Want to sell more of your products or services on Instagram? Looking for ideas to help increase your sales? In this article, you’ll find out how to foster a shopper-friendly Instagram presence. #1: Turn Your Instagram Profile Into a Storefront The first step to turning your Instagram followers into customers is to build a creative […]
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ADA compliance and web accessibility are more serious than you likely know. Consider this scenario. You or one of your clients suddenly receives a letter stating that the website you administer is not ADA compliant and you’re facing litigation. Facing litigation? Now what!
The best course of action is to proactively review your website for ADA compliance and ensure that it is accessible to people with disabilities, before you get into trouble. The level of compliance necessary is outlined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 (available here). These guides are quite detailed, but it will help you fully comply with the law and insulate your company from litigation because it’s comprehensive.
A good place to start for website ADA compliance and accessibility, is to use the following:
Check the current state of your website accessibility with tools like WAVE wave.webaim.org and the Google Lighthouse tool (available in the Chrome browser)
Ensure that all images have descriptive alt text
Provide closed captioning on any videos your site may have
Provide text transcripts of any video or audio only files
Give users the ability to pause, stop or hide any automated content like email sign ups
Use simpler design, be sure the website isn’t overly complex and provide options for adjustments to size/color of text and content
Be sure your website supports keyboard navigation (think navigation between elements with arrows and tab keys)
Provide support features so a person with a disability can contact the webmaster and receive a response
Be sure any forms on your website have instructions for their use and that each form element is labeled with clear and understandable text
Also, use the id and label HTML elements on form items
Once the above checklist has been followed, it is advisable to have a legal professional review your website in light of the WCAG 2.0 guidelines.
Wondering how to make your YouTube content more viewer-friendly? Do you want to increase your YouTube watch time? In this article, you’ll find three easy ways to increase the amount of time people spend watching your videos on YouTube. Why Does YouTube Watch Time (Minutes Watched) Matter? YouTube is one of the most powerful marketing […]
The post 3 Ways to Improve Your YouTube Watch Time appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Want to better understand what is and isn’t working with your Facebook marketing? Are you using the two most powerful analysis tools Facebook offers? In this article, you’ll learn how to set up Facebook Analytics and Facebook attribution. How to Set Up Facebook Analytics The Facebook Analytics platform is a free tool for tracking and […]
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Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore Facebook’s new cryptocurrency, Libra, with special guest, Joel Comm. Tune In to the Social Media Marketing Talk […]
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Want to learn more about advertising on Instagram? Wondering how to create Instagram ads that lead to sales? To explore how to create Instagram ads that work, I interview Andrew Hubbard. Andrew is a Facebook and Instagram ad expert and the founder of Hubbard Digital, an agency that runs Instagram and Facebook ads for information […]
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Web marketing is a constant struggle to get your product, offer, or advertisement in front of as many people as possible, with an emphasis on making that audience the right group of people who are willing to convert.
If you’re selling a product but no one buys, you’re not making money. If you’re running advertisements and no one clicks, you’re not making money. If you’re promoting an affiliate offer and no one signs up, you’re not making money.
With affiliate marketing, with CPA advertising, and with various forms of sales jobs, you need to get people to sign up for a service – or even just a mailing list – to get paid. You need those sign-ups, and you need them in volume.
What if I told you that you could skip all of the tedious work of audience building, content marketing, analysis, and optimization? What if I told you that you could just pay a small fee – smaller than your commissions, most likely – and get guaranteed sign-ups? What would you say if I told you that?
If you would say “That sounds like a scam to me” I’d tell you that you’re absolutely correct. Guaranteed sign-ups exist, but they aren’t real, if you catch my meaning. And if you don’t catch my meaning, well, I’m going to explain it in great detail.
What Are Guaranteed Sign-Ups?
The idea of a guaranteed sign-up is simple. You pay me a fee and I get 100 people to click your affiliate link and sign up for the offer. Let’s say you get paid $1 per sign-up; that’s $100. I charge you $50 for the service.
What’s not to love? It’s basically free money for you. You give me a bit of money so I can profit from my own efforts, and you get money from the guaranteed sign-ups I offer you.
