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Getting Your Google Ads Certification

If you’re new to digital marketing, then it’s important to learn as much as you can about Google Ads. Previously known as Google Adwords, Google Ads is the platform through which you can run search and display ads on Google and the Google Partner networks. Even though many people assume this platform is only useful for marketing agencies, it’s important for businesses to have an understanding of Google Ads in order to collaborate with their marketing teams. There are a lot of different aspects of the Google Ads platform to master in order to reach people who are interested in the products and services your business offers.

How does Google Ads Work?

First, it’s important to understand how Google Ads works and what the ads look like on Google. Let’s start with search ads. When someone searches on Google and the search engine results page (SERP) comes up, the ads are listed on the top section of the results. These are identified as ads as shown in the image below:

As you can see, the first three listings on this page are ads, and the fourth listing is actually the first organic search result. This means that the businesses with the three ad listings had to pay to get that placement. Google Ads works on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis. That means that businesses bid to get the top spots and pay as someone clicks on their ad. On the other hand, the fourth listing on the page above did not pay to get that spot on the SERP. Instead, it used Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In our other blog post we cover the difference between SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM), but for this post, we’re going to dig deeper into SEM.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Google Ads. The platform has evolved rapidly over the years, and the latest version of Google Ads includes new features such as responsive search ads and responsive display ads, which incorporate Google’s machine learning algorithms to present the optimal combinations of ad headlines, text, and format to appeal to your target market.

So, how do you learn everything you need to know about Google Ads?

There are multiple approaches to learning the ins and outs of Google Ads. At Skyrush Marketing, we suggest a blend of learning techniques that involves the following:

  • Self-guided research
  • Interactive training sessions
  • On-the-job training
  • Official Google Ads Certification

Let’s go into more detail about each of the steps to mastering Google Ads.

  1. Self-Guided Research: When you begin to explore Google Ads, the first thing you should do is start researching the platform on your own. You want to learn as much as you can about Google Ads through authoritative websites, blogs, colleagues, and other sources. For instance, you may reach out to one of your LinkedIn connections who is certified in Google Ads and ask for some information. You may also conduct some of your own Google searches and go through the Google Ads help pages to read about the basics. In addition, niche bloggers will often cover overviews of Google Ads to give you a sense of the general functionality of the platform. After you spend several hours (which can be spread out over several days) reading about Google Ads on your own, it’s time to move on to the next step.

 

  1. Interactive Training Sessions: There are tons of interactive training sessions available for Google Ads. The most popular, or course, is the training provided by Google. You can access the Google training tools on the Academy for Ads website. This training provides you with small chunks of information and questions throughout the modules so you can test your knowledge as you go. While the training isn’t individualized, it gives a great overview of what Google Ads is, how it works, and how to navigate it to achieve specific goals. All of the digital marketer at Skyrush Marketing have gone through the Google Ads training course and felt that it was an excellent experience to follow-up their initial research. There are other courses you can take too, such as:

 

All of these structured courses offer a unique experience as they are designed and led by someone different. Taking multiple courses allows you to gain multiple perspectives about Google Ads and fill in the blanks that may be left in just one course.

  1. On-the-Job Training: Even though all the Google Ads courses that are available online are helpful, there’s something to be said about actually creating your own Google Ads campaign and testing out the platform yourself. At Skyrush, our digital marketers enjoy showing our clients how Google Ads works. That way, they can explore the features on their own and really get a feel for what services we are providing and how we are optimizing their campaigns. Most of the digital marketers at Skyrush agreed that the on-the-job training that was included before they started working with clients on their own gave them much more confidence in their ability to master Google Ads.

 

  1. Official Google Ads Certification: While official certifications aren’t everything, at Skyrush Marketing, we understand that keeping up with all of our Google Certifications ensures that we are always on top of the leading trends in Google. All of our digital marketers are certified in Google Ads and they renew their certification each year. The certification exam is a structured multiple-choice exam provided on the Google Academy for Ads. We recommend studying for the Google Ads Certification exam and getting as much hands-on practice as you can before taking the exam, so you feel comfortable applying your knowledge. Set aside enough time to go through each question thoroughly, because you don’t want to miss questions due to rushing. Once you pass your certification exam(s), you’ll earn a Google Badge on your profile, which can help you stand out from others.

