SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Bob on linked-in

BGAmedia selected as:
ChooseWhat helps small businesses


Get blog updates via email

E-junkie Shopping Cart and Digital Delivery

Posts Tagged ‘Conversions’

Comments Off on Facebook tests new version of Offers to increase conversions, give users control when they share with friends

Facebook tests new version of Offers to increase conversions, give users control when they share with friends

Brtittany Darwell, Inside Facebook

Facebook is testing a new version of its Offers product, which gives users the option to shop immediately or get a reminder before the promotion ends. The interface also lets users decide if and when to share the offer with friends.

The new implementation could be more effective in leading to direct sales for retailers, while helping users remember to take advantage of the offers they’re interested in and giving them more control over how their activity is shared.

A Facebook spokesperson says the company is working with a few global retailers for this test, but for now other pages aren’t affected and their offers will continue to appear in the original format.

For e-commerce offers in the test, users will see two buttons: “Shop Now” and “Remind Me.” Previously, users could only select “Get Offer.” When users click “Shop Now,” they will be taken directly to a retailer’s website. When they click “Remind Me,” users will be sent an email and at a later date will be reminded with a notification on Facebook. It is up to each retailer when they will remind users about their promotion, but they can only send one notification per offer.

Read the full article…

Comments Off on Google Plans Over-Optimization Penalty

Google Plans Over-Optimization Penalty

by Jill Kocher at Practical E-Commerce

Google’s head spam cop Matt Cutts announced the impending launch of a new over-optimization penalty to “level the playing ground.” The disclosure came earlier this month at the South By Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas during an open panel — entitled “Dear Google & Bing: Help Me Rank Better!” — with Google’s and Bing’s webmaster and web spam representatives. Google’s goal for the penalty is to give sites that have produced great content a better chance to rank and drive organic search traffic and conversions.

Pretty much all site owners can point to the search results for their dearest trophy phrase and point out at least one site that just shouldn’t be allowed to rank. Competitive ire aside, sometimes sites have poor content but focus extra hard on their search engine optimization efforts. These sites are easy to spot. They usually have a keyword domain, lots of keyword-rich internal linking, and heavily optimized title tags and body content. Their link portfolios will be heavily optimized as well. But their content is weak, their value proposition is low, they’re obviously — to human observers — only ranking because of their SEO. The upcoming over-optimization penalty would theoretically change the playing field so that sites with great content and higher user value rank above sites with excessive SEO.

What Qualifies as Over-Optimization?

No one but Google knows what, exactly, is “over-optimization.” However, Cutts did mention that Google is looking at sites by “people who sort of abuse it whether they throw too many keywords on the page, or whether they exchange way too many links, or whatever they’re doing to sort of go beyond what a normal person would expect in a particular area.” It’s widely believed that keyword stuffing and link exchanges are already spam signals in Google’s algorithm, so either Google intends to ratchet up the amount of penalty or dampening that those spam signals merit algorithmically or they have new over-optimization signals in mind as well.

5 Signals that Should Qualify as Over-Optimization

Because I can’t believe that the bits Cutts references are all there is to the over-optimization algorithm update, I’ve been daydreaming about what I would classify as over-optimization. Keep in mind that I have no inside knowledge as to what they’re planning. In other words, don’t run out and change all these things just because you read this article. But these tactics are on my list because they leave a bad taste in my mouth when I come across them and I sure hope they’re on Cutts’ list as well.

  • Linking to a page from that same page with optimized anchor text. If the page is, and in the body copy of that page I link the words “flannel shirts” to the same page the words are on, IE, that should count as over-optimization.
  • Linking repeatedly from body copy to a handful of key pages with optimized anchor text. If 33 of my 100 pages link to from the body copy with the anchor text “Jills Fake Site,” that should count as over-optimization.
  • Changing the “Home” anchor text to your most valuable keyword. Usually the home link is the site’s logo. But in the cases where the home link is textual and has been optimized with the juiciest keyword, that should count as over-optimization.
  • Overly consistent and highly optimized anchor text on backlinks. If 10 of the 100 links to a page contain the same highly optimized anchor text, such as “Jill’s Fake Site, the Fakest Site Selling Flannel Shirts on the Web,” that should count as over-optimization.
  • Generic keyword domain name. They have way too much impact on rankings, and need to be demoted in importance. Now I’m sure it’s difficult to determine which words are generic and which are brands. But Google seems to have cracked that nut at least partially with its related brands results. Surely they must be close to understanding the difference between the non-branded domain and the brand

Read the full article here.

Comments Off on Tracking Search Marketing Conversion Rate ROI

Tracking Search Marketing Conversion Rate ROI

Robert B. Gelman

Here at BGAmedia, we talk a lot about “Return on Investment” for you marketing dollars. From our standpoint, it’s the only way marketing or any aspect of doing business makes sense. But since marketing and sales are a moving target for every business, it is most important that they be tracked and evaluated on an ongoing basis. Change happens too fast these days for there to be gaps in your feedback loop.

