The measures taken in regards to COVID-19 continue to change daily. With that, we are also seeing changes within the digital marketing world.

This global pandemic has seen businesses halt campaigns and change their daily operations, however people are more than ever turning to online search for answers. As many companies swiftly put the brakes on media spend, it’s important to consider how this affects Google behaviours and trends as Coronavirus is shaping up to be the biggest story in Google Trends history. To put this in perspective, searches in relation to the virus are already twice as many as those of Donald Trump during the 2016 election.

Over the last few days we have seen a steady decline in cost per click for our clients across industries. This is an important metric for us as digital marketers. A lower CPC for our clients means higher ad positions and higher quality scores in turn, this allows the budgets go further.

So why are we seeing these changes in Avg. CPC?

Well, Usually CPC’s are determined by the bidding competition. But as more and more businesses pull the pin on their digital spend the competition diminishes meaning more visibility on SERP and higher ad relevance for remaining advertisers.

 

Why is CPC important? 

Cost-per-click is an important factor in determining the financial success of your campaigns. Since the overall ROI of your campaigns is determined by how much you’re paying for clicks and the quality of traffic they’re bringing in, it is important to think about cost per click in terms of both cost and value. You want to identify and target clicks that are both inexpensive and valuable.

Let’s first look at the Real Estate Industry. Over the last few days we have seen searches for the term “will real estate agents stay open” increase by 1,700% in the last 7 days (Correct as of 23rd March.) With the increase in searches we have seen a drop in Avg. CPC for our clients within this sector. At the start of March we recorded a CPC of $0.15, however as the month has progressed we have noticed a drop to a low of $0.06. What does this mean for the Real Estate Industry moving forward during this pandemic? As consumers become more hesitant to attend an open house, more will rely on a professional agent to schedule an appointment instead and therefore will turn to the internet for help.

The Travel and Transport industry has undoubtedly been affected by the COVID-19 breakout with restrictions put in place globally. However local taxi companies are still able to operate, an option in which increasingly more people are taking instead of the dreaded public transport. Over the past 7 days we have seen the CPC drop for our client within the private transport sector. A low of $2.62 was recorded (22nd March) where we saw this number at $2.88 a week prior. That’s a drop of $0.26 across 7 days!

The Education sector has been the topic of debate for many weeks now during the pandemic as we all understand the importance of school and further education for the workers of tomorrow. As schools begin to close their doors for the foreseeable future, online learning portals and educational material will now be available online. As can be seen below, the cost per click for our client within the Education Sector has decreased significantly over the month of March.

15th March Avg. CPC $5.35

22nd March Avg. CPC $4.28

During the Coronavirus outbreak, although many businesses will be affected, it’s important to note that some companies may see their business skyrocket with demand. Australian Manufacturing will be at the forefront of this surge. We have already recorded a decrease in CPC over the last few days for our clients within this industry.

16th March Avg. CPC $3.26

21st March Avg. CPC $2.76

So what does this mean for our clients? As we’re all aware the costs at some point will stop decreasing. Competitors will begin to  restart their Google campaigns and Coronavirus will (hopefully) be a distant memory. But for the time being we are able to generate cost effective results to those who can still trade and are brave enough to play.

Although we are all currently going through a time of panic and uncertainty both online and off it’s important that we are able to focus on these small glimmers of hope. During this time, remember that it’s not all doom and gloom and whilst your business goes through changes so does digital marketing, and right now for our clients it’s for the better.

In this time of fear and panic, the impact on businesses cannot be understated. Keeping yourself safe and healthy should be your number one priority, but for many entrepreneurs keeping your business running smoothly and afloat is a close second. To help guide you through these tumultuous times, we’ve compiled a list of 10 Dos and Don'ts for Marketing during the Coronavirus pandemic:

 

Don’t
Just continue as business as usual.

It may seem obvious, but this needs to be said. Currently, countries are restricting flights, factories are closing, universities are moving fully online – this crisis is going to impact your business in one way or another. This is not the time to believe that your particular business is immune to it. It is also not the time to believe that the impact would be the worst for you, unless of course you continue business as usual.

