Category Archives: Marketing

Metrics Spotlight: How Quality Score Analysis Makes Your Paid Search Budget Better

A small business marketer will run into a number of variables to launch a marketing campaign. But one constant a small business marketer can count upon is the need to establish a marketing budget, particularly if paid search ads are included.  When looking at Adwords and Bing Ads in particular, one factor that will influence a given paid search budget is the quality score.   Let’s take a look at what influences a score and why it is a factor to establishing a cost effective marketing budget.

What Influences A Quality Score

A quality score is an essential guidance rating in planning Google Adwords or Bing Ads campaigns. It is a keyword rating factor which influences the price for a paid search ad to appear alongside a search query.  Thus an increase in quality score can mean a decrease in cost.

In practice, a quality score is assigned to a keyword. It calculated every time the keyword in a given ad matches a query for the keyword. Thus, an ad with a high quality score usually achieves a better position from a search query, gaining clicks that reflect as better metrics in your analytics referral reports.

Google Adwords Quality Score

View the quality score of your Adwords campaign keywords by clicking in the Adwords manager. Bing offers a similar view and check for its paid search campaigns.

The quality score should be researched when you are considering two keywords that may have similar meaning but can potential attract your intended audience. You can do so in the ad managers for Google Adwords and Bing.  Both platforms have similar factors for a quality score, but with nuanced differences. Here is a summary of those differences:

Google Adwords

Three quality score indicators are used to calculate the quality score in Google Adwords.  These indicators are:

  • Expected Click Through Rate (CTR),
  • Ad Relevance
  • Landing Page Experience

Here’s an explanation of each indicator, and how they play into your quality score.

  • Expected Click Through Rates  This normalized click through metric is a pure keyword targeting metric – a below average rating could be a strong indicator that you are bidding on the wrong keyword or not providing what people are really looking for when they do this search.
  • Ad Relevance is an indicator that examines your ad effectiveness against that from other ads competing for the same emphasized keyword or keyword phrase.
  • Landing Page Experience is a reflection of whether or not searchers are really finding what they are looking for on your pages. Create destination URLs for individual keywords to improve this metric and try to remove any obvious roadblocks on the user purchase journey.

Each of these indicators have ratings according to Below Average, Average and Above Average.  The ratings have different meanings according to the indicator. For example, for Ad Relevance, a below average rating indicates that your ad copy should be examined to see what message better answers the user’s search query.  Search Engine Watch covers the quality and some of the detail for ratings in its post on Google Adwords quality score.

To view an Adwords quality score, login into an Adwords account.  Navigate to the  Campaign, then click the keyword tab (need image) Hover your cursor over the status bar of a keyword that you want to learn more about its quality score. A dialog box appears with a quality score indicator.

Bing Ads

The quality score for Bing Ads has some similarities to that for Adwords. There is a 10 point score system for the Bing Ads quality score, from 0 to 10 with 10 being the highest score. Bing also follows a similar 3 point quality score indicator system, but with an emphasis on landing page qualities over the expected click through rate. The three indicators  are:

  • Landing Page User Experience reflects the degree to which your landing pages follow the Bing Ads editorial guidelines
  • Landing Page Relevance -  indicates how relevant your ad and landing page are to the customer’s search query or other input.
  • Keyword Relevance – is an indication of how well your keyword competes against other keywords targeting the same traffic.

For more on how each indicator can be improved, read this page on the Bing Ads site.

3 Data and Analytics Tips for Prepping Small Businesses for Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is worth more than a process that advances analytics capability. It has a growing important value in a business strategic plan. Businesses struggle to organize their marketing, typically due to running separate social media, email, and platforms. The effort yields individual results to each platform, but can overlook multichannel opportunities or personalization which more customers crave.

Marketing automation addresses that need by consolidates marketing planning and reduces “clutter” from managing separate media. Planning how to automate can highlight where a message may not need to be repeated as well as how to repeat other messages that are valuable for the customer. The planning with marketing automation as a core function saves time and, when done right, improve marketing results.

