Look Ma, no keywords! Phrase-free AdWords campaigns are here

Some brick-and-mortar advertisers logged into accounts in late February to find new campaigns named “Local Search Ads Experiment Campaign” populated in AdWords.

Google has confirmed that these campaigns are currently running for select advertisers only and promote verified business locations in local search results in both Google Search and maps without using keywords.

Instead of keywords, Google uses Google My Business (GMB) information such as location address and location category to trigger relevant results. Advertisers cannot request to take part in the experiment at this time.

While these campaigns are still in very early days, how should advertisers think about this recent development?

Locally focused optimizations

Right now, most brick-and-mortar advertisers only have one lever available to control when ads show up in Google maps searches or in local ad displays directly on Google.com: the activation or deactivation of location extensions.

Local Services is another paid local format that is managed through a dedicated local services portal, but it is currently limited to a handful of home service industries in select US cities. Thus, location extensions are driving local ad results for most brick-and-mortar brands in most locations at this point.

Location extensions have existed for years and are traditionally added to AdWords campaigns for all brick-and-mortar advertisers as a best practice for gaining additional search engine results pages (SERP) real estate and giving searchers useful information on store locations and hours.

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

How to use good ol’ PPC to support fun and creative branded content

Branded content and pay-per-click (PPC) aren’t ordinarily included together in the same section of a digital media plan, but there are definite synergies between these two marketing disciplines.

One way to increase the efficiency and profitability of a PPC budget is to examine how PPC can be used to support really fun and creative branded content.

Branded content is evolving

The category of branded content has exploded online within both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing, according to data from PQMedia and Polar.

Image courtesy of Polar.me

Branded content goes by many names, but it originated as “advertorial” content (in print) and as “infomercials” (in broadcast TV). This form of content is still very popular, particularly in certain industry segments in which the use of the brand in advertorials can be authentic and compelling.

In the digital domain, branded content has now evolved to more closely resemble the soap opera model of days long past.

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

Let’s face it — clickbait works. Here’s how to use it to your advantage

No two ways about it — clickbait works!

With the right page title, you can get people to click on your link in the search engine results pages (SERPs). That means you’ll get more clicks on call-to-action (CTA) elements on your website, which, in turn, should boost your bottom line.

If you’re interested in getting a better click-through rate (CTR) in the search results, then maybe it’s time to up your page title game. Fortunately, you can draw inspiration from others who’ve crafted titles that encourage clicks.

In this article, we’ll look at nine examples of outstanding page titles and go over what they have that makes them appealing and highly clickable.

1. The dynamic template

Travel website TripAdvisor uses a title that’s more of a template than an actual title. That’s because the marketing team applies the same title format to different regions.

For example, if you search for “best hotels in San Francisco,” you’ll see that TripAdvisor appears toward the top of the SERPs with this headline:  “The 10 Best Hotels in San Francisco, CA for 2018 (from $76).”

That’s a great headline for a few different reasons.

First, it’s directly related to the query. So anyone who enters that search term in a search engine will be happy with that result.

Second, it uses the current year. That tells people the information on the page is up to date.

Putting the current year in the title is an old favorite trick of search engine optimization specialists (SEOs). If you want to increase your CTR, try adding the year to some of your titles. Even if you don’t make any other changes, you’ll likely see a bump in clicks.

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

Intent-based keyword research: Let Google be your guide

Whether paid or organic, when it comes to search marketing, keywords are king.

Good keyword research is at the heart of any successful search marketing campaign, so it pays to get it right from the get-go.

Good keyword research, however, isn’t just about search volume, competition level, suggested bids or any of the other metrics you see in a keyword research tool like Google’s keyword planner.

While all of these metrics are helpful, the most important trait of any keyword is the intent behind it.

From a data perspective, a keyword can look like a perfect fit, but if most of the searches related to a term aren’t related to your business, that keyword probably isn’t worth your time or money.

Unfortunately, Google’s keyword planner doesn’t tell you a lot about the intent behind a keyword. But that doesn’t mean you have to guess. Google can still tell you a lot about the intent behind a keyword; you just have to know where to look.

In this article, we’ll take a look at why intent is such an important part of keyword research, how to get at the intent behind a keyword and ways to use intent to guide your search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) keyword strategies.

To begin, let’s start by taking a look at how the intent behind a keyword can affect your SEM and SEO efforts.

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

Marketo buys Bizible, adds ‘deeper attribution’ to its engagement platform

Marketo has acquired performance management software Bizible, the company announced Monday at its annual conference, the Marketing Nation Summit.

The merger brings together two companies that are well-known in the industry for the services they provide. Marketo is an enterprise-level marketing automation provider, and Bizible is known for its ability to provide attribution for conversions across channels.

It’s the largest acquisition in Marketo history. The company says that though it currently has some tools that provide attribution, the Bizible acquisition will provide “deeper analytics.”

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

How Salesforce’s acquisition of CloudCraze expands its Commerce Cloud

In mid-2016, Salesforce bought commerce platform Demandware, which became the basis for its new Commerce Cloud.

Now, with the recent closing of its acquisition of commerce platform CloudCraze, Salesforce is adding B2B to its Commerce Cloud. But there’s more to that story, Cloudcraze CEO Andy Peebler told me.

Aside from its focus on B2B, he said, CloudCraze offers another advantage: It’s built natively onto the Salesforce platform. By contrast, Demandware was an existing platform that is now integrated with Salesforce.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

About The Author

Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.