This kind of guaranteed sign-up service is available all over the place these days. Sites like Fiverr and its spinoffs, the various SEO metric sellers, and other marketing middlemen all offer something. It’s an old service that died out for a while, but is making a comeback with a new generation of internet marketers trying to make their way in a new world.
So if this service exists, why doesn’t everyone use is? Is there some secret at play? It certainly sounds too good to be true.
What Are Guaranteed Sign-Ups, Really?
While the idea of a guaranteed sign-up is simple, the actual implementation is not. After all, if it were really that easy to just pay a fee to double your money, everyone would be doing it. Since everyone is decidedly not doing it, it must not be a real technique.
And, indeed, there are a lot of different ways for these sellers to screw you over.
First off, many of them just take your money and run. They don’t need to worry about being banned from a platform, they’re filtering everything through six layers of services to protect themselves, fake names, and other baffles. You pay the seller and the seller sends you some kind of confirmation, and then they disappear. You never get your sign-ups, you never manage to contact them again, and the best you can do is get their now-abandoned profile banned from Fiverr or whatever.
You can get your money back in these instances through a bank-issued charge-back, as long as you didn’t do something stupid like take it to Western Union, Bitcoin, or some other un-refundable and un-regulated payment method.
This isn’t the most likely option, though. Many of these scammers don’t want to burn their bridges and disappear, because setting up a new “life” and a new profile every time they burn a customer is a time-consuming process.
The second possible option is they’re using bot accounts. This may be slightly more sophisticated depending on whether or not your commission is a CPA or an affiliate service.
In the event of a CPA sign-up, often times all you need to get paid is the sign-up. The user doesn’t need to pay, because all you’re trying to promote is the lead. It’s up to the company you’re giving the leads to, to do the vetting and sales. This is the easiest to scam, because it takes a while for the business at the other end to track down all these unqualified leads and trace them back to you.
Of course, once they do trace them back to you, the business is going to have some uncomfortable questions for you. Questions like “why do your sign-ups have a 0% conversion rate?” and “why should we keep you as part of our program?” Generally, the answer is they shouldn’t. They’re going to drop you due to low quality referrals. Usually they track and blacklist your domain and/or IP for your accounts, emails, payment information, or whatever else they need to make sure you don’t try to toss on a beaglepuss and try to get back in.
What if you don’t get paid until the user makes a purchase? Well, one of two things will happen here. Either you’ll get nothing and the seller will make excuses, or you’ll get purchases. Don’t get me wrong, though; when you get those purchases, they aren’t real purchases. It’s still fake accounts making those purchases, and it’s very likely that the financial information they’re using to do it is stolen.
This is one common means of committing credit card fraud and identity theft. These fake accounts are powered by phishing scams or other stolen information. You’re paying a scammer to use stolen information to “buy” a service that they quickly cancel, or even that they don’t. They don’t care.
The company, of course, won’t take kindly to the charge-back and the questions about why stolen information is being used to buy their services. They will, again, trace it back to you and decide to remove you from their program because all you’re doing is referring fraud to them. Even if you have some legitimate referrals in there, the fraud is too much to deal with.
Then there’s the third possible option, which relies on your target service having tiers of service packages. What they do is send over free sign-ups, but never pay for a service.
The problem here is that you, of course, don’t make money unless the user actually converts to a paid account. Starting up a free trial – and then cancelling it – or just signing up for a free package isn’t going to get you any commissions.
This one isn’t even fraud; you’re getting what you’re paying for. That’s the trick. They put fine print somewhere on their website or in their package details, and they hope you don’t read the part where they say “we only offer free sign-ups; you’re not paying for us to pay for anything.” After all, they want to make money, and if they’re spending money on services that cost more than you’re paying them, they aren’t making money.
The Other Side of the Business Model
So what’s going on in the guaranteed sign-ups side of the coin? We’ve talked about the fraud, but that’s not always the business model. In fact, you’ve probably seen the business model in other locations, but didn’t connect the two.
Have you ever seen a site that offers to pay you if you claim free offers? If you sign up for this shady service, they’ll give you $3. If you sign up for this Netflix free trial, you’ll get $5. If you sign up for this software, you get $1.50.
In modern days, these businesses have evolved. You’ll find many apps that do the same thing now, and instead of offering money right out, they offer Google Play cash, or they even just offer in-game currency for various popular mobile games.