Now that we’ve gone over how to master Google Ads and why it is important, it’s time to get started. Remember, if you need assistance setting up your Google Ads campaign or you want a professional team to manage your campaign, contact Skyrush Marketing and we can provide you with paid search and display advertising services.

Contact Your Long Island Digital Agency Today

 

If you are interested in working at Skyrush Marketing, contact us at [email protected]

Medical Marketing in 2019

Medical companies and healthcare organizations can thrive using effective digital marketing techniques, just like other businesses. However, succeeding in this field requires a certain expertise. Getting quality leads for your medical practice is going to take work and a well-devised strategy that makes use of a variety of digital marketing tools. However, the most important aspect to succeeding at medical marketing is keeping all efforts patient focused. We’ll discuss that more in another post. But for now, let’s cover the latest trends in medical marketing that all come back to remaining patient focused, and have proven to be successful in 2019.

Top 5 Medical Marketing Trends for 2019

While we know that a variety of digital marketing techniques are trending in the medical field, Skyrush Marketing compiled the information about the majority of these trends and focused on the five trends that cane be applied most widely across the medical field. Read about each of the trends below:

  1. Develop Quality Content – To keep patients and users interested in what your medical company has to say, you need to make sure that you’re saying something important. That means you should have a content marketing team developing ideas and strategies to focus on what your patients want and need. You should focus on long-tail keywords that can answer consumers’ questions. For instance, someone might search “What are the symptoms of diabetes?” If you’re a medical practice that diagnoses or treats diabetes, then you’ll want to have content on your website and on social media that answers this question. Now that voice search is on the rise, it’s more important than ever to focus on questions and conversational phrases. In addition, make sure your content output is consistent. Rather than posting five new content pieces on your site at once, spread them out so that you consistently post one per week. This keeps users confident that you are an authority figure in the medical field.

 

  1. Mobile-Responsive Website – When searching for a medical professional, the majority of people start with a Google search on their smartphone. Since nearly everyone carries their smartphone with them throughout the day, it is more accessible than a desktop computer, and therefore, your efforts should focus on optimizing your site for mobile. The latest Google algorithm takes into account mobile-responsiveness as a top factor in determining a website’s ranking. Don’t fall onto the second or third search page because you didn’t consider mobile-responsiveness during your website development and maintenance. At Skyrush Marketing, we always look at both mobile and desktop load times, layouts, and more, to ensure that if someone is looking at a site from their smartphone, they aren’t missing out on any of the experience they could be having on desktop. In addition, it’s important to abide by ADA regulations when building your mobile-responsive website to ensure that all users, regardless of disability status, have an equal opportunity to experience all that the site has to offer.

 

  1. Omnichannel Communication – It’s not enough to be a multi-channel business anymore. Consumers, especially patients and medical consumers, want omnichannel communication available to them. They want to be able to search for your company on their smartphone, as well as transition between chat, telephone and more, seamlessly. For instance, if a patient found your healthcare organization online and did some research, then started a chat about a billing question, it’s crucial that the patient can also pick up the phone and talk to a person who is aware of where the situation was left off in the chat. This requires a specific omnichannel strategy, meaning that all your communication channels need to be aligned to ensure a cohesive user experience.

 

 

  1. Video Marketing – Videos have been shown to engage consumers more so than text and static images alone. While that doesn’t mean to stop blogging or posting images on social media, it does mean that video should be a part of your medical marketing strategy. This can include short 15-second pre-roll videos or even an entire channel dedicated to your practice. Just like you researched the common search terms for blog posts and website content, do the same for your video marketing. Start by identifying what you want to tell your patients. What message do they need to hear? Which topics resonate most with them? Then, build your storyboard around the appropriate topic. As we said in the beginning of this post, always go back to the patient centered approach when you’re developing the concepts for your videos.

