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Google Discovery Ads Now Available to All Advertisers
Last May, Google made big waves at their annual Google Marketing Live event and announced tons of planned new features and tools to help advertisers find customers online. Among these announcements was a new ad type called Discovery ads, designed to help advertisers get their products discovered by potential audiences across Google’s popular properties.

These new discovery ads allow advertisers to show their products to targeted audiences for the first time ever on Google’s Discover feed as well as prominently at the top of YouTube and Gmail. These prominent ad placements reach audiences in the moments even before they search. According to Google, nearly 85% of people will take action within 24 hours of discovering a new product so these ads can significantly impact your customer’s journey to purchasing from you.

It might sound like a branding play at first, but Google’s automation can deliver high direct ROI as well. The campaign not only drives conversions, but it does so inexpensively—the average CPA on Discovery campaigns today is only $12.19!

Last week, Google announced these Discovery ads are now available to all advertisers globally! Here's everything you need to know to make the most of this ad type.

What are Google Discovery ads?

Google’s newest Discovery ads are an easy way to get your products shown to your highest value customers. Discovery campaigns streamlines much of the ad testing, targeting, and campaign optimization with robust machine learning to target your ads across YouTube, Gmail, and the Discover feed all in one campaign type.

Advertisers still control their daily budget, target audiences and guide Google in crafting ad creative and campaign conversion goals to optimize towards across their networks.

Google Discovery ad formats

Google’s Discovery campaigns offer 2 unique ad formats, standard (single image) Discovery Ads and Discovery Carousel Ads. Much like Responsive Search ads and Responsive Display ads, advertisers provide Google with several different assets for Google to dynamically test different ad variants to show different customers more customized messaging.

Standard Discovery ads

A Discovery ad needs to have several unique assets:

Final URL: After clicking on your ad, this is where the ad directs. To ensure a higher ad quality and conversion rate, set your final URL to a...
What Is Google My Business & Why Do I Need It?
In an effort to gain more visibility on Google, many businesses create a Google business listing (known officially as a Business Profile). If you're one such business owner, something you might not realize is that creating a Business Profile does not give you management over it, and you need those management and editing capabilities if you want your Business Profile to work for you as an effective SEO and lead generation tool.

So how do you gain management over your Google Business Profile? The answer is that, in addition to creating a free Business Profile, you must also separately create a free Google My Business account for that profile.

You need a separate Google My Business account to manage your Business Profile.

A Google My Business account is the only means by which you can claim ownership of your Business Profile, attain management rights to it, and unlock additional free features to increase your visibility on Google. In this post, I’m going to cover everything you need to know about Google My Business, including:

What Google My Business is
How to use Google My Business effectively
How to use Google My Business for SEO
How to create a Google My Business account
Read on so you can incorporate this free and powerful tool to your marketing toolkit!

What is Google My Business?

As mentioned, Google My Business is a tool that enables you to manage and optimize your Business Profile on Google. So to explain what Google My Business is and how it works, let’s first make sure we’re clear on what a Business Profile is.

Your Business Profile is Google’s term for your Google business listing. Business Profiles appear in Google Maps and in the local results of Google Search.

Business Profiles on Google Search look like this:

Business Profiles on Google Maps look like this:


And Business Profiles on mobile look like this:

Creating a Business Profile is the same thing as adding a place to Google Maps—which is something that anyone (including a random stranger or an automated listing generator) can do. All that Google requires is the business name, location, and category. Once Google confirms it is not a duplicate, they will create the Business Profile for that location. The Business Profile is then open to consumers to leave reviews, add photos, ask questions, and even answer questions. The...
How We're Working Lately
Every year, we survey hundreds of digital marketing agencies to find out what makes them tick. The resulting State of the Agency report helps agencies orient themselves to the bigger picture and discover new resources.

Well, COVID-19 has changed the way we tick, as individuals. And with so many of us in isolation—not to mention in an unprecedented situation—it can be easy at times to feel like you’re in the dark. So we thought we’d conduct a “state of the employee” within our own company in hopes of gleaning practical tips and encouragement around coping with COVID-19—and with such a diverse group of bright minds as the WordStream team, we were not disappointed.