What do you think is going on here? These companies can’t get paid for you signing up for a free service, so what good does it do them? Well, the answer is, you’re becoming part of their network of people signing up for services when the affiliate pays for it.
The scammer maintains their app and their network of connections, as well as a site where they sell their sign-ups. Some hapless business comes along and pays for 100 sign-ups; they throw that offer into their network until they record 100 people have signed up – for the free accounts, of course – and cut it off when the number is up.
There’s no targeting here, there’s no filtering, there’s no guarantee of quality. In fact, since the amounts they pay out are so low, it’s almost a guaranteed filter that keeps out any worthwhile or real potential customers. It’s almost exactly the opposite of the audience you really want for your affiliate links or product ads.
On top of this, these apps and websites tend to have very high minimum payouts, and they often make it nearly impossible to actually successfully complete and verify an offer. I’ve played around with them in the past, and usually you end up being filtered through half a dozen or more redirects, all with tons of ads on each page, before you even get to the offer you’re supposed to sign up to. Sign up for the wrong offer, click the wrong ad, or fail to fill out the forms properly, and your sign-up won’t count. On top of that, they’ll disqualify you for blocking scripts, blocking ads, and in some cases even if the redirect takes too long.
So the audience has an incredibly high turnover rate once people experience the fact that every offer they do only puts them one thousandth of the way towards getting a $10 gift certificate to Applebee’s or a handful of Google currency or something.
Of course, these businesses are not above a little lying to get ahead. If you’ve ever looked into buying guaranteed sign-ups, you’ve likely found a bunch of positive reviews for the service you’re looking into. And why wouldn’t you? If it’s a legitimate service, it would have great reviews! And if it’s a scammer, they would find it trivial to register a few dozen accounts, or even register their own side blogs, solely to promote their own business. A few good reviews on seemingly disconnected sites will dramatically increase the viability of their scam.
Every single aspect of these businesses is shady and optimized to make the business itself as much money as possible from every angle. Some of them even charge to sign up to their money-making networks! They get paid from every angle, very rarely pay out anything, and utilize fine print to make sure everything they’re doing is disclosed and “legal” even if it’s a little immoral. No one on either end is likely to attempt to sue them, and even if they did, they might find the business is actually based in India or Pakistan or some other country where actually pursuing legal repercussions is nigh-impossible for a foreigner.
Unfortunately for every marketer looking for a get rich quick plan, and willing to spend some money for it, it’s always going to be too good to be true. You just have to stick to what works; content marketing. Otherwise, you get to play the fool in the phrase “A fool and his money are soon parted.”
The post What Are Guaranteed Signups and How Do They Work? appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.
Are your Facebook ad costs too high or your engagement too low? Wondering how to get your Facebook marketing back on the right track? In this article, you’ll find causes and solutions for common social media marketing problems. #1: Your Facebook Posts Get Little to Zero Engagement Despite posting regularly on Facebook, your engagement is […]
The post How to Solve 4 Common Facebook Marketing Problems appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Do people talk about your business online? Do you know how to analyze the sentiment of online mentions to inform your marketing? In this article, you’ll discover how sentiment analysis can improve your marketing strategy. 4 Ways Marketers Can Use Sentiment Analysis Sentiment analysis is an algorithm applied to online mentions of your brand, products, […]
The post Sentiment Analysis: What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Looking for ways to drive more website traffic from Instagram? Wondering how to share links in more places on Instagram? In this article, you’ll find eight distinct ways to share links on your Instagram profile and posts. #1: Add a Link to Your Instagram Bio Let’s start with the first and simplest way to place […]
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Google made an announcement at Google I/O in early May of 2019 that Googlebot is now evergreen. What does it mean for the search community?
In this episode of the popular Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Eric Enge, together with Google’s Martin Splitt, explains of the new evergreen Googlebot in search including rendering hash URLs, <div> tags, and infinite scroll.
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Eric: Hey, everybody. My name is Eric Enge and today I’m excited to bring to you Martin Splitt, a Google Webmaster trends analyst based out of Zurich, I believe.
Eric: Say hi, Martin.
