OppGenetixOppGenetix
  1. »
  2. Google Ads

By OppGenetix

Google Ads Policy Update for Home Builders

On June 11, 2020, Google Ads announced a policy update that would remove advertisers’ abilities to target or exclude specific audience criteria for housing, employment, and credit industries. 

According to Google, the policy will go into effect in the United States and Canada with a roll-out plan starting from now until the end of 2020. At its core, this update is geared toward protecting sensitive consumers from exploitation, as these industries can be deemed as “need-based.” This isn’t groundbreaking. In 2019, Facebook instituted a similar policy for the same industries. 

Let’s uncover how this may impact advertisers in the home building and housing segments along with strategies that can help overcome our ability to maintain or improve prospect qualification. 

 

What does the Google Ads policy update entail?

Google Ads has already prohibited targeting users based on race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, and other demographics related to identity, beliefs, sexuality, or personal hardship.

For advertisers offering employment, housing, and credit opportunities, Google will implement further ad targeting restrictions using the following information:

 

Zip code

Zip code will no longer be an option for targeting ads in these industries. This may be the biggest change that will affect home builders since location is a key component for finding prospects who wish to move into their communities.

 

Gender

While targeting ads based on users’ sexual orientation was already prohibited, gender was not. For most advertisers, this will still be an ad targeting option; however, for home builders, it will not be anymore.

 

Age

Age won’t be an area for these industry advertisers to use for ad targeting or exclusions. This  means that advertisers will be unable to segment out age groups based on a product that is being offered. 

 

Parental and marital statuses

Married couples with children are more likely to buy a newly built home than unmarried adults, with or without children. This can be viewed as a vulnerability that advertisers can exploit, thus their ability to do so is being sunsetted. 

 

When does this policy go into effect?

Google intends to roll this policy out as soon as possible. If not, the updated Google Ads policy should go into effect at the end of the year.

 

How will this new Google Ads policy affect home builders?

Savvy marketers in the home building industry typically utilize all available targeting options to ensure that the most qualified prospects — based on their financial status, location and needs — are able to shortlist the homes that they are most interested in. 

Furthermore, the housing industry has an array of products that satisfy consumers in different age ranges. From single-family homes that younger couples can grow into to active lifestyle communities for empty nesters, age is a major criteria in targeting the most relevant audiences. 

Google’s new policy update will disable these targeting options and will force marketers to become creative in their pursuit of honing in on the best prospects by prioritizing end-to-end user experience.

We believe that an overhaul of digital assets used for advertising such as marketing copy, imagery, videos, and website experience will become more contextual now than ever before to offset this change. 

 

What is OppGenetix doing to prepare for this update?

We are more than prepared for this update and the changes it entails for our paid search ad clients, especially those in the home builder industry.

For starters, we run paid social ads on Facebook, which already implemented a similar update in March 2019, and we continue to see a great deal of success from our Facebook ads for new home builders. 

We’ve also found that Google Ads’ targeting options from a demographic standpoint simply aren’t as detailed as they are on Facebook, especially on search. Facebook’s user base is limited to its registered users who give their data upon registration and continue to use the platform. 

Google, on the other hand, is used by more than just people logged into Gmail accounts. Almost anyone with access to the internet can use Google to find what exactly it is they’re looking for. That’s why the keywords you’re using for when creating Google Ads are far more important than the audience you’re targeting. You want to think about what phrases and keywords your prospects are using when searching for your services, and create ad copy that is compelling to them as well.

Based on our data, 30% to 40% of users that are searching for products and/or services on Google fall into an unknown category. This category consists of people who are not logged into their Gmail accounts or are browsing in incognito mode. In these cases, Google is unable to attribute their basic demographic information. According to the nature of Google search, it is safe to assume that even before the update, marketers did not have 100% visibility into their target audience’s demographics on Google. Moving forward, this will be the new normal.

While a zip code can be very effective for specific locations, you will still be able to advertise within a specific radius, which can include the zip code you want to focus your marketing efforts on.

As user privacy continues to be a priority in the advertising landscape, we are devoting our time toward creating more contextual experiences that are personalized to each category of users. Although this requires a greater degree of effort through the customization of ads, landing pages, and websites, it is done to make the user experience more efficient. 

These changes will also encourage businesses to streamline their sales processes after a prospect has reached out to their business. In the long run, focusing on providing a seamless web experience from start to finish will win out versus the targeting capabilities of advertising channels.

By OppGenetix

12 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need Digital Marketing

If your small business doesn’t already have a digital marketing strategy in place, then it’s time to start making one.

