3 Easy Landing Page Updates to Improve Quality Score

If PPC is central to your overall marketing plan, then quality score is a term you must be familiar with.  Actually, a lot of advertisers have heard about quality score and how important it is, except that they’re not so sure how to high rank with it.

For clarity on what quality score is, let’s review how Google explains it: “Quality Score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.”

Although not much detail was provided, it is safe to assume QS is mostly about driving traffic to your site landing pages. So, to improve QS, your focus should be on improving the feel, behaviour and content of your landing pages.

Google recently announced some key changes to their QS algorithms to offer website owners a better understanding of how to rank high on the metrics, and then act on the new insights with ease.

Why is that so important? The truth is that except your site and contents rank well on Google, you won’t achieve much success with your organic traffic flow, customer conversion and brand awareness goals.

Optimise for keywords: Include them in the titles and in the article in the right density

The first and most important factor in your SEO and quality score objective is to make sure you use the right keywords and in just the right density.  But what keywords should you rank for? You may need to do some SEO experiments to be specific about them and make sure you track updates, so you can keep improving on them.

Your relevant keywords must be properly distributed in your contents. Make sure to include it the headings, in the first one or two paragraphs and a few more times in articles. But be careful to avoid keyword stuffing. Ensure you’re writing for humans, not computers; so, include your keywords in a natural way.

Improve your site speed

Experienced internet marketers know how important the load time of website is to customer traffic and conversion. No one will hang around forever waiting for a website to load; which is why improving your site speed must always be a priority. Don’t forget too that when determining QS, AdWords always reviews the load time of the landing pages; and a slow website is a big fail.

Ensure easy navigation

It’s not enough to drive traffic to your site; you need to also ensure they can easily find what they’re looking for on your landing pages without having to spend too much time and energy groping around. Just like slow load time, if website users sense a landing page does not have easy navigation, they will bail in a blink of an eye and go somewhere else for the information they’re seeking.

Three Ways the New Gmail Upgrade Will Boost Your Marketing Campaign

Gmail is a free email service operated and owned by search giant Google. They currently boast a subscriber base of over 1 billion users, which translates to one in seven people in the world using Gmail.

Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSP) offers businesses the opportunity to market their product to a large user base.

GSP is sometimes referred to as an impression-based medium. This means that users are exposed to your ad without asking what your content is. Bear in mind this is not a search, you are requesting the user to make an unconscious action of clicking a link they naturally wouldn’t.

For advertisers pursuing leads with a conversion goal of free models or trails, GSP is effective in driving these ‘free’ conversions without hassle.

What is GSP?

GSP is a google service that was launched without fan fare in 2013 with google soft selling ads rather than a full promotion. GSP are advertisements that appear on Gmail user accounts. It is displayed in the inbox, right above the email. The Ads are cleverly designed to look like an email and it expands to a full Ad once clicked.

How does Gmail Ads Work?

Google moved GSP into a standard AdWords toolbox.  The name changed from GSP to simply ‘Gmail Ads’.  The new Gmail Ad appears in the personal Gmail inboxes under the ‘promotions’ tab.

The Gmail Ad is ‘pushed’ to an inbox even when the user did not search for the advertised content. Google secretly crawls Gmail user accounts and compiles information essential with advertisers. Advertisers can select their audiences based on interests, likes and behaviour. They are charged per click when there is an interaction with the ad. This model for online marketing campaigns benefits leads based ads rather than direct sales. Naturally, online users respond best to the ‘freemium’ model or free trial. Users are more likely to click on Ads offering free membership or content. Google Ads impresses with the capacity to deliver leads from those unwilling users.

Three ways to boost your marketing with Gmail upgrades

  1. Targeting is a fantastic substitute to remarketing. Businesses can target recent interest generated by the user and this will enhance your ability to target users more likely to interact with your ad.
  2. Research conducted by Emery Barnes reveals that 87% of online marketers utilise Gmail Ads, 25% of the emails were opened regularly and 30% more masked with emoji. To engage users, advertisers are encouraged to use emojis as this will lead to more conversion for the ad.
  3. Gmail Ads has a metric function that allows you to analyse and monitor your campaign. This way you can review your AdWords strategy to match current trends popular among users.

Gmail Ads is a desirable method of advertising that has earned the admiration of consumers and marketers globally.  Forever changing how advertising and digital marketing will be conducted.

How to Prove Your Facebook Ads Are Working

Wouldn’t it be grand to have a way to defend Facebook Ads using the numbers most people are interested in, rather than mere qualitative analysis? This method is a straight forward one, but requires that you have your Google Analytics and Facebook accounts linked. It helps to have an organised GA account too. Ensure you have Excel and enough Google Analytics and Facebook data to work with.