Martin: Hello, everyone. Very nice to be here. Thank you very much, Eric, for the opportunity to be a guest here as well. And yes, I am, in fact, based in Zurich.
Eric: Awesome. Great. Today, we want to talk a little bit about what happened to Google I/O related to the announcement that Googlebot became evergreen, which means that it will be on an ongoing basis on the latest version of Chrome— in this case, Chrome 74, for right now. So, what are some of the things that that means, and what are some of the things that still won’t be supported as a result of this move?
Eric: Got it. There are some other common things that I’ve seen that people do that maybe you could comment on. I’ll give you three. One is putting or having URLs that have hash marks in them and rendering that as separate content. Another one is infinite scroll, and then a third one is links, implemented as <div> tags.
Martin: All of the examples you gave us, we have very good reasons not to implement. The hash URLs—the issue there is that you’re using a hack. The URL protocol was not designed to be used that way. The hash URL— the fragments these bits with a hash in front of them—they are supposed to be a part of the page content and not different kinds of content. Using hash URLs will not be supported still. Using links in things that are not links, like buttons or <div> tags or anything else, would still not be supported because we’re not clicking on things—that’s ridiculously expensive and also a very, very bad accessibility practice. You should definitely use proper links. What was the third one?
Eric: Infinite scroll.
Martin: Yes, infinite scroll is a different story. Googlebot still doesn’t scroll, but if you’re using techniques such as the Intersection Observer that we are pointing out in our documentation, I highly recommend using that and then you should be fine. You should still test it and we need to update the testing tools at this point. We’re working on that sooner rather than later. But generally speaking, lazy loading and infinite scroll is working better than before.
Martin: Yes. Absolutely. As you know, we have been talking about this last year as well as this year. Again, we do have render queue. It’s not always easy to figure out when rendering is the culprit or when crawling is the culprit because you don’t see the difference necessarily or that easily. But basically, we are working on removing this separation as well, but there’s nothing to announce at this point. If you have a site that has a high-frequency change of content—let’s say, a news site where news stories may change every couple of minutes—then you are probably well off considering something like server-side rendering or dynamic rendering to get this content seen a little faster. If you are a site like an auction portal, you might want to do the same thing. Basically, if you have lots of pages—and I’m talking about millions—that content basically continuously changes. Then you probably want to consider an alternative to client-side rendering.
Eric: Right. One of the things that used to be recommended was this idea of dynamic rendering. If you have one of these issues where you’re using infinite scroll or you have real-time content or some of the other things that we talked about, dynamic rendering allows a already pre-rendered, if you will, version of the content to be delivered to Googlebot. Is that something that you still recommend?
Eric: Awesome. Thanks, Martin.
Martin: You’re welcome, Eric.
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Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore Instagram branded content ads for brands and influencers, and Snapchat’s new native checkout feature with special guest, […]
The post Instagram Branded Content Ads: New Advertising Partnerships for Brands and Influencers appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Do you struggle to properly attribute your sales to your marketing efforts? Do you want to learn more about attribution with Facebook and Google? To explore the concept of attribution on Google and Facebook, I interview Chris Mercer. Chris is the world’s leading authority on Google Analytics, founder of Measurement Marketing IO, and the exclusive […]
The post How to Track Attribution on Facebook and Google appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Want more people to see your videos in YouTube search? Wonder how YouTube advertising can show your videos alongside related content? In this article, you’ll learn how to promote your videos with YouTube TrueView discovery ads. Why Run a YouTube TrueView Discovery Ad Campaign? YouTube TrueView discovery ads appear in the places where users discover content […]
The post How to Set Up YouTube TrueView Video Discovery Ads appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Are you curious about WeChat? Wondering how to get your business in front of over a billion people on WeChat? In this article, you’ll discover how WeChat’s features can help you market your business. Why Marketers Should Consider WeChat Is your business looking to raise brand awareness or drive direct customer engagement with Chinese-speaking audiences? […]
The post WeChat for Business: What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
Looking for a faster way to visualize and make sense of your marketing metrics? Have you heard of Google Data Studio? In this article, you’ll learn how to build a reusable report in Google Data Studio. Why Use Google Data Studio to Simplify Marketing Measurement Analysis When you’re a small business with a limited marketing […]
The post How to Build a Google Data Studio Dashboard appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
There are two ways you can buy advertising to promote eBay listings. One is to buy a promoted listing on eBay itself. The other is to buy third party advertising to point to your listing, in some form or another. However, there’s a little more to it than that.