One of the key metrics to track is your conversion rate.  And what is a conversion?   It could be many different things, depending upon what and how you sell. For example, if you are using pay-per-click advertising, it could be the number of clicks on your ad after viewing a search page. Or more relevant might be whether they looked at specific additional pages on your website, or actually bought something.

Google Adwords (and now Facebook advertising) allow you to track conversions to keep an eye on whether you are getting enough return on what you are spending.  Determining this is of course different for every business, but here are some factors you might want to consider.

  • Not all conversions are worth the same to you. A visit to a page on your website may not have a value, but a sale there might be worth $100. Identifying the value of conversions lets you track your ROI on specific keywords
  • Example:A keyword may cost $1 per click, but a conversion from that keyword is worth $100. If you’re getting a conversion out of every 10 clicks, that’s an ROI of $90.  A good investment.  If you’re only getting a conversion for every 75 clicks, it’s marginal, and maybe not worth the money.
  • Cost-per-click is critical too and needs to be a part of the equation

We counsel our clients to start their campaigns with a brief, low-budget test period to get a sense for both how much traffic is generated by their keywords, and the bid cost for those words.  You have the option to give a value to any one of your conversions during the set up process.  And, if you’re selling multiple products with different prices, you’ll need a single conversion page that has variable conversion values.

If you are interested in this type of activity to enhance your business (or the less costly Search Engine Optimization process), we encourage you to call us for a no-cost and no-obligation conversation about how a Search Marketing Campaign might work for you.

The logical extension of our conversation about ROI for Search Marketing Campaigns is a discussion of what it takes to create more customers (or conversions) out of the traffic you are already getting.The answer involves testing and modifying your web site or other online tools to become more effective.

We’ll address this in an upcoming post.




Comments Off on New Remarketing Technology Boosting E-commerce Sales

New Remarketing Technology Boosting E-commerce Sales

by Ryan Bardo, Website Intel blog

Unless you are concerned that Google has become too powerful a force in Internet services, you’ll probably want to know about “remarketing,” a new function that is offered as part of their Adwords service. If you are conducting sales via a website, or even have a trackable conversion, such as the downloading of a free PDF, this program can help you target and maximize your results with what has been, up until now, a highly valuable target-market that was being lost. This article by Ryan Bardo spells it out in detail. –Bob G

What is Google Remarketing?

Google remarketing is a technology that allows an advertiser to show an ad to a user who previously visited the advertiser’s website. The goal of Google remarketing is to two-fold, branding and increasing conversions. The latter is accomplished by being able to “retarget” visitors who, for example:

  • Abandoned a shopping cart
  • Didn’t convert
  • Converted
  • Signed up for a trial
  • Subscribed to a newsletter

The audience in a remarketing campaign is more valuable than other audiences because retargeted audiences are more likely to convert into a sale or lead due to their known prior interest (they were on your website or a specific web page).
Google remarketing is a perfect solution for staying in front of your target audience, especially those who need to visit your site more than once to make a decision. In this white paper you’ll learn:

1. The basic set up of a Google remarketing campaign
2. Remarketing best practices

Setting up a Google Remarketing Campaign

Google remarketing campaigns are set up and managed within Google Adwords. The basic steps of setting up a remarketing campaign are as follows:

1. Define your audience
2. Retrieve code script and install it on corresponding web page(s)
3. Create an ad group with your defined audience that you wish to remarket

Define Your Audience

With regard to a Google remarketing campaign, defining your audience means determining to whom you want to show online ads, e.g. you want to show online ads to visitors who abandoned your shopping cart. Other types of common audiences are:

  • converted users
  • Non-converted visitors
  • Current subscribers
  • By shopping category
  • By product

Install Code Script

To receive the code script, click on the tag for the audience that you’ve created. Once you click on the tag it will display a box with the code you need to install on your web page. Copy and paste the code in between the body tags on your web page. Once the code is installed visitors will be included in the Adwords audience that you specified. You can also specify the duration of retargeting. For instance, if you specify a 30 days your ad will show to that user for 30 days.

Create an Ad Group and Add Your Audience

The final step of building your remarketing campaign is to create your ad group and add your defined audience to that ad group. Make sure that the display network is turned on in your campaign settings; otherwise the remarketing will not work. If you are just starting out it is best to let Adwords automatically manage your placements. Once you get used to the campaigns and see which sites are performing you can start managing your placements manually.
Start out simple with one audience per ad group until you get the hang of it. Bidding and management gets very complex with all these elements added to an ad group. So start out small until you get your bearings. Ad groups should correspond to the audience you are adding. For example: If you are trying to retarget shopping cart abandoners your ad group should be labeled “shopping cart abandoners.” Identify the keywords used by your “abandoners” and add them to this ad group. Once again, keep things simple.

