On the Blog: Guide to Google Reviews

Guide to Google Reviews

Having a solid strategy for managing and collecting Google reviews plays a vital role in the online marketing mix for any organisation. For SMBs it’s even more important to take this seriously as savvy local consumer’s final decisions are often swayed by companies with the best local reviews.

Let’s take a closer look at where you’ll find reviews on Google search results and how to go about making sure that you have the essentials covered.

Google My Business

These reviews appear within a business listing known as the ‘Knowledge Panel’ in local search results and on Google Maps, both with a mobile and desktop format. There are four sources of information within the Knowledge Panel:

  1. information about your business,
  2. your website,
  3. user-generated information like reviews
  4. third-party sources such as social profiles.

In order to start collecting reviews within the Knowledge Panel you’ll need to set up a Google My Business account. An optimised Google My Business listing is one of the best ways to improve your local ranking which is where your business is listed alongside other similar business on Google Search.

Reviews within a ‘Knowledge Panel’ or local ranking listing are hugely important and from personal experience, often sway decisions to use a business or try out a new restaurant. It’s important to encourage your customers to leave a review whenever possible are more inclined to write a review after a negative experience and not when they’ve had a positive one. Ensuring that customers with great feedback write about their experience helps leave a positive reflection of your business online.

Google recommends the following best practices on obtaining and managing reviews:

  • Remind your customers to leave reviews. Let them know that it’s quick and easy to leave business reviews on mobile devices or desktop computers. Learn how to leave Google reviews
  • Reply to reviews to build your customers’ trust. Your customers will notice that your business values their input, and possibly leave more reviews in the future. You can also create and share a link that customers can click on to leave a review. Find out how to read and reply to reviews
  • Verify your business so your information is eligible to appear on Maps, Search, and other Google services. Only verified businesses can respond to reviews. Learn how to verify your business

*source: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3474122?hl=en-GB

Seller Ratings

Google seller ratings are reviews that appear below text ads on Google search and shopping. Similar to reviews on Google My Business they help consumers in their decision making process and Google themselves state that they can help advertisers improve ad performance and earn more qualified leads – this is because they increase the click-through rate (CTR) of ads and conversion rate.

You don’t need to be an E-commerce advertiser in order to have seller ratings on your text ads on the Search Network.

Google compiles ratings from third-party business review aggregates and other sources.

  • Google Customer Reviews, a free programme that collects post-purchase reviews on behalf of advertisers.
  • StellaService, an independent company that analyses the quality of your customer service through the measurement of your customer care, delivery and returns.
  • Aggregated performance metrics from Google-led shopping research.
  • Ratings from Google Consumer Surveys, a market research platform that we use to collect data for certain domains and businesses.
  • Shopping reviews for your shop domain, which include reviews from various third-party sources.

*source: https://support.google.com/merchants/answer/190657

 

The baseline standard requirements for seller ratings to show is that your business will need 150 unique reviews and a composite rating of at least 3.5 stars or above on the 5-point scale.

One of the biggest differences in collecting reviews for your Google My Business listing and seller ratings is that you absolutely need to collect third-party reviews for seller ratings to show. There are a number of independent review websites such as TrustPilot and Feefo. Some offer an entry level service at no charge.

In summary the quality of reviews online and managing the process of gathering them is essential to your business. It will without question have a positive impact on your business and ROI.

If you want KMG to generate a Google Review link for you to easily send your clients and customers, just ask your Account Manager today.

On the Blog – Top Tips for Handling Leads

KMG’s mandate is to drive you leads, your job is to convert them.

It’s a question we often hear, have you got any tips for converting leads? What is the best practise for optimal results? Now, of course every industry is different and there are understandable nuances that apply for some that are not relevant to others. However, getting the basics right applies across industries and is so important. Converting leads is a commitment and a process that is worth investing training and resources in internally.

  1. Standardise your call answering so that it includes your company’s name Good Morning KAU Media Group…”
  2. Introduce yourself and your role in the business, so that if the person calls back they can ask for you directly.
  3. Be personable and friendly, this is their first interaction with your company.
  4. Learn and repeat the caller’s name early on in the conversation “Thanks Claire, let’s see how we can help…”
  5. Do not leave the caller on hold if this can be avoided, not at the start of the phone call and not in the middle.
  6. Do not be afraid to push your USPs, callers have the highest intent of all lead types and they want to be sold to to make their decision easier.
  7. Do not give price approximations for medical or dental treatments where it can be avoided over the phone as every patient is different and needs to be assessed face to face.
  8. Understand the caller’s pain point (price, time, location, a historical bad experience…) and do your best to address/allay those fears.
  9. Always get the caller’s contact details as soon as possible so that they can be followed up with. “Can I take your name and number to better assist you?”
  10. Be up to date on any deals/offers that you are advertising online, it causes confusion when a caller enquires and the receptionist or sales team are not aware of the offer. Very off-putting.
  11. Do not expect the caller to have any existing knowledge of the industry; educate them.
  12. Ensure that the caller understands what you are saying/recommending.
  13. Try to book in a face to face consultation where applicable. This will lead to higher conversion rates.
  14. All calls should be answered.
  15. Voicemails should be followed-up back when business opens.