Paying for Promoted eBay Listings
The first and the simplest option is to just pay for a promoted spot in the eBay search results. Whenever you search for a product, you’ll see a handful of promoted listings, all of which someone is paying eBay to put near the top of the list. You have to scroll down to see the organic listings.
“Paying for an auction listing? What if my item doesn’t sell? Then I’m out money when I’m just trying to make money!” This is a valid complaint, and eBay understands the situation. That’s why their promoted listings only charge you when your item sells.
Unlike traditional advertising, when you’re bidding on promoted listings, you’re choosing a percentage – called the Ad Rate – of your item’s sale price that you’re willing to spend. This means that the higher the price your item sells for, the more you pay for the ads that got it to sell. You aren’t setting a bid cap or a specific amount of money to pay to promote your item.
In order to help you decide how much you should be willing to spend, eBay maintains a list of Trending Ad Rates. The trending Ad Rate is the average percentage people are bidding to promote their listings, within various categories. For example, as of the time of this writing, Antiques are trending at 10.49%, books are trending at 2.97%, and computer items are trending at 6.2%. These are figures within the USA; there are different figures for different geographic regions. You can see all of the current trending ad rates on this page.
It’s generally a good idea to adjust your Ad Rate on a weekly basis to better fit the trends. If the trend is going up, you should adjust upwards to compete. If the trends are going down, you can adjust downwards to avoid over-spending. Of course, you need to calculate how much you can afford to take off the top. For people selling random household products they’re trying to get rid of, any profit is better than keeping the item, so it doesn’t matter. For a business trying to sell through eBay, you need to calculate your profit margins and determine how much you can cut into them.
Are promoted listings a good choice for your products? That depends on what kinds of products you’re trying to sell. You can use promoted listings for just about any category, but there are some restrictions. Auctions, unfortunately, do not qualify. You also have to be a subscriber to eBay Stores, or you need to be a seller with either Top Rated or Above Standard feedback status. If your status drops too much, you’ll lose access to the system.
Generally, eBay recommends using promoted listings for new product lines and new listing ideas, seasonal items you want to sell as quickly as possible, old product lines you’re trying to clear out, and products that are already selling well but which you can sell more of more quickly.
Conversely, items that have a poor sales history aren’t going to benefit as much from promoted listings, and rare items, collectibles, and unique items aren’t great targets due to the smaller audience.
It’s also worth noting that eBay’s promotion auction is not simply “whoever bids the most gets the top spot.” In fact, they consider elements like the relevance and the quality of the listing to the search, how well the item is selling in general when the ad rate is set, and some other factors.
So in general, you should use promoted listings when:
You have an item that has a high conversion rate but generally low traffic.
You have a new item you want to establish a baseline level of traffic and sales history for.
You have a best seller that you want to sell more of, even if you sacrifice some profit to do it.
You have a seasonal product you want to get sold as quickly as possible.
You have overstock of a product you want to liquidate.
You have stock left over of an item you no longer want to sell, and you want to liquidate.
Promoted listings are just normal eBay listings, so you don’t need to do anything special to create ads. All you need to do is choose which products to promote and what ad rate you want to set. There’s an art to choosing the right ad rate, which involves knowing your profit margins and knowing what percentages are good to sell. You’ll gain a feel for it after you promote for a while.
What’s truly important, however, is the quality of the listing itself. Thankfully, I know exactly where you can visit to learn about optimizing eBay product listings.
Paying to Advertising Listings Directly
Unfortunately, paying for ads through platforms like Google Ads, pointing those ads directly at eBay listings or eBay stores, is notoriously ineffective. You can find thousands of people online talking about paying to promote their listings and getting nothing out of it.
Unlike promoted listings, paying for PPC ads to point to eBay can waste a lot of money. You don’t have a “pay only when it sells” clause to protect you, and you can often end up paying far more than the value of the product in clicks that don’t convert. Google doesn’t really like people linking directly to eBay stores, so they don’t promote those ads quite as much, and it really doesn’t work out for anyone involved.
