Archiv für den Monat: April 2018

Why campaign structure is the killer competitive advantage

When pitching to new clients, business is rarely won based on the ability to tactically execute. It’s usually talking about how we will use data, or be able to deliver better than our competitors with whatever the latest thing might be.

There is nothing wrong with that approach, as you would expect that any agency worth their salt would know best practices. However, all too often best practices are overlooked. The most effective change that can be made when taking over a new campaign–and even after managing for a while–is revisiting campaign structure. This might be the most basic detail of all, but it is critically important.

Google rewards relevancy

As you know, Google changed the game when it introduced Quality Score into the bidding equation, and this remains a huge factor today. If you consider that you can’t control the number of advertisers in the auction, and you can’t stop someone from having deeper pockets than you, then how can you beat them? Quality Score.

Quality Score is heavily tied to campaign structure. The way in which keywords in the same ad groups are related to one another and follow a common structure is paramount. This may feel like a lot of extra work to create more ad groups when the differences do not seem substantial, but the pay-off is worth it. For example, if you are a retailer and you are putting all shirts in one ad group, you should consider breaking them down into specific types (sweatshirts, t-shirts, tank tops, etc.). Also, by sending keywords to their specific landing pages, you also increase relevancy, which is rewarded with higher quality scores.

Ad copy and ad extensions

Linked with relevancy is the ability to write ad copy that is clearly linked to the keywords in the ad groups. Again, this might seem obvious, but it is something that many don’t take the time to appreciate. Ad copy that is more directly related to your keywords will increase relevancy and consumer response rates (i.e. CTR).

In addition, a number of ad extensions can be impacted by campaign structure. AdWords decides when these show based on 2 factors:

  • When the extension is expected to improve your performance
  • Your ad’s position and Ad Rank is high enough for extensions to show.

Ad Rank has a big ad quality component that substantiates the value of a strong campaign structure.

Campaign structure determines how settings are used

As a result of the way in which AdWords is set-up, there are certain decisions that can be made at each of the three levels (campaign, ad group, keyword). For example, geo-targeting and budgets can only be controlled at the campaign level. Ad copy is uniquely controlled at the ad group level. These levers are critical to success, and campaign structure is the way in which you ensure success can be capitalized on. For example, if you have a keyword that is high volume in an ad group with lower volume keywords, it is possible that high volume keywords are suffocating those smaller volume keywords and limiting their exposure within the campaign. A key campaign structure decision in this instance might be to break these out into their own campaigns so you can more easily control the budget.

Conclusions: you’re never done

Campaign structure is something that should be revisited again and again over time. The people who are managing a campaign change, consumer behavior changes, websites change, and AdWords evolves their policies. All these factors and many others require that the structure is revisited. I recommend that you have a strategic campaign structure review annually and ensure that it aligns with your performance and strategy.

You will of course have the urge to not spend any time thinking about campaign structure, because it can be tedious and you will assume you did a good job at the outset. However, over the course of time you will add and delete keywords, and update and test ad copy/landing pages. These decisions erode the original intent behind your strategy. Revisiting the structure will ensure that best practices are followed and, even if you don’t make any changes, reaffirm the decisions you have historically made. Campaign structure is the secret weapon that will help you beat your competition–without having to increase bids or your total budget.




Mehr Bilder…

Mit den Sturmbrettchen haben wir einen emotionalen, ökologischen, wie auch ökonomischen Kreislauf gebildet. Aus Teilen von 32 historischen, im Sturm gefallenen Bäumen sind rund 10.000 Schneidbrettchen entstanden, die als funktionales Erinnerungsstück an die Düsseldorfer zurückgeben wurden. Aus dem Erlös der Brettchen pflanzten wir 35 neue Bäume, sorgen für ihre Pflege und dafür, dass Düsseldorf wieder ein wenig grüner wird.

Ein schlichtes Produkt wie ein Schneidebrettchen aus dem Holz gefallener Bäume braucht und will keine aufwendige Verpackung. Ein Schuber aus recycleter Graupappe und ein Faltblatt mit Informationen reichen völlig aus, denn der Wert liegt viel mehr im Emotionalen. Es ist nicht irgendein Küchenbrett, es ist die Erinnerung an einen Baum, einen Park, ein Picknick, einen Sommer. Deshalb sind auch die Daten des ensprechenenden Baumes eingelasert und erinnern an Alter, Standort und den Baum als Ganzes im Teil eines ökologischen Kreislaufes und biologischen, urbanen und sozialen Konstrukts.Trotz des emotionalen und geschichtlichen Aspektes ist die Gestaltung des Sturmbrettchens ganz pur gehalten. Es darf benutzt werden, Patina bekommen, angefasst werden. Somit wird die Erinnerung an die Bäume lebendig gehalten und in den Alltag integriert.

Dank der weitreichenden Resonanz auf unser Projekt konnten wir viele Menschen erreichen. Für sie und haben wir mit Einpflanzung des letzten der 36 gespendeten Bäume ein Buch über das Projekt gemacht.