In this more personal COVID-19 survival guide, we’re providing you with pick-me-ups, pandemic coping techniques, positive affirmations, and of course—adorable pet and kid pics—from none other than the WordStream team. 

WordStreamers share their challenges, silver linings, and practical tips on life during lockdown.

What has been most challenging about working from home?

Many of the challenges were typical of remote work.

"Even though I've been really lucky to be with family, some social isolation and lack of purpose has made it hard to stay productive at times.” - Amanda Oles 
“Putting together a work station that allows me to be as productive at home as I am in the office.” - Steve Greatorex
Some of the challenges reminded us of how lucky we are to have such a great team that we enjoy being around every day.

"As a remote employee in Colorado, I'm already limited on my face-to-face interaction with my team, so I really value my monthly trips back to the Boston office. Not being able to do that and not knowing when the next visit will be makes it especially difficult." - Bobby Kittredge
“I miss my teammates!" - Betsy Sachs
And some of the challenges were a bit more unique (but very relatable), like uncooperative coworkers.

What has been most challenging about at-home life?

We’ve haven’t only switched to working full-time from home, but also to carrying out the rest of our lives full-time at home, making the ever-present pursuit of work/life balance even more challenging:

“Not overworking. It's so easy to get on early, stay on late, keep checking email, have meetings it’s been hard keeping structure and not feeling guilty about stopping work.” -...
How Email Marketing and Patreon are Keeping the Lights on for Entertainers

Danika Holmes and her husband Jeb Hart are in an acoustic/pop/soul duo, Danika & the Jeb. Because of COVID-19, their spring tour and summer shows have been cancelled.

As Holmes explains, “The first time a cancellation came for a show, it was a bummer. The second time it was an inconvenience. And the third-through-30th time, it was a crisis.” 

Danika & the Jeb have been making their living as touring musicians for 10 years, and getting a regular day job is not an option for them.

So they adjusted their business model — the show must go online!  

But they moved more than their shows online. Danika & the Jeb moved every part of their business online, including their entire merchandise store. 

And, going online allowed them to connect more intimately with their audience, in unexpected ways. 

Email marketing and Patreon — a winning combination.

To make it easy for their audience to access their new music and offer  support, Danika & Jeb used the membership platform Patreon. Patreon allows creators to get paid for the content they create, including video, songs, webcomics, audio performances, and more. Fans support creators and artists by paying either a few dollars per month or per post.

Danika & the Jeb, release their content on Patreon for as low as a $1 per video or song donation.  They get paid every time they release something new, and their supports become bonafide, real-life patrons of the arts!

“We make music. We share music. We make videos. We share videos. Pretty simple. Our Patrons are literally helping us keep the lights on and the music playing,” says Holmes.

Email is the lifeline that connects with their audience.

Using email marketing, Danika & the Jeb send their audience updates on their music and behind-the-scenes life. “AWeber and email became our number one and best way to keep in touch with our audience,” says Holmes.  

Email helps them explain what patrons can expect since this new online reality is new to both creators and audiences.

Email helps them promote more than music.

Danika & the Jeb moved their entire business online: apparel sales, an online guitar course, and custom guitar jewelry made from strings from an actual performance. They use AWeber to introduce their audience to these unique offerings to drive...
3 Questions Our New Facebook Grader Can Help You Answer
If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve seen us talking a lot this spring about what’s changed as a result of COVID-19. The economy has changed. Online advertising has changed. For most industries, the marketplace has changed. Your business goals have probably changed.

But in terms of running a small business, let’s talk for a minute about what hasn’t changed. We’re all juggling a thousand competing priorities, but if you own or run marketing for a small business, that’s totally old hat. You still have to find and retain talent. You still have to maintain a healthy cash flow, although that’s a bigger challenge now than ever for many small businesses. And you still need to find and connect with your target audience—people who resonate with your brand and would be interested in paying for your product or service.

That’s where Facebook and Instagram come in. And our newly updated Facebook Grader can help make sure you’re getting the most out of your advertising on these platforms by answering key questions about your account performance.


But first, let’s talk about why Facebook advertising is key right now.

Why Facebook, and why now?

For small businesses looking to grow and scale, Facebook and Instagram have become increasingly inescapable parts of any marketing strategy.