There are also some useful rules for general lead follow-up:

  1. The time from receiving a lead notification and contacting the person is crucial, it should be the same day if not the same hour. People are clicking around online and may have submitted their details multiple times.
  2. Follow up with an email if you can not get hold of the person, then send a professional text leaving your number.
  3. Have professional email templates that you use that are consistent with your company’s branding.
  4. If the caller doesn’t know when they are free, just book them in with a tentative time then get them to call back to change if it doesn’t work as opposed to just asking them to call back when they know.
  5. Have calls re-directed to a mobile out of hours where possible, especially when running an emergency/out of hours service.
  6. Follow up with the person to check on the progress of their decision if it is a product/treatment with a long consideration phase.

Whether your company is getting new business phone calls directly, or you are receiving “requests for a callback” or email form submissions that you have to follow up on, what really matters is your ability to develop these leads into tangible return on advertising spend. This means different goals for different businesses, be it sign ups for a course, an investment made, booking a holiday, making a sale or booking in a treatment.

The process that you have for lead handling should be smooth, consistent and effective at every stage of the conversion process. A CRM system should log your leads and then you can identify where you are losing business (hopefully nowhere) and tweak your offering accordingly or try out a different approach.

For more information on lead handling, call your Account Manager at KMG today.

On the Blog – Tracking: Getting Granular

To me the beauty of digital marketing is that it allows people to gain a complete understanding of which digital marketing strategies are driving returns and which tactics are a waste of valuable resources. If set up correctly, a website and its entities are able to capture data points that are important to business owners and decision makers. They are important because these data points can be used to understand consumer behaviours and preferences. However, decision makers first have to identify which metrics to pinpoint and understand how to capture those metrics during digital advertising campaigns. To do this, advertisers have to ask both strategic and tactical questions. Such as “how does tracking and using consumer data impact business goals?”, “how will our internal teams organise and share consumer data?” and “what’s our benchmark for the form submission rate?”

Thinking, building and setting live your well thought out campaign is really only the first step towards you being able to utilize and see returns for your online presence. The more underappreciated step in the entire process is the tracking of the KPIs you initially set out to meet. With the help of a measurement platform like Google Analytics you can test new tactics and make informed decisions about which activities to keep to help you reach and exceed your digital marketing KPIs. Combining Google Analytics with custom built codes further enhances your understanding of consumer behaviour and ultimately further helps your campaign to succeed.

This post will go over the benefit of using Google Analytics, UTM parameters and hidden fields on forms to analyse in real time which of your marketing channels are providing you leads and more granularly study where an individual that submits a form has come from.

  1. Google Analytics: Acquisition

The Acquisition section of Google Analytics helps you understand how your audience finds your website and where they originate from, for example this could be through a search engine, social network or website referral. This helps you discover which tactics are driving the most visitors to your website and, therefore, are proving a success.

Figure 1: KAU Media Group Acquisition Overview Google Analytics Page

The Behaviour section of Google Analytics helps you visualise how your website visitors travel from one page of your website to the next. It can also help you understand the pages of your website and blog that keep your audience most engaged – perfect for discovering the types of content and copy that work best for your business.

 

 

Figure 2: KAU Media Group Behaviour Overview Google Analytics Page

 

  1. UTM Parameters

The Urchin tracking module also called UTM tags or codes, are customisable pieces of text that allow analytics software (like Google Analytics and Autopilot) to track campaign traffic. Attaching them to the end of a URL can help you figure out answers to questions as broad as “Which email campaign brought in the most web traffic?” to ones as specific as “Which call-to-action in that email generated more revenue?”

  1. Hidden Fields

We are interested in capturing potential customer data in the form of an email, name and number. This can be done through ‘Book Consultation’ forms, ‘Download PDF Guide’ forms and other call to actions that require a user to submit data. The main purpose of the form is to get permission to interact with potential customers and to get in contact with them. These forms contain visible fields such as Name, Number, and Email.