Step one

Head to Google Analytics, go to “Conversions”, “Top Conversion Paths”, and then “Source/Medium Path”. Select “advanced” and adjust your filter so it includes Source/Medium Path with Facebook. What this does is to leave you only with conversion paths that include “facebook” or whatever it’s named. Once you’re certain you have all the conversion paths needed set to download, select “Export”, for conversions, use “All”, one or more path links, “All” for Type, and 30 days (or whatever you wish) for your Lookback Window before you export in csv format.

Step two

Open the file in Excel, copy the single-path data and paste it somewhere else, before you remove it from the raw data. Have a column inserted between “Conversions” and “Source/Medium Path”, naming it “Facebook Path Detail.” Have columns A to D filtered such that Source/Medium Path is filtered with “Begins with: “facebook” and use the same title for column B’s displayed empty rows.

Next, adjust the Source/Medium Path’s filter to “Begins with: facebook” AND “Ends with: facebook”. Name all of column B’s displayed empty rows with “Begins/Ends with Facebook.” There should be an overwrite in some rows. Then, set the Source/Medium Path filer to “Ends with: facebook / cpc” and name the empty column B cells “Ends with Facebook.” Make sure there are no overwrites.

Finally, clear the last two filters and selecting only the blanks let the Source/Medium Path have another filter. Let all empty cells left be named “Contains Facebook” before you clear the filters and check to make sure column B has no empty cells.

Step three

Select everything in columns D to B, select Insert and then Pivot Table. Hit “Ok”, put the table in a new sheet, set your pivot fields such that your data will appear in a compressed view, and head back to your sheet.

Step four

Copy the table and have the values pasted in a different sheet, with the name “Paid Facebook – Attribution (Multi-Path)” added. Next to the attribution data, paste the single-path data you cut out earlier and name it “Paid Facebook – Single Path Conversions.” Once you’re sure the date ranges have been added, have the rest formatted however you like. This will give you a qualitative understanding of your paid Facebook efforts which anyone can understand.

Google Announces Major Changes to Ad Rotation Settings

Google recently announced some major changes to ad rotation settings in AdWords that will take place starting from the 15th of September. These changes will bring an end to the long-standing debate among advertisers about the best way to test different ads in each ad group. While all paid search advertisers can certainly agree that ad testing is important, should they let them rotate blindly, make changes after a 90-day period, or optimise them to increase clicks and enjoy more conversions? It seems the answer doesn’t matter anymore because now, the changes simplify the matter by trimming the AdWords ad rotations settings for a simpler solution.

The Major Changes to Ad Rotation Settings

Google AdWords will support only two rotation settings where you can either choose to optimise or rotate indefinitely. The first option to optimise (prefer best performing ads), will employ Google’s machine learning technology to deliver ads with the potential to do better than the other ads in the ad group. Choosing ‘do not optimise (rotate ads indefinitely) allows your ads to rotate continuously without putting priority on better performing ads to a user’s search.

The existing settings ‘optimise for conversions’ and ‘rotate evenly’ will be abandoned and where the options to ‘Optimise for clicks’, ‘Optimise for conversions’ and ‘Rotate evenly are being used by campaigns, there will be automatic change to the new ‘Optimise’ setting.

Regardless of how campaigns set their ad rotation settings for their smart bidding strategies like Enhanced CPC, target CPA or target ROAS, their ad rotation will automatically be set to ‘Optimise’ as a result of Google’s new decision. In addition, advertisers can easily control their new ad rotation settings at the campaign level and at the ad group level as well.

The Impact of the Changes on Advertisers

Besides the major effect being forcing search marketers to stay on top of their testing schedules if they aren’t already, the announced changes to AdWords rotation will affect many advertisers using the usual ad rotation and bidding strategies.

This means if your campaigns currently make use of either the ‘Rotate evenly’ or ‘Optimise for conversions ad rotation setting’ you will notice the new changes in your account sometime in late September. Campaigns employing smart bidding strategies such as target CPA, enhanced CPC or target ROAS bidding strategies are not left out either.

Although some advertisers would naturally not be inclined to trust Google to optimise their ad rotation, you can reasonably expect to see positive performance n CTR and CPA from making the change.

Preparing for Changes in Ad Rotation Settings

There’s nothing to be done in advance since the transition will automatically occur in late September. Still, it is advisable to pay close attention to your accounts in order to see how they respond to said changes.