On the other hand, eBay and Google had a deal with each other. Products listed on eBay will be funneled into Google’s marketplace, and Google can plug them into Google Shopping. You can use a Google Merchant Center account to promote your listings through that system instead of using Google Ads.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with paying Google Ads to promote eBay listings. It’s not against the terms of service for either site. It’s just not the most effective solution.
The trouble is, you’re paying to send people to eBay, and everyone knows eBay as a site where it’s easy to find the cheapest version of a product. People can click through your ads to your product, and then go to buy that same product from another seller instead of you. You also don’t get any benefit for referral traffic to products other than your own, like you might with something like an Amazon Affiliate link.
There’s nothing really unique about advertising an eBay listing through Google Ads compared to advertising any other site. You still need to pay attention to the usual factors, like ad relevance, keyword selection, budgets, and click-through rates. Don’t be afraid that I just linked to dummies.com, either; their guide is actually really good.
An Alternative Strategy
The best alternate strategy for dedicated eBay sellers is to create your own website. Creating a website gives you a larger degree of trust than a typical no-name eBay seller, and that trust allows you to leverage additional marketing channels. You can run a Facebook business Page for your website, even though all of your products are just eBay store listings.
You can go as light or as hard into a marketing website as you want. I’ve seen people be perfectly successful on eBay with a microsite that is little more than an About page, a few testimonials, and links to product pages. I’ve also seen brands build up their entire business around their sites, using eBay as a convenient storefront up until they’ve stabilized enough to transition to their own store on a Shopify plan. These people have blogs and everything.
The benefit of using your own site is that you can set up landing pages for individual products, and then you can direct advertising from Google Ads and other ad networks to those landing pages.
Of course, managing your own site is a lot of work and a lot of additional expense. You need to pay for hosting and a domain, you need to set up a back-end framework – even if it’s just WordPress – and you need to maintain it with enough content that it doesn’t stagnate. Plus, paying for ads is an additional expense, as I’ve already mentioned. On the other hand, having a more total level of control over your web presence and your branding puts you ahead of most of the competition on eBay.
One potential roadblock you may run into is that eBay’s links policy prohibits you from linking to your website within your eBay listings. Unless a user already knows your brand and that you have a website, they might not find you. You get the on-site benefits of the user seeing other products in your storefront or in your listings, but you can’t send them off-site for other benefits.
You can get around this by including items with your URL on them in the products you ship. Thank you notes included in your packages, URLs on labels and on invoices, and URLs in your email communications are all good ideas.
Utilizing Social Media
With social media, you get both organic and paid means of promotion at your fingertips.
For Facebook, you can set up a business Page for your business, and link directly to your eBay store and your individual eBay listings. You can also link to pages and posts on your website. You won’t necessarily have the best exposure doing this, since Facebook tends to demote overly promotional content, but if you get into content marketing, Facebook becomes an excellent channel.
Facebook ads can point directly at eBay listings, so long as they’re relevant and aren’t dynamic URLs. You shouldn’t have any issues with multi-stock products, but you’ll have a hard time advertising single products for sale; if someone buys it, your ad will still be running, so you may pay for clicks to an invalid listing. This can hurt both your bottom line and your ad relevance score.
Twitter can be used in a variety of different ways. You can post links to your listings and treat it basically as an RSS feed for when you add new products or items, or when items are back in stock. You can link to pages and content on your own site. You can pay for Twitter advertising, either to your website or to your eBay store. You can even just focus your time on becoming a Twitter joke account and whenever a tweet goes viral, do the “here’s my soundcloud” thing but for eBay listings.
Pinterest can be a good site for eBay listings because of it’s highly visual nature. Instagram is similar, but since Instagram doesn’t allow links in their image captions, I wouldn’t recommend it.
In general, social media becomes the top of your sales funnel, pointing people deeper in to your website, landing pages, or storefront. From there, you can point people specifically to products they’re interested in, and use paid advertising to reach them in other locations. A broad top leads to a greater stream at the bottom.
The post How to Buy Advertising to Promote Your eBay Listings appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore enhanced LinkedIn Advertising features and analytics, why web browsers are blocking third-party tracking, and more. Our special […]
The post LinkedIn Updates Ad Features and Mozilla Blocks Ad Tracking appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.
