Most Expensive Keywords, Ad Hacks & More Top Posts from June


Summer is finally here! June was sunny and warm for those of us in the northeast, and we finally got our fill of vitamin D. Though the month flew by, it was an exciting couple of weeks for us at WordStream! We completed a lot of cool projects that we shared with you. In case you missed it, here are our top ten posts from the month of June.

1. The 25 Most Expensive Keywords in AdWords – 2017 Edition!

Way, way back in 2011, when the world was young and fidget spinners weren’t yet a thing, there was lore floating around in the search marketing world that “mesothelioma” was the most expensive keyword to bid on in Google AdWords, costing upwards of $100 per click.

Our awesome content manager had an idea: What if we used data from our Free Keyword Tool to determine which keywords had the highest costs per click (or CPC’s) in Google AdWords?

The infographic we created based on that data is still one of our most popular pages ever. So we’ve completed a new, comprehensive analysis of keyword data for five different currencies in English-speaking countries (keep an eye out for the data for GBP, CAD, AUS, and ZAR coming soon!).

This time around, we determined the top 25 most expensive keywords (meaning these niche markets are super-competitive) along with their average CPC – and six years later, the results are substantially different!

Most Expensive Keywords

2. We Analyzed 612 of the Best Ads: Here Are 9 Things We Learned [DATA]

This project was definitely one of the most exciting analyses we’ve done this year! It was a huge group effort to answer some pressing questions: What are the actual WORDS that go into really great, super-high-CTR ads in AdWords? What about stuff like numbers and punctuation marks? What are the best CTA’s? Are the best ads in Google AdWords positive or negative? Are they keyword-stuffed or more creative?

In this article, Allen Finn covers nine, often surprising things we learned by running text analyses on some of the best ads in AdWords from the past year.

Popular CTAs

3. How to Use Emotional Images for High-Converting Landing Pages Every Time

While each step in the process to acquiring new customers takes nuance and optimization, a lot of marketers leave their landing pages by the wayside. But that can be the most pivotal moment in your quest to gain a customer! And the all-important main image is hugely important. This post maps out the exact steps you need to take to choose a high-converting image every single time you plan a landing page.

4. Case Study: How AdWords Life Events Targeting Lifts Brand Interest 175%

If you advertise with Google, you’ve probably heard of their obsession with micro-moments; the times when consumers are researching and considering a purchase. In line with this focus, Google has gifted advertisers with Consumer Patterns and Life Events which enables marketers to target more relevant audience segments.

This is huge. And this post goes into the improvement accounts had after implementing it.

5. How Much Do Instagram Ads Cost? Plus 8 Tips for Saving Money

Though Facebook has generally been the gold standard of social advertising, Instagram is slowly catching up. In fact, Instagram posts get 10 times more engagement than Facebook posts! So how much does it actually cost to advertise on Instagram? What kind of CPMs should you expect? Is it worth it? This post answers all those important questions and more.

6. 7 Things Nobody Tells You About Working Remotely

Telecommuting – one of the fancier terms for working remotely – seems to be the perfect arrangement for workers in dozens of industries. Companies that encourage and support remote work often report higher levels of employee retention and engagement, reduced turnover, higher employee satisfaction, increased productivity and autonomy, and lots of other benefits.

Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to telecommuting – people just don’t tend to be as vocal about them. Here are seven things Dan Shewan wished somebody had told him before he took the plunge and became a full-time telecommuter.

Working Remotely

7. ‘Purchases on Google’ Enters Open Beta

Last month, Google announced tons of big changes and new AdWords features at their annual event in San Francisco. At the beginning of June, they rolled out the ability to purchase products directly on the SERP! And as always, our own Mark Irvine has everything you need to know about it in this comprehensive post.

8. 7 Time Management Shortcuts for Marketers Who Can’t Write

We’ve all been there, sitting in front of a blank document when ten brilliant headlines are due by the end of the day. Sometimes it can feel impossible to be a successful marketer in a world where content has been crowned king. In this post, Brad Smith makes the bold claim that “writer’s block is a myth.” And goes through seven writing time hacks to get the results you need.

9. 10 Highly Effective B2B Link Building Tactics

There are a lot of ways to get backlinks, and some require more work than others. This article breaks down the tactics into three separate categories according to how much effort they’ll entail: outreach, submission, and exchange.

10. Video SEO: 9 Ways to Optimize Your Video for Search

It’s true that video SEO is not the same as regular SEO. Video SEO has also changed significantly in the last few years, which is why Margot da Cunha enlisted Wistia’s video SEO expert, Phil Nottingham, to share his advice in this post.

Video Seo

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The ultimate law of mobile site design: Entertain users and drive conversion


Most consumers rely on their smartphones to make purchases and gain knowledge. In 2017, any business that lacks a mobile presence runs a serious risk of falling behind.

