Trending February 2024 # 4 Smart Tactics For Advanced Google Ads Audience Targeting # Suggested March 2024 # Top 8 Popular

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Gone are the days of solely relying on keywords to drive your PPC success.

With the relaxed keyword match types, the use of audiences in Google Ads has sophisticated tenfold.

Utilizing audience targeting is no longer an option for campaigns; it should be part of your overall campaign strategy.

1. Smarter Use Of Remarketing Lists For Search Ads (RLSAs)

Example: Target people who spend over your average purchase revenue when searching for competitor brands.

For example, an online grocery retailer could identify shoppers who spend over their average order value each week.

This is a great way of ensuring your budget is only spent on retaining profitable customers.

You can set the event parameters and add any conditions:

2. Combining Social Audiences With RLSAs

With more than 2.9 billion monthly active users, Facebook has no rival when it comes to the enormity of its audience.

While Facebook targeting can be beneficial to reach the masses, another main benefit Facebook offers lies in the potential granularity with which you can target Facebook’s users.

Unlike Google Ads, Facebook has information on what users actually “Like” or follow, and in-depth data from users’ personal profiles.

For example, a recent case study from Facebook showed that the brand Bombas saw a 27-point lift in ad recall for evergreen campaigns when utilizing Custom Audience targeting.

Example: Use Facebook to uncover new potential buyers and then target these people on search to increase the likelihood of them converting.

Facebook is one of the best platforms for expanding your reach and identifying new users who aren’t actively looking for your products or services right now.

You’ll then be able to create an audience list in Google Analytics which consists of traffic from this particular Facebook campaign:

Remember, like any audience list you create, the list must contain at least 1,000 members before being eligible for use on Google search.

Once you’ve populated your audience list with enough traffic from Facebook, create a search campaign on Google Ads which includes only top of the funnel keywords such as informational queries related to the product/service you offer (they need to be top of the funnel because this audience isn’t specifically searching for your product/service).

I strongly recommend this tactic if you feel like you have exhausted current demand on Google search in your industry, as it allows you to effectively create search demand by reaching new users and promoting consideration of your product or service.

You can also utilize this same strategy using Microsoft Ads to maximize your reach.

3. Using Custom Affinity Audiences

This tackles the issue with regular Google Ads affinity audiences in that there isn’t a predefined affinity audience suitable for every business.

Here you can create your own specific audience using free form interests entered as keywords and/or using URLs as a proxy for interest bundles:

In this example, the custom affinity targeting has built an audience of “Garden Enthusiasts” using interests (keywords entered) and URL targeting.

You’re able to get real-time demographic insights as you’re building the audience. This can help drive further granularity to ensure you’re targeting the right people.

While custom affinity audience targeting allows for more control on the GDN, I think it’s best used for brand building.

You can take an even more granular approach to GDN targeting by layering custom affinity audiences with other forms of targeting to increase campaign efficiency.

4. Combining In-Market Segments With Remarketing

In-market audiences allow you to set up your campaigns to reach people who are further down the funnel and are more ready to make a purchase.

Google accurately categorizes users so you can target those most interested in their offerings.

Google states that you can distinguish interest from the purchaser’s intent by leveraging real-time data and a powerful classification system based on demonstrated in-market behavior.

In-market audiences can help drive incremental conversions, helping you to connect with consumers as the last step before they make a purchase decision.

Here you will see a list of almost 500 available in-market audiences, with the option to further granulate the high-level categories (highlighted below).

The real impact on conversions comes when using in-market segments in conjunction with website remarketing lists.

You can layer the in-market segments on top of your remarketing lists to increase reach while maintaining a high degree of relevancy with the aim of bolstering overall conversions.

Conclusion

Paid search keyword costs continue to rise every year. If your marketing budget doesn’t increase to keep up with the shift, you’ll need to get creative to drive new demand growth.

With this in mind and the increased use of automation within Google Ads, I think Google will be continuing to add to its options of audience targeting in a privacy-centric way.

The PPC landscape is always changing. Make sure you keep on top of the latest features as well as test some of the tips outlined above to see whether they can deliver improved paid media results for your business.