Advertisers presently making use of the ‘Rotate evenly’ option should work to finish up current ad tests and possibly migrate to an optimise setting before the ad rotation change takes place to get the most out of ad tests in the future. A smart bidding strategy is a better option for advertisers currently using the ‘Optimise for conversions’ setting in order to optimise their bids in real time auctions.

On a final note, if you are dissatisfied with the proposed changes to be made to your account, you can always choose the ‘Do Not Optimise’ ad rotation so that your ads are rotated evenly into each search auction.

AdWords Announces Upcoming Changes to Enhanced CPC Bidding

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In the middle of May, Google announced that AdWords will start rolling out changes to enhanced CPC bidding (eCPC) beginning in early June. Advertisers logging into the AdWords interface would likely have seen the notification indicating these changes.

Background of eCPC bidding

AdWords presents advertisers with various bidding strategies to use to achieve their aims. While advertisers can decide to bid for a target CPA, bid for a target location on the SERP, pay for display ads, or pay for video views, majority of advertisers choose to depend on cost-per-click CPC bidding.

Advertisers’ accounts easily grow in complexity and size, and with this growth, it becomes difficult to manage a rapidly growing load of audiences, demographics, keywords, and bid adjustments in campaigns. It is for this reason that Google introduced eCPC in 2010, rolling out a major change in the way cost-per-click (CPC) bidding works. By introducing eCPC bidding, they were able to take some load off the shoulders of advertisers.

The change allowed Google to dynamically adjust advertisers’ bids within a range of 30% if the AdWords algorithm believed a click was likely to lead to a conversion. Since it was introduced, eCPC bidding was used for new campaigns as the default bidding strategy, which in turn gave Google more control over bids.

What do the new changes mean?

Adwords eCPC Update

This is the official word from Google on the eCPC update.

Before the new changes, the eCPC automatic bidding strategy would increase an advertiser’s keywords bids by up to 30% if the AdWords algorithm noticed a click which may be more likely to convert. When automatically adjusting bids, the algorithm would take into account the time of day, users’ location, device, and browser, and before those, any manual bid adjustment.

With the new adjustments to eCPC, Google will be removing the 30% cap, aiming to help advertisers to gain more conversions. The new changes will not adjust bids based on device, and advertisers who have no conversion stats and those with strict CPC KPIs need to watch out.

While it is possible that advertisers will pay more than their maximum CPC for one click in eCPC bidding, Google says it will try to keep average CPC under maximum CPC bids. With the 30% cap removed, Google may become forceful in making automatic bid adjustments.

Also, Google may adjust advertisers’ bids for different demographics, similar audiences, and remarketing audiences. Regarding bids for different locations, if Google’s AdWords algorithms find local markets with higher conversion rates, your bids for that location will automatically be adjusted.

For advertisers using eCPC with excellent results, it is recommended to test for some time and see how the new changes affect conversion rate, average CPC, and impression share.

A Comprehensive Checklist for Your SEO Audit

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An SEO audit is important for any website seeking to increase traffic. Thorough website audits are helpful for planning future strategies relating to keywords and creating more effective content. If you are planning an SEO audit for your website, you need to follow our comprehensive checklist to ensure nothing is left out during the process.

What Should an SEO Audit Cover?

Attention should be given to five main areas in order to complete a successful SEO audit.

Technical Analysis

For your website to be listed, it needs to be able to be identified and indexed by search engines. When checking SEO, focus on the following:

  • Analysis of how duplicate content is being identified.
  • Sitemap validation using XML sitemaps which make available information for search engines such as last updates, page hierarchy and public pages to be crawled.
  • Assessment of site speed and studying the load time, which is critical.
  • Analysis of backlinks i.e. the links leading into your site. Links coming in from poor quality sites or unrelated sites where your niche is concerned can harm your SEO.

Review Page Design

This includes evaluating ease of use, CTAs, overall design, and inter-page connection for a seamless flow on the website. This component is important in an SEO audit because it makes search engines able to make sense of your content. It also increases your chances of getting found by visitors.

Usability Audit

This involves measuring how easy your users find it to make use of your site, and to navigate to the information they seek. Incorporate the following into your usability checks on your website:

Relevant internal linking –internal links on from one page to another on your site is a great idea for reducing bounce rate and maintain the interest of visitors. During an SEO audit, make sure your pages are not overly saturated with links, and that the links present are not optimized over the top, which is unadvisable in SEO practice.

Easy navigation – the goal is for visitors to be able to find what they are looking for. There is no right or wrong way to present a site structure as long as the important features and information are easy to locate.

Semantic mark-up – with semantic mark-up, search engines are better able to index your site more accurately, creating rich snippets which users make use of to locate information that interests them.

