digital marketing

Countdown to Chrome warning for non-https websites

HTTPS is a secure protocol that helps defend your visitors’ info by encrypting knowledge traveling between the internet browser and the server.

SSL protocol

Google AdWords already recommends (and in some cases, requires) that every one URLs use the HTTPS protocol rather than HTTP to shield customers’ personal and money info.

As of April 2018, more than 57% of the Internet’s 137,971 most popular websites have a secure implementation of HTTPS (source: Alexa).

Starting from Chrome 68, expected to be released in July 2018, all HTTP pages will be market as “not secure”. This might cause a significant drop in traffic.

 

Not Secure website on Google Chrome

In terms of SEO, HTTPS is among the top Search Engine ranking factors.

If your website supports HTTPS and you run AdWords campaigns, make sure that the final URLs and mobile final URLs start with HTTPS – you can bulk edit this step wither on the platform, through Adwords editor or API.

If your website doesn’t support HTTPS speak with your webmaster or the CMS administrator and make sure that HTTPS is enabled on your server (double check with your hosting provider), then make sure that all internal links are HTTPS (on WordPress you can force them with specific plugins).

A free SSL service is LetsEncrypt, trusted and supported by the major hosting providers.

Any help? Get in touch!

 

Linkedin Ads

How to re-target LinkedIn users through other channels

Ok, this method might break some rule, but it can be an effective solution for specific goals, like a very focused lead generation campaign. Let’s imagine that your goal is to reach outside , some workers of a few competitors based in country x or y, or anyone that studied at university z.

Just follow these steps:

  1. (alternative/1: choose this at your risk) Create a fake user profile on , possibly a high profile consultant;
  2. (alternative/2) use your real profile;
  3. If you go for alternative 1, you need to get new friends: define your target audience and add  users through the most appropriate search fields (industry, company, country, etc.);
    LinkedIn Profile Search
  4. Dig into Groups

    (extra/1) you can extend your contact list by joining the most relevant and popular groups that are related to your audience(s) industry and adding people that actively engage in conversation over there;

  5. Chase people suggested

    (extra/2) you might further extend the list by adding people suggested by , if having profiles matching your target audience;

  6. Export your contact list from LinkedIn

    Once you reach a certain amount of contacts (let’s say at least 300), export the contact list from to a CSV format file, format it through a spreadsheet software using the function “text-to-column”, choosing comma as delimiter and save a new CSV file with just a column of emails;

    LinkedIn Export Email CSV

  7. Split the contact list to create different targets

    (extra/3) Let’s suppose that you want to target all HR people of company X but you want to advertise in French and German, depending on where are they based. In this case, you can split the list into many by selecting specific job titles, country and/or company, the only fields relevant for such purpose, to create multiple remarketing lists (see next steps) but only if the sub-lists contains enough contacts;

  8. Create a remarketing list on Adwords

    Google Adwords audiences email
    On go to Shared Library, then Audiences, then select Customer Email and upload the CSV (one or many). Choose the duration up to 6 months, the time that your LinkedIn contacts will be able to be targeted with your textual and visual ads through the Google Display Network (that includes sites like Gmail and Youtube).
    Google Adwords audiences email

  9. Create a Customer List on Ads

    On Ads, select Audiences, then Custom Audience and import the CSV file(s) – you will be able to target LinkedIn users also through Instagram (if they have an account).
    Facebook Audiences
    Facebook Upload Emails
    Facebook Custom Audiences

 

Important Notes

  • if the list is too small you cannot do any remarketing: the list should contain at least 100 contacts;
  • this operation implies serious privacy issues (therefore, take at your risk) in fact, target contacts should be previously and adequately informed about this (either if you choose option 1=fake profile or 2=real profile).

Opportunities

  • you can extend the list by using Lookalike audience on (with a similarity percentage from 0% to 10%) and Similar users on Adwords: this is an excellent opportunity in particular if your target audience is the right one;
  • if you want to target LinkedIn users on Gmail, just add mail.google.com as Placement and the domain of companies that might send them an email as Display Keyword.

 

Customer Email list on Adwords: social is getting closer to search

Customer Emails Lists Adwords

Customer Emails Lists Adwords

New powerful targeting opportunity available in .

Customer Emails List (aka digital stalking) allows digital marketers to show ads on Google Search, Display Network, Gmail (new format available through the GDN options) or YouTube (now fully integrated into Adwords) to users who have provided their email addresses matching a Google account.

For example, you can retarget current or past customers or particular event attendees that agreed to receive commercial information – mind always privacy issues.

This way, it is possible to create a Custom Audience (as done with Remarketing lists) available for all accounts under a particular MCC.

It’s an interesting option for cross-country campaigns. The Customer Email list can be further narrowed at campaign-level with usual variables (geographic, demographic, placements, keywords, etc.) Email addresses have to match the ones of signed-in Google users.

Difference between emails lists and remarketing lists

This opportunity is more “powerful” than cookies-based lists (e.g. remarketing). With this offer, Google is getting closer to Facebook (where this option is already available), matching social with search. If you plan to pilot such campaign, it is fundamental to provide an opt-out service through which users can ask to be deleted. I think that the best option is to use a Solas form, sending possible requests to a campaign manager responsible for a prompt action whenever needed. Once uploaded, email addresses cannot be visualised by Adwords users (including admins) therefore to delete them it is necessary to re-upload a simple CSV list with the email address(es) that do not have to be targeted anymore.