More Resources:

Featured Image: Jirsak/Shutterstock

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Amazon Ppc Challenges Google Ads

The study was conducted by Marin Software, extrapolated from billions of dollars of PPC budgets. Wes MacLaggan, SVP of Marketing at Marin Software offered this insight:

“While Google and Facebook continue to be the most prominent channels for digital ad spend, we’re now seeing more and more early adopters experimenting with Amazon’s ad offerings…”

Google Ads

Google Shopping Ads

Of the billions of dollars of ad spend researched, Google Shopping Ads represented about 27% of the Google Ad spend in US Dollars. Although it fell to 24% during the fourth quarter it regained in the following quarter, essentially staying flat.

Amazon Advertising

Amazon offers Headline Shopping Ads and Sponsored Product Ads. Headline Shopping Ads are more prominent, showing at the very top of the search results. They received a significantly higher CTR of 2.68% versus 0.49% for the Sponsored Product Ads (SPA), yet the SPA represented nearly 80% of the ad spend.

Key Differences Between Google and Amazon 1. Return on Advertising Spend

Mark said,

“Amazon searchers are typically much further along in the purchasing path, and are already in the mindset of wanting to purchase a product. Customer searches tend to be much more specific, and product focused. In Google, customers typically are still in the browsing stages, and wanting to either learn about products, or searching product categories. With customer’s search intentions differing greatly in Amazon vs. Google, it causes your PPC strategies to be much different as well.”

He then elaborated and explained that the Return On Advertising Spend (ROAS) is dramatically better on Amazon. And not just on your own brand name, but across the board on keyword phrases and competitor brand names.

The benefit of the higher ROAS is, according to Mark Jackson of Vizion Interactive:

“This allows your ability to boost incremental sales much higher than in Google.”

2. Algorithms

Amazon’s algorithm factors in things like reviews. This adds an additional layer of complexity to bidding on Amazon versus Google.

3. Ramp Up Time

3. Budget Strategies

A key feature of Amazon is that it is a de facto shopping search engine (much like YouTube is a video search engine). Because of this, consumers are lower on the sales funnel (lower is better).

This affects budget strategy because bidders on Amazon on more specific as opposed to on Google.

Mark Jackson of Vizion Interactive offered this insight:

“In Amazon, customer’s searches are much more specific, causing broader terms to be less utilized (and less expensive). This ends up having a direct effect on the size of budgets you can push in Amazon vs. Google.”

It’s exciting to see competition in PPC. Competition benefits everyone.

Read the interactive Digital Advertising Benchmark Report by Marin Software  here.

Images by Shutterstock, Modified by Author

Screenshots by Author

Facebook, Microsoft & Google Ads Compared

If you have to choose between Facebook and Google Ads for promoting your SMB, Facebook is your best bet.

And in the debate between Microsoft Advertising and Google Ads, Google provides greater reach at a lower cost.

These are among the key findings of a new study by Cambridge University MBA students and ad platform Adzooma.

The study also considered whether landing page quality had an impact on conversion rates, and revealed new CPC and CPM benchmarks for Facebook, Microsoft, and Google Ads.

Which Factors Moved the Needle Most for Ad Performance

Facebook Ads was the most cost-effective channel on average.

Microsoft Ads was most responsive to increasing ad spend.

Google Ads had the greatest reach for the lowest cost.

How CPM and CPC Differ on Facebook, Microsoft, and Google Ads

Upon determining this connection between channel and cost KPIs, researchers went looking for the average CPM and CPC across Google, Facebook and Microsoft Ads:

This is because 54% of Bing users are over the age of 45, and a third of them have a household income of over $100,000.

How Increasing Ad Spend Impacts ROAS

Here’s what they found:

Microsoft Advertising showed the greatest ROAS for increasing budget in terms of impressions, a good metric for brand awareness campaigns.

How Sentiment Impacts Ad Performance on Google and Microsoft Ads

The opposite was true on Google Ads, where negative sentiment won the day with CTRs of:

Study participant Sunil Grewal, formerly of Amazon, said:

Landing Page Quality Had Greatest Impact on Conversion, Yet Few Excel Here

Srishti Warman, formerly an associate VP at Barclays Bank and an MBA Star winner at the Women of the Future Awards, was responsible for the study’s landing page analysis.

She explains:

“The task was to identify the key parameters that lead to a higher conversion e.g. faster page speed, better optimisation for mobile and web viewing, page responsiveness, etc. This analysis would eventually help understand not only which companies scale quickest within verticals, but critically, why.”