Das Gute Ding

Philip Behrend
Philipp Bilke
Daniel Goll
Tobias Jochinke


GDPR: ensuring your website is secure

In the run up to the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), new data shows that 86.5% of WordPress websites in the UK are vulnerable to known hackable exploits.

With GDPR now only a month away, businesses across Europe are gearing up for what will potentially be one of the biggest shifts in data privacy laws since the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act.

Businesses will face fines of up to €20 million if they do not comply with new legislation and processes, that ultimately put users in control of who, how, and where their personal data is stored.

A key part of GDPR is the business‘ responsibility to secure customer data and websites to prevent data breaches, phishing, and other forms of malicious online activity.

Estimates show that WordPress is used by 25–40% of the internet, depending on which source you read, and given its widespread popularity and usage, it is a prime target for hackers.

A recent research study conducted by cybersecurity monitoring platform CyberScanner, they scanned 93,930 WordPress websites and 9834 WooCommerce websites based in the UK and found that on average 80.7% contained at least one known, hackable exploit that can be deemed as a severe security risk.

Some of the most common known vulnerabilities scanned for included cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, cross-site request forgery (CSRF), and SSL certificate problems.

The worst offending WordPress website had a total of 23 separate high-risk known vulnerabilities, among other medium and low risk classified exploits.

Securing your WordPress website

There are more than 100,000 known vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers to extract customer data, plant crypto-mining software, or even setup hidden form fields to steal credit card information users have saved in their browsers.

There is no blanket solution to securing your WordPress website, but there are steps that all WordPress webmasters can take to secure commonly exploited areas of the platform.

Brute force attacks

Brute force attacks are a method used by hackers to obtain login information to websites, such as usernames, passwords and PINs. Typically conducted using automated software, a brute force attack generates a high volume of consecutive guesses to both the login and password field.

While having a strong password is always encouraged, it alone may not be enough to prevent a brute force attack. There are some things that you can do, however, to minimize your risk.

Customize login page URLs

Generally, the login page URL for a WordPress website is /wp-login.php or /wp-admin/, and an automated piece of software can guess this. By renaming the URL to something more unique, automated software may not be able to find the page to begin the attack in the first place.

Limit login attempts

A common feature of WordPress websites (and all websites), is the limitation of login attempts.

A number of free plugins exist (such as WP Limit Login Attempts) that enable easy implementation for webmasters and can go some way to protecting your site.

Enable two-step authentication

This is becoming more common across all web applications that require a password, and can be implemented with relative ease on a WordPress website (and through a plugin such as Google Authenticator – Two Factor Authentication).

This requires the user to install an application on their phone, and when they go to login on the website they will need to go to the app to get a randomly generated code to input to complete the login process.

Use SSL to encrypt data in transit

While SSL and TLS don’t wholly secure a website, they do secure user data as it travels between the user’s browser and the website server.

Again, this can be installed with relative ease through Cloudflare’s WordPress integration and its SSL offering.

Google also sees HTTPS as a basic security step that websites must take in order to protect users, and in the Chrome 70 browser websites not on HTTPS will be flagged as not secure by standard.

Securing your database

No matter how secure a website is, keeping and maintaining regular database back-ups is an essential best practice that should be part of any webmaster’s processes.

There are a number of free and premium solutions ranging from VaultPress, BlogVault, and Backup Buddy, all of which are viable options, and the chosen solution should be adequate to the business needs.

Regular housekeeping and updates

Themes and plugins are the backbone of any WordPress website, but they can easily become security threats if they’re not updated and maintained regularly.

Not updating your themes and plugins can mean serious trouble. Many hackers rely on the mere fact that people can’t be bothered to update their plugins and themes. More often than not, those hackers exploit bugs that have already been fixed.

Not updating your theme and plugins can lead to easy backdoors and exploits, as many hackers rely on the fact and look out for webmasters being lax and not updating their assets.

It’s also advised that you remove your WordPress version number, as it’s publicly visible within your source code. Some historic WordPress versions have developed a larger number of vulnerabilities than others, so this could be an advertisement for hackers to attempt a number of already known security challenges. Sururi offer a free plugin to remove the version number from your site.


Limited Edition Packaging für Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire


Mehr Bilder…

Higgins Design brennt für das Besondere! Kein Wunder, dass wir mit aller kreativen Kraft am Launch von Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire gearbeitet haben. Brown-Forman konnte sich so über die Gestaltung verschiedener Packaging Designs in limitierter Auflage freuen.

Higgins hat eine große Leidenschaft für kleine Auflagen – speziell wenn es um LEP Packaging in der Kategorie Alcoholic Drinks bzw. Spirituosen geht. Die VIP Box der Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire Limited Edition überrascht mit glühender LED-Technik und ist ein gutes Beispiel für hochwertiges Verpackungsdesign und herausfordernde Produktion.



Marketers, Assemble! The Super-Powered Team-Up of Content Marketing Confluence

Content Marketing Super Team

Content Marketing Super Team

It’s been a spectacular decade to be a nerd. The superheroes we love leaped from the page to the multiplex, each movie connected to the rest with the kind of complex storytelling we love in comic books.