Whoever your target demographic is, you’ll probably find them on Facebook and Instagram—especially in the wake of COVID-19 lockdowns. Last month, Facebook hit a record high of 2.6 billion active monthly users: a 10% increase year over year. Include Facebook Messenger and Instagram, and you’re talking up to 4.8 billion active monthly users. Whether your ideal customers are Boomers or Gen Z, located in India or Ireland, their social media usage has increased dramatically this spring.

Plus, when you run a branded Facebook ad campaign, our analysis shows that you could see an average 34% increase of searches for related brand terms (your Google ads’ keywords!) on Google Search. So if your Google Search campaigns have been suffering from the recent 6% decrease in search traffic, shifting to Facebook could also push more high-intent, ready-to-convert Google Search traffic your way. Simultaneously, the actual cost of advertising on Facebook has dropped, making it a more cost-efficient means of reaching your audience than ever.

And, let’s be real. During a...
13 Essential Google My Business Optimizations for 2020
Any business today needs targeted visibility on Google. Most businesses know that this requires optimizing their website and Google Ads, but what most don’t know is that there is a third entity that also needs optimizing: their Google business listing. Formally known as your Business Profile, this powerful listing is a dynamic snapshot of your business that highlights your best features and enables potential customers to quickly find, learn about, and engage with you—all from the SERP. The best part? It’s completely free.

Click to view full-size image.

And yet, despite the 167 billion searches performed on Google each month, a BrightLocal study showed that the typical Business Profile only averages 1,260 views during that same period (that’s 0.00000075%!). Even worse, only 59 actions are taken from those 1,260 views. That’s less than 5%.

The problem is not the Google My Business platform; it’s that not nearly enough businesses take full advantage of its impressive features. And that’s why we’ve written this guide. Here, we’re going to share 13 optimization strategies:

Claim your Business Profile
Complete every section of your Google My Business account
Use consistent name and contact info
Include hours of operation and special hours
Select primary and secondary categories
Mark off applicable attributes
Write a complete “from the business” description
Publish Google posts weekly
Upload new photos weekly
Answer questions 
Collect and respond to reviews
Add your products and/or services
Add any industry-specific details
With these optimizations, you can turn your Business Profile into the best free customer acquisition tool you didn’t know you had. Let’s get into it.

Note: The more familiar term “Google business listing” is officially known by Google as your Business Profile, so we'll be using "Business Profile" throughout this post.

What does an optimized Google Business Profile look like?

Before we get into the strategies, let’s make sure we’re on the same page about what an optimized Business Profile looks like and why you need one. To help you visualize what you’re striving for and why, let’s take a look at a mockup of an incomplete Google Business Profile versus a complete and optimized one.

Click to view full-size image.

Here, Carl’s Google Business Profile is a short box, but Ernie’s Business Profile would...
The 8 Best Words to Use in Your Next Email

There’s a simple way to transform your email copy from passable to powerful — choose the right words. Effective words will inspire your subscribers to open, click, and buy.

Choosing the wrong words in your next email, on the other hand,  could damage your email engagement and even annoy or insult your audience. By learning a few key tips, you can avoid these common mistakes and write emails your subscribers will love.

In this article we’ll talk about:

8 power words for effective emailsHow to begin & end emailsWording for complicated situationsPhrases to unlearn and replace

8 Power Words for effective emails

These 8 everyday words can have a huge impact on your email engagement. (Spoiler: We just used one of them.)

You might be surprised. Some of the most effective words are ones you use everyday. The words are:

NowYou/YourThanksNewEasyAndFree [Insert name here]

Now, find out why these words are so effective and how to use them.

Related: How to Craft Irresistible Newsletter Content

1. Now

The word “now” is one of the most effective words to use in email, because it invokes action and urgency. It asks subscribers to do something right away, rather than putting it off until later.

“Now” is a good word to use in your subject line to increase open rates. Or, include it in your call-to-action (CTA) button to increase click-through rates.

However, when using this word in your emails, you want to make sure that subscribers understand what action they need to take. The next step should be clear since you’re asking them to do something immediately. You can achieve this by making your email focused on one specific outcome with one CTA, a top trend in B2B emails in 2017.

Related: Download AWeber's Email Marketing Statistics Report to learn more about calls to action (CTAs), writing effective emails, and email benchmarks.