Do
Rethink and prepare

It is predicted that 40-70% of the world’s population will be infected with the coronavirus by the end of the year; and some scientists are suggesting it may take over a year to create a vaccine and administer it for public use. Essentially, it will most likely get worse before it gets better. Part of being proactive is attempting to prepare yourself for any potential issues. Asking yourself some of these questions:

-  What measure do I need to enact to make sure my customers feel safe?

- How will this change consumer demands?

- Will government intervention affect my business?

While you will still face obstacles, having a pre-emptive approach will put you in good stead and will get you more accustomed to the emergent approach to business strategy.

 

Don’t
Blatantly self-promote

Think timeliness. For most people, worrying about their food, health, and job and income is their primary concern, and self-promotion efforts will not stick.It is better to redirect those efforts to other marketing strategies that reflect your understanding of the issues that most are facing. Ask yourself this question:

“what can I offer my clients or the wider public that will help my business but will also be useful to them?” 

Depending on your business this could be anything from online seminars to financial planning. The point here is, at the moment, less can be more. Use this opportunity to restructure your plans.

If you were a runner, it’d be time to catch your breath. Analyse what has worked in the past, and know you can always resume that later, but right now be valuable and rethink what your people really need.

Do
Communicate and update

People want to be reassured that you are being proactive during this crisis. They want to feel safe with your business. Open and honest communication about what measures you’ve taken to keep them safe is extremely important. More so for businesses where people come to premises. Update your customers about how you’ve responded to the crisis. How you are managing your team and suppliers. Be direct.Be open.

 

Don’t
Try to capitalise on the panic. Be good.

Looking to profit during the coronavirus is an extremely bad look and needless to say not the right thing for any business.  Below is a post from the last week

 

The popularity of publicly shaming any business or individual trying to turn a profit during the Covid-19 crisis is a clear indicator of the public’s current sentiment.

Goodwill is what will generate positive brand impressions. For example NBA players who have donated part of their salary to ensure stadium staff still have living wages, and Jack Ma’s donation of face masks have both generated a lot of positive press in recent weeks. Below is another example of positive press from Taco Bell that was released today:

 

 

These examples send a clear message: do good and people will applaud you. It is also an opportunity to create positive publicity for yourself and business. While this shouldn’t purely be done for the marketing benefits, making the most of your goodwill will do nothing but good things for your brand.

Do
Be transparent and empathetic

People are scared and panicking, they don’t want to see you as a business, they want to see you as a person that reflects their values. Taking an empathetic and sombre approach is the best strategy to allow customers to build an affinity and trust toward your brand. People want to know that you are also worried, and that you’re taking effective actions to overcome the coronavirus. If seen as genuine and effective, your brand will be seen as personable, responsible, trustworthy and conscientious. However, be careful, if you do not seem genuine you will appear to be attempting to profit, which would garner extremely negative impressions (as indicated above).


Don’t
Run ads conflicting with the mood of the public

This is a very important one. A lot of brands have campaigns rolled out months ago, but not reviewing and rethinking your advertising strategy in the current climate  can be detrimental to your brand. I Even for products that people desire (e.g. Lysol disinfectant wipes), if the ads seem out of touch, it will affect how people perceive your brand.

A twitter user’s distaste for a Lysol advertisement

Twitter user’s negative impression of a “Share now” advertisement

 

Essentially, revise all your ad campaigns (planned or running) and make sure they are appropriate for the market’s current sentiment.

I was listening to a radio ad for a Telco advertising $5 daily call pass when holidaying overseas ! Its possible with traditiional media some ad creatives might be locked in. The advantage with digital is that you can change your message on the fly.

Do
Create a strong online presence

With people in self-quarantine, and work places and institutions shut down, everyone is now moving online. For your business, this means having a strong online presence is now more important than ever. Things such as SEO will be a big reason for your success and maybe even growth in these trying times as businesses cut down on spend

 

Don’t
Stop running online ads

Part of building your online presence is continuing to run your ads, as long as it doesn’t conflict with Covid-19 issues - e.g. you don’t want to be running ads for hand sanitizer when you know you will be out of stock for the next 3 weeks. The majority of digital marketers actually see this as an opportunity. The uptick in remote workers is predicted to correlate with an uptick in online impressions and sales. In essence, running online ads is seen to be the most effective method to reach new audiences at the moment. Just in the last week the avg CPCs on Google dropped between 18-22% across categories.