Automation has a particular value for small businesses.  Small business owners and their employees are busy, leaving a limited time to analyze analytics reports repeated.  Marketing automation can streamline resources by automating marketing tasks.

There are three tips small and medium sized businesses can follow to prepare for adding marketing automation features.

  1. Get a lay of the initial data on the land. Establish the best data possible in the systems that will match up to your analytics. This means eliminating duplicate entries in sources such as CRM systems.  Use advanced databases tools where possible to find consistent duplicates and errors.
  2. Roadmap how data will flow through the organization.  Roadmap how an automation program will be implemented. Addressing all digital platforms at once can overlook needed steps.  Set a six-month goal for full implementation, with milestones along the way. Use features like an annotation in Google Analytics to journal technical changes – some marketing decisions will trigger other analytics-related decisions such as adjusting tags, setting up remarketing campaigns for certain site visitors, changing filters, or adding custom variables.
  3. Align your sales and marketing teams to sync promotion communication. Plan the marketing and supporting automation system based on the buying cycle and lead nurturing stages.  The sales team’s insight can ensure that your marketing efforts to brand and convert potential customers align with the sales team’s capabilities to execute.  This can also indicate how alerts in analytics solutions should be distributed to the teams involved.

The Tag Chase Is On – #Video via @AllAnalytics feat. Pierre DeBois

This All Analytics video takes a quick look at tag management. Tag management is becoming more essential as third party sites raises the number of sites where an ad will be displayed.  This makes tag manager essential for complex campaign needs.  For more on tag managers, check out the Zimana blog article Vetting Analytics Tags .  In the meantime, enjoy this video from All Analytics.

Small Business Trends names Zimana Among The Top Small Business Facebook Pages To Follow


Small Business Trends

Small Business Trends named the Facebook Pages it finds as informative for small business owners…

Small Business Trends Facebook Pages for Small Businesses

…and it named Zimana among the 46 pages it considers a top resource for small businesses.

Small Business Trends, the premiere resources for small business news by small business owners, named Zimana’s Facebook page one of 46 Small Business Facebook Pages to Follow.  The page features posts on analytics related marketing topics such as paid search, social media, vetting analytic tags, and planning reporting strategy. The site also provides news on Zimana, a small business analytics firm dedicated to analytics, and tips for small businesses to improve their measurements and thus improve their businesses.

“This is a great privilege to be selected among an elite number of pages dedicated to the small and medium business market,’ says Zimana founder Pierre DeBois.  ”Small Business Trends has been a terrific resource and attracts an even greater community of business leaders.  This cherished recognition validates the effort to develop the page as a useful analytic resource, a welcome starting point for analytic planning and discussion.”

Disclosure: Small Business Trends has been a Zimana client, with Pierre currently serving as an associate editor for Small Business Trends’ Business Book selection.

What Are Good Basic Marketing Objectives for paid search, social media, and content marketing

Businesses are learning the value of paid search, content marketing, and social media. But how should messages be structured when using their media options? The easiest approach is to consider some basic ideas to start creating ad with a social media message. Four basic marketing objectives are outlined below:

  • Build Awareness – very important for new profiles, even more so for new business
  • Drive Sales – this is a red herring. Sales are certainly important, but with so many ways for customers to discover your buinsees, the key is to make the purchase experience as frictionless as possible.  Tie your message to what your customers know about your product or service.
  • Grow Influence – This is essentially branding – how well is your business known for the market it serves
  • Customer Service –  How do you set customer expectations and deliver on the expectations

Decide on an objective that best fits your business. Try to envision the persona of the customer who would meet your selected objective. Then consider the kind of media to be used.

Create content and ads based on the kind of messages outlined above – consider this Zimana post for back to basics paid search. For content marketing – particularly if you have older posts that need renewal – consider this post on renewing evergreen posts.