Analyse Site Content

SEO requires organised and well-written content. Industry or brand-specific content that is focused on providing value to site users attracts more users and higher rankings. During SEO audit, assessment of content should be based on consistency and value.

On-Page Audit

On-page SEO factors to consider include title tags, Meta descriptions, and headers and sub-headers. Ignoring these could make you miss out on the opportunities a comprehensive SEO audit offers.

 

Google Takes the Fight to Fake News and Offensive Content with Project Owl

8-fake-news-Owl-algorithm-fcdGoogle is certainly unrelenting in its fight against fake news and content that is considered offensive, disturbing, or clearly misleading, as it officially announced the Project Owl algorithm. According to the search engine, their algorithm was being updated in order to boost, authoritative content while penalising low-quality content, specifically with queries that could display offensive or misleading material.

Further, Google introduced a feedback mechanism for featured snippets and auto-complete suggestions to swiftly obtain feedback from users on search results that are not in line with their guidelines. Google’s search quality rater’s guidelines were also updated to aid the fight and check that the algorithms were working accordingly. Meanwhile, what do the new changes mean?

Boosting authoritative content

As a way to fight the fake and offensive content that appear in search results, Google is keen on pushing for authoritative content. Google tags as offensive, any content that encourages violence or hate against a group of people based on a number of criteria ranging from gender and race, to religion and disability. Also tagged as offensive is any content that contains racial slurs, detailed how-to information about dangerous or harmful activities, and other types of content users in a particular locale would find intensely upsetting.

Featured Snippets feedback form

A Featured Snippet is an informational box displayed at the top of search results, designed to have a profound influence on the search experience. Featured Snippets are becoming even more important with the rise of voice search as they are the default answer to a user’s question. Google introduced a feedback form that lets users pick from a variety of tags that can be used to describe the content, and a space to make comments or suggestions. While individual snippets are not going to see immediate removal, Google will use the data to adjust the algorithm to effect the necessary changes.

Autocomplete feedback link

Designed to save time and help make searches faster, autocomplete suggests possible queries to users, drawn from the most popular searches. While it is a useful feature, occasionally, autocomplete may offer suggestions that are offensive or inappropriate. Google has now introduced a new “report inappropriate predictions” link that lets users flag predictions as violent, hateful, sexually explicit, or any other tag the user feels describes the suggestions.

Conclusion

It will take some time before Project Owl will be seen to impact search results; nonetheless, Google is clearly determined to present users with legitimate results. Meanwhile, new sites are not expected to find it more difficult to rank higher in search; neither will big brands have any advantage over smaller ones.

Was There A Google Algorithm Update On Monday & Tuesday? Unsure.

Making useful information available and easily accessible is the main goal of Google and it dedicates itself to this cause by constantly seeking to improve the users’ search engine experience.

Google updates its algorithm from time to time with multiple updates happening within a day sometimes. The number of changes is between 500-600 updates per year. The updates are mostly minor and the results almost unnoticeable but there are some that cannot occur unnoticed because of the relative impact such updates have on the on page rankings in the search engine.

It is important to Google that black hat SEO practices by webmasters and search marketers are curbed.

Whenever there is an algorithm update, Google may announce and give hints here and there about the impact of such updates while other times, the updates are done without any form of admittance or detail on the implication of such update from Google.

What is most important is whether the updates have noticeable impact on SERP.

The main question now is that, was there an update on Monday or Tuesday, June 19th or 20th?

The drift is nobody is sure what happened. We all know Google can be pretty secretive about their updates but most of the automated tracking tools;(Mozcast, Accutracker, SERPMetriccs, Rank Ranger, SEM Rush) except for Algoroo revealed that the algorithm may have been tweaked on either of the two days. They showed massive spikes and activity but not many people seem to catch up to it.

Updates with impact cause a lot of chatter that may have resulted in a lot of satisfaction or dissatisfaction among the SEO community but the expected activity that is supposed to be the immediate result of such massive update is missing. No one is screaming foul or livid about penalties.

The SEO community always give an insight into the impact of huge updates.

Barry Schwartz gives an insight into what may have happened but even that isn’t conclusive.

Below is a screenshots of the Mozcast tracking tool showing huge changes in search engine results observed

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As earlier stated, these should stir conversations but nothing has been observed from the white and black hat SEO forums or Google Forums.

It is quite irregular not to have the regular noise that would have preceded or accompanied the kind of activity noticed on the automated tracking tools.

It is somewhat uncertain the kind of impact this update has and if it is an update or a change in Google’s user interface. it is certainly not related to the Google Owl as believed by some.