Here’s why Radius and Leadspace decided to combine

Darius Shirazi and Doug Bewsher

Radius and Leadspace have both specialized in B2B predictive lead scoring, where various data signals indicate which leads and accounts might be the most fruitful.

This week, the two companies announced they were joining forces under the Radius brand. Leadspace CEO Doug Bewsher becomes CEO of the newly enlarged company, and Radius CEO Darian Shirazi is the new Executive Chairman.

The question I posed to them: why did these two similar companies want to merge?

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

Identity is having its moment, but most martech isn’t ready

Have you noticed anything different about the LUMAscape lately? Recently, the imposing cluster of logos representing the marketing technology landscape grew a little denser. Nestled under the data management platform (DMP) category, and to the right of the increasingly hyped customer data platform (CDP) grouping, lies a new class of martech: identity.

Click to enlarge

And it’s about time.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

Marketing Day: Facebook’s F8 Conference, Google’s GDPR issues & Google My Business descriptions

Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.

From Marketing Land:

Recent Headlines From MarTech Today, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Marketing Technology:

Online Marketing News From Around The Web:

Mark Zuckerberg announces new ‘Clear History’ option & more at Facebook’s F8 Conference

Facebook kicked off its F8 Developers Conference Tuesday with a keynote from CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

“This has been an intense year. I can’t believe we’re only four months in,” said Zuckerberg, who was no doubt referring in part to the firestorm since Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica for exploiting user data.

He moved on, offering a brief overview of recent announcements the site has made around data privacy issues and actions it was taking to safeguard user information. Zuckerberg talked about how the company now limits the data available to apps and the app removal tool it rolled out last month to make it easier for users to delete unwanted apps.

New Clear History tool

In addition to summarizing actions already taken, Zuckerberg announced Facebook would be rolling out a Clear History tool that would let users clear their browsing history on the platform and see all the apps they had interacted with.

“This is the kind of control we think people should have,” said Zuckerberg, but only after noting how clearing your history may make your Facebook experience worse, as the platform won’t be able to serve up content based on your activity.

Zuckerberg recapped all the ways the site was addressing issues around election interference, fighting fake news and data privacy issues, claiming that what happened with Cambridge Analytica was a “major breach of trust.”

He also said that the company was slow to identify the ways Russia had used the platform to interfere in the 2016 elections, but that his team would never be unprepared again. He then outlined Facebook’s primary messaging points around these issues: that they have AI tools constantly monitoring and taking down fake accounts, the new ad policies they’ve introduced to enforce political ad transparency, and the company’s push to have 20,000 people working on security by the end of 2018.

Once Zuckerberg was able to address all the ways Facebook was working to fix its data-crisis issues — none of which are all that appealing if you are a developer tasked with designing Facebook apps — he moved on to new product announcements.

Facebook launches Watch Party, a Groups tab, and new dating profiles

The first new feature Zuckerberg announced was Watch Party — a video tool that lets users watch a video with other users and chat at the same time.

“For example, if one of your friends is testifying before Congress,” said Zuckerberg, showing an example of how the Watch Party video feature would work, using footage of his recent appearance before Congress.

The site is also launching a new Groups Tab to make Groups “more central” to the Facebook experience. In addition to putting a tab in place for Groups, it is also launching a “Join Group” button that developers can put on websites, in emails, or in other places outside of Facebook to make joining groups easier.

Zuckerberg also announced that the site would be rolling out a Dating Profile app for users but left details around it to be covered in the follow-up presentation with Facebook’s chief of product, Chris Cox.

Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger Updates

In addition to the coming Facebook-specific products, the company is also polishing up Instagram with a new design for the Explorer section, now organizing content around content channels. Instagram is also getting video chat for one-on-one and group conversations, as well as AR camera effects.

AR camera effects are also coming to Messenger and WhatsApp. Zuckerberg said WhatsApp will also be getting a group video-calling feature soon.

Before going into the details around updates to WhatsApp, Zuckerberg took a moment to thank Jan Koum, the CEO of WhatsApp, and said he was deeply grateful for all Koum’s work. Koum announced yesterday in a Facebook post on his personal page that he was leaving the company, saying that he was taking some time to enjoy things outside of technology.

It’s been almost a decade since Brian and I started WhatsApp, and it’s been an amazing journey with some of the best…

Posted by Jan Koum on Monday, April 30, 2018

Koum’s Facebook post came a day after The Washington Post reported Koum was leaving because his personal beliefs clashed with Facebook’s policies around personal data and weakened encryption systems.

Zuckerberg commented on Koum’s post: “I’m grateful for everything you’ve done to help connect the world, and for everything you’ve taught me, including about encryption and its ability to take power from centralized systems and put it back in people’s hands.”

And you get an Oculus Go, and you get an Oculus Go, and you get an Oculus Go…

To get back in the good graces of the developers, Zuckerberg ended his presentation with the news that Oculus Go was shipping today. Facebook’s VR headset comes with 1,000 apps and is priced at $199 — but everyone at F8 was getting one for free (a possible olive branch to all the developers who have been suffering through Facebook’s recent app policy changes).

There was no mention of a “Facebook Analytics” app that showed up in app stores before the conference began this morning, as reported by TechCrunch. Like Facebook’s Pages manager and Ads manager, the app lets business owners see Facebook engagement and conversion metrics and receive notifications from their phone.

Facebook’s F8 is a two-day conference that includes several panels, all focusing on topics relevant to Facebook’s developer base. We will be sure to cover Zuckerberg’s second keynote address again tomorrow on the last day of the conference.