Boles joins real estate firm - Mount Airy News

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Boles joins real estate firm - Mount Airy NewsBoles joins real estate firm - Mount Airy NewsPosted: 16 Jun 2020 12:00 AM PDTBolesLori Boles recently joined Yadkin Valley Real Estate Inc. and Farms Land & Country Homes as a professional sales broker.As a new Yadkin Valley Real Estate Broker, she will be assisting buyers and sellers with their residential and commercial real estate needs in the Mount Airy and surrounding areas. Under the Farms Land and Country homes banner, she'll be assisting buyers and sellers of rural properties in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Yadkin Valley appellation. Boles is a member of the National, State and nearby Winston Salem Regional Association of Realtors.Boles began her real estate career in 2017 and has been a top producing real estate broker every year. Before that, she owned and operated a successful hair salon for 24 years.She lives in Pilot Mountain with her husband Richard and their two twin children. She has an older marri…

8 Things Advertisers Say They're Doing During COVID-19 - Search Engine Journal

8 Things Advertisers Say They're Doing During COVID-19 - Search Engine Journal


8 Things Advertisers Say They're Doing During COVID-19 - Search Engine Journal

Posted: 30 Apr 2020 06:46 AM PDT

I've now hosted five PPC Town Halls and welcomed several PPC experts as panelists to share what they're doing in response to the economic crisis that's resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

I'd like to share a few of the key takeaways we heard.

1. Adapt to Survive in a Volatile Market

The volatility in digital marketing follows that of the real world.

As consumers in different locations have to abide by quickly-evolving government regulations, their behavioral shifts are forcing companies to adapt quickly or risk going out of business.

Levi's CEO, Chip Bergh, says "this pandemic will further separate the winners and losers."

But since there is no playbook for the scenario we now face, being nimble and adapting to the situation is going to be a critical part of being a winner.

If you're on the digital marketing team, the first step to getting your client or company to agree to adapt is to show them data of how the pandemic is impacting them.

Regional Impact of PPC Script

My company, Optmyzr, has written a free Google Ads script that overlays regional coronavirus-related regulations on top of Google Ads performance data.

The annotated timeline can expose the underlying reasons why the results of PPC are in flux.

It can be especially helpful for agencies working with multi-location clients where it may be difficult to stay on top of a multitude of differing local regulations.

COVID analysis script for PPC from OptmyzrCOVID events overlaid on PPC performance data

Pre- & Post COVID-19 Script

Another free visualization script is written by Martin Röttgerding.

It charts key PPC metrics before and after COVID for all accounts in an MCC.

This is useful because it considers the performance of each individual account rather than the aggregate data we tend to hear and which may misrepresent what is happening on an account-by-account basis.

Keyword Planner

And don't forget about the engines' own tools that you may have been visiting only sporadically before.

At PPC Town Hall, Google's Peter Oliveira recommended advertisers review performance planner tools from Google every week to get a sense of changes in the landscape.

Advertisers might notice a change in competition and its corresponding impact on lost impression share.

Based on that they can decide to change targets for automated bidding to be better aligned with current market conditions.

2. Remain Relevant Any Way You Can

My wife just cut my hair and it looks great.

I started working out in my yard and I love not having to drive 15 minutes to the gym.

I wear sneakers more often and I love how comfortable they are.

These are just some of the ways I'm changing.

I don't know yet to what degree I'll return to things the way they were before.

That's not great news for my hairdresser, my gym, and the makers of formal shoewear.

By the way, I can put on my shirt while doing a handstand so that's indisputable evidence some things can be done as well at home as outside of the home.

We need to nominate another PPC'er to do this challenge next…

As a business, you must prove value, now more than ever, even if you may not get paid the same.

Consumers like routines.

Getting them to try something new is hard, that's why the cost to acquire a new customer is higher than the cost to retain an existing one.

But now status quo-loving consumers are forced to change.

As a business, this is an opportunity to get a new customer if you can fulfill their exact need.

And it's also a challenge to figure out how to retain that customer, even if you can only partially meet their need.