Remarketing Best Practices

Both building and managing a remarketing campaign can be complex. In this section you’ll learn some tips on how to successfully build and manage your remarketing campaigns.

1. Plan and organize your campaigns in an excel spreadsheet.

2. Use image/video ads as much as possible. Also have text ads created in every ad group for the websites that doesn’t support image/video ads.

3. Create various remarketing ad groups to show different ads to different audience lists.

4. Customize ad groups around the ad creative that will be displayed.

5. Rank ad groups in terms of qualification, this is the qualification level. For example: Non-engaged users are less qualified than shopping cart abandoners. Therefore, do not invest too much into the non-engaged user’s ad group.

6. The retargeting duration is directly influenced by qualification level of the ad group, i.e. the higher the qualification level, the longer you want to remarket to that ad group.

7. Google retargeting organizes visitors who match an audience definition into lists. An audience will not become active until that list reaches 500 unique visitors. In other words, until a certain audience consists of 500 visitors, your ad group won’t serve ads. All that said, don’t define your audiences too strictly or your audience will never become active.

Remarketing helps advertisers stay in front of their users. There are as many applications of this technology as there are types of convertible web pages. Remarketing can help increase the number of times per month those pages convert.

Comments Off on Targeting Placements in Adwords Pay-per-Click

Targeting Placements in Adwords Pay-per-Click

Robert Gelman

Pay-per-Click advertising, and Google’s adwords in particular are an ongoing topic in this blog. To best determine how such campaigns will perform for you, we recommend testing, and more testing. One thing you can test is whether the search results pages bring you as much traffic as the “content network” a placements (pages and sites which carry Google ads dynamically).

We recently learned of another placement niche for your ads, on people’s Gmail pages. For whatever reason, they call it the “Funbox.”

The ‘Funbox’ is a little known reference to the top ad spot in gmail, and guess what? You can target it as a managed placement in your AdWords content network campaigns.


So how do you target the fun box? The fun box is not found in the placement tool, so you need to add this in manually as a managed placement (in the networks tab):,Top center

Also, one of the most common mistakes is to try and target gmail by adding ‘’ as a managed placement. It’s important to know that to target gmail, you need to add the following as a managed placement:

If you see gmail is performing well for you, it’s best practice to create a separate campaign that targets only gmail users.

Here are the benefits of creating separate gmail targeted campaigns:

  • Write specific ads tailored to Gmail users
  • Develop keyword themes around Gmail messages (advanced strategy)
  • Controlled budgets
  • Transparency of performance

It’s not necessary to create gmail targeted campaigns when you are first testing out Google’s content network. The best strategy is to first start with a keyword targeted (or contextually targeted) content campaign, and monitor the performance of on the networks tab. If you see traffic and conversions are high, it’s a good idea to go ahead and separate out traffic into a separate campaign.

If you need help understanding or implementing pay-per-click advertising, BGAmedia is here to help.

Portions of this post excerpted from ROI Revolution Blog

Comments Off on Trust Your Tests, Not Google Recommendations

Trust Your Tests, Not Google Recommendations

Originally published in ROI Revolution Blog

Occasionally, Google will show alerts in our AdWords accounts introducing new products or tools, or notifying us of maxed out budgets or disapproved ads. These are usually very helpful to us. We have noticed the following message in our clients’ Google AdWords accounts suggesting that the Ad Serving setting be changed from “Rotate Ad Serving” to “Optimize Ad Serving” in order to ‘increase traffic by showing your best ad most often’.

Click to View The Image Larger
At ROI Revolution, we recommend always setting our campaigns’ ads to “Rotate” as part of what we call “AdWords 101” or the most basic and well-known practices for an AdWords account. There are two main reasons why we do this:

More Clicks Does Not Equal More Conversions

Google optimizes your ad serving based on Click-Through-Rate. This works out great for Google, because showing the ad that gets the most clicks more often means more Google revenue. However, optimizing ads based on Click-Through-Rate is not always the best practice for advertisers, because conversion rate is never factored in to the equation. While increasing clicks is a wonderful way to get more visits to your site, conversion rate is equally as important, if not more important, to most advertisers. With the exception of brand awareness, there is not much of a payoff in getting someone to click on your ad and then leave your site without buying anything or submitting any of their information.

Test, Test, Test

It is best practice to run at least two ads in a paid search ad group. If you’re not continually testing ad text, headlines, landing pages, basically everything, then you’re missing out on new opportunities that could bring in more money for you. If those ads are not rotated evenly, there is no way to tell which one generates the most profitable traffic for your business. Rotating ads evenly will ensure that the data you’re seeing in your reports is a fair representation of how they actually perform when given an equal chance.

The moral of this story is DON’T choose this setting if you want to maximize your results through testing and conversions. Leaving your ads set to “Optimize” is a common mistake, but one that you can and should avoid. In order to make the best decision for your AdWords account, it is essential to outline goals, prioritize them, and optimize your ads based on those goals.