Figure 3: Get A Free Quote form showing visible fields for Name, Phone and Email. 

There could be hidden fields on this form but there is no way for us to know. A hidden field sits in the visible form on the website however, as the name says, the field is not visible to the user. This lets web developers include data that cannot be seen or modified by users when a form is submitted. A hidden field often stores what database record that needs to be updated when the form is submitted. In our case we force the hidden fields to pull the URL which contains the UTM parameters.

The Final Step

By using all three different technologies at the same time decision makers are able to better see which marketing channels are driving the most amount of quality leads and more importantly see how each individual that submitted a form accessed the site. By then entering or linking this information to a CRM a business owner will be able to follow the user from submission to purchase, and through to the end goal.

Figure 4: Below shows how a decision maker sees the submission of our ‘test’ subject:

Note how clear and accessible it is to see that our Test user has come from a Google PPC marketing campaign in which the campaign was “education”. This allows sales people and other business users to further understand who the person on the other end of the line is.

To learn more about these three pillars of tracking, call KAU Media Group today.

On the Blog – Adwords Scripts

AdWords Scripts are powerful lines of code that essentially speak to your AdWords account to edit almost any element within your account, create new ones, and even automate AdWords reports for you.

Advertisers can use scripts to adjust their bids by certain parameters. For instance, you can use a script to perform the following: increase bids by 10% for all keywords that have more than 5 conversions and a Click Through Rate higher than 5%, but don’t raise the bids by more than £1.50 in ad group A within campaign B. This kind of optimisation would not only take a long time but would also be a very tedious endeavour insofar as accomplishing this manually.

It is also possible to integrate with AdWords APIs such as the OpenWeatherMap API. Such scripts can import external weather information from this API and use that as parameters in your bidding rules. This could be a useful addition to your account if you provide certain products or services that could be affected by the real time weather in certain locations. For instance, if your business is to run a water park, you may be more inclined to run certain campaigns more aggressively, on warmer days and perhaps even offer deals for that specific day.

Another instance of using external data for influencing ads is a script that enables and pauses ads when there is a delay at an airport. This is where bars, restaurants, hotel and surrounding businesses can be smart and adjust their ad text to cater for such circumstances.

Google AdWords Scripts can also serve to pause lower Click Through Rated ads in each ad group. Manually, this can take a long time to do, so such a script enables you to easily keep the better performing ad running, meaning lower costs and higher CTRs.

AdWords Scripts also provide reporting functionality, such as the Ad Performance Report. Advertisers like to analyse how their ads are performing in their campaigns. Sometimes, comparing how a given headline or final URL performs against others will provide insight in creating new ads. Ad Performance Report generates a Google Spreadsheet with several interesting distribution charts.

If you use AdWords Campaign Experiments, you can see the difference made by changes to bids, keywords, ads, or placements, but you can’t test any campaign settings.

With an AdWords script you can build your own experiments, testing anything, with control and test campaigns that switch on and off with alternate ad schedules. You can then code a test to see if those results are statistically significant.

Scripts are useful to automate the process of making granular changes in Adwords on a large scale, improving efficiency and freeing up time for strategic planning. Every campaign is unique, as every business is unique. As outlined in the examples above, coding Adwords Scripts can be very beneficial.

To learn more about how KMG optimises campaigns using Adwords scripts, please contact your Account Manager.

 

On the Blog – The Evolution of Audience Targeted Strategies

Anyone with a little knowledge of marketing is probably aware of the first principle, and that’s to know your audience.

Cliché? Yes.

More important than ever? Maybe.

The core of marketing hasn’t really changed much over the decades. Even with the introduction of new and sophisticated technologies evolving the capabilities of reaching the masses (or even the highly-targeted ‘few’), marketing is simply the process of getting the right message, to the right person, at the right time – and the principle or rule of knowing your audience is as true as it has ever been.

Google (Facebook and others too) have made it easier than ever to reach your ideal audience, but before I get into ideas on opportunities to improve your audience targeted strategies – ask yourself: how well do you know yours?

How well a business knows and understands their audience plays a significant role in how well they can communicate with them – and in a broader sense that’s all marketing is. Communicating. And when you consider consumer expectations rising in regard to marketing messages being more targeted to one’s needs, current circumstances, and what’s on their minds, you’ll start to appreciate generic ‘one-size-fits-all’ advertising will become less and less prevalent as time goes on.

Here are some ideas for reaching your ideal audience with relevant marketing messages to help increase the number of conversions and leads you receive, no matter where your audience might currently fit in the proverbial sales funnel.