Understandably, you may be reluctant to put some of your small business’s budget into digital marketing. Rather than thinking about it as a cost, think of it as an investment in your small business — an investment that, when carried out properly, is worth more than the initial investment. If you’re not investing in digital marketing, you actually could be losing more in the long run.

And that’s just one reason why your small business needs digital marketing, and there are several more reasons than that.

 

1. Digital marketing evens the playing field

Small businesses typically lack the resources to create commercials of Super Bowl quality. Depending on the size of a small business and its available resources, a billboard or radio ad may be out of the question.

But digital marketing is an area where small businesses can be on the same level as their larger commercial competitors. The barrier to entry is low, and provided small businesses are able to run a successful campaign, they are likely to reap the benefits of digital marketing.

 

2. There’s a wide variety of digital marketing options

Newspaper ads, posters, billboards, and local radio spots and TV commercials are traditional marketing avenues that don’t offer a lot of variety and fail to garner as much attention as they once did.

Thankfully, digital marketing has a plethora of options and fewer limitations on creative freedom.

 

Search ads

Paid search ads, are text ads shown on search engines like Google or Bing that are tied to keywords consumers search. What makes search ads so effective is that consumers using search engines are further down the marketing funnel. They’re not at the stage of awareness. They’re interested and are considering taking action for whatever it is they’re searching for.

Businesses are typically charged each time a consumer clicks on a search ad. The cost per click (CPC) varies and is based on a bidding system. Businesses bid on how much they feel a certain keyword is worth, and the amount businesses spend per click determine their position on search engine pages.

Search ads are geotargeted, which means these ads are sensitive to a consumer’s location. As a result, it will only display ads to consumers in locations selected by the business itself. For example, if your small business has one location in Columbus, Ohio, then you would want to ensure the people clicking on your search ads are in the Columbus area.

 

Display ads

Display ads are another form of search ads, though unlike their text-only counterparts, they are much more visual. They use images and video and come in a wide variety of sizes.

Display ads are typically run through search engines and are also linked to keywords like search ads are. Rather than appear on search engines, display ads appear on websites that are related to the topic a consumer searches.

Payment-wise, display ads are run on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) model, which means your business will be charged for every 1,000 views an ad has.

 

Social media ads

Paid social media ads are found on social media sites, like Facebook and Instagram. They use a combination of text and visuals and have even more variety than display ads do. Facebook, for example, allows carousel ads, video ads, collection ads, and more. 

Like PPC ads, Facebook allows you to set a budget and bid on keywords to determine how much you’ll pay for its ads.

Paid social ads use both CPC and CPM payment models, depending on the kind of ad you decide to run for your small business.

 

SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is an organic form of digital marketing, which means it doesn’t require paying a search engine or social media site. SEO is the practice of creating a website that ranks high on search engine results pages (SERP). Ideally, you want your website to be on the first or second pages of Google; it’s pretty rare for consumers to go beyond the second page.

At the very least, SEO requires your small business to have a quick, mobile-friendly website and someone with the ability to create thorough original content about topics related to your business’s offerings. It helps to have tools like Ahrefs to track keywords consumers use to find businesses like yours. Ahrefs tracks page rankings, how difficult it will be to rank for a certain keyword, keyword search volume, and more.

 

3. Digital marketing expands small businesses’ reach

Due to all of the digital marketing channel options, it’s easier than ever to reach different consumers in multiple places at the same time. Some consumers may be at different parts of the marketing funnel, but there are several digital marketing approaches that can be used to reach them.

For consumers at the top of the funnel (awareness and interest) who may have visited your small business’s website but did not take any action beyond the home page, you can create display ads for these consumers. This is referred to as remarketing or retargeting, and it’s a highly effective way to keep your small business’s brand at the forefront of people’s minds.

 

4. Digital marketing is cost-effective 

Google conservatively estimates that for every $1 a business spends on Google Ads, that business makes $8 in profit through Google Ads and Search — an impressive increase from Google’s earlier research that reported $2 in revenue for every $1 spent.

A Wordstream study found that the average cost for Google’s search and display ads across all industries were $2.69 per click and $0.58 per thousand impressions, respectively; Wordstream also found that Facebook ads average $1.72 per click across all industries.

Digital marketing costs less than traditional ad channels and allows you to place a cap on how much to spend. It’s clearly the superior route to take when it comes to how much you’re investing to advertise your small business.

 

5. Digital marketing targets multiple audiences at once

A print advertisement in the local newspaper typically targets one audience. The problem with this and other traditional forms of marketing is that they miss out on reaching your other audiences.

