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The Latest in Marketing Across Devices

Christian Pillat
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Google, Marketing, Search Advertising

The Latest in Marketing Across Devices

Let’s say you run a local shoe store in town called “Lou’s Shoes.” Lou’s Shoes is generally well-liked by the few customers who know about it, but you want to expand your reach. So, you run an advertising campaign promoting a customized Halloween Special. Within that campaign, you run an ad that says “Our Prices Are So Low, It’ll Spook You!” and push it out onto Google’s paid search network. You target cell phones, tablets, and computers alike, hoping to reach the widest audience possible.

Now, let’s say John Doe wakes up one morning and decides he wants to buy the newest Air Jordans for his 10-year-old son. He does a quick Google search before leaving for work and sees your ad pop up. But, right after he clicks on it, his son bustles down the stairs and all of a sudden he remembers it’s his turn to drive him to school today. Not wanting to be late for work, he rushes his son out the door and forgets all about Lou’s Shoes. Later that evening, he gets home from work and remembers the purchase we wanted to make. This time he does a search on his laptop and sees a similar ad from the store across town. He clicks on it and sees the Air Jordan’s he was looking for, forgetting all about your special offer. He makes the purchase online, and now you’ve lost a sale.

Image result for cross device remarketing google

The moral of the story? You lost an interested potential customer because your ad couldn’t cross over from one of his devices to the other. This has been a frustrating trend for local businesses who use Google’s paid search to not only market to potential new customers, but to re-market their product to old ones. Without being able to remarket their product across users’ multiple devices, in what’s known as cross-device remarketing, these companies have to turn to expensive external vendors, who are the only ones with this capability. The good news, however, is that all of this is about to change.

In a recent blog post, Brad Bender, the VP of display and video advertising at Google, announced a change in the search engine’s cross-device remarketing capabilities. He announced that you will soon be able to “reach the same user across devices, apps, and sites,” and that “you can now tell a single story to your audience and decide how frequently they see your ad across devices.”

Google is expecting to roll out this new capability globally over the next few months. So, if you’re an aspiring franchise owner, like Lou’s Shoes, be sure to keep an eye out for Google’s new cross-device remarketing capabilities so you don’t lose out on that interested customer.

Adfinitely creates a better franchise marketing experience. We have an industry leading ad management platform that allows customers to easily order, distribute, and see results on marketing campaigns across networks like Google, Bing, Facebook, etc. Call us at (800) 696-4192 or e-mail us at sales@adfinitely.com for more information

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Keeping Up with Google – the New Rules for Customer Reviews

Christian Pillat
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Customer Reviews, Google, Local Listings, Local SEO, Marketing, Schema

Keeping Up with Google - the New Rules for Customer Reviews

It’s no secret that in today’s consumer market, credibility and authenticity are everything. Perhaps that’s why 88% of the population regularly reads reviews for consumer products before purchasing. Plain and simple, people want to hear it from the horse’s mouth – they want to hear from buyers and not suppliers. We’ve all been through the routine before – we see that 55-inch plasma TV and we want to know if it’s every bit as good as advertised. Of course the producer is going to tell you it has a picture so real that you’ll think you’re at the big game or that the sound is so clear that you feel as if your favorite newscaster is in the room with you. But as soon as we read a review saying “this is a waste of money, don’t buy!” we automatically shut it down. This is why customer reviews are so important to franchises, agencies, and national brands. Even more important is keeping up with the latest developments in this facet of the social buying experience. Image result for customer reviews

While reviews are certainly a factor in whether or not you can make a sale, they also play an important role in local SEO. With reviews accounting for over 10% of overall ranking factors, it’s easy to see why so many franchise brands are investing in review aggregators, like BrightLocal and GetFiveStars. But using these aggregators is rendered useless, if not damaging, if you’re not going about it the correct way. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with the latest of Google’s guidelines for marking up these reviews as means of improving visibility and driving sales.

Below is a list of Google’s new guidelines regarding online reviews:
  • Snippets must not be written or provided by the business or content provider unless they are genuine, independent, and unpaid editorial reviews.
  • Reviews must allow for customers to express both positive and negative sentiments. They may not be vetted by the business or restricted by the content provider based on the positive/negative sentiment of the review before submission to Google.
  • Reviews cannot be template sentences built from data or automated metrics. For example, the following is not acceptable: “Based on X number of responses, on average people experienced X with this business.”
  • Reviews for multiple-location businesses such as retail chains or franchises can only be submitted for the specific business location for which they were written. In other words, reviews for multiple-location businesses cannot be syndicated or applied to all business locations of the same company.
  • Aggregators or content providers must have no commercial agreements paid or otherwise with businesses to provide reviews.
  • Do not include reviews that are duplicate or similar reviews across many businesses or from different sources.
  • Only include reviews that have been directly produced by your site, not reviews from third-party sites or syndicated reviews.