Adapt ad creatives to different segments of your audience

Why show the same ad to women as you would to men? Perhaps it makes no difference in your industry.  But what if it did? Sure, there are a number of human-driven characteristics that are shared amongst both genders – but there are certainly differences too.

Even within genders, there are different motivations for certain actions. Consider this and you don’t just have to adapt ad creatives to suit genders, but you can combine them with known interests to communicate a highly-targeted marketing message. Combine that with age-groups, and suddenly you’re speaking to your prospect on a level they’re not used to.

This can be the difference between a prospect seeing a welcomed ad, and one where an advertiser is clearly wasting money.

Use in-market audiences

Using in-market audiences can help you identify prospects who are mid-funnel. They’re comparing and evaluating different products and services, and soon they’ll come to a decision. Clearly it’s in your best interest to communicate with this prospect in a manner they can relate to given what stage of the process they are in. If they’re making comparisons then feature rich and USP focused ad creatives might work best.

Use affinity market audiences

Perhaps not quite as directly valuable as in-market audiences or retargeting (see below), it can be useful for some advertisers, especially those trying to get in front of an audience that has a particular affinity to something relevant to your market. It’s top of the funnel, but it has its place.

Tailored retargeting

Retargeting is an excellent and often cost-effective form of marketing. You get to stay in the mind of potential customers. But this doesn’t always mean you always have to bombard your audience with the same message. Instead, and where possible, tailor your ad creatives based on key interactions they’ve had with your website such as, but not limited to, what pages they visited, the last page they visited, the page they stayed the longest time on, and so on.

Many other strategies can be applied but the few tips outlined above are far less effective if you don’t understand your audience. The more strict and precisely defined you are able to get your audience can pay significant dividends when it comes to investing in any advertising campaign. It becomes that much easier to be relevant, to communicate the right message to the right person, and at the right time.

Know your audience.

For more information on how to understand your audience, please contact KMG.

On the Blog – Optimising for Hyperlocal

If I am booking a first aid training course for example, I would like it to be cheap and as close to my office as possible. While enjoying a city break, I may search on my phone for a ‘Chinese takeaway near me.’ From this search, I would expect to find a restaurant that offers good food, close to where I am. People want to be able to find a quality service quickly when they are online without excess travelling that wastes their time and money.

Both my search examples represent a wider trend in consumer behaviour, one that is driven by local intent. Local businesses can harness this by identifying ways to optimise their online presence for local searchers. If you are reading this as a local business owner, this could potentially mean high-quality traffic heading your way. Hyperlocal targeting is a very useful and profitable marketing strategy for meeting your customers’ needs instantly. Turning browsers into buyers. Targeting customers by location allows you to offer a personalised service. Understanding how to enhance your content for these users can provide your brand with an excellent formula for success.

Google has refined its search ranking accordingly. A ‘near me’ search will return a narrower selection of just three local pack results on Google Maps. This covers a smaller, more targeted geographical area than ever before. Evidently, Google is encouraging the move towards hyperlocal.

Google wants its users to be connected as quickly as possible with the most relevant results that best fit what they’re looking for. For my Chinese restaurant example, the three businesses that Google will show me on their three pack will have had consistently positive reviews from happy and satisfied customers. This will have built the brands credibility and placed them higher up the Google leader board. It works as a wealth of recommendations from fellow Chinese restaurant enthusiasts that Google can trust.

It seems obvious, but your NAP (name, address and phone number) needs to be the same wherever it appears online. Google values consistency across the web. Another tactic to optimize for local, is to write original, engaging content that has a local angle. Work your keywords into relevant content. If your business helps the surrounding community, is involved in charity work, or has any initiatives to help the vulnerable, make sure you include that. This will create genuine, hyper local content and links that engages local interest. This will get some big thumbs up from Google. These relevant links will encourage organic traffic and score highly in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Identify what really makes your business unique and build your content around that. Then make this consistent across all your social media, linking to and from your site.

Finally, to utilise hyperlocal potential, your digital marketing needs to be mobile friendly and optimised for mobile. Your advert display should have clear contact information and click-to-call buttons. The more you cater to the needs of your mobile user, the easier it will be to attract local traffic and engagement. Some of the sectors that are benefiting greatly already from this hyperlocal trend are medical services, law offices, plumbers, pet services and real estate.

Hyperlocal and Geo-targeting your campaigns can only lead to an improved click-through rate and conversion rate. To succeed in this localised environment, small and medium sized businesses should adapt, play to their strengths and be committed to their hyperlocal PPC campaign. This will help to prevent their services being buried beneath the fold.

To optimise your business for hyperlocal, contact KMG today…