Tips, Tricks, and Trends: How to up your Search Engine Marketing game

You know that Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a cornerstone of an effective digital marketing campaign. Simply investing in SEM is a start, but how can you keep up with the latest trends that help you reach your ideal target audience?

Let’s be real: The primary search engine used is Google, so we will keep our focus there for the sake of this post (although Bing has a lot of cool stuff going on as well!). Google is continuously improving their platforms, including AdWords, DoubleClick, and Analytics, to help businesses connect with consumers. Algorithms are updated to provide searchers with the most relevant information they’re looking for, and your ad strategy should evolve to keep up with these changes. For example:

Expanded Text: Helping You Rise Above the Competition

The higher character count of Google’s Expanded Text Ads offers businesses several advantages. Your brand messaging grows stronger with additional content—more characters means you can be more conversational when incorporating keywords. Because expanded ads are longer, they tend to push other ads further down the screen. Investing in SEM means that your ads may have the opportunity to appear at the top of the page and be viewed by searchers before pages that organically appear on the list. Our SEM experts have updated thousands of our clients’ ads in the last year to meet the new standard of expanded text, and have seen that expanded ads are delivering consistently higher click-through rates. Have you upgraded your ads to give consumers a better brand experience?

Accelerated Mobile Page: The “Speed Racer” of Mobile Search

When you’re on the go and searching on your phone, you may have seen results with a tiny lightning bolt symbol and the letters “AMP”. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) load faster, giving them a huge advantage. During the Google Marketing Next Live Stream, multiple speakers emphasized that time is of the essence—a one second delay in mobile page load can decrease conversions by 20%. Another stat from Google’s stream stated that 53% of all site visits are abandoned if a mobile page takes longer than three seconds to load. Ensuring your site has a speedy load time and exploring opportunities like AMP will help you reach more consumers with a more optimized experience.

What does this mean to you? SEM is all about providing the potential traveler the right information at the right time. Improving your website so that it loads quickly—regardless of the device used—will help your site become even more appealing to consumers and, in turn, you’ll reap the benefits of lower click costs and higher ad positions. Meanwhile, taking advantage of the increased space available for your ads gives you new opportunities to entice searchers to click to your page rather than a competitor’s.

Does #DeleteFacebook matter for brands?

You may have seen #DeleteFacebook trending on social media recently and read headlines like “User data leaks at Facebook pull tech further into political debate” on TechCrunch.com or “WhatsApp Co-Founder, who made billions from Facebook, says it’s time to #DeleteFacebook” on Fortune.com, reminding us that data privacy is a huge concern for consumers online. Fueled by recent information that data firm Cambridge Analytica accessed and improperly stored information from millions of Facebook users, the world is reacting severely, causing a panic.

Here are the facts

The good news is the feature that allowed the level of data access is no longer on Facebook as of 2016. (Source: Facebook) Their attention to growing concerns confirms that the Facebook team is focused on security and protecting its users from future inappropriate data harvesting. This incident is not the first, nor will it be the last, and Madden is committed to keeping you apprised of any new developments and communicating opportunities for awareness.

What does this mean for marketers?

When these types of events occur, we typically see Facebook usage go down and users searching for ways to protect their data. Facebook will likely implement new privacy controls that effect what types of information are available to marketers and users may take this opportunity to utilize them. Although these controls can have an effect on available data, Facebook doesn’t only track people when they’re using the site, they also use third-party data to identify user likes and behaviors to help marketers connect with their desired audience. While most users won’t quit cold turkey, some will, and that creates concern for marketers who utilize Facebook’s extremely valuable user data to market their brand.

A multi-platform strategy can minimize the impact of negative feedback on one specific platform.

Marketers focused on single-platform engagement with Facebook will start to see drop-offs and campaigns will start to lose viability. A multi-platform strategy can minimize the impact of negative feedback on one specific platform. Engaging content that is crafted for specific niches helps audiences connect with a brand and deliver consistent return on investment, resonating with readers, and creating a loyal audience. Your brand should be delivered with a consistent focus on values and authenticity to create connections with your audience that want to develop a special bond with your brand over another.

Here at Madden, we know that components of a campaign fit together like pieces of a puzzle, building to create a comprehensive strategy that will deliver tangible ROI and contribute to the overall success of your brand marketing. Learn more about our drive to help our partners build the perfect campaign here: Building a Comprehensive Digital Campaign