Warman found that although landing page best practices had the greatest impact on conversion rate, not a single one of those tested had perfect score for best practices in Lighthouse.

These best practices included using HTTPS, displaying images with correct aspect ratios, serving images with appropriate resolution, and avoiding a request for location on page loading.

Only 5% of landing pages had a perfect score for website performance checks.

That means that 95% of businesses are leaving money on the table.

Warman also noted that she was surprised to see that optimization best practices outperformed page loading speed as the most important factor in driving conversions.

In addition to the primary landing page factors studied—best practices, SEO, performance, and accessibility—Warman identified content quality, CTAs, and the PPC to landing page journey as impactful for improving conversion.

Key Takeaways from Facebook Ads v. Microsoft Advertising v. Google Ads Comparison

Facebook is, on average, the most cost-effective channel for SMBs.

Ads with positive sentiment perform better on Microsoft, and negative sentiment performs better on Google Ads.

Best practices were the most important conversion element for landing pages, followed by SEO (titles and meta descriptions, valid chúng tôi ensuring links are crawlable, etc.).

Methodology:

Study participants were given access to anonymized campaign data from the Adzooma platform, selected at random and spanning thousands of accounts and a variety of industries.

Participants used Lighthouse to evaluate landing page quality, as well as SEMrush, Screaming Frog, Adzooma, and Google Analytics.

Sources:

Image source: All screenshots by author, February 2023

The Time Is Now To Captivate Your Audience With Smart Signage

There’s a reason why turnkey solutions are popular today: All components have been sourced, designed, and developed to be easy to pair together.

But kits still are not common in many industries where outside experts are needed to create multipart solutions that involve different vendors. The resulting systems have disparate components and several vendors trying to cooperate and coexist.

In the digital signage market, most visual messaging solutions involve displays from one company, media playback devices from another and content management system (CMS) software from yet another. A separate company may implement the solution and manage it.

That’s why an all-in-one solution — containing all the key components, all from one supplier — is so appealing to digital signage buyers and solution providers. With a hassle-free solution from a single provider, you know the components were specifically designed to work together.

Samsung offers this solution. It seamlessly pairs Samsung hardware and software using a content management system called MagicINFO.

A close-up on MagicINFO

Samsung has long been the marketplace leader on the display side of digital signage technology It has best in class signage hardware but also has content management software (CMS) that drives and manages display networks in everything from retail and restaurants to airports and factory floors.

More recently Samsung has decided to double down on our software and service efforts and bring more focus on our Display CMS. As we continue to scale this business, I’ve been fortunate to be the first dedicated product manager for MagicINFO. Since then, our team has carefully listened to customer feedback to continuously refine and build our home-grown solution accordingly.

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But where other software options consist of disparate parts pulled together, MagicINFO offers all the key components from one supplier — and on a single smart device.

Samsung pioneered the now popular concept of embedding a digital signage media player inside a flat-panel display, lowering upfront costs by removing the expense of an external media player, cleaning up installations typified by multiple devices and many cables and lowering maintenance costs by minimizing the potential points of failure.

Now those Smart Signage displays are also loaded with MagicINFO’s playback, communications and management software — which has been matched and specifically optimized for system on a chip (SoC) displays and Samsung’s own Tizen operating system.

A number of third party developers have provided versions of their software compatible with Samsung SMART signage LFDs, but MagicINFO was designed from the ground up to optimize performance on Samsung’s SoC platform, offering the best performance possible.

Core components

The MagicINFO software platform has three key components:

Author: For designing layouts, working with predesigned templates and organizing messaging

Server: For creating playlists, targeting locations and scheduling messaging

Player: For running flawless visual messaging, at resolutions as sharp as 8K

Additionally, a major differentiator integrated into MagicINFO’s turnkey solution is its device management capability. This allows operators managing content to playout at dispersed locations, as well as enabling remote monitoring and management that maximizes screen uptimes.

There are also add-ons available to enhance the core components and network operation:

Datalink: Ingests and manages data from external applications — like retail or building management systems — to power dynamic data. Screen presentations can change in real time, based on everything from exchange rates to key performance indicators (KPIs) shown on production floors.

Analytics: Real-time analysis and content triggering capabilities — driven by artificial intelligence — built around sensors that show, for example, shoppers’ general profiles and how they operate in-store.