Rifle Paper Co. utilizes the word “now” by incorporating it in the CTA button and focusing the email on one outcome: shopping for planners.

2. You/your

You can also make your emails more compelling by using the words “you” or “your” instead of speaking in the third person.

“You” and “your” are effective because they give your message a personal feel. This viewpoint can make your subscriber feel like you’re speaking to them exclusively, rather than a group of people. We use second...
New Integration: AWeber Now Supports Weblium, an AI Website Builder

Weblium,  an AI website builder, now integrates with AWeber. You can instantly connect your AWeber account with any of the your Weblium sign up forms to quickly grow your audience and boost sales.

What is Weblium?

Weblium is an AI-powered drag and drop mobile-friendly website builder. What makes Weblium different from other website builders is its AI-driven design supervisor feature. Weblium will automatically adjust the visual look of a site during editing. You can manage global site settings — like color palette, theme styles, fonts — from one place.

The drag and drop website components let you build a custom and responsive website in minutes. Add texts, images, or videos in one click. All of your content is adjusted automatically in your content block layout. No coding is required.

The Weblium Design Supervisor automatically corrects fonts, punctuation, spelling, and colors. It’s error control system helps to keep your website text error-free and easy to understand. 

The Weblium AI Design Supervisor lets you focus on your content while ensuring all of the design elements of your website look professional and modern. 

How AWeber and Weblium help to grow your business

Weblium lets you easily customize your site with a variety of signup form options, including custom fields.  

By connecting AWeber and Weblium, you can easily integrate any Weblium sign up forms to your AWeber lists. The tag support option lets you tag subscribers when they sign up, allowing you to automate your email marketing program.

Integrating AWeber with Weblium creates a seamless experience to collect visitor information, understand your audience better, and tailor automated email marketing campaigns to each customer.

For a limited time, AWeber customers can get 30% OFF of Weblium Pro annual subscription by using the coupon AWEBER30 at checkout.

4 easy steps to connect your AWeber account to Weblium


Step 1: Connect to the integrations options in Weblium.

Open the Weblium site builder and click the "Actions" tab from the menu options at the top of the page. Then, click "Go to Settings" to access the  "Form Management" tab in your site settings. Next, click the "Integrations" tab. Select AWeber from the available integrations and then, click “Connect.”

Step 2: Connect Weblium to your AWeber...
Newly Updated PPC Benchmarks for 21 Industries [June 2020]
Since March, we have been tracking how marketers can respond to significant changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Back in April, we saw that some industries began to see varying performance from their PPC campaigns, and we released updated Google Ads Benchmarks during COVID-19 to provide a better picture of online advertising as a whole. But things are still rapidly changing every day as regions and regulations change their approaches to battling the virus. As the world changed, so did our ads—and we began to see PPC campaigns begin to rebound in late April, with advertisers noting about 89% of the conversions that they saw before the COVID-19 crisis.

With a month of new data in hand, and even more change in the air, we decided to update these popular PPC benchmarks across 21 industries.

We’ve tracked the benchmarks across both Google & Bing search and shopping campaigns so that you can see how your ads are performing against your peers and put together a plan for how to ramp up your PPC accounts.

8 industries with more volume during COVID-19

Some businesses are experiencing increased volume during the pandemic, and advertising is essential to reach interested consumers.

1. Apparel

With limited traditional retail options available, this season’s fashion is exclusively online. We have seen CTRs and CVRs rise as CPCs fall below their normal levels since the early days of the pandemic. Performance first spiked in April and are still carrying that momentum into May.

2. Beauty & Personal Care

In quarantine, the truth has become clear: We don’t all just wake up like this. With barbers, salons, and beauticians closed across the county, many of us had to take our personal care into our own hands and in April we saw conversion rates spike for beauty and grooming products. In May, as these local services began to open their doors, behaviors shifted again. Many shopping campaigns saw lower conversion rates and higher CPAs, but those were largely offset by a surge in online bookings for the hair and nail services we’ve all missed.

3. Hobbies & Leisure

Puzzle, games, knitting, and paint—as we all spent our months indoors at home, we’ve had the unexpected opportunity to reinvest in our hobbies with our free time. This extra free time was a nice windfall for these advertisers who saw pretty...

Number of Total Worldwide Registered Domains Updated: Jul 03 2020