Key Takeaways

There are three highly important takeaways from this. Number one, when you include third-party syndicated reviews (ones not directly produced by your site), you cannot mark those up with schema. For the uninitiated, schema is an SEO tactic that tells the search engines what your data means, not just what it says, thus making it easier for search engines to find and display your content. So, when using the “review” schema tag to mark up your testimonials, make sure that the reviews are coming from your site, and not an aggregator.

The second major change that sticks out to me is that local franchise owners cannot filter out reviews to only include the positive ones. While this may be frightful for some business owners, this update is certainly a step in the right direction, as it will allow customers to engage with brands more authentically and build customer trust. No one is going to believe that your business is perfect 100% of the time, so don’t bother trying to come off that way. If you’re really worried about having too many negative reviews, a good idea might be to start asking for reviews from customers, vendors, and partners that you know have had a positive experience with your product.

The final major update worth noting is that reviews for multiple-location franchises can only be submitted for the specific location for which they are written. So, make sure you aren’t aggregating the reviews from all the locations and applying them individually to every storefront. Although this may pose some challenges, in the long run it can help franchise owners better identify which locations are struggling with their reviews and make the necessary changes to turn the tide of customer satisfaction.

With all these major changes in place, it’s important to note that it may take several months for them to be strictly enforced by Google. However, it still remains to be seen how Google will penalize brands who fail to adhere to their new set of rules. After all, these new guidelines almost directly contradict the previous review markup guidelines. It’s definitely better to play it on the safe side – getting flagged by the world’s most popular search engine would certainly have devastating effects on your business.

Adfinitely creates a better franchise marketing experience. We have an industry leading ad management platform that allows customers to easily order, distribute, and see results on marketing campaigns across networks like Google, Bing, Facebook, etc. Call us at (800) 696-4192 or e-mail us at sales@adfinitely.com for more information

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How Facebook Is Changing the Game of Search Advertising

Christian Pillat
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Facebook, Google, Marketing, Paid Search, Search Advertising, SEO, Social Media

How Facebook Is Changing the Game of Search Advertising

With a reported 59% revenue growth year-over-year, 1.71 billion monthly active users, and an advertising revenue of $6.24 billion over the past three months alone, Facebook is continually on the rise, and shows no signs of slowing down. The social media giant crushed Wall Street’s estimates for its 2nd Quarter earnings, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is still hungry for more success. So, with all of this sustained growth, where could he possibly have his sights on next? The answer to that would be a showdown with Google for a share of the search advertising market.

As of right now, Facebook and Google are the two biggest players in the digital marketing world, with the former dominating social advertising, and the latter dominating search advertising. Although the two companies make up 76% of all online advertising revenue in the United States, Facebook still trails Google in total revenue by a sizable $20 billion-a-year margin. The social network looks to close this gap by transforming their search capabilities into a system where businesses can bid to show in the top spots of search results, much like what Google does right now with AdWords.

The Three Stage Model

Speaking to investors during Facebook’s earnings call on July 28th, Zuckerberg laid out his three stage plan to revolutionize Facebook search. He claimed that Stage 1 is introducing the product to the users, Stage 2 is where the search will be made “organically” useful to businesses, and Stage 3 is when Facebook will charge businesses for search features, much like Google’s pay-per-click advertising. He noted that Facebook was currently in stage two, saying that “we have a pretty big navigational use case where people look up people and pages and groups that they want to get to, and look at, and search. One of the big growing use cases that we’re investing a lot in is looking up the content in the ecosystem and that is an area we’re very excited about, which helps people find more content.” Furthermore, he claimed that once there’s a large volume of people interacting with businesses, this will give “businesses tools to reach more people…and that’s ultimately the business opportunity.”

A Monetized Commercial Search

So, ultimately the goal for Facebook’s search feature would be to make it monetizable for commercial intent. In this way, their search feature would be offered up for paid search ads to brands and publishers, assuming that interest is high enough. Although Facebook’s users already organically interact with businesses, the question that remains to be answered is if they will be able to make the leap from this organic interaction to a more monetized commercial search. Only time will tell.

Adfinitely creates a better franchise marketing experience. We have an industry leading ad management platform that allows customers to easily order, distribute, and see results on marketing campaigns across networks like Google, Bing, Facebook, etc. Call us at (800) 696-4192 or e-mail us at sales@adfinitely.com for more information

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