It started with Iron Man in 2008. This weekend, „Avengers: Infinity War“ hits theaters, with over two dozen heroes throwing down against a celestial being with godlike powers (who, for some reason, has a chin that looks like a raisin).

The Avengers and Content Marketing

The California Raisins reboot looks really dark.

I’m pretty stoked.

Team-up events like this are great because a superhero team is always more powerful than the sum of its parts. They can use their powers to complement each other in unexpected ways:

  • Spider-Man uses webbing to make a slingshot for Captain America’s shield
  • Thor throws his hammer through portals that Doctor Strange makes
  • The Hulk throws Hawkeye to safety

You get the idea. When a team is really working together, all of them do better.

Which, of course, makes me think all about content marketing. At TopRank Marketing, we believe the present and future of reaching an audience depends on confluence, a superhero team-up of all our content marketing tactics and channels working together.

Here’s a quick guide to the members of our superhero “team,” and how they assemble to amplify each other’s superpowers.

The Content Marketing Super Team

Content: Captain America

Captain America is the heart and soul of the Avengers team. He’s not the most powerful guy on the team, though he does pack a mean punch. His primary value lies in bringing humanity to a team of gods, aliens, and androids. He unites the team and gives everyone their marching orders, leading the charge on the ground.

Your content should be at the heart of your marketing super team, too. It should speak directly to your target audience on a human-to-human level. Your content can emotionally engage, deliver value, and ultimately persuade people to take action.

SEO: Spider-Man

Spider-Man is the lone “street level” hero on the Avengers team. He started out doing solo work cleaning up the streets of Queens. As part of the team, his main role is to assist the heavy hitters, tying their attacks together with his web-slinging, wall-crawling acrobatics.

SEO used to be the biggest deal in marketing, a strategy and tactic all unto itself. Now SEO works best as part of a team. Great content (preferably co-created with influencers) can benefit from a light dusting of SEO. Just remember that with SEO power comes responsibility: Use SEO to boost great content, not to trick search engines into ranking mediocre content higher.

Influencers: The Incredible Hulk

There’s one thing for sure about the Hulk: He’s a hard guy to ignore. Not only is he capable of punching an airplane out of the sky, he’s 10 feet tall and green. He’s not great on stealth missions, is what I’m saying, but if you want to make a splash, he’s your man.

Influencers share some of the Hulk’s properties (hopefully not the “giant rage monster” part). Some influencers make their living off of being seen, which means they have a built-in audience you can reach with their help. Some are more on the Bruce Banner side, with smaller followings that are still valuable if they’re your target audience.

Organic Social: Hawkeye

Hawkeye is one of two Avengers with no super powers, but he proves his value to the team with his technological savvy and arsenal of specialized arrows. He excels at precision strikes that hit valuable targets.

Organic social used to be a more high-powered team member, but the rise of the algorithm in social media feeds have reduced its reach and power. Still, it’s good for getting the word out to a select audience – you just have to be more strategic on your social channels to compensate for the lack of power.

Digital Advertising: Iron Man

Iron Man takes Hawkeye’s precision strike capability and adds extra maneuverability and power. He can swoop in and blast a target with an arsenal of rockets and pulse rays, all while delivering devastatingly sarcastic quips.

Digital advertising gives you the ability to hit precise audiences at scale. There’s more of a cost associated with it than with organic tactics, but it’s an investment that can get substantial returns.

The Content Marketing Super Team at Work

As you can see, each member of our super squad is powerful on its own. But the magic really happens when all these tactics work together. And you can’t plan that kind of teamwork in the heat of the battle, either. It has to start before a single word of content is drafted.

When we’re creating content, first we determine search demand. Looking at what people are searching for helps us narrow down our topics and makes sure the content will have SEO built in.

Then we search for influencers who are experts on the topic and have a sizable, relevant following. We invite influencers to co-create the content with us. True collaboration with influencers makes them far more likely to be excited about the resulting assets, which means they’re more motivated to share.

Part of our content creation process is designing images and messages for organic social amplification. We provide influencers with everything they need to share the asset on social media. Influencer shares are crucial for reaching the target audience, so we make it as easy for influencers to share as possible.

Finally, we use paid social to amplify the content directly to our clients‘ most valuable audience. We create unique social images and messages to compel people to take action.

It’s easy to see how the super-team approach makes each tactic work better. Each of the tactics is working toward the same unified goal: reaching an audience and persuading them to take action.

Content Marketers, Assemble!

What turns a ragtag group of marketing tactics into an elite audience-persuasion force? Strategy and communication. In our agency, we have a content team, an SEO team, a social media team, etc. But we make sure the teams are working together by design. We regularly meet together to make sure we’re all sharing the same vision. And we also share best practices with each other. The more each of us knows about everyone else’s area of expertise, the stronger we all are.

Want more insight into how content marketing tactics can be brought together for maximum impact? Here’s some more light reading:

The post Marketers, Assemble! The Super-Powered Team-Up of Content Marketing Confluence appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.