When you’re running Google ads, you want to make the most of your budget. Every dollar needs to perform, either giving you information you can use to make other dollars perform better, or bringing you in a defined, positive return on your investment.
This leads to the common adjustment of increasing bids when your budget increases, which in turn may have an astonishing effect on your ads. I’ve seen it a few times, and it’s not an unheard-of situation: a higher budget leads to lower conversions.
Why does this happen, and what can you do to prevent it?
Part of the root cause of this issue is Google’s recommendations for ad success. Google is biased, of course. They want people to spend as much money as possible, so they can make as much money as possible. Google is smart, though. They know that if they just cranked up prices and left you with middling results, you would stop using their service. They strive for quality in their ad program so that no one walks away dissatisfied. One customer paying $10 a month for a year is worth more than another customer paying $50 once and leaving forever.
Basically, Google has something called Recommendations. Recommendations are pieces of advice that good generates for you, based on the performance and situation of your account, and their wealth of historical data from other users in their ads system. Trust me, they’ve seen it all a thousand times. They can pick out your specific situation, identify potential improvements, and recommend actions for you to take that will lead to those improvements.
Recommendations are not provided by an account manager or in any personalized manner. Rather, they are generated algorithmically based on your account performance and site-wide Google trends. Recommendations are taken from a list, which you can read here. Here are some examples, if you don’t want to click through:
Add responsive search ads: Show more relevant ads to potential customers by creating responsive search ads.
Create new versions of your ads: Try new versions of your ads and let the best ones show.
Bid more efficiently with Enhanced CPC: Automatically optimize your bids at auction time for searches more likely to lead to conversions.
Change your device bid adjustments: Optimize your spend on specific devices and increase your return on investment.
Set audience bid adjustments: Optimize your audience bid adjustments based on how well they are converting.
Add negative keywords: Reduce wasted spend by not showing on searches that are irrelevant to your business.
Remove conflicting negative keywords: People didn’t see your ads because of conflicting negative keywords. Remove them so your ads can show.
Add keywords to each ad group: Get your ads running by adding keywords to each ad group.
Fix your audience source with no activity: Make sure you aren’t missing users on remarketing lists used by your campaigns. Fix the audience source so that users are added to your lists correctly.
All of the above are taken straight from Google. They’re just a small selection of the dozens of recommendations Google provides, contextually, to accounts in their system.
Some of these amount to “take advantage of advanced features in the ads system.” Some of them are “avoid conflicts that break ad visibility.” Still others work out to “spend more money in our system.”
Since so many of their recommendations end up increasing your conversions, giving you more search visibility, or dropping your cost per conversion, it makes sense to follow them. Google isn’t going to steer you wrong if they can help it, because a disgruntled user is a user tying up their support system or a user that leaves their program entirely.
How Increasing Budget Decreases Conversions
Now, I’m not going to tell you that increasing your budget will always decrease conversions. In fact, it’s a pretty narrow set of circumstances that cause the problem. I can think of two reasons why it might happen, so I’ll detail them below.
The first cause is when you simply run out of available traffic. This is by far the more common of the two causes, and it relates entirely to your chosen keywords. If your ads have a high quality score, you have a reasonable bid, and you have a budget sufficient to get plenty of conversions, increasing your budget will not increase your conversions.
Imagine you have a keyword with a monthly search volume of 800. That’s roughly 800 queries per month for that keyword. Maybe 5% of them will click through and convert, so you have about 40 conversions available. At a price of $2 per conversion, that’s a monthly budget of $80.
If you bump your budget up to $160, you’re doubling it. Your cost per conversion, if anything, goes up a bit as you have more money to spare and can be more flexible. However, there are still only 40 conversions available in that month, because there are only 800 people searching for your keyword.
It doesn’t matter if you have a million dollars to throw into your ads; if your keywords simply have no more available search volume, you cannot get more conversions out of them.
The second cause is when the math doesn’t work out in your favor, dividing up bids within your budget with a higher cost per click.
Let’s say you have a budget of $10, and your ads are hitting an audience that has a cost per click ranging from $2 to $3. You set your bid cap to $2, ensuring that every conversion you get costs $2 or less. With a budget of $10, you get five conversions.