You can multiple digital marketing campaigns at once for different audiences via different channels, and this can become very specific and granular depending on which marketing channel you’re using.

 

6. Digital marketing keeps consumers engaged

In some cases, quantity isn’t everything. The quality of customers matters, too. In times of economic downturn, you might not be able to rely on occasional customers; you may have to rely on a loyal base of customers instead.

Keeping customers engaged with content, whether it be on your blog or your small business’s social media accounts, can keep them coming back to support your business.

 

7. Digital marketing boosts conversion rates

In digital marketing lingo, a conversion is another term for a goal. Conversions can be several different things: leads, purchases, newsletter subscriptions, engaging with content, visiting specific web pages, and so on.

Whatever your small business’s goal is, digital marketing makes it easy to track conversions and make optimizations to your digital marketing campaign that can boost overall conversion rates. 

 

8. Digital marketing has quantifiable results

Unlike traditional marketing methods, the results of digital marketing can be quantified. You can see the exact numbers, data, and statistics showing the state of your campaign. You can see how many people have “bounced” from your website, the number of people who have converted, and calculate an accurate return on investment.

There’s no guessing how many people bought products or signed up for a newsletter — the data is there.

 

9. Data can be used to improve marketing campaigns

Having quantifiable data can give you some idea of where your digital marketing campaign needs improvement. Sometimes it’ll require a bit of guessing and checking, but if you take a scientific approach to it by running the same ad with one slight difference, you can get an idea of how your small business’s digital marketing campaign can be improved.

 

10. Data can also be used to customize campaigns for highly specific audiences

Digital marketing data can help small businesses learn about their target audiences’ digital habits. There are tools out there that make it much easier to find your target audiences’ interests and discover the best approach to convert them to regular customers.

For example, Facebook offers a lookalike audience targeting option, which uses the information about your current target audiences and runs your advertisements to audiences that share similar features.

You may even find out that your small business has an audience that you never knew about until you started to review customer data. Then you can start making digital marketing campaigns specific to this audience segment, too.

 

11. Successful marketing campaigns can lead to new services and new business locations

Depending on the level of success your digital marketing campaign brings you, you may want to consider expanding your small business.

This could mean adding new services on top of the ones you already offer or even opening up another location. These additions and expansions can bring in even more revenue and customers.

Once you’ve got a strong digital marketing campaign for your main location or current services, you’re more than capable of creating more campaigns for your newer services. More services bring in more customers, more customers bring in more revenue, and more revenue means you can continue to grow your small business. It’s a cycle that continues to grow your business at each turn.

 

12. Resources for digital marketing are everywhere

There are tons of tools and resources for your small business’s digital marketing campaign: Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, Google Analytics, and so much more.

Our free digital audit is one great place to get started. For more information and even more digital marketing resources, contact us today.

By OppGenetix

Google Giving Small Businesses Hit by COVID–19 $340M in Ad Credits 

Small businesses have been hit particularly hard by COVID–19. To alleviate some of their financial difficulty, Google announced that they are giving small- and medium-sized businesses across the globe $340 million in Google Ads credits. On top of these ad credits, Google has also set up a fund that will help support non-governmental organizations and financial institutions provide small businesses access to capital, as well as providing $20 million in ad grants to nonprofit organizations and community financial institutions.

OppGenetix is made up of proud supporters of small businesses. That’s why we’re providing extra assistance and information to help your small business navigate this particular Google Ads credit process.

 

 

Is my small business eligible for Google Ads credits?

If your small or medium business has been an active advertiser on Google since Jan. 1, 2019, and is in compliance with Google Ads’s terms and conditions, your business is eligible for these ad credits.

 

When will my business receive ad credits?

Eligible businesses will be notified in the coming months through their Google Ads account. Google is in the process of creating these credits and depositing them into Google Ads accounts, so this may take some time.

 

How can I spend these Google Ads credits?

These ad credits can be used on different Google Ads platforms, including Google Search, Google Display, and YouTube. They can be used anytime during the year and will expire on Dec. 31, 2020, and any unused credits will be removed from the account.

 

Have more questions?

If you have more questions or need more information about these Google Ads credits, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

By OppGenetix

The Best Ad Channels for Your Marketing Campaign

Digital advertising has a lot to offer — and a lot of different advertising channels. It’s wise to put your business’s resources into a few different ad channels, but which ones?

Well, it depends on several factors: What’s your advertising budget? Who are you trying to target? What is the goal of your advertising campaign? Do you have a creative team in-house, or will you have to outsource writers, photographers, and video editors?