3. Sell by Inspiring & Having Up-to-Date Ads

When you advertise, "don't sound like a used car salesman; be your customers' partner in solving a problem," Joe Martinez recommended at PPC Town Hall.

"People are nervous, bored, and anxious; reminding people of that doesn't inspire them to fall in love with a brand. Shift that messaging to talk about how you're going to help consumers come out of this."

Then again, if you are selling cars, connect business data about the local situation so that ad extensions and ad text correctly reflect the scenario.

For example, avoid running your usual ads inviting consumers to your showroom when all you can offer are at-home test drives and some of the best sales incentives in recent years.

If your supply chain is impacted by COVID, "the big danger is advertising products that are out of stock or have low stock, and disappointing users when they land on the page. As an industry we need to do better, because it's a common complaint I keep seeing," said Andrew McGarry at PPC Town Hall.

Make sure merchant feed data is synced more frequently and use business-data driven advertising tools to ensure that ads reflect current inventory and pricing.

4. It's Feast or Famine

When international borders are closed and shelter-in-place orders are enacted, planes have to be grounded.

Airlines, hotels, and car rental companies have little need to advertise.

Tinuiti's COVID-19 Performance Dashboard illustrates this perfectly and shows ad spend for travel advertisers on Facebook is the hardest hit, down about 80% month-over-month.

At the same time, consumers wanting to minimize trips outside their homes are looking for food and grocery delivery services at unprecedented rates.

But while the demand is there, the supply is not with Whole Foods delivery slots in scarce supply.

Being nimble helps as Instacart is on track to hire over 500,000 new workers to bring supply and demand in line.

"It's almost a 'feast or famine' situation across commerce and service, and there are challenges with both scenarios," Ginny Marvin from Third Door Media observed during PPC Town Hall.

As a digital marketer, there is more work than ever to keep things on track, regardless of where your company falls on the scale of feast or famine.

We heard from Benu Aggarwal whose agency works in the travel vertical that they immediately found new ways to help their clients, even if that meant going outside of the usual realm of the work they do.

5. It's the Wild West Again

What makes the situation even more challenging and unique is that we no longer have the benefit of consistent laws that are uniformly enacted, a key criterion for an economy to perform at its peak.

I've heard several anecdotal reports of people in one city getting a ticket for the exact same activity that someone in the next city is allowed to do without penalty.

As advertisers, we no longer have the luxury of a uniform landscape.

If you're a national retail chain, you may have to adapt your ads from city to city to reflect what type of shopping is still allowed:

  • Store visits with social distancing.
  • Buy online, pick up by car.
  • Online orders only.
  • Or a total closure.

Besides a patchwork of regulations, we now also face the uncertainty of inconsistent enforcement.

In Los Altos, where I live, one day the police told everyone to leave the school fields, only to have the superintendent email the whole town to say this was a misunderstanding and fields were in fact open.

When rules are changing so quickly that the government can't keep up, it's no surprise consumers are confused.

There's also a new land-grab that is now possible.

"Here's a major company that runs a large part of the planet's ecommerce saying it can no longer deliver what it's conditioned us to expect, and not everyone realizes how disruptive this is," said Elizabeth Marsten on Amazon's decision to reprioritize certain FBA products.

"For paid search advertisers who have the ability to self-fulfill or sell via another platform, this is a huge opportunity as FBA shipping times become longer."

Personally I am learning about a lot of new companies that can help me meet my needs now that there are several of the usual players with logistics problems.

6. Use Audiences to Your Benefit

There is a lot that can be done with audiences, even in search marketing and now may be a great time to try some new things our panelists shared.

If your business is no longer able to close the deal right away, there are still opportunities to "build demand now for when you once again have the ability to deliver the product or service," said Susan Wenograd at a recent PPC Town Hall.

She specifically referred to low priced social media and display ads that can be used to build audiences and prime the funnel for later on.

Julie Friedman-Bacchini recommended to "use audiences to avoid showing ads to people who work in the most hard-hit verticals."

