Marketing Insights
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Archive for ‘Landing Page Optimization’

4 Spring Cleaning Tips for a Spotless Annual Account Audit

By March 3rd, 2016

With spring rapidly approaching, this is a great time for search marketers to start preparing for an annual account audit. What are some of the top areas of focus for spring cleaning your account? Marin’s Center of Excellence has created a process for identifying key ways accounts can be improved through structural and performance-based changes.

Step 1: Identify pain points in the account to narrow
your focus

Before you dive into cleaning up your account, identify the main areas where you’d like to focus your time. Chances are you don’t have a lot of bandwidth to dedicate to anything but day to day management tasks — so to save time, start by asking yourself some questions to help narrow the focus of your audit and cleanup.

Some of these questions might include:

  • Where does the account fall short of meeting its goals?
  • Does the account have unutilized objects (things like past promotional creatives)?
  • Do you regularly perform A/B tests?
  • Have you had issues with revenue attribution?

Step 2: Perform an audit

The second step is to perform an audit of your account. You should focus your time on two major areas of opportunity: account structure and performance.

Tip: When performing the account audit, pull data in a format that allows you to make bulk changes. This way, once you’ve identified issues, you can easily take action and save time.

First, take a look at your account structure to make sure it follows search marketing best practices. This’ll make your account easier to navigate and ease day to day management. Second, analyze your account for performance issues that require action. The Center of Excellence recommends looking for the following:

Account Structure

  • Duplicate keywords
  • Conflicting negatives
  • Past promotional creatives
  • Missing active keywords/creatives
  • Misspelled creatives
  • Campaign setting alignment
  • URL tracking issues


  • Underperforming objects
  • Optimal use of negative keywords
  • Quality Score analysis
    • Landing page content
    • Keywords
    • Ad copy

Step 3: Implement changes

The third step is to take corrective action based on insights you discover during the audit.

Be sure to keep track of any changes you make and a record of the audit — this is essential, since it’ll allow you to effectively measure future performance.

Step 4: Measure

Use your record of changes to measure the impact of your spring cleaning efforts. Compile this information into a visual representation of the improvements to share with your colleagues or clients.

If you’re a Marin customer interested in partnering with the Center of Excellence on an account audit, contact your account representative, who’ll connect you with a Center of Excellence consultant today! Or, if you’re new to Marin, request a demo.

How to Fine-Tune Your Holiday Retargeting Campaign to Boost Performance

By November 18th, 2015

Pumpkin spice lattes. Cold weather. Football on TV. That can only mean one thing – the holidays are here!

While you’re busy planning your holiday vacation, family meals, or gift shopping plans, remember to schedule a few minutes for your retargeting campaigns. Consumers are ready to spend billions over the next six weeks (especially online!) so make sure you adjust your campaign settings to capitalize on the holiday rush.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to boost your campaign performance for the holidays:

Increase your budgets

With all that holiday shopping going on, you’re likely going to see a boost in site traffic, which means you’ll see an associated boost in impressions served and advertising funds spent. Make sure your campaigns have a proper budget set to guarantee you have enough ad money available for the day, so that you don’t miss out on these potential new customers.

We recommend a 25-50% budget increase for the holidays, but you know your site traffic best. Whatever % of traffic increase you’re expecting, boost your budget about that same %.

Raise your campaign bids

Consumers will be spending a lot of money on products, but that also means advertisers are spending a lot of money on ads. You’re going to have competition! With so many advertisers fighting for ad space, it’s not uncommon to see your CPM costs rise during this time of year. To be ready for this, make sure you increase your CPM bids across your campaigns. Allowing your campaigns to bid a higher amount will make them more competitive and give you a better chance of serving more ads. We suggest increasing your CPM bid by 50-100% of the current average CPM cost for the campaign.

Use holiday themed ads and landing pages

Your potential customers are thinking, talking, and singing about the holidays this time of year. Join that conversation! Using ads that mention specific events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday can grab a visitor’s attention. Send them holiday cheer, mention that there are X number of shopping days left, and give them a reason to click on your ads. Use the holidays as a call to action, and you could see a boost in clicks and conversions.

Create landing pages and content on your site for these holiday events, then create audiences that capture visitors of these pages. (Information about audiences is available here.)

Finally, create campaigns to serve your holiday ads to your holiday page visitors. If they’re coming to your site looking for holiday deals, they are more likely to respond to holiday themes ads.

We hope these suggestions are helpful and lead to a profitable holiday season for you and your business. As always, please feel free to contact us at with any questions or comments.

From our team to yours – happy holidays!

Techniques for Optimizing Your SMB Website

By September 24th, 2012

AB Landing Page Testing

“Why aren’t we testing more on our website, {insert SMB marketer name}?” Sound familiar? No one can question the value of a solid testing plan and the long term benefits it can reap for your company. However, SMB marketers within their organizations face big challenges in how to strategize for website testing and optimization.  Some of the bigger issues that arise include low traffic volume to websites, not enough conversions to reach statistical significance within a reasonable timeframe, and tight budgets that put testing tools out of reach. Here are a few ideas to consider as you develop your testing plan with these challenges in mind.

Pick Your Spots

Analyze your web analytics data and understand which pages generate the most traffic and conversions. Based on your web metrics, pick the ideal number of variables you can reasonably test. Your homepage is an obvious place to start, but it’s surprising to hear how often I come across colleagues or industry peers that want to test on secondary pages yet have no idea those pages generate only a handful conversions a month. To get the most impact as part of your testing plan, consider A/B testing over multivariate testing and try for more radical design concepts to test against your control.

Test Strategically Across Web Assets

One thing I’ve learned about website optimization is to leverage all available channels for gathering and applying findings. A website may not get a million visitors a month, but when you start adding website visitors, direct and organic, to display ad and paid search clicks, you can start understanding overall site performance a lot faster than individually testing each program.

I tend to leave website pages for larger impact variables such as layout, forms, and buttons. I’ll test messaging in some display and paid search campaigns to get a sense of what visitors may be responding to and apply my findings to the website. Every test has a reason and every learning, good or bad, should be logged in a testing repository. If you haven’t created one, it’s time to start organizing your findings in an easily accessible and reviewable format.

Industry Analysis

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. And, while we’re all trying to leave our own mark in everything we do, it’s always a best practice to make sure you understand what is happening in your industry and on other well respected websites. I generally like to keep tabs on several thought leading companies to see what the next new online trends will be. Websites such as,, and (my old employer where we tested A LOT!) are just a few of the great companies I reference for ideas on my next big test.  Grab ideas but be sure to test elements that best suits your audience and business objectives. What works for someone else, may not work for you.

Final Thoughts

Website testing and optimization remains an important part of the game plan for all online marketers, regardless of company size or the number of daily visitors. For those of you with less than ideal traffic for testing, I hope some of these suggestions can help jump-start your testing strategy and make it a higher priority moving forward. Continuing to optimize your website will result in a positive impact on your bottom line; increasing conversion from your marketing programs and helping to counter budget limitations and rising media costs. One thing I didn’t cover was the paid tools and vendors that can assist you with testing and optimization. If you’ve had success with third-party tools, I would love to hear your experiences in the comments section below.