Keep these considerations in mind as you review the following digital ad channels:

 

Google Search Network

One of two paid search advertising options beneath the Google Ads umbrella, the Google Search Network is the best-known form of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

PPC ads are geotargeted text-based advertisements that appear on search engines. They’re tied to keywords, so when a prospect searches “Columbus digital marketing agencies,” PPC ads will appear at the top and bottom of the search engine results page. The position of PPC ads is determined by how much a person paid for those keywords in Google Ads’ bidding system.

As the name suggests, PPC means that you pay each time someone clicks on your advertisement. This also may be referred to as cost per click (CPC).

 

Pros of Google search ads

Great for determining demand: If you’re thinking of starting up a business, marketing a current service or adding a service to the business you already own, start by typing a phrase into the keyword search bar. Do you see any listings with an ad icon next to them?

 

 

If so, congrats! You’ve found there’s a demand for your business or service because Google has allowed advertisers to show ads on that traffic. 

Targeting the bottom of the marketing funnel: Prospects on Google are more or less ready to convert. They already know what they’re seeking; they’re looking for something or someone who offers a certain product or service. It’s just a matter of choosing the option they think is best suited for them. With a highly effective PPC strategy, prospects will click on your PPC ad and (hopefully) fill out a form or call to schedule an appointment — essentially, they’ll do whatever your landing page’s call to action asks of them.

 

Cons of Google search ads

Increasing cost and competition: PPC ads are rising in cost as well as competition over keywords. Depending on the competitiveness of a keyword and other factors, PPC campaigns with smaller budgets may have their budget depleted in one or two clicks. Still, they’re cheaper than a TV commercial and can be made in-house easily.

Medium: Text doesn’t catch the eye to the degree images do, and when they’re poorly written, people won’t click. Many Google Search ads are written by AI, which makes them blend in with other AI-written ads. 

Targeting specific demographics: While the geotargeted nature of PPC ads makes it easy to target audiences based on location, it’s much more difficult to accurately target based on other demographics, such as age and sex.

 

Google Display Network

Google Display Network is Google Ads’ other advertising option. Unlike Google Search Network’s PPC ads, Google Display Network ads can be found beyond the search engine result pages. Display ads, which come in the form of banner or video ads, are priced at either cost per thousand impressions (CPM) or cost per acquisition (CPA).

 

Pros of ad channel

Keyword-level contextual targeting:  Compared to Google Search’s PPC advertisements, Google Display Network’s ads do a better job of targeting based on demographics. This may be due to the fact that it takes prospects’ search history into account and its ability to “place” ads on relevant pages.

Cost: Display ads are cheaper than PPC ads — and that’s not even taking the price system options into account.

Powerful remarketing tool: Display ads are one of the best remarketing options. Remarketing, also known as retargeting, is the strategy of getting a website visitor who “bounced” (that is, left the site without taking action) to return to the website and take action. Display ads serve as little reminders to return to the website.

 

Cons of ad channel

Low clickthrough rate: If you’ve been on the internet long enough, you may remember those spammy pop-up ads declaring you as a winner of a decent sum of cash or gift cards. Prospects may be wary of clicking on display ads for that reason. This helps explain the low clickthrough rate (CTR) display ads often have. However, a low CTR is not necessarily a bad thing. In the case of remarketing display ads, people who don’t click on the ads are still likely to return to the website.

 

YouTube

If Google Ads had a third advertising channel beneath its umbrella, it’d be YouTube. YouTube is owned by Google but isn’t exactly part of Google Ads. Nevertheless, advertising on YouTube shares a handful of the same benefits that the Google Display Network offers. The ad medium is video. The ads are priced at cost per view.

 

Pros of ad channel

Large targeted audience: A lot of people use YouTube for a lot of different reasons, making it a promising ad channel. Similar to display ads, YouTube ads are based on prospects’ search history.

Cost: Stick to the skippable advertisement option and you won’t be paying too much. Non-skippable ads, on the other hand? Those can get pricey and allow a limited length of time.

 

Cons of ad channel

Requires a good team with experience in filming and video production: If you don’t have a good creative team in-house or lack the resources to outsource, YouTube may not be the best option advertising-wise.

 

Facebook and Instagram

Facebook and Instagram aren’t just for sharing big life events and beautiful images — they’re also some of the best advertising channels to use.

 

Pros of ad channels

Highly targeted: Paid social ads for Facebook and Instagram are some of the best ad channels out there. When users register, they have to provide identifying information (their name, age, sex, location, relationship status, etc.). That data makes it much easier for advertisers to target ads to very specific audiences.