On-premises and cloud

MagicINFO has historically been sold through its partner ecosystem as a one-time software license — a setup that suits many of Samsung’s largest digital signage customers, who want to fully run and manage a network inside their firewall.

But the industry has seen an uptick in demand for cloud-based systems, hosted and managed by a service provider. MagicINFO 8 is now also available as software as a service (SaaS). Users subscribe to the service, paying a subscription fee per screen and letting the Samsung team worry about the servers, storage, network integrity and upkeep.

Paired with either on prem or hosted is an elevated MagicINFO support option, a new offer that provides fast, expert-level services for customers who want to realize all the benefits of digital signage messaging in their business while keeping IT and operations staff focused on core activities.

Holistic solution

The popularity of turnkey and outsourced solutions is indicative of a need across many businesses to streamline their workflows and leave specific tasks to trusted partners. MagicINFO is the kind of holistic, built-to-purpose solution many businesses are craving as they look to up their communications game. We encourage you to reach out to our team today to learn more.

Explore more about how corporate offices are using digital signage to produce dynamic, engaging content for workers and clients alike. And discover the importance of content management systems in digital signage across all industries.

Google Ads: How To Boost Revenue & Optimize For Offline Sales

Google Ads: How To Boost Revenue & Optimize For Offline Sales

Are you optimizing for offline actions, too, like calls and sales?

Join us for a live presentation on the basics of Google Ads offline conversion optimization, and we’ll show you how to maximize your ad ROI.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

How to change your campaigns to optimize offline actions rather than only on the “online” activity.

Sign up now, and start shifting your focus more on actual sales.

Can’t join us live? Register anyway and we’ll send the recording and slides later that day.

Speakers

Michael Scott

Paid Ads Marketing Strategist, Manticore Marketing

Amelia Northrup-Simpson

Product Marketing Manager, CallRail

Host

Loren Baker

Founder, Search Engine Journal

How To Use International Targeting In Google Search Console? – Webnots

Earlier days Google was offering option for geographical targeting of websites in Webmaster Tools account. Google Geo targeting or geographic target setting is the option for webmasters to link targeted geographic location of traffic to their sites. This helps Google to determine the search results for a specific geographic location. However, Google changed the name of this option to “International Targeting” in latest Search Console account. Geographic setting is one of the tools Google uses to determine the top search results for a particular country hence Google search results will vary from country to country for the same keywords.

Domains and Geographic Settings

There are different top level domain (TLD) extensions available for webmasters to register a domain name. All the country specific domains like .us (Unites States), .in (India) or .ca (Canada) are by default linked to a particular country. Hence, there will not be an additional geographic targeting option required for these domains. This means for country specific domains you will not see a “Geographic Target” setting option in earlier Google Webmaster Tools. However, you may still see this option in Google Search Console.

If there is no geographic location set for a generic top level domain site in Search Console account then Google uses various other data like server location and information on Google Places before displaying it in the search result pages. If your site is not linked with any geography and you changed your hosting provider then it is recommended that you inform Google about the new location of your server through geographic target setting. This will help Google to re-determine the position of your site in the search results for geographically restricted searches.

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How to Set a Geographic Target?

First, login to your Search Console account and select the site from dropdown. Remember, you can’t choose domain property for International Targeting. Search Console only supports individual domains for this setting. You need to have your site verified successfully in order to use this option.

The setting was different in old Webmaster Tools account:

Geographic Target Setting for Google

Below is the steps in latest Google Search Console account:

Example for Geographic Target Setting

Webmasters should remember that this geographic setting option is only used to determine the search results for Google and not used to differentiate language specific content. For example, if you have a site in Spanish it is not recommended to Geo target here for Spain or Mexico rather you can leave it as Unlisted. But if you have a real estate site in India and you think it is probably of no use to the users in other countries, then you can set the geographic target here as India.

Google will start showing the location you set in the search results. Here is an example of how a site geo targeted for US will show in the searches. It may take few weeks to few months time for Google to refresh all your indexed URLs and till the time you will see the mix of URLs without location and with location. Hence it is not recommended to change the locations frequently.

Geographic Target Showing in Google Search

Note: Remember, Google Search Console shows international targeting as a legacy tool. Hence, you can expect Google to remove this tool in future as local searches are controlled through algorithms rather than setting in Search Console.

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