Daily Search Forum Recap: May 31, 2016

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Forum Threads:


Source: SEroundTable

3 Google AdWords hacks to drive high-quality leads

google-adwords-red2-1920

You already know that Google AdWords can be an important tool for scaling your business, even if you’re new to PPC marketing. If that’s something you didn’t know, beware of the spoiler to follow: Google AdWords can be an important tool for scaling your business. 

The problem for most advertisers is that AdWords can be expensive. Every dollar you spend paying for clicks is a dollar you can’t allocate to other areas of your business, so it’s vital to make each one count.

Today, I’m going to walk you through three Google AdWords hacks to help you drive high-quality leads and ensure that every dollar you spend is well spent.

These are hacks that I used with almost all of my clients during my time at Google and now employ with all our customers at AdHawk. They have been very successful for these clients and will help you save some serious time and money.

Let’s dig in!

Google AdWords hack #1: the only way to bulk-modify broad match modified keywords

One AdWords feature I consistently see advertisers struggle with is keyword match types. There’s a lot of bad information on the internet about what match types advertisers should be using exclusively. The truth is that each one has a time and a place, but I’m going to focus on two of my favorites today: broad match modified keywords and phrase match keywords.

I subscribe to the Goldilocks way of thinking for the keywords match types I use most often. Broad match keywords can trigger too much irrelevant traffic. Exact match keywords can severely limit the number of eyeballs on your ads. Broad match modified and phrase match keywords, however, are just right.

(If you need a refresher on the differences between keyword match types, check out this great piece by Josh Dreller.)

Broad match modified and phrase match keywords strike the perfect balance between reaching the largest audience possible and still maintaining some control over the type of user your ads are being served to. This is incredibly important if you’re looking to stretch every dollar you spend on AdWords.

The last thing you want is for your ads to be triggered for irrelevant traffic and result in clicks. Those customers will likely never convert, and you’re probably better off flushing your money down an AdWords-shaped toilet.

google-adwords-money-down-the-toilet

Phrase match keywords are pretty simple to enable. All you have to do is head to the “Keywords” section of your campaign, check the box next to the keywords you want to turn into phrase match keywords, click “Edit,” click “Change match types,” make sure the form says “From broad match, to phrase match,” and BOOM! You’re done.

Broad match modified keywords, on the other hand, are a little bit trickier to modify in bulk. As of the publish date of this post, the only way to move your broad match keywords to broad match modified keywords is to edit in a “+” to each of the keywords you want to change one by one. That is, unless, you follow my simple Google AdWords hack. It’s a simple two-part process to get this up and running:

Part 1 — Find and replace

  • Navigate to the “Keywords” section of your Google AdWords campaign.
  • Check the boxes to the left of the keywords you want to change from broad match to broad match modified.
  • Click “Edit” and then “Change keyword text.”
  • Keep the “Action” section “Find and replace.”
  • In the “Find text” field, put your cursor in the box and click the space bar once. (You’re telling Google to find all your spaces.)
  • In the “Replace with” field, put your cursor in the box, click the space bar once, and add a plus sign (+). (Google AdWords uses the plus sign to indicate which keywords are broad match modified keywords.)
  • Click “Make changes.”

Part 2 — Append text

  • With all the keywords from above still selected, click “Edit,” and then “Change keyword text.”
  • Change the “Action” to “Append text.”
  • Add a plus sign (+) in the “Append text” field.
  • Click “Before existing text.”
  • Click “Make changes.”

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 12.39.32 AM
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Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 12.43.20 AM

It may seem like a lot of steps, but I promise it will save hours of your time (especially if you have large keyword lists). Make sure to review the keywords that were modified and remove any plus signs from filler keywords terms (like “the” and “an”) and from any individual keyword terms you don’t want to be broad match modified.

Google AdWords hack #2: mastering Quality Score with the “One Per” Rule

Just uttering the phrase “Quality Score” can strike fear in the hearts of Google AdWords advertisers. What is it? How does it work? What can I do to make it better? I get these questions all the time, and my response to them is always, “Follow the ‘One Per’ Rule.”

As the name suggests, the One Per Rule requires you to limit the number of keywords per Ad Group to 1. It may sound a little crazy and counterintuitive, but there is a method behind the madness.

Limiting yourself to one keyword per ad group ensures that your keyword is tied closely to your ad text and the text on your landing page. This tells Google that your relevancy is through the roof, therefore awarding you a high Quality Score. It’s easily my favorite Google AdWords hack.