Do
Restrategise approach and rethink communication channels

One key way to be proactive is to re-allocate budgets to different communications channels and marketing strategies. For example, B2B companies spend around 40% of their marketing budget on events and trade shows, however not only is this an unviable marketing strategy right now, it is also unsafe. Create new ways to communicate with your audience and generate leads, online marketing is the obvious choice, but there are also alternatives such as online conferences, content generation, or crafting safety messages for smaller events, just  to list a few. Try your best to inform yourself about how your customers will be affected by the coronavirus and rethink what channels they’ll be using and how you can best reach and reassure them.

 

Ultimately, you need to look at your business through a whole new lens. Use this list as a launch pad, the starting point from where you can begin to rethink your business strategies and approaches. When the world is in a panic, you need to keep a cool head.

If you need a sounding board, set up a free strategy consultation with us here at Arrow Digital.

Let us review your marketing in light of the current environment, and explore new opportunities. Opportunities to  pivot your product/service, geography, demographics or distribution and turn this crisis into a commercial opportunity?

We live and breathe business strategy and marketing,  so even though the times are tough, with the right team and strategy you can still thrive. Talk to us. Call or send an email today.

34,000 searches are conducted on Google every minute. And it's not just the big brands that dominate the search results for coveted keyword phrases, it is very much a level playing field when it comes to generic or long-tail keywords, meaning small businesses have the same opportunity to rank on the first page of the Google SERP. All you need is high-quality content combined with thoughtful, thorough keyword research which matches the needs of your audience.


Why do you need to be on the first page of the Google SERP? 75% of users never scroll past the first page of Google search results, so being on the first page is key when it comes to scoring traffic from potential customers. Not to mention, a strong SEO presence has immense power, helping to drive traffic to your site, not only in the short-term, but for years to come.

Google search results are organised using complex algorithms, influenced by factors like location, website speed, social signals, domain authority, and keyword relevance. If your site is relatively new, it’s not likely to have a high domain authority or many backlinks yet, so you’ll make a stronger impact more quickly by focusing on keyword relevance. But “quickly” doesn’t necessarily mean overnight! A long-term optimization strategy is needed to be able to improve your organic standing in the SERP ranking. 

Incorporating keyword research into your SEO strategy and dominating long-tail keywords is a quick way to make an impact for your business. You’ll also be simultaneously building relevant content for your audience, which can assist in driving leads down your funnel. 

So, how do you conduct keyword research in order to land on the first page of Google search results, and get discovered by potential customers? Keep on reading to find out!

Use long-tail keywords

Long tail keywords make up over 70% of searches online and almost always have a higher conversion rate than one or two keyword searches. This makes sense; a longer search term often has a more specific and transactional intent.

Plus, long-tail keywords are also far less competitive than shorter keywords, meaning you’ll have a much higher likelihood of ranking higher.

How to conduct keyword research

While keyword research needn’t take up an enormous amount of time. That said, putting the time in to do your keyword research properly and with care will save you time in the long run. Good keyword research will form the foundation for the solid performance of your content, and may even determine what your content is about. It takes practice and ingenuity to be able to choose keywords which correctly match the search intent of the audience you’re trying to target. 

It’s also important to remember that you still need to be producing quality content. There’s no point in creating content for content’s sake, and filling your website with keyword-stuffed blog content which doesn’t provide any real value to your audience.

The better your content, the higher the chance that it will be shared and consumed again and again.