 

  1. Online Reputation Management – When people are looking for a healthcare provider, they care about reputation. What happens when you Google your healthcare organization’s name? What comes up on that search is important, so part of your medical marketing strategy needs to involve reputation management. Most potential clients scour the internet for research before investing in anything. With major search engines displaying a negative reputation about your brand, you can potentially lose 80% of your potentially new clients before they even decide to click on your website. That’s why you need an aggressive team to handle your reputation management It’s important to reach out to patients to get their feedback and ask for reviews from current satisfied patients. If you get a negative review online, rather than just ignoring it or hiding it, try to find out where the person is coming from. Maybe it’s time to revamp your company’s online reputation.

This list is a great overview of trends that can be applied to most medical companies, but to really succeed with medical marketing, you need to look into the specific strategies that accentuate your specific brand’s area of expertise. Find your niche.

 

Skyrush Marketing: A Leader in Medical Marketing

There are tons of trends that come and go in digital marketing. It’s important to know which trends you should look into further, and which ones you should leave behind. At Skyrush Marketing, our digital marketing experts specialize in medical marketing and are always on top of the latest trends. Another core piece of our medical marketing strategy that applies to all of these trends is to carefully segment campaigns such as business development, patient acquisition, patient retention, and recruitment. By knowing how each segment differs in wants needs, and motivation, you can better reach your intended audience and drive results. At Skyrush Marketing, we do extensive research to determine which new techniques are best for each of our clients, using data to back up our decisions.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Responsive Display Ad Strategies

Now that Google made responsive display ads the new default ad type for the Display Network, it’s time for businesses to start making the most of this option. Responsive Display ads offer a variety of benefits, but in order to really make the most of them, you need to develop a strategy. In this post, we’ll offer some tips for developing a solid strategy for utilizing Responsive Display Ads, but first, as a refresher, you can read a brief overview of the new default ad format.

What Are Responsive Display Ads?

This new default ad format for Google’s Display Network is powered by Google’s artificial intelligence and machine learning technology. Basically, the technology allows advertisers to test multiple inputs and then determines the best-performing combination of inputs to show a specific audience.

With responsive display ads, advertisers can include up to:

  • 15 images
  • 5 videos
  • 5 headlines
  • 5 descriptions
  • 5 logos

Creating responsive display ads is simple – just upload all your assets, including images, headlines, logos, videos, and descriptions. Now Google will use machine learning technology to automatically generate the appropriate ads to be shown on the Google Display Network.

Best Practices for Responsive Display Ads

While they are certainly simple to set up, responsive display ads require a solid strategy. Below, we outline some of the best practices to make the most of your responsive display ads:

  1. The More Headlines, The Better: You should provide as many headlines as possible because this increases the opportunity for a relevant ad to be shown. Ultimately, this increases your ad’s performance.
  2. Unique Selling Points: When you’re creating your ads, thing about the specific benefits your product or service offers. Highlight what sets you apart, such as solving a specific problem that other products or services can’t.
  3. Test Out Headline Lengths: You don’t always need to use the maximum character count for your headlines. In some cases, shorter headlines perform better, so it’s important to test them out. After you look at your ad’s performance, you can take this strategy and apply it to future campaigns.
  4. Different Descriptions: Don’t use the same description for all your ads. You should have at least two different descriptions. This is important because Google’s machine learning technology needs to test out different options to get the most out of your responsive display ad experience.
  5. Use the Combinations Report: While it might seem difficult to manage the performance of all the different combinations of ads, the combinations report simplifies matters for advertisers. The report shows which groupings of assets and copy are performing best. This way, you can get insights into what works and what doesn’t. The report has separate sections for different combinations based on images, text, dynamic feeds, and videos, so that you don’t have to rely solely on machine learning.
  6. Ad Strength Scores: Ad strength scores are already available for responsive search ads, and now a variation is available for the responsive display ads. The ad strength scorecard checks that the right number of distinct headlines, images, and descriptions are used. In addition, the scorecard highlights “Next Steps” you can take to improve your ad strength.

