Web Search & Marketing Newsletter - April 2014
Welcome to the latest issue of our monthly newsletter which covers news, tips and advice on effective website marketing, with a particular focus on search marketing techniques and trends.
In the first article this month we take a look at the role and importance of landing pages and how they can have a significant impact on how an online marketing campaign performs - in particular, with Google AdWords. Next, we examine how 2014 is likely to be a revolutionary year in the search environment as it's predicted to be the first year in which mobile search queries exceed desktop search queries based on global searches.
Finally this month, we review the latest figures on Internet advertising spend in Australia, published by the Internet Advertising Bureau. The quarterly and annual figures for December 2013 were published recently and continue to show strong growth across all sectors, particularly in display advertising.
You can read more below, or you can also browse through previous editions of the newsletter, either by month or by subject. You can also follow us on Twitter for the latest developments during the month, or follow our Facebook page or Google+ page for updates.
On to this month's edition...
The Role and Importance of Landing Pages
If you're using Google AdWords, a good landing page can provide your business with a series of important benefits, including improving your Quality Score, which in turn can help to improve your ad position and lower your cost per click. A good landing page can also improve conversions, save you money and have a substantial influence on whether a campaign succeeds or fails.
Landing pages are those pages on your website that people first see when they find your site through a search engine – either from the 'organic' results, or via the paid listings such as AdWords. Each landing page therefore gives the site visitor a first impression of your business and plays a key role in conversion optimisation – getting a visitor to complete the task on your site that you want them to, whether it's to make a sale, send an enquiry or sign up for a newsletter.
As noted above, a landing page is an important element in Google AdWords as it can contribute to an improved Quality Score. Each time you create or amend an advert, Google will automatically visit the landing page being used from the ad and assess how well the landing page will work, so there are some key requirements to consider.
The following tips need to be followed to ensure visitors enjoy your landing page experience and that you can maximise your Quality Score for each keyword:
- Make sure your landing page has content that is relevant and closely to related to the text ads and keywords used. You should check the title tag, description tag and body content for the terms being used.
- Visitors should be able to easily find what they want. If your text ad is selling a product, make sure the product is easy for visitors to find once they are sent to your landing page.
- Ensure your landing page offers unique and useful information, including offers that are unique and only available from your site.
- Contact information on the landing page should be easy for visitors to see, and if a landing page requires information through a form, it is important to let the visitor know why and for what purpose.
- If you are selling online, make sure that personal data is collected using a secure processing server (https) with a valid certificate.
- If you are showing adverts on your landing page, make these clearly distinctive from your own content.
- Avoid pop-ups and other features that can be considered annoying to visitors.
- Make sure that the back button works if visitors want to return to the search results.
- You should also consider how your page is viewed from a mobile device if this is a core part of your advertising market.
In summary, a landing page should be easy for visitors to use and it should portray a sense of trust. The landing page should be highly related to the text ad and keyword that enticed the visitor to click the advertisement. A landing page should be easy to understand and visitors should be able to quickly locate more information if it's needed.
If you'd like more information about landing pages, or a review of those you are using, please contact us for more information.
Mobile Queries Outgrow Desktop Queries
2014 looks set to be a revolutionary year in the Search Marketing sector, with mobile search queries expected to overtake desktop search queries for the first time. The news has been indicated by several industry leaders, including Google's Matt Cutts, and comes earlier than expected with most predicting such a shift was still years away.
Mobile search queries are expected to exceed desktop search queries based on global searches, which shows the changing nature of the search environment. Google is reluctant to confirm these reports, as the company wants to encourage cross platform promotion, and this does of course remain the smartest strategy for advertisers who still need to target both desktop and mobile users.
However, the increasing trend in mobile searches are hardly a surprise for industry experts, considering there are estimated to be two billion desktops actively being used across the globe, which is well short of the five billion active mobile devices. This mix does vary by country, with India, for example, being well ahead in mobile v desktop usage, whereas globally, mobile traffic is seen to be about 30% of all Internet activity.
The increasing search trend on mobile has made it more important for website owners to ensure their websites can be accessed through these devices. Also, advertisements targeting mobile platforms are becoming ever more important as a result of the booming mobile search queries. The data available within AdWords can clearly show mobile usage and advert interaction. Plus, Google Analytics also provides website marketers with information about visitors arriving from mobile devices and how they interact with the website.
When this data is reviewed, AdWords advertisers can understand the behaviour of their specific market and then determine what type of mobile ads are created. Both mobile text and image ads can be implemented to either high-end smartphone users - which include users of iPhones and Android devices - or to the declining number of WAP users, which includes mobile devices with smaller screens.
If you'd like to know more about reviewing and targeting mobile search users in your marketing activity, please contact us for information.
Australian Online Advertising Expenditure in 2013
Figures recently provided by Australia's Interactive Advertising Bureau report (complied by PricewaterhouseCoopers), found that all online advertising segments experienced double digital growth in the 12 months ended 31st December 2013. From those, the General Display advertising sector had the strongest growth at 28.4% year on year to break the $1bn barrier for the first time.
By comparison, Search and Directories grew 18.1% and Classifieds grew 10.5% year on year. General Display advertising expenditure for 2013 was $1.125m, while Classifieds advertising was $743m and Search and Directories reached an estimated $2.118m.
After the 82% rise in worldwide mobile ad revenue in 2012, this continued to increase well in 2013 and has more than quadrupled. In the Australian market it rose by 305% to reach $349.2m in the twelve months ending 31st December 2013 and accounted for 14% of total online expenditure. Video advertising also continued to rise well, with a 72% growth on 2012 and accounted for 15% of display revenues in the December quarter.
Display advertising as a whole experienced particularly strong growth in the December quarter, reaching 35% year on year growth. Motor Vehicles, Finance, and Retail were the top three dominant General Display industry categories in that quarter, representing 41% of the reported General Display advertising market. This was up from 40.2% in the December Quarter 2012.
The retail sector rose well during the quarter, increasing its category share from 8% in the December Quarter 2012 to 10% percent in the December Quarter 2013. The strength of the retail industry category for General Display advertising this quarter was reflected in by the record retail spend of $22.6 billion in December 2013.
You can read more about the IAB figures here.
If you'd like more information about this data and how we can help to grow your sales through digital marketing channels, contact us now.
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We hope you've found this month's newsletter useful. Please contact us if you need any more information on the items covered, or our advice on any aspect of your website's performance. Also, if there are any issues you would like to see in future editions of this newsletter, please submit your suggestions to us.