Finding a keywords tool

First of all, you’ll need to choose a combination of keywords tools to conduct your keyword research. There are many keyword research tools to choose from which have various strengths and weaknesses. What you choose will depend on your personal preferences, and whether you want a free or paid tool. Keyword tools vary slightly in terms of what they offer, but some great options are:

How to conduct keyword research

Once you’ve selected your ideal combination of keywords tools, conduct your research by searching for a generic term associated with that topic. For example, you might choose, “blog content strategy”. You’ll want to ensure that the search volume is high enough, but that the competition for that term is low. Some tools, like SEMRush, will allow you to compare search terms directly, whereas for other keywords tools you’ll have to take your own notes and compare terms manually. After searching one term, you should be able to see associated terms for that keyword and choose ones which have high search volume and low competition, yet is still relevant to your topic and audience.

Don’t just find one keyword, either! When doing your keyword research, add associated keywords, and try to rank for these, too.

Tools like the Yoast SEO Plugin can help to refine your web copy and blog content before publishing, to ensure it complies with SEO best practice and that you have the recommended keyword density.

Write more content

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The more content you create, the more chances you’ll have to rank for various keywords, and you’ll establish your brand as an expert in your field.

Ideally you want to create a significant volume of high-quality content that will keep your users engaged and increase the likelihood of them sharing it with others, both privately and on social media.

It is key that your content:

These factors, in turn, will strengthen your SEO for the long-term.

The more quality content you create, the higher the likelihood that you’ll end up ranking on the first page of the Google search results for the various keywords you’re targeting.

Still not seeing results? Aside from your keyword research, ensure that you’re also using SEO best practice. For instance, ensure your website has a fast page load speed, is mobile-friendly and that there are a number of inbound links coming to your site from quality sources.

It may take some time for you to see results. Proper SEO that gives lasting results doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a long-term, proactive approach. But if you have a strong SEO strategy and are creating quality content informed by carefully-considered insights, you’ll start benefiting from increased organic traffic before long.

To find out more, request our FREE SEO guide: 5 SEO Techniques That Can Double Your Business In 2020. 
Or, click here to find out more about our comprehensive SEO services to increase long-term, high quality traffic to your site.

Google AdWords management isn’t easy. At the same time it is the most powerful advertising platform available today with over 160 billion searches on Google per month and Google’s display campaigns reaching 80% of the Internet population. Google even estimates that for every $1 a business spent on Adwords, $2 dollars was generated for that business. The importance of Adwords is undeniable, and it is why it plays such a vital role in generating quality leads, increasing your customer base, and growing your business. However, without the proper management, it will produce suboptimal results or even worse a negative ROI. If you’ve ever managed an Adwords campaign yourself, you’ll know how easy it is for your campaign to fall short of your expectations.

An ideal AdWords campaign uses both the best practice methodologies that exist industry-wide and ongoing optimisations for your specific business or campaign. It is easier said than done and a lot of your campaign improvements will require nuanced insight. But these insights won’t always come easily. In fact, it takes time and a practised eye to be able to draw out relevant insights and apply the optimisations needed to fine-tune your campaigns to achieve a lower CPC and a higher number of conversions. Whether you are an Adwords professional, someone entrusted with an Adwords account or a hands-on entrepreneur getting in the thick of it, avoiding the common missteps made when managing an Adwords account will give you a big leg up over the competition.

So, what are the most common Google AdWords issues which result in failed campaigns, and how can you avoid them?

Issue 1: Inadequate conversion tracking (or no conversion tracking!)

If you’re not measuring your conversions correctly (or at all!), it will be impossible to understand what’s working and what’s not, and optimise accordingly. This sounds like an obvious step, yet when trying to manage AdWords campaigns, 43% of businesses don’t have conversion tracking set up at all. Of those that do, less than half are actually tracking anything meaningful or tracking effectively. Proper tracking is a crucial part of trying to manage AdWords campaigns effectively.

How to avoid this: When you start to manage AdWords campaigns, ensure that you implement correct set up and tracking. Ideally, you should be tracking when there are purchases, additions to a user’s cart, newsletter sign-ups, and all other forms submissions. 

With contact forms, ensure any details are easy to enter, and only ask for the information you need. Do you really need the user’s phone number, or address? Only ask for the information you need and ensure forms are easy to understand and quick to complete.