Opportunities

An interesting option is to create different emails lists depending on segmentation (for example geographic, demographic, buying habits, etc.). In fact, this tool works very well with CRM tools.

If your budget is limited and your goal is to extend your reach among people that know your brand but don’t know some of your most recent products, its best use is to target emails list(s) excluding past visitors (remarketing list).

Further reading

Further information about Customer Emails lists on Adwords

Google Adwords hint: add a free advertising space on Youtube videos through CTA-overlay

Youtube Call to Action CTA overlay

You have a account, and you have linked it to a account. Why don’t exploit the opportunity to get free Call-to-Action overlay link placed on your (s)?

If you have an AdWords for TrueView ad, you can now create overlays for video plays across (whether the video play is triggered by a video ad or not). The overlay will appear as soon as the video begins to play and can be closed by the user. You can use the overlay to share more information about the content of your video or to raise interest in your channel, other videos, or additional websites. When users click on the overlay, they are directed to your external website as specified in the overlay’s destination URL.

There is no additional charge for this feature.

CTAs currently remain on the video for as long as the video owner chooses, even if the video is no longer being promoted.

(Source: Google, March 2015)

Here I’m not talking of the recently launched Youtube Cards, six different type of overlays that can appear on the right area of your video. In fact, you can run both CTA-overlays and Cards, tracking them differently (e.g. using a different “medium” parameter like youtube-cta and youtube-card) to find out which link is generating more visits to your website.

CTA appear in the bottom-left, clicks are not charged, can be tracked and work even when you do not run any campaign. Here is an example:

Youtube CTA overlay free

Step-by-Step:

  1. Link Youtube and Google Adwords (from its Video advertising section)
  2. On Google Adwords, create a video ad using one of your Youtube videos (even with a very small Cost-per-view and daily budget and you can even pause the campaign immediately after)
  3. Go to Youtube Video Manager and you will find an extra-tab called “Call-to-Action overlay”.

You are allowed to add a small logo 70×70 (ideally with an arrow pointing right!) that can also be transparent and the link does not have to be contextual, in fact, it’s a small free advertising space – despite the more contextual it is, the higher your CTR will be.

Some negative aspects:

  • links are not auto-tagged therefore, you need to add URL parameters;
  • a Youtube account can be linked to one Adwords account per time – it is a problem when having many Adwords account (e.g. one per country or SBU) and only one Youtube account (e.g. a global repository for all corporate videos);
  • there is no automation available therefore to add/edit/remove any CTA-overlay you have to create a video campaign for each video where you want to add the CTA overlay, then edit every single video – if a Youtube account has too many videos, it’s worth adding a CTA-overlay only to the most popular, whilst the others are not expected to generate many visits .

About URL parameters that will allow to identify (on ) which channels/videos/campaigns are bringing more (qualified) visits to your site(s), the structure could be as follow:

  • source: youtube-channel (you can have many Youtube accounts linked to an Adwords account);
  • medium: video-cta-overlay;
  • content (optional): your-video (name or id);
  • campaign: here express something related to your cta that can be different than the video.

 

Changes on the Google Display Network: “Other Interest” category will be turned off in January 2015

google display network categories

The “” (GDN) (formerly referred to as the “content network”) shows AdWords ads on sites that are not search engines. These content network sites are those that use AdSense and DoubleClick, the other side of the Google advertising model.

Digital advertisers have been using interest category marketing since 2009 to connect with people across the based on their interests.  Since then, Google has added new and more powerful interest-based capabilities: affinity (for enthusiasts), custom affinity (for niche segments), and in-market audiences (for ready to buy shoppers).

As these more sophisticated audience tools offer advertisers more flexibility and control, “Other interests” will no longer be a targeting option for new and existing audience campaigns starting on January 15, 2015.

 

Categories of the Google Display Network

  • Affinity audiences: Reach TV-like segments at scale to drive brand awareness.  Kraft used affinity audiences to reach cooking enthusiasts to build awareness for their new ‘Fresh Take’ brand.
  • Custom affinity audiences: Find niche segments that you custom-tailor for your brand. Electronic Arts used custom affinity audiences to engage fans of specific NFL teams in their recent Madden GIFERATOR campaign. They created 32 custom affinity audiences, one per NFL team, to reach fans of particular teams with display ads timed to the real-time action on the field.
  • In-market audiences: Reach consumers while they’re actively browsing, researching or comparing products related to a category you choose. For example, the online car dealership Autobytel uses in-market audiences to reach customers actively researching specific models, price comparisons, and consumer reviews, as opposed to casual car enthusiasts.

Tips to promote mobile apps through digital channels

Promoting mobile apps

Making a app is not the final step to reach a broad mobile audience. In fact, your amazing app can be discovered only by a few friends if you do not push it in the market – or better, in the right market segment(s) – hopefully catching the right multipliers to benefit from a viral exposure. Here are some guidelines to boost your app reach.