Creative freedom: Facebook and Instagram allow for a lot of creativity, particularly when it comes to an advertisement’s medium. On Facebook, you can use and combine text, images, and carousels to create an eye-catching ad. Instagram gives you fewer options ad-wise (carousels aren’t exactly an advertising option), but it’s one of the most powerful influencing platforms.

Low cost, high impressions: Of all of the options listed here, Facebook and Instagram are by far the least expensive advertising platforms. It also gives you more options in terms of price system: CPM, CPC, and CPA are all options on these sites.

 

Cons of ad channels

High competition: Facebook and Instagram are so well-known for their low cost, higher impressions, and creative flexibility — not to mention popular throughout the world — that advertisers are more frequently competing with one another.

May need a good creative team: Like YouTube, ads on Facebook and especially Instagram need a creative touch. Unlike YouTube, Facebook doesn’t require the highest quality videos for ads. Combining a professional image or two with well-written copy is usually enough to get by with on there. Instagram, on the other hand, may not need the best videos, but given its overall emphasis on stunning visuals, it’s wiser to have a creative team (or at least a photographer) in-house or for hire.

 

LinkedIn

Not only is LinkedIn a solid professional networking platform; it’s also one of the best places for B2B and B2C marketers to advertise. Ads can come in the forms of banner and video ads.

 

Pros of ad channel

A match made in B2B heaven: B2B marketing is one of the most difficult marketing segments to work in, but LinkedIn can make life much easier for any B2B-er.

Incredible professional targeting options: LinkedIn lets marketers get so specific it’s (almost) scary. You can target ads at certain companies, people with specific titles or levels or seniority, and geographical locations.

 

Cons of ad channel

Cost: Paid advertisements on LinkedIn are expensive.

Business-focused audience: This isn’t necessarily a con for everyone, but if you’re not a B2B or B2C marketer, it’s probably best to spend your advertising resources elsewhere.

 

Choose your ad channels wisely

Hopefully this guide has helped you decide which ad channels are worth your time and investment and which ones aren’t. If you’re still not sure, contact us for more information or fill out our free digital audit.

oppgenetix-mobile-

By OppGenetix

6/13 – This Week In Digital Advertising

This Week In Digital Advertising

Consumers Spending More Time on Mobile than TV:

A big shift is happening in the world of marketing. For the first time consumers will spend more time using their mobile devices than watching TV. About 70% of that time will be spent on smartphones. This report is no surprise to those in the industry who have been watching the rise of mobile over the years.

People are increasingly spending time on apps instead of web browsers. Audio apps lead the way for time spent, followed my social. According to trends smartphone use will continue to increase. “We’ve expected that mobile would overtake TV for a while, but seeing it happen is still surprising,” said Yoram Wurmser, eMarketer principal analyst.

Although mobile continues to rise, many users have expressed concerns about screen time. Companies such as Apple and Google have released screen time tracking controls. This gives users visibility as to how much time they are spending on mobile devices.

As a digital marketing agency, we are constantly reviewing our processes to make sure we build campaigns that fit our clients needs. With the continued rise of mobile and usage of social media apps, our advertising efforts will continue evolving to make sure our clients messages are displayed appropriately.

Facebook Paid Ads Strategies:

As social media advertising becomes more of a crowded space our team is figuring out ways to make your ads and campaigns stand out. Facebook has made several major updates so far this year that have changed the way ads are targeted and shown to end users.

In order to have a sustained campaign over time it’s important to make sure you have a solid paid strategy with clear KPIs and goals along with high quality creative. It’s also good to take a second look at your campaign’s call-to-action and make sure it remains relevant and aligns with your goals

As the digital advertising world starts to see a shift it’s important to make sure new users know your brand through awareness campaigns. Having compelling assets such as video and high-quality imagery can help with user engagement. This will give our team the ability to re-target the ads to those who we know are interested in your brand.  This is a more long term approach to a campaign.

Our team also has the ability to add tracking codes to see where users are coming from, what keywords they clicked on, and even what devices they use. This way your team will have a better understanding of who is interacting with your ads and adjustments can be made to improve targeting.

We are a Columbus, Ohio digital marketing agency that can help your specialized business navigate any digital transformation. If you would like to talk strategy with our team please contact us.

1 2 3 5
Google Ads Policy Update for Home Builders
12 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need Digital Marketing
Google Giving Small Businesses Hit by COVID–19 $340M in Ad Credits 
The Best Ad Channels for Your Marketing Campaign
oppgenetix-mobile-
6/13 – This Week In Digital Advertising