Now you have a higher budget so you increase your bid to $3. Your $3 captures a new selection of your audience, those who are harder to reach and thus cost more. However, you can only fit three conversions in your $10.
This is a gross simplification, of course. You wouldn’t keep your budget cap at $10 with a higher available budget. Still, the idea is that your conversions aren’t increasing to keep up with the increase in budget. You double your budget and you expect double the conversions, but because your cost per conversion goes up – since you’re willing and able to pay more – your number of conversions goes down.
Basically, this is just a negative confluence of factors that can occur when you increase bids and budgets based on Google’s recommendations without actually playing with the numbers in the right way. You generally need to figure out what point you should cap your bids, despite what Google may want you to do.
Other Things to Check
If you’re having this issue – the lack of increased conversions, that is – there are a few other things you can check that might be causing it other than the two main causes I detailed above.
The first is to check to see if you happen to have daily budget caps, ad set caps, or other budget restrictions in place. Google will always abide by the smallest budget cap to avoid springing unnecessary or unexpected charges on their customers. If you set your overall monthly budget to $1,000 but your daily budget is still $10, you’re only going to spend $300 per month. Make sure all of your budget numbers are chosen in a way that uses them appropriately, or make sure you’re choosing one of Google’s automatic allocation strategies.
Another check you can perform requires a little manual finesse. Is position #1 in the search results actually the best position for your business? Sometimes it is, of course. The top of the line is the most visible and tends to get the most clicks. However, it’s also somewhat more expensive than #2 or #3. A higher position might get you a higher click through rate, but if your conversion rate doesn’t support it, it’s not going to do well for your budget. You may be paying too much for your position.
One of the most common occurrences I encounter is a business striving to spend all of their budget to reach position #1, when it doesn’t have a tangible benefit to outweigh the increased costs and competition. Letting your ads “languish” at #2 or #3 will still get you a reasonable amount of conversions, without over-spending on advertising to get there.
Another issue you can check on is if you have any keywords that are draining your budget without bringing in conversions. It’s easy for an ad with 80 broad match keywords to have one or two performing terribly, and you might never know until you look at your keyword-level analytics. You generally want to make sure that your keywords all meet a minimum level of performance. Any dramatically underperforming keywords should be removed or added to a negative keyword list.
Other Considerations for Google Ad Conversions
Ads grow stale, they grow old, they can wither and die. Increasing your budget isn’t going to revitalize them, it’s just going to show a stale ad to more people who aren’t interested. You need to change up your ads, and that means split testing.
Incomplete split tests are a common problem with ads testing. I give an example in the article linked. Essentially, if you test different variations of different variables, only to come up with a result that points at a new confluence that you didn’t test, you don’t actually know if that confluence is better.
It’s easy to catch all of the options when you’re testing one or two variables, but the more you add, the more you need to test, and that grows exponential very quickly. It’s why tests should be limited, and it’s why you need a proper budget to get the proper kind of data.
Conversions are also susceptible to concerns outside of the ad ecosystem. I’ve talked to a few marketers in the past who have issues they dig deep trying to figure out, only to step back and realize their conversions dropped because they sell school supplies and school is out for the summer, or some other seasonal shift.
When temporal concerns aren’t at issue, there’s also the possibility that some public perception has shifted. Maybe a competitor has hit the field and is trashing your business in their marketing. Maybe one of your customer service reps made a bad decision and their response has gone viral. Maybe you sell something that the public is slowly moving away from, and there’s not much you can do to claw back those sales.
Another thing you should consider is ad keyword groups. All too many people throw all their keywords into one soup and hope it all works out on the other side, but that leads to a lot of ads with copy that doesn’t quite line up with the query, ads that don’t quite work. That means your conversions are going to be harder to come by, which in turn means their cost goes up. A higher budget will get you more high cost conversions, but you’re wasting a lot of opportunity.
The fact is, the ads ecosystem has a thousand different factors at play, which is why so many of Google’s recommendations point at automatic adjustments they can perform algorithmically to get you the best results for the given money and copy you feed into the system. Any adjustments you make need to keep this in mind.
The post Can Increasing Your Google Ad Budget Lower Conversions? appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.
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