 PLATFORMS (Facebook and Twitter)

  • Ok, an obvious but fundamental step: always check if links to app stores work, in particular if you are using short links like bit.ly or goo.gl
  • If you have Facebook Page(s) or Twitter profile(s) you can add covers to promote your App. Please consider covers do not have a broad reach since users tend to engage with your social media content directly on their timeline.

FACEBOOK ONLY

  • Geo-target posts by selecting only people in the country with a relevant age range (e.g. 17-30). This way the target audience will be smaller but more consistent, increasing the conversion rate of relevant goals (e.g. clicks to the App store, downloads, usage of the app, clicks to your transactional site, transactions=hard goal) and the engagement rate (likes, shares, comments). As a result, there will be an increased post’s edge rank and, consequently, its organic reach. Geo-targeting is also a good way to avoid reaching fake fans that in some pages can easily be spotted by looking at the country of origin, different than your primary target country (in particular for pages with a high geographical focus).
  • Image size matters. Ideally, shared images for Facebook posts (free or paid) should be 1200×1200 (they will have a max width of 504 with a variable height) while shared links should be 1200×628 (they will be 484×252). Remember the 20% text rule: no more than 20% covered by text or they will not be enabled to be boosted as promoted post/image/app/whatever.
  • After changing the Facebook Page cover you should add a brief description with a short link to so if people click (or tap) on the cover to find out more, they will still be able to get straight away to the app store. I have noticed that Facebook page visitors on average about 1% of all page like(rs) and, if you are running promoted posts reaching a wide audience, page visitors can be something like 0.05% of your total Reach. A social media page should never be considered as a website; you can look at it as a repository of content that will be seen from another point of views, surrounded by other content that you cannot expect because each social media user has a different surfing experience. You can now add call-to-actions to Facebook covers but please remember to keep text under 20% of the entire space – check your cover here.
  • offers ways to promote directly. Please do not boost links to app stores because they will not be approved as ads since they would violate their regulations. Here are the guidelines to run Paid Ads for Apps through Facebook Advertising platform:
    https://developers.facebook.com/docs/ads-for-apps
    To go further and measure App downloads, the Apps has to be registered and linked to the FB Ads account. More info here:
    https://developers.facebook.com/docs/ads-for-apps/mobile-app-ads/register-your-app

Anyone running Google Adwords campaigns can benefit from Ads extensions to enrich their content. Such extensions also include links to App stores (iTunes or Google Play respectively, depending on the user device).

Here is an example:

App extension

Google Adwords App Extensions, an example

APP POPULARITY AND RANKING

App ranking is made of many factors. No. of downloads is just one of them, and it varies by country. Number of Downloads are not a good indicator of an app popularity, whose ranking is influenced mostly by “current installs per user”. Important indicators are also rating (up to 5 stars), positive comments, no. of app uninstalls (negative factor) and how fast users delete the app (it tells how attractive it is). A boost in the first 72 hours, benefitting of being listed among “new” apps, is just one of the factors in effect.

I am sharing a screenshot of Google Play insights. This app has more than 100 downloads but in fact, the number of real users is about 50%:

Android app insights

Android app insights

For this reason, it is important to invite people to download and give five stars plus an excellent comment and possibly keep the app on their device(s).

The App should be categorised in the right category (free or paid), and its description and associated keywords should be relevant and translated into as many languages as possible otherwise, they will not be available in some App Stores (either iTunes or Google Play). Therefore, when a user clicks on an ad in a given country he/she will see an annoying message saying something like “App not available in this country”.  The description and keywords should include relevant words also in foreign languages if appropriate wherever needed to increase the chances to be found by prospective users.

There are a few ways to check App ranking in different country mobile stores. One is Applyzer.com where you just have to create a free account to access details by country and sector.

For example, these are the top Education apps for iPhone in Italy in October 2014:

App ranking checker

App ranking checker

It is interesting also to check performance of the same app in different countries:

Check your app performance in different countries

Check your app performance in different countries

Import Google Analytics conversion goals into AdWords

Google Analytics conversion goals now available on AdWords

Import Google Analytics conversion goals into AdWords

Google Analytics conversion goals now available on AdWords

In a post published on 29 April 2013, Google announced that

Starting in mid June, you’ll be able to import your Google Analytics goals into AdWords shortly after they’re configured. As usual, data for those goals will be available about two days later.

Google suggests that it’s better to track Goals through Analytics rather than AdWords for the following reasons:

Google Analytics Conversion Goals

AdWords Conversion Tracking

  • More complex, but provides more information about where your clicks are coming from.
  • Ideal if you’re interested in the entire flow of customers through your site, not just conversions.
  • Can include conversions from non-AdWords sources, so it’s a great comparison tool.
  • Less complex, but provides less information about where your clicks are coming from.
  • Ideal if you’re interested only in conversions.
  • Tracks conversions only from AdWords sources.

GA Goals will still be uniquely manageable from GA Admin. There can be discrepancies between the two, as Google explains here together with everything needed to let GA goals appear under your AdWords campaigns conversions list.

You can use both, they will not interfere each other so no need to change configuration.