Archive for the 'Search Engine Marketing (PPC)' Category

May, 14th, 2014

41 key insights on paid and organic search

FIRST Process Diagram on Paid and Organic Search
Here is our list of key insights on paid and organic search.

  1. An average of 12.8% of mobile searches result in a conversion, 5.3% call a business. Sounds like there is still a lot of scope to increase usage of the AdWords click-to-call ad template. (Source:
  2. As a retailer, should you be running AdWords even if your website is not mobile optimised..? – Consider this sobering stat: “82% of (in-store) smartphone shoppers use mobile search to help make purchase decisions” (Source:
  3. We’d say this is bigger news than people realise. Google CPC Email will extend person-specific search re-targeting on a massive scale. (Source:
  4. EA Battlefield (3?) gaming case study: “After cutting television’s share from 80% to half and boosting spending on video and paid search, sales of the new version jumped by 23%.” (Source:
  5. The AdWords auction insights report now runs across groups of Keywords, Ad Groups or Campaigns, revealing “how often your competitors’ ads are appearing above yours, or whether one of your competitors has a higher impression share than you.” (Source:
  6. Improve paid search performance with Facebook ads: Kenshoo study shows a 30% lift in ROAS and a 4.5% drop in CPA for paid search audience segment also exposed to Facebook ads. (Source:
  7. Yep, successful PPC requires a focus on specificity and granularity, as well as regular text ad changes. (Source:
  8. Fairfax SEM case study from the FIRST NZ team. (Source:
  9. Great. This will push up CTRs nicely. (Source:
  10. Check your Quality Score KW level reporting for better context on how to improve QS. Note: Ads not affected, reporting change only. (Source:
  11. Google Product Listing Ads accounted for over 14.7% of total paid search spend in Dec 12 (Adobe, US). (Source:
  12. AdWords Remarketing Best Practice #5: Create Custom Combinations. For example, incentivise a return visit for those consumers who added a product to their basket, but did not complete the checkout process. (Source:
  13. AdWords dynamic remarketing is an absolute must for eCommerce sites: Retarget prospects who have viewed a specific product, with a display ad for that exact same product, across the entire product catalogue – dynamically (display ad builder). (Source:
  14. 2012 avgerage CTR for smartphones 107 percent higher than desktops… – This will be quite different for 2013 given the recent mobile-on-by-default change for AdWords. (Source:
  15. The new AdWords mobile bid multiplier can be turned up X percent of your desktop bid for high-value keywords in the right location at the right time (mobile). (Source:
  16. The study doesn’t really address SEM performance, but interesting to see clear links to how weather may affect performance. A bit more background on the data sources would have been useful. (Source:
  17. eCommerce post-transaction retargeting of existing customers is now possible for Google search ads also, no longer just GDN. (Source:
  18. Marin Q4 report puts Australia at the top for highest percentage of clicks from mobile devices: 26% from smartphones and tablets (combined). (Source:
  19. The new AdWords Keyword Planner appears to make setup even easier, but don’t forget about AdWords Editor – useful for fast copy-paste account structuring. (Source:
  20. Google’s structured data mark-up tool has been given new powers: This rich snippet data highlighter can now handle articles, events, local businesses, movies, products, software applications and TV episodes. (Source:
  21. Good intro to SEO for business owners. (Source:
  22. Hotels, check your Google+ Local Page! (Source:
  23. With respect to organic search keyword [not provided] we’d have to agree with this statement: “If it really meant the explanation given about privacy, they [Google] not only wouldn’t be giving up paid keyword data, but also could have found a sensible middle ground of what to share instead of removing it all.” (Source:
  24. GA organic search keyword (not provided) to approach 100% by end of year (Conductor, US). (Source:
  25. BeyondD’s Group GM Jon Ostler interviewed by ABC’s Four Corners. (Source:
  26. Organic position #1 drives 33% of total clicks of top 15. Sites listed on the first Google search results page generate 92% of all traffic from an average search (Chitika, US/CA data). (Source:
  27. Read this slowly: “According to a survey of over 72 Million customers shopping on 86 retail sites, Email is the number 3 source of customer acquisition.” (Custora, June 13). (Source:
  28. The FTC has sent another batch of letters to search engines re-emphasising the continued need for “visual cues, labels, or other techniques to effectively distinguish advertisements, in order to avoid misleading consumers”. We’d say that’s a good thing. (Source:
  29. Customer acquisition via email has quadrupled over the last 4 years: An increasing number of eCommerce retailers are using lead-gen tactics to acquire email addresses, and then converting these into paying customers (Custora). (Source:
  30. Non-paid search continues to be the primary way people find websites (Forrester, US/CA, n=30,000+). (Source:
  31. Google Now has been released on iOS. (Source:
  32. Good outline of how to maximise exposure for YouTube videos. In addition, consider Promoted Videos via AdWords. TrueView will ensure only actual views are payable; optimise for max views at min CPV. (Source:
  33. Search is substantially better at driving eCommerce traffic than any other digital channel, especially social. (Source:
  34. Ignoring Google+ is not an option: “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification” – Schmidt. (Source:
  35. You might have heard of Caffeine, Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird. But do you remember Jagger, Big Daddy and Vince? (Source:
  36. Tip #5 for scaling content marketing: Focus on discovery by establishing your brand as an authority on community sites. (Source:
  37. For this to yield any meaningful results you will need to be seriously disciplined and also work with a large enough team to execute control tactics vs test group simultaneously. Not for the faint-hearted… (Source:
  38. Social signals correlation with higher search rankings continues to increase. (Source:
  39. If you want to know what “SEO” looks like these days, this is a good summary. (Source:
  40. Some serious link baiting going on here. (Source:
  41. Google rejects over 30% of information requests the Australian government makes. (Source:

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Mar, 18th, 2014

FIRST signs Fuji Xerox Australia, improves search results

Fuji Xerox Australia logo

FIRST has been appointed as the lead digital marketing agency for Fuji Xerox Australia. FIRST impressed the document technology and services company with its SEO and PPC methodology coupled with its online creative and development capabilities, which complemented and fully aligned with Fuji Xerox Australia’s digital strategy.

FIRST will be responsible for increasing Fuji Xerox Australia’s search visibility and performance through its detailed Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) methodologies.  In addition, FIRST will help plan and develop Fuji Xerox Australia’s content strategies as well as its online creative assets for new product launches targeting business to business (B2B) consumers.

Already, FIRST has completed the redesign and development of Fuji Xerox Australia’s “Do things differently” responsive microsite ( The recently launched online portal allows Fuji Xerox Australia to reach its B2B customers and detail the business benefits that can be gained by its new solution, the Smart Work Enabler.

FIRST has also begun to improve Fuji Xerox Australia’s search results by applying its proven search and optimisation strategies.

Discussing the decision to engage FIRST, Fuji Xerox Australia’s, manager – digital marketing, Jethro Grainger-Marsh said: “Fuji Xerox Australia chose to collaborate with FIRST because of their professional approach and reputation for providing solid results and ROI. We’ve already seen some search and development results and we look forward to a strong return on investment through increased awareness and market engagement of our new solution.”

Commenting on working with Fuji Xerox Australia, FIRST’s general manager, James Ward said: “We are really excited to work with a leading brand and this illustrates the confidence that Fuji Xerox Australia has in FIRST‘s proven digital marketing methodology.  Our aim is to assist in driving sales through improved search strategies: SEO, PPC and conversion rate optimisation, combined with online creative and web design as well as a solid content strategy.

In these early stages of the project, we have already noticed positive improvements in the current digital campaign and we believe this is a testament to our expertise in search engine optimisation and web development.”

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Feb, 11th, 2014

Online Homewares Sites (Search Engine Rank Report)

To find out more, download the full report (PDF) via our download form.

Which homeware and furniture businesses are maximising their market share online? Find out which stores are taking the lead in search engine page results and how they’re doing it.

FIRST looked into the search engine results for homewares online for its Ranking Based Reach performance analysis report.

In this report we discovered:

  • The homewares and furniture market is highly competitive, with players failing to have some of the basic keywords on their sites
  • Along with flowers, hardware, plants, build materials, office equipment, stationery, automotive parts, aviations parts, and art (‘other products’), home wares and furniture make up 27% of online purchases in Australia*
  •, and are currently the most visible sites in the digital homewares and furniture landscape, achieving a dominant share of voice thanks to strong positions in organic and paid results.
  • There is significant opportunity for sites to improve their RBR – their search engine reach – for important keywords in both organic and paid search.

* ACMA Communications report 2010–11 series: Report 1—e-commerce marketplace in Australia: Online shopping

FIRST uses its bespoke metric called RBR (Ranking Based Reach) to estimate how well each company is ranking in the search engines. Rankings Based Reach (RBR) provides a simple way to compare a website’s search engine rankings with its competitors. RBR is an estimate of the percentage of available search traffic a website will receive for a set of phrases – this gives the sites share of search or reach. It is weighted based on the popularity of each search phrase and the relative click through rate (CTR) of each ranking position.

To find out more, download the full report (PDF) via our download form.

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Jan, 21st, 2014

Is Retargeting Digital’s Rising Star?



Digital marketing has become a promotional channel of choice for many businesses due to its flexibility, reach and ability to influence and measure the whole customer lifecycle.

There has been a rising star in the digital marketing world over the last couple years, which is now a key priority for many advertisers.  Retargeting is a new opportunity for business to be visible to their targeted audience and re-engage with warm prospects and visitors.


How Does Retargeting Work?

Retargeting usually requires a retargeting tag, which is a small piece of JavaScript code, to be placed on your website.  This could be placed on your entire website or just a subsection of the website depending on how you intend on segmenting and retargeting your website visitors.

Once the retargeting code is deployed, an anonymous browser cookie will be dropped to visitors’ browsers who have visited these pages on your website.  This can then be used to identify these visitors when they visit other websites and tailored ads can be shown to these targeted visitors based on their previous behaviour on your website.


What are some of the benefits?

