out some of our favourites.
Excess Social Media Use?
In August, Facebook and Instagram announced that they would be introducing activity trackers into the sites that track how much time is spent on the app by a user. It’s only taken Instagram three months to release this update, under the name ‘Your Activity’. The tool includes a time limit which you can set to ensure you don’t spend excessive time on the platform and an option to temporarily mute push notifications. Facebook is yet to release an activity tracker on their own platform, but we believe this will come soon.
Tech companies are looking into how to help users manage their time as more studies are released suggesting that online activity is associated with negative effects on wellbeing. We’re yet to see how committed social media sites are at deterring excessive use of their platforms, but this is a positive step forward.
A new LinkedIn
We could dedicate a whole blog to all of the recent LinkedIn updates, in fact we dedicated two. Take a look for more detail on the changes to LinkedIn Pages and Campaign Manager. In brief, in the space of a couple of months, LinkedIn have revamped a huge portion of their platform. They have transformed their paid advertising segment along with giving ‘Company Pages’ a facelift and renaming them LinkedIn Pages.
In addition, there are a couple of updates which to us, stand out as being out of place. One of these is the introduction of a QR code reader to easily follow other users, like Instagram and Snapchat. The other update is adding LinkedIn stories, which have been successfully implemented in Instagram and Snapchat. It’s understandable that a platform will try and get mileage out of proven successful functionalities, however when their primary function doesn’t quite line up with their own platform’s USP, it’s hard to understand the true value.
We’ve only scratched the surface of some of the new updates, and it will be interesting to see how this changes the platform, and we actually predict quite a big 2019 for LinkedIn.
Google Ads update their metrics
After some confusion around the meaning behind the metric ‘average position’, Google have reviewed their ad analytics and implemented four new metrics to the mix. The average position was often confused with meaning the position on the page, rather than position in relation to other adverts – so this has now been clarified with a separate metric ‘Impr. Absolute Top %’. This new metric shows you the percentage of your adverts which have been shown as the very first advert at the top of the SERP.
The other metrics include:
- Impr (Absolute Top) % – the percent that your advert has been shown above the organic results
- Search (Absolute Top) IS – the impressions you have received in the absolute top location divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location
- Search (Top) IS – the impressions you have received in the top location, compared to the average estimated number of impressions.
You can find more information about these metrics and what they mean in the Google blog.
This week is a big week for changes in the LinkedIn world – alongside their Company Pages enhancements, they have up-ended their advertising platform to become more objective driven. Not a bad idea, forcing advertisers to think about the reasoning behind their campaigns before the format of them.
Yesterday morning, if you clicked on ‘create campaign’ it would take you to a screen asking you to choose your format – did you want sponsored content or a text ad? Now, when you create a campaign you are taken to a different choice, to select your objective.
So, where to start?
In our opinion, it’s now clearer and easier to add your campaigns to groups – something that was easily missed before with all campaigns cluttering in a default folder. This is the first thing that our eyes were drawn to when taken to this new start-up page.
Once you have the campaign name, you chose the objective – these are the same choices as before but are now up proud at the front. Every campaign has a reason, and that should drive the content and the analysis. Whether it be driving visitors to your website, downloading an e-book or driving recruitment.
Targeting your advert
After selecting the objective, you are taken to the similar set up as before where you can select your audience and budget.
With the new ‘global search’, you can search for the criteria you are aiming for, or you can use the ‘drill down feature’ which categorises audience targeting factors into 5 key groups such as company, demographics or seniority.
Again, you can then save this as a template to re-use in the future.
The panel down the right-hand side of the screen is now more useful, providing further details about the reach and cost of your campaign, potential results and cost per click. This makes it easier to understand how your campaign should perform as you are setting the parameters.
New ad formats
We now have eight ad campaign formats to choose from, including the recognised in-stream adverts with one or two images, text ads and video adverts. InMail campaigns are still there, however they have now been called Message adverts and are easier to preview whilst compiling.
In late October, LinkedIn introduced Dynamic Adverts, which pull profile information through to the ad campaign making them stand out and engage viewers – these have now been split into three types of campaign – spotlight, jobs and follower adverts.
Spotlight adverts enable you to showcase a specific offer or product in a clear and clean design, using one headline (limited to 50 characters) and a background image.
It marks just one of the updates that LinkedIn has announced in recent months, and they seem to be rolling out thick and fast. Bing recently announced their integration with LinkedIn, enabling advertisers to target people through their LinkedIn profiles – what else is around the corner? It’s a growing platform, and certainly one you need to be active on for marketing in 2019.
This week, you may have spotted a few differences whilst you are browsing on your LinkedIn company page. LinkedIn have been reviewing the way that company pages work to streamline management for Page Admins, increase employee engagement and grow audiences.
Sharing Content on the go
Creating and sharing content from your LinkedIn page just got much, much easier. The first change you may spot is ‘Suggested content’ which appears at the top of your page – using this functionality you can filter the industry and topic that you are interested in and it will provide you with a list of recent articles from your interest area. From that list you can directly share the content from your page. This is great for ensuring you aren’t just talking about yourself and are instead showing that you are keeping up to date with the latest trends.