Of course, these are just some of the basic tips to start setting up your responsive display ads. There is so much more to learn as you create your ads and analyze the performance.

Skyrush Marketing Uses Responsive Display Ads

Even though the responsive display ads become the default format on Google quite recently, Skryrush Marketing has been utilizing this ad format consistently since it was available. Our team is highly skilled in all aspects of digital marketing and our agency is a Google Premier Partner, so we are always up-to-date on the latest Google developments. We’re here to take your brand’s digital marketing to the next level.

Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation

Is Your Website ADA-Compliant?

 

In 2019, there have been multiple lawsuits filed over ADA compliance specifically dealing with website accessibility, but the rulings from the court are mixed. While some companies are settling and removing sections from their website that aren’t ADA compliant, other companies are claiming that they don’t know how to ensure that their site is ADA compliant. In fact, oftentimes the court can’t rule against businesses regarding websites that aren’t in line with ADA Title III because there are no explicit instructions for website accessibility in the existing ADA legislation, even after undergoing amendments in 2008.

What is Stated in ADA Title III?

Title III of the ADA applies to owners, lessors, and operators of a “place of public accommodation”. The legislation requires that those mentioned above provide equal access to users who meet the ADA standards for disability, which includes both physical and mental disabilities. Initially, this only applied to physical barriers, as the legislation was created before the rise of the internet. Therefore, there is no explicit section of the ADA Title III as it related to websites.

 

But clearly, things are changing…

While there is isn’t a clear statement related to websites, considering the fact that the majority of individuals make purchases online, it seems logical that the concept of equal accessibility should apply to websites. It’s true that many courts across the country have ruled that commercial websites are places of public accommodation – meaning, they are subject to ADA rules. However, as we stated earlier, other rulings go against this notion as certain courts determined that the ADA as written does not specifically apply to online users.

 

The Bottom Line

Even though the rulings are inconsistent, businesses should be ensuring that their websites are ADA-compliant. First, this will avoid any serious lawsuits against the company and negative press related to inaccessibility. Second, as we live in an age of inclusiveness, it is important to ensure that all website users have the right to the full online experience.

In Europe and other nations around the world, the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are applied to business websites. Even though these specific standards aren’t required in the United States, some courts that have ruled against businesses with inaccessible websites provided the WCAG standards as a guideline for companies to ensure that there is no question about whether their sites are ADA-compliant.

 

 

The Major Factors to Consider

Below we list some of the common problems Skyrush Marketing has seen with website accessibility related to the perceivable and operable guidelines, and how to address them according to WCAG:

  • Non-Text Content: All non-text content should have a text alternative which should serve the same purpose. For instance, if the form of CAPTCHA is non-text, it should have an alternative form must be provided which use output modes for different types of sensory perception to accommodate different disabilities.
  • Time-Based Media: WCAG require websites to provide alternatives for prerecorded audio-only and video-only content. For instance, a video should have an equivalent audio file. In addition, prerecorded audio content needs to have captions. One technique that is recommended is to include a note that says “No sound is used in this clip” for video-only clips. Captions should never omit important dialogue or sound effects or fail to identify a synchronized media alternative to text as an “alternative”.
  • Adaptable: The content displayed on a website needs to have the ability to be displayed differently without losing the main information or structure. For instance, the content of a highly complex website must be able to adapt to a simpler format. In addition, instructions for understanding and operating the site can’t rely only on sensory characteristics such as shape, size, visual location, orientation, or sound.
  • Distinguishable: Websites must be presented in a way that allows users to easily see and hear the content. This involves using readable fonts, using at least 14 point text in images, and ensuring good contrast between text and images.
  • Keyboard Accessible: All website functionality should be operable through a keyboard. This involves allowing users to disable keyboard shortcuts that use only letter, punctuation, numbers, or symbols.
  • Enough Time: Users must have enough time to read and use the content on the website. If there is a time limit, users should be able to turn this off to ensure adequate time for reviewing the content.
  • Seizures and Physical Reactions: Never design content in a way that is known to cause seizures or physical reactions. For example, web pages shouldn’t contain anything that flashes more than three times in any one second period, or flash is below the general flash and red flash thresholds.
  • Navigable: Websites must provide multiple ways to help users navigate the site, find content, and determine where they are. Examples of compliance include limiting the number of links on a page, providing ways to navigate to different sections of the content of a web page, and highlighting search terms.
  • Input Modalities: Various inputs other than the keyboard should be provided in order to make it easier to operate functionality. One specific example is including text as the name of user interface components with labels including images of text.