Most industries can benefit from retargeting and businesses should include retargeting as part of the digital marketing plan.

Retail Ecommerce  is an industry that uses retargeting more frequently.  Retargeting has been known to achieve fantastic successes bringing back bounced visitors and recovering abandoned shopping carts.

Retargeting can help B2B businesses to be seen  in front of their potential and existing customers by showing highly relevant ads with messages of product updates and upcoming promotions.  This also serves to engage with and build long term relationship with customers.

Based on the objectives and of the businesses, different types of retargeting methods can be employed.


6 Types of Retargeting

Site Retargeting

Site retargeting is the most popular form of retargeting. This allows advertisers (you) to retarget people who have visited your site through relevant ads on 3rd party websites,  and is an opportunity to increase brand awareness and encourage these visitors to return your site for an offer or to complete a purchase.

Search Retargeting

Search retargeting allows advertisers (you) to retarget based on people’s online search behavior. You can choose to advertise to and retarget people who conducted searches (on various 3rd party search engines)  using  keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business.  As with site retargeting, these ads appear on supported 3rd party websites. With search remarketing, the visitor does not have to have visited your website first. The total retargeting pool for search retargeting is likely larger than site retargeting.  Search retargeting will assist to find people close to the top of the funnel, whereas site retargeting can  be very focused at the bottom of the funnel with people you know have already engaged with your brand..

Email Retargeting

Email newsletters still play a big role as a digital marketing tool. Email retargeting allows you to retarget your email newsletter subscribers via ads on 3rd party websites. A line of code will be placed in your email  HTML, and those who open your email will be tracked. This can be a very powerful of re-engaging visitors you know well.

CRM Retargeting

Interacting with offline customers or potential prospects who have never visited your website has been a great challenge, if not near impossible for businesses, but not now. CRM retargeting helps you find your offline customers or potential prospects online and bring them to your website. A company’s rich offline data can be married against other databases to identify matching data.  This can provide highly targeted online segments to pursue.

Google AdWords Remarketing

Google remarketing has been available for a few years and marketers are often more familiar with it than the other forms of remarketing. Google remarketing works similarly to other remarketing methods by placing a piece of JavaScript on your website and the visitors can be segmented into relevant groups. The targeted visitors will served  ads when viewing websites on Google Display Network.

To improve the end user experience with remarketing, Google recently launched ‘dynamic remarketing’ globally, as a new product. This allows businesses serve potential customers display ads dynamically based on their previous behaviour on the website such as ‘products viewed’.

Businesses that run Google dynamic remarketing must have a Google merchant account which Google uses to pull out products to automatically generate dynamic display or text ads.

Social Retargeting

Participating in social networks have become part of daily routine for many, including your customers. Social networks are another channel to engage with your bounced traffic and potential prospects. Facebook was the very first social network  to offer retargeting, which was launched via the Facebook Ad Exchange in 2012, working with a number of DSP (Demand-side Platform) partners.

Facebook Exchange offers cookie based site retargeting through their approved DSP partners, allowing advertisers to use their own real-time customer insights data to reach their site visitors on Facebook with more timely and relevant ads.

In late 2013, Facebook extended their retargeting to open access to its custom audiences ad targeting tool, which allows advertisers to leverage custom audience via Facebook’s ad interface to find existing customers and reach new prospects on Facebook.


Twitter joined  the retargeting revolution in late 2013 and offer cookie based retargeted ads, which works same way as site retargeting and Facebook retargeting. Advertisers (you) are able to target site visitors and while on Twitter with targeted promoted tweets and promoted accounts.


Retargeting Best Practices

Once you decide to run a retargeting campaign and choose the type of retargeting methodology that fits your business needs, the next step is to run a successful retargeting campaign. Here are some retargeting best practices that will help you to achieve your goals.


Use Frequency Caps

For your retargeting audience, seeing your ads absolutely everywhere while browsing online may be very annoying and  may lead to  them ignoring your ads completely or forming a negative association with your brand.

17 – 20 impressions per user per month is recommended cap, which will limit overexposure and maximise the campaign results.


Segment Your Audiences

Audience segmentation plays a big role in the campaign success, which ensures you serve relevant ads to the right people based on their behaviour on your website.

You can segment your audience by product categories or the steps of shopping funnel based on goals you want to achieve.


Use Demographic, Geographic, & Contextual Targeting

You may refine your target audience further by serving customized ads based on demographic information (e.g. age, gender where applicable)

You can also retarget your audience geographically or contextually to improve the relevancy and performance of your campaign.


Optimize Your Creative

The creative you use will also determine your campaign success. To win attention from your audience, results are best achieved by keeping ad copy minimal and design simple. Bold colour, concise copy and a clear call to action make your ads memorable and have the desired impact.  Multiple versions of ad creative should be tested to achieve the best results.

In Summary…

Retargeting is a powerful tool to bring back your website visitors and improve your ROI by recovering abandoned shopping cart. It can generate amazing results when working with other online and offline campaigns as the rest of digital marketing strategy.

If you would like to know how retargeting can help your business grow and how it can fit in your big marketing strategy, let’s chat!


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