While not related to audiences, we heard a similar point from travel advertisers who added lots of new negative keywords when they noticed travel queries for cancellations started outpacing those for new reservations.

7. Experiment With Automated Bidding

I initially had concerns about how automated bidding would respond to an unexpected shift in behavior.

For example:

  • Would it quickly catch on to the fact that the same people who used to go shopping online from office parks were now all of a sudden doing those same searches from their homes in different cities?
  • Would that break the machine learning's prediction of the geographic impact on a query's chances to convert?

Google's Peter Oliveira responded that "Smart bidding has the ability to pick up signals and compare it to other things going on in the market to make those adjustments. While it uses both aggregated and recent trends, it favors what's been happening recently," hence it should work pretty well right now.

Most of what we heard from participants and panelists confirmed what Oliveira said that automated bidding is working.

Kirk Williams shared unexpectedly good results from the maximize clicks strategy and said "Automated bidding works relatively well. Conversions understandably are lower but the ROAS has actually improved."

But remember that automated bidding needs good data to build predictions and part of that is about having the right measurement in place.

"It's not a bad time to acquire users even if they're not all going to convert right away," Wenograd said.

The underlying point is that last-click attribution models may not work for this particular strategy so a model that values earlier interactions might work better in times like these.

Peter did add to "avoid the set-and-forget mentality, especially now. Smart Bidding is not automated bidding, you should still revise goals weekly."

To be able to align goals with what's happening on a regional basis, it may even make sense to get more granular in campaign structure, even if only temporarily.

Remember that campaign structure changes won't break automated bidding models since the machine learning models look primarily at the connections between query and conversion and disregard things like campaign name.

8. Continue to Learn

Digital marketing has always been a fast-moving field and many of us work from home so we've been able to adapt relatively quickly.

But one thing I personally miss is the events where we learn from experts and have hallway conversations with smart peers.

I would also love to have you join an upcoming weekly PPC Town Hall to continue the conversation and benefit from collaborative learning.

More Resources:


Image Credits

Screenshot taken by author, April 2020

Importance of negative keywords - MintTwist Blog

Posted: 25 Mar 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Utilising negative keywords within your advertisement campaigns is crucial in PPC optimisation.

It can enable an advertiser more control over their campaign by displaying ads only to users who are most likely to result in a sale or conversion. Increasing CTR from the most relevant customers while reducing the overall cost of your campaign.

Need help with your search advertising campaigns? Check us out!

What are negative keywords?

Negative keywords are search terms within paid search advertising campaigns in which you do NOT want your advertisement to be displayed. 

For example, if you were advertising a "desktop computers", you would not want to advertise to someone looking to purchase a "laptop". You would include "laptop" within your negative keywords list.

Important uses for negative keywords

1 – Targeting a relevant audience

The first, and potentially obvious, use for negative keywords is to remove searchers who aren't looking for the product you are marketing. 

For example, I searched "ppc agency jobs" into Google. The first paid advertisement result is from a digital marketing agency. The advertisement is for PPC services directed towards businesses looking for a quote. This result wouldn't be relevant to an individual on a job search (looks like agencies even get negative keywords wrong!). 

This search has led to the advertiser losing advertising budget needlessly and the search user reaching a useless result.

By including terms such as "career", "job" and "jobs" in a negative keyword list this problem is easily prevented. The ad will never appear for individuals searching with those terms in the query, in turn, increasing click through rates (CTR) and reducing marketing costs.

Here are some job-related negative keyword examples:

  • job
  • jobs
  • hiring
  • internship
  • intern
  • recruting
  • recruitment
  • salaries
  • salary
  • hire
  • career
  • careers
  • openings
  • occupation

2 – Targeting the most valuable audiences

Negative keywords can be used to direct the highest converting audience to your particular product or service. It could be that a user is searching for a product but includes a specific term which makes your product less relevant.

The most common case are keywords which highlight price (e.g. "free", "cheap" or "low cost). If you have an expensive product or service, it might not be effective to advertise to users searching for cheaper alternatives.