These are some of the top guidelines that often get left out in the website development phase. To ensure that your company doesn’t run into legal trouble, it’s best to contact a web development agency with expertise in ADA compliance.

 

Skyrush Marketing: Proven Success With ADA-Compliance

The web development team at Skyrush Marketing has been developing and redesigning a variety of websites to ensure accessibility for all users with disabilities. We work with all businesses across all industries, including medical, legal, automotive, retail, and B2B. We hold ourselves to the WCAG standards and ensure that all websites meet and even exceed Level A compliance. Learn more about our web development services.

Contact Us For A Website Audit Today

Who is Sending Your Brand’s Emails?

Emails still play a major role in digital marketing today. Even though consumers browse the web from their smartphones or tablets, they continuously check their email for new promotions, deals, and events. That’s why it’s so important for your brand to focus on open rates for your email marketing campaign. More often than not, promotional emails go unopened and unread, reducing the impact of your email marketing campaign.

How can you get more people to open your emails? What makes your customers more or less likely to open your brand’s emails?

These are basic questions that you need to answer if you want to make the biggest impact with your email marketing campaign. One of the major factors that influences a consumer’s decision to open an email is the sender. In this post, we’ll go over how and why your brand should determine the optimal sender for your emails.

Sender’s Reputation Matters

There’s often debate about whether promotional emails should come directly from the brand, or from a specific person. However, there’s no steadfast rule as to which is better in every situation. You need to determine your target audience and what they need. If you’re trying to raise brand awareness, it could be better to have your company name as the sender. However, if you’re a smaller business and your recipients are familiar with a specific salesperson or customer service representative, having your email come from a specific person could make a greater impact. A good balancing point is to have your email come from a person but also specify “from X” to name the brand.

Using Data to Test Your Sender

When you’re torn about who should be the sender for your brand’s emails, turn to the data. One way to make a data-driven decision is to run A/B tests. The important thing to consider for A/B testing is that you should only change one variable. That means if you’re testing out the sender’s name, an example of your two versions might be “Mike Lark” and “Mike from Skyrush Marketing”. After you create your two versions, you can test them out and collect data on which one had the higher open rate and CTR.

The “From” Email Address

Just because you found the optimal sender name, doesn’t mean that you’ve perfected your email. Of course, there are a variety of factors that go into email marketing open rates and CTRs, but the other one we are going to focus on here relates directly to the sender name – the from email address. Here are a few best practices when selecting your from email address:

  • Don’t use a free webmail address – Instead of using Yahoo, Outlook, or Gmail, opt for an email registered at your company’s domain. This adds credibility to your brand.
  • Have a reply address – When someone receives an email that says “no reply”, it makes them wonder if the information is relevant to them. If they have questions about the content, who are they supposed to ask? How can they get more information?
  • Match your from email address to your sender name – The from email address should be similar to the sender’s name. This demonstrates consistency and eliminates confusion on the recipients’ part.

Once you’ve determined the optimal sender and from email address, you’re well on your way to optimizing your email marketing campaign. Keep in mind, these are just the first steps – there are still other factors to continuously monitor and update to ensure that your email marketing campaign makes the greatest possible impact.

Learn More About Email Marketing

At Skyrush Marketing, we have a team dedicated to email marketing. Our team takes advantage of the many benefits of email marketing, such as its cost effectiveness, micro-targeting, customizability, viral capabilities, and measurable analytics, in order to get your brand quality results quickly. We work with a variety of industries including law, automotive, B2B, and medical.

 

Contact us today for a free consultation