Page Admins can now access their company pages through their LinkedIn mobile app, posting new content and even commenting and sharing as your company. This is brilliant news for all Page Admins who were so used to having to defect to desktop to be able to share an update.
Increasing Employee Engagement
This new option will enable company Page Admins to share new content with employees to help build engagement; it forms part of a new suite of tools to help increase employee sharing on LinkedIn.
Page Admins will also now be able to discover and reshare content posted by employees, or by anyone mentioning the company in the post. Again, this means that company pages can finally be shown to have a personality, having real conversations and commenting as a brand rather than sticking to updates.
Optimised calls to action
Another big change for LinkedIn is how they are enhancing their calls to action. These can be spotted at the top of company pages in the form of a button driving people either to contact, visit a website or view jobs. You can also see more eye-catching calls to action on native ads.
Alongside the enhanced calls to action, we now have a new tagline functionality below our industry information on the Company Page, allowing 200 characters of information about the company to be added. This can be used to pull out the key messages that you want to showcase using the call to action to compliment it.
It’s a positive change, and one we are welcoming with open arms – LinkedIn is finally becoming more user-friendly for Page Admins who aren’t sat at a desk. Any opportunity to give your brand more personality is not a bad thing! LinkedIn has also recently updated their ad platform to become more objective focused – learn more about those changes too.
Tuesday 22 January 2019
Registration will open in January
Paid search, or Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns are important in helping your company appear on Google for people who have searched for terms (or keywords) that are relevant for your industry. It’s a fantastic opportunity to gain an advantage over competitors.
The PPC Journey
So, how does Pay Per Click advertising actually work? It can be easily summarised by these seven steps:
- The customer searches for their desired product/service using a ‘search-term’, e.g. ‘Laptop case’
- A keyword within your Ad Account matches the customers search term. E.g. ‘Laptop bag’
- The advert is then triggered to show for the customer. E.g. Buy Laptop Bags | Browse all Laptop Bags | buylaptopbags.co.uk
- The customer may then click on the advert.
- You are charged for that click by the search engine.
- The customer lands on your website.
- The customer may then convert.
In order to run a good PPC campaign you need to ensure your keywords are relevant to your products/services. There are a number of ways for you to do this, including:
- Looking at the wording you use on your website
- Having a look at your competitor’s websites for the terms they use
- Asking your friends and family what they would search for
After you’ve gathered a list of keywords, you can use a research tool (such as Keyword Planner) to see how often people are searching for your chosen keywords, and to help you discover related ones. Adding some of the most relevant keywords to your own website can help improve the quality score of your ads but remember to make them sound natural and in context to the page and copy as Google will pick up “keyword stuffing”.
Keyword Match Types
In terms of setting up your keywords in your PPC campaign there are numerous different types of searches you can perform. These are:
- Broad match: Your ad may show to any generally related search, including synonyms. For example, if you bid with broad match on “laptop case,” your ad could show when someone searches for “computer bags.”
- +broad +match +modifier: So long as all words are in the search, your ads will show regardless of order or additional words.
- [exact match]: Your ad will only show if the search term is exactly the same as your keyword.
- “phrase match”: Similar to exact match, however words can be added before and after the keywords.
Plurals and common spelling mistakes are also taken into account meaning you don’t need to have variations of the same words.
Whichever keyword match type you decide to go for will determine the overall reach of your campaign, however with a broader match type you may end up paying for a lot of clicks which aren’t relevant to your business.
The Quality Score
With so many potential customers using search, you’ll often be competing with other companies for the best spots. Your position is determined by how much you are willing to bid and the quality of your ad campaign. The quality score is how Google rates the quality and relevance of your keywords and PPC ads and the experience of your websites landing page.
This means that even if your budget isn’t as large as some of your competitors, if you create a high-quality ad you can appear higher on search results.
Your quality score will also affect your Cost Per Click (CPC), as a high score can actually result in a discounted cost, but a low score can result in an increase.
It’s been reported that Google changes its search algorithm 500 to 600 times a year. While this may seem like a lot, most of these updates are small and don’t have too much of an impact. However, every so often Google releases a big update which will change how the search engine operates. For example, in 2016 Google removed the side adverts which appeared on the right-hand side of the page to focus on the ads at the top and bottom of the search results.
One of the most important aspects of creating PPC campaigns is to monitor your ads regularly to make sure they are running as efficiently as possible, identify if a certain ad is performing better than others and then try and figure out why this could be happening. Make sure your keywords are capturing the right traffic and don’t forget to negative those that aren’t relevant, also make sure your landing pages are answering the questions your audience is asking.
When done right PPC ads can be a great way to reach new potential customers without using a huge budget. It might take you a little while to really maximise your campaigns, but this shouldn’t put you off!
We recently covered the basics of Googles Ads at one of our Technical Tuesday events at the Wrapped head office, if you want to hear about future events sign up to our newsletter. Learn more about our PPC service.