This isn’t a technique to use with every keyword, however. Only employ the “One Per” Rule on your top-performing keywords. Here’s how to get it going:

  • Step 1 — Research. Select the Campaign you want to optimize and locate your five to 10 top-performing keywords across Ad Groups. If you’re looking to optimize conversions, choose the keywords that are most successful in generating that result. Or, if you want to optimize cost per conversion or cost per click, choose those top keywords. Every keyword you choose should be competitive when it comes to click-through rate (one percent and above).
  • Step 2 — Create one AdGroup per keyword. Create an Ad Group for each of your top-performing keywords. If you have five top keywords, you should also have five Ad Groups. Keep things organized by using each individual keyword as the name of the AdGroup.
  • Step 3 — Ensure your ad text is relevant. One of the keys to ensuring the “One Per” Rule is effective is sprinkling the keyword throughout the ad text. The keyword in your Ad Group will appear multiple times in your ad text and again on your landing page.

Quality Scores tend to be higher when the keyword appears in the ad headline, description and display URL. If one of my top-performing keywords is “women’s hats,” the structure of my ad should be similar to the one shown below:

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  • Step 4 — Optimize your landing page. The final step in the “One Per” Rule is simple: Ensure the keyword appears somewhere on your landing page.

Thinking about Quality Score as numbers between one and 10 makes it easy to forget why it’s really important — it’s Google’s way to determine how you as an advertiser create a good user experience by matching your ad to its message, its destination and what you are offering the consumer. Following the “One Per” Rule puts you in a position to check each one of those boxes and makes your life a little easier along the way.

Google AdWords hack #3: enabling call-only campaigns

Phone calls are the lifeblood for lots of businesses leveraging Google AdWords. It’s important to note that there are tons of opportunities to take advantage of. A recent study by BIA/Kelsey estimates that “annual calls to businesses from smartphones will reach 162 billion by 2019.” That’s billion with a B.

If you’re an advertiser who’s looking to maximize the number of phone calls you get from AdWords, you need to make sure to create a clear path for your potential customers to pick up the phone and give you a ring.

This can be difficult when you’re accustomed to guiding them through the normal AdWords flow of clicking on your ad and landing on your website. There are lots of distractions in those two simple steps that could keep your customers from doing what you really want them to do.

The best way to avoid all distractions is to encourage your customers to call you directly from your ad, and the best way to do that is through setting up a call-only campaign.

PhoneA

via Google

Google’s call-only campaign type is designed to only serve ads on mobile devices that are able to make phone calls. Instead of the traditional “click to website” flow, call-only campaigns prominently show your business phone number and a “click to call” button.

via Google

via Google

This means each click you pay for could equal a phone call to your business. It also means you have more opportunity to get creative with your ad copy. Action-oriented phrases like “schedule a call today” or “call a local expert now” will encourage customers to take action directly from the ad text.

Getting up and running with a call-only campaign is pretty simple if you follow the instructions below:

  • Click the red “+Campaign” button.
  • Select “Search Network only” from the drop-down menu.
  • Select the “Call-only” radio button on the right.
  • Fill out the remaining information regarding the campaigns settings.
  • Click the “Save and continue” button.
  • Fill in the information to create your call-only ad. Make sure to include action-oriented phrases, and enable a Google forwarding phone number if you want to track phone calls (We highly recommend this).
  • Click “Save ad group.”

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Final thoughts

With these three Google AdWords hacks, you can keep your accounts lean, precisely targeted and better optimized to drive high-quality leads. I’m always looking for new Google AdWords hacks to experiment with. If you have a good one, feel free to share it in Search Engine Land’s social media channels.

The post 3 Google AdWords hacks to drive high-quality leads appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source: SEland

Where Did DoFollow Come From?

In mid-January 2005, Google pushed out the nofollow attribute to give webmasters a way to tell Google that this link does now count. Shortly after, SEOs and webmasters started to go on a “dofollow” campaign.

Literally, I see mentions of the term “dofollow” being used within a month after Google announced the nofollow attribute. The first time we used it in an article here was in 2006 and it was used in comments here as early as 2005.

But who was the first to coin the phrase? I am honestly not sure. That is the question a reddit thread and no one seems to know the answer.

I see WordPress plugins coming out as early as a February 2005 named dofollow. This Wiki page shows the use of dofollow on February 9, 2005 by Sebastian Helm. But was he the first? I doubt it.

Do you know who the first was?

Forum discussion at reddit.


Source: SEroundTable

Google Voice Search Results Can Be Mobile & Desktop

ok google

A while back, Wolf of SEO, posted on Twitter asking are Google voice search results not impacted by the “non-mobile” friendly sites algorithm? He said he is seeing results that give non-mobile friendly sites.