Did you notice the change? How has it affected you?

Google Doodle Marked ‘Grand Finale’ of Cassini Spacecraft Journey

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On Wednesday, April 26, Google’s homepage featured an animated doodle showing the Cassini spacecraft personified as a jolly triangular photographer taking pictures of a passing smiling Saturn, paparazzi-style. Designed by Nate Swinehart, the fun doodle was to put up to mark the beginning of the ‘Grand Finale’ of the spacecraft’s journey of two decades. On Wednesday, the Cassini started taking photos and measurements between Saturn and its rings, making the first of a series of orbits to help scientists gain more insight on the nature and origin of the planet’s rings.

A mission of exciting discovery

The landmark Saturn mission is a NASA project with backing from the Italian space agency (ASI) and the European Space Agency (ESP). The Cassini’s 2.2 billion mile journey began 20 years ago from Cape Canaveral in the United States in 1997, when the spacecraft left Earth on its way to our solar system’s second largest planet. The spacecraft reached Saturn 7 years later in 2014, when it began exploring around the planet and its satellites.

Over the years, numerous remarkable discoveries have been made and astonishing photos have been compiled into a stunning collection, including a picture of our tiny planet taken through Saturn’s rings. Early in April, when Cassini was exploring one of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus, it discovered the presence of molecular hydrogen, suggesting that the planet could support extraterrestrial life.

A glorious tragedy

Running out of rocket fuel, the Cassini spacecraft will plunge to its death on the 15th of September, 2017, ending its historic journey. NASA has to destroy the craft to avoid letting debris and microbes from Earth contaminate Saturn’s moons (Enceladus and Titan), cause disruption to whatever may exist there, or prevent us from finding out about the possible existence of extraterrestrial life. When the spacecraft dives into Saturn’s atmosphere, it will have many of its instruments on to ensure it keeps transmitting to Earth until the moment it burns up and gets destroyed. Before its final moment, Cassini will tell us what the planet’s atmosphere is comprised of.

Once it embarked on the first of 22 orbits around Saturn, the Cassini began a journey of no return as its path is not determined by thrusters anymore, but largely by the effects of gravity. No matter what the scientists at NASA do, the spacecraft will inevitably end up in Saturn’s atmosphere on said date.

It will be sad to see the Cassini go after seeing two decades of the phenomenal service it has rendered to science, expanding our knowledge and deepening our understanding of Saturn and its satellites. Nonetheless, it is a glorious ending to an astonishing journey of discovery.

How to Optimise for Local SEO UK: A Guide for SMBs

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To take advantage of the ever expanding trend of ecommerce, most small businesses now have an online presence – mostly through their websites.

While having a website is a good first step in positioning your business to reach a global audience and thus more customers, it is not the only step. You still have to let people know about the existence of your website. One reliable and highly recommended way to get your website more publicity is by optimising its SEO. This means optimising your website to be better found on search engine results, in order to increase its organic traffic.

To optimise your SMB’s website for local SEO UK, simply execute these following tips;

  1. Optimising your website’s content.

You can accomplish this by inserting into your website’s content keywords or phrases that most local consumer of your products or services search for online. You can discover what these keywords are by using tools such as Google Trends.

Another effective way to optimise your site’s SEO via content is to mention something unique about the locality you are serving within your content. For example, if you are an architect serving London clients, your site can talk about some of London’s architectural landmarks. Search engines will rank site’s that do this higher than their local competitors that don’t. Also be sure to insert your city/region alongside a relevant keyword into your landing page title tag, H1 tag, URL, and image alt attributes.

  1. Organise your website effectively.

This can be accomplished by having each headline and title tag on each page contain a keyword or phrase that will immediately intimate search engines and site visitors alike about what your site has to offer. You can also embed a Google map showing your business’ location into your landing page

For better results, you can also have your most important content featured on your homepage with a link leading to that content’s own page. That is, make sure your bestselling services and products stand out on your site. Said content should also have links referring to them from within the content of other pages.

  1. Improve user experience

This is another useful way to improve your site’s local SEO UK as well as the engagement of your visitors. You can accomplish this by making your site more mobile friendly, especially since most online activity now occurs via mobile devices. Also ensure your site has good loading speeds that will motivate your visitors to keep searching through your site.

Further measures you can take to improve user experience include; having your business’ contact information at the top and bottom of each page, as well as placing headlines over each page to assure visitors they’ve come to the right place.

Lastly, local SEO UK can be improved on by ensuring the website’s design is one that facilitates movement across the site by crawling bots and customers alike.

With these simple steps, your SMB’s website’s local SEO UK will be greatly improved.