In the example below, we can see a £170 pot plant being advertised for the query "low cost plants". Clearly, the user is not likely to be looking for a product that expensive and so is unlikely to click through this ad and convert. This ad loses even more value as it's being displayed against cheaper alternatives.

Again, negative keywords come to the rescue! Simply add keywords such as "cheap", "free" and "low cost" to your negative keyword list so ads don't display for users searching for these terms.

Here are some cost-related negative keyword examples:

  • free
  • low cost
  • low price
  • bargain
  • cheap
  • cheapest
  • inexpensive
  • discount

3 – Directing ad copy to specific audiences

Imagine you are managing a search advertising campaign for an educational institution like a university. 

You may have two different campaigns: "PhD degree courses" and "master's degree courses". You wouldn't want your PhD course ads displaying for users specifically searching for master's or bachelor's degree courses. This wouldn't be relevant to those users and would lead to a low CTR and wasted budget.

 In your PhD Degree courses campaign, you could include negative keywords such as "undergraduate", "bachelors" and "master's" to prevent your ad showing for users searching for those terms.

You might also be interested in this: Our top ten higher education digital campaigns

4 – Avoiding PR problems

Some keywords are simply not good to be associated alongside your brand. Adding potentially sensitive or adult keywords to your negative keyword list could prevent any PR mishaps by displaying your ad against any problematic search queries.

How to find negative keywords with Google AdWords

The easiest way to find potential keywords to add to your negative keywords list in Google AdWords is:

  1. Under campaigns, select keywords in the left-hand column.
  2. Select the search terms tab which is displayed above the graph.
  3. You can view what search phrases have displayed your ads. If you see a search term which isn't relevant to your campaign, note it down. 
  4. Alternatively, you can select the exact search term and add it as a negative keyword either to the campaing, adgroup or to an existing keyword list.

If you are starting a new campaign, feel free to use the examples we provide previously in this article for as general negative keywords. However, don't paste a huge list of negative keywords into your list – make sure they are all relevant to your campaign.

How to add negative keywords to Google AdWords

Once you have your negative keywords list you will need to add them to your campaigns. On Google AdWords there are a few different ways to do this.

Here's Lee to show you how:

1 – Add negative keywords to a universal list

Curating your own negative keyword list and adding it to the universal negative keyword list in Google Ads may save you time down the line. These lists should include words which you know won't be used in most scenarios. Once the list has been made, you can easily add them to a current campaign or ad group.

a – Firstly, click tools and settings in the top right and navigate to "Negative keyword lists" under the "shared library" section.

b – Press the "+" button and start adding your negative keywords to the list. You can then add the list to campaigns of your choosing.

2 – Add negative keywords to individual campaigns or ad groups

You might just want to add individual negative keywords to an individual campaign or ad group.

a – Select a campaign or ad group and make your way over to the left side of the screen and select "keywords" once again.

b – Along to the top, select "Negative Keywords" and hit the "+" button. A list will display where you can add negative keywords individually or select one of the universal lists you created previously.

Make sure you include keyword matching options in your negative keywords to help you gain more control over you search ads. Keyword matching options are added to the keyword to let the search engine understand how to treat your keyword. 

These options can be used in both normal keywords and negative keywords. For example, if you include the keyword shoes in your negative keyword list, Google might omit your ad from search queries that include synonyms such as boots or trainers. Adding the term to the negative keyword list like this: [shoes] would mean your ads would be omitted from search queries which specifically include shoes.

Google has a good guide which explains the four options in detail and how to use them in Google Ads.

Final thoughts

As you can see, using negative keywords in your search advertising campaigns is a crucial stage for a successful campaign. They can be used as a powerful tool in gathering quality leads and increasing CTRs on your ads. Advertising campaigns could end up overspending needlessly, driving low value traffic or in a PR disaster. Make sure you spend time carefully curating your list for each of your campaigns to make the most out of your advertising budget. 

However, don't go too crazy with negative keywords. Including relevant keywords in your negative keyword list could end up significantly reducing reach for your ads.

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