But it’s not just about having a site – it needs to provide a good experience. According to Google, 29% of smartphone users will immediately switch to another site if it doesn’t satisfy their needs.

Mobile users are goal-oriented, and they expect to find what they need from a responsive mobile instantly and easily. So punch up your conversion rates by designing your mobile site with the user’s intent and needs in focus.

1. Homepage and navigation

A homepage can serve as a promotional space and welcome page, but should provide users with the content they are searching for. A conversion focused homepage should tick off the following elements: concise CTAs, homepage shortcuts, minimal selling or promotions.

Navigating on a smaller screen, it is easy for users to miss key elements on your homepage. Therefore it is advisable to put your calls-to-action where users will see them easily, such as occupying the bottom half or above the fold.

Your call-to-action signifies the tipping point between conversion and bounce. To design calls-to-action that convert, optimize the copy and design, i.e. choice of words, color, size, fonts, etc.

We understand the travails of losing our way in the mall or a mart? The same happens on mobile sites, the lack of navigation menus or location bars can hurt conversion. Mobile users expect to get back to the homepage with a single tap either through tapping your logo or clicking the home navigation menu. For best practices, use your logo as the homepage shortcut.

Too often, ads and promotion beat the purpose of visiting a page and users get turned off. To entertain visitors and drive conversion, ads or promotional banners should be kept to the minimum and placed in a position which won’t affect the user experience.

To place ads on your homepage, think like a user. What is the user trying to accomplish? Where will their attention be focused? How do I keep the page clean and uncluttered?

By answering these questions, ad placement on your homepage will be a breeze and won’t need to negatively impact user experience.

2. Commerce and reviews

With an increased rate of digitization, users expect smooth mobile experiences when searching, reviewing and purchasing products. How can marketers and businesses increase their conversion rates while ensuring excellent mobile experiences for visitors?

The answer lies in allowing visitors/users to convert on their own terms.

For an ecommerce store, requesting that visitors sign up very early in the customer’s journey is a major turn off. Visitors will abandon a website demanding registration before they can continue, resulting in low conversion unless the site is an authoritative brand.

For better results, allow visitors explore your site before requesting for registration and enable visitors purchase products as a guest. For mobile commerce sites, easy and quick should be the watchword when designing the checkout process.

Best practices for mobile commerce include the availability of multiple payment options for commerce sites. Adding payments options such as Apple Pay, PayPal and Android Pay can boost conversion rates saving users the stress of inputting credit card information. For previous users, load and pre-fill their data fields for convenience in filling shipping information.

Statistics show that 92% of consumers read online reviews before purchasing a product or doing business with a company. Meaning reviews are an important part of the decision-making process for consumers, include reviews on your web pages then allow filters be applied to these reviews. Filters such as “most recent reviews”, “most positive reviews” and “lowest ratings”.

3. Site usability

When it comes to mobile site design, every little detail matters. Details such as zooming, expandable images, transparency about the use of visitors data will aid conversion.

According to studies, users found it easier to navigate a mobile-optimized website than desktop sites on smartphones. To ensure consistency, optimize every single page on your website for mobile devices, including forms, images, etc.

Your search bar should be placed near the top of your homepage for users to search for specific products and ensure the first search results are the best. Remember to include filters on search results to narrow down users intent or preferences on your mobile site.

Be careful not to label the link to your desktop site as full site. This might confuse visitors into thinking the mobile site is not fully featured causing them to opt for the full site, simply label the link to the desktop site as “Desktop Site” and link to the mobile site as “Mobile Site”.

When optimizing a mobile site, remember to disable pinch to zoom on your images as this might affect the general site experience, calls-to-action will be missed and messages will be covered. Basically, upload images that are sized properly and will render perfectly on any device.

Due to the nature of mobile devices, lengthy forms will hurt conversion when trying to gain leads. On surveys or multiple page forms, include a progress bar with upcoming sections at the top or bottom to guide users through the process.

To aid or satisfy customers, implement auto-fill on forms for name, phone and zip code fields. For date and time fields, include a visual calendar as users might not remember dates for the next weekend but the visual calendar will stop users from leaving your page to use the calendar app.

There are numerous resources on forms that include the use of calendars and other custom input fields, including Google forms, Xamarin Forms and FormHub.

4. Technicalities

While great design drives conversions, do not ignore the very foundation of your website. The following technicalities should be implemented and audited monthly.

  • Implement analytics and track conversion on mobile and desktop
  • Test your site as a visitor and load content in their intent
  • Optimize and test your mobile site on various devices and browsers to ensure optimum performance
  • Mobile ads should redirect to mobile sites, not desktop sites
  • Check your site speed using Google speed tool
  • Check for elements of Flash and remove them as they won’t render on iOS and slow on Android
  • Submit your mobile site pages XML sitemap submitted to Google.