If you’re collecting leads, it’s important to find out (and quickly) how valuable those leads actually are. There’s no point continuing to collect leads in the same way if those leads aren’t going to result in an eventual conversion. If that’s the case, you might need to change your Google AdWords management strategy.

Issue 2: Failing to optimise your website for mobile

According to a Mantra poll, 62% of business owners do not have a website that is optimised for mobile. This represents a huge missed opportunity, with mobile users accounting for over 50% of overall web traffic. Mobile penetration is set to increase every year. Overlooking mobile optimisation can result in high bounce rates and missed conversions. Ensuring your site is optimised for mobile means Google will rank your site more favourably, and you’ll provide a better user experience, resulting in an increase in leads and conversions.

How to avoid this: Firstly, use Google’s mobile-friendly test tool to see how compatible your site is on mobile devices. The tool will tell you if there are any issues that need to be resolved in order for your site to become more mobile-friendly, and provide solutions on how to fix these issues.

If an agency is doing your Google AdWords management, they’ll be able to check whether you’re using a reliable web host, and have a plan that guarantees consistent high performance, and strong site speeds, which are even more crucial on mobile than on desktop.

Issue 3: Poor landing pages

Before you even start to manage AdWords campaigns, you’ll need to set up clear and compelling landing pages to ensure your spend is worthwhile. Your landing pages should be fast-loading, relevant, and easy to understand.

Your landing page also needs to relate directly to your ad and flow directly from your ads to your landing page. It may use similar copy, or attempt to answer the questions or issues raised by the keywords in the ad.

How to avoid this: The PageSpeed Insights tool by Google can tell you how fast your page is loading to highlight any issues there. 

Review other landing pages similar to yours, and assess how you could improve them. Your landing page or pages need to be as easy as possible for users to navigate and enter information on, and the purpose of your landing page should be immediately apparent when viewing the page.

Try not to overwhelm your user with information on your landing page. Ensure the information is all relevant to them and that there are minimal distractions on the page; don’t tell them about your amazing sneaker collection if they’re interested in stilettos. Keep it straight to the point, relevant and engaging. 

If you’re trying to collect leads, you may want to use a lead magnet such as a discount code, e-book or guide to entice them to give you their data. Assets like e-books can take time to create but, once created, they can be used for months or even years to come.

The best thing about having an agency manage AdWords for you is that they can audit your existing AdWords tactics, your keywords and landing pages, and suggest improvements or tweaks to your campaigns, and make any necessary changes.

Issue 4: Not utilising Google Adwords features

You’d be surprised by how many Adwords campaigns aren’t utilising the features and enhancements that Google has provided. They are there to help you succeed, to not use them is setting your campaign up for failure before it has even begun.

A very common issue is a lack of ad extensions. Many ads today still just use standard text for their ads. The Google Adwords extension features will not only help improve your click-through rate, but will help your ad stand out among your competitors.

If you’re running a website with an app option, add an app extension.
If you’re running a campaign that requires people to call, add a call extension.
If you’re running a discount promotion, add an offer extension.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, there are many more ad extensions and features that if used correctly will generate higher click-through rates and ultimately more conversions. Some other important features that are neglected include geolocation, ad schedule, A/B testing of your ad copy, affinity groupings, and intent groupings.

How to avoid this: Continuing learning, never rest on your laurels. Google is constantly updating and improving. This October Google just added its latest update called BERT. This will affect 1 out of every 10 searches. This is one of many updates Google is constantly rolling out. Keeping up to date with the new features and updates Google implements will keep you ahead of your competition. If you are already up to date then you should clarify who your audience is, where they are located and a rough idea of how they would respond to your ad copy. This will allow you to set up a geolocation for your ads, your ad schedule and, in the case of display ads, your affinity and intent groups. You should also decide what ad extensions you think would be appropriate for your ad, and add them. This task is no small feat, but implementing and taking advantage of Adwords’ features will put your campaign in the best position to succeed. 

Issue 5: No retargeting

A large proportion of users will click on your ad, but may not convert right away. If you’re not retargeting, or not retargeting correctly, you’re missing an opportunity to convert an audience who are already familiar with your business.