So two things here:

(1) Voice search can be mobile or desktop based.

You can search using your voice on desktop:

You can search using your voice on mobile:

(2) The results you get are dependent on what you are searching on.

We all know that you can see non-mobile friendly results in Google’s mobile results. So voice search has nothing to do with that.

Of course, Google Now, Siri and others tweak that a bit here and there. But voice search results are no different than the desktop or mobile search results interface. Unless you search natively on iOS or Android, then apps and such can show more often.

John Mueller of Google responded by saying that:

Forum discussion at Twitter.


Source: SEroundTable

Google Showing Promotion Schema In Rich Snippets, Really?

Harmit Kamboe posted on Twitter a screen shot of a search result that showed rich snippet content for “promotion” deals. It is weird, this is the type of snippets you’d see for search ads but not organic un-paid results. I asked him a ton of questions and it seems like he really saw it.

Here is the snippet:

Google Showing Promotion Schema In Rich Snippets

The search query that he found this for was in Toronto, Canada for [new car deals canada]. I cannot replicate it and he said it no longer comes up.

It might be Google confusing the schema or trying to be smart and showing this content, without filly understanding it is a “promotion” piece of text. Or maybe Google is intentionally trying to show this snippet as is?

I wish I could replicate it and see what is going on. The page is clearly laid out in a table format, with the words promotion as the header. Google will sometimes build these fun structured snippets based on table data, so that is my best guess here.

Forum discussion at Twitter.


Source: SEroundTable

Google Returns Both Mobile Friendly Testing Tools In Search Results

I was confused yesterday when I was just checking out the mobile friendly testing tool and I Googled [google mobile friendly test] and clicked on the first result and saw the old tool. Didn’t Google replace it with a new mobile friendly testing tool weeks ago?

Here is a screen shot showing the old tool listed before the new one:

I figured Google would redirect the old one to the new one but I guess they did not do that yet. I am not sure why they are keeping the old one around?

Here is how the new one looks:

click for full size

Here is the old one:

click for full size

The new one is so much cleaner and user friendly. Why keep both in the search results? Maybe Google should use the rel-canonical?

Forum discussion at Twitter.


Source: SEroundTable

Daily Search Forum Recap: May 30, 2016

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Forum Threads:


Source: SEroundTable

7 essential Google Analytics reports every marketer must know

google-data-tech-analytics1-ss-1920For marketers, there are few skills more important than a deep understanding of Google Analytics and its conversion measurement capabilities.

After all, this is the tool that tells you whether your efforts are actually translating into results.

Unfortunately, mastering Google Analytics can be challenging, even for experienced marketers. There is far too much data and too few easy-to-follow dashboards to sort it out.

To help you out, I’ve put together a list of seven custom and standard reports you can use right away to get better insight into your marketing performance.

1. Mobile Performance Report

You know this already: ours is a mobile-first world. The total number of mobile users now exceeds the total number of desktop users…

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…and mobile e-commerce is nearly 30% of all e-commerce in the US.

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In fact, mobile is so important now that Google even penalizes the websites that are not mobile-friendly.

For marketers, knowing how their sites perform on smaller screens is vital to staying alive in the SERPs and winning over customers.

The mobile performance report shows you how well your site (not app) is optimized for mobile and where you need to make improvements.

You can even segment the report further to see which mobile devices/browsers customers are using to access your site. This will tell you if your site is performing poorly on some devices.

Accessing this report is easy – just go to Audience -> Mobile -> Overview

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This will show you how your site does on different platforms:

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You can add more dimensions here as you see fit. Take careful note of bounce rate, time on site and page views to see whether your user experience is failing on one or more mobile channels.

2. Traffic Acquisition Report

Want to know if people are actually clicking on your ads? That guest post you published earlier — is it generating any traffic to your website? How about your SEO strategy? Is it actually working?

The traffic acquisition report will tell you all this and more. For many marketers, this will be their first step in the reporting process.

This is a standard report, so you can find it by going to Acquisition -> Overview.

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This will give you a quick breakdown of your traffic sources.

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Of particular insight here is the “Referrals” tab (Acquisition -> Overview -> All Traffic -> Referrals). This will tell you which external sites are driving traffic to your site.

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Clicking on a referring website will show you the exact pages visitors used to enter your site.

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3. Content Efficiency Report

Do you generate a lot of content on your website and find that tracking it is getting a little overwhelming?