Finally, run your website through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

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35 Face-Melting Email Marketing Stats for 2017


Let’s face it: outside of denim shorts, Doc Martens, and home-sewn SLAYER patches, it doesn’t get more metal than email marketing. 

There are mounds of KPIs to track and optimize for. It’s expensive. There’s segmentation. Time of day. Design. You have to sacrifice goats. CTA placement. Need I go on?

(This is the part where you say, “No, man. That’s quite enough. Turn down that racket and get to the stats already.”)

35 email marketing statistics for 2017 

To help guide your email strategy, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of useful email marketing statistics. Keep these in mind when you’re considering planning a new campaign or heading back to the drawing board with your existing email marketing funnel.

B2B Email Marketing Statistics

  1. Email is the third most influential source of information for B2B audiences, behind only colleague recommendations and industry-specific thought leaders.
  2. 86% of business professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes.
  3. CTRs are 47% higher for B2B email campaigns than B2C email campaigns.
  4. 59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation.
  5. Tuesday is the best day of the week to send email (according to 10 email marketing studies).

b2b email marketing statistics

B2C Email Marketing Statistics

b2c email marketing stats

  1. While 26% of SMBs polled use email marketing for sales, just 7% use email as a brand-building tool.
  2. Only about 30% of US retail email list subscribers have actually made a purchase from the retailer whose email list they subscribed to.
  3. Welcome emails are incredibly effective: on average, 320% more revenue is attributed to them on a per email basis than other promotional emails.
  4. 80% of retail professionals indicate that email marketing is their greatest driver of customer retention (the next closest channel? Social media, identified by just 44% of those same professionals).
  5. 77% of people prefer to get permission-based promotional messages via email (versus direct mail, text, phone, or social media).

Email Marketing Device & Demographic Statistics

email marketing device and demographic stats

  1. Men and women are equally likely to convert from an email opened on a desktop — but women are more likely to convert on a tablet, and men are more likely to convert on a phone.
  2. 73% of millennials identify email as their preferred means of business communication.
  3. The Apple iPhone leads email client market share with 31%, followed by Gmail at 22% as of May 2017 (calculations based on 1.29 billion opens).
  4. When a prospect or customer who opens an email on a mobile device opens that same email again on another device, they are 65% more likely to click-through to your site/offering.
  5. People SAY they prefer HTML emails, but plain-text emails actually get higher open rates.

Spam & Segmentation Statistics

email marketing spam and segmentation stats

  1. 49% of digital marketers indicate that the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) has had no discernable impact on their company’s email marketing program.
  2. The average number of legitimate business emails received each day has remained static since 2015, but the number of spam emails that bypass security filters (spam that actually hits your inbox) has risen from 12 emails per day in 2015 to 16 emails per day in 2017. 
  3. Nonprofits lose about $15k/year in donations due to spam filters blocking fundraising campaign emails from prospects’ inboxes.
  4. Segmented email campaigns have an open rate that is 14.32% higher than non-segmented campaigns.
  5. Click-throughs are 100.95% higher in segmented email campaigns than non-segmented campaigns.

Email Marketing Volume Statistics

 email marketing volume metrics stats

  1. The number of email users worldwide is forecasted to rise to 2.9 billion by 2019.
  2. The number of email users in the US is projected to grow to 244.5 million by the end of 2017, and 254.7 million by 2020.
  3. Nearly 105 billion emails are sent each day; this number is expected to reach 246 billion before 2020.
  4. The use of emoji in email marketing messages increased 775% from 2015 to 2016.
  5. The percentage of emails containing GIFs rose from 5.4% in 2015 to 10.3% in 2016.

General Email Marketing Statistics

general email marketing stats 2017

  1. 49% of businesses use some form of email automation.
  2. Pet and animal services has the highest email open rate — people love their pets!
  3. In the UK, every one pound spent on email marketing has an ROI of 38 pounds; in the US, it’s $44.
  4. According to the DMA, the four most important email marketing metrics (as identified by advertisers) are: CTR, Conversion rate, Open rate, and ROI.
  5. Checking email is a complementary activity. People do it while watching TV (69 percent), in bed (57 percent), and on vacation (79 percent). Bonus points if you’re looking at that JCrew Gmail ad while doing all three!
  6. Using the word “Donate” in your subject line can reduce open rate by 50% or more.
  7. The average email opt-in rate across all verticals is 1.95%.
  8. The average open rate for businesses in the Daily Deals industry is 15% – the cross-industry average? 20%.
  9. 28% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails more than once per week.
  10. A study of 1 billion emails revealed that video emails see CTRs 96% higher than non-video emails.

Is our list missing any valuable kernels of email-marketing wisdom? Let us know!

About the Author

Allen Finn is a content marketing specialist and the reigning fantasy football champion at WordStream. He enjoys couth menswear, dank eats, and the dulcet tones of the Wu-Tang Clan. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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