How to avoid this: It’s easy to setup retargeting, (or remarketing), when you manage AdWords campaigns, but it does take time.

Retargeting is most effective when you segment your audience into groups instead of just grouping them together. Some users may be interested in specific goods or services on your website. If you’re selling shoes, some users might be interested in sandals, whereas others may be interested in boots. 

Also keep in mind that different products require retargeting within different time windows. For example, a non-essential luxury item or long-haul flight may have a longer possible window for retargeting, whereas a low-ticket item may have a shorter window in which to retarget users for a conversion.


Still need help with Google AdWords management? There are other issues which may be creating a lacklustre AdWords performance for your business. Luckily at Arrow Digital, we’re backed by over 10 years’ experience building and maintaining successful AdWords campaigns for our clients which consistently yield strong results and positive ROI. We are adept at efficiently recognising and resolving issues and fine-tuning your AdWords strategy for success.

To find out more, get our FREE guide, How to Set Up an Effective Google AdWords Plan in 8 Easy Steps or read more about our Google AdWords management services by clicking here.

It’s the season of giving and everyone is in the holiday spirit. The holiday season for me is the most distracting time of the year. Everyone is busy with traveling and meeting up with friends and family. And you have big plans for your business next year. So how best to deal with all the year-end hustle and stay positive and productive even during the holiday season?

Take the time off
Don't be overwhelmed about all the tasks you will be returning to after the holidays. In fact, sit back and take the time off and reflect on all the strategies you've implemented this year. What worked for you? What do you need to do to make it better for 2019?

Come up with a work plan

List your goals for the year and break it into a quarterly plan that would help you maintain your focus and get things done. Schedule your priority tasks into your calendar.

Take advantage of your client’s slow-down
Take this time to think about important projects and other big ideas that you might have pushed back just because you didn’t have the bandwidth. It could be planning your new website or can be as simple as de-cluttering your desktop.

We understand that planning is critical to success. It is important to put aside some time to reflect on achievements, set goals and plan for the following year. That is why we invite you to Plan-It 2019: an exclusive boardroom style strategic planning event. Spend half a day with our Digital Marketing experts and walk out with a tailor-made plan that drives measurable action. Give us a call on 1300 766 665 to reserve your seat.

Digital marketing is not the one-trick-pony it once was; it has grown into a powerful beast and harnessing its power has become integral to business success.

We all know how important it is to use digital marketing to optimise profitability and improve return on investment. But even so, many business owners are still unwilling to tackle the beast, overwhelmed by the sheer power of digital marketing.

Granted, it’s not easy. To ensure success, you need to embrace all elements of digital marketing and that takes effort. But the digital marketing puzzle is exactly that – a puzzle, and only when every piece comes together will you have a complete marketing solution.

Many business owners struggle to appreciate this concept and often the business will see losses as a result. For example, maybe Google Adwords is being used to advertise a website but the site isn’t optimised for user engagement. This will deter people from visiting in the future.

Or perhaps a business owner is confused and overwhelmed by social media so they’re only using Facebook? Or they’ve handballed the task to a more junior employee with no experience. This is not an effective use of digital marketing. To get the most out of social media in particular it is integral that, as a business owner, you ask yourself these five questions:

  1. How frequently do I post?
  2. Do I track and measure conversions?
  3. Which social channels are working best for me?
  4. Do I use Facebook Insights and Google Analytics to develop a profile of my visitors?
  5. Do I know the ROI of both time and money spent on social media?

If you don’t have answers to the above, chances are your business’ digital marketing campaign is suffering and you could do with some help.

This is where a digital marketing agency comes in – they can help take your business to the next level and ensure your campaigns are effective, ensuring maximum ROI and profitability in the business.

For more information on how a digital marketing agency can help your business, simply give us a call on 1300 766 665.

 

We’re hosting a Business Growth Hot Seat - listen to other's problems, or sit in the hot seat yourself and have a digital marketing and business growth expert weigh in on your issue. Register here!

You can also listen to our 6-step formula for business growth here.

 

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