Avinash Kaushik, author of Web Analytics 2.0 and a Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google, created this report to solve this exact problem.

This report tracks entrances, pageviews, bounces and goal completions to help you answer questions like:

  • Which content is engaging your audience the most?
  • What type of content (images, videos, gifs, infographics, reviews) performs best with your readers?
  • Which content converts readers into customers?
  • Which content is shared most by your users?

Here’s a quick overview from Avinash himself:

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You can get a more detailed explanation of the report here. To grab a copy for yourself, check this link (you’ll need to log into Google Analytics first).

4. Keyword Analysis Report

Getting organic traffic from Google is great. Unfortunately, ever since Google started encrypting search data in 2012, your organic traffic keyword report has mostly shown this:

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However, you can still gain a ton of insight about your visitors by tracking the performance of unencrypted keywords.

This report created by eConsultancy analyzes the most popular (and available) incoming keywords to your site. It shows visitor metrics, conversion rates, goal completions and page load time for each keyword.

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Use this data to figure out what keywords are working best for you, how many of them are actually contributing to your goals, and what keywords you need to optimize for in the future.

5. New vs. Returning Visitors

Getting a user to come to your site for the first time is great. Getting them to visit again is even better. After all, it is the returning visitors who usually end up becoming readers, followers and customers.

This standard report in Google Analytics will tell you what percentage of your users are coming back to your site.

You can find it by going to Audience -> Behavior -> New vs. Returning in your Analytics account.

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Usually, the metrics for new and returning visitors are quite different. Returning visitors tend to stick around longer and have lower bounce rates.

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6. Landing Pages Report

Your users will enter your site from all sorts of pages. Some will type in your homepage URL directly, some will find a page through search engines, and some others will click on a link shared on your Twitter feed.

This report will tell you which pages visitors are landing on when they first enter your site. Based on data from this report, you can figure out how users are interacting with your site.

For example, if the report shows that some pages have a substantially higher bounce rate than others, you can take steps to make high bounce rate pages more engaging.

Find the report – Behavior -> Site Content -> Landing Pages

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7. Bounce Rate vs. Exit Rate Report

“Bounce Rate” is the percentage of visitors that don’t take any action and leave from the same page they landed on.

“Exit Rate” measures the percentage of your visitors that browse more than one page on your site before leaving.

This report compares the bounce rate vs. exit rate for different pages on your site.

You can find it by going to Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages:

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Next, select “Bounce Rate” and “% Exit” in the Explorer tab.

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This will give you a visual comparison between bounce and exit rate for all your pages. You can drill down further to get this data for each page.

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Use this report to find pages with low engagement and detect UX problems on your site. For example, if visitors are exiting a three-page article after reading only the first two pages, there’s probably something that is causing them to leave on the second page (too many ads, bad copy, a distracting link in the sidebar, etc.).

Over to you

Google Analytics is essential analytics tool for any marketer, but making the most of it can be challenging. By using a mixture of pre-created custom reports and standard reports, you can gain valuable insight into your users.

Google Analytics’ Solutions Gallery is particularly useful for someone new to analytics. Here, you can import expert-created reports into your Analytics account to build powerful dashboards quickly. You can also use these reports as guides to help you understand this incredible tool better.

The post 7 essential Google Analytics reports every marketer must know appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source: SEland

Google: Photos Are Missing From Your Listing On Google

Tim Coling reported in the Local Search Forums that his client received an email asking them to load up more photos on their Google local listing. It said “Photos are missing from your [company name] listing on Google.”

The company had many photos of their listings, so it was unusual to see such an email sent to the business he said. Truth is, I never remembered hearing of Google emailing business owners to add more photos.

Tim wrote:

One of my clients just received an email from Google with the subject line, “Photos are missing from your [company name] listing on Google”. The client forwarded it to me, and it turns out that while every one of their locations in GMB has photos, Google is now prodding them to enter many more photos in several categories:

Interior photos
Add at least 3 great interior photos to show customers what your business feels like inside.

Exterior photos
Add at least 3 great exterior photos to help customers recognize your business.

Photos at work
Add at least 3 photos that are representative of the services you offer.

Team photos
Add at least 3 photos showing your management team and your employees.

Additional photos
Add additional photos of your business that don’t fit in any of the other categories.

Is this a sign of some new initiative from Google? It’s going to annoy my clients and they’re going to wonder whether I have overlooked doing something for them. Sheesh!

I have not seen other reports of this and I’ve been checking for them over the past five days or so.

Forum discussion at Local Search Forums.


Source: SEroundTable